The Dark Ages were not that dark

June 19, 2012 18:51

Archimedes record - one of the few remaining.  Photo: novosibirsk-art.ruWe are used to the idea that technical inventions — is a modern phenomenon. We believe it only because I do not give trouble to analyze ancient documents. In the world there is no service dedicated to the study of scientific studies carried out in the past.
We do not know anything about the past, or almost nothing. Treasures asleep in libraries. We argue that the story is interrupted and that several lights of knowledge shared by the hundreds and thousands of years of ignorance. Suddenly arose the idea of "enlightened age," which we received with remarkable naivete, plunged us into the darkness of the rest period. A new look at the old books would change this situation. We would have been shocked by the contained resources. Besides, we should not forget that, according to Atterbury, a contemporary of Newton, "more ancient books lost than saved."

This new look and decided to make our friend Renee Alley, both techniques, and historian. He outlined the method and achieved some results. Until now, it seems, has not yet received any moral support to continue this work beyond the capabilities of a single person. In December 1955, he read my request for a report of Automotive Engineers, meeting under the chairmanship of Jean Henri Laburdetta.

This is the essence of this report: 
"What remains of thousands of manuscripts library of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy Soter, of these essential documents, forever lost to the ancient science? Where ashes 200,000 works Pergamum library? What happened to the collections of Pisistratus of Athens, with a library of the Temple in Jerusalem, with the library of the temple of Ptah in Memphis? What treasures contained in thousands of books burned in 213 BC. e. by Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di for purely political reasons? Ancient writings have come to us in the form of a huge temple ruins, from which there was only a pile of stones. However, through careful study of these fragments and inscriptions become visible truth that can not be attributed to just one striking intuition ancient.

First of all, contrary to popular belief, rationalist methods were not invented by Descartes. Let's see what he says: "He who seeks the truth, should as far as possible to doubt everything." This is a very well-known phrase, but it did not seem very much something new. If we open a second book "Metaphysics" of Aristotle, we find: "Anyone who wants to possess the knowledge, must first of all be able to doubt, because the question of the mind leads to the discovery of truth." In addition, it can be said that Descartes borrowed from Aristotle, not only this capital sentence, but also the most famous management rules reasoning rules, which are the basis of the experimental method. This proves, at least, that Descartes had read Aristotle, on which too often refrain modern Cartesians. These last could also say that someone has written: "If I am wrong, then we conclude from this that I am, because the one who does not exist, can not be wrong, and by the fact that I'm wrong, I feel that exist. " Alas, this is not Descartes, is St. Augustine.
As for skepticism needed observer, there really is not necessary to go beyond Descartes, who considered valid unless the experience, in which he was personally present, and the authenticity of which he witnessed the seal of his ring.

I think this is very far from the naive, which criticized the ancients. True, you can say that the ancient philosophers had the highest genius in the field of knowledge, but in the end, what they knew of the present in terms of science? Contrary to what can be found in present-day social work, the atomic theory was neither invented nor formulated before all Democritus, Leucippus and Epicurus. In fact, Sextus Empiricus says that Democritus himself received them by tradition, and that he had borrowed it from Moshe Phoenician, which — which is very important to note — allegedly said that the atom divisible.

Note also that the oldest theory is more accurate than the theory of Democritus and the Greek atomists, speaking on the indivisibility of atoms. Just in this case it is, it seems, the permanent loss of ancient knowledge, have become less clear than the original opening. And no wonder — given the lack of telescopes — in cosmological terms, we often see: the ancient astronomical data, so they are more accurate? For example, in regard to the Milky Way, then, Thales and Anaksiomenu it consists of stars, each of which is a world that contains the sun and planets, and these worlds are placed in a large space. It can be stated in Lucretius knowledge uniformity of falling bodies in a vacuum and the concept of infinite space filled with an infinite number of worlds. Long before Newton Pythagoras taught the law of attraction, the inverse square of the distance. Plutarch, starting with an explanation of weight, found the cause of mutual attraction between all bodies and explained that is why the earth and attracts all the earthly body, just as the Sun and Moon are attracted to its center all related bodies and attractive force holding them in their field.

Galileo and Newton definitely admitted that they — that they have to the ancient science. Copernicus, in the preface to his writings, addressed to Pope Paul III, wrote verbatim, that he came to think of the motion of the Earth, reading the ancients. I must say that the recognition of these borrowings did not detract from the glory of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, who belonged to the breed of high minds, selflessness and generosity that has nothing to do with the author's self-esteem and a desire to be original at all costs — that is, with modern prejudice.

