Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sundial: DIES NOSTRI QUASI UMBRA

I chose to write about this sundial because I was looking for another one that has zodiac images, and of course I was delighted to find out that this is a sundial in Poland! I cannot remember actually seeing this sundial when I spent a summer in Kraków, but I certainly visited the Mariacki Church, a beautiful building which is on the city's main square. The sundial was installed in 1954 and is the work of Tadeusz Przypkowski, whose sundials can be seen in many other European cities, as well as at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich!

The Latin motto is from the Bible, 1 Chronicles 29:

Dies nostri quasi umbra super terram et nulla est mora.
Our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

What an apt motto for a sundial where the shadow moves ever onward without delay!

I found this image at Wikimedia Commons (thanks to Rj1979), and I also found a wonderful photo gallery, including historical photographs from the time of the sundial's installation, at the Gnomonika website.

Here is the sundial, and the zodiac symbols can be seen up and down to the left and the right; click here for a larger image that shows the zodiac signs in detail.


In the upper left, there is also this elegant depiction of the name MARYA (Mary) surrounded by twelve stars, an allusion to the opening words of Revelation 12: Et signum magnum apparuit in caelo: mulier amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus eius, et in capite eius corona stellarum duodecim, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars."






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