Woodcut prints from Cosmographicus Liber by Petrus Apianus (1495-1552)
Born as Peter Bienewitz, he studied cosmography and mathematics in Leipzig and Vienna and began writing short cosmographical works on world geography. He was a mathematician, printer and instrument maker, as well as a sought-after teacher and scholar.
He published the first edition of Cosmographicus Liber in 1524.
… a layman’s introduction to the science of the time, … was based largely on Ptolemy. Among other subjects, it describes planetary motion and terrestrial geography, techniques for celestial navigation with mathematical instruments, telling time, and measuring distances.
It contains many woodcut illustrations, including moveable stacked illustration plates called volvelles, which could be manipulated to make calculations. The book remained popular until the end of the 16th century. [ X ]
Apianus became well known for his scientific observations as well as for his many books and essays on geometry, trigonometry, astronomical instruments, and his astronomical observations.