© 1992

The Speculum Astronomiae and Its Enigma

Astrology, Theology and Science in Albertus Magnus and his Contemporaries


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

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. A Historiographical Case-study

  3. Discussions on Astronomy at the Time of Albert

  4. Traditions, Collections and Heritage

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 103-103
    2. Paola Zambelli
      Pages 105-111
    3. Paola Zambelli
      Pages 121-125
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 127-352

About this book


The attribution of the Speculum Astronomiae to Albertus Magnus became a controversial issue only recently, when the great neo-Thomist historian Pierre Mandonnet suggested -- without any antecedents -- that the author was Roger Bacon rather than Albert. Mandonnet's theses were refuted by Lynn Thorndike and have since then been the subject of widespread discussion.
The present historiographical case-study considers this debate in the light of an analysis of texts by Albert himself, as well as other important authors, such as Bacon, Bonaventura, Thomas Aquinas, Witelo, Campanus of Novara, and others, which shows how widespread the general concept of the influence of the stars and other astrological ideas to be found in the Speculum were. Most of the scientific ideas of the Middle Ages were based on principles derived from the notion of celestial influence and its consequences. The Speculum drew the fundamental outlines of this discipline into a theoretical and bibliographical introduction -- no small achievement -- and was consequently greeted with great interest and used as a standard reference book for many centuries. Set against the background of discussions taking place in the 1260s, within the Dominican Order as well as in the Faculties of Arts, Zambelli removes all doubt that the Speculum was written by Albert, possibly with some collaboration.


Middle Ages Thomas Aquinas astronomy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di FilosofiaUniversitá di FirenzeItaly

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Speculum Astronomiae and Its Enigma
  • Book Subtitle Astrology, Theology and Science in Albertus Magnus and his Contemporaries
  • Authors P. Zambelli
  • Series Title Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-7923-1380-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-90-481-4098-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-017-3467-7
  • Series ISSN 0068-0346
  • Series E-ISSN 2214-7942
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 352
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History, general
    Medieval Philosophy
    Non-Western Philosophy
    Philosophy of Science
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