Astrology in Christianity

The conversion of Constantine the Great to Christianity put end to the importance of this science, which for more than 500 years had governed the public life of Rome. In the year 321, Constantine issued an edict threatening to kill all the Chaldeans, magicians, and their followers. With this astrology disappeared during centuries of the Christian areas of western Europe. Only Arab schools in teaching, especially from Spain after the Moors conquered the Iberian Peninsula, accepted the wisdom of classic era. Schools for Arabs and Jews children were the representatives of astrology in the Middle Ages, while the church and some governments of Christians countries rejected and persecuted.

The Caliph Al-Mansur, Baghdad's builder was as his son, the famous Harun al-Rashid, a promoter of education. It was the first Caliph who called Jewish students to develop in his empire the study of mathematics, especially astronomy. In the year 777 the learned Jew Jacob ben Tarik founded in Baghdad a school for the study of astronomy and astrology that soon had a great reputation; between those who studied here was Alquindi (Alkendi), a notorious astronomer.

It was one of the inmates of Alquindi, Abumassar (Abu Mashar), Bath in Chorassan, born around the year 805, who was the largest Arab astrologer of the Middle Ages. Among Jew astrologers more reputed can be mention Sahl ben Bishr al-Israel (near the 820); Rabban al-Taban, the well-known kabbalist and talmudic school; Shabbethai Donalo (913-970), who wrote a commentary of the Sepher Yezirah astrology which was then a standard work in Western Europe; and finally, the lyric poet and mathematician Jew Abraham ibn Ezra.

The recreation of the astrology was driven by Jew school children who lived in Christian lands, since the considered as a necessary part of the Kabbalistic studies and talmudic.

The didactic poem "Imago Mundi", written by Gauthier of Metz in 1245, has an entire chapter about astrology. Pierre d'Ailly, the notorious French theologian and astronomer, wrote a number of treaties about the subject. The public importance of Astrology grew together with the internal disorder of the Church, to grew and declined with the papal and imperial power. Toward the end of the Middle Ages almost all the princes, as well as each regent of importance, had his astrologer in their courts, people like Angelo Catto, the astrologer of Louis XI of France. The renaissance of classical education brought a second period of prosperity for the astrology.

Toward the end of the twelfth century the Florentines used to Guido Bonatti as its official astrologer. Emperors and Popes became devotees of astrology, the emperors Charles IV and V, and the popes Sixtus IV, July II, Leo X, and Paul III. Amid the jealous patterns of science were the Medici. Catalina de Medici made astrology popular in France. It was erected an Astrological Observatory for her close to Paris, and his astrologer of the court was the famous Doctor Michel de Notre Dame (Nostradamus) that published in 1555 his main work on astrology.

Another well-known man was Luke Gauricus, the astrologer of the court of the Popes Leo X and Clement VII, which published a large number of astrological treaties. Some of the past romans astrologers among whom was probably Firmicus Maternus, thought reform astrology idealizing and raising its moral tone. The same purpose encouraged Paolo Toscanelli, called Maistro Pagollo, a doctor widely respected by the piety of his life, that belonged to the scholarly and artistic circle that met the brother Ambrosius Camaldulensis in the monastery of Los Angeles. They were special teachers of astrology in the universities of Pavia, Bologna and even in La Sapienza during the pontificate of Leo X.

The three intellectual centers of astrology in the most magnificent period of the Renaissance were Bologna, Milan and Mantua. The work of J.A. Campanus, published in Rome in 1495, and often commented, "Oratio initio studii Perugiae dwells" showed a clear light on the lack of understanding shown by the Fathers of the Church in its attitude toward the pagan fatalism.

Even the victorious progress of the Copernican system could not destroy the confidence in astrology. The greatest astronomers were still obliged to assign their time to make astrological predictions in the slices per well to the gain; Tycho Brahe made calculations for the Emperor Rudolf II, and the same Kepler, the most distinguished astronomer of the time, was astrologer of the imperial court. In the same period were written astrological treaties by the most famous of the English astrologer, William Lilly of Diseworth, Leicestershire, who received a pension of 100 pounds of the State Council of Cromwell. Among his work was one frequently published, "Christian Astrology".

The last astrologer of importance on the European continent was Jean-Baptiste Morin, that made the "Galica Astrology" in 1661.


No comments: