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Title: Controversies on astrology in Renaissance Italy (late fifteenth - early sixteenth centuries)
Author: Akopyan, Ovanes
ISNI:       0000 0004 7223 9475
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is devoted to the astrological debates in Renaissance Italy in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. These debates are often considered to be important for the reconsideration of the status of astrology in the Renaissance. Yet, the texts that form the basis for these debates have not received the attention they deserve. I argue that in the Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem the Italian scholar Giovanni Pico della Mirandola questioned the compatibility of astrology with religion and philosophy, on the one hand, and astronomy as astrology’s theoretical basis, on the other. Without going into reforming astronomy or modifying obsolete mathematical calculations, Pico put forward radically new ideas about the problem of astrology within the context of the Renaissance revival of ancient culture. My thesis also provides for the first time a comprehensive study of the immediate reception of Pico’s Disputationes. Thus, I show that Girolamo Savonarola and Giovanni Pico’s nephew Gianfrancesco Pico della Mirandola, both close to Giovanni Pico at the late stage of his career, drew upon Pico’s attack on astrology to develop their own interpretation of astrology. I also establish that Giovanni Pico’s ideas received support beyond Italy: Maximus the Greek, an Orthodox monk who in the late fifteenth century had become a novice of the Dominican order at San Marco in Florence and served as Gianfrancesco Pico’s secretary, appropriated Savonarola’s and Giovanni Pico’s arguments and criticised astrology in his Epistles against Astrology, which he composed upon his arrival in Muscovy. Finally, my thesis explores how, at the same time, several scholars such as Lucio Bellanti and Giovanni Pontano opposed Giovanni Pico’s Disputationes in order to defend the positive value of astrology.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology