Why history?


  • David P. Stern


When Galileo turned his telescope towards the moon, he saw something altogether new. For thousands of years, men and women had wondered about the moon: Suddenly, it was revealed as a world with mountains and craters, not unlike our own world. It was a revolutionary discovery, even more significant because the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilization Europe still admired and sometimes held supreme, had never achieved anything like it. In the eyes of his contemporaries, but for Galilee's discovery, mankind's ignorance could have gone on forever. As the poet Alexander Pope wrote not much later about another great discoverer,