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(IX.) HISTORY - Success - And The Beginning Of Failure

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Author Topic: (IX.) HISTORY - Success - And The Beginning Of Failure  (Read 580 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 08:16:20 pm »

In Spain, an astrologer advised Philip II against a planned visit to Mary Tudor in England, on the grounds that his charts showed a deep plot against Philip. (In England, as we shall see, Mary had her own astrological adviser.)

Rudolf II, the Hapsburg Emperor, was patron of several astrologers. And in England, the tradition started by the Conqueror continued, for most monarchs had an interest in the planets and their auguries.

Henry VI consulted a Master Welch about the time of his coronation, and later engaged Richard de Vinderose, an Englishman trained in France, as his court astrologer.

Edward IV favoured a Master Eustache, and Henry VII and Edward VI relied on two Italians, William Parron and the famous Jerome Cardan (1501-76), mathematician and physician as well as astrologer, the first man to suggest teaching the blind to read by touch, who for some time attended Archbishop John Hamilton at St Andrews.

In the 1520s, John Robyns, a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford (and later chaplain to Henry VIII and canon of Christchurch and Windsor) addressed his king on the matter of comets, and even went to Woodstock and Buckingham to continue discussion of the matter with Henry, himself no mean mathematician, and so able to follow the astronomical calculations.

The king was far from unsympathetic to astrology, positively precluding his bishops from preaching against it, and accepting advice from a visiting German astrologer, Nicholas Kratzer, as well as from Robyns.

Whether or not Cardinal Wolsey actually set up Henry's chart in order the better to curry favour with him is not proven, but rumour certainly had it so, and Wolsey took astrological advice in other matters.

After Henry's death, Cardan came to England expressly to calculate the chart of Edward VI (and incidentally that of his tutor John Cheke); the Secretary of State, Sir William Paget, received the dedication of a book by Bonatus, and Sir Thomas Smith, who was to become Secretaryof State, was so taken by astrology that he could 'scarce sleep at night from thinking of it'.

There was little opposition: astrology was still occasionally a matter for satire or blunt humour, but the greatest minds of the time were at least open on the subject.

Sir Thomas More made a few weak jokes (about the astrologer who could not predict his wife's infidelity, for instance, and such childishness) but went no further.

Erasmus, on the other hand, always eager to attack superstition, not only consulted astrologers but even himself invoked the planets (as, for instance, the cause of certain intellectual disputes at the University of Louvain in 1519).
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 08:18:10 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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