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Knowledge, Power and Nature 1500-1700 - Term 2 Week 2

Seminar Reading

Ash, Eric H., ‘Queen vs. Northumberland, and the Control of Technical Expertise’, History of Science 39 (2001), pp. 214-240.

Biagoli, Mario, ‘Galileo’s System of Patronage’, History of Science 28 (1990): 2-62.

Juette, Daniel, ‘Trading in Secrets: Jews and the Early Modern Question for Clandestine Knowledge,’ Isis 103 (2012): 668-686.

Seminar/Essay Questions

  • 'Science is politics, not only in the early modern period.' Discuss.
  • Why was the princely court the place for lots of scientific activity in the early modern period?
  • The Scientific Revolution had not been possible without the princely court. Discuss

Further Reading

Biagoli, Mario, ‘Scientific Revolution, Social Bricolage, and Etiquette’, The Scientific Revolution in National Context, ed. by Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 11-54.

Dear, Peter, Revolutionizing the Sciences...(quoted above), section on Harvey on patronage.

Findlen, Paula, ‘Courting Nature’, in Cultures of Natural History, ed. by Nicholas Jardine and Emma Spary (Cambridge 1996), pp. 57-76.

Eamon, William, ‘Court, Academy, and Printing House: Patronage and Scientific Careers in Late Renaissance Italy, Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1750, ed. by Bruce T. Moran (Rochester: Boydell Press, 1991), pp. 25-50.

Biagoli, Mario, Galileo, Courtier: the Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

-- ‘Galileo the Emblem Maker’, Isis 81 (1990): 230-258.

Cook, Harold, ‘The Cutting Edge of a Revolution: Medicine and Natural History Near the Shores of the North Sea’, in Renaissance and Revolution: Humanists, Scholars, Craftsmen, and Natural Philosophers in Early Modern Europe, ed. by J.V. Field and Frank A.J.L. James (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 45-61.

Findlen, Paula, ‘Controlling the Experiment: Rhetoric, Court Patronage and the Experimental Method of Francesco Redi’, History of Science 31 (1993): 35-64.

Findlen, Paula, ‘The Econony of Scientific Exchange in Early Modern Italy’, in Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1750, ed. by Bruce T. Moran (Rochester: Boydell Press, 1991), pp. 5-24.

Lux, David S., Patronage and Royal Science in Seventeenth-Century France: the Academie de Physique in Caen (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1989).

-- ‘The Reorganisation of Science 1450-1700’, in Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1750, ed. by Bruce T. Moran (Rochester: Boydell Press, 1991), pp. 185-194.

Moran, Bruce T., ‘Patronage and Institutions: Court, Universities, and Academies in Germany: An Overview 1550-1700’, in Patronage and Institutions: Science, Technology, and Medicine at the European Court, 1500-1750, ed. by Bruce T. Moran (Rochester: Boydell Press, 1991).

Nutton, Vivian (ed.), Medicine at the Courts of Europe, 1500-1837 (London: Routledge, 1989). (Very useful articles on medicine and patronage)

Peck, L.L., Court Patronage and Corruption in Early Modern England (1990).

Rankin, Alisha, ‘Becoming and Expert Practitioner: Court Experimentalism and the Medical Skills of Anna of Saxony (1532-1585)’, Isis 98 (2007): 23-53.

Smith, Pamela, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), see also her article in

Moran, Patronage and Institutions (…), pp. 195-210.

Westfall, Richard S., ‘Science and Patronage: Galileo and the Telescope’, Isis 76 (1985): 11-30.

Westman, Robert S., ‘Proof, Poetics, and Patronage: Copernicus’s Preface to De Revolutionibus, in Reappraisal of the Scientific Revolution, ed. by David C.

Lindberg and Robert S. Westman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), pp. 167-205.