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More about "the man with the golden nose"

An article about Tycho and several pictures of him

Another web site about Tycho, also with a picture.

    Tycho was also known as "the man with the golden nose" because, having lost the tip of his nose in a duel, he crafted a replacement made of gold-plated brass. Click here for a portrait showing Tycho's distinguishing feature

       In the humorous section "Anti Gravity" of the Scientific American of February 1999, (page 29) Steve Mirsky joked about it: "...and the noseless man in question is the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. So how did he smell? Probably pretty bad: daily showers were still a few centuries off... "

    A recent, very readable and quite detailed acount of Tycho's life is "Tycho and Kepler" by Kitty Ferguson (Walker & Co, 2002, xiv+402 pp.), telling about his instruments, disputes, discoveries, his controversial marriage and more. The book gives a fair impression of a time when astronomy and alchemy earned about equal amounts of attention.

    A tidbit: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, the Danish courtiers in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (and in Tom Stoppard's play " Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead") probably got their names from two relatives of Tycho who visited England in 1592 on a diplomatic mission, Frederick Rosenkrantz, 3rd cousin of Tycho, and Knut Gyldenstierne, also a cousin. For more, see p. 265 in Ferguson's book.

Author and Curator:   Dr. David P. Stern
     Mail to Dr.Stern:   stargaze("at" symbol) .

Last updated 25 November 2001