Spherical Observation

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Illustration of the Middle Ages' spherical world-view.[1]

The idea of a celestial sphere which appears to surround the earth. This perception is an important step from simple observation of the stars to constructing astrology as a cosmic system. Since ancient times, Hellenistic astrologers determined mathematically that the earth was actually round, not flat[2]; and conceptualized the heavens as one or a series of spheres surrounding the earth, each with its own planet.

The Ptolemaic World-view (order of spheres from Earth outward) is:

  1. Moon
  2. Mercury
  3. Venus
  4. Sun
  5. Mars
  6. Jupiter
  7. Saturn
  8. Fixed Stars
  9. Primum Mobile (First Moved).

See also

Ptolemy's sky.


Notes and References

  1. Robert Fludd’s Great Chain of Being; frontispiece of hisUtriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica atque technical historia, Oppenheim: 1617-1619. See detailed description (Peter Stockinger)
  2. The Myth of the Flat Earth (Jeffrey Russell, 1997)