Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanitiies and the Performing Arts, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.

Volume 22

Astrology and Sarcasm in Three Medieval Portuguese Songs of Mockery

Helena Avelar de Carvalho


This article argues that the basic tenets of astrology were not restricted to astrologers but were known to, and understood by, most people. It presents two thirteenth-century Portuguese songs of mockery describing the misfortunes of a self-proclaimed astrologer and the unpleasant, but hilarious, consequences of his poor understanding of astrology. These songs were also very popular in the thirteenth century among all social groups, from the common people to the royal court. For these jokes to be understood, the public had to recognize at least a few technical terms, otherwise the joke would simply not have worked.

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