A Portable Cosmos

Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World
Author: Alexander Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190618582
Category: History
Page: 264
View: 1053

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From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta Army, ancient artifacts have long fascinated the modern world. However, the importance of some discoveries is not always immediately understood. This was the case in 1901 when sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers know they had found the oldest known analog computer in the world, an astonishing device that once simulated the motions of the stars and planets as they were understood by ancient Greek astronomers. Its remains now consist of 82 fragments, many of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek words, that scientists and scholars have pieced back together through painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by radiographic tools and surface imaging. More than a century after its discovery, many of the secrets locked in this mysterious device can now be revealed. In addition to chronicling the unlikely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, author Alexander Jones takes readers through a discussion of how the device worked, how and for what purpose it was created, and why it was on a ship that wrecked off the Greek coast around 60 BC. What the Mechanism has uncovered about Greco-Roman astronomy and scientific technology, and their place in Greek society, is truly amazing. The mechanical know-how that it embodied was more advanced than anything the Greeks were previously thought capable of, but the most recent research has revealed that its displays were designed so that an educated layman could understand the behavior of astronomical phenomena, and how intertwined they were with one's natural and social environment. It was at once a masterpiece of machinery as well as one of the first portable teaching devices. Written by a world-renowned expert on the Mechanism, A Portable Cosmos will fascinate all readers interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the history of science.

A Portable Cosmos

Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, a Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World
Author: Alexander Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019973934X
Category:
Page: 384
View: 5076

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From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta Army, ancient artifacts have long fascinated the modern world. However, the importance of some discoveries is not always immediately understood. This was the case in 1901 when sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers know they had found the oldest known analog computer in the world, an astonishing device that once simulated the motions of the stars and planets as they were understood by ancient Greek astronomers. Its remains now consist of 82 fragments, many of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek words, that scientists and scholars have pieced back together through painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by radiographic tools and surface imaging. More than a century after its discovery, many of the secrets locked in this mysterious device can now be revealed. In addition to chronicling the unlikely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, author Alexander Jones takes readers through a discussion of how the device worked, how and for what purpose it was created, and why it was on a ship that wrecked off the Greek coast around 60 BC. What the Mechanism has uncovered about Greco-Roman astronomy and scientific technology, and their place in Greek society, is truly amazing. The mechanical know-how that it embodied was more advanced than anything the Greeks were previously thought capable of, but the most recent research has revealed that its displays were designed so that an educated layman could understand the behavior of astronomical phenomena, and how intertwined they were with one's natural and social environment. It was at once a masterpiece of machinery as well as one of the first portable teaching devices. Written by a world-renowned expert on the Mechanism, A Portable Cosmos will fascinate all readers interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the history of science.

A Portable Cosmos

Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World
Author: Alexander Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190618590
Category: History
Page: 264
View: 6886

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From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta Army, ancient artifacts have long fascinated the modern world. However, the importance of some discoveries is not always immediately understood. This was the case in 1901 when sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers know they had found the oldest known analog computer in the world, an astonishing device that once simulated the motions of the stars and planets as they were understood by ancient Greek astronomers. Its remains now consist of 82 fragments, many of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek words, that scientists and scholars have pieced back together through painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by radiographic tools and surface imaging. More than a century after its discovery, many of the secrets locked in this mysterious device can now be revealed. In addition to chronicling the unlikely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, author Alexander Jones takes readers through a discussion of how the device worked, how and for what purpose it was created, and why it was on a ship that wrecked off the Greek coast around 60 BC. What the Mechanism has uncovered about Greco-Roman astronomy and scientific technology, and their place in Greek society, is truly amazing. The mechanical know-how that it embodied was more advanced than anything the Greeks were previously thought capable of, but the most recent research has revealed that its displays were designed so that an educated layman could understand the behavior of astronomical phenomena, and how intertwined they were with one's natural and social environment. It was at once a masterpiece of machinery as well as one of the first portable teaching devices. Written by a world-renowned expert on the Mechanism, A Portable Cosmos will fascinate all readers interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the history of science.

