Time Reckoning

Time Toolkit

Michael's manuscript includes a wealth of information about saints, the moon, stars, astrology, and the date of Easter. At first these subjects seem disconnected. In fact, they all pertain to time as it was reckoned in the Middle Ages.

Michael has two sections of time-reckoning material in his manuscript. The first is a lengthy section containing an elaborate calendar, astrological material, and several tables relating to the moon and the date of Easter. The second is a shorter section near the end of the manuscript containing information about the use of the hands to reckon time.

Find out more:

For the early medieval origins of the kind of time reckoning Michael writes about, see Faith Wallis, trans., Bede: The Reckoning of Time (Liverpool, 1999).

For astrology and the zodiac see Eugenio Garin, Astrology in the Renaissance: The Zodiac of Life, translated by Carolyn Jackson and June Allen (New York, 1990) and William R. Newman and Anthony Grafton, eds., Secrets of Nature: Astrology and Alchemy in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA., 2001). For illustrations of the zodiac in Michael's period, see Dieter Blume, Regenten des Himmels. Astrologische Bilder in Mittelalter und Renaissance (Berlin, 2000).