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Sundials: History, Theory, and Practice Paperback – July 9, 1996
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The only strength of the Rohr test is the explanation of (i) drawing hour lines on any surface so long as you have a rod shaped gnomen and (ii) the construction of babylonian and Italian hours. Even so the explanation of the babylonian and Italian hours could be better.
So the Rohr book would best be used as an adjunct to the other texts but if you are just starting out, buy the book by Waugh first then Mayall and Mayall and then perhaps Rohr if your library hasn't got it.
I would recommend this book to people who are quite familiar with sundials and are looking for a more scholarly treatment. However, I do not think that it is a very good choice for a general reader because when you subtract out the more complicated material you are not left with very much. Hence, I am giving this book only 3.5-stars, but since fractional stars are not allowed I am rounding it up to four-stars.
The first serious instruments of mankind, and they endured for three millennia, well into the 20th century, as the bedrock of timekeeping.
They are deceptive in their apparent simplicity but they are far from simple in their theory and their significance, thus they are the essence of beauty and elegance; blending science, esthetics; astronomy, the universe, and the ingeniousness of mankind into a seemingly simple instrument with no moving parts which, if you understand what it is telling you, it tells you a heck of a lot.
This is the one book to own on how sundials really work, not on how to make a rainy day project for a bored child or wood or metal worker but what is at the essence of the serious instrument for serious timekeeping and observations.
Though we now think of sundials as quaint garden ornaments, for at least three millennia sundials were our bedrock basis of keeping time, the foundation of astronomy, and fundamental to our understanding of the relationship of our Earth to the heavens. Even the concept of time itself, which is a slippery subject when you dig into it, began with sundials. They are A REALLY BIG DEAL if you are into such things. This book is the best available on the subject.
BUT to really fully grasp the sundial you need to know about the celestial sphere model and how the heavens work. Unfortunately this sea captain's explanations on this subject, although complete and correct, are very difficult to follow. He strives to be succinct, and if you already know what he is talking about (which he clearly does) he achieves his goal... but if you don't you will be more than a little lost.Read more ›
Some formulae are written as text, but others are only scanned and the text size is very small. Figures are also scanned.
The main problem arise in the main text: there are a lot of typos. The text seems scanned and procesed by an OCR so producing many typos. For example a year is printed (tSo6) while I figure out the original is (1506).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great for designing a local sundial. Also a good reference book.Published 6 months ago by Eugene Mcmanus