And The Throne Were Drawn As Christ Sitting On His Throne In The Middle Ages

The Apocalypse says: "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven... and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian" (AP 4:1-3).

The person sitting on the throne can be seen on almost every mediaeval star chart - in the Zodiaque expliqué ([544], Volume 1, page 81, ill. 36), for instance, or on the star charts of A. Diirer ([544], Volume 4, page 204), on the map of Al-Sufi ( [544], Volume 4, page 250, ill. 49), and so forth. Figures 3.7 and 3.8 provide one such image.

Fig. 3.7. The constellation of Cassiopeia from an ancient star chart. Taken ffom [543], page 70, ill. 30.
Fig. 3.8. The Throne constellation with a human figure sitting on it. Taken from a XVI century tractate titled Astro-gnosia. Book archive of the Pulkovo Observatory. Also see [544], Volume 1, page 221, ill. 60.

Cafliopea*

Fig. 3.9. The constellation of Cassiopeia from a book by Th. Ra-dinus titled Sideralis Abyssus, dated 1551. Book archive of the Pulkovo Observatory. Also see [543], page 267, ill. 139.

All of these maps depict Cassiopeia enthroned.

The enthroned figure can be seen on many star charts of the XVI century, usually in the centre of the Milky Way. The Apocalypse indicates that there is a rainbow that encircles the throne: "A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne" (AP 4:3). The rainbow is a sufficiendy precise image for the luminous Milky Way that spans the night sky like an arch.

A straightforward comparison of the description of the "enthroned person" with a gemstone (we are told that it "had the appearance of jasper and car-nelian") strengthens the impression that the images of the Apocalypse are taken from the celestial sphere. Indeed, the comparison of stars with luminous gems is perfectly understandable and natural.

The identification of the constellation of Cassiopeia with Christ, which the Apocalypse actually refers to, was sometimes explicitly depicted on mediaeval maps. For example, the book of Radinus ([1361]) contains a picture of a throne with the crucified Cassiopeia upon it. The back of the throne serves as a cross, and the hands of the figure are pinioned to it. This is obviously a version of the Christian crucifix. (See fig. 3.9.)

The figure of a king on a throne can also be seen on the Egyptian star charts ([1162] and [1077]). On figs. 3.10 and 3.11 one sees Egyptian maps making it evident that the Egyptian symbolism of images is amazingly close to the European, meaning they both belong to the same school.

Therefore, the Apocalypses contains references to the constellation of Cassiopeia, which was actually perceived as the "stellar image" of Christ (the King) enthroned in the Middle Ages.

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