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Astronomical Images : Elements of geometry: diverse lines and shapes

Johannes Sacrobosco

Astronomical Images

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Very little is known about Johannes Sacrobosco except that he was probably British, taught astronomy at Paris University, and died there in the second quarter of the thirteenth century. <i>Sphaera mundi</i>, his major work, was an extraordinarily popular astronomical textbook for several generations. Manuscripts of it circulated through all the main European centres of learning. It was first published in 1472 in Ferrara, and went through dozens of editions up to the mid-seventeenth century. This edition of Sacrobosco's <i>Sphaera mundi</i> was printed with Georg Peuerbach's <i>Theoricae novae planetarum</i> and Johannes Regiomontanus's <i>Disputationes contra Cremonensia deliramenta.</i> It is illustrated throughout with woodcuts, some of which were coloured. These illustrations are part of the elements of geometry that elucidate chapter one of Sacrobosco's text, which defines the Sphere. They represent various lines and angles: straight line (<i>linea recta</i>), curved line (<i>linea curva</i>); straight surface (<i>superficies recta</i>), curved surface (<i>curva</i>); angles (<i>anguli</i>); perpendicular (<i>perpendicularis</i>), oblique (<i>obliqua</i>); acute, right, and obtuse angles (<i>angulus acutus</i>, <i>rectus</i>, <i>obtusus</i>); parallel lines (<i>parallelae lineae</i>), converging lines (<i>lineae concurrentes</i>).</p>

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