MINIATURIST, German
(active 825-840 in Lorraine)

Aratea

825-40
Manuscript (Voss. lat. Q 79), 225 x 200 mm
Universiteitsbibliotheek, Leiden

This manuscript contains the astronomical treatise on the constellations based on the Phaenomena of Aratus in a Latin translation by Claudius Caesar Germanicus. The Greek poet Aratus (c. 310-245 B.C.), at the behest of a Macedonian king in the Hellenistic age, wrote a short work on celestial phaenomena, based on the perceptions of the astronomer Eudoxos of Cnidus (391-337 B.C.). This didactic poem appeared in ever new versions in the Middle Ages, when it was used as a textbook of astronomy.

The present version was possibly ordered by Louis the Pious (reigned 813-840). It contains 99 folios and 35 full-page miniatures. The picture shows folios 48v and 55r representing the constellation of Orion, the mighty hunter from Boeotia.