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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Simon R. E. Werrett
HIST 311
Seattle Campus

Science in Civilization: Antiquity to 1600

From preclassical antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages, stressing the growth of scientific ideas, the cultural context in which they take shape, and their relationship to other movements of thought in the history of civilization.

Class description

This course follows the development of natural knowledge in human cultures from ancient times to the end of the middle ages. We explore the different ways the Greeks, and Romans, Chinese, Christians and Muslims sought to understand the Natural World, and how their beliefs helped shape the natural sciences in the middle ages and ultimately modern science. Covering practices such as astronomy, natural history, and medicine, and figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Galen, and Ptolemy, the course will ask questions about the changing forms and uses of natural knowledge in different times and places and science’s relationship to religion, philosophy, politics, and society.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures and weekly sections; reading.

Recommended preparation

No previous study of history of science required.

Class assignments and grading

Mid-term and final exams; essay-format assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Simon R. E. Werrett
Date: 09/06/2007