Compendium of Astronomy and Astrology


This manuscript with beautifully illuminated margins, by an unknown writer, is an 18th century compendium of works on astronomy and astrology. It contains excerpts of several treatises on astronomy and numerology: Lunario y pronóstico perpetuo (Perpetual calendar and forecast) by Jerónimo Cortés; fragments of volumes seven, eight, and nine of Tomás Vicente Tosca’s Compendio mathematico (Compendium of mathematics); and a work by Diego de Torres Villarroel, El hermitaño, y Torres, Aventura curiosa en que se trata de la piedra philosophal y las tres Cartillas rústica, médica y eclesiástica (The hermit, and Torres: a curious adventure that addresses the philosopher’s stone, and three brief rustic, medical, and ecclesiastical treatises). Cortés (died circa 1615) and Tosca (1651‒1723) were both Valencian authors. Cortés was a writer and mathematician, whose Lunario y pronóstico perpetuo made him well known in Spain, France, and Italy. The book starts with a chronology, the ages of the world and mankind, the months, the days of the week, the winds, and the movable feasts. It goes on to make predictions based on the planets, the influence of the moon, and other elements found in nature that the author claims can be used to foretell the future. Tosca’s Compendio mathematico was published between 1707 and 1715. Comprised of nine volumes, it was issued in three editions in the 18th century. Its publication marked a significant milestone, as the work clearly explains, in the vernacular language of Spain, many aspects of the new science, along with Galileo Galilei’s methodological assumptions. Diego de Torres Villarroel (1693–1770) was a playwright and poet, a physician, mathematician, priest, and professor at the University of Salamanca. His work focused on the study of astronomy and astrology.

Last updated: September 5, 2017