Theoriatrium Superiorum Planetarum

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Article ID WS0322


Theoriatrium Superiorum Planetarum


Decorative representation of the Theory of Epicycles, which supported Claudius Ptolemy's earth-centered model of the universe, from the Valk & Schenk edition of Andreas Cellarius' Harmonia Macrocosmica.


ca. 1660


Cellarius / Schenk-Valk (1596-1665)

Andreas Cellarius (c. 1596 – 1665) was a Dutch-German cartographer, best known for his Harmonia Macrocosmica of 1660, a major star atlas, published by Johannes Janssonius in Amsterdam. Andreas Cellarius, illustration of the Copernican system, from the Harmonia Macrocosmica 1660. He was born in Neuhausen ,now a part of Worms, and was educated in Heidelberg. The Protestant Cellarius may have left Heidelberg at the onset of the Thirty years war in 1618 or in 1622 when the city came in Catholic hands. His activities are unclear at this time but based on his later works it is conjectured he spent time in Poland and may have even worked as a military engineer there. In 1625 he married Catharina Elt(e)mans in Amsterdam, where he worked as school master of a Latin School. After a brief stay in The Hague, the family moved to Hoorn. From 1637 until his death he was rector of the Latin School in Hoorn, where Pieter Anthoniszoon Overtwater was conrector.

Historical Description

The history of western astrology can be traced back to pre-Christian times in Babylonia or Mesopotamia and Egypt. Its basic principles of interpretation and calculation, which are still recognizable today, were learned by astrology in the Hellenistic Greek-Egyptian city of Alexandria. Astronomy emerged from it as meaningless observation and mathematical recording of the starry sky, and it remained associated with it for a long time as an auxiliary science. Astrology had an eventful history in Europe. After the elevation of Christianity to the state religion in the Roman Empire, it was partly fought, partly adapted to Christianity and temporarily pushed aside. In the course of the early Middle Ages, astrology, especially the learned astronomy-astrology, revived in the Byzantine Empire from around the late 8th century, as also somewhat later in the Muslim Al-Andalus on the Iberian Peninsula. From the later High Middle Ages and especially in the Renaissance to the 17th century, it was widely regarded as a science in Europe, always combined with astronomy in the quadrivium of the seven liberal arts that had been taught at universities. In the course of the Enlightenment, however, it lost its plausibility in educated circles.

Place of Publication Amsterdam
Dimensions (cm)44 x 52
ConditionPerfect condition
Coloringoriginal colored
TechniqueCopper print


195.00 €

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