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Ancient Astronomy

Astronomy is the oldest of the natural sciences, dating back to antiquity, with its origins in the religious, mythological, cosmological, and astrological beliefs and practices of prehistory.

In the medieval world, from about 500 to 1500, Astronomy was a required field of study. Students of Medicine, Philosophy, and even Theology carefully observed the astrological relationship between the 12 signs of the Zodiac and one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Indeed, peoples of many religions believed that the radiant sun, full moon, twinkling stars, and distant planets held great power over their lives, the seasons, and daily activities.

The cover illustration is titled: Twelve “Masters” Under the Planetary Sky, from The Oracle book, c. 1370, Middle Rhine (Courtesy Martin-Gropius-Bau) and is said to depict Muslim, Jewish and Christian Masters debating the topic of Astronomy.

Jonicus, depicted in the illustration below is claimed by sources to be the fourth son of the Biblical patriarch Noah. Jonicus, a prophet, is said to be the discoverer of the science of Astronomy.

Artist Credit: Rudolf von Ems Austrian Unknown (About 1200 - 1254)

Date: About 1400–1410

Title: Jonicus, the First Astronomer

Made in Regensburg, Germany

Courtesy: The J. Paul Getty Museum

Caption of the Painting is: Biblical astronomer Jonicus, 15th-century manuscript.


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