THREE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF ASTROLABE MAKING, REPRESENTED IN THREE ST. PETERSBURG’S MUSEUMS
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THREE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS OF ASTROLABE MAKING, REPRESENTED IN THREE ST. PETERSBURG’S MUSEUMS
Annotation
PII
S020596060000616-9-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Sergey Maslikov 
Pages
668-683
Abstract
The paper reviews the history of three European-made astrolabes deposited in the museums of St. Petersburg, some general principles used in their making, and their distinctive design features. These instruments represent three different designs of such devices - classical planispheric astrolabe that had been developed back in the Ancient Greece; universal astrolabe originating from the Ilth century; and a comparatively rare 16th century design based on Rojas’ projection - that belong to three schools of making astrolabes, the German, Flemish, and Italian schools. Therefore these three astrolabes provide a glimpse into three different principles of projecting spherical astronomical coordinates and stars onto the plane of the instrument and, at the same time, give an idea of its standard unchanging components and of the evolution of the designer’s thought over a period of fifteen hundred years. All of these instruments are also the intricate works of art of “noble” origin: three to four centuries ago each of these had been handled by an eminent owner. The paper also describes the German, Flemish, and Italian schools of scientific instrument-making which existed in the 16th century, the golden era of the astrolabes. The Italian astrolabe is discussed in more detail: it was relatively recently discovered in the Central Naval Museum and its maker has not been identified yet.
Keywords
history of astronomy, scientific instruments, planispheric astrolabe, astrolabium catholicum, orthographic projection, Rojas projection, Nürnberg, Florence, Leuven, Hermitage, Kunstkamera (Kunstkammer), Central Naval Museum
Date of publication
01.10.2016
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0
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191
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