Cicero’s Aratea is an astronomical treatise describing the constellations, and this work is a Latin translation of the Phaenomena written by the Greek poet Aratus (d. before 240 BC). The writings of Marcus Tullius Cicero (b. 106 BC) greatly influenced thinkers throughout the Middle Ages – more manuscripts of Cicero’s works survive than those of any other classical Latin author.
This deluxe copy was produced at the Benedictine abbey of St Peter, St Paul and St Andrew in Peterborough. A thriving monastic centre during this period, the Abbey regularly borrowed and exchanged books from Ely, Bury St Edmunds and Canterbury for copying.
Originally part of a larger miscellany of scientific works, this copy of the Aratea is accompanied by explanatory comments on the main text known as scholia, computus materials, and excerpts from works of natural philosophy.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Cillian O’Hogan
- History and learning, Science and nature
Cillian O’Hogan offers an introduction to the range of classical works that shaped medieval thought on literature and scientific learning.
- Article by:
- Alison Ray
- Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, History and learning
Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.