Armillary Sphere

I haven’t been able to sleep worth a damn for the last three nights. Each morning, my husband has asked if there’s something bothering me. Each time I answered in the negative.

Nothing’s overtly bothering me.

At least I don’t think so.

My brain doesn’t seem to be chewing on anything. Really. Nothing.

Well, except for the guy who’s being an asshat at work but that’s nothing new and shouldn’t be keeping me awake.

Unfortunately this morning (at 3:46 a.m.) the words Armillary Sphere were whirling around in my head. NO CLUE where that came from. None. Na-uh.

I know I’ve seen it in fiction, I read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy. An armillary sphere has to have been in a book I’ve read somewhere recently.

I’m working on Dan Brown’s Origin right now. Armillary Sphere.

Definitely seems like a Dan Brown thing. Let’s go with that for now.

UPDATE: There is an armillary sphere in the Season 1 Episode 3 “Corpus” of Lodge 49. Must have picked it up from there.

So for those of you going … What? Here’s the dictionary definition.

ar·mil·lar·y sphere

ˌärməˌlerē ˈsfir/


a model of the celestial globe constructed from rings and hoops representing the equator, the tropics, and other celestial circles, and able to revolve on its axis.

Pops into everyone’s head at 3:46 a.m., am I right?

How can I keep this from being a narcissistic ramble on Medium?

Right, by being pragmatic.

Armillary Sphere — a brief history

Um … well … there’s nothing brief about this thing. It’s been around a long damn time.

Seems to have been invented independently both in China and in Greece. 4th and 3rd century B.C. respectively.

There’s a Ptolemaic and a Copernican version depending on whether you liked your universe earth centric or sun centric.

Wonder what a flat earther armillary sphere looks like?

Oh wait … hahahaha … never mind. That would be an armillary pancake.

To Continue …

Eratosthenes is credited as the Hellenistic inventor of the armillary sphere. Very cool, the “father” of geography, that makes sense.

He taught in Alexandria. Ah … he was the Chief Librarian at the Library of Alexandria. He was no longer around when the library was sacked and burned.

Accurately calculated the circumference of the earth. Worked up the algorithm to calculate prime numbers. Invented the sphere.

And I have my connection!

I have a novel, in draft, from NANOWRIMO three years ago. The Library of Alexandria is heavily involved as are Greek philosophers and scientists. Eratosthenes is not a character, I believe, and neither is there an Armillary Sphere involved.

But there will be …



Midlife Blogger, Artist, Seeker, Techie. People tell me I'm funny, but I'm not sure if they mean that in a good way.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Patricia Lemieux

Patricia Lemieux

Midlife Blogger, Artist, Seeker, Techie. People tell me I'm funny, but I'm not sure if they mean that in a good way.