Timeline of scientific thought

This is a list of important landmarks in the history of systematic philosophical inquiry and scientific analysis of phenomena. The list seeks to highlight important stages in the development of thoughts and analysis towards conceptualizing and understanding phenomena. This list seeks to include all major landmarks in systematic analysis of phenomena across disciplines that seeks to implement formal methods and systematic formal analysis of phenomena. Thus it seeks to list major landmarks across all scientific philosophy and methodological sciences including physical sciences, scientific philosophy, formal disciplines or pure sciences, behavioural sciences, social sciences, biological sciences, life sciences and other related disciplines.

Chronological table

period, or, date name, or, place scientific thought astronomy biology chemistry cosmology economics education engineering geography, geology human sciences mathematics medicine paleo- philosophy physics technology (applied science)
approximately 3.3 million years BCE [1]Kenya [1] (place)stone tools
approximately the end of the 5th millennia to the beginning of the 4th millennia [2][3] Uruk (city) [4][5] separation from nature in an artificial environment allows the perception of nature as a separate subject (c.f. Fowler (11th citation) Thales, for example) construction technique
4th millennia [6]Mesopotamia[6]counting records[6]accounting[6]Sexagesimal (base 60) numeral system[6]
sometime during or after the beginning of the late 3rd millennia [7]Assyria[8]hypothetic causationsuggestion for therapeutic alleviation of dreams with evil content [8]
2nd millennia [9]Enuma Anu Enlil (divinatory omen texts)[10]
possibly December the 2nd 1878[9]Enuma Anu Enlil Tablets 50 & 51 [9]observation of solar eclipse[9]
approximately 585[11](Greek) Thales[11]discovery of nature[11]
400 BCE[12]Hippocrates [12] tekhnē [13][14] realization of extension in time from technology of [12] approximately 3.3 million years before [1]description of the scalpel [12]
4th century BCEancient GreeceAxiomatic science based on the logico-deductive method founded. owing to Euclid's Elements, which is at the root of formal system
350 BC[15](Greek) Aristotle[15]Physics[16]
3rd century BCEEratosthenes[17]earth; size of;[17] distance from earth to sun and moon
150s BCESeleucus of Seleucia1st extant source of lunar tide. although possibly Pytheas of Massilia was an earlier thinker (c.f. Aëtius [18])tides caused by the moon
116 - 27 AD[19](Roman) Marcus Terentius Varro[19]"..certain minute creatures which cannot be seen by the eyes.."[19]idea of germs existing[19]
5th century CEHindu-Arabic numeral system (decimal) begins to be used[20][21]
630(Arabic) Abiyun al-Bitriqastronomical instruments
776-869(Arabic) Al-Jahizfirst scientist to discuss on natural selection in his "Book of Animal"
780-850(Arabic) Muhammad ibn Musa al-KhwarizmiFoundation of modern Algebra and Algorithm
806(Arabic) Muḥammad ibn Ibrāhīm al-FazārīInvented first astrolabe for navigation
801-873(Arabic) Al-KindiFather of cryptography, cryptanalysis and frequency analysis
850-950attributed to Jabir ibn HayyanInfluential writings on chemistry
858-929(Arabic) Al-BattaniCalculation of the values for the precession of the equinoxes (54.5" per year, or 1° in 66 years) and the obliquity of the ecliptic (23° 35')Produced many Trigonometric formulas
859(Arabic) Fatima al-FihriFounded world's first degree granting university - "University of al-Qarawiyyin"
973-1050(Arabic) Al-BeruniFoundation of Chronology and Indology
10th century CE(Arabic) Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi (Rhazes)refutation of Aristotelian classical elements and Galenic humorismdiscovery of measles and smallpoxdiscovered kerosene and distilled petroleum
1021(Arabnic) Ibn al-HaythamBook of Optics Father of scientific methodfirst accurate vision theory
1020sAvicennaThe Canon of MedicineStandard medical textbook in Europe for 600 years
1027sAvicennaBook of HealingFirst accurate description of Newton's First Law of Motion
1048-1131(Arabic) Omar KhayyamGeometric Algebra, a precursor to Descartes' Analytic Geometry; Solution of cubic equations
1058-1111(Arabic) Al-GhazaliLogic, Philosophy, Business Ethics
1121Al-Khazinivariation of gravitation and gravitational potential energy at a distance; the decrease of air density with altitude
1135-1213Sharaf al-Dīn al-ṬūsīFirst to propose the idea of a mathematical functionInvented linear Astrolabe
12th centuryIbn Bajjah (Avempace)discovery of reaction (precursor to Newton's third law of motion)
12th centuryAverroesrelationship between force, work and kinetic energy
12th centuryHibat Allah Abu'l-Barakat al-Baghdaadi (Nathanel)relationship between force and acceleration (a vague foreshadowing of a fundamental law of classical mechanics and a precursor to Newton's second law of motion)
1206 Ismail al-JazariInventor of classic Automata, Segmental Gear, Crankshaft, Camshaft that drives modern world
1220–1235Robert Grossetesterudimentals of the scientific method (see also: Roger Bacon)
1242Ibn al-Nafispulmonary circulation and circulatory system
1247Nasir al-Din al-TusiInvention of famous Tusi Couple
13th CenturyIbn al-ShatirProduction of a new lunar model
13th centuryTheodoric of FreibergCorrect explanation of rainbow phenomenon
13th centuryWilliam of Saint-Cloudpioneering use of camera obscura to view solar eclipses[22]
Before 1327William of OckhamOccam's Razor
1332-1406Ibn KhaldunPioneer of histeriography, sociology, demography and economics
1429Ulugh Begastronomy-related mathematics, trigonometry and spherical geometry
1460Ali QushjiDevelopment of astronomical physics
1494Luca Paciolifirst codification of the Double-entry bookkeeping system, which slowly developed in previous centuries [23]
1430-1500Ahmad ibn MājidNavigator and Cartographer; Guided Vasco da Gama to complete the first all water trade route between Europe and India
during 1508 to 1511 Commentariolus - describes orbitals [24] - 1543, published as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium [25]Copernicusheliocentric model
1550Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'rufInvented steam turbine -today known as Steam Jacks
1570sTycho Brahedetailed astronomical observations
1600William GilbertEarth's magnetic field
1609Johannes Keplerfirst two laws of planetary motion
1610Galileo GalileiSidereus Nunciustelescopic observations
1614John Napieruse of logarithms for calculation[26]
1628William HarveyBlood circulation
17th centuryRené Descartescreates Cartesian coordinate system — allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations).
17th CenturyBaruch Spinoza– opposed Cartesian mind body dualism. He considered the nature of reality of physical and mental worlds to be the same. Spinoza was determinist and believed that even human behaviour is fully determined, with freedom being our capacity to know and accept that we are determined.
1665Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Societyfirst peer reviewed scientific journal published.
1669Nicholas StenoProposes that fossils are organic remains embedded in layers of sediment, basis of stratigraphy
1675Anton van LeeuwenhoekObserves Microorganisms by Microscope
1675Leibnizdeveloped Infinitesimal calculus and its widely used mathematical notation. Later he presented the theory of Monads and developed the Binary number system which is elemental for modern digital computing. His Law of Continuity and Transcendental Law of Homogeneity found mathematical implementation only in the 20th century.
possibly before 1684 [27]- probably before 1685 [28]Isaac Newtonlaw of universal gravitation basis for classical physics
1687Isaac NewtonLaws of motion basis for classical physics
1735Carl Linnaeuspublished the first edition of his major work Systema Naturae. The tenth edition of this book is considered the starting point of zoological nomenclature.[29] In 1753 he published Species Plantarum which is the primary starting point of plant nomenclature as it exists today.
