book cover of Circumference

Circumference

(2008)
Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe
A non fiction book by

 
 
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.



Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Nicholas Nicastro's Circumference

Hardback Editions

November 2008 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe
Author(s): Nicholas Nicastro
ISBN: 0-312-37247-7 / 978-0-312-37247-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

March 2015 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe
Author(s): Nicholas Nicastro
ISBN: 1-250-06844-4 / 978-1-250-06844-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

November 2008 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Circumference: Eratosthenes and the Ancient Quest to Measure the Globe
Author(s): Nicholas Nicastro
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU