Click here to skip to content

Astrological Table, In A Scientific Textbook

Astrological Table, In A Scientific Textbook

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1130

Shelfmark: Harley MS 3667

Item number: f.9v

Length: 312

Width: 200

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A tradition of natural science books continued in the middle ages from ancient Greek and Roman writings through the early middle ages, when writers such as Isidore of Seville (6th century) and Bede (early 8th century) write treatises on cosmology and calculation of time. Later expanded at Fleury and taken further still by Abbo of Fleury, who lived at Ramsey in the 10th century and was an important intellectual link to the continent, the tradition flourished in Britain's monasteries. To these natural science books belong a tradition of diagrams which incorporate Christian cosmological doctrine into classical theories on the structure of the heavens and earth, uniting geography, physics and computation of time to demonstrate the harmony of creation. Books such as this one (which is in two separate manuscript fragments in the British Library) would have been textbooks for training monks and churchmen. This book was made at Peterborough, as shown by the annals written on its first pages. This page gives a table and information for astrological computation. Lines in the diagram are left blank to accommodate computation. Horoscopes and various 'shortcut' astrological divination methods were used in the middle ages in any area where prediction was desired, such as medicine and politics.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: