William Of Moerbeke

One of St Thomas Aquinas's friends was William of

Moerbeke (c. 1215-86), a Flemish Dominican translator from Greek into Latin. Many of his translations were made specifically at the request of Aquinas, and included the first translation of Aristotle's Politics, which had hitherto been unknown both to the Christian West and to the world of Islam. Whilst Thomas Aquinas urged him to translate various books of a neo-Platonic persuasion, Moerbeke worked on a treatise on geomancy called De Arte et Scientia Geomantiae, making it quite likely that he and St Thomas both tried their hand at this divinatory art.

Not only were the clergy of this period obliged to fulminate against the divinatory arts, but they were also the most likely candidates to be practising them, especially given the limited literacy of the non-ecclesiastical population. It was not only Bishops (Albertus Magnus), Saints (Thomas Aquinas), or Dominican monks (William of Moerbeke), but also missionaries and martyrs such as Ramon Lull (1235-1315) who were involved in using and writing about the art of geomancy.

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