Astrolabe – An Ancient Computer From The Past

They say it’s the oldest computer ever. Well, I wouldn’t actually say computer, but there may be some similarities. I’m talking about the astrolabe. It’s basically an elaborate inclinometer, historically used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. It was mainly used to locate and predict the positions of the sun, the moon, planets, and stars. Visually it’s a golden and lovely instrument.

astrolabe 0

They work in a way where you  you input information and then you receive output, just like a computer, right? They are about 6 inch or more in diameter, and in the middle you can see how the sky is drawn with 20 stars. Finding the time of day or night, could be solved with the astrolabe as well as being able to find out what time the sun would rise and set.

astrolabe 1

It’s no wonder they couldn’t do without this magnificent instrument back in the acient days. It was used in Classical Antiquity, through the Islamic Golden Age, the European Middle Ages and Renaissance for all these purposes, so you can say it was pretty popular. So this was the first computer, but what about the first calculators.

astrolabe 2

astrolabe 3

astrolabe 4

astrolabe 5

astrolabe 6

astrolabe 7

astrolabe 8

astrolabe 9