God's Clockmaker: Richard of Wallingford and the Invention by John North

By John North

Clocks turned universal in overdue medieval Europe and the dimension of time started to rule daily life. God's Clockmaker is a biography of England's maximum medieval scientist, a guy who solved significant functional and theoretical difficulties to construct a unprecedented and pioneering astronomical and astrological clock. Richard of Wallingford (1292-1336), the son of a blacksmith, was once a super mathematician with a genius for the sensible resolution of technical difficulties. knowledgeable at Oxford, he grew to become a monk after which abbot of the good abbey of St Albans, the place he outfitted his clock. even supposing as abbot he held nice strength, he was once additionally a sad determine, turning into a leper. His fulfillment, however, is a remarkable instance of the sophistication of medieval technology, according to wisdom passed down from the Greeks through the Arabs.

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Extra resources for God's Clockmaker: Richard of Wallingford and the Invention of Time

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The resident university chancellor assumed—or tried to assume—the powers that had formerly been those of the chancellor of Lincoln. He was head of all schools in the town, including the grammar schools, and every scholar and master in the place was subject to his jurisdiction. The Oxford chancellor was henceforth elected by the Oxford regent masters as 'first among equals'. His status was quite different from that of the chancellor in Paris, who was primarily a functionary of the cathedral, constantly defending its rights and privileges from an increasingly assertive university.

Richard of Wallingford was no Franciscan, and he was born forty years after Grosseteste died, but he could not escape the influence of the man. Grosseteste, however, fought another rearguard action which, if it had succeeded, would have adversely affected the course of Oxford scholarship in the later middle ages. He resisted a change to a new method of teaching—one that was already in use in Paris—whereby theological debate was organised around a work known simply as the Sentences. This was a biblical summary that had been prepared by Peter Lombard, a pupil of Abelard, who had died as bishop of Paris in 1160.

The task was not one to be easily achieved, in view of the remoteness of the bishop in whose diocese—Lincoln—Oxford lay. The church's hold on the place was certainly not weakened when Robert Grosseteste was himself made bishop of Lincoln in 1235. ' At some time between 1214 and 1241 Grosseteste had held the title of magister scholarum, master of the schools, an office which—like the chancellorship of a cathedral—carried with it the right to grant to clerks on behalf of the bishop the licence to teach as masters.

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