Sunday, March 23, 2008

Questions of Sect

Since that last flurry of postings, I have been absorbed (well, largely involved, I had to break to watch the Spurs pull out the stops against the hated Mavericks) with The Magic Circle of Rudolf II: Alchemy and Astrology in Renaissance Prague by Peter Marshall. The first four chapters are rather linear, patching a biography amidst the contentious atmosphere of late 16th Century Europe. This has melded into an exploration of Prague as crossroads of the West, how its tolerance, affluence and centers of learning fostered a corresponding reputation as the antechamber of the occult in those enlightened times.

The subject matter is remarkably fascinating but Marshall's delineation has been mediocre at best so far.


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