medieval robots mechanism magic nature and art the middle ages series

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Medieval Robots

Author : E. R. Truitt
ISBN : 9780812291407
Genre : History
File Size : 53. 94 MB
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A thousand years before Isaac Asimov set down his Three Laws of Robotics, real and imagined automata appeared in European courts, liturgies, and literary texts. Medieval robots took such forms as talking statues, mechanical animals, and silent metal guardians; some served to entertain or instruct while others performed disciplinary or surveillance functions. Variously ascribed to artisanal genius, inexplicable cosmic forces, or demonic powers, these marvelous fabrications raised fundamental questions about knowledge, nature, and divine purpose in the Middle Ages. Medieval Robots recovers the forgotten history of fantastical, aspirational, and terrifying machines that captivated Europe in imagination and reality between the ninth and fourteenth centuries. E. R. Truitt traces the different forms of self-moving or self-sustaining manufactured objects from their earliest appearances in the Latin West through centuries of mechanical and literary invention. Chronicled in romances and song as well as histories and encyclopedias, medieval automata were powerful cultural objects that probed the limits of natural philosophy, illuminated and challenged definitions of life and death, and epitomized the transformative and threatening potential of foreign knowledge and culture. This original and wide-ranging study reveals the convergence of science, technology, and imagination in medieval culture and demonstrates the striking similarities between medieval and modern robotic and cybernetic visions.

Medieval Bodies

Author : Jack Hartnell
ISBN : 9781782832706
Genre : History
File Size : 44. 9 MB
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Dripping with blood and gold, fetishized and tortured, gateway to earthly delights and point of contact with the divine, forcibly divided and powerful even beyond death, there was no territory more contested than the body in the medieval world. In Medieval Bodies, art historian Jack Hartnell uncovers the complex and fascinating ways in which the people of the Middle Ages thought about, explored and experienced their physical selves. In paintings and reliquaries that celebrated the - sometimes bizarre - martyrdoms of saints, the sacred dimension of the physical left its mark on their environment. In literature and politics, hearts and heads became powerful metaphors that shaped governance and society in ways that are still visible today. And doctors and natural philosophers were at the centre of a collision between centuries of sophisticated medical knowledge, and an ignorance of physiology as profound as its results were gruesome. Like a medieval pageant, this striking and unusual history brings together medicine, art, poetry, music, politics, cultural and social history and philosophy to reveal what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Medieval Bodies is published in association with Wellcome Collection.

Sublime Dreams Of Living Machines

Author : Minsoo Kang
ISBN : 9780674059412
Genre : Science
File Size : 86. 5 MB
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Kang’s central contention is that the automaton, a machine that can move by itself (better known today as the robot), is one of the essential ideas with which people in the West have pondered the very nature of humanity itself. In Kang’s telling, automata are mirrors of the ideas, fears, and anxieties of a given era, in that attitudes towards the machines have always been indicative of a moment’s zeitgeist. The book is historically sweeping, but not comprehensive; the focus is on what Kang takes to be key changes in the representations of and responses to automata. His main interest is on how Europeans in different periods of the past thought about the very notion of a self-moving machine that acted as if it were alive and how they used it for various symbolic and intellectual purposes.

Magic And Magicians In The Middle Ages And The Early Modern Time

Author : Albrecht Classen
ISBN : 9783110556520
Genre :
File Size : 86. 53 MB
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Leonardo S Lost Robots

Author : Mark Rosheim
ISBN : 3540284400
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 39. 5 MB
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This book reinterprets Leonardo da Vinci's mechanical design work, revealing a new level of sophistication not recognized by art historians or engineers. The book reinterprets Leonardo's legacy of notes, showing that apparently unconnected fragments from dispersed manuscripts actually comprise cohesive designs for functioning automata. Using the rough sketches scattered throughout almost all of Leonardo's notebooks, the author has reconstructed Leonardo's programmable cart, which was the platform for other automata. Through a readable, lively narrative, the author explains how he reconstructed da Vinci's designs.

Prophecy Alchemy And The End Of Time

Author : Leah DeVun
ISBN : 9780231519342
Genre : History
File Size : 73. 29 MB
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In the middle of the fourteenth century, the Franciscan friar John of Rupescissa sent a dramatic warning to his followers: the last days were coming; the apocalypse was near. Deemed insane by the Christian church, Rupescissa had spent more than a decade confined to prisons in one case wrapped in chains and locked under a staircase yet ill treatment could not silence the friar's apocalyptic message. Religious figures who preached the end times were hardly rare in the late Middle Ages, but Rupescissa's teachings were unique. He claimed that knowledge of the natural world, and alchemy in particular, could act as a defense against the plagues and wars of the last days. His melding of apocalyptic prophecy and quasi-scientific inquiry gave rise to a new genre of alchemical writing and a novel cosmology of heaven and earth. Most important, the friar's research represented a remarkable convergence between science and religion. In order to understand scientific knowledge today, Leah DeVun asks that we revisit Rupescissa's life and the critical events of his age the Black Death, the Hundred Years' War, the Avignon Papacy through his eyes. Rupescissa treated alchemy as medicine (his work was the conceptual forerunner of pharmacology) and represented the emerging technologies and views that sought to combat famine, plague, religious persecution, and war. The advances he pioneered, along with the exciting strides made by his contemporaries, shed critical light on later developments in medicine, pharmacology, and chemistry.

