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Medieval Big Bang Theory: An Interdisciplinary Tale

In his De luce (on light) he extends it to the origin of the Universe in what has been referred to as the ‘Medieval Big Bang’.

The Copernican System: A Detailed Synopsis

Dissatisfied with the problems of the geocentric system inherited from Claudius Ptolemy, Nicholas Copernicus began the change from geocentrism to heliocentrism.

A Portal to the Universe: The Astrolabe as a Site of Exchange in Medieval and Early Modern Knowledge

This essay analyzes the astrolabe and its ability to transfer ideas and culture across traditional geographic boundaries, from the perspective of Europe in the Medieval and Early Modern eras.

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

Flee the loathsome shadow: Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) and the Medici in Florence

This article examines the changing political landscape of Medicean Florence, from Cosimo de’ Medici (1389-1464) to his grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492), through the letters of the celebrated neo-Platonist philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-99).

Michelangelo, Copernicus and the Sistine Chapel

A detailed examination of the themes, motifs and secrets held with Michelagelo’s masterpiece.

A New Set of Fourteenth Century Planetary Observations

The Astronomy of Levi ben Gerson (d.1344) is unusual for recording 45 observations he made of planetary longitudes and latitudes that are presented here for the first time.

A Medieval Multiverse

Ideas in a thirteenth-century treatise on the nature of matter still resonate today, say Tom C. B. McLeish and colleagues.

Eclipses in the Middle East from the Late Medieval Islamic Period to the Early Modern Period

This paper deals with the analysis of data obtained from observations of two sets of three lunar eclipses in the Late Medieval Islamic Period.

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).

Ironing Out the Myth of the Flat Earth

It seems there’s one fact about the Middle Ages that always seems to astound people: medieval people did not actually think the world was flat.

Galileo, the Impact of the Telescope, and the Birth of Modern Astronomy

Galileo would have dearly loved to explain to his examiners how his observations made belief in the Copernican system more intellectually respectable even though he had no irrefutable proof of the Earth’s motion, but this was an opportunity he never got.

From Rome to the antipodes: the medieval form of the world

Here we discuss how some medieval scholars in the Western Europe viewed the form of the world and the problem of the Antipodes

Islamic Astronomy in Medieval China

In 1271, Kublai Khan founded the Bureau of Islamic Astronomy in Peking, which operated alongside the long-established Chinese Astronomical Bureau.

The Night the Moon exploded and other Lunar tales from the Middle Ages

People in the Middle Ages asked what was the moon made of? How far away was it? Could it make my child vindictive? Here is what they found out.

The teaching of astronomy in medieval universities, principally at Paris in the fourteenth century

Obviously, however, learned men of antiquity and the Middle Ages showed the greatest interest in such genuinely astronomical activities as the observation of the skies, of the heavenly bodies and of their movements, positions, orbits, and anomalies.

Observational Archaeoastronomy at Stonehenge: Winter and Summer Solstice Sun Rise and Set Alignments Accurate to 0.2 o in 4000 BP

Our studies since 1980 of Solstice and Equalnight Sun Rise and Set alignments at an ancient site in southern Alberta, the Majorville Medicine Wheel Complex (MMWC), have drawn our attention to Stonehenge (Atkinson 1979; Burl 1976, 1993). While there might have been no ideological or religious similarities between societies in North America and Britain 5000 years ago, we know of no evidence that there was not. Indeed, Sun worship was world-wide at that time.

Tycho Brahe was not killed by mercury poisoning, tests reveal

One of the most persistent theories has been that he died of mercury poisoning, either because he voluntarily ingested large quantities of mercury for medicinal purposes, or because mercury was used to poison him.

Building a Model Astrolabe

This paper presents a hands-on introduction to the medieval astrolabe, based around a working model which can be constructed from photocopies of the supplied figures.

Solar Eclipses in Medieval Islamic Civilization

In ancient times, the births and deaths of leaders or dignitaries were often supposed to be associated with celestial omens. However, Islamic theology does not accept that eclipses are indications of events on earth.

One World under the Sun: Cosmography and Cartography in the Liber Floridus

To a modern cartographer a map should represent geographic reality by means of coordinates such as latitude and longitude. Not one of the cartographic images in the Liber Floridus corresponds to this definition, yet not a single work on historical cartography omits the early-twelfth-century encyclopaedia

Instruments and demonstrations in the astrological curriculum: evidence from the University of Vienna, 1500–1530

The University of Vienna presents something of a puzzle for his- torians of astronomy and astrology. During the fifteenth century the university was alma mater to Johannes de Gmunden, Georg von Peuerbach, and Johannes Regiomontanus, who were central to developments in astronomy and astrology throughout Europe. Yet there is little evidence of advanced instruction in astronomy or astrology by any of these masters.

Alternatives to Ptolemy: Astronomy in Carolingian Schools

But was there any real science in those tumultuous times?

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