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51 On any aspect of the stereographic, all meridians and parallels and in fact all great circles and small circles are shown as circles, except for any me ridian or great circle passing through the center and the parallel opposite in sign to the central parallel. These are shown as straight lines, which are circles of infinite radius. Thus the commonly shown ecliptic, a great circle which is the apparent path of the sun through the stars, is plotted as a circular arc (or, if it passes through the center of the projection, a straight line).
Eastern hemisphere; 10° graticule. Central meridian 70° E longitude. FIGU RE was used in several editions of Ptolemy by Girolamo Ruscelli (ca. 35 This is the case with a 1493 zone map by Zacharius Lilius (fl. ca. 37 On maps printed in the late fifteenth century, John Eastwood (Eschuid) (d. 1380) and Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius (fl . O. 38 The spacing of these four parallels, while symmetrical about the equator, appears arbitrary on several of the maps, varying considerably from correct spacing along either the circular boundary or a central meridian if it were included.
The central meridian of each gore (whether shown or not) is evenly divided for latitudes at the same spacing used to set off meridians of the same degree interval along the equator. The parallels of latitude are appare ntly,nonconcentric, circular arcs with radii that appear to be the same as the length of the element of a cone tangent to the globe at the particular latitude. If so, this is a prototype of the polyconic projection of the nineteenth century. The latter, however, does not use circular arcs for meridians, and the concept of tangent cones does not seem to appear in the literature of the sixteenth century.