Gods And Robots

Author : Adrienne Mayor
ISBN : 9780691185446
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 40 MB
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The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life—and even invented real automated machines The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements—and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines. As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha’s precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs for real automata. Mythic automata appear in tales about Jason and the Argonauts, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, and Pandora, and many of these machines are described as being built with the same materials and methods that human artisans used to make tools and statues. And, indeed, many sophisticated animated devices were actually built in antiquity, reaching a climax with the creation of a host of automata in the ancient city of learning, Alexandria, the original Silicon Valley. A groundbreaking account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, Gods and Robots reveals how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth—and how science has always been driven by imagination. This is mythology for the age of AI.

Memoirs Of A Courtesan In Nineteenth Century Paris

Author : comtesse Cäleste Vänard de Chabrillan
ISBN : 0803282737
Genre : Literary Collections
File Size : 65. 39 MB
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When Cäleste Mogador's memoirs were first published in 1854 and again in 1858, they were immediately seized and condemned as immoral and unsuitable for public consumption. For a reader in our more forgiving times, this extraordinary document offers not only a portrait of the early life of an intelligent, courageous, and infinitely intriguing Frenchwoman but also an exceedingly rare inside look at the world of the courtesans and prostitutes of nineteenth-century France. ø Writing to conciliate judges and creditors, Mogador (born Cäleste Venard in 1824) explains how with tenacity, wit, and audacity, she managed to escape a difficult childhood and subsequent life of prostitution to become, successively, a darling of the dance halls, a circus rider, and an actress, all the while attracting wealthy young men who vied for her favor. Although her account gives readers a peek into the rakish demimonde made famous by Verdi's opera La Traviata, its greatest value lies in its candid picture of a spunky, self-educated woman who doggedly transformed herself into an esteemed and prolific novelist and playwright, who fell in love with a count and married him, and who made her name synonymous with the bohemian life of the 1840s and 1850s in Paris.

The Chanson D Antioche

Author : Carol Sweetenham
ISBN : 9781317038764
Genre : History
File Size : 26. 76 MB
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The Old-French Chanson d'Antioche has long intrigued historians and literary scholars. Unusually among epic poems, it follows closely a well documented historical event - the First Crusade - and appears to include substantial and genuine historical content. At one time it was believed to be based on an account by an eye-witness, 'Richard the Pilgrim'. Carol Sweetenham and Susan Edgington have combined forces to investigate such claims, and their findings are set out in a comprehensive introduction which, firstly, examines the textual history of the poem from its possible oral beginnings through several re-workings to its present form, achieved early in the thirteenth century. A second chapter assesses the Chanson's value as a source for the crusade, and a third considers its status as a literary text. A complete prose translation follows, the first in English and based on the definitive edition. The Chanson is revealed as a lively narrative, with tales of chivalry, villainy, and even episodes of humour. There are extensive footnotes to the translation, and an appendix provides supplementary material from a different manuscript tradition. There is also a cast list of heroes and villains with biographical information for the 'real' ones and literary analogues for the fictional characters. The Chanson d'Antioche can now be read for enjoyment, and for a whole new perspective on crusading in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

The Restless Clock

Author : Jessica Riskin
ISBN : 9780226302928
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 67. 9 MB
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A core principle of modern science holds that a scientific explanation must not attribute will or agency to natural phenomena.The Restless Clock examines the origins and history of this, in particular as it applies to the science of living things. This is also the story of a tradition of radicals—dissenters who embraced the opposite view, that agency is an essential and ineradicable part of nature. Beginning with the church and courtly automata of early modern Europe, Jessica Riskin guides us through our thinking about the extent to which animals might be understood as mere machines. We encounter fantastic robots and cyborgs as well as a cast of scientific and philosophical luminaries, including Descartes and Leibnitz, Lamarck and Darwin, whose ideas gain new relevance in Riskin's hands. The book ends with a riveting discussion of how the dialectic continues in genetics, epigenetics, and evolutionary biology, where work continues to naturalize different forms of agency.The Restless Clock reveals the deeply buried roots of current debates in artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology.

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