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Exploring the Relevance of the Star-positions in the Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts of Hyginus’ De Astronomia


Arnaud Zucker    Université de Nice, France    


This paper analyzes the agreement between pictures and text in the 20 extant manuscripts of Hyginus’ Astronomy which are illuminated and marked with stars, the majority of which date from the second half of the 15th century. It focuses on the number and position of the stars on the constellation figures, and systematically inventories in each manuscript all discrepancies between picture and text. The existence of independent constellation albums and the disconnection between the activities of pictor and scriptor could more ambiguous. It actually appears that in some cases the positions of the stars precisely match the wording of a manuscript and lead to the conclusion that star-positioning might have sometimes been a secondary process adjusted to the very text of the illustrated manuscript.

Language: en

keywords: Hyginus. Illuminated manuscripts. Ancient constellations. Star iconography. Astrothesy. Ancient astronomy. Medieval astronomy.

Submitted: Jan. 13, 2017
Accepted: March 31, 2017
Published: Sept. 1, 2017
permalink: doi.org/10.14277/6969-165-2/ANT-13-9

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