The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science

The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science

An illuminating guide to the scientific and technological achievements of the Middle Ages through the life of a crusading astronomer-monk. Soaring Gothic cathedrals, violent crusades, the Black Death: these are the dramatic forces that shaped the medieval era. But the so-called Dark Ages also gave us the first universities, eyeglasses, and mechanical clocks, proving that th An illuminating guide to the scientific and technological achievements of the Middle Ages through the life of a crusa...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science
Author:Seb Falk
Rating:
Genres:History
ISBN:The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery
ISBN
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:416 pages pages

The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science Reviews

  • Shoshi
    Dec 19, 2020
    Once past the prologue, this is a romp of a history of science (the trig and astronomy is very detailed). The prologue has a bit of vitriol which surprised me, but I realize that may be a result of when I completed my undergrad degree and where - my teachers were clear that medieval sc...
  • Brian
    Sep 12, 2020
    Some people would dispute the very existence of science as a discipline during the Early Middle Ages; not Seb Falk. He takes as his starting point a manuscript giving detailed instructions for the manufacture of an astrolabe. At one time thought to have been written by Chaucer, it was ...
  • Vivienne
    Sep 26, 2020
    My thanks to Penguin Press U.K. Allen Lane for an eARC via NetGalley of ?The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey? of Discovery by Seb Falk in exchange for an honest review. While I had taken a course on the History of Science some years ago, it only covered the Early Modern Period, i...
  • Bradley
    Jan 05, 2021
    The Light Ages. As opposed to the Dark Ages. Indeed. If I had to compare this to other History of Science nonfiction books, I'd have to rate this rather high. Of course, it debunks the basic idea that there was barely any science in the middle ages, that most people were ignora...
  • Tim O'Neill
    Dec 03, 2020
    It's always a pleasure when a book you've been waiting for since its publication was announced turns out to be every bit as good as you expected. And it's a double pleasure when a book on a subject you thought you knew quite a bit about teaches you something new on almos...
  • Brian Clegg
    Jan 07, 2021
    In this chunky title, Seb Falk sets out to prove very effectively that, certainly from the scientific viewpoint, the suggestion that medieval Europe spent a period of time in the 'dark ages' is misrepresentation. Historians, of course, dumped the 'dark ages' title s...
  • Jemima Pett
    Jan 07, 2021
    I have always been mystified by the term ?the Dark Ages?. Cambridge historian Seb Falk obviously felt there was a need to change people?s opinions of this period. There is no doubt from his research: this era was a hotbed of scientific thought, and wondrous inventions. He also sh...
  • Rucha
    Oct 06, 2020
    "If the world could be made predictable, understandable, then to improve the instruments that replicated it's workings was to imitate God". The Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century, at which point starts the 'Age of Discovery&ap...
  • Kim
    Nov 17, 2020
    The common view of the medieval era in Europe is that it was a period of darkness. That it was an age when science was forgotten and books languished in the dusty back rooms while wild-eyed monks burned the relics of the past and the Pope banned every new idea that came along. Many ...
  • Catalina
    Oct 01, 2020
    The Middle Ages and Science? Do you think they are incompatible? Well you'll think differently after reading Seb Falk's book. His aim, as stated in the Prolog, is to give The Middle Ages a better name. If you'd ask me, he was more than successful in his quest. To begin w...
  • Annie
    Sep 23, 2020
    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Light Ages is a beautifully annotated and layman accessible survey of astronomy, mathematics, engineering, science, and learning in the middle ages viewed through the lens of a real 14th century monk called John of Westwyk. Du...
  • Timoer Frelink
    Dec 06, 2020
    An excellent book showing us that the ?Dark Ages? were far from dark and that science in the middle ages was very much alive. Not only in the islamic world, but also in medieval England and especially in its monestaries. Well writtem, packed with detail. Everyone interested in the ...
  • Nigel
    Sep 16, 2020
    In brief - I found this fascinating at times and rather too technical at other times. Full review nearer the time of publication This book seeks to address the idea that the Middle Ages were not dark times. The author, a Cambridge science historian, opens the book with a discussion ...
  • Dan
    Sep 13, 2020
