Secrets of nature : astrology and alchemy in early modern Europe / edited by William R. Newman and Anthony Grafton.

  • 1. MIT Press paperback ed.
  • Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press 2001
Physical description
1 online resource (443 p. ) ill. (1 col.) ;
  • 0-262-28062-0
  • 0-585-43575-8
  • Bibliographic Level Mode of Issuance: Monograph
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Reproduction available: Electronic reproduction. Boulder, Colo. : NetLibrary, 2003. Access may be limited to NetLibrary affiliated libraries.
  • Mode of access: World Wide Web.
  • English
  • Introduction: the problematic status of astrology and alchemy in premodern Europe / William R. Newman and Anthony Grafton -- "Veritatis amor dulcissimus": aspects of Cardano's astrology / Germana Ernst -- Between the election and my hopes: Girolamo Cardano and medical astrology / Anthony Grafton and Nancy Siraisi -- Celestial offerings: astrological motifs in the dedicatory letters of Kepler's Astronomia nova and Galileo's Sidereus nuncios / H. Darrel Rutkin -- Astronomia inferior: legacies of Johanes Trithemius and John Dee / N.H. Clulee -- The Rosicrucian hoax in France (1623-24) / Didier Kahn -- "The food of angels": Simon Forman's alchemical medicine / Lauren Kassell -- Some problems with the historiography of alchemy / Lawrence M. Principe and William R. Newman.
Related item
  • Aufsatzsammlung.
  • Bibliography
  • Electronic books
  • History.
  • Illustrated
  • text
  • English


  • In recent years scholars have begun to acknowledge that the occult sciences were not marginal enterprises but an integral part of the worldview of many of our ancestors. Astrology was one of the many intellectual tools--along with what we consider to be the superior tools of social and political analysis--that Renaissance thinkers used to attack practical and intellectual problems. It was a coherent body of practices, strongly supported by social institutions. And alchemy was not viewed primarily as a spiritual pursuit, an idea popularized by nineteenth-century occultists, but as a part of natural philosophy. It was often compared to medicine. Many Renaissance writers suggested links between astrology and alchemy that went beyond the use of astrological charts to determine the best time to attempt alchemical operations. This book shows the many ways in which astrology (a form of divination) and alchemy (an artisanal pursuit concerned with the technologies of minerals and metals) diverge as well as intersect. Overall, it shows how an appreciation of the role of the occult opens up new ways of understanding the past. Topics include the career of Renaissance astrologer Girolamo Cardano and his work on medical astrology, the astrological thinking of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei, the history of the Rosicrucians and the influence of John Dee, the work of medical alchemist Simon Forman, and an extended critique of the existing historiography of alchemy.

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University of Aberdeen Libraries: Sir Duncan Rice Library: Floor 5 Sc 509.0903 New
Aberystwyth University Library: Hugh Owen: Level F BF1676.S4
Bangor University Library: Main Library BF1676 .S43 2001
Birkbeck, University of London Library: Contact the Library 133.5924 SEC
University of Birmingham Libraries: Main Library, Collection BF1676 .S43
British Library: Lending Collection m02/12437
British Library: General Reference Collection, St Pancras Reading Rooms YC.2002.a.192
University of Cambridge Libraries: University Library: South Wing 5 follow signs to South Staircase, Fifth Floor 198.c.200.65
University of Cambridge Libraries: Churchill College Library: Bracken Library 133.5094
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University of Cambridge Libraries: Queens' College: Main Library AZD AO New
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University of Exeter Library: Forum Library 133.5924 NEW
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Lancaster University: Main Collection MAIN KIT (N) A Floor
University of Leeds Library: Edward Boyle Library, level 11 History of Science F-2 NEW
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National Library of Scotland: General Reading Room, Edinburgh (stored onsite) H3.202.1751
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University of Oxford Libraries: St Anne's College Library: Tim Gardam Building 509.3 NEWM:Sec
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University of Oxford Libraries: Bodleian Library: Lower Gladstone Link Open Shelves (UBHU) M02.E00420
University of Oxford Libraries: Bodleian History Faculty Library: LCam Open Shelves BF1676 .S43 SEC 2001
University of Oxford Libraries: Pembroke College Library B 1.42 NEW
Queen Mary University of London Library: Mile End Library BF1676 SEC ORDINARY
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Science Museum Library: Dana Research Centre and Library 133:93 SECRETS
Senate House Library, University of London: Senate House Library SPECIAL COLLECTIONS [Onsite Store]. For REFERENCE ONLY [H.P.L.] Newman
University of Sheffield Library: Information Commons Main sequence 133.5924 (S)
Swansea University Libraries: Singleton Park Library : Main BF1676 .S43 2001
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Wellcome Library: History of Medicine AJA.AA5-6
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