Circumference: Eratosthenes and the ancient quest to measure the globe

Book Cover
Average Rating
St. Martin's Press,
Pub. Date:
How do you measure the size of the planet you’re standing on? “Circumference" is the story of what happened when one man asked himself that very question. Nicholas Nicastro brings to life one of history's greatest experiments when an ancient Greek named Eratosthenes first accurately determined the distance around the spherical earth. In this fascinating narrative history, Nicastro takes a look at a deceptively simple but stunning achievement made by one man, millennia ago, with only the simplest of materials at his disposal. How was he able to measure the land at a time when distance was more a matter of a shrug and a guess at the time spent on a donkey’s back? How could he be so confident in the assumptions that underlay his calculations: that the earth was round and the sun so far away that its rays struck the ground in parallel lines? Was it luck or pure scientific genius? Nicastro brings readers on a trip into a long-vanished world that prefigured modernity in many ways, where neither Eratosthenes' reputation, nor the validity of his method, nor his leadership of the Great Library of Alexandria were enough to convince all his contemporaries about the dimensions of the earth. Eratosthenes' results were debated for centuries until he was ultimately vindicated almost 2000 years later, during the great voyages of exploration. “Circumference” is a compelling scientific detective story that transports readers back to a time when humans had no idea how big their world was--and the fate of a man who dared to measure the incomprehensible.
More Details
Also in this Series
More Like This
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Staff View

Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID a0bbc7ff-9048-7e4d-4ddd-52e00e361329
full_title circumference eratosthenes and the ancient quest to measure the globe
author nicastro nicholas
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-14 05:04:15AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_point_value 0
accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Nicastro, Nicholas.
author_display Nicastro, Nicholas
available_at_arlington Central
collection_arlington Adult Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Central Adult Nonfiction
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id a0bbc7ff-9048-7e4d-4ddd-52e00e361329
isbn 9780312372477
item_details ils:.b12929694|.i13841725|Central Adult Nonfiction|526.1 NICAS|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf|Jan 27, 2016|can||
itype_arlington Hardback
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 526.1 NICAS
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Central
primary_isbn 9780312372477
publishDate 2008
record_details ils:.b12929694|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|St. Martin's Press,|c2008.|xi, 223 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
scoping_details_arlington ils:.b12929694|.i13841725|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Earth -- Figure -- Measurement
title_display Circumference : Eratosthenes and the ancient quest to measure the globe
title_full Circumference : Eratosthenes and the ancient quest to measure the globe / Nicholas Nicastro
title_short Circumference :
title_sub Eratosthenes and the ancient quest to measure the globe