Imágenes de páginas


[Jan. 4,

letter. In 1487, Hahn, a rival German printer, began printing in another Roman letter, which also showed a preference for the Gothic form. The first really good form of Roman, adopted every where to the suppression of all others, was made by Jenson of Venice, and shown in his Eusebius of 1470. Accepted by the educated, it was, however, rejected by the common people, who were just beginning to buy books, and Jenson had to print popular books in Gothic characters, and the most beautiful contemporary books of Paris, the Netherlands and England were in pointed type. The first book printed in England in Roman type was Henry VIII's treatise, which secured for him the title of Defender of the Faith, so printed by Pynson possibly in deference to Italian taste and in compli ment to the Pope. Aldus Manutius added a new style, the Italic, based on a written style then popular with copyists. The Italic, first shown in the 1501 Virgil, differed from modern Italic in several respects, notably in the fact that the capitals are upright and stand apart from the text. The Lyons founders, moved by the popularity of Italic, soon after produced the Cursiv François or Civilité, an unreadable letter. The disuse of black letter in France was largely due to Tory of Paris, and his Champ Fleuri of 1526. Caxton's type was distinctly Flemish, that of his successors resembled the black letters of the printers of the day of Paris and Rouen. Black letter maintained its popularity in England and the Netherlands, after it had fallen into disuse in France. English printers had no type foundry until John Day established his, 1546-84, and had to accept Dutch type with their mannerisms, English readers showed a marked preference for black letter, and it was used in some of the most popular books, such as the first edition (1525) of Tyndall's New Testament, Coverdale's Bible (1535), Cranmer's Great Bible (1540), and the authorized Prayer Books. In the reign of Roman Catholic Mary, Roman was the proper text for books of devotion, but under Protestant Elizabeth, Prayer Books in black letter had the preference. Fox's Acts and Monuments (1560) was in black letter. Soon after the printers evinced a partiality for Roman for English classics. The writings of Shakespeare and Bacon appeared in Roman. Black letter was out of fashion at the close of the sixteenth century."-Chambers' Encyc., s. v. "Types."

"The earliest known representation of a printing press is dated 1507, and it pictures an apparatus which is little more than a modification of the ancient wine press-hence the name."-do., 8. v. "Printing," p. 410. Under the head of "Black Letter," Chambers' Encyc. says: "The first types were copies of the letters in use in the middle of the fifteenth century. Two sorts of letters were in use-Roman from the fifth to the close of the twelfth century, when they gradually began to pass into what has been called Gothic, which continued till the sixteenth century, when, in most European countries, they were superseded by Roman letters. The classic taste of Italy could not long tolerate Gothic, and it was modified until it assumed the shape to which the name of Roman has since been

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given. The first works printed with these new types were the two beau tiful editions of Pliny's Natural History, one by John of Spires at Venice in 1469, the other by Nicholas Jenson, also at Venice, in 1472. Aldus Manutius attempted in 1501 to introduce the Aldine or Venetian Italic, but the Roman soon spread from Venice all over the west of Europe. Although the Germans still continue the use of a form of black letter, about one-half their books are in Roman."

Horologium Achaz (Christophorus Schissler, Artifex).

By Julius F. Sachse.

(Read before the American Philosophical Society, February 1, 1895.)

Among the scientific apparatus, models and philosophical instruments preserved in the cabinets of this Society, there have been conspicuously displayed two brass plates, finely wrought, engraved, chased and gilded, without, however, bearing any label explanatory of their former use or import.

As a matter of fact they are parts of a unique instrument, the equal of which is not to be found in any museum or scientific collection in the world.

Unfortunately, several parts of this instrument are missing, and among them the mythological figure which once stood upon the base, and elevated or held up the larger plate or basin. The gnomon or rod used to cast a shadow, as well as the apparatus held aloft by the figure upon the rim, whereby a fine pencil of light was thrown upon the dial in place of a shadow (Photo-Sciaterica), are also wanting; the magnetic needle in the small compass in the base has also long since disappeared.

I have endeavored to restore this instrument as well as I could, in the absence of any definite account of how it was in its original state; for no published description was allowed by the censorship of the press, for reasons which I will explain in the course of this paper.

It will be noticed that I have substituted a tripod between base and dial, in place of the lost figure. The instrument was known by the mystics and philosophers of old as an "HOROLOGIUM ACHAZ," or Dial of Achaz.


[Feb. 1,

The smaller of the two pieces measures five and three-quarter inches in diameter, and it formed the base of the instrument. It is made of an alloy, of which silver and copper form the chief ingredients. In a raised centre it contains a compass, one inch in diameter. The intervening space is arranged in two circles, filled with mythological deities and mythical marine monsters, all finely wrought and chased (ciselirt).


If we reverse this base, we find beneath it a finely engraved plate heavily gilded with an amalgam of fine gold. It is slightly conThis plate is divided into five panels; two of these divisions are graduated for different elevations and bear the following inscription, viz.: “Horologii Achaz hydrographica declinatio ad elevat: Poli 44-45-46, Grady:" and "47-48-49," respectively. Two others contain pictorial scenes which will be described later on. The helix in the centre, which forms the fifth division, contains the following description, viz.: "Notat concha isthac hemiciclea capitis 38 Esaia miraculum: nam hanc si aqva labrum vsque impleveris vmbra solis 10 imo: zo. gradibus retrorsum fertur signum ac gradum solis: quin etiam horam diei vulgarem quamcunque vna cum planetarvm quas vocant horis denuncians." (Translation: "This semicircular shell explains the miracle of the 38th chapter of Isaiah. For if you fill a basin altogether with water, the shadow of the sun is borne backward by ten degrees. Moreover, it indicates any common hour of the day whatever, together with that of the planets which they call hours.")

The larger piece is a basin-shaped plate, made of common brass or gun metal, with a flat, moveable rim one inch wide. Upon this are engraved the signs of the zodiac. On the reverse of this rim, which surrounds the large basin, is engraved the following inscription: "CHRISTOPHORVS SCHISSLER, GEOMETRICVS AC ASTRONOMICVS ARTIFEX AVGVSTE VINDELICORVM, FACIEBAT ANNO 1578."

The centre or concave part of this plate is ten inches in diameter, and is geometrically divided into the different planetary houses. The depth of the basin is one and three-quarter inches, and the whole once formed the dial of the instrument.

The rim is surmounted by a brass figure, three and three-quarter inches in height, representing an ancient prophet or astrologer, with the left hand extended so as to hold the "gnomen " used to cast the shadow or to throw the requisite pencil of light.

This instrument was formerly used, nominally, for calculating

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