2000 Year Old Astronomical Computer has Scientists Perplexed

17 years 2 months ago #36839 by jhoare
Aha! You've fallen into the trap. The barbarians weren't always north of the Alps. Northern Italy, for instance, was populated by Gauls until the Romans conquered it. That's where they perfected the legions' pre-Marian tactics.


Better that old people should die of talk than to have young people die in war.

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17 years 2 months ago #36858 by jfa15ie
The northern Italians were Celts. After their defeat by Marius, over a period of time they either adopted/submitted to many Roman customs. The region even became known as Gallia Togata i.e. Toga Wearing Gaul.

One of the things the Celts could have taught the whole of the mediterranean region was fairness in the treatment of women. The family structure of the whole mediterranean region was patriarchal in the extreme. In ancient Athens for instance, an unaccompanied woman, even a married woman, would more or less have the status of a prostitute, and this at a time when democracy was taking root. This mindset persists today in much of the Islamic world. In contrast, Celtic societies often awarded high status to women.With the Brehon Laws, women were independent property owners, even after marriage. Divorce could be intitiated by women as well as men.

There's no doubt the "Barbarians" get a bad press, the victors writing the history; it's like hearing about a fight between two lads, but only from the winner of the scrap. That is not to take away from the immense heritage we derive from Greece and Rome. How much greater that would be if the library at Alexandria had not burned.

I've been reading about Eudoxus of Cnidus (c. 400-347 B.C.), and his theoretical derivation of an analemma. It is great to see Anthony's photographs of this amazing natural phenomenon. I'm sure if Eudoxus is looking down on us, he must be jealous of the technology we have today, and it's ability to reveal to all, not just those trained in mathematics and geometry, the hidden beauty of nature. Terrible to think of how much more of this great heritage was destroyed at Alexandria.


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  • michaeloconnell
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17 years 2 months ago #36870 by michaeloconnell
Notice by moderator:
Lets try and keep the thread on topic please people. The history of literature and the people of Dalkey can be left to another time and place.



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17 years 2 months ago #36907 by dave_lillis

An amazing piece of engineering, how could something like it have been made and lost, there must have been more the one of them !

It was lost because it was on a ship that sunk

You didnt think thats what I was asking that :lol: :lol:
What I meant was, how could such a high end piece fo equipment not have been known about, I think susequent posts answered this.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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17 years 3 weeks ago #40181 by Diane ODonovan
Replied by Diane ODonovan on topic re Palimpsets
We should be grateful that the monks placed such a high value on making books, and on saving parchment.

Thanks to them, we have our only remaining copies of many ancient works as palimpsets - whose text we can recover because most inks were iron-based.

. How much better that monastic policy of doubling-up than the policy of the modern librarian, who treats academic works as if they were newspapers, and chucks them if they are not borrowed within 12 months.

Perhaps we can invent a way to make printed books palimpsets too?

".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"

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