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Alexander Jones (ISAW): The Sundial in Greco-Roman Science, Life, and Art

October 17, 2013 - 5:00pm
Building 110, Room 112

Free & open to public

Join us at 5:00pm for light refreshments.

Sundials were the most widely produced and seen artifacts of astronomy in the Greco-Roman world. As well as serving the practical purpose of telling the hour of day and the season of the year, a sundial had a didactic and symbolic function as an image of the cosmos as a sphere in motion.

Alexander Jones professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity at New York University.  He is a classicist and historian of science, whose work centers on the history and transmission of the mathematical sciences, especially astronomy, in antiquity.  He is the author of several editions of Greek scientific texts, among them Pappus of Alexandria's commentary on the corpus of Hellenistic geometrical treatises known as the "Treasury of Analysis"; an anonymous Byzantine astronomical handbook based on Islamic sources; and a collection of about two hundred fragmentary astronomical texts, tables, and horoscopes from the papyri excavated a century ago by Grenfell and Hunt at Oxyrhynchus. His current research interests include the contacts between Babylonian and Greco-Roman astronomy and astrology, the Antikythera Mechanism and other artifacts of Hellenistic astronomy, and the scientific work of Claudius Ptolemy.

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Co-sponsored by the Program in History and Philosophy of Science and Science in the Making: Integrated Learning Environment (SIMILE) and Stanford Department of Classics