Small or large material representation of the Earth in the form of a sphere rotating about an axis, and on which the location of the continents and seas (world globe), or constellations (star or celestial globe).
The earliest terrestrial globe reaching us is the globe of Martin Behaim, realized in Nuremberg in 1492 and called Erdapfel. The sphericity of the Earth was established by Greek astronomy in the 3rd century BC, and the earliest terrestrial globe appeared from that period. The earliest known example is the one constructed by Crates of Mallus in Cilicia (now Çukurova in modern-day Turkey), in the mid-2nd century BC.
No terrestrial globes from Antiquity or the Middle Ages have survived. An example of a surviving celestial globe is part of a Hellenistic sculpture, called the Farnese Atlas, surviving in a 2nd-century AD Roman copy in the Naples Archaeological Museum, Italy.
Early terrestrial globes depicting the entirety of the Old World were constructed in the Islamic world. According to David Woodward, one such example was the terrestrial globe introduced to Beijing by the Persian astronomer, Jamal ad-Din, in 1267.
Celestial globes show the apparent positions of the stars in the sky. They omit the Sun, Moon and planets because the positions of these bodies vary relative to those of the stars, but the ecliptic, along which the Sun moves, is indicated.
Sphere resting by a meridian ring divided on brass on a tripod foot in mahogany. The three feet support a compass held by three ties, this very large globe or celestial globe was regularly found in large libraries or certain offices.