Compendium

Compendium

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Description
This circular brass compendium consists of three leaves. A ring at the top is for hanging the instrument. Leaf 1a contains a lunar epact table for 1604. There is a lunar volvelle with an index that folds out, a second index, and a phase diagram. This volvelle is calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. It is attached atop a gray metal circle which is calibrated from I to XII by I X 2, from 1 to 29 by 1 counterclockwise, and from IIII to XII to VIII by 1. Metal points extend from each Roman numeral in the last (outermost) scale. The metal circle is attached atop the brass leaf. There is a calendar on the leaf for the epact, with the months labeled in Latin. The outermost circle contains the following numbers: 9, 20, 1, 12, 23, 4, 15, 26, 7, 18, 29, 11, 22, 3, 14, 25, 6, 17, 28.
Leaf 1b is a perpetual calendar, again beginning in 1604. The days of the week (in German) are correlated with planets, the sun, and moon in Latin. Leaf 2a contains horizontal dials calibrated from 6 to 12 to 6 by 1, from A to Z, and from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. The last scale divides each unit into eighths. The gnomon is missing. An inset compass with 4 compass points and eight weather conditions is labeled in Latin. The compass is calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 with each unit divided into fourths. The compass is offset for variation 1/2 hour clockwise of 12:00 north. The four compass points in Latin are also engraved around the edge of the leaf.
Leaf 2b contains a wind rose that folds up although it cannot remain standing on its own. The rose is lettered in German for thirty-two directions and in Latin for twelve weather conditions. There is no wind vane. Leaf 3a contains a calendar of Saints' Days and festivals for July through December. Months are labeled in English/Latin and German and with zodiac symbol and picture.
Leaf 3b contains a calendar of Saints' Days and festivals for January through June. Months are labeled in English/Latin and German and with zodiac symbol and picture.
Probably German.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
compendium
Measurements
overall: 1.3 cm x 10.3 cm x 13 cm; 1/2 in x 4 1/16 in x 5 1/8 in
ID Number
MA.30121
catalog number
30121
accession number
29863
Credit Line
From Hon. H. S. Wise and Lieutenant Sheppard
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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