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    Re: Errors in Cotter's "History of Nautical Astronomy, once more
    From: Wolfgang Köberer
    Date: 2003 Apr 5, 01:34 +0200

    a few of the comments by Jan Kalivoda on errors in Cotter`s book must be corrected:

    p.310: Jan Kalivoda remarks that "the manual of Pedro Nunez..."De arte et ratione navigandi from 1522 is missing" in the list of works mentioned by Cotter at this place. While it is true that the works of Nunez are "very important and very early", one has to concede that Cotter lists only the most important and earliest printed books meant for the use of mariners; Nunez books clearly do not fall into that category as they are basically scholarly works and were not meant to be used by seamen/navigators. Apart from that, the "De arte atque (not: et) ratione navigandi..." was not published in 1522 but in 1573 (cf. the bibliography in Abel Fontoura da Costa, A Marinharia dos Descobrimentos, Lisboa 1939, p. 421) . His earliest publication ("Tratado da Sphera...") was printed in 1537; and although it does contain tables that allow to calculate the declination of the sun, they do not give the sun`s declination directly (like the portuguese tables in the "Regimento do estrolabio e do quadrante" - ca. 1509 - and in other contemporary navigation manuals); that may be the reason why Cotter did not mention this in a chapter headed "Navigation tables".

    p. 311: as it is true that the manual by Martin Cortes was first printed in 1551 - as Jan Kalivoda writes - Cotter only states that "John Tapp...had, as early as 1596, edited Eden`s translation of Cortes` Arte de Navegar". And this seems to be correct according to Adams/Waters, English Maritime Books Printed Before 1801, Greenwich 1995, p. 456.

    p. 366: The first edition of Maskelyne`s ""Tables Requisite to be used with the Astronomical and Nautical ephemeris" is indeed missing in Cotter`s bibliography; it was published in 1766 (not 1767 as Jan Kalivoda supposes) A fourth edition prepared by Maskelyne is not listed in Maskelyne`s bibliography by Derek Howse ("The seaman`s astronomer, Cambridge 1989).

    Wolfgang Koeberer
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