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

Silvester, Bernard

  • C. Brown-Syed
Reference work entry

Alternate Name

 Bernardus Silvestris

FlourishedFrance, circa1150

Bernardus Silvestris was one of a number of well-rounded scholars who cultivated a revival of learning during the twelfth century. Few personal details are available about Bernard, apart from the fact that he was a master in the schools of Tours, and was associated closely with the school of Chartres, and a friend and literary collaborator of its master Thierry. His major contribution to astronomical literature is the Cosmographia, a concise summary of the high medieval understanding of the creation of the cosmos and the geocentric model of the Universe.

The noted medievalist, Charles Homer Haskins, lists Bernardus among the era’s great writers. Haskins points out Bernardus’s debt to  Macrobius’s Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, and to Thierry of Chartres, to whom the Cosmographia is dedicated. A translation of  Ptolemy’s Planisphere, by Peter the Dalmatian, was also addressed to Thierry, providing additional evidence...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Selected References

  1. Haskins, Charles Homer (1971). The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Plato (1977). Timaeus, translated by Desmond Lee. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. Stock, Brian (1972). Myth and Science in the Twelfth Century: A Study of Bernard Silvester. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Wetherbee, Winthrop (1990). The Cosmographia of Bernardus Silvestris. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA