Leonardo Pisano, who is better known by the name Fibonacci, introduced the Hindu-Arabic number system to Europe at the beginning of the 13th century through his book Liber Abaci, which translates to "Book of Calculation" in English. It enabled Europeans to break free of the cumbersome Roman numeral system and perform calculations using the decimal system. The talented mathematician was also known for introducing to Europe the number sequence named after him, the Fibonacci sequence.
Because his father was a merchant and stationed by the Italian city-state of Pisa in what is now modern-day Algeria, Fibonacci received an education from the Moors in Northern Africa. This enabled him to see the advantages of the Hindu-Arabic arithmetic system over European methods. He also went further in his studies and sought out the leading Arab mathematical instructors in the Mediterranean area to learn more of their methods. Fibonacci returned from his journeys around 1200, and at the age of 32, he completed his work on "Liber Abaci" in 1202.
The decimal positional system, the use of zero as a place holder, the squaring of fractions and the principles of algorithms were all new mathematical concepts that Fibonacci brought to the European world. He also introduced the Fibonacci sequence, which is intimately connected to the Golden Mean (also known as the Divine Proportion) and represents many of the proportional ratios found in nature. The sequence is also used in art and architecture.Learn More
The end of the Renaissance was caused primarily by the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, which set off violent conflict throughout Europe and eliminated much of the funding for art. Printing, the discovery of the New World, and Vasco da Gama's navigation of the Cape of Good Hope also contributed to its end.Full Answer >
Johannes Gutenberg's successful use of his newly invented movable-type printing process established the groundwork for the widespread and commercial mass production of printed books and ushered in a wave of social changes throughout Europe. Printed materials became plentiful and affordable, which helped spread communications and new ideas to significant portions of society that previously had little or no access to them. Gutenberg's printing method enabled books to develop into an economically feasible form of communication and learning that helped bring about cultural, political and academic changes that permanently altered the course of history and the structure of society.Full Answer >
According to the History of Anaesthesia Society, anesthesia was first used in the 13th century by Theodoric of Lucca. This Italian physician used sponges soaked in opium to relieve pain during surgery.Full Answer >
The Roraty, or Rorate, which is a Polish tradition that's been observed during Advent since the 13th century, is a mass that begins in the darkness before sunrise. The name comes from the Latin words for "drop down ye heavens from above" from the book of Isaiah. The phrase occurs in plainsong that is sung frequently during the mass and vespers, especially during advent.Full Answer >