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Mathematical Treasure: Sacrobosco's Sphaera mundi

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University)

A French manuscript dated 1256-1270 contains three works by Joannes Sacrobosco, including his Sphaera mundi. Sphaera mundi begins with an illumination that depicts Sacrobosco (c. 1195-1256) instructing two students in astronomy:

Folio 16v contains an illustration of the climate zones of the Earth:

Folios 19r and 20r consider the phenomena of eclipses:

The images above were obtained through the kind cooperation of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. The manuscript resides in the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of Late and Early Renaissance Manuscripts, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts and can be viewed via the permanent link Lawrence Schoenberg, a successful businessman and collector of early scientific manuscripts, donated his collection to the University. The item shown here is fully digitized and may be consulted and copied in its entirety with due credit provided, including its reference number, LJS 216.

Index to Mathematical Treasures

Frank J. Swetz (The Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Sacrobosco's Sphaera mundi," Convergence (February 2019)