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Historical Biographies

Illustrious names in the history of astrology, featured on this site

(In chronological order below, and alphabetical order in the margin.)

Pythagoras (c. 6th cent. BCE) - by Jackie Slevin
A look at the life and work of a philosopher whose mathematical outlook and theory on numerological relationships has influenced every astrologer

Ptolemy (born c.100 AD) - by Deborah Houlding
Ptolemy's astrological textbook - the Tetrabiblos - became the standard bearer for subsequent generations. He has been been referred to as 'the most important single figure in the history of astrology, and one of the most important in the history of astronomy'.

Valens (active 2nd cent. AD) - by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Vettius Valens, a somewhat younger contemporary of Claudius Ptolemy, is the author of the Anthology, an astrological textbook containing over 100 horoscope examples whose interpretation illuminates ancient astrological doctrines.

Firmicus (active c.330 AD) - by David McCann
Firmicus was one of the last great classical astrologers. His astrological text, the Mathesis, was hugely influential upon later works and remains the most detailed and comprehensive instruction manual on classical astrology.

Hypatia (370 - 415 AD) - by Sue Toohey
Hypatia led an important life and experienced a tragic, violent death. One of the great female names in the history of astrology, she is also one of its notable martyrs.

Abu Ma'shar (787-886 AD) - by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Abu Ma'shar Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn 'Umar al-Balkhi, born at Balkh, in Khurasan, (now northern Afghanistan) acquired immense renown as one of the leading astrologers of the Islamic world.

Al-Biruni (973-1048 AD) - by David Plant
Medieval Arabic astrology remains a largely unexplored area of astrological history. David Plant reviews the life and work of al-Biruni and considers how the Arabians preserved ancient doctrine and stimulated advanced technique.

Ezra (c. 1092 - 1167 AD) - by David McCann
The 12th century Jewsish astrologer Abraham ibn Ezra played an important part in transmitting the classical heritage back from the Arabs to Western Europe. His works have recently come to attention under the new translations by ARHAT Publications.

Also: An introduction to Ibn Ezra by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher

Magnus (1193-1280 AD) - by Sue Toohey
Albertus Magnus (made a saint in 1931), was a Dominican friar who became famous for advocating scientific and religious harmony. He is considered to be the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages. He held that a belief in judicial astrology did not inhibit free will, but rather enhanced it.

Bonatti (c.1202-1296 AD) - by Ben Dykes
Guuido Bonatti from Forlė in Italy is one of the most celebrated astrologers of the medieval era. His 10-volume work, Liber Astronomiae, written around 1277, is regarded as the most important astrological work produced in Latin in the 13th century.

Ficino (1433-1499 AD) - by Sue Toohey
Marsilio Ficino made an immeasurable contribution to the intellectual tradition of philosophy, astrology and theology. Sue Toohey considers his influence and his vacillating approach to astrological prediction.

Copernicus (1473 - 1543 AD) - by David Plant
In his article 'the Copernican Revolution' David Plant outlines the story of the struggle to shift mankind's perspective on the universe.

Schoener (1477 - 1547 AD) - by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Johannes Schoener was a renowned German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, cartographer and scientific instrument maker. His works include a complete compendium of medieval natal astrology entitled Opusculum Astrologicum 'Work on Astrology' (1539), and De Judiciis Nativitatum Libri Tres, 'Three Books on the Judgment of Nativities' (1545).

Dee (1527 - 1608 AD) - by Sue Toohey
One of the greatest intellects of his time, Dee's work embodied the principle of Renaissance science suffused with magic. Sue Toohey considers the life, work and influence of this remarkable mystic and mathematician, renown astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I

Brahe (1546 - 1601 AD) - by David Plant
Tycho Brahe occupies an exalted position in the pantheon of science as the founder of modern observational methods in astronomy. He was an imperious, hard-drinking aristocrat whose devotion to precise observation was motivated by his devotion to astrology. In the history of astrology and astronomy, Tycho stands out as one of the most bizarre and colourful of all Urania's children.

Galileo (1564 - 1642 AD) - by Deborah Houlding
Galileo is remembered for championing Copernicus' Sun-centred universe and prompting the split that freed scientific knowledge from the restrictions of spiritual belief. His name has become immortalised as an emblem of resistance against the oppression of Truth.

