Thomas Harriot and His World : Mathematics, Exploration, and Natural Philosophy in Early Modern England book cover
1st Edition

Thomas Harriot and His World
Mathematics, Exploration, and Natural Philosophy in Early Modern England

ISBN 9781138110144
Published July 6, 2017 by Routledge
274 Pages

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Book Description

This second volume of papers on Thomas Harriot edited by Professor Robert Fox is based on the annual Harriot lectures delivered at Oriel College, Oxford between 2000 and 2009. It complements the previous volume, published as Thomas Harriot: An Elizabethan Man of Science in 2000. The focus in several of the papers is on Harriot's outstanding achievements as a mathematician; others consider why he has never received the recognition accorded to his great contemporary, Galileo; others again examine his association with his entrepreneurial patron Walter Ralegh and his contributions to the intensely practical world of exploration and seamanship, as exemplified in his voyage to the coast of present-day North Carolina in 1585. The volume adds significantly to our understanding of a true Renaissance man who wrote accomplished Latin, earned the respect of Europe's leading mathematicians and astronomers, and moved easily in circles close to the English court and whose 'Brief and true report of the new found land of Virginia' (1588) was the first detailed description of America to be published in the English language.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Thomas Harriot Lectures 1990-2009; Introduction; the many worlds of Thomas Harriot, Robert Fox; Thomas Harriot and the great mathematical tradition, Jon V. Pepper; Chymicorum in morem: refraction, matter theory, and secrecy in the Harriot-Kepler correspondence, Robert Goulding; Reconstructing Thomas Harriot's treatise on equations, Jacqueline Stedall; Harriot on combinations, Ian Maclean; Thomas Harriot as an English Galileo: the force of shared knowledge in early modern mechanics, Matthias Schemmel; Why Thomas Harriot was not the English Galilieo, John Henry; Patronizing, publishing, and perishing: Harriot's lost opportunities and his lost work 'Arcticon', Stephen Pumfrey; Last act? 1618 and the shaping of Sir Walter Ralegh's reputation, Mark Nicholls; Thomas Harriot and the mariner's culture on board a transatlantic ship in 1585, Pascal Brioist; Appendices: The 'perfect' Harriot/de Bry: cautionary notes on identifying an authentic copy of the deBry edition of Thomas Hariot's A Brief and True Report (1590), Larry E. Tise; Harriot's Latin, Charles Fantazzi; The portrait of Thomas Harriot, Diccon Swan; A bibliography of secondary sources relating to the work and life of Thomas Harriot, published since 2000, Daniel Jon Mitchell; Index.

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Robert Fox is Emeritus Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK


'Fox's Thomas Harriot and His World continues to develop a more complete and nuanced portrait of Harriot's manner of thinking and of the quality of his work, particularly in mathematics. The contributions to this volume also demonstrate that the further examination of Harriot sheds light on many other aspects of early modern science ...' Aestimatio '[The book] has a good index and will be of interest to scholars of Harriot and early modern mathematics and mathematical physics.' Sixteenth Century Journal '... we can expect more work on this intriguing figure, and more searching questions of the kind raised by this excellent volume.' Renaissance Quarterly