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Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena: A Translation and Study of a Hellenistic Survey of Astronomy

By: James Evans, J Lennart Berggren and Geminos

346 pages, 9 halftones, 38 line illus, 23 tables

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Nov 2006 | #163798 | ISBN: 069112339X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 3 days Details
NHBS Price: £43.95 $55/€51 approx

About this book

This is the first complete English translation of Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena--one of the most important and interesting astronomical works of its type to have survived from Greek antiquity. Gracefully and charmingly written, Geminos's first-century BC textbook for beginning students of astronomy can now be read straight through with understanding and enjoyment by a wider audience than ever before. James Evans and Lennart Berggren's accurate and readable translation is accompanied by a thorough introduction and commentary that set Geminos's work in its historical, scientific, and philosophical context. 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.

Geminos provides a clear view of Greek astronomy in the period between Hipparchos and Ptolemy, treating such subjects as the zodiac, the constellations, the theory of the celestial sphere, lunar cycles, and eclipses. Most significantly, Geminos gives us the earliest detailed discussion of Babylonian astronomy by a Greek writer, thus offering valuable insight into the cross-cultural transmission of astronomical knowledge in antiquity.

Evans and Berggren's book is an excellent translation and welcome commentary on Geminos's texts. The translation of the Introduction to the Phenomena is a much-needed resource for the study of Hellenistic astronomy, and the introduction, commentary, and appendices the authors provide make the book a useful educational tool accessible to even the most elementary student of the history of astronomy. -- Jacqueline Feke Bryn Mawr Classical Review On Geminos, nothing is known. But his text, now available in its entirety in English, thanks to Evans and Berggren, is a critical work for scholars of the history of astronomy and classical studies. Choice


List of Illustrations ix List of Tables xiii Preface xv INTRODUCTION 1 1. Significance of Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena 2 2. Geminos's Other Works 3 3. On "The Phenomena" in Greek Astronomy 4 4. The Greek Genre of Astronomical Surveys 8 5. Geminos's Sources for His Introduction 12 6. Geminos's Country and Date 15 7. Geminos and the Stoics 23 8. Geminos on Astronomical Instruments and Models 27 9. Geminos on Mathematical Genres 43 10. Reality and Representation in Greek Astronomy 49 11. Heliacal Risings and Settings 58 12. Astronomical Applications of Arithmetic Progressions 73 13. Lunar and Lunisolar Cycles 82 14. On the Text and Translation 101 Introduction to the Phenomena: TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY I. On the Circle of the Signs 113 II. Aspects of the Zodiacal Signs 125 III. On the Constellations 137 Geminos's Stars and Constellations: A Supplement to Chapter III 140 IV. On the Axis and the Poles 146 V. The Circles on the Sphere 149 VI. On Day and Night 161 VII. On the Risings of the 12 Signs 169 VIII. On Months 175 IX. On Phases of the Moon 186 X. On the Eclipse of the Sun 189 XI. On the Eclipse of the Moon 191 XII. That the Planets Make the Movement Opposite to That of the Cosmos 195 XIII. On Risings and Settings 200 XIV. On the Paths of the Fixed Stars 205 XV. Concerning the Zones on Earth 208 XVI. On Geographical Regions 210 XVII. On Weather Signs from the Stars 217 XVIII. On the Exeligmos 227 Parapegma 231 FRAGMENTS 1 AND 2, FROM GEMINOS'S OTHER WORKS Fragment 1. From Geminos's Philokalia: Geminos on the Classification of the Mathematical Sciences 243 Fragment 2. From Geminos's Concise Exposition of the Meteorology of Poseidonios: Geminos on the Relation of Astronomy to Physics 250 REFERENCE MATERIALS Appendix 1. Textual Notes to Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena 257 Appendix 2. The Geminos Parapegma 275 Appendix 3. Glossary of Technical Terms in Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena 291 Appendix 4. Index of Persons Mentioned by Geminos 301 Bibliography 303 Index 317

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James Evans is codirector of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Puget Sound. J. Lennart Berggren is Professor of Mathematics at Simon Fraser University.

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