Softcover NYPL Astronomica Journal
Price: $ 15.95
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The original De astronomia is most commonly believed to have been composed late in the 1st century B.C. by C. Julius Hyginus, a freedman of Augustus Caesar and chief librarian of the then recently established Palatine Library in Rome. The original is long lost. Over the centuries, manuscript copies of the treatise were created in order to preserve Hyginus’ words and reflections. The work was transmitted by scribes who painstakingly reproduced the original text and artists called miniaturists who supplied the appropriate illustrations in each. Today, only 88 manuscript copies survive, the earliest dating to the 9th century.
De sideribus tractatus itself is dated to circa 1475–1480 and named for the recognizable words written in capital letters at the beginning of the text: “Hygini de sideribus tractatus incipit,” meaning “Here begins the treatise of Hyginus on the constellations.” Over the years, the work has also been referred to as “Poeticon Astronomicon” (used in the first illustrated printed edition) as well as “Poetica astronomica.” The text of this manuscript copy is believed to have been inscribed for his own use by Francesco Buzzacarini (ca. 1440–ca. 1500), with artwork attributed to Giovanni Vendramin and an otherwise anonymous miniaturist known as the Douce Master. Their artwork is, in fact, what makes De sideribus tractatus such an exceptional copy of De astronomia. The quality of detail and additional artistic flourishes in this manuscript cause it to outshine nearly every other known manuscript copy of Hyginus’ work.
Today De sideribus tractatus is a part of The New York Public Library’s Spencer Collection of fine bindings and illustrated books.
The New York Public Library's collections contain millions of prints, photographs, maps, objects, manuscripts, and posters. Many of the items in our vast archives are accessible online - learn more at digitalcollections.nypl.org.
Product: Softcover Lined Page Journal
Pages: Midi 176 / Ultra 176
Material: 100% recycled binder boards / Decorative printed cover paper / FSC-certified writing paper derived from sustainable forest pulp
Dim: Midi 5" x 7" / Ultra 7" x 9"