Download A Survey of the Almagest: With Annotation and New Commentary by Olaf Pedersen PDF

By Olaf Pedersen

ISBN-10: 0387848258

ISBN-13: 9780387848259

The Almagest, by way of the Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy, is an important surviving treatise on early mathematical astronomy, supplying historians invaluable perception into the astronomy and arithmetic of the traditional world.

Pedersen's 1974 book, A Survey of the Almagest, is the newest in an extended culture of partners to the Almagest. half paraphrase and half observation, Pedersen's paintings has earned the common compliment of historians and serves because the definitive introductory textual content for college students attracted to learning the Almagest.

during this revised version, Alexander Jones, a uncommon authority at the background of early astronomy, presents supplementary details and statement to the unique textual content to account for scholarship that has seemed for the reason that 1974. This revision additionally comprises numerous corrections to Pedersen's unique textual content which have been pointed out seeing that its publication.

This quantity is meant to supply scholars of the historical past of astronomy with a self-contained advent to the Almagest, aiding them to appreciate and have fun with Ptolemy's nice and classical paintings.

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Initially released in 1903. This quantity from the Cornell college Library's print collections was once scanned on an APT BookScan and switched over to JPG 2000 layout by way of Kirtas applied sciences. All titles scanned conceal to hide and pages may possibly contain marks, notations and different marginalia found in the unique quantity.

Additional resources for A Survey of the Almagest: With Annotation and New Commentary by Alexander Jones (Sources and Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences)

Sample text

Here Theon (ed. Rome, p. 473) gives a general rule which reads as follows, in I. Thomas's translation (Thomas, i, 61): If we seek the square root ofany number, we take first the side of the nearest square number, double it, divide the product into the remainder reduced to minutes,and subtract the square of the quotient; proceeding in this way we reduce the remainder to seconds, divide it by twice the quotient in degrees and minutes, and we shall have the required approximation to the side of the square area.

Now the Earth is extremely small compared with the celestial spheres. This means that it is subjected to an immense pressure by the ether molecules. surround the Earth evenly on all sides, the pressure will act uniformly everywhere on the Earth, and keep it in place at the centre, the pressure at one point of the surface being equal and opposite to that at the opposite point. The argument is not quite clear, since Ptolemy on the one hand operates with the notion of ethereal molecules exerting a pressure towards the centre, while on the other hand he acknowledges that incorruptible matter has a natural, circular motion around the c~ntre.

Furthermore, this curvature makes the Earth a convex body. e. hollow, the stars would rise earlier for a Western observer than for an Eastern. 1). Fig. 2). 37 s Fig. 2 Furthermore, travelling North we observe how stars gradually disappear forever from the Southern sky, at the same time as more and more stars become circumpolar in the Northern. 3). Fig. 3 The result is that the Earth must have a double curvature. Finally, Ptolemy draws attention to the well known experience that an observer on board a ship approaching the coast will see first the top of the mountains, then gradually more and more.

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