Luminaries in the Natural World: The Sun and the Moon in England,1400-1720

Luminaries in the Natural World: The Sun and the Moon in England,1400-1720

by Anna Marie Eleanor Marie Roos
     
 

Known and observed by all levels of society, the sun and moon, or the «luminaries,» were a continuous thread in the tapestry of late medieval and early modern English culture. Tracing this specific thread is a novel means of understanding changes in epistemological conceptions of the natural world realized in the Scientific Revolution. This book

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Overview

Known and observed by all levels of society, the sun and moon, or the «luminaries,» were a continuous thread in the tapestry of late medieval and early modern English culture. Tracing this specific thread is a novel means of understanding changes in epistemological conceptions of the natural world realized in the Scientific Revolution. This book demonstrates that the luminaries were transformed from peerless bodies that radiated powerful forces into objects of scientific study, and in the case of the moon, a place to visit imaginatively with its own geography and probable inhabitants. Utilizing literary, historical, and visual evidence, Luminaries in the Natural World indicates how and why these changes in solar and lunar perceptions occurred among the scientific community from 1400 to 1680, breaking new ground with its emphasis on influences from cartography, astrology, and hermeticism. The author then turns to an analysis of the extent to which this cognitive shift occurred in larger English society, exploring conceptions of fashionable curiosity about the natural world from 1680 to 1720.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The sun and the moon, or the "luminaries," were a motif that ran through late medieval and early modern English culture. Roos (history, U. of Minnesota) examines depictions of the luminaries as a way of understanding changes in epistemological conceptions of the natural world realized in the scientific revolution. Using literary, historical, and visual evidence, she shows how and why perceptions of the sun and moon occurred among the scientific community with its emphasis on influences from cartography, astrology, and hermeticism. She also analyzes the extent to which this cognitive shift occurred in the larger English society. With scattered b&w diagrams and illustrations from early books. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820445632
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
03/28/2001
Series:
Wpi Studies Series
Pages:
338

Meet the Author

The Author: Anna Marie E. Roos is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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