NTM International Journal of History & Ethics of Natural Sciences, Technology & Medicine

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 142-159

First online:

Ein Astrolab aus dem Jahr 1420

  • Burkhard StautzAffiliated withInstitut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften der Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The star-positions on the rete of a European astrolabe made in 1420 and now private German property, emphasize how some medieval European star-tables had been incorrectly copied and misunderstood. The star-coordinates and star-names on the astrolabe in question are based on John of London's star-table (1246). The style of the star-pointers and the aequinoctial bar on the rete, some inscriptions, and also the sundial engraved on the alidade are reminiscent of the earliest known Western Islamic astrolabe. The plates are engraved with curves for latitude 45° though the markings stand for different latitudes.