Kepler (1572 - 1630 AD) - by David Plant
"Kepler's Planetary Laws represented far more than the description of a physical mechanism. In the tradition of the legendary Greek philosopher Pythagoras (6th century BC), Kepler did not view science and spirituality as mutually exclusive. The deeper significance of Kepler's Laws is that they reconcile the emerging vision of a Sun-centred planetary system with the ancient Pythagorean concept of armonia, or universal harmony".

Morin (1583 - 1656 AD) - by Thomas Callanan
Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche is remembered as the greatest and most famous of all French astrologers. His methods are attracting a growing number of adherents and many astrologers benefit from his thinking without knowing it, since even their teachers are unaware of his influence.

Lilly (1602 - 1681 AD) - by David Plant
William Lilly is regarded as the principal authority in horary astrology. England's most illustrious astrologer, he led a colourful life in politically unstable times.

Placidus (1603 - 1668 AD) - by Michael Baigent
Michael Baigent explores the political climate and esoteric philosophy of the astrological monk whose name is so famous yet whose life is still shrouded in mystery.

Culpeper (1616 - 1654 AD) - by Dylan Warren-Davis
Nicholas Culpeper is a legendary figure in the history of herbal medicine. Dylan Warren-Davis gives a detailed account of his dramatic life and prolific work.

Gadbury (1628-1704) - by David Plant
Initially a student of Lilly, Gadbury later turned against him for political and philosophical reasons - proposing that astrology was a rational science whose truth could be demonstrated through an objective study of cause and effect.

Coley (1633-1690) - by Ebenezer Sibley
Trained as a tailor (according to some sources), Henry Coley was born at Oxford and studied astrology with William Lilly, co-writing Lilly's almanacs after Lilly's health declinedand continuing them after hs death. Coley's most famous work is Clavis Astrologiae Elimata. The title link goes to Ebenezer Sibley's bioghraphical analysis of Coley's horoscope. More biographical details are given in the links provided alongside Laura Zimmerman's retyped edition of Coley's text.

Newton (1642 - 1727 AD) - by Sue Toohey
Newton is popularly perceived as champion of the modern scientific viewpoint that dismisses occult principles. Yet he was driven by a conviction in sacred, divine principles. Astrologers today are standing on the same shoulders that supported Newton's inpired vision.

Raphael (1795 - AD) - by Kim Farnell
Astrologers speak of the works of Raphael as if they were all penned by one person. However, there were seven astrologers carrying the name of Raphael during the nineteenth century. Why did they choose the name 'Raphael', and who were these astrologers? Kim Farnell seeks to disentangle the knotted threads.

Leo (1860 - 1917) - by Kim Farnell
Undoubtedly the most influential British astrologer at the turn of the 19th century, Alan Leo is remembered by many as the father of modern astrology.

Sepharial (1864-1929) - by Kim Farnell
Psychic, Astrologer, Theosophist - Sepharial was a central figure in the occult revival that took place at the end of the 19th century, and his books remain popular today.

Adams (1868 - 1933) - by Karen Christino
With her huge clientele, daily radio show and newspaper columns, Evangeline Adams was one of the most important influences on the development of popular American astrology.

Charles Carter (1887 - 1968) - by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Charles Ernest Owen Carter (1887-1968) was an English astrologer and author, who is generally believed to be one of the most important and influential astrologers of the 20th Century.

Vivian E. Robson (1890 - 1942) - by James H. Holden
Well-known English astrologer who combined a practical knowledge of mathematics and astronomy with a thorough knowledge of traditional astrology. This is extracted from James H. Holden's book Biographical Dictionary of Western Astrologers.

Dane Rudhyar (1895 - 1985) - by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Rudhyar was an occultist, astrologer, painter, poet and novelist. He was an active lecturer and prolific author who promoted what is generally known as 'humanistic' astrology.

De Wohl (1903 - 1961) - by Felix Jay
Employed by Churchill's government to provide insight into and propaganda against any astrological advice that the Germans might be receiving, Louis de Wohl has claimed a place in the history of astrology in the 20th century. Dr Felix Jay knew him well and recounts his personal opinion of the man and these infamous responsibilities.

Lois Rodden (1928 - 2003) - by by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Rodden's pioneering work raised awareness that the sourcing of data is a fundamental factor in astrology's credibility. She was a role model for integrity and adherence to standards, whose life's work is enshrined in AstroDataBank, a collection of data she collected, verified and coded over a span of forty years.

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