Further Condemnations, Debates and “Consultationes”

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


In 1271, when Albert together with two other eminent Dominicans, Thomas Aquinas and Robert Kilwardby, was consulted by the General of his Order, he was the most outspoken of the three in his denunciation of this view.1 In the articles discussed in 1271, the Aristotelian “intelligences” had been identified with the angels of the Scriptures. In 1277, the soul of the heavens was condemned together with the Aristotelian intelligences, though the latter beings were not specifically identified with angels. This ruling reflected not only a certain terminological shift — which was perhaps due to the rhapsodic nature and origin of many of the condemned articles — but revealed an unusual and interesting application of the doctrine of the intelligences in solving one of the major contradictions of the astrological doctrine: namely, the question of free will and what “influence” or effects the stars might have on it, as in the 1277 condemnation (art. 161). Indeed, the astrologers condemned in 1277 did not show the sort of caution demonstrated by Albert and Roger Bacon (not to mention Ptolemy, Albumasar, and several other astrological authorities), by excluding free will from the range of astrological determinations. They claimed “that will and intellect are not moved and put in action by themselves, but they are moved by an eternal cause, that is, celestial bodies”.2 This meant that because of the variety of loci and of signa, will and intellect are determined by “the necessity of events” (art.142). It followed that “in men [there were] different conditions not only concerning spiritual gifts but also earthly goods” (art. 143). “Health, illness, life and death” (art. 206) were dependent on the heavens, since the will or the healing power of the doctor also depended on it (art. 132). We know that this type of event3 was regarded by critical supporters of astrology as merely natural; but in addition, man’s free will was sometimes also subjected to the stars: “Our will is subjected to the power of the celestial bodies” (art. 162).4


Celestial Body Thirteenth Century Opus Omnia Manuscript Tradition Rational Soul 
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  1. 1.
    J. A. Weisheipl, ‘The Problemata determinata XLIII ascribed to Albertus Magnus’, Medi¬aeval Studies, XXII, 1960, pp. 323–327; cf now the edition, based also on a new ms., by Weisheipl in Opera omnia, t. XVII/1, Munster 1975, p. 48 ff.: “Sciendum autem quod non inveniuntur antiqui perypatetici aliquid de angelis tradidisse, sed novi quidam et tantum quidam arabes et quidam judaeichwr(133) Concorditer autem isti dicunt quod intelligencie sunt substancie quas vulgus angelos vocatchwr(133) Non est dubium quod corpora caelestia non movent angelichwr(133) Patet igitur quod intelligencia nec angelus est, et si esset, non adhuc esset motor proximus alicuius spere celestis. Et si sic est, quod certissime probatum est, tune angeli per ministerium non movent corpora celestia et sic ulterius sequitur quod nec alia inferiora corpora moventur ab ipsis”. Before the discovery of these Problemata, Fritz Pangerl, ‘Studien über Albert den Grossen’, Zeitschrift far katholische Theologie, XXXVI, 1912, p. 800n., remarked: “fast in allen seinen Werken wendet er sich gegen die auch nach ihm nicht vermiedene Verwechselung der Intelligentiae (Substantiae separatae) und der Engel. Vgl. [Opera, ed. Borgnet, Paris 1890–1899] I, 189–190; X, 431, 45; XXXII, 368”. The same views were expressed in TH., II, 502n. Cf also K. Flasch, ‘Von Dietrich zu Albert’, Freiburger Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Theologie, 32, 1985, p. 23. The histo¬riographical debate and many texts by Albert will be discussed below, ch. 8.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chartularium cit., I, p. 551, art. 133: “Quod voluntas et intellectus non moventur in actu per se, sed per causam sempiternam, scilicet corpora celestia”.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chartularium cit., I, p. 549, art. 112: “Quod intelligentie superiores imprimunt in inferiores, sicut anima una imprimit in aliam, et etiam in animam sensitivam; et per talem impres¬sionem incantator aliquis prohicit camelum in foveam solo visu”; see also art. 142: “Quod ex diversitate locorum acquiruntur necessitates eventuum”, art. 143: “Quod ex diversis signis caeli significantur [ed.:signantur] diversae conditiones in hominibus tam donorum spiritualium quam rerum temporalium”; see also art. 206 and 132.Google Scholar