1763Bayes' theoremnamed for Thomas Bayes who first suggested using the theorem to update beliefs was significantly edited and updated by Richard Price after the death of Thomas Bayes and read at the Royal Society. This would later serve as foundation of Bayesian inference in statisticsfoundation of Bayesian inference in statistics
1767James Denham-Steuartused the term supply and demand in his Inquiry into the Principles of Political economy, published in 1767. Later, Adam Smith used it in his 1776 book The Wealth of Nations, and David Ricardo titled one chapter of his 1817 work Principles of Political Economy and Taxation "On the Influence of Demand and Supply on Price".[30]
1776Adam SmithThe Wealth of Nations[30]
1778Antoine Lavoisier (and Joseph Priestley)discovery of oxygen leading to end of Phlogiston theory
1796Georges CuvierEstablishes extinction as a fact
1800Alessandro Voltadiscovers electrochemical series and invents the batterythe battery|
1805John DaltonAtomic Theory in (Chemistry)Atomic Theory
1859Charles Darwinpublished his theory with compelling evidence for evolution in his book On the Origin of Speciesevidence for evolution
1866Gregor Mendelpublished his work which demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance.laws of Mendelian inheritance
1869Dmitri MendeleevPeriodic table
1877Ludwig BoltzmannStatistical definition of entropy
1887Michelson–Morley experimentwas performed in 1887 by Albert A. Michelson and Edward W. Morley to detect the relative motion of matter through the stationary luminiferous aether ("aether wind").
1890sSantiago Ramón y Cajaldiscovered the axonal growth cone, and provided the definitive evidence for what would later be known as "neuron theory", experimentally demonstrating that the relationship between nerve cells was not one of continuity, but rather of contiguity. "Neuron theory" stands as the foundation of modern neuroscience.
1899–1900Sigmund Freuddeveloped his theory of the unconscious mind and began his works on psychodynamic theory and psychosexual development of human organism. He proposed that human thought and behavior is complex process of unconscious processes in the mind
1900Max PlanckPlanck's law of black body radiation, basis for quantum theory
1905Albert Einsteintheory of special relativity, explanation of Brownian motion, and photoelectric effect
1906Walther NernstThird law of thermodynamics
1911Ernest RutherfordAtomic nucleus
1911Oskar Heinrothrediscovered the phenomenon of psychological Imprinting, reported by Douglas Spalding in 1877. It was extensively worked on in the 20th century by Nikolaas Tinbergen, Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz who demonstrated a "critical period" and other aspects concerning organization and elicitation of individual and social behaviour patterns in animals, earning them a Nobel prize in 1973.[31]
1915Albert Einsteintheory of general relativity
1924Wolfgang Pauliquantum Pauli exclusion principle
1925Erwin SchrödingerSchrödinger equation (Quantum mechanics)
1927Werner HeisenbergUncertainty principle (Quantum mechanics)
1927Georges LemaîtreTheory of the Big Bang
1928Paul DiracDirac equation (Quantum mechanics)
1929Edwin HubbleHubble's law of the expanding universe
1930sKeynesintroduced Keynesian revolution, overturning neoclassical economics that held free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes instead argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment.
1931Friedrich Hayekelaborated the "Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle". He argued that the business cycle resulted from the central bank's inflationary credit expansion and its transmission over time, leading to a capital misallocation caused by the artificially low interest rates.
1931Kurt Gödelstated the incompleteness theorem which states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (for example Peano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms.-
1934James ChadwickDiscovery of the neutron
1934Karl Popperemphasized the idea of falsifiability as the criterion demarcating science from non-science.
1937Alan TuringIntroduced the mathematical concept of a Turing machine
1937Kurt Lewinon the basis of Herbert Blumer's interactionist perspective, suggested that neither nature (inborn tendencies) nor nurture (how experiences in life shape individuals) alone can account for individuals' behavior and personalities, but rather that both nature and nurture interact to shape each person. This is expressed as Lewin's Equation for behavior B=ƒ(P,E).[32] Earlier he coined the notion of genidentity,[33]
1940sBenjamin Lee Whorfbrought focus to the Principle of linguistic relativity[34] which implies that the structure of a language affects the weltanschauung or worldview of the speakers of the language and their cognition of the world.[34][35] Whorf's works tried to show that there is relationship between language and thought. The idea was introduced earlier by Humboldt and then worked on by Edward Sapir in the 1920s.
