Aratea Digital is a database collecting information about astronomy in the Early Middle Ages. The main focus of the project is the Latin transmission of the so-called Aratea texts including the Latin translations and the derivative texts based on Aratus' didactic poem Phaenomena. The website presents descriptions of their (pre-13th-century) manuscripts, references to the latest editions and relevant literature.

This website is work-in-progress. We are constantly working on improving and enhancing the information provided.


  • Summary introduction of the Aratea texts, providing basic information on their history, as well as the authoritative edition, relevant literature and links to further resources. Also all manuscripts that contain the respective text will be automatically listed here.
  • Description of all pre 13th-century manuscripts of the Aratea texts.
  • Indices for all places and people connected with the manuscript transmission of the Aratea, as well as other text, which build up their Überlieferungsgemeinschaft. We aim to link all entities with Authority files (GND and geonames) to facilitate identification and future interoperability.


The manuscript descriptions are encoded using the guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI), which is an XML standard widely adopted in the digital humanities for the representation of texts.

To validate the mark-up we used the TEI P5 schema for Europeana Regia (ER). The practices from the Herzog August library Wolfenbüttel were taken as an example for structuring the manuscript descriptions. People, places are texts (works within manuscripts) are tagged as such and gathered in indices together with additional information as well as links to further resources. The XML files are also available for download.

With the growing number of manuscript description being added to the database we are further working on different possibilities to search, filter and analyse the data. Apart from full text search we plan to integrate faceted search to filter the manuscripts according to certain criteria (shelfmark, origin place / time, texts etc.) and possibly to combine different criteria.


The material is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0), meaning you are free to make use of it, share and adapt it to your need, as long as you give us appropriate credit (mention the project website for instance), provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.