Schöner was born on January 16, 1477 in Karlstadt am Main in Lower Franconia. As with most Renaissance scholars nothing is known about his parents or his early life. All that is known is that he had a brother, Peter, to whom he addressed his “Arzneibuch” in 1528. Quite detailed information for Schöner’s adult life, at least up to 1506, has been preserved in his own marginalia in his copy of Regiomontanus' printed Ephemerides, which he used as a diary. He matriculated at the University of Erfurt in the winter semester 1494/5 and graduated Baccalaureus on 21 March 1498. He was appointed to a position in the school in Gemünden on 22 February 1499 and ordained as a Catholic priest in the Bishopric of Bamberg on the 13th June 1500. On the 2nd February 1500 he moved to Bamberg and was appointed chaplain in Hallstatt near Bamberg on the 18th April 1500. His next appointment was as vicar in his hometown Karlstadt from the 4th June 1504. Between the 4th May and the 29th October 1506 he was again in Bamberg before he returned to Karlstadt. His diary also informs us that he entered a relationship with Kunigunde Holocher in 1499, with whom he had three children: a son Johannes born on the 1st February 1502, a daughter Sibilla born on the 12th June 1503 and a second son Vitus born on the 21st November 1504.
He was a pupil of the map maker Martin Waldseemüller. A copy of the Waldseemüller map which once was owned by Schöner is now in possession of the Library of Congress.
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