Dictionary of scientific biography, vol 7 by C Coulston Gillispie

By C Coulston Gillispie

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Extra info for Dictionary of scientific biography, vol 7

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Rules are given for drawing these isosceles triangles, and the rules are attributed to "Isidorus our great teacher . 1112 It may therefore be presumed that at least the third section of the book was written by one of his pupils . The above passages are evidence that Isidorus had a school, and it would appear to have been in this school that Archimedes' On the Sphere and the Cylinder and Measurement of the Circle-in which Eutocius had revived interest through his commentarieswere translated from their original Doric into the vernacular, with a number of changes designed to make them more easily understood by beginners .

Western Europe in Isidore's time had little direct contact with the Greek scientific tradition and derived both science and philosophy at second hand . The bulk of early Latin scientific writing was severely practical or anecdotal and descriptive . Most of Isidore's scientific passages merely define words or phrases . A man of his time, Isidore was more concerned with analogy than with analysis, with the unusual than with the typical . An encyclopedic dictionary is too disconnected to present a scientific world view ; but Isidore carefully and quite accurately preserved much of the scientific lore current late in the Roman period, when original work had long since ceased and facility in Greek had perished .

Irinyi himself established a match factory in Buda (today Budapest), Hungary, but the volume of business did not meet his expectations . He soon fell into financial difficulties and had to give up the factory . This failure was probably caused in part by his many scientific and public activities . Irinyi wrote several books and worked to create an artificial Hungarian technical language in which all chemical terms would be "Magyarized" ; this language prevailed in scientific usage only for a very short time .

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