STÖFFLER, Johannes and PITATI, Pietro

STÖFFLER, Johannes and PITATI, Pietro Ephemeridum reliquiae ... superadditae novis.

Tübingen, Ulrich Morhard, 1548


4to, ff. [4], 78, [182]. Roman letter, little italic; historiated initials, xylographic portrait of the author aged 79 on *ivv; fine astronomical maps throughout and detailed tables comprising more than half of volume; occasional light damp stain in upper margins, small repair to f. 48 affecting 4 numerals; margins of ff. 44 and 45 folded as slightly larger. A very good copy in 1/2 calf, marbled boards, about 1900; title gilt on spine; contemporary marginalia in neat humanist hand, occasionally referring to Stöffler’s Kalendarium.

An expanded and beautiful edition of the almanac by Johannes Stöffler. As with all books of this kind, it had a wide circulation, but complete copies are rare and sought after. The volume provides the positions of stars at regular intervals of date and time, through detailed tables of value. It includes five introductive treatises on astronomic rules and phenomena, along with the celestial calculations from 1551 up to 1555, all by Pietro Pitati. Stöffler (1452-1531) was a German mathematician, astronomer and priest. He invented some astronomical instruments and taught at the University of Tübingen. Embracing the timespan 1499-1551, his celestial calculations continued those by Regiomontanus (1436-1476) and exerted a paramount influence over contemporary astronomical and astrological knowledge. The sixteenth-century Italian scholar Pietro Pitati was a professor of astronomy in Verona. The book is dedicated to the city bishop and prominent cardinal Gian Matteo Giberti. Pitati’s ephemerides published in Venice in 1542 are regarded as the earliest Italian publication of this genre. He kept publishing his calculation up to the year 1562. In his Compendium super annua solaris (1560), he put forward for the first time the idea of omitting the Julian leap day in three out of four centennial years, so to keep the calendar in line with the solar year. Rare.

Adams, S 1896; Houzeau & Lancaster, 14471. Not in BM STC It., Brunet, Graesse, Ricciardi or Honeyman.
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