III III A GUIDO A. • BONATTI • Liber A. Astronomiae X • Parti • ‘ p* Translated i ; by /foftert Zoller I by Robert Hand -v^- Project Hindsight I Latin Track -A. Latin. Guido Bonatti was a 13th century Italian astrologer who wrote one of the most important books of traditional astrology, the “Liber Astronomiae” literally the Book . Liber Astronomiae Part 1: Project Hindsight Latin Track Volume VII [Guido Bonatti , Robert Hand, Robert Zoller] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying.

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Namely the Practical Part. Neither More nor Less. Chapter V 58 On the Houses of the Planets. Introduction to Guido Bonatti by Robert Hand With this booklet the Project Hindsight Latin Track begins its most ambitious project to date, the first complete English translation of Guido Bonatti’s Liber Astronomiae, one of the boatti and most comprehensive introductions to astrology ever written.

Astornomiae have not reached a perfect estimate of how many booklets this translation will take up, but it is clear that this translation will take more than a dozen of our booklets and could comprise an entire twelve issue set or more by itself.

It is not our intention to drop all of our other translations in the Latin Track. The translations of the Liber Astronomiae will be interspersed among our other translations until it is completed. However, the reader who is not familiar with Bonatti might well be moved to ask if it is fitting to devote such an effort to a single work.

The answer is unequivocally yes! The Liber Astronomiae, a work which goes by a number of titles, is probably the most important single astrological work written in the Western tradition between Ptolemy and the Renaissance.

It is lober an original or ground-breaking work, but it is a nearly complete and exhaustive compilation of the Western astrological tradition as it was at a particular point in history, the point lbier after astrology had been restored to Europe from the Moslem Near East.

Bonatti’s work is a summation of the ideas, methods, and techniques of virtually every major Arabic astrologer of the Middles Ages, and the earlier astrologers whose ideas had survived into the Middle Ages. Bonatti, himself, was not a mere compiler.

eBook – PH – Latin – V11 – Guido Bonatti – Liber Astronomiae, Part – Free Download PDF

Even while he summarized all of the methods with which he was familiar, he also reviewed them critically based on his own, extensive experience. As Robert Zoller points bonattk in his Translator’s Preface, if Bonatti were astronomiaae a practically skilled Medieval astrologer, his work would be of less interest even given its scope; but in fact liner was, as far as we can tell, 1 We have chosen to use this particular title, but in fact the work is referred to by a number of titles, the most common of which is Liber Astronomicus.

However, since it is the only book by Guido Bonatti, any reference to a work hy Zstronomiae is a reference to this work. See also page xv, note 1. As the translations unfold the reader will be treated to examples of his acumen, especially in gyido astrology of war, a field of activity not open to modern astrologers!

Bonatti’s work is also unique among almost all other astrological works in that he seems to be telling us virtually everything he knew, insofar as it can be contained within a book. We have commentary and description on virtually every aspect of practical Medieval astrology, complete with examples, not perhaps as many examples as we might want, but guidoo enough to give us an adequate idea of his methods.

The Liber Astmnomiae adtronomiae appropriate as a text for persons all the way from the relatively inexperienced to the most advanced astrological student. In fact one of the more curious criticisms that was leveled at the book in its own day was that Bonatti had made astrology so clear that even a housewife 1 could learn it.

This of course assumes that one was dealing with a housewife guiddo could read Latin! Such “housewives” were indeed rare. As Zoller points out in his preface, the work is astronkmiae long to give an decent summary of its contents in a space as short as I have here.

The table of contents alone of the complete Liber Astronomiae would be over thirty pages. It is often described as consisting of ten treatises or tractates, but if one actually scans the text, the actual number of sections in the Ratdolt edition of seems to be greater than that, but in the introduction Bonatti describes the book first as having six sections, and then he breaks the six sections into ten treatises.

There seems to have been a degree of arbitrariness in dividing the book into sections, and it appears that various copies of the manuscript have different numbers of treatises in different orders. Because your translator, Robert Zoller, has provided an extensive introduction to the material that is covered in the first book of this series, I will not go further in this respect. However, it appears that the edition of that Zoller has used as the basis of his translation does not contain an introduction to the whole work which seems to have been written by Bonatti, himself.


