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The Astrolabe by James Morrison

The Astrolabe by James Morrison

$ 95.00

This is the most in-depth and complete guide to the astrolabe ever written. It details their history, construction, and practical use as mathematical instruments and tools for celestial charting. 

Please note: This book is now out of print. We have a very limited number remaining. Due to certain people purchasing multiple copies of this book with the intention to resell it at a large mark-up (seriously, go search it on Amazon) we are now forced to limit sales. 

We are only offering this book to professional academics, researchers, museums, libraries, historians, etc.  

WHEN YOU PURCHASE THIS BOOK, YOU MUST EMAIL US WITH SOME KIND OF PROOF - such as using your academic or organization email, or some other way of identifying your association.  Yes, this is annoying, but it is the only we can prevent unscrupulous re-sellers. 

The astrolabe was the most popular and useful astronomical instrument from its introduction in the ancient world through the Renaissance. No device has ever matched the astrolabe's intuitive presentation of the sky and value for solving astronomical problems without calculation. An astrolabe is as an astronomical computer, an observation instrument, a star finder, a handy reference of celestial positions and a tool for astronomy education. Its rich history flows from Greek Antiquity through the Islamic world and into Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

The Astrolabe (Soft cover, 438 pp.) is the most complete astrolabe treatise available. It includes the description, history, use, theory and design of all types of astrolabes and several related devices, updated to modern methods and terminology. Application of computers to astrolabe design and practical advice on making an inexpensive working astrolabe are included.

The Astrolabe is an invaluable reference for anyone with an interest in the history of science and astronomy, the use and history of scientific instruments and, of course, astrolabes. It is an introduction to pre-telescopic instruments for the novice, a reference for teachers and professionals, a guide for designing reproductions and a source for researchers.

The Astrolabe is not a book about specific instruments. It covers the principles and design details of each instrument type. A few pictures of old instruments are included, but only to show how the principles are applied. There are many sources of pictures of historical instruments in books and on the web.

The intent of The Astrolabe is to be clear, accurate and complete. Each topic is introduced in very basic terms and expanded with technical details as needed for more sophisticated subjects and applications. A summary of the latest historical research for each instrument and type of instrument is included.

Astrolabes are visual instruments and are best learned with a visual reference. There are more than 250 figures showing the details of each instrument and scale discussed.

The material on applications of computers to astrolabe design is unique. Most of the figures are computer produced and serve as examples of modern astrolabe design.

Also included are figures of the astrolabe components that can be copied and made into a working instrument.

For more further information, visit the author's website at

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