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Heavenly Mathematics – The Forgotten Art of Spherical Trigonometry - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Heavenly Mathematics: The Forgotten Art of Spherical Trigonometry

Glen Van Brummelen


This book traces the rich history of spherical trigonometry, revealing how the cultures of classical Greece, medieval Islam, and the modern West used this forgotten art to chart the heavens and the Earth. Once at the heart of astronomy and ocean-going navigation for two millennia, the discipline was also a mainstay of mathematics education for centuries and taught widely until the 1950s. The book explores this exquisite branch of mathematics and its role in ancient astronomy, geography, and cartography; Islamic religious rituals; celestial navigation; polyhedra; stereographic projection; and m ... More

Keywords: spherical trigonometry, classical Greece, Islam, mathematics, astronomy, Islamic religious rituals, navigation, cartography, stereographic projection, geography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780691175997
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691175997.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Glen Van Brummelen, author
Quest University Canada