The "Prutenic Tables" ( _la. Tabulae prutenicae, _de. Prutenische oder Preußische Tafeln), were
ephemeris(astronomical tables) by astronomer Erasmus Reinholdpublished in 1551. They are sometimes called the "Prussian Tables" after Albert I, Duke of Prussia, who supported Reinhold and financed the printing . Reinhold calculated this new set of astronomical tables based on Nicolaus Copernicus' " De revolutionibus orbium coelestium," the epochal exposition of Copernican heliocentrismpublished in 1543. Throughout his explanatory canons, Reinhold used as his paradigm the position of Saturnat the birth of the Duke, on 17 May 1490. With these tables, Reinhold intended to replace the Alfonsine Tables; he added redundant tables to his new tables so that compilers of almanacs familiar with the older Alfonsine Tables could perform all the steps in an analogous manner.
Several tables based on the Alfonsine Tables were published after the publication of the Prussian Tables. Copernicus's
heliocentricclaims did not, then, win over the hearts of all European astronomers overnight. Rather, the Prussian Tables became popular in German speaking countries for nationalistic and confessional reasons, it seems, and it is through these tables that Copernicus's reputation was established as a skilled mathematician or an astronomer on a par with Ptolemy, and helped to disseminate the Copernicus' methods of calculating the positions of Astronomical objects throughout the Holy Roman Empire. They eventually replaced the Alfonsine tables, which astronomers and astrologers had used for 300 years. Christopher Claviusused Reinholds's Prutenic Tables and Copernicus' work were by as a basis for the calendar reform instituted under Pope Gregory XIII. The tables were also used by sailors and sea explorers, who during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had used the "Table of the Stars" by Regiomontanus.
Decades later, in Prague,
Tycho Braheand Johannes Keplercompiled the Rudolphine Tables, based on Tycho's lifetime of astronomical observations, which were the most extensive and accurate observations until his time. Kepler completed Tycho's work and published it in 1627.
In modern times,
Owen Gingerichdiscovered Reinhold's heavily annotated copy of Copernicus' "De revolutionibus". This inspired him to explore the dissemination and use of "De revolutionibus" in the several decades following its publication. Gingerich wrote about his explorations and their results, and the role of Reinhold's "Prutenic Tables", in "The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus" (2004).
Owen Gingerich, 'The role of Erasmus Reinhold and the Prutenic Tables in the dissemination of Copernican Theory', Studia Copernicana 6 (1973), 43-62.
* 'The accuracy of ephemerides 1500-1800', Vistas in Astronomy 28 (1985), 339-42.
* 'The Alphonsine tables in the age of printing', M. Comes et al. (eds) De astronomia Alphonsi Regis, Barcelona 1987, 89-95.
* [http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/starry/tables.html Astronomical Tables (University of Cambridge)]
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