A treatise touching the Defence of Astrology

Author: Richard Napier

Source: MS Ashmole 242, ff. 187r-195v

Switch to normalised text

Normalised transcriptions provide a tidied-up view of the original text. Editorial interventions are applied to expand abbreviations and correct textual mistakes. Additions are silently included within the body text and deleted text is not displayed. Switching to the diplomatic view of this text will:

  • hide 55 deletions
  • silently include 36 additions
  • apply 781 editorial regularisations
<f. 187r>

A treatise touching the Defence of Astrology

If either the antiquity pleasure necessity or Comodity that any art offerth to the students and professores therof may cause and procure the loue and good likinge of the well affected and disposed reader Then I doubt not but this Art of Iudiciall Astrology will also deserve (if Credit may be giuen to auncient storyes & records) not only her loue and and {sic} Admiration, but also her praise and due Comendation Now to beginne wth her antiquity and the founders and inventers therof we fynde it recorded by good and substantiall authors that the very first inventers therof were the holy patriarkes who receiving that knowledge from God himself delivered the same touching the necessary vse therof to their Children and so it being by a Certayne traditionary succession Derived from one to another hath ever since through the gratious and mercifull vidence of the Almighty Continued notwthstanding the shipwracke of many good art even to this age of ors, and so shall we doubt not Continue if by vayne sustition and fonde Curiosity it be not abused vntill the end of h{illeg}d \the/ world Iosephus an auncient writer much esteemed by men of good note after he had Comended Seth wch was one of the godly patriarks for his study and loue of godlynes lib j. cap 3 antiq Iudaic’, sayth that Seth lefte behind him his nephewes in all good parts like vnto himself who found out syderalē scientiā ac cælestiū re cognitionē the {illeg} science of the starres and the kno\w/ledge of the heavens And least (sayth he) this knowledge should happely perish before it came to mans notice Because Adam had prophecyed of a generall deluge and destruction that sho\u/ld Come thereafter partly by water and partly by fyre To the intent that this Art and knowledge touching the starres might amongst other art be well saued and preserved from flouds and flames Seth erected two p pillers the one of stone the other of Bricke engraving in each of them (fearinge what might ensewe) amongst other art the noble arte of Astrology that if it so fortuned that one of the pillers should by any Casualty hoppen to perish yel {sic} the other that Remayned might (at the le\a/st) preserve those art wch God wo\u/ld haue Adam to Counicate to his posterity Berosus also an old historiographer amongst the Chaldæans ascribeth to Abraham the finding out of Astrology his word be these as they are Cited by Iosephus lib j. 8 Post diluviū autem decima ætate erat apud Chaldæos quidam Iustitiæ cultor vir magnus et syderalis scientiæ peritus That is After the floud in the tenth age there was amongst the Chaldæans a Certayne great and famous man a great lover of Iustice and a man very skilfull in the knowledge of Astrologye Further the same Iosephus lib. j cap 9 affirmeth that Abraham first tought the Aegyptians the knowledge of the starres whose word are these Et numero scientiā et syderū benigne illis coicavit. Nam ante Abraham {sic} ad se adventū Aegyptij rudes erant hujusmodi Disciplinarū quæ a Chaldæis ad Aegyptios profectæ hinc ad Græcos tande {sic} pervenerunt That is to say Abraham most frindly and louingly imparted to the Aegyptians not only the knowledg of numbers but also of the starres of <f. 187v> Before Abrahams Coming vnto them they were altogether ignorant wth art afterward being derived from the Chaldeans to the Aegypti{ans} proceeded so farre vntill they Came at length into the hand of the grecians The same Iosephus, Cap 4 affirmeth that God did therfore give to the Patriarkes such a longe terme of yeres boath because they were deere vnto hime as also because he wo\u/ld haue the art to be invented by their meanes and especially the art of Astrology & Geometry the Certainty whereof they could not els have attayned vnto his words are these Illi enim cum Deo chari essnt {sic} ipsius recens etiam tum opificiū et coodiore victu ad diuturnitatē vterente {sic} merito per tam multos annos vivebant. Præterea tum propter studiū virtutis tum propter vtilitatē inventarū artiū vt Astronomiæ ac Geometriæ Deus illis prolixiorē largitus est vitā qua certitudinē assequi non poterant si minus 600 annis vixissent ex tot enim magnus annus constat/

This yow haue seene by the report of Iosephus and Berosus two famous and substantiall writers that the knowledge of Astrology is no new found science but descended from auncient tymes from Seth to his nephewe{s} and so to Noah and his Children and thence to the Chaldæans and so to Abraham who taught it to the Aegyptians and they agayne to the Grecians and other peoples Epigenes a graue author affirmeth that there were found tables of stones in the wch were engraven Astrolo{gi}call observations 720 yeares before Ninus governor of the Assyrians and Phronæus king of the Grecians reigned as Pliny and Annius Viterbiensis do witnes Marianus Scotus writeth that Abrah{am} erec {sic}\erec/ted two pillers but whether they were the same wth those pillers spoken of by Iosephus I leaue it as a matter that needeth furth{er} inquisition and discussion yet thus I may boldly Conclude vp{pon} the testimony of many authors that those pillers were sett vp for th{e} Preservation of Astrology Alexander the historiographer in his voume {sic} wch he writeth of the story of the Iewes hath this s{aying} Abraham was borne in Camirine a City of Babilon wch the Grecia{ns} and latinist call Chaldæopolis who excelled all others in wisedom This was he who first founded amongst the Chaldeans the scien{ce} of Astrology of whome God so well liked for his Iustice and pi\e/ty {that} by the Cōmandement of God he came into Phænicia and ther he dwelt and taught them how to reckon the motion of the Sunne and Moone and sundry other poynt of Astrology, For wch Cause he wa{s} well accepted of the king of the Phenicians. And a fewe lynes after he addeth That Abraham oppressed wth a dearth of victuals went {into} Aegypt and Dwelt at heliopolis wth the priests at whose mouth th{e} Priest learned Astrology who notwthstanding plainly confessed that h{e} was not the first inventer therof but receved it by order of succes{sion} <f. 188r> and tradition from Enoch heerevnto may be added that there be of the moderne and Neotericall writers that Ioyne in this poynt wth the auncient writers to witt that the science of Astrology had his oring\a/ll {sic} from or first parent heerevppon it is that Peucerus that learned doctor and Physician expressely affirmeth Astrologiā a primis observatā parentibus ac posteris traditā mihi dubiū non est That the Science of Astrology was observed long agoe of or first parents and so delivered to their successors of wch (sayth he) I make no doubt at all as yow may more fully see in his worthy and learned Cōmentary of the diverse and principall kindes of Divination in his treatise of Astrology from Adam himself and so downeward from his successors as it were by lineall descent even to his owne tyme naming every author of any speciall note that had written of this science by their names shewing wthall the tymes wherein they lived and flourished of the same Iudgenent {sic} of nativityes where he saith Illud tantū monemus μαντικην illā verā et sanā sive physicā quæ causas cælestes mutationis naturæ inferioris scrutatr munitā esse non tantū primo parentū et patrū authoritate qui effectus syderū pervestigarunt et posteris tradiderunt sed etiam voce cælesti quæ in doctrina eccliæ patefacta est vt sint in signa tempora dies et annos annon hic decernit Deus vt stellæ (inter quas luminū prcipua vis) sint in signa i ante conspecta et considerata erudiant nos de mutationibus tempo vi stella excitatis That is to say This thing only we will tell yow of that that prognosticke part of Astrology wch ther he feareth not to call by the name of true sound naturall philosophy forasmuch as it searcheth out the heauenly causes of the Chaunge and alteration of thing heere beneath we tell yow (sayth he) that it is approved not only by the authority of or first parents and fathers wch sought out what effect and force every starre had But it is moreover Iustified by the heavenly voyce wch is Reuealed in the doctrine of the Churche of God where it is said Let them be for signes and distinction of tymes dayes and yeres Tell me I pray yow sayth he doth not God heere plainy Avouch that the starres especially the two light were made of him for to be notes and signes wch before Considered wthstood Iudgement and advice might instruct vs touching the Chaunges of tymes and seasons wch are Caused by Reason of the force and influence of The starres By this then that hath bene hitherto said it must needs <f. 188v> appeare vnto yow that the knowledge of Astrology is of great at antiquity as auncient as the Patriark and or first parent Abraham Noah Enoch Seth yea and Adam himself yow haue breefly seene the antiquity of Astrology may it now please yow in a word to heere somewhat touching the pleasure and profitt that Coeth thereof Plato that prince of philosophers ravished as it were wth the ple\a/sure of that diuine study is of opinion that God at the first gave man his eyes principally to behold that goodly scaffol{d} and theater of heaven wch God hath so decked and imbrodered {wth} starres as it were wth fayre Rabyes and bright Carbuncles and Cleere shining diamonds whereto ovid alludeth

os homini sublime dedit cælum tueri

Iussit et erectos ad sydera tollere vultus

That is

God made him man a stately wight m

wth face and eyes all sett vpright

And this he did that man so might

Both viewe and kenne the starry light

what marvell then if that great and famous philosopher Anoxagoras when he was asked whereto he was borne aunswerd in none other sort thus\en/ thus Ad cælū intuendū even to take a viewe {of} the heavenly pallace Sithence then it is Cleere that God hath gi{ven} men eyes as it were wth pleasure and solace to viewe that sumptu{us} theater and pallace of heaven so richly garnished wth starres as w{ith} precious margrites of inestimable valewe Can any man marvell then if there haue beene found such in all ages as have beene exceedingly delighed {sic} and ravished wth the study and Contemplation therof. It is reported of Thales Milesius one of the sayges of Greece {that} he was oftentymes so ravished wth the Contemplation of the hea{vens} and that glittering and glorious furniture that he forgat many tymes to Cherish his owne body wth natures affoorded sustenaunce and h{ad} oftentymes perished if a good and tender nourse had not by good hap {fed} and fost\e/red him as her owne Childe For he so delighted in the kno{wle}dge of the starres that when he walked abro\a/d he would not le\a/ve {of} staring on them vntill sometymes he stumbled vpon a ditche wch a {woman} well perceiving quipped the philosopher wth this prty gleeke S{yr quoth} she yow fixe yor eyes so earnestly vpon the heavens that yor feete do ev{er} stumble vpon the pitte heere I could shewe yow not onyly only of philo{sophy} but also of great emperors and princes that have taken no small delig{ht} in the Contemplation of the heauens and in the study of Astrolo{gy} But where and wth whome shall I first beginne sithence there hav{e bene} manye that haue bene well affected towards Astrology Surely I will beginne wth Iulius Cæsar because his fame hath so farre exceeded <f. 189r> <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>others, as the Sunne surmounteth the {illeg}r \lesser/ starres. This Iulius Cæsar as it is recorded bare such affection to this studie, that euen in the midst of h|a|ll his businisse, he would sit apart some vacant tyme, wch by waye of recreation hee would bestowe thereon. To this Lucan beareth wittnesse, where hee saith

