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The heirs of Archimedes : science and the art of war through the Age of Enlightenment

Author: Brett D Steele; Tamera Dorland
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2005.
Series: Dibner Institute studies in the history of science and technology.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Essays analyze the connections between science and technology and military power in the late medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods.The integration of scientific knowledge and military power began long before the Manhattan Project. In the third century BC, Archimedes was renowned for his research in mechanics and mathematics as well as for his design and coordination of defensive siegecraft for Syracuse  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
History
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Heirs of Archimedes.
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2005
(DLC) 2004055164
(OCoLC)55797897
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Brett D Steele; Tamera Dorland
ISBN: 9780262284226 0262284227 142373002X 9781423730026
OCLC Number: 62098489
Description: 1 online resource (vi, 397 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: Facing the new technology : gunpowder defenses in military architecture before the trace Italienne, 1350-1500 / Kelly DeVries --
The French reluctance to adopt firearms technology in the early modern period / Frederic J. Baumgartner --
Gunpowder and the changing military order : the Islamic gunpowder empires, ca. 1450-ca. 1650 / Barton C. Hacker --
Behind the Turkish war machine : gunpowder technology and war industry in the Ottoman Empire, 1450-1700 / Gabor Agoston --
The Mary Rose : a tale of two centuries / Alexzandra Hildred --
Mathematics and empire : the military impulse and the scientific revolution / Lesley B. Cormack --
Harriot and Dee on exploration and mathematics : did scientific imagery make for new scientific practice? / Amir Alexander --
Charting the globe and tracking the heavens : navigation and the sciences in the early modern era / Michael S. Mahoney --
"The art and mystery of making gunpowder" : the English experience in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries / Brenda J. Buchanan --
Chemistry in the war machine : saltpeter production in eighteenth-century Sweden / Thomas Kaiserfeld --
Chemistry in the arsenal : state regulation and scientific methodology of gunpowder in eighteenth-century England and France / Seymour H. Mauskopf --
Eighteenth-century French fortification theory after Vauban : the case of Montalembert / Janis Langins --
Military "progress" and Newtonian science in the age of enlightenment / Brett D. Steele.
Series Title: Dibner Institute studies in the history of science and technology.
Responsibility: Brett D. Steele and Tamera Dorland, editors.

Abstract:

Essays analyze the connections between science and technology and military power in the late medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods.The integration of scientific knowledge and military power began long before the Manhattan Project. In the third century BC, Archimedes was renowned for his research in mechanics and mathematics as well as for his design and coordination of defensive siegecraft for Syracuse during the Second Punic War. This collection of essays examines the emergence during the early modern era of mathematicians, chemists, and natural philosophers who, along with military engineers, navigators, and artillery officers, followed in the footsteps of Archimedes and synthesized scientific theory and military practice. It is the first collaborative scholarly assessment of these early military-scientific relationships, which have been long neglected by scholars both in the history of science and technology and in military history. From a historical perspective, this volume investigates the deep connections between two central manifestations of Western power, examining the military context of the Scientific Revolution and the scientific context of the Military Revolution. Unlike the classic narratives of the Scientific Revolution that focus on the theories of, and conflicts between, Aristotelian and Platonic worldviews, this volume highlights the emergence of the Archimedean ideal--in which a symbiosis exists between the supply of mechanistic science and the demand for military capability. From a security-studies perspective, this work presents an in-depth study of the central components of military power as well as their dynamic interactions in the political, acquisitional, operational, and tactical domains. The essays in this volume reveal the intellectual and cultural struggles to enhance the capabilities of these components--an exercise in transforming military power that remains relevant for today's armed forces. The volume sets the stage by examining the innovation of gunpowder weaponry in both the Christian and the Islamic states of the late medieval and Renaissance eras. It then explores such topics as the cultural resistance to scientific techniques and the relationship between early modern science and naval power--particularly the intersecting developments in mathematics and oceanic navigation. Other essays address the efforts of early practitioners and theorists of chemistry to increase the power and consistency of gunpowder. The final essays analyze the application of advanced scientific knowledge and Enlightenment ideals to the military engineering and artillery organizations of the eighteenth century. The volume concludes by noting the global spread of the Archimedean ideal during the nineteenth century as an essential means for resisting Western imperialism.

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