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

By Michael A. Ryan

Astrology within the center a long time used to be thought of a department of the paranormal arts, one expert by means of Jewish and Muslim medical wisdom in Muslim Spain. As such it used to be deeply troubling to a few Church professionals. utilizing the celebrities and planets to divine the longer term ran counter to the orthodox Christian suggestion that people have unfastened will, and a few clerical experts argued that it potentially entailed the summoning of religious forces thought of diabolical. we all know that occult ideals and practices turned frequent 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 energy wish to achieve by way of interacting with the occult? In A country of Stargazers, Michael A. Ryan examines the curiosity in astrology within the Iberian nation of Aragon, the place rules approximately magic and the occult have been deeply intertwined with notions of energy, authority, and providence.

Ryan specializes in 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. while Martí I took the throne, even though, he was firm to purge Joan's courtiers and go back to spiritual orthodoxy. As Ryan exhibits, the allure of astrology to these in strength used to be transparent: predicting the longer term via divination used to be a important device 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 desirous to recognize what the long run held, yet their engagement with the occult used to be at once with regards to the volume of strength and authority the monarch exhibited and utilized. A nation of Stargazers joins a starting to be physique of scholarship that explores the blending of non secular and magical principles within the overdue center Ages.

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Court styles and fashions changed with sometimes dizzying speed, based on the whims of the monarch in power. ”16 However, it was also true that certain members of the English landed aristocracy exploited astrology and astrologers for their own political machinations. Jan Veenstra has elaborated further on this point in his analysis of astrology in the royal and noble courts of France in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 17 In this respect, the relationship between the French kings and the clergy, in which theologians from the University of Paris wielded enormous power in their condemnation of marginal behavior, was different from the situation that existed in the Crown of Aragon.

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. Secular rulers throughout Europe took sides, aligning with one or the other of the popes, thus dividing Western Europe. 36 Dating back to the twelfth century, certain medieval exegetes, especially the group of twelfth-century theologians who worked with Anselm of Laon to produce the Glossa ordinaria, had localized religious discord within an apocalyptic teleology based on Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians.

I must give special recognition to the members of my faculty cohort, Darren Dochuk, Stacy Holden, Kevin Vaughn, and Juan Wang, who arrived at Purdue the same year as I did. Along with their partners and spouses, Debra Dochuk, Mark Bernstein, Dawn Vaughn, and Peter Lichtenstein, we have read and criticized each other’s works, spent many hours discussing matters scholarly and not, and watched each other grow and develop as we transitioned to Purdue. I thank them for their thoughts, suggestions, support, and friendship.

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