Wow wow wow Wednesday

This little volume is packed with surprises and traces of humanity. 

Texts  The first title in this volume is an early astronomy text (Johannes de Sacro Bosco’s Sphaera mundi, 1558). One might wonder: Why would a theology library have something like this? Well, it is bound with a 1556 theological work by reformer Philipp Melanchthon. (PM also wrote the preface to the Sphaera mundi.)

Annotations  In addition to having a fabulous binding (clasps intact!) this volume contains notes and annotations in several early hands including one note signed and dated 1563. Some appear to be biblical commentary (or notes on sermons?).

Moving parts  Oh, and if all that isn’t enough…The astronomy text includes moving, woodcut illustrations known as volvelles.

Students of theology, students of the history of science, students of book history: Enjoy!


Joannes de Sacro Bosco - Sphaera Mundi, 1490.

Sphaera Mundi deals with the shape and apparent movement of the earth and other heavenly bodies and today is accounted the single most influential astronomy text ever published. This text and works subsequently informed by it would have been an essential tool for any medical astrologer, as an exceptional knowledge of the movement of planets and stars was a prerequisite for such a practice.