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Volume 5, No. 2
Manuel I Komnenos and Michael Glycas: A Twelfth-Century Defence and Refutation of Astrology, Part 2: Manuel I Komnenos' Defence of Astrology
Manuel Komnenos, emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 1143-1180, utilized astrology in his political and personal life, as well as supporting translations of occult literature in his court. When the Church Patriarch presented Manuel with a letter from a simple monk claiming that the astrological teaching was a sacrilege, Manuel could not allow a charge of heresy to be leveled against him. He composed a defense of astrology, asserting that it was compatible with Christian doctrine. This treatise is his only surviving document, and this is the first time that it has been translated from the Greek into any language since its composition in the 12th century. The commentary takes up specific points for clarification. The next issue of Culture and Cosmos will contain the text of its refutation by Manuel's nemesis Michael Glykas, a learned theologian.