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Ancient Chinese Mathematics  

Alexei Volkov

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter studies nine long-known extant Chinese mathematical texts, and three recently excavated texts, all composed prior to the beginning of the Sui 隋 dynasty (581–618 ce). Most of ... More

Astral Sciences in Ancient China  

Xu Fengxian

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter studies ancient Chinese astronomy, which focused on computing and predicting the movements of the heavens (天 tian), the sun, moon, stars, and asterisms, which was the duty of ... More

Astral Sciences of Ancient Mesopotamia  

Francesca Rochberg

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter explores Mesopotamian astrology and astronomy, which were not distinct as pseudo-science is from science, and were together a major part of cuneiform intellectual culture. The ... More

Astrology: The Science of Signs in the Heavens  

Glen M. Cooper

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
In its original Babylonian and Egyptian contexts, astrology was the interpretation of celestial signs and omens sent by the gods as warnings to rulers and the elite. Roman fondness for ... More

Astronomy in Ancient Egypt  

Joachim Friedrich Quack

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
This chapter studies Egyptian astronomy based on the very few surviving texts. The Egyptian calendar was purely solar, unlike most ancient calendars. The oldest astronomical monuments from ... More

Byzantine Alchemy, or the Era of Systematization  

Cristina Viano

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter shows how the texts of early Byzantine alchemy transformed the alchemical tradition. This period is characterized by a generation of “commentators” tied to the Neoplatonic ... More

Byzantine Geography  

Andreas Kuelzer

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter maps out the various forms and modes of Greek geographical writing and thinking in the early Byzantine period. Geography in Byzantium means transmission of the ancient Greeks’ ... More

Byzantine Medical Encyclopedias and Education  

Svetla Slaveva-Griffin

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The contribution of the Byzantine medical encyclopedists (ca 370 ce–ca 650 ce) to the preservation of medical knowledge still awaits its full scholarly assessment. This chapter highlights ... More

Dietetics: Regimen for Life and Health  

Mark Grant

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
The chapter discusses ancient Greek dietetic theory and practice; for Greek physicians and patients, diet was one of the primary means of medical intervention. Diet was treated along with ... More

Distilling Nature’s Secrets: The Sacred Art of Alchemy  

Kyle Fraser

Print publication date:
Aug 2018
Online publication date:
Jul 2018
This chapter re-examines the historiography of Greco-Egyptian alchemy. The author challenges the representation of alchemy as a superficial amalgam (or “syncretism”) of Greek philosophical ... More

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