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Hipparchus

(c. 190—120 bc) Greek astronomer and geographer

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Almagest

Almagest  

An Arabic version of Ptolemy's astronomical treatise; in the Middle Ages (also with lower-case initial) any celebrated treatise on astrology and alchemy. The word comes from Old French, based on ...
Ancient Navigation

Ancient Navigation  

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Navigation in the ancient Mediterranean was accomplished largely without instruments. An abundant archaeological and literary record, especially after 800 b.c.e., reveals no trace of nautical charts, ...
Apollinarius

Apollinarius  

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(RE ‘Apollinaris’ 12),astronomer (fl. ?1st cent. ad). From references in Galen, Vettius Valens, and others, he appears to have been one of the most important figures in Greek astronomy ...
Apollonius of Perga

Apollonius of Perga  

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(c.262 bc–c.190 bc) Greek mathematicianApollonius moved from his birthplace Perga (now in Turkey) to study in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, possibly under pupils of Euclid. Later he taught in ...
Aratus

Aratus  

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Greek poet, c.315 to before 240 bc. Born in Cilicia, he studied at Athens, where he imbibed Stoicism from Zeno (2) and was introduced to Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedon, who invited him to the ...
Aristarchus of Samos

Aristarchus of Samos  

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(c.320 bc–c.250 bc) Greek astronomerLittle is known of the life of Aristarchus, but Archimedes reported that Aristarchus had proposed that, while the Sun and the fixed stars are motionless, the Earth ...
astronomical instruments

astronomical instruments  

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Although the introduction of an astronomical instrument (the gnomon, an upright stick for measuring shadow-lengths) is credited to Anaximander in the 6th cent. bc, reliable information on the form of ...
astronomy

astronomy  

Until 1582, the need for Calendar reform was a significant spur to astronomy. Astronomers' reactions to the publication of the Copernican theory (1543) were at first rather friendly (see Rheticus ...
constellation

constellation  

Any of the 88 areas into which the celestial sphere is divided for the purposes of identifying objects, as adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1922 (see Table 3, Appendix). In 1930 the ...
eclipse

eclipse  

The partial or complete obscuration of one heavenly body by another, as perceived by an observer on one of the bodies. The proper description of an eclipse also refers to the period of time involved.
Eratosthenes

Eratosthenes  

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(c.276–c.194 bc)Greekwriter on many subjects, born in modern Libya. He made the first known calculation of the Earth's circumference that was based on a scientifically sound method. According to ...
Eudoxus of Cnidus

Eudoxus of Cnidus  

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(c.408–c.355 bc)Greek pupil of Plato's, and outstanding geometer and cosmologist. Eudoxus invented a general theory of proportion able to handle incommensurables, also a mathematical theory of the ...
Pappus

Pappus  

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(fl. ad 320), mathematical commentator. The most important of his surviving works is Sunagōgē (Collection), a compilation (probably made after his death) in eight books of eight originally separate ...
precession of the equinoxes

precession of the equinoxes  

The slow westward motion of the equinoxes about the ecliptic as a result of the earth's precessional motion. The equinoxes move round the ecliptic with a period of 25 800 years.
Ptolemaic system

Ptolemaic system  

The ancient Greek geocentric model of the Solar System, as described by Ptolemy. It may be traced back through the work of, for example, Hipparchus, Apollonius, Callippus, and Eudoxus. The Earth is ...
Ptolemy

Ptolemy  

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(2nd century),Greek astronomer and geographer. His teachings had enormous influence on medieval thought, the geocentric view of the cosmos (the Ptolemaic system outlined in his major work Almagest) ...
scholia

scholia  

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Are notes on a text, normally substantial sets of explanatory and critical notes written in the margin or between the lines of manuscripts. Many of them go back to ancient commentaries (which might ...
Taprobane

Taprobane  

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Ancient names for Sri Lanka (Ceylon). Mentioned by Onesicritus, Megasthenes, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus (3), and Ptolemy (4), as a large island south of India, twenty days' sail from the mouth of ...
time-reckoning

time-reckoning  

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Ancient culture knew a range of expedients for dividing the twenty-four hours of the day, for marking the succession of days in the month or year, and for dating important ...
Timocharis

Timocharis  

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(RE 1),astronomer at Alexandria (1), made observations between 295 and 272 bc reported by Ptolemy (4). These record positions of the moon and Venus with respect to fixed stars. ...

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