CORONA AVJ*TÄI K A XLVII
Fig. 3.16. The Sagittarius constellation on the star chart from a book by Grienberger (). Book archive of the Pulkovo Observatory. Also see , page 46, ill. 20.
Ox (Taurus) is a zodiacal constellation visited by the sun before the beginning of summer. (Look at the same maps of Durer and Grienberger, as well as fig. 3.15)
The animal with a human face (Centaur) is obviously a reference to the well-known zodiacal constellation of Sagittarius visited by the sun in the beginning of winter. (See fig. 3.16.)
The animal "like a flying eagle isn't in fact the Eagle, although such a constellation exists (see fig. 3.17.) Most likely, this is the famous Pegasus, the winged animal that completes the number of constellations in the Apocalypse indicated above. The sun visits the constellation of Pegasus before the beginning of spring. (See fig. 3.18.) Formally, Pegasus is not a zodiacal constellation, but an equatorial one; however, Pegasus almost touches the ecliptic between the zodiacal constellations of Pisces and Aquarius. The word even exists in the Greek text of the Apocalypse, where it refers to a mammal rather than a bird ().
Thus, the Apocalypse clearly enumerates the four main constellations along the ecliptic: the zodiac constellations of Leo, Taurus, Sagittarius, and the "almost zodiacal" Pegasus.
The selection of four well-known constellations in the apexes of the square on the ecliptic is a standard mediaeval astronomical method. Apparendy, the four constellations (perhaps some others) were similarly set in the angles of the quadrangular zodiac from the Thebes horoscope of Brugsch (see CHRON3, part 2.) Similar quadrangular zodiacs were also drawn in mediaeval India (, page 115).
Thus, four constellations which denote the seasons form a square or a cross. But since there are exactiy twenty-four star sectors (or wings) proceeding from the pole, each one of these animal constellations has exacdy six sectors of direct ascension, that is, they have six "wings" around them. In other words, each animal constellation is located in the region that is covered by these six sector-wings on the celestial sphere.
It is notable that all of this is absolutely accurately described in the Apocalypse, in which we read that "each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings!' (AP 4:8). The "eyes" here are the stars. By the way, the Greek text formulates this as "inside and around" ().
These "animals covered with eyes inside and around" are most probably constellations, and so the "eyes" in question should be of a stellar nature. Indeed, they are drawn in precisely this form on any mediaeval star chart (see Dtirer's maps in figs. 3.1 and 3.2, for instance, as well as the map from the Almagest on figs. 3.4 and 3.3.)
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