Heavenly spheres, 15th century

Heavenly spheres, 15th century

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Credit: Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Heavenly spheres. 15th-century illustration of a medieval interpretation of the notion of the heavenly spheres as described in Aristotelian cosmology. Across bottom is the Earth, with the next layer being fire (the lightest of the Aristotelian elements). Beyond that are bands for the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The Moon and Sun are illustrated, while the planets are depicted as stars. The final two layers are the band of fixed stars, and angels in heaven. Artwork from 'Buch der Natur' (Book of Nature, 1481) by Konrad von Megenberg (1309-1374), a translation and adaptation of the 13th-century 'De natura rerum' by Thomas de Cantimpre.

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Keywords: 1400s, 1481, 15th century, angels, aristotelian cosmology, aristotelian elements, aristotle, artwork, astrology, astronomical, astronomy, book, book of nature, buch der natur, celestial sphere, celestial spheres, conrad, cosmogony, cosmological, cosmology, de natura rerum, fire, fixed stars, heaven, heavenly spheres, heavens, historical, history, illustration, jupiter, konrad von megenberg, mars, mediaeval, medieval, mercury, middle ages, moon, no-one, nobody, planet, publication, saturn, sun, thomas de cantimpre, venus

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