1-2 of 2 results  for:

  • Writer or Scholar x
  • 1000–300 BCE x
  • Art of the Middle East/North Africa x
Clear all

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Michael Bird

(b Halikarnassos [now Bodrum, Turkey], c. 484 bc; d ?Thurii [nr Sibari, Calabria], c. 425 bc). Greek historian. His life is poorly documented, but after early political exile from Halikarnassos he seems to have spent time on Samos and in the Athenian colony of Thurii in southern Italy, as well as in Athens itself. His travels included voyages to Egypt and to the Black Sea region (see Scythian and Sarmatian art, §1). Herodotus is known as the ‘father of history’, since he was the first to approach the writing of history in a systematic manner with an attempt to authenticate evidence and present it cogently. He left one work, the Histories, which centres on the Greco-Persian wars of 499–479 bc; these ended with the defeat of the Achaemenid forces by Athens around the time of Herodotus’ birth. The first half of the Histories explores the background to the might of the Achaemenid empire, while the second follows the course of the wars with Greece. Herodotus’ narrative, later divided into nine books (‘Muses’), embraces a wealth of geographical, historical and political commentary, as well as a repertory of fantastical travellers’ tales. These last have earned him the alternative sobriquet ‘father of lies’, although many of his other observations have been endorsed by modern scholarship and archaeology. Herodotus is not only an important source for Greek history in the period ...