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Scandalous ErrorCalendar Reform and Calendrical Astronomy in Medieval Europe$
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C. Philipp E. Nothaft

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198799559

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198799559.001.0001

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Calendrical Astronomy in the Twelfth Century

Calendrical Astronomy in the Twelfth Century

(p.80) 3 Calendrical Astronomy in the Twelfth Century
Scandalous Error

C. Philipp E. Nothaft

Oxford University Press

This chapter employs a range of previously untapped sources to paint a detailed picture of how the so-called Renaissance of the Twelfth Century reshaped computistical literature and spawned the first blossoming of a calendar-reform debate in the Latin Christian world. Major points of discussion are the introduction of astronomical tables as instruments for analysing calendrical error, the discovery of the lunar calendars used by Muslims and Jews as potential alternatives to the Church’s own 19-year cycle, and the adoption of a new understanding of the nature of the solar year, in particular the influential theory of the ‘access and recess of the eighth sphere’ and its prediction of a variable tropical year.

Keywords:   twelfth-century Renaissance, medieval astronomy, Jewish calendar, Islamic science, Cunestabulus, Reinher of Paderborn, Roger of Hereford

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