Like Kepler and all his contemporaries he believed in astrology, and he certainly also had some faith in the power of magic, for there is extant a deed written in his own handwriting containing a contract between himself and Robert Logan of Restalrig, a turbulent baron of desperate character, by which Napier undertakes "to serche and sik out, and be al craft and ingyne that he dow, to tempt, trye, and find out" some buried treasure supposed to be hidden in Logan's fortress at Fastcastle, in consideration of receiving one-third part of the treasure found by his aid.
Considering the time in which he lived, Napier is singularly free from superstition: his Plaine Discovery relates to a method of interpretation which belongs to a later age; he shows no trace of the extravagances which occur everywhere in the works of Kepler; and none of his writings contain allusions to astrology or magic.
Astrology is in its nature an occult science, and there is no trace of a day of twenty-four hours among the ancient Hebrews.
They did not dedicate each day in turn to its astrological planet; and it is therefore precarious to assume that the Sabbath was in its origin what it is in the astrological week, the day sacred to Saturn, and that its observance is to be derived from an ancient Hebrew worship of that planet.4 The week, however, is found in various parts of the world in a form that has nothing to do with astrology or the seven planets, and with such a distribution as to make it pretty certain that it had no artificial origin, but suggested itself independently, and for natural reasons, to different races.
The "wisdom" personified by the moon-god is likewise an expression of the science of astrology in which the observation of the moon's phases is so important a factor.
With this was included mathematics, astronomy and astrology, and even the magic arts.
As closely connected with religious life, he was an augur and seer; practised magical arts, especially astrology; founded or rendered accessible many important cults, such as those of Apollo and Dionysus; instituted mystic rites, both public and private; prescribed initiatory and purificatory ritual.
Many questions in scie.ace and astrology, such as the reform of the calendar, attracted his attention.
He published several pieces bearing on medicine, astrology and alchemy, and attacking the system of Paracelsus.
His wonderful predictions (in the De Secretis) must be taken cum grano salis; he believed in astrology, in the doctrine of signatures, and in the philosopher's stone, and knew that the circle had been squared.
Astrology, geography, physical science and natural theology were their favourite studies.
Next he planned a great seven-fold work against the enemies of the Church, of which only the section directed against astrology was completed.
A similar story appears in the Book of Enoch, and Tertullian has much to say about the wicked angels who revealed to men the knowledge of gold and silver, of lustrous stones, and of the power of herbs, and who introduced the arts of astrology and magic upon the earth.
23); in a third (influenced, no doubt, by Chaldaean astrology), the power of destiny.
Michael Scot, the renowned wizard of popular tradition, earned his reputation by numerous works on astrology and alchemy.
Astronomy and astrology, moreover, occupy a conspicuous place.
Is given up to mathematics, under which head are included music, geometry, astronomy, astrology, weights and measures, and metaphysics.
He practised astrology; this recommended him to Duke Albert of Prussia, who made him his librarian (1550).
He graduated in arts, and claims to have graduated in medicine (of this there is no record at Paris), published six lectures on " syrups " (the most popular of his works), lectured on geometry and " astrology " (from a medical point of view) and defended by counsel a suit brought against him (March 1538) by the medical faculty on the ground of his astrological lectures.
ZODIAC (o ituKAos, from 'Cv&cov, " a little animal "), in astronomy and astrology, an imaginary zone of the heavens within which lie the paths of the sun, moon and principal planets.
See also the article ASTROLOGY, and the separate articles on the constellations.
See generally Franz Boll, Sphaera (Leipzig, 1903); also the bibliographies to ASTROLOGY and BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN RELIGION.
A great many works on astrology and the casting of horoscopes, on the ways to secure victory in war, success_in love, in business or in gambling, are known, as also works on other branches of magic, to which subject the Siamese have always been partial.
Rudolph was a clever and cultured man, greatly interested in chemistry, alchemy, astronomy and astrology; he was a patron of Tycho Brahe and Kepler, and was himself something of a scholar and an artist.
Magic, astrology and alchemy - all the outgrowth of Neoplatonism - gave the first effectual stimulus to the observation of nature, and consequently to natural science, and in this way finally extinguished barren rationalism.
Those fit for a soldier's life were trained to the use of weapons and sent early to learn the hardships of war; children of craftsmen were usually taught by their fathers to follow their trade; and for the children of nobles there was elaborate instruction in history, picture-writing, astrology, religious doctrines and laws.
"Nature," he wrote, "which has conferred upon every animal the means of subsistence, has given astrology as an adjunct and ally to astronomy."
The standard Babylonian work on astrology and astronomy, and compiled (in three books) the history of his country from native documents, which he published in Greek in the reign of Antiochus II.
Perhaps this, as well as his meddling with astrology, caused him to be charged with practising magic, the particular accusations being that he brought back into his purse, by the aid of the devil, all the money he paid away, and that he possessed the philosopher's stone.
But in its second aspect it touched divination and astrology, of which Galen' says that the physiognomical part is the greater, and this aspect of the subject ' bulked largely in the fanciful literature of the middle ages.
Chinese tradition ascribes to him special knowledge of herbs, of astrology, of alchemy and of medicine.
I he so-called sciences of magic, astrology and alchemy still flourish.
The persistent prominence which astrology continued to enjoy down to the border-line of the scientific movement of our own days, and which is directly traceable to the divination methods perfected in the Euphrates valley, is a tribute to the scope and influence attained by the astral theology of the Babylonian and Assyrian priests.
Dr Warton, in his observations upon Pope's line, "Unthought-of frailties cheat us in the wise," says, "Who could imagine that Locke was fond of romances; that Newton once studied astrology; that Dr Clarke valued himself on his agility, and frequently amused himself in a private room of his house in leaping over the tables and chairs ?"
Since the epoch of Alexander the Great IIarran had been a famous centre of pagan and Hellenistic culture; its people were Syrian heathens, star-worshippers versed in astrology and magic. In their temples the planetary powers were propitiated by blood-offerings, and it is probable that human victims were occasionally sacrificed even as late as the 9th century of our era.
The great library of Nineveh was to a considerable extent his creation, and scribes were kept constantly employed in it copying the older tablets of Babylonia, though unfortunately their patron's tastes inclined rather to omens and astrology than to subjects of more modern interest.
4, by the expression "tongue of the Chaldaeans," the writer evidently meant the language in which the celebrated Babylonian works on astrology and divination were composed.
(See also ASTROLOGY.) LITERATURE.
Haruspication, or the inspection of entrails, was justified on similar grounds, and in the case of omens from birds or animals, no less than in astrology, it was held that the facts from which inferences were drawn were themselves in part the causes of the events which they foretold, thus fortifying the belief in the possibility of divination.
(iv.) In astrology we have a method which still finds believers among people of good education.
See also the articles AUGURS, ORACLE, ASTROLOGY, OMEN, &C. Authorities.
Oresme was the author of several works on astrology, in which he showed its falseness as a science and denounced its practice.
The academies of the day represented the prevailing intellectual tendency of Renaissance humanism, namely, an absorbing enthusiasm for classic letters and for the transcendental speculations of Platonic and neo-Platonic mysticism, not unmixed with the traditions and practice of medieval alchemy, astrology and necromantics.