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Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year

by Duncan, David Ewing

  • ISBN: 9780380975280
  • ISBN10: 0380975289

Calendar: Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year

by Duncan, David Ewing

  • List Price: $23.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Bard
  • Publish date: 01/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780380975280
  • ISBN10: 0380975289
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Description: Humanity's epic struggle to determine a true and accurate year -- featuring the incredible story of how ten days once were lost.

Our present calendar predates the invention of the telescope and mechanical clock, modern numbers and the concept of zero -- and the calendar's development, which depends on all these things, is one of the great untold stories of science and history. In this irresistible volume, David Ewing Duncan takes us on an extraordinary journey through humanity's reckoning of time, from the earliest known calendars (a series of markings gouged into an eagle bone 13,000 years ago) to the atomic clocks of today, which measure time too accurately for an ever slowing Earth. The saga spans the world from Stonehenge to the Egyptian pyramids, from Mayan observatories to Pope Gregory's Rome. We visit cultures from Vedic India to Cleopatra's Egypt, Byzantium to the Elizabethan court, and we meet great historic personages such as Julius Caesar, Omar Khayyam, Galileo, Copernicus and Hawking. We see whole days vanish by papal and, later, royal decree to put the calendar right at last, and what this meant to the common folk. Along the way, Duncan answers -- and raises -- a host of fascinating questions about the nature of human timekeeping and the majestic historical forces that have produced the miracle that is the calendar.
-- There's a growing interest in the millennium, and nothing is as crucial to the year 2000 as the calendar and the scientist, monks, popes and rulers who have long sought to measure it and all dates accurately, with varying success.

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