John Dee (mathematician)

John Dee (mathematician)

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John Dee was an English mathematician
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, astronomer
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, astrologer
Astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...

, occultist, navigator
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, imperialist and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, divination
Divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

 and Hermetic philosophy
Hermeticism
Hermeticism or the Western Hermetic Tradition is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus...

.

Dee straddled the worlds of science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 and magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 just as they were becoming distinguishable. One of the most learned men of his age, he had been invited to lecture on advanced algebra
Algebra
Algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations, and the constructions and concepts arising from them, including terms, polynomials, equations and algebraic structures...

 at the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

 while still in his early twenties. Dee was an ardent promoter of mathematics and a respected astronomer, as well as a leading expert in navigation
Navigation
Navigation is the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. It is also the term of art used for the specialized knowledge used by navigators to perform navigation tasks...

, having trained many of those who would conduct England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

's voyages of discovery.

Simultaneously with these efforts, Dee immersed himself in the worlds of magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

, astrology
Astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...

 and Hermetic philosophy. He devoted much time and effort in the last thirty years or so of his life to attempting to commune with angels in order to learn the universal language
Universal language
Universal language may refer to a hypothetical or historical language spoken and understood by all or most of the world's population. In some circles, it is a language said to be understood by all living things, beings, and objects alike. It may be the ideal of an international auxiliary language...

 of creation and bring about the pre-apocalyptic unity of mankind. A student of the Renaissance Neo-Platonism of Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino
Marsilio Ficino was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance, an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism who was in touch with every major academic thinker and writer of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin...

, Dee did not draw distinctions between his mathematical research and his investigations into Hermetic magic, angel summoning and divination. Instead he considered all of his activities to constitute different facets of the same quest: the search for a transcendent understanding of the divine forms which underlie the visible world, which Dee called "pure verities".

Dee's high status as a scholar also allowed him to play a role in Elizabethan politics. He served as an occasional adviser and tutor to Elizabeth I and nurtured relationships with her ministers Francis Walsingham
Francis Walsingham
Sir Francis Walsingham was Principal Secretary to Elizabeth I of England from 1573 until 1590, and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Walsingham is frequently cited as one of the earliest practitioners of modern intelligence methods both for espionage and for domestic security...

 and William Cecil
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

. Dee also tutored and enjoyed patronage relationships with Sir Philip Sidney
Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier and soldier, and is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan Age...

, his uncle Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester
Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, KG was an English nobleman and the favourite and close friend of Elizabeth I from her first year on the throne until his death...

, and Edward Dyer
Edward Dyer
Sir Edward Dyer was an English courtier and poet.-Life:The son of Sir Thomas Dyer, Kt., he was born at Sharpham Park, Glastonbury, Somerset. He was educated, according to Anthony Wood, either at Balliol College, Oxford or at Broadgates Hall , and left after taking a degree...

. He also enjoyed patronage from Sir Christopher Hatton.

In his lifetime Dee amassed the largest library in England and one of the largest in Europe.

Early life


Dee was born in Tower Ward, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, to a Welsh
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 family, whose surname derived from the Welsh
Welsh language
Welsh is a member of the Brythonic branch of the Celtic languages spoken natively in Wales, by some along the Welsh border in England, and in Y Wladfa...

 du ("black"). His father Roland was a mercer and minor courtier
Courtier
A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together...

. Dee's family arrived in London in the wake of the Welshman Henry Tudor's coronation as Henry VII
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizing the crown on 22 August 1485 until his death on 21 April 1509, as the first monarch of the House of Tudor....

.

Dee attended the Chelmsford
Chelmsford
Chelmsford is the county town of Essex, England and the principal settlement of the borough of Chelmsford. It is located in the London commuter belt, approximately northeast of Charing Cross, London, and approximately the same distance from the once provincial Roman capital at Colchester...

 Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 School from 1535 (now King Edward VI Grammar School (Chelmsford)
King Edward VI Grammar School (Chelmsford)
King Edward VI Grammar School, or KEGS, is a British grammar school located in the town of Chelmsford, Essex, England. It takes pupils between the ages of 11 and 18 — from Year 7 to 11 the pupils are exclusively male, although it becomes mixed in the sixth form .The present headteacher is Thomas...

), then – from November 1542 to 1546 – St. John's College
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college's alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners, six Prime Ministers, three archbishops, at least two princes, and three Saints....

, Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. His great abilities were recognized, and he was made a founding fellow of Trinity College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, where the clever stage effects he produced for a production of Aristophanes
Aristophanes
Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

' Peace procured him the reputation of being a magician that clung to him through life. In the late 1540s and early 1550s, he travelled in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, studying at Leuven
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The Katholieke Universiteit Leuven is a Dutch-speaking university in Flanders, Belgium.It is located at the centre of the historic town of Leuven, and is a prominent part of the city, home to the university since 1425...

 (1548) and Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 and lecturing in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 on Euclid
Euclid
Euclid , fl. 300 BC, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, was a Greek mathematician, often referred to as the "Father of Geometry". He was active in Alexandria during the reign of Ptolemy I...

. He studied with Gemma Frisius
Gemma Frisius
Gemma Frisius , was a physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker...

 and became a close friend of the cartographer
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

 Gerardus Mercator
Gerardus Mercator
thumb|right|200px|Gerardus MercatorGerardus Mercator was a cartographer, born in Rupelmonde in the Hapsburg County of Flanders, part of the Holy Roman Empire. He is remembered for the Mercator projection world map, which is named after him...

, returning to England with an important collection of mathematical and astronomical instruments. In 1552, he met Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano was an Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler...

 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

: during their acquaintance they investigated a perpetual motion machine as well as a gem purported to have magical properties.

Rector at Upton-upon-Severn from 1553, Dee was offered a readership in mathematics at Oxford in 1554, which he declined; he was occupied with writing and perhaps hoped for a better position at court. In 1555, Dee became a member of the Worshipful Company of Mercers
Worshipful Company of Mercers
The Worshipful Company of Mercers is the premier Livery Company of the City of London and ranks first in order of precedence. It is the first of the so-called "Great Twelve City Livery Companies". It was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1394...

, as his father had, through the company's system of patrimony
Patrimony
Patrimony may refer to:* Property or other legal entitlements inherited from , one's father, especially if it has been handed down through generations in the same family, birthright...

.

That same year, 1555, he was arrested and charged with "calculating" for having cast horoscope
Horoscope
In astrology, a horoscope is a chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, the astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person's birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning "a look at the hours" In...

s of Queen Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 and Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

; the charges were expanded to treason
Treason
In law, treason is the crime that covers some of the more extreme acts against one's sovereign or nation. Historically, treason also covered the murder of specific social superiors, such as the murder of a husband by his wife. Treason against the king was known as high treason and treason against a...

 against Mary. Dee appeared in the Star Chamber
Star Chamber
The Star Chamber was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters...

 and exonerated himself, but was turned over to the Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 Bishop Bonner
Edmund Bonner
Edmund Bonner , Bishop of London, was an English bishop. Initially an instrumental figure in the schism of Henry VIII from Rome, he was antagonized by the Protestant reforms introduced by Somerset and reconciled himself to Roman Catholicism...

 for religious examination. His strong and lifelong penchant for secrecy perhaps worsening matters, this entire episode was only the most dramatic in a series of attacks and slanders that would dog Dee throughout his life. Clearing his name yet again, he soon became a close associate of Bonner.

Dee presented Queen Mary with a visionary plan for the preservation of old books, manuscripts and records and the founding of a national library
Library
In a traditional sense, a library is a large collection of books, and can refer to the place in which the collection is housed. Today, the term can refer to any collection, including digital sources, resources, and services...

, in 1556, but his proposal was not taken up. Instead, he expanded his personal library at his house in Mortlake
Mortlake
Mortlake is a district of London, England and part of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is on the south bank of the River Thames between Kew and Barnes with East Sheen inland to the south. Mortlake was part of Surrey until 1965.-History:...

, tirelessly acquiring books and manuscripts in England and on the European Continent. Dee's library, a center of learning outside the universities, became the greatest in England and attracted many scholars.

When Elizabeth took the throne in 1558, Dee became her trusted advisor on astrological and scientific matters, choosing Elizabeth's coronation date himself. From the 1550s through the 1570s, he served as an advisor to England's voyages of discovery, providing technical assistance in navigation and ideological backing in the creation of a "British Empire", a term that he was the first to use. Dee wrote a letter to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley
William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley , KG was an English statesman, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I for most of her reign, twice Secretary of State and Lord High Treasurer from 1572...

 in October 1574 seeking patronage. He claimed to have occult knowledge of treasure on the Welsh Marches
Welsh Marches
The Welsh Marches is a term which, in modern usage, denotes an imprecisely defined area along and around the border between England and Wales in the United Kingdom. The precise meaning of the term has varied at different periods...

, and of ancient valuable manuscripts kept at Wigmore Castle
Wigmore Castle
Wigmore Castle is a ruined castle which is barely visible from the village of Wigmore in the northwest region of Herefordshire, England.- History :...

