This is without doubt one of the most challenging and involved poems in the DPS. The topic King deals with is the tricky subject of the differential rates of rise and fall of some constellations as they appear in the sky in different parts of the earth, and at different times of the year. Adam King's poetic and academic background (see recent feature on King here) made him more than qualified to treat this topic. The main difficulty in providing an approachable literary response lies with both the complexity of the subject matter (a knowledge of celestial latitude and longitude - right ascension and declination - and the colures, spheres, and stellar 'points' are assumed) and the suitability of verse to explore and explain this relatively technical subject. King was, of course, aware that Sacrobosco (the 'school' set text for astronomical instruction in the medieval and early modern world) had used the Latin poets to explain it, and he follows Sacrobosco, De Sphaera Mundi III (and its source texts) at various points in the poem (see below, notes 2, 12, 58, and 60 especially). Sacrobosco's text, therefore, is a useful reading companion to this poem (the best modern version of the Latin and English text is: Lynn Thorndike, The Sphere of Sacrobosco and its Commentators, University of Chicago Press, 1949). Another major influence on King's poem is Cleomedes, Caelestia (also known as De Motu Caelestium). King's indebtedness to Cleomedes is particularly note-worthy from lines 501 until the end, where metrical mapping and climate classification are the subject. Again, the reader could usefully consult Cleomedes' text for a broader understanding of the subject (the best modern version of the Greek is: Robert Todd, Cleomedis Caelestia, Teubner, 1990; and for an up-to-date English translation: Alan Bowen and Robert Todd, Cleomedes' Lectures on Astronomy: A Translation of The Heavens, University of California Press, 2004). Of course the best commentary for this poem (and the supplement to book five which follows this poem) is King's own commentary contained in his MS in the Special Collections Department (Centre for Research Studies) at the University of Edinburgh. In it King provides tabular and graphic illustrations of the meridians, colures, orbits, and all points of interest on the celestial sphere, as well as a detailed explication of each celestial explanatory framework he employs. For further reading on the significance of King's supplements and his commentary to all of Buchanan's work, see: McOmish, 'A community of scholarship: scientific discourse in early-modern Scotland' in Neo-Latin Literature and the Republic of Letters in Early Modern Scotland, Eds. Reid and Mcomish (forthcoming)). Despite the seemingly conservative source material (Sacrobosco and Cleomedes are Christian and Stoic respectively), the cosmology contained in King's poem is not a learned affirmation of the centuries-old astronomical status quo. King reads through Cleomedes to Posidonius and Eratoshtenes, and foregrounds scientific conclusions founded in empirical evidence (see lines 517-520 below especially). His subject matter here does not allow him to explore some of the more pressing questions of contemporary astronomical significance (Copernicus and Brahe). However, the flashes of innovation that we see in King's enthusiastic articulation of empirical evidence, is in evidence more generally in his commentary. King is familiar with, and quotes Giuseppe Moletti, Galileo's predecessor (and sometime mentor) at Padua, whose work on Copernicus' De Revolutionibus and his attempts to subject topics previously the sole province of natural philosophy to a rigorous mathematical enquiry (most pointedly in his Dialogue on Mechanics), are examples of the early modern tensions between increasingly specialist approaches and philosophical ones. Unlike King's early poem on Christ's brith, this poem is more technical (mathematical and astronomical) than philosophical (Stoic). Metre: hexameter.
Libri quarti Sphaerae à Georgio Buchanano non absoluti Supplementum
Libri quarti Sphaerae a Georgio Buchanano non absoluti Supplementum
1Sic quibus est rectus signis surgentibus ortus,
lentius, et segni tanto magis aethere cursum
tarda trahunt, nectuntque moras, quo rectior illis,
et magis acclivi deducitur orbita caelo. 1
5Quae vero obliquo referunt sua lumina curru,
quo magis inflexum peragunt iter, ocyus alto
prosiliunt, spatiisque suos brevioribus ortus
expediunt, celeri et claudunt sua tempora gyro.
Nec dispar ratio occasus qui rectus habetur;
10quum quam signiferi plus aequatoris in undas
signa ferunt, 2 tardoque gradu sua sidera condunt;
quum minus obliquus perhibetur: et ocyor astra
praecipitat caelo occubitus, quo obliquior: ut quo
rectior inclinat, sic tardius urget in aequor,
15et Tartessiacis immergit serius undis.
Hos etiam stellarum obitus metimur et ortus
segmento aequantis cycli: quod in ordine recto
signorum, 3 vernum punctum, stellamque cadentem,
[p237] aut ascendentem dirimit: nec dispare forma
20rectius his, illis obliquius aequora linquit,
aut subit: 4 has sensim remoratur, promovet illas:
et sua multiplici discrimine tempora mutat.
Nec similem servat sphaera variante tenorem,
seu signum, seu stella cadens, vel ab aequore surgens.
25Nam quibus aequatrix insistit linea, 5 rectum
ad perdendiculum, cardoque videtur uterque
signiferi, aequantisque cycli distincta Coluris
segmina 6 quadrantum, paribus redeuntque abeuntque
integra momentis, 7 aequataque tempora servant.
30At non quadrantes alii, quocunque notentur
principio, partesve aliae quadrante minores,
sic ortus obitusque suos aequalibus unquam
arcubus absolvunt, aut tempora partibus aequant:
quum hic signiferi superet, superetur at illic
35portio, quem secum trahit aequatoris ab arcu.
Ut nunquam paribus cum finitore trigonum
cruribus 8 efficiant: mensura at dispare, semper
rectius Oceanum fugiant hae, obliquius illae,
aut repetant, varioque situ discrimina mutent.
40Nam quo signiferi partes propiore recessu
Phryxaei pecoris, justaeque exordia Librae
discreta serie praeeunt, aut pone sequuntur:
hoc magis obliquo flexu, velocius undis
subducunt sese, vel condunt: rectius autem
45et tardo magis ingressu, quo hinc inde remota
solstitia accedunt propius. 9 Sic cardo propinquus
incitat, aut simili motum ratione retardat.
Quae vero autumni, verisque a limite partes
continua serie ad Cancrum, Caprumque trahuntur
50obliquos: at quae a Cancro, Caproque, tenebras
lucibus aequatas attingunt perpete ductu;
exortus obeunt rectos: sed dispare norma.
Nam quae principiis distant magis, hoc minus ortu
obliquo, rectove, Indo de littore surgunt, 10
55Hesperiove cadunt; semperque prioribus addunt,
aut adimunt sua quae succedunt tempora: toti
dum sese integris quadrantes arcubus aequent. 11
[p238] Hic intervallis quaecunque a cardine eodem
dissita sunt paribus quadrantum segmina, norma
60aequali peragunt ortus: sic Carcinus ardens
laedaeos aequat fratres: 12 Astraea bilancem;
Aegoceros Chirona; et Pisces Ianitor anni;
par Tauro Nemees terror; vastusque Leoni
Scorpius; huic plena terras qui proluit urna.
65Signa etiam adversis quae sese frontibus urgent,
hanc subeunt legem: nec Chelis portitor Helles 13
rectius assurgit; non Tauro Scorpius, aequat
laedaeos fratres Chiron: Cancrumque calentem
Aegoceros; par est mensura Leonis, et Urnae;
70nec pecori aequoreo concedunt Virginis ignes. 14
Quin hic semisses etiam quaecunque cyclorum
zodiaci, lucique umbras aequantis; iisdem
finibus inclusae, Eoo simul aequore totas
se tollunt, conduntque simul se littore Ibero.
75Hoc demum cujusque licet deprendere signi
segmentive pares ortus, obitusque; nec unquam
fingere dissimiles in finitore trigonos:
seu se Mygdoniis elata cubilibus Indo 15
margine promoveant: seu fortunata revisent
80Hesperidum nemora, atque emenso Atlante residant.
Ordine sic certo, mundi quibus axis utrinque
radit horizontem, 16 retegi, rursusque recondi
signa vident, stellasque suas, semperque tenore
constanti servare vices, et tempora motus.
85Axe sed obliquo, quibus hic sublimior extat,
ille latet mundi polus, et sua sidera celat;
transiliunt circi, qui visum terminat, oras
disparili norma stellaeque et signa: nec idem
surgendi modus est, aut par mensura cadendi
90omnibus, a media mundi regione sub ipsos
usque polos. Nam qua tellus conclusa polari
atque aequante Cyclo sese diffundit in orbem,
signifer integris (certo quas limite finit
cum Chelis Aries) tantum semissibus ortus,
95occubitusque suos exaequat: caetera surgunt
disparibus segmenta modis: nisi cruribus aequis
[p239] efforment intra Tropicos si quando trigonos.
Continuas autem partes semissis in Arcton
inflexae, a primo redeuntis limine veris,
100virginis ad finem, celeri hic obliquius ortu,
quam sphaera in recta semper se tollere cernes.
Disjunctas vero propius quo a cardine verno
distiterint, magis oblique; quo longius absunt
rectius, Eois emergere fluctibus: usque
105quo simul integris semisses arcubus extent.
Non idem alterius modus est semissis in Austrum
prolapsae: nam quas Chelarum a limite partes
ordine convexas 17 trahit ad confinia veris,
rectius hic, recti quam finitoris in oris
110attollit: discontinuas quo pondere Librae
attingunt propiore situ, sic rectius: at quo
longius abscedunt; sic inclinatius undis
exerit: 18 ut justis sua tempora partibus aequet. 19
Hinc sit, ut a summa Phoebi declivis ad imam
115semissis statione; atque ejus segmina quaevis:
hic semper recta ascendant: acclivia vero
a bruma ad Cancrum quae signa trahuntur, Olympo
obliquo ostendant sese et sua sidera flexu.
Si porro hic segmenta notes a cardine utrovis,
120qui lucem noctemque pares determinat, aequis
ante, retro spatiis distantia; semper eadem
mensura, quamvis properent haec, illa morentur,
exertare 20 suos deprendes aequore currus.
At quae Solstitio, paribus juguntur utrinque
125arcubus alterutri; divisim tempora nunquam,
at junctim exaequant rectis: tantumque reponit
tardius hinc, illinc quantum velocius anfert.
Quippe ortus rectos discrimine semper eodem
exuperant, 21 minuuntque suos, parilique reclinant
130secessu a media mundi statione: latentis
sive poli 22 spectent flammis propioribus ignes:
sive Lycaoniis distent vicinius Ursis. 23
Quinetiam adversis toto quae dissita caelo
occursant radiis, atque obvia lumina miscent: 24
135non nisi juncta suos spatiis aequalibus ortus
[p240] hic ut in extremo recti curvamine caeli
conficiunt: numerantque pari sua tempora cursu.
Sic tamen hic etiam sejuncta aequantur, ab undis
ut quanto alterutrum sese effert tempore, eodem
140se condat reliquum: similique tenore ferantur
hoc oriens, illudque cadens, hic denique normam
ascensus casusque sui, pars una eademque
sic variat, tantoque vices discrimine mutat:
ut recto mundi si claustra 25 latentia cursu
145deserat; obliquo se mergat in aequora lapsu.
Sin oritur celeri gyro, descendat inerti:
et nunquam parili cedat, redeatque tenore.
Legibus his medio tellus a limite caeli
qua patet, Arctoi late ad confinia circi
150sidera se nobis retegunt et signa, caduntque.
At quibus, algentes qui circumflectitur Arctos,
circulus insistit: dum circinat orbita Solis
undique prospectum; et caeli se terminat oris:
zodiaci senis quae se pars altera signis
155porrigit acclivem a Capro per limina veris
ad Cancrum; sic tota simul convertitur uno
momento: ut secum nil aequatoris ab Indo
sublevet, Hesperio quem totum littore condit.
Altera quae totidem a summo descendit ad imum
160solstitium, signis per justae examina Librae,
luminibus nostris si impervia regna relinquat; 26
aequantem cyclum totum deducit ab undis:
sin adeat, partem nullam trahit ejus in undas.
Denique queis vertex erectus constitit inter
165signiferi mundique polos: ubi frigore pigro
immitis terras Aquilo damnavit inertes:
proxima solstitium aestivum quae segmina utrinque
attingunt paribus spatiis; a cardine vertex
si minus Arctoo, numero majore, minore,
170si magis abfuerit, semper sublima perstant
Hesperio nunquam tingi metuentia ponto: 27
his adversa latent sub finitore, nec unquam
aequore se tollunt Indo; metuuntque videri,
et Boreae gelidis sua sidera credere flabris.
[p241] 175Caetera Solstitiis distantia longius, ortus
alternant, obitusque vices, totumque reducunt,
abducuntque cyclum aequantem: sed dispare forma.
Nam quae prona jacent Chelis contermina, recto
ordine majorem illius surgentia partem
180oceano educunt, conduntque relapsa minorem
ordine mutato: sed quae primordia veris
stant circum, et propius Nepheleia vellera spectant,
inversa surgunt serie, tolluntque minorem
aequantis circi partem: rectaque recondunt
185majorem; similique modo discrimina semper
permutant, donec vertex cum cardine mundi
arctoo coeat, fiatque aequator Horizon.
Sena ubi perpetuis 28 totis extantia gyris
signa choros ducunt, pelagique immunia, 29 longae
190mensibus hic senis praestant solatia nocti.
Conspicuis nuncquam hoc caelo sex altera flammis,
pressa latent tenebris, et opaca nocte: nec ullos
haec ortus, aut illa obitus in margine caeli
moliri, aut positas tentant transcendere metas.
195Quas porro leges, ortus quibus occubitusque
alternent, circi medium qui dividit orbem,
citra cicuitum signis praefixit; easdem
ultra etiam dedit oppositis natura: parique
illa hinc, haec illinc norma, decedere ponto
200restituique iterum voluit: sic ordine solers
quanquam dissimili, certo tamen, omnia caelo
digerit, atque adimit, vel reddit sidera terris.
Iam quibus astrorum cursus, variosque recursus
observare fuit curae, pentitusque repostos 30
205caelorum faelici ausu penetrare recessus:
naturae has latebras, et tantum pervia menti
claustra recludentes; 31 ubi conspexere tenaci
temporaque et motum coiisse in foedera nexu;
inque vicem sese metiri: ut tempore motum,
210tempora sic motu definivere, suisque
distinxere annos spatiis, mensesque, diesque.
Sive illos Phoebi quae ducitur orbita spiris; 32
seu vaga palanti designet Cynthia curru.
[p242] Tum quibus in terris, et cur Phoebeius axis
215alternis aequet tenebris hic, augeat illic,
et rursus minuat vario discrimine luces:
protrahat his umbras humilis, sublimior illis
contrahat; aut lustret totas e vertice moles.
Scilicet aetherei Titan fons luminis, ignes
220undique vitales terris sparsurus, 33 anhelis
signiferum permensus equis, cursuque peracto,
quum redit, unde abiit: quocunque in limite metam,
fixerit, hoc totum gyro definiet annum.
Qui spatio semper sibi par claudetur eodem,
225principium si sidus erit: sin limen aprici
Veris, inaequali deducet tempora circo.
Iam quos Sol menses, dum singula signa pererrat,
dispescitque suum bis senis partibus annum,
ter denis finit gradibus: Latonia Phoebe
230non nisi decurso signorum terminat orbe.
Aut ubi quam liquit metam, jam contigit: ultra
aut ubi praegressi relegens vestigia Phoebi,
assequitur fratrem, atque evanida cornua condit. 34
Quoque semel spatio, permenso Phoebus Olympo,
235obliquum decurrit iter; soror illius orbem
ter quater integrat, positosque recolligit ignes,
et proprium absolvit bis sex his mensibus annum.
Hos annos ergo, et menses dispensat utrumque
sidus, et imparili moderantur tempora motu.
240Ast uni Phoebo normam, metamque diebus
Praefinire datum; variataque legibus aequis
partiri terris discrimina lucis et umbrae.
Nempe diem naturalem 35 vertigine spirae
unius absolvit: vel primi simplice motus
245circuitu, tanti protractu temporis aucto:
obliquo quantum interea Sol axe peregit.
Civilem vero, terras dum lampade lustrans 36
extat Horizonti, primo deducit ab ortu
littus ad occiduum; et praesenti lumine ubique
250orditur, finitque diem, noctemque tenebris,
dum latet, et fusco terras involvit amictu.
Sic fugit, alterna vel pellit luce tenebras,
[p243] permutatque vices: noctem ut vertigo diemque
una ferat secum: nox illic una, diesque
255continuet plures decursu perpete gyros.
Nec tamen alternis aequantur lucibus umbrae,
Mensuarave pari, similique tenore vicissim
incrementa loco quovis, aut tempore mutant.
Namque ubi terrarum, medii fastigia caeli 37
260occupat aequator; nunquamque a vertice nutat:
Phoebaeas quoniam spiras, finitor utrinque
semisses recta semper partitur in aequas:
perpetuo noctique dies, noctesque diesque
inter se paribus spatiis aequantur; et aequis
265ut lux bis senis, sic nox traducitur horis.
Hic Sol dum Boreae confinia lustrat et Austri,
nunc Phryxaea suis perfundens vellera flammis;
pendula nunc justae trutinans examina Librae,
arduus e summo caelorum culmine, eodem
270bis anno Aethiopum sitientes torret arenas: 38
et versa in sese radiorum cuspide, rectas
arboribus negat et puteis illustribus umbras.
Quas hinc digressus; seu se demittat in Ursas,
cornua seu Capri repetat; declivis utrinque
275hic dextras, illic media sub luce sinistras,
omninoque pares tropico sub utroque, aliisque
porrigit e signis: quorum inclinatio par est.
