cosmographic

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General Atlas of All the Islands in the World

Islario general de todas las islas del mundo (General atlas of all the islands in the world) is the greatest work by Seville cosmographer Alonso de Santa Cruz (1505–67). The atlas was begun during the reign of Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V and finished in that of his son King Philip II, to whom it was dedicated. It consists of 111 maps representing all the islands and peninsulas of the world, and showing all the discoveries made by European explorers from 1400 to the mid-16th century. The atlas begins with a letter by Santa Cruz to the king, in which he justifies his work and explains different geographic concepts. Preceding the maps is “Breve introducción de la Sphera” in which Santa Cruz makes a cosmographic description, illustrated by 14 astronomical figures. The maps are organized in four parts: the first deals with the North Atlantic; the second, with the Mediterranean and adjacent areas; the third, with Africa and the Indian Ocean; and the fourth with the New World. The maps include scales in latitude and some in longitude and bodies of water with varied scales and oriented with compass roses. The Islario general is the earliest atlas in which paper is used, instead of the parchment that was previously most commonly used for such charts. The design of the maps is more functional, with less attention to aesthetics and more to geographic detail than in the late-medieval portolan maps and atlases. Scholars have determined, on the basis of the dates that appear in the descriptive texts on the islands, that the maps were made beginning in the fourth decade of the 16th century, around 1539, and that the entire atlas was completed circa 1560. It is highly probable that the Islario general was a part of a Geografía Universal that Santa Cruz never finished. Santa Cruz was one of the key figures of the Casa de Contratación (House of Trade) in Seville. One of his first works was a set of the spherical charts of the New World. He created various other works on cosmography and geography, such as the Libro de longitudes; and on historical themes, including  Crónica de los Reyes Católicos (Chronicle of the Catholic kings) and Crónica de Carlos V (Chronicle of Charles V). Following Santa Cruz’s death, his successor, Andrés García de Céspedes, attempted to claim credit for this work. On the cover the name Alonso de Santa Cruz has been erased, García de Céspedes’s name is inserted as if he were the author, and the work is dedicated to King Philip III. In the manuscript itself, apocryphal texts have been superimposed over the originals, with the aim of disguising the real authorship and date of creation.

Johannes Kepler - Platonic Solid Model of the Solar System, “Mysterium Cosmographicum” (The Cosmographic Mystery), 1600.

Kepler’s Cosmological theory, based on the Copernican system, states that five Pythagorean regular Polyhedra dictate the structure of the Universe and reflect God’s plan through Geometry. This was the first attempt since Copernicus to say that the theory of Heliocentrism is physically true.

Kepler claimed to have had an epiphany on July 19, 1595, demonstrating the periodic conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the Zodiac: he realized that regular Polygons bound one inscribed and one circumscribed Circle at definite Ratios, which might be the Geometrical basis of the Universe. After failing to find a unique arrangement of Polygons that fit known Astronomical observations, Kepler began experimenting with 3-dimensional Polyhedra. He found that each of the five Platonic Solids could be uniquely inscribed and circumscribed by Spherical Orbs; nesting these Solids, each encased in a Sphere, within one another would produce six layers, corresponding to the six known Planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. By ordering the Solids correctly - Octahedron, Icosahedron, Dodecahedron, Tetrahedron, Cube - Kepler found that the Spheres could be placed at intervals corresponding to the relative sizes of each Planet’s path, assuming the Planets circle the Sun. Kepler also found a formula relating the size of each Planet’s orb to the length of its orbital period: from inner to outer Planets, the ratio of increase in orbital period is twice the difference in orb radius. 

This is an illustration of the Mundus Cosmograph, a mechanism created at the Snow Tower Observatory located at the peak of the Throat of the world. The cosmograph was the first of it’s kind, and is currently used to track the celestial bodies. This information is most often used to predict the times of conjunction and power apex’s across Tamriel. 

Represented are the major constellations and their positions in relation to each other, the seasons of Nirn and Nirn itself. 

It is one of the many instruments used currently used in the researching of the Nexus Theorum. The correlation between the positions of the celestial bodies and their influence on the magical nature of Mundus itself. Some believe that it possible to predict the time and place that individuals designated as Nexus Vessels are conceived. Beings born to be involved in great events and mandate large sweeping changes to Tamriel. 

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Saint Bede the Venerable, Saint Isidore of Sevilla, Saint Abbo of Fleury - Cosmography, 1100s.

Created in 12th century England, this manuscript was intended to be a scientific textbook for monks, designed as a compendium of cosmographical knowledge. The complex diagrams that accompany the texts help to illustrate this knowledge, and include visualizations of the heavens and earth, seasons, winds, tides, and the zodiac, as well as demonstrations of how these things relate to man. Most of the diagrams are rotae, or wheel-shaped schemata, favored throughout the Middle Ages for the presentation of scientific and cosmological ideas. Moreover, the circle, considered the most perfect shape and a symbol of God, was seen as conveying the cyclical nature of time as well as the logic, order, and harmony of the created universe.

1. Diagram of the zodiac
2. Diagram of twelwe winds
3. Diagram of the planetary orbits and zodiac
4. Diagram of the planet cycles
5. Diagram of the solstices and equinoxes
6. The planetary orbits
7. Diagram of the harmony of the elements, seasons, and humors
8. Diagram of the harmony of the year and seasons
9. Tidal diagram
10. Diagram of planetary courses in the zodiacal signs

This is an illustration of an Oblivion Cosmograph, one of many mechanisms created at the Snow Tower Observatory located at the peak of the Throat of the world. The cosmograph is one of the first true maps of the realms of Oblivion, and is currently used to track the movements of the Realms. This information is most often used to predict the times of conjunction and power apex’s across Tamriel.

Represented are the major oblivion realms and their positions in relation to each other, and to Mundus itself.

It is one of the many instruments used currently used in the researching of the Nexus Theorum. The correlation between the positions of the realms and their influence on the magical nature of Mundus itself. Some believe that it possible to predict the time and place that individuals designated as Nexus Vessels are conceived. Beings born to be involved in great events and mandate large sweeping changes to Tamriel.

It was this map along with other instruments that the Seridur Group developed to eventually pursue travel between the realms. Eventually culminating in the Aetherius Venture, which caused much controversy. Seridur proposed to exit Mundus and enter Aetherius itself. The specifics are kept a secret to this day, but it is known to be somewhat a success. Seridur returned twelve years later, having aged several centuries. He did not speak or move, but was alive.

Seridur still resides in a comatose state in the city of Alinor, though efforts to revive or communicate continue.