Globi Coelestis in Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars IV (The Celestial Globe Rendered as Planes Part 4) depicts several constellations during an autumnal equinox. It records five comet paths observed from 1618 to 1706. Illustrated at the chart's equator are the Leo and Virgo constellations (two of the twelve astrological signs). The depictions of the Virgo and Leo constellations (Virgo constellation is a horizontal-winged woman; Leo is a large roaring lion) are drawn from Hellenistic Greek mythology, which was heavily influenced by Babylonian astrology. In Hellenistic mythology, Leo is based on the formidable Nemean lion from the first of Hercules’ twelve labors. Hercules had to endure these to compensate for his previous sins and madness in which he murdered his family in a rage. The myth acts as a moralistic story where the Nemean lion is supposed to represent the self-serving ego. The Virgo constellation is based on the myth of “The Maiden” or the Greek goddess and daughter of Demeter, Persephone. The myth describes Persephone as the goddess of eternal spring and youth until she was taken by Hades to the Underworld during the winter to become his wife and queen. It is described she made a deal with her mother, Demeter the goddess of the harvest, to return to the Earth for half of the year during the spring and summer until she had to return to Hades after the harvest season in the fall. The myth was used as a Hellenistic explanation for the cycle of the seasons. The mythology behind the two most notable constellations suggests a deeper history than what modern common beliefs of simply being about personality traits could suggest. The constellations not only helped with navigation at night, but also provided a lens into the societal values of maidenhood, ego, and redemption in the Hellenistic period in Greece. Libra was once a part of Scorpius back in Babylonian times known as the “claws of the scorpion” before being broken into its own by the Greeks and Romans. Scorpius (or Scorpio) was the scorpion that killed the giant hunter Orion.  Ursa Major was Callisto the nymph who was turned into a bear after an affair with Zeus and the accompanying Ursa Minor was Arcas, Callisto’s son.  Centaurus represents the mythical race of half-horse and half-men people known as Centaurs. The constellations Leo and Hydra represented the Nemean Lion and the serpent dragon Hydra from the 12 labors of Heracles.  Finally, The Argo Navis represents the Argo, the ship of Jason and the Argonauts who sailed in quest of the Golden Fleece. Other notable constellations shown include Bootes, Chara, and Asterion. On the sides of the of the chart are a list of the group of stars that make up the constellations with their longitude and latitudes in Latin. The chart is drawn in a gnomonic projection, or a spherical projection with little distortion, which was useful for navigational purposes alongside the longitudes and latitudes.

Globi Coelestis in Tabulas Planas Redacti Pars IV