The Exact Sciences in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Modern and Contemporary Ages
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AbstractThe eastern part of the Mediterranean, for centuries a highly contended borderland area between the Ottoman Empire and the Christian powers, was home to emigration and exchanges. From the XVI to XIX centuries important cultural exchanges, which involved the exact sciences and their teaching, took place here with Italy, the German speaking countries and Russia on one side, and, on the other, Greece, the Dalmatian cities (Ragusa etc.), the Ionian islands, Crete and the European countries under the Ottoman Empire. The cultural exchanges between the East and the West followed in the footsteps of commercial exchanges at whose centre were to be found the marine republics of Genoa and Venice. The old universities and academies of Venice and Padua constituted the meeting points for scholars from Greece, the islands in the Aegean and Adriatic Seas as well as from the Balkans. The Adriatic was host to many important cultural exchanges drawing, to Padua, such men as Francesco Patrizi of Cherso, Giuseppe Tartini from Istria and Simone Stratico from Zara. The free city of Ragusa was the birthplace of Marino Ghetaldi and Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the Ionian islands (Corfu) housed an important Academy, first French (Charles Dupin was its Secretary), and successively English. It became a meeting point for scientists who had been forced to leave Italy during the years of the Restoration period: Francesco Orioli, Giovanni Battista Moratelli, and Ottaviano Fabrizio Mossotti. The interest in the Balkans on the part of the great European powers like Russia, Austria, France and England, brought about new relations with these countries after the Napoleonic period. After obtaining its independence, Greece created a polytechnic school whose scholars looked to France and Germany for guidance. The aim of the symposium is to reconstruct this complex network of relations through the emerging scientific figures in the mathematical and physical sciences.