C.J. Butler

The birthplace of Johannes de Sacrobosco

Plate 1 The title page of Sacrobosco's book on astronomy 'De Sphaera', printed by Henricus Stephanus, 1516, (University of Cambridge). In this book, Sacrobosco describes the Ptolemaic System with the Earth as a sphere surrounded by additional, outer, celestial spheres holding the Sun, Moon, planets and fixed stars. An English translation of the Latin text is given by Lynn Thorndike (1949).


The birthplace of the 13th century astronomer and mathematician Johannes de Sacrobosco is unknown from any contemporary source. Here we present circumstantial evidence that tends to favour the theory that he was born in Hollywood, County Wicklow, Ireland.

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Last Revised: 2013 January 28th