Lunar Theory

  • Otto Neugebauer
Part of the Studies in the History of Mathematics and Physical Sciences book series (HISTORY, volume 1)


The theory of the moon is by far the most advanced part of Babylonian astronomy. This is evident alone from the outward appearance; while a planetary ephemeris, say for the heliacal risings (Г), requires only 4 or 5 columns, an ephemeris for the first visibility of the moon can run to 18 columns (e.g. ACT No. 122, our Pl. IV). The planetary theory ignores latitudes whereas a large section of the lunar theory is concerned with latitudes and eclipses. Yet the basic mathematical tools are the same: fundamental period relations, obtainable by direct counting of events, which determine the periods of step functions or zigzag functions. If need be these can be modified by interpolatory devices based on arithmetical progressions of first or second order.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otto Neugebauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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