Media inter prælia semper

stellarum cæli plagis superis vacaui

Amidst conflictes and Mars his bloodie Iarres

I sought to know the nature of the starres

Heere I might speake of Iulius Cæsar Tiberius his successor, who tooke such pleasure in this studie that his mynd in a manner was whollie sett thereuppon, as Suetonius sayeth of him, and in processe of <First Unidentified Hand starts here>tyme he profited so much in that study as Dion the worthy historiographer writeth vt ob stella cognitionem vales evasit præstantissimus/ That by his knowledge wch he had of the starres he became an expert Astrologer nay Rather as it were a famous prophet and Diviner and was able by his kunning skill to foretell of thing to Come heere I might report vnto yow how Alexander the emperor who was very skilfull in this science So favoured the professors therof, as that he was the first of all others who at Rome appoynted pensions and honors for the professors of Astrology whome he procured to teache this science publikely what should I heere speake of Bardus the emperor who was so greatly delighted wth this study That he Caused Leo that learned Mathematician to teach publikely at Constantinople the mathematicall sciences assigning him a worthy pension for his paynes how much Charles the great stood affected to this study his learned Ephemerides wch he wrote to be\a/re witnes to his everlasting fame and looke how much he was famed a bro\a/d for the handling of weapons somuch <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>hee was eternized at home for the vsage of the Astronomicall instrumentes I will omitt to speake of Alphonsus that famous king of Spaine who to the end that hee might with greater pleasure & libertie addict himselfe to that studie of Astrologie, whereunto nature had encligned him, as much as anie that euer liued, hee refused willinglie the Romane Empire voluntarielie offered & vrged vppon him. And surelie if hee had leaft noething else behinde him, yet his admirable tables, & explaining & vnfolding whatsoeuer was comprised in Astrologie & belongeth to the knowledge & expression of that art had bene ynough to haue æternized his name to the endes of the world. I may not here passe ouer in silence, how well Charles the first that Emperour of worthie memory effected this noble science who amidst his great affaires wruld {sic} always by stealth bestowe some vacant tyme vppon these studies, & soe highly esteemed of the learned professors of this science, that with great rewardes hee allured them to his society. Who is there almost that knoweth not how friendlie & honourably hee intertained Turrianus Cremensis for that hee shewed him by instrumentes of his owne deuising the motion of the eight heauen; by whose counsell & direction he enterprised that battle against the Saxons, which succeeded & fell out most prosperouslie according to his preconceiued hope <First Unidentified Hand starts here>Præscius <f. 189v> vt aiunt quid eventurū esset foreknowing as they say by his Cunning skill what should be the Issue of that battell But where vnto tendeth {all} this but to shewe yow that many princes have tasted of the pleasure and profitt of Astrology

