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By John Scott Lucas

The Tractat de prenostication de los angeles vida average dels h?mens, a overdue fifteenth-century Catalan incunable, attracts on a wealthy culture of astrological magic, geomancy, Pythagorean numerology, and Hebrew gematria. This sensible handbook bargains a style of picking the delivery signal in line with calculations played at the subject’s identify and his or her mother’s identify. The serious version features a literary, old, and linguistic examine; an English translation; and a Catalan-English thesaurus. The Tractat finds Catalan assets for prognostication, a distinct expression of medieval syncretism, the mingling of traditions, and the improvement of recent principles. it's a infrequent locate for Hispanists and others drawn to astrology, magic, the heritage of technology, and early print tradition.

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Neither was the practice unknown in the New Testament. 26). The Christian fathers were not, however, wholly in favor of encouraging such practices among their faithful. 28).        9 Acceptance of Christian forms of prognostication and magic in the Middle Ages would have to wait at least until the thirteenth century. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) addressed the problem of the sortes sanctorum in the Summa contra gentiles and Summa theologiae. Aquinas shows some sensitivity to the emerging view that Christian magic could, in rare cases, be useful.

The Inquisition banned his books officially, and it was only self-abnegation and success in treating Pope Boniface VIII’s gall stone that got him removed from the Inquisition’s black list (Thorndike 2: 844–45). Neither did the Inquisition cease to exist in the Renaissance. Some forms of magic earned acceptance as legitimate science, and the Catholic Church began to show more tolerance in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. However we find several cases of imprisonment and a few notable executions as late as the seventeenth century, pace Thorndike.

Thus magic gets smuggled into the universities dressed in scientific trappings. Ficino does not deal with the subject; however other philosophers treat natal astrology as a form of science. Kieckhefer notes cases in which Renaissance scientists cast horoscopes and tested their validity by observing the subjects over time (129). This contrasts with the Aristotelian view of science, popular in the Middle Ages, which favored enumeration and categorization of concepts over actual experimentation. The interest in experimentation is necessary before magic can be vindicated: Thus, the Renaissance saw no contradiction between astrology and science; rather, the dominion of the heavenly bodies over all earthly things was viewed by some as the natural law par excellence, the law which assures the regularity of phenomena.

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