A treatise touching the Defence of Astrology

Author: Richard Napier

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

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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 love and good likinge of the well affected and disposed reader Then I doubt not but this Art of Judiciall Astrology will also deserve (if Credit may be given to auncient storyes & records) not only her love and Admiration, but also her praise and due Comendation Now to beginne with 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 use 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 providence of the Almighty Continued notwithstanding the shipwracke of many good artes even to this age of ours, and so shall we doubt not Continue if by vayne superstition and fonde Curiosity it be not abused untill the end of the world Josephus an auncient writer much esteemed by men of good note after he had Comended Seth which was one of the godly patriarks for his study and love of godlynes lib i. cap 3 antiq Judaic’, sayth that Seth lefte behind him his nephewes in all good parts like unto himself who found out syderalem scientiam ac cælestium rerum cognitionem the science of the starres and the knowledge 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 should Come thereafter partly by water and partly by fyre To the intent that this Art and knowledge touching the starres might amongst other artes be well saved and preserved from flouds and flames Seth erected two pillers the one of stone the other of Bricke engraving in each of them (fearinge what might ensewe) amongst other artes the noble arte of Astrology that if it so fortuned that one of the pillers should by any Casualty hoppen to perish yet the other that Remayned might (at the least) preserve those artes which God would have Adam to Communicate to his posterity Berosus also an old historiographer amongst the Chaldæans ascribeth to Abraham the finding out of Astrology his wordes be these as they are Cited by Josephus lib i. 8 Post diluvium autem decima ætate erat apud Chaldæos quidam Justitiæ 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 Justice and a man very skilfull in the knowledge of Astrologye Further the same Josephus lib. i cap 9 affirmeth that Abraham first tought the Aegyptians the knowledge of the starres whose wordes are these Et numerorum scientiam et syderum benigne illis communicavit. Nam ante Abrahami ad se adventum Aegyptii rudes erant hujusmodi Disciplinarum quæ a Chaldæis ad Aegyptios profectæ hinc ad Græcos tandem pervenerunt That is to say Abraham most frindly and lovingly imparted to the Aegyptians not only the knowledg of numbers but also of the starres of <f. 187v> Before Abrahams Coming unto them they were altogether ignorant with artes afterward being derived from the Chaldeans to the Aegypti{ans} proceeded so farre untill they Came at length into the handes of the grecians The same Josephus, Cap 4 affirmeth that God did therfore give to the Patriarkes such a longe terme of yeres boath because they were deere unto hime as also because he would have the artes to be invented by their meanes and especially the artes of Astrology & Geometry the Certainty whereof they could not els have attayned unto his words are these Illi enim cum Deo chari essent ipsiusque recens etiam tum opificium et commodiore victu ad diuturnitatem uterentur merito per tam multos annos vivebant. Præterea tum propter studium virtutis tum propter utilitatem inventarum artium ut Astronomiæ ac Geometriæ Deus illis prolixiorem largitus est vitam quarum certitudinem assequi non poterant si minus 600 annis vixissent ex tot enim magnus annus constat/

This you have seene by the report of Josephus 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 grave authour affirmeth that there were found tables of stones in the which were engraven Astrolo{gi}call observations 720 yeares before Ninus governour of the Assyrians and Phronæus king of the Grecians reigned as Pliny and Annius Viterbiensis do witnes Marianus Scotus writeth that Abrah{am} erected two pillers but whether they were the same with those pillers spoken of by Josephus I leave it as a matter that needeth furth{er} inquisition and discussion yet thus I may boldly Conclude up{pon} the testimony of many authours that those pillers were sett up for th{e} Preservation of Astrology Alexander the historiographer in his volume which he writeth of the story of the Jewes hath this s{aying} Abraham was borne in Camirine a City of Babilon which the Grecia{ns} and latinistes 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 Justice and piety {that} by the Commandement 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 poyntes of Astrology, For which Cause he wa{s} well accepted of the king of the Phenicians. And a fewe lynes after he addeth That Abraham oppressed with a dearth of victuals went {into} Aegypt and Dwelt at heliopolis with the priests at whose mouth th{e} Priestes learned Astrology who notwithstanding 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 heereunto may be added that there be of the moderne and Neotericall writers that Joyne in this poynt with the auncient writers to witt that the science of Astrology had his originall from our first parentes heereuppon it is that Peucerus that learned doctour and Physician expressely affirmeth Astrologiam a primis observatam parentibus ac posteris traditam mihi dubium non est That the Science of Astrology was observed long agoe of our first parents and so delivered to their successours of which (sayth he) I make no doubt at all as you may more fully see in his worthy and learned Commentary of the diverse and principall kindes of Divination in his treatise of Astrology from Adam himself and so downeward from his successours as it were by lineall descent even to his owne tyme naming every authour of any speciall note that had written of this science by their names shewing withall the tymes wherein they lived and flourished of the same Judgement of nativityes where he saith Illud tantum monemus μαντικην illam veram et sanam sive physicam quæ causas cælestes mutationis naturæ inferioris scrutatur munitam esse non tantum primorum parentum et patrum authoritate qui effectus syderum pervestigarunt et posteris tradiderunt sed etiam voce cælesti quæ in doctrina ecclesiæ patefacta est ut sint in signa tempora dies et annos annon hic decernit Deus ut stellæ (inter quas luminum precipua vis) sint in signa id est ante conspecta et considerata erudiant nos de mutationibus temporum vi stellarum excitatis That is to say This thing only we will tell you of that that prognosticke part of Astrology which ther he feareth not to call by the name of true sound naturall philosophy forasmuch as it searcheth out the heavenly causes of the Chaunge and alteration of thinges heere beneath we tell you (sayth he) that it is approved not only by the authority of our first parents and fathers which sought out what effect and force every starre had But it is moreover Justified by the heavenly voyce which is Revealed 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 you sayth he doth not God heere plainy Avouch that the starres especially the two lightes were made of him for to be notes and signes which before Considered withstood Judgement and advice might instruct us touching the Chaunges of tymes and seasons which 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 unto you that the knowledge of Astrology is of great antiquity as auncient as the Patriarkes and our first parentes Abraham Noah Enoch Seth yea and Adam himself you have breefly seene the antiquity of Astrology may it now please you in a word to heere somewhat touching the pleasure and profitt that Commeth thereof Plato that prince of philosophers ravished as it were with the pleasure of that divine study is of opinion that God at the first gave man his eyes principally to behold that goodly scaffol{d} and theater of heaven which God hath so decked and imbrodered {with} starres as it were with fayre Rabyes and bright Carbuncles and Cleere shining diamonds whereto ovid alludeth

os homini sublime dedit cælumque tueri

Jussit et erectos ad sydera tollere vultus

That is

God made him man a stately wight

with face and eyes all sett upright

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 then thus Ad cælum intuendum even to take a viewe {of} the heavenly pallace Sithence then it is Cleere that God hath gi{ven} men eyes as it were with pleasure and solace to viewe that sumptu{us} theater and pallace of heaven so richly garnished with starres as w{ith} precious margrites of inestimable valewe Can any man marvell then if there have beene found such in all ages as have beene exceedingly delighted and ravished with the study and Contemplation therof. It is reported of Thales Milesius one of the sayges of Greece {that} he was oftentymes so ravished with the Contemplation of the hea{vens} and that glittering and glorious furniture that he forgat many tymes to Cherish his owne body with natures affoorded sustenaunce and h{ad} oftentymes perished if a good and tender nourse had not by good hap {fed} and fostered him as her owne Childe For he so delighted in the kno{wle}dge of the starres that when he walked abroad he would not leave {of} staring on them untill sometymes he stumbled upon a ditche which a {woman} well perceiving quipped the philosopher with this prety gleeke S{yr quoth} she you fixe your eyes so earnestly upon the heavens that your feete do ev{er} stumble upon the pitte heere I could shewe you not only of philo{sophy} but also of great emperours and princes that have taken no small delig{ht} in the Contemplation of the heavens and in the study of Astrolo{gy} But where and with whome shall I first beginne sithence there hav{e bene} manye that have bene well affected towards Astrology Surely I will beginne with Julius Cæsar because his fame hath so farre exceeded <f. 189r> <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>others, as the Sunne surmounteth the lesser starres. This Julius Cæsar as it is recorded bare such affection to this studie, that even in the midst of all his businisse, he would sit apart some vacant tyme, which by waye of recreation hee would bestowe thereon. To this Lucan beareth wittnesse, where hee saith

