Welcome to SPOLIA's
section on the history of science.
These few words of presentation are dedicated to those who by fate or
by their very strong will were lead here along uncommon routes. A word
of warning: this section, for reasons of complementarity with its cousins
(history of philosophy, history of logic and history of Arab-Islamic philosophy),
and because of the manifest impracticability of its author, will actually
reflect a more restrictive disciplinary spectrum than what might be imagined
from the title. Here, the intrepid navigator will not find elementa of
mathematical, astronomic, or mechanical sciences, but - enclosed in that
period of time which saw the rise of the Venerable Bede as well as that
of the daring Nicolò Leoniceno - works and characters who linked
their destiny to the history of sanitary art and to that of the res naturales
(plants, animals and minerals). As an exception, the genre of Itineraria
geographica as well as the interconnected cartographic practices will
be considered. On the contrary, what belongs here (the Canon of Avicenna,
just to make on example) will not be found in the Arab-Islamic section.
At the moment we
intend to provide certain essential services. First of all, an accurate,
in as much as possible, bibliographical update, a tool which cannot be
overlooked by those who deal with the sector of studies on the history
of science which has been experiencing significant development for at
least two decades. Reading notes accompanied by brief critical annotations
will be proposed on the particularly significant works. Moreover, you
will find indications and, if possible, reports on exhibitions (instruments,
manuscripts, etc.), conferences and seminars held in Universities etc.
But this plan will
experience variations and additions as the section becomes an open structure,
or so we hope... Therefore, we ask all those who have read to this point
without visibly turning up their noses to collaborate, if they would like
to, with reports, integrations, corrections and suggestions, contributing
to turn this unusual site into a small "Garden of health".