Newton on the Ganges: Asiatic Enlightenment of British Astronomy

Historian Simon Schaffer, the 2008 Harry Camp Memorial Lecturer, spoke on Newton’s fascination with discoveries about ancient Indian philosophy and discussed the global network of information on which Newton relied for his Principia Mathematica isaacnewton

When we think of Sir Issac Newton, we don’t usually associate him with the exotic. Newton was a saturnine and complex man who wrote on theology and astrology as well as physics and mathematics. He was prime for the reception of Indian astronomy within a  British context..

This comes as archeologists confirm that the Stonehenge we have known is part of a larger complex. There are many structures of concentric circles, much like archetecture Newton had seen in India. Scholars, such as Peter Berresford Ellis, have shown the many similarities between the early Brahmins and Druids and argued convincingly that they ultimately drew from a common source


Understanding the Nebra Sky Disc

This is a brief, but well narrated documentary on the Nebra Sky Disk. This find and other recent archaeological discoveries put the history of astronomical sophistication in Northern Europe and Briton to a much earlier time than had been thought..

I’m sure there will be many more discoveries. For much of the the last two millennia, the oral traditional cultures of Northern Europe had been thought of as barabaric backwaters compared to Rome or Greece. This is largely because the latter are the ones who wrote about the *barbarian hordes.*


We now know that Stonehenge is 5,000 yrs old and signicantly predates the pyramids of Egypt. Archeologists are learning more of this incredibly innovative and comparatively egalitarian society who built this complex as well as the nearby Woodhenge.