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Other astrological Demotic ostraka are dated between 17? Moreover, the Eternal Tables attributed to Egypt by writers of the first century CE and later were compiled from Babylonian almanacs. There are a couple of papyri of the Roman period in Demotic which are apparently versions of texts going back to the mid-second century BCE. One lists predictions relating to the positions of planets in zodiac signs at the time of the rising of Sothis. They are predictions for the ruler and the land: The King of Egypt will rule over his country.

An enemy will be [his and] he will escape from them again. Many men will rebel against the king. An inundation which is that which comes to [? Seed [and] grain will be high in price [in] money, which is… The burial of a god will occur in Egypt. There are other texts of this type from the Roman period, whose origins are difficult to locate.

One, of the second or third century CE, which lists the concordance of Babylonian and Egyptian years, deals with eclipse-omens, without mentioning the zodiac. The impression given by such texts is of lack of contact with astrology proper; but there are Demotic horoscopes from the first century CE though probably all of the same astrologer. The beginnings of recognisable Hellenistic astrology have long been located by scholars in the Hellenised milieu of Alexandria, and are taken to be exemplified by a group of theoretical astrological works, whose origins are difficult to date.

These are pseudepigraphical texts, that is to say, they credit the authorship to well-known culture-heroes or gods. Written in Greek, they are attributed to the god Hermes Trismegistus thrice-great or Asclepius and his circle. A second-century source refers to forty-two books of Hermes, suggesting that there was a corpus of texts by that stage. For instance, there is the assertion that they are translated from the words of the Egyptian god Thoth, identified as the Greek Hermes see Plate 4. But the library consisted of a collection of mainly Gnostic texts in Coptic, the Egyptian language written using the Greek alphabet, among which were Hermetic texts.

The find has encouraged the view that the origins of Hermetic literature are to be found in the fusion of Egyptian and Greek ways of thought. The technical material includes magical, astrological, and alchemical treatises, which are probably older than the philosophical works on which scholarship has focused.

Now, the astrological works attributed to Petosiris and Nechepso are usually seen as Hermetic, since it is often said that they gained their knowledge from Hermes. Because Petosiris and Nechepso are most consistently portrayed as the founders of astrology and cited for particular doctrines, most scholars have agreed that there must have been Hellenistic texts circulating under their names which represented an early synthesis of astrological doctrines. But no one believes that it was a historical Nechepso or Petosiris who should be associated with these texts.

The names were probably chosen because Petosiris represented the prestige of the Egyptian priesthood, and Nechepso that of the Egyptian monarchy— like the other Hermetic texts, they are pseudepigraphical. Petosiris is usually identified as the priest whose tomb, which cannot be later than BCE, was the object of a cult, while Nechepso was the name of a king listed among the rulers of the twenty-sixth dynasty — BCE.

There is no full text of Nechepso and Petosiris, but there are plenty of quotations of writings attributed to them, in some cases extensive. The extant citations in the standard collection35 are very diverse; indeed it is hard to believe that the same authors were responsible for them. They fall into four groups.

These citations are found in late authors: Hephaestion of Thebes fl. Predictions are made either for Egypt or for the whole Eurasian continent though here interpolations are quite conceivable , and could fit into a context of the third or second century BCE. They are similar to the Demotic documents discussed, in fact fragments 6 and 12 seem to be versions of the two on eclipses and the rising of Sothis discussed above. The standard dating of BCE or a little later is based on this group of texts. The second group concern horoscopic astrology.

Valens also refers to a separate work of Petosiris called Definitions. He also claims that Petosiris only lightly touched on the doctrine of the full and empty degrees, and denies that the two dealt with the Sphaera Barharica non-Greek names for the constellations. We shall come back to them in Chapter 7. In the case of these last two subject-areas there are clear links with the rest of the Hermetic material. The decans seem to play an important role in Hermetic astrological medicine.

In a sixth-century compendium of Hermetic doctrine, the Book of Hermes, the connections of decans with particular diseases and parts of the body are discussed. Here Hermes is pictured instructing his son Tat: — I told you, my son, that there is a body which encloses all things. You must conceive the shape of that body as circular, for such is the shape of the universe. It goes on to explain that the decans are exempt from undergoing what the other stars do, in being made to stand in their stations or retrograde, or be eclipsed by the Sun. Instead they are not only free, they exercise power. No king is replaced, no city revolts, no famine, pestilence, flood or earthquake takes place without their influence.

Since they command the planets, which command humans, they command humans. They also command them by the mediation of their sons, called daemons by the vulgar.

