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October 1964

Ancient and Medieval Science: Vol 1. A History of Science.

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(4):563-564. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860100145027

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When Spinoza wrote, "Nature abhors a vacuum," he may have thought he was enunciating a fundamental law of physics instead of coining a happy phrase to be employed in a variety of situations. The passing of George Sarton in 1956 brought his monumental Introduction to the History of Science to an abrupt end at the second half of the 14th century. Sarton was a man of extraordinary linguistic accomplishments and of even more remarkable competence in many divergent intellectual fields, ranging from theology to physics. There seemed no heir apparent capable of continuing the field beyond the 14th century or of keeping his masterpiece abreast of the constant accretions to our knowledge. The above work seems to have resolved our doubts and misgivings and is of such excellence that Prof I. Bernard Cohen states flatly, "This is such a superb job that it will be many, many years before anything

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