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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. The 12 zodiac signs are located in this sphere.

 
 
 

2. Which planet is fiery and causes wars?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

5. Which planet completes its circuit in 30 years?

 
 
 

6. What parts of the body does gemini rule?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

9. Which planet is sometimes called the Morning Star?

 
 
 

10. What are the qualities of fire?

 
 
 

11. Which planet is cold and moist?

 
 
 

12. Translate celum novum.

 
 
 

13. Who did Christians identify with the Prime Mover?

 
 
 

14. Which planet is the largest?

 
 
 

15. What parts of the body does pisces rule?

 
 
 

16. Which angelic movers were linked to the sun?

 
 
 

17. Which element is linked to the humour phlegm?

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

19. Which sphere is inhabited by the blessed?

 
 
 

20. What is a celestial intelligence?

 
 
 

21. What are the qualities of earth?

 
 
 


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.