The first chart featured in this series is titled “Globi Coelestis In Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars I” (The Celestial Globes Rendered As Planes Part I). The subcaption is titled, “in qua longitudines stellarum fixarum ad annum Christi completum 1730 tam aritmetice quam geometrice exhibentur,” (in which the longitudes of the fixed stars for the complete year of Christ 1730 are presented both arithmetically and geometrically). Some of the most notable constellations pictured are Draco, which translates to “Dragon,” and Perseus, named after the Greek mythological hero Perseus.

Located in the northern hemisphere, Draco is the ninth largest constellation in the sky, occupying 1,083 square degrees. Draco is one of the most ancient constellations and was of great significance for many ancient peoples. Around 2800 BCE, one of Draco’s stars, Thuban (Alpha Draconis), was the pole star. Positioned as the celestial center, it symbolized eternity for various ancient civilizations, each interpreting it uniquely. The Romans named it Draco, envisioning a snake thrown into the sky by the goddess Minerva. The Sumerians associated it with the defeated she-monster Tiamat, split into Draco and Hydra. Egyptians saw it as a hippopotamus or crocodile, linked with their goddess Isis. Some scholars have theorized that the Egyptians built several of their great pyramids with openings that aligned with the constellation’s principal stars, but modern studies have not been able to prove this. And lastly, the Arabs perceived it as a herd of camels encircling the north celestial pole.

Our other constellation of interest, based in Greek mythology, is Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danaë. He emerged as the hero who defeated Medusa and saved Andromeda from a menacing sea monster. As an infant, his mother and he were cast into the sea in a chest by his grandfather, Acrisius, because it had been prophesied that Acrisius would be killed by his grandson. After Perseus had grown up on the island of Seriphus, where the chest had landed, King Polydectes of Seriphus, desiring to court his mother, cunningly manipulated Perseus into a binding promise to retrieve the head of Medusa, the sole mortal among Gorgon.With assistance from Hermes and Athena, Perseus compelled the Graiae (sisters of the Gorgons) to aid him by seizing their shared eye and tooth, coercing them to return these only when they provided him with essential items: winged sandals for flight, Hades' cap for invisibility, a curved sword for Medusa's decapitation, and a bag to conceal the severed head. Another version suggests that the Graiae directed him to the Stygian Nymphs, who guided him to the Gorgons and supplied the necessary items. To avoid Medusa's petrifying gaze, Perseus used Athena's shield as a reflective guide and beheaded her while she slept. Returning to Seriphus, he rescued his mother by turning Polydectes and his allies to stone upon revealing Medusa's head.

Both constellations represent the significance of the heavens to ancient civilizations. These constellations were one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century Greek astronomer Ptolemy and remain two of the eighty-eight modern constellations today. Other constellations noted and included in this chart are Ursa minor, Cepheus, Ursa Major, Camelopardalis (Camelopardalus), Cassiopea, Cygnus, Lyra, Hercules, Bootes, Cane S Venatici Asterion and Chara (Cane S Venatici Asterion Et Chara, Lynx/Tigris, Auriga, Andromeda, Lacerta (Lacerta, Stellio), and Leo Minor.

Works Cited

Seevers, James. “Draco.” Encyclopædia Britannica,

Augustyn, Adam. “Perseus.” Encyclopædia Britannica, February 16, 2024.

Globi Coelestis in Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars I