Upon seeing Halley's Comet streak across the sky in 837, Louis the Pious called to his biographer, who was also an intimate member of the royal household, "to discuss whether it was a divine portent or a natural phenomenon, and the emperor concluded that there was effectively no difference" ( de Hamel 175).
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"The medieval assumption was that God made everything in the universe for a purpose, and for the use of mankind. It was the duty of the Christian to study and decode that divine purpose. To know how the stars and planets were created in order to assist people in providing seasons and weather and navigation would have been a form of theology, or even a devotional exercise" ( de Hamel 173).