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

Savile, Henry

Reference work entry

BornBradley, Yorkshire, England, 30 November 1549

DiedEton, Berkshire, England, 19 February 1622

Henry Savile is known today primarily for his endowment of the Savilian Chair of Geometry and Chair of Astronomy at Oxford; in his day he was also noted for an Oxford series of lectures on the Almagest.

Savile, son of Henry and Elizabeth (née Ramsden) Savile, matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, circa 1561, and in 1565 he became a fellow of Merton College. Savile established his scholarly reputation in the 1570s with a brilliant series of lectures on the Almagest. The lectures are impressive in their use of ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sources – notably including  Nicolaus Copernicus – to elucidate the text of  Ptolemy’s classic work. Savile was ambivalent about the controversy over the Copernican theory. “Is it not all one,” he famously replied to a colleague who asked about the movement of the Earth, “sitting at dinner whether my table be brought to me, or I goe [sic] to my...

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Selected References

  1. Carr, William (1921–1922). “Savile, Sir Henry.” In Dictionary of National Biography, edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee. Vol. 17, pp. 856–859. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Fauvel, John, Raymond Flodd, and Robin Wilson (eds.) (2000). Oxford Figures: 800 Years of the Mathematical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press.MATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Goulding, Robert (1995). “Henry Savile and the Tychonic World-System.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 58: 152–179.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Savile, Henry. “ Notes for lectures on the Almagest.” Savile MSS 29, 31, and 32. Bodelian Library, Oxford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utah Valley State CollegeOremUSA