By James M. Lattis
Though fairly unknown at the present time, Clavius used to be significantly influential all through Europe within the overdue 16th and early 17th centuries via his astronomy books—the regular texts utilized in many schools and universities, and the instruments with which Descartes, Gassendi, and Mersenne, between many others, realized their astronomy. James Lattis makes use of Clavius's personal guides in addition to archival fabrics to track the relevant position Clavius performed in integrating conventional Ptolemaic astronomy and Aristotelian traditional philosophy into an orthodox cosmology. even if Clavius strongly resisted the hot cosmologies of Copernicus and Tycho, Galileo's invention of the telescope finally eroded the Ptolemaic international view.
By tracing Clavius's perspectives from medieval cosmology the 17th century, Lattis illuminates the conceptual shift from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy and the social, highbrow, and theological effect of the medical Revolution.
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Additional info for Between Copernicus and Galileo: Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology
S. or applicable copyright law. -.. Figure 6. Portrait of Clavius in about 1606. By E. de Boulonois after Francesco Villamena. From I. Bullart, Academie des Sciences (Amsterdam, 1682). Photograph courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library . 92 This portrait of Clavius (see fig. 6) shows the aged professor, now sixtynine years old, seated at his desk and wearing the habit of a Jesuit priest. On the wall in the background hang an astrolabe and a quadrant-basic tools of the pretelescopic astronomer and themselves the subjects of some of Clavius's books .
Clavius played a major part in setting the terms of cosmological debates for an entire generation of scholars. Clavius's astronomical observations are not the most important aspect of his work, but they have, even recently, found a place in modem astronomical investigations. His observations of the solar eclipse of 9 April 1567 were called upon in our own century to support the claim that the sun may be subject to long term variations in its diameter. 34 Early Life Up to the point when Clavius first appears in the records of the Society of Jesus at Rome in 1555, we know almost nothing about him except that he was born on 25 March 1538 in the German town of Bamberg, the see of the prince-bishop of Franconia.
75 In short, from Maurolico Clavius received a small library of texts on subjects that coincide with many of Clavius's later mathematical publications. ; Between Copernicus and Galileo : Christoph Clavius and the Collapse of Ptolemaic Cosmology Account: ns148561 Copyright © 1994. University of Chicago Press. All rights reserved. S. or applicable copyright law. 20 CHAPTER ONE the treatise on the nova of 1572, none of the material directly concerns pure astronomy. Calendar Reform Another major event in Clavius's career occurred in the mid-1570s, this one as significant as his expedition to Messina, for it remains a principal source of his fame.