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4. The Theological Debate

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Chapter Summary

Until the 16th century and Galileo's renewal of astronomy, many of the astronomers of the previous centuries were very expert mathematical astrologers, and astrology and astronomy were synonymous. The principal founders of this astronomy-astrology relied less on Aristotle than on Ptolemy's Almagest, which gave the foundations for the astrology of the Tetrabiblos, re-elaborating a more refined and complex technique with respect to this work, while contaminating it with the Eastern Indian and Persian astrological techniques. These thinkers elaborated world astrology with the complex theory of the great planetary conjunctions, also called the Revolutions of the years of the world, which had at its center the explanation of the birth and death of kingdoms and especially of religions, cataclysms, and universal floods. Their conjunctionist theory produced numerous commentaries and interpretations, but some of the learned among the three religions appropriated the techniques in order to anticipate the future announced in prophecies.

Keywords: astronomy; conjunctionist theory; Persian astrological techniques

10.1163/9789004262300_006
/content/books/b9789004262300_006
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