Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection -- Manuscript Number: ljs490              Version:
Astronomical Compendium    Germany, Baden-Wurttemberg or Rhenish Palatinate (Heidelberg?), c. 1450-1460

Physical Description: 93 ff., apparently missing some folios, perhaps a quire at the beginning (collation i16, ii12, iii12, iv12, v12, vi12, vii15 [16-1]), on paper (watermarks close to Briquet no. 12995, ?Raisin?: Eberbach, 1443-1449; Eppelsheim, 1445; Briquet, of the type no. 15106, 15109, 15110, ?Tete de boeuf?: Hildesheim, 1452; Mainz, 1568, Eberbach, 1471, Stauffenberg, 1467-1469), written in a gothic cursive bookhand in brown ink by up to three different hands, on up to 33 long lines to a page, some text copied horizontally, capitals stroked in red, some underlining in red or brown ink, some headings or words in red, with drawings, diagrams and numerous tables throughout the manuscript. Modern quarter binding of vellum over pasteboards, smooth spine, speckled paper over boards (Some slight wear to boards, a few internal dampstains, else in good condition). Dimensions 215 x 154 mm.


    Watermarks, script and the presence of some words in German (ff. 54, 55, 89) confirm a German origin for this manuscript. Approximate dating is rendered possible because of the presence of dates in the text: astronomical tables for Heidelberg are applied to the year 1450 (f. 4v); the year 1446 is chosen to illustrate the movements of the planets (ff. 53v and 88v); and finally there are tables to determine Full Moon and New Moons for the years 1447-1463. Localization is suggested by repeated references to cities in the Baden-Wurttemberg region (Heidelberg is mentioned repeatedly, ff. 4v, 10, 11v, 23, 35, 48, 83; Villigen, ff. 24v, 31v; Reichenbach, f. 79v) as well as other cities in peripheral regions such as Rhenish Palatinate (Mainz, Frankfurt). Other major cities in Europe are also quoted, particularly Italian cities such as Florence, Bologna, Pisa, Ravenna, Padua, Rome, but also Vienna, Paris, Toulouse and Strasbourg (see f. 11v).

    Acquired from Fogg, January, 2008

Poulle, E. Les sources astronomiques (textes, tables, instruments), Typologie des sources du Moyen Age occidental, fasc. 39, Brepols, 1981. Thorndike L. and P. Kibre. A Catalogue of Incipits of Medieval Scientific Writings in Latin, London, 1963. Zinner, E.Verzeichnis der astronomischen Handschriften des deutschen Kulturgebietes, Munich, 1925.