Throughout history, patterned approaches to determining and subdividing time have been considered among the greatest natural mathematical connections ever conceived by mankind. Over the years, this mathematical quest for time has certainly been shrouded in utility (as evidenced by atomic clocks that are accurate to within trillionths of a second by using the mathematically predictable resonance frequencies of elements such as Cesium), but the more romantic and aesthetic virtues of historical time pieces lie in the interplay between pure mathematics and architectural beauty. Although the movement of celestial bodies relative to one another has acted as a basis for the historical development of time telling devices, it is the clocks themselves that provide clues to human insights, ingenuity, and romance. And so it follows that perhaps history really is written in the stars.
Ostler, Elliott and Grandgenett, Neal, "Sundials and Their Shady Past" (2003). Teacher Education Faculty Publications. 43.