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Full Access Helisaeus Roeslin’s Chronological Conception and 
a New Manuscript Source

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Helisaeus Roeslin’s Chronological Conception and 
a New Manuscript Source

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Helisaeus Roeslin’s manuscript Speculum et harmonia mundi, Das ist Wellt Spiegel Erster Theil (1579) was conceived as part of a broader project comprising a Speculum ecclesiae as well as a Speculum naturae. This project was connected with a Chronology aiming to establish the precise date of the most important events in history as well as to advance some conjectures about the approaching eschatological future. This article presents some recent discoveries that shed new light on Roeslin’s chronological work after 1579, most importantly the incontrovertible attribution to Roeslin of the anonymous manuscript De potestatibus orbis Christiani, et politicis et ecclesiasticis, Discursus (1580). Here Roeslin presented his discovery of the numerical proportions governing the numbers of spiritual and temporal potestates in the three historical periods (Void, Law and Gospel), affirming that these numbers were now nearly fullfilled, along with their ensuing eschatological implications. We show how Roeslin published this discovery in his Kurtz Bedencken (1583) against the calendar reform and again in 1612 in a short tract on the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Matthias I. The article focuses in particular on the appended broadsheet Tabella des Welt Spiegels, which displayed the completion and culmination of history, according to the astronomical revolutions of the planets as well as the numbers of temporal and spiritual governors.

Affiliations: 1: University of Barcelona

Helisaeus Roeslin’s manuscript Speculum et harmonia mundi, Das ist Wellt Spiegel Erster Theil (1579) was conceived as part of a broader project comprising a Speculum ecclesiae as well as a Speculum naturae. This project was connected with a Chronology aiming to establish the precise date of the most important events in history as well as to advance some conjectures about the approaching eschatological future. This article presents some recent discoveries that shed new light on Roeslin’s chronological work after 1579, most importantly the incontrovertible attribution to Roeslin of the anonymous manuscript De potestatibus orbis Christiani, et politicis et ecclesiasticis, Discursus (1580). Here Roeslin presented his discovery of the numerical proportions governing the numbers of spiritual and temporal potestates in the three historical periods (Void, Law and Gospel), affirming that these numbers were now nearly fullfilled, along with their ensuing eschatological implications. We show how Roeslin published this discovery in his Kurtz Bedencken (1583) against the calendar reform and again in 1612 in a short tract on the occasion of the coronation of Emperor Matthias I. The article focuses in particular on the appended broadsheet Tabella des Welt Spiegels, which displayed the completion and culmination of history, according to the astronomical revolutions of the planets as well as the numbers of temporal and spiritual governors.

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/content/journals/10.1163/15733823-0009a0001
2013-01-01
2016-12-03

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