International symposium on the history of science in the Rudolphine period underway in Prague
Prague is currently hosting an international symposium on the history of science in the Rudolphine period, organized on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the death of Tycho de Brahe, a famous Danish astronomer, who lived towards the end of his life at the imperial court of Prague. Alena Skodova reports.
"He was living in Prague towards the end of his life, he was relatively arrogant, he was self-directed in doing something very unusual for a nobleman namely to write and publish books, which was very strange in those days and also, of course, to be making all of his observations with those fabulous instruments that he was building."
Tycho de Brahe is regarded as the greatest astronomer of his time, using sophisticated devices which he himself constructed. But as we hear from professor Gingerich, Rudolf wanted to keep Brahe's talents all to himself:
Do there exist records or manuscripts from which we can learn more about the work of this famous astronomer?
"Of course, Tycho Brahe published a number of books on his works, the last one was brought out by Kepler here in Prague, but in addition, the observation manuscript survived. There's one set of them in Copenhagen, and another set that is in the library in Vienna. The major part of what we know of Tycho Brahe's library remains here in Prague, in the Klementinum. There are about 100 titles bound in fifty some volumes and these are a very precious source to see what kind of material Tycho Brahe was reading."