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LEO, TAURUS, SAGITTARIUS, PEGASUS

The Apocalypse says: "Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the centre, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back"(AP 4:6-7).

This is a description of the celestial sphere which surrounds the constellation of the Throne and is strewn with stars (or "eyes"). The initially obscure reference to a place "around the throne" becomes intelligible: the actual constellation of the Throne is being referred to, as well as the smaller stars scattered all across the background.

But what does "... were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes..." mean? This becomes

Fig. 3.13. The Crown (or Diadem) constellation near the pole. Fragment of a chart dating from 1700. Taken from [1160], table 10.1, page 304.

clear from a casual glance at the star chart. Moreover, in the following passage of the Apocalypse it is clearly said that: "the first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle" (AP 4:7).

Lion (Leo) is a zodiacal constellation visited by the sun before the beginning of autumn. (See, for example, the mediaeval maps by Durer and Grienberger ([1162]). See also figs. 3.4, 3.3 and 3.14)

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