Preparing a reader

James Spinti
Posts: 53
Joined: June 1st, 2011, 6:01 pm
Location: Red Wing MN

Re: Preparing a reader

Post by James Spinti » September 21st, 2014, 10:20 am

I was in my second year (of six total years) of graduate school when I realized that was the greatest thing I was learning–where to look for answers. Once I discovered that, I began to actively try to learn more of the tools.

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Proofreading and copyediting of ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies monographs

Stephen Hughes
Posts: 3323
Joined: February 26th, 2013, 7:12 am

Re: Preparing a reader

Post by Stephen Hughes » September 24th, 2014, 2:49 am

Stephen Hughes wrote:Perihelion and aphelion. The perihelion is the point in space and time when the sun as a heavenly body (and as a marker of time) comes the closest to the earth (πλησιάζει ὁ ἥλιος). This is phrased in terms of a heliocentric conceptualisation of the universe. The opposite point (in winter) (πόρρω ὁ ἥλιος) is the aphelion.
After raising the issue with the Classicist on TextKit, it seems more than clear that, for reasons of personal ineptitude, I have made an anachronistic error in the history of scientific ideas here in this paragraph.

Here are some of the corrections I have gratefully received from forum participants over there:
Qimmik on TextKit wrote:
ἑκηβόλος (=Stephen Hughes) on TextKit wrote:
mwh on TextKit wrote:Perhaps it would be worthwhile looking into the state of astronomy in Aristotle's time.
Does anyone know when the concept of perihelion and aphelion was even discovered??
Kepler was the first to discover the elliptical shape of the planetary orbits (and that was only because of the more accurate measurements that Tycho achieved with specially built equipment). Even Copernicus conceived of the orbits as concentric circles.
Damoetas on Textkit wrote:To me it seems almost certain that when Aristotle talks about the sun being "near" and "far," he simply means summer and winter. From the northern hemisphere perspective, the sun is "near" (πλησιάζει) in summer (i.e. nearly overhead), and "far away" in the winter (i.e., low on the southern horizon).

So basically, ἑκηβόλος, I think your second paragraph under "Some other understandings..." is the correct one, but there's no need to get nearly so technical as measuring the precise latitude of cities. Basically you just have to go out under the sky and look! That is, assuming that you're in roughly the same part of the world as Aristotle was. It's quite possible that you're initial southern hemisphere perspective caused you to over-think things.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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