Astrology & Astronomy in the Middle
Astronomy & Astrology part 1
Short & Important
3000-1200 BCE. Sumerian and Egyption observations of the universe.
Greek writing on system of Universe, the first complete systems.
427 Plato, b. 427.
384 Aristotle, b. 384, complete system.
90 ADE., Claudius Ptolemaeus, b. 90 ADE., Ptolemy.
1203 Universities begin, but Aristotle is not taught in them right
Dante, (b . 1265), Christianization of Aristotle’s universe.
1277 Condemnation (Paris bishop, Tempier, 219 proposals)
1280 c. Thomas Aquinas :The double tension is the Christian belief
and what the Greek believed.
1391 Chaucer, wrote on the Astrolabe - first scientific treaties in
1436 b. Rigiomontanus, Summoned by Pope Sixtus IV, calendar reform.
1492, Maps: Martin Behaim, the globe of the world of with Japan
included. Aided Columbus in support scheme.
1450s, The Great Period of Change
1450s onward saw the emergence of new things such technology, such
as the printing press, and new ideas and events that changed western
The Reconquest of Spain.
The Fall of the Eastern Roman Empire
The Northern Renaissance takes place
The Printing Press begins, A New Media World
The Reformation, A New Religious world
Columbus, A New Terrestrial World
Copernicus, A New Celestial World
1470s, Almanacs the most important book to own outside of the bible.
1473 Nicolaus Copernicus (born February 19, 1473 – died May
24, 1543) was a Polish astronomer of German origin, who is
remembered for providing the first modern formulation of a
heliocentric (Sun-centered) theory of the solar system in De
revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Attached
geometrics to the principle of
uniform circular motion which included the earth creating a new
field of thought of a natural motion of the spheres.
1492 Martin Behaim, Globe of the world.
1518 b. Sir Thomas Gresham , b. 1518, founder 1596 of the Royal
Exchange and of Gresham College .
Nicolaus Copernicus, b. 1473. Places Sun at center of solar system.
1540s, The Council of Trent, reformation of the Latin Church.
1543, Copernicus presents a theory that Earth revolves around Sun,
which is placed on the Papal Index of forbidden books until 1835.
1545, At Council of Trent, the Church condemns judicial astrology.
1546 b. Tycho Brahe, Uraniborg and observations, and data for
study, helped Kepler. The Tychonic system is very similar to the
Copernican one, except that it has a static earth instead of a
1546, François d'Aguilon, Jesuit, began school of mathematics, in
1540s Council of Trent continues, establishes Jesuits as arm of the
1651 Giambattista Ricciole , Novum Almagestum, All knowledge
summed up into an encyclopedia.
1564 Galileo Galilei
(b. Pisa, February 15,). Medici Moons, Telescope, centrifugal
studies, Copernicus defender.
1570s-80s Accademia de Disegno, tech schoolfunded by Cosomo
de' Medici ( Galileo attnd.).
1571 Johannes Kepler (b. December 27,). Three laws of motion, Newton
uses these for his studies on gravity and this inverse law.
1570s Ostilio Ricci saves Newton’s life by directing to an academic
1571 Johannes Kepler (December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630),
University of Tübingen as a theology student ( Studies, in Graz
Sothern Austria), a key figure in the scientific revolution and the
true founder of the New Astronomy. Kepler's elliptical orbit law:
The planets orbit the sun in elliptical orbits with the (true) sun
at one focus.
Kepler's equal-area law: The line connecting a planet to the sun
sweeps out equal areas in equal amounts of time.
Kepler's law of periods: The time required for a planet to orbit the
sun, called its period, is proportional to the long axis of the
ellipse raised to the 3/2 power. The constant of proportionality is
the same for all the planets.
1571 Sacred Congregation of the Index, organized independently,
donec corrigatur ( until corrected).
1580 Publishing, House of Elzevir was founded in 1580 in Leiden by
Lowys (Louis) Elzevir, after William the Silent established the
first Dutch university there in 1575. Published Galileo’s work.
1582 standardize the calendar, Pope Gregory XIII., the Gregorian
calendar, current use.
1586 Plus Ultra (“More beyond”) Bacon is said to have published the
book (Two pillars)
1596 (Gresham College, Anti-University idea) Sir Thomas Gresham
, b. 1518 founder of the Royal Exchange and of Gresham College in
which he designed.
1596 b. René Descartes, ( b. village near Tours in France) new &
total mechanical Universe system, influences wide & Newton in early
life. The Mechanics of Motion is everything in the universe.
1610-1611, Galileo travels to Rome to try to persuade the Jesuits
of his grand strategy to convince them of adopting the Copernicus
1613 François d'Aguilon, b. 1546 , Set up Jesuit schools, published
Opticorum libre sex (Antwerp).
1616, Cardinal Bellarmine notified Galileo Galilei of the decree of
the Tribunal of the Inquisition against the Copernican hypothesis.
1619 “cogito ergo sum”, spiritual experience on the
10th of November 1619, Rene Descartes became enthusiastic about what
he called the admirable scientific method – to serve mankind.
1620s Francis Bacon’s (1561-1626) fall from grace with court of
Elizabeth & James I of England. Wanted to do away with the old
philosophers because he thought they bogged down men's minds.
Machines will save mankind. Idea of modern technology.
1620 e. Jacques Rohault (d.1672).
1621 Index is published.
1622 b. Francesco Bianchini, A gnomon in the south wall of the Santa
Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri projects the sun's image onto
Bianchini's line every solar noon., claimed to see cracks on the
Il Saggiatore (The Assayer),
Jesuits and Galileo get into heated matches.
1629 Huygens Christian, b. 1629, Best telescope grinder in Paris,
discovered Titan and Saturn's rings. Competition Galileo. Disputed
speed of light with Descartes system.
1625 Giovanni Domenico Cassini (b. June 8, 1625), Mars -parallax to
determine its distance, true dimensions of the solar system,
Longitude accuracy., utilized Jupiter’s system for more accurate
1623 Il Saggiatore (The Essayer) Rome. Polemic, mathematical basis
1632, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,
Florence, Galileo, under formal license of Inquisition.
Day 1, Aristotle’s physics of problems, Day 2 Diurnal motion, Day 3
Annual Motion, retrogression, tides and defending of Copernicus –
not well accepted by the Jesuits.
1633 Galileo’s trial; convicted of "grave suspicion of heresy" based
on the book, the Dialogue.
1634 Elzevir visits Galileo in Arcetri and agrees to publish
Dialogue… Two New Sciences.
1630s Pope Urban VIII’s sublime doctrine is noticed in Simplico’s
voice in Dialogue, ends Galileo friendship.
Giuseppe Campani b.1635, working with long boon telescopes.
1625 Giuseppe Campani (d.1715) was an Italian optician and
astronomer, His brother, Matteo Campani-Alimenis, and he were
experts in grinding and polishing lenses. Cassini used his lenses to
see spots on Jupiter.
1636, Utrecht University, established, Holland. Henri Régnier a
professor of philosophy taught the Cartesian system. Le Roy
succeeded Henri Régnier.
1637 Discourse on Method, La Géométrie, introduces
Descartes mechanical system.
1638 Galileo's final book Discourses and Mathematical
Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences, and a sort
of scientific testament covering much of his work in physics over
the preceding thirty years.
1643 Evangelista Torricelli (b. 1608) discovery of the principle of
the barometer, professor of mathematics in the Florentine academy.
1644 Descartes, Principia Philosophiae
sections, titled The Principles of Human Knowledge, The
Principles of Material Things, Of the Visible World and The Earth,
are a study of mechanics, developing a mathematical foundation of
1644 Torricelli, De dimensione parabolae, pioneer in the area
of infinite series.
1640s Galileo, Torricelli, weights falling down in every direction
as if a ball was released at the same time.
1651, Giambattista Ricciole, Novum Almagestum, All knowledge summed
up into an encyclopedia.
Francis Bacon, b. 1561, natural philosophy (plus ultra) practical
problems., Machines will solve hard labor and sorrow.
1656 Huygens’ discovered Saturn’s rings consisted of rocks.
1657-1667, Accademia del Cimento, Italy., Prince Leopoldo de’
Medici and the Grand-duke Ferdinando II founded. To prove Galileo’s
work. Studies, electricity.
Bernard Le Bouvier de Fontenelle b.1657, refutes uniqueness, the
method of personal attack.
1660 Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke working together and finish
around… quantitative rules…useful for life.
1660s The Airpump goes north to England. This leads to Boyle law.
1660, Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural
Knowledge, founded (See Gresham College).
1662 b. Francesco Bianchini (He saw cracks on the moon; name
Portugal names to places on Venus) his efforts to improve the
accuracy of the calendar, Bianchini constructed several important
meridian lines, devices for calculating the position of the sun and
stars. The most notable of these are in the cathedral church of San
Petronio in Bologna, and in the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli
e dei Martiri in Rome.
1666 Paris, Royal Academy of Sciences, founded in Paris.
King Louis XIV funded. State controlled. First
order to map France. Initially was credited due to the pleading of
1667, Geminiano Montanari (b. 1633) registers star Algol varied
brightness. 1660s , The Airpump goes north to England. he moved to
Bologna, where he drew an accurate map of the Moon using an ocular
micrometer of his own making. He also made observations on
capillarity and other problems in statics, and suggested that the
viscosity of a liquid depended on the shape of its molecules. In
1669 he succeeded Giovanni Cassini as astronomy teacher at the
1740s Benedict XIV, School system replicated ever since, research
institutes, pays for astronomy department, paid 24 teachers full
time in which half of them were just researchers.
1670s Lorenzo Ciccarelli, lawyer, and printed index books,
Copernicus( In Italy).
1671 Traité de physique system of Jacques Rohault was founded
entirely upon Cartesian principles. Lectured at Paris. Became the
leading authority on natural philosophy and was translated into
Latin in 1674 and used as a university textbook. His focus of
experiments were on the weight of air, and magnetism.
1672 Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625–1712) Italian astronomer
& Engineer sent Jean Richer to Cayenne, French Guiana, while
he himself stayed in Paris. The two made simultaneous observations
of Mars and thus found its parallax to determine its distance, thus
measuring for the first time the true dimensions of the solar
system. Cassini was the first to make successful measurements of
longitude by the method suggested by Galileo, using eclipses of the
satellites of Jupiter as a clock.
1675, The Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Commission by King Charles
II, Sir John Flamstead, the first Astronomer Royal, 0 degrees
geographic longitude (GMT), 16 minutes annual discrepancy.