Hitherto haue yow he\a/rd of the pleasure now followeth we should speak of this science as we ought and it deserveth it would make or litle t{rea}tise to become a volume, for it sheweth and teacheth vs the wonderfull Course of the heavens the straunge motions qualityes and admirable vertues and influences effects and operations of the planett and starres wch they worke vpon the inferior bodyes it sheweth vs the tymes & seas{ons} of the yeere The spring the sūmer Autumne and winter as also when the dayes be at longest in all places of the world Besides it sheweth vnto vs the Eclypses of sunne and moone the mones Chaunges and Alterations the Convenient tymes and seasons of planting graffing sowing felling of wood bloudletting and such like. These wth many moe Comodityes proceed from the knowledge of the starres In fine it is a knowledge o so beneficiall and ne necessary that no good science Can well want it For it is manifest that husbandry, nauigation physicke lawe and Divinity are much holpen by it. Husbandry because it prescribeth the fittest tymes for their science, to witt, ke{n} when the seas{on} serveth best, to sowe to plant, to grafte, to Cutt, to prune, Navigation is much furthered thereby, because it maketh many laudable instruments by wch a skilfull navigator may not only gouerne and d dire{ct} his shippe, but also prognosticate by viewe taken of the starres of the sodeyne alterations and Chaunges of the ayer of stormes and wind{s} either in tyme to driue into the harbor or els to make prparation to prevent the worst Physicke is not a litle ayded thereby when it Iudgeth duely of Complexions, prescribeth right order of diett in gouernaunce of he\a/lth, for iust ministration of medecines in tyme of sickenes, in right Iudgemt {sic} of Criticall dayes wthout wch Physicke is to be accounted vtterly vnperfect. It helpeth also to lowe {sic} especially when Contract and borgeynes be made where tyme is necessary to be obserued, but especially if they depend of moueable feast As for divinity it is so necessary therevnto, that the true observation of the tymes of the yeere would soone Runne out of their Courses, and the right observation of feast especially of Easter whereof hath beene great Controversy in the Churche could not be deuely kept wthout the knowledge hereof. Nay it is so necessary to divinity that the booke of Io{b} wthout the knowledge of this science could not be well vnderstood much lesse rightly expounded wherfore I may Conclude that this science <f. 190r> <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>is exceeding necessarie & profitable in the manifold occurrentes of mans affaires and for the auerting & preuenting of many euills which otherwaies might ensue vppon man according to that of Ptolemy in his Aphorismes: Peritus et prudens Astrologus multa mala prohibere poterit, quæ ex stellis euenirent, quam eorum naturam præsciuerit, sic enim præmanet eam cui malum futurum est vt possit illud pati. An expert, & prudent Astrologer may through his cunning skill shew vs how to preuent many euills proceeding from the influence of the starres, when hee knoweth their nature, & operacon, for then hee will soe prepare, & fortifie himselfe before hand that hee shal bee able to beare with patience the euill when it commeth. But here arise many questions, 1. whether the starres beare anie swaye ouer earthlie bodies, & the thinges of his world. Then whether they signifie anie thing to come that may bee predicted by them; whether they carry with them anie probable iudgment, & last of all whether a sound, & complete phisition can want the knowledge of Astronomie, Touching the .i. there are as we know some that ground themselues soe far vppon the prouidence of god, ascribing soe much thereunto, that they will haue all thinges, that haue either essence, & being, life, motion, vegetation, sence, feeling, or operation, solely, & wholie, yea immediatlie to proceede from god, & his prouidence, gouerning, ruling, ordering, disposing, & dispensing all thinges by himselfe, without the seruice, & ministerie of anie thing in heauen, or earth beneath True it is that god thus might, & could haue done, as hath bene before saide, if it soe pleased him, or else hee had not bene god omnipresent, or mightie Iehoua; but our question is not de potestate, sed de dei voluntate, not what god might, or could doe, but what pleased him to doe. And whether all thinges in the world be now ruled, & gouerned in their natures, motions, & operacons, immediatelie by god. To this therefore wee answere, that that god in his vnsearcheable wisedome hath taken an other course, & order, & hath ordained that there should bee first & second causes, & that the world in his gouernement should resemble a clocke in his motion, & god as the principall wheele drawing on the second, & they the rest, working as the first agent, & principall cause, vsing the heauens & the starres therein as a second cause in the mouing, altering, & disposing of thinges beneath; which things hath bene confessed long agoe by men of great learning & sound iudgment, as well philosophers as deuins; Aristotle that great, & grand philosopher, who some call Dæmon naturæ, others miraculum naturæ, a man for naturall reason the verie wonderment of the world; affirmeth god to bee the first mouer, & all other thinges to bee moued by him, but put in such a goodlie order, as that the earth & earthlie creatures, should haue there dependance vppon the heauens in their motions, operacons {sic} & alterations: This Aristotle in his philosophy touchining the meteors, giueth forth this position, as a principle of great veritie, Hic inferior mundus est contiguus superiori, cuius <f. 190v> inferiora corpora reguntur a lationibus superiorum. That is; the neather world elementarie which is all that circuite vnder the face, & cope of the moone, which is the lowest part of th ætheriall world, is as it were soe linked to the vppermost world, that the motions, operacons, & alteracons {sic} of the one depend of the other: this position of Aristoteles, wch \he/ no doubt hee receiued from the old auncient philosophers, that went before him, as grounded vppon dailie experience, all learned philosophers haue with one vniforme consent approued, as Auerroes, Niphus, Vicomercatus, Thomas, Scotus, Albertus, Schola Coloniensis, Conimbricensis, Paulus Vinetus, & all that haue commented vppon that text of Aristotles in the first booke of the Meteors, 2 chap. this position, Hermes, wch is called Τρὶσμέγιστοσ, Tresmegistus in his booke entituled Asclepio {sic}. Plato in his Thæateto, Philo Iudæus in his booke de mundi opificio, & in his booke alsoe where hee treateth of the migracon of Abraham. Ptolomæus in his 2 booke called Almagest co 12. & in his first booke of Iudgments. St Denis in his 4. booke in his chap: of the names of God. Yea St Augustine: lib: 13 chap: 4: of the trinitie: St Basil in his homil: 6to of his Hexameron & diuerse other fathers, & to shutt vp all in a word; euen the whole Chorus & companie of all the learned Schoole Deuines, as Thomas of Aquine, Albertus, surnamed for his knowledge of the great Bonadventure, Scotus, Biel, Marsilius, Durand with infinite moe writing vppon the 2 book{e} of Peter Lumbardes sentences, distinction 15: all these affirme, & auouch with one generall consent that the heauenlie bodies make their action, & impression vppon these earthlie bodies, which lye here beneath them; & surelie wee need not greatlie the testimonies of soe manie wise men, for the proofe of this matter, especiallye sithence that it is so manifestlie proued by dailie experience, for see wee not