Henrike Schmidt

The Man in the Moon.

Concepts of the inhabited celestial body in the Middle Ages.

The nocturnal celestial body has probably been a fixation point of secret fears and open reflections since time immemorial, which culminated in the idea of the “man in the moon”. But could people imagine the existence of other inhabited worlds even before the beginning of space travel, even before the invention of the telescope? How did such a possible idea relate to the Christian view of the world – or was it merely a “superstition” ridiculed by learned contemporaries? This and other questions will be investigated for the first time in context in the present work, in its search for the origin of the idea of the “man in the moon”.


First Edition, 168 pages, illustrated by medieval paintings and graphics, Hardcover.

Language: German
ISBN: 978-3-943025-59-0
34.00 €

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gods / antiquity / moon travel / superstition / cult / popular belief / history of science / mythology / natural philosophy / planets / astronomy / moon travel / legends

Pauline Werner: Der nächtliche Beobachter. Auf der Webseite Literaturkritik.de, März 2021.

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Henrike Schmidt studied political science and history at the University of Hanover. Her bachelor’s thesis on “Laughter in the Middle Ages” was awarded the Graduate Prize of the History Department. The present text was written in 2014 as a master’s thesis and was revised and updated for publication. Currently, the author is working on her dissertation on the history of the Nienburg poor relief service and is involved in a project on provenance research at the Bremen Übersee-Museum.


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