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Prisoners of the Sun: The eclipse

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Eugene
Member
#21 · Posted: 26 Jul 2006 23:22
Tintin was also toying with the possibility that the Swiss expedition in the Andes could get them out, or maybe Herge is doing that for people who are reading the book for the first time...
Briony Coote
Member
#22 · Posted: 1 Jan 2009 05:40
I have read that when Herge himself found out that the Inca were skilled astronomers who would understand a solar eclipse, he wanted to go back and change the ending. However, he was talked out of it. I can't help wondering what replacement ending he would have inserted if he had insisted on changing it ... any ideas?
Briony Coote
Member
#23 · Posted: 1 Jan 2009 07:05
It was interesting to read the speculation that the Inca were ignorant about the true nature of the eclipse because they had lost the knowledge due to their isolation and near-genocide at the hand of the Spaniards. Keeping themselves isolated to protect themselves would certainly not help to advance their technology and could well cause cultural and academic regression. It certainly has me thinking:

Has anyone noticed that the Temple of the Sun is devoid of anything associated with the outside world? It is understandable, but very strange considering Chiquito seems to have no trouble finding his way around the modern world. He and the Indians who chase Tintin use guns while the Inca guards at the temple use spears. You'd think that Chiquito would have taken some knowledge and equipment back to the temple, but there doesn't seem to be anything. Maybe the Prince has rules against modern techology in a drive to maintain their cultural and ancestral purity.
Briony Coote
Member
#24 · Posted: 16 Jan 2009 01:42
You know, I have a sneaky suspicion that the Great Inca didn't even want to put our heroes to death after hearing from Huascar how kind they were to Zorrino, and I am certain that Huascar didn't want them to die either. However the Great Inca was bound by Inca law to put them to death. But I wonder if the Great Inca (and other Incas) were subconsciously hoping their gods would spare them, so they were all the more eager to latch onto the omen of the eclipse?
Briony Coote
Member
#25 · Posted: 29 Jan 2009 05:39 · Edited by: Briony Coote
In "Terry Jones' Medieval Lives" there is discussion of Richard of Wallingford, Abbot of Albans in 1327. He built a clock that was so accurate it could predict lunar and solar eclipses. So I began to wonder: is it really such a big deal that the Inca had knowledge of eclipses? Did medieval Europeans have knowledge of eclipses as well?

So I've been doing some research as to whether medieval Europeans had any knowledge of solar eclipses. And according to "The Natural and the Supernatural in the Middle Ages" by Robert Bartlett they did understand the nature of solar and lunar eclipses. However, it was a superstitious age and any spectacular phenomena happening in the sky, such as a comet, were regarded as omens. I have read somewhere that the solar eclipse of 1414 was seen as a bad omen, and it became linked with the heretic John Hus because the eclipse was total in his hometown of Prague.

Therefore, even if the Inca had understanding of solar eclipses, does that mean they would look on it as scientific phenomena? Like the medieval Europeans they were extremely superstitious, so even if they had knowledge they would still see an eclipse with superstitious eyes, not scientific ones.
mct16
Member
#26 · Posted: 10 Nov 2013 19:11 · Edited by: mct16
Here is something that might be of interest. When originally published in the weekly comic "Tintin magazine" in 1948, Herge had the moon covering the sun from the south-west before clearing it from the north-east.

Readers wrote to him to say that while the path of the moon was correct from a view of an eclipse from Europe, it would be totally opposite if viewed from South America. In the book edition, he therefore changed the path of the moon from the south-east to the north-west.

(PS: tintin_forever, you might want to read this thread. The debate over the Incas' reaction to the eclipse might be relevant to your recent request for "strange facts" in the albums.)
jcjlf
Member
#27 · Posted: 10 Nov 2013 19:30
With solar eclipses the moon moves from west to east over the solar disk, everywhere on the world, for the apparent monthly movement of the moon along the Ecliptic is always from west to east.
The difference between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere is that on the northern hemisphere the eclipse starts on the right side, on the southern hemisphere on the left side, because the viewers there are "upside down" compared to Europe. Near the equator the lunasr indentation of the sun starts on the bottom side of the solar disk.
So Hergé had it wrong in the album.
gorfdota
Member
#28 · Posted: 10 Nov 2013 19:59
While the full eclipse should only last for a few minutes, wouldn't the partial eclipse last for a few hours? Shouldn't it have started some time before Tintin and co were tied to the stake?
jcjlf
Member
#29 · Posted: 12 Nov 2013 20:36
@gorfdota: You are right, it went too fast in the album.
tuhatkauno
Member
#30 · Posted: 18 Nov 2013 15:50
Been there once (in the middle of 90's in Finland). I didn't watch my watch but the darkest moment, when everything stopped, didn't last long. Actually it was very short passing moment. That's how I felt.

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