Julius Hyginus Poeticon Astronomicon

The 1482 edition of Hyginus's Poeticon Astronomicon contains a number of striking woodcut illustrations and is held in the IET Archives Rare Book Collection.

Hyginus's Poeticon Astronimicon was a primary text on the constellations in the ancient world. It is attributed to Casius Julius Hyginus, however, the fact that the order of appearance of the constellations appear mirrors Ptolemy's catalogue in the Almagest suggests a different Hyginus working sometime in the 2nd century A.D.

This edition contains a number of striking woodcut illustrations commissioned by the first edition printer Ernhard Ratdalt in Venice 1482.

Despite the position of the stars in his illustrations having little to do with the those described by Hyginus or their actual place in the sky, Ratdalt's illustrations served as the basis for the  constellation figures that appeared in the first true celestial maps in the 16th century.

Sagitarius Poeticon
Andromeda Poeticon
Hercules Poeticon

Shown here are the figures of the constellations Sagittarius, Andromeda and Hercules.