Ptolemy's Catalogue of the Stars: A Revision of the Almagest

Overview

An excerpt from the Preface:

The examination of the manuscripts made it at once apparent that no preparation whatever had been made for publication. All the collations of manuscripts, notes, tables, and computations, were in very minute, close writing, and much of it in pencil, necessitating the copying out of most portions of the work for study, and in form for printer, involving much labor. Many notes were written in minute German script which have been troublesome and unduly ...

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Overview

An excerpt from the Preface:

The examination of the manuscripts made it at once apparent that no preparation whatever had been made for publication. All the collations of manuscripts, notes, tables, and computations, were in very minute, close writing, and much of it in pencil, necessitating the copying out of most portions of the work for study, and in form for printer, involving much labor. Many notes were written in minute German script which have been troublesome and unduly expensive to translate. Among others are found several chapters from Books III, V, and VII of the Almagest, written in pencil in minute German script, being translations by Dr. Peters from the Greek into German, which have proved very difficult to decipher. No assistance towards the expense involved was obtainable in this country, and it seemed highly improbable that any society would undertake the publication of the work in the complete form which I considered indispensable. What to do under these circumstances has been a source of great anxiety.

On June 6, 1899, I met Professor Simon Newcomb in London, when he at once said he wished to see me about Dr. Peters' manuscripts. We adjourned to my club and discussed the matter fully for over half an hour. I explained my difficulties about publication and proposed that the work should be published in the United States. Professor Newcomb, referring to the Arabic and Greek, expressed a doubt whether they had the necessary type. No suggestion, however, was made for carrying out my proposal. I need only add that many years ago I made provision in my will that, on my death, the whole of the manuscripts and researches should be sent to the National Academy at Washington.

The present work is limited to the investigation of Ptolemy's Catalogue of Stars, but Dr. Peters also took up the question of Ulugh Beg's Catalogue, and for that purpose he collated several Persian manuscripts. I have added to this by collating all the Persian manuscripts of Ulugh Beg and the Arabic manuscripts of Al Sûfi to be found in this country. This it is hoped to publish in the future as a separate memoir.

It has been my object to make this investigation as exhaustive as possible, but where so much material has had to be examined, analyzed, and checked, and where the whole work has had to be done single-handed, it is hardly possible to avoid some mistakes. The present investigation has shown how prone are all copyists to make mistakes; every care has been taken, and I can only hope that no very serious errors will be found.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493742400
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 11/11/2013
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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