Eclipses: Calculating and Predicting Eclipses

  • J. M. Steele
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_8482-3

Many reports of attempts to predict the occurrence of eclipses of the sun and moon are preserved in the histories of non-Western cultures. The majority of these records come from ancient Mesopotamia, ancient and medieval China, and medieval Japan, with a few scattered examples from demotic and Greco-Roman Egypt, India, and the Islamic world (Steele, 2000a). In addition, descriptions of the methods by which the circumstances of eclipses can be calculated are known from China, India, the Islamic World, and Mesoamerica (for the latter, see the entry “Eclipses in the Americas”).

The earliest reports of attempts to predict eclipses are recorded in the correspondence between the Neo-Assyrian kings of Mesopotamia and their scholars during the seventh century BCE (Brown, 2000, pp. 200–206; Hunger, 1992; Parpola, 1993; Steele, 2000b). For example, a letter sent by one Mar-Issar to the king reads (Parpola, 1993, p. 347):

To the king, my lord: your servant Mar-Issar. Good health to the king, my...

Keywords

Solar Eclipse Islamic World Lunar Eclipse Geographical Longitude Astronomical Diary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA