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European Networks and the New Sciences in Edinburgh


This project will explore how educational culture from the Venetian Republic and Rome exported scientific knowledge to Britain in the 17th century. It has recently been discovered that an unpublished manuscript commentary on natural philosophy, astronomy, and mathematics written by the largely unknown writer and academic Adam King was the foundational text for instruction in those subjects from the early to mid 17th century at what would become the centre of Britain's Enlightenment culture, the University of Edinburgh. The text betrays an intimate familiarity with the ideas of key individuals (Patrizio, Telesio, Zabarella, Mirandola) and the formal teaching approaches of scholars (Galileo and Clavius) who operated within the Venetian Republic and the Collegio Romano. The project will present a detailed intellectual study that will trace the genealogy of the mechanical observational astronomy, Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, and proto-empirical scientific methods contained in the Edinburgh manuscript (and the student dictates and Theses spread over 50 years that quote it verbatim) back to their Italian sources. It will offer a comprehensive textual comparison of the use educationalists in Edinburgh, Padua, and Rome made of Cristoph Clavius' educational texts as a hypertextual entry point for the new sciences in the academy in the wake of the collapse of Aristotelian cosmology. In addition to the formal text-based case study and philosophical survey, the project will provide a biographical (of key players) account that highlights how this process of knowledge exchange was enabled by the concerted actions of a network of scholars from across Europe.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/astronomy/observational astronomy
  • /humanities/philosophy, ethics and religion/philosophy

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Dorsoduro 3246
30123 Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 183 473,28