Astrology and Astronomy

Study of the stars and planets, which in the Middle Ages was both science and philosophy

Today in the Middle Ages: June 6, 1178

On June 6, 1178, a group of monks in Canterbury reported seeing "two hours of light" on the shadowed part of the moon.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 30, 1006

The brightest supernova seen in historical times appeared on April 30, 1006.

Today in the Middle Ages: April 24, 1066

On April 24, 1066, Halley's Comet appeared in the skies over an already unsettled England.

Head of Copernicus Found?

Archaeologists excavating a crypt beneath a 14th century cathedral in Frombork, Poland, believe they may have found the skull of the revolutionary astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.

Starry-eyed Surprise: Medieval Astronomy

Dame Aoife brings us a veritable galaxy of links this week, concerning astronomy not only as a natural science but also as a medieval navigation and timekeeping aid.

Michael of Rhodes Website Online

15th century Venetian sailor Michael of Rhodes is the subject of a website which chronicles his works on astrology, navigation and calendrical computations.

Happy New Year: 964!

A new book by University of Victoria mathematician Florin Diacu, Lost Millennium: History's Timetables Under Siege, explores the time theories of Russian mathematician Anatoli Fomenko and determines that the year is really 963.

Daymarks: Ancient Timekeeping

How did our ancestors keep track of time before clocks, wristwatches and cellphones? They used daymarks.

Forensic Scientists Help Solve Mystery of Copernicus' Grave

Archaeologists believe that they have found the grave of 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus including a skull and partial remains.

"Cranky Professor" Highlights What's New in Historical Research

On the Cranky Professor blog, Michael Thinkler invites ancient and medieval historians to share information on their latest research projects and ideas.

Science & Theology: Fact & Fiction

In an article for Science & Theology News, columnist Carolyn Moynihan discusses the facts and myths of scientific thought in the medieval world.

17th Century Islamic Brass Superior to European

A study by archaeometallurgists has determined that 17th century brass astrolabes constructed by Indian artisans were centuries ahead of their European counterparts.

Northshield Scholar Seeks Help with Alchemy Project

Lord Roibeard O'Connor of the Kingdom of Northshield is working on a scientific history project for his graduate degree and would like some help with alchemy processes and procedures.

Viking Telescope

Research on lenses discovered at a Viking archaeological dig on the island of Gotland provides evidence that the Norse may have had sophisticated navigational instruments as early as the 11th century.

Medieval Spring Celebrations

Aoife is just in time this week, with an Aoife's Links edition devoted to Spring Equinox rituals and customs and other celebrations of the season.

Medieval Science Page

The Medieval Science Page is a comprehensive directory of cataloged links to resources about general science in the Middle Ages. Topics include alchemy, navigation, mathematics, medicine, botany, timekeeping (horology), weights and measures (metrology), physics, and many others.

Experts Puzzled by "UFO" Coin

A 17th century French coin seems to depict a "flying saucer over a countryside," but what was intended to be portrayed remains a mystery.

Atenveldter Makes Real History

HL Mikhail Andreyevich Putnikov called Misha has been making history. In the modern world, Misha is Mike Bushroe, an engineer working through the University of Arizona on the Huygens Probe that landed on the moon, Titan.

"Chaucer's Treatise on Using an Astrolabe" Sparks Interest in Navigational Instruments

In 1391, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a treatise on how to use an astrolabe. A transcription of the work is now available online, which sparked a discussion of navigational instruments on the Lochac list.

Answers in the Stars

Aoife shares her annotated list of links on medieval astrology.