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Zodiacal Diagram
From the Paraphrase of De natura rerum by Bede and other Scientific Writings
England, ca. 1190–1200
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore MS W.73

This small pamphlet contains excerpts from several medieval scientific treatises, and is illustrated with a series of nearly twenty diagrams elucidating their accompanying texts. Only the first two diagrams of the zodiac and winds include depictions of humans or animals (see also the related image). Like the texts they illustrate, medieval scientific diagrams clearly owe a debt to ancient Greek and Roman scientific works, and are best understood as adaptations of earlier knowledge and ideas to a Christian world view.

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