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Illustrating the PhaenomenaCelestial cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages$
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Elly Dekker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609697

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609697.001.0001

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Celestial Cartography in Antiquity

Celestial Cartography in Antiquity

(p.49) Chapter Two Celestial Cartography in Antiquity
Illustrating the Phaenomena

Elly Dekker

Oxford University Press

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

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