Free e-book of the month
Beginning this month we will offer a free e-book each month. If you’d like to give our Chicago Digital Editions a try, or if you just want to score some good reads, check in regularly for the free e-book of the month. And for all our currently available e-books, see our list of e-books by subject.
This month’s selection is The Birthday Book by the Roman writer Censorinus.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the Roman scholar Censorinus bestowed upon his best friend a charming birthday present: The Birthday Book, which appears here in its long-awaited first English translation. Laying out everything he knew about birthdays, the book starts simply, but by the conclusion of this brief yet brilliant gem, Censorinus has sketched a glorious vision of a universe ruled by harmony and order, where the microcosm of the child in the womb corresponds to the macrocosm of the planets. Alternately serious and playful, Censorinus touches on music, history, astronomy, astrology, and every aspect of time as it was understood in third-century Rome. He also provides ancient answers to perennial questions: Why does the day begin at midnight? Where did Leap Year come from? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
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