Mathieu Ossendrijver (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
NIT, Istanbul, Turkey
18 Sep 18:30
Image: Babylonian astronomical tablet and night sky featuring Jupiter, Cover photo, Science Magazine, Vol 351, Issue 6272.
Numerous clay tablets from Babylon and other sites in ancient Iraq written between 750 BCE and 75 AD inform us about the practices, theories and daily life of the Babylonian astronomers. This lecture begins with a brief introduction to Babylonian astronomical observations as reported in the astronomical diaries. Near 400 BCE the Babylonian scholars introduced various new predictive methods known as mathematical astronomy. Some recent developments in our understanding of these methods will be addressed. Finally, some aspects of the social and institututional context of Babylonian astronomy will be addressed.
Mathieu Ossendrijver is Professor of History of Ancient Science at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His main interests are Babylonian astronomy and mathematics between 750 BC and 100 AD, in particular Babylonian mathematical astronomy, transformations of science and contextual aspects of Babylonian science during this period.