Media inter prælia semper

stellarum cælique plagis superisque vacavi

Amidst conflictes and Mars his bloodie Jarres

I sought to know the nature of the starres

Heere I might speake of 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 ut ob stellarum cognitionem vales evasit præstantissimus/ That by his knowledge which 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 thinges to Come heere I might report unto you how Alexander the emperour who was very skilfull in this science So favoured the professours therof, as that he was the first of all others who at Rome appoynted pensions and honours for the professours of Astrology whome he procured to teache this science publikely what should I heere speake of Bardus the emperour who was so greatly delighted with 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 which he wrote to beare witnes to his everlasting fame and looke how much he was famed a broad for the handling of weapons somuch <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>hee was eternized at home for the usage 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 ever lived, hee refused willinglie the Romane Empire voluntarielie offered & urged uppon him. And surelie if hee had leaft noething else behinde him, yet his admirable tables, explaining & unfolding whatsoever was comprised in Astrologie & belongeth to the knowledge & expression of that art had bene ynough to have æternized his name to the endes of the world. I may not here passe over in silence, how well Charles the first that Emperour of worthie memory effected this noble science who amidst his great affaires would always by stealth bestowe some vacant tyme uppon 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 devising the motion of the eight heaven; by whose counsell & direction he enterprised that battle against the Saxons, which succeeded & fell out most prosperouslie according to his preconceived hope <First Unidentified Hand starts here>Præscius <f. 189v> ut ajunt quid eventurum esset foreknowing as they say by his Cunning skill what should be the Issue of that battell But where unto tendeth {all} this but to shewe you that many princes have tasted of the pleasure and profitt of Astrology

