By Marvin Bolt, JoAnn Palmeri, Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard Jarrell, Jordan D. Marché, F. Jamil Ragep

The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers is a different and priceless source for historians and astronomers alike. It contains approx. 1850 biographical sketches on astronomers from antiquity to trendy occasions. it's the collective paintings of 430 authors edited by way of an article board of eight historians and astronomers. This reference presents biographical info on astronomers and cosmologists by using modern old scholarship. The absolutely corrected and up-to-date moment variation provides nearly three hundred biographical sketches. according to ongoing examine and suggestions from the group, the recent entries will fill gaps and supply expansions. moreover, higher emphasis on Russo telephone astronomers and radio astronomers is given. person entries differ from a hundred to 1500 phrases, together with the likes of the great luminaries akin to Newton and Einstein, in addition to lesser-known astronomers like Galileo's acolyte, Mario Guiducci.

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The first volume of the DNB appeared on January 1, 1885; the last, number 63, in 1900. 51 The ODNB has been widely reviewed by scholars, and was recently dubbed “the greatest reference work on earth” (Daily Telegraph). Stefan Collini, in “Our Island Story,” London Review of Books, Vol. 52 Since the Enlightenment Since the Enlightenment, important developments have taken place in the theory and practice of historical writing. Like other specialized areas of research, the history of astronomy has benefited from increased access to manuscripts and primary sources, not to mention profound changes in educational institutions and dramatic increases in the availability of printed works.

25 Engaged in the great debate over the Ptolemaic, Tychonic, and Copernican world systems, Riccioli used history to tip the scales in favor of an Earth-centered model. A Jesuit by training, Riccioli published his two-volume work in defense of charges leveled against Galileo Galilei (1616 and 1633). 27 Working old arguments into a new narrative, Riccioli used history and biography in what amounted to a Copernican counter-reformation. Riccioli’s collective biography contains some 400 astronomers from Antiquity to his own age.

Collective biography is sometimes associated with prosopography, a method used by social scientists and social historians based on data from collective biography. For an overview, see Helge Kragh, “Prosopography,” An Introduction to the Historiography of Science, Cambridge, 1987, pp. 174–181. As an example of trends in a specific historical field, see Fifty Years of Prosopography: The Later Roman Empire, Byzantium and Beyond, Ed. Averil Cameron, Oxford, 2003. 5 Historiography – the history of historical writing – suggests that history, biography, and collective biography share common roots.

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