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Calendar Tables And Latitude Lists

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Chapter Summary

Three of the surviving naviculae have on the back a table of dates on which the sun enters each sign of the zodiac, and on the back of the mast a list of towns and their latitudes (Greenwich, Geneva, Gentleman's Magazine). The latitude list is needed for setting the position of the slider on the mast, and the English towns listed on the instruments were probably an aide-memoire for users of the instrument. Latitude tables often appear in medieval manuscripts, with astronomical texts and tables, in commonplace books, and in calendars. In the navicula texts there appears short versions, with around ten places listed, medium-length tables which include some places in Europe and the Middle East, and long tables including values for many places all over the world. The manuscript tables accompanying the texts about the navicula could be repositories for geometrical and astronomical information.

Keywords: calendar tables; latitude lists; medieval manuscripts; navicula texts



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