Hitherto have you heard of the pleasure now followeth we should speak of this science as we ought and it deserveth it would make our litle t{rea}tise to become a volume, for it sheweth and teacheth us the wonderfull Course of the heavens the straunge motions qualityes and admirable vertues and influences effects and operations of the planettes and starres which they worke upon the inferiour bodyes it sheweth us the tymes & seas{ons} of the yeere The spring the summer Autumne and winter as also when the dayes be at longest in all places of the world Besides it sheweth unto us 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 with many moe Comodityes proceed from the knowledge of the starres In fine it is a knowledge so beneficiall and necessary that no good science Can well want it For it is manifest that husbandry, navigation physicke lawe and Divinity are much holpen by it. Husbandry because it prescribeth the fittest tymes for their science, to witt, 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 which a skilfull navigatour may not only governe and 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 drive into the harbour or els to make preparation to prevent the worst Physicke is not a litle ayded thereby when it Judgeth duely of Complexions, prescribeth right order of diett in governaunce of health, for just ministration of medecines in tyme of sickenes, in right Judgment of Criticall dayes without which Physicke is to be accounted utterly unperfect. It helpeth also to lawe especially when Contractes and borgeynes be made where tyme is necessary to be observed, but especially if they depend of moveable feastes As for divinity it is so necessary thereunto, that the true observation of the tymes of the yeere would soone Runne out of their Courses, and the right observation of feastes especially of Easter whereof hath beene great Controversy in the Churche could not be duely kept without the knowledge hereof. Nay it is so necessary to divinity that the booke of Jo{b} without the knowledge of this science could not be well understood 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 averting & preventing of many evills which otherwaies might ensue uppon man according to that of Ptolemy in his Aphorismes: Peritus et prudens Astrologus multa mala prohibere poterit, quæ ex stellis evenirent, quam eorum naturam præsciverit, sic enim præmanet eam cui malum futurum est ut possit illud pati. An expert, & prudent Astrologer may through his cunning skill shew us how to prevent many evills proceeding from the influence of the starres, when hee knoweth their nature, & operacion, for then hee will soe prepare, & fortifie himselfe before hand that hee shal bee able to beare with patience the evill when it commeth. But here arise many questions, 1. whether the starres beare anie swaye over 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 judgment, & 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 themselves soe far uppon the providence of god, ascribing soe much thereunto, that they will have all thinges, that have either essence, & being, life, motion, vegetation, sence, feeling, or operation, solely, & wholie, yea immediatlie to proceede from god, & his providence, governing, ruling, ordering, disposing, & dispensing all thinges by himselfe, without the service, & ministerie of anie thing in heaven, or earth beneath True it is that god thus might, & could have done, as hath bene before saide, if it soe pleased him, or else hee had not bene god omnipresent, or mightie Jehoua; 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, & governed in their natures, motions, & operacions, immediatelie by god. To this therefore wee answere, that god in his unsearcheable wisedome hath taken an other course, & order, & hath ordained that there should bee first & second causes, & that the world in his governement 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, using the heavens & the starres therein as a second cause in the moving, altering, & disposing of thinges beneath; which thing hath bene confessed long agoe by men of great learning & sound judgment, as well philosophers as devins; 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 mover, & all other thinges to bee moved by him, but put in such a goodlie order, as that the earth & earthlie creatures, should have there dependance uppon the heavens in their motions, operacions & alterations: This Aristotle in his philosophy touching the meteors, giveth forth this position, as a principle of great veritie, Hic inferior mundus est contiguus superiori, cujus <f. 190v> inferiora corpora reguntur a lationibus superiorum. That is; the neather world elementarie which is all that circuite under the face, & cope of the moone, which is the lowest part of th ætheriall world, is as it were soe linked to the uppermost world, that the motions, operacions, & alteracions of the one depend of the other: this position of Aristoteles, which he no doubt received from the old auncient philosophers, that went before him, as grounded uppon dailie experience, all learned philosophers have with one uniforme consent approved, as Averroes, Niphus, Vicomercatus, Thomas, Scotus, Albertus, Schola Coloniensis, Conimbricensis, Paulus Vinetus, & all that have commented uppon that text of Aristotles in the first booke of the Meteors, 2 chap. this position, Hermes, which is called Τρὶσμέγιστοσ, Tresmegistus in his booke entituled Asclepio. Plato in his Thæateto, Philo Judæus in his booke de mundi opificio, & in his booke alsoe where hee treateth of the migracion of Abraham. Ptolomæus in his 2 booke called Almagest co 12. & in his first booke of Judgments. 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 & diverse other fathers, & to shutt up all in a word; even the whole Chorus & companie of all the learned Schoole Devines, as Thomas of Aquine, Albertus, surnamed for his knowledge of the great Bonadventure, Scotus, Biel, Marsilius, Durand with infinite moe writing uppon the 2 book{e} of Peter Lumbardes sentences, distinction 15: all these affirme, & avouch with one generall consent that the heavenlie bodies make their action, & impression uppon 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 proved 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, & Harvest tyme; at what tyme the houres of the daye, & the nig{ht} are equall, almost in all the partes of the world, & alsoe moreover the 2 Solsticies of ; for at 2 tymes of the yeare, viz: when commeth into , & into , that is in our summer & winter, it moveth 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; 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, which when the comme{th} on, thence to the point of the spring, doe as thinges awaked out of a dea{d} sleepe revive, & spring againe, but most evidentlie this may bee seene in the course of the moone, which Aristotle calleth the lesser soone, which hath dominion over 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 earth, yea in the bodyes of all living thinges Consisting of the 4 humours and elementes all which being found true by daily experience and Confirmed by such a troupe of learned witnesses, as being 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 with standing perswade us that these supernall Bodyes have noe power nor vertue at all given them of the Almighty to worke any effect upon these erethly bodyes: Thus one sayth Definire nos oportet, quæ in inferioribus hiisce eveniunt nullo modo cælestium corporum sive astrorum virtute perfici That is we must needes 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 received position of Aristotle Inferiora reguntur A superioribus The neathermost bodyes bee governed by the uppermost he sayth That Aristotle attributing so much unto the starres which were but Creatures Could not attayne unto the Creatour 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: Thus Hyperius denyyeth this position of Aristotle as false and flatly repugnaunt to the scriptures as you 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 approved because it is but one mans opinion and that founded but upon his oune private Conceat and fancy and different from all others induced By weake arguments reproved and Controlled by the generall Consent of the learned not only philosophers and Astrologers but divines grave, sound and godly learned as hath beene before proved more at large, besides that dayly experience and the due observation of the learned (how soever he denyeth it) do Convince this opinion <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>of Hyperius to bee meerely false. And therefore noe marvell that the learned in all faculties have at all tymes rejected & exploded this opinion, as fond, erroneous, & verie absurd, as Hermes, Tresmegistus, Plato, Aristotle, Avicenna, Averroes, Ptolemee, Niphus, Vicomercatus, Schola Coloniensis, Conimbriensis, & infinite moe, that have commented uppon that text, & position of Aristotle, besides the learned schoole devines, & godly fathers of the church, as Thomas of Aquine, great Albert, subtile Scotus the Seraphicall Doctor Bonaventure, Durand, Biel, Medina, Philo Judæus, Dionysius often tearmed the Ariopagite, St Augustine, St Ambrose, & St Basil, with manie more, which for brevitie sake wee pretermitt, late & moderne writers, as Martine Luther in the first chapter of Genesis, writing uppon that text that god made the Soone, & Moone to bee signes, soe doth Brentius uppon 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 heavenlie bodies, which they transfuse (saith he) by the ordinance of god into these earthlie bodies here beneath, which hee proveth partlie by scripture, as Deu 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 heavens, & 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 utramque partem, seu ut fæcundentur, seu ut 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 received from them, they grow either to bee fruitfull, & battle, or else unfruitfull, & barren. And partly hee proveth 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 same guifte geven them of god to encrease, & decrease of their owne accord, as the Moone hath, which opinion I know none that ever went before Hyperius, nor none that ever 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 have gained more favourers 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 proveth the contrarie by the dailie & continuall experience of all ages, & yet not soe (saith hee) as if god had resigned up all his right & interest unto them, as if hee governed not all thinges, as well universallie, as particularlie, most providentlie, & most powerfullie, & yet with all freedome, & libertie, but that hee might not seeme rashlie to have our bodies after a manner to bee ruled of the superiour. And lastlie he proveth 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 & living 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 living 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 reserveth a moissture which the Sone by his heate consumeth, lastlie Danæus proveth his opinion to bee true; Omnium gentium et populorum consensu, by the generall, & uniforme consent of all natures, & peoples, & this opinion of Danæus that profound devine Lanchius alsoe approveth: lib: 6:to: de sex dierum operibus: cap: 2: quest: 2: thes: 2: where hee layeth downe his judgment 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 which they exercise uppon these earthlie bodyes, wherefore sithence this opinion is stronglie confirmed by scripture, authorities of Philosophers; Astrologers, Devines old & new, approv by dailie experience, & observacion 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 Aristotle, notwithstanding the judgment of Hyperius, & Frischline to the contrarie, viz: that the earthlie bodies are greatly moved, disposed, altered, & chaunged after the course of the heavenly bodies, & soe consequentlie, that in marking of their motions, aspects, & radiacions here they are affected to these earthlie bodies, there may great profitt arise to the heedfull observer of them, for the necessarie use of man, which in noe sort is to bee neglected except wee will not greatlie regard the workes of the almightie & their necessarie uses. But here question may bee moved, whether anie profitt might come to the Phisicion by the knowledge of the heavenlie 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 utterlie 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 undoubted trueth That the heavens with theer motion Compassing round about the elements with their perpetuall Turning round about do first alter and Chaunge the elementes of the fyre and ayer, and then thye thus Chaunged by their motion deeply imprinted in them do agayne alter and Chaunge the other elementes the water and earth and all livinge Creatures and vegetables and all other thinges that have their essence and being under the globe of the moone and whatsoever els is Capable of Chaunge and alteration Because (sayth he) <f. 192v> The Sunne and the eyer do worke upon every Individuall and severall thing and Creature in the earth and upon the very partes of every particuler Creature forasmuch as, no alteration can happen unto the earth except 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 must he needs knowe what impressions they do imprint and make, and so withall he must understand their significons and all thinges which are done upon 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 heavenly bodyes wherof no man can doubt nisi forte insipiens vel Idiota except he be a starke foole and an Ideott By which it plainly appeareth that in the opinion and Judgement of <Second Unidentified Hand starts here>learned Guido the knowledge of Astrologie is verie requisite for an expert phisitian that would worke advisedlie in all his cares and indeavours. But to leave Guido because hee was an Astrologer, & therefore may bee thought partiall in this controversie; I will site such as had knowledg alsoe in phisicke, Ganivetus (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 & 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 themselves, & the earthlie bodies they aspect. These bee his wordes in the preface of that booke: In nomine Domini Amen: incipit quidam brevis tractatus ad dirigendum physicos in practica medicinæ quoad influentiam cæli tam tempore Epidimaæ quam aliis temporibus anni, ut sciant ipsi physici horas et tempora in quibus debent dare medicinas, vel applicare corporibus humanis, ut influentia juvet 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 heaven, as well in the tyme of an universall 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 heaven may further the worke of the physitian, thus Ganivetus 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 proved by figures of his owne experience, as himselfe protesteth in that booke, if thou reade it though shalt never repent thee of reading of it, here I might cite Hypocrates, who sayth, if wee may beeleeve Mordecus the translator of that treatise, that goeth under the name of Hypocrates that auncient father of phisicke, I meane which 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 utterlie 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 have the knowledge of Astrologie, & the same Hypocrates affirmeth in his book De cæli qualitate sive 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 animaliaque cætera quæ in terris degunt gignuntur et nata sunt principium, et originem inde habere demonstrabo, quodque anima de cælo sit, quodque dolere, languere, mori, quicquid boni, malive in homine est de cælo proficiscitur. lib: de carnibus: Of heavenlie thinges I have noeththing else to saye but this onelie, that I meane to show, & demonsstrate that men, & all other living creatures besides that have their abode & living uppon the earth have their beginning, & originall from the influence of the heavens, yea the verie soule itselfe is from heaven, yea to bee grieved, to languish, to dye, & whatsoever good, or evill is in man proceedeth from the heavens, & againe the same Hypocrites saith that it behooveth a physitian to know the rising & setting of certaine starres, that