Astrology and Magic from the Medieval Islamic World to Renaissance Europe: Theories and Approaches (Variorum Collected Studies Series)



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Astrology and Magic from the Medieval Latin and Islamic World to Renaissance Europe brings together ten of Paola Zambelli’s papers on the subject, four of which are published in English for the first time. The papers in Part I of this volume deal with theories: the ideas of astrology and magic held by Renaissance thinkers; astrologers’ ideas on universal history and its cycles; i.e. catastrophes and rebirths, theories; and myths regarding the spontaneous generation of man himself. Part II focuses on the role of astrologers in Renaissance society. As political counsellors, courtiers, and academics, their ideas were diffused and appreciated in both popular and high culture. Part III looks at the Great Conjunction of 1524 and on the long and extended debate surrounding it, which would not have been possible prior to Gutenberg, since astrologers printed numberless booklets (full of religious and political innuendo) predicting the catastrophe – flood, as well as earthquake or fire – foreseen for February 1524 (which, in the event, proved to be a month of extraordinary mild weather). Part IV reprints some review-articles of twentieth century scholars whose writing has contributed to our understanding of the historical problems concerning magic and other connected debates.

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