Cromwell: Simul Iustus Et Peccator

death_mask_of_oliver_cromwellJudging by his serene expression, he certainly doesn’t look like a man who should have changed England’s politics, culture and history forever. I refer to Oliver Cromwell and his expression preserved for the ages in his death mask on display at Warwick Castle, Warwick England. Read more»

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  1. I noticed you mentioned that he perhaps consulted an astrologer. I got the impression this was normal somewhat normal for the time after having read a biography of an older contemporary of Cromwell, Johannes Kepler. I got the impression from the book that both Protestants (Lutherans for Kepler) and Roman Catholics consulted astrologers.

    As a mathematician of his time, his job included making astrological predictions; men like Kepler were basically astrologers. He didn’t believe in it much, at least in parts of his life, and defended his practice of it to an old professor by saying it was a way for supporting himself financially. He was also hesitant to predict for governing authorities because his lack of trust in it.

    The book is Johannes Kepler and the New Astronomy by James Voelkel and published by Oxford University Press.

    • Yes, the line between astrology and astronomy was blurrier then than now. It also depends upon who is telling the story (and when) as to what terms are used to describe what people are doing at any given time but yes, this is generally true in other fields too (e.g., medicine, alchemy etc).

  2. And (re astrology) they had Judges 5:20 to cope with too – only too easy to misinterpret that.

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