Life and Times of the Sundial – Perspective on Civilisation’s Timekeeper – Thursday 4th June 2015

 By Kevin Karney

The history of the sundial outstrips that of the clock by at least two thousand years.The lecture examines how time has been told down the ages, from the perspective of the sundial and its competitors. It compares what philosophers and poets thought about time and looks at various aspects of the sundial as:-

  • A teller of time
  • A marker for religious observance
  • A memento mori
  • A vehicle for exquisite craftsmanship
  • A sign of elegance, sophistication and civic pride

The lecture is split into four time periods:-

  • Ancient to Medieval Times
  • The Islamic Flowering and The Renaissance
  • The Enlightenment to The Industrial Revolution
  • Modern Time

With a great-grandfather and an uncle who were both notable gnomonists ( those interested in Sundials), Kevin has had a lifelong interest in the subject – from both the technical and historical perspectives. He has lectured extensively on the subject to both specialist and general audiences in the UK, USA and Australia.

Kevin (an avid gnonomist) will also bring various examples of sundials to further illustrate his talk.