Quin se vicino aestatem, brumamque remoto
axe trahit Titan: et dum propiore reflexos
280concursu cogit radios; acieve retusa
laxius incurvat; 39 siccis nunc aestuat arvis,
nunc sua frigoribus concedit tempora; blando
frigora nunc aestu, nunc frigore mitigat aestum. 40
Bis idem hic gravidis annus canescet aristis; 41
285bis dabit arboribus frondes; bis vitibus uvas;
mollibus et laetos pratis renovabit honores
flore novo, bis cana gelu, pluviisque madescens,
alternas sibi bruma vices deposcet; inerti
squalebunt bis arva situ; bis frigora sylvis
290decutient frondes; 42 et erunt sine floribus horti.
At quoniam utrumvis Phoebus declinet in axem,
[p244] vix quater hic senis a vertice partibus unquam
abscedit; nec magno aestum discrimine mutat:
seu radios laxa, seu cuspide flectat acuta:
295et metas, caelique inter fastigia currens,
itque reditque brevi sua per vestigia gyro. 43
Nullo hic bruma gelu, non ullis Sole remoto
frigoribus riget, aut nemorum populatur honorem.
Non nivibus canent, non horrent arva pruinis: 44
300nec glacies incrustat aquas; nec turbidus unquam
insultat tectis lapidosae grandinis imber. 45
Perpetui pratis flores, densisque perennes
luxuriant sylvis frondes; semperque recentem
in segetem turgescit humus, sua germinat arbos
305poma ferens; 46 totoque parit, vel parturit anno.
Tanta beat foetas caeli indulgentia terras. 47
Non illis censetur hyems, nisi Sole propinquo
aequora perfudit quum plurimus imber; et aestus
mitior a pluviis, Eurique frequentibus auris
310incubat, 48 et glebas foecundo rore maritat. 49
Nec certa niti nobis ratione videntur;
qui velut in Tropicis, sic Aequatoris in ipso
transcursu, geminis statuunt Titania sisti
lumina Solstitiis: quae, cum sub vertice fiant,
315alta vocant; 50 totidem quasi distinguantur ab imis.
Nam quanquam in Cancro Phoebus, Caproque morari
dicatur; seu quod retro flexurus habenas,
hos ultra fines neutrum transcendat in axem:
seu quia vix ullo jam tum discrimine luces
320augeri, minuive queat deprendere sensus:
his tamen ex causis aequanti adscribere cyclo
solstitium non jure licet: quem ultraque citraque
Phoebus agens currum, 51 nusquam remoratur anhelos
quadrijuges, metis nisi cum se flectit in illis.
325Efficiat vero si par mensura dierum
solstitium; hic toto Sol stare videbitur anno.
Nec si illic, summam quoniam tenet aetheris arcem,
altius ire nequit, pronoque inclinet Olympo,
solstitium faciet: nec enim tum sistit equorum
330procursum, aut verso relegit vestigia curru,
[p245] donec in extremas promovit lampada metas:
iamque parallelus quivis, sic circulus alti
solstitii fiet, statuit dum in vertice Phoebum.
Ut par sit gemina tantum statione morari
335in tropicis Solem: reliquis aut omnibus aeque
bis geminum adscribi spiris. Nec solus ab alto
solstitio aequator proprium sibi nomen habebit.
Deprensum est hunc esse locum, quo circulus alti
solstitii medium signorum percutit orbem, 52
340hic demum usque adeo pronis libratur utrinque
verticibus, nusquam terris acclivior axis;
ut nullum dextro laevove sub aethere verset
astrum immune maris. 53 Retegunt se cuncta, caduntque
sidera; nec totas ducunt illustria noctes.
345Quorum autem Arctoum vertex inflexus in orbem,
aequantem citra cyclum, sed Carcinon ultra
constitit: his Aries tantum, Chelaeque tenebras
lucibus exaequant: non aequas caetera mutant
signa vices: verum exiguo discrimine: namque
350hoc toto quacunque patet lux maxima tractu,
tres solas horae semisses detrahit umbris:
nec plus nox adimit minimae longissima luci:
quin nec ubique pari trahitur lux maxima filo.
Altius at quibus aequoreis submovit ab undis
355conspicuas Cynosura faces; his Phoebus habenas
laxat, et ardentis complexus brachia Cancri,
curriculo majore diem producit; ut Hirci
sidera percurrens, arcu breviore coarctat.
Hic quum spira, cui vertex insistit, utrinque
360signiferum feriat: bis anno sistet eodem,
vertice sub summo Solem; geminumque notabit
solstitium: si stare velis sub vertice Phoebum:
ultima ubi non sit protractae meta diei
aut noctis: nec Phoebus equos currumque reflectit.
365Aestates etiam geminas; vicinia Solis
si facit aestatem, vel sola remotio brumam. 54
Quanquam illis nec prata rigent, nec pigra ligantur
stagna gelu, nec humus hyberno frigore torpet:
vix montes nix ulla tegit: nec saepius unquam
370eripit his Soles, aut plenius irrigat arva
[p246] Iuppiter; ardentes aut temperat imbribus aestus: 55
quam quum Phoebaeos alta sub luce jugales
sistit anhela dies, 56 mediamque peregerit horam. 57
Flumina tum multos pontusque lacusque vapores
375exhalant: 58 totas et jam Sol arduus haurit,
quas iterum effundat plenis e nubibus undas.
Longius amotos nec si declivis in Austros
Aegoceros humili Solem statione moretur; 59
frigoribus desaevit hyems: quin blandior aura
380perpetuo ceu vere tepet; largoque sereno
indulget natura sibi: vicinior autem,
Carcinus aestivis etiam fervoribus urit.
Hic quoque nunc dextras nemorum nunc ire sinistras
conspiciunt umbras: 60 sed cono dispare, signis
385e paribus: totas etiam bis luce quotannis
sub media absumi, quum vertice rectus ab alto,
signifer extremis caeli qua cernitur oris
insistit; raditque polis confinia terrae.
Iam vero Cancer recta quibus imminet, ipso
390e tropico, summique tenet fastigia caeli: 61
hac Sol, obliquum dum ducitur annus in orbem,
ut tantum semel infgreditur; sic cuspide recta,
non nisi tum medio caeli de fornice, terras
subjectas ferit: et nusquam porrecta Syenem
395umbra fugit; 62 penitusque suos evanida conos
destituit; volucres haud usquam verius alto
solstitio remoratur equos; non acrius arvis
aestuat, aut siccis ardescit Phoebus arenis.
Et quanquam multos aestas hic una calorem
400protrahat in menses; longoque efferveat aestu:
frigoribus tamen et gelidae sua tempora brumae
concedit: quin jam manifestius algor et aestus
alternant cum Sole vices: pluviosque subinde
reddit hyems Austros, foecundaque nubila glebis.
405At seu Parrhasiam conscendat Phoebus in Arcton;
sive Noton repetat; dextris a vertice nunquam
exspatiatur equis: nec turbinis umbra madentem
iam tantum non laeva cadens excurrit in Austrum. 63
Hic etiam summa quum Cancer ab aetheris arce
[p247] 410despectat terras; obliquior orbita Solis
scindit Horizontem surrecto segmine; qua cum
aequatore coit: statuitque in margine caeli,
hinc Chelas, illinc Nephelaei velleris ignes.
Nec multum dispar terris a limite Cancri
415est habitus caeli; ad cyclum vicinior Ursis,
signiferi quem cardo terit. Lux namque quotannis
bis tantum aequales numerat cum noctibus horas:
solstitium bis Phoebus obit: totumque vicissim
uno annum integrant aestas et bruma recessu:
420quanquam non aequis spatiis; nec ubique locorum
temperie simili. Nam quo sublimior extat
oceano vertex, 64 propiusque accedit ad Arcton;
acrior in plures protracto frigore menses
saevit hyems: siccis minus usta caloribus aestas
425tardius inducit messes, aut purpurat uvas.
Longius ut luces, sic Sol altissimus umbras
producit: 65 Septem minus et vicina trioni
sidera, perpetuas peragunt illustria noctes.
Arduus at nunquam his Titan e vertice rectos
430impingit radios; aut laevas porrigit umbras:
nec minor hic bis septenis semisse reducta,
quatuor aut senis lux maxima longior horis.
Has quae Zodiaci Arctoo sub cardine gentes
attingunt propiore situ; bis noctibus aequas
435aspiciunt etiam luces: geminoque morantem
solstitio Solem, nunc Cancri in limite, toto
circumferre faces gyro; bis terque quaternas
alterna sine nocte diem producere in horas:
nunc totidem horarum spatio sub sidere Capri
440non interruptis alterna luce tenebris
cedere, inocciduis ut utroque in limite flammis
radat Horizontem: et tantum semel umbra sub Austrum
excurrens sine fine fluat; Sol infima circi
cum tenet aestivi, et tantum non mergitur undis.
445Perpetuas his bruma nives et frigora, multos
prorogat in menses, brevibusque caloribus aestas
vix tepet, et rara solatur fruge colonum.
Iam caeli medium quoties his setiger Hircus
[p248] cornibus insedit, gyrum solaris in unum
450orbita cum superi coalescit margine mundi.
Hinc quibus assurgit mundi ad fastigia vertex,
hoc etiam commune datum; nunquam nisi Libra
indice, villoso aut Phryxi vectore, diebus
aequari noctes: aestatem hyememque per unam
455circumagi Solem: dici si debeat aestas:
quae vix fronde viret, nullis incanet aristis, 66
perpetua obnubit caelum caligine; lenta
sic languet flamma; vix ut brumalia laxet
frigora, nimbosos vel leni mitiget aura
460horriferi Boreae flatus. Hanc perpete bruma
usque adeo natura plagam terrasque rigentes
solibus ignavis, et raro culta colono,
arva situ, pelagusque gelu damnavit inerti.
Solstitium Cancri tantum sub sidere Titan
465hic peragit; Capro semper latitante: diesque
continuas aliquot consumit maxima spiras,
noxque pares adversa trahit: sed et utraque tanto
pluribus extrahitur; propius quo cardine mundi
distiterit vertex; donec longissima senos
470tantum non explet menses: nec sic tamen aequat
nox hyberna diem aestivum: quem Phoebus ab undis
dum vehit acclivis, vel pronus condit in undis;
aetheris extremas bis praeterlabitur oras:
bis simili allapsu orditur finitque tenebras.
475Hic quoque conspicuo mundi cum circinet omnem
axe plagam; laevas in longum exporriget umbras.
Queis demum Arctous, coeli de culmine vertex
imminet; atque imas mundi circumfluit oras,
qui medium luci atque umbris discriminat orbem
480circulus: 67 imparibus totum semissibus annum
meritur cum nocte dies: senisque videtur
mensibus, et totidem occulitur Phoebeius axis.
Nusquam ortus, nusquam occasus, mediaeve diei
designare plagam: aestatem discernere bruma,
485nulla fruge licet: vix frondes induit arbos:
frigora vel vernos admittunt longa tepores.
Has sedes mediis mundi regionibus exul
[p249] informis sibi legit hyems; quas sola teneret,
duro tuta gelu, saevis armata pruinis;
490incanaque nive, et gelidis Aquilonibus horrens.
Et quanquam hic solus Phoebum statione moretur
Cancer inoccidua; totoque acclivis Olympo,
undique diffugiat spatiis aequalibus undas;
et longas quaqua versum circumferat umbras:
495usqueadeo tamen obliqua tum cuspide lumen
flectitur, et densa languet caligine Titan:
vix ut tam modicis Hyberna remittere flammis
frigora: vel rigidis exolvere Nerea vinclis:
aut terrae laxare sinus et viscera possit:
500quo sese humanos didat genialis in usus. 68
Iam vero tellus a circo aequante tenebras
lucibus; ad cyclum gelidas qui circuit Arctos,
qua patet in latum; 69 quoniam lux maxima certis
incrementa capit gradibus: non dispare norma,
505dissimili tamen effectu; nec semper iisdem
terrarum spatiis discreta ut limite fixo:
qui primi aethereas animo et ratione sagaci
monstravere vias: et quas non cannabe possent,
Caelo metiri terras docuere; 70 dierum
510haec intervallis numerisque augmenta, per horae
semisses distincta suis: recto ordine, qua tum
a mundi medio arctoum inclinata sub axem
culturae patiens tellus est credita; septem
signavere notis: totidem regionibus orbem
515finivisse rati: a Meroe quae climata, nusquam
ultra Sauromatas, Riphaeaque culmina 71 ducunt.
At nostro quorum solers audacia saeclo
explorata dedit maria undique, et undique terras
persuasit jam posse coli: nullisque periclis
520exhausta ignotum priscis penetravit in orbem:
lege quidem normaque pari, semissibus horae
climata distribuunt, numero sed plenius aucto;
a Meroe ad cyclum Phoebi quem semita tractu
cardinis exarat; ter sena et quinque recensent.
525Singulaque impositis appellavere locorum
nominibus, per quae medium quo clima notatur
[p250] circulus excurrens, caeli fastigia signat.
Quae quo sunt cyclo aequanti propiora; diemque
segmento breviore trahit Iunonius ignis 72
530latius extendunt fines: majoraque terrae
comprendunt spatia; et circis majoribus orbem
incingunt: Helicen sed quo vicinius altam
aspiciunt; Cancro Phoebum referente sub undas
tardius, et gyro clausas breviore tenebras:
535hoc magis angustis circo contracta minore,
finibus; aequali variant discrimine luces;
usque ter octonas dum lux absolverit umbras.
Sic totidem dimensa pari ratione modoque
ultra aequatorem distingui climata possunt:
540et definiri discrimina lucis et umbrae:
tempora si mutes: nam dum brumalibus illic
canet hyems nivibus: nobis maturat aristas
aestas, et rapidos accendit sicca calores.
Hinc dispar non pauca situs immutat, ejusdem
545climatis in tractu: nec non communia quaedam
servat in oppositis. Etenim sub climate eodem,
una quibus medium lucis discriminat orbem
meta; deditque vetus Periaecis Graecia nomen; 73
mutatur cum nocte dies. Hos quippe tenebris
550intempesta premit dum nox: 74 altissimus illos
sol ferit: et quoties umbras lux aeuat, utrisque
his ubi se primo sub vespere condidit undis,
illis mane novo se Tethyos exerit undis:
ast alias utrisque potest simul usque videri;
555his oriens, illis prono devexus Olympo.
At qui obversa colunt sub eadem climata circli
dimidiae lucis semisse; ideoque Pelasgis
antaeci proprio dicuntur nomine: utrisque
quamvis una notet mediam noctemque diemque
560hora; parique gradu diductus et ordine crescat
decrescatque dies: tamen his dum Delius axe
protrahit acclivi luces, umbrasque coarctat:
declivi jam tum coelo delabitur illis;
contrahit et luci, tenebris quas laxat habenas:
565uno eodemque igni, 75 simul his algore nivali
[p251] nectit aquas, brumamque arvis inducit inertem;
illis torrenti flagrantior incubat aestu;
et jam flava Ceres campos investit aristis; 76
turgentesque videt magna spe vinitor uvas. 77
570His etiam stellarum obitus mutantur et ortus.
Nam quae Signiferi surgentia sidera partes
hic tollunt; illic referunt labentia in undas:
quaeque hic ima latent; illic immunia ponti, 78
pervigili totas traducunt lumine noctes.
575Qui demum adversis urgent vestigia plantis
antipodes; 79 tantum ratione et nomine paucis
priscorum notos; idem secernit Horizon,
atque eadem mediae justa semisse diei
linea; disjunctos spatiis a cardine mundi
580hos Boreoque Notoque 80 illos secludit iisdem.
Ast hos somniferis dum nox amplectitur alis
Hyberna, et medio volvuntur sidera lapsu;
illis longa dies aestivis ducitur horis;
et minimis uvas defendit pampinus umbris: 81
585quumque his decrescunt, illis augentur eadem
mensura, parilique modo noctesque diesque:
perque vices utrique vident quae sidera; sero
his ubi se condunt, simul illis mane resurgunt:
quaeque oculos fugiunt hic usque latentia nostros;
590illic perpetuis extant illustria flammis.
Usque adeo simili permutant omnia caelo;
dissimiliesque habitus rerum. Sic provida lege
dispensat natura pari: et sua commoda terris
omnibus indulgens, nostros se didit in usus. 82
595Naturae arcana haec priscis vix cognita saeclis,
lucri sacra fames; atque indefessa cupido;
dum cuncta explorat, terras dum circuit omnes:
nec sibi inaccessum quicquam, vel linquit inausum;
eruit in lucem: atque oculis subjecit, et armis
600pervia jam nostris, quantumvis dissita regna
terrarum: fecitque fidem, sic aequora vasto
tellurem gremio complecti, et foedere in unum
concordi coiisse globum; centroque locari;
ut circumfusum sursum undique spectet Olympum:
[p252] 605tuta nec adversis vestigia figere plantis
antipodes metuent: et quae miracula rerum
vix paucis potuere sophis, ratione magistra
persuaderi olim: nostri sollertior aevi
ingluvies; alium nondum satiata sub axem
610decurrens, sensu deprenderit obvia: et Ursis
iam nunc occiduis alieno sidera caelo,
exilis qua ducit acus, ignota sequatur.
A Supplement to the unfinished Fourth Book of George Buchanan's De Sphaera
1So for those ascending constellations that have a vertical rising, they more slowly, and much less quickly drag their course over a long, drawn-out ethereal path; the more vertical their orbit, then the more the orbit is drawn out across the upper sky. Those which bring back their light on an oblique trajectory, the more curved a path they follow, the more quickly they break out from the depths, and they dispatch their course over a very short distance, and their time in the sky is passed in a swift orbit.
9The rationale is no different for a setting which is considered vertical, when a constellation bears more of the equator into the waves than of the zodiac, and it sets its stars at a slow pace; when it is adduced to be less oblique: also the more quickly its setting draws down its stars from the sky, the more oblique it is. When it inclines more vertically, thus more sluggishly it drives into the sea, and more slowly immerses itself in the Western waves. Furthermore, we measure these risings and settings of stars on the plane of an equally-divided circle, which the point of the spring equinox marks off in a straight line of constellations, and marks any [p237]rising or setting heavenly body. And for these latter constellations the plane quits the sea more vertically and travels under it in a similar manner - as it does more obliquely for the former. And a little at a time it slows the latter constellations, and pushes on the former; and it changes its intervals with variable durations. Also, whether a constellation, or a star, either rising or falling from the sea, it does not keep the same course in the fluctuating sphere. For there is an approaching dividing line for them, at the perpendicular, and each celestial pole appears to it, and the zones of its sections are marked by the equating circle of the solstitial and equinoctial colures, and they return and depart intact in even stages, and they keep equal time. But the other zones, from whatever origin they are observed, and the other parts in the lower zones, never execute their risings and settings thus in unvarying arcs, or mark even time over their course - as a portion of the zodiac, which it drags with itself from the arc of the equator, remains above one side, but disappears under the other; so that they never create a triangle with the horizon of equal sides; but that, as they are about to take themselves over unequal trajectories, they always exit or return to the ocean quite vertically in the latter's case, and in the former's quite obliquely, and that, when in a different location, they change their variations.
40For where the sections of the zodiac precede from Aries' approaching departure, and just Libra's commencement leads the way in next succession, or follows near behind: there, in a very oblique curve, they quickly carry themselves under the waves and hide. However, here too, in rather sluggish procession, the more vertical constellations approach close-by, where the distant solstitial signs reside. In the same way, the neighbouring pole hastens them on, or slows their motion through a smiliar procedure. However, the sections that are dragged on in uninterrupted succession toward Cancer and Capricorn take an oblique setting; but those that touch in a continuous line the darkness that is made equal to the light from Cancer and Capricorn, they take a vertical setting - but by a different rule. For, when at their most distant position from their rising points, they rise up from the Indian sea less in an oblique, or vertical, rising, and do likewise in their setting in the Western sea. They always augment what went before, or decrease their allotted time that follows, as all the quadrants evenly distribute themselves in perfect circles.
58 [p238]Here each portion of the quandrants has been distributed at equal intervals from the same point, and they execute their risings via a similar rule. So burning Cancer is on the same level as the twin sons of Leda; likewise Virgo and Libra, Capricorn and Sagittarius; and Pisces, the year's gatekeeper; and the Nemean terror is on a par with Taurus; as is vast Scorpio with Leo - along with whom Aquarius in full flow moistens the earth. Also, the constellations that push themselves on while facing each other obey this law. For neither the Carrier of Helle rises up too vertically, nor does Scorpio rise higher than Taurus; and Sagittarius moves along at the same level as the Ledaean twins, and so too Capricon and warming Cancer; Leo and Libra's course is the same, and the stars of Virgo do not submit to Pisces flock. Indeed here each half of the cycles of the Zodiac, which distributes dark and light equally, having been bound by the same limitations, lift themselves up completely from the Eastern sea, and evenly and in time they also bury themselves under the Iberian shoreline. At length, one may observe the rise and settings of any constellation or Zodiacal portion, and always form symmetrical triangles upon the horizon - whether, after they have been lifted from their Phrygian bed, they should advance from their Indian border, or they should revisit the blessed groves of the Hesperides, and, with Mount Atlas left behind, settle down. So in fixed order, those to whom each axis of the world brushes over the horizon, they see that the constellations and their stars are opened out and hidden again, and that they keep the positions and times of their motion in a constant course. However, when in an oblique revolution, for those whom the pole stands overhead, the other pole of the world lies hidden, and conceals its stars; their stars and constellations quickly pass over the regions of the circle which terminates one's line of sight in a different pattern. Neither is there the same length of rising for all, or an equal path of setting, from the middle region of the world all the way under the poles themselves. For wherever the region that is bounded by the polar and partitioning cycle reveals itself across the globe, the zodiac's rising only just equals its setting in perfect halves (which are bounded in a fixed limit within Aries and Scorpio's arms): the rest of the sections rise up asymmetrically - unless they should form with equal sides [p239]whenever they are amid the Tropical signs. However, you will see how very obliquely in a quick rising the successive sections of the semicircle bent towards the North raise themselves up in a right sphere, from the first boundary of returning spring, towards the end of Virgo. In fact, the nearer their departure is from the spring equinoctial axle, the more oblique they have been divided. The much farther away they are, the more vertical that they rise up from the Eastern waves; and their sections continuously extend in symmetrical arcs at the same time.
106 It is not the same length of course for the opposite half that has dipped into the South. For here it draws its sections (which have been conveyed in order from the boundary of the Crab's Clawsout) very upright towards the margins of spring; and it rises in the regions of a quite vertical horizon point. So where the scales of Libra are adjoined to the discontinuous sections in rather close proximity, thus it is more vertical. However, where they depart farther off, it thus will exit from the waves rather sloped, to distribute its times in equal sections. And from this it follows that, from the highest point of Phoebus, before his descent to the lowest part of the semi-circle, and whatever its sections, here they always rise vertically; indeed, the ascending constellations, which drag themselves on from midwinter towards Cancer, they parade themselves and their stars in an oblique-turning motion in the heavens. Moreover, if you observe that the sections of whichever point makes night and day equal are separated by equal distances in both directions, and always in the same proportion - although the latter procedes at a quicker pace, and the former more slowly - then you will discover that they stretch out their course over the level sea. Yet, those which are united by equal arcs on both sides in either solstice, they never keep even time individually, but they do so together with the vertical sections: and so the more slowly it returns in one part, so the more quickly it takes itself away along the another. Naturally, they always exceed their own right rising by the same difference, and they lessen it, and by a similar departure they bend themselves back from the middle point of the world - whether they behold the stars of the hidden pole in the south with its attendant flames, or they stand closer to the Lycaonian Bears in the north.
133Indeed spread throughout the whole of heaven they run to meet their other half, and they share in the light that comes to meet them, if connected in an equal proportions they effect their risings [p240]here, as in the upper-most vault of high heaven, and they pace out their time equally on an even course. Thus nevertheless those parts are also here divided so equally, that one rises from the waves at the same time as the remainder hides itself below them; and they are borne on a smiliar course, one rising, one falling. Here then one and the same part alternates the pattern of its rising and setting, and changes the positions with such little difference that, should it abandon the hidden gates of the world on a vertical course, it would plunge itself into the sea in a oblique descent. Si however, it rises in a swift orbit, it should fall in a sluggish one; and it would never fall on an even course, nor return on one. The stars and constellations return and set for us through these laws, from the middle boundary of the sky where the earth extends, to the confines of the Arctic Circle on all sides. Yet, for those over whom the circle stands which is bent around the frozen North, as the Sun's path turns its gaze upon them in all directions, it also bounds itself in the regions of the heaven. For the first section of the zodiac, which stretches itself out over six signs, ascending from Capricorn through the boundary of spring towards Cancer, is turned back around so completely at the same time in one movement that, in its rise from the Indian Ocean, it takes up no part of the equator, which it conceals completely in the Western Sea. The other part, which descends in just as many signs (six) from the highest solstice to the lowest, through the scales of just Libra, whenever it leaves the regions hidden from our gaze, it will draw out the whole equator from the waves - but whenever it draw near those regions, it will carry no part of the equator through the waves.
164Then, for those over whom the raised vertex (i.e., directly overhead) stands between the celestial and terrestrial poles, where the merciless North Wind has damned the lifeless lands with infertile cold, the closest sectors, which adjoin the summer solstice at two equal distances, if the vertex is less distant from the North Pole, by a greater number, or further away, by a lesser number, they always stand at the highest point, fearing to be submerged in the Western Sea. The opposing sections are hidden from these latter ones under the horizon, and they never rise up above the Indian Ocean, and they do not venture to appear, and entrust their stars to the frozen blasts of the North Wind. [p241]The rest that are far removed from the solstices alternate their cycles of rising and falling, and they bring away and take away the entire equating circle - but in assymetric form. For those that lie next to the Crab's Claws, in their rise from the ocean, they draw out the greater part of it while in vertical order; and, with the order changed, on their descent they secrete the smaller part. Yet those which abide in at the borderlands of spring, and close at hand behold the Ram's fleece, they rise up in reverse order, and they take up the lesser part of the equating circle; and in a pitched descent they reconceal the greater part of it. And over a similar trajectory they always exchange their alternations, until the vertex comes together with the world's North Pole, and the equator forms the horizon. The six visible constellations lead out their chorus in a complete and endless circle, and here, without setting in the sea, over six months they provide solace to the long night. The other six have been lowered from this part of heaven, their flames never seen, and they lie hidden in darkness and night's shade. And the latter constellatons do not venture to set in motion any risings, nor do the former set in motion any settings over heaven's border, and they do not venture to go beyond their fixed boundaries. At the same time, what laws has nature set up for those constellations under the line of the circle which divides the globe in half, and what laws alternate their risings and setting? For nature gave the same laws to those constellations on the opposite side of the cycle: and she wished the former and the latter to leave, and return to the sea again by an equal measure in both directions. In this way she skillfully divides up everything in heaven in a assymetrical, yet fixed order, and she removes the stars from, or restores them to, earth's view.