Much smaller and much more honest position seems milliner Marie Antoinette, Mademoiselle Bertin. Hastily updating old hat, she exclaimed: "The new — is well forgotten old" History of Inventions, and the history of science, very clearly proves the truth of this remark. "The basis of most of the discoveries — says Fournier — there is something like a flying accident, of which the ancients made the elusive goddess for anyone who allows her to escape at the first time. If the idea, which displays on the right path, a word that can lead to the resolution of problems or significant fact not immediately caught on the fly — the invention will be lost or at least delayed for many generations.

That it is back, prevail, a new thought, accidentally resurrect first, forgotten, or what some happy plagiarism secondary inventor: in inventing the mountain to the first author, fame and profit — second. " These are the considerations justifying the title of my report.

In fact, I believe that the vast majority can be replaced in case determinism, and the risk of spontaneous inventions — guarantees extensive historical documentation, based on expert control. For this purpose, I propose to set up a specialized service, but not for the finding of previous applications, which would still be no older XVIII century and a genuine technological service that simply would study ancient ways and tried to adapt them to the needs of modern industry.

If such a service existed at the time, it could signal, for example, an interesting little book, published in 1618, entitled "Natural History of the fountain, which rises near Grenoble", went unnoticed. Its author was a doctor from Turin, Jean Tarden. If this document is examined, the coal gas could be used from the beginning of XVII century. After Jean Tarden not only explore the natural gas meter fountain, but also reproduced the phenomenon in the laboratory. He filled the coal empty vessel, closed by subjecting it to high temperatures and made of fire, the origin of which he sought. He made it clear that the substance that gives this fire — bitumen, and that is enough to turn this matter into a gas, which forms a "fuel exhaling."

But the Frenchman Le Bon, determined Englishman Windsor, has applied its "thermal bulb" only to VII, the Republic. Thus, for nearly two centuries, the discovery, industrial and commercial prospects of which were very impressive, it was forgotten almost lost just because no one looked in old books.

Similarly, about a hundred years before the first optical signals Claude Shapna in 1793, in a letter to Fenelon Jan Sobieski, the Polish king, dated November 26, 1695, makes reference to recent experiments, not only with the optical telegraph, but also with the telephone , transmitting voice.

In 1636 one Shventer in his "Physical Recreational Mathematics" has explored the principle of the electric telegraph, by which, in his own words, "two people can communicate with each other through a magnetized needle." But experiments with magnetized needle Oersted apply only to 1819 and here — and about two centuries of oblivion.

Casually call a few lesser-known inventions: the diving bell is mentioned in the manuscript of "The Story of Alexander", dating from 1320 and located in Berlin, in the royal cabinet prints. German manuscript of the poem "Solomon Malrof" (Stuttgart Library), written in 1190, contains a picture of a submarine. It mentioned a submarine made of copper and is able to withstand the onslaught of the storm. The paper, written by Ludwig von knight Gartenshtaynom about 1510, you can see a picture of the suit costume: two holes arranged at eye-level, closed glass glasses, long top tube ends crane, allowing outside air to enter. Left and right of the picture appear accessories to facilitate launching and recovery, including lead foot and a pole with a cross.

Another example of undeserved oblivion: an unknown writer, who was born in 1729 in Monteburge, published a paper entitled "Gifantiya" (an anagram of the first part of the author's name Gifen de la Roche). It describes not only black and white, but a color: "imprinting an image — the author writes, — this thing first moment when they are perceived by the canvas, it immediately removed and placed in a dark place. Coating dries in an hour and you get the picture, the more valuable that no art can imitate her the truth. " She adds: "It is mainly about how to explore the nature of the adhesive composition, which captures and stores rays, second, the difficulty of its preparation and use, and the third — the interaction between light and the drying up of this." We know, however, that the discovery of Daguerre was published in the Academy of Sciences of Arago century later, January 7, 1839 In addition, note that the property of certain metals — the ability to capture the image — was described in a treatise Fabricius "The mysteries of metals" in 1566

Another example — "Sakta Granth." This text is quoted Moreau yes Jouet October 16, 1826 at the Academy of Sciences, in its "Memorandum of pox", "Get out of the abscess fluid at the tip of the lancet, enter it in the hand, mixing the liquid with blood, and begins fever, the disease will then place in a very mild and will not create any fear. " This is followed by an accurate description of all symptoms.
If we talk about the anesthesia, it is possible to get acquainted with the work of Denis Palin, written in 1681, and entitled "A Treatise on the operations without pain," or play the ancient Chinese experiments with extracts from the Indian poppy, or use wine from the mandrake, a very well-known in the Middle century, but completely forgotten in the XVII century, studied the effect of which, in 1823, Dr. Oriol from Toulouse. No one ever even thought about how to check their results.

