Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Representing Medieval Science

Tom Hodgkinson has a good review in The Spectator of Seb Falk’s The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery which sets out succinctly the book’s argument as to the extent, the breadth of scientific knowledge, both theoretical and practical in the medieval period. Even if you are not tempted to read Prof. Falk’s book - and it looks as if it is very tempting indeed - Hodgkinson’s review is a useful rebuttal in itself to the popular - wilful maybe - perception of widespread medieval ignorance. Useful information for slapping down bar bores.

The comments column at the end is on the whole positive apart from some of the views about the assertion that half the medieval population of Europe were literate. My reaction to that - well, just like the modern west.

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