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A Short History of Time
Leofranc Holford-Strevens
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A Short History of Time

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  166 ratings  ·  32 reviews
From the preface . . . "I shall confine myself to time in its ordinary-language or man-in-the-street sense, and shall concentrate on the methods by which its passage is and has been measured. . . . my concern is with calendars as such rather than with their use or meaning."

This book concerns the origins and meanings of such concepts as "month", "week", "hour", and "year".
Hardcover, 137 pages
Published 2005 by Oxford University Press
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3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  166 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Ahmad Sharabiani
The History of Time: A Very Short Introduction, Leofranc Holford-Strevens
Why do we measure time in the way that we do? Why is a week seven days long? At what point did minutes and seconds come into being? Why are some calendars lunar and some solar?
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دوازدهم ماه مارس سال 2015 میلادی
عنوان: تاریخچه زمان؛ نویسنده: لئوفرانس هالفورد-استریونس (استرونز)؛ مترجم: شادی حامدی آزاد؛ تهران، بصیرت، 1393، در 210 ص؛ شابک: 9786005492613؛ واژه نامه، موضوع: گاهنامه -- تاریخ -- سده 21 م
Description: Why do we measure time in the way that we do? Why is a week seven days long? At what point did minutes and seconds come into being? Why are some calendars lunar and some solar? The organisation of time into hours, days, months and years seems immutable and universal, but is actually far more artificial than most people realise. The French Revolution resulted in a restructuring of the French calendar, and the Soviet Union experimented with five and then six-day weeks. Leofranc Holfor ...more
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Did not finish – σελίδα 97 από 169.

Βαρετό και μπερδεμένο. Ο συγγραφέας μού θύμισε ένα σωρό καθηγητές μου στο Πανεπιστήμιο: προσπαθούν να διδάξουν, πεπεισμένοι ότι αυτά που λένε τα καταλαβαίνουν οι άλλοι, διότι, αφού τα καταλαβαίνω εγώ πώς μπορεί να μην τα καταλαβαίνεις εσύ.
Actually the book should be called "The History of Calendars" because it basically shows the evolution of different date mechanisms, and how they changed over the centuries in the light through politics and religion.
Will Boncher
It was informative, but not very fun, which is a lot different from the other Very Short Introduction that I read (Astronomy).
John Jr.
How do I tell you about today? As I write, the day is Saturday; the date is April 26, 2014, in the season called spring; the time at the moment is 11:35 AM. This way of seeing my place in time has been ingrained in me since my earliest days and seems indisputable. But in fact everything that you or I think is true about the time can be questioned or put in other terms. This delightful, often dizzying little book of 144 pages (including index) will make that abundantly clear.

The time I gave, for
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, تاريخ
بعد قراءة هذا الكتاب سوف تنتبه ولفترة من الوقت الى التاريخ الذي تدونه فعام 2017 هو مبني على التقويم الغريفوري المستخدم عالميا
الا ان هذا التقويم ليس الوحيد الموجود في العالم اليوم ولا حتى الوحيد الذي وجد في الماضي
فرقم السنة ومن اي يوم تبدا و عدد الشهور ضمن السنة و عدد الايام ضمن الشهر وحتى في اي ساعة يبدا اليوم والى كم قسم يقسم اليوم كان مختلفا جدا ضمن ثقافات العالم وفي اليونان كانت لكل مدينة نظام تقويم مختلف
ان الاسباب الدينية والسياسية لعبت دورا كبيرا في تحديد وتشكيل انظمة التقويم حول العالم فعي
May 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A history of how we measure time and the different systems that mankind has created to tell us where we are in time. Dense and a bit dry but short.
Fascinating but somewhat technical introduction to a complex subject: how we measure time. Most of the book is concerned with the historical development of calendars, including an entire chapter on Easter as a case study of the complexities of calendrical calculations.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This introduction is packed with information and, more especifically, math, numbers, and calculations. In the past, there used to be tons of different calendars, each created by a different culture, such is its artificiality. Today, for practical reasons, most people follow the Gregorian calendar.
Joseph Sverker
It wasn't exactly what I expected. I simply picked this book up because I thought it would be about time from a the perspective of physics, but it was about the history of how time has been recorded. There are a lot of eras and terms to keep track off. But it is an interesting knowledge to have, how complicated it is to get the date correct.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Not to be confused with "A Brief History of Time", this book is actually a history of the different calendars and timekeeping methods humanity has used throughout its history.

