HELLER von WEISSENFELS, Joachim. Practica auff das M.D.LXXX. Jar, welches ein Schaltjahr. Leipzig, Nickel Nerlich, 1580.
The astrological prognostication for 1580 by Joachim Heller, ‘whose Nuremberg practicas were among the most widely read and imitated of all by the early 1560s’ (Robin Bruce Barnes, Astrology and Reformation p. 222).
‘Joachim Heller, a friend of Melanchthon and professor of mathematics at Nürnberg, was also a defender of astrology … It was assumed by Heller that the stars were the means by which God governed the world and expressed the concepts of his divine reason. To oppose the astrologer was, consequently, rank impiety’ (Don Cameron Allen, The Star-crossed Renaissance: The Quarrel about Astrology and Its Influence in England, p. 65).
MODRONI, Ludovico. Caelestis figura directiones alieque Astronomiae Operationes inusitata arte per novas domorum tabulas …. Bologna, Nicolai Tebaldini, 1641.
Rare first edition of Modroni’s astrological work, containing extensive tables for calculation.
The tables are preceded by a treatise on astrological technique, the calculation of the ascendant, and the calculation of the house cusps and relative directions.
According to Cantamessa, the 52-page introduction is by Antonio Modroni, possibly a brother of Ludovico’s, and who published two astrological prognostications just prior to the present work.
PIGHIUS, Albert. [Manuscript horoscope for the Duke of Sessa]. [Spain?] 1523.
An extensive horoscope cast for the Duke of Sessa by the Dutch theologian, mathematician and astronomer, Albert Pighius, an ardent opponent of the dogma of the slavery of the human will.
Pighius was repeatedly employed in ecclesiastico-political embassies. He had taught mathematics to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, afterwards Paul III; in 1535 Paul III appointed him provost of St. John’s at Utrecht, where he had held a canonry since 1524. At the religious disputation of in 1541 he was on the Catholic side.
Pighius published a number of works reflecting his mathematico-astronomical interests. As a theologian he zealously defended the authority of the Church against the Reformers.
TITIS, Placido de. Physiomathematica, sive coelestis philosophia naturalibus hucusq[ue] desideratis ostensa principijs. Cum nuperrimis ad Placidianam doctrinam additamentis, excerptis ex III libro Astronomicarum rerum praemittendarum ad futuram Astrologiam Italicam, à Cursino Francobacci ex Africano Scirota Romano, in hac secunda aeditione ad operis calcem appositis. Milan, Francesco Vigoni, 1675.
A very attractive copy in contemporary vellum of the second edition (first 1650) of de Titis’ important and influential astrological work, enlarged by the additamenta of his pupils Brunnaccio and Onorato.
‘De Titi’s here treats the problem already confronted by Ptolemy of the moment at which to calculate a birth horoscope, a moment difficult to ascertain due to the imprecision of timekeepers. He resolves it by affirming that the true moment of birth is the one determined by the planet dominating the conjunction of sun and moon, or their opposition at the moment immediately preceding birth.
Placed on the Index in 1687, de Titi’s work was of some major influence, especially in Protestant England. An English translation edited by E. Sibly appeared in 1789 under the title Astronomy and elementary philosophy together with A collection of Thirty Remarkable Nativities, followed by John Cooper’s extensively annotated Primum Mobile of 1814.