The Literary Tradition of the Speculum and Its Role as a Reference Book

  • Paola Zambelli
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 135)


The second bibliography we are going to examine briefly seems to reflect, at first sight, an analogous collection. Remigio Sabbadini was the first to study Guglielmo da Pastrengo (1290-ca.1362), a politician and judge from Verona who acted as ambassador to Vicenza, Venice and Avignon (where he met Petrarch, and began a life-long friendship with him). Sabbadini maintained that Guglielmo’s De originibus rerum libellus, in quo agitur de scripturis virorum insignium (A booklet on the origins of things, concerning writings by famous men, ca. 1346–1350) represented the discoveries of a group of manuscript-hunters who were responsible for the birth of humanism in Verona and in Europe in general.1 According to Sabbadini, Guglielmo’s culture was “firm and wide-ranging”, covering the whole spectrum of classical and medieval literature, and particularly deep as far as astrology was concerned. Guglielmo “had a special passion for astrology, and was able to collect an astrological library of twenty-five authors”. It is very difficult to determine which of the works he lists “he had under his eyes” and which “he found quoted in his sources”. Sabbadini, who, being a humanist philologist of classical training, was not acquainted with the history of science, and was convinced that the astrological library was exceptional, in view of the fact that “these are the only works of which he gives the incipits”.2 In fact, a cursory comparison between the De originibus and the Speculum astronomiae immediately destroys Sabbadini’s belief. The astrological entries are more numerous, more precise, and provided with incipits, only because Guglielmo was able to take advantage of the exceptional bibliographical survey offered by the Speculum, as is shown even if one considers only those authors listed under “A” (“Archesel known as Albategni, the astrologer Alboali, Almansor, Abrazath, Alchindus, Alpetragius, Aldilazith, Alfraganus”, etc.). The abandonment of the chronological order in favor of the alphabetical one and the numerous misspellings of names and titles show that Guglielmo consulted his codex of the Speculum astronomiae without either care or competence. He does not deny that he knows the work. Indeed, after mentioning “Albertus the German, of the Order of the Preachers, a man of very sharp intellect (acerrimi vir ingenii)”3 and one whom he places amongst the “doctors of law” following Albertino Mussato, Guglielmo claims that Albert is the author of the Speculum. This passage was later censored by Michelangelo Biondo, the sixteenth century editor of Guglielmo’s work. Carlo Cipolla published the astrological entries quoted by Pastrengo, and re-established some of the pseudo-Aristotelian titles: “De iudiciis in astrologia (On astrological judgments) which starts as follows: Signorum alia (‘some of the signs’) and later De imaginibus, which is the worst of all books concerning images, dedicated to Alexander, which starts as follows Dixit Aristoteles Alexandri (‘Aristotle said to Alexander’). This book also bears the name of Mors animae (Death of the soul), as Brother Albertus writes”.4 Both titles are in fact taken from the Speculum (VI/12–14; XI/95–98). It would be redundant to add to the list of evidence proving that Guglielmo di Pastrengo used the Speculum and attributed it to Albertus.


Fourteenth Century Literary Tradition Special Passion Manuscript Tradition Analogous Collection 
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  1. 1.
