Astronomy, meteorology and mathematics - works from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek's individual manuscripts and prints presented in bavarikon are highlighted in the selection shown here of the three major, related scientific topics astronomy, meteorology and mathematics.

Like arithmetic and geometry, astronomy belongs to the canon of the "Seven Liberal Arts" (Septem Artes Liberales). It was born from observing and analysing celestial phenomena, was also used to predict seasons and weather conditions and was strongly linked to mathematics. Valuable manuscripts have been in this collection since the foundation of the Münchner Hofbibliothek (Munich Court Library), such as the Clm 210, which was created in Salzburg in the early 9th century and contains, among other things, a famous depiction of the month works. One of the special treasures is a collective manuscript on astronomy and mathematics (Clm 560) in Latin, which dates back to the time between the 9th and 11th century. From the late Middle Ages there are about two German manuscripts, including a so-called planetary book (Cgm 597 and Cgm 7269). Nicolaus Copernicus' main work De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (Rar. 1453#Beibd.1), published in 1534, was without a doubt one of the most influential works on astronomy ever to have been put to print. It initiated the so-called Copernican revolution – the turning away from the geocentric to the heliocentric world view. Another highlight of the collection of astronomical publications is the Astronomicum Caesareum by Peter Apian, Ingolstadt, 1540 (Rar. 819 and 821 a). Astronomical-mathematical works were also important for the school system in the monasteries and came to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek during the period of secularisation. The transition between astronomy and astrology is often fluid, as numerous works prove in their texts and illustrations.

The hand-painted celestial globe (Cod.icon. 186), which can be seen in the vestibule of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek's manuscript reading room, also plays an important part here.

>> This collection is part of the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian State Library).

To the collections by topic of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek