Astrolearn astrology library progress report
– No. 16: 21st November, 2015
This is the first proper progress report in two weeks, as a result of my feeling it would be inappropriate to post a report on library development under the banner of “progress” the day after the deadly attacks in Paris last week. My sympathies remain with the victims and their grieving friends and families. And this weekend it is all too apparent from events in Brussels that Europe remains on a state of heightened alert for possible further impending terrorist attacks. But now my work must go on.
I did manage to convey the essence of my news from last week that Wednesday evening, i.e. before the Paris attacks, in a forum posting at Skyscript, from which the first part of this update will draw.
Indeed, in the first half of last week I got the first eight releases in the new Astrolearn CD series uploaded. They are ready for purchase, and comprise:
Henry Coley “Clavis Astrologiae Elimata” (1676)
John Middleton “Practical Astrology” (1679)
Joseph Blagrave “Blagrave’s Introduction to Astrology” (1682)
John Gadbury “Genethlialogia, or the Doctrine of Nativities” (1658)
John Gadbury “Collectio Geniturarum: Or, a collection of Nativities, in CL Genitures” (1662)
John Gadbury “Cardines Coeli” (1684)
Claude Dariot “A Brief and most easie Introduction to the Astrological Iudgement of the Starres” (1598), bound with G. C. “A Treatise of Mathematicall Phisicke” (1598)
William Lilly “Christian Astrology Modestly Treated of in Three Books” (1647)
William Lilly “Anima Astrologiae: Or, a Guide for Astrologers” (1676)
William Lilly “Mr. Lilly’s History of His Life and Times… To which is subjoined, The True History of King James I. and King Charles I” (1721)
William Ramesey “Vox Stellarum. Or, The Voice of the Starres: Being a Short Introduction to the Judgement of Eclipses, and the Annuall Revolutions of the World” (1652)
William Ramesey “Astrologia Restaurata; or, Astrologie Restored” (1654)
John Bishop [and Richard Kirby] “The Marrow of Astrology” (1689)
John Gadbury “Nauticum Astrologicum; or, the Astrological Seaman” (1710)
Nicholas Culpeper “Semeiotica Uranica. Or an Astrological judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick” (1651)
Nicholas Culpeper “Semiotica Uranica, or Culpepper’s Judgement of Diseases Much Enlarged” bound with “Urinalia” (1658)
Richard Saunders “The Astrological Judgment and Practice of Physick” (1677)
William Salmon “Horae Mathematicae, seu Urania” (1679)
Joseph Blagrave “Blagrave’s Astrological Practice of Physick” (1680)
John Goad “Astro-Meteorologica” (1686)
Ptolemy, tr. J. M. Ashmand “Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, or Quadripartite” (1822)*
Manilius, tr. Thomas Creech “The Five Books of M. Manilius” (1697)
George Wharton, ed. John Gadbury “The Works of that Late Most Excellent Philosopher and Astronomer George Wharton” (1683)
* This title was moved from “From Sibly to Simmonite” because it is a good thematic match for the Creech translation of Manilius
John Partridge “Mikropanastron: Or an Astrological Vade Mecum” (1679)
John Partridge “Opus Reformatum: Or, a Treatise of Astrology, in which the Common Errors of that Art are Modesty Exposed and Rejected” (1693)
John Partridge “Defectio Geniturarum: being an Essay toward the Reviving and Proving the True Old Principles of Astrology” (1697)
William Eland, ed. Geo. Parker “Eland’s Tutor to Astrology” Stated Tenth Edition, 1704
Richard Ball “Astrology Improv’d” (1723)
Each CD has its own surface-print disc design. To see the disc designs, please go to the manufacturer’s sale page linked beneath, click “More Info” on the title of interest, and then click “Rotate Case” several times on the screen that opens up for the particular disc. Eventually you will get the open-case shot showing the disc design.
Please note that the manufacturer refuses to distribute to countries it judges to have an insecure postal service. The list of countries served is shown at the point of checkout. I note that for example Latvia, Ukraine and Russia are all unfortunately among those excluded. Potential customers from excluded countries can still purchase my DVDs. Those particularly desirous of the CDs can contact me. At a small surcharge to cover the additional postage cost, I could order them to my home and then send them on myself.
