The museum is open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free timed-entry passes are required. Review our latest visitor safety guidelines.

Compendium

Compendium

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
Downloads
Description
This unsigned octagonal brass compendium is similar to some of Christoph Schissler. It has three leaves. Leaf 1a contains a geographical astrolabe. A rotating circular plate (diameter 113 mm) carries a longitude scale of degrees 0 to 360 at its outer edge, divided to 10 and 2, and numbered by 10. Within the scale is a polar projection of the earth to the Tropic of Capricorn. Humans shown on continents with ships and fish in the seas. North America not shown, South America is. The plate rotates over a circle calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2 with quarter-hours marked. The four cardinal points are labeled in Latin. The rete is labeled with the zodiac names and divided by days; the index is labeled "MERIDIES" and is part of a circle calibrated from 1 to 24 by 1.
Leaf 1b is a map of Germany surrounded by an equally divided ring of twelve winds on the pattern. The map is centered near Bamberg. There is a rotating index which bears a slide for pinpointing towns. There is a hole for a wind vane which is missing.
Leaf 2a is a horizontal dial for latitudes 42, 45, 48, 51, 54, and 57 and labeled "Horologium Horizontale ad Elevationes Poli 42 45 48 51 54 57 Gra[dus]". There are circles for each latitude calibrated from 4 to 12 to 8 by 1 with quarter-hours marked. A string gnomon (missing) would attach to a folding brass arc which is labeled "Scala Latitudinum Poli" and calibrated from 42 to 58 by 2. Inset compass is labeled with the four cardinal points in Latin and calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2.The compass is offset about 5 degrees east of north for variation.
Leaf 2b is a latitude table of seventy-nine European cities. Leaf 3a is a volvelle with index and phase diagram. The volvelle is calibrated from 1 to 12 by 1 X 2. Around the volvelle is another hour scale (1 to 12 by 1 X 2), a scale for days (1 to 29 by 1), and a scale for minutes (0 to 48 by 12 X 6). Next are scales for correlating between length of day and time of sunrise, and length of night and time of sunset. Leaf 3b contains a nocturnal.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
compendium
Date made
1557
Measurements
overall: 1.7 cm x 12.3 cm x 12.3 cm; 21/32 in x 4 27/32 in x 4 27/32 in
ID Number
MA.316944
catalog number
316944
accession number
229164
Credit Line
Gift of Lessing J. Rosenwald
subject
Mathematics
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.

Comments

Add a comment about this object