Night Sky at Rhodes

Night Sky at Rhodes

Night Sky at Rhodes

Night Sky at Rhodes

Excerpt

During the spring of 1960, a small academic film unit was in Greece and Turkey, making a film about the beginnings of science. We had gone there with an intense interest in the scientific ideas of the classical Greeks and the conviction that, of all the aspects of the Hellenic achievement, this alone was completely unique. Other cultures and civilizations -- French, Etruscan, Japanese, T'ang, Khmer -- have had an Aeschylus or a Pheidias, have produced noble dramas or fine sculptures; but the Greeks, and only the Greeks, invented the idea of an abstract and general scientific theory.

Why was this, and how did it come about? We started with these questions; and also with the feeling that, unless one could see them in relation to the life which created them, the literary relics which are our prime evidence about the first systems of scientific ideas must remain just so many words. Possibly this connection could no longer be made; the tenuous threads joining those ideas to the vanished life from which they sprang had -- presumably -- been snapped by history past hope of reconstruction.

Or had they? That was what we wanted to find out, and this book tells how we set about the task.

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