By O. Neugebauer

The number of papers assembled the following on numerous subject matters in historic and medieval astronomy was once initially steered via Noel Swerdlow of the college of Chicago. He was once additionally instrumental in creating a choice* which might, in most cases, be at the comparable point as my publication the precise Sciences in Antiquity. it could actually additionally supply a normal history for my extra technical historical past of historical Mathematical Astronomy and for my version of AstronomiĀ­ cal Cuneiform Texts. a number of of those republished articles have been written simply because i needed to place to relaxation well-entrenched ancient myths that could now not face up to shut scrutiny of the resources. Examples are the intended astronomical starting place of the Egyptian calendar (see [9]), the invention of precession by means of the Babylonians [16], and the "simplification" of the Ptolemaic method in Copernicus' De Revolutionibus [40]. In all of my paintings i've got striven to offer as adequately as i'll what the unique resources exhibit (which is frequently very diverse from the got view). therefore, in [32] dialogue of the technical terminology illuminates the that means of an historical passage which has been usually misused to aid glossy theories approximately old heliocentrism; in [33] a nearly remoted example unearths how Greek world-maps quite regarded; and in [43] the Alexandrian Easter computus, held in awe via many historians, is proven from Ethiopic resources to be in accordance with extremely simple procedures.

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Astronomy thus became the only field of ancient science where indisputable certainty could be reached. This feeling of the superiority of mathematical astronomy is best expressed in the following sentences from the introduction to the Almagest: "While the two types of theory could better be called conjecture than certain knowledge-theology because of the total invisibility and remoteness of its object, physics because of the instability and uncertainty of matter-. . mathematics alone.... "2 II.

Pp. , and Schnabel [I], pp. ) are based on unsatisfactory methods. The generally accepted statement that Naburimannu was the founder of the older system of the lunar theory relies on nothing more than the occurrence of this name in one of the latest tablets in a context which is not perfectly clear. 41 This is shown by a tablet for Mercury, to be published in Neugebauer ACT. The interpolation is not simply linear but of a more complicated type known from analogous cases in the lunar theory. 42 For details see Neugebauer [10] and [9] Ā§ 2.

For the planets no similar reason for high accuracy seems to have existed, and it was apparently sufficient merely to compute the approximate dates of phenomena, which, in addition, are frequently very difficult to observe accurately. We cannot emphasize too strongly that the essential point in the above-described methods lies not in the comparatively high accuracy of the results obtained but in their fundamentally new attitude toward the whole problem. , pp. , and Schnabel [I], pp. ) are based on unsatisfactory methods.

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