The visualization of the Ptolemaic universe
[Sphaera mundi, cum commento Wenceslai Fabri de Budweiss]. Opusculum Johannis de sacro busto spericu[m] cum notabili commento atq[ue] figuris textum declarantibus utilissimis.
Leipzig: Wolfgang Stöckel, 1499.
Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003616
4to (210 x 140 mm). 49 leaves (of 50, lacking I6, blank only). 39 lines, types: 160 (title and headings), 81, (text, leaded), 73 (commentary). Capital spaces with capitals, initial strokes and underlines supplied in red. Woodcut printer's device at end hand-colored in red and green, 28 woodcuts in-text, a few hand-colored in outline in red, one full-page. Signatures: A-C6 D4 E-G6 H4 I6 (-I6). Bound in later stiff vellum, later endpapers (some minor soiling of boards). Text little browned thoroughout, few leaves a bit stronger, occasional brown spotting, dust- and finger-soiling. Copiously annotated in at least three different hands of red-brown and black ink, diagram drawings including a large one depicting the geocentric planetary system on title-page; some annotations slightly shaved at fore-margin. Provenance: Jois Henrici (?)Gisimberti (inscription on title dated 1640); Dr. Eugene Vigil, Antiquariat Botanicum.
A close reprint of Landsberg's edition of ca 1497, the first to be published with commentary by Wenzel Faber von Budweis (1455-1518), an astronomer, astrologer and theologian from Bohemia. Sacrobosco's Sphaera Mundi, in which he sets out the basic principles of spherical astronomy, was widely commented upon, corrected and republished across Europe. First written in about 1220, the Sphaera Mundi is "a small work based on Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators antedating the De sphaera of Grosseteste. It was quite generally adopted as the fundamental astronomy text, for often it was so clear that it needed little or no explanation. It was first used at the University of Paris and from the middle of the thirteenth century it was taught in all the schools of Europe. In the sixteenth century it gained the attention of mathematicians, including Clavius. As late as the seventeenth century it was used as a basic astronomy text" (DSB XII, p. 61).
RARE: according to online records, only one copy of this edition has sold at auction in the last 50 years (Ketterer Hamburg, 2004, €16,100); ISTC traces only 12 copies at institutions worldwide. BMC III 655; Goff J420; GW M14592; HC 14123; not in BSB-Ink; OCoLC: 953259513. - Visit our website to see more images!
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