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ASTR101: Introduction to Astronomy

Unit 3: The Middle Ages   In this unit, you will be introduced to historical changes that affected the way we view the universe.  The physical model will still be that of the Greeks, but the view of how we as human beings fit within that universe will be quite different.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take approximately 6 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.3: 2 hours

☐    Assessment: 1 hour

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Compare and contrast science during the Early Middle Ages to that of the Greco-Roman culture. - Compare and contrast science during the Late Middle Ages and the Early Middle Ages. - List at least three ways in which Islamic cultures contributed to science during the Middle Ages.

3.1 Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages   - Reading: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3: The Middle Ages” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3: The Middle Ages” (PDF)

 Instructions: This article provides an overview of the material we
will cover in Unit 3.  Read it carefully, but please don’t think
that you have to fix every single fact into your memory.  What you
should strive for is to be sure that it makes sense to you as you
are reading it and that when you are finished you can briefly
summarize the main points of the article.  You should read this both
as you start and after you have finished working your way through
the unit.  

 Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.

3.2 Islam   - Web Media: YouTube: Jin Al-Khalili’s “BBC: Science and Islam – Part 1” Link: YouTube: Jin Al-Khalili’s “BBC: Science and Islam – Part 1” (YouTube)

 Instructions: Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran,
Tunisia, and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific
knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the eighth
and fourteenth centuries.  

 Watching this video should take approximately 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.3 The Late Middle Ages and Dante’s Universe   - Reading: The World of Dante: “Dante’s Universe” Link: The World of Dante: “Dante’s Universe” (HTML)

 Instructions: This is a very nice image of the universe as seen by
Dante.  

 Studying this image should take approximately 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment” (PDF)

    Instructions: When you have finished the entire unit, please complete this assessment without referring to the readings.  When you are finished with the assessment, you can check your answers against the Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 3 Assessment – Answer Key” (PDF).

    Completing this assessment should take approximately 2 hours.

  • Reading: Knox College: Frank McAndrew’s “Medieval Cosmology” Link: Knox College: Frank McAndrew’s “Medieval Cosmology” (HTML)

    Instructions: In this article, Frank McAndrew discusses how the medieval view of the universe evolved from ancient Greek cosmology.  Also pay attention to the animation showing the geocentric model of the universe that explains the retrograde motion of planets.

    Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.