Mapping Time: The Calendar and its HistoryPaperback
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- Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
- Format: Paperback | 460 pages
- Dimensions: 129mm x 197mm x 27mm | 484g
- Publication date: 30 March 2000
- Publication City/Country: Oxford
- ISBN 10: 0192862057
- ISBN 13: 9780192862051
- Edition statement: Revised ed.
- Illustrations note: black and white plates and tables
- Sales rank: 903,424
Mapping Time is an account for the general reader of the history and underlying basis of each of the most important calendars of the world, from antiquity to modern times. There are descriptions of prehistoric calendars, of those devised by the Egyptians, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and other civilizations, of the short-lived French Republican calendar, which introduced a ten-day week, and of our present-day Gregorian calendar. This fascinating and highly entertaining book is the perfect guide to understanding the background of time in the run up to the millennium. 'an easily accessible mine of material' TLS 'Richards makes even the most arcane complications arising from the accident of Earth's spin and orbit seem fascinating' New Scientist
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E. G. (Edward Graham) Richards was formerly a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biophysics at King's College, University of London. His interest in the calendar was sparked when he wrote and published computer programmes for converting dates from one calendar to another. An historical note on the various calendars included in the exercise was intended to accompany the programmes but as the author's appetite for knowledge about the calendars grew, so did the note. It eventually became, after many years of research, this book. Dr Richards and his wife live in London.
This is a work of enthusiastic research. Richards makes even the most arcane complications arising from the accident of Earth's spin and orbit seem facinating. New Scientist Sat 28th November 1998. ..a substantial work, perhaps more useful as a reference tool than David Ewing Duncan's more story-oriented Calender Library Journal This is a book full of fascinating snippets of information...a fascinating book to dip into, though not necessarily to read in one great gulp. This is a great buy for Christmas for that pedant in your life, who will enjoy explaining the origins and foundations of calenders and time itself Morning Star, Monday 14th December 1998 ...an easily accesible mine of material...the mathematics never obtrudes. It gives the book stiffening, and those who are tempted to skip it will be left with a rather weak medley of history...those who read his account carefully will emerge with a good idea of what a lunae-solar calender is...Richards does not flinch from some useful tabulations of his material, and he does grasp the underlying mechanisms Times Literary Supplement, Friday 11th December 1998 ...there could be no more timely book...a historical and multicultural over-view of calender making The Sunday Times This is a work of enthusuastic research...Ricahrds makes even the most arcane complications arrising from the accident of the Earth's spin and orbit seem fascinating New Scientist
In this fascinating history of the accounting and charting of time, Richards describes the development of each of the most important calendars of the world, ancient and modern. He examines their astronomical background, the ways in which weeks, months and years were calculated in different societies and the long struggle over the centuries to agree a standard calendar (which did not happen until 1949). From the 'time maps' of prehistory and the ancient Egyptians to the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the sweep of this book is immense and its detail absorbing. (Kirkus UK)
Table of contents
LIST OF TABLES, LIST OF ALGORITHMS, LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, PREFACE, INTRODUCTION, PART ONE: THE CALENDAR IN THEORY; PART TWO: THE CALENDARS OF THE WORLD; PART THREE: CALENDAR CONVERSIONS; PART FOUR: EASTER; APPENDICES 1. ASTRONOMICAL CONSTANTS; 2. THE NAMES OF THE DAYS OF THE WEEK; 3. THE NAMES OF THE DAYS OF THE YEAR IN THE FRENCH REPUBLICAN CALENDAR; GLOSSARY; FURTHER READING; INDEX.