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W.734, Hyginus, Astronomica


This manuscript, W. 734, is a thirteenth-century copy of an astronomical treatise, Astronomica, attributed to the first century Roman scholar Gaius Julius Hyginus. There is some question as to whether or not the unpolished Latin prose of the Astronomica was in fact by the learned scholar Hyginus. Regardless, this text was in circulation in western Europe along with other astronomical and astrological works by the ninth century. Illustrated Carolingian versions of the texts often faithfully imitated classical models in both style and detail. No illustrated Carolingian examples of Hyginus still survive, however a manuscript of Hyginus from 988 by Ademar, a monk at Saint-Martial of Limoges, seems to be faithfully copied from a Carolingian model. The most distinctive feature of the iconography of W.734 is the miniature of the two stars of Cancer, the “Aselli,” drinking from a trough. This image type recalls a very small collection of ninth century manuscripts (cf. Madrid Bibl. Nacional, cod. 3307) dating between ca. 820-828, and W.734 is reminiscent of Carolingian style as well. The text of the Astronomica itself addresses various cosmographical topics including the Earth and the spheres, the mythological legends connected with the constellations, the planets, the arrangement of the stars in the constellations, the circles of the celestial sphere and the movements of the planets, the sun and the moon, and their appearance. This copy likely dates to ca. 1200, however pinpointing its place of creation has proven more complicated, with its parchment and script having been linked to Italy, while France or Spain have also been suggested as a place of origin.

Manuscript Description (in a new window) | TEI (XML format) | View at art.thewalters.org

Persistent URLs (PURLs)

The following URLs are assured to route to the named resources. For more information see the ReadMe file.

  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.734/browse
  • http://purl.thewalters.org/art/W.734/data
    1. Upper board outside

      W.734, Upper board outside
    2. Upper board inside

      W.734, Upper board inside
    3. Front flyleaf i, r

      W.734, Front flyleaf i, r
    4. Front flyleaf i, v

      W.734, Front flyleaf i, v
    5. fol. 1r

      W.734, fol. 1r
    6. fol. 1v

      W.734, fol. 1v
    7. fol. 2r

      W.734, fol. 2r
    8. fol. 2v

      W.734, fol. 2v
    9. fol. 3r

      W.734, fol. 3r
    10. fol. 3v

      W.734, fol. 3v
    11. fol. 4r

      W.734, fol. 4r
    12. fol. 4v

      W.734, fol. 4v
    13. fol. 5r

      W.734, fol. 5r
    14. fol. 5v

      W.734, fol. 5v
    15. fol. 6r

      W.734, fol. 6r
    16. fol. 6v

      W.734, fol. 6v
    17. fol. 7r

      W.734, fol. 7r
    18. fol. 7v

      W.734, fol. 7v
    19. fol. 8r

      W.734, fol. 8r
    20. fol. 8v

      W.734, fol. 8v
    21. fol. 9r

      W.734, fol. 9r
    22. fol. 9v

      W.734, fol. 9v
    23. fol. 10r

      W.734, fol. 10r
    24. fol. 10v

      W.734, fol. 10v
    25. fol. 11r

      W.734, fol. 11r
    26. fol. 11v

      W.734, fol. 11v
    27. fol. 12r

      W.734, fol. 12r
    28. fol. 12v

      W.734, fol. 12v
    29. fol. 13r

      W.734, fol. 13r
    30. fol. 13v

      W.734, fol. 13v
    31. fol. 14r

      W.734, fol. 14r
    32. fol. 14v

      W.734, fol. 14v
    33. fol. 15r

      W.734, fol. 15r
    34. fol. 15v

      W.734, fol. 15v
    35. fol. 16r

      W.734, fol. 16r
    36. fol. 16v

      W.734, fol. 16v
    37. fol. 17r

      W.734, fol. 17r
    38. fol. 17v

      W.734, fol. 17v
    39. fol. 18r

      W.734, fol. 18r
    40. fol. 18v

      W.734, fol. 18v
    41. fol. 19r

      W.734, fol. 19r
    42. fol. 19v

      W.734, fol. 19v
    43. fol. 20r

      W.734, fol. 20r
    44. fol. 20v

      W.734, fol. 20v
    45. fol. 21r

      W.734, fol. 21r
    46. fol. 21v

      W.734, fol. 21v
    47. fol. 22r

      W.734, fol. 22r
    48. fol. 22v

      W.734, fol. 22v
    49. Back flyleaf i, r

      W.734, Back flyleaf i, r
    50. Back flyleaf i, v

      W.734, Back flyleaf i, v
    51. Lower board inside

      W.734, Lower board inside
    52. Lower board outside

      W.734, Lower board outside
    53. Spine

      W.734, Spine
    54. Fore-edge

      W.734, Fore-edge
    55. Head

      W.734, Head
    56. Tail

      W.734, Tail

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