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The Engraved Frontispiece of Kepler’s Tabulae Rudolphinae (1627): A Preliminary Study

Gattei, Stefano The Engraved Frontispiece of Kepler’s Tabulae Rudolphinae (1627): A Preliminary Study. Nuncius, XXIV (2). pp. 341-365. (2009)

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Johannes Kepler completed the Tabulae Rudolphinae in their logarithmic form in 1624. It then took three years to gather the financial support, find a suitable publisher and, particularly, overcome the difficulties posed by Tycho’s heirs, who claimed both a share in the profits as well as censorship rights. The tables represented the crowning achievement of Kepler’s career as an astronomer. Because of their novelty and importance, he proposed that the tall folio volume should have an appropriate frontispiece. The paper describes the meaning of the very many components of the engraving and relates them to Kepler’s published works. Furthermore, it traces the origin of Kepler’s frontispiece to Tycho’s observatory on the Isle of Hven, as well as suggests the possible pictorial source of the key element of the drawing. Finally, it highlights how Kepler, by way of this frontispiece, found the way both to assert his own position in and contribution to the history of astronomy, as well as to place himself in the dispute over the Copernican hypothesis.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1400/130136
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Stefano Gattei
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2011 11:47
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2011 14:24
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/73

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