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Literary Timepieces

For those of you who just happen to be reading late Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern works anyways, especially of the literary variety, keep an eye out for time pieces for me, will you? Especially hourglasses and mechanical clocks, although sundials would be of passing interest as well. I already know about the Divine Comedy reference, which is pretty sketchy, but may be the oldest proof of when the mechanical clock was invented.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2003 07:26 am (UTC)
Columbus's journals
The journals of Christopher Columbus (ond those of members of his first trans-Atlantic jaunt) should be full of clock stuff. The whole working-out-longitude deal, of course.

I'll keep my eyes open. Any luck with booklights? Mindnumbing (a digital medievalist) was good enough to post pictures and descriptions for me, asking medievalists with info on the weird little device to e-mail said info to him. Alas, the results were less than helpful, but hope springs eternal!
Jan. 22nd, 2003 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Columbus's journals
I do indeed have followup for you, from a week ago no less, which I keep remembering to send to you when I'm no where near a computer! I showed the booklight images to my advisor, especially the Fire one, since he's an expert on the history of gunpowder, and thus knows lots about things like fuses. He said the booklight-like-thing didn't look at all like a fuse to him - it was like no other he had seen. So based on the evidence before his eyes and what little he knew, he's be willing to go along with the idea it IS a booklight in that image. Just 'cause there are cannons there doesn't mean everything in the image is at all military after all. He would happily correspond with you about the subject. After all, it would be of interest to him to know if there were fuses like that in Austria or wherever it was. But he doesn't know of any that way. It would be a way of storing them if anything.

Thank you for the Colombus suggestion!
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