Boötes with two dogs on a globe by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1602)

Two small dogs are held on a leash by Boötes on this globe made in 1602 by the Dutch cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571–1638). The dogs, possibly intended to be young foxhounds, bear a strong resemblance to those shown by Petrus Apianus on his chart from 1533. On Apianus’s chart, though, the dogs followed at the heels of Boötes, whereas here they are turned to chase the Great Bear, as in the modern Canes Venatici. The leading dog is marked by the star now known as Beta Canum Venaticorum, while Alpha Canum Venaticorum (Cor Caroli) sparkles on the collar of its kennel mate. In Hevelius’s Canes Venatici both those stars are part of the southern dog, Chara; the second dog, Asterion, lies among fainter stars to the north. Since this is a globe view, the constellations appear back-to-front by comparison with how we see them from Earth.

On Blaeu’s next globe of 1603 the dogs had vanished, and never reappeared until Hevelius’s invention (or perhaps re-invention) of Canes Venatici in 1687. Had Blaeu perhaps learned that the dogs shown by Apianus were due to a mistranslation and removed them again? 

Whether Hevelius saw this Blaeu globe and was influenced by it when creating Canes Venatici is unknown, but it seems a strong possibility.

Image: British Library

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Boötes followed by two dogs on this chart from Horoscopion Generale by Petrus Apianus (1533)