Ssegunt natura de los cielos e de las otras cosas spirituales: Alfonso X, Astrology, and Kingship

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Ssegunt natura de los cielos e de las otras cosas spirituales: Alfonso X, Astrology, and Kingship

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Title: Ssegunt natura de los cielos e de las otras cosas spirituales: Alfonso X, Astrology, and Kingship
Author: Waleko, Alexandra
Advisor: Graham, Lisa Jane; Hayton, Darin
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of History
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: As king, Alfonso oversaw an intellectual court that translated and composed historical, poetic, and scientific texts. The scientific texts have inspired scholarly study, investigation, and celebration since their production in the thirteenth century. As a patron of the sciences, Alfonso centered his project on astral science, from judicial astrology to the design of technical instruments. Through translations and original compositions on astrology, Alfonso deployed the science's specific and unique set of resources. This thesis uses Alfonso's scientific texts to analyze how and why astrology was particularly useful to a thirteenth century king. Confronted with a religious, ethnically, and politically diverse kingdom, Alfonso invoked astrology as the core element of his intellectual program. Astrology, more so than other sciences, addressed the specific political needs of Alfonso in the context of medieval Castile. In the medieval period, natural philosophy was the study of God's creation. Astrology, the highest form of natural philosophy, was intimately linked to God and could reveal His will to mankind. Alfonso drew on this connection between nature and the divine and employed astrology to assert his religious, political, and intellectual authority over his diverse subjects. By demonstrating his mastery of the celestial bodies, Alfonso drew on the unassailable authority of the natural world and God as a mechanism to legitimize his authority over all three faiths. In this way, he employed the relationship between the celestial spheres and the divine enlist the support of his subjects and, ultimately, to convert them to a uniform Christian faith that recognized him as the arbiter of God's will.
Subject: Astronomy, Medieval -- Spain
Subject: Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, 1221-1284 -- Contributions in astrology
Subject: Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, 1221-1284 -- Knowledge -- Astronomy
Terms of Use: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6696

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Waleko, Alexandra. "Ssegunt natura de los cielos e de las otras cosas spirituales: Alfonso X, Astrology, and Kingship". 2011. Available electronically from http://hdl.handle.net/10066/6696.

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/ Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/