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The Shocking History of Electric FishesFrom Ancient Epochs to the Birth of Modern Neurophysiology$
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Stanley Finger and Marco Piccolino

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195366723

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195366723.001.0001

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Torpedoes: From the Scholastics through the Renaissance

Torpedoes: From the Scholastics through the Renaissance

(p.87) Chapter 6 Torpedoes: From the Scholastics through the Renaissance
The Shocking History of Electric Fishes

Stanley Finger

Marco Piccolino

Oxford University Press

This chapter is devoted to knowledge about electric fish in the period from the beginning of the 12th century to the end of the 16th century—that is, from the Golden age of the Scholastics in the late Middle Ages through the Renaissance. It states that there would be no striking advancements in electric fish science during this period: no significant breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms of the shocks, their transmission, or their medical applications. In this regard, the material covered has features in common with the Byzantine and Middle Eastern cultures discussed in the previous chapter. Nevertheless, there would be new mindsets, a new appreciation of living nature, and other developments, including the advent of beautifully illustrated fish books and a call for more accurate information, which was to help set the stage for the scientific revolution of the 17th century.

Keywords:   electric fish, scholastics, late Middle Ages, living nature, fish books

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