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    Chartularium cit., I, p. 552, art. 162: “Quod voluntas nostra subiacet potestati corporum celestium”.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Chartularium cit., I, p. 547, art. 74: “Quod intelligentia motrix celi influit in animam rationalem sicut corpus celi influit in corpus humanum”.Google Scholar
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    Chartularium cit., I, p. 553, art. 167: “Quod quibusdam signis sciuntur hominum inten¬tiones et mutationes intentionum, et an illae intentiones perficiendae sint et quod per tales figuras sciuntur eventus peregrinorum, captivatio hominum, solutio captivorum, et an futuri sint scientes an latrones”.Google Scholar
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    Chartularium cit., I, p. 555, art. 207: “Quod in hora generationis hominis in corpore suo et per consequens in anima, quae sequitur corpus, ex ordine causarum superiorum et inferiorum inest homini dispositio inclinans ad tales actiones vel eventus. Error, nisi intelligatur de eventibus naturalibus et per viam dispositionis.”(Italics mine).Google Scholar
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    Cf. A. Bouché-Leclercq, L’astrologie grecque, Paris 1899; F. Boll, C.Bezold and W. Gundel, Sternglaube und Stemdeutung. Die Geschichte und das Wesen der Astrologie, Darm¬stadt 1965.Google Scholar
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    Mandonnet, Siger cit., I, p. VII; II, pp.27–52; now see the critical ed. by B. Geyer, in Opera omnia, XVII/l, Münster 1975, pp. xix-xxiii, 31–44. Through a careful comparison of the above quoted answers with the thirteen articles condemned in 1270, as well as with their “more elaborated formulation” in 1277, Geyer showed that Albert’s pamphlet was composed shortly before the condemnation of 1270, and not during the interval between the first and the second condemnation (1273–1276). The latter thesis had been put for¬ward by F. Van Steenberghen, “Le De XV problematibus d’Albert le Grand”, in Mélanges Pelzer, Louvain 1947, pp. 438–39, and was supported by the critical remarks on the chro¬nology of the commentaries on Aristotle elaborated by Pelster, now deeply revised if not abandoned. The date 1273–1276 was still accepted by T. Schneider, Die Einheit des Menschen, Münster 1973 (= Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters, N. F., 8 ), p. 71.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Albertus Magnus, De XV Problematibus, ed B.Geyer in Opera omnia, t. XVII/ 1, Münster 1975, p. 36: “quod fatum, quod ex constellatione est, necessitatem non imponit propter tres causas. Quarum una est, quia non immediate, sed per medium advenit, cuius inae¬qualitate impediri potent; secunda autem, quia per accidens et non per se operatur in natis; operatur enim per primas qualitates, quae non per se virtutes stellarum accipiunt; tertium est, quod operatur in hoc in quod operatur in diversitate et potestate materiae natorum, quae materia uniformiter et prout sunt in caelis recipere non potest coelorum virtutes”.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Op. cit., p. 36: “quamvis allatio Solis et planetarum in circulo declivi sit causa generationis inferiorum et recessus eorundem in eodem circulo sit causa corruptionis, et sint aequales periodi generationis et corruptionis, tamen inferiora periodi aequalitatem et ordinem non assequuntur propter materiae inaequalitatem et inordinationem. Quis autem dubitet pro¬positum hominis magis inaequale et inordinatum esse quam naturae? Multo minus pro¬positum necessitati subiacet quam natura”.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Op. cit., p. 37: “Necessitatem ergo in inferioribus superiora non imponunt. Nec unquam hoc aliquis dixit mathematicorum. Si enim hoc esset, periret liberum arbitrium, periret consilium et periret contingens secundum omnem ambitum suae communitatis, quod est valde absurdum”.Google Scholar
