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HoS Advent Calendar 2016

Johannes Stabius’s “Figura Labyrinthi”

Johannes Stabius’s triangle-shaped labyrinth, one of three labyrinths in his “Figura Labyrinthi” published in 1504. This hand-colored version is in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Rar. 786#Beibd.2

In 1504, shortly after Johannes Stabius was crowned Poet Laureate and probably about the time he was appointed Imperial Historian, he produced three labyrinths. Two of these take the traditional shapes, one was a square and one a circle. The other one, in the shape of a triangle, is a little more unusual. The set in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek have been hand colored. Stabius had previously published annual judicia as a master at the University of Ingolstadt and had in 1503/1504 published his “Prognosticon” in celebration of being crowned Poet Laureate. He would a few years later publish a remarkable set of paper instruments that he dedicated to Emperor Maximilian I and different bureaucrats in Maximilian’s extended court.[1]


  1. On Stabius, see my recent The Crown and the Cosmos.  ↩