Meridianae in Italy
The catholic church supported astronomical observations and gave them ample financial support for several centuries. These observations were needed for studying the movement of the Sun and establishing the date of Easter. Before the use of telescopes large cathedrals served as astronomical observatories, with openings in the walls or ceilings for the sunlight and large meridian lines on the floors for observing the transit of the Sun. The author of the present paper had the opportunity to study four of the largest meridianae in Italy, and also some other instruments connected with the calendar reform of Pope Gregory XIII, and hereby summarizes their significance.
KeywordsLocal Noon Catholic Church Vernal Equinox Meridian Line Gregorian Calendar
- Heilbron, J.L. 1999. The sun in the church. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar