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Reflections on the Astronomy of GlasgowA story of some 500 years$
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David Clarke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748678891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.001.0001

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Glasgow Astronomy

Glasgow Astronomy

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter 1 Glasgow Astronomy
Source:
Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow
Author(s):

David Clarke

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.003.0001

This opening chapter sets the scene of the book and includes a description of a modern megalithic observatory in the City at Sighthill. The story is told of the establishment by a Papal Bull in 1451 of the Glasgow ‘Colledge’ in the High Street and of its development and eventual relocation to Gilmorehill in 1870. As was common with such institutions of the 15th century, astronomy was part of the syllabus for the learning of an educated person. It was based on the pre-Copernican concepts of Aristotle and Ptolemy with its teaching using the works of Johannes Sacrobosco (~1215). Details of these and of where the author originated are discussed. His Sphaera Mundi, being the first ever book on astronomy to be printed, was the regular text and details of some 20 editions in the Glasgow University Library of the 200 editions made world-wide are listed. Other priceless early astronomy books are also described, some from the original Hunterian Museum opened in 1807. Notes are also provided on the development of our modern calendar. A preliminary look as to how family connections and networking were important in achieving high positions in University society is presented.

Keywords:   The Glasgow Papal Bull, Glasgow Colledge, Sighthill megalithic observatory, Pre-Copernican concepts, Johannes Sacrobosco, Sphaera Mundi, Hunterian Museum

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