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    Op cit, p 36• “anima humana secundum philosophos est imago mundi; propter quod in ea parte quae imago intelligentiae et causae primae est, impossibile est eam motibus coelestium subiacere. In ea auteur parte quae in organis est, quamvis sidereis moveatur scintillationibus, tarnen necessitatem et ordinem superiorum non assequitur, et sic nec ilia parte necessitati subiacet vel subditur superiorum”.Google Scholar
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    Cfr. Siger de Brabant, De aeternitate mundi, first ed. in Mandonnet, Siger cit., II, pp. 139¬140 and cf. I, pp. 171–172; now see the critical ed. by B. Bazân, Siger, Quaestiones in tertium de anima, Louvain-Paris 1972, p. 132: “Ex hoc autem quod semper est moyens et agens, sequitur quod nulla species entis ad actum procedit quin prius praecesserit, ita quod eadem specie quae fuerunt circulariter revertuntur, et opiniones, et leges, et refi¬giones, et alia, ut circulent inferiora ex circulatione superiorum, quamvis circulationis quorundam propter antiquitatem non maneat memoria. Haec autem dicimus opinionem Philosophi recitando, non ea asserendo tanquam vera”.Google Scholar
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    Chartularium cit., I, p. 544, art.6: “Quod redeuntibus corporibus coelestibus omnibus in idem punctum, quod fit in XXX sex milibus annorum, redibunt idem effectus, qui sunt modo”.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    On the circulation and the attribution of this text (PG, 40, 729 ff.) in the Middle Ages, cf. R. Klibansky, The Continuity of the Platonic Tradition during the Middle Ages, London 1950, and E. Garin, L’età nuova, Napoli 1969, pp. 41–42. See Nemesius of Emesa, De natura hominis, trad. Burgundio Pisanus, éd. crit. G. Verbeke-J. R. Moncho, Paris-Louvain 1975 (= Corpus Lat. Comm. in Aristotelem Graecorum), p. 142, ch.xxxvii: the text is literally copied by Albert in the passage reproduced in footnote 17.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Albertus Magnus, Summa theologiae, Pars I, tr. 17, q. 68, ed. Jammy cit., XVII, p. 388: “Stoici aiunt restitutos planetas in idem signum secundum longitudinem et latitudinem, ubi in principio unusquisque erat cum primum mundus costitutus est, in dictis temporum circumitionibus incendium et corruptionem eorum quae sunt perpetrari et rursus a prin¬cipio in idem mundum restitui, et rursus unumquodque astrorum in priore circuitione figens [recte: fiens]secundum longitudinem et latitudinem, inde similiter alium mundum perfici. Futurum rursus esse Socratem et Platonem et unumquemque hominem cum eisdem amicis et civibus, et eadem suadere et cum eisdem colloqui et omnem civitatem et municipium et agrum similiter instaurari ut prius.” The discussion which immediately fol¬lows the one on fate or the temperamental disposition in individuals was introduced by a harsh theological judgment: “Addunt etiam, quod maxime horribile est, quod quia talis ordo causarum certus est, fundatus motu regulari et uniformi caelestium, ideo certus et necessarius est cursus fati et etiam cursus fortunae. Unde Homerus: Inveniunt sibi fata viam’. Et hoc est contra fidem, sicut patuit in praecedentibus de fato”. [Those works that are not yet included in the critical Opera omnia ed. by the Albertus-Magnus-Institut, are quoted from the ed. Jammy, Lyon 1651, in preference to the Borgnet ed., Paris 1890¬1899, which is in fact a reproduction of the earlier one.]Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibidem: “Addunt etiam deos sive corporeos, sive incorporeos, sive caelestes, sive ter¬restres, sive infernales, qui non subiiciuntur corruptioni huic quae mortalium est, cum assecuti fuerint unam circumitionem, hoc est perfecte cognoverunt, ex hac cognoscere omnia quae sunt futura in his quae deinceps sunt circumitionibus. Nullum enim extraneum futurum esse dicunt, praeterquam ea quae facia sunt prius, sed omnia similiter et immu¬tabiliter esse in una circumitione sicut in alia etiam usque ad minima Tempus autem unius circumitionis dicunt esse XXXVI millia annorum, quod vocant magnum annum, in quo, sicut dicit Aristoteles in primo Primae Philosophiae, dii caelestes iureiurando infor¬maverunt ad idem principium circumitionis se redituros et similem circumitionem ut prius se perfecturos. Et quia sic fatum et fortunam in diis caelestibus radicaliter posuerunt, ideo fatum et fortunam pro dus colebant supplicationibus et sacrificiis”. The quaestio 68 is briefly analyzed in TH, II, 589–592. Albert took it for granted that the period of revo¬lution of the heaven carrying the fixed stars was 36.000 years exactly: see De quattuor coaequaevis, tr. III, q. xii, a. 2; ed. Jammy, XIX, p. 64; Metaphysica, bk. XI, tr. ii, c. 22; ed. B. Geyer, Opera omnia, t. XVI, 2, p. 510/55 ff.