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Why is conventional width of zodiac set to 16 degrees (8 degrees at both sides of ecliptic), see for example this Taurus plate from Bayer's Uranometria? I assume that the planet which defines the width is Venus but its extremal latitudes in the past millenia were nearly 9 degrees. On the other hand its difficult to observe the planet at greatest latitudes since it's close to the Sun in the sky.

I would appreciate sources (in particular ancient ones) which gives zodiac width. Was the width result of observation or computation?

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