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Hans-Joachim Moser, Musiklexikon (2nd Edition) (1943)
Amazing book! Very, funny and hilarious! Exemplare seines gedruckten Himmelsglobus und der Himmelskarten, die sich auf seinen Weltkarten befinden, werden beschrieben. Se describen las copias impresas de su globo, y de los mapas celestes incluidos en su mapa del mundo. Caspar Vopel — was born in Medebach, a small town not far from Cologne.
In he entered the University of Cologne , where he obtained his bachelor's degree in and his master's in After completing his studies he taught mathematics at the Montana bursa , one of the student colleges of the university, and married Enge van Aich, the daughter of an established printer. Vopel became a well-known cartographer and was also active as an instrument maker: 3. Although his world map and his maps of Europe and the Rhine have been studied in some detail, his contribution to celestial cartography has received less attention. This paper aims to fill in the gap by describing Vopel's celestial globes and maps, with special attention given to innovations introduced on their initations and derivatives.
In discussing Vopel's celestial cartography I follow existing conventions and denote constellations by their Latin names. Subgroups, such as the Pleiades, are referred to by their English names. Stars are identified in one of two ways: by modern convention or by the serial number from its Ptolemaic constellation. Thus the first of the unformed stars of Leo is Leo 1e, the second Leo 2e. The lasting merit of Vopel's printed globe and maps—or so it appears in retrospect—is the images of two star groups, Antinous and the Lock of Hair, better known as Coma Berenices, neither of which had previously been represented graphically.
Their introduction on Vopel's printed globe of started a process by which the two groups came to be recognized as individual constellations. Since then, many other new constellation figures have been added to the celestial sky, sometimes for unformed stars in the northern hemisphere, at other times for stars newly recorded in the southern sky during voyages of exploration.
The impact of Vopel's initiative raises a number of questions including why Vopel introduced the images of Antinous and Coma Berenices and what the reaction of his contemporaries was. Before dealing with these questions, however, we need to look at Vopel's various undertakings in celestial cartography. It has a diameter of some 28 centimetres , is hand coloured and is signed at the South Pole: Gaspar Medebach opus hoc astronomicum fecit Martii.
Like all globes made in the Renaissance, Vopel's presents the so-called fixed stars described in the star catalogue in Ptolemy's Syntaxis mathematica , a second century ad astronomical work devoted to the motions of the wandering stars, or planets. The star catalogue is organized as follows:.
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For each star taken by constellation , we give, in the first section, its description as a part of the constellation; in the second section, its position in longitude, as derived from observation, for the beginning of the reign of Antoninus…; in the third section we give its distance from the ecliptic in latitude, to the north or south as the case may be for the particular star; and in the fourth, the class to which it belongs in magnitude. The recorded star positions are valid for the epoch ad , the beginning of the reign of Antoninus.
Since precession causes the equinoxes the points of intersection between the ecliptic and the equator to drift slowly with respect to the stars in the course of time, the stellar longitudes have to be adapted for later times. Ptolemy's Syntaxis mathematica was transmitted to the Latin West through Arabic translations circulating in Muslim Spain.
The Latin translation made from the Arabic around by Gerard of Cremona became known in the Middle Ages as the Almagest ; it was first printed in The epoch of the catalogue in Gerard's translation was ad The star catalogue in the wording of Gerard's translation could also be found appended to the Latin version of the Alfonsine Tables , a much-copied work consisting of tables for calculating the positions of the planets.
It circulated in the later Middle Ages and was first printed in The astronomical nomenclature in the Arabic-Latin catalogue version was understandably permeated with names originating in transliterations from the Arabic. This Arabic legacy is recognizable in the hand-written notes on Vopel's manuscript globe. Last, the astrological natures of the stars that make up the constellation are described as those of Mars and Jupiter.
View larger version K. Detail of Caspar Vopel's manuscript globe of , showing from bottom to top: Aquila , Sagitta and Lyra. The name Antinous is inscribed underneath the equator below the head of Aquila. The second name given to the constellation, vultur volans , reflects the indigenous Arabic name used in the edition of Ptolemy's star catalogue. The astrological characteristics of the fixed stars were expressed by means of the influences thought to be exerted by the planets.
A number of names on Vopel's manuscript globe cannot be explained by any source material from the Arabic-Latin tradition. Take, for example, the name Antinous inscribed below the head of Aquila on Vopel's manuscript globe see Fig. Ptolemy used this name to denote a group of unformed stars below Aquila , but it does not occur in the Latin translation by Gerard of Cremona.
Its earliest appearance was in the Latin translation made about , at the request of Pope Nicholas V, directly from the Greek by the humanist George of Trezibond, or Trapezuntius — The first printed edition of Trapezuntius's translation appeared only in in Venice. In the translation by Trapezuntius one searches in vain for names developed from Arabic transliteration. The name Vultur volans, for Aquila , has vanished, and the name of Antinous, which had been lost in the Arabic-Latin transmission, is recovered.
To the catalogue proper, the editor of the printed edition of had added extra information in the last column: planetary symbols, variant values for longitude or latitude, short notes and names, the last presumably for easy reference. There he listed, for example, the Greek names Apollinis and Herculis for the brightest stars of Gemini instead of Anhelar and Abrachaleus as recorded on Vopel's manuscript globe.
Earlier, another Latin version of the Ptolemaic star catalogue, also translated directly from the Greek text, had been published posthumously by the humanist Georgio Valla — in his mathematical encyclopaedia of , but there are no indications that Vopel knew this work. It served as the model for the planisphere published by Peter Apian — in and reprinted with a different type set in his Astronomicum Caesarum in Planisferi di Conrad Heinfogel? Hz Planisferi del Durer Astronomicum Caesareum, Ingolstadt Belgian celestial table globe, , by van der Hayden, Frisius and Mercator.
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Royal Museums Greenwich. Gaius Iulius Hyginus. Vopel's next undertaking in celestial cartography was the series of forty woodcut constellation images made for the edition of the Poeticon Astronomicon , published by the Cologne humanist and printer Johannes Soter. This astronomical treatise on the rudiments of astronomy is attributed to the librarian of the Roman emperor Augustus, C. Iulius Hyginus first century bc.