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    This Arabic geomancy translated by Hugo of Santalla in the twelfth century is different from the one he himslef wrote, which is preserved in several manuscripts (CLM 588, ff. 58va-77vb; Bodley 625, f. 54; Paris. lat. 7354, ff. 2r-55v and — together with Speculum — Vindob. 5508, ff. 182r-200r); partial ed. in P. Tannery, Mémoires scientifiques, IV, Paris 1920, pp. 373–401 (but cf. pp. 324–328, 339–340, 402–411): Super artem geomantiae, inc. prologus: “Rerum opifex Deus qui sine exemplo nova condidit universa”; inc. op.: “Are¬nam limpidissimam a nemine conculcatam et de profundo ante solis ortum assumptam”. Hugo of Santalla worked under Bishop Michael of Taragona (1119–1150), preparing ver¬sions of the Centiloquium, of the De pluviis by Albumasar, of pseudo-Aristotelian occult treatises, etc. Concerning him see C. F. S. Burnett, ‘A Group of Arabic-Latin Transla¬tions’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1977, pp. 62–118. Cf. the recent fundamental study by T. Charmasson, Recherches sur une technique divinatoire: la géomancie dans l’occident médiéval, Genève-Paris 1980, and also: Haskins, Studies cit., p. 78ff.; TH, II, pp. 86–88, 118–119; P. Meyer, ‘Traités en vers provençaux sur l’astrologie et la géomancie’, Romania, XXVI, 1897, who at pp. 248–49 published the prologue to the Estimaverunt Indi from the ms. Laurenziano pl. XXX, 29, f. ira; an explanation for the condemnation is easily found in the extreme necessitarianism at the basis of this divinatory practice. “Incipit liber geomancie nove magistri Ugonis Sanctiliensis editus ab Alatrabuluci trans¬latione. Estimaverunt Indi quod quando lineantur linee absque numero et proiciuntur pares et eriguntur ex eo quod remanet figure quatuor, deinde generantur et concluduntur ad inveniendam intentionem, significat illud quod erit anime et facit ea necessitas orbis ad illud quod rectum est, et interpretatur de eo quod in anima estchwr(133) circulus erit secundum querentis et cognitionem cordis eius ad illud quod est rectum et interpretatur de eo quod est in anima”. Albert spoke of geomancy in objective terms, and did not feel compelled to censor it, in De mineralibus, bk. II, tr. iii, ch. 3, ed. Jammy, V, p. 240(b).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit., pp. 317–8.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    See ch. 5, pp. 46–47 and footnotes 5–9.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Th., II, 708–709.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit., p. 319; but cf. Siger cit., 1909(2), II, p. IX, where he describes this very manuscript CLM 8001, dating to the first half of the fourteenth cen¬tury, without identifying Chap. XVII of the Speculum astronomiae, there reproduced with a rubrica (15th) which gives it the title: “Epistola Thomae de aliquibus nominibus librorum astronomiae” (f. 145r) and followed by “Thomas, An licet judiciis astrorum uti” as well as by four further writings by Thomas, many by Albert and by Giles of Rome. In Dondaine’s edition of Thomas Aquinas, De iudiciis astrorum, in Opera omnia, Roma 1976, vol. XLV [= Opuscula, IV], p.192 the codex is listed, but the attribution to Thomas of this fragment of the Speculum astronomiae is not discussed or even mentioned. So not persuaded by some critical reviewers I still believe, that because of this and other new observations some use can be found in the description of CLM 8001 we gave — as for all the other mss. — on the basis of microfilms in our edition Speculum cit., pp. 154–157; cf. ibid., pp. 179–181 for a summary of the attributions to Albert found in 29 mss., and pp. 93–175 for a description of all the known mss. To the list, we should now add a 53d ms.: London, British Meteorological Association/ Institution of Electrical Engineers, Th¬ompson Collection 5 (XV Cent., membr.), ff. 1–43(2), indicated by L. Sturlese, in his re¬view of Speculum cit., Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Cl. di Lett., S.III, vii, 1977, p. 1616.