203Now those who have been eager to observe the paths of the stars and their recurrences, and with a happy daring to pierce the far off recesses of the heaven-dwellers - those hidden retreats of nature, which have gates only open to the mind - after they discerned that the seasons and motions were united in a steadfast bond, and that they paced out their journeys in alternate exchanges, as they determined the motion from the season, so they determined the seasons from the movement, and from their intervals they delineated the years, months, and days; and whether Phoebus' orbit, which is passed in a coiled loop, or inconstant Cynthia in her wandering course should point them out in the sky; [p242]then also why Phoebus' axis is equal to the alternating darkness in one place, yet increases in another, and why it lessens its lights back again in its varying turn; and why when low it draws out its shadows for the latter, but when high it retracts them - or why it illuminates the entire mass from the vertex.
219Evidentally the Titan is the source of ethereal light, on all sides his life-bringing fire spreads itself across the land, and having out-paced the starry heavens with his panting horses, and with his course run, as he returns from whence he departed, on whichever limit he should plant his turning post, he shall outline the whole year within this cycle. And he always confines himself within the same space, and symmetrically, if the star will be the starting point; if however it is the boundary of warm spring, it will draw out its seasons over an uneven circle. Now the Sun, as he wanders through each constellation, and divides his own year in 12 sections, divides up the months, which he completes in thirty steps - if Latonian Phoebe bounds herself within the completed circle of the zodiac's orbit: either after she has quit the boundary post near which she now lies, or when, retracing the footsteps of already-passed Phoebus, she follows her brother, and she hides her vanishing crescent. With heaven traversed, Phoebus brings to an end his oblique path once over this space, over which his sister retraces the path 12 times, as she takes up again his cast-off fires, and he completes the constant year in these twelve months. Accordingly both heavenly bodies control these years and months, and the seasons are regulated by their assymteric movement.
240Yet it has been granted to Phoebus alone to determine the rule and extent of the days; and to divide the alloted turns of light and shade under equal laws. Of course the Sun completes the natural day by the turn of one of his coiled revolutions, or rather by the perfect revolution from his first rising, prolonged in the tardy path of its alloted time: just as long as the Sun has completed its course on its oblique turn. Certainly, as he comes over the Horizon, beaming over the earth with his light, he draws out the civil day from his first rising to setting in the western shore; and wherever he sets out with his attendant light, he marks out the civil day; and while hidden from view, he covers the night in darkness, and the earth under a dark veil. Thus he passes, or rather he drives out the darkness with his returning light, [p243]and alternates his alloted time in the sky; so that his revolutions bears night and day all together with him. Through him night and day together extend many ciruits in a never-ending course.
256 However, the shades are not equal to the alternating light, or in an even quantity, and over a similar path the increments change back again in whatever place or time. For when the earth's equator is synchronized with the slope of mid-heaven (the celestial equator), and it never fluctuates from the vertex - since the horizon divides Phoebus' coils into equal semi-cricles on both sides at the perpendicular; and the day is continually equal to night, and both nights and days are the same in even intervals; and as a day is passed in twelve equal hours, so too is a night. Here, as the Sun beams over the confines of the North and the East, at one time bathing Aries' fleece in his flames, at another weighting out the hanging scales of just Libra, high up on the highest peak of the heavens (the zenith) he scorches the parched sands of the Ethiopians twice in the same year; and with the point of his rays turned towards themselves, he denies straight shadows to the trees, and to the famous springs. He has scattered the shadows from here, whether departing into the Bears (north), or falling back into Capricorn (south). And on his descent at midday on either side he stretches out the shadows to the right on one side and to the left on the other, and under each tropic they are completely level, as proceedes out from the other constellations, whose latitude is the same. However, if the Titan draws out summer from our neighbouring pole (north), and winter from the further-away pole, and while it arranges its rays and directs them downward in a closer assault, or it obliquely passes with its power dimmed, at one time it will rage across the fields, at another it will submit its seasons to the cold; likewise at one time it will tame the cold with gentle heat, and at another tame the heat with cold. Here the same year will twice grow white with heaven ears of corn, twice it will put leaves on the trees, twice grapes on the vines, and it will restore the fertile glories to the soft meadows with its new bloom, twice the white frost, the winter solstice, thawing with the rain, will demand its turn; twice the fields will lie barren with neglect, twice the cold will shake the leaves from the trees, and the gardens will have no flowers.
291Yet since Phoebus sinks towards each pole, [p244]scarely ever does he disappear here over the 24 hours, nor alters his heat by a great diufference - whether he directs his rays gently, or pointedly, and, traversing the boundaries and peaks of heaven (the zenith), he goes over and retreads over his own footsteps in a short cycle. Here the winter solstice does not numb with any cold or chill, through the Sun's remoteness, nor does it despoil the glory of the wooded groves. The fields do not grown white with snow, nor do they bristle with frost; ice does not cover the water, and wild showers of hail stones never dance upon the rooftops. Ever-blooming flowers abound in the meadows, and ever-green leaves abound in the woods. The earth begins to grow into ever-fresh cornfields: the tree sprouts and bears its own fruit; and it produces, or rather generates it all year round. Such a great clemency from the sky blesses the fruitful earth. Winter is not judged by determined things, except, while the sun is close, a torrential rainstorm has poured over the calm sea; and a gentler heat from the rain, and from the constant breezes of the East Wind rests upon it, and it impregnates the soil with its fertile dew.
311They do not seem to us to be supported by fixed reason who state that the titan's sunshine is positioned on the twin tropical solstices in the same way as it is on the intersection of the equator. It is termed 'high' since it is under the vertex; as if it were distinct from the lowest. For although Phoebus is said to linger in Cancer and Capricorn (whether because, as he is about to turn his reins backward, he does not climb beyond these limits into either points; or since it is scarely possible to observe that his light is then increased by any change, or that our perception is diminished), nevertheless for these reasons one may not justly regard the solstice as part of the equator: Phoebus, driving on his chariot from one place to another, in no place restrains his panting horses, unless when he wheels around those turning posts (the solstices). Indeed if an equal duration of days forms a solstice, then the Sun will appear to remain here for the whole year. And if he cannot proceed higher there - since he holds the highest citadel in the sky - and he falls back with the heavens, then he will form a solstice: and then indeed he does not set out his horses to charge, or retrace his path on the opposing course, [p245]until he extends his lights into the farthest turning posts; and whatever his latitude is, that will then be the circle of the upper solstice, as it positions Phoebus overhead on the vertex. Since it possible for the sun to linger only in a twin position in the tropics, or the twin position be placed twice in all the remaining circles equally apart, then the equator will not take its own name from the upper solstice. It has been observed that this is the place where the circle of the upper solstice strikes the middle of the celestial sphere; right here each pole is always balanced on inclined vertexes, and is never perpendicular to the earth, so that no star turns from either the left of right in heaven that is untouched by the sea. All the stars rise and set, and their lights do not burn through the entire night. However, the Northern constellations' pole, which is bent into the sphere, has been placed on this side of the equatorial circle, and beyond Cancer: to people here Aries and Scorpio's claws makes the darkness equal the light, the other constellations do not change their even alterations: but still with a minor difference; for wherever the day at it greatest extent opens over this entire region, then the day spends only 3 half hours in the darkness, and there is no very long night that brings about diminished daylight. Indeed, the longest day is not traced out along an even line everywhere, but for the people there Ursa Minor has lifted up its twinkling lights from the sea's waves, for them Phoebus loosens his reins, and after embracing the arms of burning Cancer, he creates a day with greater duration; while he traverses the constellation of the Goat, he shortens the day in a contracted arc. Here as the coil on which the vertex stands strikes the zodiac on both sides, it will position the Sun under the highest vertex (the zenith) and mark a twin solstice; and, if you were to position Phoebus under the vertex, where he does not become the final marker of the long, drawn-out day or night, nor turns his horse and chariot back, it will even mark a twin summer - if the Sun's closeness brings about summer, or rather its remoteness brings about winter. Nevertheless those people's meadows do not die and lie stiff, nor do they have lifeless lakes bound by frost, nor is their land hard with winter's cold, scarely any snow covers their mountains, and not very often does Jupiter relive these people from constant summers, or water the field in abundance, [p246]or temper the burning heat with rain, when the panting day positions Phoebus' chariot at high noon, and has passed over the middle hour. Then their rivers and lakes, and seas breathe out much steam, and the blazing Sun now draws up all the water, so that it may pour them back out in turn from the saturated clouds. If, in his turn down through the far-removed South, Capricorn were not detaining the Sun in a lower position, then winter rages with its cold; but rather here a very agreeable breeze blows mild as if in everlasting Spring, and nature rewards itself with abundant fair weather. However Cancer, when closer, also scorches with the summer's heat.
