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CSS Student Colloquium: Colleen Seidel

The Tabulae Rudolphinae from Johannes Kepler. A census of the copies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Info about event

Time

Wednesday 11 May 2022,  at 14:15 - 15:00

Location

Aud. D4 (1531–219)

Abstract

The Tabulae Rudolphinae are the main work of Johannes Kepler. It took almost 30 years from the presentation of the idea to Emperor Rudolph II until it was printed, which was due to the size of the work, the Thirty Years' War, disagreements between Kepler and Tycho Brahe's heirs and problems with financing the printing. These plates were used by astronomers and astrologers to make predictions of planetary positions, for example. Due to Tycho Brahe's precise observations and Kepler's fundamental theoretical work such as the use of the heliocentric world view and elliptical planetary orbits, the Tabulae Rudolphinae were much more accurate than the astronomical tables used before.

In my bachelor's thesis, I created a census of the copies of the Tabulae Rudolphinae in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, taking a closer look at various aspects such as provenances, supplementary materials such as the Mappa Mundi and the binding, since all copies differ from one another. For this purpose, I sent questionnaires to institutions that I knew from previous research to own one or more copies of the Tabulae Rudolphinae and then analysed them. Compared to the Bibliographia Kepleriana (Max Caspar 1936, 1st edition), details about the individual specimens are given in this work. It is also an updated overview of the locations for the German-speaking region, since not all copies can be found where they are listed in the Bibliographia Kepleriana and I was also able to locate nine additional copies that are not listed there.