, knowing that the Lord Treasurer's ancestors came from this area.
In 1577, Dee published General and Rare Memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation, a work that set out his vision of a maritime empire and asserted English territorial claims on the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

. Dee was acquainted with Humphrey Gilbert
Humphrey Gilbert
Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Devon in England was a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Adventurer, explorer, member of parliament, and soldier, he served during the reign of Queen Elizabeth and was a pioneer of English colonization in North America and the Plantations of Ireland.-Early life:Gilbert...

 and was close to Sir Philip Sidney
Philip Sidney
Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier and soldier, and is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan Age...

 and his circle.
In 1564, Dee wrote the Hermetic
Hermetica
The Hermetica are Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries CE, mostly presented as dialogues in which a teacher, generally identified with Hermes Trismegistus or "thrice-greatest Hermes", enlightens a disciple...

 work Monas Hieroglyphica ("The Hieroglyphic Monad"), an exhaustive Cabalistic
Christian Kabbalah
The Renaissance saw the birth of Christian Kabbalah/Cabbalah , also spelled Cabbala/Cabala...

 interpretation of a glyph
Glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

 of his own design, meant to express the mystical unity of all creation. He travelled to Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 to present a copy personally to Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

. This work was highly valued by many of Dee's contemporaries, but the loss of the secret oral tradition of Dee's milieu makes the work difficult to interpret today.

He published a "Mathematical Preface" to Henry Billingsley
Henry Billingsley
Sir Henry Billingsley was Lord Mayor of London and the first translator of Euclid into English.-Early Life:He was a son of William Billingsley, haberdasher and assaymaster of London, and his wife, Elizabeth Harlowe. He entered St...

's English translation of Euclid's Elements
Euclid's Elements
Euclid's Elements is a mathematical and geometric treatise consisting of 13 books written by the Greek mathematician Euclid in Alexandria c. 300 BC. It is a collection of definitions, postulates , propositions , and mathematical proofs of the propositions...

in 1570, arguing the central importance of mathematics and outlining mathematics' influence on the other arts and sciences. Intended for an audience outside the universities, it proved to be Dee's most widely influential and frequently reprinted work.

Later life


By the early 1580s, Dee was growing dissatisfied with his progress in learning the secrets of nature and with his own lack of influence and recognition. He began to turn towards the supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

 as a means to acquire knowledge. Specifically, he sought to contact angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s through the use of a "scryer" or crystal-gazer
Crystal ball
A crystal ball is a crystal or glass ball believed by some people to aid in the performance of clairvoyance. It is sometimes known as a shew stone...

, who would act as an intermediary between Dee and the angels.

Dee's first attempts were not satisfactory, but, in 1582, he met Edward Kelley
Edward Kelley
Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot was an ambiguous figure in English Renaissance occultism and self-declared spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations...

 (then going under the name of Edward Talbot), who impressed him greatly with his abilities. Dee took Kelley into his service and began to devote all his energies to his supernatural pursuits. These "spiritual conferences" or "actions" were conducted with an air of intense Christian piety, always after periods of purification, prayer
Prayer
Prayer is a form of religious practice that seeks to activate a volitional rapport to a deity through deliberate practice. Prayer may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song. When language is used, prayer may take the form of...

 and fasting
Fasting
Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period, usually a single day , or several days. Other fasts may be only partially restrictive,...

. Dee was convinced of the benefits they could bring to mankind. (The character of Kelley is harder to assess: some have concluded that he acted with complete cynicism, but delusion or self-deception are not out of the question. Kelley's "output" is remarkable for its sheer mass, its intricacy and its vividness.) Dee maintained that the angels laboriously dictated several books to him this way, some in a special angelic or Enochian language
Enochian
Enochian is a name often applied to an occult or angelic language recorded in the private journals of John Dee and his seer Edward Kelley in the late 16th century. The men claimed that it was revealed to them by angels...

.

In 1583, Dee met the visiting Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 nobleman Albert Łaski, who invited Dee to accompany him on his return to Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. With some prompting by the angels, Dee was persuaded to go. Dee, Kelley and their families left for the Continent in September 1583, but Łaski proved to be bankrupt
Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal status of an insolvent person or an organisation, that is, one that cannot repay the debts owed to creditors. In most jurisdictions bankruptcy is imposed by a court order, often initiated by the debtor....

 and out of favour in his own country. Dee and Kelley began a nomad
Nomad
Nomadic people , commonly known as itinerants in modern-day contexts, are communities of people who move from one place to another, rather than settling permanently in one location. There are an estimated 30-40 million nomads in the world. Many cultures have traditionally been nomadic, but...

ic life in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

, but they continued their spiritual conferences, which Dee recorded meticulously. He had audiences with Emperor Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

 in Prague Castle
Prague Castle
Prague Castle is a castle in Prague where the Kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices. The Czech Crown Jewels are kept here...

 and King Stefan Batory of Poland and attempted to convince them of the importance of his angelic communications. His meeting with the Polish King Stefan Batory took place at the royal castle
Niepołomice Castle
The Niepołomice Royal Castle is a Gothic castle from the mid-14th century, rebuilt in the late Renaissance style and called the second Wawel. It is situated in Niepołomice, Poland.-History:...

 at Niepołomice (near Kraków
Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

, then the capital of Poland) and was later widely analyzed by Polish historians (Ryszard Zieliński, Roman Żelewski, Roman Bugaj) and writers (Waldemar Łysiak). While generally they accepted him as being a man of wide and deep knowledge they also pointed out his connections with the English monarch Elizabeth. This prompted them to conclude that the meeting could have hidden political goals. Nevertheless, the Polish King who, being a devout Catholic, was very cautious of any supernatural media, started the meeting with a statement that all prophetic revelations were finalized with the mission of Jesus Christ. He also stressed that he would take part in the event provided that there would be nothing against the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church.

During a spiritual conference in Bohemia
Kingdom of Bohemia
The Kingdom of Bohemia was a country located in the region of Bohemia in Central Europe, most of whose territory is currently located in the modern-day Czech Republic. The King was Elector of Holy Roman Empire until its dissolution in 1806, whereupon it became part of the Austrian Empire, and...

, in 1587, Kelley told Dee that the angel Uriel
Uriel
Uriel is one of the archangels of post-Exilic Rabbinic tradition, and also of certain Christian traditions...

 had ordered that the two men should share their wives
Open marriage
Open marriage typically refers to a marriage in which the partners agree that each may engage in extramarital sexual relationships, without this being regarded as infidelity. There are many different styles of open marriage, with the partners having varying levels of input on their spouse's...

. Kelley, who by that time was becoming a prominent alchemist and was much more sought-after than Dee, may have wished to use this as a way to end the spiritual conferences. The order caused Dee great anguish, but he did not doubt its genuineness and apparently allowed it to go forward, but broke off the conferences immediately afterwards and did not see Kelley again. Dee returned to England in 1589.

Final years


Dee returned to Mortlake after six years to find his library ruined and many of his prized books and instruments stolen. He sought support from Elizabeth, who finally made him Warden of Christ's College, Manchester, in 1595. This former College of Priests had been re-established as a Protestant institution by a Royal Charter of 1578.

However, he could not exert much control over the Fellows, who despised or cheated him. Early in his tenure, he was consulted on the demonic possession of seven children, but took little interest in the matter, although he did allow those involved to consult his still extensive library.

He left Manchester in 1605 to return to London; however, he remained Warden until his death. By that time, Elizabeth was dead, and James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, unsympathetic to anything related to the supernatural, provided no help. Dee spent his final years in poverty at Mortlake, forced to sell off various of his possessions to support himself and his daughter, Katherine, who cared for him until the end. He died in Mortlake late in 1608 or early 1609 aged 82 (there are no extant records of the exact date as both the parish registers and Dee's gravestone are missing).

Personal life


Dee was married twice and had eight children. Details of his first marriage are sketchy, but is likely to have been from 1565 to his wife's death in around 1576. From 1577 to 1601 Dee kept a meticulous diary. In 1578 he married the 23-year-old Jane Fromond (Dee was fifty-one at the time). She was to be the wife that Kelley claimed Uriel had demanded that he and Dee share, and although Dee complied for a while this eventually caused the two men to part company. Jane died during the plague in Manchester and was buried in March 1604, along with a number of his children: Theodore is known to have died in Manchester, but although no records exist for his daughters Madinia, Frances and Margaret after this time, Dee had by this time ceased keeping his diary. His eldest son was Arthur Dee
Arthur Dee
Arthur Dee , the eldest son of Dr John Dee, was a physician and alchemist.He was the eldest son of John Dee, by his second wife, Jane, daughter of Bartholomew Fromond of East Cheam, Surrey, and was born at Mortlake on 13 July 1579. He accompanied his father in travels through Germany, Poland, and...

, about whom Dee wrote a letter to his headmaster at Westminster School
Westminster School
The Royal College of St. Peter in Westminster, almost always known as Westminster School, is one of Britain's leading independent schools, with the highest Oxford and Cambridge acceptance rate of any secondary school or college in Britain...

 which echoes the worries of boarding school parents in every century; Arthur was also an alchemist and hermetic author. The antiquary John Aubrey
John Aubrey
John Aubrey FRS, was an English antiquary, natural philosopher and writer. He is perhaps best known as the author of the collection of short biographical pieces usually referred to as Brief Lives...

 gives the following description of John Dee: "He was tall and slender. He wore a gown like an artist's gown, with hanging sleeves, and a slit.... A very fair, clear sanguine complexion... a long beard as white as milk. A very handsome man."

Thought


Dee was an intensely pious Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, but his Christianity was deeply influenced by the Hermetic and Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

nic-Pythagorean
Pythagoras
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

 doctrines that were pervasive in the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. He believed that numbers
Numerology
Numerology is any study of the purported mystical relationship between a count or measurement and life. It has many systems and traditions and beliefs...

 were the basis of all things and the key to knowledge, that God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

's creation was an act of numbering. From Hermeticism
Hermeticism
Hermeticism or the Western Hermetic Tradition is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus...

, he drew the belief that man had the potential for divine power, and he believed this divine power could be exercised through mathematics. His cabalistic angel magic (which was heavily numerological) and his work on practical mathematics (navigation, for example) were simply the exalted and mundane ends of the same spectrum, not the antithetical activities many would see them as today. His ultimate goal was to help bring forth a unified world religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 through the healing of the breach of the Catholic and Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 churches and the recapture of the pure theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 of the ancients.

Advocacy of English expansion


From 1570 Dee advocated a policy of political and economic strengthening of England and imperial expansion into the New World. In his manuscript, Brytannicae reipublicae synopsis (1570), he outlined the current state of the Elizabethan Realm
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

  and was concerned with trade, ethics and national strength.

His 1576 General and rare memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation, was the first volume in an unfinished series planned to advocate the rise of imperial expansion. In the highly symbolic frontispiece, Dee included a figure of Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

  kneeling by the shore beseeching Elizabeth I, to protect her empire by strengthening her navy. Dee used Geoffrey
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Geoffrey of Monmouth was a cleric and one of the major figures in the development of British historiography and the popularity of tales of King Arthur...

's inclusion of Ireland in Arthur's
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 imperial conquests to argue that Arthur had established a ‘British empire’ abroad. He further argued that England exploit new lands through colonization and that this vision could become reality through maritime supremacy. Dee has been credited with the coining of the term British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

, however, Humphrey Llwyd has also been credited with the first use of the term in his Commentarioli Britannicae Descriptionis Fragmentum, published eight years earlier in 1568.

Dee posited a formal claim to North America on the back of a map drawn in 1577–80; he noted Circa 1494 Mr Robert Thorn his father, and Mr Eliot of Bristow, discovered Newfound Land. In his Title Royal of 1580, he invented the claim that Madog ab Owain Gwynedd had discovered America with Dee intending to prove that England's claim to the New World was stronger than that of Spain. He further asserted that Brutus of Britain and King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 as well as Madog had conquered lands in the Americas and therefore their heir Elizabeth I of England had a priority claim there.

Reputation and significance


About ten years after Dee's death, the antiquarian
Antiquarian
An antiquarian or antiquary is an aficionado or student of antiquities or things of the past. More specifically, the term is used for those who study history with particular attention to ancient objects of art or science, archaeological and historic sites, or historic archives and manuscripts...

 Robert Cotton
Robert Bruce Cotton
Sir Robert Bruce Cotton, 1st Baronet was an English antiquarian and Member of Parliament, founder of the important Cotton library....

 purchased land around Dee's house and began digging in search of papers and artifacts. He discovered several manuscripts, mainly records of Dee's angelic communications. Cotton's son gave these manuscripts to the scholar Méric Casaubon
Méric Casaubon
Méric Casaubon , son of Isaac Casaubon, was a French-English classical scholar...

, who published them in 1659, together with a long introduction critical of their author, as A True & Faithful Relation of What passed for many Yeers between Dr. John Dee (A Mathematician of Great Fame in Q. Eliz. and King James their Reignes) and some spirits. As the first public revelation of Dee's spiritual conferences, the book was extremely popular and sold quickly. Casaubon, who believed in the reality of spirits, argued in his introduction that Dee was acting as the unwitting tool of evil spirits when he believed he was communicating with angels. This book is largely responsible for the image, prevalent for the following two and a half centuries, of Dee as a dupe and deluded fanatic.

Around the same time the True and Faithful Relation was published, members of the Rosicrucian
Rosicrucian
Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe...

 movement claimed Dee as one of their number. There is doubt, however, that an organized Rosicrucian movement existed during Dee's lifetime, and no evidence that he ever belonged to any secret fraternity. Dee's reputation as a magician and the vivid story of his association with Edward Kelley
Edward Kelley
Sir Edward Kelley or Kelly, also known as Edward Talbot was an ambiguous figure in English Renaissance occultism and self-declared spirit medium who worked with John Dee in his magical investigations...

 have made him a seemingly irresistible figure to fabulists, writers of horror stories
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

 and latter-day magicians. The accretion of false and often fanciful information about Dee often obscures the facts of his life, remarkable as they are in themselves.

A re-evaluation of Dee's character and significance came in the 20th century, largely as a result of the work of the historian Frances Yates
Frances Yates
Dame Frances Amelia Yates DBE was a British historian. She taught at the Warburg Institute of the University of London for many years.She wrote extensively on the occult or Neoplatonic philosophies of the Renaissance...

, who brought a new focus on the role of magic in the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 and the development of modern science. As a result of this re-evaluation, Dee is now viewed as a serious scholar and appreciated as one of the most learned men of his day.

His personal library at Mortlake was the largest in the country, and was considered one of the finest in Europe, perhaps second only to that of de Thou
Jacques Auguste de Thou
Jacques Auguste de Thou was a French historian, book collector and president of the Parlement de Paris.-Life:...