1677 Benedict de Spinoza, a rationalist metaphysics, promoter of
Descartes, (Ethics) in mathematical-deductive.
1687 Principia, published in 1687 (Philosophiae Naturalis
Principia Mathematica), Newton’s’ natural Philosophy. These were
philosophies on matters on force of universal attraction, forces
between bodies, and particles of matter; particles, meaning atoms
1690 Academe, Eustaschio Manfrede ( now, Degli Inquieti), Bologna
schools fell into a despair over the professors.
1695 Enrico Noris (b.1631-1704), Jesuits opposed his book
Historica Palagiana (1673), now considered a millstone in
history of dogmatics ( Sun, Heilbron), result got promoted.
curator of the Vatican Library (1695) later promoted to Cardinal.
1740 Laura Bassi, received license to read Descartes (Italy,
academia), becomes first Italian women professor.
1740 Benedict XIV, born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, traditional
practices codified, gives books benefit of doubt if written by
Catholics. Galileo was Catholic, sincere interest in science.
1815 ― 25 Filippo Anfossi d. 1825 Vicar-General of the Order
of Preachers and later Master of the Sacred Palace, doctrinal fights
about math and astronomy which were to have no restrictions.
1822, Dialogue of the Two Chief World Systems, removed from
1935 George Lemaître, Big Bang Theory published, b. 1894, (Expanding
(date?)Robert K. Merton, his thesis was the connection of the
Protestant's ethic to capitalism.
By Michael Johnathan McDonald.
Recap on the major events of the
middle ages, and the recovery of learning.
These are a short recap on the set
of developments of the recovery of the learning which ultimately
changes western civilization from the dark depths of ignorance to
the light of information and knowledge.
Rome falls and due to constant wars and
all learning is lost for the western civilization. Books
to monasteries and hidden places – book worms, and fire
destroy many works.
Rise of Islam in the 7th
century takes over a large area of the known world.
Islamic civilization grows which
signifies the expanse of learning and gathering of
They start a program to translate Greek
and Roman works into Arabic.
They comment on these books which lead to
investigations and sometimes improvements, including the
ancient concepts of the astrolabe, in which they make
and employ many of them.
Meanwhile western civilization, where all
ancient knowledge has been lost, some postulate if a
triangle can be measured with a formula of 180° degrees?
This is truly the dark-ages of learning for the western
The conquests to the middle east open
up avenues of international discourse. Westerners see Islamic
states at an advanced state of civilization, and they desire to
have their own.
12-13th century, slowly the
heritage of ancient learning comes to the west by rediscovery
ancient books, of translated back from Arabic
to Latin and Greek by a few scholars, including monks.
Some of these books, are discovered in
Spain, during the later courses of the reconquest, and are translated from libraries
in Spain where the Umayyad and various administrations
of Islamic rule kept the western books.
The Role of the Latin Church in the
middle ages kept western peoples together, under Christianity.
The unifying forces of the Christian churches, mainly the Roman
Latin Church, expelled attempts by Islam to conquer Europe.
The double tension.
The double tension is the
Christian belief and what the Greek believed. When
these books were translated from Arabic to Latin or
Greek apparently the westerners now understood they
were in the dark compared to the Islamic
civilization. So the result was a major push to get
up to speed. First and foremost was the Pope
allowing universities to be established. This
elementary step placed a learning institution back
into western civilization.
Arabs to Europeans:
The translations form Spain.
Commentaries on mathematics:
trigonometry tables, star charts, and the
an Arabic word, are the ingredient to passing
information that leads to knowledge.
Astrolabes, and working sets of
problems due to which direction to pray to the Quiba
(Kaaba) on the
Universities begin, but Aristotle is not taught in
them right away. His works eventually are accepted
but this is a war with theology. The double tension
arises in that these ancient books do not speak of a
Christian universe, but a widely range of topics
counter to theology and cosmology of the Latin
Condemnation of 1277
The Paris bishop, Tempier, with the
help of theologians, backed 219 proposals (
propositions) for these universities. Therefore ,
Aristotle work is condemned because it is against
scriptures (at least some parts of his work). The
significance was a great blow to academic
freedom. This could be seen as a step backwards,
where Aristotle doesn’t fully come back into the
picture in totality until the 16th
Dante, (b . 1265)
a poet and intellectual, writes on the universe in
his work The Divine Comedy. Here we see the use of
dates appealed by the positions of the planets.
Dante’s universe creates a major structure with a
theme. The planets, the sun and the stars are
incorruptible, while the terrestrial, which includes
the four elements are corruptible. This was a major
divide line of distinction.
Distinction or forming boundaries of
thought creates a building block for knowledge. This
new information becomes a disciplinary normality
where the next person can build a thought-structure
from this foundation. Dante’s universe is
geocentric, dividing lines of upper and lower parts
of the globe and universe, the concepts of
purgatory, paradise, and the four terrestrial
elements and the one incorruptible celestial
element, created a universe that was irreducible by
things in full. Are there atoms under the sun? No.
Nothing was irreducible in Dante’s universe. Why
would Dante suggest such? Dante’s universe came
from Aristotle, but he doesn’t want the religious
people to understand this. Many people say why are
no footnote’s taking place in people’s work? Well
this was a scheme to get around the religious
authorities. Aristotle was banned so why mention it
was him where one received their ideas. Also, place
one’s thoughts in poetry and people think that this
is fiction. But the learned can understand and they
did. The learned knew who said what and where. But
the common authorities had no clue.
Double tensions continues until the
great events of the 15th-16th
1450s - Onwards is a turning point
in western civilization. Why?
The fall of Byzantine to the Turks
distracts the Church from the new religious movements
arising in the north.
The Voyages of Columbus, opens
up new information that is contrary to Aristotle by
the discovery of new worlds.
creates a new universe.
Luther and Reformation
crack the academic dominance of the church which
leads to more freedom of thought and expression.
The ‘new’ printing press
churns out new the banned knowledge, including the
translations of Aristotle’s rivals, and mass
communication which brings information which creates
knowledge for the era is slowing beginning.
The reconquest of Spain from Islam
and the recapture of the libraries.
The break form Aristotle –
no more Aristotelian grand
Humanist now translates and uses
Aristotle’s rivals, which finally defeat the
Aristotelian model and its dominance in learning,
and his universe.
Church loses power to enforce,
because too much information is flooding into the
system. The Church is fighting the Turks and the
Protestants benefit by the distraction.
These changes create in the theme of
double tension, a breakage of philosophy and physics
with the new control of applied mathematics. The
spiritual and the non-spiritual separate into
Copernicus, although apprehensive
till his death about his new concepts of the
universe and the Church’s power to destroy anyone
who differs, finally gets his heliocentric work published with the
key-word hypothesis used as safety outlet against
the Church's ever watchful eyes. It was heretical to
claim that humans on the geocentric earth were
not the center of all existence.
The new religious world, the
new universe world and the Columbus new
discoveries of a new terrestrial world, all
help create the foundation where a Kepler
could flourish. Without these there is no Kepler.
Brahe 's religiosity and firm belief in
astrology including the desires to reform astronomy by these methods
inspires to calculate more accurate positions for
the planets. He uses strict and
constant physical observation. He divides the
universe again, with the induction of what are
comets and paths of the tail. Therefore the unchanging and
changing are trimmed down a little as comments link
the corruptible to the incorruptible - the changing
and the unchanging.
1600-1750 The battle of Astrology
and the Church ignites, because they have no other issue
now that the new of the knowledge of the universe is allowed to be taught in
schools. The Church actually battles
something they had no problem, and actually
promoted, with prior to this
time. Galileo, Kepler, Tycho, Thomas Aquinas (Star’s
influence on a person) Copernicus and so many
others actually taught astrology to students and
people. The significance of the battle creates
mathematicians, while the other significance is
the free-will ( Greeks now influencing western
civilization again) and predestination argument.
Rudolphian tables, Kepler’s later
work, yielded the best predictions so far in
astronomy. He was able to whittle down the errors of
degree(s) from Copernicus and Ptolemy's estimates to one minuet of
arc in this book, which is astounding. In 1631, a
year after his death he predicted a rare event that
Mercury would pass the solar disc and leave a
shadow, which it did. By this time western
civilization began to roar.
Astrology changed how western
civilization moved from the dark ages of learning to the
new ages of enlightenment and by discovery of
ancient teachings. Without astrology, Copernicus, Kepler,
and many other astronomers could not have figured out
much of the complexities of the known universe in the
middle ages to the renaissance. Astrology became
ingrained in society and of how society thought and
discovered it s various mysteries of God and the
Universe. Johannes Kepler, employed as imperial
astrologer by two prominent kings, discovered his theories
by understanding and teaching when younger of an astrology concept
called the trigon periods. This led to the
Platonic solid theories and his universe structure.
Astrology's etymological definition relies on its
concepts of understanding celestial bodies, space, and
stars. Today it is regulated to a pseudo-science
with limited scope. Therefore astronomy/astrology is closely linked as a field
of study in the ancient days, and the medieval
universities of Europe.
The ultimate debate upon destiny
verses chance takes center stage in the argument between
what is astrology during the middle ages? Finally the branch breaks into two
divisions which both are no more compatible with each other
than the next hair brained theory. The evolution decreed by
social norms saw its citing the reemergence of ancient
knowledge. About 1700s Astrology fell to the way side.
Many governments backed a ban on this type of learning.
At least the archaic forms of Judicial Astrology,
predicting victories of battles, the fall of leaders and
social changes. Much of the reason for the demise
stemmed from the Almanacs which utilized Judicial
Astrology. These Almanacs became political and
physiological warfare methods, as pamphlets bearing the
predictions passed back and forth between political
enemies. ( See William Lily and England's civil war
periods for a great example of a statistical spike
in astrology pamphlets).
Some of the discussions themes...
Beatrice: The antipedies, Dante, and the concepts of
Columbus knew the earth was round.
How was he able to know and then to navigate?
The Four Elements are Earth, Air ,Fire, Water .
argues a spiracle world. His astro-biology universe remained a stable
theory up until the 1500s.
Astrolabes: The height of
the pole of your horizon is your latitude. In the Middle Ages Latitude was
easier to calculate. Homemade astrolabe.
Know why and
how to place one circle in another position. Find where you are on the
earth. Use it to find direction, time, and other
Calendar reforms: Regiomontanus'
ephemerid states that the 12th of February is actually
two days before the month of February. For example, the
28th of February is actually two days before the month
Roman New Year was
March 25th. In 325 the Council of Nicea made its
important fixation of the Vernal Equinox. So the first
full moon after the Vernal Equinox follows with the
upcoming Sunday in which the Church chose to celebrate
Easter. By the 13th Century the vernal equinox was
falling on week prior to March 21st. This was a world
problem and started with the a solution in the 13th
century with the recovery of the ancient learning.
The Julian Year
did not begin on the first day of the year. The
conversions of the Roman times conflict with the other
dates because they naturally run backwards.
Late in the 17th
Century until the early 18th Century England
for 70 years began their new year written as April
8/18..(1719/20) (c. 1720s). The taxable year for England
was on April 6 to the following April 15th. This meant
that 10 days were alive in England, giving more reasons
to revise the calendar.
was the new year.
Why did the
Calendar change when it did? The Reformation cracked the
Church's dominance which had a stranglehold on keeping the old system
in place. Protestants wrote books and had them published
by way of the new printing press complaining of the
errors of the Latin Church's Calendar.
Maps: Martin Behaim,
the globe of the world of 1492 with Japan included. The
authoritative scholars believed him but he was
discredited by the judges, which seems to be the case
with all new revelations of this sort.
centuries described in the diary of a Noblewomen of
Heian Japan ( See: Kagerō (no) Nikki) astrology
and as told in the work appears as the extreme
functionality in all of the people's lives.
Significance, is that astrology is world wide phenomenon
during this era.
board-game, using dice, turns into the astrology
square-chart house system. The turn meaning of the
horoscope is not the birth-chart itself but the horizon.
Medical Practices: Melathesia,
otherwise known as medical astrology drives the middle
age industry. The Moon's position is the signifier of
the diagnosis. Wherever the moon governed on the body
that hour the patient's problem lay there. No bleeding
if the moon was in a water sign. The moon spelt trouble,
but this also minimized the days for bleeding which
actually didn't do anything positive anyway. But
bleeding was a middle age fad and people bleed
themselves even when they were not sick. They just cut
their veins. Signs governed parts of the body. Aries was
the top of the head and of course, Pisces was the feet.
Universities taught astrology for this purpose - from the 13th
until the 17th century.
Symbolism: Saturn depicted
(In art or writ) as a warrior as well as Mars in the
middle ages. Today it is more Greek traditional.
is a horoscope painted by Perruzzi Chige.
Architecture: San Lorenzo (Filippo
Brunelleschi architect) , a famous building in Italy
commemorates a political event of 1439 by Sagretia
Vecchia. This commemoration is a piece of artwork on one
of the ceilings of San Lorenzo.
As for the correct
calculations and recording of birth charts, only the
wealthy retained this privilege. Around the expected
time the nobles would call in their people to record
what was happening in the skies at the time of birth.
Keeping an accurate time of birth remained nearly
impossible without modern necessities such as
wristwatches or walled clocks. The main clocks of the
towns resided in the main church on the inside, so
people usually had to guess at their children's birth
times. This is why many people during the middle ages
have their times of birth recorded on the half-an-hour
intervals. This, of course, for the common people meant
they could never have true reading of their chart. This
is why Nostradamus never cared to read or cast charts of
people, contrary to outcries of scholars who cite him
not capable of understanding the technicalities of
charts. He just didn't care. He used whatever ephemeris
was available and read the noon-time figures for the day
in question. He only started to receive requests late in
his life after he became famous and still in his letters
he is congenial and tries to persuade his admires that
he has no time to do a chart for them. The scholars that
actually make this their crying claim to an inability do
not see that Nostradamus actually decried the use of
astrology ( See: C6Q100 of his Les Propheties)
and therefore could not beheld accountable for the
profession. His own claim that he practiced Judicial
Astrology for 40 years remains a blinding spot for
scholars who have no understanding what his other practice
held in antiquity. This is astro-astrology. It appears nothing like a
normal astrology horoscope (birth chart) would look
like or the interpretations of judicial astrology.
The Science of Astrology: "Rotation of the
Trigon of Great Conjunctions." Any one of the
corners of the triangle or trigon will move through 30
degrees in about 200 years and completely around the
Zodiac in 2400 years. The 20-year conjunction points are
roughly one-third of the Zodiacal Circle around from
each other. If the points are connected, they form a
near equilateral triangle within the circle. Each
successive 60-year Great Conjunction occurs an average
of about nine degrees farther down the track, in the
forward direction through the Zodiac, from the previous
one. Therefore, the entire triangle can be thought of as
rotating in the forward direction through the Zodiac in
increments of nine degrees every 60 years.
the Latin Church.
Note the clock
indications and the Sumerian mathematical base system
for their society. Note that some of Nostradamus'
judicial astrological applications use 800 year
occurrences, indicating 1/3 around the circle or 120°
any one of the corners of the triangle or trigon
of the equinoxes ( the wobble of the earth
around its axis) thought to take 24,000 years
by medieval references, whereas today, and in antiquity,
we know it is roughly about 25,920 years. Still this
figure is divisible by three; each sign is 2,160,
representing a 30° part of the circle. So ever 2,400
years we get three 800-year 120° harmonic trigon
cycles that Nostradamus used.
The leading astro-scientists that
changed the fields of our universe.
Basic significance of science in the
Middle Ages to the beginnings of the enlightenment.
"About 1391 Chaucer wrote his
Treatise on the Astrolabe for his son. All scientific texts were
written in Latin, so that scholars everywhere could read them. But
Chaucer's son was too young at 10 to read Latin, so Chaucer's
instructions to his son became the first scientific text written in
English" (Green ).
Important Figures and Themes.
Dante's truth claim: The way to Heaven (Paradiso)
can only be achieved through
Dante's childhood love evanescence never subdued : "La
Commedia (1321)— the greatest love poem about the soul's ascent
from Inferno to Purgatory to Paradise.
Solstice meaning a standing still of the Sun.
Tropical means moving back into.
The sensible horizon is tangent to the earth at any place.
The Horizon is your personal own tangent to the horizon.
Danti " Your on the other side of the horizon plane".
Sacrobosco, Johannes de (yōhän′
əs də săkrōbŏs′ kō), or
John of Hollywood,
c.1200–1256, English mathematician and astronomer. He wrote
several widely read and influential books: Algorismus, a study of
arithmetic; a treatise on the calendar; and the most popular
medieval introductory textbook on astronomy, the Tractatus de
"Sacrobosco wrote a
The science that considers time from the motions of the sun and moon") that had
many versions down into the sixteenth century" (Heilbron)
Sacrobosco, John of Hollywood,
viewed as second
Sacrobosco's importance in the history of
astronomy stems from his authorship of some of the most
popular and enduring textbooks of the middle ages. His
Algorismus, perhaps his
first work, was a treatise on numerals and arithmetic.
The most famous of his works, De
Sphaera, a basic account of the spherical
geometry underpinning the mathematical astronomy of
Ptolemy and his Arabic commentators, was composed
c. 1230. It rapidly achieved popularity, and was
reproduced and commented upon even into the seventeenth
century. The Compotus
or De anni ratione, a
treatise on the calendar and calendrical computation,
can be dated to c. 1235, while the
Tractatus de quadrante, which describes the
construction and use of the so-called quadrans vetus or
old quadrant, was composed after 1239. Other works,
including commentaries upon Aristotle, have been
ascribed to Sacrobosco, but these attributions are
considered dubious (Starry 2).
Roger Bacon's Δ = 1 day in 125
Macrobious (a 5th century scholar).
Macrobious: The Chart of the eleven
circles - where did they come from? "The Dream of Scipio, Somnium
Scipionis, was studied by the Roman philosopher Macrobius (395 -
423); his Commentary upon Scipio's Dream was valued throughout the
Middle Ages. Chaucer was also acquainted with it, referencing the
work explicitly in his Parliament of Foules. This dream-vision by
the Roman philosopher Cicero describes Scipio's inter-planetary
journey through the cosmos.
11 Circles of
There are eleven
spheres (see: Macrobious). The first seven are the planets. The eight sphere is the zodiac; the
tenth sphere is the 26,000 year cycle and the eleventh sphere is the elect.
The North Pole
penetrates the eight's sphere.
The marriage of mercury and philosophy.
Understanding the earth was round and the literacy of the European peoples'
all was forgotten. Cosmology took a twist to the unknown. Cosmology comes back
The Great Paschal Cycle of Victorius.
" Around 455 Pope Saint Leo I, [...]
commissioned Victorius of Aquitaine to look into the matter. "
He looked into the discrepancies of the cycles and the Saltus,
in the date of the equinox, and the difference in allowed
terminal dates for Easter Sunday ( The Roman 16-22 Luna against
the Alexandrian 15-21). He suggested that Rome set the equinox
earlier then 25th of March and adopt the19 year cycle. He
calculated that Christ died during the fourth year of the 275th
cycle. He found a fact that " After 532 years everything
repeated itself, the moons, the dates, the days, the Sundays,
the Easters." ( Predieri, AS, Bol., Mem., 3(1851), 131-2.;
Early midlevel astronomy.
Aristotle became the first person to discuss and write upon
the universe and astronomy. His cosmology would gain much
acceptance up until the 1500’s, where Copernicus. Kepler and Galileo began to figure out that
the earth is not the
center of the universe.
From the 3rd century to the 1500s, the dominant view held
that the earth was the center of the universe. The Tychonic
universe even had a geostatic structure, in lieu of Kepler's
Aristotle knew that the World was spiracle by the earth's s
shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse. Ptolemy even had better arguments.
Terrestrial elements go downward, water and earth and fire and
air go upward. Dante's cosmology says that the fifth element, the ether was
unattainable, and was unchangeable, and or was
incorruptible. The four terrestrial elements, seen below are
all corruptible, and belong to the earth. The theme of the
dual tension and the duality of the division ever widening,
or receding to one's point of view is what is at stake in
the middle ages.
The four elements blend:
Generation implies change.
Aristotle believes motion equals change. This is called
his doctrine of motion. Also, he is against reducing everything to atoms.
He didn't like molecules, and to him nothing was irreducible.
Each thing had its own uniqueness.
Corruption & Generation equals themes.
questions about if the earth could rotate around the sun. How does a rock know how to fall? If a rock understands that it is out in the
air, suspended, then it knows it has to go down. But there is no vacuum. See
Copernicus and the violent motion' part II.
Ptolemy views seven planets in the universe; this
includes the Moon. Kepler, said I cannot place seven planets in
the five known three- dimensional geometric shapes so I need to
get rid of the moon as a planet. Therefore, six planets
become the solution.
Celestial 5th element. The quintessence. Math
The physics of heaven is different then the physics of earth. What
distinguishes the different things in the heavens? It is the planets, the
unchanging stars, and the unchanging Sun.
Aristotle's answer is the Intelligence. He associated each
a sphere with a
disembodied intelligence. Thomas Aquinas associates them with angels.
concepts also have a duality referred too as the movers and the unmoved
What connects the terrestrial with the celestial? Comets
- see Tycho.
Heavens are eternal and unchanging.
Meteorological Aristotle's book.
The sublunary phenomenon.
universe doesn't constitute a system: The mechanism of planetary
motion are independent of each other... (Koyré
"Ptolemy did, however, know that the earth was
spherical. He pointed out that people living to the east saw the
sun rise earlier, and how much earlier was proportional to how
far east they were located. He also noted that, though all must
see a lunar eclipse simultaneously, those to the east will see
it as later, e.g. at 1 a.m., say, instead of midnight, local
time. He also observed that on traveling to the north, Polaris
rises in the sky, so this suggests the earth is curved in that
direction too. Finally, on approaching a hilly island from far
away on a calm sea, he noted that the island seemed to rise out
of the sea. He attributed this phenomenon (correctly) to the
curvature of the earth." (Fowler).
Flat or Circular Argument in Antiquity.
Phi = Alpha. Lets say
Alpha is the altitude. It is the measurement between the horizon and the
medieval texts describes an argument of the Greeks
by the shadow on the moon representing a spherical shadow cast
by the earth on the surface of the moon. Examples of squares, triangles, and circles make up
the argument in Medieval texts which seem quite laughable considering what we
Religious problems with changing the paradigm? Saint Thomas Aquinas: He invented what is called the "
double truth" and just uttering it was heretical.
against the new learning: 1230: Logic comes into play but metaphysics is not allowed. It
was considered opposition against the faith.
One of the major
theses of Aristotle who was against breaking things down to the atom level is
creationism. Intelligent design is a revival of Aristotle's old idea: that
animals seem designed, and this could not be by chance. Then you would tie it to
a period where Universities begun to reach social importance and its
re-beginnings in western civilization. The 13th century emerges as a point of
debate over the importance of these new revelations (that is to say the recovery
of Aristotle's Universe) Tempier and the sixteen theologians assemble to
speak and discuss theologies. , then turn to Averroes the Arabic commentator,
then onto Siger of Brabant who always ends with Aristotle's Universe was
eventually expelled form academia. You will probably find 1277 a key date as
Tempier, the Paris Bishop and his theologians, create 219
proposals to regulate Aristotle and other non-Church doctrinal
teachings in the universities. They place overseers at these
universities to monitor them tightly. The significance is the
stagnation of progression for western civilization for roughly
four-hundred years of literature regulation persists.
had his own group of theologians and intellects that sided with
the Latin Church. Arabs take Aristotle's universe
over Plato's universe and call him not by name but as “the Philosopher”, spiting
neo-Platonists who disagreed vehemently with Aristotle's universe. Intelligent
design is a powerful force in the world, not only today, but yesterdays, as
well. One is never going to get rid of God in
academia or society fully. God represents a solace from an otherwise a cruel and
violent existence, and death and the afterlife is seen as a happy occurrence,
more or less Herodotus’s famous observation. Thomas Aquinas and his band
of twelve preached against mystics. Bonaventure was the leader of the second
group of twelve. These people regulated along with Church direction what was
allowed taught and what was not. The Latin Church controlled for its own
regulative purposes to keep society functioning and healthy.
One can make an argument that their intentions were good, but
they didn't understand the consequences. Dante's hopes are recorded in his work that although academic wars exist on
planet earth in paradise everyone gets along together.
significance is the stagnation of progression ( learning) for
western civilization for a few hundred years.
The Aristotle universe is
that everything is governed by one single light. The goal is that everyone has
their own particular place in the world. This eventually is apart of Luther's
doctrine of talent.
Students who had economic clout from groups to learn. Previously learning
took place by wandering teachers.
Universities: Students form a type of union ( called a guild) and rule the
schools. They hire and maintain the faculty. They formed a legal basis for
universities and the Pope granted permission. The determination was free from
local jurisdiction. The levels are as today, the undergraduate B. A. (baccalaureate
means commencer or beginner) , the graduate programs. Exams to move on. and
a banquet that the students pays for, usually sandwiches and drinks. Students
must pay for their degrees. If one became a doctor of his field ( example: P. H.
D.) , they could teach anywhere is the world. The teachers and the students
often warred against each other. IT was less of a crime to shoot and arrow at a
professor then to break curfew. Often teachers were fined or removed depending
upon the satisfaction of the students. Oxford, Cambridge and Paris are
universities and offer B.As and P. H. Ds. Most classes are oriented toward Law,
theology, and medicine. The medical degree was much shorter a period and this is
why many students often went toward this direction.
Art curriculum is about four years and consists of sixteen to twenty
year-olds. To become a master of theology it took sixteen -years and this is why
most profession, that of doctor or medicine, or other technical positions were
preferred. Theologians took on civil and cannon responsibilities and was
connected to Law.
To start your degree in the classroom one will hear books read to them. This
is where lecture came from as the professor would read the book to the
class. The class takes notes and will debate issues for inter-testing. The
students break up into groups and pair off on the issues. Disputations were given in
Latin. Books were expensive and this is why the students listened to a
lecturer rather then having to own a book themselves. If a student wanted to check-out a book
the student would have to put a down payment as a surety. These payments were expensive and
we know that sometimes entire vineyards became collateral for checking
were commentary usually annotated on the sides of a page in the middle ages.
But there was not concept of a footnote during these times.
There was no official citing of sources as arose in the 1700s. When the translations were
done, usually one person would read and the other would write. This was quicker
process. Often commentary placed on each page to rectify
the translation process and commentary notes linking historical
Church's Overlords of the University to Keep watch. Although not
in control, their presence is like a interest group as a whole
in a political process. A dual notion also consists of a
recruiting apparatus for the Church.
Fryers: Dominicans and Franciscans take positions on campuses and influence
the Universities. They live in monastic houses. A Benedictine, thus is called
for the title of the position.
The Trends: conservative to the Church's positions. This would oscillate
between left and right politics and these were the
theologians. They have to represent the church. In general, the artists were
liberal or more accurately open to novelty ( This tends to be a historical trend
in all cultures) . However, until the proto- Renaissance the art was defiantly
two-dimensional and church regulated, when the pieces were displayed for public
prominence only. Otherwise personally the rule applies to artistic freedom.
How Arabs preserved western
The Arabs rounded up Cyriac Christians and forced them to help
translate western books. They moved them to Baghdad, just like the Soviets moved
German scientists to Russia after World War II. Event period from 750-900
approximately. The Cyriac Christens kick started The Islamic science programs.
12th century is the beginning of the recovery of learning in the west.
Letters from the 9th-10th centuries show basic questions to mathematics
indicating it was indeed a dark age for learning, in which the middle ages
takes its adjective from. For example, what is the external angle of a
triangle? was a question posed in a letter of deep concentration. Also, what was the sum of a triangle that makes a strait line? The west was really
There are seven liberal arts: They will eventually marry, so to speak.
Quadrivium: Arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and Music. (
Trivium: grammar, logic and theory. ( where we get the term
How do we get Aristotle and Plato's universes? They survived. During the
eleventh century our civilization is infantile compared to the Muslim
civilization. Libraries in Spain controlled by the Muslims and places in Sicily,
where the Normandy kingdom existed, which was semi-autonomous depending upon the
leaders. Depending upon which Muslim leaders ruled the promotion of western
thought was regulated or allowed to some extent. It was cyclic and not a
constant measure. The Normandy Sicily Kingdom was a polyglot
administration both Arabs and Normans.
Arabic renames Ptolemy's treaties on astronomy, and
mathematics called al-majisti , translated the greatest.
He lived about 150 A.D. and is often confused in renaissance art as a leader of
the Egyptian kingdom. He also wrote on fixt stars and astrology, a type of
method seldom used, but Nostradamus employed his paran method with
interpretations. This is an often criticized prophetic method by
traditional astrologers because it displaces the object of free will and
promotes predestination whereas astrology in its popular purpose promotes
choices and only likely destiny and not absolute judgments.
Some popular words from Arabic that the west has adopted are artichoke,
alcohol, alchemy, syrup, apricot, tariff, jasmine, zenith, nadir, algebra,
algorithm, many star names, Arabic numbers.
The Arabs passed on he concept of
zero to the west in which they took from India who were great math technicians
of antiquity. cipher: The mathematical symbol (0) denoting absence of quantity;
The Arabs were interested in the applications of astronomy and navigation. The Arabs gave back to the west
scientific astronomy and even improved on things. Things
usually transferred during war
Arabs made tables out of everything. They
continued to improve on the Hellenistic astrolabe. They
make them out of metal which gives them sturdiness. By
this time they had perfected machines for engraving and
movable parts. This was relatively novel for them.
Dante message to western civilization by way of interpreting his
writings is to find a higher and greater purpose in life. We
need to find paradise and hard work such as learning language and
studying will make us as one community. This process appears in the
unity of the systematical universe which makes up his great works.
significance to middle age astrology and astronomy can be described
as: Beatrice leads Dante to paradise, and she beings to ascend
to paradise , leaving Virgil, the aspiration of Dante in purgatory,
because he is Greek ( traditional) thus a polytheist, and cannot
travel to God's Christian realm, to show him the perfection of God.
This work signified the first celestial unifying model of the
universe. The unity of the Universe is what Dante was after. He
often tried to placate both sides of the doctrinal positions.
However the cultural relevance is a division emerging in
metaphysics and physical science.
sonnet of La Vita Nuova,
remains one of Dante great works. His celestial mechanics and
looking for paradise led to understanding our universe a little
grater than Middle Age thought had before attempted.
degli Alighieri, better known as Dante, (c.
June 1, 1265 – September 13/14, 1321) was an
Italian Florentine poet. His greatest work,
La divina commedia (The Divine
Comedy), is considered the greatest literary
statement produced in Europe in the medieval
period, and the basis of the modern Italian
When he was nine years old he
met Beatrice Portinari, the daughter of
Folco Portinari, with whom he fell in love
"at first sight", and apparently without
even having spoken to her. He saw her
frequently after age 18, often exchanging
greetings in the street, but he never knew
her well. It is hard to decipher of what
this love consisted, but something extremely
important for Italian culture was happening:
as it is in the sign of this love that Dante
gave his imprint to the Stil Novo and would
lead poets and writers to discover the
themes of Love (Amore), which had never been
so emphasized before. Love for Beatrice (as
in a different manner Petrarca would show
for his Laura) would apparently be the
reason for poetry and for living, together
with political passions.
died in 1290, Dante
tried to find a refuge in Latin literature.
From the Convivio we know that he had read
Boethius's De consolatione philosophiae and
Cicero's De amicitia. He then dedicated
himself to philosophical studies at
religious schools like the Dominican one in
Santa Maria Novella. He took part in the
disputes that the two principal monastic
orders (Franciscan and Dominican) publicly
or indirectly held in Florence, the former
explaining the doctrine of the
mystics and of San Bonaventura, the
latter presenting Saint Thomas Aquinas'
theories. " (
Dante's Accent to Paradise.
OF DANTE ALIGHIERI
(1265-1321). TRANSLATED BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882)
THE DIVINE COMEDY
"Astronomy and philosophy
remained tightly integrated within the liberal arts of the first
universities Oxford and Paris. This was the astronomy of Ptolemy,
preserved by the works of Arab astronomers.
Dante who started his
journey in the northern hemisphere expects to see the sun
moving to his right, to the south of the meridian. Within
the works that Dante studied was a reverence for the fact
(considered highly philosophical in a world without
satellites) that the heavens appear to behave differently
from different vantage points on a spherical earth. What
Dante is coming to terms with is that his subterranean
journey across hell took him straight through the earth,
past its center, and up into the southern hemisphere.
Virgil asks Dante
to remember all that he studied, then work out the
significance of what he is seeing. In a sudden flash of
understanding any amateur astronomer knows well, Dante "gets
it:" he is seeing the motion of the sun from the other side
of the world! As soon as Dante turns his mental worldview
upside-down, it all makes sense. Dante brings to life the
power of astronomy to transform our worldview (the very
foundation of our experience of life on planet Earth)
through poetry" ( Lord).
The day is 24 hours, however, the Sun's
movement is 23.56 hours. This equals roughly about one degree a day. However,
there are 235 days a year and the sun speeds up during winter and slows down
during the summer due to gravitational pull of the Sun. The path of the Earth is
not a perfect circle but a ellipse and is closer to the Sun by about 200,000
during the northern hemisphere's winter season. Still the
Greeks understand only that the sun speeds up during the period it is under the
tropics of Capricorn and slows down during the period of the tropics of Cancer.
The furthest north the sun travels is the point called the tropic of Cancer. The
furthest south the Sun travels is called the Tropic of Capricorn.
Trivia: If someone is at 37 Latitude in the Northern Hemisphere, the
path of the Tropic of Cancer has a greater arc then the Tropic of Capricorn.
Therefore the Sun appears longer in in the sky during summer then winter.
Seven degrees on each side appear most of the Zodiac stars.
The Babylonians used base 60 as their mathematical functions.
They even knew of the ellipse of the earth's path around the sun noting the
differential in speed.
Apogee and the Perigee was measured by the Greeks when they
observed the Sun's annual path by calculating and the off-center of the point of
observance. The inequality is measured if we used the radius of one and the
eccentricity is 0338.
are conquering parts of Anatolia and many flee Constantinople
understanding the inevitable.
The Latin Language deemed by some
as Barbaric and the path back to enlightenment is by studying
and knowing Greek.
Manuel (or Emmanuel) Chrysoloras (c. 1355 – April 15,
1415), one of the pioneers in introducing Greek literature to
Chrysoloras became famous as a translator of Homer and Plato (The
Republic), his works circulated in manuscript in his lifetime;
two were eventually printed, his Erotemata (Questions). first
published at Venice in 1484, and then widely reprinted, which
was the first basic Greek grammar in use in Western Europe, and
Epistolae III de comparatione veteris et novae Romae (Three
Letters Comparing Ancient and Modern Rome). Many of his
treatises on morals and ethics and other philosophical subjects
came into print in the 17th and 18th centuries, because of their
antiquarian interest. (Wikipedia).
Johannes Bessarion, or Basilius (c. 1395-1472), was a Roman
Catholic Cardinal-Bishop and the titular Patriarch of
Constantinople. He was one of the illustrious Greek scholars who
contributed to the great revival of letters in the 15th century,
and was born at Trebizond. Bessarion was one of the most learned
scholars of his time. Besides his translations of Aristotle's
Metaphysics and Xenophon's Memorabilia, his most important work
is a treatise directed against George of Trebizond, a violent
Aristotelian, entitled In Calumni atorem Platonis. Bessarion,
though a Platonist, is not so thoroughgoing in his admiration as
Gemistus Pletho, and rather strives after a reconciliation of
the two philosophies. His work, by opening up the relations of
Platonism to the main questions of religion, contributed greatly
to the extension of speculative thought in the department of
the Greek language and not just use the Latin translated from Arabic sources? The
Latin translations were full of mistakes, so the Europeans
decided to make a club to get their hands on any Greek
manuscripts, in the original by any Arab that would sell them or
other trader of manuscripts. "Lets get our hands on a Greek
original copy of Ptolemy?"
The Great Period Of Change
onward saw the emergence of new things such technology, such as the
printing press, and new ideas and events that changed western civilization.
Reconquest of Spain.
Fall of the Eastern Roman Empire
Northern Renaissance takes place
Printing Press begins, A New Media World
Reformation, A New Religious world
Columbus, A New Terrestrial World
Copernicus, A New Celestial World
to Columbus is the earth is round. We know this by his own logs and
1450s were a busy time. The Turks took Byzantine 1453 and
ended the eastern Roman empire. This shifted the shipping dominance in the
eastern Mediterranean ocean in the advantage for the Turks. The Genoese, the community that our Columbus was
born into grew up in what is now a diminished shipping dominance along with other
Mediterranean shipping companies like
the Venetians and the Portuguese. This shift in regional power created a need to look elsewhere
for trade which had flourished with goods such as
spices for food preservation and prized commodities from various cultures in
Africa, and Arabia. Genoa is nested on a hill and is a prime shipping area in
which Columbus grew up at and he decided not to go into the weaving business of his
father, but to become a sailor who watched the great Genoese companies work from
the ports and docks on the Mediterranean. He was born in 1451, and was blessed that
around the same time the printing press will emerge disseminating local
knowledge. He sat along on voyages to England and traveled possibly as far north as Iceland. He was
shipwrecked at Portugal once and also took voyages south to the 10° degrees looking for
the passage around the Cape of Good Hope, Africa. This way he was exposed to the
best geography and navigation of his time. Also around this time the Portuguese
discovered Cape Verde Islands a future launching pad for the new world. As far as Columbus is concerned the most important aspect
of the period is the reconquest of Spain. He will have to wait to propose his
ideas to Queen Isabella. who has sold her jewels for the financing of the war.
Columbus Fudging of the Numbers.
To the Europeans of this age, all land east of the Indus River (India)
was “the Indies.”
Fudging the numbers
somehow workout for Columbus.
Columbus wants to become famous and rich. He needs to
make a sales pitch to the Queen as the judges understand little but enough
geographical knowledge to make arguments against a voyage.
Columbus needed to wait for the war in Spain to subside before
he could look for financing for his journey. Meanwhile he began to fudge the
number to make a sales pitch to the Queen. Pierre d'Ailly job consisted of a
chancellorship at the University of Paris. While Columbus waited he read his
book titled " Imago Mundi' (1410) which was published in the 1470s. In
the sides of the pages, Columbus used commentary to support his cause. First he
turned his attention of Ptolemy's work on Geography.
Ptolemy divided up the world sensibly as 50% water and
50% land, and he also out of frustration called Martinus of Tyre an idiot because he stated that Cathay's
distance was actually 45 degrees shorter than his own calculations, of 180 degrees,
However, Columbus's mission was to shorten the distance in whatever way he could to
make his case against the naysayer judges, at that time. Columbus' point was to
get funding. Therefore, he cited Marco Polo who stated that he walked
to Cathay and it was 28 degrees shorter than Tyre's measurements. Polo also
stated that there were no less then 1378 islands around Japan. This was in part
why many maps prior to Columbus's mission showed a batch of islands to the west
of Spain in the far reaches of the Atlantic. Then from Cathay
to Capangu Japan, the distance of 30 degrees to Cathy was finally added to
the distance of St. Vincent's Island. Therefore
seventy-seven degrees remained. Yet, Columbus considered the latitude with the
earths circumference which gave a 10 % leeway taking the degrees
down to 61°. "If we leave form the Canary
Islands then it will be even shorter". Not liking odd numbers, Columbus
then shortened this number to a nice round number of 60°
degrees. Then taking the shortest ancient mile numbers the Italian ( Roman,
1,524 meters, or 5,000 feet) instead of nautical miles, Columbus fudged the
numbers. Columbus most likely said, " Look it is easy and not as far as
you think. Just a few day's sailing, The ancient geographers show us the world
is much smaller then we think." His estimate clearly showed a small number of
about 2800 nautical miles while the earth was thought to be about 10,000 (
Canary Islands to Japan est. 10,600)(19,600 km) nautical miles. The Queen and
her judges didn't believe him. They thought he was crazy and that they world
starve to death. Another factor is Columbus wanted fame and 50% of the spoils.
However, some bankers thought it was a good risk. Why? The Turks control of the
east and the recent the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews showed that a
competitive edge ruled the conversations of Europe and Spain at that time. What
was Christendom to do? They took the risk and the rest is history. It was sink or
swim, so to speak.
Columbus' Voyages One-to-Four
1st. Departed 6th of September, 1492 from
the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands have a continual wind current blowing
toward the west in which Columbus knew about and composed a wind map, and this
knowledge allowed him to make the trip in 36 days ( arrived October 12, 1492) ,
and even 33 days
was his own personal estimates which meant he was not far-off in his
estimates. The first trip comprised three vessels, Pinta; the Santa Clara but known as the Niña and Santa Maria. The Santa Maria
was shipwrecked and Columbus could not take all the passengers with him back to
Spain so he set up a colony he name La Navidad. 39 men stayed behind.
He became a hero. He didn't bring much back with him the first trip. The
natives on this trip were friendly. The natives on the next trip turned out to
be cannibals which will get Columbus in trouble for mistreatment from the crown.
Getting to the new world was easy as others had postulated, however they didn't
know how to sail back to Spain with the winds traveling toward the west.
