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1. ancient beliefs on astronomy

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About ancient beliefs on astronomy

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1. ancient beliefs on astronomy

  1. 1. Ancient Beliefs on Astronomy Reported by: Crisanta B. Montejo IV- Gen. Sci.
  2. 2. Astronomy  is the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to antiquity, with its origins in the religious, mythological, cosmological, calendrical, and astrological beliefs and practices of prehistory  In some cultures, astronomical data was used for astrological prognostication  Ancient astronomers were able to differentiate between stars and planets, as stars remain relatively fixed over the centuries while planets will move an appreciable amount during a comparatively short time
  3. 3. Archaeoastronomy  Since 1990 our understanding of prehistoric Europeans has been radically changed by discoveries of ancient astronomical artifacts throughout Europe.  The artifacts demonstrate that Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans had a sophisticated knowledge of mathematics and astronomy The Nebra sky disk Germany 1600 BC Calendrical functions of the Berlin Gold Hat c. 1000 BC
  4. 4. Archaeoastronomy  Among the discoveries are:  Bone sticks from locations like Africa and Europe from possibly as long ago as 35,000 BCE are marked in ways that tracked the moon's phases.  The Warren Field calendar in the Dee River valley of Scotland's Aberdeenshire - world´s oldest known calendar, created around 8000 BC  Golden hats of Germany, France and Switzerland dating from 1400-800 BC The Golden hats are decorated with a spiral motif of the Sun and the Moon. They were probably a kind of calendar used to calibrate between the lunar and solar calendars
  5. 5. Early history  Early cultures identified celestial objects with gods and spirits.  They related these objects (and their movements) to phenomena such as rain, drought, seasons, and tides.  It is generally believed that the first astronomers were priests, and that they understood celestial objects and events to be manifestations of the divine, hence early astronomy's connection to what is now called astrology
  6. 6. Early history  Ancient structures with possibly astronomical alignments (such as Stonehenge) probably fulfilled astronomical, religious, and social functions.
  7. 7.  Calendars of the world have often been set by observations of the Sun and Moon (marking the day, month and year), and were important to agricultural societies, in which the harvest depended on planting at the correct time of year
  8. 8.  Mesopotamia  India  Greece and Hellenistic World  Egypt  China  Mesoamerica  Medieval Middle East  Medieval Western Europe Ancient Beliefs on Astronomy
  9. 9. Mesopotamia Main article: Mesopotamian astronomy  The origins of Western astronomy can be found in Mesopotamia, the "land between the rivers" Tigris and Euphrates, where the ancient kingdoms of Sumer, Assyria, and Babylonia were located Babylonian tablet recording Halley's comet in 164 BC.
  10. 10.  Our knowledge of Sumerian astronomy is indirect, via the earliest Babylonian star catalogues dating from about 1200 BC.  The fact that many star names appear in Sumerian suggests a continuity reaching into the Early Bronze Age. Astral theology, which gave planetary gods an important role in Mesopotamian mythology and religion, began with the Sumerians  Centuries of Babylonian observations of celestial phenomena are recorded in the series of cuneiform tablets known as the Enūma Anu Enlil.
  11. 11.  The astronomers of Babylon were a special group of scribes who observed the movements of the stars and planets.  Babylonians believed in the reading of omens in the sky as a mean to secure the state. These were all important stimuli to develop a fine astronomy. This is a letter written to the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal reporting a lunar eclipse.
  12. 12.  The oldest significant astronomical text that we possess is Tablet 63 of the Enūma Anu Enlil, the Venus tablet of Ammi-saduqa, which lists the first and last visible risings of Venus over a period of about 21 years and is the earliest evidence that the phenomena of a planet were recognized as periodic
  13. 13.  The MUL.APIN, contains catalogues of stars and constellations as well as schemes for predicting heliacal risings and the settings of the planets, lengths of daylight measured by a water clock, gnomon, shadows, and intercalations
  14. 14.  A significant increase in the quality and frequency of Babylonian observations appeared during the reign of Nabonassar (747–733 BC)  The systematic records of ominous phenomena in Babylonian astronomical diaries that began at this time allowed for the discovery of a repeating 18-year cycle of lunar eclipses, for example. The Greek astronomer Ptolemy later used Nabonassar's reign to fix the beginning of an era, since he felt that the earliest usable observations began at this time.
