Greece, Volos

Ancient Greek Astronomy and the Antikythera Mechanism

when 19 July 2016 - 19 July 2016
language English
credits 10 ECTS

Some basic astronomical concepts, well known to Ancient Greeks, will be investigated and explained. How did the ancients face these mysteries of the night sky? How did they finally reach the correct explanations? A step by step introduction to Ancient Greek Astronomy will be attempted.
Several of these concepts were solved by using the Antikythera Mechanism, a geared, mechanical computer constructed during the 2nd century BCE, which calculated and displayed, with good precision, the movement of the Sun and the Moon on the sky. It could also calculate the dates of the four-year cycle of the Olympic Games and predict eclipses!

The lecture will be divided into 5 chapters. Special emphasis will be given toy chapter 5:

Pre-historical astronomers – Before the 8th century BCE
Presocratic astronomers: 8th – 5th century BCE
Astronomers in the classic epoch: 5th – 4th century BCE
Astronomers in the Hellenistic epoch: 3rd century BCE– 2nd CE
The Antikythera Mechanism: Discovery – Techniques – Research – Applications

Course leader

John H. Seiradakis

Target group

High School students, 1st and 2nd year University students

Course aim

The course aims at the evolution of concepts in Physics and Astronomy from Antiquity to modern times

Fee info

EUR 0: The course is a part of the complete program "1st Science Summer School", with total cost 770 EUR (accommodation and transport are included)