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Look Inside Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World

Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World
Parapegmata and Related Texts in Classical and Near-Eastern Societies


  • Date Published: July 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107404779

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About the Authors
  • The focus of this book is the interplay between ancient astronomy, meteorology, physics and calendrics. It looks at a set of popular instruments and texts (parapegmata) used in antiquity for astronomical weather prediction and the regulation of day-to-day life. Farmers, doctors, sailors and others needed to know when the heavens were conducive to various activities, and they developed a set of fairly sophisticated tools and texts for tracking temporal, astronomical and weather cycles. Sources are presented in full, with an accompanying translation. A comprehensive analysis explores questions such as: What methodologies were used in developing the science of astrometeorology? What kinds of instruments were employed and how did these change over time? How was the material collected and passed on? How did practices and theories differ in the different cultural contexts of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome?

    • Contains the first ever complete catalogue, text, and translation of the source material
    • First comprehensive analysis of parapegmata and related texts for more than half a century
    • Written to be accessible to a wide range of non-specialists
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is the first monograph on parapegmata in some time and the most comprehensive to date. … Lehoux has provided [an] exhaustive study … with an engaging discussion of the historical and intellectual implications of these sources. This work will be essential for anyone working on ancient astronomy, calendrics or related areas.' Journal of the History of Astronomy

    '… engagingly written, with occasional comparisons to varieties of popular weather forecasting in twentieth-century rural Canada … This book will deservedly become the fundamental source for its subject.' Metascience

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107404779
    • length: 582 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.92kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Parapegmata and Astrometeorology:
    1. The rain in Attica falls mainly under Sagitta
    2. Spelt and Spica
    3. De signis
    4. When is thirty days not a month?
    5. Calendars, weather, and stars in Babylon
    6. Egyptian astrometeorology
    7. Conclusion
    Part II. Sources: Catalogue of extant parapegmata
    Extant parapegmata
    Appendix 1. Authorities cited in parapegmata
    Appendix 2. Tables of correspondence of parapegmata.

  • Author

    Daryn Lehoux, University of Manchester

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