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A Caltech Library Repository Feedhttp://www.rssboard.org/rss-specificationpython-feedgenenThu, 30 Nov 2023 20:10:57 +0000Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus's De Revolutionibus
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-155521667
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.; Neugebauer, O.
Year: 1984
DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4613-8262-1
When I first laid out the framework for A History of Ancient Mathe matical Astronomy, I intended to carry the discussion down to the last applications of Greek astronomical methodology, i. e. Copernicus, Brahe, and Kepler. But as the work proceeded, it became evident that this plan was much too ambitious, and so I decided to terminate my History with late antiquity, well before Islam. Nevertheless, I did not discard the running commentary that I had prepared when studying De revolutionibus in its relation to the methodology of the Almagest. Only recently, E. S. Kennedy and his collaborators had opened access to the" Maragha School" (mainly Ibn ash-Shalir), revealing close parallels to Copernicus's procedures. Accordingly, it seemed useful to make available a modern analysis of De revolutionibus, and thus in 1975 I prepared for publication "Notes on Copernicus. " In the meantime, however, Noel Swerdlow, also starting from Greek astronomy, not only extended his work into a deep analysis of De revolu tionibus, but also systematically investigated its sources and predecessors (Peurbach, Regiomontanus, etc. ). I was aware of these studies through his publications as well as from numerous conversations on the subject at The Institute for Advanced Study and at Brown University. It became clear to me that my own investigations lay at too superficial a level, and I therefore withdrew my manuscript and suggested to Swerdlow that he undertake a thoroughgoing revision and amplification of my "Notes. " His acceptance of my proposal initiated the present publication.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/e15dv-6vv10Acronychal Risings in Babylonian Planetary Theory
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-154718723
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 1999
DOI: 10.1007/s004070050033
The Astronomical Diaries (ADT), and a fewknowncollections for individual planets, contain observations of five synodic phenomena of superior planets: heliacal rising (Γ), first station (Φ), acronychal rising (Θ), second station (ψ), and heliacal setting (Ω). A date is given for each, in the case of Γ often both an observed date and a 'true' or 'ideal' date on which the rising is considered to have occurred even if it was not observed, as due to clouds, found by a measurement of the interval in degrees of time between the rising of the planet and the rising of the sun. However, location is recorded differently for each class of phenomena. Heliacal risings and settings, Γ and Ω, are located by zodiacal sign, or by beginning or end of zodiacal sign. In some cases Γ contains a measured distance from a nearby 'normal' (standard) star or planet, for conjunctions of planets with stars or with each other were considered ominous. But it does not appear that measurements of distances from stars at Γ were used to establish location more precisely than by zodiacal sign, and distances from planets cannot be used to establish location. First and second stations, Φ and ψ, usually contain a measured distance from a normal star, presumably to determine when the planet was stationary, but sometimes only a location by zodiacal
sign. Acronychal rising Θ contains no location at all. It could have been assumed that the planet was in the zodiacal sign opposite the sun, but no location for the sun is given in the Diaries. (It is curious that acronychal risings were observed at all since there are no omens associated with them. Yet an acronychal rising of Jupiter appears already in the second earliest known Diary, ADT -567, and one may wonder why.) Sometimes observations contain the remark 'not observed' (nu pap), which presumably indicates an inference of the date and location from nearby preceding or following observations.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/y32cx-48e16Ptolemy's Theories of the Latitude of the Planets in the Almagest, Handy Tables, and Planetary Hypotheses
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-145510428
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2005
DOI: 10.1007/1-4020-3048-7_3
The theory of planetary latitude in Book 13 of the Almagest is known, if at all, for its complexity. This has the pleasant result that there is only a small literature on it and that literature is on a high level of technical competence. The same, by the way, is true of latitude theory in general. There are recent expositions by Pedersen and Neugebauer, earlier ones by Delambre and Herz, and a few briefer treatments.
Paradoxically, the complexity of Ptolemy's theory is both its strength and its weakness, its strength because he reached it by doing everything right, at least in principle, its weakness because it is ultimately wrong, as was later recognized by Ptolemy himself, who went on to remedy its deficiencies. It is, as we may say, wrong for the right reasons. And since being wrong for the right reasons is more or less the subject of this collection – for is not most interesting older science wrong for the right reasons? – Ptolemy's latitude theory seems quite appropriate. Our object here is to explain the latitude theory, first its original form in the Almagest, then its later modifications in the Handy Tables and Planetary Hypotheses, each of which shows improvements, and to investigate its observational foundation, for it is the observations that are the cause of both its strength and its weakness. It is unusual to find any revisions in the work of an ancient scientist, but in the case of Ptolemy's latitude theory three distinct stages are known, which may be unique, showing that he himself knew something was wrong and twice set out to correct it.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/3wc96-fry13The Lunar Theories of Tycho Brahe and Christian Longomontanus in the Progymnasmata and Astronomia Danica
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20090424-134437639
Authors: Swerdlow, N.M.
