One of the tresaures of the Archaeological Museum of Naoples: The Farnesian Atlas (Atlante Farnese)

Napoli-Museo-Archeologico-Atlante-Farnese_13243
The Atlante Farnese, Archaeological Museum of Naples

The statue became part of the collection of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1562. It represents the Titan Atlas supporting the globe on his shoulders, on which are represented in bas-relief forty-three constellations.

The peculiarity of sculpture, a Roman copy of the II century. d.C., is its uniqueness, as there are no other figurative monuments that bear witness, in an equally complete, of the iconography of the celestial sphere as it had gained in the astronomical culture Greek-Hellenistic.

The celestial sphere is depicted as seen from the outside, as it would appear to an observer outside the universe. All the elements are rendered in very tenuous relief: the equator, the tropics and the northern and southern rims.

On the globe are represented 43 constellations including the twelve signs of the zodiac, with the constellation of Aries in the equinoctial point, corresponding to the astronomical situation of the fourth century BC; 17 constellations are in the northern hemisphere and 14 in the astral.

The globe Farnese, therefore, constitutes the most ancient representation of the constellations.

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Published by Emiliano's Archaeological Tours

My name is Emiliano Tufano, I am an archaeologist and tour guide. I run an organization providing archeaological and cultural tours in Campania. When I was ten years old I found a piece of painted pottery on a small piece of land belonging to my family, which is located nearby the ancient Greek city of Paestum. For the whole of that day I kept this piece of history in my hands. I remember that it was decorated with a black figured scene of a Satyr driving a biga. The feeling I had when realized it was a genuine antique object was very strong, and I started asking myself many questions about the people who occupied that area across the centuries and, particularly, about the man who made such a beautiful piece of work. Since then I started collecting all sorts of pots and stones that I found while I wandered through the countryside. I used to divide my finds simply on the basis of their shape and color. They were the first steps of me becoming an archaeologist. At school, history was my favorite subject; therefore my decision of which degree course to choose was an easy one, Archaeology. Today, archaeology is my profession and my passion. Throughout the years I developed skills in fieldwork and academic research. I participated as a field director in several excavation projects of fundamental importance across Italy and I was engaged in significant academic research projects in Sicily, Tunisia and Libya. I now fulfill my ambition with a PhD project about the Sicilian prehistory. However, my interests go beyond just the history. I have a strong creative side and I love photography, and I write articles for a newspaper in my local area, play football and enjoy diving. I enjoy traveling and have been to many different countries, where I always make particular efforts to learn as much of the local language and culture as possible. In 2010 I became qualified to work as a tourist guide of the Campania Region, and today I offer guided tours in Italian, English and Spanish. I live my job with passion and professionalism. With me you can visit the wonders of Campania: the Vesuvian archaeological sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other beautiful sites, such as the historic centers of Naples, Caserta and Salerno, the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento Coast, all the major churches and museums. Through exclusive and tailor-made tours, according to your requirements, you will receive quality service and cultural enrichment.

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