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Conference on Astrology and Anti-Astrology in the Renaissance:

Between Philosophy, Religion and Science


An international conference hosted by the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance on Friday, 6 June 2014, 11-6 pm in the Graduate Space and H5.45  

Image-De sphaera manuscript-Ferrara  

Image-De sphaera manuscript-Ferrara


In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries astrology and magic were among the most important topics of intellectual speculation in Renaissance Europe. The revival of various ancient magical and astrological texts as well as of Hermetic and Orphic traditions, together with a profound interest in Jewish mysticism, enriched Renaissance culture with new sources, giving rise to an increase of the number of both pro- and anti-astrological texts. Attempts to incorporate the occult knowledge into religious and philosophical thought caused the problem of the status of astrology in the Renaissance which is going to be one of the central points of the workshop. The main aim is to trace the development of both astrological and anti-astrological ideas in Medieval and Renaissance Europe within religious, scientific and philosophical contexts.


10:30 Registration / Coffee in the Graduate Space, 4th Floor Humanities Building


Session 1 (H5.45): 11:00 – 13:30. Chair: Paul Botley (University of Warwick)

Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute) on ‘Albumasar’s Ten Sects of Critics of Astrology and their Renaissance successors’

Hiro Hirai (Radboud University Nijmegen) on ‘The New Astral Medicine in the Renaissance’

Brendan Dooley (University College Cork) on ‘Empirical Astrology in the Renaissance: Cases and Examples’

Jacomien Prins (University of Warwick) on ‘Ficino, Patrizi and Mersenne: a Dispute about Cosmic Harmony and Astrology’ 

Lunch 1:30-3:00 in the Graduate Space

Session 2 (H5.45): 3:00 – 5:30. Chair: Dilwyn Knox (University College London)

Andreas Lerch (University of Cologne) on ‘The Commentaries on the First Aphorism of the Pseudo-Ptolemaic Centiloquium'

Ovanes Akopyan (University of Warwick) on ‘Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Astrology: from Scientia Naturalis to the Criticism of Predictions’

Ivana Skuhala Karasman (Institute of philosophy, Zagreb) on ‘Vera scientia prognosticandi”: Astrology in 16th Century Southern Europe’

Dario Tessicini (University of Durham) on ‘The Comet and the Plague: Astrology, Meteorology and Medicine in Late Sixteenth-Century Venice’

Wine Reception/Dinner 6:30-8:30pm