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit., pp. 313 and 320; cf. F. von Hertling, Albertus Magnus. Beiträge zu seiner Würdigung, Münster 1914, 2nd ed., p. 26.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Though I share the severe reservation put forward by F. Pangerl against the reliability of such ancient lists in his ‘Studien über Albert den Grossen’, Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie, XXXVI, 1912, pp. 514 ff., I have collected all the data they offer, and they are invariably favorable to the authenticity of the Speculum, which is indicated as Contra libros nigromanticorum in the Tabula Stams, at n. 85 (see both eds. of this older list of dominican writers in H. Denifle, ‘Quellen zur Gelehrtengeschichte des Predigerordens im 13. und 14. Jahrhundert’, Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters, II, 1886, p. 236; Laurenti Pignon catalogi et chronica. Accedunt catalogi Stamensis et Uppsalensis Scriptorum O.P., ed. G. G. Meersseman, Roma 1936, (MOPH, XVIII), pp. 22–33; in the catalog by Pignon (ca. 1412) at nr. 8, cit. ed. ibid., p. 22; in the one by Henrichus Herfordiensis (1370) at n. 49; in the Liber de rebus memorabilibus, ed. Potthast, Göttingen 1859, p. 202, in the Legenda I according to B. Geyer, ‚Der alte Katalog der Werke des hl. Albertus Magnus‘, in Miscellanea G. Mercati, Città del Vaticano 1946, II, pp. 398–413. Geyer made an effort to eliminate “so zahlreiche Pseudoepigraphen” (besides Speculum, a title which appears together with Speculum astrolabicum and Contra libros nigro manticorum, one can find titles such as Alchimia, Secretum secretorum Alberti, and Alma¬gestum et quosdam alios mathematicos). See also the list in ms XL. C. 1, Prague, Univer¬sity Library, ed. by P. Auer, Ein neuaufgefundener Katalog der Dominikanerschriftsteller, Paris 1933 (= S. Sabinae Dissertationes Historicae, II), p. 89, at n. 47. Cf P. Simon ed., ‚Ein Katalog der Werke des hl. Albertus Magnus in einer Handschrift der Lütticher Universitätsbibliothek‘, in Zur Geschichte and Kunst im Erzbistum Köln. Festschrift für W. Neuss, Düsseldorf 1960, pp.79–88; J. A. Weisheipl, ‚The Problemata‘, quoted above, pp. 309–311; lastly, see the fifteenth-century lists by Luiz de Valladolid 1414, Rodulphus Noviomagensis 1488, and those offered in the Legenda coloniensis 1483. Very useful also is the synopsis established by H. C. Scheeben, ‚Les écrits d’Albert le Grand d’après les catalogues‘, Revue Thomiste, XXXVI, 1931, pp. 260–292 (pp. 290–291, nn. 63, 71, 72 and 73): almost all the catalogs mention the Speculum astronomiae starting with the most an¬cient one — which in some parts dates back to the end of the thirteenth century, and in any case is not later than 1310 — perhaps written by Gottfried von Duisburg, Albert’s last secretary. The Tabula, found by Denifle in the Abbey at Stams, was edited in 1886 by its discoverer, and was reproduced by Scheeben also with the help of a second copy found in Basel and compared with all the other lists and biographies. Numbers 19 (Contra librum nigromanticorum), and 25 (Speculum astrolabicum) of the Stams’ catalog reappeared in Henry of Herford (nn. 50 and 54), in Albertus de Castello (Jacobus de Soest) (nn. 44 and 48). In the second group of texts (Bernardus Guidonis, Tolomeo da Lucca and Johannes Colonna) there are only a few titles, insufficient to consider them as catalogs. The third group of sources was characterized by Scheeben as independent from the Legenda I from Soest, the lost archetype of the entire first group. Luiz de Valladolid, the first author of the group, who in 1414 compiled a Tabula following an official request by the University of Paris, on the basis of its library holdings in that year, recorded several titles which can be identified with the Speculum astronomiae: n. 70. Speculum astrolabicum; n. 73. De imaginibus astrologorum; n. 75. Librum ubi improbavit scientias magicas nigromanti¬corum. Peter of Prussia, Albert’s biographer, wrote in 1486, when in Cologne, and, show¬ing remarkable critical judgment, made use of the rich collection