This introduction is contained in the Ratdolt edition of which I have used for the editing of the translation. Therefore Astrono,iae have taken the liberty of providing a translation of that text myself as part of my introduction. Also this text contains the ‘ This is not my choice of words.

This is how it was actually put at the aforesaid summary of the text, as well as Bonatti’s dedication of the work to God, to Jesus, to the students who may find the book of value, and to his nephew.

In this introduction he declares his intention to create a work that can be gyido by those who are relatively unlearned in the other sciences of the age, but who are willing to spend the time and effort to learn.

From what we have bonstti thus far of the Liber Astronomiae, he succeeded. Here then is what purports to be Bonatti’s introduction to the Liber Astronomiae from the edition published by Erhard Ratdolt. Astronomixe the name of the Lord, Amen!

eBook – PH – Latin – V11 – Guido Bonatti – Liber Astronomiae, Part 3.pdf

Here begins the introductory book on the judgments of the stars; and it is not only an introduction to judgments, but to the astronomy of judgments, which has been brought forth by Guido Bonatti of Eorli of the province of Romandiola in Italy. He has gathered in this work those subjects out of the sayings astronomae the philosophers which seemed to him to be useful in introducing those persons who desire to consider the judgements of the stars.

In the name of the Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has mercy on us, holy, true God and true man, to whom there is no equal, nor similar, nor can there be, and of his most blessed mother Mary, always virgin, glorious, and of the blessed Valerian martyr, prince, governor and defender of the Commune of Forli,’ who with the Father, and at the astrknomiae time with the Holy Ghost, in the bonstti of essence and in the trinity of honatti, is prayed to by the faithful, and also glorified as the three and one.

Nor is there another God beyond him who made heaven and earth, and everything bonati them, who made it firm and who brought forth everything for the use of Man, who ornamented heaven with the 1 This is an unknown reference, but seems to refer to a patron saint of Forli, Bonatti’s home city.

What is confusing is that the text immediately afterward again refers to the trinity of which a patron saint cannot possibly be stars, and such illuminating lamps’ that by their virtues they dispose and rule all inferiors, and similarly offer guidance to Man insofar as it is granted; 2 and he has placed rational souls before all other animate beings so that everything might serve them, and preferentially causes these same [rational beings] to know gujdo to understand; he has manifested to them also the motions of the supercelestial bodies and their significations; he has spread out heaven for rational beings as a parchment so that they can recognize in and through heaven, which communicates and reveals the divine wisdom, not only the past or present, but also [so they can] guard against, foresee, be able to pronounce upon future matters.

I have studied something of astronomy, and have looked at the many works of our predecessors, which must be much honored and revered by us. Nevertheless some of these [predecessors] who loved brevity said that, whatever [else] they might say by way of introduction, it was their intention to speak to those who are [already] advanced in other bonattj, even though they need to be introduced to astronomy, especially to judgments, and [are] unlearned [in these.

Therefore I, Guido Bonatti of Forli, desired to compose this work and to compile out of the sayings of the ancients the more useful subjects, which seem to me to have gone on the way of truth, [and] which have been found in those sayings.

To this end [I desired] to put in this work anything in astronomy that would be useful for those who have not been [already] introduced extensively into other sciences, so that these persons might easily, although not necessarily quickly, be able to arrive at the desired goal of [making] judgments. Although seeking wisdom and divine benevolence I am advanced in days, may it be deemed worthy that I be granted grace with the wholeness of body and attendant life, so that I may finish this work for the glory of God, and of all of those others who desire to study, and for your advantage, my nephew Bonatti.

And because this work will be long and prolix, and because long, difficult, and very entangled subjects cannot be unentangled fully in all of its parts by a small number of words, in order more completely to avoid prolixity, I do not intend to put forth disputations and large 1 lucernis.

There is boonatti pun here because this word means both ‘lamp’ and 2 Complete and perfect guidance from the axtronomiae and planets is not permitted to mankind.

I intend that [this work] be put forth not only for the utility of students, but also for your bonathi, Bonatti. I have divided this work into six parts. Of these the first is a general introduction; the second part is [about] interrogations; the third part, elections; the fourth part is [about] the revolutions of the astronomias and of the world, and conjunctions are also included; the fifth part is about nativities; and the sixth is about showers and rains.


By way of introduction I shall proceed thus: In the second [tractate] I shall treat of the division of the circle of the signs, in what manner they are ordered, that there are naught but 12, why it happens to be so, their denomination, and about the accidents [which pertain] to this. Third I shall say what happens to the seven planets among themselves, and what befalls each of them from another, and concerning those matters which pertain to the eighth sphere.

Afterward in the sixth [tractate] I shall place a section on judgments. In the seventh [tractate I shall speak of] elections. In the eighth, revolutions. In the ninth, nativities.

Guido Bonatti – Wikipedia

In the tenth and last [tractate I shall speak of] the revolutions of seasons, or showers and rains. The End of the Introduction. The reader might get the impression from the breadth of the book that the material is treated in brief or superficially.

Bonatti often states, as he does in the introduction translated above, that he gives only a brief treatment of some matter, but this is usually only in philosophical discussions. In fact many of the treatments of subjects which Bonatti provides in astronomiaf various treatises would constitute books of quite 2 et expositionem quorundam capitulorum.

The sense of this is not entirely clear, unless Bonatti refers to chapters written on the subject by other authors. This is particularly true of the treatises on horary astrology, electional astrology, revolutions, and natal astrology.

The Liber Astronomiae is a truly encyclopedic set of treatises on Medieval astrology, and provides nearly complete coverage of astrology at the moment when it had just come, back to the West.

Translator’s Preface by Robert Zoller As the Hindsight Project astrinomiae publishing the Liber Astronomiae in a number of installments, it seems unwise to attempt to present an introduction to the entire work at the very beginning. The Liber Astronomiae is over pages long and contains much that the modern astrologer will find new, and much that requires an introduction. To attempt to provide such would constitute a booklet in itself. A wiser approach seems to be to provide an introduction to each segment of the book as we publish it.

In a later edition these introductory remarks will be gathered together into an introduction to the book. Therefore, pursuing this course, the following introduction is restricted to a discussion of the First Tractate and part asrronomiae the Second.

What is the Liber Astronomiae and who was its author? Bonatti’s Liber Astronomiae was written sometime after C. Richard Lemay, in an article entitled, “Translators of the Twelfth Century: Whether this Latin demand represented a new awareness engendered by protracted contacts with higher levels of Muslim society during the Crusades, both Eastern gido Iberian, it is not possible to determine.

His translation of Abu Ma’shar’s Greater Introduction was astrology, alchemy, medicine, mathematics, and philosophy. The 13th century was the century during which these translations were disseminated and assimilated. Bonatti’s work is a Summa of astrological practice. Encyclopedic in scope, it collected all known Latin translations of Arabic astrology, and, as such, is one of several comprehensive treatments of the art to have survived.

It is therefore a treasure chest gukdo Medieval astrological techniques and theories. The latter are as important for us as honatti former because the successful application of the Medieval techniques depends to some degree in the right conceptualization of the art. This we get throughout Bonatti’s work, but especially in the First and Second Tractates. This booklet includes all of the first and part of the second.

The next booklet will contain the remaining part of the Second Tractate. The Liber Astronomiae is of particular importance in that, unlike most of the Greek works, it is a complete treatment by a professional practitioner. Unlike the Arabic astrological works, such as the very important Greater and Asgronomiae Introductions of Albumasar, Bonatti’s work was compiled from the Latin translations of most of the Arabic works available in the period to a European practitioner.

Furthermore Bonatti wrote in Latin, the universal medium astrronomiae communication in Medieval Christendom. This means that in the Liber Astronomiae we are confronted with a full and accurate compendium of the actual practice of the Medieval European astrologer shortly after astrology’s transmission and re-introduction to the West from the Arabs.

And, because it was written in Latin, it could be, and was widely dissemi- Arabic astrology had reached its acme around guidk time the Crusades completed in John seems to be responding to political events as well astronomise to a new European demand for Arabic scientific learning. The First Crusade was launched in and Jerusalem was liberated in In addressing this question we must also keep in mind that the “Crusades” referred to may piber cither those in the Levant, or those in Iberia, which began at more or less the same time as the First Crusade.

Toledo was taken by the Christians in Lemay, in the article cited, suggests that Frederick II’s 13th century educational reforms, which encouraged the study of the natural sciences, including astrology, also created a climate favorable to the preservation of the 12th century translations.