Gears from the Greeks

The Antikythera Mechanism - a Calendar Computer from C. 80 BC
Author: Derek John de Solla Price
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Social Science
Page: 70
View: 1691

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Chasing Shadows

Mathematics, Astronomy, and the Early History of Eclipse Reckoning
Author: Clemency Montelle
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801899109
Category: Mathematics
Page: 424
View: 9047

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Chasing Shadows is an invitingly written and highly informative exploration of the early history of astronomy.

Decoding the Heavens

Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer
Author: Jo Marchant
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0099519763
Category: Astronomical clocks
Page: 328
View: 6351

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"In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Mediterranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock, which turned out to be the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity. For more than a century this Antikythera mechanism' puzzled academics, but now, more than 2000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have pieced together its intricate workings. Unmatched in complexity for 1000 years, it was able to predict eclipses and track the paths of the Sun and the Moon through the zodiac, and probably even showed ancient astronomers the movements of the five known planets. In Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant tells for the first time the story of the 100-year quest to understand this ancient computer. Along the way she unearths a diverse cast of remarkable characters ranging from Archimedes to Jacques Cousteau and explores the deep roots of modern technology not only in ancient Greece but in the Islamic world and medieval Europe too. At heart an epic adventure story, it is a book that challenges our assumption

Roman Portable Sundials

The Empire in Your Hand
Author: Richard J. A. Talbert
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190273488
Category: Clocks and watches
Page: 264
View: 9053

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In an unscientific era when maps were rarities, how did ancient Romans envisage their far flung empire? This was done by various means for certain, including with the aid of an ingenious type of portable sundial that has barely attracted notice. As the Romans understood before the first century BCE, to track the passage of the sun across the sky hour-by-hour one needed to know one's latitude and the time of year, and that, furthermore, sundials did not have to be fixed objects. These portable instruments, crafted in bronze, were adjustable for the changes of latitude to be expected on long journeys--say, for instance, from Britain to Spain, or from Alexandria to Rome, or even on a Mediterranean tour. For convenient reference, these sundials incorporated lists of twenty to thirty names of cities or regions, each with its specific latitude. One of the insights of Roman Portable Sundials is that the choice of locations offers unique clues to the mental world-map and self-identity of individuals able to visualize Rome's vast empire latitudinally. The sixteen such sundials known to date share common features but designers also vied to create enhancements. Comparison with modern calculations shows that often the latitudes listed are incorrect, in which case the sundial may not perform at its best. But then the nature of Romans' time-consciousness (or lack of it) must be taken into consideration. Richard Talbert suspects that owners might prize these sundials not so much for practical use but rather as prestige objects attesting to scientific awareness as well as imperial mastery of time and space. In retrospect, they may be seen as Roman precursors to comparable Islamic and European instruments from the Middle Ages onwards, and even to today's luxury watches which display eye-catching proof of their purchasers' wealth, sophistication, and cosmopolitanism. Richly enhanced with detailed photographs, line drawings, maps, a gazetteer, and a table of latitudes and locations, Roman Portable Sundials brings these overlooked gadgets out of the shadows at last to reveal their hitherto untapped layers of meaning.

Science before Socrates

Parmenides, Anaxagoras, and the New Astronomy
Author: Daniel Graham
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 0199959781
Category: Philosophy
Page: 304
View: 3227

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In Science before Socrates, Daniel W. Graham argues against the belief that the Presocratic philosophers did not produce any empirical science and that the first major Greek science, astronomy, did not develop until at least the time of Plato. Instead, Graham proposes that the advances made by Presocratic philosophers in the study of astronomy deserve to be considered as scientific contributions.

Spartans

A New History
Author: Nigel M. Kennell
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1444360531
Category: History
Page: 232
View: 9045

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Spartans: A New History chronicles the complete history of ancient Sparta from its origins to the end of antiquity. Helps bridge the gap between the common conceptions of Sparta and what specialists believe and dispute about Spartan history Applies new techniques, perspectives, and archaeological evidence to the question of what it was to be a Spartan Takes into account new specialist scholarship and research published in Greek, which is not readily available elsewhere Places Spartan society into its wider Greek context

Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity


Author: James Evans
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691174407
Category: History
Page: 208
View: 8151

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition held at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, New York, October 19, 2016-April 23, 2017.

