Petrus Apianus, Astronomicum Cæsareum

The British Library

The British Library

Petrus Apianus, the son of a shoemaker, was an acclaimed German astronomer and printer. This beautifully produced book, his most famous work, contains a series of rotating paper discs, known as volvelles, mimicking the planets’ movements. This volvelle shows how to determine the Moon’s latitude, and can be spun round to point at the various signs of the Zodiac. The volvelles could also be used to cast horoscopes: at that time, astronomy and astrology were not regarded as separate disciplines. Shown here: ff. 21v–22r

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  • Title: Petrus Apianus, Astronomicum Cæsareum
  • Date Created: 1540
  • Location: British Library, London, UK
  • Location Created: Ingolstadt
  • Type: Printed book
  • Original Source: Maps C.6.d.5.
  • Rights: Public Domain in most countries other than the UK. For more information visit: https://www.bl.uk/help/how-to-reuse-images-of-unpublished-manuscripts

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