dailie how the motion of causeth that distinction of the yeare into 4 seasons, viz: The Spring: Summer: Autumne: Winter: yea the 2 æquinoctialls at such tyme as commeth into , & , that is our Spring, & Haruest tyme; at what tyme the houres of the daye, & the nig{ht} are equall, almost in all the partes of the world, & alsoe moreouer the 2 Solsticies of ; for at 2 tymes of the yeare, viz: when commeth into , & into , that is in our summer & winter, it moueth so slowlie, that hee seemeth to our eies in a manner to stand still. Now of these is caused the dailie chaunge of heate, & cold, & soe consequentlie the generation, & corruption of earthlie bodies; sec{illeg} \see/ wee not in the winter, when the is of small power to comfort the vegetalls of the earth, how all thinges doe wither, & decaye, for lacke of chearefull heate, wch when the comme{th} on, thence th to the point of the spring, doe as thinges awaked out of a dea{d} sleepe reuiue, & spring againe, but most euidentlie this may bee seene in the course of the moone, wch Arist: calleth the lesser soone, wch hath dominion ouer all moist thinges, whose course they following, encrease & decrease <f. 191r> with the , as you may see in the ebbing & flowing of the seas <First Unidentified Hand starts here>in shell fishes in plants and vegetalles of the erath {sic}, yea in the bodyes of all living thing Consisting of the 4 humors and element all wch being found true by daily experience and Confirmed by such a troupe of learned witnesses, as b\e/ing some philosophers, some Astrologers, some schoole divines, some godly writers, some holy learned fathers, I cannot but marvell how any seeing such a light so Cleere and evident would not wth standing perswade vs that these spupernall Bodyes haue noe power nor vertue at all giuen them of the Almighty to worke any effect vpon these erethly bodyes: Thus one sayth Definire nos oportet, quæ in inferioribus hijsce eveniunt nullo modo cælestium corporū sive astrorū virtute perfiei {sic} That is we must need hold and Constantly affirme, that whatsoever it be that happeneth in these earthly bodyes it can by no meanes be ascribed to the Cæstiall bodyes as if they did cause some impression or effect in them: And a while after aunswering to the old receiued position of Aristotle Inferiora reguntr A superioribus The neathermost bodyes bee gouerned by the vppermost he sayth That Aristotle attributing so much vnto the starres wch were but Creatures Could not attayne vnto the Creator himself whence he sayth it came to passe that Aristotle also held the world to be eternall and many more absurd positions like to the formost contrary to the evidence sayth he of the scripture: Theus Hyperius denyyeth this position of Aristotle as false and flatly repugnaunt to the scriptures as yow may see in his 2 booke of the workes of the 4th day and 5th quæstion of his method of divinity But this opinion of hyperius though never so learned may in no Case be admitted or apporouied {sic} because it is but one mans opinion and that founded but vpon his ovne private Conceat and fancy and different from all others induced By we\a/ke arguments reproued and Controlled by the generall Consent of the le\a/rned not only philosophers and Astrologers but diuines grave, sound and godly learned as hath beene before proved more at large, besides that d dayly experience and the due observation of the learned (how soever he d denyeth it) do Convince this opinion <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>of Hyperius to bee meerely false. And therefore noe maruell of Hyperius to be that the learned in all faculties haue at all tymes reiected & exploded this opinion, as fond, erroneous, & verie absurd, as Hermes, Tresmegistus, Plato, Arist, Avicenna, Averroes, Ptolemee, Niphus, Vicomercatus, Schola Coloniensis, Conimbriensis, & infinite moe, that haue commented vppon that text, & position of Aristotle, besides the learned schoole deuines, & godly fathers of the church, as Thomas of Aquine, great Albert, subtile Scotus the Seraphicall Doctor Bonauenture, Durand, Biel, Medina, Philo Iudæus, Dionysius often tearmed the Ariopagite, St Augustine, St Ambrose, & St Basil, with manie more, wch for breuitie sake wee pretermitt, late & moderne writers, as Martine Luther in the first chapter of Genesis, writing vppon that text that god made the Soone, & Moone to bee signes, soe doth Brentius vppon the same text, soe Selnexerus, soe doth Danæus <f. 191v> in his treatise of the fourth daye in his 31: Cap: treating of the influence of the heauenlie bodies, which they transfuse (saith he) by the ordinance of god into these earthlie bodies here beneath, which hee proueth partlie by scripture, as Deu verse: 26: cap: vers 12 & 23, Osee 2: vers. 21: viz in that daye it shall come to passe saith the Lord, that I will heare the heauens, & they shall heare the earth, & the earth shall heare the wheate & the wine, & the oile. Ex quo quis vere concludi neget cælo, et corporibus illis cælestibus et superioribus dari in hæc inferiora magnam vim, ac efficacitatem in vtram partem, seu vt fæcundentur, seu vt sterilescant. Which soe directlie concludeth (saith hee) as noe man can truelie denye that these celestiall bodies doe in either part communicate, & transfuse their vertue, & efficacie into these earthlie bodies, soe that by virtue, & influence therein receiued from them, they grow either to bee fruitfull, & battle, or else vnfruitfull, & barren. And partly hee proueth it by the experience of all wise men, notwithstanding that Hyperius maketh it an affection, & propertie common alike to the superior, & inferiour bodies, as if they had the saide g same guifte geuen them of god to encrease, & decrease of their owne accord, as the Moone hath, which opinion I know none that euer went before Hyperius, nor none that euer followed him held, except one Nicodemus Frischline who thinketh wee may as safelie affirme that the Moone is noe more cause that the humours in anie bodie should encrease, or decrease, then the bodies beneath encreasing & decreasing, as wee see, should bee the cause of the Moones encreasing, & decreasing. But if this opinion of Hyperius had not bene reputed amongst such opinions as are erroneous, & absurd, I am perswaded it would in all this tyme haue gained more fauourers then one Frischline which for ought I could finde by my reading it hath not hitherto. But to returne to my matter in hand, Danæus proueth the contrarie by the dailie & continuall experience of all ages, & yet not soe (saith hee) as if god had resigned vp all his right & interest vnto them, as if hee gouerned not all thinges, as well vniuersallie, as particularlie, most prouidentlie, & most powerfullie, & yet with all freedome, & libertie, but that hee might not seeme rashlie to haue our bodies after a manner to bee ruled of the superiour. And lastlie he proueth his opinion to bee true by the authoritie & consent of the godlie fathers, as Augustine lib. 3: cap: 4: de trinitate, & Basil saith the Moone when shee decreaseth causeth the bodies of vegitable & liuing creatures to bee emptie, & voide of humour, but when shee is full of light than shee causeth these bodies to bee fuller of moisture: And that of Ambrose lib: 4: cap: 7o: the elementes seeme to feele an alteration when the Moone is decreasing, & when shee is encreasing, than the thinges that seemed before to bee voide & emptye are filled & replenished abundantlie with moisture. Againe the same Basil saith that the chaunge of the Moone doth helpe both to the encrease of the <f. 192r> fruites of the earth, & alsoe to the life of liuing creatures, the