The Great Canoes in the Sky

Starlore and Astronomy of the South Pacific
Author: Stephen Robert Chadwick,Martin Paviour-Smith
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319226231
Category: Science
Page: 233
View: 8413

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Presenting spectacular photographs of astronomical objects of the southern sky, all taken by author Stephen Chadwick, this book explores what peoples of the South Pacific see when they look up at the heavens and what they have done with this knowledge. From wives killing brothers to emus rising out of the desert and great canoes in the sky, this book offers the perfect blend of science, tradition and mythology to bring to life the most famous sights in the heavens above the southern hemisphere. The authors place this starlore in the context of contemporary understandings of astronomy. The night sky of southern societies is as rich in culture as it is in stars. Stories, myths and legends based on constellations, heavenly bodies and other night sky phenomena have played a fundamental role in shaping the culture of pre-modern civilizations throughout the world. Such starlore continues to influence societies throughout the Pacific to this day, with cultures throughout the region – from Australia and New Zealand in the south to New Guinea and Micronesia in the north - using traditional cosmology as a means of interpreting various aspects of everyday life.

The Construction of Time in Antiquity

Ritual, Art, and Identity
Author: Jonathan Ben-Dov,Lutz Doering
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110850907X
Category: History
Page: N.A
View: 918

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Time has always held a fascination for human beings, who have attempted to relate to it and to make sense of it, constructing and deconstructing it through its various prisms, since time cannot be experienced in an unmediated way. This book answers the needs of a growing community of scholars and readers who are interested in this interaction. It offers a series of innovative studies by both senior and younger experts on various aspects of the construction of time in antiquity. Some articles in this book contain visual material published for the first time, while other studies update the field with new theories or apply new approaches to relevant sources. Within the study of antiquity, the book covers the disciplines of Classics and Ancient History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity, with thematic contributions on rituals, festivals, astronomy, calendars, medicine, art, and narrative.

Decoding the Heavens

A 2,000-Year-Old Computer - And the Century - Long Search to Discover Its Secrets
Author: Jo Marchant
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 1459600096
Category:
Page: 382
View: 3459

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In Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant tells for the first time the full story of the hundred-year quest to decipher the ancient Greek computer known as the Antikythera Mechanism. Along the way she unearths a diverse cast of remarkable characters and explores the deep roots of modern technology in ancient Greece and the medieval European and Islamic worlds. At its heart, this is an epic adventure and mystery, a book that challenges our assumptions about technology through the ages.

The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia


Author: Reinhard Pirngruber
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107106060
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 260
View: 3604

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This book devises an innovative way to analyse Babylonian commodity price data in its historical context using formal statistical analysis.

Travel in the Ancient World


Author: Lionel Casson
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 9780801848087
Category: History
Page: 391
View: 5316

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The only book of its kind in any language, Travel in the Ancient World offers a lively, comprehensive history of ancient travel, from the first Egyptian voyages recorded in Old Kingdom inscriptions through Greek and Roman times to the Christian pilgrimages of the fourth and sixth centuries. Rich in anecdote and colorful detail, it now returns to print in paperback with a new preface by the author.

The Antikythera Mechanism

The History and Mystery of the Ancient World's Most Famous Astronomical Device
Author: Charles River Charles River Editors
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 9781542408417
Category:
Page: 48
View: 8962