  15. 15.  The last stages in the development of Babylonian astronomy took place during the time of the Seleucid Empire (323–60 BC).  In the 3rd century BC, astronomers began to use "goal-year texts" to predict the motions of the planets
  16. 16. India Main article: Indian astronomy  Astronomy in the Indian subcontinent dates back to the period of Indus Valley Civilization during 3rd millennium BCE, when it was used to create calendars  the oldest extant Indian astronomical text is the Vedanga Jyotisha, dating from the Vedic period Historical Jantar Mantar observatory in Jaipur, India
  17. 17.  Vedanga Jyotisha describes rules for tracking the motions of the Sun and the Moon for the purposes of ritual.  During 6th century, astronomy was influenced by the Greek and Byzantine astronomical traditions
  18. 18.  Aryabhata (476–550), in his magnum opus Aryabhatiya (499), propounded a computational system based on a planetary model in which the Earth was taken to be spinning on its axis and the periods of the planets were given with respect to the Sun  He accurately calculated many astronomical constants, such as the periods of the planets, times of the solar and lunar eclipses, and the instantaneous motion of the Moon
  19. 19.  Bhāskara II (1114–1185) was the head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, continuing the mathematical tradition of Brahmagupta.  He wrote the Siddhantasiromani which consists of two parts: 1. Goladhyaya (sphere) and 2. Grahaganita (mathematics of the planets).  He also calculated the time taken for the Earth to orbit the sun to 9 decimal places.
  20. 20.  Astronomy was advanced during the Shunga Empire and many star catalogues were produced during this time  The Shunga period is known as the "Golden age of astronomy in India“  It saw the development of calculations for the motions and places of various planets, their rising and setting, conjunctions, and the calculation of eclipses.
  21. 21. Greece and Hellenistic World Main article: Greek astronomy  The Ancient Greeks developed astronomy, which they treated as a branch of mathematics, to a highly sophisticated level The Antikythera Mechanism was an analog computer from 150–100 BC designed to calculate the positions of astronomical objects.
  22. 22.  The Greeks' neighbours, Egyptians and Babylonians, had highly developed astronomies, but the forces driving them were different.  The first geometrical, three-dimensional models to explain the apparent motion of the planets were developed in the 4th century BC by Eudoxus of Cnidus and Callippus of Cyzicus  Their models were based on nested homocentric spheres centered upon the Earth. Their younger contemporary Heraclides Ponticus proposed that the Earth rotates around its axis.
  23. 23.  A different approach to celestial phenomena was taken by natural philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.  They were less concerned with developing mathematical predictive models than with developing an explanation of the reasons for the motions of the Cosmos  In the 3rd century BC Aristarchus of Samos was the first to suggest a heliocentric system, although only fragmentary descriptions of his idea survive.
  24. 24.  In the 3rd century BC Aristarchus of Samos was the first to suggest a heliocentric system, although only fragmentary descriptions of his idea survive  Greek geometrical astronomy developed away from the model of concentri spheres to employ more complex models in which an eccentric circle would carry around a smaller circle, called an epicycle which in turn carried around planet.
  25. 25.  The Antikythera mechanism, an ancient Greek astronomical observational device for calculating the movements of the Sun and the Moon, possibly the planets, dates from about 150–100 BC, and was the first ancestor of an astronomical computer  Depending on the historian's viewpoint, the acme or corruption of physical Greek astronomy is seen with Ptolemy of Alexandria, who wrote the classic comprehensive presentation of geocentric astronomy
  26. 26. Egypt Main article: Egyptian astronomy  Ancient Egypt, had a rich religious tradition which permeated every aspect of society.  As in most early cultures, the patterns and behaviors of the sky led to the creation of a number of myths to explain the astronomical phenomena. For the Egyptians, the practice of astronomy went beyond legend Chart from Senemut's tomb, 18th dynasty
  27. 27.  Foremost of the archaeoastronomers, and one of the pioneers in the field, was Sir Norman Lockyer, a British astronomer who lived from 1836-1920 and extensively studied Egyption astronomy. In his wonderful book 'The Dawn of Astronomy three distinct phases. 1. a civilization goes through the worship stage, where astronomical phenomena are viewed only as the actions, moods, and warnings of the gods. 2. a civilization progresses to using astronomy for terrestrial purposes, such as for agriculture or navigation. 3. to study astronomy solely for the sake of gaining knowledge.
  28. 28.  Egyptian administration relied on well-established calendars to anticipate the flooding of the Nile; rituals were required to be able to tell the time during the night, and the orientation of monuments in the cardinal directions was also important.