of ancient sources there preserved. At nn. 88, 91, and 94, Peter not only reproduced the indications offered by Luiz de Valladolid, but volunteered a significant comment for the last one: “Item fecit Albertus Speculum astronomiae in quo reprobat scientias magicas”. Peter devoted eight chapters of his Vita Alberti to the analysis of this work; this is particularly important in view of the fact that, thanks to his fine critical discrimination, Peter had already excluded Semita recta and the De secretis mulierum, two works which were certanly pseudoepi¬graphic. The repetition of titles can be explained (here as well as in previous lists) as resulting from the comparison of several lists when there was no original work available, with the few exceptions of those works for which the incipit was given. Peter in fact de¬clared: “Notandum tamen quod isti libri hic enumerati feruntur ab Alberto editichwr(133) non sum ita certus de omnibus hic enumeratis, quemadmodum de illis quos vidichwr(133) ideo volui notare signanter quos vidi vel quos habemus in nostro conventu coloniensi”; the sen¬tence we quoted above, referring to the Speculum, was followed by the mark which indi¬cates “vidi, habemus”. Rodulphus of Nimegen, a compiler from Peter who pursued pop¬ularizing goals, reproduced all the data discussed above; he was however bereft of critical judgment, and added less reliable information. See Rodulphus de Noviomago O.P., Legenda b. Alberti Magni (ca. 1490), 2nd ed. by H.C. Scheeben, Köln 1928, pp. XV - 95.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    G. Pico della Mirandola, Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem, ed. E. Garin, Florence 1946, I, pp. 64–67: “Turn si mihi forte obicias librum de licitis et illicitis, in quo reicit quidem magos, astronomicos auteur probat autores, respondebo existimari quidem a multis esse illud opus Alberti, sed nec ipsum Albertum, nec libri inscriptionem usque¬quamque hoc significare, cum auctor ipse, quicumque demum fuerit, nomen suum consulto et ex professo dissimulet. Quid? Quod in eo multa leguntur indigna homine docto et bono christianochwr(133) Quae utique aut non scripsit Albertus aut si scripsit, dicendum est cum Apostolo: ‚in aliis laudo, in hoc non laudo‘„. Cf. ibid. p. 24, where, after having discussed Bacon’s authorship, he examined other dubious attributions, and referred to Albert in a different way: “qua temeritate vel ignorantia Eboracensis cuiusdam opusculum multi referunt ad Albertum”.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit., pp. 321–322.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ibid., pp. 323–324.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Th. Litt, Les corps célestes dans l’univers de saint Thomas d’Aquin, Louvain-Paris 1963, pp. 21–22.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit, p. 324.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    De animalibus (XVII, tr. 2, c.4, n. 72), ed. Stadler, Munster 1916–21 (= Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie u. Theologie des Mittelalters, 15–16), p. 1183/27–29: “De natura tarnen et dispositione Lunae considerandum est in alia scientia quae est altera pars astronomiae, in qua quaeruntur effectus caelestium in terrenis corporibus”; In Diony¬sium de divinis nominibus, ed. P. Simon, in Opera omnia, XXXVII, Munster 1971, p. 155/ 55: “dicit Avicenna, quod prima pars astrologiae, quae est de dispositione superiorum corporum, est demonstrativa, quia illa semper eodem modo sunt, sed pars altera quae est de dispositione inferiorum per superiora, est coniecturalis. Et per hoc patet solutio ad obiecta, quia quamvis superiora determinent inferiora, haec tarnen non consequuntur determinationem illam necessario, ut dictum est, nec illa sunt principia istorum propinqua et essentialia, nec iterum est mensura quam necesse sit sequi suum mensuratum, quia quamvis vita alicuius sit determinata ad determinatum tempus secundum propriam peri¬odum, potest tarnen plus vel minus vivere, secundum quod disponit se ad hoc vel illud”. In the same theological text (pp. 155/11–13) Albert insisted again on the influence of coelestial bodies on temporal entities (“caelum est principium determinans et continens temporalia, ut dicitur in Littera; ergo ista inferiora possunt cognosci in superioribus”), and