Euclid's Phaenomena: A Translation and Study of a Hellenistic Treatise in Spherical Astronomy

1st Edition

J. L. Berggren, R. S. D. Thomas

Routledge
Published June 5, 2019
Reference - 132 Pages
ISBN 9780367109790 - CAT# K406902
Series: Routledge Revivals

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Summary

Originally published in 1996, this book contains a translation and study of Euclid's Phaenomena, a work which once formed part of the mathematical training of astronomers from Central Asia to Western Europe. Included is an introduction that sets Euclid's geometry of the celestial sphere, and its application to the astronomy of his day, into its historical context for readers not already familiar with it. So no knowledge of astronomy or advanced mathematics is necessary for an understanding of the work. The book shows mathematical astronomy shortly before the invention of trigonometry, which allowed the calculation of exact results and the subsequent composition of Ptolemy's Almagest.

This work and the (roughly) contemporaneous treatises of Autolycus and Aristarchos form a corpus of the oldest extant works on mathematical astronomy. Together with Euclid's Optics one has the beginnings of the history of science as an application of mathematics.

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