Customer Reviews: Theories of the World from Antiquity to the Copernican Revolution: Second Revised Edition
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VINE VOICEon February 22, 2007
Crowe's 'Theories of the World' is arguably the best available technical introduction to the shift from geocentrism to heliocentrism. Specifically, 'Theories' examines the transition between the ancient and medieval geocentric (earth-centered) world view (or 'Ptolemaic' system), to the two 16th-century heliocentric (sun-centered) world views (the 'Tychonic' and 'Copernican' systems). Clearly and simply written, and accessible to most readers with basic high school math skills, it is not light reading, but it is rewarding.

One of the book's many strengths is its ability to maintain historical balance: rather than simply writing off the the geocentric view as the misinformed efforts of an era of ignorance, Crowe shows that given the technological, mathematical, and astronomical evidence available as late as 1615 (when Galileo and Kepler were grappling with the motion of the heavens), determining which of these three world views had the "strongest claim for acceptance" is not as obvious as one might think.
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VINE VOICEon September 1, 2013
This is a classic textbook that does not look like a textbook. It presents the evolution of cosmology in western thought from the ancients to the onset of the scientific revolution of the sixteenth century. It is very rational in its presentation, progressing chronologically from the Greek and other ancient ideas about the universe through Ptolemy, Copernicus, Tycho, and Kepler to Galileo and the modern structure of cosmology.

It explains all of this information, complete with equations, effectively. It includes discussion questions for students. While there are no footnotes, there is a select bibliography, illustrations, experiments, and figures.

I found this the most readily understandable of all discussions of how cosmological ideas have evolved. It has the advantage of being equally usable in both introductory history of science and in astronomy classes.
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on May 1, 2015
This work, while admirable for is relative shortness, it's now considerably out of date, despite the fact that this is the second edition.
The work itself is a good introduction, but it should be supplemented by newer works that may give more detail to the issues in question.
The first is by Westman, Robert C. The Copernican Question: Prognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order. (California: University: of California Press, 2011). Westman's book is simply the most detailed and most convincing study on Copernicus and the Copernican Revolution that I have seen. It is well worth reading, for specialists and non-specialists. Another work that readers may want to consider is Romm, James. The edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992). This short work is an overview of geographical and physical thought of the world as it was known to the (primarily) Greeks and Romans. For the medieval period there is a very good work by Edward Grant, Planets, Orbs, and Spheres: the Medieval Cosmos, 1280-1627. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) which discusses in detail the medieval outlook on the world. The literature is considerably more dense and specialized than readers might realize, but it repays reading.
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on May 12, 2015
helps get the points across to the reader but it's not exactly a page turner
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on April 29, 2016
Good condition! Satisfied customer!
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on September 9, 2015
Great price and new condition!
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on June 14, 2013
Excellent diagrams. Well-written explanation of a lot of history. At a beginner's college level so must be carefully read. Very rewarding.
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