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Schoener, Johannes

1. Dates
Born: Karlstadt, 16 Jan 1477
Died: Nuremberg, 16 Jan 1547
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 70
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: Karlstadt, Germany
Career: Bamberg and Nuremberg, Germany
Death: Nuremberg, Germany
4. Education
Schooling: Erfuhrt
First, he studied under the pastor of the Nuremberg Frauenkirche, master Daniel Schmidt.
1494, he studied theology at the University of Erfurt, but he left without taking a degree.
He studied practical astronomy under Bernhard Walther (d. 1504) in Nuremberg.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic, Lutheran
He was ordained a priest in 1515.
1527, he converted to Lutherism and married. Stevens writes that he married as early as 1524 and did not convert until later.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Astronomy, Geography
Subordinate: Astrology, Medicine, Mth.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life, Schoolmastering
Secondary: Art
He served as a prebend at the Church of St. Jacob in Bamberb. At the same time (or perhaps earlier), he assembled a printing shop in his house, where he set type, carved woodcuts, and bound books. He also made globes.
He was relegated to officiate early mass as a parochial vicar at Kirchehrenbach, a small village near Frochheim, after having neglected to celebrate mass.
He left the priesthood altogether after rebellious peasants threatened to kill all the Roman Catholic clergy in 1525.
1526-46, he taught mathematics at the Melanchton Gymnasium in Nuremberg on the recommendation of Melanchton.
8. Patronage
Types: Eccesiastic Official, City Magistrate, Court Official
With his printed globe, he issued Luculentissima quaedam terra totius descriptio (Nuremberg, 1515), which he dedicated to the Bishop of Bamberg (Georg Schenk v. Limberg). He likewise dedicated his Solidi et sphaerici corporis sive globi astronomici canones usum et expeditam praxim ejusdem exprimentes (Nuremberg, 1517). In 1518 he was paid for binding a book for the Bishop. Eventually, all of his works were placed on the index of prohibited books.
He dedicated one of his books to the Nuremberg magistrates. This laid the groundwork for Schöner's appointment to the Melanchton school.
He had a patron named Johann Seyler, a prominent citizen of Bamberg, who provided financial support for his globemaking venture. His second globe, the one for which he is best known, was sold to Seyler in 1520.
The globe of 1523 is dedicated to Reymer von Streytpergk, canon of the church of Bamberg, chaplain to Wigand, Bishop of Bamberg.
Globi stelliferi sive sphaerae stellarum fixarum usus... and Opusculum geographicum et diversorum libris ac cartis... (1533) are dedicated to Prince Johann Friedrich of Saxony, for whom Schöner made a terrestial and a celestial globe.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: Cartography
Perhaps he might be listed for instruments inasmuch as he made globes, but this doesn't seem identical to others in this category.
He certainly practiced cartography, however.
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
According to Stevens, he sent observations to Copernicus.
  1. Günther, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, 32, 295-7.
  2. Henry Stevens, Johann Schöner, Charles H. Coote, ed. (London, 1888) [Lilly GA271.S32 Mendel].
  3. Franz Wieser, Magalhâes-Strasse und Austral-continent auf den Globen des Johannes Schöner, (Innsbruck, 1881) [GA401.W65]
Not Available and Not Consulted
  1. Karl Schottenloher, "Johann Schöner und seine Hausdruckerei," Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen, 24 (1907), 145-55.
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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