Achilles Gasser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Achilles Gasser
Portret van Achilles Pirminius Gasser, RP-P-1915-1327.jpg
Known forComet observations, research on European history and geography
Scientific career
FieldsAstronomy, cartography
InfluencesSebastian Münster

Achilles Pirmin Gasser[1] (3 November 1505 – 4 December 1577)[2] was a German physician and astrologer. He is now known as a well-connected humanistic scholar, and supporter of both Copernicus and Rheticus.


Born in Lindau, he studied mathematics, history and philosophy as well as astronomy.[3] He was a student in Sélestat under ;[4] he also attended universities in Wittenberg, Vienna, Montpellier, and Avignon.[5]

In 1528, German cartographer Sebastian Münster appealed to scientists across the Holy Roman Empire[6] to assist him with his description of Germany. Gassar accepted this and was later recognized by Münster as a close collaborator for his cartography of the country.[7]

Rheticus lost his physician father Georg Iserin in 1528, executed on sorcery charges. Gasser later took over the practice in Feldkirch, in 1538; he taught Rheticus some astrology, and helped his education, in particular by writing to the University of Wittenberg on his behalf.[5][8][9]

When Rheticus printed his Narratio prima—the first published account of the Copernican heliocentric system—in 1540 (Danzig), he sent Gasser a copy. Gasser then undertook a second edition (1541, Basel) with his own introduction,[10] in the form of a letter from Gasser to of Konstanz.[5] The second edition (1566, Basel) of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium contained the Narratio Prima with this introduction by Gasser.[11]

Gasser died in Augsburg, leaving over 2,900 literary works that are now stored at the Vatican Library in Rome.[citation needed]


Title page of the De magnete in the 1558 edition by Gasser.

He prepared the first edition (Augsburg, 1558) of the Epistola de magnete of Pierre de Maricourt.[3][12]

Other works include:

  • Historiarum et Chronicorum totius mundi epitome (1532)
  • Prognosticon (1544) dedicated to [13]
  • Edition of the Evangelienbuch of Otfried of Weissenburg. His edition did not appear until 1571, under the name of Matthias Flacius who had taken over.[14]
  • Observations on comets[15]

Gasser belonged with Flacius to the humanist circle around , concerned with the recovery of monastic manuscripts. Others in the group were John Bale, Conrad Gesner, Joris Cassander, , and .[16]


  1. ^ Also Gassar, Gasserus, Gassarus.
  2. ^ Blendinger, Friedrich (1964), "Gasser, Achilles Pirminius", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), 6, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 79; (full text online)
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Peter G. Bietenholz and Thomas Brian Deutscher, Contemporaries of Erasmus: a biographical register of the Renaissance and Reformation (2003), Volume 3, p. 196; Google Books.
  5. ^ Jump up to: a b c Danielson, Dennis (2004), "Achilles Gasser and the birth of Copernicanism", Journal for the History of Astronomy, 35 Part 4 (121): 457–474, Bibcode:2004JHA....35..457D, doi:10.1177/002182860403500406, ISSN 0021-8286, S2CID 115298364.
  6. ^ Burmeister, Karl Heinz (1970). "Achilles Gasser as Geographer and Cartographer". 24. Bregenz: Imago Mundi: 57. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ Burmeister, Karl Heinz (1970). "Achilles Gasser (1505-1577) as Geographer and Cartographer". Imago Mundi. Bregenz: Imago Mundi, Ltd. 24: 57–58. doi:10.1080/03085697008592350 – via JSTOR.
  8. ^ MacTutor page on Rheticus Archived 27 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Repcheck, pp. 113–4.
  10. ^ "Nicolaus Copernicus". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University. 2019.
  11. ^ "NICOLAUS COPERNICUS THORUNENSIS - the history of the editions of de revolutionibus".
  12. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pierre de Maricourt" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  13. ^ Anthony Grafton, Cardano's Cosmos: the worlds and works of a Renaissance astrologer (1999), p. 56; Google Books
  14. ^ Dictionaries in Early Modern Europe (PDF)[permanent dead link], p. 122.
  15. ^ Kokott, W., The Comet of 1533, p. 105.
  16. ^ Kees Dekker and Cornelis Dekker, The Origins of Old Germanic Studies in the Low Countries (1999), p. 21; Google Books.


  • Jack Repcheck (2007), Copernicus' Secret: How the Scientific Revolution Began

Further reading[]

  • Karl Heinz Burmeister (1970), Achilles Pirmin Gasser, 1505-1577. Arzt u. Naturforscher, Historiker und Humanist. (3 volumes.)
  • Karl Heinz Burmeister, Achilles Pirmin Gasser (1505-1577) as Geographer and Cartographer, Imago Mundi Vol. 24, (1970), pp. 57–62;

External links[]

Retrieved from ""