    An interesting, but sometimes heavy going, read that illuminates an underappreciated area of history. There?s a heavy focus on medieval astronomy, which was surprisingly central to life in those times. This dominates the book a little too much to my taste, at the expense of some of t...
  • Erin
    Nov 02, 2020
    ?Rather than a synonym for backwardness, [the term ?medieval?] should stand for a rounded university education, for careful and critical reading of all kinds of texts, for openness to ideas from all over the world, for a healthy respect for the mysterious and unknown...Why, then,...
  • Michael Cayley
    Aug 30, 2020
    This book uses the life - about much of which relatively little is known - of the 14th century monk John Westwyk, who produced an important astronomical work, to explore medieval developments in science, with especial reference to astronomy and astronomical instruments, time measuremen...
  • K.J. Charles
    Jan 17, 2021
    Pretty interesting deep dive into a medieval scientist/monk's work, which shows the period as far more multicultural, intellectually curious, techy, and open minded than one might think. There is a *lot* on how astrolabes and such work which completely lost me (yes, I have less te...
  • Angela Moore Garden Tea Cakes and Me
    Sep 20, 2020
    This is an in-depth account of science and math and astronomy in the middle ages.  I found the first half of the book akin to a history study/textbook, containing translations of manuscripts, formula to the science of astronomy.  There is a good use of photos, diagrams, and poem...
  • Emma
    Oct 05, 2020
    The framing of the medieval period as 'the Dark Ages' has long since lost its power. Even knowing that, it's still stunning to see just how fundamentally wrong that terminology is. As Seb Falk says in his introduction, the science of this period isn't conceived in ...
  • Ed Taylor
    Oct 18, 2020
    This is a fascinating book which takes a new look at the so-called "Dark Ages" and the science of the era. Exceptionally well researched and terrifically engaging, this is an easy read, even to those of us without a background in either history or science. Seb Falk is an e...
  • David Wineberg
    Sep 23, 2020
    In the 19th century, Kaiser Wilhelm had a nightmare in which Asians loomed over him as yellow threats. He told others about his dream, and the Yellow Peril came into existence, tarring Asians with the absurd slur of yellow skin ever since. Seb Falk thinks the same sort of thing happene...
  • Carolyn
    Sep 24, 2020
    Just the name of this book made it beg to be read, as I have a fascination for history, and much of my TV viewing is archeology and history documentaries. Not always so many books, but this is changing thanks to books like this. This book has definitely turned on its head my previou...
  • Josh Hedgepeth
    Jan 14, 2021
    Thanks to NetGalley for granting me this arc in exchange for fair and honest review. Released in November 2020, The Light Ages is a fairly new release. When I saw this on NetGalley I was extremely intrigued. The first thing I thought of were the different machines we see used in Gam...
  • Lou
    Sep 23, 2020
    Soaring Gothic cathedrals, violent crusades, the Black Death: these are the dramatic forces that shaped the medieval era. But the so-called Dark Ages also gave us the first universities, eyeglasses, and mechanical clocks. As medieval thinkers sought to understand the world around them,...
  • Michelle Louise
    Nov 22, 2020
    The Medieval period is often looked down upon by historians and laypeople alike as backward and lacking, especially when compared to the Classical era and Renaissance. Even its names are dismissive -- The Middle Ages, The Dark Ages, The Medieval Period.... all of those imply that the e...
  • raffaela
    Apr 26, 2020
    Can I just say that I love the idea of calling the medieval period the Light Ages instead of the Dark Ages? Also that cover ? ...
  • Sean Guynes
    Jan 20, 2021
    Falk's book is an incredibly thorough tour through the history of medieval science, so thorough that it would make a great resource for anyone writing historical fiction set in the Middle Ages or interested in bringing medieval science to a fantasy world. Each chapter traces a dif...
  • Uudenkuun Emilia
    Jan 20, 2021
    An excellent book on medieval European science, debunking the all-too-common assumption that medieval people were all backward and that science only reappeared in the Renaissance. As a researcher in medieval and early modern science, I was already familiar with the basic stuff, but...
  • Katherine Dixon
    Dec 28, 2020
    For full transparency: I myself am a medieval researcher and, tangentially, know the author. When I heard the premise of this book I was extremely excited, and Falk does not disappoint - this was a story that urgently needed to be told. Falk's work is an excellent example of rigor...
  • Stephanie
    Sep 03, 2020
    This is a really excellent book and has absolutely transformed my view of medieval history, science and culture. I didn't even think that I was particularly interested in either medieval science, the history of science or medieval monasticism, but I have learnt so much about all t...