When Johannes Hevelius’s Selenographia was printed in 1647, its rich paratext featured a portrait epigram and a collection of nine Neo-Latin poems praising the first book of the Danzig (Gdańsk) astronomer. The present article examines these ten poems as a place where Hevelius’s authority as an author and astronomer is being constructed, focusing on the fictionalized and fictional relationships between Hevelius and other authorities depicted in the text. In a sort of kaleidoscope, the poems relate Hevelius to prominent astronomers like Galileo and Copernicus, to Columbus, the paragon of the discoverer, to figures from ancient myth, and even, in the form of anagrams, to his own name. Moreover, they highlight Hevelius’s personal qualities as an astronomer, as a member of the realm of literature, and as a citizen of Danzig. The image of the author that emerges from the poems asserts Hevelius’s place in the public space of literature and fashions him into an authoritative figure at the threshold of his text.

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