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Flame of Miletus: The Birth of Science in Ancient Greece (and How it Changed the World)
by John Freely
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 beginnin ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by I. B. Tauris
(first published March 1st 2012)
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It is fashionable to play down the importance of the ancient Greeks, noting that other civilizations – China, for instance – we also cradles of scientific thought. But that misses the point. Modern science has a clear ancestry: ancient Greeks, Arab world, Europe, Worldwide. There is no doubt that amazing work was done elsewhere, and to some extent (e.g. with Indian mathematics) has been a side feed to this process, but most of the early development of science that occurred in parallel with the a ...more
Fascinating subject but the content of the book itself leaves much to be desired. John Freely has a way about his writing that makes the pages flow quickly but he attempts to force so much dense mathematical background into his history that you are left remembering only a few details. At times it seems that he is merely showing off his knowledge. Once he enters the Scientific Revolution the writing, and the content, quickly improve and finally the sense that every piece of information is truly i ...more
John Freely was born in 1926 in Brooklyn, New York to Irish immigrant parents, and spent half of his early childhood in Ireland. He dropped out of high school when he was 17 to join the U. S. Navy, serving for two years, including combat duty with a commando unit in the Pacific, India, Burma and China during the last year of World War II. After the war, he went to college on the G. I. Bill and eve ...moreMore about John Freely...