Year: 2009
DOI: 10.1080/00033790802364429
Tycho Brahe's lunar theory, mostly the work of his assistant Christian Longomontanus, published in the Progymnasmata (1602), was the most advanced and accurate lunar theory yet developed. Its principal innovations are: the introduction of equant motion for the first inequality in order to separate the determination of direction and distance; a more accurate limit for the second inequality although requiring a more complex calculation; additional inequalities of the variation and, in place of the annual inequality in Tycho's earlier theory, a reduction in the equation of time; in the latitude theory a variation of the inclination of the orbital plane and an inequality of the motion of the nodes; a reduction in the range of variation of distance,
parallax, and apparent diameter. Some of these were already present in Tycho's earlier lunar theory (1599), but all were changed in notable ways. Twenty years later Longomontanus published a modified version of the lunar theory in Astronomia Danica (1622), for the purpose of facilitating the calculation through new correction tables, and also explained his reasons for parts of the theory in the Progymnasmata. This paper is a technical study of both lunar theories.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/anzsj-kgz73[Introduction to] Ptolemy in Perspective : Use and Criticism of his Work from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101214-134835604
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2010
DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2788-7
No abstract.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/ey6tf-1sc26Tycho, Longomontanus, and Kepler on Ptolemy's Solar Observations and Theory, Precession of the Equinoxes, and Obliquity of the Ecliptic
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20101216-074820156
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2010
DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-2788-7
No abstract.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/3h8at-z9q39Urania Propitia, Tabulae Rudophinae faciles redditae a Maria Cunitia Beneficent Urania, the Adaptation of the Rudolphine Tables by Maria Cunitz
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200203-141028459
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2011
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-2627-7_7
Maria Cunitz's Beneficent Urania, published in 1650, has the distinction of being the earliest surviving scientific work by a woman on the highest technical level of its age, for its purpose was to provide solutions to difficulties in the most advanced science of the age, the mathematical astronomy of Kepler's Rudolphine Tables. Her work is at once original and the product of a long history. In 1577 Tycho Brahe began his program of observations while constructing the Castle of Uraniborg on the island of Hven in the Danish Sound, granted him by King Frederick II, with the object of a complete reform of astronomy, to produce new and accurate tables of the motions of the sun, moon, and planets, which he had envisioned years earlier. The observations, by Tycho and his many assistants, with the finest and largest new instruments, exceeding all previous observations in quality and quantity, many, many thousands, continued through twenty years on Hven, two years of travel through Germany, and, after Tycho entered the service of Rudolph II in 1599, at Prague and the estate of Benatky granted him by the Emperor.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/3bq76-jhg86Babylonian Astronomy and Celestial Divination
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130411-100603903
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2013
The study of Babylonian astronomy and celestial divination has a history that now
extends over 140 years. It began with the publication by Henry Rawlinson and George
Smith of Cuneiform inscriptions of Western Asia, iii (1870), Plates LI-LXIV, of which
LXIII, "Table of the movements of the planet VENUS and their influences", is none
other than the Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa. A number of these texts, including the
Venus Tablet, were soon translated by Archibald Henry Sayee in The astronomy
and astrology of the Babylonians (1874), and a method of dating the Venus Tablet
by dates of visibility phenomena in lunar months was described by Sayee and R.
H. M. Bosanquet in "The Venus Tablet" (1880). The next year J. Strassmaier and J.
Epping published "Zur Entzifferung der astronomischen Tafeln der Chaldaer" ( 1881 ),
containing descriptions of the various classes of texts and a decipherment of two
columns of a lunar ephemeris (ACT 122, K-L), followed by Astronomisches aus Babylon (1889) and further papers (1890-95), with analyses of texts of mathematical
and observational astronomy. These were followed by the first comprehensive
studies by F. X. Kugler in Die Babylonische Mondrechnung (1900) and Sternkunde
und Sterndienst in Babel (1907-35). During this period, there was also publication
of texts of celestial divination, including C. Virolleaud's edition of the omen series
Enuma Anu Enlil (1905-12) and the first of the many publications of E. Weidner.
