Sphraera Mundi by Joannes de Sacrobosco

Impresso in Venetia per Francesco Brucioli, & i Frategli, 1543. call no. Hon Spcl Wagner QB 41 B78 1543. The Sphaera Mundi ( The Sphere of the World) is Sacro Basco’s main work on spherical astronomy of the Ptolemaic system, first written in Latin circa 1230. It became one of the most popular scientific works from the European Middle Ages. As many as twenty-four editions were published during the incunabula period only, and it remained in print well into the 17th century. Johannes de Sacrobosco, or John of Holywood, or Halifax, probably was an Englishman, although even his nationality is uncertain.

Special Collections copy was a gift from bibliographer and historian Henry Raup Wagner. It is profusely illustrated by a past user, probably from the 16th century, who couldn’t resist providing his own cartoon depictions of Sacrobosco’s text.