Department of Classics

Queen's University
Search Type



site header

CLST 214 - Ancient Science (F)

Science as we know it today is a fairly recent human project. This should not, however, lead us to think that the ancients did not attempt to build and accumulate knowledge about the natural world. But how were these projects? What expectations and aims did their promoters have, and what was their status in their society? Was their notion of nature the same as ours? Was it even a unified notion? We will focus upon the ancient Mediterranean cultures, studying a selection of ancient sources and materials. As we will see, even if we can detect the embryo of the modern notion of nature and science in some of these developments, crucial aspects such as the boundaries and the methods were not only radically different from ours, but also varying across cultures, traditions, or individuals.

ASSESSMENT:  Three in-class tests (70%); two assignments (30%)

  1. Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle, Lloyd, G.E.R.
  2. Greek Science after Aristotle, Lloyd, G.E.R.

INSTRUCTOR:  Dr. Cristian Tolsa

PREREQUISITE:  Level 2 or above.