The Light Ages by Seb Falk audiobook

The Light Ages: The Surprising Story of Medieval Science

By Seb Falk
Read by Seb Falk

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11.06 Hours 1
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An illuminating guide to the scientific and technological achievements of the Middle Ages through the life of a crusading astronomer-monk. Soaring Gothic cathedrals, violent crusades, the Black Death: these are the dramatic forces that shaped the medieval era. But the so-called Dark Ages also gave us the first universities, eyeglasses, and mechanical clocks. As medieval thinkers sought to understand the world around them, from the passing of the seasons to the stars in the sky, they came to develop a vibrant scientific culture. In The Light Ages, Cambridge science historian Seb Falk takes us on a tour of medieval science through the eyes of one fourteenth-century monk, John of Westwyk. Born in a rural manor, educated in England's grandest monastery, and then exiled to a clifftop priory, Westwyk was an intrepid crusader, inventor, and astrologer. From multiplying Roman numerals to navigating by the stars, curing disease, and telling time with an ancient astrolabe, we learn emerging science alongside Westwyk and travel with him through the length and breadth of England and beyond its shores. On our way, we encounter a remarkable cast of characters: the clock-building English abbot with leprosy, the French craftsman-turned-spy, and the Persian polymath who founded the world’s most advanced observatory.

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Summary

Summary

A London Sunday Times Pick of Best Books of 2020

A Telegraph (London) Best Books of 2020 Pick

A BBC History Magazine Pick of 2020's Best Books

A New York Times Book Review pick of Best Books Now in Paperback

An illuminating guide to the scientific and technological achievements of the Middle Ages through the life of a crusading astronomer-monk.

Soaring Gothic cathedrals, violent crusades, the Black Death: these are the dramatic forces that shaped the medieval era. But the so-called Dark Ages also gave us the first universities, eyeglasses, and mechanical clocks. As medieval thinkers sought to understand the world around them, from the passing of the seasons to the stars in the sky, they came to develop a vibrant scientific culture.

In The Light Ages, Cambridge science historian Seb Falk takes us on a tour of medieval science through the eyes of one fourteenth-century monk, John of Westwyk. Born in a rural manor, educated in England's grandest monastery, and then exiled to a clifftop priory, Westwyk was an intrepid crusader, inventor, and astrologer. From multiplying Roman numerals to navigating by the stars, curing disease, and telling time with an ancient astrolabe, we learn emerging science alongside Westwyk and travel with him through the length and breadth of England and beyond its shores. On our way, we encounter a remarkable cast of characters: the clock-building English abbot with leprosy, the French craftsman-turned-spy, and the Persian polymath who founded the world’s most advanced observatory.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Magnificent." Wall Street Journal
“Falk’s bubbling curiosity and strong sense of storytelling always swept me along.” Discover
“Falk offers a sense of the international nature of medieval scholarship, debunking the image of isolated, repressive monastic communities and highlighting the influence of both Muslim and Jewish innovators.” Smithsonian magazine
“Falk's lilting delivery as he discusses influential figures and key instruments, like the astrolabe, creates an absorbing experience.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Seb Falk

Author Bio: Seb Falk

Seb Falk is a historian, broadcaster, and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, where he teaches medieval history and the history of science. His research is focused on scientific instruments of the Middle Ages, specializing in the history of astronomy, navigation, and mathematics. In 2016, he was named one of the BBC's New Generation Thinkers.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 11.06
Audience: Adult
Language: English