On the Magnet, by William Gilbert

Chap. ix. On the Æquinoctial Circle of the Earth and of a Terrella.

As conceived by astronomers the æquinoctial circle is equidistant from both poles, cutting the world in the middle, measures the motions of their primum mobile or tenth sphere, and is named the zone of the primum mobile. It is called æquinoctial, because when the sun stands in it (which must happen twice in the year) the days are equal to the nights. That circle is also spoken of as æquidialis, wherefore it is called by the Greeks ἰσημερινός. In like manner it is also properly called Æquator, because it divides the whole frame of the earth between the poles into equal parts. So also an æquator may be rightly assigned to a terrella, by which its power is naturally divided, and by the plane of which permeating through its centre, the whole globe is divided into equal parts both in quantity and strength (as if by a transverse septum) between verticities on both sides imbued with equal vigour.


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