In Tycho Brahe’s book De mundi aetherei recentioribus phaenomenis, we can read that it was typeset by a certain Christophorus Uveida (see image).

I have tried a Google search about this person, but anything and everything I can find is basically the text appearing in the attached image.

Does anyone know more about this guy?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


[I would like to thank @CarlosMartin for the helpful link to Christianson's book which I am referencing below].

The last name of the printer is written with a true double-U, so is actually Weida in modern spelling. The first name Christophorus is Latinized, as was customary at the time. In English literature the name usually appears in the Anglicized form Christopher. Best as can be interpolated from the scant information available, he was likely German and his actual name was Christoph Weida.

The earliest source that uses that name I can find is the third volume of a work on the history and current state of book printing and typesetting:

Christian Friedrich Geßner, Der so nöthig als nützlichen Buchdruckerkunst und Schriftgießerey Dritter Theil, Leipzig 1741, p. 257:

Ausser diesen angeführten Buchdruckereyen haben auch einige Privatpersonen besondere Druckereyen auf eigne Kosten angeleget. Tycho von Brahe hat mit grossen Kosten zu Uranienburg auf der Insel Hveen eine angelegt. Sein Buchdrucker hieß Christoph Weida, ...

My translation: "Besides the previously mentioned book print shops there are also some private individuals who have financed their own print shops. Tycho Brahe built one at great cost at Uraniborg on the island of Hveen. The name of his printer was Christoph Weida, ... "

John Robert Christianson, On Tycho's Island, Cambridge University Press 2000, p. 376:

Weida, Christopher was Tycho Brahe's printer on Hven ca. 1586-90. When the Uraniborg press came to a standstill in March of 1585 because of a lack of paper, Tycho Brahe's friend Hans Aalborg, attended the Frankfort book fair in 1585 ... and looked for paper on Tycho's behalf. He found the paper, and he may also have hired the printer, Christopher Weida.

As to Christoph Weida's further career, there is a clue in the entry on Tycho Brahe in the Czech Encyclopaedia of Books in the Czech Middle Ages and Early Modern Period:

Následoval tisk Tychonova vynikajícího pojednání o kometě pozorované roku 1577 De mundi aetherei recentioribus phaenomenis (Uraniborg 1588). Impresum jako nájemný tiskař podepsal Christoph Weida (samostatně tiskl 1608-1610 v německém Zerbstu).

Google Translation: "This was followed by the printing of Tycho's excellent treatise on the comet observed in 1577 De mundi aetherei recentioribus phaenomenis (Uraniborg 1588). The imprint was signed by Christoph Weida as a hired printer (he printed independently 1608-1610 in Zerbst, Germany)."

From a Google snippet of Beiträge zum Buch- und Bibliothekswesen, 2007, p. 1033 I can see that in 1608, Weida acquired the printing press of Johann Schleer in Zerbst. He seems to have printed only a few minor works while in Zerbst.

A German source that I am not linking as it is the PDF version of a book of uncertain provenance states that the printer Zacharias Dörffer moved to Zerbst in 1610 and acquired the print shop of Christoph Weida who had died in 1609.

Curiously, a Christophorus Weida from the superintendency of Torgau in Saxony is among the signers of the Book of Concord (Concordia ; Christliche, widerholete einmütige Bekentnüs nachbenanter Churfürsten, Fürsten und Stende Augspurgischer Confession und derselben Theologen Lere und Glaubens, Dresden 1580). While it seems quite unlikely that this is the same person as the printer, as the signers are theologians and church officials of various kinds, one could hypothesize that the Weida family (or a branch of it) resided in that region. I note that Torgau is only about sixty miles from Zerbst.

  • Thank you very much @njuffa! (Or should I write instead “viele Danke“?) Some very interesting reading suggestions in your answer, too; I may add one or two to my shopping list! May 1, 2023 at 22:32

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