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‘WHAT ASTROLOGIE IS, AND WHAT THEOLOGIE; AND HOW THEY HAVE REFERENCE TO ONE ANOTHER’

WEIGEL, Valentine (1533–1588)

Astrologie theologized : wherein is set forth, what astrologie, and the light of nature is. What influence the starres naturally have on man, and how the same may be diverted and avoided

London: printed for George Whittington, at the blue Anchor in Cornhill, neer the Royall Exchange, 1649
4to: A–F4, 24 leaves, pp. [2] 48. Woodcut headpiece and initial.
Condition: 180 x 133mm. Title dustsoiled and waterstained and corner chipped; lighter soiling and light browning in the text; page numbers on A3 shaved.
Binding: Twentieth-century half calf.
Provenance: Early signatures on title, scored through. Walter Pagel (1896–1983); B. E. J. Pagel (1930–2007).
First edition in English, a translation of Astrologia Theologizata (in Latin, Frankfurt 1617) or the German translation of that work (Halle 1618).
Bibliography: Wing W1255; ESTC R204068.
£2,000

The original edition was published anonymously and its authorship has been disputed. ‘But whether written by Weigel or later by one of his school, it is a good illustration of the way in which mystically inclined Christians of that period endeavoured to make spiritual conquest of the prevailing Astrology and, through its help, to discover the nature of the inner, hidden universe.’ (Jones pp. 148–9).
Weigel was a German theologian, philosopher and mystical writer, an important precursor of theosophy. The author is stated to be Valentine Weigelius on the title, with no further information, and the text starts immediately without preamble. The first chapter is headed ‘What Astrologie is, and what Theologie; and how they have reference to one another’. At the foot of the last page are a few errata and ‘Imprimatur. Theodore Jennings’.
Literature: Rufus Matthew Jones, Spiritual reformers in the 16th & 17th centuries (1914).
Keywords:     astrology