Abū Ma'shar and al-Qābīsī were active astrologers and defenders of the scientific character of their discipline. They wrote works on criticisms brought forward against the discipline and challenged practitioners whom they considered as detrimental for the esteem and future fate of their science. Nevertheless, both writers can be seen as heirs to a single tradition of thought, which took its origins in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblios and developed largely independently of the religious or philosophical beliefs of a specific community. The arguments developed (...) for proving the scientific value of astrology are interesting in their own right, and merit further study not only by historians of science but also by historians of philosophy. (shrink)
These volumes provide the Arabic, Latin and English versions of the major text on political astrology of the Middle Ages, generally attributed to Abū Ma‘šar , with a commentary and Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin glossaries.
One source for the accounts of astrology and astronomy in Gundissalinus's De divisione philosophiae might have been an introduction to the science of the stars influenced by, if not originating from, the School of Chartres. This introduction survives in slightly different forms in three manuscripts, and is edited, along with Gundissalinus's chapters on astronomy and astrology, in the Appendix.
Adelard of Bath was one of the most colourful personalities of the Middle Ages. He travelled to the Crusader kingdoms, to Sicily and south Italy, and translated texts on astronomy, astrology and magic from Arabic into Latin. He acquired a lasting reputation as a pioneering mathematician, and he was a gifted teacher. He addressed one of these works, on cosmology and the astrolabe, to the future King Henry II, and it is in the context of the education of the nobility (...) that the three works edited in this book are to be viewed. Adelard meant them to be both entertaining and instructive. They deal with all kinds of topics, from the nature of the soul to the cause of earthquakes, from the effects of music to how to train a hawk. A preface provides the results of research on Adelard's life and work. (shrink)
From an epistemological perspective, the "discovery of nature" in the 12th century represents a fundamental change in the speculative understanding of nature. It provides an important philosophical impetus for the wider assimiliation of the Aristotelian corpus. At the same time, it leads to the development of an original and distinctively medieval model of natural philosophy.
The formative period of Latin and Hebrew astrology occurred virtually simultaneously in both cultures. In the second quarter of the twelfth century the terminology of the subject was established and the textbooks which became authoritative were written. The responsibility for this lay almost entirely with two scholars: John of Seville for the Latins, and Abraham ibn Ezra for the Jews. It is unlikely to have been by coincidence that the same developments in astrology occurred in these two cultures. John of (...) Seville and Abraham ibn Ezra were both brought up within the Islamic culture of Spain, and their astrology was Arabic astrology. Moreover, some scholars have thought that John’s origins were Jewish, while Ibn Ezra is known to have collaborated with Latin scholars . It cannot be a coincidence that they forged the science of astrology for their respect co-religionists at almost the same time. Yet, very little research has been done on the possible relations between the two scholars. The purpose of this paper is to begin to explore this relationship, and to illustrate it in particular by their shared doctrine concern the location of pain. (shrink)
This paper reassesses the importance of the Benedictine monasteries of St Benoît of Fleury and St Mesmin of Micy , and the Cathedral of Chartres for the early diffusion of Arabic learning concerning the astrolabe, and it relates this diffusion to that of the judicial astrology of ‘Alchandreus philosophus’ and the astronomical tables of the Preceptum canonis Ptolomei. Evidence is given for the fact that already, by the turn of the millennium, the elements were in place for a corpus of (...) a new, mathematically based, practical science of the stars, consisting of works partly of Arabic and partly of Greek inspiration. This corpus was progressively revised and inspired, in turn, further translations from Arabic, until it reached its most mature form in the mid-twelfth century. Until recently, scholarship has tended to concentrate on the cathedral schools of North-east France and Lotharingia, and the monastic schools of South Germany, and to see Gerbert d'Aurillac, the Archbishop of Reims, as the pivotal figure. While these schools were undoubtedly important in the diffusion of the new science of the stars in the eleventh century, it is argued that a key role in the initial stages of the diffusion was played by the interrelated centres of Fleury, Micy and Chartres at the beginning of the century, and Gerbert may not have contributed as much as has been believed. Additional sections are devoted to the authorities in this corpus, ‘King Ptolemy’ and ‘Alchandreus’. A reworking of the Arabic material on the construction of the astrolabe by Ascelin of Augsburg was copied into this corpus. The text has previously been known from only one manuscript; a new edition, from five manuscripts, is provided here, together with a translation and commentary. (shrink)