O. Neugebauer's Astronomical cuneiform texts (ACT, 1955) extended and greatly
enlarged Kugler's work on mathematical astronomy through the publication of all
known ephemerides, as the tabular mathematical texts are known, and procedure
texts, rules for computation, with restoration of missing sections and systematic
analysis of the methods of computation. And the same year A. Sach's Late Babylonian
astronomical and related texts (LBAT, 1955) published copies of virtually all
texts then known of mathematical and observational astronomy. These latter two
publications have formed the foundation of research in these subjects ever since,
most notably Neugebauer's analysis of the mathematical astronomy in A history of
ancient mathematical astronomy (HAMA, 1975).https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/z51v1-1as70Copernicus's Derivation of the Heliocentric Theory from Regiomontanus's Eccentric Models of the Second Inequality of the Superior and Inferior Planets
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170407-082859243
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0021828617691203
A page of notes in Copernicus's hand shows the origin of the numerical parameters in the Commentariolus from the Alfonsine Tables and provides evidence for the derivation of the heliocentric theory from Regiomontanus's description of eccentric models of the second inequality for superior and inferior planets in the Epitome of the Almagest. This is an explanation of the derivations of the parameters and of the heliocentric theory followed by comments on Professor Jamil Ragep's criticisms and his own derivation of the heliocentric theory directly from the planetary models of Ibn ash-Shāṭir.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/j3re7-6q395Early Responses to Copernicus: An Essential Edition [Book Review]
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170608-114555678
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0021828617706803
The Nicolaus Copernicus Gesamtausgabe, which in 1974 published its first volume, a facsimile of Copernicus' autograph manuscript of De revolutionibus, is by far the largest and most comprehensive of all editions of Copernicus' works and sources related to Copernicus. The present volume of texts for the reception of Copernican theory, in two parts, is among the most important. A few of the texts have appeared in editions in the twentieth century, a few in the nineteenth century, some only in original printings in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and some are only in manuscript, edited here for the first time. It is a reasonable guess that few of these texts will ever be edited again, so what is published here will remain the standard editions for the foreseeable future. There is a thorough recording of variants from earlier editions; introductions describing sources, previous publication, and context of the texts; a certain amount of annotation; and German translations of the Latin texts. What follows is a brief review of the contents.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/mhje8-a5z80The Light of the World: Astronomy in al-Andalus [Book Review]
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20170914-100909545
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2017
DOI: 10.1177/0021828617721625
Joseph Ibn Nahmias was a member of a distinguished and learned Spanish Jewish family, who lived in the late fourteenth-early fifteenth century; his one known work is dated to about 1400. This work, The Light of the World, has been edited and translated with a detailed technical commentary by Robert G. Morrison. It appears in two forms, each surviving in a single manuscript, the original Judeo-Arabic, a dialect of Arabic written in Hebrew letters, and a Hebrew translation. The two versions are here edited, the
Judeo-Arabic translated completely, passages of the Hebrew that differ are translated, and both receive explanatory commentaries. The translations contain redrawn figures
from the manuscripts, in which spheres are projected as plane circles, and the commentaries contain spherical figures, some very detailed, showing the circles and spheres in perspective and many additional details for analysis and computation. All of this is a considerable accomplishment because The Light of the World is extremely complex and in places very difficult to understand. Morrison has carried out an outstanding and exceedingly demanding undertaking for which we all must be grateful.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/zk52h-d7e48Almagest in the Manner of Euclid [Book Review]
https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20210318-141855630
Authors: Swerdlow, N. M.
Year: 2021
DOI: 10.1177/0021828620977214
Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus (PAL) is among the most ambitious and important projects
in the study of the history of science. The works of Ptolemy in the applied mathematical
sciences were the foundation of astronomy, astrology, optics, harmonics, and cartography
in the Mediterranean, Near East, and Europe for 1,500 years, until the early 17th
century. The number of works in these subjects, whether commentaries or original, principally
in Greek, Arabic, and Latin, based directly or indirectly upon Ptolemy is beyond
counting, and it is the intention of Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus to publish editions,
translations, studies, and facsimiles of manuscripts and early editions of these works, a
project that is without limits. A great deal of bibliography is already on line in the PAL
website in the form of listings and descriptions of manuscripts and editions, in some
cases with facsimiles and transcriptions that provide scholars with access to works that
have previously been available only in libraries holding the manuscripts and early editions,
and the quality of the resolution and enlargement of the facsimiles makes them
superior to studying the originals.https://authors.library.caltech.edu/records/c7vw6-13s34