Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame
M.A. in History, C.S.U. Long Beach
B.Sc. in Chemstry, C.S.U. Long Beach
My research focuses on the sciences of the stars and the mathematical sciences, particularly in the context of courtly politics and pageantry. My first book, The Crown and the Cosmos, examined the ways Emperor Maximilian I used the science of astrology as a political tool in the Holy Roman Empire. His efforts to bring both the science of the stars and the experts who produced that science into the public view paved the way for rulers throughout Europe to enlist science in their political programs. In my new project, I shift my attention to the imperial court in 14th-century Constantinople. I am tracing the ways that the mathematical sciences were revived and came to occupy an important place in the Byzantine capital. At the center of that research is a prolific Byzantine polymath, Nikephorus Gregoras. I am also working on the Greek version of Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός (better known by its Latin title, Centiloquium).
Each year I teach an introduction to the history of Western science, typically ranging from Greek antiquity through medieval Islamic and Greek contexts and into the Latin West. I also teach a number of thematic courses on topics such as the history of the Scientific Revolution, the history of Kunstkammer and museums, courtly sciences in pre-modern Europe, and the history of witchcraft. I am developing a course called "The Science of the Stars before the Telescope," which will focus on both the cultural and intellectual values that motivated people to study the stars as well as the sciences involved—there will be lots of mathematics, spherical astronomy, and of course astrology.
- HIST 118: Introduction to the History of Science
- HIST 237: Geographies of Witchcraft
- HIST 257: History of the Scientific Revolution
- HIST 258: Plagues and Epidemics in History
- HIST 259: Collecting Nature and Displaying Authority
- HIST 350: Topics in History of Science
- The Crown and the Cosmos. Astrology and the Politics of Maximilian I (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
You can find a description and ways to order my book here.
- “The Inmate’s Window: Iron, Innovation and the Secure Asylum” (forthcoming)
- “Expertise ex stellis: Comets, Horoscopes and Politics in Renaissance Hungary”
- “Traditions of Byzantine Astrolabes in Renaissance Science”
Here you will find more about me and my work.
Thoughts on the history of science—scholarship, public understanding, and teaching.
- Jordan Landes Talks to Darin Hayton
A wide ranging interview about my book, library call number classification schemes, and the history of science.
- Science on Tap
In October I spoke at Philadelphia’s Science on Tap, “Plague, Famine, and Death: The Terrifying History of Comets.”
- Twitter — I can no longer endorse Twitter and so have closed my account.
Reactions to and thoughts about the use and abuse of the history of science—at times provocative, at times not—can be found on my website.
- Lever Press
I am on the Editorial Board for Lever Press, an Open Access Scholarly press that mates digital and more traditional forms of scholarship.