Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quote

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pp. 1-6

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

By their very nature, the stars elicit wonder and fascination in those who view them. They also provide hope. In studying the individuals who were interested in sidereal matters in the later Middle Ages, it struck me how much they invested their hopes in the stars. ...

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Introduction: Traveling South

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pp. 1-18

Gerbert d’Aurillac (ca. 945–1003) had a well-earned reputation as a first-rate mathematician. During his years as a teacher at the cathedral school of Rheims, he contributed significantly to the development of mathematic and scientific studies in transalpine Europe with his work on the abacus, ...

Part I. Positioning the Stars, Divining the Future

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1. Prophecy, Knowledge, and Authority: Divining the Future and Expecting the End of Days

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pp. 21-54

In the modern world we have all but banished the supernatural to the margins of intellect, to the realm of superstition. Yet during the Middle Ages the spiritual and supernatural worlds were of unquestioned importance to the vast majority of people. Soldiers entered the battlefield only after having been blessed for protection ...

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2. For Youths and Simpletons: The Folly of Elite Astrology

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pp. 55-79

In his 1420 Arabic-language autobiography, the Tuhfat al-adīb fī alradd' alà ahl al-salb (The Gift of the Learned One to Refute the Supporters of the Cross), known simply as the Tuhfa, Anselm Turmeda provides an intriguing account about his decision to convert to Islam.1 ...

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3. The Iberian Peninsula: Land of Astral Magic

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pp. 80-102

Eustache was a wicked monk. He was a lout, a wastrel, a scoundrel, and therefore no paragon of Christian virtue. Thus was he portrayed in the thirteenth-century anonymous French poem Li Romans de Witasse le Moine, or Eustache the Monk.1 Among his other less-than-fine qualities, however, was that he also dabbled in the magical arts. ...

Part II. A Kingdom of Stargazers

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4. Kings and Their Heavens: The Ceremonious and the Negligent

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pp. 105-123

In the first half of this book, I investigated the place occupied by astrology and divination within late medieval culture. These disciplines touched upon a number of aspects of medieval life and connected with notions of power and authority, the nature of revelation and intelligence, ...

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5. To Condemn a King: The Inquisitor and the Notary

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pp. 124-153

The ghost of King Joan decided to pay Bernat Metge a visit. After falling into a restless sleep, one that a feverish or starving person might have, the distraught scribe saw the shade of the dead king standing before him, “accompanied by two very tall men. One was young, very handsome, and in his hands he held a rota; ...

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6. A Return to Orthodoxy: The Ascension of Martí I and the End of an Era

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pp. 154-171

On October 4, 1399, three years into his reign as count-king of the Crown of Aragon, King Martí wrote to Berenguer de Montagut, his lieutenant governor in the kingdom of Majorca. The king told his administrator he had received a letter from one Jaime Lustrach, an alchemist from the island. ...

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Epilogue: An Unfortunate Claimant: Jaume el Dissortat, the Rise of the Trastámaras, and beyond the Closing of the Ecumene

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pp. 172-182

The death of the young Martí II, king of Sicily and legitimate heir to the throne of the Crown of Aragon, set into motion a grave dynastic crisis that would have profound ramifications for the ruling house. Felled by malaria in July 1409, Martí II was to become the next count-king after the death of his father, Martí l’Humà.1 ...

Bibliography

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pp. 183-204

Index

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pp. 205-214