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Gnomonics is part of both the history of astronomy and mathematics and the history of technology. It consists in the study of the measurement of time using solar clocks, and takes into account both its design and its construction and its geometric properties. Before the appearance of mechanical clocks in the fourteenth century, solar clocks were the most commonly used instruments for measuring time, along with clepsidras or hourglasses and fire.
The Renaissance marked a return to classical texts, creating a new debate on the measure of time. Pope Gregory XIII made a reform of the calendar, and the publication of the De revolutionibus orbium coelestium by Nicolás Copernicus was the official acceptance of the heliocentric model.
At this time many schools of translators were created from Arabic to Latin, which allowed rediscovering gnomonics and classical astronomy in Europe. One of the main centers of gnomónica was in the School of Toledo.
Despite incorporating trigonometric knowledge of Muslims, the use of temporary hours began to be abandoned. This progressive abandonment had a lot to do with the appearance of a new mechanical watch. The Gnomonic treaties of the 16th and 17th centuries offered examples and geometric traces of quadrants with equal hours, relegating the temporary hours to the background.
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