Plus ça change. . .

30 July 2009 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

Another quip from 1215:

pole_starsThe politician’s need to peer at least a short distance into the future, in the hope of getting the timing of difficult choices right, meant that few rulers could afford to dismiss astrology. Non-astronomical methods were tried too: Henry II’s chancellor, Thomas Becket, consulted a palm-reader before embarking on an expedition against the Welsh in 1157. But the transfer of Arabic science made astrology the most impressively academic of all methods for telling the future in the twelfth-century West and many rulers turned to astrologers much as politicians today turn to economists.

Danzinger and Gillingham go on to discuss some twelfth-century critics of astrology: “Evidently then, as now, different people held varying opinions about the science of forecasting.”

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Ephemera.

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