A Brief History Of Clocks: From Thales To Ptolemy



The clock is one of the most influential discoveries in the history of western science. The division of time into regular, predictable units is fundamental to the operation of society. Even in ancient times, humanity recognized the necessity of an orderly system of chronology. Hesiod, writing in the 8th century BC., used celestial bodies to indicate agricultural cycles: "When the Pleiads, Atlas’ daughters, start to rise begin your harvest; plough when they go down" ( Hesiod 71). Later Greek scientists, such as Archimedes, developed complicated models of the heavens—celestial spheres—that illustrated the "wandering" of the sun, the moon, and the planets against the fixed position of the ...

Want to read the rest of this paper?
Join Essayworld today to view this entire essay
and over 50,000 other term papers

astrolabe. Although Ptolemy was familiar with both the anaphoric clock and the astrolabe, I believe that the development of the anaphoric clock preceded the development of the astrolabe.
The earliest example, in western culture, of a celestial sphere is attributed to the presocratic philosopher Thales. Unfortunately, little is known about Thales’ sphere beyond Cicero’s description in the De re publica:
For Gallus told us that the other kind of celestial globe,
which was solid and contained no hollow space, was a very
early invention, the first one of that kind having been
constructed by Thales of Mileus, and later marked by
Eudoxus with the constellations and stars which are
fixed in the sky. (Price 56)

This description is helpful for understanding the basic form of Thales’ sphere, and for pinpointing its creation at a specific point in time. However, it is clearly a simplification of events that occurred several hundred years before Cicero’s lifetime. Why ...

Get instant access to over 50,000 essays.
Write better papers. Get better grades.


Already a member? Login

around the earth. The mean period of Jupiter can be represented by a gear ratio of 12 to 1, and Mars can be represented by a gear ratio of 2.5 to 1.

An interesting problem arises when one attempts to mechanically represent the synodic month. A gear ratio of 235 to 19 is required for an accurate representation. However, this is impossible to achieve directly, presenting a serious challenge to Archimedes and other Greek scientists. Prof. Price claims that two different gear arrangements can be used to create this ratio. First, one may simply use a more intricate combination of gears, as Archimedes did in his mechanical sphere. The second solution is one of the greatest innovations ...

Succeed in your coursework without stepping into a library.
Get access to a growing library of notes, book reports,
and research papers in 2 minutes or less.


CITE THIS PAGE:

A Brief History Of Clocks: From Thales To Ptolemy. (2006, January 3). Retrieved September 19, 2017, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Brief-History-Clocks-Thales-Ptolemy/39027
"A Brief History Of Clocks: From Thales To Ptolemy." Essayworld.com. Essayworld.com, 3 Jan. 2006. Web. 19 Sep. 2017. <http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Brief-History-Clocks-Thales-Ptolemy/39027>
"A Brief History Of Clocks: From Thales To Ptolemy." Essayworld.com. January 3, 2006. Accessed September 19, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Brief-History-Clocks-Thales-Ptolemy/39027.
"A Brief History Of Clocks: From Thales To Ptolemy." Essayworld.com. January 3, 2006. Accessed September 19, 2017. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/A-Brief-History-Clocks-Thales-Ptolemy/39027.
JOIN NOW
Join today and get instant access to this and 50,000+ other essays


PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/3/2006 11:46:25 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4266
Pages: 16

Save | Report

SHARE THIS PAPER

SAVED ESSAYS
Save and find your favorite essays easier

SIMILAR ESSAYS
» A Brief History Of Time: A Revi...
» A Brief History Of Clocks: Fro
» A Brief Overview Of Psychedelic...
» The History Of Stonehenge
» An Evening With The Pagans: A B...
» A Brief History Of The Blues
» A Brief History of African Musi...
» A Breif History Of Comics
» A Brief History Of Ledd Zeppeli...
» History Of The Internet
Copyright | Cancel | Contact Us

Copyright © 2017 Essayworld. All rights reserved