Invited_talk abstract details

Astronomies and Cosmologies in the Latin West
Stephen C. McCluskey


This invited presentation will discuss the changing interactions between astronomy and cosmology in those portions of Europe where Latin was the primary language of learning. In the Middle Ages there wasn't a single discipline that we could call astronomical cosmology. Astronomy was either positional astronomy, which used the geometrical models developed py Ptolemy and his successors to calculate the positions of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets or calendric astronomy (computus) which used simple arithmetical techniques to calculate the time of Full Moon, the date of Easter, and the approximate positions of the Sun, Moon and planets. Cosmology was separate from astronomy and drew upon the disparate concepts developed by Plato, Aristotle and, to a limited extent, the astronomers to investigate the general structure of the cosmos, the physical substances that make up the celestial and terrestrial realms, and the causes of celestial motions.