Leiden Aratea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Folio 58v, Orion the Hunter.

Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, VLQ 79, also called the Leiden Aratea, is an illuminated copy of an astronomical treatise by Germanicus based on the Phaenomena of Aratus. The manuscript was created in the region of Lorraine and has been dated to around 816.[1] It was created for a wealthy patron, possibly Louis the Pious or his wife Judith. There are 99 extant folios that are 225mm by 200mm. The manuscript has 35 extant full-page miniatures, although at least four are known to be missing.

Two copies were made of the manuscript in northern France around the year 1000. Jacob Susius acquired the manuscript in Ghent in 1573. It was owned by Hugo Grotius in 1600 and was used as a source for his edition of Syntagma Arateorum. It was later in the library of Christina of Sweden and was subsequently in the possession of Isaac Vossius. It was acquired by the Leiden University Library along with the rest of Vossius's collection around 1690. A digital reproduction of this manuscript can be found on Digital Special Collections (DISC) of University Library Leiden: [1]

Some miniatures from the Leiden Aratea[edit]


  • Walther, Ingo F. and Norbert Wolf. Codices Illustres: The world's most famous illuminated manuscripts, 400 to 1600. Cologne, TASCHEN, 2005. ISBN 3-8228-5852-8
  1. ^ Richard Mostert and Marco Mostert, "Using astronomy as an aid to dating manuscripts, The example of the Leiden Aratea planetarium", Quaerendo, 20 (1999): 248-261.

Further reading[edit]