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Durham e-Theses
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A study of late Babylonian planetary records

Hollywood, Louise Anne (2002) A study of late Babylonian planetary records. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Observations of planets within the Late Babylonian Astronomical Texts record passages of the planets by reference stars, and synodic phenomena such as first visibilities, stations, etc. known "Greek-Letter phenomena". In addition to acting as useful shorthand, use of the Greek-Letter designations for these phenomena allows us to avoid the problem of the exact interpretation of these phenomena. For example, Huber has argued that Ω should probably be understood as the first date on which a planet was not seen, rather than the last day on which it was seen. These observations sometimes have a remark about the 'ideal' date when the phenomena was supposed to occur. This often appears with a measurement of the time from sunrise/set to the observed phenomena. The aim of this thesis is to study two aspects of Babylonian observational astronomy. One is the interpretation of Θ, one of the 'Greek letter' phenomenon, and proving through analysis of the texts that its precise meaning should be understood as acronycal rising as opposed to opposition. The other is to go some way towards finding the system for correcting an observation when a time measurement of the difference in the time between the planet and the sun rising or setting is recorded along with an 'ideal' or 'true' date.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:2002
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:33

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