The Map of Knowledge: How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found: A History in Seven Cities
In The Map of Knowledge Violet Moller traces the journey taken by the ideas of three of the greatest scientists of antiquity – Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy – through seven cities and over a thousand years. In it, we follow them from sixth-century Alexandria to ninth-century Baghdad, from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo, from Salerno’s medieval medical school to Palermo, cap...more
First of all, I was fully aware of the contribution to scholarship in the Arab world during the centuries of their short-lived dominance. I studied Arabic and the Muslim world for many years. Her exuberance to in ...more
Limiting the scope of Classical transmission to these men and not including, say, Aristotle, seems a bit odd (interesting trivia: Aristotle was the first person known to have a private collection of books). But I'm actually more disappointed in Moller's focus on telling the story of the transcription ef ...more
This book provides the answer in form of a journey, telling us the stories of ind ...more
After almost two months, I have completely lost the thread of what I was learning. I don't have the time or energy or frankly I guess the interest to start the book over. I would definitely consider trying it again in a few years.
How can that be, when the max height of the Sistine Chapel ceiling is only 68 feet?
I am of no particular religious faith, but as I continue, I begin to detect the anti-Christian bias so typical of today’s Western historical writers. In her preface, Moller sets forth the idea that with the spread of Christianity came the inevitable anti-intellectual book b ...more
This book is incredibly well researched, and written in an engaging and witty way. I was not only interested by the topic, but hooked by the narrative put forth ...more
To communicate her story the author focuses on three works of science: the Elements on mathematics by Euclid, the Almagest on astronomy by Ptolemy, and several writings on medicine by Galen. The story also moves around the Mediterranean, starting in Alexandria, with its library ...more
But it's not perfect. Prof. Moller says her map ...more
She accomplishes this feat of literary detection by tracing journey the three took from city to city and library to library through the long, dark centuries when first Europe, in the aftermath of Rome's collapse, and then, event ...more
But the book is mainly about the physical translations - there is very little about what is INSIDE the books and how they i ...more
The only quibble I have is that the title 'Map of Knowledge' can be misleading as the cities covered in the book aren't the comprehensive geography where kn ...more