Ancient Astrology (Sciences of Antiquity Series) by Tamysn Barton PDF

By Tamysn Barton

ISBN-10: 0415110297

ISBN-13: 9780415110297

An account of astrology from its beginnings in Mesopotamia, targeting the Greco-Roman international, Ancient Astrology examines the theoretical improvement and altering social and political position of astrology.

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Sample text

This model is certainly evident in the work of Eudoxus of Cnidos in the fourth century BCE, who combined uniform motions of homocentric spheres about different axes in his model of the heavens. The Babylonians were interested in constructing periodic relationships, to establish the first 18 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND and last visibility of planets in analogy to those of the fixed stars, and it was thus that they applied systematic mathematical theory to astronomical data, probably from about 500 BCE.

Except for medicine, and the astrological part of astronomy, studies which we could see as proto-science were the pursuit of a tiny minority, who were not much celebrated. This is exemplified by the imperial court, which would be filled with literary figures who could add lustre to the imperial household, while the only plausible candidates for scientists would be the doctors and the astrologers. It is true that the. Ptolemaic court in Alexandria did patronise some scientific activities but even they were outnumbered by their literary equivalents.

There are some constants in astrological enquiries. A group called the Gambling and Spiritual Workshop meet each month in Holborn to predict the results of the main horse-racing meetings of the day by astrology, and sell their tips by telephone. Under the Roman Empire and its Byzantine successor there were also specialists in racing: astrologers used the stars to find out which team of chariot-drivers would win in the hippodrome: I look at the methods in Chapter 6. A man from Halifax wrote to Russell Grant, the television astrologer who also does the stars for the national newspapers, to find out whether his wife would come back to him.

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Ancient Astrology (Sciences of Antiquity Series) by Tamysn Barton

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