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By David Speiser

This number of essays on relationships among technology, heritage of technological know-how, historical past of artwork and philosophy is a multi-faceted sequel to the 1st quantity, getting to know the foundations of Mechanics 1600-1800, released in 2008. in the course of his occupation, David Speiser used to be before everything a theoretical physicist with first-hand wisdom of ways primary examine is performed, yet he was once additionally a historian of technology and editor of ancient writings in addition to a willing observer of artistic endeavors and structure. In those essays he compares and contrasts creative creations with medical discoveries, the paintings of the artist and that of the scientist, and strategy of research of the paintings historian to that of the historian of technological know-how. what's published is how the boundaries of person disciplines could be driven and occasionally thoroughly conquer because the results of enter from and interactions with different fields, and the way growth can even be most unlikely with out such interactions. The reflections elucidated right here refute the assumption, so engrained in our considering this present day, of the ‘two cultures’, and underline the cohesion instead of the variety inherent in artistic notion either medical and inventive. Contained listed here are ten papers, all newly edited with up-to-date references, 4 of that have been translated into English for the 1st time, and accomplished with an index of names. meant for the expert and non-specialist alike, those essays set earlier than us a dinner party of principles.

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Additional resources for Crossroads: History of Science, History of Art: Essays by David Speiser, Volume 2

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Many of them must be counted as great works of art. Furthermore, monuments and frescoes were mostly not created on the initiative of an artist, but were, and still are, commissioned by a patron, and every art historian is aware of this. Much the same holds for the development of science, but here the importance of commissioned research is in general not stressed enough. Again, think of the pyramids and the impact which their construction must have exerted on the then still rudimentary geometry and mechanics; think of the construction of the medieval cathedrals and towers; recall Galileo’s praise of the Arsenal of Venice at the beginning of his Discorsi.

If now the visitor, surprised and amazed, exits the building in order to verify his suspicions, he will not be disappointed. The double covering explains the bizarre silhouette of the dome: three levels than be discerned on the exterior in correspondence to two on the interior. Even more important, however, and even stranger because they are in violent contrast to the interior, the first and the third levels show a twenty-fold symmetry rather than twelve-fold. David Speiser, Crossroads: History of Science, History of Art 19 The challenge of the Tower The lower level of the Baptistery was intentionally built as a challenge to the preexisting structure of the interior: its four piers and eight columns had clearly established a twelve-fold symmetry, and perhaps the construction of the interior was already well on its way.

On the other hand, it cannot be excluded that some parts of it were known in the West, perhaps via Constantinople or Salerno. It even seems, as Professor Giuseppe Nenci told me, that a manuscript of Herodotus’s work existed in a monastery not far from Pisa. While a consideration of translational symmetry took us all the way to the Tower of Babel, an examination of the rotational symmetry leads us to another great – and for us, more important – surprise. The lower floor of the Tower consists of a massive wall to the exterior of which is applied a blind arcade.

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