Some back ground information on the Leiden Aratea, on which the C.C. Zain system is based.

Aratus   -   Born circa 315 B.C. in Soli, north of Cyprus in Turkey.

The Phaenomena on which the Aratea is based consists of 1,154 Greek verses, written for the ruler of Macedonia, Antigonias Gonatus.

The Aratea is a 9th century copy of an astrological and meterological treasise based on the Phaenomena.

Quoted by St. Paul, formed the basis for Virgil's Georgics.

Translated thoughout Europe and the Middle East, 12 centuries of influence.

The Leiden Aratea - Latin copy of the Greek - as translated by Claudius Caesar Germanicus, nephew of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.

It is a verbal description of the influence of the Planets and Constellations influencing weather and other such omens.

Lavishly illustrated during the reign of Charlemaigne (768 - 814).

A small book 8 x 9 inches, 99 pages of illuminated parchment.

Supplemental portions by the fourth century author Rufius Festus Avienus.

Written in rustic capitals, footnotes added in the 13th century in Gothic miniscule.

The mss. contains images of the Seasons, Planets, Zodiac and its Decanates in Carolingian Style.

C.C. Zain's work Spiritual Astrology, contains a transmission of the Aratea, in almost the same sequence.


Drawings and Minatures from:





Leidensis Voss. 79 etc. p. 151

1. The LATIN Lineage -

2. The ORIENTAL Lineage - from


The Leiden Aratea : Ancient Constellations in a Medieval Manuscript

See: Ranee Katzenstein, Emilie Savage-Smith / Published 1988

A translations of the text of the Aratea is to be found in:

D. B. Gain, The Aratus Ascribed to Germanicus Caesar: Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (London, 1976).

Translations of the poems by Moduin and Ermoldus Nigellus, P. Godman, Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance (Norman, Oklahoma, 1985).

Quotations from Charlemagne's edicts: from Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European History 6 (1900), no. 5, published by the Department of History of the University of Pennsylvania.

The translations from Alcuin: P. Riche, Les Carolingiens: Une famille qui fit l'Europe (Paris, 1983).

The translation from Einhard: E. S. Firchow and E. H. Zeydel, The Life of Charlemagne (Coral Gables, 1972).

For Cicero, see: G.H. Sabine and S.B. Smith, Cicero: On the Commonwealth (Columbus, Ohio, 1929).

Bruce Stansfield Eastwood, "Origins and Contents of the Leiden Planetary Configuration (Ms. Voss. lat. Q. 79, fol. 93v): An Artistic Schema of the Early Middle Ages," Viator 14 (1983), pp. 1-40.

Aratea: ein Leitstern des abendlandischen Weltbildes (Lucerne, 1987) [facsimile and commentary];

D. Bullough, The Age of Charlemagne (London and Toronto, 1965);

Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (London, 1955);

F. Mutherich and J. E. Gaehde, Carolingian Painting (New York, 1976);

Emilie Savage-Smith, Islamicate Celestial Globes: Their History, Construction, and Use, Smithsonian Studies in History and Technology, no. 46 (Washington, D.C., 1985).