Chapter

Celestial Cartography in Antiquity

Elly Dekker

in Illustrating the Phaenomena

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199609697
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745645 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609697.003.0002
Celestial Cartography in Antiquity

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The few extant celestial globes, and fragments thereof, are discussed in detail. Kugel's globe, the smallest of the three more or less complete globes, includes features belonging to a tradition stemming from Eudoxus. The Mainz globe shares with Kugel's a number of anonymous star groups known from Aratus's Phaenomena. This globe stands out for its outline of the Milky Way, the detailed presentation of which appears to follow closely the description in Ptolemy's Almagest. That globes were also used in writing popular astronomical text is shown by the analysis of Hyginus's De Astronomia. The constellations on the well-known Farnese globe are from an artistic point of view without parallel in celestial cartography. Their positions may derive ultimately from the mathematical tradition. If so, Farnese globe shows what remains of a mathematical globe when it is converted into a work of art.

Keywords: antiquity; celestial globes; Berlin Fragment; the Larissa globe; Kugel's Globe; the Mainz globe; Hyginus's globe; the Farnese globe

Chapter.  37460 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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