Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

John of Holywood

  • Adam Mosley
Reference work entry

Alternate Names

 Johannes de Sacrobosco;  Sacrobosco

Flourishedfirst half of the thirteenth century

John of Holywood wrote mathematical texts that were widely commented upon, corrected, and republished all over Europe. His work and that of his commentators was used for teaching astronomy for several centuries.

Almost no reliable information about the life of John of Holywood exists. On the basis of a statement made by his commentator  Robertus Anglicusin 1271, he is generally considered to have been English by birth, but the possibility that he was of some other nationality has also been entertained by historians. His only known institutional connections were with the University of Paris, where John of Holywood is thought to have lectured on mathematics and astronomy; he may, however, have been educated elsewhere. After his death a memorial was erected in the Paris monastery of Saint Mathurin, which was closely associated with the university. This monument is no longer extant, but...

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Selected References

  1. Knorr, Wilbur R. (1997). “Sacrobosco’s Quadrans: Date and Sources.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 28: 187–222.ADSMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Moreton, Jennifer (1994). “John of Sacrobosco and the Calendar.” Viator 25: 229–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pedersen, F. Saaby (ed.) (1983–1984). Petri Philomenae de Dacia et Petri De. S. Audomaro opera quadrivialia. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Societas Linguae and Litterarum Danicarum. Vol. 1, pp. 174–201.Google Scholar
  4. Pedersen, Olaf (1985). “In Quest of Sacrobosco.” Journal for the History of Astronomy 16: 175–221.ADSMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Thorndike, Lynn (1949). The Sphere of Sacrobosco and Its Commentators. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.MATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History & ClassicsSwansea UniversityPlasmarlUK