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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Ages ancient appears Arabic arts astrolabe astrology astronomy Bede beginning bishops calculations calendar called Carolingian celebrated celestial Celtic century changing Christ Christian church circles commentaries computed computistical concern consider constellations continued Córdoba course cult cycle described detail determine discussion divine early earth Easter eclipses elements equal equinoxes established feast Figure four geometrical given Greek Gregory heavens horizon included indicate influence Irish Italy John King knowledge late later Latin learning length letter liberal limited lunar mark mathematical mean measure medieval Middle monastery monastic month Moon motion nature night noted observations pagan philosophical planets position practical prayer precise presented ratione reflect Remigius rising ritual Roman rules Saints seasons significant signs simple solar solstices sources sphere stars suggests tables texts tradition translation universe zodiac
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