Chapter ID: CBB353345088

From Baghdad to Civitas Solis: Horoscopes of Foundations of Cities (2015)


In the original Italian version of La Cittii del Sole (1602) and the Latin version of Civitas Solis (1637), Tommaso Campanella refers to two slightly different horoscopes of the City of the Sun. The second one is a real masterpiece of utopian astrology and a noteworthy achievement of Medieval and Renaissance research on the ideal city. This paper tries to find the earlier versions of this dream and reconstitute some of its experimentations. In contrast with most of the Ancient and Byzantine Greek horoscopes of cities, the foundation chart of Baghdad seems to show the difference between an ideal horoscope and an election of the better moment to initiate a major political event. We have some astrological indications about foundations of other cities in the Medieval Middle East but for the Latin Middle Ages, the material is poor and no original horoscope of a city is preserved from this period. However, Giovanni and Filippo Villani seem to refer to a real horoscope of Florence which could have been cast by Cecco of Ascoli (t 1327), and the Cinquecento may be considered as the golden age of the horoscopes of cities, with a remarkable competition between the main Italian urban states and their champions in this matter-Luca Gaurico, Girolamo Cardano and Francesco Giuntini - who copied and modified a largely common astrological practice with an important manipulation. Almost all of these horoscopes are not properly catarchic, but try to explain a posteriori the major historical events of the cities. Between the two opposite exceptions of Baghdad and the City of the Sun, the great majority of foundation horoscopes seem to be attempts for retrospective and historical analysis.

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Book Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum; Charles Burnett (2015) From Māshāʾallāh to Kepler: Theory and Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Astrology. unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Gatti, Hilary
Poppi, Antonino
Davies, Martin L.
Galilei, Galileo
Edwards, Michael
Oestmann, Günther
Culture and Cosmos
MHNH (Revista Internacional de Investigación sobre Magia y Astrología Antiguas)
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of World History
Marsilio Editori
Walker & Company
University of California Press
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
University of Chicago
Science and religion
Science and politics
Galilei, Galileo
Cardano, Girolamo
Bruno, Giordano
Brahe, Tycho
Kepler, Johannes
Jesus Christ
Time Periods
16th century
17th century
15th century
Early modern
Ottoman Empire
Venice (Italy)
Prague (Czechia)

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