Cardano's Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer
Girolamo Cardano was an Italian doctor, natural philosopher, and mathematician who became a best-selling author in Renaissance Europe. He was also a leading astrologer of his day, whose predictions won him access to some of the most powerful people in sixteenth-century Europe. In Cardano's Cosmos, Anthony Grafton invites readers to follow this astrologer's extraordinary career and explore the art and discipline of astrology in the hands of a brilliant practitioner.
Renaissance astrologers predicted everything from the course of the future of humankind to the risks of a single investment, or even the weather. They analyzed the bodies and characters of countless clients, from rulers to criminals, and enjoyed widespread respect and patronage. This book traces Cardano's contentious career from his first astrological pamphlet through his rise to high-level consulting and his remarkable autobiographical works. Delving into astrological principles and practices, Grafton shows how Cardano and his contemporaries adapted the ancient art for publication and marketing in a new era of print media and changing science. He maps the context of market and human forces that shaped Cardano's practices--and the maneuvering that kept him at the top of a world rife with patronage, politics, and vengeful rivals.
Cardano's astrology, argues Grafton, was a profoundly empirical and highly influential art, one that was integral to the attempts of sixteenth-century scholars to understand their universe and themselves.
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Cardano's cosmos: the worlds and works of a Renaissance astrologerUser Review - Book Verdict
Featuring the life of Girolamo Cardano, a Renaissance Italian mathematician, physician, and astrologer, this book is an in-depth history of Western astrology by way of biography. By detailing the social and political circles in which Cardano traveled, Grafton (history, Princeton Univ.; The Footnote) investigates astrology's influence on 16th-century medical and political thought. As a prominent physician, Cardano often treated patients with a mix of medicine and astrology, insisting he could read a given patient's future and infer the nature of his condition based on physical observation and astrological charts. This makes for fascinating reading. Well researched and scholarly (an extensive bibliography is included), this work will be an excellent addition to academic libraries.--Marija Sanderling, Rochester P.L., NH ...
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