However, Columbus knew and understood currents and the northerly wind patterns
and the others didn't know. When he left the new world, in which he also
discovered Cuba, he sailed home in a northerly pattern and passed the
Azores. This rout had the winds to his back ( going east) and was able with
relative ease to sail home.
2nd. 21 days and 17 vessels. Columbus met up with
indigenous cannibals and he mistreated them and also fought with the colonizers.
He also found La Navidad gone and his men. He is sent back
to face charges of abuses against the indigenous natives
of the new world. Makes his fellow sign documents that he indeed
found the Indies. This made them mad because there were no oriental clothing or oriental women to meet them
as promised. The
Spanish colonizers that sail with Columbus knew they were nowhere near the east
or the Indies. Columbus took back with him a few natives, who died shortly after
arriving in Spain.
3d. Left from Cape Verde Islands. It was a tough
voyage. He goes to Orinoco river in Brazil, called at that time, now called
Venezuela. Over 1330 miles long, and the third largest river system in the
world. Columbus thought he discovered Paradise spoken about in the literature of
the middle ages.
Amerigo Vespucci , was a
businessman, and left to venture out after knowledge of Columbus's discoveries.
He is cited with the naming of the Americas but was not the first to set eyes on
south America, but was the first to explore some inner river systems and some
lands of South America, in Venezuela and Brazil. Columbus' trying to find a new
way to routs further east set his eyes on the South America river system that
spans from Venezuela to Brazil called the Orinoco river with its four
tributaries and was a place he though constituted the fabled Paradise on Earth.
He found mild mannered native in canoes and some gold. " I think I found the
Columbus's temper and treatment of the natives got him sent
back to Spain in chains. He pleads with the Queen that he could find a passage
out of the isthmuses ( later called Central America) and to the real Indies,
although he himself believed adamantly that he already had found it. By this
time other voyages are set up to explore the new world. Soon an onslaught and
planning to colonize the new world is the talk of Papal states, Portugal and
4th. This time Columbus butts up against the isthmuses
and takes a long time to search for a passage and then the bottom of his boat rots and he becomes
marooned. He still has a
disagreeable demeanor ( most geniuses do). Regiomontanus tables
provided Columbus with an escape plan out of subversion of the natives. Although
the natives had seen eclipses before, they could not predict them. With the Regiomontanus
book of astronomical time-tables of the 19 year cycles of the new moon, the
years for eclipses were drawn-out in picture form along with the intensity and
beginning times. Columbus being his brash self managed to fight once more with
the natives and colonizers who then decided to not feed him and work against
him. He began to starve and things looked bad. His last hope was too proclaim
that he had direct communication with God and that he would block-out the sun if
treatment toward him continued, in which it did. " I will cause the sun to
darken." He just referred to this book, unbeknownst to them, and scared them
half-to- death. Columbus knew he was about 75° latitude, as it was easy to
calculate with a book of declinations which he also had with him. The eclipse
began in Nuremburg, Germany in the early stages of the afternoon at 1:30 pm. and
reached where Columbus was marooned in Jamaica about 7:30 p.m.
He gets back to Spain, a rich man from
bringing back some gold, he writes his will - still believes to his death that he found
the Indies and not the new world. In the late period of his
life he becomes more religious, a saintly figure, and tries to signify what his name really meant.
Christopher Columbus, a man that started a revolution of journeys and colonies.
Before he was sailing the world the going parading with everyone including the
church thought the world would surely end soon. In fact many
thought the world would end about 150 years after Columbus's death ( about
1666). Therefore the reason the crown took a stance on treating the natives
correctly was that one cannot convert and do God's duty by maltreatment of
another. The Church's job consisted of converting as many as possible to Christ
before the end of the world.
Columbus set up a bank account in his
birth town of Genoa to fund a future crusade to take back Jerusalem. In 1517,
the Ottomans had taken over Palestine from the Mamluks and dominated the area
for the next few hundred years. The Ottomans became too strong. He also set up a trust fund for four
missionaries to be installed and kept-up the colonies in the Indies ( the New
World) , he still believed, otherwise known to everyone else
as the new world, to convert people to the teachings of Christ.
side not:" What seems to be the greatest injustice
of all is that the new lands that the Great Navigator, Admiral of
the Ocean Seas, Governor and Viceroy discovered were never given his
name. That honor fell to a fellow Italian, Amerigo Vespucci, from
the city of Florence, considered by some as the heart and soul of
the Renaissance. As an agent of the Medici family in Seville,
Amerigo, like everyone else, was caught up in the excitement of the
discoveries. On two separate occasions he sailed to the Indies and,
initially, believed that this was part of the Old World. After
extensive travel through the littoral of Brazil and northern South
America, as well as visits to several of the islands, Vespucci
reached a different conclusion than Columbus. To Amerigo Vespucci
this was empirically a “New” World, hitherto unknown to the
ancients. Amerigo’s letters were widely circulated, and it was
through his writing that Europe came to know about the lands to the
west. In 1507, when a group of geographers working on a new edition
of an atlas, the word “America” was written across the newly
discovered lands. By the time they realized their mistake it was
too late to correct it. (Thomas
C. Tirado, Ph.D, Reprint permission granted by Encarta
Encyclopedia, 2000 )"
...end of Columbus's discussions.
Maps in the middle age and the age of the renaissance.
Here are examples of maps before
the time of Columbus and the understanding of the sphere of the world by numerous people
all who didn't think the world was flat. These maps before Columbus
indicated a spherical earth with various measurements of scientific data
accompanying the content. Ptolemy's geography-world remained
a predominate theory that half the world was land the other half was water.
What the maps show represents the majority of the land and the water is
assumed outside the boundaries of the circumference. Ptolemaic maps were of
equal space with the summer solstice in a prominent position and zones in
square grids. These were compass zone-maps and were composed by cartographers who
made good money, paid by the shipping companies, of course. Columbus's brother was
involved in such a profession.
By the time we get the Magellan
map the world looks really detailed. Other trivia: The gulf of California
was actually thought to be a separate Island for some time.
Cartography, T-O map; Periods:
Middle Age & Renaissance
The TO maps for
education purposes attained the most widely used maps in this regard
and appeared in what are called T. O. maps because their design
informally represented a recognizable circle as the symbol
O. and the T symbols. Within the circle representing the three
great divisions that often also represented, not only Moses three sons
who were supposed to have populated the three major regions of the
earth, but the three major regions themselves. Actually lines of the T
symbols themselves represented the Mediterranean Ocean separating
Europe to the north, Africa to the south west and Asia to the east
and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. However, over time different regions
within the sphere evolved to represent different criteria by efforts of
from different authors.
The T and
map or T-O map, is a type of medieval world map,
representing the physical world as described by the 7th century
scholar Isidore of Seville in his Etymologiae (chapter 14, de
terra et partibus):
Orbis a rotunditate circuli dictus, quia sicut rota est [...]
Undique enim Oceanus circumfluens eius in circulo ambit fines.
Divisus est autem trifarie: e quibus una pars Asia, altera
Europa, tertia Africa nuncupatur.
"The world is called 'round' after the roundness of a circle,
because it is like a wheel [...] Because of this, the Ocean
flowing around it is contained in a circular limit, and it is
divided in three parts, one part being called Asia, the second
Europe, and the third Africa." (Crosby).
The above right photo is the earliest printed example of a classical T
and O map (by Guntherus Ziner, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of
chapter XIV of the Etymologiae.
The Hereford Mappa Mundi, about 1300, Hereford Cathedral, England. A classic
"T-O" map with Jerusalem at center, east toward the top, Europe the bottom left
and Africa on the right.
Click for high-resolution of the map (here).
How to find latitude
How was Columbus able to sail the
oceans? As mentioned before, his early voyages helped him become acquainted with
known cartography, navigation and currents of his day. Also, the understanding
of how to know where one is on the earth at any given point was the most important. In
order to do this one needs to know how to pin point one's latitude at any given
area on the globe: The use of an astrolabe; carry a book of declination or understand
how to utilize some mathematical systems. To do this we turn to line-geometry
and forms of trigonometry.
Δ = 1 day in 125 years=11.52
The formula for Latitude: Alpha
= 90° - Phi + Delta.
How to check for accuracy? Phi
should always be complimentary to Alpha because of the right triangle.
Delta is a variable, unless placed on the autumnal and vernal equinoxes
in which its value represents zero. Without using trigonometry on the
high-seas, Columbus just used his declination book to factoring in
Delta. To achieve this, his day-calendar needed to be accurate. For
basic astronomical data, he brought Regiomontanus's ephemeris and
lunar cycles (See voyage four). In this case alpha is our latitude.
Longitude is a more complicated business for the medieval navigators.
However, it was possible and done.
Working with Circles & Inequality.
Apogee and Perigee.
Counter diurnal, the motion
against the stars. 1° per day.
Diurnal motion is an astronomical
term referring to the apparent daily motion of stars around the Earth, or
more precisely around the two celestial poles. It is caused by the Earth's
rotation on its axis. The time for one complete rotation is 23 hours, 56
minutes and 4.09 seconds (1 sidereal day).
The sun appears to move slower in the
summer months (actually a few days longer) , and start to speed up in the fall
accelerating to the winter and begin slowing once again around the vernal
equinox. The ancients didn't know that the earth's rotation around the sun
actually moved in a ellipse and was actually the earth which was 200,000 miles closer
to the sun into the northern hemisphere during the winter months, but they were privy to
differential speeds of the sun. The Greeks measured this by by placing the
observant outside the central point of the circle. If we have a strait line of PCA, C being the center, and placing B a parameter point between Summer and the
autumnal equinox and placing P another parameter point between winter and the
vernal equinox then we place a second line calling it PA at the points of the
summer solstice and, for example, point P at the winter solstice. The Greeks
could then start their observation. If we use the radius of the circle and call
it a whole number of ' one' then the observer would move off the center which
achieves a different perspective and will call this point O. From here the
Greek observer would watch all year and see that calculating the angle A, the
winter solstice appears from the vantage point of O to which becomes
.0338. What happens when the observer moves-off the center is the angle appears
to increase and become larger. Therefore, we see the sun moving faster around P
at Perigee and slower around A at apogee. Therefore the Greeks though the sun
moved in an ellipse. This became known as the AP the
line of Apsides, the major axis of an elliptical orbit. However, if did not
explain an ellipse and the true positions of the planets.
AP: the line of Apsides.
The Sun travels to directions all at the
The motion of the Sun appears
from the vantage point of earth to move forward and backwards at the same time.
