Book ID: CBB761811804

Navigation: A Very Short Introduction (2017)


Bennett, Jim (Author)

Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: pp. 144
Language: English

From the Bronze Age mariners of the Mediterranean to contemporary sailors using satellite-based technologies, the history of navigation at sea, the art of finding a position and setting a course, is fascinating. The scientific and technological developments that have enabled accurate measurements of position were central to exploration, trade, and the opening up of new continents, and the resulting journeys taken under their influence have had a profound influence on world history. In this Very Short Introduction Jim Bennett looks at the history of navigation, starting with the distinctive cultures of navigation that are defined geographically - the Mediterranean Sea, and the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. He shows how the adoption of mathematical methods, the use of instruments, the writing of textbooks and the publication of charts all combined to create a more standardized practice. Methods such as longitude-finding by chronometer and lunar distance were complemented by the routine business of recording courses and reckoning position 'by account'. Bennett also introduces the incredible array of instruments relied on by sailors, from astrolabes, sextants, and chronometers, to our more modern radio receivers, electronic equipment, and charts, and highlights the crucial role played by the individual qualities of endeavor and resourcefulness from mathematicians, scientists, and seamen in finding their way at sea. The story of navigation combines the societal, the technical, and the human, and it was vital for shaping the modern world.

Reviewed By

Review Richard Dunn (2018) Review of "Navigation: A Very Short Introduction". Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza (pp. 169-170). unapi

Review Wolfgang Köberer (2017) Review of "Navigation: A Very Short Introduction". Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology (pp. 331-332). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Schilder, Günter
Kok, Hans
Grijs, Richard de
Jacob, Andrew P.
Laronde, André
Galili, Ehud
Geographia antiqua
Mariner's Mirror
Llull: Revista de la Sociedad Española de Historia de las Ciencias y de las Técnicas
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Imago Mundi: A Review of Early Cartography
Johns Hopkins University Press
Yale University Press
Brill Hes
Oxford University Press
Naval Institute Press
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Travel; exploration
Sea travel
Sailing ships
Instruments, navigational
Cook, James
Urdaneta, Andrés de
Shaler, William
Dawes, William
Briggs, Henry
Time Periods
18th century
16th century
17th century
Early modern
Mediterranean region
Atlantic Ocean
Pacific Ocean
Great Britain. Royal Navy
Dutch East India Company
National Maritime Museum (Great Britain)

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