Overview
 
 

Around 2000 years ago stood the ancient Library of Alexandria. Next to it there was a museum that gathered elite intellectuals of that era, not only poets and philosophers, but also scientists; astronomers, geographers, mathematicians and physicians. The History of Science Museum pays homage to the aptitude of the ancient Egyptians, as well as that of the great Greek and Arab scholars. The main objective of the History of Science Museum is to point out the scientists whose work had enriched scientific knowledge. The Museum was launched to revive the scientific discoveries and the great achievements of the ancient scholars and their translators, without whom such writings would not have transcended space and time.

However, the History of Science Museum is not a traditional museum; it offers a variety of activities targeting school children in particular and the public at large in general, in addition to the traditional Museum tours.

The birth of the History of Science Museum came as a result of fruitful cooperation between the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the French Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.
The History of Science Museum occupies a special rectangular space beneath the sphere of the Planetarium which seems to hang in mid-air. Enclosed between high granite walls and immense glass skylight that forms a well of a central sunlight, the Museum feels like a modern-day cloister

The visitor of the Museum follows a linear path through the major periods exhibited, each in its own way: Egypt of the Pharaohs is sorted by theme; while Hellenistic Alexandria and the Arab-Muslim Middle Ages are sorted by the great scientists, illustrated in chronological order. All along the way, the visitor can alternate backward and forward between the mathematical sciences presented vertically on the mural panels. As for medicine, it is given horizontal emphasis and is exhibited on long tables.

The Museum presents science and scientists chronologically across three different eras, namely:

In order to know the techniques used by ancient Egyptians in arithmetic, geography, anatomy and construction, the papyruses should be deciphered and the paintings and low relieves should be regarded with more than an aesthetic eye. We shall then discover a high degree of skill and knowledge in multiple fields.
Mathematical sciences: 
Calendar, agriculture, arithmetic, construction and war.
Medicine:
The person, disease, treatment and hygiene.
Frame-freezes:
An evocation of Ptolemaic Alexandria, the palaces, the library, the Mouseion, among others.

Greek scientists benefited greatly from the knowledge and applications of the Egyptians accrued over the years. The Greeks brought thought and reflection to the observations thatwere widely carried out by the Egyptians, and drew theories and laws from the observed phenomena. Here you will be introduced to the great Alexandrian scientists who changed the course of science history.

Presented in chronological order are:
Euclid, Aristarchus of Samos, Ktesibius, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, Phylon of Byzantum, Apollonius of Perga, Hipparchus, Hero of Alexandria, Ptolemy, Diophantus and commentators on their works.
Physicians and naturalists:
Herophilus, Erasistratus, Galen and Paul of Aegina.
Frame-freezes:
A tribute to the translators whose relentless efforts were an essential element in the transmission of knowledge.

Owing to their conquests in the seventh and eighth centuries, the Arabs gained access to scientific texts, the majority of which were Greek. A great translation movement accompanied these conquests and Arabic soon became the language of all sciences. Under the patronage of caliphs, scientists and physicians embarked on significant scientific progress.

Presented in chronological order are:
Al-Khwarizmiy, Banu-Musa, Thabit bin-Qurra, Abu-Kamil, Ibn Yunus, Ibn al-Haytham, al-Muradiy, al-Jazariy, Ibn al-Shatir, al-zarqaliy, al-Idrisiy.
Physicians and naturalists:
Al-Raziy, al-Zahrawiy, Ibn Ridwan, Ibn Butlan, Ibn al-Baytar, Ibn al-Nafis.
Frame-freezes:
Heralding the Renaissance through the evocation of three west-European scientists, whose researches were extensions to earlier ones: Leonardo da Vinci, Copernicus and Harvey.

 


These three eras are presented in the musuem through two main themes: Mathematical Sciences and Medicine; the mathematical sciences include astronomy, geography, arithmetic, as well as hydraulics and pneumatics.


 
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