Ancient Constellations in a Medieval Manuscript


The Leiden Aratea: Ancient Constellations in a Medieval Manuscript

Ranee Katzenstein and Emilie Savage-Smith


36 pages

PDF file size: 24.0 MB


This is a guide to a ninth-century astronomical treatise, the Aratea, on loan from the University of Leiden and exhibited at the Museum. The book describes the manuscript, its place within Carolingian illumination, and the significance of Aratos’s Phainomena as a text. Subsequent chapters discuss ancient conceptions of the universe, the zodiacal signs, and the Planetarium miniature. All miniatures from the manuscript are illustrated.

Table of Contents

  • A Carolingian Masterpiece
    Ranee Katzenstein
  • The Ancient Poem and Its Presentation
    Emilie Savage-Smith
  • The Miniatures from the Leiden Aratea
    R.K., E.S.-S.
  • Acknowledgments and References