Glossary investigation: Trepidation

Unbalance : Oscillation : Trepidation

1667 John Milton Paradise Lost

        They pass the Planets seven, and pass the fixt,
        And that Crystalline Sphear whose ballance weighs
        The Trepidation talkt, and that first mov’d;

        Moon
        Mercury
        Venus
        Sun
        Mars
        Jupiter
        Saturn
        Fixed stars
        Precession of the equinoxes
        Trepidation of the equinoxes
        Obliquity of the eliptical


Notes: Un-Balance, an infinite series of adjustments, led to Oscillation, a regular periodic fluctuation in value about some mean, nudged a memory of Kepler and the music of spheres, and on to Trepidation, the hypothetical oscillation in the precession of the equinoxes.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45739/paradise-lost-book-3-1674-version
https://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_3/text.shtml
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Kepler
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trepidation_(astronomy)

The mobile took a literal approach. A central “earth” in wood; two arms, each with a “planet” in metal (both copper one side, aluminium the other) circling the earth, each planet balanced with a metal swirl, a swivel allowing the trepidation circle. Without movement, flat and boring.


More glossary entries
Structure based on lists

  • Glossary as a list of words connected with unbalance
  • Oxford English Dictionary used as source of quotations, not definitions
  • Making, motion, and photo documentation in response to quote
  • Text response in a list
  • Process notes
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