Comparative Cosmologies: Robert Grosseteste and Modern Cosmology


Richard Bower’s public lecture during the Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University, workshop took place in the Chapter House, almost directly underneath a 19th century window of Grosseteste in reforming action. Having given the Grosseteste Day lecture in October 2013, this was a return Lincoln visit for Richard. His new lecture took the audience from the medieval universe, and the interpretation of Grosseteste’s De luce, to the modern universe and its interpretation through models and observation. The position of the northern hemisphere (essentially looking out from the universe) as opposed to the southern hemisphere (essentially looking into the universe) was a striking section. Just as striking was Richard’s overlaying of the text of the De luce with the equations he used to make his model – translation across boundaries, this time from Latin to English to Mathematics! The lecture fittingly expressed our sense of awe at the power of Grosseteste’s imagination (in the modern and medieval senses): the gigantic majesty of his universe as well as its uniformity in minuscule was not diminished by comparison with the modern picture, rather enhanced. There will be a full video of the lecture which we’ll post after editing; for now a small taster.

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