  29. 29. Astronomical Worship  The Egyptian gods and goddesses were numerous and are pictured in many paintings and murals.  Certain gods were seen in the constellations, and others were represented by actual astronomical bodies.  The constellation Orion, for instance, represented Osiris, who was the god of death, rebirth, and the afterlife. The Milky Way represented the sky goddess Nut giving birth to the sun god Ra
  30. 30. Astronomy for Practical Uses  The Egyptian astronomers, who were actually priests, recognized that the flooding always occurred at the summer solstice, which was also when the bright star Sirius rose before the Sun. The priests were therefore able to predict the annual flooding, which made them quite powerful.  Many Egyptian buildings were built with an astronomical orientation. The temples and pyramids were constructed in relation to the stars, zodiac, and constellations
  31. 31.  Astronomy played a considerable part in religious matters for fixing the dates of festivals and determining the hours of the night. The titles of several temple books are preserved recording the movements and phases of the sun, moon and stars.  Writing in the Roman era, Clement of Alexandria gives some idea of the importance of astronomical observations to the sacred rites  The Astrologer's instruments (horologium and palm) are a plumb line and sighting instrument
  32. 32. China Main article: Chinese astronomy  The astronomy of East Asia began in China. Solar term was completed in Warring States period. The knowledge of Chinese astronomy was introduced into East Asia.
  33. 33.  In ancient China, it was believed that events in the sky directly reflected events on earth for example, a comet suddenly appeared in the sky it was thought that something important and unexpected was about to happen on earth, perhaps something like a major battle.
  34. 34.  The emperor was believed to be the Son of Heaven who had been given the Mandate, or right to rule, by Heaven itself  Halley’s comet from 3000 years ago, the only civilisation in the world to have done so. Silk Atlas of Comets from the Hunan Provincial Museum Source image taken from Album of Relics of Ancient Chinese Astronomy, Zhongguo Gudai Tianwen Wenwu Tuji, CASS (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Archaeology), 1980. Beijing. 8, 57.
  35. 35.  The emperor’s astronomers were also responsible for producing the calendar each year, a document commonly known as an almanac. No one else was allowed to calculate a calendar
  36. 36. The Regions of the Sky  The Chinese sky was divided into five great regions or palaces called gong 宫.  These were equated with the directions north, south, east and west and also with a middle region.
  37. 37.  The middle region was the most important as it housed among its stars the celestial image of the emperor surrounded by his family and civil and military officials. This part of the sky has constellations such as ‘the prince’, ‘the concubine’, and ‘the throne’ and is a reflection of life on earth.  The rest of the sky contains the equatorial constellations grouped in the four directions, each associated with an animal and a colour
  38. 38.  In addition, Chinese astronomers identified twenty-eight segments in the sky known as mansions or lunar lodges and called xiu 宿 in Chinese  However, later the mansions were used rather to measure the coordinates of celestial bodies along the equator in the Chinese system. Many of the most important Chinese constellations are situated within these twenty-eight mansions.
  39. 39.  On a Chinese star map each of the four directions contains seven of the twenty-eight mansions and together with the central region of the sky, synonymous with the emperor, and therefore China itself, these regions make up what are known as the five cardinal points You can see how the constellations appear to form the shapes of the four animals here:
  40. 40. The Constellations  The most important Chinese constellations are situated very approximately along the celestial equator within the twenty-eight mansions and are seen highlighted in yellow. Apian's Star Chart from Astronomicon Caesareum,1540. Maps C.6.d.5 © The British Library
  41. 41.  The twenty-eight constellations of the Chinese sky are also important for astrological divination and have various linked meanings and associations. The first is the name of a famous general.  Twenty-eight great warriors came to the aid of the general. Although they were defeated, their names were given as a mark of respect to the heavenly constellations Honter's Star Charts, 1541. Maps c.1.c.2(2) © The British Library