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From the under-ministers come destruction of animals other than human, in one region or another, and the swarming creatures that spoil the crops. There are a few short works preserved in Greek which come under the name of Hermes. An early work concerns the meaning of thunder in each month, a late one earthquakes. There is a brief work on the astrology of particular enterprises, and another on the Places. Apart from the decans it discusses bright stars, fixed stars, the conjunction of planets, the position of planets in the signs and the terms. It reveals how to make predictions about the length of life, marriage, parents, brothers, violent deaths, good days and bad.

It is obviously impossible to disentangle earlier from later elements, as is generally the case, now that we are dealing with a fullyfledged astrological system. There seems no half-way house between the celestial omen-literature and the detailed theory and practice revealed in citations or compilations of texts said to be the words of Hermes or Nechepso and Petosiris.

It is impossible to be sure that the development of the system which was Hellenistic astrology did occur in Egypt on the basis of the evidence we have looked at. However, there is no doubt that Egypt was believed to be the home of astrology by the first century BCE, and that the primary geographical zone for astrologers was Alexandria, and that astrologers made efforts to cultivate Hermetic style or to claim acquaintance with Hermetic texts.

So it would probably be perverse to reject the traditional view that Egypt was the place, though our texts do not throw much light on the process of the emergence of the new system of astrology. The basic doctrines of fully developed astrology will be explained in Chapter 4. From this point onwards the chronological account will be concerned with the changing role of astrology rather than with the development of astrological theory, though some account will be given of the literature of each period.

Details may be subject to controversy, but the general picture may be summarised as follows. The omen-literature of ancient Mesopotamia included matter concerning the heavens, and when it was combined with the astronomical data derived from attempts to construct a calendar, horoscopal astrology developed, of which we have evidence from the fourth century BCE or slightly earlier. They transformed both astronomy and astrological cosmology with kinematic models of the universe. True, the impact of such models on astrology should not be exaggerated: the major developments of astrological theory, as we shall see when we examine them, were obviously made on the basis of a flat diagram.

Nevertheless, these cosmologies were important to the constructions of the universe in the more mystical branch of astrology, associated with Hermetic and Gnostic texts. At any rate, regardless of the astronomical contribution, it was also in Greek writings that the refinements of astrology began, most notably with the crucial role of the Ascendant. The contribution of Ancient Egypt was limited to a standard calendar, and the original form of the decans.

However, there was some Egyptian influence in the development of Hermetic astrology. Some of the material attributed to Nechepso and Petosiris looks like an Egyptian version of Mesopotamian omen-literature, and corresponds to material found in Demotic which could well have had its origin in the second century BCE, though recent examination may push this date forward into the next century. Another factor which encourages us to look on Hellenistic Alexandria as the cradle of Greek astrology, is that it is clear that by the mid-first century Egypt had acquired a reputation as such.

All the complexities of the discussion of the origins of astrology militate against any simple answer to the question of who deserves credit or blame for its invention. But it was certainly not solely a Greek creation. In the Hermetic texts, astrology is set in a firmly religious context. Yet the same astrological doctrines are propounded in entirely secular works, as we will see when we look at the astrologers of the Greco-Roman world. It is important to remember in the course of this enquiry that in the ancient world, there was never the same clearcut opposition between science and religion as there is now.

Also, this chapter is not so much about the development of astrological theory, since that has already been discussed in the first chapter, but is rather concerned with its role in a new environment, that is, Rome, and the profile of astrology in the changing world of the Roman Empire. However, Greeks still play a crucial role in this account, since astrology remained mainly the province of Greeks.

The beginnings of astrology in Rome are, unsurprisingly, the most uncertain. There is a dearth of material regarding any early Roman interest in the stars, though one comic play by Plautus c. Ennius — BCE is the first to mention astrologi star-gazers and zodiac signs, but of course this may not add up to a reference to astrology proper. The earliest references to astrology link it to the lower orders. The earliest definite reference by a Roman to astrology also associates it with the lower orders.

This concern was apparently borne out by the case of Athenio, an overseer who became the leader of the second slave-revolt in Sicily. Armed with this expertise, he predicted success for the revolt. He also insisted that the gods had revealed to him through the stars that he would become king of all Sicily. If this story is well-founded it foreshadows the later uses of astrology. For they are not diviners by knowledge or by skill.

But superstitious poets, soothsaying quacks are work-shy, mad or hungry.

