The Mathematical Tradition in Medieval Europe

Elly Dekker

in Illustrating the Phaenomena

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609697
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745645 | DOI:
The Mathematical Tradition in Medieval Europe

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The oldest extant medieval globe made in the Latin West dates from ca. 1320-1340. It is a precession globe built in keeping with Ptolemy's description and does not fit in any known medieval tradition. The oldest celestial maps in the mathematical tradition were made around 1425 by Conrad of Dyffenbach. His trapezoidal projection appears to be completely new. Another of his maps is based on the polar equidistant projection. This latter projection was also used in ca. 1435 for a pair of celestial maps attributed to Reinardus Gensfelder and closely connected to the Vienna globe making enterprise. The stereographic projection was used for celestial maps other than astrolabes only in the second half of the fifteenth century. The globe by Hans Dorn of 1480 exemplifies the Viennese tradition in globe making. This globe and the other extant celestial globe of 1492 by Johannes Stöffler were designed to help the astrologer to fix the mundane houses. The constellations on Stöffler's globe show the impact of Michael Scot's iconography.

Keywords: projection; precession; trepidation; celestial maps; globes; precession globe; astrology; Ptolemy; Dyffenbach; Johannes Dorn; Johannes Stöffler; Michael Scot

Chapter.  46207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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