further emphasized on the conjectural nature of this kind of knowledge (p. 155/20¬44): “Dicendum quod inferiora non possunt cognosci in superioribus corporibus certitu¬dinaliter, sed tantum coniecturaliter; et huius dual causas assignat Ptolomaeus et tertiam Aristotelem. Prima est, quia certitudo effectus cadi non haberi posset nisi per experimen¬tum pluries acceptum unius effectus ab eadem dispositione stellarum secundum eandem imaginem. Hoc autem non convenit accipere, quia quamvis una stella redeat ad punctum idem, non tamen similiter redeunt omnes stellae ita, ut efficiatur eadem imago omnino quae fuit, sed redit aliquid simile illi, eo quod plures illarum stellarum redeunt ad situm priorem, licet in aliquibus deficiat, et ideo non erit idem effectus, sed diversus, qui certi¬tudinaliter determinari non potest, sed per coniecturam secundum similitudinem prions effectus. Secunda causa est, quia caelum non influit tantum per stellas, sed etiam per spatium. Et quamvis omnes stellae redirent ad eandem imaginem, tarnen non posset cum hoc computari, ut redirent in eodem spatio per tempus trium mundorum, et propter hoc etiam non habent eundem effectum. Tertia causa est inaequalitas materiae propter dispo sitionem contrarian inventam vel inductam in suscipientibus actionem caeli; unde non necessario sequitur effectus”.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Albertus Magnus, De fato, ed. P. Simon, in Opera omnia, XVII/1, Münster 1975, pp. 73/ 36–44: “Dicendum quod duae partes sunt astronomiae, sicut dicit Ptolomaeus: una est de sitibus superiorum et quantitatibus eorum et passionibus propriis; et ad hanc per demon¬strationem pervenitur. Alia est de effectibus astrorum in inferioribus, qui in rebus muta¬bilibus mutabiliter recipiuntur; et ideo ad hanc non pervenitur nisi per coniecturam, et oportet astronomum in ista parte secundum aliquid physicum esse et ex signis physicis coniecturari”. Paul Simon, the editor of this work, pointed out some terminological sim¬ilarities between this page of the De fato and the Speculum astronomiae, both quoting, moreover, the verbum 22 of the Centiloquium: “Nova vestimenta facere vel exercere Luna in Leone, timendum”. Further, equally topical similarities are to be found at p. 70/23–24 and 76/42, where the author is discussing the legitimate third kind of imagines: “figurae imaginum magicarum ad aspectum stellarum fieri praecipuuntur”. At pp. XXXIII-XXXV of his Prolegomena Simon lists seven codices bearing Albert’s name, against seven others, plus a fragment favoring Thomas’ authorship. Yet, despite the testimony of the catalogs of Albert’s works, which do not include this work, and of the contrary data of the Tabula Stams and the lists by Bernard Guy and Tolomeo da Lucca, which attributed the work to Aquinas, father Simon relied on the decisive testimony, of the ms. Vaticanus Chigianus E. IV. 109, entitled “quaestio disputata a fratre Alberto apud Anagniam de fato”. Among scholars, Thomdike and Pelster had already shown a preference for Albert and pointed out its similarity to several of his other texts; to that list, Simon added the Speculum astronomiae, though he thought that this treatise was pseudoepigraphic: “Hoc autem opusculochwr(133) agitur de quaestionibus, quid stellae in vita hominum efficiant, num libero arbitrio necessitatem imponant, quomodo effectus stellarum cognoscatur vel etiam pro¬hibeatur. Similiter Albertus in Summa de homine [ed. Paris, t. 34, p. 448 ss.] in II° Sententiarum, d. 15.a.5 [t. 27, pp. 276–77]chwr(133) in commento Super Dionysü librum de divinis nominibus [Opera omnia, Münster, t. 37, p. 153/22–155/721chwr(133) Super Ethica [Opera omnia, Münster, t. 14, p. 174/42 ss.]chwr(133) Physicae 1.2, tr.2, c. 1920 [ed. Paris, t. 3, pp. 153–155]chwr(133) De animalibus, 1. 20, tr. 2, c. 2 [ed. Stadler, p. 1308/38 ss.]chwr(133) in libro I De causis et processu universitatis [tr. 4, c.6; ed. Paris, t. 10, pp. 421–4231chwr(133) De XV problematibus et Problemata determinata. Summae theologiae denique pars prima continet prolixam quaestionem de fato [q. 68; ed. Paris, 31, pp. 694–714]”. It is very interesting that Simon saw the issue of fate as connected to the more important and general question of interpreting Aristotle in a way that avoided the offenses to Christian dogmas coming from the Arab tradition: “Sic erat cur Albertus, tum iam magister famosus, de hac re coram Curia Romana disputaretchwr(133) Nam, sicut Stephanus Gilson animadvertit, iam saeculo duodecimo Iohannes Saresberiensis demonstravit Aristotelem determinismum astrologicum, quo liberum ar¬bitrium escluderetur, docuisse. Quare quaestio a doctore operum Aristotelis peritissimo disputata, quid de fato, idest de effectu et potestate siderum, veris philosophis esse sentiendum, a multis procul dubio attentis auribus excipi potuit, praesertim cum de hac re illis temporibus saepius dissereretur”.Google Scholar
