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Seeking the Longitude 300 BC-AD 1675 Reading 2004 Spring.

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Presentation on theme: "Seeking the Longitude 300 BC-AD 1675 Reading 2004 Spring."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seeking the Longitude 300 BC-AD 1675 Reading 2004 Spring

2 Questions: The Difficulty of Determining Longitude? The methods of determining the longitude? What events about the story of longitude happened in the Middle Ages?

3 Latitude/ longitude In contrast to latitude, the means of accurately calculating longitude at sea was long elusive. Not until 1714 was there an accurate way of determining longitude even on land, let along at sea where waves made accurate measurements difficult.

4 Sailing in the uncharted ocean  The best that sailors could do was to calculate their displacement east-west by using a process of intelligent guess work called "dead-reckoning." Given that this ‘reckoning’ had to be adjusted for the effects of wind and sea in carrying a ship off-course and that these effects (called leeway and drift respectively) could not be accurately and reliably measured it was, as Quill (1966:2) observes, "a most hazardous way of navigating."

5 longitude ("meridians") On the globe, lines of constant longitude ("meridians") extend from pole to pole, like the segment boundaries on a peeled orange. Longitude lines or "meridians"

6 Greenwich Meridian: Meridian comes from a word meaning "Middle". The Greenwich Meridian was set at the Greenwich observatory, in Greenwich, England to be the geographic point for where East and West meet. Therefore, Greenwich Meridian is indicated as 0 ° latitude. The world time standard is set at Greenwich observatory, and all other time offsets (in terms of time zones) are calculated from Greenwich Mean time ( GMT ), or Universal Time ( UT ), as it is often called.

7 Explore the Ocean The oceanographic metaphor The ocean, literally  the unknown world of the earth  the unknown world of the cosmos  macro- cosmos and macro-cosmos

8 Time and space In Hellenistic times, these geographic quantities were usually thought of in terms of time, in number of daylight hours on the longest day of the year in the difference in local time between two places for longitude differences east or west.

9 Babylonian clay tablet world map, 600 B.C davis.com/MAPS/Ancient%20Web%20 Pages/103.html

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11 History Ancient (Greek or classical) Ptolemy: Almagest and Geography Hipparchos: The Lunar-eclipse method The Middle Ages The age of discovery Compass and navigation The chronometer method

12 Geography in the Middle Ages China continues to be far ahead of Christian Europe Geography a vehicle for Christian propaganda in Europe Muslim translation of Greek works The Norse sailing to Iceland, Greenland, North America

13 Ancient Influences on Medieval Geography Plato ( BCE) Aristotle ( BCE) climatic zones Ptolemy ( CE) geocentric model of the universe

14 Ptolemy's map of the world. Now the main part of Geography consisted of maps but Ptolemy knew that although a scribe could copy a text fairly accurately, there was little chance that maps could be successfully copied.Ptolemy He therefore ensured that the work contained the data and the information necessary for someone to redraw the maps. He followed previous cartographers in dividing the circle of the equator into 360 and took the equator as the basis for the north-south coordinate system.

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16 Eratosthenes' map of the world.

17 Paucity of Geographic knowledge in the Middle Ages During the Dark Ages, those five centuries that followed the destruction of the Roman Empire, only very limited, if any, information is available about the navigation techniques of the time. It is presumed that sailors relied on their powers of observation and sea-crafts. Their skills are exemplified by great navigational feats by Vikings and Irish. During the Dark Ages, those five centuries that followed the destruction of the Roman Empire, only very limited, if any, information is available about the navigation techniques of the time. It is presumed that sailors relied on their powers of observation and sea-crafts. Their skills are exemplified by great navigational feats by Vikings and Irish.

18 The Deterioration of Mapping 1493 T - O Map Translation

19 Mappae mundi  Medieval world maps are mental maps.  They are composed by geographical experience, literary knowledge and philosophical speculation.  The three continents of medieval world, Asia, Europe, and Africa,

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22 Interpretive redrawing of the St. Sever Beatus world map

23 Cosmas Indicopleustes' world picture, ca. 560

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26 The Crusades 8 separate crusades between 1096 & 1270 Extensive travel over sea & land from all parts of Europe to the Holy Land Popular description & travel was geography

27 Marco Polo 2 brothers & a son Nicolo & Marco Maffeo Traders, not Geographers To China by land To Venice by sea

28 The Polo ’ s Journey

29 Bright Spots in Medieval Geography William of Conches ( ) philosopher & theologian translated Arabic work modern ideas concerning heating of the atmosphere from below formation of clouds by cooling air Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln ( ) also an Arabic speaker refuted Aristotle ’ s climatic zones taught Roger Bacon

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31 The Catalan World Map / ca 1410

32 An example of Gemma Frisius's triangulation.

33 Mercator's world map.

34 Of course the Mercator projection has the property that distances near the poles are greatly distorted so it was not easy to use the map to measure distances. Gerardu Mercator gave instructions on the map so that for two places if one knew any two of the following four pieces of data: Of course the Mercator projection has the property that distances near the poles are greatly distorted so it was not easy to use the map to measure distances. Gerardu Mercator gave instructions on the map so that for two places if one knew any two of the following four pieces of data: difference on longitudes, difference in latitudes, direction between them, distance between them, difference on longitudes, difference in latitudes, direction between them, distance between them,

35 Petrus Roselli, 1466, Majorca

36 Portolan Charts From “ portolani ” pilots or rutters Portolan chart network of lines coastlines place names scale of distance compass shoals, reefs, islands List of places distances directions conditions at sea port dangers safe anchorages

37 Albino de Canepa, 1489, Genoa

38 Map of Medieval Universities /atlas/blatmapuni.htm /atlas/blatmapuni.htm /atlas/natmapuni.htm /atlas/natmapuni.htm This map is from the Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, published in 1923; p  

39 Olaus Magnus, 16th century 1st large scale map of a European Region

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41 Longitudes

42 more web pages.. and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Longitude2.html and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Longitude2.html and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Longitude1.html and.ac.uk/~history/HistTopics/Longitude1.html


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