Schöner’s astronomical tables of 1536 were a practical tool for astronomers but the title-page points to other interesting aspects of contemporary astronomy. Schöner adds a tract by Regiomontanus. A commendatory preface, addressed to Schöner, is a contribution by the leading Lutheran theologian and scholar Philipp Melanchthon. The book was published in Nuremberg by the celebrated printer Johannes Petreius, who had collaborated with Schöner as his editor on a number of mathematical works, including Regiomontanus, De triangulis.
Melanchthon had been a student of Johann Stöffler and contributed a poem to the Elucidatio, his master’s book on the astrolabe. He had instruments by Georg Hartmann and by Christian Heiden, makers whose work is included in the exhibition. He composed the inscription for Schöner’s tomb in Nuremberg, when he died in 1547.
On loan from the Royal Astronomical Society