John Dee: Interdisciplinary Studies in English Renaissance by Stephen Clucas

By Stephen Clucas

The occupation of the sixteenth-century English mathematician and usual thinker John Dee (1527-1609) has performed an important position in fresh historiographical debates in regards to the dating among magic and technological know-how within the early sleek interval. This number of interdisciplinary essays, which addresses a variety of Dee's varied highbrow actions (including arithmetic, astronomy, navigation, astrology, alchemy, cabala and "angel magic") seeks to amplify the scope of this debate, in addition to featuring new archival and bibliographical discoveries in relation to Dee and his collaborators and associates. The essays within the quantity current new perspectives at the nature of Dee's a number of tasks, in addition to the makes use of to which he positioned the books and manuscripts in his library at Mortlake (one of the biggest deepest collections in Elizabethan England).

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Extra info for John Dee: Interdisciplinary Studies in English Renaissance Thought (International Archives of the History of Ideas - Archives internationales d'histoire des idées)

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113. 44 J. Crossley, Autobiographical Tracts of Dr John Dee (Manchester, 1851), 25: “11: De stella admiranda in Cassiopeiae asterismo, coelitus demissa ad orbem usque Veneris, iterumque in coeli penetralia perpendiculariter retracta, post decimum sextum suae apparitionis mensem. Lib. 3. A. 2. Dee may have chosen the sphere of Venus for the star’s location because of the physical resemblance of the New Star to the planet Venus at its first appearance; Cornelius Gemma, for instance, named it “Phosphorus alter”.

24 Brahe, “Astronomiae”, 200; Hagecius, Dialexis 66-72. 25 Alae, sig. K4r. 26 He adds that, if it is no longer on the same line, then the amount of parallax can be determined by his sixteenth Problem. But since the New Star always appeared in the same line, this is in fact superfluous. 27 Alae, sig. ” 28 Alae, sigs A1r-B1r and B1v-B3r. 29 Alae, sig. ” 30 Alae, sig. ” 31 The star was situated very close to the great circle through the spring equinox and the celestial poles. When the sun is at the spring equinox, according to the Copernican theory, the earth is at the vernal equinox, and thus at its maximum distance from the spring equinox.

59 Dee’s definition of astronomy is equally idiosyncratic. Most contemporary astronomers divided astronomy into two component disciplines: the elementary grounding of the “sphere”, which accounted for the diurnal movements of the heavens, the rising and setting of the sun and stars, the seasons and so forth; and (the main preoccupation of astronomers) the theory of the planets, which used “hypotheses” of circular motions to account for the observed progressions and retrogressions of the planets.

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