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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55623
Doc. No:TL25577
Call number:‭3179451‬
Main Entry:Clemency J. Williams
Title & Author:Eclipse theory in the ancient worldClemency J. Williams
College:Brown University
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:442
Abstract:Eclipses are arguably one of the most spectacular astronomical events. Significance was attached to their occurrence from very early on in recorded history, and their prediction and description became a focus for the practitioners of the astral sciences in ancient cultures. This dissertation seeks to determine the ways in which theoretical knowledge about eclipses was originated, developed, preserved, and transmitted. The ability to be able to predict eclipses successfully was reached through the realization of many profound scientific discoveries and the systematization of more general techniques fundamental to astronomy: these included measurement of time, rates for various celestial motions, calculations of the sizes and distances of the luminaries, estimates for the angles between the orbits, parallax, as well as advances in the mathematical sciences such as trigonometry, spherical geometry, to name a few. Such a capability was not accomplished through the efforts of any one scientific culture, but it was to be a cumulative endeavor. It was not a collaboration simultaneous in time, but instead the accomplishments of one culture were communicated to an inheritor culture, which would assimilate these achievements and use them to broaden and develop their own understanding of the phenomena. The numerical predictive patterns of the Mesopotamian practitioners were advanced by the addition of geometrical considerations that were developed by the Greeks. The attention to iterative and other computational techniques in India assisted the Arabic scholars in further considering and refining techniques and parameters that had been established in Greece. In this context, this study will trace such a development using primary source material.
Subject:Social sciences; Ancient; Astral sciences; Eclipse; Science history; Ancient civilizations; 0579:Ancient civilizations; 0585:Science history
Added Entry:D. E. Pingree
Added Entry:Brown University