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Mathematical Treasures - Italian astrolabe

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz

Italian astrolabe

This Western astrolabe was constructed by Bernard Sabeus in 1558. Sabeus was a craftsman who is known to have worked in Padua during the years 1552 - 1559. The artisan’s skill that had been previously used to decorate objects of warfare such as swords and suits of armor was now directed at embellishing the new objects of status and power, scientific instruments. However, in creating these new instruments, high levels of precision and mechanical ability were also required. An astrolabe was an instrument used to measure plane angles associated with navigational, terrestrial and astronomical sightings. This astrolabe exhibits a high level of workmanship.

Index of Mathematical Treasures

Index of Mathematical Objects

Frank J. Swetz and Victor J. Katz, "Mathematical Treasures - Italian astrolabe," Convergence (January 2011)

Mathematical Treasures from the Smith and Plimpton Collections at Columbia University