General Science

General medieval sciences, including astronomy, alchemy, metrology, geology, natural philosophy, and similar studies.

Today in the Middle Ages: May 25, 735

On May 25, 735, the Venerable Bede ended his peaceful, learned life in the Northumbrian monastery where he had lived over fifty years.

White Monks May Have Pursued Alchemy

An alembic found at a remote North Yorkshire monastery may be evidence that Cistercian monks were involved in the arcane quest to make gold from base metal.

Period Spectacles

Retired ophthalmologist David Fleishman has created a website dealing with the history of spectacles: "Eyeglasses Through the Ages."

Today in the Middle Ages: April 15, 1452

Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452. He became the prototype of the "Renaissance Man."

Today in the Middle Ages: April 8, 1492

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Lorenzo de Medici, called "The Magnificent."

Medieval Origins of Modern Science Colloquium

On April 5-6, 2006, the Southeastern Louisiana University College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will present a spring colloquium entitled Medieval Origins of Modern Science.

Head of Copernicus Found?

Archaeologists excavating a crypt beneath a 14th century cathedral in Frombork, Poland, believe they may have found the skull of the revolutionary astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Smell of the Middle Ages

On its website, Trivium Publishing offers suggestions for enjoying the medieval experience by using your sense of smell through an article entitled Smell of the Middle Ages by Jacquelyn Hodson.

Black Plague Caused Climate Change

A new study suggests that the devastating Black Death may have done more than wipe out 1/3 of the population. It may have triggered Europe's "Little Ice Age" in the 14th century.

Medieval Medical Myth-Busting

In a lengthy article for Strange Horizons written in 2003, Michael Livingston attempts to debunk many myths about medieval medicine.

Roman Numerals: For SCAdians - and Football Fans!

The subject of Roman numberals seems to crop up every year: in January for football fans and in May for members of the SCA. This year the Olympic Games complicate an already mystifying system.

Medieval Cemetery Found in Leicester

A construction company, making way for a new shopping mall, has discovered a large, medieval cemetery near the English city of Leicester. The cemetery appears to have been in use from the 12th through 16th centuries.

Dibner Institute Offers Spring 2006 Colloquia

The Dibner Institute for the History of Science & Technology, located at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will once again offer its Lunchtime Colloquia featuring a series of lectures on historical scientific topics.

Men More Prone to Revenge, Study Says

A new study by Nature shows that men are more likely to seek revenge than women. Researchers used MRI brain scans to study subjects viewing wrongdoers given an electric shock and how the subjects' brains responded.

Mystery of 'Unicorn' Whale Solved

The narwhal, known in folklore as the "unicorn whale" for its spiraling tusk, has been a mystery to scientists and traditional Inuit cultures alike, for no one could explain the purpose of the tusk. Now a researcher from Harvard says he has the answer.

Medieval Lion Skulls Tell Tale of Royal Menagerie

The skulls of two lions dating to the 13th and 15th centuries, discovered in the moat of the Tower of London, give credence to historic accounts of the Tower's fabled Menagerie, a popular tourist attraction in medieval times.

Student Uses "Experimental Archaeology" to Work Iron

Ph.D candidate in Materials Science and Engineering Dan Jeffery is using ancient technologies to understand how bloomery furnaces work. Bloomery furnaces were in common use "in Japan, Renaissance Europe, ancient Rome, Africa, and many other places to make iron and steel for armor, swords, locks, tools and hundreds of other household items."

MIT & MythBusters Take on Archimedes' "Death Ray"

After the failure of Jamie and Adam to reconstruct a working model of Archimedes' death ray for Mythbusters, scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have taken up the challenge.

More Power! Medieval Machinery

Think modern society has a monopoly on power tools? Think again! For the mechanically-inclined, this week's edition of Aoife's Links is chock full of serious drool-bait: medieval machines.

More than Ones and Zeros

Monty Python's Terry Jones will host a documentary on the history of numbers. The Story of 1, which merges the comedian/writer's quirky wit with historical research, will be presented by BBC 1.

Laser Technology Used to Re-create Ancient Harp

Engineers from the University of Liverpool in England have created a reproduction of an ancient Iraqi harp, the Lyre if Ur.

Science & Theology: Fact & Fiction

In an article for Science & Theology News, columnist Carolyn Moynihan discusses the facts and myths of scientific thought in the medieval world.

The Museum of Unworkable Devices

This museum is a celebration of fascinating devices that don't work. It houses diverse examples of the perverse genius of inventors who refused to let their thinking be intimidated by the laws of nature, remaining optimistic in the face of repeated failures. Watch and be amazed as we bring to life eccentric and even intricate perpetual motion machines that have remained steadfastly unmoving since their inception.

Lost notes on alchemy by Isaac Newton found

Researchers at the Royal Society, a British scientific association, have discovered notes on alchemy by Sir Isaac Newton that were previously thought to have been permanently lost.

Fire in the Sky: History of Fireworks

From a secure bunker at an undisclosed location in the Pocono Mountains, Dame Aoife sends forth links about the history of the "artillery" whose echoing thunder now resounds through her abode.

Which Solstice for Stonehenge?

While Stonehenge is a popular attraction for those wishing to celebrate the Summer Solstice, the monument may actually have been constructed to celebrate the Winter holiday.

French Magazine Claims Turin Shroud a Fake

In its July 2005 issue, Science et Vie explains how an artist used medieval techiques to recreate the image on the cloth.

Museum of Unworkable Devices

Fascinated by machines that almost - but don't quite - work? Here's a website dedicated to fascinating devices that would have been grand, if only they had really worked.

Particle Accelerator used to reveal Archimedes' words on Palimpsest

The only known copy of Archimedes work known as the treatise "Method of Mechanical Theorems" may soon be visible again.

New Scientific Methods to Preserve Gutenberg Bibles

Dutch scientists have discovered new, non-invasive techniques to identify the composition of the inks and pigments used in Gutenberg Bibles in order to better preserve the books.