By Bartel Van Der Waerden

Whoever desires to comprehend the genesis of contemporary technology has to keep on with 3 strains of improvement, all beginning in antiquity, that have been introduced jointly within the paintings of ISAAC NEWTON, specifically 1. old arithmetic => DESCARTES 2. historic Astronomy => COPERNICUS: I=> NEWTON three. historical Mechanics => GALILEO => HUYGENS In technology Awakening I (Dutch variation 1950, first Eng1ish version 1954, moment 1961, first German variation 1956, moment 1965) i've got the 1st 1ine, giving an summary of the advance of arithmetic in Egypt, Babylonia, and Greece. quantity II, facing Egyptian and Baby1onian Astronomy first seemed in German below the identify 'Die Anfange der Astronomie' (Noordhoff, Groningen 1965 and Birkhau ser, Basel 1968). the quantity used to be written in collaboration with PETER HUBER (Swiss Federal institution of know-how, Zurich). HUBER has written substantial elements of Chap ters three and four, specifically all transcriptions of cuneiform texts in those chapters. I additionally had a lot support from ERNST WEIDNER (Graz), MARTIN VERMASEREN (Amsterdam), JOSEF JANSEN (Leiden) and MANU LEUMANN (Zurich).

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1927), p. 125. See also TH. f. , 43 (1936), p. 308. 1) OLD-BABYLONIAN ASTRONOMY 49 predictions concern the weather and the harvest, drought and famine, war or peace and of course also the fate of the Kings. lt was clear to the Babylonians that the regular succession of days, months, seasons and years, and also the whole of agricultural life, depended on the course of the great gods Moon and Sun. Perhaps they also knew that ebb and :flow are controlled by the moon; for the old land of Sumer, the southern part of Mesopotamia,lies directly on the Persian Gulf.

The diagonal calendars are, as NEUGEBAUER correctly remarked, not calendars proper, but stellar clocks. The headings of the columns Bach column in our text has a heading, indicating adefinite period of 10 days. Thus, the heading of the 18th column, in which Sirius appears for the firsttime at the bottom of the column, reads: Last third of the sixth month (Mechir). e. the day of the morning rising of Sirius according to our text, would be the 21st of Mechir. As we have seen, the morning rising of Sirius was an important event in the Egyptian year.

Wehaveherein the upper row a picture ofthe zodiac. From right to left we recognize Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus above, and Leo, Virgo with Spica, Libra and Scorpio below. These pictures are, as weshall show later, of Babylonian origin and Egyptianised in style only. Beneath, the decans are portrayed as Egyptian gods on boats. At the very bottom we see Nut, the Goddess of Heaven, who embraces the whole with her arms and legs. On the circular ceiling-picture from Dendera we see in the middle again the signs of the zodiac and other celestial powers or constellations with the 36 decans encircling them on the outside.

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