John Dee, British mathematician

John Dee, British mathematician

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Dee (1527-1608), British mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. Dee was an expert in geometry and trigonometry, and taught navigation to captains in the British Navy. In the 16th century, the pursuit of science was closely intertwined with occult practices, such as astrology and alchemy, and Dee spent much of his time casting horoscopes and making contact with the spirit world. He was imprisoned in 1553 after casting a horoscope for Queen Mary Tudor, who accused him of trying to kill her with sorcery. After his release he advised Queen Elizabeth on science and astrology. In his later life his interest in the supernatural increased despite the suspicions of those around him, and he ultimately fell into disrepute.

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