Astrology in Babylonia

  • Nicholas Campion
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8467

The rediscovery of astrology in the twentieth century west is one of the principal phenomena in popular culture. Most histories of the subject from Thorndike (1923–1958) to Tester (1987) assume a fundamental conceptual and technical break between Babylonian and Greek astrology in the last centuries BCE, and that western astrology also effectively came to an end in the late seventeenth century, when it lost its intellectual respectability. The Encyclopaedia of Religion (Culianu 1987: 472) stated categorically that ‘astrology, a product of Hellenistic civilisation, appeared at the end of the third century BCE’, completely denying any Mesopotamian connection. Chambers Encyclopaedia was more circumspect, considering that ‘It was in Greece, about the fourth century BCE that astrology underwent a great development and was regarded as regulating all things in the universe, including the fates of men (1970: 724)’. However, while it is clear that astrology, like any other belief system,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Albrektson, B. History and the Gods: An Essay on the Idea of Historical Events as Divine Manifestations in the Ancient Near East and in Israel. Lund: C.W.K. Gleerup, 1967.Google Scholar
  2. Baigent, Michael. From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia. London: Penguin, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. Beckman, Gary. Hittite Birth Rituals. Malibu: Undena Publications, 1978.Google Scholar
  4. Black, Jeremy and Anthony Green. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Illustrated Dictionary. London: British Museum Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. Bottéro, Jean. Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  6. Britton, John P. ‘Scientific Astronomy in Pre‐Seleucid Babylon’ in Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens, Grazer Morganländische Studien, 3. Ed. Hannes D. Galter. Graz: RM‐Druck‐ and Verlagsgesellchaft m.b.H, 1993. 61–76.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, David. Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy–Astrology. Groningen: Styx Publications, 2000a.Google Scholar
  8. ‐‐‐. The Cuneiform Conception of Celestial Space and Time. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 10 (2000b): 103–21.Google Scholar
  9. Campbell, Joseph. The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology. New York: Viking, 1962.Google Scholar
  10. Chadwick, Robert. Comets and Meteors in the Last Asyrian Empire. Ed. A. F. Aveni. World Archaeoastronomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 186–94.Google Scholar
  11. Dalley, Stephanie ed. The Legacy of Mesopotamia. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  12. Engnell, Ivan. Studies in Divine Kingship in the Ancient Near East. Uppsala: Almquist and Wiksells Boktryckeri, 1943.Google Scholar
  13. Finkelstein, J. The Ox That Gored. Vol. 71, part 2. Philadelphia: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 1981.Google Scholar
  14. Frankfort, Henri. Cylinder Seals: A Documentary Essay on the Art and Religion of the Ancient Near East. London: Macmillan, 1939.Google Scholar
  15. ‐‐‐. Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature. Chicago, University of Chicago Press 1978 (1st ed. 1948).Google Scholar
  16. Frankfort, H, H. A. Frankfort, William A. Irwin, Thorkild Jacobsen, and John A. Wilson. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946.Google Scholar
  17. Gadd, C. J. Ideas of Divine Rule in the Ancient East. Munich: Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1945. Kraus Reprint 1980.Google Scholar
  18. ‐‐‐. Omens Expressed in Numbers. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 21 (1967). Special volume honouring Albrecht Goetze.Google Scholar
  19. Galter, Hannes D. ed. Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. Graz: Grazer Morganländische Studien, 3. 1993.Google Scholar
  20. Gingerich, Owen. The Origin of the Zodiac. Sky and Telescope 67 (1984): 218–20. Reprinted in Gingerich Owen, The Great Copernicus Chase. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Sky Publishing, 1992. 7–12.Google Scholar
  21. ‐‐‐. Reflections on the Role of Archaeoastronomy in the History of Astronomy. World Archaeoaastronomy. Ed. A. F. Aveni. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 4–44.Google Scholar
  22. Grayson, A. K. The Creation Epic‐Additions to Tablets V‐VII in Pritchard. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Ed. B. James. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. 501–3.Google Scholar
  23. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Historical‐Literary Texts. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1975a.Google Scholar
  24. Grayson, A. K. Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles. Locust Valley, New York: J.J. Augustin, 1975b.Google Scholar
  25. ‐‐‐. Histories and Historians of the Ancient Near east: Assyria and Babylonia. Orientalia 49 (1980): 140–94.Google Scholar
  26. Greenfield, J. C. and M. Sokoloff. Astrological and Related Omen Texts in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 48.3 (1989): 201–14.Google Scholar
  27. Gurshtein, Alex A. On the Origin of the Zodiac Constellations. Vistas in Astronomy 36.2 (1993): 171–90.Google Scholar
  28. Gurshtein, Alex A. The Evolution of the Zodiac in the Context of Ancient Oriental History. Vistas in Astronomy 41.4 (1997): 507–25.Google Scholar
  29. Heidel, Alexander. The Babylonian Genesis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942.Google Scholar
  30. Heimpel, Wolfgang. A Catalogue of Near Eastern Venus Deities. Malibi: Undena Publications, Monographic Journals of the Near East, 4/3, 1982.Google Scholar
  31. Horowitz, Wayne. Mesopotamian Accounts of Creation’ in Encyclopaedia of Cosmology. Ed. Norris Hetherington. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. 387–97.Google Scholar
  32. ‐‐‐. Mesopoptamian Cosmic Geography. Winona Lake, Indiana: Einsenbrains, 1998.Google Scholar
  33. Hunger, Hermann. Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  34. Hunger, Hermann and David Pingree. Mul Apin: An Astronomical Compendium in Cuneiform. Archiv für Orientforschung 24 (1989): 1–163.Google Scholar
  35. Jacobsen, Thorkild. The Sumerian King List. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Assyriological Studies, no 11, 1939.Google Scholar
  36. ‐‐‐. Primitive Democracy in Ancient Mesoptamia. Journal of Near Eastern Studies II (1943): 159–72.Google Scholar
  37. ‐‐‐. The Cosmos as a State. H. Frankfort and H. A.; William A. Irwin, Thorkild Jacobsen and John A. Wilson. The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1946. 125–84.Google Scholar
  38. ‐‐‐. The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  39. Jastrow, Morris. ‘Astrology’ in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1910. 795–800.Google Scholar
  40. ‐‐‐. Babylonian–Assyrian Birth Omens and their Cultural Significance. Religionsgeschichtliche Versuce und Vorarbeiten XIV, Band. 5.Heft, Giessen: Verlag von Alfred Toepelmann (vormals J. Ricker), 1914.Google Scholar
  41. Jones, Alexander. Babylonian Astronomy and its Legacy. Bulletin of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies, Quebec 32 (1977): 11–7.Google Scholar
  42. ‐‐‐. Evidence for Babylonian Arithmatical Schemes in Greek Astronomy. Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. Grazer Morganländische Studien, 3. Ed. Hannes D. Galter. Graz: RM‐Druck‐& Verlagsgesellchaft m.b.H, 1993. 77–94.Google Scholar
  43. ‐‐‐. On Babylonian Astronomy and its Greek Metamorphoses. Tradition, Transmission, Transformation. F. Jamil Ragep and Sally P. Ragep. Leiden: E.J. Brill 1996. 139–155.Google Scholar
  44. Koch‐Westenholz, Ulla. Mesopotamian Astrology: An Introduction to Babylonian and Assyrian Celestial Divination. Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Near Eastern Studies, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculunum Press, University of Copenhagen, 1995.Google Scholar
  45. Kramer, Samuel Noah. Man's Golden Age: A Sumerian Parallel to Genesis XI.1. Journal of the American Oriental Society LXIII (1943): 191–4.Google Scholar
  46. ‐‐‐. From the Tablets of Sumer, Indian Hills. Colorado: Falcon's Wing Press, 1956.Google Scholar
  47. ‐‐‐. Mythology of Sumer and Akkad. Mythologies of the Ancient World. Ed. Samuel Noah Kramer. Garden City, New York: Falcon's Wing Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  48. ‐‐‐. The Sumerians, Their History, Culture and Character. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  49. ‐‐‐. Wolkstein, Diane, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper and Row, 1983.Google Scholar
  50. Lambert, W. G. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  51. ‐‐‐. The Cosmology of Sumer and Babylon. Blacker, Carmen and Loewe, Michael, Ancient Cosmologies. London: Allen and Unwin, 1975. 62–75.Google Scholar
  52. Lambert, W. G. and A. R. Millard. Atra‐hasis. The Babylonian Story of the Flood. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  53. Landsberger, B. The Conceptual Autonomy of the Babylonian World, 1926. Trans. B. Foster Thorkild Jacobsen and H. von Siebenthal. Malibu: Undena Publications, 1978.Google Scholar
  54. Langdon, S. The Babylonian Epic of Creation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1923.Google Scholar
  55. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Menologies and the Semitic Calendars. London: Oxford University Press, 1935.Google Scholar
  56. Larsen, Mogens Trolle. The Mesopotamian Lukewarm Mind: Reflections on Science, Divination and Literacy. Language, Literature and History. Ed. Francesca Rochberg‐Halton. New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society, 1987. 203–26.Google Scholar
  57. LAS Letters from Assyrian Scholars (see Parpola 1970) SAA State Archives of Assyria (see Hunger 1992). Chambers Encyclopaedia. London: International Learning Systems, 1970.Google Scholar
  58. Leichty, Erle. The Omen Series Summa Izbu, Texts from Cuneiform Sources. Vol. 4. Locust Valley, New York: J.J. Augustin, 1970.Google Scholar
  59. Lloyd, G. E. R. Magic, Reason and Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  60. Michalowski, Piotr. The Lamentation over the Destruction of Sumer and Ur. Winona Lake, Indiana; Eisenbrauns, 1989.Google Scholar
  61. Neugebauer, Otto. The Alleged Babylonian Discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes. Journal of the American Oriental Society LXX (1950): 1–8.Google Scholar
  62. ‐‐‐. Astronomical Cuneiform Texts. 3 Vols. London: Lund Humphries 1955a (reprinted, Springer‐Verlag, New York and Berlin, 1983).Google Scholar
  63. ‐‐‐. The Egyptian Decans. Vistas in Astronomy. Ed. A. Beer. Vol 1. London: 1955b. 47–49. Reprinted in Neugebauer, Astronomy and History: Selected Essays, New York, Berlin, Heidelberg, Tokyo: Springer Verlag, 1983. 205–9.Google Scholar
  64. ‐‐‐. The Survival of Babylonian Methods in the Exact Sciences of Antiquity and Middle Ages. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 107.6 (1963): 528–35.Google Scholar
  65. ‐‐‐. The Exact Sciences in Antiquity. 2nd ed. Rhode Island: Brown University Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  66. ‐‐‐. A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy. 3 Vols. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1975.Google Scholar
  67. New Encyclopaedia Britannica. 15th ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992. Aaboe, Asger, Observation and Theory in Babylonian Astronomy. Centaurus 24.1 (1980): 14–35.Google Scholar
  68. Nissinen, Martti. References to Prophecy in Neo‐Assyrian Sources, Neo‐Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Helsinki: University of Helsinki Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  69. Oppenheim, A. Leo. Assyriology‐Why and How? Current Anthroplogy I (1960): 409–23.Google Scholar
  70. ‐‐‐. Divine and Celestial Observation in the Last Assyrian Empire. Centaurus 14.1 (1974a): 97–135.Google Scholar
  71. ‐‐‐. A Babylonian Diviner's Manual. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 33 (1974b): 197–220.Google Scholar
  72. ‐‐‐. Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilisation. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  73. Parpola, Simo. Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. Part 1, texts, Verlag Butzon & Bercker Kevelaer, Neukirchen‐Vluyn, 1970. Part 2, Commentary, Verlag Butzon & Bercker Kevelaer, Neukirchen‐Vluyn, 1983.Google Scholar
