Astronomicum Caesareum (Unavail. Down for editing)

by Scott Utley

Author's note:

Addendum: Astronomicum Caesareum, published 1540, dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor,
Charles V, is a astronomic, 16th century printing masterpiece by the great
astronomer, Petrus Apianus. Although a contemporary of Nicholaus Copernicus,
Apianus's work was based on the then current geocentric belief that the universe
revolved around the earth. Three years after Apianus's visual, mathmatical,
masterpiece was published, Copernicus's own breakthrough work
was published refering to the sun as the center of our universe.
This, of course, made Apianus's work, obsolete. Nevertheless, his Astronomicum
Caesareum is a priceless, breathtaking sojourn into the world of pure beauty.
It was widely popular amoung the literate people of that time, and very expensive
even then. Tycho Brahe, another ground-breaking astronomer, paid 3000 dollars in
todays money in the year 1599, (300,000 dollars in todays money) for his copy,

You can easily access reems of web pages on his work by 'googling' Petrus Apianus.
Some pages show digital images of individual pages from the work itself.
Besides diagrams of new tools for celestial measurements, there are 21 vovelles.
Volvells are wood-cut circular art-board centered upon other circles,
that, if arrainged lined up along various parameters, gives the user
the exact placement in the sky of the moon and planets,
all this was done without a telescope that Galileo would put into use soon after.
On the moon, there is a creater named after Apianus. He was also the first
to document what scientists believe was Halley's comet.
It wasn't until the 1700's that Mr. Halley officially discovered it


Posted on 12/31/2006
Copyright © 2019 Scott Utley

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 01/02/07 at 09:38 PM

That last line sums up your style here, and "mine mortal eyes" are ecstatic this "place I've never seen". Seems perfectly right to me-- and a fine unusual form--I'd like to hear you read this aloud...I bet you are great at it-- winging along and bringing us all on a wild ride!

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