Book ID: CBB275583045

Rising Time Schemes in Babylonian Astronomy (2017)


Steele, John M. (Author)


Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 109 pages
Language: English

This revealing work examines an approach from ancient astronomy to what was then a particularly important question, namely that of understanding the relationship between the position in the ecliptic and the time it takes for a fixed-length of the ecliptic beginning at that point to rise above the eastern horizon. Schemes known as “rising time schemes” were used to give lengths of the celestial equator corresponding to each of the twelve zodiacal signs which make up the ecliptic. This book investigates the earliest known examples of these schemes which come from Babylonia and date to the mid to late first millennium BC.  Making an important contribution to our knowledge of astronomy in the ancient world, this volume includes editions and translations of all of the known Babylonian rising time texts, including several texts that are identified for the first time. Through a close examination of the preserved texts it has been possible to reconstruct the complete Babylonian rising time scheme. This reconstruction is unprecedented in its completeness, and it is also now possible to situate the scheme within a genre of Babylonian astronomy known as schematic astronomy which presents theoretical descriptions of the astronomical phenomena. The unique discoveries and fresh explorations in this book will be of interest to historians of ancient astronomy, scholars of Babylonian history and those investigating the origins of scientific thought.

Reviewed By

Review Rita Gautschy (2018) Review of "Rising Time Schemes in Babylonian Astronomy". Journal for the History of Astronomy (pp. 503-504). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Steele, John M.
Yasuyuki Mitsuma
Reynolds, Frances
Stevens, Kathryn
Powell, Robert
Swerdlow, Noel M.
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Indian Journal of History of Science
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Institute for the History of Science, Polish Academy of Science
Princeton University Press
Oxford University Press
MIT Press
Tablets; papyri
Cuneiform inscriptions
Pingree, David
Theon of Alexandria
Hipparchos of Rhodes
Time Periods
Babylon (extinct city)
Middle and Near East

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