[meteorite-list] Ensisheim - total original weight discrepancies

From: bernd.pauli_at_paulinet.de <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sat Jul 3 13:48:52 2004
Message-ID: <DIIE.0000003F0000245C_at_paulinet.de>

Hello Zelimir, Confreres, and List,

My little Ensisheim meteorite slice is still keeping me busy.
While re-reading U.B. Marvin's thorough, detailed review in
Meteoritics 27-1, 1992, pp. 28-72, I focused my attention on
the weights mentioned in several different broadsheets and

S. Brant's broadsheets (both the original and pirated versions)
state the stone was "drei Zentner schwer" (1 Zentner = 50 kg).

U.B. Marvin also mentions the Nuremberg Chronicle of 1493,
and fig. 2 in her review (p. 40) shows a Latin passage from
that chronicle with a woodcut of the fall of the Ensisheim stone,
by the way a mirror-reversed presentation of the incoming meteorite.

There is also a German version of the Nuremberg Chronicle and
I was happy enough to buy a facsimile version some months ago
at one of our bookshops in downtown Mannheim.

Now, although U.B. Marvin seems to quote from the German translation:
" ... a large, triangular stone, weighing three hundred pounds ...",
I found something totally different in the facsimile edition, and, in
consequence, also in the pirated edition, the German text of which is
rendered in fig. 3 of her review on page 41 and this rules out a typo
on the part of Ursula B. Marvin.

And now listen to this: "... ein gro?er stayn bey eim zentner schwer ..."

=> a large stone weighing about o n e zentner <=

A typo in the Nuremberg Chronicle ?
A "doppelzentner" (a double "zentner - 2 x 50 kg) ?
2 stones as depicted in Brant's sheets and in the N. Chronicle ?
A meteorite shower at Ensisheim ?

As for two stones falling, U.B. Marvin writes:

"Perhaps the most straightforward explanation of the appearance
of one stone in the sky and one on the ground would be that this
is a dramatic, 15th century device for rendering a sense of motion."

With regard to a meteorite shower at Ensisheim, the author quotes
from Brant's 1492 broadsheet the following words: "Little pieces
scattered hither and yon were widely dispersed and seen as far as ..."
but concludes that Brant described an exploding fireball but not a
meteorite shower.

So why, for heaven's sake, does the Nuremberg Chronicle,
only mention about " one zentner", ... 50 kg, ... 100 pounds ???

Those who can access the Yahoo photo page of the German List,
will find a scanned copy of this woodcut (text + picture), those who
have the 1992 issue of "Meteoritics" will find a black&white version
in Latin, and those list members who have neither of these choices,
can contact me privately if interested in a JPEG of folio 257 of the
Nuremberg Chronicle in color (and mirror-reversed with the incoming
meteorite probably hitting Battenheim :-)

Best regards,

Received on Sat 03 Jul 2004 01:48:42 PM PDT

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