Tannstetter, Georg

Tannstetter, Georg (Bavaria, Rain am Lech, April 1482 – Innsbruck, 26th March 1535), also known as Collimitius, German humanist scientist, astronomer, astrologist and physician. In Ingolstadt and Vienna, he studied mathematics, astronomy and remedy. He received nobility and the name von Thanau. As a professor at the University of Vienna, he was a member of the group known today as the second school of mathematics, cartography and astronomy of Bécs. From 1510, he was royal medic of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, and after his death, Tannstetter served Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, who later became king of Hungary and the Czech Kingdom. He asked for the permission of Emperor Carl V to publish a map showing the fights between Christians and Ottomans, and he received it on 15th December 1522. It is uncertain, though, that the text appearing on the Tabula Hungariae, referring to the privilege given by the Emperor refers to this charter.

In 1530, he gave up teaching in Vienna in order to be royal educator, and until his death in 1535, he lived in the court of the Archduke in Innsbruck, where, among the young princes, he taught Maximilian, who later became Hungarian king and Holy Roman Emperor.

As a teacher, in 1518, accompanied by his student Joachimus Vadianus, he travelled to Buda in order to observe an astronomical phenomenon. We know that the eclipse was predicted by Regiomontanus, so the scientists and the curious were all preparing to observe it. However, medieval scientists were not interested in the full eclipse, rather the accuracy of Regiomontanus’ predictions. Before this, a full solar eclipse occurred in this area on 16th March 1485, and partial eclipses happened in the years 1486, 1488, 1489, 1491, 1493, 1502, 1503, 1506, 1507, 1513, 1515, 1519, 1520 and 1528 (before the publication of the Tabula Hungariae).

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