Dějiny věd a techniky, No. 2, Vol. L (2017)


DVT 172, 83
Pluralizace sluncí v 17. století a její důsledky
Daniel Špelda

Pluralization of suns in 17th century and its consequences
The article deals with the ideas on the nature, size and distance of the stars and the Sun during the 17th century. The aim of the article is to show how profound change in the understanding of the cosmos occurred in the 17th century. The cosmological debates involved much more than structure of the cosmos. Astronomers and philosophers disputed also the nature, substance, distance and size of the celestial bodies. The first part of this article deals with the idea of identifying the Sun with the stars, which was originally typical for the heliocentric astronomy but later it was taken over even by the proponents of heliocentrism. The second part describes the changing ideas about the nature of the Sun and its role in the cosmos. The third part is trying to draw a huge increase in estimates of the size of the space and celestial bodies. Focusing on stars and the Sun, the article shows that the development of astronomy in the 17th century cannot be reduced only to a conflict of heliocentrism and geocentrism. In fact, it related to the general human ideas on the nature and size of the universe.

Keywords: 17th-century astronomy ● heliocentrism ● geocentrism ● Riccioli ● Gassendi ● Kircher

In the 17th century, the opponents of heliocentrism did not blindly insist on the validity of medieval cosmology but sought to modify the traditional cosmology reacting to the new empirical findings. In the absence of conclusive evidence in favor of heliocentrism the defenders of geocentrism managed to adapt Aristotelian-Scholastic cosmology quite convincingly until the mid-17th century. Despite their efforts we find a completely different idea of the cosmos at the end of the 17th century. Instead of the concept of the sun illuminating the cosy cosmos, we can find another idea of cosmos. In the center of our system, there is an ordinary star that keeps the planetary system with its gravitational force. The principle of analogy and completely nonaristotelic belief in the homogeneity of the universe hinted at other stars being similar systems. These systems, however, are so remote that the distance defies human imagination. At the end of the 16th century, Tycho Brahe believed that there was a spherical layer of stars distant about 13 000 rt. Nearly 100 years later Newton judged that the closest star is located at a distance of 20 billion rt. Ideas of the distance of the nearest stars increased more than a million within a century. It is also evident that the history of astronomy in the 17th century cannot be seen only as a rivalry between two or three cosmological theories. In fact, it was much more in stake than a mere abandonment of the geocentric cosmology. Fundamentally – and fairly quickly – human ideas about the nature and size of the universe changed.

Author’s address:
Katedra filosofie FF MU
Arne Nováka 1, 602 00 Brno

DVT 172, 106
Hájkova metoskopie, její prameny, jádro a ohlas
Jakub Hlaváček

Hájek’s metoposcopy, its sources, core and reception
This study deals with the teachings of signatures in treatise on Metoposcopy written by the 16th century Czech naturalist Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku. The paper considers Hájek’s ideas within the context of his astrological and alchemical interests. Although the theory of signatures did not rank among his main interests, author will try to investigate how much his basic knowledge of medicine-oriented teachings on the signatures is in liaison with the tradition of Paracelsus and his followers and how much is based on the physiognomy handbooks of the time, especially on Guglielmo Grataroli and other authors.

Keywords: Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku ● Paracelsus ● Gerolamo Cardano ● metoposcopy ● signatures ● physiognomy

Hájek’s Metoscopy reveals Hájek as a typical child of his era, when – to borrow Foucault’s famous expression – within the 16th-century epistemology, semiology combines with hermeneutics and hermeneutics with divination: seeking sense by exploring similarities, an elaborate system of analogies. Thus in Metoposcopy we can find in varying degrees all sides of the triangular prism representing the irreplaceable basis of the 16th century knowledge: trust in authorities, natural magic and awakened sensitivity to sovereign rationality. At the same time, based on the exegesis of the biblical verse Gn 2,19-20, Hájek’s Metoposcopy embraces physiognomy as a hieroglyphic language, as the language from before the Fall.

Author’s address:
236 Pairis

DVT 172, 122
„Medicinisches Pest-Consilium“ a další lékařská pojednání publikovaná s podporou úředních autorit v habsburské monarchii v druhé polovině 17. století
Pavla Jirková

„Medicinisches Pest-Consilium“ and other medical treatises published with the support of official authorities in Habsburg Monarchy in the 2nd half of the 17th century
The submitted study deals with the issue of medical tests relating to the prevention and treatment of plague. They were published in press or hand-written form in the second half of the 17th century in the Habsburg monarchy countries. An essential criterion for including these texts in the analysis has been their relation to the official authorities of that time. The objective of the study is to introduce three selected medical treatises coming from the territories of Bohemia and Silesia and to ascribe them broader geographical and chronological contexts. The common aspect of these treatises is their relation to the plague epidemic which struck the central European area at the turn of the 70s and 80s of the 17th century.

Keywords: plague ● epidemics ● medicine ● Early Modern Period ● the Habsburg Monarchy ● the Czech lands

The final summary of the results of the implemented analysis of three texts of a medical nature in which relation to the contemporary administrative authorities and institutions can be proven compares the selected sources in terms of their content and focus. This comparison is carried out with regard to the extent to which the individual constituents (medical, ‘political’, historical or spiritual) are incorporated in these texts. In the case of the Silesian ‘Pest-Consilium’, the medical nature of work unambiguously prevails. This can be supported by a privy interpretation of medical practises and an enumeration of recommended pharmaceuticals (including production manuals) accompanied by relevant professional terms in Latin. Conversely, a strongly ‘political’ focus can be found in a treatise created by the provincial physicians and surgeons of the Czech Kingdom at the request of the emperor Leopold I for prevention and possible treatment purposes. In relation to the creation of this source, a view different from the research conclusions of certain domestic explorers has been provided in the study. An interesting example of the reception of the texts of early modern times has been stated in the document ‘Kurtzer Doch gnugsamer Unterricht…’. The printed document of the Silesian provenance has been taken over by Czech authorities, which have initiated its literal translation into Czech (‘Krátká však dostatečná zpráva’). In this case, the paper also offers an alternative opinion on the origin of this document.

Author’s address:
Národohospodářský ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
(společné pracoviště CERGE-EI)
Politických vězňů 7
111 21 Praha 1

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