SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400), English poet and the author of the first English work on the astrolabe, the most important astronomical instrument of the time. His Treatise of the Astrolabe (1391) was published before the invention of printing and so had to be written out by hand. Astrolabes were devices used for measuring the positions of heavenly bodies. Chaucer was a keen astronomer and one of his fictional works, The Complaint of Mars, contains many astrological terms concerning a conjunction of Mars and Venus. Chaucer is better known for his Canterbury Tales (1387-1400).
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