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Regiomontanus

This site is presented in the spirit of
Regiomontanus
royal astrologer of the late Middle Ages.






Regiomontanus


REGIOMONTANUS
1436-1476

Regiomontanus was the most important astronomer of the 15th century.
He was also an astrologer, mathematician, translator and poet
who helped bridge the gap between the Ptolemaic world and that of Copernicus and Galileo.

Regiomontanus was born Johannes Muller in Konigsberg, Bavaria, and educated in Leipzig and Vienna.
Although having only a brief life of 40 years,
Regio (see horoscope) had a profound effect on astronomy - and thus astrology - in the late Middle Ages.

On entering the employ of King Mathias Huniades Corvinus of Hungary in 1467,
he was called to aid the King whose advisers predicted and feared his imminent death.
Using his astrological knowledge, Regio attributed his condition to a mild heart weakness influenced by a recent eclipse.
On his recovery, the King rewarded his astrologer handsomely.

Regiomontanus endeavored to update and reform the works of the ancients,
writing an abridgement of Ptolemy’s Great Treatise.
He also constructed astrolabes, composed works on trigonometry and the armillary sphere,
published almanacs and ephemerides, and pursued reform of the Julian calendar.

Christopher Columbus carried a copy of his Ephemerides on his fourth New World voyage.
He used it to predict the lunar eclipse of February 29, 1504, and duly impress the natives.

Regiomontanus “concentrated his efforts on mathematical astronomy because
he felt that astrology could not be placed on a sound footing until the celestial motions could be modelled accurately.”

Regiomontanus Horoscope
with interpretations a la Pictorial Astrology

Almagest of Regiomontanus

Frontispiece of Regiomontanus's Epitome of the Almagest
depicting Ptolemy and Regiomontanus sitting beneath an armillary sphere.


References & Graphics thanks to

Department of History and Philosophy of Science
University of Cambridge (http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/starry/regiomontanus.html)

Princeton University Press (http://press.princeton.edu/books/maor/sidebar_c.pdf)