Pamela O. Long

Pamela O. Long is an independent historian who has published widely in medieval and Renaissance history of science and technology.

  • The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 3 - Studies

    The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 3 - Studies

    A Fifteenth-Century Maritime Manuscript

    Pamela O. Long

    Essays explore the world of Michael of Rhodes, examining the historical context, the discovery of his manuscript, and Michael's knowledge of mathematics, shipbuilding, navigation, and other topics.

    In the fifteenth century, a Venetian mariner, Michael of Rhodes, wrote and illustrated a text describing his experiences in the Venetian merchant and military fleets. He included a treatise on commercial mathematics and treatments of contemporary shipbuilding practices, navigation, calendrical systems, and astrological ideas. This manuscript, “lost,” or at least in unknown hands for over 400 years, has never been published or translated in its entirety until now. In volume 3, nine experts, including the editors, discuss the manuscript, its historical context, and its scholarly importance. Their essays examine the Venetian maritime world of the fifteenth century, Michael's life, the discovery of the manuscript, the mathematics in the book, the use of illustration, the navigational directions, Michael's knowledge of shipbuilding in the Venetian context, and the manuscript's extensive calendrical material.

    • Hardcover $50.00
  • Obelisk

    Obelisk

    A History

    Brian A. Curran, Anthony Grafton, Pamela O. Long, and Benjamin Weiss

    The many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries, from Ancient Egypt (which invented them) to twentieth-century America (which put them in Hollywood epics).

    Nearly every empire worthy of the name—from ancient Rome to the United States—has sought an Egyptian obelisk to place in the center of a ceremonial space. Obelisks—giant standing stones, invented in Ancient Egypt as sacred objects—serve no practical purpose. For much of their history their inscriptions, in Egyptian hieroglyphics, were completely inscrutable. Yet over the centuries dozens of obelisks have made the voyage from Egypt to Rome, Constantinople, and Florence; to Paris, London, and New York. New obelisks and even obelisk-shaped buildings rose as well—the Washington Monument being a noted example. Obelisks, everyone seems to sense, connote some very special sort of power. This beautifully illustrated book traces the fate and many meanings of obelisks across nearly forty centuries—what they meant to the Egyptians, and how other cultures have borrowed, interpreted, understood, and misunderstood them through the years. In each culture obelisks have taken on new meanings and associations. To the Egyptians, the obelisk was the symbol of a pharaoh's right to rule and connection to the divine. In ancient Rome, obelisks were the embodiment of Rome's coming of age as an empire. To nineteenth-century New Yorkers, the obelisk in Central Park stood for their country's rejection of the trappings of empire just as it was itself beginning to acquire imperial power. And to a twentieth-century reader of Freud, the obelisk had anatomical and psychological connotations. The history of obelisks is a story of technical achievement, imperial conquest, Christian piety and triumphalism, egotism, scholarly brilliance, political hubris, bigoted nationalism, democratic self-assurance, Modernist austerity, and Hollywood kitsch—in short, the story of Western civilization.

    • Paperback $32.00

Contributor

  • The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 1 - Facsimile

    The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 1 - Facsimile

    A Fifteenth-Century Maritime Manuscript

    David McGee

    The facsimile of a hand-lettered and illustrated manuscript by a fifteenth-century Venetian seaman, reproduced in full color and published for the first time.

    In the fifteenth century, a Venetian mariner, Michael of Rhodes, wrote and illustrated a text describing his experiences in the Venetian merchant and military fleets. He included a treatise on commercial mathematics and treatments of contemporary shipbuilding practices, navigation, calendrical systems, and astrological ideas. This manuscript, “lost,” or at least in unknown hands for over 400 years, has never been published or translated in its entirety until now. Volume 1 is a facsimile of the manuscript, reproduced in full color. The text is written out by hand and beautifully illustrated (probably at least in part by Michael himself), featuring color diagrams and illustrations of naval architecture, original drawings of astrological signs, calendrical charts, and a coat of arms Michael devised for himself.

    • Hardcover $69.00
  • The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 2

    The Book of Michael of Rhodes, Volume 2

    A Fifteenth-Century Maritime Manuscript

    Alan M. Stahl

    The transcription and first translation into English of a manuscript by a fifteenth-century mariner, including treatises on shipbuilding, mathematics, astrology, and calendrical computation.

    In the fifteenth century, a Venetian mariner, Michael of Rhodes, wrote and illustrated a text describing his experiences in the Venetian merchant and military fleets. He included a treatise on commercial mathematics and treatments of contemporary shipbuilding practices, navigation, calendrical systems, and astrological ideas. This manuscript, “lost,” or at least in unknown hands for over 400 years, has never been published or translated in its entirety until now. Volume 2 contains a transcription of the handwritten text in the medieval Venetian dialect of Italian and, on facing pages, its translation into modern English. Michael's book includes the first extant treatise on naval architecture, a 200-page treatise on mathematics in the tradition of medieval and Renaissance abbacus manuscripts, texts on navigation including portolans (sailing directions), and Michael's autobiographical service record—unique for Venice in this period and noteworthy for being the personal record of a man of non-noble status and foreign birth.

    • Hardcover $80.00