Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages

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9780199609697: Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages
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The introduction of the moving sphere as a model for understanding the celestial phenomena caused a great breakthrough in scientific thinking about the structure of the world. It provided the momentum for making celestial globes and mapping the stars. Celestial globes were produced first by Greek astronomers, and soon became greatly appreciated in antiquity as decorative objects (3 antique globes). The design and construction of the globe varied greatly as it passed through the Arabic (10 scientific globes made before 1500) and Medieval European cultures (3 scientific globes made before 1500). It was the starting-point for the design of many maps in antiquity and later in the Middle Ages (33) serving to illustrate books such as Aratus's Phaenomena. In the early fifteenth century scientific celestial maps (5) were constructed in their own right, independent of globes.

In this book all extant celestial maps and globes made before 1500 are described and analysed in detail. This prestigious study will appeal to academic historians of science and astronomy, and art historians alike.

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Elly Dekker is an independent scholar studying the history of astronomy and of scientific instruments. She was awarded the Sackler Fellowship and the Caird medal for cataloguing the collection of globes and armillary spheres of the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich.

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"Behold! an astonishingly thorough account of how observers from ancient Greece to fifteenth-century Vienna and Nuremberg envisioned the star patterns. It is hard to imagine that any celestial globe or manuscript from this period has escaped Elly Dekker's meticulous sleuthing and analysis. The result is this admirable and beautifully illustrated tour de force of scholarship."--Owen Gingerich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics


"This impressive study is the first comprehensive history of ancient and medieval celestial globes and maps based on the artifacts, most of which Elly Dekker has examined directly. Its greatest virtue is to combine mathematical and theoretical expertise with a practical approach to its objects."--Speculum, 2014


"[A] splendid book that will be treasured by every serious student of the subject."--Imago Mundi


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ILLUSTRATING THE PHAENOMENA CELESTIAL CARTOGRAPHY IN ANTIQUITY AND THE MIDDLE AGES (HARDBACK) -
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