Decorative example of Andreas Cellarius's map of the Eastern Hemisphere, illustrated with climatic zones ranging from Frigida Borealis to Torrida, with planetary details superimposed.
The plate is focused on a map of the Old World, which shows a hint of Australi ("Nova Hollandia") and a transpacific island ("Eso"). The Nile is sourced from two large central African Rivers, one of which also feeds the Congo.
The climactic zones are those conjured by the scholars of classical antiquity, but Cellarius here gives them solar precision. In the Frigida Borealis, during the equinox, an object will be circled by its shadow. In the Zona Temperata, shadows always point due north or south at noon. In the Zona Torrida, the direction of the shadow depends on the time of year. Inset diagrams show this in the lower left and right in a simplified format. The inset in the lower right introduces a couple of new terms: antipodeans, those who live diametrically opposite on the globe, periocians, those who live at the same latitude but on opposite meridians, and antoecians, those who live on the same longitude but the inverse latitude.
The elaborate border includes fine scrollwork, numerous putti, and additional diagrams showing armillary spheres and climatic zones. The length of the longest and shortest days of the year are annotated.
Cellarius's charts are the most sought-after of celestial charts, blending the striking imagery of the golden age of Dutch Cartography with contemporary scientific knowledge.
Andreas Cellarius was born in 1596 in Neuhausen and educated in Heidelberg. He emigrated to Holland in the early 17th century, and in 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.