"Tigris Fluvivs", Thomas, Corbinianus
Period: 1730-31 (published)
Publication: Mercurii philosophici firmamentum firmianum
Color: Hand Color
5.2 x 4.5 inches
13.2 x 11.4 cm
Miniature celestial chart showing the River or Ocean Stream also known as Eridanus. In Greek mythology the legend of Phaethon, son of Apollo the Sun God, is most closely tied to this constellation. Phaethon was encouraged by his sisters to ask his father to allow him to drive the celestial chariot across the sky. Apollo refused, knowing that his son was not ready to assume that awesome responsibility. However under the constant pleading by Phaethon, Apollo eventually allowed the request. Phaethon climbed into the chariot, which was drawn by two white horses, grasped the reins and set off across the skies. As Apollo feared, Phaethon was incapable of controlling the horses and they galloped too high in the sky causing the earth to freeze, then they plunged so close to the earth that the fields were burnt. Zeus soon had enough of this nonsense and sent a thunderbolt, killing the young man. His burning body fell to earth and landed in the River Eridanus. Phaethon's sisters, for having encouraged him in this foolhardy adventure, were changed into poplar trees that stood along its banks.
Damp stain in lower right margin, just barely entering chart.