We continue our journey to discover the most famous astrologers of all time by learning about Dorotheus of Sidon, Nostradamus and Giordano Bruno.
In part one of our blog, we learned of the incredible work Galileo and Ptolemy had done in the formation and understanding of astrology, and the more dubious claims to fame by the notorious Aleister Crowley.
We start our second edition with the wonderfully named Dorotheus of Sidon.
Dorotheus of Sidon
This 1st century astrologer had written a very important poem about horoscopic astrology called the Pentateuch. There are many texts in early history entitled Pentateuch, as the name simply means five books. Basically, the work by Dorotheus of Sidon was an early textbook on Hellenistc astrology and has become a great influence on astrologers from Christian, Arabian, Persian and medieval cultures.
During the 1st century, it was a time when significant astrological development took place and the heavens changed dramatically.
Nostradamus was a French apothecary and recognized seer of his generation, he was prolific in publishing many works on his prophecies, many of which did come true. But of course, he was famous for predicting the end of the world in 1999 and, to date, this has not yet happened.
His main work Les Propheties, which was first published in 1555, has not been out of print since his death. His followers who believed the prophecies have given him the credit for predicting major world events, but doubters say that they were pure coincidence and misinterpretations of what he wrote.
Many of the opposing academics argue that the predictions are intentionally vague so that they could be applied to almost anything. Added to this is the fact that the number of poor translations has adapted what the original text once said.
Giordano Bruno is mostly remembered for his cosmological theories. He was an Italian Dominican friar who excelled in astrology, mathematics and poetry. Some of his theories expanded on the work of Copernicus, and he put forward the idea that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own planets which could be capable of maintaining life.
Another one of his theories was that the heavens were infinite and there was no central star or celestial body at its epicenter. Because of his radical thoughts, he was tried for heresy by the Romans for denying Catholic core doctrines.
In addition to astrology, Bruno wrote detailed examinations on the art of memory and how it impacted both the person and society. It is also widely held that Giordano Bruno’s focus on mathematics and, in particular, applications of the spatial concepts of geometry was directly linked to languages. He was mainly influenced by Arab astrology, particularly the ideals of Averroes, and extremely interested in the legends surrounding the Egyptian god Thoth.
In part three of our musing about famous astronomers in history we look at the ideas of William Lilly, Johannes Kepler and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Not one of our famous astrologers focused entirely on astrology, they also studied mathematics, religion, science, poetry and literature. It is this rounded education that enabled them to look scientifically and artistically at the cosmos.