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Instruction: Click on the spheres in the correct order to complete the medieval cosmos



Ninth Heaven

Medieval people imagined the earth to be at the still centre of a dynamic cosmos. It was enclosed within multiple transparent spheres, nested closely within one another like the layers of an onion (a popular analogy of the time).

Medieval Universe quiz

1. Where did Aristotle say the sun’s light and heat came from?


2. This planet’s qualities are hot and damp and its colour is sliver.


3. Which element is linked to the humour phlegm?


4. Which planet is fiery and causes wars?


5. Which planet is sometimes called the Morning Star?


6. Translate celum novum.


7. Which angelic movers were linked to the sun?


8. Which planet completes its circuit in 30 years?


9. This planet is difficult to see because it keeps pace with the sun.


10. Which planet is cold and moist?


11. Which element is linked to the humour black bile?


12. What parts of the body does pisces rule?


13. Who did Christians identify with the Prime Mover?


14. Which planet is the largest?


15. This sphere was thought to contain the ‘waters above the firmament’


16. The 12 zodiac signs are located in this sphere.


17. What is a celestial intelligence?


18. Which sphere is inhabited by the blessed?


19. What are the qualities of earth?


20. What are the qualities of fire?


21. What parts of the body does gemini rule?


This website was designed by Dr Sophie Page (UCL). Thanks to Rakhe Mahia Abedin and Kathleen Walker Meikle for their help in developing the concepts.