Historical & Cultural Astronomy

Astronomy in the Ancient World

Early and Modern Views on Celestial Events

Authors: McLeod, Alexus

  • Fills a gap in the market on the development of non-Western astronomy, highlighting ancient Chinese and Indian astronomy and their effects on culture
  • Compares ancient and contemporary astronomy, using as examples their thoughts on the same astronomical events
  • Written at a non-technical level so as to appeal to readers who may not have an academic background in the subject
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eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-23600-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-23599-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Alexus McLeod explores every aspect of the lesser-known history of astronomy in the Americas (Mesoamerica and North America), China and India, each through the frame of a particular astronomical phenomena. Part One considers the development of astronomy in the Americas as a response, in part, to the Supernova of 1054, which may have led to a cultural renaissance in astronomy. He then goes on to explore the contemporary understanding of supernovae, contrasting it with that of the ancient Americas. Part Two is framed through the appearances of great comets, which had major divinatory significance in early China. The author discusses the advancement of observational astronomy in China, its influence on politics and its role in the survival or failure of empires. Furthermore, the contemporary understanding of comets is also discussed for comparison. Part Three, on India, considers the magnificent observatories of the Rajput king Jai Singh II, and the question of their purpose. The origins of Indian astronomy are examined in Vedic thought and its development is followed through the period of Jai Singh, including the role played by solar eclipses. The author also includes a modern explanation of our understanding of eclipses to date. In the final section of the book, McLeod discusses how ancient traditions might help modern civilization better understand Earth’s place in the cosmos.

About the authors

Alexus McLeod is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. His academic areas of specialization are ancient Chinese and comparative philosophy, and he also writes on the history of astronomy and intellectual history more broadly. He is the author of Understanding Asian Philosophy: Ethics in the Analects, Zhuangzi, Dhammapada, and Bhagavad Gita (Bloomsbury, 2014), and The Concept of Truth in Chinese Philosophy: A Comparative Approach (Rowman and Littlefield International, forthcoming). He has published a number of academic articles on Chinese, Indian, and Mesoamerican thought. He has been involved in amateur astronomy since youth, and is a member of the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society. He is engaged in public outreach and education in the history and philosophy of astronomy, and has presented on ancient astronomy to large audiences at a number of museums and organizations nationwide.

Reviews

“This is a typical book that I like because the author, Alexus McLeod … focuses on lesser-known astronomical aspects and their effects on culture. … It is a good opportunity to take a trip back in time looking at astronomy with eyes of distant cultures.” (Gabriella Bernardi, Astrocom et al., astrocometal.blogspot.de, December, 2016)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-23600-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
valid through November 5, 2017
  • ISBN 978-3-319-23599-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Astronomy in the Ancient World
Book Subtitle
Early and Modern Views on Celestial Events
Authors
Series Title
Historical & Cultural Astronomy
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-23600-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-23600-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-23599-8
Series ISSN
2509-310X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 234
Number of Illustrations and Tables
7 b/w illustrations, 34 illustrations in colour
Topics