Telluris Theoria Sacra frontispiece, 1689

Telluris Theoria Sacra frontispiece, 1689

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Telluris Theoria Sacra (1689 second edition) frontispiece. This book (The Sacred Theory of the Earth), by the English theologian Thomas Burnet (c.1635-1715), first published 1681, was one of the most popular geology works of the 17th century. The book's Latin title is at centre, with cherubim in the corners. At top, a flag-bearing Christ stands on a circle of seven globes showing Burnet's theory of the Earth. Clockwise from upper right: initial chaos; smooth Eden; Noah's Flood; present Earth; Apocalyptic fires; a second smooth Earth; and finally a star-like form. Greek text (top) states that Christ is the beginning and the end (the alpha and the omega).

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