This is the first complete English translation of Geminos's Introduction to the Phenomena--one of the most important and interesting astronomical works of its type to have survived from Greek antiquity. Gracefully and charmingly written, Geminos's first-century BC textbook for beginning students of astronomy can now be read straight through with understanding and enjoyment by a wider audience than ever before. James Evans and Lennart Berggren's accurate and readable translation is accompanied by a thorough introduction and commentary that set Geminos's work in its historical, scientific, and philosophical context. This book is generously illustrated with diagrams from medieval manuscripts of Geminos's text, as well as drawings and photographs of ancient astronomical instruments. It will be of great interest to students of the history of science, to classicists, and to professional and amateur astronomers who seek to learn more about the origins of their science.
Geminos provides a clear view of Greek astronomy in the period between Hipparchos and Ptolemy, treating such subjects as the zodiac, the constellations, the theory of the celestial sphere, lunar cycles, and eclipses. Most significantly, Geminos gives us the earliest detailed discussion of Babylonian astronomy by a Greek writer, thus offering valuable insight into the cross-cultural transmission of astronomical knowledge in antiquity.
"Evans and Berggren's book is an excellent translation and welcome commentary on Geminos's texts. The translation of the Introduction to the Phenomena is a much-needed resource for the study of Hellenistic astronomy, and the introduction, commentary, and appendices the authors provide make the book a useful educational tool accessible to even the most elementary student of the history of astronomy."--Jacqueline Feke, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"On Geminos, nothing is known. But his text, now available in its entirety in English, thanks to Evans and Berggren, is a critical work for scholars of the history of astronomy and classical studies."--Choice
"The Introduction is an important text that contributes greatly to our understanding of ancient astronomy. . . . Evans and Rerggren have provided valuable discussions and illustrations of the relevant ancient instruments and tools, and the ways in which they were used in the practice of astronomy. . . . Geminos' work is well worth reading, and classicists interested in ancient astronomy will find this book an indispensable resource."--Liba Taub, Classical World
"Evans and Berggren have produced a work that should be on the shelves of all students and scholars interested in the history of early astronomy. Because of the appeal of Geminos's text, this translation will provide a very valuable resource for teaching the history of astronomy and cosmology, as well as early science more generally. The translation is clear, the scholarly apparatus authoritative, and the commentary will serve the needs and interests of a wide range of readers."--Liba Taub, Director & Curator, Whipple Museum, and Reader, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Cambridge University
Table of Contents
Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by J. Lennart Berggren: