Robert Hooke: The ‘English Leonardo’ Who Was a 17th-Century Scientific Superstar

Born on July 18, 1635, this polymath broke ground in fields ranging from pneumatics, microscopy, mechanics and astronomy to civil engineering and architecture. Introduction Considering his accomplishments, it’s a surprise that Robert Hooke isn’t more renowned. As a physician, I especially esteem him as the person who identified biology’s most essential unit, the cell. Like Leonardo[…]

Francis Bacon and the Scientific Revolution

Sir Francis Bacon developed a method for philosophers to use in weighing the truthfulness of knowledge. How Do We Know That Something Is True? The word science comes from the latin root scientia, meaning knowledge. But where does the knowledge that makes up science come from? How do you ever really know that something is true? For instance,[…]

‘Spanish Atlanteans’: Crisis of Empire and Reconstruction of Spanish Monarchy, 1672-1740

A new national imaginary emerged that legitimized the task of redefinition. With variations, a concern with origins dominated Spain’s introspection in the eighteenth century. As a result of a internal crisis, the Spanish Monarchy underwent a process of redefinition between the end of the seventeenth century and the decade of the 1740s. By synthesizing traditional[…]

An Introduction to the Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas

The Spanish Crown sent forces to colonize the land, convert the indigenous populations, and extract resources from their newly claimed territory. Introduction “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” These opening lines to a poem are frequently sung by schoolchildren across the United States to celebrate Columbus’s accidental landing on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola[…]

The Library of Celsus in Ancient Ephesus

This was a great center of learning and early Christian scholarship during the Roman period. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Library of Celsus in ancient Ephesus, located in western Turkey, was a repository of over 12,000 scrolls and one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire. Constructed in the 2nd century CE, it[…]

Libraries in the Ancient World

Not until the Roman period did genuinely public libraries allow people to come and read as they wished. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Libraries were a feature of larger cities across the ancient world with famous examples being those at Alexandria, Athens, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Nineveh. Rarely ever lending libraries, they were typically designed for visiting[…]