Manuel I Komnenos and Michael Glykas: A Twelfth-Century Defence and Refutation of Astrology, Part 3

Author: Demetra George
Abstract: Michael Glykas is generally known as a learned conservative theologian who wrote a refutation of Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenos’ defence of astrology in the latter half of the twelfth century. However there exists substantial evidence that Michael Glykas had a dual identity as the shadowy Michael Sikidites who in his youth was known for his occult interests, suspected of political sedition against Manuel, and imprisoned and blinded as punishment for sorcery. With skill and critical astuteness, Glykas directs his refutation not so much against Manuel’s philosophical arguments as against the claims of his evidence, and thus seeks to cast doubt upon the moral and literary integrity of his Emperor in an attempt to redeem his own reputation. Within half a century of the reintroduction of astrology to the West, Glykas was the first person in many centuries to stir up all the old Christian objections against the fatalism of the stars.
Publication: Culture and Cosmos
Issue: Vol 6 No 1
Dated: Spring/Summer 2002
Pages: pages 23 – 43

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