    R. Sabbadini, Le scoperte dei codici latini e greci ne’ secoli XIV e XV Firenze 1967, 2nd ed., I, cap. I: Gli scopritori veronesi’, pp. 4–20. Pastrengo’s work was edited by Michele Biondo, Venice 1547, as the first of a series of analogous publications. Biondo introduced some corrections, particularly as far as the list of works attributed to Aristotle was concerned, which he and other humanists considered to be unacceptable and uncritical. On the interesting activity of Michele Biondo (1500–1565?) cf. the excellent entry by Giorgio Stabile in Dizionario biografico degli italiani X, Roma 1968, pp. 560–63.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sabbadini, op. cit., I p. 7 and 22. This conclusion is accepted by A. Avena, Guglielmo da Pastrengo e gli inizi dell’umanesimo a Verona’, in Atti dell’Accademia di agricoltura, scienze, lettere, arte e commercio di Verona LXXXII (S. IV, vii), Verona 1907, pp. 229–85, see p. 279 in particular; Avena painstakingly reconstructed the biography of Guglielmo and published documents relating to Guglielmo’s contacts with Petrarch. Avena also pointed out the contrast between “la sua predilezione per l’astrologia” and “l’odio accanito ch’ebbe invece per i cultori di essa it Petrarca”. The latter had trusted his library to Guglielmo during his journey to Rome on the occasion of the jubilee of 1350: according to Avena, this date represents the end of the period during which it is possible to argue that Guglielmo composed his De originibus. The work, it is claimed, was posterior to 1337, the year of the death of some of the figures quoted in a work explicitly excluding all reference to living contemporaries, and was also posterior to 1346, when a Veronese inscription allegedly by Livius, and quoted in the work, was discovered. Among the philosophical works quoted by Guglielmo, Avena indicated the Boetian translations of Aristotle, and the Timaeus commented on by Calcidius, as well as more modern works by Alain of Lille, Goffredo da Viterbo, Alexander Neckam, Vincent of Beauvais, Walter Burleigh, Ricoldo da Montecroce and Uguccione da Pisa. Thomdike too mentioned Guglielmo’s strong “interest in Arabic astrologers” (TH, III, 592), yet, when in the article `Traditional Medieval Tracts’cit. he made use of the De originibus to highlight some of the texts on images quoted in chap. XI of the Speculum he was not aware that he was dealing with the very source of the work.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    C. Cipolla, Attorno a Giovanni Mansionario e a Guglielmo da Pastrengo’, in Miscellanea Ceriani Milano 1910, pp. 743–88; Cipolla took those passages from the ms. Vat. lat. 5271, ff. 2–5r, and above all from the ms. Ottobonianus lat. 92, ff. lv-3r, which are to be preferred to the ms. Marcianus lat. X, 51 employed by the sixteenth-century editor. A critical edition of this text though promised by the late Roberto Weiss is still lacking. The edition by Biondo prints only the last entries of the very long list of works attributed to Aristotle, but these entries are sufficient to betray one of Guglielmo’s main sources (besides Walter Burleigh): “Scribit Laercius, libro de vita phylosophorum, Aristotelis opera ad tercentorum voluminum summam accedere; alibi legitur quod ad mille”. Yet, Guglielmo had been able to quote 146 titles only, among which the one quoted in the text (pp. 775–76) and the “De iudiciis in astrologia, qui incipit: Signorum alia” are indebted to two passages of the Speculum astronomiae VI/21–24 (where, in any case, the vulgate has “Haly” and not “Aristoteles”, the name found in the mss. and the edition by Cumont) and XI/25–33. In order to identify the second treatise, “Item de ymaginibus, qui omnium est pessimus qui loquuntur de ymaginibus, hunc ad Alexandrum scripsit”, Cipolla rightly refers to the Speculum but does not consider this work to be the source of Guglielmo: indeed, he put forward the curious identification of that source with a hypothetical ms. also quoted in the Flores —an earlier Veronese compilation— wherein is mentioned “Aristoteles in Ycono”, a term that does not refer to a treatise on images, but to the “yconomicorum libri”.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    In Mélanges A. Pelzer Louvain 1947, pp. 217–74.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    F. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Science cit., passim refers to the Speculum in almost every article, in order to identify translations and works. B. Nardi, Saggi sull’aristotelismo padovano Firenze 1958, p. 29 ff. employed the Speculum as a theorical guide to reconstruct the outlines of Pietro d’Abano’s astrology.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    L. Thorndike, A Bibliography composed around 1300 A. D. of Works in Latin on Alchemy, Geometry, Perspective, Astronomy and Necromancy’, Zentralblatt far Bibliothekswesen LV, 1938, pp. 225–260.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    L. Thorndike, Notes upon some Mediaeval Latin Astronomical and Mathematical Manuscripts at the Vatican Library’, Isis XLIX, 1958, p. 36; the ms. Ottob. lat. 1826 that at f. 80v has a marginal note explicitly dated “1333”, at f. 85r carries a quotation from the Speculum (644b 23ss) on the “calculatio certissima” of the instant of Christ’s birth, clearly by the same hand. Cf. Thorndike, `Some little known astronomical and mathematical manuscripts’, Osiris VIII, 1948, pp. 62–63, mentioning CLM 2841, a fifteenth-century astrological miscellany that at f. 15r ff. has the Liber de iudiciis (inc.: Nota quod omnia quae dicimus in nativitate alicuius ita eadem dicuntur in quaestione, sed non ita propriechwr(133)), a work the ms. claims had been attributed to Aristotle in the Speculum. Thorndike felt that the edition by Borgnet left “some mystery”. The critical text we have established (VI/12–14) solves the mystery: for this extract should be identified with the “secundo tractatu in quo agitur de interrogationibus” of a pseudo-Aristotelian work (cf below the critical commentary which restored this identification) bearing the incipit: “Signorum alia sunt masculini generis”, attributed to Aristotle and printed with the title Liber ad Alconem regem Venice, 1509.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    L. Delisle, Le Cabinet cit. II, p. 90, published a catalog of 1297 where we already find the attribution to Albert: “Tractatus Alberti de continentia librorum astronomicorum et differentia eorum, qui sunt noxii et qui non. [Inc]: Quoniam quidam libri apud nos”. It is easy to correct the wording of the incipit: “occasione quorundam librorum apud quos”.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    R. A. Pack, Pseudo-Aristoteles: Chiromantia’, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age XXXIX, 1972, p. 309: “a naturalium membrorum signs declarari possunt naturales hominum inclinationes affectuumchwr(133) Est autem haec scientia [physiognomia] necessitatem non imponens moribus hominum, sed inclinationes ex sanguine et spiritibus physicis ostendens, quae retineri possunt freno rations”. Similar anti-deterministic allusions are to be found in the other `Pseudo-Aristotelian Chyromancy’, edited by R.A. Pack himself ibid., XXXVI, 1969, p. 233: “debes ergo scire quod haec non nunciant aliquem effectum futurum vel venturum, et ideo non debes iudicare quod sic necessario evenirent, sed solum quod hoc solitum est secundum inclinacionem nature, et quod disposicio est ad talia, quorum signa videbis in manu”. On the topic of physiognomy the author of the Speculum expressed himself explicitly in chap. XVII/17–21; he suspended judgment, though he left it to be understood that he was not opposed to the practice: “forte pars est phisiognomiae quae collecta videtur ex significationibus magisterii astrorum super corpus et super animam, dum mores animi conicit ex exteriore figura corporis; non quia sit una causa alterius, sed quia ambo inveniuntur ab eodem causata.” Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    T. Käppeli, Scriptores O.P. cit. II, pp.199–200 and the secondary literature there cit. do not mention this fragment preserved in two Oxford mss. (Corpus Christi College 243 and 283), attributed to Olivier Lebreton or de Tréguier (Trecorensis or Armoricensis) O.P. only by P. Glorieux, La Faculté des Arts et ses maîtres au XIIIe siècle Paris 1917, s.v. and Id., Répertoire cit., I s. v. 46. This Oliverius Brito was listed by Bemardus Guidonis and Laurent Pignon in their catalogs of learned Dominicans: a lecturer at the dominican convent in Angers, he was connected with Giles of Rome; around 1288 he read the Sentences at Saint Jacques’ in Paris, where he became magister theologiae and regens in 1291–92; Provincial for France in 1293 and 1294, author of lost commentaries and unedited Quodlibeta he died at Angers in 1296, according to Quetif-Echard, Scnptores cit„ p. 448; Histoire Littéraire de la France Paris 1842, pp. 303–304, and P. Glorieux, La littérature quodlibétique Paris 1935, p. 211. The Philosophia still unedited, was however attributed to an older unknown author by R. A. Gauthier, `Arnoul de Provence et la doctrine de la phronesis’, Revue du Moyen Age latin XIX, 1963, pp. 139, 143: “Olivier Lebreton devait-chwr(133)être un collègue et contemporain d’Amoul de Provence et de Nicolas de Paris, un maître de la Faculté des Arts de Paris vers 1250”; cf. C. Lafleur, Quatre introduction à la philosophie au XIII siècle. Textes critiques et études historiques Montréal-Paris, Vrin, 1988, pp. 53, 391–392, who annonces his edition and underlines the correspondences with Speculum astronomiae, Proem/2–3 5–7; XVII/passim. I look forward to reading this forthcoming edition to check data and the context of these interesting quotations, which have been very kindly submittted to my attention by Mr. Lafleur.Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    Cf. D. Planzer, Albertus-Magnus-Handschriften in mittelalterlichen Bibliothekskatalogen des deutschen Sprachgebietes’, Divus Thomas (Freiberg), X, 1932, pp. 378–408; Planzer studied a catalog of Albertinian works compiled at the end of the fifteenth century in the Carthusian Monastery of Salvatorberg near Erfurt. On the basis of studies he quoted, the scholar pointed out (p. 248) that the ancient catalog of the first Dominican convent in Cologne was unfortunately lost in a fire, together with the greater part of the books there quoted: we are here referring to the Dominican convent in Cologne, where Albert had deposited “libros meos universos librariae communi”. Among the ancient catalogues, we should also remember the one edited by A. Werminghoff, Die Bibliothek eines Konstanzer Officials [Johann von Kreuzlingen, J. U. D.] aus dem Jahre 1506’, Zentralblatt far Bibliothekswesen XIV, 1897, pp. 290–298, listing several Albertinian and Thomist writings, and, together with the the “articulos parisienses” —referring probably to the condemnation of 1277— “Albertum Magnum de defensione astrologiae ac suppositione eiusdem; eundem de signis; de substantia et substantivo secundum Thomam; de judiciis astrorum [Thomae Aquinatis]; eundem Albertum de sensu et sensatu; de ente et essentia [Thomae Aquinatis]; Eugidii [Romani] theureumata cum resolutionibus”.Google Scholar
  12. 13.
    P. van Loe, De vita et scriptis B. Alberti Magni’, in Analecta Bollandiana, XIX, Bruxelles 1900, pp. 276–277, § 13: “In Monasterio Praedicatorum Coloniae habetur opus eius [Alberti] solemne Super Mattheum propriis manibus suis scriptum. Aliud etiam volumen De naturis animalium de manu sua et Speculum mathematicae similiter de manu sua”. The fate of the Dominican library, much admired by sixteenth-century visitors, is reconstructed by K. Löfiier, Kölnische Bibliotheksgeschichte im Umriss Köln 1923, pp. 11 and 13; “sie brannte am 2. März 1659 ab, wodurch wichtige Manuskripte von Albert dem Grossen und Thomas von Aquin zu grunde gegangen sein sollenchwr(133)”; still identifiable are, however, two Albertinian autographs that, together with the Speculum astronomiae were worshipped in the fifteenth-century by Peter of Prussia, and were proudly shown to J. J. Björnstahl during his visit in 1774: “Bei den Dominikanern besah er `zwei, wie man sagt, von Albertus Magnus geschriebene Manuskripte auf sehr feinem seidnem Zeuge oder dem feinsten Kalbpergamene; das eine ist im Quart mit dem Titel De animalibus das andere in Folio”. From this description, it is possible to recognize the ms. of the De animalibus that has been authenticated and published by Stadler in the critical ed. Münster 1915–16 cit. (Köln, Historisches Archiv der Stadt, W 8° 258), and the Commentary to Matthew preserved in the same archive (ms. W 4° 259); cf Alberti Magni De vegetabilibus ed. H. Stadler-C. Jessen, Berlin 1867, p. 672; H. Ostlender, `Das Kölner Autograph des Matthaeus Kommentars Alberts des Grossen’, Jahrbuch des kölnische Geschichtesvereins XVII, Köln 1935, pp. 129–42; Id., `Die Autographe Alberts des Grossen’, in Studia albertina. Festschrift für B. Geyer (= Beiträge. Supplementband IV), Münster 1952, pp. 321. Ostlender mentioned the ms. of the work on the eucharist once owned by the Dominicans in Cologne and then lost, as well as the exemplars copied from lost autographs, such as the Priora, Perihermeneias, Metaphysica. Lastly, see B. Geyer, Prolegomena to the critical edition from the autograph of the De natura et origin animae in Opera omnia cit. XII, Münster 1955, p. VII, n. 1, as well as the bibliography there quoted. I wish wholeheartedly to thank Prof. von den Brincken, Stadt. Oberarchivar at Cologne, who kindly sent me the photocopies of Löfïier and of the present ms. catalog of the few Dominican and Albertinian manuscripts still preserved in the Historisches Archiv, where, according to him, there is no trace of the Speculum astronomiae. Google Scholar
  13. 14.
    Petrus de Prussia, Alberti Magni Vita [1486] quoted from the edition in the appendix to Albertus Magnus, De adhaerendo Deo Antwerp 1621. Cf the studies on this and the previous biographies (cit. above ch. 2 n. 25), and in particular the coat of arms established by Scheeben, Les écrits d’Albert cit. app. 264 ff., 272, 285–87, who attributed the Legenda ed. by van Loe, considered authoritative by Petrus de Prussia, to an anonymous author living in Cologne slightly before Petrus. According to Scheeben, the archetype of this Legenda could help in reconstructing the alleged Legenda I that could perhaps go back to Gottfried von Duisburg, Albert’s last secretary in Cologne.Google Scholar
  14. 16.
    B. Nardi, Le dottrine filosofiche di Pietro d’Abano’, Saggi sull’aristotelismo padovano Firenze 1958, pp. 29–37, where he sees in the Speculum astronomiae the model of Peter of Abano’s astrological theories and a “documento prezioso dell’atteggiamento e del pensiero di un teologo di fronte alla libertà di ricerca [chwr(133)] e al soverchio zelo teologico”.Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    G. Federici Vescovini, Albumasar in Sadan e Pietro d’Abano’, in La diffusion delle scienze islamiche nel Medio Evo europeo cit. p. 46.Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    Very recently — after these pages had already been written on the basis of the transcription of the Ms. Paris. lat. 2598 provided in a thesis by R. Pasquinucci under the supervision of prof. E. Garin, Florence, Faculty of Letters, 1964 — a critical edition has been published: Pietro d’Abano, Il ’Lucidator astronomiae’ e altre opere. ed., introd. e note di G. Federici Vescovini. Padova, Programma e 1 + 1 Editori, 1988. On ff. 100v — 101r of that ms. of the Lucidator the subdivisions of astronomy correspond to those of the Speculum: “extat una de revolutionibus, alia de nativitatibus, tertia de interrogationibus, reliqua de electionibus; prima siquidem in ires partes [coniunctiones, revolutiones anno-rum et nativitatum]; mantica, geomantia, ydromantia, aerimantia, piromantia, horospitium, augurium etc.” and moreover, the bibliography that follows seems to have been extracted summarily, but exactly, from it.Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    G. Federici Vescovini, Peter of Abano and Astrology’, in Astrology, Science and Society. Historical essays ed. by P. Curry, Woodbridge/Suffolk 1987, pp. 20–22; cf Speculum Proemium/ 5. See also Ead.,`Pietro d’Abano e l’astrologia-astronomia’, Centro Intern. di storia dello spazio e del tempo. Bollettino, n.5 (no date), p.11, n.11, and p.15: Peter of Abano agrees with “l’autore dello Speculum astronomiae the Pietro sembra conoscere”; Ead., `Pietro d’Abano e le fonti astronomiche greco-arabo-latine a proposito del Lucidator), Medioevo XI, 1985, pp. 65–96, especially p. 66: “if Peter strongly using Alfargani’s Elementa astronomiae and Albattani’s De scientia motum astrorum ”risale alle fonti“ of the Sphaera and of Campanus’ Theorica this note can apply as well to the Speculum astronomiae these treatises being its main sources too”; Ead. `Un trattato di misura dei moti celesti, il `De motu octavae sphaerae’ di Pietro d’Abano’, in Mensura. Mass, Zahl, Zahlensymbolik im Mittelalter (= Miscellanea mediaevalia, 16/2) Berlin-New York 1984, pp. 280281; Ead., `La teoria delle immagini di Pietro d’Abano e gli affreschi astrologici del Palazzo della Ragione a Padova’, in Die Kunst und das Studium der Natur hg. v. W. Prinz -A.Beyer, Weinheim, VHC 1987 (= Acta humaniora, 1987), pp. 27 ff.Google Scholar
  18. 20.
    G. Federici Vescovini, `Peter of Abano’ cit. p. 24 n. 16, where a long passage is cited from the Lucidator, ms. Paris. lat. 2598, f. 99a, against “plurimi qui doctrinis phylosophicis indocti sermones illustrissimi et praecipui Ptolemei prave intellectos suscepere”; cf ibid. p. 29.Google Scholar
  19. 21.
    Ibid., p. 26 n. 23: “Propter primum sciendum quod quidam assignarunt differentiam inter astronomiam et astrologiam, dicentes astronomiam fore illam quae partem motus pertractat, astrologia autem quae iudicia instruit. Sed illud neque ratio construit aut multorum usus persuadet, cum astronomia dicatur ab astro et nomos, lex; astrologia vero a logos quod ratio, et sermo et logia, locutio. Hac autem indifferentia, similiter alterutrumque invenio in alterutro eius partem utramque proferri (Lucidator diff. 1, f. 100ra; and cf Conciliator diff. 10, propter primum).”Google Scholar
  20. 26.
    S. Caroti, L’astrologia in Italia Roma 1983, p. 196.Google Scholar
  21. 27.
    Id., La critica contro l’astrologia di Nicole Oresme Roma 1979 (= Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. Memorie. Classe di Scienze morali storiche e filologiche, S. VIII, xxiii, 6), pp. 555–556.Google Scholar
  22. 29.
    Cf Vigintiloquium de concordantia astronomicae veritatis cum theologia in Pierre d’Ailly, De Ymagine mundi s. 1. ed. [ca. 1480], ad verbum III.Google Scholar
  23. 30.
    Elucidarius astronomicae concordiae cum theologia et hystorica narratione caput 2, ibid. where Pierre addresses to the Speculum only one internal criticism, complaining that it had placed the ascendent of the horoscope of Christ in one zodiacal sign rather than in another without refuting such a horoscope on principle. Cf. TH, IV, p. 105; cf. L. Salembier, Petrus ab Alliaco Lille 1886, pp. 177–194; O. Pluta, `Albert von Köln und Peter von Ailly’, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie 32, 1985, pp. 269270: while visiting Köln in 1414 Pierre studied Albert’s writings, “einen der wichtigsten namentlich genannten Autoritäten”.Google Scholar
  24. 31.
    Apologia defensiva astronomiae ad magistrum Johannem cancellarium parisiensem cited by TH, IV, p. 112 and n. from ms. Paris BN, lat. 2692, f. 147v: “Concordemus denique cum Alberto Magno, doctore sancti Thomae, in illo praecipuo tractatu suo qui Speculum dicitur, ubi hanc materiam plene utiliter pertractat.” Cf Pierre d’Ailly, letter to Gerson (November 1419) in Gerson, Oeuvres complètes ed. P. Glorieux, II, Paris 1960, p. 221.Google Scholar
  25. 32.
