Portal:Aleister Crowley/Selected articles/Selected article 10

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Portrait of John Dee. Sixteenth Century, artist unknown. Original in Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK. According to Charlotte Fell Smith, this portrait was painted when Dee was 67. It belonged to his grandson Rowland Dee and later to Elias Ashmole, who left it to Oxford University.

Johannes (John) Dee (July 13, 1527 - 1608 or 1609) was a noted British mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I of England. He also devoted much of his life to alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy.

Dee straddled the worlds of science and magick. One of the most learned men of his time, he had lectured to crowded halls at the University of Paris when still in his early twenties. He was an ardent promoter of mathematics, a respected astronomer and a leading expert in navigation, having trained many of those who would conduct England's voyages of discovery. At the same time, he immersed himself deeply in Christian angel-magic and Hermetic philosophy, devoting the last third of his life almost exclusively to these pursuits. For Dee, as with many of his contemporaries, these activities were not contradictory, but particular aspects of a consistent world-view. (more...)