How Albert the Great’s Speculum Astronomiae was interpreted by Scott E. Hendrix

By Scott E. Hendrix

A learn that analyzes the readership of a piece generally called a "Speculum astronomiae" from the time of its creation within the mid-thirteenth century to the purpose while it lapsed from discovered discourse to within the overdue 15th century.

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Extra resources for How Albert the Great’s Speculum Astronomiae was interpreted and used by four centuries of readers. A Study in Late Medieval Medicine, Astronomy and Astrology

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25 established himself as an authority on the subject to such a degree that he was frequently called upon t o address questions about the compatibility of astrological belief with orthodox Christian doctrine. For example, in 1271 John Vercellensi, master general of the Dominicans, sent a ser ies of forty-three questions with which a l ector of the order at Venice had found himself occupied to the three most prominent Dominican theologians of the day, Thomas Aquinas, Robert Kilwardby, and Albert, mandating that they respond once an evaluation of the questions had been made.

24 In order to sustain this argument, Paravicini-Bagliani undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the surviving manuscripts of the Speculum. Creating three categories of manuscripts arranged in an impressive set of tables, 73 labeled A, B, and C, he then attempts to explain to the reader what these groupings presumably tell us about the authorship of the Speculum. Group A co mprises anonymous texts, while B has an attribution at either the beginning or the end of the text. Group C has an attribution in both the incipit and explicit.

31. , p. 31. The points in question are: “III: Quod voluntas hominis ex necessitate vult et eligit. IV: Quod omnia quae in inferioribus aguntur, subsunt necessitati corporum caelestium. IX: Quod liberum arbitrium est potentia passiva, non activa quod de necessitate movetur ab appetibili. , p. 35. ” 46 and his followers. Whether or not we can definitively state that this is what Albert intended, it is clear that he found the debate itself to be distasteful and idiotic. Considering the debate from Albert’s point of view, why would he not hold this position?

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