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Student Research Guide WQ23/ Greek Philosophy and Influence on Time

By Kalee Palmer

Top 10 Resources



Oxford Research Encyclopedia: Campion, N. Astrology in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Planetary Science. Retrieved 10 Mar. 2023, from

  • This article encompasses the Greek and Romans mutual love for Astrology. Astrology is defined as being a series of diverse practices based on the idea that the stars, planets and other celestial phenomena possess significance and meaning for events on Earth. This article discusses the historical practices among the Greeks, Roman’s, Egyptians and Sumerians, providing information making certain that astrology has been a sure way to keep time for many years. 

Internet Arcives: Landes, D. S. (2000). Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World. Belknap Press.   

  • In this Book, David Landes approaches the cultural, technological and manufacturing concepts with keeping time over the course of history. Landes explores finding about medieval and early modern timekeeping and covers information regarding the watch, cellphone, computer and television. He broadens the horizon with his questions and perceptions of the meaning of time that encompass historical, philosophical and theological views. 


JSTOR: Lloyd-Jones, H. (2001). Ancient Greek Religion. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 145(4), 456–464.

  • Sir Hugh Lloyd-Jones, a Religious Professor of Greek, Emeritus at Oxford University discusses the Religion of the Greeks as well as the mythology that is encompassed with it, describing the Greek belief of polytheism. He describes various Greek gods and their representations, as well as societal outlook. Reflecting on Greek Religion is important in the essence of timekeeping because it is a very important historical movement of thinking, the invention of mathematics, science, philosophy, etc, which all encompassed many inventions, one of them being the mechanical clock and even the atomic clock.

Encyclopedia of Philosophy:  O’Grady, P. (n.d.). Thales of Miletus | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy | An Encyclopedia of Philosophy Articles Written by Professional Philosophers. Retrieved March 4, 2023, from

  • This is a large Encyclopedia entry covering the complete life of Thales of Miletus, the founder of natural philosophy who was identified as the first person to investigate the basic principles of matter and where it originated. In regards to timekeeping, Thales was among one of the major contributors to cosmology and astronomy, proposing theories to explain natural events and hypothesized that everything originated and returns to water. This provides insight to the societal views and early beliefs of the origination of the world as well as an influence on timekeeping.

CREDO Reference: O'Neal, M. J., Herren, A., Beetz, K. H., Julie-Ann, V., & Beetz, K. H. (2008). calendars and clocks. In P. J. Crabtree, Facts on File library of world history: Encyclopedia of society and culture in the medieval world. Facts On File. Credo Reference:

  • This article outlines the history of Medieval timekeeping in regards to calendars and clocks. This article provides worldly information on the creation and perceptions of the calendar and the clock based on different countries. Countries such as Africa, Asia and the pacific, Europe, the Americas, China and the Islamic world have their own methods of timekeeping and are discussed in this article.

Gale OneFile: US History:Phillips, C. (2004, December). November 18, 1883. American History, 39(5), 16+.

  • In this article, Charles Phillips outlines the railroads impact on timekeeping in America. He depicts the economical stress around standard railroad time in 1848, noting railroad collisions happening due to local time standards. He notes Sandford Fleming, A railroad worker who proposed worldwide time zones in 1878, where on November 18, 1883, Railroad standard time was established across america utilizing four time zones- Easter, Central, Mountain and pacific. 

ProQuest:Robinson. (2013). Americans Less Rushed But No Happier: 1965–2010 Trends in Subjective Time and Happiness. Social Indicators Research113(3), 1091–1104.

  • This Journal Article discusses the societal concessions of happiness in relation to time. Questions on subjective time pressure were asked in the US via periodic surveys since 1965 and repeated in 2009 and 2010 surveys. This article found that in surveys from 2004 compared to 2010, time-pressured people have consistently reported being less happy, while related to a subjective question in relation to having excess time on ones hands, there was a higher correlation with happiness. This article correlates with the value of ones time, dictated by the clock and how the economic morale has declined.


CREDO Reference:Sacks, D. (2015). science in ancient Greece. In D. Sacks, Facts on File library of world history: Encyclopedia of the ancient Greek world (3rd ed.). Facts On File. Credo Reference:

  • This article encompasses the Greeks influence on Western Science, being the first to inquire about astronomy, physics, and bioology. This covers a historical outline of important figures in the evolution of science, emphasizing on Aristotle, who was one of the greatest philosophers with his knowledge in physics, biology, zoology, dynamics, chemistry and more. This article is useful as the Greeks had the biggest impact on technology in regards to the invention of the clock. 

Google Search: Severgnini, B., & Boerner, L. (2016, October 10). The impact of public mechanical clocks on economic growth. CEPR. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from

  • Battista Severgnini, Professor of Economic growth and Productivity and Lars Boerner Professor of Economic history correlate the history of the mechanical clock and its value as a commodity. These professors provide historical as well as current technological information in regards to time keeping and the societal impact, both positive and negative.

ProQuest: The time man: Sir Sandford Fleming [Canadians who inspired the world]. (2000, Sep 04). Maclean's, 113, 37.

  • This article discusses Sandford Fleming, a Canadian rail worker who made a large impact on standard time. Railways kept their own time and it often lead to mishaps or confusion among travelers due to the difference in time among towns and railroads. Fleming helped to implement standard time in 1883, where the world relies on the prime meridian, located in Greenwich, England to keep the time standard of the world.

Encyclopedia Brittanica: Time in 20th-century philosophy of biology and philosophy of mind.(2017).  Encyclopædia Britannica.

  • This Encyclopedia article outlines the natural clock that lives among all living things, expanding on the processes in a biological clock and the natural signals that are sent when needs need to be met. This article discusses the experiences of time in relation to psychology, philosophy and science, using experiments to understand and explain the temporal relation to time in comparison with the clock. 

Top 5-10 Recommended Keywords/Search Terms

Some Keywords to try:

  • TimeKeeping 
  • Mechanical Clock
  • Temporal Time
  • Philosophy and Time
  • Ancient Sundial
  • Industrial Revolution
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