1501 De Sphaera Mundi, On the Sphere of the World, Johannes de Sacrobosco, Antique Astronomy Book Important Rare Book
One the most important and earliest ancient books on modern Astronomy De Sphaera Mundi by Johannes Sacroosco also called "On the Sphere of the World" or "The Sphere of the Cosmos". This early work serves as an introduction to the basic elements of astronomy. Originally written c. 1230, this version was printed in 1501. Sacrobosco's De Sphaera Mundi was the most successful of several competing thirteenth-century textbooks on this topic. This book is based heavily on Ptolemy's Almagest, and drawing additional ideas from Islamic astronomy, it was one of the most influential works of pre-Copernican astronomy in Europe.
This is a softbound text in velum wraps. The book is in Fair condition. All 48 pages can be read but with a book that is over 520 years old I am seeing exactly what I would expect to see of a book that has been well loved and used. The book is done with 49 woodblock leaves and is profusely illustrated with drawings and diagrams. The first title page is actually page 1 and the text starts on a numbered page 2 as it should be. This edition is not hand colored. There is chipping to the first title page which is barely hanging on to the rest of the pages in the book. The cover is completely separated from the bound text. Pages can be easily read. There is tanning foxing and age stains. Remarkably no odors. The book measures about 8 1/2" X 6 1/4". I am uncertain what the cover looks like, as the velum wraps are either applied or stuck from age and I do not want to risk removing. The last blank page is chipped as well.
This edition was published in Venice Italy and the publishing information is on the last page of this book. We show a close-up in photo 5. I have only been able to find one other that is identical to this at the Bavarian State Library in Munich.
"Sacrobosco's fame rests firmly on his 'De Sphaera', a work based on Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, published about 1220 and antedating the '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. There are four chapters to the work. Chapter one defines a sphere, explains its divisions, including the four elements, and also comments on the heavens and their movements. The revolutions of the heavens are from east to west and their shape is spherical. The earth is a sphere, acting as the middle (or center) of the firmament; it is a mere point in relation to the total firmament and is immobile. Its measurements are also included. Chapter two treats the various circles and their names- the celestial circle, the equinoctial, the movement of the 'primum mobile' with its two parts, the north and south poles, the zodiac, the ecliptic, the colures, the meridian and the horizon, and the Arctic and Antarctic circles. It closes with an explanation of the five zones. Chapter three explains the cosmic, chronic, and heliacal risings and settings of the signs and also their right and oblique ascensions. Explanations are furnished for the variations in the length of days in different global zones namely the equator, and in zones extending from the equator to the two poles. A discussion of the seven climes ends the chapter. The movement of the sun and other planets and the causes of lunar and solar eclipses form the brief fourth chapter." (Dictionary of Scientific Biography).
This book is worthy of a fine collection and definitely worthy of a rebind. An incredible gift for the Astronomer, or rare book collector.
We are INCLUDING PRIORITY SHIPPING FOR OUR USA CUSTOMERS. Choose Standard Shipping at Check Out to receive this shipping offer.