It remains here to forestall suspicion, for some will ask why it is that against the custom of all expert practitioners I have written the introduction in a two-fold idiom; and it will be suspected (for men are prone to suspicion) that either through eagerness for novelty or display of Latinity I seek after a little empty glory. To these I answer that I have done this neither heedlessly nor without careful thought, but persuaded by the encouragement of two weighty authorities, of which the first is LOVE OF FATHERLAND, the other NECESSITY itself. I believe it is unknown to no one that the German Nation abounds in those of abilities suited to astronomical practice although often lacking knowledge of Latin, to whom I do not see by what pretense of duty I, being of the German Nation, could refuse or take away the benefit of my labors since it is agreed by the opinion of foreigners also that the Fatherland claims a great part of our labors as its own. And we see that most other Nations publish their writings, in particular their discoveries, in the vernacular idiom familiar to them (German: in ihrer Muttersprache). But because this work, in as much as it is intended for the universal improvement of the republic of letters, should also be imparted to other nations not proficient in our idiom, necessity itself ordained to entrust this introduction to the Latin language as being more universal and familiar to most Nations. In addition, it is also to be feared, lest perhaps kidnappers (plagiarii)—for by the wickedness of our age such shamelessness has come about that very many are found who have no scruples to translate works of some note into another language, with the authors not knowing, not consulted, not willing, rather with their names entirely suppressed, and maliciously take credit for themselves—seizing this opportunity for conveyance in the open market of their own desire, ambition, and arrogance, expose for sale, enveloped in a veil of Latinity, this my authentic progeny, honorably and freely born and raised.-- Maria Cunitz’s Beneficent Urania (1650) translated by N.M. Swerdlow (2012), Urania Propitia, Tabulae Rudophinae faciles redditae a Maria Cunitia Beneficent Urania, the Adaptation of the Rudolphine Tables by Maria Cunitz 86-7.
Editing volumes can be ungrateful work; one is at the mercy of the often deplorable time-conscientiousness of others, and one must pray for their generosity in sharing their best work. One also relies on their integrity; I have had senior scholars recycle material from earlier publications without mention. But one of its great joys is learning the unexpected in nearby areas of scholarship. While editing a draft-paper by Rhonda Martens, "Newton's Introduction to Astronomy," on the significance of early Kepler (for the forthcoming Oxford Handbook to Isaac Newton, co-edited with Chris Smeenk). Martens writes: "Kepler's second law in particular was generally avoided by astronomers before Newton's Principia. Maria Cunitz (c.1604-‐1664)5...approved of Kepler's work but used alternatives to Kepler's second law." The accompanying footnote reads: "Maria Cunitz is notable not only for her excellent tables, but also for achieving recognition despite her gender. Swerdlow (2012) has an excellent chapter on her." Made curious by Martens' comment and knowing from personal experience that Noel Swerdlow doesn't suffer fools lightly, I asked Swerdlow to send me his paper.