A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Geoffrey Kolbe
Date: 2021 Jan 25, 21:45 -0800
I have also just finished Seb Falk's "The Light Ages". As you say Bob, it is a great read and certainly an eye opener about the scientific discourse in the 'Dark' Ages. Seb Falk obviously knows his subject and is an expert guide along the cutting edge of science of that period. My own slight quibble is that his knowledge of the astrology of that period is not so good, however, and he misses the 'obvious' astrological meaning in a number of places.
Seb Falk's description of how an astrolabe works is something you need to change gear in your level of concentration if you want to learn from this book. Luckily, I had already been through that particular exercise and have made my own astrolabe (out of a disc of wood and transparent plastic) which is a very good way to learn how these things work. I also have James E. Morrison's book "The Astrolabe" which goes through the theory of the astrolabe and gives a detailed description of most of the ancient astrolabes still in existance today along with sumptuous pictures.
Unfortunatately, James E. Morrison passed away about five years ago and his very nice website has been taken down, the very nice cardboard-and-transparency astrolabes he would make for your latitude are no longer available, and the very nice book is out of print - hence the price of £750 second hand on Amazon. Needless to say, I bought my copy when it was a realistic price!
As I say, James E. Morrison's website www.astrolabes.org has been taken down, but it is not gone forever. If you go to www.archive.org, the 'Wayback Machine', there are a lot of cached records of the website going back through the years and if you have any interest in astrolabes at all, it is worth a trawl back to visit James's website again.