. As well as being an astrological and scientific advisor to Elizabeth and her court, he was an early advocate of the colonization of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 and a visionary of a British Empire stretching across the North Atlantic.

Dee promoted the sciences of navigation and cartography
Cartography
Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.The fundamental problems of traditional cartography are to:*Set the map's...

. He studied closely with Gerardus Mercator, and he owned an important collection of map
Map
A map is a visual representation of an area—a symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes....

s, globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

s and astronomical instruments. He developed new instruments as well as special navigational techniques for use in polar regions. Dee served as an advisor to the English voyages of discovery, and personally selected pilots and trained them in navigation.

He believed that mathematics (which he understood mystically) was central to the progress of human learning. The centrality of mathematics to Dee's vision makes him to that extent more modern than Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

, though some scholars believe Bacon purposely downplayed mathematics in the anti-occult atmosphere of the reign of James I. It should be noted, though, that Dee's understanding of the role of mathematics is radically different from our contemporary view.

Dee's promotion of mathematics outside the universities was an enduring practical achievement. His "Mathematical Preface" to Euclid was meant to promote the study and application of mathematics by those without a university education, and was very popular and influential among the "mecanicians": the new and growing class of technical craftsmen and artisans. Dee's preface included demonstrations of mathematical principles that readers could perform themselves.

Dee was a friend of Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe
Tycho Brahe , born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations...

 and was familiar with the work of Copernicus. Many of his astronomical calculations were based on Copernican assumptions, but he never openly espoused the heliocentric
Heliocentrism
Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a stationary Sun at the center of the universe. The word comes from the Greek . Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center...

 theory. Dee applied Copernican theory to the problem of calendar
Calendar
A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial, or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months, and years. The name given to each day is known as a date. Periods in a calendar are usually, though not...

 reform. His sound recommendations were not accepted, however, for political reasons.

He has often been associated with the Voynich Manuscript
Voynich manuscript
The Voynich manuscript, described as "the world's most mysterious manuscript", is a work which dates to the early 15th century, possibly from northern Italy. It is named after the book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who purchased it in 1912....

. Wilfrid M. Voynich, who bought the manuscript in 1912, suggested that Dee may have owned the manuscript and sold it to Rudolph II. Dee's contacts with Rudolph were far less extensive than had previously been thought, however, and Dee's diaries show no evidence of the sale. Dee was, however, known to have possessed a copy of the Book of Soyga
Book of Soyga
The Book of Soyga, also titled Aldaraia, is a 16th century Latin treatise on magic, one copy of which is known to have been possessed by the Elizabethan scholar John Dee....

, another enciphered book.

At Elizabeth I's request Dee embraced the old Welsh 'Prince Madog' myth to lay claim to North America. The well known story was of a young Welsh prince who discovered America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbus's voyage in 1492. The fact was that Elizabeth I had little interest in the New World and Dee's hopes were premature.

Artifacts



The British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 holds several items once owned by Dee and associated with the spiritual conferences:
  • Dee's Speculum or Mirror (an obsidian
    Obsidian
    Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock.It is produced when felsic lava extruded from a volcano cools rapidly with minimum crystal growth...

     Aztec
    Aztec
    The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

     cult object in the shape of a hand-mirror, brought to Europe in the late 1520s), which was once owned by Horace Walpole
    Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford
    Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford was an English art historian, man of letters, antiquarian and Whig politician. He is now largely remembered for Strawberry Hill, the home he built in Twickenham, south-west London where he revived the Gothic style some decades before his Victorian successors,...

    .
  • The small wax seals
    Seal (device)
    A seal can be a figure impressed in wax, clay, or some other medium, or embossed on paper, with the purpose of authenticating a document ; but the term can also mean the device for making such impressions, being essentially a mould with the mirror image of the design carved in sunken- relief or...

     used to support the legs of Dee's "table of practice" (the table at which the scrying
    Scrying
    Scrying is a magic practice that involves seeing things psychically in a medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and less often for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The most common media used are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals,...

     was performed).
  • The large, elaborately decorated wax "Seal of God", used to support the "shew-stone", the crystal ball
    Crystal ball
    A crystal ball is a crystal or glass ball believed by some people to aid in the performance of clairvoyance. It is sometimes known as a shew stone...

     used for scrying.
  • A gold amulet
    Amulet
    An amulet, similar to a talisman , is any object intended to bring good luck or protection to its owner.Potential amulets include gems, especially engraved gems, statues, coins, drawings, pendants, rings, plants and animals; even words said in certain occasions—for example: vade retro satana—, to...

     engraved with a representation of one of Kelley's visions.
  • A crystal globe, six centimetres in diameter. This item remained unnoticed for many years in the mineral
    Mineral
    A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. By comparison, a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not...

     collection; possibly the one owned by Dee, but the provenance of this object is less certain than that of the others.


