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'To lerne the tretis of the astrelabie': Astrolabe Workshop

Directed by Kristine Larsen

When: Monday 01 July, 19.00-20.30
Where: Stage@Leeds: Stage 1
This event is free of charge.

Most medieval scholars have heard of the astrolabe, part work of art and part personal computer. For centuries the instrument was used across both the Christian and Islamic worlds in order to calculate times of prayer, measure the height of the sun and stars above the horizon for navigation, and aid in surveying. It is a two-dimensional model of the three-dimensional heavens that you can hold in your hands.

Anyone who has ever tried to work their way through Chaucer’s Treatise on the Astrolabe without a basic astronomical knowledge might have (understandably) given up after the first few steps, but the astrolabe is actually not a daunting device if you just have some basic background. This hands-on workshop is a step-by-step walk-through of selected computations from Chaucer’s work, including computing the current local time from the apparent position of the sun and stars and finding one’s latitude.

The workshop is presented by Central Connecticut State University astronomy professor Kristine Larsen, who has made similar presentations at the International Medieval Congress at Western Michigan University for several years, as well as numerous other universities and educational centers.