The Forgotten Revolution

How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why It Had to Be Reborn

  • Lucio Russo

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Lucio Russo
    Pages 1-4
  3. Lucio Russo
    Pages 5-30
  4. Lucio Russo
    Pages 31-55
  5. Lucio Russo
    Pages 57-93
  6. Lucio Russo
    Pages 95-141
  7. Lucio Russo
    Pages 143-170
  8. Lucio Russo
    Pages 171-202
  9. Lucio Russo
    Pages 231-241
  10. Lucio Russo
    Pages 243-267
  11. Lucio Russo
    Pages 269-327
  12. Lucio Russo
    Pages 329-397
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 399-491

About this book


The period from the late fourth to the late second century B. C. witnessed, in Greek-speaking countries, an explosion of objective knowledge about the external world. WhileGreek culture had reached great heights in art, literature and philosophyalreadyin the earlier classical era, it is in the so-called Hellenistic period that we see for the ?rst time — anywhere in the world — the appearance of science as we understand it now: not an accumulation of facts or philosophically based speculations, but an or- nized effort to model nature and apply such models, or scienti?ctheories in a sense we will make precise, to the solution of practical problems and to a growing understanding of nature. We owe this new approach to scientists such as Archimedes, Euclid, Eratosthenes and many others less familiar todaybut no less remarkable. Yet, not long after this golden period, much of this extraordinary dev- opment had been reversed. Rome borrowed what it was capable of from the Greeks and kept it for a little while yet, but created very little science of its own. Europe was soon smothered in theobscurantism and stasis that blocked most avenues of intellectual development for a thousand years — until, as is well known, the rediscovery of ancient culture in its fullness paved the way to the modern age.


Greek mathematics Greek science Hellenistic Science MSC (2000): 01A20 Philosophy of science Scientific renaissance heliocentrism history of mathematics astronomy Euclid Heliocentrism mechanics philosophy proposition Renaissance scientific revolution

Authors and affiliations

  • Lucio Russo
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di MatematicaUniversità di Roma “Tor Vergata” Via della Ricerca ScientificaRomaItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-20396-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-18904-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site