A penicillin? In this case, we can mention first of all empirical knowledge — with Roquefort dressing used in the Middle Ages, but on this occasion, and we can say something even more amazing. Ernest Duchesne, a student voennomeditsinskogo school in Lyon, presented December 17, 1897 thesis entitled: "Promoting the study of living organisms rivalry — the antagonism between molds and microbes." In this paper, you can find experiments showing effects on bacteria "penicillum glaukum." However, this thesis has passed unnoticed. I specially dwell on this example, the apparent neglect at a time very close to our age complete triumph of bacteriology.

Want more examples? They are numerous, and each of them would have to devote a separate report. I mention, in particular, oxygen, the effect of which was studied in XV century alchemist named Eck de Sulsbak, according to Chevreul "Newspaper scientists" in October 1849 also Theophrastus is said that the flame is maintained vozduhoobraznym body, and the same opinion was St. Clement of Alexandria.

I will not dwell on any of the exceptional science fiction works of Roger Bacon, Cyrano de Bergerac, and others, because they are too easily attributed to pure imagination. I prefer to be on a solid basis of facts that can be controlled. As for the car — for many of you this is not news — I can say that in the XVII century in Nuremberg man named Jacques Gautam made "carts on springs."

Even more important in the field of open data, inherited from ancient times, we do not know. Christopher Columbus frankly admitted that owes much to the scientists, philosophers and poets of antiquity. Little known fact that Columbus twice rewrote replica of the second act of the tragedy of Seneca's "Medea," which refers to the world, the opening of which reserved for future ages. This copy can be found in the manuscript of "las profesias" stored in Seville library. Columbus also recalled the approval of the sphericity of the Earth Aristotle in his treatise "On the sky."

Is not it was right Joubert, noting that "nothing makes the minds of such negligent and such fruitless, as ignorance of the old times, and contempt for the old books?" How delightful Rivarol wrote: "Every state — is a mysterious ship whose anchor is in heaven." It could be said about the time that the ship of the future anchor of the past are in the sky. However, this threat to us a worse wreck.

In this sense, particularly instructive story of the California gold mines — an incredible story if it were not true. In June 1848 the first one, Marshall found a gold nuggets on the creek bank, where he wanted to build a mill. However, here in California, has already visited once in search of Indians Fernando Cortez, because he was told that the locals hold vast treasures. Cortez turned the whole country, searched all the huts, but he never had the idea to collect some sand. For three centuries the Spanish band and Mission of Jesus stamped gold dust in search of notorious Eldorado. However, even in 1737, more than a hundred years before the opening of Marshall, readers "Dutch newspaper" might know that gold and silver deposits of Sonora are suitable for use, for the newspaper indicated their exact location. Moreover, in 1767, in Paris, you can buy the book "The natural and civil history of California," whose author, Byuriel, described the gold mine, and is a testimony of the sailors bullion. No one noticed any of this article, neither the book nor the facts, which a century later was enough to cause a "gold rush." Besides, who's reading the description of the ancient Arab travelers? Although there could be found a very valuable guidance for geological mapping.

Time truly does not spare anything. After much searching and scrutiny, I came to believe that Europe and France have treasures that are not used: this ancient documents stored in our large libraries. All machinery must be based on three assumptions: experience, science and history. Refuse this last or neglect it — then show arrogance and fall into naivety. It also means taking risks invention of something new, then how can we use it, which has long been created.

Using very simple technique ancient achieved such results, which we now can not always play. Often we can be difficult to even explain it, despite strong theoretical arsenal at our disposal. It is this apparent simplicity is the power of the ancient science.
Excuse me, you will object, but what about fusion energy? To this I answer a meaningful quote. In very rare, unknown even to many experts the book, "Atlanta", published over 80 years ago, the author, under the pseudonym prudently eloped Ruazel, presented the results of its 56 years of research — a list of achievements, which he attributes to Atlanta.