In December, another ten CDs are expected be added to the line-up, comprising the original contents of the DVD “From Sibly to Simmonite” plus seven additional volumes not on it: George Townsend’s “Oedipus Romanus”; George Beaumont’s “Fixed Stars” (1814); The Conjuror’s Magazine vols. 1 and 2; and three extra works by W. J. Simmonite: “The Scientific and Literary Messenger”, “Catastrophe Mundi” and (in early 20th century Foulsham edition) “Medical Botany”.
I cannot upload them before then, although they are ready, because of limitations to my bandwidth allowance on my mobile Internet contract.
This new week, I finally received the long-anticipated early 20th century academic edition at which I have hinted in several previous updates. It is the critical edition of the Arabic Picatrix, as published by Teubner Verlag in 1933 on behalf of the Warburg Library, the forerunner of the later Warburg Institute. Hundreds of pages of Arabic text with footnotes in Arabic and Latin, and in an excellent state of preservation that justified the considerable price tag of GBP £125. I would like to thank Jonathan Fishburn of Fishburn Books for his patience in following through with this order. This volume joins the existing 1986 critical edition of the Latin Picatrix in my shelves. That one was edited by David Pingree and published directly by the Warburg Institute. My full catalogue entry for the new addition (later to be uploaded to the bibliography pages) reads thus (also showing footnotes):
Anonymous (14); ed. Ritter, Hellmut ‘[Studien der Bibliothek Warburg XII:] Picatrix (“Das Ziel des Weisen” von Pseudo-Magriti) I. Arabischer Text‘ B. G. Teubner, Leipzig / Berlin, 1933. Original distributor’s slip indicating that the publications of the Bibliothek Warburg have been transferred from Teubner to Cassell & Company laid in. Original card covers.  + [1 leaf] + [pp. v-vi] +  + [10 pages of tables] + 416 + [6 pages of advertisements]
 A series of publications edited at the time by Fritz Saxl
 The first in a series of three scholarly editions of the Picatrix produced in connection with the Warburg Institute, this volume presenting the critical edition of the Arabic Picatrix. The second, published in 1962, not in this collection, was a translation into German by Ritter, together with a colleague, of the Arabic text – a translation that initially went to press at the start of World War II, only for the printing plates and final manuscript to be destroyed during the war, which resulted in the need for a major revision from the sole surviving earlier draft of the translation in the post-war years. The third, published in 1986, was the critical edition of the Latin Picatrix, published in 1986, q. v. above. The present volume comprises a two-page foreword in German followed by the Arabic text with scholarly footnotes in Arabic and Latin. In keeping with tradition for Arabic-language books, the front cover is at the back of the book, and text proceeds from the back to the front of the book. The pagination is in Arabic.
The 20% discount on Astrolearn DVD titles that has been offered throughout November 2015 will expire automatically at the end of this month and will not be extended or repeated.
Increasingly I plan to move to the on-demand CD distribution model, and there will be little incentive for me to discount the DVDs after that, bearing in mind the vastly increased costs, labour and time involved in individually producing them from home, as well as individually packaging and posting them. The standard DVD prices may even increase in 2016 once the equivalent content is all available on CD.
In other news, I recently took delivery of a small number of papers from the estate of the pioneering female American astrologer Catherine Thompson. Since they are unpublished and in most cases unique materials of considerable importance to the historical study of astrology in culture, I have swiftly scanned them and made them freely available to a private group for staff, students and supporters of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture as a special gift. However, they may also find their way onto a future Astrolearn CD.
I have also placed my order for Stephan Heilen’s long-awaited two-volume critical edition of ‘ “Hadriani genitura” – Die astrologischen Fragmente des Antigonos von Nikaia’, as recently published by Walter de Gruyter. Even at the somewhat discounted price of GBP £114.67 including shipping to my country from Book Depository, it is not cheap; but these kinds of editions are essential to historical scholarship on astrology, which is an inherent focus of the archive I’m building. So even without an institutional budget to back me up, it was a purchase I felt I simply had to make.
Meanwhile, I’ve made sporadic further progress with overhauling my catalogue listings for early 20th century German astrological books to bring them up to the standards of the rest of the catalogue. But there are still quite a few of these to work on in the week ahead.
Wishing peace and safety to all in these uncertain times.