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*Includes pictures *Chronicles the discovery and theories over the mechanism's origins and capabilities *Includes footnotes, online resources and a bibliography for further reading. *Includes a table of contents "It multiplies, divides and subtracts, but you can't program it." - Michael Edmunds Discovering ancient shipwrecks hasn't been a novelty for thousands of years, but when artifacts were salvaged from a Roman shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in 1900, the discovery of one set off one of the great mysteries of antiquity. When sponge divers investigated the shipwreck, they found the kind of items often associated with such discoveries, including marble statues, pottery, jewelry, and coins, but they also discovered a strange object, the likes of which nobody had ever seen before. Initially assumed to be pieces of rock, it turned out that the item, soon to be dubbed the Antikythera mechanism, consisted of dozens of pieces, many of which had gears. In fact, while scholars quickly deduced that it had an astronomical purpose, many believed the mechanism was too advanced to actually date back to antiquity. As it turned out, of course, the Antikythera mechanism did date back to the 1st or 2nd century BCE, and as scholars began to more fully comprehend its abilities, fascination over the device grew. In conjunction with the determination that the mechanism was an analog computer of sorts that could predict astronomical phenomena like the positions of stars and eclipses, conjecture over the origins of the device led to theories over what the Romans were going to do with it, and whether the device was created by the Greek genius Archimedes himself. To this day, debate continues over whether there were predecessors to the model, where the astronomical observations that went into creating the model were taken, and whether the ultimate origins of the device might even be Babylonian. The Antikythera Mechanism: The History and Mystery of the Ancient World's Most Famous Astronomical Device chronicles the discovery and study of the famous device. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Antikythera mechanism like never before, in no time at all.

The Making of the Odyssey


Author: Martin Litchfield West
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0198718365
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 315
View: 3829

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'The Making of the Odyssey' is a penetrating study of the background, composition, and artistry of the Homeric Odyssey, which places the poem in its late seventh-century context in relation to the 'Iliad' and other poetry of the time.

Orrery

A Story of Mechanical Solar Systems, Clocks, and English Nobility
Author: Tony Buick
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461470439
Category: Science
Page: 299
View: 3959

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“Orrery” appeals to almost anyone interested in popular astronomy, astronomical mechanical devices, scientific instruments, the history of clocks - and even the history of aristocratic and prestigious families! Many people these days – not only astronomers – have a good idea of the main components of the Solar System. They might also know about the orrery, a mechanical model that shows the movements of the Moon and planets. But not too many know why it was so named and who it was named after. The Boyle family – the Earls of Orrery –include the famous Boyle of Boyle’s Law. But others were key in the history of the orrery, not the least being clockmakers. Aware of the lunar and planetary content of the sky, they strove to make scientific instruments to demonstrate their movements and introduced measuring devices to predict their positions. In antiquity, their lives on occasion depended on the accuracy; upsetting kings and lords was dangerous business! Orreries are found everywhere. They can be made of wood or metal, and are even available today as home-assembly kits and children’s toys. They appear in paintings, on computers, on the side of royal clocks, in stately home hallways, and of course, in museums all over the world. This book contains illustrations of orreries to give a guide as to what is and was available and where to see the best examples. It also contains information and references to help readers who want to make (or buy) their own orrery. The story of the Boyles is not just relevant to a tiny corner of Ireland, but spans the world. “Orrery” highlights the process of discovery and humankind’s universal fascination with the heavens. Provides a fascinating example of the relationship between innovative thinking (invention) and precision engineering (execution).

Eyes on the Sky

A Spectrum of Telescopes
Author: Francis Graham-Smith
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191053619
Category: Science
Page: 320
View: 1095

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Four centuries ago, Galileo first turned a telescope to look up at the night sky. His discoveries opened the cosmos, revealing the geometry and dynamics of the solar system. Today's telescopic equipment, stretching over the whole spectrum from visible light to radio and millimetre astronomy, through infrared to ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays, has again transformed our understanding of the whole Universe. In this book Francis Graham-Smith explains how this technology can be engaged to give us a more in-depth picture of the nature of the universe. Looking at both ground-based telescopes and telescopes on spacecraft, he analyses their major discoveries, from planets and pulsars to cosmology. Large research teams and massive data handling are necessary, but the excitement of discovery is increasingly shared by a growing public, who can even join in some of the analysis by remote computer techniques. Observational astronomy has become international. All major projects are now partnerships; most notably the Square Kilometre Array, which will involve astronomers from over 100 countries and will physically exist in several of them. Covering the history and development of telescopes from Galileo to the present day, Eyes on the Sky traces what happens when humankind looks up.