Cosmographic poem, 15th century

Cosmographic poem, 15th century

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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 'infinite number of stars' (upper right), the signs of the zodiac (centre right), and the 'seven planets in seven spheres' (lower right: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury and the Moon), surrounding the four elements of earth, water, air and fire.

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