  42. 42.  Each constellation is also associated with an animal, and also with a particular day of the lunar cycle.  It is believed that when the moon moves through these constellations on their designated days, fortunes relating to auspicious and inauspicious activities for the day should be observed
  43. 43. REGION CHINESE NAME LOCATION ON MAP ENGLISH NAME WESTERN EQUIVALENT NAME ASSOCIATED DATE ASSOCIATED ANIMAL The Blue Dragon of the East Jiao 角 1 Horn a Virg Thurs 1st Crocodile Kang 亢 2 Neck k Vir Fri 2nd Dragon Di 氐 3 Root a2 Lib Sat 3rd Badger Fang 房 4 Room p Sco Sun 4th Hare Xin 心 5 Heart s Sco Mon 5th Fox Wei 尾 6 Tail m1 Sco Tue 6th Tiger Ji 箕 7 Winnowing basket g Sgr Wed 7th Leopard The Black Tortoise of the North (Nan)Dou 斗 8 South Dipper f Sgr Thurs 8th Unicorn Niu 牛 9 Ox /Herd b Cap Fri 9th Buffalo Nü 女 10 Girl e Aqr Sat 10th Bat Xu 虚 11 Emptiness b Aqr Sun 11th Rat Wei 危 12 Rooftop a Aqr Mon 12th Swallow Shi 室 13 House a Peg Tue 13th Pig Bi 壁 14 Wall g Peg Wed 14th Porcupine
  44. 44. REGION CHINESE NAME LOCATION ON MAP ENGLISH NAME WESTERN EQUIVALENT NAME ASSOCIATED DATE ASSOCIATED ANIMAL The White Tiger of the West Kui 奎 15 Legs h And Thurs 15th Wolf Lou 婁 16 Bond b Ari Fri 16th Dog Wei 胃 17 Stomach 41 Ari Sat 17th Pheasant Mao 昴 18 Hairy Head h Tau Sun 18th Cockerel Bi 毕 19 Net e Tau Mon 19th Crow Zui 觜 20 Turtle l1 Ori Tue 20th Monkey Shen 参 21 Three stars z Ori Wed 21st Gibbon The Red Bird of the South Jing 井 22 Well m Gem Thurs 22nd Tapir Gui 鬼 23 Ghost q Cnc Fri 23rd Goat Liu 柳 24 Willow d Hyd Sat 24th Stag Xing 星 25 Star a Hyd Sun 25th Horse Zhang 张 26 Extended Net e1Hyd/m Hyd Mon 26th Ox Yi 翼 27 Wings a Crt Tue 27th Snake Zhen 珍 28 Chariot g Crv Wed 28th Worm
  45. 45. The Sun and Moon  Because one of the main purposes of astronomical observation in ancient China was timekeeping, the sun and moon were very important.  The Chinese used a calendar system based on the phases of the moon (measured through observing the position of the stars in the twenty-eight mansions) and the time of the solar year, or season.
  46. 46.  The sun and moon have developed a particular iconography in China. The red sun is often pictured with a three-legged crow and the moon features a white hare or rabbit, pounding a pestle and mortar.
  47. 47.  The mid-Autumn, or Moon Festival is perhaps the second most important traditional festival in China after Chinese New Year. It is held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is said to be at its largest, roundest, and brightest of the year.
  48. 48. Mesoamerica Main article: Maya calendar and Aztec calendar  Maya astronomical codices include detailed tables for calculating phases of the Moon, the recurrence of eclipses, and the appearance and disappearance of Venus as morning and evening star. "El Caracol" observatory temple at Chichen Itza, Mexico.
  49. 49.  The Maya based their calendrics in the carefully calculated cycles of the Pleiades, the Sun, the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars  they had a precise description of the eclipses as depicted in the Dresden Codex, as well as the ecliptic or zodiac, and the Milky Way was crucial in their Cosmology  To the ancient Maya, Venus was the patron of war and many recorded battles are believed to have been timed to the motions of this planet
  50. 50. Medieval Middle East Main article:Astronomy in medieval Islam  The Arabic and the Persian world under Islam had become highly cultured, and many important works of knowledge from Greek astronomy and Indian astronomy and Persian astronomy were translated into Arabic, used and stored in libraries throughout the area Arabic astrolab from 1208 AD.
  51. 51.  Other Muslim advances in astronomy included the collection and correction of previous astronomical data, resolving significant problems in the Ptolemaic model, the development of the universal latitude-independent astrolabe by Arzachel,  the invention of numerous other astronomical instruments, Ja'far Muhammad ibn Mūsā ibn Shākir's belief that the heavenly bodies and celestial spheres were subject to the same physical laws as Earth
  52. 52.  In the 10th century, Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (Azophi) carried out observations on the stars and described their positions, magnitudes, brightness, and colour and drawings for each constellation in his Book of Fixed Stars.  He also gave the first descriptions and pictures of "A Little Cloud" now known as the Andromeda Galaxy
  53. 53. Medieval Western Europe Science in the Middle Ages  Western Europe entered the Middle Ages with great difficulties that affected the continent's intellectual production.  The advanced astronomical treatises of classical antiquity were written in Greek, and with the decline of knowledge of that language, only simplified summaries and practical texts were available for study 9th century diagram of the positions of the seven planets on 18 March 816.