From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.
This course focuses on how positions of planets were computed before Kepler's law had been established in the 17th century. We will look at the cases in different regions and societies in ancient to premodern times, with a special interest on how mathematical tools had been developed for this purpose.
Planetary computations were one of the most difficult problems in astronomical practices before the modern era. Therefore in this course we shall see various cases of how cutting-edge knowledge was utilized in ancient times, and how the demand from this sort of "applied science" contributed to the development of mathematics. In comparison with the Autumn semester 2017 course "Introduction to Premodern Astral Sciences", this course focuses on a single topic in the history of astronomy and involves more discussions on mathematics. It is designed for both those who took the previous course and those who did not.