Robert Grosseteste and the Four Elements

Robert Grosseteste and the Four Elements

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Author(s): Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

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DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.362 426 1020 42-45 Volume 2 - Dec 2013


De Impressionibus Elementorum is a treatise written by Robert Grosseteste, English scientist and philosopher, shortly after 1220 AD. In this treatise we can find a discussion of some phenomena involving the four classical elements (air, water, fire and earth), in the framework of an Aristotelian physics of the atmosphere. For its referring to experiments, this treatise strongly differentiates from similar previous works. Moreover, it contains some descriptions of phase transitions which are rather interesting, in particular when Grosseteste is discussing of bubbles.


History of Science, Medieval Science


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  2. A.C. Sparavigna, On the Rainbow, a Robert Grosseteste’s Treatise on Optics, The International Journal of Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 9, Pages 108-113
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  9. Francis of Assisi was born in 1182. Son of a wealthy merchant in Assisi, he lived as a wealthy young man. After a pilgrimage in Rome, he started to live in poverty as a friar, and founded the Franciscan order, authorized in 1210 by Pope Innocent III. He is considered the author of the “Cantico delle Creature”, in English known as the Canticle of the Sun. This is a religious song, considered to be among the first works written in the Italian language. In it, besides Brother Sun and Sister Moon, the Canticle thanks God for Brother Wind, Sister Water, Brother Fire and Mother Earth, that is he thanks God for the Creation. Francis of Assisi composed most of the canticle in late 1224 while recovering from an illness, the end of it on his deathbed on 1226
  10. The Latin text is that given by “The Electronic Grosseteste”,, which is reporting the printed source: Ludwig Baur, Die Philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste, Bischofs von Lincoln, 1912, Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, pages 72-78
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  14. F.J. Malina, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Is the sky the limits?, at, on 13 Dec 2013

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International Journal of Sciences is Open Access Journal.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License.
Author(s) retain the copyrights of this article, though, publication rights are with Alkhaer Publications.

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