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"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"


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Author Topic: "Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"  (Read 463 times)
Bianca
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« on: October 14, 2008, 10:28:37 pm »










Annius provided a powerful genealogical sanction for astrology by evoking a world history that rubbed uncomfortably against the conventional historical narrative derived from scripture. Like those Neoplatonic and Neohermetic scholars who argued for their sources' legitimacy by claiming that all peoples, not just Israel, had received some divine revelation, Annius's vision of history potently suggested that Moses's books were not the only creditable sources for deep ancient history. And Annius's bookish solution, in some ways, hewed more closely to theological orthodoxy then the cabalist tradition glorified by Pico. Pico's vision described a shadowy group of initiates possessing secret, oral knowledge—a vision that displaced the Papacy from the center of the history of learning and described revealed knowledge as fundamentally unwritten. Annius's version, by contrast, rooted the lineage of divine learning in the production and custody of texts and monuments, and granted a continuous, documented history to the Church from the 4000 BC to his present. Perhaps for countering Pico's challenge, Pope Alexander VI appointed Annius Maestro del Sacro Palazzo, or official papal theologian.22

Still, scholars found Annius's claims unsettling, and over the course of the sixteenth century, more cautious commentators—often Protestant and Northern European—reclaimed the infallibility of scripture as a historical source. Rather than turning directly to the Bible, however, they used Josephus to secure the mathematical arts' linkage to the scriptural genealogy.23
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.


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