Part Of Isaac Newton's Manuscripts Were Written in Greek Demonstrating A Deep Understanding Of The Language

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Part Of Isaac Newton's Manuscripts Were Written in Greek Demonstrating A Deep Understanding Of The Language

It may be unknown to many people, including many modern Greek speakers, just how much the Greek language was used outside of Greece in times gone by. Indeed, alongside Latin, Greek was within the academic field, perhaps the most widespread language prior the modern era.

Nothing shows this more than the notebooks of Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous and influential scientists to have ever lived. His beautifully written notebooks show that not only did he use Greek formally, but also to jot down notes to himself. The fact that personal notes were jotted in this way indicates that he had a grasp of the language which was well beyond mere academic interest.

Examined by modern researchers, the Greek text is grammatically correct and even includes all the correct diacritical marks.

The notebook in question was acquired by Newton when he was a student in Ireland at Trinity College and was used between 1661 and 1665. The notes sketch out his insights into the fields which would define his genius, including metaphysics, philosophy, and mathematics. Despite being locked away from public view for years, the notebook showed up again in 1872, presented at Cambridge University, and has recently been digitised for the first time.

Part Of Isaac Newton's Manuscripts Were Written in Greek Demonstrating A Deep Understanding Of The Language

Newton's genius spanned several fields. He is noted for the invention of the mathematical system of calculus, which he created at the same time as Gottfried Leibniz, albeit independently. Most famously, he is known as the discoverer of classical mechanics. Classical mechanics, now known as Newtonian physics, described the forces of the day-to-day world and how they interact with each other. Part of this discovery involved the first development of a theory of gravity.

It is often quoted that Newton was inspired to investigate and understand gravity after an apple fell upon his head while he was sitting under a tree while at university, however, this is thought to be extremely unlikely and that this is merely a fun story concocted over the years.

Despite his academic brilliance that shaped the world of human knowledge, Newton was known in his lifetime for his ill-temper and surly character. It was noted that he didn't make much time for friends and would even carry out full lectures to an empty room when no one turned up. He never married and died in 1727.

[h/t: Greek Reporter]

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Thinking Humanity: Part Of Isaac Newton's Manuscripts Were Written in Greek Demonstrating A Deep Understanding Of The Language
Part Of Isaac Newton's Manuscripts Were Written in Greek Demonstrating A Deep Understanding Of The Language
It may be unknown to many people, including many modern Greek speakers, just how much the Greek language was used outside of Greece in times gone by.
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