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

Schöner, Johannes

Reference work entry

BornKarlstadt near Nuremberg, (Germany), 16 January 1477

DiedNuremberg, (Germany), 16 January 1547

The Narratio Prima of Johannes Schöner was the first publicized account of the Copernican theory.

Little is known about Schöner’s youth. He matriculated at the university in Erfurt in 1494, but apparently did not complete a degree there. After being ordained as a priest in 1500, Schöner settled in Nuremberg in 1504, where he immediately devoted time to making celestial observations. In Nuremberg, he was also able to study briefly under  Bernard Walther, until the latter’s death in 1504. On 8 January and on 18 March 1504, Schöner made observations of the planet Venus, which he sent to  Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus later used these and other observations in his theory of Mercury. Schöner took priestly orders in 1515 and was appointed to a position in Bamberg. In the same year, his first terrestrial globe was printed. Due to neglect of his clerical duties in Bamberg, Schöner was...

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Selected References

  1. Klemm, Hans Gunther (1992). Der Fränkische Mathematicus Johann Schöner (1477–1547) und seine Kirchehrenbacher Briefe an den Nürnberger Patrizier Willibald Pirckheimer. Forchheim: Ehrenbürg-Gymnasium. (Klemm concentrates on the period of Schöner’s stay in Kirchehrenbach and publishes at the end of this work transcriptions of letters between the Nuremberger theologian Willibald Pirckheimer and Schöner.)Google Scholar
  2. Schöner, Johannes (1967). Regiomontanus on Triangles, translated by Barnabas Hughes. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. (Schöner’s publication of Regiomontanus’s De triangulis omnimodis.)Google Scholar
  3. Stevens, Henry N. (1888). Johann Schöner: Professor of Mathematics at Nuremberg, edited with an introduction by C. H. Coote. London: Henry Stevens and Son. (Still a valuable source on Schöner’s life and works. In the “Historical Introduction” to this work, there is a short discussion of Schöner’s life on pp. xxxix–xlv. The book also contains facsimile reproductions and translations of Schöner’s Globe of 1523 and the introductory letter to the Globe which was written to Reymer von Streytpergk. In the back of the volume, there is an excellent bibliography of 46 of Schöner’s works. However, the bibliography does not list the works of Regiomontanus that Schöner edited for publication.)Google Scholar
  4. Thorndike, Lynn (1941). A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Vol. 5, pp. 354–371. New York: Columbia University Press. (For a valuable investigation of Schöner’s life and works.)Google Scholar
  5. Zinner, Ernst (1990). Regiomontanus: His Life and Work, translated by Ezra Brown. Amsterdam: North-Holland. (For more on Schöner’s acquisition and publication of Regiomontanus’s works.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityIDUSA