Tycho Brahe's autograph verses of presentation to the Doge of Venice

Tycho Brahe's autograph verses of presentation to the Doge of Venice

Source: Bodleian Library, shelfmark Arch B. c. 3, folio 3 verso.

Metadata and commentary on volume: provided with the title page.

Description: Verse inscription by the author, Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), presenting this lavishly bound and hand-coloured copy to the Doge of Venice, Marino Grimani (1532–1605). A similar epilogue is on folio 48 verso.

English translation by Floris Verhaart:

To the most serene prince and lord, lord Marino Grimani, doge of the Venetians [Tycho Brahe greets] his most clement lord

Accept, Grimani, the engraved and coloured instruments, apt to discern the ways of the stars. With these instruments I watched the stars for three times seven years, only as long as Hven bore the honour. But when that little [island] could no longer support such great triumphs and the fates had been turned back, the foreseeing goddess of the polar star seeing that the downfall was imminent and transferred these instruments elsewhere so that they would be safer. She found it shameful that her sanctuary, such as the splendid south wind elsewhere does not have, would perish in the north. For that reason she now consecrates and dedicates them to Bohemia, as long as it gratefully receives the heavenly goddess. If not, then a hospitable reception is widely available for Urania: for how could she who envelops the entire earth be excluded from the earth.*

Tycho Brahe

with his own hand


* Urania is the muse of astronomy. Her discipline is the study of heavenly bodies, i.e. the sphere that surrounds the world.