Friday, May 2, 2014

Regiomontanus, Bishop of Regensburg

When working with late medieval and early modern prophecies, one naturally starts to wonder when prophecy ceased. At what point did leading intellectuals, or socially respectable people, or the broad mass of the population stop putting stock in prophecies? That moment comes later than you might think. I haven't undertaken a systematic search for late prophecies, but I have taken note as I've come across them. There are at least a few examples of what look like earnestly published prophecies in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Usually the late prophecies that are published or collected in the eighteenth through twentieth centuries are reminiscent but not obviously identical to late medieval or early modern prophecies, although there are exceptions, sometimes amusingly so. Johann Nepomuk Trülle's Buch der Wahr- und Weissagungen, with editions dated 1849, 1850, and 1854, contains the Latin rendition of the 1588 quatrain, only slightly altered for relevance to the year 1788, and attributed to "Johannes Müller, Bischof von Regensburg, im XV. Jahrhundert." This is recognizable as a distortion of Johannes Müller von Königsberg, the given name of the fifteenth-century astronomer Regiomontanus usually associated with the 1588 quatrain. The appearance in the Buch der Wahr- und Weissagungen gives the 1588 quatrain, first attested in 1553, three full centuries of reception in print. A facsimile of Latin verse in Trülle's 1849 edition is available from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! Pointer forwarded :