  74. ‐‐‐. Mesopotamian Astrology and Astronomy as Domains of the Mesopotamian “Wisdom”. Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. Grazer Morganl ndische Studien, 3. Ed. Hannes D. Galter. Graz: RM‐Druck‐& Verlagsgesellchaft m.b.H, 1993a. 47–60.Google Scholar
  75. ‐‐‐. Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1993b.Google Scholar
  76. Pfeiffer, Robert H. State Letters of Assyria. New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society, 1935.Google Scholar
  77. Pingree, David. Astronomy and Astrology in India and Iran. Isis 54 (1963): 229–46.Google Scholar
  78. ‐‐‐. Mesopotamian Astronomy and Astral Omens in Other Civilisations. Mesopotamien und Seine Nachbarn, 3.7 (1978): 613–31.Google Scholar
  79. ‐‐‐. Venus Omens in India and Babylon. Language, Literature and History. Ed. Francesca Rochberg‐Halton. New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society, 1987. 293–316.Google Scholar
  80. ‐‐‐. Legacies in Astronomy and Celestial Omens. The Legacy of Mesopotamia. Ed. Stephanie Dalley. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. 125–38.Google Scholar
  81. Ptolemy, Almagest. Trans. and Annot. G. J. Toomer. New York: Springer‐Verlag, 1984.Google Scholar
  82. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos. Trans. F. E. Robbins. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1930.Google Scholar
  83. Reiner, Erica. The Uses of Astrology. Journal of the American Oriental Society 105.4 (1985): 589–96.Google Scholar
  84. ‐‐‐. Astral Magic in Babylonia. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1995.Google Scholar
  85. Reiner, Erica and David Pingree. Babylonian Planetary Omens. Part 1, The Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa, Enuma Anu Enlil, tablet 63, Malibu: Undena Publications, 1975.Google Scholar
  86. Reiner, Erica and David Pingree. Babylonian Planetary Omens. Part 2, Enuma Anu Enlil, tablets 5051, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, Vol. 4, fasc. 2, Malibu: Undena Publications, 1975.Google Scholar
  87. Roberts, J. J. M. Nebuchadnezzar I's Elamite Crisis in Theological Perspective. Essays on the ancient Near East in memory of Jacob Joel Finkelstein. Ed. Maria de J. Ellis. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1977. 183–7.Google Scholar
  88. Rochberg‐Halton, Francesca. New Evidence for the History of Astrology. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 43.2 (1984): 115–40.Google Scholar
  89. ‐‐‐. The Assumed 29th Ahu Tablet of Enuma Anu Enlil. Language, Literature and History. Ed. Francesca Rochberg‐Halton. New Haven, Connecticut: American Oriental Society, 1987. 327–50.Google Scholar
  90. ‐‐‐. Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology. Journal of the American Oriental Society 108.1 (1988a): 51–62.Google Scholar
  91. ‐‐‐. Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Tablets of Enuma Anu Enlil. Archiv für Orientforschung 22 (1988b): 1–296.Google Scholar
  92. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Horoscopes and their Sources. Orientalia 58. fasc 1 (1989): 102–23.Google Scholar
  93. ‐‐‐. Between Observation and Theory in Babylonian Astronomical Texts. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 50.2 (1991): 107–20.Google Scholar
  94. ‐‐‐. Mesopotamian Cosmology. Encyclopaedia of Cosmology. Ed. Norris Hetherington. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993a. 398–407.Google Scholar
  95. ‐‐‐. The Cultural Locus of Astronomy in Late Babylonia. Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. Grazer Morganländische Studien, 3. Ed. Hannes D. Galter. Graz: RM‐Druck‐& Verlagsgesellchaft m.b.H, 1993b. 31–46.Google Scholar
  96. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Horoscopes: The Texts and their Relations. Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination. Ed. Noel Swerdlow. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  97. ‐‐‐. The Heavenly Writing: Divination and Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.Google Scholar
