Dějiny věd a techniky, No. 3, Vol. XLIX (2016)


DVT 163, 141
Hagecius Hermeticus
Astrologické souvislosti vědeckého díla Tadeáše Hájka z Hájku
Vojtěch Hladký

Hagecius Hermeticus. Astrological context of the scientific work of Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku (Thadeus Hagecius).
The article discusses three astrological and hermetic treatises edited and published by Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku (Hagecius) in 1564 under the title Astrologia opuscula antiqua. It presents Tadeáš’s background regarding hermetic and occult knowledge and investigates the connections between the three above mentioned treatises and his other works and activities.

Keywords: Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku (Hagecius) ● renaissance astrology ● hermeticism ● history of medicine

The short booklet Astrologia opuscula antiqua, edited and published by Tadeáš Hájek z Hájku (Hagecius) in 1564 and accompanied by his commentaries, consists of three astrological treatises: Fragmentum astrologicum vetus, Liber regum, and Hermetis astrologi centum aphorismorum liber also known as Centiloquium, which is attributed to the legendary Hermes Trismegistus. There is a controversy among scholars regarding the identification of the first two titles, whereas the third one is a well- -known medieval Hermetic treatise. By joining together the first two texts, Hájek created a sort of elementary astrological encyclopaedia, while in the case of the third one he felt the need to provide it with a more extensive commentary. Esoteric and Hermetic interests of Tadeáš Hájek are well-known, although they are sometimes downplayed in order to emphasise his scientific achievements. From his introduction, as well as from other authorial interventions, it is possible to reconstruct a relatively coherent view of the world, one rather typical of the period. According to it, the Sun, the Moon, and the planets influence earthly events through a network of the sympathetic and antipathetic relations. They also affect the balance of the four Galenic humours which account for human health. Astrology is thus useful not only for a prediction of future events – including weather in a given year or diseases originating in certain climatic conditions – but can also be applied in medicine, where it can help to choose the appropriate cure for an illness or guide the composition of an effective medicament. We can thus conclude that this relatively marginal publication by Tadeáš Hájek gives us an insight into how his various scientific and scholarly interests are connected. For medicine, which was Hájek’s main profession, knowledge of botany is of crucial importance because it helps with the composition of proper medicaments. Moreover, medical practice is also related to astrology and as such requires good knowledge of astronomy and mathematics.

Author’s address:
Katedra filosofie a dějin přírodních věd PřF UK
Viničná 7
128 44 Praha 2

DVT 163, 162
Význam těžby zlata ve středověké historii českých zemí
Petr Morávek

Importance of the gold mining in the medieval history of the Czech lands.
The contribution evaluates importance of the gold mining compared with silver mining based on the contemporary course of both precious metals and the estimate of their production in the medieval history of the Czech lands. In great details it deals with history of gold mining in the Jílové mining district as the probably most significant at the time. Coincident features of Jílové matrix of seals, about 1350 promoted by Charles IV to royal town, with the matrix of seals of Charles U niversity from the same period implies their same origin and the significance of gold production in the Jílové mining district for then Prague construction.

Keywords: gold ● silver ● mining history ● Luxembourgs ● matrixes of seals of Jílové town and Charles University

Gold mining in Czech lands took place in the time of this metal shortage in Europe, and that is why it could have been an important source together with silver for the economic and cultural growth of the country during the rule of last Przemyslids, and mainly the Luxembourgs in the 13th and 14th centuries. Value of the then extracted gold responded to 40 % of silver production. Nevertheless, medieval gold mining did not last for long time, and the production of silver in Czech lands fully prevailed since the end of the 14th century. The Jílové mining district was probably the most important producer of gold (about 10 t of metal in total). Involvement of Prague patrician family Rotlev, the builders of future Carolinum, the centrum of Charles U niversity, in the gold mining in Jílové implies the significance of production of Jílové gold for Prague construction till the 14th century. One of the preserved relics of the Charles IV era is a silver matrix of seal of Jílové town, dated about 1350, documenting its promotion to a royal town. Charles U niversity, i. e. Prague U niversity College, gained similar seal. Royal task of Jílové seal testifies its importance as the major gold producer during that period.

Author’s address:
Regionální muzeum v Jílovém u Prahy
Masarykovo nám. 16, 254 01 Jílové u Prahy

DVT 163, 178
Investice a modernizace Akcionářského pivovaru na Smíchově v letech 1869–1918
Martin Minařík

Investment and modernization of the Joint-stock Brewery in Smíchov in the years 1869–1918.
This study analyzes investment and modernization strategy of the management in the rapidly expanding company. The Joint-stock Brewery in Smíchov underwent a massive expansion in the period from its establishment until the beginning of the First World War. Especially after the 1890, the brewery management was constantly preoccupied with the problem of insufficient production capacity. The popularity of beer from Smíchov grew at such a high pace that, despite large investment, demand permanently exceeded production. The technological innovations that appeared in the brewing industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries made the management’s complicated situation more difficult. Not all innovations have proven to be beneficial. Insufficiently time-tested technology could deteriorate the quality of the beer or bring about a manufacturing problem and cause a drop in profits or even jeopardize the existence of the brewery. Mastering a wide range of managerial problems by implementing investment and modernizing existing equipment, fully tested the skills and competency of the management of Smíchov brewery and enabled the company to successfully operate today.

Keywords: Joint-stock Brewery in Smíchov ● beer ● business strategy

The distracted share capital of Smíchov brewery could be seen in the conservative and cautious investment strategy of its board. The absence of a majority shareholder and the fact that the board had to be elected by minority shareholders decreased the management’s willingness to take risks and resulted only in partial investments in the most problematic areas of the company. Although in the 1890s the demand for beer from Smíchov constantly exceeded the company’s production capacity, the management only modified their cautious strategy slowly. This strategy of makeshift solutions in the fully utilized production capacity persisted even after the brewery had overtaken large brewery enterprises in Vienna in terms of production size and had become the second largest brewery in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Only just before the WWI, the management of company began an ambitious investment plan to sharply increase production capacity. However, during the rationing of the wartime economy, Smíchov brewery’s production capacity became superfluous for the first time in more than two decades. The completion of started investments was relegated to the 1920s.

Author’s address:
Ústav hospodářských a sociálních dějin FF UK
Nám. Jana Palacha 2, 116 38 Praha 1


DVT 163, 194
Josef Stepling v archivu Royal Society
Josef Smolka

Joseph Stepling in the Royal Society Archive.
The relations between the Royal Society and Bohemian scientists were not too wide in the history. That is why a letter discovered in the Archive of the Royal Society is quite surprising. In April 1755, the Prague Jesuit Joseph Stepling informs James Short, fellow of the Royal Society, about an unusual natural phenomenon – falling meteorites – occurred in July 1753 near the town Tabor in the South Bohemia.

Keywords: Royal Society ● Joseph Stepling ● James Short ● falling meteorites

The contribution brings the full Latin text of the letter, its translation into Czech and large commentaries about its writer, recipient and various concerning circumstances. It seems that the information from the letter – read thereafter in the session of the Royal Society – was requested by Short himself.

Author’s address:
Nedvězská 6
100 00 Praha 10

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