Category:Macrobius Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis

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In late antiquity encyclopedists such as Macrobius (4th c.) discussed the circumference of the sphere of the Earth, its central position in the universe, the difference of the seasons in northern and southern hemispheres, and many other geographical details.[1] In his commentary on Cicero's Dream of Scipio, Macrobius described the Earth as a globe of insignificant size in comparison to the remainder of the cosmos.[2]

Many early medieval manuscripts of Macrobius include maps of the Earth, including the antipodes, zonal maps showing the Ptolemaic climates derived from the concept of a spherical Earth and a diagram showing the Earth (labeled as globus terrae, the sphere of the Earth) at the center of the hierarchically ordered planetary spheres.[3]

External link: Det Kongelige Bibliotek


  1. Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, V.9-VI.7, XX.18-24, trans. W. H. Stahl, (New York: Columbia Univ. Pr., 1952; Martianus Capella, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury, VI.590-610, trans. W. H. Stahl, R. Johnson, and E. L. Burge, (New York: Columbia Univ. Pr., 1977).
  2. Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, transl. W. H. Stahl, (New York: Columbia Univ. Pr., 1952), chaps. v-vii, (pp. 200-212).
  3. B. Eastwood and G. Graßhoff, Planetary Diagrams for Roman Astronomy in Medieval Europe, ca. 800-1500, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 94, 3 (Philadelphia, 2004), pp. 49-50.

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