Calendar:: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year

Calendar:: Humanity's Epic Struggle To Determine A True And Accurate Year

by David Ewing Duncan

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Overview

The adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world's official timekeeper since the 1960s. We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra's Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court; and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking. Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history.

How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days? What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D.? What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings'' reigns, and saints' days? In short, how did the world

The adventure spans the world from Stonehenge to astronomically aligned pyramids at Giza, from Mayan observatories at Chichen Itza to the atomic clock in Washington, the world's official timekeeper since the 1960s. We visit cultures from Vedic India and Cleopatra's Egypt to Byzantium and the Elizabethan court; and meet an impressive cast of historic personages from Julius Caesar to Omar Khayyam, and giants of science from Galileo and Copernicus to Stephen Hawking. Our present calendar system predates the invention of the telescope, the mechanical clock, and the concept ol zero and its development is one of the great untold stories of science and history. How did Pope Gregory set right a calendar which was in error by at least ten lull days? What did time mean to a farmer on the Rhine in 800 A.D.? What was daily life like in the Middle Ages, when the general population reckoned births and marriages by seasons, wars, kings'' reigns, and saints' days?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380793242
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/1999
Series: Harper Perennial
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

David Ewing Duncan is the author of five books, including the international bestseller Calendar, and writes for Wired, Discover, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is a freelance producer and correspondent for ABC's Nightline, and a commentator on NPR's Morning Edition. He also writes the popular "Biotech and Creativity" column for the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2003, he won the Magazine Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in San Francisco, California.

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The Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
neurodrew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating book about the development of calendars, with a great deal of early medieval history. It revivied my interest in issues such as the equinox, the ecliptic, and the sidereal versus equatorial year. finished about midSept, 1998.
stephenrbown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a well written account of the long struggle to create an accurate ongoing calendar of days. This task was much more difficult than I ever imagined. consider: do you use the moon as your base? The Sun? All the obvious ways of calculating the number of days in a year are inaccurate. A great irony is that the latest nuclear clocks are actually too precise because they fail to take into account the declining speed of the earth's rotation.
AlexTheHunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had such high hopes for this book. Being an afficianado of calendar information myself, I looked forward to expanding my knowledge of the intricacies and oddities of the calendar. Unfortunately, this work is not the thorough and scholarly work I hoped it would be. Instead it is too light-weight and popular. There is nothing wrong with light-weight, popular reading, but when it is posing as a learned, academic book worthy of serious consideration, it disappoints.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book provides an entertaining description of the diverse and often surprising people and events that contributed to the development of our calendar. The historical context made the story of the solution of scientific problems involved in calendar construction all the more interesting. As a history and a trivia buff, I found the book to be very informative and enjoyable.