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    The topical nature of the Ptolemaic partition of astronomy finds confirmation in the mar¬ginal gloss that Lemay published from a thirtheenth century ms. (Abu Ma’shar cit., p. XXXVI n.): “Astronomia duas habet partes. Una que considerat situs planetarumchwr(133) traditur in Almagestichwr(133) Alia est que considerat planetas secundum suam naturam, cuius complexionis sint et cuius operations in inferioribuschwr(133) traditur in libro Albumasar”.Google Scholar
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    De fato cit., in Opera omnia, t. XVII/1, p. 73, 45–56: “Coniecturatio autem, cum sit ex signis mutabilibus, generat habitum minons certitudinis, quam sit scientia, vel opinio. Cum enim huiusmodi signa sint communia et mutabilia, non potest haben ex ipsis via syllo¬gistica, eo quod nec in omnibus nec in pluribus includunt significatum, sed quantum est de se, sunt iudicia quaedam multis de causis mutabiliachwr(133) Et idea saepe astronomus dicit verum, et tarnen non evenit quod dicit, quia dictum suum fuit quoad dispositionem caelestem verissimum, sed haec dispositio a mutabilitate inferiorum exclusa est”. For the repeated attempt to define the epistemological status of astrological forecasts: De fato, p. 73/61–64: “dicit Ptolomeus, quod elector non nisi probabiliter et communiter iudicare debet, hoc est per causas superiores communes, quas propriae rerum causae frequentis¬sime excludunt”; p. 74/8–15: “dicendum quod via syllogistica soin non potest conclusio coniecturalis; sed tarnen imperfectio scientiae non impedit, ut dicit Ptolemeus, quin hoc inde sciatur, quod inde scia potest, sicut etiam est in pronosticatione somniorum. Non enim habitudo syllogistica est inter imaginem somnialem et interpretationem somnii; et sic est in omnibus existimationibus coniecturalibus” (cf. Quadripartitum, tr. 1, c. 1); p. 70/ 7–11: “Cum tarnen dispositio fatalis exclusibilis sit et impedibilis ab oppositis disposition¬ibus inventis in materiachwr(133) [et] in anima sensibili”.Google Scholar
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    Cf. G. Paré, Les idées cit., p. 277; R. Lemay, Abu Ma’shar cit., pp. 38–39; T. Gregory, ‚La nouvelle idée de nature et de savoir scientifique au XIIe siècle‘, in The Cultural Context of Medieval Learning, eds. J. E. Murdoch and E. D. Sylla, Dordrecht 1975, p. 204.Google Scholar
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    Cf. J. Agrimi-C. Crisciani, ‘Albumazar nell’astrologia di Ruggero Bacone’, ACME. Annali della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofiachwr(133) Milano, XXV, 1972, p. 321; for Albumasar’s transla¬tion by Johannes Hispalensis Albert and the Speculum made use of, see Thorndike, ‘Further consideration’ cit., pp. 424–25. Some texts quoted by T. A. Orlando, “Roger Bacon and the Testimonia gentilium de secta christiana”, Recherches de théologie, 43, 1976, p. 210, suggest an additional observation: Bacon, well informed of both translations of Abu ma’shar’s Introductorium, when using the famous passage XII,76–83, on the Virgo decane, preferred to cite from the version not used in the Speculum astronomiae.Google Scholar
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    Mandonnet, ‘Roger Bacon’ cit., p. 327; cf. E. Charles, Roger Bacon, sa vie, ses oeuvres, ses doctrines, Paris, 1861, pp. 45 ss.Google Scholar
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    C. Schmitt and D. Knox, Pseudo-Aristoteles Latinus: A Guide to Latin Works falsely attributed to Aristoteles before 1500, London 1985, pp. 1, 3, 5.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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