soe hee may learne to avoide the alteracion & excesse of humours. It is evident therefore by that which hath bene saide that Hypocrates is of opinion that it is verie expedient for an expert & absolute physitian to have 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 Juventute 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 should any whitt favour or like well of Astrology and yet you see his workes do favour it in some sort especially where he sayth how Astrologia non minimum sed valde plurimum conducit ad medicinam That Astrology avayleth not a litle but very much to Physicke which Arnoldus as well seene in hippocrates as Erastus affirmeth and acknowledgeth lib de cons. juvent c. 3 But to leave hippocrates, let us Also see what Galen thinketh. Certayne it is that learned Physicions have ever made great account and taken great heed in mens sicknesses by the Criticall dayes as it may appeare by the excellent Comentaryes which learned men have written upon that booke of Galen de diebus Criticis vel decretoriis And amongst others Levinus Lemnius Li 2 De occultis naturæ miraculis c. 32 giveth this testimony of observing the Criticall dayes Si quis inquit Criticos exacte ad Calculum revocet ex Hippocratis præscripto raro illum frustrari continget aut in prædicendis eventibus a scopo aberrate If any sayth Lemnius, shall exactly observe the Criticall dayes following Hippocrates prescript he shall seldome fayle or mise in fortelling what shall be the end or issue of the disease Now Galen sayth in his third booke of the Criticall dayes That the Criticall dayes by which the Issues and alteration of diseases are wonderfully decerned do wholly depend upon the motion of the Moone as the Principall cause thereof Now a Physicion 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 Judgement of Galen that Astrology 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 which do not Constantly beleeve that the quadrate and opposite Aspeces of the Moone 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 which is entituled De decubitu ægrotorum ex mathematica scientia, and goeth under his name and is Joyned in all auncyent Coppyes with his other workes, as that learned Physicion Christopher Stathmion in his writings as farre forth proveth to be his by such probable conjectures as bookes doubted of may be proved. First bycause it hath beene by antiquity Both Joyned to his other workes and beareth his name as his others do, as also because it Citeth diocles as Galen useth to doe in other places because the stile agreeth with his other bookes, and this may farther beadded, because there Cannot be named any other authour on whome it <f. 194r> may be fathered. If this I say b like to be true. then surely it would seeme that Galen liketh well of Astrology and holdeth it is needfull and necessary for A physicion But if this booke that goeth under the name of Galen be none of his as some do thinke, but upon what reason I knowe not, except it be because it treateth of Astrology, and alloweth that kynde of Judgement which seemeth harshe in the eares of sutch as have learned to hate Astrology forestalled with prejudice before ever they knowe the necessary use 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 reproveth sharpelie such as are unwilling to assent unto it: for hee sayeth that dailie experience doth manifestlie prove 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 which 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 favore cælesti sæpius inanis, noxiaque reperitur: That is, Medicine without the favour of heaven, that is, the favourable constellation of heaven is found oftentymes not onelie unfruitfull, but alsoe hurtfull. For it is well knowen that a Physitian may administer a medicine in one constellacion which may mortifie, and kill the sicke which ministered in a fitter constellation may either preserve him from death, or at least wise may procure him much ease. Now I saye as Galen, and Hypocrates do thinke Astrologie not unnecessarie for a physitian: soe Avicenne that famous Arabian Physitian approveth it <First Unidentified Hand starts here>where he holdes this position as it were the very piller of all Astrology to witt Quod secundum res cælestes eveniunt Secunda primi cap 8 That is, the thinges heere beneath on the earth do fall out according to the Course of the heavens, And Abenzoor a famous Physicion accordeth heere unto lib. 1. cap. 7 de Epilepsia Et fiant in Epilepsia paroxysmi sicut in febribus fieri consueverunt ex operatione et virtute supercælestium corporum quæ a Deo vivo et vero perfectionem et influentiam habere et recipere sciuntur 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, which are knowen for a Certeinty that they Receive their perfection and Influence from the true and ever living God And Arnoldus denovavilla a very famous Physicion seemes to set much by Astrology, and requireth it as A thing very Comodious to the use 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 youth cap: 3. Agayne the same Arnoldus in his treatise of the Epilepsy cap. 1o hath this saying Constat opificem summum genitore Deum Comisisse ducatum naturæ syderis motibus non modica eorum {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 unita fortior Greater is the force and operation of things that be united and linked we ought to thinke that the knowledge of Astrology, and the science