The Riddle of the Compass

The Riddle of the Compass

The Invention That Changed the World

Book - 2001
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Houghton
Bestselling science writer Amir Aczel uncovers the fascinating story of the invention of the compass and its impact on the world.

The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful.


Baker & Taylor
A history of the compass and its impact on the world describes the discovery of a lodestone in ancient China that always pointed north and came to be used in feng shui; documents the Italian application of the compass as a direction finder for seafarers; and chronicles the historical development of navigation as a science. Reprint. 35,000 first printing.

Harcourt Publishing
The story of the compass is shrouded in mystery and myth, yet most will agree it begins around the time of the birth of Christ in ancient China. A mysterious lodestone whose powers affected metal was known to the Chinese emperor. When this piece of metal was suspended in water, it always pointed north. This unexplainable occurrence led to the stone's use in feng shui, the Chinese art of finding the right location. However, it was the Italians, more than a thousand years later, who discovered the ultimate destiny of the lodestone and unleashed its formidable powers. In Amalfi sometime in the twelfth century, the compass was born, crowning the Italians as the new rulers of the seas and heralding the onset of the modern world. Retracing the roots of the compass and sharing the fascinating story of navigation through the ages, The Riddle of the Compass is Aczel at his most entertaining and insightful.


Book News
Popular science writer Aczel explores the series of riddles behind the origin and spread of the technology that launched the commercial revolution of the late 13th century. The journey spans from ancient to modern times in China, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Arabia, Africa, and the New World. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Discusses the twelfth-century invention of the compass, its dramatic influence on navigation and the rise of Italian sea power, and its impact on the development of world trade and the Age of Discovery.

Publisher: New York : Harcourt, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780156007535
9780151005062
0151005060
Characteristics: xvii, 178 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm

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m
mclarjh
Feb 10, 2017

Badly written, little of interest here.

t
tirjan
Nov 24, 2016

A good read. Fast, informative and entertaining history of the compass and why it change the world for humans. Aczel is a scientist but tells his story to be readily understood by laymen. Now I'll read his other books.

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