[meteorite-list] Ensisheim - total original weight discrepancies

From: Martin Altmann <Altmann_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun Jul 4 12:22:00 2004
Message-ID: <006b01c461e3$7a19d400$da7eebd9_at_9y6y40j>

Hi Bernd,

pound and zentner weren't the weights or units of today, so from this
figures one can't say nothing about the Ensisheim stone weight.
For this it would be necessary to have the meaning of zentner and pound of
that region at those time as well as the meanings of those units of the
publishers time and regions of those authors.

I don't have the medieval weights here, but still in the 18th century in
central Europe almost each free town and shire had their own weights.

F.e. a pound varied in 18th century from 301.23 of our grams in Venezia up
to 1000grams in the Netherlands and a zentner could have more than 100
pounds (for instance 110 pounds in Preussen).


PS: - Allende one can find frequently offered at 3$ on ebay and as a very
prominent fall it is especially for beginners not comparable to a desert
 - "finmet" has the problem for small items of the 10$ shipment rip off
 - excellent Imilac slices, translucent and moderate priced, one will find
at Moritz Karl/ S.Vassiliev http://www.sv-meteorites.com/ - they have a
great stock, for the case, that they are not listed on the homepage. - With
Brahin there is always the trouble with oxidation, so you should recommend
Kirk to take a sealed one.

PPS: Anyone there who wants my 168gram Monnig-Travis-County(a) at 2$/g free

----- Original Message -----
From: <bernd.pauli_at_paulinet.de>
To: <Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Saturday, July 03, 2004 7:48 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Ensisheim - total original weight discrepancies

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,


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Received on Sun 04 Jul 2004 12:25:09 PM PDT

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