    Pierre d’Ailly, Concordantia astronomiae cum theologiachwr(133) cum historica narratione. Elucidarius Wien, E. Ratdolt, 1490, f. a2v. Cf his letter to J. Gerson, November 1419, in Gerson, Oeuvres complètes cit., II p. 219: “vera astronomia [chwr(133)] tamquam naturalis quaedam theologia illi supernaturali theologiae et tamquam ancilla dominae subserviens”.Google Scholar
  26. 36.
    Ibid., f. a3r, verbum 3um. Cf also the conclusion of the Elucidarius where the treatment of Christ’s horoscope and the zodiacal image of the Virgin are very similar to those in Speculum XII/60–100.Google Scholar
  27. 37.
    P. Tschackert, Peter von Ailli Gotha 1877, pp. 328–331.Google Scholar
  28. 38.
    P. Mandonnet, `Roger Bacon’ cit. p. 320 n. 3.Google Scholar
  29. 39.
    F. Pangerl, ‘Studien über Albert’, cit. pp. 325–326.Google Scholar
  30. 40.
    J. Gerson, Opera omnia ed. L.-E. Dupin, The Hague 1728, 2nd. ed., I, col. 201: Tricelogium (propositio III): “Composuit super hac re magnus Albertus opusculum quod appellatur Speculum Alberti narrans quomodo temporibus suis voluerunt aliqui destruere libros Albumasar et quosdam libros alios. Videtur autem, salvo tanti Doctoris honore, quod sicut in exponendis libris physicis, praesertim Peripateticorum, nimiam curam apposuit, maiorem quam Christianum doctorem expediebat, nihil adiiciendo de pietate fidei; ita et in approbatione quorundam librorum astrologiae, praesertim de imaginibus, de nativitatibus, de sculpturis lapidum, de characteribus, de interrogationibus, nimis ad partem superstitionum ratione carentium determinavit”.Google Scholar
  31. 41.
    This work written by Gerson on 7 April 1420 has been entitled Tricelogium because it contains thirty propositions with which to answer to Pierre’s Vigintilogium. For this reason it should not be cited as Trilogium as it is usually done; cf. M. Liebermann, `Chronologia gersoniana’, Romania 74, 1953, pp. 321–322, 337. According to Liebermann (who published another series of his `Chronologia gersoniana’, ibid. 70, 1948, pp. 51–67; 73, 1952, pp. 480–498; 76, 1955, pp. 289–333) Pierre d’Ailly and Jean Gerson “ne rejetaient pas complètement cette science” and they associated in this period to “combattre les penchants du Régent [future King Charles VII] pour la fausse astrologie”. On the title of Gerson’s Tricelogium and on his astrology in general, see also P. Glorieux, `Introduction’ to J. Gerson, Oeuvres complètes Paris 1960, I, pp. 35, 134; F. Bonney, `Autour de Jean Gerson. Opinions de théologiens sur les superstitions et la sorcellerie au début du XVe siècle’, Le Moyen Age LXXVII, 1971, pp. 85–98.Google Scholar
  32. 42.
    J. Gerson, Opera omnia cit. col. 201.Google Scholar
  33. 43.
    Ibid., col. 289 [Proemium]: “quin etiam theologia scientias omnes alias sibi subditas habet velut ancillas, in quibus si quid pulchrum est, illud approbat et decorat, si quid noxium et turpe, illud abiicit et mundat; porro si quid superfluum est, resecat supplens quicquid fuerit diminutum”. This occurs precisely with regard to astrology, which the theologian does not deny to have been a “scientiam nobilem et admirabilem primo patriarcae Adam et sequacibus revelatam”. Later on astrology was corrupted “tot vanis observationibus, tot impiis erroribus, tot supertitionibus sacrilegis” by those who have not been able “in ea sobrie sapere ac modeste uti”; so that she is now, according to Gerson: “infamis,chwr(133) religioni Christianorumchwr(133) pestilens et nociva”.Google Scholar
  34. 46.
    Ibid., col. 191 “Propositio VI: Caelum generale influens esse et remotum et actiones suas in patiente disposito recipi. Deum nedum universaliter et remote, sed singularissime et propinquissime operari. Commentum: Erraverunt hic Astrologi quidam ut Alkindus de radiis stellicis [chwr(133)] ponendo res inferiores nihil agere, sed tantummodo deferre radiosas influentias coeli; et inde fieri effectus similes numero prius istum quam ilium, propter determinationum coeli, ut in productione gradum caliditatis”.Google Scholar
  35. 47.
    Ibid., col. 192: “Propositio VII: Caelum effectus nedum varios sed contrarios vel oppositos in inferioribus facere pro diversitate materiae”.Google Scholar
  36. 48.
    Ibid., col. 192: “Propositio VII: Caelum cum sideribus et planetis in omnibus suis cornbinationibus motuum, directionum, retrogradationum, oppositionibus cum reliquis circumstantiis, multo plus ab hominibus ignorari quam sciri”; col. 193: “Propositio IX: Caelum habere commensurabile vel incommensurabile motus signorum, insuper et certos planetas huic vel illi genti dominari proprius incertum est”. There Oresme “et post eum Petrus cardinalis Cameracensis” are cited. Cf. S. Caroti, La critica cit. pp. 636–644, where is cited a passage from the Apologetica defensio of 1414, f. 89, “Albertus magnus utique philosophus, astronomus et theologuschwr(133) astronomicam potestatem non sic deprimit, quod earn a Christi nativitate nitatur excludere”. From that and the following quotation of Albumasar this text has to be traced to Speculum XII/60–100.Google Scholar
  37. 49.
    Ibid., col 191: “Propositio IV: Coelum virtutes a Deo diversas pro varietate suarum partium, stellarum, planetarum et motuum recepisse; sed eas ab omnibus comprehendi non posse. Commentum: Errant et experientiam negant sentientes oppositum, cum coelum sit sicut horologium pulcherrimum compositum ab artifice summo, cum sit etiam liber sententiosissimus exemplatus ab exemplari libro vitae infinito et aeterno, qui nominatur mundus archetypus”.Google Scholar
  38. 50.
    Ibid., col. 191: “Propositio V: Coelum obedire ad nutum Deo glorioso atque ipsum operibus humanae recreationis seu reparations inferius et subditum esse. Commentum: Erraverunt hic multi astrologi et philosophi qui posuerunt Deum agere de necessitate naturae et qui negaverunt mysterium nostrae redemptionis a seculis absconditum, propter quid nedum coelum corporeum, sed etiam angeli et intelligentiae sunt (sicut dixit Apostolus) `in ministerium missi’, Hebr.1 14”.Google Scholar
  39. 52.
    Adversus doctrinam cuiusdam medici delati in Montepessulano sculpentis in numismate figuram Leonis cum certis characteribus, Ibid. cols. 206–207: “Imaginum quae astrologicae nominantur [cf the third type, which ”virtutem nanciscitur solummodo a figura caelesti“, see Speculum XI/32 ff.] fabricatio et usus, suspectus est plurimum de superstitione et idolatria seu magica observatione [chwr(133)] Characteres huiusmodi si habeant vel habere credantur efficaciam, oportet quod hoc sit a causa spirituali, non a pure naturali et corporali, qualis causa est coelum cum suis influentiis in corpora [chwr(133)] ibi sunt characteres, literae, figurae et dictiones, quae nullum effectum habent naturalem pure corporalem ad curationem morbi renum et similium [chwr(133)] iuxta quod notetur in speciali S. Thomas qui tribuit Astrologiae quantum rationabiliter dari potest, ad exemplum Alberti Magni magistri sui, consone tarnen ad fidem catholicam”.Google Scholar
  40. 53.
    Cf above n. 40 and also Mandonnet, `R. Bacon’ cit. p. 320 n. 3.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola Zambelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FilosofiaUniversitá di FirenzeItaly

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