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Computational Astronomy in the Middle Ages. Sets of Astronomical Tables in Latin

Computational Astronomy in the Middle Ages. Sets of Astronomical Tables in Latin
Computational Astronomy in the Middle Ages. Sets of Astronomical Tables in Latin

José Chabás Bergón

Affiliation: Not available

Biography: José Chabás (PhD in Physics, Universitat de Barcelona) is professor emeritus at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. He worked for 15 years as head of unit of scientific and technical translation into Spanish at the European Commission (EU, Brussels), the International Atomic Energy Agency (UN, Vienna), and the Food and Agricultural Organization (UN, Rome). Since 1985, his main field of research has been the history of astronomy in the late Middle Ages and early modern times. He has published extensively on astronomical tables compiled or used during that period, analyzing the astronomical works of Latin and vernacular authors in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. He has published several volumes on developments in astronomy during that period, including some in collaboration with Bernard R. Goldstein (University of Pittsburgh), The Alfonsine tables of Toledo (Kluwer, 2003) and A survey of astronomical tables in the late Middle Ages (Brill, 2012). Currently he is actively involved in the European project, Alfonsine Astronomy (ALFA), 2017-2022, funded by the European Research Council (EU, Brussels).

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José Chabás Bergón

About the authors 

Publication year: 2019

Language: English

Subjects: History of Science

Collection: Estudios sobre la Ciencia


This monograph is devoted to an analysis of the major sets of tables in Latin used by astronomers in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, revealing the connections between them, and exploring the transmission of astronomical knowledge. We present in chronological order, as far as possible, these sets of tables, arranged in four parts. Part I examines the background for the work of Andalusian table-makers, and includes a brief survey of the tables compiled by Ptolemy and those in the zijes of al-Khwārizmī and al-Battānī, for these sets had a major influence on medieval western astronomers. Part II deals mainly with the two principal astronomical traditions developed in al-Andalus and subsequently in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, with special focus on the Toledan Tables. In Part III the emphasis is on the Castilian Alfonsine Tables developed in Toledo in the second half of the thirteenth century and later recast by several astronomers, mainly in Paris, to become what is called the Parisian Alfonsine Tables. Part IV presents later collections of astronomical tables, mostly in the Alfonsine framework, with an emphasis on their user friendliness. This volume may serve as a guide for researchers in identifying sets of tables and it may also serve as a tool to recognize isolated astronomical tables in miscellaneous manuscripts or even those mixed in with other tables. For that purpose, many sets of tables have been examined in more than 350 manuscripts and printed editions. With this volume, the CSIC consolidates a long tradition of publications in the history of medieval astronomy.

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Bibliographic information

Physical Description : 456 p. : 22 cm

ISBN: 978-84-00-10558-7

eISBN: 978-84-00-10559-4

Publication: Madrid : Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2019

Reference CSIC: 13288

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This book was added to our online catalog on Thursday 23 January, 2020.