How can this be? Surely the sun cannot move in two directions at once? Well it
does. As the earth rotates the sun appears to rise in the east and set in
the west. However, everyday the sun appears to move from the west to the east
approximately 1° degree. This is actually the orbit of the Earth around the sun. This measure is linked to the 3 minuets and 56 seconds
of celestial movement against the back drop of fix-stars. This constant
aberration appears to us when the sun goes down or rises later or earlier
throughout the year. The reason that the sun appears to move backwards one
degree each day is not the sun, but the apparent motion of the sun. The earth is
actually moving around the sun approximately at one degree a day, so it appears
the sun is moving backwards as we travel around the sun. To the ancients they
didn't know what was happening. The earth was the center to them. This is part
of the calendar's investigations that lasted millennia and gave people
headaches. The fact that no-other than investigations into atomic physics in
history, no other world human mass-effort took so much energy and time trying to
figure out the motions of the sun and moon and fix them to a
standard calendar. So, in part, people all over the world, and or different time-zones, could all
celebrate festivals and religious functions of the same day.
Why is the ecliptic call such? An eclipse happens when the sun and
are on the same path and form an eclipse of one another.
The ecliptic runs through the zodiac, which is a bunch of
zodiacal stars of 7°
degrees on both sides of the ecliptic which make up the astrological constellations familiar
to most people.
The ecliptic is our celestial equator, but is not the stellar equator.
Diurnal motion is an astronomical term referring to the apparent daily motion
of stars around the Earth, or more precisely around the two celestial poles. It
is caused by the Earth's rotation on its axis. The time for one complete
rotation is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds (1 sidereal day).
Direction of the motion in the Northern hemisphere:
looking to the north, below the North Star: left-right, west-east
looking to the north, above the North Star: right-left, east-west
looking to the south: left-right, east-west
Thus northern circumpolar stars move anti-clockwise around the North Star.
At the North Pole, north, east and west are not applicable, the motion is simply
left-right, or looking vertically upward, anti-clockwise around the zenith. For
the southern hemisphere, interchange north/south and left/right, and replace
North Star by southern celestial pole. The circumpolar stars move clockwise
around it. East/west are not interchanged. At the equator both celestial poles
are at the horizon and motion is anti-clockwise (i.e. to the left) around the
North Star and clockwise (i.e to the right) around the southern celestial pole.
All motion is from east to west, except for the two stationary points.
The daily path of an object on the celestial sphere, including the possible part
below the horizon, has a length proportional to the cosine of the declination.
Thus the speed of the diurnal motion of a celestial object is this cosine times
15 °/hr = 15'/min = 15"/s, i.e. (compare angular diameter):
up to a Sun or Moon diameter every two minutes
ca. four seconds for the largest planet
2000 diameters of the largest stars per second
latitudes (almucantars) and longitudes (azimuths)
The azimuths can be described as the directions on the globe. These are
the longitudes positions.
'The horizontal angular distance from a reference direction, usually the
northern point of the horizon, to the point where a vertical circle through
a celestial body intersects the horizon, usually measured clockwise.
Sometimes the southern point is used as the reference direction, and the
measurement is made clockwise through 360°.' (The
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.)
Latitude of a place is equal to the height of the pole.
What is the minimum northern
latitude on a mid-summer's day? Put the sun at the Zenith at the
mid-summer day and now measure the latitude. From the equator to the
tropical positions, this is 23°.
you're at the equator observing the Sun on the mid-summer's day the sun is
north of the Zenith.
Sun is at the equinox when it is at the zenith if you are at the equator.
the vernal equinox at the north pole, the sun never sets. However, at the
winter solstice at the north pole the sun never rises.
Astrology in the middle
in the zodiacal signs affects life on earth regardless if one believes in
astrology or not. In the summer signs of the 'Northern Hemisphere' the weather
is hot and it is opposite for the winter signs. The moon cycles affect the tides
on the earth. Also, the planets, the very ancient concept of astrology, had
a large impact on life. Astrology dominated the middle ages and all the big
names taught it and wrote on it. During Sumerian times, astrology was practiced in what is
called Regional Astrology. Basically this was one of the
practices (applications) of different methods of astrology that Michel Nostredame practiced in France in the 16th century. He used this system mainly
in his almanacs. He was criticized, because at this period, astrology had
morphed into a personal and free-will concept opposite of the ancient regional
traditions and Judical Astrology was nothing like Regional Astrology. Practitioners in the Sumerian and Babylonian times had kings,
princes as nobles as their clients. Regional forecasts usually were the
fairing of the leader when planets were in certain constellations. This had
nothing to do with birth charts and a reading of judicial outcomes by a birth
chart. By the 6th
century B.C.E. we start to see horoscopes. The word horoscope is actually meant
to mean the term horizon in astrology and its significance is heavily
shown in ancient as well as in medieval times through the renaissance. Today it
just means astrology chart, usually a birth chart of some type of chart drawn-up
and connected to predictions or 'now' suggestions, according
to the washed-out version of astrology that we saw promoted in the renaissance
and very significantly agreed upon by most professional astrologers for public
and political reasons. The practice of regional astrology, is much or almost
totally opposite of what astrology came to be known from the time of the
In the middle ages until about mid-sixteenth century,
astronomy and astrology were sort-of linked as one concept. However, with the
onset of the printing press and the dissemination of the ancient knowledges
already translated, waiting for print and wider production, astrology broke-off
from astronomy and we see this beginning to take shape early in the sixteenth
century. The break in history is described in other sections here. We will also begin to see arguments emerge from the Almanac authors who
used regional astrology and the professional astrologers who broke off to
free-will physiological astrology. By the end of the sixteenth century, Rome and
other magistrates will forcefully suggest that stoppage of all Regional
and Judicial Astrology. So by the years 1610 we begin to see the almanac change forms from
regional predictions to the forms we currently see in the 20th century. The moon
cycles and weather forecasts still existed in the almanacs, but there were no
more predictions on country's politics and leader's fates issued for each annual
the beginning of the sixth century, gradually astrology and horoscopes become
crafted to individual people and regional astrology takes on a less significant
role. By Jesus' time, Babylonian stars astrology and Roman Kal astrology made
horoscopic news. Astrology became a big industry as it was shifting to
individuals who wanted to know some type of physiological or physical traits
about themselves. Stars and planets were often used together, which will go out
of style in the renaissance period. If a good astrologer during the Roman times
made an astrological hit, they became famous and garnered the attention of the
ruling elite. This also meant a good job. There was always a love-hate relation
between the two and both were considered necessary for each other's public
relations. Astrologers more or less considering the region, time and ruler, became a Roman phenomenon. Personal astrologers
became an industry as such the industry is today - connected to recent U.S.
presidents and C.E.Os. of large companies to a thriving phone industry. Roman
Caesars used and saw their fair share of fame connections with
astrologers. When an important person was correct it made the buzz cycles.
naysayer's believe astrology is a self-fulfilling industry. No more of a prime
example is the story of Domitian, the Roman Caesar who lived during the bulk of
Roman's bad leaders.
Flavius Domitianus (24 October 51 – 18 September 96), commonly known as
Domitian, was a Roman emperor of the gens Flavia and received a warning by the buzz
patrol that a good astrologer had predicted his death at 5:00 a.m. the morning
of 18 September 96 ADE. His birth chart was made public and many astrologers cast
their predictions of his fate and rule. The astrologer that called out his death
prediction was summons and told that he would die instead of Domitianus ( himself).
The astrologer also said the method of death was the emperor, he predicted
, would also see dogs devour his corps. The astrologer was then put on the
torch-bed to be burned to prove the prediction the other way around, but a rainstorm put the fire out,
and in fact dogs came
and devoured his corps. Still scared of the prediction, as the day approached,
Domitianus began to sleep on top of his sword, and on the night before the
astrological prediction, he locked his door to his room and tried hopelessly to
fall asleep. When Domitianus called out to a servant guard, he asked through the
door what time it was? The guard told him it was 6:00 a.m. ( the morning of
18 September). Feeling relived he opened the door and went out where he was
stabbed to death and died. The prediction came true. The guard had lied and told Domitianus
it was 6:00 a.m. in the morning when it really was 5:00 a.m. This was a self-fulfilling prophecy
according to skeptics, as
naysayer would say that because his chart was public they knew when to kill him
to blame astrology instead of the plot to kill him for his constant persecution
of peoples in the regions of Rome. Whatever view one wants to take, the
significance is that all soothsayers were banned from these public predictions
by the following Roman leaders.
This will happen in the beginning of the 17th century in Europe as well as laws
passed to stop the production of astrology based Almanacs.
Astrology does have power regardless if one believes in it or not. It quite ran
the middle ages and provided clues for the famous astronomers in which we will
be talking about the findings of their great laws and astronomical achievements.
Houses and the Drawing up of the famed square chart
board game became the outline for the medieval astrology chart format.
board game included rolling of dice over four equal regions, like a equilateral
cross, of which all cardinal points represented the celestial directions at the
games latitude, creates the foundation of the boxed astrology chart. The Mid-Heaven was the place of the meridian. This represented
mature. The western point of the cross was the horizon and represented birth,
and this is where we get the term horoscope, the term for the birth chart. The
eastern point of the cross represented death and was the setting of the sun on
the horizon. The lower meridian horizon was the nadir of the board game. This
was a flat surfaced game where the players rolled the dice. As more sections
were determined, the houses became involved in what we know as the twelve
divisions of the chart. Out of this dice chart becomes the written house
systems. The first house represents Life.
One will notice that marriage house is located close to
the descendant indicating the death point of the chart. The marriage
house is also 180° opposite life. At 150°
Life and death houses aspect each other. However, death was often related to the
7th house at 180° opposite the house of life, the first house. So marriage and
death were often related themes.
During his years in
Vienna, Regiomontanus composed a tract on the construction
and use of the astrolabe (Starry).
Peurbach and Regiomontanus showed how
to find the real moon's positions using the Ptolemaic principles.
Suggestions for repairing the calendar
were suggested at the Lateran Council in 1511. Pope Leo X and the Holy Roman
Emperor Maximilian asked the universities to send in suggestions. The
vernal equinox could not be agreed upon. Was it the 10th of March or the 25 of
March? Copernicus thought is was too dangerous to travel. Some believe he didn't
go because the true time of the vernal equinox was not
agreed upon and that any Calendar reform became futile
because of it.
