Astronomy

Olaf Pedersen's A Survey of the Almagest: With Annotation and New Commentary PDF

By Olaf Pedersen

ISBN-10: 0387848258

ISBN-13: 9780387848259

The Almagest, by means of the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy, is crucial surviving treatise on early mathematical astronomy, providing historians worthwhile perception into the astronomy and arithmetic of the traditional world.

Pedersen's 1974 e-book, A Survey of the Almagest, is the newest in a protracted culture of partners to the Almagest. half paraphrase and half statement, Pedersen's paintings has earned the common compliment of historians and serves because the definitive introductory textual content for college students drawn to learning the Almagest.

during this revised variation, Alexander Jones, a special authority at the heritage of early astronomy, presents supplementary details and remark to the unique textual content to account for scholarship that has seemed due to the fact 1974. This revision additionally comprises a number of corrections to Pedersen's unique textual content which were pointed out considering its publication.

This quantity is meant to supply scholars of the historical past of astronomy with a self-contained creation to the Almagest, supporting them to appreciate and savour Ptolemy's nice and classical paintings.

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Additional info for A Survey of the Almagest: With Annotation and New Commentary by Alexander Jones (Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences)

Sample text

Divers never feel the weight of the water above them, even at great depth. - Simpliciu3: Comm. in de Caelo IV, 4, cf. Thomas: Greek Mathematical Works, II, 411. It would have been interesting to see how such an anti-Aristotelian doctrine was dealt with in Ptolemy's other lost work On the Elements. 44 The Two Principles of the Motion of the Heavens Until now we have only discussed phenomena connected with the daily motion of the heavens around the axis through the poles. This motion causes all the stars to move on circles parallel to the equator.

It alone is able to discover the relations between eternal substances not subject to any influence, and the sensible, moving and movable lvorld, through the phenomena, order, and disposition of their motions. This argument follows the Aristotelian proof of the existence of God as the Prime Mover. When theology in the Middle Ages rose to the top of the hierarchy of knowledge, the argument explained also why astronomy was given the most honourable position among the various sciences. Ptolemy himself comes very near to the same attitude when he maintains that the study of astronomy has ethical consequences and is a step on the road to human perfection: More than any other thing it contributes to make us better, making us more aware of what is good and beautiful in the moral life.

39 5 Fig. 5). In this case an observer at a point T outside the terrestrial equator will find the heavenly sphere divided into two unequal parts by his horizontal plane. In particular the ecliptic would be divided into unequal parts too, and we would not always see 6 zodiacal signs above and 6 below the horizon, which is contrary to experience. Fig. 6 Another consequence would be that at the equinoxes (if such dates exist for the given position of the Earth), the Sun would neither rise in the East nor set in the West.

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A Survey of the Almagest: With Annotation and New Commentary by Alexander Jones (Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences) by Olaf Pedersen


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