Geoffrey Chaucer

Otto Neugebauer (1899--1990)

Neugebauer is, in fact, a famous historian of ancient mathematics and astronomy. There is a biography of him at the St. Andrews Mathematics History Archive. He is certainly a real old German rigorist: well he was originally Austrian. A favorite quote from him---the point of which I disagree with is---is:

I think Lynn White (another eminent historian of science) is more on the mark:

  1. Neugebauer, O. 1969, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (New York: Dover Publications, Inc.) (Ne)

      A short, but good, account of some facets of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greek mathematics and astronomy. Probably a bit dated and, to me, a bit extreme in its agnosticism about knowing cause in history. Look Otto, things have causes: therefore you should in principle be able to know something about them.