Violet Moller

The Map of Knowledge - How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found : A History in Seven Cities

Wed 9 Oct
19:00 - 20:00
Watts Gallery


Kindly sponsored by Roffe Swayne

Historian Violet Moller follows the ideas of three great scientists, Euclid, Galen and Ptolemy, through seven cities and across more than a thousand years. The journey takes her from sixth-century Alexandria to ninth-century Baghdad, from Muslim Cordoba to Catholic Toledo, from Salerno’s medieval medical school to Palermo, with its mix of cultures, and finally to Venice, where printing presses allowed the even wider spread of Euclid’s geometry, Ptolemy’s system of the stars, and Galen’s writings on medicine.

 In tracing these strands of knowledge from century to century, from east to west, north to south, Moller reveals the web of connections between the Islamic world and Chistendom, connections that both preserve and transform astronomy, mathematics and medicine from the early Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

 Vividly told and with a dazzling cast of characters, The Map of Knowledge is an evocative, nuanced and vibrant account of our common intellectual heritage.

Superb . . . Ambitious but concise, deeply researched but elegantly written, and very entertaining, The Map of Knowledge is popular intellectual history at its best
— Telegraph