Label 4: 1524 Apian

The first image shows the title page of Peter Apian’s (1495-1552) Cosmographicus liber Petri Apiani mathematici studiose collectus ([Landshutae: impensis P. Apiani, 1524]).

The second image provides insight into Apian’s work. Given his interests in astronomy, geography, mathematics, and instruments,  Apian was very much in the spirit of Ptolemy.

Figure 3 depicts a volvelle, also known as an "Apian wheel". America appears on one of the maps. Zodiac symbols on the rim of the inner circle underscore cosmography's interrelationship between the earth's geography and the celestial realm.

Denis E. Cosgrove comments that:

 “ Peter Apian’s Cosmographicus liber, ... cosmography refers to mathematical description of both cosmos and earth through their relation as established by spherical projection and relates to the four elements that compose the sublunary sphere. But cosmography also deals specifically with the terrestrial globe understood mathematically ....The distinction is illustrated in Apian’s woodcut illustrations of cosmography …: the left image shows earth and cosmos as separately seen by a disembodied eye, indicating projection of the circles; the right image shows a self-standing earthly globe whose geography of lands and seas is contained within a graticule of cosmographic circles and meridian lines.”

Adam Mosley notes that:

“Renaissance cosmography’s foundational text was Ptolemy’s Geography – a guide to mapping the Earth by longitude and latitude, with an accompanying gazetteer of places, from which both world and regional maps could be drawn. On completing the first translation of the text from Greek into Latin in the early fifteenth century, the Florentine humanist Jacopo Angeli elected to rename this work the Cosmography, after the word cosmos, arguing that the text concerned both the heavens and the Earth.[8] As depicted in one of the best-known and most frequently republished cosmographic works of the sixteenth century, Peter Apian’s Cosmographicus liber (1524), the truth of Angeli’s claim rested on the fact that coordinate mapping depends upon the projection onto the surface of the Earth of fundamental divisions of the celestial sphere ….”

Peter Apian (1495-1552).
Cosmographicus liber Petri Apiani mathematici studiose collectus.
[Landshutae: impensis P. Apiani, 1524]

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