Article ID: CBB844155596

‘El Capri Kylex’: A Franciscan astronomical mnemonic (2021)


This article examines the role of memory techniques in medieval astronomy. Using a mnemonic written by a Franciscan friar c. 1330 as a case study, it shows how astronomers and astrologers simplified the sky for practical purposes, using verses and codes to make their science memorable. The article decodes the mnemonic and its underlying astronomical data, assessing its usefulness, memorability and adaptability alongside some other popular astronomical and calendrical mnemonics of the later Middle Ages. It argues that astronomical learning could be a creative, playful activity. And it situates the astrological practices of this particular friar, who made wide-ranging annotations in a 13th-century astronomical compendium, within the scientific and educational traditions of his order.

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Authors & Contributors
Brentjes, Sonja
Bruce, Scott G
Byrne, James Steven
Carolino, Luís Miguel
Christensen, Lars Lindberg
Duba, William
Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Bollettino di Storia delle Scienze Matematiche
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Mémoires de la Classe des sciences. Académie Royale de Belgique
Brepols Publishers
Harvard University
Oxford University Press
University of Colorado at Boulder
Science education and teaching
Franciscans (religious order)
Monastic orders
Bacon, Roger
Cassirer, Ernst
Johannes de Rupescissa
Manilius, Marcus
Melo e Simas, Manuel de
Vital du Four, Jean
Time Periods
14th century
15th century
13th century
19th century
20th century
Rome (Italy)

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