I can hear you now. “Um, Gwyn? Isn’t this blog supposed to be about things medieval?”
Yep, it is.
“Did they even have physics in the medieval period?”
Not as a recognized science, perhaps, but let’s face it, nobody fell (or was flung by centrifugal force) off the planet for lack of gravity, rainshowers resulted in rainbows, and a body in motion tended to stay in motion (think horse stops dead, knight keeps going), so it’s safe to say physics was a part of their world. In fact, in 214 BC (well before the medieval era), it is believed Archimedes, perhaps the greatest scientist and mathematician in all antiquity, helped defend the kingdom of Syracuse using solar reflectors to set the enemy’s sails aflame, creating what was, in effect, the first ray gun!
How’s that for archaic physics?
Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m mathematically challenged. I can do the basics, even some advanced stuff (as long as you don’t ask how I reached my conclusion), but the application of theorums, postulates, axioms, and all that other gobblety-gook is just too confusing. Yet I find physics fascinating. Go figure.
A number of years ago, my sweetie and I were watching a movie about King Arthur’s Merlin. Predicated by his, and other wizards’ of the age, preoccupation with alchemy, we discussed the probability that sorcerers were, in truth, engineers and scientists with a fundamental grasp of laws and principles not yet documented or fully understood. It seemed probable given that magic, as we know it, is all about the illusion. Add the technological aspect, like turning on a radio for isolated Amazonian tribesmen, and you have the foundation for deification.