This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jul 26, David R. While a fascinating study of calendars, clocks and almanacs, Richards falls often into the prose of computer programmers. This one may be of most interest to those who like to write conversion programs and deeply penetrate the mathematics behind calendar systems.
May 04, J. Hushour rated it liked it.
This is a decently interesting history of the calendar and its development, which suffers from the flaw of its own wealth. The historical sections on the Why and How of calendars tend to get bogged down on mind-numbing tables and charts and maths.
These are largely confined to the latter half of the book, so it's easy to skip them if you want. There are some earlier swathes of more hard sciencey stuff though that makes the historical narrative clumsy.
I was more interested in the history bits, a This is a decently interesting history of the calendar and its development, which suffers from the flaw of its own wealth. I was more interested in the history bits, and there is plenty of that, with a pretty universal sweep, including East Asian and Judeo-Islamo calendar keeping. May 02, Shelley rated it liked it Shelves: Interesting read I just skimmed it to get the jist of the history of our calendaring system.
The book is very detailed for those who want to details. Feb 24, Meril rated it liked it Shelves: Fuad Issa rated it it was amazing Nov 13, Rob rated it liked it Apr 03, Peter Harris rated it liked it Jan 15, Billy rated it liked it Jun 18, Four European Calendars The Roman and Julian Calendar The Jewish Calendar The Islamic and Bahai's Calendars The Gregorian Calendar The French Republican Calendar To Calculate the Day of the Week The Conversion of Regular Calendars A Short History of Easter The Date of Easter Sunday A Book of Hours Appendices I.
The Calendar and Its History by E.
Richards may be the best overall general review of the history and astronomical basis of the principal calendars that have been used throughout history all around the world. The most interesting sidenote here is the discussion of the politics of the intercalated days in Rome, which led to an increasingly inaccurate calendar and thereby to the Julian reforms and the early Christian calendar. The occasional anecdote of this sort helps break up the text and make it much more digestible for the average reader. For instance, Richards's discussion of the Julian and Gregorian calendar and the differing years of adoption leads to an amusing sidebar on the Russian Olympic team showing up twelve days late for the London Olympics.
Increasing accuracy of calendars is also discussed in some detail, though the reader may wonder why there is such a concern over making a calendar more accurate than it already is. The issue of accuracy and need highlights some of the most interesting aspects of interest to the specialized historian, although the short summaries are fine for the generally educated reader for whom the book seems to have been written. Unfortunately, the general reader and nonmathematically minded historians may be put off by the last parts of the book, which deal with conversions from one type of calendar to another and with calculating dates.
The algorithms provided in the text for calendar conversion may be useful, but reading them one after the other is simply repetitive and not terribly enlightening. The short chapter on calculating Easter is more readable and illuminating, since it is easier for the layperson to see what If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'.
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