Early Astronomy in the University of Michigan Collections

De Revolutionibus (1566)

The second edition of the De Revolutionibus is mostly a reprint of the first. Some errors were corrected but new ones were introduced. For instance, the diagram on page 141r is mislabeled. As announced on the title page, the major novelty of the second edition is the insertion between 196v and 213r of Rheticus’ Narratio Prima, a sort of preliminary report, a generic summary of Copernicus’ manuscript.

An ownership inscription has been scratched out, making it hardly legible: Jacob[us] R. g. ., Paris 1656. On top of the page, probably by the same hand, is a note referring to the price paid for the book: Const. 3 fr. 10 st.: Paris. 1656. The University of Michigan Library acquired this copy in March 1939 from R. Lier & Co. in Florence.

The Narratio Prima


Select Bibliography

  • Rosen, Edward. 2008. “Rheticus, George Joachim.” In Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 11 (digital edition). Detroit, MI: Charles Scribner’s Sons: 395-398.
  • Tredwell, Katherine A. 2004. “Michael Maestlin and the Fate of the Narratio Prima.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 35 (3): 305-325.

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