Legend of Bulacan by Mariano Ponce

In: Historical Events

Submitted By tamiiie
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The History of Ancient Chemistry
© Copyright 2002 by Lois Fruen
This article accompanies the textbook The Real World of Chemistry 6th ed by Lois Fruen Kendall/Hunt Publishing ISBN 0-7872-9677-5
(Information from Alan Shapiro’s History of Science class at the University of Minnesota and Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle by G.E.R. Lloyd.)
__________________________________________________________________
It is said that science began with the Greeks. However, development of science in Greece drew on the older, more mature cultures of Egypt and Babylonia. Scientific thought advanced and literature flourished in Babylon under King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) due to the stability of his reign. Babylonian astrologers kept records of the movement of planets and made detailed lists of stars and constellations. Known metals such as gold, silver, mercury, lead, tin, iron, and copper were matched with the brightest heavenly bodies: sun, moon, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus respectively. Symbols assigned to these metals by the ancient Babylonians are used today by astronomers as the symbols for the planets.
The early Greek (Presocratic) philosophers were particularly concerned about the origin of the universe and began to explain natural phenomenon by natural causes rather than supernatural acts. Philosophers who lived in Miletus (on the coast of modern-day Turkey) were the most influential early thinkers. Thales of Miletus (582 BC) suggested that water was the basic substance from which the universe is composed and thought the earth floated on water. Anaximander of Miletus (555 BC) challenged Thales’ work, wondering how fire, which is opposed to water, could have come into existence. He suggested the world was born when hot and cold separated from the "boundless," and air separated from the cold and the hot. He thought the earth floated freely, countering…...

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