Hyginus’s “De Astronomia” and Other Astronomical and Computational Manuscripts


Although this manuscript dating from the early 12th century is incomplete, its overall structure can be deduced from the remaining parts. At one time it contained the De Astronomia of Hyginus, a calendar, and several texts on chronometry. An astronomical textbook under the name of Hyginus was widely disseminated throughout the Middle Ages. The topics of the work concern central conceptions relating to stars and celestial myths. In its present form, the manuscript contains the second book of Hyginus’s De Astronomia, together with pen drawings, including of the constellations. The drawings show the influence of northern French and southern German book illumination; most likely they were produced at Strasbourg. The manuscript belonged to the court library at Mannheim and was transferred to Munich in 1803−4. Gaius Julius Hyginus was a first-century Latin author and scholar who wrote numerous works on biography, poetry, agriculture and beekeeping, and other topics, most of which have not survived.

Last updated: January 8, 2018