This is the only detailed history of early astronomy available in English. Formerly published under the title 'History of the Planetary Systems from Thales to Kepler, ' it is recognized as a masterpiece of both historical insight and scientific accuracy.Beginning with the astronomical ideas of the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and pre-philosophic Greeks (Homer and Hesiod), it moves up through Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Xenophanes, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Democritus, and other early Greek cosmologists. The Pythagoreans are considered next, with their occasionally remarkable anticipations of modernity, and then Plato s astronomical thought. The enormously important system of concentric spheres for planets, usually associated with Eudoxus, is described in detail, followed by a discussion of Aristotle, Heraclides, and Aristarchus. The theory of epicycles which held for almost 2,000 years is then considered, with chapters on the dimensions of the world and the finished Ptolemaic system.Medieval European and Islamic cosmologies are then described in detail. Nicolas of Cusa, Regiomontanus, Calcagnini, and other transitional figures from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance are then followed by detailed chapters on Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler. Standard reference on Greek astronomy and the Copernican revolution. 'Sky and Telescope.' A classical book in the field of the history of astronomy. 'Philosophy and Science.''