John Freely

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John Freely (born 1926) is an American physicist, teacher, and author of popular travel and history books on Istanbul, Athens, Venice, Turkey, Greece, and the Ottoman Empire. He is the father of writer and Turkish-to-English literary translator Maureen Freely.[1]

Freely was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up there and in Ireland. He dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Navy at age 17 for the last two years of World War II, serving with a commando unit in Burma and China. He did his undergraduate work at the traditional American Catholic college, Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, under the G.I. Bill.

Freely completed his postdoctoral study at Oxford University under Alistair Cameron Crombie, the pioneering researcher in the history of Medieval European science. The principal idea he inherited from Crombie was "the continuity of western European science from the Dark Ages through Copernicus, Galileo and Newton". Following his postdoctoral work, he taught courses in history and astronomy at the Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, including the course, "The Emergence of Modern Science, East and West".[2]

Since 1960 he has taught physics and the history of science at Bogazici University (formerly Robert College) in Istanbul, with sojourns in New York, Boston, London, Athens, Oxford, and Venice. He returned to Bogazici University in 1993. He is the author of over 40 books.

Works[edit]

Travel guides:

History and science books:

  • Stamboul Sketches (1974)
  • Istanbul: The Imperial City (1996)
  • A History of Robert College: The American College for Girls and Bogazici University (2000), YKY,Two volumes
  • Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Golden Age (1992), with Augusto Romano Burelli, Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • Inside the Seraglio: Private Lives of the Sultans in Istanbul (1999)
  • The Lost Messiah: In Search of the Mystical Rabbi Sabbatai Sevi (2001)
  • Jem Sultan: The Adventures of a Captive Turkish Prince in Renaissance Europe (2004); Harpercollins
  • The Emergence of Modern Science, East and West (2004), Istanbul: Bogazici University
  • Byzantine Monuments of Istanbul (2004), with Ahmet S. Çakmak; Cambridge University Press
  • John Freely's Istanbul (2003, ill. ed. 2006), Scala Publishers
  • Storm on Horseback: The Seljuk Warriors of Turkey (2008); I B Tauris & Co Ltd
  • Children of Achilles: The Greeks in Asia Minor Since the Days of Troy (2009); I B Tauris & Co Ltd
  • The Grand Turk: Sultan Mehmet II: Conqueror of Constantinople and Master of an Empire (2009); Tauris Parke Paperbacks
  • Aladdin's Lamp: How Greek Science Came to Europe Through the Islamic World (2009)
  • Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe (2012)
  • The Flame of Miletus: The Birth of Science in Ancient Greece (and How it Changed the World) (2012); I B Tauris & Co Ltd
  • Light from the East: How the Science of Medieval Islam helped to shape the Western World (2010); I B Tauris & Co Ltd

Wrote foreword:

  • Runciman, Steven, The Lost Capital of Byzantium: The History of Mistra and the Peloponnese (2009 reprint), Tauris Parke Paperbacks
  • Stafford-Deitsch, Jeremy, Kingdoms of Ruin: The Art and Architectural Splendours of Ancient Turkey (2009)
  • Bradford, Ernle, The Sultan's Admiral: Barbarossa - Pirate and Empire-Builder (2009), Tauris Parke Paperbacks

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jason Goodwin (no date). "Enlightenment (book review)". Washington Post Book World. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  2. ^ John Freely, Before Galileo: The Birth of Modern Science in Medieval Europe (2012)