1942Joseph Schumpeterintroduced the idea creative destruction, sometimes known as "Schumpeter's gale" in his work Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942), where in he described the way in which capitalist economic development arises out of the destruction of some prior economic order.
1943Oswald Averyproves that DNA is the genetic material of the chromosome
1943Walter Pitts and Warren McCullochwrote the seminal paper entitled "A Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity" (1943) and proposed the first mathematical model of a neural network. Their work also presented ideas drawn upon the work of Leibniz with later implications for cellular automata.
1944John von Neumann and Stanislaw Ulamintroduced the mathematical idea of a cellular automata. This set the foundations for the later discipline of complexity science and agent based modeling
1944John von Neumann and Oskar Morgensternwrote the seminal book Theory of games and economic behavior and began the interdisciplinary research field of game theory
1947William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattaininvent the first transistor
1948Claude Elwood Shannon & Warren Weaver'A mathematical theory of communication' a seminal paper in Information theory.
1948Norbert Wienerintroduced the concept of Cybernetics in his work Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine
1948Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger, Sin-Itiro Tomonaga and Freeman DysonQuantum electrodynamics
1950Ludwig von Bertalanffybegan General systems theory with his publication "An Outline of General System Theory" in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Vol. 1 (No. 2)
1950sKenneth Arrow, Gérard Debreu and Lionel W. McKenzieintroduced the modern conception of general equilibrium in economics. Gerard Debreu presents this model in Theory of Value (1959). Though an earlier form of general equilibrium was presented by Leon Walras in 1874.
1950sLeon Festingerdeveloped the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and Social Comparison Theory, and discovered nature of the role of propinquity in the formation of social ties while also making other contributions to the study of social networks, psychological social psychology and sociological social psychology.
1951John Bowlbydeveloped attachment theory which states that human individuals, especially as children, needs to develop a stable and long lasting relationship with at least one primary caregiver for social and emotional development to occur normally. Relationships later in life are built on this primary foundation. The theory states that in human evolution, attachment behaviour increased the chances of survival.
1952Jonas Salkdeveloped and tested first polio vaccine
1953Crick and Watsonhelical structure of DNA, basis for molecular biology
1953Anatol Rapoportintroduced mathematical models in the study of information transmission in human interaction and for the management of conflict and cooperation in human life[36]
1953Ludwig Wittgensteinwrote his seminal work Philosophical Investigations in which he stated that conceptual confusions surrounding language use are at the root of most philosophical problems.
1954Jean Piagetelaborated on Genetic epistemology and the theory of cognitive development in his work "La construction du réel chez l'enfant" (The construction of reality in the child).
1956Frank Harary and Dorwin Cartwrightmathematically formalized generalizations of Fritz Heider's psychological theory of cognitive balance to give formalization of interpersonal network patterns. This laid the foundations for micro level social network analysis and small group research and group dynamics research in sociology and sociological social psychology[37]
1957Noam Chomskywrote Syntactic Structures which laid the foundation for the idea of transformational grammar. He also introduced the idea of poverty of the stimulus which states that natural language grammar is unlearnable given the relatively limited data available to children learning a language, and therefore that this knowledge is supplemented with some sort of innate linguistic capacity. A tenet of generative grammar.
1957Herbert Simoncoined the term Bounded rationality in psychology as an alternative basis for the mathematical modeling of decision making, as used in economics and related disciplines which views rationality as a maximization process as described in rational choice theory. Instead, "bounded rationality" views rationality as a Satisficing process.[38] He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978.
October 1957[39]launch of Sputnik 1[39]
1958William Phillipsintroduced Phillips curve in economic theory. He described the observation of an inverse relationship between money wage changes and unemployment in the British economy over the period examined. In 1960 Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow took Phillips' work and made explicit the link between inflation and unemployment: when inflation was high, unemployment was low, and vice versa.
