The Front Dial and Parapegma Inscriptions

TitleThe Front Dial and Parapegma Inscriptions
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBitsakis, Yanis, and Jones Alexander
Journal TitleAlmagest
Journal Date05/2016

The dial at the center of the front face of the Antikythera Mechanism was surrounded by two scales, one representing the zodiac, the other the Egyptian calendar year. The Zodiac Scale was inscribed with the names of the zodiacal signs as well as series of index letters in alphabetic order, while the Egyptian Calendar Scale was inscribed with the Greek names of the Egyptian months. In addition, two rectangular plates, the remains of which survived displaced from their original positions, bore an inscription, called the Parapegma Inscription, comprising an alphabetically indexed list of annually repeating astronomical events relating to the Sun and to fixed stars. This paper gives transcriptions and translations of the inscriptions on the dial scales and the Parapegma Inscription, and deduces the original structure, layout, and location of the Parapegma Inscription. A provisional astronomical analysis of the data in the Parapegma Inscription and tentative restorations of some of its damaged and missing lines are also provided.