What did the sky-watchers of the ancient world think about the night sky, and its implications for human existence? Moving on to the great discoveries of Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo, we will consider the basic science and ask about the deeper significance of these discoveries.
The Malian city of Timbuktu is one of the world's oldest seats of learning and has an intellectual legacy of hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, coming from three great West African desert empires. These manuscripts offer a unique window into their history. This lecture will look at how their study can be used to advance our knowledge of the intellectual history of the premodern world.