Year: 2011 ISBN: 978-90-429-2436-9 Pages: VI-219 p. Price: 100 EURO (PIOL 59a+b)
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The Handy Tables of Ptolemy have exercised, in the history of ancient astronomy, an influence at least equal to that of the Mathematical Syntaxis (Almagest). This work includes a short manual explaining how to use these tables, as well as the tables themselves. If the manual has already been the subject of a critical edition by Heiberg in the Opera astronomica minora of Ptolemy (1907), the tables themselves are only available in the old and rather unreliable edition of the Abbé Nicolas Halma (1822-1825). The present work constitutes the first volume of a critical edition of the astronomical tables. Volume PIOL 59a includes first of all a long introduction explaining the history of these tables and the principles followed in the edition. This includes the tables of right and oblique ascension (A1-A2), as well as the tables of ascensions for the climate of Byzantium (B1). The edition is followed by a critical apparatus, which includes also several papyri and a fragment of a palimpsest from Vat.syr. 623. Volume PIOL 59b is devoted to the transcription of the tables and a commentary. The transcription is accompanied by an apparatus which provides where necessary the correctly calculated entry. The commentary provides a study of the chronological background of the Era of Philip, a mathematical commentary on the tables of ascension (including the equation of time), and in a series appendices a review of Syriac and Arabic texts bearing on the Handy Tables. This edition has enjoyed the support of the Union Académique Internationale under the project Corpus des Astronomes Byzantins.