Peru Ruazelya owned lines, incredible for his age: "The consequence of this was the emergence of the continuous activity of matter — the new equilibrium, the violation of which can result in powerful cosmic phenomena.
If for any reason our solar system collapsed, then its constituent atoms, gaining independence, would be immediately active and flashed a light in space nezatmevaemym testifying from a distance of the immense destruction and the hopes of creating a new world. "

I think this last example gives a comprehensive view of the entire depth of the sayings of Mademoiselle Bertin: "The new — well forgotten old."
Let us now see what may be of interest to the industry systematic probing of the past. When I say that we should treat seriously to the works of the ancients, it is not aware of any scientific research. You need only to look in the old scientific and technical papers (in terms of the specific objectives set industry): not whether they are material facts have been neglected, forgotten or description, but worth to mention experience related directly to the problem.

We believe that plastic invented recently, but they could be opened sooner if anyone had bothered to repeat some of the experiments chemist Berzelius.

I would like to point out the very important fact that is related to the steel industry. At the beginning of my research on some chemical experiments old, I was surprised that it is not able to reproduce in the laboratory metallurgical experiments, which seemed to me very clearly described. In vain I tried to understand the reason of his failure, for just follow all instructions and proportions. On reflection, I noticed that still made a mistake. I used a chemically pure ingredients, while ancient enjoyed not purified, ie salts derived from natural products, and able to provide a catalytic effect.

Indeed, new experiments have confirmed this conjecture. Specialists understand the enormous prospects it opens. After application in metallurgy some ancient recipes are almost always based on the action of catalysts, will save fuel and energy. My experiences in this area have been confirmed as the work of Dr. Menetris of catalytic action trace elements, and a German research Mitkin of catalysis in the chemistry of the ancients. In various ways, similar results were obtained. It's a coincidence, I think, proves that the technology's time to consider crucial category of quality and its role in the reproduction of the observed quantitative phenomena.

I note from the pharmaceutical prescriptions only moisture burns, the more important question that car and plane crashes put him almost every day. However, no age did not open the top of a burn than the Middle Ages, when the fires were commonplace. Now, these recipes are completely forgotten. Necessary, by the way, to say that some of the products of ancient pharmacopoeia not only remove the pain, but also speeds up recovery of damaged tissue.

It would be superfluous to remind us of a very high quality paints and varnishes, which are made with ancient methods. Amazing colors used by medieval artists, have not disappeared, as they think, I know one manuscript in France, where is their composition. But no one ever thought about how to borrow and test these methods. But if modern artists have lived a hundred years, they would not even know of his paintings — so short-lived they use paint. Already at the Van Gogh yellows lost, it seems, exceptional brightness, which was so characteristic of them.

Speaking of geology, I only point out the close relationship between medical research and geological exploration. Widely practiced by the ancient therapeutic uses of plants — what is called phytotherapy — is associated with the emergence of a new science — biogeochemistry, which is engaged in the discovery of the positive anomalies related to trace metals in plants, indicating the proximity of the ore deposits. Thus, we can determine the affinity of certain plants with certain metals, and these data can be used both in terms of exploration, and in the field of therapeutic activity. This is another typical example, which seems to me the most important thing in the modern history of science: the combination of different scientific disciplines.

We call some other areas of research and industrial application: fertilizer — a vast area in which the ancient chemists got the results now are not known. I mean, in particular, what they called "the essence of fertility" — substances of some of the salt, mixed with humus, or the products of its distillation.

Glass production in antiquity — a broad question, still poorly understood: the Romans made glass floors, and the study of the ancient ways of making glass could provide valuable assistance in resolving the cutting edge of problems — such as the addition of rare earth elements and palladium, which would give the fluorescent tube.

As for the textile industry, in spite of the triumph of synthetic fabrics, or, rather, it is due to him, it would have to be guided in the direction of luxury goods: the fabric of very high quality, which could, for example, to be painted in accordance with ancient recipes or it can try to make a special fabric, known as the "Peel". This is a linen or wool fabrics treated with known acids, which opposed the iron blade and action of fire. This method has been known and used by the Gauls in the manufacture of cuirasses.

Given that the plastic lining of furniture is still very expensive, the furniture industry could find a cost-effective solution, using ancient methods of imposing an increase in resistance of wood to various chemical and physical influences staining method. Construction companies could be interested in the revival of special cements, the proportions of which are in the treatises of the XV and XVI centuries, and which have characteristics significantly superior characteristics of modern cement.

Finally, unable to insist on this issue, I would point out the direction of physics research that could have important implications. I'm talking about the work on the energy of terrestrial magnetism. In this sense, there is a very ancient observation, and which have never been tested, despite their obvious interest. "

Jacques Bergier, Louis Pauwels' Morning magicians "

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