The Fated Sky: Astrology in History

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Simon and Schuster, 8.11.2005 г. - 384 страници
In a horoscope he cast in 1647 for Charles I, William Lilly, a noted English astrologer, made the following judgment: "Luna is with Antares, a violent fixed star, which is said to denote violent death, and Mars is approaching Caput Algol, which is said to denote beheading." Two years later the king's head fell on the block. "Astrology must be right," wrote the American astrologer Evangeline Adams, a claimed descendant of President John Quincy Adams, in a challenge to skeptics in 1929. "There can be no appeal from the Infinite."
The Fated Sky explores both the history of astrology and the controversial subject of its influence in history. It is the first serious book to fully engage astrology in this way.
Astrology is the oldest of the occult sciences. It is also the origin of science itself. Astronomy, mathematics, and other disciplines arose in part to make possible the calculations necessary in casting horoscopes. For five thousand years, from the ancient Near East to the modern world, the influence of the stars has been viewed as shaping the course and destiny of human affairs. According to recent polls, at least 30 percent of the American public believes in astrology, though, as Bobrick reveals, modern astrology is also utterly different from the doctrine of the stars that won the respect and allegiance of the greatest thinkers, scientists, and writers -- Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Arab, and Persian -- of an earlier day. Statesmen, popes, and kings once embraced it, and no less a figure than St. Thomas Aquinas, the medieval theologian, thought it not incompatible with Christian faith. There are some two hundred astrological allusions in Shakespeare's plays, and not one of their astrological predictions goes unfulfilled. The great astronomers of the scientific revolution -- Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler -- were adherents. Isaac Newton's appetite for mathematics was first whetted by an astrological text. In more recent times, prominent figures such as Churchill, de Gaulle, and Reagan have consulted astrologers and sometimes heeded their advice. Today universities as diverse as Oxford in England and the University of Zaragoza in Spain offer courses in the subject, fulfilling Carl Jung's prediction decades ago that astrology would again become the subject of serious discourse.
Whether astrology actually has the powers that have been ascribed to it is, of course, open to debate. But there is no doubt that it maintains an unshakeable hold on the human mind. In The Fated Sky, Benson Bobrick has written an absolutely captivating and comprehensive account of this engrossing subject and its enduring influence on history and the history of ideas.

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The fated sky: astrology in history

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Bobrick (Fight for Freedom: The American Revolutionary War ) has given us a history of "the science of the heavens" from Sumerian civilization (c.3500 B.C.E.) to the present. Unfortunately, much space ... Прочетете пълната рецензия

Съдържание

PART ONE
1
PART TWO
119
PART THREE
239
GLOSSARY
311
BIBLIOGRAPHY
343
INDEX
357
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Страница 180 - at the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeits of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced
Страница 180 - when the planets, In evil mixture, to disorder wander, What plagues and what portents! what mutiny! What raging of the seas, shaking of earth! Commotion in the winds! Frights, changes, horrors, Divert and crack, rend and deracinate The unity and married calm of states Quite from their fixture!
Страница 181 - My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Put! I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing
Страница 160 - in the Merchant of Venice: Look how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold. There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims: Such harmony is in immortal souls.
Страница 76 - stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him . . . And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. This narrative
Страница 179 - Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night / Comets, importing change of time and states / Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky / And with them scourge the bad revolting stars / That have consented unto Henry's death!
Страница 184 - Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, / Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky / Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull / Our slow designs when we ourselves are dull.
Страница 180 - fortune, often the surfeits of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced
Страница 181 - planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star.

Информация за автора (2005)

Benson Bobrick earned his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of several critically acclaimed works, including Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired and Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution. In 2002 he received the Literature Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, Hilary, live in Vermont.

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