The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy

Author: James Evans
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199874453
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Ancient Astronomy

Author: Clive L. N. Ruggles
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1851094776
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Long before astronomy was a science, humans used the stars to mark time, navigate, organize planting and dramatize myths. This encyclopaedia draws on archaeological evidence and oral traditions to reveal how prehistoric humans perceived the skies and celestial phenomena.

A History of Astronomy

Author: Anton Pannekoek
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486659941
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Greek Astronomy

Author: Thomas L. Heath
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108062806
Format: PDF
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From its beginnings in Babylonian and Egyptian theories, through its flowering into revolutionary ideas such as heliocentricity, astronomy proved a source of constant fascination for the philosophers of antiquity. In ancient Greece, the earliest written evidence of astronomical knowledge appeared in the poems of Homer and Hesiod. In the present work, first published in 1932, Sir Thomas Little Heath (1861-1940) collects some of the most notable essays and discussions of astronomical theory by Greek astronomers and mathematicians, presenting them in English translation for the modern reader. With chronological coverage, Heath's book features a thorough introduction, a doxography of what ancient authors said about the earliest theorists and longer excerpts exploring fundamental ideas. Among the pieces are extracts from Plato's Republic and Ptolemy's work on the impossibility of a moving Earth, alongside material from Aristotle, Euclid, Strabo, Plutarch and others.

Cosmos

Author: John North
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226594416
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

Echoes of the Ancient Skies

Author: E. C. Krupp
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486137643
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Popular, authoritative look at the world of archaeoastronomy, the study of ancient peoples' observation of the skies and its role in their cultural evolution. 208 illustrations.

Astronomy and Mathematics in Ancient China

Author: Christopher Cullen
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521035378
Format: PDF, ePub
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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, ePub
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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.

Astronomy in the Ancient World

Author: Alexus McLeod
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319236008
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.