Johannes Reuchlin

Johannes Stöffler

Johannes Stöffler (December 10, 1452February 16, 1531) was a German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, priest, maker of astronomical instruments and professor at the University of Tübingen. His name is also sometimes written Stöfler, Stoffler, Stoeffler.

The lunar crater "Stöfler" (with one f) was named in his honour.


Johannes Stöffler was born on December 10, 1452 in Justingen near Blaubeuren on the Swabian Alb. Having received his basic education at the Blaubeuren monastery school, he registered at the newly founded University of Ingolstadt on April 21, 1472 where he was consequently promoted Baccalaureus in September 1473 and Magister in January 1476. After finishing his studies he obtained the parish of Justingen where he, besides his clerical obligations, concerned himself with astronomy, astrology and the making of astronomical instruments, clocks and celestial globes. He conducted a lively correspondence with leading humanists - for example, Johannes Reuchlin, for whom he made an Equatorium and wrote horoscopes. In 1507, at the instigation of Duke Ulrich I he received the newly established chair of mathematics and astronomy at the University of Tübingen, where he excelled in rich teaching and publication activities and finally was elected rector in 1522. Philipp Melanchthon and Sebastian Münster rank among his most famous students. When a plague epidemic forced the division and relocation of his university to the surrounding countryside in 1530, Stöffler went to Blaubeuren and died there on February 16, 1531 of the plague. He was buried in the choir of the collegiate church (Stiftskirche) in Tübingen.


1493: A celestial globe for the Bishop of Konstanz. This globe, as the sole remaining and most important object of his workshop, is exhibited at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg.

1496: An astronomical clock for the Minster of Konstanz.

1498: A celestial globe for the Bishop of Worms.

1499: An Almanac (Almanach nova plurimis annis venturis inserentia) published in collaboration with the astronomer Jakob Pflaum of Ulm, which was designated as a continuation of the ephemeris of Regiomontanus. It had a large circulation, underwent 13 editions until 1551 and exerted a strong effect on Renaissance astronomy.

1512: A book on the construction and use of the astrolabe (Elucidatio fabricae ususque astrolabii), published in 16 editions up until 1620, and in 2007, the first English edition.

1514: Astronomical tables (Tabulae astronomicae).

1518: A proposal for a calendar revision (Calendarium romanum magnum) which formed a foundation for the Gregorian calendar.

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