Astrology and Numerology in Medieval and Early Modern Catalonia offers a fascinating look at medieval forms of prognostication in Catalonia including astrology, numerology, and magic. This critical edition includes an English translation and a Catalan-English glossary.
The study of astrology began in antiquity and continued to the modern era. Speciﬁcally in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, this pseudo-science became an interest, and in some cases a passion, of knowledgeable men: kings, princes, those employed by the royal court, doctors, and theologians. Unlike the classical and Renaissance study of astrology, medieval enthusiasts who studied the constella-tions did not clearly delineate between astrology, astronomy, and alchemy, all of which they brought together in their teachings and written works. This feature was due to the Arabic inﬂuence that insisted on observing a series of points or parts of the sky, rather than the Greek practice of concentration on the individual heavenly bodies.
The Catalan writers, their rulers, and several Jewish and Christian astrologers and translators employed by the kings of Aragon studied the works of Greek, Arabic, and Persian astronomers and astrologers. These works include Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, or Quadripartitum, in its Latin translation and oriental authors such as Ali Abenragel, Albumazar, and Abu l’Abbas Fargani (Al-Faragani), among others.
From the time of Augustine to the thirteenth century, astrology had lost its prestige as a science due in part to Augustine’s depiction of astrology as an illegitimate practice, driven by “the powers of demons” (Wedel 23). Arabic commentaries on Greek astrology and translations to Latin, such as Albumazar’s Introductorium in Astronomiam, Liber conjuctionum siderum and Flores astrologiae, brought about a new interest in this pseudoscience in western Europe. This new practice began to attract leading Christian scholars, such as Albert the Great (Wedel 66), who made concessions to judicial astrology, and Roger Bacon (Wedel 72–73), who read both Greek and Arabic studies on this subject, with a preference for Ptolemy.
Leading ﬁgures took an interest in astrology in the late Middle Ages. Pope John XXII practiced alchemy, while the Spanish Pope Benedict XIII collected many books on astrology in his personal library (Rubió i Lluch 1917–18: 12). Charles V of France was a patron of astrology, and amassed one of the leading libraries of Europe, containing some 11,000 books in the form of manuscripts (Wedel 94–95), many of which were astrological studies; he also brought to his court a cadre of prominent astrologers.
- Changing World Views
- The Catalan Context
- Catalan Material in Relationship to Other European Traditions
- Astrology and Astrological Magic
- Numerology and Astro-numerology
- Known Editions of the Tractat
- Physical Description of “B”
- Contents, Divisions, and Sources
- Linguistic Features and Orthography
- The Tractat in the Catalan Printing Tradition
Astrology and Numerology in Medieval and Early Modern Catalonia: The Tractat de Prenostication de la Vida Natural Dels Hòmens By John Scott Lucas pdf