Read e-book online A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, PDF

By Alexander Jones

ISBN-10: 019973934X

ISBN-13: 9780199739349

From the useless Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta military, historical artifacts have lengthy involved the fashionable global. even if, the significance of a few discoveries isn't really consistently instantly understood. This was once the case in 1901 whilst sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck on the backside of the Mediterranean Sea close to the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers understand that they had stumbled on the oldest identified analog machine on this planet, an surprising machine that when simulated the motions of the celebs and planets as they have been understood via historic Greek astronomers. Its continues to be now include eighty two fragments, a lot of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek phrases, that scientists and students have pieced again jointly via painstaking inspection and deduction, aided via radiographic instruments and floor imaging. greater than a century after its discovery, some of the secrets and techniques locked during this mysterious equipment can now be published.

In addition to chronicling the not going discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, writer Alexander Jones takes readers via a dialogue of the way the equipment labored, how and for what function it was once created, and why it used to be on a boat that wrecked off the Greek coast round 60 BC. What the Mechanism has exposed approximately Greco-Roman astronomy and clinical know-how, and their position in Greek society, is actually outstanding. The mechanical information that it embodied used to be extra complicated than something the Greeks have been formerly inspiration in a position to, however the most up-to-date learn has published that its monitors have been designed in order that an informed layman may perhaps comprehend the habit of astronomical phenomena, and the way intertwined they have been with one's common and social atmosphere. It used to be without delay a masterpiece of equipment in addition to one of many first transportable educating units. Written via a world-renowned professional at the Mechanism, A moveable Cosmos will fascinate all readers attracted to historic heritage, archaeology, and the historical past of science.

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Additional info for A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World

Sample text

Rehm reasoned that a ring inscribed with the months and days of the Egyptian calendar in this reformed version would be a way of indirectly tracking the Sun’s motion through the zodiac. By inference, the Mechanism must have had a revolving marker, driven by the gearwork, to represent the Sun’s motion. But there were also clues that the Mechanism had something to do with the planets and the Moon. From the outset it had been recognized that the first letters of the Greek name of the planet Venus, Aphrodite, were legible on the Fragment B inscription.

But there were also clues that the Mechanism had something to do with the planets and the Moon. From the outset it had been recognized that the first letters of the Greek name of the planet Venus, Aphrodite, were legible on the Fragment B inscription. Now Rehm identified two numerals on the Fragment 19 inscription recently published by Valerios Stais that were intimately connected with the Moon and lunar calendars. Unaware that he had briefly been anticipated in this by Svoronos, Rehm guessed that the concentric rings in 28 28 A Portable Cosmos Fragment B represented the orbits of the Sun, Moon, and planets around the Earth, and that a system of gears driven by a crank made each ring turn at a rate proportional to each heavenly body’s period of revolution around the zodiac.

70). Shortly after Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire in 30 BC, the rules of the calendar were changed to add a leap day after every four years, in imitation of Julius Caesar’s then-​recent reform of the Roman calendar. Rehm reasoned that a ring inscribed with the months and days of the Egyptian calendar in this reformed version would be a way of indirectly tracking the Sun’s motion through the zodiac. By inference, the Mechanism must have had a revolving marker, driven by the gearwork, to represent the Sun’s motion.

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A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World by Alexander Jones


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