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Roman Portable Sundials – The Empire in your Hand - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Roman Portable Sundials: The Empire in your Hand

Richard J. A. Talbert


In a premodern, largely unscientific era, when maps were rarities, how did Romans envisage their far-flung empire? By various means for certain, which Talbert now supplements with an investigation of clues that have attracted minimal attention. They derive from miniature portable sundials—crafted in bronze and fitted with adjustable parts to accommodate the changes of latitude likely to occur on long journeys. As Romans knew, to function effectively any sundial must be set for the latitude where it is used. So, for rapid reference, these portable ones incorporate a list of twenty to thirty nam ... More

Keywords: Roman Empire, latitude, ancient sundials, time, Roman worldview

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190273484
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190273484.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Richard J. A. Talbert, author