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    [Manuscript] Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche [Morinus]. Astrologia Gallica. France: 1902 (from 1661 Text).

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    [Manuscript] Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche [Morinus]. Astrologia Gallica. Ch. 22 directions. "23. revolutions. "24 passages. Traducion Francaise. France: 1902.

    Translation of the 1661 Original Text. Quarto. [2], [8], 315 single-sided leaves. Contemporary vellum, spine lost, vellum lightly soiled, tear in vellum on back cover, binding tight, fair copy manuscript on wove paper in cursive hand in dark brown-black ink with some underlines in blue pencil, approximately twenty-eight lines per page; light browning at edges, small fore-edge tear in front free endpaper, else very good. Page 315 dated and signed "Etienne Dercaisay [?]." From the Krown & Spellman Collection.                        

    Morin's magnum opus has long been considered one of the greatest compilations of astrological thought. William Lilly, the famous English astrologer, owned a copy. Richard Saunders refers to an unpublished, and lost, translation by George Wharton.  In the late 19th century a Spanish translation appeared and in the opening years of the twentieth century German and French translations appeared of some of the books. New York City astrologer and bookdealer Zoltan Mason (born Zoltan Schnitzer, 1906-2002) commissioned Lucy Little to do a translation of the twenty-first volume in 1974. Which is interesting to us because our manuscript came from Mason's collection (though it has no owner's marks). We should note that in the same year our translation of books twenty-two thru twenty-four was completed, 1902, Henri Selva published a French edition of the twenty-first book. Mason's own astrological thought was heavily influenced by Morin.

    "Morin was born in Frankfurt in 1583 and died in 1659. His vast Astrologia Gallica was published two years after his death. He says that he was a doctor, an alchemist and an astrologer. His chief authority in astrology is Ptolemy, always described in superlative... His chief opponents, whom he attacks consistently, are Descartes, Gassendi -- his confrere in religion: Morin was an abbe - Ficino, and of course Epicurus, whose physics were revived by Gassendi, and by implication Copernicus, since he remained firmly geocentric..." -S.J. Tester, A History of Western Astrology, 1987.

    "Well-nigh the last attempt upon a large scale to defend, rehabilitate and reconstruct judicial and genethliacal astrology was made by Jean Baptiste Morin (1583-1656), an M.D. (Avignon, 1613) and royal professor of mathematics at Paris, 1630-).  His Astrologia Gallica is a monumental work, in the edition of 1661 consisting of a "Praefatio Apologetica" of thirty-six folio pages and 784 more pages of text mostly double columned... the chief distinctive features of Morin's system may be summarized as follows ... In place of the old distinction between superiors and inferiors, heaven and earth, celestial and sub-lunar, fifth essence and four elements, he adopts a threefold division of elementary, ethereal and celestial. The planets are no longer simple bodies of a fifth essence, but compound bodies with the elemental qualities of hot, cold, dry and moist, as well as ethereal and celestial matter. Morin distinguishes between their elemental action in heating, moistening and the like, and their influential action by virtue of their celestial nature. The first heaven or primum mobile is a simple body and acts as such, pouring its universal force like a world-soul through the whole world.  But it also has a second action, as it is divided into Dodecatemoria or signs of the immobile zodiac. The other 'most solid' celestial heaven of the fixed stars has per se and as a whole no sub-lunar influence so far as we know, but the particular constellations and stars in it exert virtue of their own.  Similarly the ether of the ethereal heaven has per se no sub-lunar virtue, but the planets in it exert a great influence, although their formal virtue is ineffable and incomprehensible to us.  Great as it is, the signs signify more fully and efficaciously than the planets.  In particular, the degree of the sign on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth signifies more efficaciously than the lord of the horoscope or the planet in the first house.  Morin held that it was enough to know the degree for the horoscope and that the exact minute of the degree was not essential... While Morin affirms the influence of the heavens over elements, minerals, plants, brutes and man, he will not admit it in the case of works of art such as astrological images and characters.  All artefacts lack seed, and 'only the spirit of seed from which things are physically generated...  is the proper subject of the inhesion of the influx of the celestial bodies.'" -Thorndike.



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    November, 2015
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