Early References To The Mariners Compass

THE following are the passages referred to in the introductory notice: Abbot Neckam (1157-1217), in his De Naturis Rerum, writes:

"The sailors, moreover, as they sail over the sea, when in cloudy weather they can no longer profit by the light of the sun, or when the world is wrapped up in the darkness of the shades of night and they are ignorant to what point their ship's course is directed, these mariners touch the lodestone with a needle, which (the needle) is whirled round in a circle until when its motion ceases, its point looks direct to the north. (Cuspts ipsius srptentrionalem plagam resptciat.)" In his De Utensiltbus, we read :

"Among other stores of a ship, there must be a needle mounted on a dart (habeat etiam acum jaculo superposttam) which will oscillate and turn until the point looks to the north, and the sailors will thus know how to direct their course when

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