By Michael A. Ryan
Astrology within the heart a while was once thought of a department of the mystical arts, one knowledgeable by means of Jewish and Muslim clinical wisdom in Muslim Spain. As such it used to be deeply troubling to a couple Church experts. utilizing the celebs and planets to divine the long run ran counter to the orthodox Christian proposal that humans have unfastened will, and a few clerical professionals argued that it in all likelihood entailed the summoning of non secular forces thought of diabolical. we all know that occult ideals and practices grew to become common within the later center a while, yet there's a lot concerning the phenomenon that we don't comprehend. for example, how deeply did occult ideals penetrate courtly tradition and what precisely did these in positions of strength desire to realize via interacting with the occult? In A country of Stargazers, Michael A. Ryan examines the curiosity in astrology within the Iberian country of Aragon, the place rules approximately magic and the occult have been deeply intertwined with notions of strength, authority, and providence.
Ryan makes a speciality of the reigns of Pere III (1336–1387) and his sons Joan I (1387–1395) and Martí I (1395–1410). Pere and Joan spent lavish quantities of cash on astrological writings, and astrologers held nice sway inside of their courts. whilst Martí I took the throne, in spite of the fact that, he was resolute to purge Joan's courtiers and go back to spiritual orthodoxy. As Ryan exhibits, the charm of astrology to these in energy used to be transparent: predicting the longer term via divination was once a beneficial instrument for addressing the intense problems―political, non secular, demographic―plaguing Europe within the fourteenth century. in the meantime, the kings' contemporaries in the noble, ecclesiastical, and mercantile elite had their very own purposes for desirous to comprehend what the long run held, yet their engagement with the occult was once at once on the topic of the quantity of strength and authority the monarch exhibited and utilized. A country of Stargazers joins a turning out to be physique of scholarship that explores the blending of spiritual and magical principles within the past due center Ages.
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Additional info for A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon
Funds provided by the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States’ Universities, helped toward the research and publication of this book, as did a short-term fellowship from the Newberry Library. After arriving at Purdue University in 2005, I was able to conduct research at the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, thanks to a Heckman stipend, and I thank the library’s staff and librarians, especially Theresa Vann and Matthew Heintzelman, for all of their assistance.
See also the collection of essays by William R. Newman and Anthony Grafton, eds. Secrets of Nature: Astrology and Alchemy in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001). 11. Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Poets, Saints, and Visionaries of the Great Schism, 1378–1417 (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), 15. 12. Veenstra, Magic and Divination, 22. Jacques d’Avout, La querelle des Armagnacs et de Bourguinons (Paris: Gallimard, 1943); George K. Park, “Divination and Its Social Contexts,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 93, no.
A Library Scholars Grant from Purdue permitted me a month’s sojourn at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in the summer of 2006. I thank Bartow Culp and Larry Mykytiuk, librarians at Purdue University, as well as Robert Babcock, at the Beinecke, and the staff of the Beinecke, for their assistance in procuring valuable catalogs and primary sources affiliated with the Mellon Collection of Alchemy and the Occult. Purdue University’s Department of History provided me an invaluable semester research leave to transcribe Nicolau Eymerich’s treatise Contra praefigentes certum terminum fini mundi, a copy of which the helpful staff at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid readily and conscientiously provided me, and to travel to Barcelona to conduct additional research at the Archivo Diocesano de Barcelona, the Biblioteca de Catalunya, and the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón.
A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon by Michael A. Ryan