This course explores the medieval understanding of nature, the heavens, bodies, and minds. In medieval Islam and the Latin West, science was shaped by debates over important questions – the extent of divine and human power, the existence of other worlds, the generation of life, the legitimacy of magic and astrology. We will ask how medieval people sought to put this knowledge into practice, from healing sickness and prolonging life, to making automata, transmuting metals, or predicting the future. The course draws on a wide range of sources, including books, images, material objects, and our own attempts to reconstruct experiments in class.
View this course on the Registrar’s website.