of Physicke ad seinvicem habeant nexum are as it were Compted and Chayned togither so as Physicke needeth the helpe of Astrology Arnoldus cap .i. De epilepsia that same Arnoldus goeth yet much further when he sayth Quod quælibet species morborum habet suam stellaam sub qua generatur et vivit ut dicit Rubbi Moyses That is Every kinde of disease that man hath, hath his starre under the which it is ingendred and increaseth as Rabbi Moyses affirmeth To conclude with 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 thinketh 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 you may see in that great volume of Physicke written by him Also Sorranus the Physicion in his first booke Cap: 2 thinketh it so necessary that he would have a solemne 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 who in his bookes de vita cælitus comparanda sheweth how Physicions are to use the planetes in the practise {of} Physicke lib 3. cap. 10. and towards the end of that Chapter he sayth we conclude with Galen Astrologiam medico esse necessariam That Astrology is very necessary for a Physicion, Againe in the 3 booke and 13th Chapter he seemeth to graunt that mira ad salutem a medicis in Astrologia peritis per pulveres liquores et electuaria fieri possunt That by powders liquors and electuaryes even 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 quodam ad miniculo confirmatas nisi forte vitam neglexeris haud negligito. ego enim frequenti samdiu experientia compertum habeo tantum interesse inter medicinas hujusmodi atque alias absque delectu astrologico factus atque inter merum et aquam 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 <f. 195r> by long experience have long since found that there is as much difference to be putt betwixt Common and vulgar physicke done without any regard had of Astrology, and Physicke Joyned with Astrology as it betwixt wine and water Farther the same Ficinus in his booke entituled an Apology in which he treateth of Physicke and Astrology he sayth thus Medicina sine favore cælesti, quod et Hippocrates Galenusque confitentur et nos experti sumus sæpius est inanis sæpe etiam noxia That is, that Physicke without the favour of the starres as hippocrates And Galen do Confesse, and I my self. have by good experience proved, is oftentymes unprofitable, and sometymes too very hurtfull From Ficinus let us come to Cardanus whome I may well Terme a mirrour 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 which treat almost of all matters with great variety which perhaps made Remigius very fondly to surmise that he was no better then a Conjurer. But upon so weake a ground, as he may aswell Condemne Aristotle Plato Pliny which for their learning are termed Naturæ miracula Now this great Philosopher and Physicion Cardane in a litle treatise of his Contayning an Introduction to Physicke plainly advoucheth 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 with a learned Commentary It would be a tedious worke for me to name and rehearse all those physicions which in the Cure of Physicke have wished Astrology to be Joyned therewith Levinus Lemnius in his 2 booke de occultis naturæ miraculis cap 3 playnly signifyeth that the knowledge of the starres doth helpe much to Judge aright of diseases and sayth that Astrologi morborum judicia decernunt the Astrologers do give best Judgement 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 planetes by good or ill aspectes, and so Concludeth <f. 195v> so Concludeth that he would not have any to neglect the starres with ther good or evill aspectes with this discreete 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 doctour and physicion Peucerus in his learned booke de divinationem 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 Judgement 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 which have Joyned these two togither as the Right hand and the lefte, the one to be helping to the other. as Taiserus who was a great philosopher Astrologer and a Doctour of both lawes, who hath lefte behind him this worthy sentence Stultum hoc medicorum vulgus, quod nostro sæculo sic videmus in sole scere atque impouere nobis purpura sua Consilio nulli medicetur, et tam longe a medicina est qui Astrologiæ ignarus est ut non medicus dici debeat sed Impastor That is saith Taisiner Fond is that sort of vulgar Physicions which in this our age we see so vainly to beast and to deceive men by their gay apparell when thye knowe it to be given as a precept from the mouth of their owne authour that none of them should presume to give a medecine except he have some knowledge and taste of Astrology. And truely so farre of is he from the true use 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 Jacobus Blanchenus de summo bono Lib 2 a very learned writer. who putteth in the starres A great force non tam ad bonam corporis valetudine curandam quam ad ingruentes et factas ægritudines profligandas omnino conducere non est ambigendum They have (sayth he) a great force not only to reserve <f. 196r> The health of the body but also to drive a way diseases both imminent, and also thowse that have made entraunce and seazed already upon man There is a worthy treatise Enchiridion Medicinæ made by one John 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 [Normalised Version]), http://www.magicandmedicine.hps.cam.ac.uk/view/text/normalised/TEXT3, accessed 2017-11-19.