The Babylonian Theory Of The Planets

Author: N. M. Swerdlow
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400864867
Size: 12.39 MB
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In the second millennium b.c., Babylonian scribes assembled a vast collection of astrological omens, believed to be signs from the gods concerning the kingdom's political, military, and agricultural fortunes. The importance of these omens was such that from the eighth or seventh until the first century, the scribes observed the heavens nightly and recorded the dates and locations of ominous phenomena of the moon and planets in relation to stars and constellations. The observations were arranged in monthly reports along with notable events and prices of agricultural commodities, the object being to find correlations between phenomena in the heavens and conditions on earth. These collections of omens and observations form the first empirical science of antiquity and were the basis of the first mathematical science, astronomy. For it was discovered that planetary phenomena, although irregular and sometimes concealed by bad weather, recur in limited periods within cycles in which they are repeated on nearly the same dates and in nearly the same locations. N. M. Swerdlow's book is a study of the collection and observation of ominous celestial phenomena and of how intervals of time, locations by zodiacal sign, and cycles in which the phenomena recur were used to reduce them to purely arithmetical computation, thereby surmounting the greatest obstacle to observation, bad weather. The work marks a striking advance in our understanding of both the origin of scientific astronomy and the astrological divination through which the kingdoms of ancient Mesopotamia were governed. Originally published in 1998. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

The Star Of Bethlehem

Author: Mark Kidger
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400887545
Size: 17.18 MB
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Two thousand years ago, according to the Bible, a star rose low in the east and stopped high above Bethlehem. Was it a miracle, a sign from God to herald the birth of Christ? Was there a star at all, or was it simply added to the Bible to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy concerning the birth of the Messiah? Or was the Star of Bethlehem an actual astronomical event? For hundreds of years, astronomers as prominent as Johannes Kepler have sought an answer to this last baffling question. In The Star of Bethlehem, Mark Kidger brings all the tools of modern science, years of historical research, and an infectious spirit of inquiry to bear on the mystery. He sifts through an astonishing variety of ideas, evidence, and information--including Babylonian sky charts, medieval paintings, data from space probes, and even calculations about the speed of a camel--to present a graceful, original, and scientifically compelling account of what it may have been that illuminated the night skies two millennia ago. Kidger begins with the stories of early Christians, comparing Matthew's tale of the Star and the three Magi who followed it to Bethlehem with lesser-known accounts excluded from the Bible. Crucially, Kidger follows the latest biblical scholarship in placing Christ's birth between 7 and 5 B.C., which leads him to reject various phenomena that other scientists have proposed as the Star. In clear, colorful prose, he then leads us through the arguments for and against the remaining astronomical candidates. Could the Star have been Venus? What about a meteor or a rare type of meteor shower? Could it have been Halley's Comet, as featured in Giotto's famous painting of the Nativity? Or, as Kidger suspects, was the Star a combination of events--a nova recorded in ancient Chinese and Korean manuscripts preceded by a series of other events, including an unusual triple conjunction of planets? Originally published in 1999. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Astronomy Through The Ages

Author: Sir Robert Wilson
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400887514
Size: 17.97 MB
Format: PDF
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When astronomers today look up at the night sky they picture a spectacular and infinite universe--full of pulsars, quasars, and black holes and ruled by arcane laws of space and time. Once, ancient astronomers looked up and saw only points of light tracing calm movements across the heavens. But they too were moved to wonder about the meaning of what they saw. In Astronomy through the Ages, Sir Robert Wilson tells the story of how our understanding of the universe has evolved through history--of how the sedate and stable star field of ancient times has been replaced by the vast and explosive universe we know today. Wilson, one of the most distinguished astronomers of the twentieth century, begins by tracing the astronomical studies of the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians, and Greeks and reviews important early contributions from India, China, and the Islamic world. He explains the development of the sun-centered model of the universe in Renaissance Europe. He then tells how the development of the telescope, photography, and spectroscopy pushed back the limits of the observable universe and eventually brought astronomy into the twentieth century. Finally, he describes the rapid advances in radio and space astronomy and other methods over the past fifty years that have ushered in a new "golden age" of astronomy. These advances have not only allowed observation of deep space but also enabled scientists to unlock the secrets of the universe itself from its origin to its possible fate. Wilson himself has played an important role in these discoveries as the developer of one of the most successful astronomical satellites ever launched, the International Ultraviolet Explorer. While focusing on the human side of astronomical discovery, Wilson also provides readers with a basic understanding of difficult concepts, explaining relativity and quantum mechanics without using technical language or mathematics. Remarkable in its scope and clarity,Astronomy through the Ages provides an accessible view of historical discoveries and modern advances and shows why excitement about astronomy is even greater today than when Galileo first gazed in wonder at the rings of Saturn. Originally published in 1998. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Music Of The Spheres And The Dance Of Death

Author: Kathi Meyer-Baer
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400872336
Size: 12.13 MB
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The roots and evolution of two concepts usually thought to be Western in origin-musica mundana (the music of the spheres) and musica humana (music's relation to the human soul)-are explored. Beginning with a study of the early creeds of the Near East, Professor Meyer-Baer then traces their development in the works of Plato and the Gnostics, and in the art and literature of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Previous studies of symbolism in music have tended to focus on a single aspect of the problem. In this book the concepts of musica humana and musica mundane are related to philosophy, aesthetics, and the history of religion and are given a rightful place in the history of civilization. Originally published in 1970. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Mathematics And Art

Author: Lynn Gamwell
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691165288
Size: 10.57 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This is a cultural history of mathematics and art, from antiquity to the present. Mathematicians and artists have long been on a quest to understand the physical world they see before them and the abstract objects they know by thought alone. Taking readers on a tour of the practice of mathematics and the philosophical ideas that drive the discipline, Lynn Gamwell points out the important ways mathematical concepts have been expressed by artists. Sumptuous illustrations of artworks and cogent math diagrams are featured in Gamwell’s comprehensive exploration. Gamwell begins by describing mathematics from antiquity to the Enlightenment, including Greek, Islamic, and Asian mathematics. Then focusing on modern culture, Gamwell traces mathematicians’ search for the foundations of their science, such as David Hilbert’s conception of mathematics as an arrangement of meaning-free signs, as well as artists’ search for the essence of their craft, such as Aleksandr Rodchenko’s monochrome paintings. She shows that self-reflection is inherent to the practice of both modern mathematics and art, and that this introspection points to a deep resonance between the two fields: Kurt Gödel posed questions about the nature of mathematics in the language of mathematics and Jasper Johns asked “What is art?” in the vocabulary of art. Throughout, Gamwell describes the personalities and cultural environments of a multitude of mathematicians and artists, from Gottlob Frege and Benoît Mandelbrot to Max Bill and Xu Bing. Mathematics and Art demonstrates how mathematical ideas are embodied in the visual arts and will enlighten all who are interested in the complex intellectual pursuits, personalities, and cultural settings that connect these vast disciplines.

Geminos S Introduction To The Phenomena

Author: Geminus
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 069112339X
Size: 15.75 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 63

This book is generously illustrated with diagrams from medieval manuscripts of Geminos's text, as well as drawings and photographs of ancient astronomical instruments. It will be of great interest to students of the history of science, to classicists, and to professional and amateur astronomers who seek to learn more about the origins of their science."