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Astronomical Images : The division of the celestial sphere into twelve astrological houses

Gregor Reisch

Astronomical Images

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The <i>Margarita philosophica</i> was a compendium, or 'Epitome' of university learning in the sixteenth century. It was written by the prior of the house of Carthusians at Freiburg, Gregor Reisch (d. 1525), and was first published in 1503 in Freiburg by Johannes Schott, a printer from Strasbourg. The work was illustrated amply with somewhat crude woodcuts, and was divided into twelve books, with one book each dealing with the trivium (grammar, dialectic and rhetoric) and quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy), four books devoted to natural philosophy, and one book on moral philosophy. It was a popular work, reprinted numerous times during the sixteenth century, including the unauthorized, augmented editions by another printer at Strasbourg, Johann Grueninger. Oronce Fine edited and added to the Latin text of the 1535 edition. This woodcut shows how the divisions of the sphere by circles intersecting at the equinoctial poles correspond to the twelve astrological houses.</p>

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