Euclid's Phaenomena: A Translation and Study of a Hellenistic Treatise in Spherical Astronomy

This book contains the English translation of Euclid's Phaenomena, one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic exact sciences, which was written in the third century B.C. and which was studied as a major part of the mathematical training of astronomers from the third century B.C. up until the works of N. Kopernik and J. Kepler.
The book is divided into four parts. The first part is an extended introduction describing the history of Euclid's geometry and its applications to astronomy. The authors place Euclid’s work in its historical context for readers who are not familiar with Greek history of thinking and science. The second part contains mathematical and astronomical prerequisites, which are necessary for an understanding of Phaenomena. In the third part, the authors describe the history of the oldest Latin printed translations as well as new translations into the modern languages. They also add remarks concerning their translation (sources of their translation, their difficulties with Greek texts, technical problems with using the brackets, italics and other kind of writing, figures and diagrams). The fourth part contains an English translation of Phaenomena. It begins with the introduction and it contains eighteen propositions set out in a geometric style. The authors add many interesting notes and comments to the Euclid text. At the end of the book, there are English and Greek glossaries of selected technical terms and phrases, a selected bibliography, and an index of names and subjects, all included to help with understanding. The presented English translation could be very useful for historians of science as well as astronomers and mathematicians who are interested in Greek astronomy but who are not able to read the original texts in old Greek.

Reviewer: 
mbec
Book details
Author:  Publisher: 
Published: 
2006
ISBN: 
0-8218-4072-X
Price: 
USD 29
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