Aratea.

by Constantin Chopin
2016

A multi-generational poetic map of the heavens.

A mixed-medium approach to revive the thoughts of the ancient poets Aratus of Soli (315BC), and Marcus Tullius Cicero (106BC).

14 Prints that modernly depicts constellations and their associated mythologies.


“From Zeus let us begin, him do we mortals never leave unnamed, full of Zeus are all the streets and all the market-places of men, full is the sea and the havens thereof, always we all have need of Zeus.”

Aratus of Soli, C3rdBC


In the early C3rd BC, flourished in Macedonia, a young greek poet named Aratus of Soli. His only surviving work; Phaenomena - a book aiming at describing the constellations and weather signs - used didactic poetry as a medium to communicate practical information.

The idea is that, knowledge of the stars allows you to recognize changes of season, to anticipate weather changes, and to navigate through space.







For the next hundred of years, Aratea’s Phaenomena served as a framework for various ancient poets and scholars that all independently revived the story through poems and mythological stories.

In 106BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero translated Aratu’s work from Greek to Latin, greatly influencing thinkers of the throughout the middle ages.

Above, visuals created in Northern France circa 820. These examples are one of the most recent ‘revival’ of Phaenomena - depicting not only Aratus and Cicero’s work combined, but also integrating curated material from other scholars of that time, creating multi-generational narrative.

These visuals are part of the Harleian Manuscripts, propriety of the British Library
ages.


In a true ‘Aratean’ fashion, I used materials from both Aratus and Cicero to form the core of the illustrations while integrating adjacently information about the stars and the heavens from complimentary ancient sources and NASA’s.

Fascinated by this creative process that defies time and space. I wanted to carry this knowledge further, into the modern world, and shed a new light on this ancient wisdom.



Aratea.

by Constantin Chopin
2016
A multi-generational poetic map of the heavens.