Get 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, historic artifacts have lengthy involved the trendy global. notwithstanding, the significance of a few discoveries isn't regularly instantly understood. This used to be 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 recognize they'd stumbled on the oldest identified analog machine on this planet, an remarkable machine that when simulated the motions of the celebs and planets as they have been understood by way of old Greek astronomers. Its continues to be now encompass eighty two fragments, lots of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek phrases, that scientists and students have pieced again jointly via painstaking inspection and deduction, aided through radiographic instruments and floor imaging. greater than a century after its discovery, the various secrets and techniques locked during this mysterious machine can now be published.

In addition to chronicling the not likely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, writer Alexander Jones takes readers via a dialogue of the way the machine 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 medical know-how, and their position in Greek society, is actually extraordinary. The mechanical knowledge that it embodied was once extra complicated than whatever the Greeks have been formerly suggestion able to, however the latest examine has printed that its screens have been designed in order that an informed layman may possibly comprehend the habit of astronomical phenomena, and the way intertwined they have been with one's common and social atmosphere. It used to be immediately a masterpiece of equipment in addition to one of many first moveable instructing units. Written by way of a world-renowned professional at the Mechanism, A transportable Cosmos will fascinate all readers attracted to old historical past, archaeology, and the historical past of science.

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

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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. No technical description of such a device exists in what survives of ancient Greek and Latin literature, but Rehm was able to point to passages in the Roman statesman and philosopher Cicero’s writing that ascribe mechanized planetaria to Archimedes and to Cicero’s older contemporary, the Stoic philosopher Posidonius (see pp.

Stereographic projection was already being used by the first century BC in the design of the display dials of water-​driven mechanical clocks. We first encounter references to plane astrolabes toward the end of the fourth century AD, and the earliest surviving manual describing one is by the sixth-​century Christian philosopher John Philoponus. No ancient astrolabe survives; the oldest ones known are Islamic and from the ninth century. What considerations led Rediadis to identify the Mechanism as an astrolabe?

Moreover, they were something of a disappointment because their surfaces were mostly eaten away, and it was not long before the archeologists realized that they were not original masterpieces of the Classical period but were late Hellenistic copies and imitations. Gradually the balance of kinds of object recovered shifted more and more toward the smaller or mundane objects—​less fine art, more amphorae and other ceramics, and also pieces of the ancient ship itself. Whereas in February 1901, Stais (paying a visit to the site following the investigation of the alleged mishandling of objects; fig.

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

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