De sphaera of Johannes de Sacrobosco in the Early Modern Period (2020)
The Authors of the Commentaries
This open access book explores commentaries on an influential text of pre-Copernican astronomy in Europe. It features essays that take a close look at key intellectuals and how they engaged with the main ideas of this qualitative introduction to geocentric cosmology. Johannes de Sacrobosco compiled his Tractatus de sphaera during the thirteenth century in the frame of his teaching activities at the then recently founded University of Paris. It soon became a mandatory text all over Europe. As a result, a tradition of commentaries to the text was soon established and flourished until the second half of the 17th century. Here, readers will find an informative overview of these commentaries complete with a rich context. The essays explore the educational and social backgrounds of the writers. They also detail how their careers developed after the publication of their commentaries, the institutions and patrons they were affiliated with, what their agenda was, and whether and how they actually accomplished it. The editor of this collection considers these scientific commentaries as genuine scientific works. The contributors investigate them here not only in reference to the work on which it comments but also, and especially, as independent scientific contributions that are socially, institutionally, and intellectually contextualized around their authors.