Milton's Cosmos . . . or Universe?
I learn something new every day. Today, I learned of a distinction that some make between Milton's Cosmos (above) and Milton's Universe (below). Counterintuitively, the latter is smaller than the former!
In searching the internet for other depictions, I found an interactive 'map' of Milton's Cosmos at MapLib, though the 'map' is very schematic. Its usefulness comes from the markers stuck to the 'map' that reference Paradise Lost by book and line. Note that this 'map' seems to place the sun at center of the universe. If you poke around on the 'map', you'll see what I mean.
Scholars have long argued this point, i.e., the precise center of Milton's universe, whether geocentric (as depicted in the diagram above) or heliocentric (as seemingly depicted at the MapLib site).
The debate is understandable since -- as John Leonard explains in his annotated Paradise Lost -- "Milton usually depicts the universe as earth-centered, but he often hints that it is sun-centered" (page xvi). On the same page, incidently, Leonard notes that "Milton's cosmos is infinite; his universe large, but finite" (page xvi).
I suppose that I ought to adopt the terminology that Leonard accepts, for he's studied this material and ought to know better than I. I'm currently writing a paper on the seasons in Paradise Lost and need to say some words about the universe's structure, though I need not be definitive on this point, for I'm merely trying to figure out the motions of the heavens.
More on this another time.