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"Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"

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Author Topic: "Abraham, Planter of Mathematics"  (Read 386 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2008, 10:37:57 pm »

Heydon's work prompted a defense from George Carleton, future chaplain to Prince Charles. Carleton classified astrology as part of magic, and attacked Heydon's chronology. Heydon, Carleton noted, had tried to hide suspect figures like Zoroaster and Hermes Trismegistus within the genealogy by placing them after the Hebrew Patriarchs, out of chronological order. Heydon's list was also dressed up with Joseph, Homer, and others for whom no evidence of astrological interest existed. Charleton traced a muscular anti-Josephan lineage: he wrote, "The first invention of Astrology, is by many learned men attributed to the divels," and its first disseminator was Zoroaster.41

Thus, by the 1605 appearance of the Advancement of Learning, there were two well-established, yet volatile interpretations of a single, modifiable chronology for the mathematical arts. While both sides agreed that some licit mathematical art could be traced from the time of Adam, astrology provoked bitter dissension. On the one hand, Pico and his followers rooted powerful criticisms in the historical and cultural conditions of astrology's perceived origins: that of idolatrous, Baal-worshiping Assyria. On the other hand, defenders posited Assyria as the setting in which astrology and related mathematical arts had flourished, nurtured by the pious learning of the Chaldeans. When this first flourishing gave way to idolatrous corruptions, the Jewish Patriarchs remained responsible for the maintenance of the discipline. The history of the mathematical arts was less barren and wanting than Bacon led his king to believe.
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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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