Astrology in Medieval Manuscripts


I picked this book up mostly because of the pretty pictures. But there really is a wealth of knowledge in here, at least, a wealth of jumping off points to knowledge. It has a handy glossary of astrological terms, a great bibliography, and a brief history of astrology in Western Europe.

It covered more than just astrological images in manuscripts, such as the personified moon on the cover, but also charts used for predicting things like the weather or the health of a patient.

There were also a few lovely images of horoscopes done up all fancy, in calligraphy with illuminations and such. I think I will have to be commissioning some scribes once I get the process of casting horoscopes down.

NEW THING: I learned a snazzy new thing as well. There were these volvelle things, charts with movable round parts, that were used for a variety of things. One of which was to find the current phase and sign of the moon, so that a physician could judge if it was a good or bad time to administer certain treatments. They are really pretty, and were insanely popular, even when much of the Roman Catholic culture decided that predictive astrology was sinful, naturalistic astrology like that relating to seasons or physical health was still allowed.


Click on the image above to see this thing in motion!

Searching for volvelles led me to another really awesome discovery, but I will save that for another post.

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