Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

The Tudors Era 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

John Dee



Queen Elizabeth's court could boast of many prominent jewels. In fact there has seldom been a royal court so endowed with so many learned scholars and eminent personalities from every field. They were the jewels of the Queen's court. They advised the Queen on important state matters and issues of a delicate nature.

Of all the scholars present in the court, there was one who held supremacy in many fields of learning. His interests in so many fields made him an unparalleled scholar. This was John Dee.

John Dee was born on 13th July 1527 in Elizabethan era. There were many hats that he donned in his short lifespan. He was a mathematician, occultist, imperialist, navigator, astronomer and astrologer. It is no wonder that he held the responsibility of chief consultant to the Queen.

Dee was one of the first to have such an enduring interest in the fields of mathematics. He even studied magic. He was a pretty celebrated navigator and he was responsible for training many of the explorers of that time. He encouraged new explorers and it is rumoured that he was the man who developed the term "British empire".

He was an ardent practitioner of astronomy and astrology. It is said that he tried to communicate with angels to understand the creation of the universe and its vast amount of secrets.

It would seem strange that a man who had such close connection with the stark world of science would have such strong beliefs about the abstract fields of philosophy, magic and occultism.

Dee was however, clear in his mind that all these fields had different structures and never overcomplicated his studies by trying to analyse one group with the knowledge of the other. He believed that all his studies were actually the one way through which he was trying to attain the answers to the same truth.

Dee practiced a great influence in the court. He advised the Queen on important matters and also controlled an influence on important courtiers of the court. He was twice married and had eight children.

John Dee's important works and literary records were published posthumously. After his death, Robert Cotton who was an antiquary bought a house near Dee's house and dug up these papers which he facilitated in publishing in the "A True and Faithful relation" in 1659.

This book was widely popular when it first came out. However, with time speculations arose that Dee was actually communicating with evil spirits and finally Dee was also proclaimed a deceived extremist.

However, speculations aside, John Dee remains a great learned scholar and his works cannot be tainted with wild speculations.

   
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