EB - Astronomy

Die Sterne lügen nicht: Astrologie und Astronomie im Mittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit [The Stars Don’t Lie: Astrology and Astronomy in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Era]. Christian Heitzmann. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008. xiii, 268 p. ill. 27 cm. (Ausstellungskataloge der Herzog August Bibliothek, 90). ISBN 978-3-447-05863-6: EUR 39.80

The editor of this catalog is director of the manuscripts division at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel and curator of the exhibit on the history of astrology and astronomy represented here. It showcased manuscripts, incunabula, other early imprints, globes and maps of the heavens, as well as astronomical and astrological instruments from the library’s rich holdings. The substantial catalog describes all the exhibit items in 54 chapters linked by a series of essays, comprising seven sections: “Ancient Roots,” “Astrology in the Middle Ages,” “Renaissance of Science and Flowering of Astrology,” “Astrology in the Age of the Schism,” “Observation and Calculation—the new World View,” “Star Atlases and Celestial Globes in Baroque Splendor,” and “Astronomical and Astrological Instruments.” Following the final chapter is a bibliography with 176 entries, mostly newer publications, which makes no claim to be complete. The catalog has all the merits of the library’s other publications: excellent quality in the color images, exquisite taste and sense of proportion in the layout, and almost no typographical errors. Add to this a convincing concept and understated delivery of background knowledge not weighed down by over-information. The reviewer regrets not having seen the exhibition, but keeps the catalog close at hand for quick access. [wh/hh]

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Last update: January 2013 [LC]
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