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VMs: Re: Libro de Astromagia

Dear all,

Rafal wrote:

> It is general but based on three works - one other
> MS from the turn of the 15th/16th c. which shows
> the _figurae_ by themselves (ie. without circles
> or spheres) and an inclunabul printed in 1488
> which shows the _figurae_ each in the centre of
> the square horocopic diagram giving the boundaries
> of the houses but no planets (and - as you said
> - with the degree for which the _figura_
> is represented being on the ascendent).

This 1488 book is probably either in Latin or in
German, and reflects the work of Pietro D'Abano,
is that correct? It is worth leafing through
Saxl's "Verzeichnis (etc), 1915", where this is
also discussed.

> > These refer
> > to stars (or small groups of stars, like eg.
> > the flies) that rise at the same time as the
> > degree of the zodiac. It is therefore strictly
> > valid for one latitude and for one period of 70
> > years. Typically, the latitude is that of
> > either Alexandria or Rhodos, but in the ME
> > other catalogues were also set up. This one
> > predates that, but post-dates Al-Sufi's work,
> > which would have been known in Spain at that
> > time. All this would be discussed in the
> > reference hinted at by Rafal.
> Well, I would argue that this scheme was as
> unchanging as the Zodiac itself - ie. it was
> equally "tropical".
> The proof is the fact that all the sources quoted
> above,
> which differ by over 200 years, as well as some even
> earlier
> sources quoted in the book (Peter of Abano), assign
> the same _figurae_ to the same degrees of the 
> (tropical) Zodiac.
> Thus they were moving away from the original
> constellations to which they refered and cannot
> be used to date the work where they appear - just
> the rough date when the system was "frozen".

Hmmm, that's a pity. Really, the system has stopped
being used, perhaps just because it became too
obvious that the star 'Regulus', which is right
on the ecliptic, did not rise at the same time
as its 'degree'. Because these one-degree
mini-constellations are in most cases individual
stars. The above reference (Saxl) helps in 
tracing back which mini-constallation refers to
which star and even manages to trace some obvious
Arabic to Latin translation errors.
There is a further comparison to the Palazzo della
Ragione in Padova (which has the crayfish-as-cancer
painting, which also includes all 360 figures
(or at least did - they may not all survive). 

Best wishes, Rene

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