383Here also they witness the trees' shadows pass from right to left; but they see from equal markers that they pass in an uneven swirl; and they also see that all of them are reduced to nothing twice a year when under the midday sun, when the zenith stands perpenditular overhead where it is seen in the farthest boundaries of heaven, and it skirts over the terrestrial poles. Moreover, for those people Cancer stands directly overhead, from the tropic itself, and it holds the peaks of highest heaven (the zenith); here the Sun, while the year is drawn out through the oblique sphere, as it passes only once, so it strikes the low-lying ground from the zenith, if it strikes it from the middle of the vaulted arch of heaven. And the shade never departs stretched out in a southerly direction, and fading out, it makes its conical swirl disappear completely underfoot, and Phoebus never delays his swift horses in the summer solstice never more than is needed, nor burn more fiercely in the fields, or brighten the dry sands. And although a single summer here drags out its heat over many months, and simmers in prolonged heat, nevertheless it yields its season of icy winter to the cold. Indeed the cold and the heat already alternate their allotted times with the Sun, and winter thereupon brings back the rainy southern winds, and the life-giving clouds to the earth. Yet whether Phoebus ascends to the Parrhasian North (Ursa Major), or falls back to the South, the Sun never wanders from the zenith with his horses on the right, nor does the shadow of his revolution, not setting to the left, now extend to the moistening South. Here, also, when Cancer [p247]looks over the earth from his high fortress in the sky, the rather oblique path of the sun divides the Horizon at a raised intersection, where it comes together with the equator; and it fixes the arms of Scorpio (Libra) on one side and the constellation of the Ram's Fleece on the other.
414And the appearance of the sky is not very different on the land from the boundary of Cancer to the circle very close to the Bears (North), which the celestial pole strikes. For the daylight just twice a years marks equal time with the night; Phoebus twice attends the solstice; and by turns summer and winter complete the whole year in one movement - although not over the same interval, nor in every place in the same proportion. For the higher the zenith rises over the ocean, and the closer it approaches to the North, then the more fiercely the winter rages over very many months with a protracted cold, the slower the summer, less parched by dry heat, brings forth the harvests, or produces purple grapes. As the sun at the zenith draws out longer days, so it draws out longer nights; and the less brightly the constellations close to the North pass their ever-lasting night. But for them the raised Titan never strikes his rays directly overhead, or extends shadows to the left (the South) - neither is he here less than 14 hours in a reduced arc, nor is the longest day more than 24 hours. Those bordering these people under the Zodiac's northern pole, they also see days equal to the night twice a year, and the Sun delaying at each solstice; and, at Cancer's threshold, they see that the Sun brings round his flames in a unsetting circle, and creates a day without night across 24 hours. At the same time, under the constellation of Capricorn, they also see that the Sun yields the same period of hours to the darkness, uninterrupted by the return of light, so that at both thresholds the Sun scrapes the Horizon with his never-setting flames, and just once the shadow breaking forth towards the South flows without end, while the Sun holds the lowest position of its summer cycle, and doesn't quite submerge in the waves. For these people winter perpetuates the never-ending snow, and cold across many months, and summer scarely warms with any heat; and give comfort to the farmer with the few crops. How often the bristling goat sits in the middle of the sky with his horns for these people, while the [p248]Sun's path comes together into one circle across the edge of the upper universe.
451Hence for those people whom the zenith rises up at the very top of the universe, and it is granted to them all that: never, unless under Libra's direction, or with Aries as bearer, are nights equal with days; that the Sun is turned through one winter and summer, if one ought to call it a summer that scarcely sprouts green leaves, does not ripen with corn, covers its sky with constant dusk, and is so dull with a limp heat that it hardly abates the winter's cold, or lessens the blasts of the terrifying North Wind. Here nature constantly condemns the region with constant winter, the frozen lands with lifeless summers, the fields, worked by few farmers, with neglect, and the seas with immovable ice. The Sun passes through the solstice under the constellation of Cancer here, with Capricorn always out of sight. The longest day here comprises several unbroken revolutions, and the opposing night passes over the same. Yet each one is also drawn out over so many more the closer the zenith's distance from the pole, while the longest day completes almost 6 months, and so does not fully pair the winter's night to the summer's day - as Phoebus rising from the waves conveys it from the waves, or setting hides it under the waves, and twice glides past the farthest regions of the sky, twice arranged along a similar path and twice ending the darkness. Also, whenever the Sun circles each region where the pole is visible, it will casts out shdows far to the South.
477Now, for those people for whom the zenith stands above the northern regions in the highest peak of the sky, and surrounds the lowest regions of the world, here the orbit changes the middle of the world from shadow to light; and the day shares the whole year in unequal halves with the night. Here Phoebus' rays are seen for 6 months, and is hidden for just as often. In no place can one mark out the location of the sun's rising, its setting, or of midday; nor can one distinguish summer from winter through any produce of the earth. For here the trees scarcely bear foliage, or the continuous cold give way to spring's warmth. Banished from the equatorial regions of the world, ugly winter chooses these dwelling places, [p249]which it alone may hold, protected by the bitter cold, armed with a fierce frost, gray with snow, and shuddering with the North Wind. Even although Cancer alone holds up Phoebus in a never-setting position, and rising over all Olympus flees the waves at an even distance in all places, and spreads out its elongated shadows in all directions, nevertheless the Sun is then continuously directed round on Cancer's oblique position, and the Titanic Sun languishes in the murky gloom; so that he is hardly able to loosen Winter's cold with his very slender flames, or release the Sea from its icy chains, or melt the earth's innards and bosom, where he may fruitfully cast himself for human benefit.
501Now the earth, from the circle equating the darkness to the light, to the circle which encircles all across the frozen North, because the longest day takes up its increments in fixed stages, it has not been divided by a different rule, although it is distinguished by different outcomes, and has never been divided by equal expanses of land or a fixed boundary. They who first, with their mind and wise reasoning, pointed out the sky's orbits, also measured out the earth through the sky, which they could not through rope; and these increases in the day were divided by their intervals and numbers through half hour periods: in correct order, where the earth was then believed to be habitable, from the middle of the world to up under the Northern Pole, they marked them out in seven categories, and determined that the world was enclosed within these seven regions, whose area stretched from Meroe up to Sarmatians and the peaks of Scythia. Yet their shrewd daring has given to our age newly-explored seas in every corner of the world, and has convinced us that every region can be inhabited: impervious to any dangers, it has penetrated into a world unknown to the ancients; indeed through law and even measure, the regions divide into half-hour sections, but with their number duly increased. From Meroe to the circle of Phoebus which his path marks out in the region of the pole, they count out 24. They have named each one with names taken from places, through which where the clime is observed [p250]the circle running through the middle marks out the upper peak of the sky. The nearer to the equator they are, and the smaller the portion in which Juno's fire (Cancer) draws out the day, the more widely they extend their limits, and the greater the space of the earth they comprise, and also they surround the world in greater circles. But the closer they are to the Great Bear overhead, where Cancer bears Phoebus back under the waves more slowly, and they see darkness contained in a smaller period; then the more greatly contracted a smaller circle with narrow limits, and the days alter at regular intervals, continually as long as the day discharges 24 hour shadows. So, measured out with the correct rational and procedure, just as many climes can be apportioned on the other side of the equator, and the intervals of light and darkness can be explained, if you should change the seasons. For as the winter turns white with wintry snows in the other side of the earth, for us the summer ripens the grain, and, when dry, kindles the scorching heat.
544Hence a different position alters a few things on the course of the same clime, and does not hold certain others by the same token for those on the opposite: since under the same clime, their end divides the middle of the day's circuit at the meridian (ancient Greece gave them the name of Periaeci), while our day is replaced with night. Indeed, as deepest night overwhelms those on one half with her darkness, the sun at it highest point beats down upon the others on the opposite side; and how often the day matches the night, when for one side he has hidden himself under the waves at evening time, while for the others he will have sprung from the Sea's waves in the morning. Yet at another time he can be seen by both simultaneously: on the rise to one people, he has descended from the sky to the other. Yet those who inhabit the opposite climes of the circle under the same half of the meridian, and are thus named the Antaeci by the Greek, although the same hour marks high noon and midnight for them, and although their day rises divided by equal degree and order for both, and sets the same, nevertheless while Apollo spreads his light over them in a raised course and casts little shadows, at the same time for the others he slopes along the sky, and he shortens his time in the light, and increases it in the dark. With one and the same flame, as he binds [p251]the waters in snowy cold and spreads still winter over the fields for the Antaeci, at the same time for the others he burns greatly and smothers them with scorching summer, and golden Ceres clothes the fields in grain, and the wine farmer sees his grapes grow with budding hope. Furthermore the rising and settings of the stars alternate in this way for the Antaeci. For in their rise the constellations raise portions of themselves in one part, while returning into the waves at the other; and those which lie hidden in the depths here, on the other side, untouched by the sea, they pass the whole night with their ever-watchful light.
575Finally those who walk with their feet facing towards us are the Anipodes, whom were known to a few of the ancients. The same horizon separates them, and the perpendicular along the same arc of the meridian separates them in distance from the North pole, by the same distance as the people on the other side of the world are separated from the South Pole. However, while Winter's night wraps the Antipodes in its sleep-inducing wings, and the stars are turned in the middle of their course, the longest day is drawn out at summer time for the others, and barely does the vine leaf protect the grapes with its shade, and when the days and nights begin to wane for the Antipodes, they begin to increase for those on the opposite side by the same amount and in a similar way. Moreover, across these alternations each side sees the constellations at different times: for the Antipodes as the stars set themselves in the evening, almost immediately the same stars rise in the morning on the other side of the world; and those hiding stars that constantly flee our gaze here, they brightly stand out on the other side with their continuous flame (Southern Cross?). They constantly exchange every constellation over a similar course. Thus does providential nature regulate the uneven appearance of the universe by a equalizing law; and bequeathing her goods over the whole world, she distributes herself for our enjoyment. While our sacred hunger of, and insatiable desire for profit seeks to discover these secrets of nature, which were imperfectly known to ancient times, after it has moved us to circumnavigate the whole earth, and left nowhere unapproached or unventured, it brought it all forth into the light, and made the greatly varied kingdoms of the earth now accessible to our eyes and arms. It has also clearly demonstrated that the oceans so surround the land in its vast bosom, and that they have come together into one sphere, located at the centre, so that we may behold the heavens laid out in all directions above us; [p252]and that the Antipodes are not be afraid to place their feet on the opposite side of the world; and so that our age's skilful gluttony, not yet satified, sailing around the other pole, has seen before them with their own eyes, the wonders of the universe, which scarcely few wise men using their reason only were able to believe before; and moreover, so that they now navigate through unknown constellations, where there compass leads, with the Bears now out of sight, under a strange new heaven.
1: The opening four lines of this poem look back very strongly both in theme and diction to Buchanan, De Sphaera IV.115 onwards. They provide a poetical and contextual bridge between Buchanan's unfinished fourth book and King's supplement and the reader should thus read these lines in conjunction with Buchanan's work.
2: This and the previous line: Buchanan, De Sphaera IV.114-5. However, the passage of which these lines are a part (lines 9-15) closely mirror Sacrobosco, De Sphaera Mundi III (page 98 in Thorndike's edition).
3: This 'right succession/straight line' is the astronomical co-ordinate for longitude, known as right ascension.
4: Cf. Manilius, Astronomica III.286-88.
5: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.141
6: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.350
7: This and the previous line cf. Manilius, Astronomica III.289-290.
8: 'paribus...cruribus' is a Latin rendering of the Greek 'isois skelesin', from the Greek 'isos skelos' equal legs - so the isosceles triangle as a frame for measuring the sky.
9: I.e., Cancer and Capricorn.
10: I.e., the spring equinox.
11: Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses II.129.
13: Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile IV.57.
14: Lines 60-70 are a paraphrase, at time close, at times diffuse, of: Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.530-7. This is interesting because these same lines are used by Sacrobosco, De Sphaera Mundi III (page 98 in Thorndike's edition). It is clear from other references King makes to passages of Lucan that are also found in Sacrobosco (see notes to lines 384 and 395-5 below) that Sacrobosco's text is part of the literary and intellectual fabric of this poem.
15: Statius, Thebaid II.134
16: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.346-7. This passage is also reused by King at lines 27-8 above.
17: 'Connexas' in Adam King's MS.
18: 'Exserit' in Adam King's MS.
19: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid I.507-8.
20: 'Exstare' in Adam King's MS.
21: 'Exsuperat' in Adam King's MS.
22: I.e., the south pole.
23: Ursa Major and Minor.
24: Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIV.419.
25: The phrase is found at: Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.866; however, see also Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.71, and I.253, which King seems to follow at line 206-7 below.
26: Buchanan, De Sphaera IV.24
27: Virgil, Georgics I.246. For the significance of this passage from Virgil see note to line 509 below.
28: 'Perpetuos' in Adam King's MS.
29: Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.293.
30: Cf. Virgil, Aeneid VI.59.
31: See note to line 144 above Virgil.
32: I.e., the analemma.
33: This and the previous line: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.433.
34: I.e., waxing and waning.
35: For the division of natural and civil day (for which see line 247 below) see: Varro, Res Rusticae I.28, and Pliny, Historia Naturalis II.188.
36: Virgil, Aeneid IV.6
37: Cf. Statius, Achilleid I.619.
38: Cf. Buchanan, De Sphaera III.531.
39: Cf. Virgil, Georgics I.395.
40: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.454-5
42: Lines 284-290 cf. Virgil, Georgics I.43-9.
43: Buchanan, De Sphaera II.69
44: Horace, Odes I.4.1-5; and Buchanan, De Sphaera III.442.
45: Buchanan, Psalms 18.33; and Buchanan, De Sphaera V.229.
46: Cf. Virgil, Eclogues IV.18-19.
47: Virgil, Georgics III.345
48: Virgil, Georgics II.339
49: Claudian, De Ratu Prosperpinae II.89
50: Lines 311-315: Pincier, De Sphaera IV.272-280.
51: Cf. Pincier, De Sphaera IV.276.
52: This and the previous line: Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.531. These two lines are not part of the poem in Adam King's manuscript, but are part of the commentary under the poem. Ruddiman does not include them in his text (page 518).
53: This and the previous line: Lucan, Bellum Civile IX.536-7.
54: Lines 345-365 closely follow Pincier, De Sphaera IV.297-335.
55: Cf. Virgil, Georgics I.110.
56: Cf. Statius, Thebaid IV.681.
57: Ovid, Amores I.5.1
58: Ovid, Metamorphoses XIII.602-3; and Lucretius, De Rerum Natura V.463.
59: This and the previous line: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.497-8
60: This and the previous line: Lucan, Bellum Civile III.247. This line from Lucan is used in Sacrobosco's commentary: De Sphaera Mundi III (page 106 Thorndike's edition). King also reuses another Lucan line from Sacrobosco at line 394-5 below (see note).
61: Cf. Manilius, Astronomica III.506 and II.510.
62: This and the previous line: Lucan, Bellum Civile II.587. This line from Lucan is used in Sacrobosco's commentary: De Sphaera Mundi III (page 106 Thorndike's edition). King also reuses another Lucan line from Sacrobosco at line 384-5 above (see note).
63: This and the previous line: Buchanan, De Sphaera I.502; and III.312-3.
64: Virgil, Georgics I.242. See note to line 509 below for the significance of this passage of Virgil for King's literary and philosophical background.
65: This and the previous line: Ovid, Metamorphoses III.50.
66: See line 284 above. This internal allusion presents a strong contrast from the attendant seasonal conditions of the point of reference above.
67: This and the previous line cf. Buchanan, De Sphaera III.337-8.
68: Buchanan, Psalms 104.33 and 55.
69: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.288
70: This is a learned allusion to Posidonius and Eratosthenes and the mapping of the earth into zones and climes from the sky. King's primary point of literary reference is Virgil, Georgics I.231-251; and also II.477 Virgil's passage from book I is itself a translation of Eratosthenes' Hermes and Aratus' Phaenomena. The philosophical point of reference for King's arguments on metrical mapping, and for his presentation of modern proofs for the habitability of the tropics in the next few lines (explorers sailing across the globe), is the work of Posidonius and Eratosthenes found in Cleomedes, Caelestia VII and III respectively. See note to line 548 for King's further use of Cleomedes. See Mcomish, 'A community of scholarship: scientific discourse in early-modern Scotland' in Neo-Latin Literature and the Republic of Letters in Early Modern Scotland, Eds. Reid and Mcomish (forthcoming) for detailed discussion of this passage and the wider significance of Cleomedes' text in the rise of scientific discourse in early modern Scotland.
71: Virgil, Georgics I.240. See note to line 509 above.
72: Buchanan, De Sphaera III.182-3
73: King now directly quotes Cleomedes. This explanation of the 'Perioikoi, Antipodes, and Antoikoi' that follows is taken from Cleomedes, Caelestia I.1.209-235.
74: Virgil, Georgics I.247. See note to line 509 above.
75: Virgil, Eclogues VIII.81
77: Virgil, Eclogues X.36
78: This line is taken from Ovid, Fasti IV.549. However, the sentiment and image's closeness to Virgil, Georgics I.246 is surely no coincidence - see note to line 171 above.
79: Cf. 'Duo sunt habitabiles, quorum australis ille, in quo, qui insistunt, adversa vobis urgent vestigia.' Cicero, De Re Publica VI.10.
80: 'Boreo Notioque' in Adam King's MS.
81: Virgil, Georgics I.448