Egypt is where astronomy is known to have begun in the Mediterranean Basin. Dr. Alexander Jones, Leon Levy Director & Professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity, New York University, joins the show to explore what scholars know about the previous astronomy practices in Hellenistic & Roman Egypt.
Some topics explored
- What ancient astronomy is
- The interaction between ancient astronomy and astrology
- Why astronomy was practiced in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt
- Where some of the practices of astronomy
- The practice of astronomy in temples in Egypt
- How scholars know about how astronomy (written materials, inscription, and objects)
- Traditional Egyptian religion
- The degree to which equipment was used in this period
- Sun dials and their purposes
- Claudius Ptolemy (100-69 or 70 CE) and his role and influence on ancient astronomy
- Ptolemy’s definition of astrology, his practice of cartography, and his invention of digitizing images
- How the practice of astronomy in this period influenced future astronomical practices including Islamic and Medieval astronomy
Listen to the episode
The episode is available on major podcast apps: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.
- Professor Jones is author many publications including the monograph A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, 2017)
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