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Andreas Cellarius: Planisphaerium Arateum Sive Compages Orbium Mundanorum ex Hypothesi Aratea in Plano Expressa

Map: CELEST1333
Cartographer: Andreas Cellarius
Title: Planisphaerium Arateum Sive Compages Orbium Mundanorum ex Hypothesi Aratea in Plano Expressa
Date: 1661
Published: Amsterdam
Width: 21 inches / 54 cm
Height: 18 inches / 46 cm
Map ref: CELEST1333
Splendid example of Cellarius's celestial diagram illustrating a geo-centric model of the Solar System thought to have been proposed by the Ancient Greek philosopher Aratus. The diagram shows the Earth at the centre of the universe, orbited by the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Curiously, Mercury and Venus orbit the Sun, not the Earth.

This Solar System model was credited by Cellarius to Aratus and was included in the atlas to prove that Tycho Brahe's semi-geocentric theory was actually an ancient concept. We now know that this theory originated not from Aratus, but from the Roman astronomer Martianus Capella. As such, it is referred to as the Capellan model. This was one of three semi-geocentric models popular in the 17th century, alongside those of Tycho Brahe and Giovanni Riccioli.

In the diagram, each of the planets is represented by an allegorical figure of the Roman god with which they were associated. Encircling the orbital diagram is a colourful ring depicting the 12 constellations of the Zodiac as well as 12 figures from ancient mythology who were also depicted as constellations, such as Hercules, Jason, and Orion. The upper corners feature a group of putti holding aloft the title banners, while in the bottom-left and bottom-right corners sit two groups of geographers and astronomers studying and exchanging knowledge.

Andreas Cellarius's celestial charts are some of the most decorative ever published and are highly sought-after for their combination of Dutch Golden age beauty and their scientific content. These maps were published at a time when the classical cosmologies of the ancient Greeks were at last being challenged by the new, emerging theories of contemporary scholars, such as Tycho Brahe and Nicolaus Copernicus. To find out more about Andreas Cellarius's maps, read our extended blog post - "Finding our place in the Universe" - on The Map House blog.

Rich original hand colour. FRAMED. [CELEST1333]