ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mars, historical artwork. Engraving of Mars (right) on a chariot, with Latin text. Mars was the god of war in Roman times, so he is shown here as wearing armour and holding a sword. The conjunction (alignment) of Mars with other planets and star constellations in the sky is considered to be significant in astrology, the ancient belief that the celestial bodies influence human lives. The symbols on the chariot's wheels are the zodiac signs Aries and Scorpio, for which Mars is the ruling planet. This artwork is from Poeticon Astronomicon (Poetic Astronomy), a star atlas by Hyginus that was published in 1482.
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