256 pages, 2 maps
Miletus: one of the wealthiest and most important towns in ancient Greece. It was here, on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, in the 6th century BC, that the great traditions of Greek science and philosophy sparked into life, setting in motion a chain of knowledge that would change the world, forever. This is the extraordinary story of Greek science from its earliest beginnings through its development in classical Athens and Hellenistic Alexandria and its subsequent diffusion to the wider world. Most histories of Greek science end with the collapse of the Graeco-Roman world in late antiquity and the closing of all classical schools of 'pagan' philosophy in A.D. 529. But acclaimed historian John Freely here continues the story to tell of how the elements of Greek scientific and philosophical learning were adopted by the Islamic world and the transmission of Graeco-Islamic science to western Europe, as well as the preservation of Hellenic culture in Byzantium and its profound influence on the European renaissance and our modern world.
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John Freely was born in New York in 1926 and joined the US Navy at the age of 17, serving during the last two years of World War II. He has a PhD in physics from New York University and did postdoctoral studies in the history of science at Oxford. He is Professor of Physics at Bosphorus University in Istanbul, where he has taught physics and the history of science since 1960. He has also taught in New York, Boston, London and Athens. He has written more than 40 books, including works in the history of science and travel. His most recent book in the history of science is Light From the East: How the Science of Medieval Islam Helped to Shape the Western World (2011). His recent books on history and travel include The Grand Turk, Storm on Horseback, Children of Achilles, The Cyclades, The Ionian Islands (all I.B.Tauris), Crete, The Western Shores of Turkey, Strolling Through Athens, Strolling Through Venice and the bestselling Strolling Through Istanbul (all Tauris Parke Paperbacks).