New Astronomical References in Two Catalonian Late Medieval Documents

in Early Science and Medicine
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In 2008, after 13 years of preparation, the Generalitat of Catalunya finished the publication of the 10 volumes of the Dietaris de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The Dietaris, as well as a closely related source, the llibre de Jornades 1411/1484 de Jaume Safont, cover the period of 1411 to 1539. In this article, we examine astronomical references contained in these two sources, and place them in their historical context. Our main focus lies on astronomical phenomena that have not previously been published in the astronomical literature. In fact, relatively few astronomical records are accessible in Spanish medieval and early modern history, and our paper intends to fill this gap partially.

New Astronomical References in Two Catalonian Late Medieval Documents

in Early Science and Medicine




See Bernard R. Goldstein“Medieval Observations of Solar and Lunar Eclipses,” Archives Internationales de l’Histoire des Sciences 29 (1979) 101–156; F. Richard Stephenson Historical Eclipses and Earth Rotation (Cambridge University Press 1997); idem “Investigation of Medieval European Records of Solar Eclipses” Journal for the History of Astronomy 41 (2010) 95–104.


See Erhard Oeser“Historical Earthquake Theories from Aristotle to Kant,” in Historical Earthquakes in Central Europeeds. Rudolf Gutdeutsch Gottfried Grünthal and Roger Musson (Vienna 1992) 11–32.


  • View in gallery
    Image drawn in the margin of fol. 33v of the Llibre de jornades representing the eclipse of November 30th, 1453. The caption under the image reads Trencament de privilegis (“Break of the privileges”), which clearly links the eclipse to a key political event.

  • View in gallery
    Image representing Halley’s comet as seen from Barcelona on June 14th, 1456. The printed annotation is modern. (Reproduced by permission of the Generalitat de Catalunya, from the Dietaris de la Generalitat de Catalunya, vol. 1)

  • View in gallery
    Image of the meteor observed on October 28th, 1459, from the Llibre de jornades, fol. 61r.

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