Item #4951 Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben. Christian ASTRONOMY. METEOROLOGY. ASTROLOGY. Heiden, also Heyden.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.
Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.

Practica Christiani Heidens verordneten Mathematici zu Nuermberg, auff das M.D.LXVII. Jar. Nach der heyligen Geburt Jhesu Christi. Jn gutem zu trewer warnung geschrieben.

Nuremberg: Gedruckt durch Nicolaum Knorrn, late 1566 or early, 1567.

Price: $4,500.00

Quarto: 20 x 16 cm. [24] p. Collation: A-C4

FIRST EDITION.

Bound in modern paste-paper over boards. A good, wide copy with some deckled edges preserved, edges dust-soiled, title soiled and with minor fraying to fore-edge of the leaf, light marginal spotting in the first gathering. Unidentified early stamp with eagle. Small 19th c. release stamp on title (“Ausgeschieden”). 1 copy traced in North America (San Diego State). Of Heiden’s other prognostica, I have traced only a single copy (of the 1566 ed.) in North America (Princeton.).

Between 1565 and 1574, Christian Heiden issued annual prognostica (“Practica” ) -forecasts of astronomical phenomena and what they portend (war, famine, disease, good harvests.) While undated, this one for the year 1567 was presumably printed in late 1566. There are five small woodcuts on the title page: the gods that will “rule” the year: Mars (with flaming torch), Saturn (about to devour one of his children), and Mercury (with his caduceus); and smaller ones of the sun and moon in partial eclipse.

Included are predictions for, among other things, further developments in the Turkish wars, the spread of the plague, solar and lunar eclipses, meteorological forecasts for each season, and the harvest of 1567.

Heiden (1526-1576), son of the well-known Nuremberg musician and writer Sebald Heiden, taught mathematics and astronomy in his native city. He was also an accomplished maker of instruments and globes. Among the extant examples of Heiden’s instruments are a horary quadrant and diptych dial at the Royal Astronomical Society. Many extant examples of Heiden’s instruments (including a horary quadrant and diptych dial) are recorded by Ernst Zinner (Deutsche und niederländische astronomische Instrumente des 11.-18. Jahrhunderts (1956/79) pp. 369-371).

In 1572, Heiden constructed for Emperor Maximillian II and Empress Maria of Austria two sizes of a Planetenwerk, a mechanical device for illustrating the movement of the sun and the moon, “an instrument that especially interested the noted Frenchman, Petrus Ramus, who carefully examined it on the occasion of a visit to Nürnberg. The Dresden example of his work, the only example known, consists of a brass celestial globe encased in a covering of brass, on the surface of which is engraved a terrestrial map. It has a diameter of 72 cm., the whole being furnished with a horizon, a meridian, and an hour circle.”( Stevenson, Terrestrial and Celestial Globes, Vol I.)

Heiden studied mathematics at the University of Wittenberg. In 1556 he took over as rector at the Egidiengymnasium in Nuremberg and in 1564 was also appointed “Mathematicus”. In addition to his salary, he now received an additional 50 guilders provided that that he teach the principia astronomiae every week for 2 hours, make an annual calendar and “practica”. This was the first time that an official calendar-writer in Nuremberg had been explicitly appointed by the city council. Heiden stepped down as rector in 1570 (but retained his position as mathematicus) allowing him more time to focus on instrument-making.

His prognostications were extremely controversial, causing him trouble with his enemies and the Nuremberg authorities. In response to this Practica for 1567, Eucharius Gotthart of Engelburg published “Wider die unchristliche heydnische Practicken, so Christian Heyde, Nürmbergischer Mathematicus, auff das 1567”, that is “Against Christian Heiden’s Unchristian, Pagan [a play on Heyden’s name] Practica for 1567.”

“In his ‘practicas’ Heiden did not hesitate to report the threats the stars held for his theological enemies [Gotthart among them]…. Heiden excoriated all classes for their failings, but included pointed pronouncements about a great weakening of the Roman clergy in upper Germany, and tremendous harm to be done by the Jesuits; he had portentous things to say as well about the Turks, the King of Spain, and other rulers. These blatantly partisan predictions led the Nuremberg authorities to attempt to suppress the work, but with little success.”Barnes, Astrology and Reformation, p. 198).

VD16 H 3319