Cosmographic poem, 15th century

Cosmographic poem, 15th century

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Caption: Cosmographic poem. Illustrated page from the 15th-century cosmographic poem and medieval pilot-book 'La Sfera', written in Italian by Florentine merchant Gregorio Dati (1362-1435). The poem was intended to educate and guide navigators and sailors. It was written in 'ottava rima', rhyming stanzas of eight lines each. There are four stanzas on this page (each with a header). Illustrations show the pole star in the sky (upper left) and the climate zones of the Earth (centre left). The pole star is used in navigation. The climate zones shown here, between the cold zones of the Arctic and Antarctic, are the two temperate zones and the tropics.

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