  98. Rogers, John. Origins of the Ancient Constellations. Journal of the British Astronomical Association 108.1 (1998) part 1: 9–28.Google Scholar
  99. Sachs, Abraham. A Classification of the Babylonian Astronomical Tablets of the Seleucid Period. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 2 (1948): 279–80.Google Scholar
  100. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Horoscopes. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 6 (1952a): 49–75.Google Scholar
  101. ‐‐‐. A Late Babylonian Star Catalogue. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 6 (1952b): 146–50.Google Scholar
  102. ‐‐‐. Babylonian Observational Astronomy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 276 (1974): 43–50.Google Scholar
  103. Sachs, Abraham and Hermann Hunger. Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia. Vol. 1. 652 B.C. to 262 B.C. Vienna: Verlag Der österreichisechen Akademie Der Wissenschaften, 1988.Google Scholar
  104. Sachs, Abraham and Hermann Hunger. Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia. Vol. 2. 261 B.C.–165 B.C. Vienna: Verlag Der österreichisechen Akademie Der Wissenschaften, 1989.Google Scholar
  105. Sayce, A. H. The Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians. Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology III (1974): 145–339.Google Scholar
  106. Sen, S. N. and K. S. Shukla ed. History of Astronomy in India. New Delhi: Indian National Science Academy, 1985.Google Scholar
  107. Snell, Daniel C. Life in the Ancient Near East 3100–332 BC. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  108. Speiser, E. A. The Creation Epic. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Ed. James B. Pritchard. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969. 60–72.Google Scholar
  109. Starr, Ivan. The Rituals of the Diviner, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica. Vol. 12. Malibu: Undena Publications, 1983.Google Scholar
  110. ‐‐‐. Queries to the Sun God: Divination and Politics in Sargonid Assyria. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1990.Google Scholar
  111. Stephenson, F. R. The Earliest Known Record of a Solar Eclipse. Nature 228 (1970): 651–2.Google Scholar
  112. Stephenson, F. R. and C. B. F. Walker eds. Halley's Comet in History. London: British Museum Publications, 1985.Google Scholar
  113. Swerdlow, Noel. The Babylonian Theory of the Planets. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  114. Thompson, R. Campbell. The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon in the British Museum. 2 vols. London: Luzac and Company, 1900.Google Scholar
  115. Toomer, G. J. Ptolemy's Almagest. Trans. and Annot. G. J. Toomer. New York: Springer‐Verlag, 1984.Google Scholar
  116. Van der Waerden, Bartel. Babylonian Astronomy II: The Thirty Six Stars. Journal of Near Eastern Studies VIII.1 (1949): 216–30.Google Scholar
  117. ‐‐‐. History of the Zodiac. Archiv für Orientforschung 16 (1952–1953): 216–30.Google Scholar
  118. ‐‐‐. Das Gross Jahr und die ewige Wiederkehr. Hermes LXXX (1952): 129–55.Google Scholar
  119. ‐‐‐. Science Awakening. 2 vols. II: The Birth of Astronomy. Leyden: Oxford University Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  120. Van Solt, Wilfred. Solar Omens of Enuma anu Enlil, Tablets 23(24)–29(30). Leiden: Nederlands Historisch‐Archaeologisch Instituut, 1995.Google Scholar
  121. Walker, Christopher. Episodes in the History of Babylonian Astronomy, lecture delivered to The Society for Mesopotamian Studies, Toronto, May 12, 1982.Google Scholar
  122. ‐‐‐. A Sketch of the Development of Mesopotamian Astrology and Horoscopes. Astrology and History: Clio and Urania Confer. Ed. Annabella Kitson. London: Unwin Hyman, 1989. 7–14.Google Scholar
  123. Walker, Christopher and John Britton. Astronomy and Astrology in Mesopotamia. Astronomy Before the Telescope. Ed. Christopher Walker. London: British Museum Press, 1996. 42–67.Google Scholar
  124. Weidner, E. F. Historisches Material in der Babylonischen Omina‐Literatur. Altorienalische Studien. Ed. Bruno Meissner. Leipzig: Harrassowitz, 1928–1929.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Campion

There are no affiliations available