Scientific Revolution

A chronological study of the Scientific Revolution

On the Fabric of the Human Body

Andreas Vesaluis publishes his great work on observations about the human body. Signifies the birth of biology and the separation of natural history and natural philosophy

De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium

Copernicus' technical work laying out heliocentric theory critiquing the current state of Ptolemaic astronomy based on 40 years of data collection. Considered to be the fundamental work that triggered the Scientific Revolution and the questioning of soceity's relationship with the universe. However, the book was published on his deathbed, was pooly distributed and not widely read until half a century later.

John Dee

A highly respected English mathematician, natural philosopher and navigational guru who championed the application of precise geometry to the field of cartogrophy

Giordano Bruno

An Italian philosopher and cosmologist who lacked mathematical knowledge, but championed Copernicus' idea of heliocentrism and freedom of thought. Attributed with his theory of an infinite universe and the existence of multiple worlds. Was later burned at the stake and is seen as a martyr for science.

Tycho Brahe

An enormously wealthy Dutchman who used parallax to refute the Aristotelian view of the universe. Compiled quality data on the movements of various planets and came to the conclusion that the heavens are not fixed. His model retains Copernicus' math, but argues that the earth does not spin. Later hires Kepler to begin work on the Rudophine Tables

Pico della Mirandola

An Italian scholar who wrote "Oration on the Dignity of Man" in 1486 that took many elements from previous philosophies to form his own. He was widely popular during his time--a true "Renaissance Rockstar."

Letter to Grand Duchess Christina

Essay written by Galileo to the Medici court to prove that a condemation of Copernicanism by the church would be unjust and that heliocentrism was in fact true. In the letter, he flatters the authority of the Grand Dutchess and hypes up his own abilities and portrays himself as “himself as a man of good will who seeks only to disclose the truth.”

Johannes Kepler

A Neoplatonist German astronomer from a family of declining fortunes who defends heliocentrism both mathematically and theologically. His work focused on the harmonious relationship of the 5 Platonic Solids in relation to the ratio of the 6 orbits of the known planets. He used Tycho Brahe's data to create the Rudophine Tables, and "put the Copernican system in motion" with his three laws on planetary motion. He is credited with applying mathematical analysis to simplfly a complex and cluttered model of the universe, which is a significant step towards our modern notion of rational scientific thought.

Novum Organum

Francis Bacon's work comprised of a description of facts, a classification of those facts, and a rejection of everything that is not fact or does not appear to be connected to the subject. The work brings rationality and order to studying natural phenomena.

Casa de la Contratación

A government office in Seville, the main port of the Spanish Empire, tasked with recording and categorizing all goods that come in from the New World. The bureau determined real from fake goods and underscored the economic importance of recording natural history for both tax and valuation purposes.

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