In my previous blog
, I was thrilled to be seeking science at the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest and longest continuously operating university. In part 2, I moved on to some institutions that are not a part of the university system.
The Museo Civico Medievale
provides a window on medieval life in Bologna. Since 1985 it has been housed in the Palazzo Ghisilardi Fava, a building dating to the mid-1400s. The collection is filled with Bolognese artifacts from medieval times amassed by private collectors in the 1700s. While most of the displays showcase art objects, there was one fascinating display of early scientific instruments that caught my attention.
The most impressive and modern museum in Bologna is the Museum of the History of Bologna
in Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio which opened in January 2012. In the large initial foyer, called the Tower of Time, exhibits explain the Gregorian calendar, Cassini’s meridian and the role Quirico Filopanti played in helping establish the 24 time zones. I was familiar with the Gregorian calendar and the improvements it made over the Julian calendar. There was a lot written on the topic around the year 2000 as we all prepared for the millennium. Perhaps my favourite book on the topic was David E. Duncan’s Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year