Greek Period and Middle Ages

  • Danilo CapecchiEmail author
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 25)


This chapter concerns the study of the motion of bodies in the Middle Ages. After a brief excursion in Greek thought, in particular Aristotle’s physics, the various conceptions of natural and violent motions are presented in the period between XIII and XIV centuries. In particular I discuss the complex ideas of Roger Bacon, who tried to solve some difficulties of Aristotle’s views. The most interesting arguments of the chapter, dealt with in the final part, concerns however the theory of impetus which intended to resolve the contradictions internal to the Aristotelian physics for which any motion should have its motor conjunctus, although in most cases this motor seemed to not exist. Of the impetus theory the different views of the terminist school of the faculty of arts in Paris are presented, in particular those of Jean Buridan, Albertus de Saxonia and Nicole Oresme.


Natural Motion Heavy Body Xvii Century Impetus Theory Violent Motion 
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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facoltà di Architettura, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e GeotecnicaUniversità di Roma La SapienzaRomeItaly

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