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

Water
Air
Fire
Moon
mercury
Venus
Sun
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn

Fixed
Stars

Ninth Heaven
Crystalline
Empyrean

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. Which angelic movers were linked to the sun?

 
 
 

2. What are the qualities of fire?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

6. What parts of the body does gemini rule?

 
 
 

7. Which planet is sometimes called the Morning Star?

 
 
 

8. What is a celestial intelligence?

 
 
 

9. Which planet is the largest?

 
 
 

10. Which planet is cold and moist?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

12. Who did Christians identify with the Prime Mover?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

14. Which element is linked to the humour phlegm?

 
 
 

15. What parts of the body does pisces rule?

 
 
 

16. Translate celum novum.

 
 
 

17. Which planet completes its circuit in 30 years?

 
 
 

18. Which planet is fiery and causes wars?

 
 
 

19. What are the qualities of earth?

 
 
 

20. Which sphere is inhabited by the blessed?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 


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.