Symposium 6

Revolutions on the Horizon: Great Changes in the 16th Century Eurasia

Dan Mao

Although the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions were far on the horizon, the 16th century witnessed great changes, some of which paved the way towards them. Young men with mathematical talents found it easier to get their first teaching jobs, in and out of universities: the quadrivia, which had relied heavily on astrology for its importance ever since, finally found other allies to consolidate their positions and turned themselves into mathematical professorships in relatively modern sense, a precondition with which young Galileo and Kepler started their career. Meanwhile, mathematical traditions were evolving continuously, and the debate on the contactus angulus between Peletarius and Clavius pushed forward the ideas of infinity and limit. The Renaissance also promoted the birth of Western Medicine in modern sense. The Modern Western Medical Revolution was mainly initiated and gradually matured by Paracelsus, Andreas Vesalius, William Harvey, and Helmont. Renaissance Medicine has had a profound impact on medical science and education in later period of the Scientific Revolution. Not all changes bore fruits in the near future. The century also witnessed the Ming Dynasty falling in China. Rising from the border of Ming Empire, Qing count knew better the importance of communication. During the battles, both sides tried to improve their communication technologies. Ming Empire developed a sophisticated and well-functioned long-range communication network. Unfortunately, the network could also spread bad news when situation worsened in the frontline, and became the amplifier of the invincible myth of Qing army which sped up the decline of Ming.