The article studies the issue of “astrological seals”—imprinted talismans deriving their powers from the stars—within the general framework of medieval theological and philosophical thought about seals. First, it looks at how astrological sigilla are described in treatises on magic, notably that of Theel, the Pseudo- Ptolemy’s Centiloquium, the Liber formarum (ascribed to Hermes), and the work of the Spanish physician Estéfano. Second, it focuses on two comparisons put forward and rejected by theologians: William of Auvergne’s analysis of the analogy between the astrological talisman and the royal seal, and an anonymous academic quaestio from the fifteenth century, dealing with the parallel between the sealing process and celestial influence. Third, it considers the way that Albert the Great took advantage of the distinctive features of seals, in order to explain the astrological seal within a purely naturalistic framework, and the opposing views of Thomas Aquinas. It concludes in the fifteenth century, when Galeotto Marzio brought a naturalistic explanation for the working of astrological seals to completion.
"Imprinting Powers: The Astrological Seal and Its Doctrinal Meanings in the Latin West,"
The Medieval Globe: Vol. 4
, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/tmg/vol4/iss1/4