Historia Coelestis frontispiece, 1666

Historia Coelestis frontispiece, 1666

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Historia Coelestis (1666) frontispiece. This book, by the German astronomer Albert Curtz (1600–1671), described the work carried out by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). Four crowned Christian rulers in regal dress are each shown holding a sceptre and a globus cruciger (cross-bearing orb). Cherubs at their feet support a celestial globe (left) and a terrestrial globe (right). The title text across bottom is in Latin, and the cherubs across top carry the Latin phrases 'provide', 'usurp', 'receive', 'publish', signifying the patronage provided at this time by kings and emperors to astronomers. The artwork is by Philipp Andreas Kilian (1714-1759).

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