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THE WARBURG INSTITUTE: FROM MASHA’ALLAH TO KEPLER: THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ASTROLOGY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

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Portraits of Masha’allah and Hermes Agathodaimon by Heinrich Vogtherr (c. 1546) [Bartsch VII]

FROM MASHA’ALLAH TO KEPLER
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ASTROLOGY
IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE RENAISSANCE

13 – 15 NOVEMBER 2008
AT THE WARBURG INSTITUTE,
WOBURN SQUARE, LONDON WC1H 0AB

Organised by Charles Burnett and Dorian Greenbaum
with the support of the British Academy, the Sophia Trust,
and the History of Science section of the Historisches Seminar
of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich.

Registration fee: £20.00 per day (£10.00 per day for students)

In both Western and Eastern cultures astrology was regarded as a pure science by most scholars, mathematicians, physicians, philosophers and theologians, and was taught in the schools and colleges. Many of the greatest astronomers of the period under consideration, al-Kindi, Thabit ibn Qurra, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Galileo, Tycho Brahe and Kepler, also wrote about and practised astrology. The tendency in modern scholarship has been to look at the social context of astrology, the attacks on astrologers and their craft, and on astrological iconography and symbolism; i.e. largely looking on astrology from the outside. This conference will look at astrology from the inside. What did astrologers write about their craft? How did they teach their subject and put it into practice? What place did astrology have in universities and academies? Into what cosmological and philosophical frameworks did astrologers fit their ideas? What role did diagrams and illustrations play in astrological text-books? What changes occurred in astrological theory and practice over time and from one culture to another? Time will be reserved for discussing the theoretical and practical aspects of astrology raised by the papers.

Speakers will include: Monica Azzolini, Giuseppe Bezza, Jean-Patrice Boudet, Bernadette Brady, François Charette, Geoffrey Cornelius, Benno van Dalen, Meira Epstein, Miquel Forcada, Dorian Greenbaum, Robert Hand, Stephan Heilen, Jan Hogendijk, Deborah Houlding, David Juste, Lauren Kassell, Gabriel Mancuso, Darrel Rutkin, Julio Samsó, Shlomo Sela, Petra Schmidl, Graeme Tobyn and Stephen Vanden Broecke.

PROGRAMME
Thursday 13 November
10.15 Welcome and Introduction. Charles Burnett and Dorian Greenbaum

The historical and intellectual context of medieval and early modern astrology
Chair: Emilie Savage-Smith

10.30-11.15 François Charette, A thousand years of astrological literature in Arabic: questions and insights from a codicological perspective

Coffee break

11.45-12.30 Miquel Forcada, Astrology in al-Andalus during the 11th and 12th centuries: between religion and philosophy

12.30-1.15 Julio Samsó, Astrology in Morocco in the 14th and 15th centuries

Lunch for invited guests

Chair: Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim
2.15-3.00 Gabriel Mancuso, The birth of Jewish astrological terminology in the Middle Ages

3.00-3.45 Steven Vanden Broecke, Prognostication culture in the Low Countries between 1550 and 1650

Tea break

Themes and genres within astrology
Chair: Peter Adamson

4.15-5.00 Giuseppe Bezza, Ptolemy and Abu Ma‘shar: Saturn-Jupiter conjunctions among Ptolemy’s commentators

5.00-5.45 Petra Schmidl, ‘Electiones’ in Medieval Islamic Folk Astronomy

5.45-6.30 Benno van Dalen, The use of astronomical tables (zijes) in astrology

6.45 Wine reception, and book launch of Astro-Medicine: Astrology and Medicine, East and West and The Winding Courses of the Stars: Essays in Ancient Astrology (a special issue of Culture and Cosmos, vol. 11)

Friday 14 November
Chair: Peter Forshaw

10.15-11.00 Jean-Patrice Boudet, From Baghdad to Civitas Solis: horoscopes of foundations of cities

Coffee break

11.30-12.15 David Juste, The Latin tradition of onomantic astrology

12.15-1.00 Graeme Tobyn, Herbal astrology

Lunch for invited guests

Chair: Stephen Clucas

2.00-2.45 Geoffrey Cornelius, An epistemology of the aphorism in late European judicial astrology

2.45-3.30 Monica Azzolini, Calculating the duration of life: techniques, strategies and pitfalls among 15th- and 16th-century Italian astrologers

3.30-4.15 Deborah Houlding, The medieval development of aspects and orbs

Tea break

Texts and teaching
Chair: Charles Burnett

4.45-5.30 Jan Hogendijk, Al-Biruni’s Qanun Mas‘udi as a textbook on mathematical astrology: the doctrine of tasyir (progressions)

5.30-6.15 Shlomo Sela, Abraham Ibn Ezra’s interpretation of astrology according to his two versions of the Book of Reasons

6.15-7.00 Meira Epstein, Ibn Ezra, Sefer Hamoladot: the book on nativities and revolutions

7.15 Dinner for invited guests

Saturday 15 November
Chair: Angela Voss

10.15-11.00 Robert Hand, Apparent innovations in the technique of Guido Bonatti regarding his sources in interrogational astrology

Coffee break

11.30-12.15 Stephan Heilen, Paulus de Middelburgo, Prognosticon ad viginti annos duraturum (1484)

12.15-1.00 Darrel Rutkin, Astrology at court and university in Cosimo I’s Tuscany: Giuliano Ristori (1492-1556/7), his practice in Florence and teaching at Pisa

Lunch for invited guests

Chair: Guido Giglioni

2.00-2.45 Lauren Kassell, Astrological Manuals in England c.1500-1700: Instruction, Example, Practice

2.45-3.30 Bernadette Brady, The astrology practiced by Galileo as displayed in his collection of astrological notes known as the Astrologica nonnulla

3.30-4.15 Dorian Greenbaum, Kepler’s personal astrology: two letters to Michael Maestlin.

4.15 Concluding remarks.

Registration:
Registration fee £20.00 per day (£10.00 per day for students)
Early registration is recommended. Please contact Elizabeth.Witchell@sas.ac.uk.
The registration fee must be paid at the door, either in cash or with a UK cheque (credit cards cannot be accepted). For further information please contact Elizabeth.Witchell@sas.ac.uk or Charles.Burnett@sas.ac.uk.

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Written by SOPHIA WELLBELOVED

October 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm

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