BPAA Lecture Series 2003
Lecture 4

The Lunar Cycle, Eclipses,
General Precession
Easter and the Calendar


Astronomies and Rituals at the Dawn of the Middle Ages, Stephen C. McCluskey in Astronomies and Cultures, Clive Ruggles editor, University of Colorado Press, 1993

Astronomy Before the Telescope, Edited by Christopher Walker, St. Martins, New York, 1996.

This is a good general reference on the early history of astronomy with articles by well respected specialists.

Calendrical Calculations, Nachum Dershowitz and Edward Reingold, Cambridge 1997.

This book provides everything you ever wanted to know about calendar conversion. Calendars include the Julian, Gregorian, Hebrew, Hindu, Chinese and Mayan.

Calendar, Humanity's Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year, David, E. Duncan, Avon, 1998.

This is a very readable and reliable account of the development of the calendar in western civilization.

Marking Time, Duncan Steel, Wiley, 2000

A somewhat rambling but very interesting account of the history of the calendar.

Hamlet's Mill, Giorgio deSantillana and Hertha von Dechend, Gambit, Boston, 1969.

An important, challenging and under appreciated book about the connection between the precession of the equinoxes and ancient myths around the world.

Web Links:

The Ultimate Eclipse web page


Lunar Cycle Exercises provide practice in the theory of lunar phases.


Eclipse Cycles will tell you everything you need to know about the Saros, Draconic or Metonic cycles plus a whole bunch of other lunar cycles.


Halley & the Saros tells the connection between Edmund Halley (of comet fame) and the Saros.


Handy star list provides a catalog of the named stars.


Easter link  is the very authoritative US Naval Observatory page on the determination of Easter


Easter link2 provides some colorful background and lots of details about the determination of Easter.


BPAA Lecture Series 2003

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