1960sPaul Ekmanconducted seminal research on the specific biological correlates of specific emotions, demonstrating the universality and discreteness of emotions in a Darwinian approach.[40] This served as one of the basis for E. O. Wilson's works on Sociobiology in the 1970s and later helped in the emergence of the approach of Evolutionary Psychology in the 1990s through the work of Leda Cosmides and John Tooby
1962Thomas Kuhnstated that scientific fields undergo periodic "paradigm shifts" rather than solely progressing in continuous way; which open up new approaches to understanding that scientists would never have considered valid before; and that the notion of scientific truth, at any given moment, cannot be established solely by objective criteria but is defined by a consensus of a scientific community
1963Stanley Milgramfirst published a series of experiments now known as Milgram experiment which demonstrated how people showed obedience to orders in a social system when the orders were given by authority figures even when people were asked to perform actions against their wish and conscience.[41] The studies were done in order to explain conformity and obedience in society as seen during the Holocaust.[42]
1963Lawrence Morley, Fred Vine, and Drummond MatthewsPaleomagnetic stripes in ocean crust as evidence of plate tectonics (Vine–Matthews–Morley hypothesis).
1964Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweigpostulate quarks leading to the standard model
1968Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson1968[43][44] experimentally demonstrated Self fulfilling prophecy in social relationships through their field experiment which showed that if teachers were led to expect enhanced performance from some children, then those children did indeed show that enhancement. This is also known as Late bloomers effect
1968–1970Terry Winogradmade the artificial intelligence and natural language processing program SHRDLU that was concerned with the problem of providing a computer with sufficient "understanding" to be able to use natural language.
1969German computer pioneer Konrad Zusepublished his book Calculating Space, proposing that the physical laws of the universe are discrete by nature, and that the entire universe is the output of a deterministic computation on a single cellular automaton; "Zuse's Theory" became the foundation of the field of study called digital physics
1969Invention of Internet[45]
1970George Akerlofelaborated the idea of economic activity under asymmetric information. He described information asymmetry, which occurs when the seller knows more about a product than the buyer. Later, Akerlof, Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz jointly received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001 for their work on economic behavior under asymmetric information.
1970John Horton Conwaymade the computer program Game of Life, also known simply as Life, a cellular automaton in which its evolution is determined by its initial state, requiring no further input. The game of life simulates the rise, fall and alterations of a society of living organisms.
1970sAmos Tversky and Daniel Kahnemanpublished series of discoveries on the psychology of human judgment and decision making describing the pervasive nature of systematic human cognitive bias and handling of risk in everyday life.[46][47][48]
1972Paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gouldpublished a landmark paper developing this theory and called it punctuated equilibria
1972Michael D. Cohen, James G. March and Johan Olsenproposed the Garbage can model of organizational decision making. They published the model along with a computer code.[49] Earlier James G. March presented the Behavioral theory of the firm in 1963[50] and made a compendium of basic Organizational studies, Management science, and organizational behavior in his edition "A Handbook of Organizations" (1965).[51]
1973Mark Granovetterpublished his seminal work in modern sociology and social network theory on the spread of information in social networks known as "The Strength of Weak Ties" describing how weak ties enable reaching populations and audiences that are not accessible via strong ties.[52]
1977Voyager program launched two unmanned space missions, the probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 to study planetary systems
1981–1984Robert Axelrod and W. D. Hamiltondescribed the evolution of cooperation between cognitive entities and gave a mathematical and computational model describing the phenomena
1986David Rumelhart and James McClellanddescribed the idea of Parallel Distributed Processing in modeling human cognition in psychology. They made mathematical and computational models of psychological information processing and described computer simulations of perception, giving testable models of neural information processing and introducing Connectionism.[53]
1987John C. Turner and Michael Hoggalong with other colleagues developed the Self categorization theory which gives a psychological theory for dynamics in group processes. It states that the self is not the foundational aspect of cognition, rather the self is a product of cognitive processes that occur in social processes. Earlier John Turner worked with Henri Tajfel (1979) on the precursor theory Social identity theory.
