CELLARIUS, Andreas (c.1596-1665)
[The Spiral Path of the Sun around the Earth] Solis Circa Orbem Terrarum Spiralis Revolutio.
Amsterdam: G. Valk & P. Schenk, 1708. Copper-engraved celestial map, with full period colour. Sheet size: 19 3/4 x 22 3/4 inches.
This intriguing chart shows the apparent spiralling revolution of the Sun around the Earth, from the Valk & Schenk edition of Cellarius
This beautiful chart is from the Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus (Harmonious Universe or New and Universal Atlas) by Andreas Cellarius, the finest celestial atlas ever produced. It depicts, according to pre-Copernican belief, the apparent path of the sun as it revolves around the Earth, which through the year was thought to form a spiral pattern. It would pass from one climate zone to another, thus regulating the seasons. The Earth is shown on an axis far more pronounced than the 23.5 degrees that was later ascertained. This rather severe tilt makes the zodiacal band run almost vertically through the image. According to Classical astronomy, championed by Aristotle and Ptolemy, the universe was a geocentric system, in which the Sun, stars, and the planets revolved around the Earth.
The present image was engraved during the great era of Dutch map-making, a period that saw perfection in the art of representing scientific ideas in graphic form by means of engraving. It was first printed by Janssonius in 1660, and reprinted in 1661, and again in 1708 by Gerard Valk and Petrus Schenk, who added their names to the plates.
Andreas Cellarius was born in about 1596 in Neuhausen, a small town near Worms in the Rhine-Hesse region of Germany. From 1625 to 1637 Cellarius worked as a schoolmaster in Amsterdam and The Hague, and in 1637 moved to Hoorn, where he was appointed as headmaster or rector of the Latin School. He published a number of works during his lifetime, but the last and greatest was the Harmonia Macrocosmica . Cellarius resigned from his post as headmaster in early 1665 and died in Hoorn in November of the same year.
Koeman, Atlantes Neerlandici, Cel. 3.