Morin, Jean-Baptiste (1583–1656)
Jean-Baptiste Morin, French physician, mathematician and
the leading astrologer of the seventeenth century, was born in
Villefranche on February 23, 1583. Morin studied at Avignon,
where he received his medical degree and began a career as a
physician. However, astrology fascinated him, and he secured
a position as astrologer to the duke of Luxembourg and later
the duke d’Effiat. Then in 1830 the king of France offered him
the chair in mathematics at the College of France, and Morin
moved to Paris, where he remained for the rest of his life.
While formally a professor of mathematics, he also functioned
as court astrologer. As such he was present in the group
witnessing the birth of Louis XIV in 1638. He served Cardinal
Richelieu (who is noted to have disliked Morin personally but
was respectful of his knowledge) and Cardinal Mazarin.
He would be the last of the outstanding French astrologers
prior to the modern era, as astrology was on the wane under
the attack of the new science. However, he was able to make a
number of contributions to the modernizing of astrology, a necessity
to prevent its being completely stamped out. Morin developed
a system of division of the astrological houses, now
called the Morinean system, based upon the equal division of
the equator, which is then projected onto an ecliptic as means
of handling the elliptical orbit of the earth.
During his life Morin published little. His major work, the
Astrologia Gallica, was published in Latin in 1661, five years
after his death. It was largely unread except by a few intellectuEncyclopedia
of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Morin, Jean-Baptiste
1053
als until 1897, when a French translation was finally published.
Thus the work informed the pioneers of the French phase of
the modern astrological revival. Morin died in Paris on November
6, 1656.
Sources
Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse
Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York New American Library,
1977.
Morin, Jean-Baptiste. Astrologia Gallica. The Hague, Netherlands,
1661.