Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe
Historians have long recognized that the rebirth of science in twelfth-century Europe flowed from a search for ancient scientific texts. But this search presupposes knowledge and interest; we only seek what we know to be valuable. The emergence of scholarly interest after centuries of apparent stagnation seems paradoxical. This book resolves that seeming contradiction by describing four active traditions of early medieval astronomy: one divided the year by observing the Sun; another computed the date of Easter Full Moon; the third determined the time for monastic prayers by watching the course of the stars; and the classical tradition of geometrical astronomy provided a framework for the cosmos. Most of these astronomies were practical; they sustained the communities in which they flourished and reflected and reinforced the values of those communities. These astronomical traditions motivated the search for ancient learning that led to the Scientific Renaissance of the twelfth century.
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Abbo Adelard Adelard of Bath Alcuin Almagest ancient Arabic astral astrolabe astrology astronomical tables astronomical traditions astronomy Bede Bede's bishops Boethius Brigit Calendar of Coligny Carolingian Cassiodorus celebrated celestial spheres Celtic century changing Christ circles commentaries computistical computus concern constellations cult date of Easter discussion divine druids early medieval earth eclipses elements epicycles Eriugena festival Gaul geometrical astronomy geometrical models Greek Gregory of Tours Grosseteste heavens Hist horizon Hrabanus Maurus Irish Isidore Isidore of Seville Julian calendar King late antique learning liberal arts Lughnasa lunar month Macrobius Martianus Capella Martianus's mathematical medieval astronomy mid-quarter monastery monastic monks motion nature night noted observations pagan philosophical planetary planets Pliny practical prayer Ptolemy Ptolemy's reflect Remigius rising and setting ritual Roman Rome Sacrobosco Saints scriptural seasons significant signs solar calendar solstices and equinoxes spherical stars Sun and Moon Sun's texts timekeeping translation treatise Walcher zodiac