Johannes Lydus on comets

Comets – like the one it’s told showed the road to Magi- the learned astrologers arrived from far East in order to worship the baby Jesus – always show supernatural events because of their unpredictable nature;  they suddenly appeared in the sky and suddenly disappeared, they did not have a fixed path like the wandering stars. They did not have any place in the fixed and perfect world of Greeks, but they rather were harbingers of chaos and disorder.

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Marsilio ficino and the star of the magi: “De Stella magorum”

This is one of the most famous sermons and astrological texts written by Marsilio Ficino for Christmas  1482.

Marsilio explains the birthchart of Jesus and the role of Magi: he dismisses the theory of Great Conjunction but he can’t renounce to one of the most known texts of Middle Ages, few lines from Albumasar’s Great Introduction.

Albumasar writes ( from John of Seville)

In its first facie arises a Girl called Darostal by Teucer,[1] and she is a pure  and beautiful virgin, long haired and beautiful in her face, she has two Spikes  in her hand. She is seated upon some  cushions, and  she is feeding a child giving him some soup in a place called Atrium. And people call this child IHESUM,  that in Arab is EICE. Also rising with her a man sitting upon a throne.[2] And arises  with her the Virgo star [3] which is  at the back of the second snake,[4] and  the head of Corvus and the head of the Lion.[5]

But a new world was coming and soon Pico della Mirandola would start his fight against Arab silly astrological theories.

On the Magi’s star, which lead them to the Christ, King of Israel, when he was born

Marsilio Ficino, De Stella Magorum, Praedicationes (1482)

Grant us your favour, My Lord,  show us  this day your star, the one once you showed to the Magi. The star that led the Magi to Christ, may lead us to Christ’s mysteries.

A star shall come out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel. With these words Balaam, in the book of Numbers,[6] foretells the coming of the Messiah. One day a star will rise  in an extraordinary way  in Judea.  Balaam lived in the Eastern area, where Magi lived too, and among them there were some priests very skilled in astronomy, ruling people. Thus, they, attentive students of sky signs, had noticed the event that, according Balaam, would be showed by the prodigy of the star.

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