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A Journey to the Center of the Earth: Cosmology and the Centrobaric Theory from Antiquity to the Renaissance

  • Elio NenciEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 270)

Abstract

This chapter aims to throw light on the ways in which the concept of center of gravity interacted with some of the cosmological ideas conceived in antiquity and in particular with the idea of the figure of earth as presented in Aristotle’s De coelo. Developing earlier research, this study provides a better understanding of the scientific discussion that took place during the crucial first stage in the development of modern science. The origins and earliest stages in the development of the concept of center of gravity in Ancient Greece was briefly studied by Duhem, whose cursory analysis of a few texts by Pappus and Archimedes was undertaken with the specific purpose of showing the supposed faults inherent in Greek statics. The chapter will begin with a discussion of these Greek sources and attempt to follow the intellectual recovery of this key concept in the Renaissance and the first decades of the seventeenth century, relying in particular on a thorough study of textbooks used for teaching astronomy in Jesuit schools, for example, Commentaries on De sphera of Sacrobosco.

Keywords

Equilibrium Balance Centrobarics Lever Aristotle De coelo Johannes de Sacrobosco Sphaera Figure of Earth Natural motion 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MilanMilanItaly

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