A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late by Michael A. Ryan

By Michael A. Ryan

Astrology within the heart a while used to be thought of a department of the mystical arts, one knowledgeable by way of Jewish and Muslim medical wisdom in Muslim Spain. As such it was once deeply troubling to a couple Church experts. utilizing the celebs and planets to divine the long run ran counter to the orthodox Christian thought that humans have unfastened will, and a few clerical professionals argued that it probably entailed the summoning of religious forces thought of diabolical. we all know that occult ideals and practices grew to become frequent within the later center a long time, 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 by way of interacting with the occult? In A country of Stargazers, Michael A. Ryan examines the curiosity in astrology within the Iberian state of Aragon, the place principles approximately magic and the occult have been deeply intertwined with notions of energy, 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 their courts. while Martí I took the throne, notwithstanding, he was firm to purge Joan's courtiers and go back to non secular orthodoxy. As Ryan indicates, the attraction of astrology to these in energy was once transparent: predicting the longer term via divination used to be a necessary software for addressing the extreme 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 eager to be aware of what the longer term held, yet their engagement with the occult was once without delay with regards to the volume of energy and authority the monarch exhibited and utilized. A state of Stargazers joins a turning out to be physique of scholarship that explores the blending of non secular and magical rules within the overdue heart Ages.

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Extra info for A Kingdom of Stargazers: Astrology and Authority in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon

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15 It was also a shadowy, frightful world for anyone who occupied a tenuous position within it—made worse because of the speed and randomness with which one’s personal fortunes could rise and fall according to the caprices of the monarch. In such an environment, it is not difficult to imagine the appeal of the magical arts, offering courtiers a modicum of control over highly changeable circumstances. Dabbling in the magical arts could potentially bolster one’s personal fortunes in the ongoing competition for the monarch’s patronage and affection.

30 As the specter of pestilence initially loomed across Europe, it was reported that members of the Medical Faculty of the University of Paris had astrologically predicted its arrival. 31 As the disease spread, its relentless presence and horrific effects contributed to people’s fears and speculations about the End Times. They contextualized the plague within an apocalyptic framework and utilized apocalyptic imagery to further reinforce the disease’s devastation. 34 The Schism was a fundamental rupture in the foundation of Western Christendom, pitting two (and eventually three) papal claimants against each other—one based in Avignon and the other in Rome.

2 (1990): 577–88. 39. See Pierre d’Ailly’s Advent Sermons and his De falsis prophetis II, both of which hail from the 1380s. Smoller, History, Prophecy, and the Stars, 50–51. See also Alan E. Bernstein, Pierre d’Ailly and the Blanchard Affair: University and Chancellor of Paris at the Beginning of the Great Schism (Leiden: Brill, 1978). 40. Rev. ” 41. Louis B. J. Church and Reform: Bishops, Theologians, and Canon Lawyers in the Thought of Pierre d’Ailly (1351–1420) (Leiden: Brill, 2005), 14; and Smoller, History, Prophecy, and the Stars, 34–35.

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