Tag Info

New answers tagged

1

I remember being told that the development of glass making was one of the key technological breakthroughs that enabled the Enlightenment in Europe. Originally used for making vessels and windows, it allowed optics such as telescopes, magnifiers, microscopes, etc to be made. Once these had been invented sciences such as astronomy, chemistry and biology could ...


5

Ony theory I have read is (I believe Jared Diamond) that Europes diversity and fragmented nature spurred innovation, while the united China was much more controllable. To explain that: China produced more Iron, better ships etc. in the time of the early European (1600+) conquests, but when the empires bureaucracy feared the growing power of the merchants it ...


1

First, you can put aside the "Well the Europeans were just cleverer", as even a cursory glance at world history will show inventions and developments from all societies at one time or another, from the Incan to the Chinese. What I think could likely be the main trouble the Chinese had with technology is that the scale of the Chinese nation was so large. In ...


0

This is kind of an off-topic question because any answer will be a matter of opinion, but I guess I will take a stab at it. First of all, Indian mathematics was very advanced in some regards and we ended up borrowing elements of it (via the Arabs), such as the use of "Arabic" numerals, which are actually of Indian origin. Indian computation of planetary ...


1

I am going to second dotancohen's answer somewhat. Hipparchus developed a comprehensive astronomy that accurately predicted eclipses and other astronomical events. Ptolemy's writings emanate from the tradition that was established by Hipparchus. Nevertheless, Hipparchus was certainly not the beginning of Greek astronomy. He simply formalized and improved ...


4

Wikipedia has an informative article on the Saros cycle, which is used to predict eclipses. According to that page, and by extension apparently the pages to which it references, the Babylonians were recording the eclipses which describe the cycle in the sixth century BC. Apparently Hipparchus (second century BC), Pliny (first century AD) and Ptolemy (second ...


3

From a NASA answer: Ptolemy ( ca 150 BC)[sic] represents the epitome of Greecian astronomy, and surviving records show that he had a sophisticated scheme for predicting both lunar and solar eclipses. Ptolemy knew, for example, the details of the orbit of the Moon including its nodal points, and that the Sun must be within 20d 41' of the Node point, and ...


2

This detailed article argues for the authenticity of Herodotus' report about Thales ecplise prediction in 585 BC. This is in any case a lot earlier than the Chinese material cited by Semaphore.


18

(This is an incomplete answer since I don't know which eclipse specifically was predicted, nor how it compares to the rest of the world. But it is s too long for a comment.) Because of their cultural association of governmental legitimacy with astronomical / geophysical omens, ancient China was rather obsessed with predicting eclipses. Attempts to do so ...



Top 50 recent answers are included