The Mainz Globe c 150 - 220 AD



Definition: [Source Texts of AstrologyThe Mainz Globe is one of only three surviving celestial globes that have survived from the Classical world. It shows 48 Classical constellations and the first known representation of the entire Milky Way. With impressive precision on something so small it depicts the Zodiac and the Great Circles of the Solstices and Equinoxes.

The Mainz Globe is thought by classical scholars to be a work from the Roman Empire, c 150 - 220 AD, originating in the eastern half of the Empire, perhaps Egypt. The piece was produced as the crown of a gnomon on a sundial. It is currently on display in the Römisch-Germanischen Museum, Mainz, Germany.

Libra and the Zodiac: The Mainz Globe is the best pictorial evidence that we now possess for the history of the Zodiac Sign of LibraLibra was known to be the lastZodiac Sign to join the twelve-sign Solar Zodiac. The Mainz Globe comes from a different tradition, in which Scorpius is a double sign, and Libra did not exist. From the date of the Mainz Globe this tradition must have must co-existed with the Libratradition for several centuries. [Ptolemy in Al Magest, c 130 - 170 AD describes the stars we now call Libra as part of the "Forficis", Latin for the "Shears" of the Scorpion.]

Mainz Globe Pictures:

mainz globe: cancer, leo, aquarius, hercules, crate, corvus, hydra


The Mainz Globe c 150 - 220 AD. Showing four Signs of the ZodiacCancer, the Crab, Leo, the Lion, Virgo, the Virgin and the Claws of the Double Sign of Scorpius, the Scorpion. Libra is absent. The Ecliptic is the line running upper left to lower right. The two lines on either side of this line represent the zone of the planets known at the time. [See Planetary Zodiac] To the left and right of Leo's paws, lines cut the Ecliptic representing the equal-sign portion of the Zodiac given to LeoClick here for drawings of the constellations on the Mainz Globe, 126 kB. There are several small positional errors on these drawings as compared to the real globe.

mainz globe: cancer, leo, virgo, scorpius, crater, corvus, hydra, lupus, argo navis, centaurus and the milky way


The Mainz GlobeCancer, the Crab, Leo, the Lion, Virgo, the Virgin and the Claws of the Double Sign of Scorpius, the Scorpion. Libra is absent. At the base is the hull of Argo Navis, the Swift One. The two lines of stars above it mark the Milky Way.

mainz globe: perseus, andromeda, aries, taurus, gemini, cetus, orion, lepus, eridanus


The Mainz GlobeAriesthe Ram, and Taurusthe Bull andGeminithe Twins, with Cetus, the Whale [in its older form of aSea Monster] and Orion, the Hunter, below. Orion's club crosses the Ecliptic.

mainz globe: pegasus, andromeda, aquarius, pisces, aries, taurus, cetus, eridanus


The Mainz GlobeAquarius, the Water CarrierPiscesthe Fishes,Ariesthe Ram, and Taurusthe Bull, with Cetus, the Whale below [in its older form of a Sea Monster], and Andromeda, the Princesschained above.

Click on the above picture for a larger version.

Click on the above picture for a larger version.

Click on the above picture for a larger versio

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