Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy



Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy Somnium Latin For The Dream Is A Fantasy Written Between 1620 And 1630 By Johannes Kepler In Which A Student Of Tycho Brahe Is Transported To The Moon By Occult Forces It Presents A Detailed Imaginative Description Of How The Earth Might Look When Viewed From The Moon, And Is Considered The First Serious Scientific Treatise On Lunar Astronomy Carl Sagan And Isaac Asimov Have Referred To It As The First Work Of Science Fiction.Somnium Began As A Student Dissertation In Which Kepler Defended The Copernican Doctrine Of The Motion Of The Earth, Suggesting That An Observer On The Moon Would Find The Planet S Movements As Clearly Visible As The Moon S Activity Is To The Earth S Inhabitants Nearly 20 Years Later, Kepler Added The Dream Framework, And After Another Decade, He Drafted A Series Of Explanatory Notes Reflecting Upon His Turbulent Career And The Stages Of His Intellectual Development The Book Was Edited By His Heirs, Including Jacob Bartsch, After Kepler S Death In 1630, And Was Published Posthumously In 1634.

10 thoughts on “Somnium: The Dream, or Posthumous Work on Lunar Astronomy

  1. says:

    I have just finished some basic research about this book by Kepler Many consider Somnium as the very first piece of science fiction which is utterly wrong Kepler himself got inspired by Lucian s text entitled A true story 2nd century and that already talks about outer space, aliens and interplanetary issues Further Kepler had bought a copy of Plutarch s Face Of The Moon where a figure called Duracotus same character in Somnium is introduced.The form of the text is an interesting one as probably it was written with the intention of sound like a myth tale to perhaps justify his imagination Another hypothesis is that he masked his thoughts in science fiction in order to avoid getting condemned by his views Giordano Bruno was b...

  2. says:

    The Goodreads rating system is not really equipped to handle the complexities of capturing my response to this book, so let me add a few additional ratings Story 2 5 Pacing 2 5 Novelty or audacity based on contemporary peers 5 5 Perceived effect on subsequent literature 5 5.Authors like Asimov and Sagan, Carl have allegedly referred to Somnium as the first work of Science Fiction That s pretty high praise, but I can t really argue with their conclusion Kepler goes into obsessive detail about astronomy from a lunar perspective, including how Earth would look from the moon, how the occlusion of the sun would appear from a lunar perspective, how days and seasons would function if one lived on the moon, the motion of the moon in relation to Earth and the sun, etc.Somnium was published posthumously by Kepler s family, and it makes one wonder whether it was a guilty pleasure kept private by the author to avoid embarrassment and humilia...

  3. says:

    Absolutely fascinating book I really don t think I ve ever read anything quite like it Apparently, many consider to be the first science fiction ever written, and certainly that makes quite a bit of sense I would, however, properly call it a work of fiction science Whereas science fiction as we know it today uses science to tell a story, it seems that Kepler is using a story to explain science This is a book that is going to be difficult to fully appreciate for just about anyone who reads it For an astronomer the wild conjecture of extraterrestrial life and the dream daemon trip to Mars could be frustratingly un imperical Meanwhile for a layman the apparently very accurate mathematical calculations are excessive and at times indecipherable And yet it makes both think about the world differently By considering how a resident of Mars or Levania as they know it sees their pla...

  4. says:

    Uma obra de leitura complexa e pouco gratificante que tem valor na sua forma de alegoria da vida e carreira cient fica do pr prio Kepler O Sonho serve como uma janela aberta para a mente dum astr nomo do s culo XVI, os seus conflitos pessoais com outros cient ficos, a sua rela o com a mitologia e as supersti es e tamb m com a realidade geopol tica da poca O Sonho permite fixar a obra kepleriana num contexto que vai mais al das equa es da elipse O Johannes Kepler que escreve esta obra deixa cair piadas algumas extremadamente eruditas e outras at vulgares que o retratam como um ser humano vital e n o como uma entidade de ci ncia pura pr prio das mitologias fundacionais da revolu o cient fica O relato ganha ainda mais vida quando lemos as mais de 200 notas de fim que Kepler foi refazendo durante a sua vida, explicando e expandindo o curt...

  5. says:

    El pr logo a cargo de Francisco Socas de la edici n de la Universidad de Huelva me parece, hasta el momento, insuperable.

  6. says:

    So bloody beautiful I can t believe I d never read this but I m absolutely delighted to have discovered it now A lovely early work of science fiction, using the supernatural to describe the nature of the solar system to the audience of the scientific revolution And it s just beautiful.

  7. says:

    This book is the weirdest THE WEIRDEST Must be read by all.

  8. says:

    First sci fi

  9. says:

    Johannes Kepler was one of the most important thinkers of the Scientific Revolution He successfully defended Copernicus s heliocentrism, studied under the famous astronomer and qualified geocentrist Tycho Brahe, was official mathematician for the Habsburg Holy Roman Empire, discovered the three laws of planetary motion, helped set the path for Isaac Newton s discoveries, and was one of the greatest scientists the Scientific Revolution produced indeed perhaps that human history has produced On top of all of that, as he displays in this posthumously published work, he was also one of Christian civilization s first science fiction authors, arising as one of the stars of a post Copernican framework in which science fiction could actually exist.I say this because science fiction was impossible during the Middle Ages The closest one comes to it is Dante and Ariosto s journeys into the heavens However, these journeys do not qualify as sci fi As insights into the Medieval mind, they are fantastic As science fiction, they fail to pass a crucial litmus test And that litmus test is the speculative mindset, one in which a disposition of discovery or an openness to alterity dominates Dante s Paradiso occupies a dogmatically theological vision of the world the antithesis both of the disposition to discovery and the openness to alterity While wonderful in their own right, they do not meet the qualifications for science fiction.Kepler, along with a number of le...

  10. says:

    Somnium is a fantastic blend of science and enchantment, perspectives that seemed to co exist happily in the minds of the scientists of the 17th century Kepler himself embodies that blend, as in the mixture of musical harmony and hard math behind the harmony of the spheres and his third law of planetary motion.Somnium has been called the first science fiction novel, having been written in 1608 and published in 1634.The story is a recounting of a dream The narrator says that in his dream he was reading a book by an Icelandic man named Duracotus Duracotus s mother asks that a teacher she has known tell Duracotus of the island Levania.The teacher tells about the journey up to Levania, our Moon, and about the nature of its two hemispheres, Subvolva and Privolva Subvolva is so named because, from it, you can view Volva Earth Volva is stationary, not seen from Privolva and always seen in the same position in the Subvolvian sky.The rest of the story is description really the geometry of the Earth Moon system, how it produces eclipses, the length of the Levanian day, and its seasons And how all of these things generate the kind of life that is possible for the Levanians It is a brilliant piece of imagination mixed with science.Kepler knew of the Moon s phases, its rotational period, its appa...

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