Book (facsimile), Astronomicum Caesareum, 1540
Astronomicum Caesareum (The Astronomy of the Caesars), created by the German printer, mathematician, and cartographer Peter Apian, is one of the most lavish books on astronomy of all time. This folio, printed over an eight-year period, contains detailed astrological and astronomical data and charts, including twenty-one movable disks called volvelles. The volvelles, sewn one atop another, can be rotated to align such givens as planetary positions and eclipses on calendars. This work was an important tool, employed to calculate future astrological/astronomical events. For example, the volvelle on the right, adorned with a many-headed dragon, can be rotated to predict solar eclipses, while its intricate counterpart on the left makes it possible to forecast full and partial eclipses of the moon.
It is credited
Courtesy of Smithsonian Libraries, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Library.
Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D (closed): 45.8 × 32.6 × 5.2 cm (18 1/16 × 12 13/16 × 2 1/16 in.) H x W x D (open): 45.8 × 63.9 × 14.2 cm (18 1/16 × 25 3/16 × 5 9/16 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.