Tag: Astronomy in the Middle Ages


Assessment of early-modern observations of comets and supernovae: Focus on pre-telescopic European astrometric and physical data

It will be worth while in this investigation to inquire whether comets have the same nature as the planets and stars … A comet seems to have certain things in common with them: rising and setting, the same appearance, although a comet is scattered and extends farther. It is also fiery and bright. And so, if all planets are earthy bodies, comets will also have the same condition. ~ Seneca


Depicting the Medieval Alchemical Cosmos: George Ripley’s Wheel of Inferior Astronomy

Alchemical writing often develops the idea of a physical or analogical correspondence between heaven and earth: a relationship most fre- quently and conveniently expressed by the use of the seven planetary symbols (Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) to denote the seven metals (usually gold, silver, quicksilver, copper, iron, tin and lead respectively).