aire is chaunged at the comeing, & goeing, or rising, & setting of the & , & both of these planets enlighten the darkesome corners of the earth, cherish seedes, encrease fruites, & the Moone by her dewe reserueth a moissture which the Sone by his heate consumeth, lastlie Danæus proueth b{illeg} his opinion to bee true; Omnium gentium et populorum consensu, by the generall, & vniforme consent of all natures, & peoples, & this opinion of Danæus that profound deuine Lanchius alsoe approueth: lib: 6:to: de sex dierum operibus: cap: 2: quest: 2: thes: 2: where hee layeth downe his iudgment in this position following after this manner, For a certaintie sayeth hee, the force of the starres is exceeding great, but especiallie of the , & : & that by the ordinance of the Almightie, great (I saye) is that force, & virtue wch they exercise vppon these earthlie bodyes, wherefore sithence this opinion is stronglie confirmed by scripture, authorities of Philosophers; Astrologers, Deuines old & new, approu by dailie experience, & obseruacon of the celestiall bodies, & by the wittnesse of holie auncient fathers, & by the consent of all nations, & people wee may boldlie conclude that most true is the position of Arist, notwithstanding the iudgment of Hyperius, & Frischline to the contrarie, viz: that the earthlie bodies are greatly moued, disposed, altered, & chaunged after the course of the heauenly bodies, & soe consequentlie, that in marking of their motions, aspects, & radiacons here they are affected to these earthlie bodies, there may great profitt arise to the heedfull obseruer of them, for the necessarie vse of man, wch in noe sort is to bee neglected except wee will not greatlie regard the workes of the almightie & their necessarie vses. But here question may bee moued, whether anie profitt might come to the Phisicion by the knowledge of the heauenlie bodies touching the cure of sicke persons; to this I answere that they knowledge of these thinges are soe necessarielie required to a Physitian, that hee cannott bee will reckoned an absolute & skilfull Physitian that is vtterlie ignorant of this Astrologie, especiallie if that bee true, which that excellent Astrologer Guido Bonatus hath in his first part of Astronomie & 2: cap: where hee hath these wordes, I suppose saith Guido, <First Unidentified Hand starts here>That every one taketh this for a principle, and an vndoubted trueth That the he\a/uens wth theer motion Compassing round about the elements wth their perpetuall Turning round about do first alter and Chaunge the element of the fyre and ayer, and then thye thus Chaunged by their motion deeply imprinted in them do agayne alter and Chaunge the other element a the water and earth and all liuinge Creatures and vegetables and all other thing that haue their essence and being vnder the globe of the moone and whatsoever els is Capable of Chaunge and alteration Because (sayth he) <f. 192v> The Sunne and the eyer d do worke vpon euery Individuall and severall thing and Creature in the earth and vpon the very part of every particuler Creature forasmuch as, no alteration can happen vnto the earth expcept it hapen through the alteration of the Sunne And so further he sayth That the Astrologer knoweth What maner of motion the motion of every Cæestiall Body is Now (sayth he) if he knowe the qualityes of these motions Then mvst he needs knowe what impressions they do imprint and make, and so wthall he much must vnderstand their significons and all thing wch are done vpon the earth attending to the Course and order of nature. and also what other things are caused in the elements by Reason of the motions of the he\a/uenly bodyes wherof no man can doubt nisi forte essipiens {sic} vel Idiota except he be a starke foole and an Ideott By wch it plainly appeareth that in the opinion and Iudgement of <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>learned Guido the knowledge of Astrologie is verie requisite for an expert phisitian that would worke aduisedlie in all his cares and indeauours. But to leaue Guido because hee was an Astrologer, & therefore may bee thought partiall in this controuersie; I will site such as had knowledg alsoe in phisicke, Ganiuetus (noe doubt) had good knowledge in both faculties, yet hee in his booke entituled Amicus Medicorum, the physitians friend doth make Astrologie the Physitians right hand, & setteth him downe in that booke how hee may doe the dutie of a good physitian, & tell the cause of the disease, and the place & th part affected, & whether or noe to bee cured, & the best & readiest waye how to cure it, & all this hee sheweth best to bee done by a diligent respect had to the celestiall bodies, & to their motions, aspects, radiations, & configurations, which they beare towardes themselues, & the earthlie bodies they aspect. These bee his wordes in the preface of that booke: In nomine Domini Amen: incipit quidam breuis tractatus ad dirigendum physicos in practica medicinæ quoad influentiam cæli tam tempore Epidimaæ quam alijs temporibus anni, vt sciant ipsi physici horas et tempora in quibus debent dare medicinas, vel applicare corporibus humanis, vt influentia iuuet opera medicinæ: in the name of god Amen. Here beginneth a certaine treatise that may helpe to direct physitians in their practise, according to the influence of the heauen, as well in the tyme of an vniuersall sicknesse, or pestilence as at anie other tymes of the yeare, that the physitians may know the howres, & seasons in the which they may applie their medicines to mans bodie, soe as the influence of the heauens may further the worke of the physitian, thus Ganiuetus in his preface to his booke, take paines gentle reader to peruse this booke, & thou <f. 193r> shalt finde in it notable rules for thy direction in this behalfe proued by figures of his owne experience, as himselfe protesteth in that booke, if thou reade it though shalt neuer repent thee of reading of it, here I might cite Hypocrates, who sayth, if wee may beeleeue Mordecus the translator of that treatise, that goeth vnder the name of Hypocrates that auncient father of phisicke, I meane wch is entituled De significatione mortis, et vitæ secundum motum lunæ, et aspectus planetarum, that is of the signification of death & life according to the motion of the Moone, & other aspects of the planets, in that treatise hee saith, Medico ignoranti astrologiam, nemo debet se committere, to such a physitian, as is vtterlie ignorant of Astrologie noe man ought to committ himself, & this hee addeth for a reason, because hee is not, saith hee, without this knowledge Perfectus Medicus, a perfect physitian: therefore Hypocrates holdeth, as you see Astrologie necessarie to the perfection of Physicke; the same Hypocrates alsoe putteth this downe amongst his Aphorismes, as a necessarie cancele of all physitians diligentlie to bee obserued: quod sub cane et ante canem non est purgandum. That a little before the dog starre riseth or a while after when hee is risen a wise physitian ought not to minister purging medicines; therefore hee requireth at the handes of a physitian that he should haue the knowledge of Astrologie, & the same Hypocrates affirmeth in his book De cæli qualitate siue de aere, et aquis et locis quod Astrologia non minimum sed valde plurimum ad medicinam conducit: that Astrologie affoardeth not a little but verie much to the furtherance of physicke, & in another place hee hath this saying: De cælestibus rebus, et sublimibus nihil dicam, nisi quatenus animalia cætera quæ in terris degunt gignuntur et nata sunt principium, et originem inde habere demonstrabo, quod anima de cælo sit, quod dolere, languere, mori, quicquid boni, maliue in homine est de cælo proficiscitur. lib: de carnibus: Of heauenlie thinges I haue noeththing else to saye but this onelie, that I meane to show, & demonsstrate that men, & all other liuing creatures besides that haue their abode & liuing vppon the earth haue their beginning, & originall frō the influence of the heauens, yea the verie soule itselfe is from heauen, yea to bee grieued, to languish, to dye, & whatsoeuer good, or euill is in man proceedeth from the heauens, & againe the same Hypocrites saith that it behooueth a physitian to know the rising & setting of certaine starres, that soe hee may learne to auoide the alteracon & excesse of humours. It is euident therefore by that which hath bene saide that Hypocrates is of opinion that it is verie expedient for an expert & absolute physitian to haue some knowledge in Astrologie. Hereuppon it is that <f. 193v> <First Unidentified Hand starts here>Arnoldus de nova villa a physicion of great fame alleageth in the Countenaunce of Astrology that Hippocrates holdeth Quod Astrologia non est parva medicinæ is no litle part of Physicke Lib de conservand Iuventute cap. 3. This being so cleere and evident I marvel much why Erastus the Physicion in his very first epistle to Christopher Sthatmion shold peremptorily affirme That in all Hippocrates his workes there Can no place or testimony be found that he sho\u/ld any whitt favor or like well of Astrology and yet yow see his workes do favor it in some sort especially where he sayth how Astrologia non minimū sed valde plurimū conducit ad medicinā That Astrology avayleth not a litle but very much to Physicke wch Arnoldus as well seene in hippocrates as Erastus affirmeth and acknowledgeth lib de cons. juvent c. 3 But to leaue hippocrates, let vs Also see what Galen thinketh. Certayne it is that learned Physicions haue ever made great account and taken great heed in mens sicknesses by the Criticall dayes as it may appeare by the excellent Comentaryes wch learned men haue written vpon that booke of Galen de diebus Criticis vel decretorijs And amongst others he {sic} Levinus Lemnius Li 2 De occultis naturæ miraculis c. 32 giueth this testimony of observing the Criticall{illeg} dayes Si quis inquit Criticos exacte ad Calculū revocet ex Hippocratis præscripto raro illū frustrari continget aut in prædicendis s eventibus a scopo aberrate If any sayth Lemnius, shall exuct by {sic} observe the Criticall d dayes following Hippocrates prscript {sic} he shall seldome fayle or mise in fortelling what shall be the end or issue of the disease Now Galen sayth in his thire {sic} booke of the Criticall dayes That the Criticall dayes by wch the Issues and alteration of diseases are wonderfully decerned do wholly depend vpon the motion of the Moone as the Principall cause thereof Now a Physicon {sic} cannot have the exact knowledge of the Criticall dayes except he have some insight in Astrology It must needs therfore be graunted even in the Iudgement of Galen that Astrology It \is/ must needs the is needfull to a good physicion Further the Same galen in the sixt Chapter of the Criticall dayes termeth them no better then sophists and deceivers wch do not Constantly beleeve that the quadrate and opposite Aspec of the Moonne do not Cause in good beginnings good alterations and so in evill beginnings the Contrary, Sithence it is a thing so manifestly proved and Confirmed as he sayth by daily experience if that be Galenes booke wch is entituled De decubitu ægrotorū ex mathematica scientia, and goeth vnder his name and is Ioyned in all auncyent Coppyes wth his other workes, as that learned Physicion Christopher Stathmion in his writings as farre forth proveth to be his by such probable coniectures as bookes doubted of may be proued. First bycause it hath beene by antiquity Both Ioyned to his other workes and beareth his name as his others do, as also because it Citeth diocles as Galen veseth to doe in other places because the stile agreeth wth \his/ other bookes, and this may farther beadded, because there Cannot be named any other author on whome it <f. 194r> may be fathered. If this I say b like to be true. then surely it wo\u/ld seeme that Galen liketh well of Astrology and holdeth it is needfull and necessary for A physicion But if this booke that goeth vnder the name of Galen be none of his as some do thinke, but vpon what reason I knowe not, except it be because it treateth of Astrology, and alloweth that kynde of Iudgement wch seemeth harshe in the eares of sutch as haue learned to hate Astrology forestalled wth preiudice before ever they knowe the necessary vse therof <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>yet it will appeare by other bookes of Galen that hee liketh well of Astrologie, especiallie where hee affirmeth that the temperature & dispositions of mens bodies are affected after the course of the starres and that great is the force of the starres as touching the temperature or distemperature of mans bodie. And besides hee reproueth sharpelie such as are vnwilling to assent vnto it: for hee sayeth that dailie experience doth manifestlie proue that this force whereby mans bodie is soe altered and chaunged proceedeth from the influence, & efficacy of the starres, and that hee is noe better than a Sophister, and a verie wrangler wch will goe about to denye it seeing soe manifest experience maketh as the contrarie. As Hippocrates and Galen doe both like well of Astrologie in that they affirme: Quod medicina sine fauore cælesti sæpius inanis, noxia reperitur: That is, Medicine without the fauour of heauen, that is, the fauourable constellation of heauen is found oftentymes not onelie vnfruitfull, but alsoe hurtfull. For it is well knowen that a Physitian may administer a medicine in one constellacon which may mortifie, and kill the sicke which ministered in a fitter constellation may either preserue him from death, or at least wise may procure him much ease. Now I saye as Galen, and Hypocrates do thinke Astrologie not vnnecessarie for a physitian: soe Auicenne that famous Arabian Physitian approueth it <First Unidentified Hand starts here>where h he holdes this position as it were the very piller of all Astrology to witt Quod secundū res cælestes eveniunt Secunda primj cap 8 That is, the thinges heere beneath on the earth do fall out according to the Course of the he\a/uens, And Abenzoor a famous Physicion accordeth heere vnto lib. 1. cap. 7 de Epilepsia Et fiant in Epilepsia paroxysmj sicut in febribus fieri consueverunt ex operatione et virtute supercælestiū corporū quæ a Deo vivo et vero perfectionē et influentiā habere et recipere sciuntr certissime et comprobantur That is to say. There do happen in the Epilepsy or falling evill Certayne sharpe fitts as are wont to happen in the Ague, truely (sayth he by the operation and vertue of the heavenly bodyes, wch are knowen for a Certeinty that they Receiue their perfection and Influence from the true and ever liuing God And Arnoldus denovavilla a very famous Physicion seemes to set much by Astrology, and requireth it as A thing very Comodious to the vse of Physicke as where he sayth that Astrology is no meane parte of Physicke as witnesseth Hippocrates. This Arnoldus writeth in his booke of the preserving of yowth cap: 3. Agayne the same Arnoldus in his treatise of the Epilepsy cap. 1o hath this saying Constat opificē sūmū genitore Deum Comisisse ducatū naturæ syderis motibus non modica eorū {influentia} in corpore humano peragit That is yt is cleere and evident that God worthy framer of the heavens hath Comitted <f. 194v> The Conduct of nature to the motions of the starres, and inded the Influence of them worketh no small operation in the body of man. Agayne he sayth Because vis vnita fortior Greater is the force and operation of things that be vnited and linked we ought to thinke that the knowledge of Astrology, and the science of Physicke ad seinvicem habeant nexū are as it were Compted and Chayned togither so as Physicke needeth the helpe of Astrology Arnoldus cap .j. De epilepsia yeat {sic} same Arnoldus goeth yet much further when he sayth Quod quælibet species morborū habet suā stellaā sub qua generatur et vivit vt dicit Rubbi Moyses That is Every kinde of disease that man hath, hath his starre vnder the wch it is ingendred and increaseth as Rabbi Moyses affirmeth To conclude wwith Arnoldus he taketh Astrology to be so necessary for a Physicion that he hath sett downe in his booke a peculier treatise of Astrology so farre forth as he thinkethe it to be requisite for a Physicion, how he may knowe the place where the disease lyeth, the Cause of the disease how it is to be Cured and all be Astrology as yow may see in that great volune {sic} of Physicke written by him Also Sorranus the Physicion in his first booke Cap: 2 thinketh it so necessary that he wo\u/ld haue a solenne {sic} oath to be taken of him that would professe Physicke first to have the knowledge of the starres heere I might further Cite that learned Philosopher and Physicion Marsilius Ficinus woh {sic} in his bookes de vita cælitus cop|m|paranda sheweth how Physicions are to vse the planet in the practise {of} Physicke lib 3. cap. 10. and towards the end of that Chapter he sayth we conclude wth Galen Astrologiam medico s esse necessariā That Astrology is very esse necessary for a Physicion, Againe in the 3 booke and 13th Chapter he seemeth to graunt that mira ad salutē a medicis in Astrologia peritis per pulveres liquores et electuaria fieri possunt That by powders liquors and electuaryes euen wonderfull things may be don for the procuring of health by such Physicions sayth he as are skilfull of Astrology And in his epislle to the Reader of the same booke he hath this saying Medicina saltem cælesti quodā ad miniculo confiramatas nisi forte vitam neglexeris haud negligito. ego enim frequenti samdiu experientia compertū habeo tantū interesse inter medicinas hujusmodj at alias abs delectu astrologico factus at inter merū et aquā See thou neglect not medecines Confirmed by the friendly and wholsome influence of the heavens except thou intendest to      neglect thine owne health and welfare. For I myself by The friendly favor and wholsome influence of the heavens except thow intendest to neglect thine owne health and welfare. For I myself <f. 195r> my self {sic} by long experience haue long since found that there is as much difference to be putt betwixt Coon and vulgar physicke done wthout any regard had of Astrology, and Physicke Ioyned wth Astrology as it betwixt wine and water Farther the same Fu\i/cinus in his booke entituled and Apology in wch he treateth of Physicke and Astrology he sayth thus Medicina sine favore cælesti, qd et Hippocrates Galenuso {sic} confitentur et nos experti sumus sæpius est inanis sæpe etiam noxia That is, that Physicke wthout the favor of the starres as hippocrates And Galen do Confesse, and I my self. have by good experience proued, is oftentymes vnprofitable, and sometymes too very hurtfull From Ficinus let vs come to Cardanus whome I may well Terme a mirror for his variety of learning For there was scarce and peece or paynt of learning especially of hidden and secret philosophy wherein he was not seene as appeareth by his manifold bookes wch treat almost of all matters wth great variety wch haps made Remigius very fondly to surmise that he was no better then a Coniurer. But vpon so weake a ground, as he may aswell Condemne Aristotle Plato Pliny wch for their learning are termed Maturæ {sic} miracula Now this great Philosopher and Physicion Cardane in a litle treatise of his Contayning an Introduction to Physicke plainly aduoucheth that Astrology is very Requisite to a Physicion and liketh so well of Astrology that he taketh so much paynes elsewhere as to explane the prince of Astrology I meane Ptolomey wth a learned Cōmentary It would be a tedious worke for me to name and rehearse all those physicions wch in the Cure of Physicke haue wished Astrology to be Ioyned therewth Levinus Lemnius in his 2 booke de occultis naturæ miraculis cap 3 playnly signifyeth that the knowledge of the starres doth helpe much to Iudge aright of diseases and sayth that Astrologi morborū judicia decernunt the Astrologers do giue best Iudgement touching the event and Issue of diseases partly shewing when diseases be daungerous or deadly and when not according as the Moone (sayth he is evill or well affected, and aspected either of benevolent or malevolent planet by good or ill aspect, and so Concludeth <f. 195v> so Concludeth that he would not haue any to neglect the starres wth ther good or euill aspect wth this disreete {sic} consideration, so that one do not too too superstitiously insist in them As Lemnius likely well of Astrology in a Physicion so doth also that godly Christian and learned doctor and physicion Peucerus in his learned booke de divinationē generibus of the divers kindes of divination his treatise of Astrology, he there holdeth that the observation of the starres is a thing very needfull for a Physicion and he further prooveth it by the example and Iudgement of hippocrates and furthermore bringeth in Galen who Citeth Diocles Caristius as affirming that the starres were not only diligently observed by the latter Physicions but also by them that were olde and auncient heere least I should be over tedious I passe over many moe Physicions wch have Ioyned these two togither as the Right hand and the lefte, the one to be helping to the other. as Taiserus who a was a great philosopher Astrologer and a Doctor of both lawes, who hath lefte behind him this worthy sentence Stultū hoc medicorū vulgus, quod nostro sæculo sic videmus in sole scere at impouere nobis purpuia {sic} sua Consilio nulli medicetur, et tam lōge a medicina est qui Astrologiæ ignarus est vt non medicus dici debeat sed Impastor That is saith Taisiner Fond is that sort of vulgar Physicions wch in this or age we see so vainly to beast and to deceive men by their gay apparell when thye knowe it to be giuen as a prep|c|ept from the mouth of their owne author that none of them should prsume to give a medecine except he have some knowledge and taste of Astrology. And truely so farre of is he from the true vse of Physicke who is ignoraunt of Astrology that he ought not to be accomted a Physicion but a very Impostor Cousenr and deceiver of the people. Heere I might name Iacobus Blanchenus de sūmo bono Lib 2 a very learned writer. who putteth in the starres A great force non tam ad bonā corporis valetudine curandā quā ad ingruentes et factas ægritudines profligandas omnino conducere non est ambigendū They haue (sayth he) a great force not only to prserve <f. 196r> The health of the body but also to drive a way diseases both iinent, and also thowse that haue made entraunce and seazed already vpon man There is a worthy treatise Enchiridion Medicinæ made by one Iohn Diurus a famous philosopher or rather a Physicion passing well seene

Document last modified: 22 July 2011

Cite this as: Casebooks Project (A treatise touching the Defence of Astrology [Diplomatic Version]), http://www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/view/text/diplomatic/TEXT3, accessed 2017-03-29.