Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(1,303 words)

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Although the apparent simplicity of its construction obscures the fact at first, a sundial is not a timepiece (Clock) but an astronomical instrument that uses the position of the sun (Sun and Moon) to calculate the geographical latitude of a place as well as to indicate noon (apex of the sun’s motion), the time of day and the season as a function of the sun’s declination, the equinoxes, the solstices, and the ecliptic. Its design was determined by knowledge of astronomy along with art…

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Behringer, Wolfgang, “Sundial”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 07 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_027660>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180208

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