The Multiverses of Robert Grosseteste

Fourteenth-century illustration of Robert Grosseteste
Fourteenth-century illustration of Robert Grosseteste
  • Article
  • 2400 words
  • Level: high school and above

This 2019 article on the ideas of Robert Grosseteste was published by Lapham’s Quarterly, but is an excerpt from the book The Number of the Heavens: A History of the Multiverse and the Quest to Understand the Cosmos, by Tom Siegfried (published by Harvard University Press).  Grosseteste was the bishop of Lincoln, England, in the thirteenth century, and he developed a unique theory for the formation of the universe, based on some simple assumptions about the nature of light and of matter.  Siegfried provides an outline of this theory, along with background information to help the reader to understand the theory.

Most of what Siegfried outlines comes from Grosseteste’s De Luce (On Light).  For the reader with further interest in Grosseteste’s ideas, The Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science (INTERS) has a translation of De Luce available, as does Archive.org.

Click here for the Tom Siegfried article from Lapham’s Quarterly.

Click here for De Luce, courtesy of INTERS.

Click here for De Luce, courtesy of Archive.org.

 

 

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