By: James Evans
480 pages, 35 b/w illus, 227 figs
The subject of this book is the Western astronomical tradition from ancient Babylonia to the European Renaissance, with special emphasis on the Greek period. Throughout the book two questions constantly recur: what evidence permits us to reconstruct the astronomy of the ancient past? How was astronony actually practised? The book is meticulously documented and makes full use of primary sources as well as modern historical scholarship. It is richly illustrated and is unusual for its attention to the material culture of ancient astronomy. The most striking aspect of the book is its attention to astronomical practice.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to know more about the fascinating struggle to bring sense to the celestial sphere and the complicated motions of the planets...If you would like to know more about the technical side of ancient astronomy, this book is for you, and a personal copy would be well worth having. Certainly every university library should have a copy on its shelves. Mike Dworetsky, Physics World, July 1999
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