Moving Shadows, Moving Sun

Moving Shadows, Moving Sun Irrespective of geo- or heliocentric presuppositions, the functioning of sundials is based on the observation of moving shadows or light spots. Even though the cast shadow was often simply used to indicate the time, it could also remind the users of the ephemerality of earthly things or function as an index of planetary movements. This article examines the various ways in which early modern sundials visually interpret the moving shadow or light spot. The instruments address the shadow in inscriptions, integrate it into their design (e.g. in cruciform dials) or even manipulate its course (as in the so-called Horologium Ahaz ). Both the crucifix and the Ahaz dials not only refer to astronomical miracles but actually restage them. Even though by means of the horologium it was not possible to explain the Old Testament miracle of the shadow moving backward, adepts were able to recreate it on a terrestrial scale. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nuncius (successor of "Annali") Brill

Moving Shadows, Moving Sun

Nuncius (successor of "Annali"), Volume 30 (1): 96 – Jan 1, 2015

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright 2015 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.
ISSN
0394-7394
eISSN
1825-3911
D.O.I.
10.1163/18253911-03001005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Irrespective of geo- or heliocentric presuppositions, the functioning of sundials is based on the observation of moving shadows or light spots. Even though the cast shadow was often simply used to indicate the time, it could also remind the users of the ephemerality of earthly things or function as an index of planetary movements. This article examines the various ways in which early modern sundials visually interpret the moving shadow or light spot. The instruments address the shadow in inscriptions, integrate it into their design (e.g. in cruciform dials) or even manipulate its course (as in the so-called Horologium Ahaz ). Both the crucifix and the Ahaz dials not only refer to astronomical miracles but actually restage them. Even though by means of the horologium it was not possible to explain the Old Testament miracle of the shadow moving backward, adepts were able to recreate it on a terrestrial scale.

Journal

Nuncius (successor of "Annali")Brill

Published: Jan 1, 2015

Keywords: Horologium Ahaz; Georg Hartmann; Christoph Schissler

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