Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus

Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus

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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 theq Maragha Schoolq (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 qNotes on Copernicus. q 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 qNotes. q His acceptance of my proposal initiated the present publication.And indeed, Censorinus says that in his reference year Thoth 1 of Nabonassar 986 and Philip 562 was on VII Kal. ... Counting back from A.D. 238 Jan 1, he can find the epoch of Caesara#39;s Calendar Reform D. and the julian Era of Augustus F., D. 238 Jan 1 ... If it is assumed that Olympiad 1014, i.e. 254 II, begins on Jul 1, 238, then computing as before, A. 238 Jul 1 a€“ 10131 = -775 Jul 1 = 1 Jan 1 a€“ 776, 13aquot;, anbsp;...

Title:Mathematical Astronomy in Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus
Author: N.M. Swerdlow, O. Neugebauer
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2012-12-06

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