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Sebastian Brant
BRANT, Sebastian.

BRANT, Sebastian.
(1458 - 1521)

(Born: Strassburg, Germany, 1458; Died: Strassburg, Germany, 10 May 1521) German humanist & satirist.

Brant studied at Basel and took the degree of doctor of laws in 1489. He was a longtime professor of jurisprudence there. He retired to Strassburg, where he was made syndic of the town. Today, he is remembered for his famous satire, Das Narrenschriff [English: Ship of Fools] (1494), which describes a ship laden with fools and steered by fools to the fools' paradise of Narragenia.

Biographical references: ADB. DBA: I 136, 191-204; II 167, 309-331. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition: 4, 431. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon, 1835-52. NDB. WBI. Zischka, Allgemeines Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1961: 103.

Von dem Donnerstein Gefallē, 1492

1. German & Latin, 1492 [First edition].
Von dem donnerstein gefallē im xcij. iar: vor Ensisheim.

Folio broadside. At the head is a woodcut showing the impact of the meteorite.

Edition princeps. Very rare. Provides an account of the meteorite ("thunder-stone") which fell near Ensisheim, Upper Alsace, France, on November 16, 1492 at 11:30 ¶M It is the earliest meteorite the fall of which was seen and recorded, and the substance of which was preserved. The Emperor Maximilian, arriving at Ensisheim shortly after the fall, presented a fragment to the Archduke Sigismund, retained another for himself, and deposited the remainder in the parish church. This 260 pound fragment remained in the choir of the parish church for centuries until during the French Revolution the stone was taken and placed in the public library of Colmar. Subsequently, fragments were broken off and presented to various persons and institutions. Fourcroy obtained a piece of 9.5 kilograms for the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. The remainder weighing about 40 kilograms was afterwards returned to Ensisheim.

Bibliographical references: Burke, Cosmic Debris, 1986: 175. GW: no. 5023. Heitz, P., Flugblätter des Sebastian Brant. Herausgegeben von Paul Heitz, Nachwort von F. Schulze. Straßburg, 1915. Folio with 22 double-page plates [plate 2]. Klebs, Incunabula Scientifica, 1938: no. 210.1. Meunir, "Notice historique sur la Collectin de Météorites du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle," in: Centenaire de la Fondation du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. Paris, 1893: p. 403. Murray, Museums, 1904: 1, 10. Sarton, Scientifc Incunabula, 1938: p. 119. Schreiber, Manuel de la Gravure, 1893-1911: no. 3546. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 163.

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