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Article

Социологический анализ античной науки: проблемы и перспективы

Жмудь Л. Я., Куприянов А. В.

The study is based on a dataset formed on the basis of the Encyclopaedia of Ancient Natural Scientists (London, 2008) with significant revisions and modifications. The selection criteria, problems of demarkation of sciences (mathemata) from natural philosophy (physike) and practical arts (technai) are discussed. The dataset includes entries on 415 persons, pseudonyms and anonymous treatises associated with at least one of the six mathematical "disciplines": mathematics, astronomy, geography, harmonics, optics, and mechanics. Five phases of the population dynamics of sciences of the antiquity were identified: the rapid growth phase (600–350 BCE), first plateau at the level of 60–70 contemporaries (350–50 BCE), decline (from 50 BCE through the beiginning of the current Era), second plateau at the level of 25–40 contemporaries (0–500 CE), final decline (500–600 CE). The growth and decline phases are characterised by a concerted rise or decline of most populated disciplines, while the plateaus are composed of fluctuations of the different disciplinary communities counterbalancing each other. Patterns of population dynamics of different disciplines are discussed separately.