The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy

Author: James Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199874453
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy combines new scholarship with hands-on science to bring readers into direct contact with the work of ancient astronomers. While tracing ideas from ancient Babylon to sixteenth-century Europe, the book places its greatest emphasis on the Greek period, when astronomers developed the geometric and philosophical ideas that have determined the subsequent character of Western astronomy. The author approaches this history through the concrete details of ancient astronomical practice. Carefully organized and generously illustrated, the book can teach readers how to do real astronomy using the methods of ancient astronomers. For example, readers will learn to predict the next retrograde motion of Jupiter using either the arithmetical methods of the Babylonians or the geometric methods of Ptolemy. They will learn how to use an astrolabe and how to design sundials using Greek and Roman techniques. The book also contains supplementary exercises and patterns for making some working astronomical instruments, including an astrolabe and an equatorium. More than a presentation of astronomical methods, the book provides a critical look at the evidence used to reconstruct ancient astronomy. It includes extensive excerpts from ancient texts, meticulous documentation, and lively discussions of the role of astronomy in the various cultures. Accessible to a wide audience, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how our understanding of our place in the universe has changed and developed, from ancient times through the Renaissance.

The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy

Author: James Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199879990
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy combines new scholarship with hands-on science to bring readers into direct contact with the work of ancient astronomers. While tracing ideas from ancient Babylon to sixteenth-century Europe, the book places its greatest emphasis on the Greek period, when astronomers developed the geometric and philosophical ideas that have determined the subsequent character of Western astronomy. The author approaches this history through the concrete details of ancient astronomical practice. Carefully organized and generously illustrated, the book can teach readers how to do real astronomy using the methods of ancient astronomers. For example, readers will learn to predict the next retrograde motion of Jupiter using either the arithmetical methods of the Babylonians or the geometric methods of Ptolemy. They will learn how to use an astrolabe and how to design sundials using Greek and Roman techniques. The book also contains supplementary exercises and patterns for making some working astronomical instruments, including an astrolabe and an equatorium. More than a presentation of astronomical methods, the book provides a critical look at the evidence used to reconstruct ancient astronomy. It includes extensive excerpts from ancient texts, meticulous documentation, and lively discussions of the role of astronomy in the various cultures. Accessible to a wide audience, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how our understanding of our place in the universe has changed and developed, from ancient times through the Renaissance.

The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy

Author: James Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195095391
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy combines new scholarship with hands-on science to bring readers into direct contact with the work of ancient astronomers. While tracing ideas from ancient Babylon to sixteenth-century Europe, the book places its greatest emphasis on the Greek period, when astronomers developed the geometric and philosophical ideas that have determined the subsequent character of Western astronomy. The author approaches this history through the concrete details of ancient astronomical practice. Carefully organized and generously illustrated, the book can teach readers how to do real astronomy using the methods of ancient astronomers. For example, readers will learn to predict the next retrograde motion of Jupiter using either the arithmetical methods of the Babylonians or the geometric methods of Ptolemy. They will learn how to use an astrolabe and how to design sundials using Greek and Roman techniques. The book also contains supplementary exercises and patterns for making some working astronomical instruments, including an astrolabe and an equatorium. More than a presentation of astronomical methods, the book provides a critical look at the evidence used to reconstruct ancient astronomy. It includes extensive excerpts from ancient texts, meticulous documentation, and lively discussions of the role of astronomy in the various cultures. Accessible to a wide audience, this book will appeal to anyone interested in how our understanding of our place in the universe has changed and developed, from ancient times through the Renaissance.

A History of Astronomy

Author: Anton Pannekoek
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486659941
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Well-balanced, carefully reasoned study covers such topics as Ptolemaic theory, work of Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Eddington's work on stars, much more. Illustrated. References.

Astronomy in the Ancient World

Author: Alexus McLeod
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319236008
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Alexus McLeod explores every aspect of the lesser-known history of astronomy in the Americas (Mesoamerica and North America), China and India, each through the frame of a particular astronomical phenomena. Part One considers the development of astronomy in the Americas as a response, in part, to the Supernova of 1054, which may have led to a cultural renaissance in astronomy. He then goes on to explore the contemporary understanding of supernovae, contrasting it with that of the ancient Americas. Part Two is framed through the appearances of great comets, which had major divinatory significance in early China. The author discusses the advancement of observational astronomy in China, its influence on politics and its role in the survival or failure of empires. Furthermore, the contemporary understanding of comets is also discussed for comparison. Part Three, on India, considers the magnificent observatories of the Rajput king Jai Singh II, and the question of their purpose. The origins of Indian astronomy are examined in Vedic thought and its development is followed through the period of Jai Singh, including the role played by solar eclipses. The author also includes a modern explanation of our understanding of eclipses to date. In the final section of the book, McLeod discusses how ancient traditions might help modern civilization better understand Earth’s place in the cosmos.

Cosmos

Author: John North
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226594416
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
The definitive history of humanity's search to find its place within the universe. North charts the history of astronomy and cosmology from the Paleolithic period to the present day.

Greek Astronomy

Author: Sir Thomas L. Heath
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486143880
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
Superb scholarly study of contributions of Pythagoras, Aristarchus, Anaxagoras, Hipparchus, and many other thinkers, to true scientific astronomy. Accessible to science-minded lay readers. Introduction.

A History of Arabic Astronomy

Author: George Saliba
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814738893
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
A History of Arabic Astronomy is a comprehensive survey of Arabic planetary theories from the eleventh century to the fifteenth century based on recent manuscript discoveries. George Saliba argues that the medieval period, often called a period of decline in Islamic intellectual history, was scientifically speaking, a very productive period in which astronomical theories of the highest order were produced. Based on the most recent manuscript discoveries, this book broadly surveys developments in Arabic planetary theories from the eleventh century to the fifteenth. Taken together, the primary texts and essays assembled in this book reverse traditional beliefs about the rise and fall of Arabic science, demonstrating how the traditional “age of decline” in Arabic science was indeed a “Golden Age” as far as astronomy was concerned. Some of the techniques and mathematical theorems developed during this period were identical to those which were employed by Copernicus in developing his own non-Ptolemaic astronomy. Significantly, this volume will shed much-needed light on the conditions under which such theories were developed in medieval Islam. It clearly demonstrates the distinction that was drawn between astronomical activities and astrological ones, and reveals, contrary to common perceptions about medieval Islam, the accommodation that was obviously reached between religion and astronomy, and the degree to which astronomical planetary theories were supported, and at times even financed, by the religious community itself. This in stark contrast to the systematic attacks leveled by the same religious community against astrology. To students of European intellectual history, the book reveals the technical relationship between the astronomy of the Arabs and that of Copernicus. Saliba’s definitive work will be of particular interest to historians of Arabic science as well as to historians of medieval and Renaissance European science.

Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China

Author: Christopher Cullen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521035378
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
This is a study and translation of the Zhou bi suan jing, a Chinese work on astronomy and mathematics that reached its final form around the first century AD. The author provides the first easily accessible introduction to the developing mathematical and observational practices of ancient Chinese astronomers and shows how the generation and validation of knowledge about the heavens in Han dynasty China related closely to developments in statecraft and politics. This book will be fascinating reading for scholars in the history of science, Chinese history, and astronomy.

Exploring Ancient Skies

Author: David H. Kelley
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441976246
Format: PDF
Download Now
Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers--events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Exploring Ancient Skies provides a comprehensive overview of the relationships between astronomy and other areas of human investigation. It will be useful as a reference for scholars and as a text for students in both astronomy and archaeology, and will be of compelling interest to readers who seek a broad understanding of our collective intellectual history.