In December 2004, both a shew stone (a stone used for scrying) formerly belonging to Dee and a mid-17th century explanation of its use written by Nicholas Culpeper
Nicholas Culpeper
Nicholas Culpeper was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. His published books include The English Physician and the Complete Herbal , which contain a rich store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge, and Astrological Judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick ,...

 were stolen from the Science Museum
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

 in London; they were recovered shortly afterwards.

Influence on literature and the arts


Dee was a popular figure in literary works written by his own contemporaries, and he has continued to feature in popular culture ever since, particularly in fiction or fantasy set during his lifetime or that deals with magic or the occult.

16th and 17th centuries
  • Edmund Spenser
    Edmund Spenser
    Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

     may refer to Dee in The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene
    The Faerie Queene is an incomplete English epic poem by Edmund Spenser. The first half was published in 1590, and a second installment was published in 1596. The Faerie Queene is notable for its form: it was the first work written in Spenserian stanza and is one of the longest poems in the English...

    (1596).
  • William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

     may have modelled the character of Prospero
    Prospero
    Prospero is the protagonist in The Tempest, a play by William Shakespeare.- The Tempest :Prospero is the rightful Duke of Milan, who was put to sea on "a rotten carcass of a butt [boat]" to die by his usurping brother, Antonio, twelve years before the play begins. Prospero and Miranda survived,...

     in The Tempest
    The Tempest
    The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place,...

    (1610–11) on Dee.

20th century
  • The four novel set Ægypt
    Ægypt
    Ægypt is a sequence of four novels by John Crowley. The work describes the work and life of Pierce Moffett, who prepares a manuscript for publication even as it prepares him for some as-yet unknown destiny, all set amidst strange and subtle Hermetic manipulations among the Faraway Hills at the...

    (1987–2007) by John Crowley
    John Crowley
    John Crowley is an American author of fantasy, science fiction and mainstream fiction. He studied at Indiana University and has a second career as a documentary film writer...

     features John Dee.
  • Dee figures prominently in the mystical-occult mythology created for the concept album Imaginos
    Imaginos
    Imaginos is a 1988 concept album by Blue Öyster Cult.The "Imaginos" concept was originally begun by producer Sandy Pearlman in 1967, before BÖC was even formed. Drummer Albert Bouchard began writing music for it following the release of the band's first album in 1972...

    (1988) by the American rock band Blue Oyster Cult
    Blue Öyster Cult
    Blue Öyster Cult, often abbreviated BÖC, is an American rock band, most of whose members first came together in Long Island, NY in 1967 as the band Soft White Underbelly...

    .

21st century
  • The series The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
    The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
    The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel will be a series of six fantasy novels written by Irish author Michael Scott when complete. Completion is due to be in 2012. The first book in the series, The Alchemyst was released in 2007, the sequels are scheduled to follow at the rate of one per year,...

    by Michael Scott
    Michael Scott
    Michael Scott, Michael Scot, or Mike Scott may refer to:* Michael Scott , former regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton in the U.S. TV series The Office-Academics:...

     casts John Dee as a villain surviving in modern times.
  • The play Burn Your Bookes (2010), by Richard Byrne, examines the relationship between John Dee, Edward Kelley and Edward Dyer.
  • The novel Here, There Be Dragons set Dee as a (bad) Caretaker of the Imaginum Geographica.
  • On the Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden
    Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. Since their inception, the band's discography has grown to include a total of thirty-six albums: fifteen studio albums; eleven live albums; four EPs; and six...

     album The Final Frontier, the fifth track "The Alchemist" talks about him.
  • The opera Dr Dee: An English Opera
    Doctor Dee
    Dr Dee is an opera created by theatre director Rufus Norris and musician and composer Damon Albarn, and was inspired by comic book author Alan Moore...

    , written by Damon Albarn
    Damon Albarn
    Damon Albarn is an English singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects, coming to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of Britpop band Blur...

    , explores Dee's life and work. It was premiered at the Palace Theatre
    Palace Theatre, Manchester
    The Palace Theatre, Manchester, is one of the main theatres in Manchester, England. It is situated on Oxford Street, on the north-east corner of the intersection with Whitworth Street. The Palace and its 'sister' theatre the Manchester Opera House on Quay Street are operated by the same parent...

     in Manchester
    Manchester
    Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

     on 1 July 2011 and will open at the London Coliseum as part of the London 2012 Festival for the Cultural Olympiad in June 2012.
  • The Stoneheart
    Stoneheart
    Stoneheart is a children's novel by Charlie Fletcher, published in 2006. It is part of the Stoneheart Trilogy. Stoneheart is followed by "Ironhand", which is itself followed by "Silver Tongue"...

     Series portrays Dee as an oath breaker.
  • The PS3 game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
    Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception is the third game in the Uncharted series, created by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3, and was released in North America on November 1, 2011, Europe on November 2, 2011 and Australia on November 3, 2011. It is the sequel to 2009's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. It was...

     frequently mentions Dee as part of its plot.


Primary sources

  • Dee, John Quinti Libri Mysteriorum. British Library
    British Library
    The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and is the world's largest library in terms of total number of items. The library is a major research library, holding over 150 million items from every country in the world, in virtually all known languages and in many formats,...

    , MS Sloane Collection 3188. Also available in a fair copy by Elias Ashmole
    Elias Ashmole
    Elias Ashmole was a celebrated English antiquary, politician, officer of arms, astrologer and student of alchemy. Ashmole supported the royalist side during the English Civil War, and at the restoration of Charles II he was rewarded with several lucrative offices.Ashmole was an antiquary with a...

    , MS Sloane 3677.
  • Dee, John John Dee's five books of mystery: original sourcebook of Enochian magic: from the collected works known as Mysteriorum libri quinque edited by Joseph H. Peterson, Boston: Weiser Books ISBN 1-57863-178-5.
  • Dee, John The Mathematicall Praeface to the Elements of Geometrie of Euclid of Megara (1570). New York: Science History Publications (1975) ISBN 0-88202-020-X
  • Dee, John John Dee on Astronomy: Propaedeumata Aphoristica (1558 & 1568) edited by Wayne Shumaker, Berkeley: University of California Press ISBN 0-520-03376-0

Secondary sources

  • Cajori, Florian A History of Mathematical Notations New York: Cosimo (2007) ISBN 1-60206-684-1
  • Calder, I. R. F. John Dee Studied as an English Neo-Platonist Ph.D. Dissertation, London: The Warburg Institute, London University (1952) Available online
  • Casaubon, M.
    Méric Casaubon
    Méric Casaubon , son of Isaac Casaubon, was a French-English classical scholar...

      A True and Faithful Relation of What Passed for many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee ... (1659) repr. "Magickal Childe" ISBN 0-939708-01-9 New York 1992)
  • Clucas, Stephen, ed. John Dee: interdisciplinary studies in Renaissance thought. Dordrecht: Springer (2006) ISBN 1-4020-4245-0
  • Clucas, Stephen, ed. John Dee's Monas Hieroglyphica. Ambix Special Issue. Vol. 52, Part 3, 2005, includes articles by Clulee, Norrgren, Forshaw and Bayer.
  • Clulee, Nicholas H. John Dee's Natural Philosophy: between science and religion. London: Routledge (1988) ISBN 0-415-00625-2
  • Fell-Smith, Charlotte. John Dee: 1527–1608. London: Constable and Company (1909) Available online.
  • French, Peter J. John Dee: the world of an Elizabethan magus. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul (1972) ISBN 0-7102-0385-3
  • Håkansson, Håkan. Seeing the Word: John Dee and Renaissance occultism. Lund: Lunds Universitet, 2001. ISBN 91-974153-0-8
  • Kugler, Martin. Astronomy in Elizabethan England, 1558 to 1585: John Dee, Thomas Digges, and Giordano Bruno. Montpellier: Université Paul Valéry (1982) Mandosio, Jean-Marc. D'or et de sable (chapitre IV. Magie et mathématiques chez John Dee, pp. 143–170), Paris, éditions de l'Encyclopédie des Nuisances, (2008) ISBN 2-910386-26-0
  • Parry, Glyn. The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee and Magic at the Courts of Renaissance Europe New Haven: Yale University Press, (2011)
  • Sherman, William Howard. John Dee: The Politics of Reading and Writing in the English Renaissance Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press (1995) ISBN 1-55849-070-1
  • Vickers, Brian ed. Occult & Scientific Mentalities in the Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1984) ISBN 0-521-25879-0
  • Woolley, Benjamin
    Benjamin Woolley
    Benjamin Woolley is an author, media journalist and television presenter.- TV programmes :Woolley presented Games Britannia, a documentary on the painting An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump for BBC Four, and an episode of the The Late Show, Libraries and Civilization. Youtube. Uploaded by...

    . The Queen's Conjuror: the science and magic of Dr. John Dee, adviser to Queen Elizabeth I. New York: Henry Holt and Company (2001)
  • Yates, Frances
    Frances Yates
    Dame Frances Amelia Yates DBE was a British historian. She taught at the Warburg Institute of the University of London for many years.She wrote extensively on the occult or Neoplatonic philosophies of the Renaissance...

     The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age. London: Routledge (2001) ISBN 0-415-25409-4
  • Yates, Frances. "Renaissance Philosophers in Elizabethan England: John Dee and Giordano Bruno." in her Lull & Bruno: Collected Essays Vol. I. London: Routledge & Kegan (1982) ISBN 0-7100-0952-6

External links