Regiomontanus (1436-1476). Johannes
Müller von Königsberg (June 6, 1436 – July 6, 1476), known by his Latin
pseudonym Regiomontanus, was an important German mathematician, astronomer and
astrologer. He was born in the Franconian village of Unfinden near Königsberg,
Bavaria (not to be confused with the East Prussian city of Königsberg, now known
as Kaliningrad). He is also called Johannes Müller, der Königsberger (Johannes
Müller of Königsberg). His full Latin name was Joannes de Regio monte, which
abbreviated to Regiomontanus (from the Latin for "Königsberg"—"King's
Mountain"). Summoned by Pope Sixtus IV, Regiomontanus went to Rome in 1475 to
assist in reforming the calendar and was made bishop of Regensburg. He was very
active in Nüremberg. Ephemerides 1475-1506.
Nürnberg: Regiomontan, 1474, and his work, Megale syntaxis" des Klaudios
Ptolemaios: Epitoma in almagestum Ptolemei. Venedig: Joh. Hamman, 1496 were
staples of Christopher Columbus. (wikipost)
Regiomontanus's ephemeredes show the Roman
Kal dating system which didn't match up to the European dating system. Often
the Julian year didn't start on the first of the year. In the third column the
numbering system ran backwards, as was the Roman system. This is how the Roman's
kept time. So when looking at the dating system, one sees in the tables that the
12th of February is actually two-days before the month of February itself. One
looking at the 28th of February sees this day was two days before the month of March.
The columns of letters consisted of dominical lettering after the Sunday. A-G.
The Solis ( sun) column shows degrees and minuets of the sun's position
per-day. The Lunae ( moon) only shows degrees and signs but no minuets.
For example, on the French calendar there was 31 days of January and lunar month,
but the moon actual synodic month is 29.503 of lunation. Therefore calendars often
needed changing from the months of cycles of 30 lunar months, then 29 day lunar
months, and then placing in an extra month later to make up the needed 10 or 11
days. The calendars were not uniform in Europe until Pope Gregory decided to
force the needed changes that were in fact proposed hundreds of years
earlier, but never adopted for various reasons. The lunar 19 year cycle was
figured out long before and could have been instituted but the Church's control on
the calendar and their stubbornness' allowed the mis-data to continue. It would
be the splitting up of the church, as the real reason the calendar gets
corrected and no other real reason, even though their are many conspiracy
reasons promoted even till this day. The Protestant and the printing press meet
up to issue pamphlets showing the needed change of the calendar.
The Fifth Council
held at the Lateran Palace in Rome was summoned by
Julius II (Pope: 1503-13) and continued by Leo X (1513-21), and lasted between
1512 and 1517. Paul of Middelburg presided over the commission to reform the
calendar and sought advice from experts all over Europe, including Copernicus.
Copernicus wrote in a response, which is now lost, but probably stated something
along the position stated in the preface to his Revolutions,
that reform of the calendar was premature because the precise length of the
tropical year was not yet known with sufficient accuracy ( Starry 3).
and Calendar Reform
Ptolemy did not
directly contribute to calendar reform, but his work proved
essential for the study of historical chronology, the
establishment of the exact period of time elapsed between two
dates, when those dates might be given in different calendar
systems, as a consequence, for example, of calendar reform.
To achieve an absolute chronology, it is necessary to have dates
in a local calendar that is continuous (without interruptions)
and precisely known, tied to observations of astronomical events
(such as lunar eclipses) to provide fixed points. Such
circumstances existed in Mesopotamia and Egypt. In dating
astronomical observations, Ptolemy employed the Egyptian
administrative year. This was of unvarying length: twelve
months of thirty days, and five extra days at the end to total
365. The numbers of individual years could be given with
reference to a standard epoch (defining some particular event as
occurring at year 1), or to the reign of a particular ruler. In
the latter case, an unbroken list of kings would also be
required. Ptolemy provided such a list, which was maintained and
extended by the Byzantines well into the Middle Ages.
Gregory XIII: He wants to standardize all Calendars because
many other civilizations were laughing at the west because the
printing press provided a wide media to show western civilizations'
mathematical errors in regards to astronomy within the functions of
a calendar. October 4th, 1582 was followed by
October 15th, 1582. People acted strangely, to say the least. Much art shows
drinking parties, some felt they lost part of their lives. However,
western civilization made it through the ordeal.
1543: Copernicus presents theory that
Earth revolves around Sun, which is
placed on the Papal Index of forbidden
books until 1835.
1545: At Council of Trent, the Church
condemns judicial astrology.
1550: Catherine de Medici consults
astrologers Gauric, Ruggieri and
1552: Martin Luther supports astrology
by writing preface to work by prominent
astrologer Johannes Lichtenberger.
1555: Nostradamus gains fame in Europe.
His famous prophetic work 'Seven
Centuries' is published in 1555. He
Henry II's court and publishes almanacs.
1560: Girolamo Cardano, physician,
philosopher, mathematical genius and
astrologer. He writes commentary on
1570: John Dee is astrologer for Queen
Elizabeth I and helps to arrange
Gregorian calendar (1583) and dabbles in
alchemy and magic. (History).
Continued on part II
The angular distance north or south of a planet's
equator, measured in degrees, as on a map or globe.
Angular distance on a planet's surface, measured
east or west from the prime meridian (Greenwich,
England, on Earth) to the meridian passing through a
position, expressed in degrees.
- right ascension
The angular distance, measured in hours, minutes,
and seconds of time, eastwards from the zero point which
is the intersection of the celestial equator and the
ecliptic; one of two coordinates used to define position
in the sky--equivalent of longitude on Earth. One
hour of right ascension is equivalent to 15 degrees of
arc--the angle through which the celestial sphere
appears to turn in 1 hour as the Earth rotates.
the angular distance, measured in degrees north or
south of the celestial equator; one of two coordinates
used to define position in the sky--equivalent of
latitude on Earth.
Stereographic Projection preserves circles
Stereographic Projection preserves angles
This means that circles on a sphere
(i.e. latitudes on the Earth) are represented as circles on a plane and the
angles between lines are retained when the lines are projected. This is how the
climates of the astrolabe are created. The lines of latitude, almucantar,
azimuth, and hour angles are represented stereographically onto a plane (usually
taken is the equatorial plane) and the climates are merely a scaled-down
representation of this (Jamieson,).
First map out the Universe. This is the
three dimensional image that will use to transfer onto a two dement ional
The Vernal Equinox is the first point
Zenith: The point on the celestial sphere that
is directly above the observer.
Meridian: Archaic, noon; An imaginary great
circle passing through the two poles of the celestial sphere and the zenith of a
All circles project as circles through
Almucantars are used every 10°.
Almucantar is a circle or parallel of altitude.
Example: Two stars
which have the same almucantar have the same altitude.
0° Almucantar is the horizon.
90° Almucantar is the zenith.
you determine the height of an object from the horizon.
horizontal angular distance from a reference direction.
Question? You are at the south pole and
you look up and find what intersection? ( Na′)
Where is the vernal equinox projected
at the ecliptic?
Diurnal motion goes clockwise, so the
sun goes counter-clockwise?
Divide Tympan into equal 15° segments.
Hours are 1-12,- 1-12. Not 1-24
Declination, a deviation, latitudes.
Rule for projections: Any point x
projects onto the celestial equator where the line of sight of the pole crosses
Degree above the equator are called
Casting star points on a rete. The
vernal equinox is a point on the celestial equator.
Project through the right ascension (
Use cord to measure star to rete
outside of tropic.
Star OX = (cos Ф/1+Sin Ф)
Put in ruler and clock.
Locus of centers of projected azimuths
B = B Nadir.
To find the horizon on the Tympan, bisect the
perpendicular line of the horizon from the calculation of your zenith. First
label your directions, for example, K, and H. and then find their primes. All
primes are figured from the South Pole threw the line of the equator. Label them
K′, & H′. From your North Pole NP line to the South Pole SP the equator
intersects also as a perpendicular line and where they meet call it 0. Find your
radii of your tropics of Capricorn and Cencer. The photo indicates how to do
this. Pick whatever zenith latitude one wants - preferably where you live.
Since the orientation of the ecliptic
to the horizon is continually changing, the ecliptic cannot be fixed on the
tympan. ( Astrolabe/23 J. L. Heilbron)
σ = 90° - Δ + Ф
Make zodiac signs out-side of the
The rule is marked off at
declination intervals or the angular distance of an object
from the celestial equator.
The Front of an Astrolabe
The latitude plate:
Alden, Terry. The Mill of Time:
'Celestial Cycles and the Ancient Mythological Sciences'. see fig. 2.
<http://www.technosophy.com/milltime.htm> Feb. 2006.
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia , 2004, Columbia
Crosby, Alfred W.
The Measure of Reality : Quantification in Western
Europe, 1250-1600. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1996.
Khun S. Thomas. The Copernican
Revolution 'Planetary Astronomy in the Development of Western Thought'. by
the President of Fellows of Harvard. 1957. r. 1985.
Lord, Peter. Dante's Astronomy. San Jose Astronomical Association. 2002.
Heilbron, J. L. Astronomy and Astrology in
Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Represented in University of California
Berkeley Reader. History 181A. January 2006.
( Astrolabe/23 J. L. Heilbron).
History of Astrology,
Kopernicus and Nostradamus , (UK)
Koyré, Alexander , The Astronomical
Revolution: Copernicus-Kepler- Borelli 2nd ed. ( Ithaca: Dover Publications,
Inc, New York),1992.
Jamieson, Laura and Maria Montero.
Stereographic Projection, Chaucer and the Astrolabe.
Regiomontanus and the Astrolabe
. Department of History and Philosophy of Science. 1999, 2000. Cambridge
University, England. <http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/starry/> Feb. 2006.
2. Johannes de Sacrobosco
3. Copernicus and Calendar Reform
4. Ptolemy and Calendar Reform
The Devine Comedy. The Digital Dante . Project Columbia University's
Institute for Learning Technologies.
<http://www.ilt.columbia.edu/projects/dante/> Jan. 2006.
open-source Encyclopedia. (wikipost Feb 2006)
< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regiomontanus > 2006.
Wikipedia, Dante, Free
open-source Encyclopedia. (wikipost Feb 2006) <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante > 2006.
open-source Encyclopedia. (wikipost Mar 2006) <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dante > 2006.
open-source Encyclopedia. (wikipost Mar. 2006) <
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Bessarion > 2006.
March 10th, 2006
Copyright © 2006 Michael Johnathan McDonald. Bookoflife.org . All rights