|Publication Date||July 4, 2012|
Chapter I. PRIMITIVE ASTRONOMY OF THE GREEKS AND ROMANS. 1HP HE history of sciences has in general been written -- with a scientific purpose, and with a view of throwing light upon the special science of which the origin and progress are described. In such a work as Dr. Whewell s History of the Inductive Sciences, the historical form is subsidiary to the scientific end :it is a book intended for the use and instruction of the professors of the several sciences which it successively passes in review. In like manner, Delambre selaborate histories of A ncient, Mediaeval, and Modern A stronomy,) are works, composed by an astronomer, principally for the use of astronomers. No one can master them who is not versed in the modern mathematical astronomy. But astronomy has this peculiarity, that it is conversant with subjects which from the earliest ages have attracted the daily attention of mankind, and which gave birth to observation and speculation before they were treated by strictly scientific methods. Chronology, moreover, without which political history cannot exist, is dependent upon astronomical determinations. The year and the month are measured by the (i) A just character of Delambre s History of Ancient Astronomy is given by Martin, Etudes sur le Timee de Platon, torn. ii. p. 424. M. Martin remarks that the work of Delambre must be considered rather as materials for the history of ancient astronomy, than as a history itself.
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