The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2007 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, F. Jamil Ragep, JoAnn Palmeri, Marvin Bolt

Manilius [Manlius], Marcus

  • Robert Alan Hatch
Reference work entry

FlourishedRome, (Italy), 10

Marcus Manilius, a citizen of Rome, authored Astronomicon libri V, the oldest and most widely cited work on ancient astrology. Nothing certain is known of his life, education, or related writings. Rediscovered in the Renaissance, the Astronomica soon developed a wide audience and an unparalleled tradition of scholarly editors, among them the foremost astronomers of their day. For the average reader, the Astronomicaserved as a literary introduction to the heavens and an advanced primer to astrology. Manilius' masterpiece, a Latin didactic poem in five books, unveils the cosmos in hexameter verse, explaining the celestial sphere and zodiac, “describing the stars, constellations, and planets,” and above all, providing a Stoic vision of the celestial dance. It is not an introduction to astronomy – here even the basics are sometimes confused – and, indeed, astrological doctrine is often muddled. More significantly, the heavens for Manilius were a reminder to...

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Selected References

  1. Bentley, Richard (1739). M. Manilii Astronomicon. London: H. Woodfall. (Brilliant classical treatment of the text.)Google Scholar
  2. Creech, Thomas (1697). The five books of M. Manilius, containing a system of the ancient Astronomy and Astrology; together with the Philosophy of the Stoicks. London, J. Tonson.Google Scholar
  3. ——— (1700). Lucretius His Six Books of Epicurean Philosophy and Manilius His Five Books Containing a System of the Ancient Astronomy and Astrology: Together with The Philosophy of the Stoicks. London.Google Scholar
  4. Goold, George P. (ed.) (1977). Astronomica. Loeb Classical Library, no. 469. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. ——— (1998). M. Manilii Astronomica. Rev. of 1985 edn. Stuttgart: Teubner.Google Scholar
  6. Housman, A. E. M. (1903–1931). Manilii Astronomicon liber primus (‐quintus). 5 Vols. London: Grant Richards.Google Scholar
  7. Pingré, A. G. (1786). Marci Manilii Astronomicon libri quinque, accessere Marci Tulli Ciceronis Arataea, cum interpretatione Gallica et notis. 2 Vols. Paris. (Reprint, 1970; Superb French translation.)Google Scholar
  8. Regiomontanus (1472?). M. Manilii Astronomicon primus (‐quintus). Nuremberg. (Regiomontanus appears to have simply copied an available manuscript obtained from Italy with possible minor emendations.)Google Scholar
  9. Scaliger, J. J. (1600). Manilii Astronomicon. Leiden. (Presented the first substantial scholarly text of the Astronomica.)Google Scholar
  10. ——— (1655). Marci Manilii Astronomicon. Bockenhofferi, Strasburg, 1655. (Reprinting by Johann Heinrich Boecler, with commentary by Ismaël Boulliau and Thomas Reinesius.)Google Scholar
  11. Sherburne, Edward, Sir (1675). The Sphere of M. Manilius made an English poem; with annotations and an astronomical appendix. London: Nathanael Brook.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Alan Hatch

There are no affiliations available