Fine old color example of Cellarius's chart illustrating the Greek Astronomer Aratus' model of the universe, from the 1708 Valk & Schenk edition of Andreas Cellarius' Harmonia Cosmographica . . . .
This decorative celestial chart is based on the theories of the 3rd century Greek astronomer, Aratus, in which the Earth is at the center of the celestial universe with the Sun and Moon orbiting around it. The orbits of the planets are shown with the twelve signs of the zodiac and their human representations depicted around the edge of the sphere, with additional illustrations of principal Greek gods and goddesses. Aratus's most famous work was his hexameter poem Phaenomena. The first part of the poem is a verse setting of a lost work of the same name by Eudoxus of Cnidus. It describes the constellations and other celestial phenomena. The second half is called the Diosemeia, and is chiefly about weather lore. Although Aratus was somewhat ignorant of Greek astronomy, his poem was very popular in the Greek and Roman world.
Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th Century and 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he became the rector of the Latin School. Cellarius' best known work is his Harmonia Macrocosmica, first issued in 1660 by Jan Jansson, as a supplement to Jansson's Atlas Novus. The work consists of a series of Celestial Charts begun by Cellarius in 1647 and intended as part of a two volume treatise on cosmography, which was never issued.
Cellarius' charts are the most soughtafter of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge.