An Introduction to Medieval Geomancy
|Geomancy is a medieval Islamic form of divination that, like many other medieval
Islamic sciences, became popular in the West in the thirteenth century. I first became interested in geomancy when I was reading John North's
Chaucer's Universe, which briefly describes medieval
geomancy as it relates to some passages in the Knight's Tale and Troilus and
Criseyde. Geomancy was popular in Europe
in the later
Middle Ages and on into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Unlike astrology and
chiromancy (palm-reading), however, geomancy is little known today in the West
(although geomancy is still practiced in Islamic areas and feng shui, a related
Asian predictive art, also called "geomancy" in English, is currently fashionable).
Indeed, with the exception of
the comprehensive survey of medieval geomancy by Thérèse Charmasson,
geomancy has received practically no attention from scholars.
This web site, which is a work in progress, is designed to provide an introduction to medieval and Renaissance geomancy. The site currently includes a seventeenth-century English text on geomancy, an explanation of medieval geomantic practice, and an annotated bibliography. I hope eventually to add translations of the medieval Latin texts as well. I would be interested in hearing from other scholars who find this site useful.
These pages describe the process of divination by geomancy as practiced in Europe in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
These pages provide an annotated bibliography of medieval and Renaissance geomantic texts, and some useful modern scholarly studies of geomancy.
Turner's English Translation of Agrippa's Of Geomancy
These pages present a complete transcription of the 1655 edition of Robert Turner's English translation of (pseudo-) Henry Cornelius Agrippa's Of Geomancy, a Latin treatise on geomancy that dates from the late 16th century and forms part of the (probably spurious) fourth book of Agrippa's Occult Philosophy. [Note: this is a large file with several graphics, totalling about 100KB.]
email@example.com Copyright Elizabeth Bennett 1998
Last revised: June 1, 2012