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9. Astrology and Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the use and abuse of the astrologer in literature of the 16th and 17th centuries. It examines in detail a few genre specific depictions of the astrologer in short stories, verse, news writings, drama, and the novel. Put differently, while the increasing strictures surrounding the practice of judicial astrology, and the growing divergence between the tasks of the astronomer and those of the astrologer, both served to erode the authority of this figure, the writer recognized and contested his cultural prestige. The extremes of the eternal quotidian of the Virgilian farmer and of the particular historical moment of the Georgics were durably linked by the practice of astrometeorology. The heyday of astrometeorological literature in the 16th century was facilitated by the fact that prognostications based on these weather signs generally escaped from the ecclesiastical and civil censorship.

Keywords: astrometeorological literature; Georgics; judicial astrology



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