CLCIV 250 - Topics in the Ancient World
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Astronomy Before the Telescope
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course will introduce students to the study of ancient astronomy in the Mediterranean basin, with a special focus on Greek astronomy. We will first survey the development of astronomical science in the Mediterranean region from the first documented records of systematic observations of stars in Ancient Babylonia until the 2th Century CE, when Ptolemy composed his influential Almagest, which became the most authoritative text in the field. In the second part of the class, we will adopt a topic-based approach, looking at how ancient astronomers attempted to answer some of the thorniest questions arising from the observation of the sky. Finally, we will look at the reception of Greek astronomy in the Islamic world and in the early-modern period up to the invention of the telescope by Galileo.

Course Requirements:

Midterm and final exam; canvas posts

Intended Audience:

No prior knowledge required - class is open to anyone (no mathematical skills required).

Class Format:

two meetings/lectures per week


CLCIV 250 - Topics in the Ancient World
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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