That's not a con for me, but keep in mind, that it's technical and to-the-point.
Dennis Cuffel
This is a short book. This reads more like a textbook. The book is very well researched with a huge number of dates, facts and references. I was looking for something that had more insight into the cultural impact of time.
How make your subject boring: A Very Short Introduction
Maria Freeman
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: factual, xyz
This book was very hard for me to follow due to lack of definitions and assumptions about the reader's christian background/knowledge.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
rather dry but broadly researched
Henrique Maia
I started reading this book thinking this was a historical exploration of the philosophical conceptions of time. Maybe I’m not the only one to fall for this, for, as the author himself acknowledges in the introduction, the title may be a bit of a misnomer. Even so, I was pleasantly surprised by the the content of this work. For this is a history of the ways people kept track of time. In this sense, yes, this is a history of time, but time in a weaker sense.

So what is this book actually about? T
Aug 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Mike by: Bruce Little
This fascinating little volume has to do with the day, the week, the month, and the year, and the perennial problem of measuring and labeling them properly. THE central problem is that the year is not evenly divisible into a whole number of days, and certainly not divisible into a whole number of months. Various cultures and nations have dealt with this in a wide variety of ways by adding leap days, leap weeks, and even leap months, in a dizzying variety of weirdly repeating cycles. For example, ...more
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, science, non-fiction
The human establishment of time - common or otherwise - and a way of breaking down our lives into understandable units is quite a field, involving as it does the observation of two relationships: our revolving around the sun and the moon's revolving around the Earth. The fact they are not exact means we have to adopt a form of intercalation (i.e. adding a day every 4 years), but that's just the beginning. Different societies have opted for different ways of dealing with this situation and its ap ...more
Aug 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A SHORT HISTORY OF TIME. (2005). Leofranc Holford-Strevens. ***.
This book was originally published under the title: “The History of Time: A Very Short Introduction.” This edition was issued the same year by The Folio Society under this new title. I can honestly say that I wish I understood the subject matter better than I did. It all seems rather simple when you first think of it, but becomes exceedingly complex as one digs deeper. Most people don’t think of it at all. We all go along making our
É a primeira vez que escrevo sobre um livro antes de acabar de lê-lo e bem podia ser por melhores razões... A verdade é que estou a arrastar-me pelo capítulo sobre a Páscoa. Como já li numa crítica na Amazon, o título deveria ser "Uma Pequena História dos Calendários", pois trata-se mais de todas as confusões na definição dum calendário do que outra coisa qualquer. Por outro lado, este senhor, um catedrático de Oxford, não conseguiu fazer um livro para toda a gente, como o texto de apresentação ...more
This little book is lovely to hold and to look at (a Folio freebie), but sadly, it's a bit of a yawner.

It offers a lot of potentially interesting information on many methods of counting time, but I think it's too compact and the information is all you get -- not to mention the undeniably dry style.

I was so looking forward to early people observing the movement of the sun and the changing length of days; to courtiers competing in the style and accuracy of timepieces; to astronomers at their tele
This book takes an interesting subject and makes it dull. Due to its short length it reads like one fact after another and jumps around different cultures and countries every few paragraphs. For me this made it difficult to absorb, a problem compounded by the use of the esoteric jargon found on nearly every page. Ok as a kind of reference though. I would prefer a book that spends more time setting an historical perspective and having some kind of connecting narrative. This kind of book would of ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-audio, quest
I gave this one a chance. Two chances actually. Listened to it twice through over the past week. It wasn't the barration. That part was actually done quite well imo. The problem with this particular VSI is that it took a niche, but incredibly interesting topic of human history and made it immensely boring and jaggedly told.

My mind just refused to stop wondering. There was no real narrative. Just a vomiting out of facts.
Simon Davenport
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Besides being the most compact book (both in size and content) I think I've ever read, this is also a fascinating description of how we came to have something almost completely overlooked (in importance and necessity): the calendar. Politics, religion, lunar cycles, tropical phases, the stars, the gods and days of ill omen... this little guy has it all. Be prepared though, there is math. And Latin.
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sience
For a book aimed at the general public, this book is written in a shockingly dry and boring style, it feels like a condensed textbook rather than a light introductory text. Two stars rather than one just because I found the subject matter interesting, despite the author's seeming attempt to convince his readers otherwise.
Daniel Wright
Fascinating, polymathic, wide-ranging, vital. Do not attempt to make sense of the world without knowing the contents of this book.
Arnoud Visser
The author did its best to structure the matter, but mankind needed quite a while before make a decision how to measure time.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciências
An amazing book on how calendars and time keeping was developed.
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Too many numbers.
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Leofranc Holford-Strevens (born 1946) is an English classical scholar and polymath, an authority on the works of Aulus Gellius, and a former reader for the Oxford University Press.