We are pleased to introduce a new title in our De Gruyter series Chronoi: Time, Time Awareness, Time Management. "La Table des rois: Contribution à l'histoire textuelle des 'Tables faciles' de Ptolémée" (= The Table of Kings: A Contribution to the Textual History of Ptolemy's Handy Tables) by Olivier Defaux is an exploration of the world of ancient astronomy and chronology through the lens of Ptolemy's Table of Kings.
The Table of Kings, a simple list of rulers with the duration of their reigns, was the key that allowed the Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy to count the years since the Babylonian king Nabonassar in the 8th century BC.
Originally designed for astronomical purposes, the Table of Kings not only fascinated astronomers, but also intrigued historians and chronologists throughout antiquity. Rediscovered in Europe in modern times, it has become a crucial source for establishing a chronology of the ancient Near East. Despite its frequent citation, this remarkable document has received surprisingly little scholarly attention in its own right.
In this volume, historians of the Near East and specialists in the history of texts and science will find the first critical edition of Ptolemy's Table of Kings, curated from all known manuscript sources. In addition, Olivier Defaux examines the history of the document, from its creation by Ptolemy to its use by modern historians.