1988The concept of a Quantum cellular automata was introduced thus advancing quantum computation and quantum computer[54]
1970s–1988Marvin Minsky & Seymour Papertstarted developing what came to be called The Society of Mind theory. They state how intelligence could be a product of the interaction of non-intelligent parts. Minsky says that the biggest source of ideas about the theory came from his work in trying to create a machine that uses a robotic arm, a video camera, and a computer to build with children's blocks.
1988Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforzareconstructed human evolution and migration patterns in human history in his work in population genetics. He claimed to show a strong association between language families and genetic trees of the same populations, proposing for genetic–linguistic coevolution.[55]
1989–1990Tim Berners-Leeinvented the World Wide Web. He made a proposal for an information management system in March 1989,[56] and on 25 December 1990, with the help of Robert Cailliau and a young student at CERN, he implemented the first successful communication between a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) client and server via the Internet.[57]
1996Joshua M. Epsteinalong with Robert Axtell developed the first large scale agent-based computational model, the Sugarscape, to explore the role of social phenomenon such as seasonal migrations, pollution, sexual reproduction, combat, and transmission of disease and even culture. With this work Epstein laid the foundation for what he later called as Generative social science[58][59]
1997Roslin InstituteDolly the sheep was cloned.
1998Gerson Goldhaber and Saul Perlmutterobserved that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
2000Alison Gopnik and Andrew N. Meltzoff and Patricia K. Kuhlstated that the same mechanisms used by scientists to develop scientific theories are used by children to develop causal models of their environment.[60] They state that the cognitive development of children in early life is made possible by three factors: innate knowledge, advanced learning ability, and the evolved ability of parents to teach their offspring.[60]
2001The first draft of the human genome is completed.
2002Ray Jackendoffpublished his theory of conceptual semantics a comprehensive theory on the foundations of language, in the monograph (2002): Foundations of Language. Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution. Earlier he worked with Fred Lerdahl, on musical cognition, presenting a Generative theory of tonal music.
2002Daniel Wegnerpublished his book stating that the experience of free will is an illusion.[61] Wegner conducted a series of experiments in which people experience an illusion of control, feeling that their free will shapes events when actually it were determined by someone else.[62] According to Wegner the fact that this illusion of free will can be created shows that it is an illusion[63] and that it is "the mind's best trick".[64]
2009The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Life Sciences Corporationcompleted making a draft sequencing of the genome of the closest human relative the Neanderthal
2010J. Craig Venter Institutecreates the first synthetic bacterial cell.
2011a team led by Shinji Nishimotomade break through in Thought identification when they partially reconstructed visual images from only brain recordings of neural activity of volunteers who were seeing actual visual pictures or images.[65]
2012Peter Higgs [66]Higgs Boson is discovered at CERN (confirmed to 99.999% certainty)

See also


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  2. Uruk britishmuseum.org
  3. Marcin Z. Paszke https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/iraq/article/abs/date-palm-and-date-palm-inflorescences-in-the-late-uruk-period-c-3300-bc-botany-and-archaic-script/8EAB92932F9D73F08831C94FC11D77B3 Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 December 2019
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  5. Montgomery, Scott L; Kumar, Alok (12 June 2015). "3". A History of Science in World Cultures Voices of Knowledge (Ebook). Taylor & Francis. p. 54. ISBN 9781317439066. ...it seems to have needed the city to appear first...The very first of them - Uruk, Ur, Girsi, Nippur, Eridu - were experiments...
  6. Høyrup, Jens (2018). Scarborough, John; Keyser, Paul Turquand (eds.). Social Base and Role and Gross Development, in, The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199734146. Retrieved 25 May 2021 via Google books. Lay summary Google books. With a focus on science in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome, including glimpses into Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China, The Oxford Handbook of Science and Medicine in the Classical World offers an in depth synthesis of science and medicine circa 650 BCE to 650 CE...
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