Who we are

This page will tell you a little about the contributors to this website! If you want to contribute to it by posting, please contact Monica Azzolini or Jane Ridder-Patrick.

Monica Azzolini, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

I came to the history of astronomy and astrology through the fortuitous discovery of some intriguing astrological documents in the summer of 2002 and I have been hooked since. The product of that research is now a book about the political uses of astrology at the Sforza court in Milan entitled The Duke and The Stars: Astrology and Politics in Renaissance Milan (Cambridge, Mass.:Harvard University Press, 2013).  I have since expanded my interests to investigate the uses of astrology in other contexts, with an emphasis on astrological practice and the circulation of astrological information in Renaissance Italy. I am particularly interested in the intersections between the history of science and political history, and in the ways in which scientific knowledge was produced and circulated in the early modern world. More on my current and future projects can be found on my Academia.edu page, and on my School page.

Patrick Boner, Visiting Scholar, Johns Hopkins University

I study the war of world systems waged by scholars in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I am especially interested in the course of cosmology as space and time were redefined by the science of the stars. My forthcoming book, Kepler’s Cosmological Synthesis: Astrology, Mechanism and the Soul (Leiden: Brill 2013), focuses on the foundational role of vitalistic principles in the astrology and astronomy of Johannes Kepler. My current research extends to chronology at the court of Duke Maximilian in Renaissance Munich, where a retinue of scholars sought to uphold the received chronology of the Roman Catholic Church. I am also preparing the first ever translation of Kepler’s On the New Star (1606) in English. You can read more about my research on my School page.

John Henry, Professor, University of Edinburgh

I have broad interests in the history of science and medicine from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, but with a special interest in the period known as the Scientific Revolution. Thematically, I am interested in the relations between science and religion and the role of occult traditions in the origins of modern science. I have recently published (with John M. Forrester) Jean Fernel’s On the Secret Causes of Things: Forms, Souls and Occult Diseases in Renaissance Medicine (Leiden: Brill, 2005), and am currently preparing (with Simon Schaffer) a new edition of Thomas Hobbes’s scientific works, 1662-1679, for the Clarendon edition of his complete works. More on my research and my publications can be found on my School page.

Adam Mosley, Senior Lecturer, Swansea University

My research is focused on the mathematical culture of early modern Europe. I am particularly interested in the relationship between texts, images, and instruments, in the formation and evolution of disciplinary categories, and in the connections between physical-mathematical and humanistic scholarship. I am the author of Bearing the Heavens: Tycho Brahe and the Astronomical Community of the Late Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). I am currently working, with Professor Nicholas Jardine (Cambridge) and Professor M. A. Granada (Barcelona), on an edition and translation of Christoph Rothmann’s treatise on the comet of 1585. I am also writing a history of cosmography. You can read more about me and my work on my School page.

Jane Ridder-Patrick, Independent Scholar

My interests lie in the histories or science, medicine and astrology in the early modern period, particularly in Scotland in the time between the Scottish Reformation and the Scottish Enlightenment. The thesis for my PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh was entitled ‘Astrology in Early Modern Scotland ca. 1560 to 1726’. I am currently researching the changing status of the mathematician and the astrologer during the seventeenth century. More on me and my work can be found on my Academia.edu page and here.

Dario Tessicini, Senior Lecturer, University of Durham

My interest in the science of the stars comes from studies on Renaissance and early modern intellectual history and history of science. At first I investigated the reception of astronomical and cosmological theories by the Italian natural philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548-1600) and I am the author of I dintorni dell’infinito. Giordano Bruno e l’astronomia alla fine del Cinquecento (2007). I have since extended my interest to other periods and topics, such as the history of geography and cosmography, astrology and astrological prognostications, Italian astronomy of the sixteenth century (up to and including Galileo), Renaissance and early modern cometary theories, the reform of the calendar. My most recent work is on the appearance of unexpected celestial phenomena (supernovas and comets) in the late sixteenth century. More on me and my work can be found on my School page and my Academia.edu page.


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