King Alfonso X's treatise on the stars and constellations: a wonderful 13th century artifact of the Christian-Jewish-Arab culture of Toledo

Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile

Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile

Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile

  1. King Alfonso X of Castile, León, and Galicia (1221–84) was a scholarly king with a particular interest in the stars

  2. This manuscript is part of a group of texts on the stars that were created between 1276 and 1279

  3. It is an essential text on the general theory of the zodiac prized by historians for the diversity of its sources

Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile

Alternative Titles:
  • Tratado de astrología y magia
Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile – Ms. Reg. lat. 1283a – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

King Alfonso the Wise was one of the most learned rulers of the Middle Ages and cultivated a tolerant and cosmopolitan culture during his reign in the 13th century. His scribes created a mountain of manuscripts from the Arabic texts that his mostly Jewish scholars translated into Latin and Castilian. This specimen of Spanish illumination is one of the few to survive to the present, and is a testimonial to the King’s great fascination with the stars.

Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile

King Alfonso X of Castile, León, and Galicia (1221–84) is commonly known as “Alfonso the Wise”, but he also has a second epithet: el Astrólogo – “the Astrologer”. He was a famous patron of the arts and sciences, with particular interest in astronomy and astrology, supporting such projects as the Alfonsine Tables, which is named after the King, as is the Moon’s Alphonsus Crater. Alfonso ruled over a rich and diverse kingdom from his de facto capital in Toledo and took advantage of this by surrounding himself with mostly Jewish (and some Arab) intellectuals capable of translating Arab texts into Castilian. This hybrid Christian-Jewish-Arab culture lead directly to the establishment of the Toledo School of Translators, which had the specific purpose of translating Arabic works on every subject imaginable, first into Latin but later into Castilian under the direction of Alfonso X.

A Rare Specimen

This manuscript is part of a group of texts on the stars that were created between 1276 and 1279. Unfortunately, precious few of these manuscripts have survived, but this rare specimen has been lovingly preserved. It attests to the advanced state of Arabian astronomy ca. 1000, which was based on the Theory of Phases by Ptolemy (ca. 100 – ca. 170) and other Alexandrians, as well as contributions from Babylonian, Indian, and Sassanid sources. It is an essential source for understanding the general theory of the zodiac and an incomparable source for historical researchers due to the diversity of its sources. The cosmological, medical, intellectual, and religious basis of ancient cultures is thus elucidated.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Tratado de astrología y magia

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile“

Tratado de astrología y magia
Astromagia of Alfonso X of Castile – Ms. Reg. lat. 1283a – Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City, State of the Vatican City)
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Tratado de astrología y magia

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Ediciones Grial – Valencia, 2000
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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