The Antikythera Mechanism: it operated with quadruple periodicity and double accuracy than it has hitherto been considered

The Antikythera Mechanism:
it operated with quadruple periodicity
and double accuracy
than it has hitherto been considered

By Kostas Kotsanas, Mechanical Engineer, Creator of the "Museum of Ancient Greek Technology" in  Katakolon and the "Archimedes' Museum" in Ancient Olympia


Kostas Kotsanas, presented at the International Conference “Ancient Greece and the Modern World”, which was conducted in Ancient Olympia from 28 to 31 August 2016 by the University of Patras, a paper entitled “The Antikythera Mechanism: A new approach towards lost gear teeth, scales and displays of the upper back dial consistent with the chronological and geographical context of its construction”.
In this paper, based on the historical framework of the construction period of the mechanism, having various sources (from the “histories” of Polybius to the book of the Maccabees), K. Kotsanas interpreted the reasons why months and local athletic games of Epirus are reported on the upper back dial of the mechanism, while on the contrary its astronomical data are consistent with the parallel that includes the island of Rhodes, the South Peloponnese and Syracuse.
Subsequently, he acknowledged the island of Rhodes as the region of the mechanism’s origin and Hipparchus as its direct instigator.
He calculated the month Panamos in its capacity as Dipanamos, in other words the month when the Dipanamia Halieia took place, at the five out of seven intercalary months of the Metonic cycle, which was a 19-year periodic calendar. He also calculated the necessary slippage of the month Panamos in the Callipic cycle, which corresponded to four Metonic cycles and corrected the calendar by one day. Moreover, he claimed that the Halieia of Rhodes are the unidentified, until today, four-year local games in the cycle of the “wreath-bearing” athletic games of the mechanism.
However, the most important is that he suggested the implementation of one Hipparchic cycle by using two additional gear teeth so that the mechanism’s operation is compatible with the scientific background of the era of its construction, namely the 2nd century B.C. and the then duration of the solar year, which was considered equal to 365 days plus the 1/4 of the day and night minus the 1/300 thereof.
The suggested Hipparchic cycle performs a periodicity of 304 years, which is four times longer than the one of the Callipic cycle of 76 years, which hitherto presented the biggest periodic movement in the mechanism (for the calculation of the solar year). Furthermore, the accuracy of the Hipparchic cycle regarding the year’s duration is double than the one of the Callipic cycle in relation to the real one.
Therefore, it is demonstrated that the Antikythera mechanism calculated the time with double accuracy than any other instrument until 1582 A.D., when our modern calendar was established.
Photo:

The back dial according to this suggestion of the reconstructed mechanism, which is exhibited in the Archimedes Museum in Ancient Olympia.
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About George Lekakis

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