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The Astronomica is a Latin didactic poem about celestial phenomena, written in hexameters and divided into five books. It was written c. AD 10–20 by a Roman poet whose name was likely Marcus Manilius. The earliest work on astrology that is extensive, comprehensible, and mostly intact, the poem focuses heavily on the zodiac. It espouses a Stoic, deterministic understanding of a universe overseen by a god and governed by reason. It was rediscovered in the 15th century by the Italian humanist and scholar Poggio Bracciolini, who had a copy made from which the modern text derives. The Astronomica was read, commented upon, and edited by scholars, but then was neglected for centuries. This started to change during the early 20th century when the classicist A. E. Housman published a critically acclaimed edition of the poem. Housman's work was followed by the Latinist G. P. Goold's lauded English translation in 1977. (Full article...)

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