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Horace, in about 35 BCE, in a context where he claims to lead the simple life, says that he listens to these diviners, while Juvenal in CE refers to lower-class women resorting to such people. In this context, the story of astrology at Rome is part of the story of how Greek learning was adopted by the Romans. From the third century BCE, a small number of the nobility had shown serious interest in Greek literature and philosophy.

By the end of the second century, a few aristocrats passing through Athens on their way East would stop to hear Greeks lecture. There was apparently less Roman interest in Alexandria, though it was regarded by some Greeks as the greatest city outside Rome, and it was certainly a centre of scholarship. However, it was not under direct Roman control until 30 BCE.

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Before then, Egypt was the less likely immediate source of information about astrology. Some came as slaves, captured in the wars, others because there were fewer and fewer opportunities for patronage elsewhere. However, we hear more of those representatives of Greek culture who came as ambassadors than we hear of slaves. Some gave public lectures, or even took on young men as pupils. Greek philosophers have been given much credit for making astrology respectable in Rome; in particular the Stoic school, whose influence on the Roman elite was considerable, have been cast as preachers of a fatalist astrological creed.

The Stoics had from at least the third century BCE defended all types of divination. Evidence for associating the early Stoics with astrology in particular comes later. This is not surprising, given that astrology had probably not taken off in the Greek world, as we have seen. However, by the middle of the second century there clearly was real Stoic interest. However, the pro-astrological views of the head of the Stoic school after him, Posidonius c. Posidonius too was an ambassador, in 87 BCE, and Cicero attended his lectures nine years later.

Little remains of his work, which apparently encompassed history, lexicography, geometry and meteorology as well as philosophy proper. Cicero refers to his building an armillary sphere representing the heavens,10 which implies an interest in astronomy, while Diogenes Laertius a third-century author of a compendium on philosophy reports that he saw the heavens as the commanding faculty of the world visualised as a great organism. This dialogue is a version of a Greek debate about the validity of divination. Those who properly perceive these are rarely deceived.

He does not mention horary astrology; this may be because it was of less relevance to the philosophers, concerned with debates about fate and free will. Despite the backing that Stoicism offered to astrology, its influence on elite Romans should not be exaggerated as the single factor in converting them to astrology.

For one thing, philosophy did not cut ice with everybody. It was a commonplace of conservative rhetoric to present philosophy as a suspicious activity for a true Roman. Philosophers, as well as astrologers, were sometimes expelled from Rome, an action which mirrored this rhetoric. In BCE, two Epicureans were expelled from the city, and in a decree of the Senate forbade all foreign philosophers and rhetoricians to remain in Rome. Perhaps, in this case too, the measure was only directed against those who might stir up the lower orders. Such measures were passed again, long after Greek philosophy had become an acceptable elite pastime.

His treatise is primarily astronomical and mathematical, but he mentions astrology several times in discussion of aspects of planets and zodiacal signs. Furthermore, he is sceptical about meteorological astrology, arguing that that stars are merely signs of the seasons rather than effecting changes in the weather themselves.

In this context, he denies emanations from the fixed stars but admits them from the planets. He also wrote on catasterism, or ascension to the stars after death, and on the Sphaera Graeca and the Sphaera Barbarica, different sets of names for the constellations. This gave legends of the figures in the constellations of the zodiac, and referred to the rising and setting of other constellations in relation to the signs.

The legends are mainly Greek, but in one case Egyptian, and in another, Mesopotamian. The Roman elite had begun to take astrology seriously. Romans could have been encouraged in this attitude not only by the prestige of Stoic philosophy but also out of respect for the astronomy about which they learnt from Greece. It was translated by Cicero, and by others. This poem must have been influential in preparing the ground for astrology.

At any rate, it is more important that the prestige of Greek learning in general adhered to astrology. But to understand why astrology really took root among elite Romans, we need to look at the role it played in Roman politics. Astrology belonged with the sole ruler, as the state diviners belonged with the Republic. Generals with armies at their backs threatened the Republican constitution which ensured that power rested in the Senate as a body rather than in individuals. The old constitutional arrangement limited the power which might inhere in diviners concerned with public decisions as much as other forms of political power, by diffusing it.

There were teams of diviners, and both the College of augurs, who took omens from birds, and the Fifteen originally Ten custodians of the books of Sibylline prophecy were drawn from the Senate. The haruspices were concerned with extispicy, thunder and lightning, and prodigies, unusual events deemed to portend something important. The haruspices were representatives of an Etruscan tradition, which had been absorbed into the fabric of the Republic.

The Senate always retained control; it could decide what to do after consultation of the diviners. Broadly speaking, the diviners were expected to warn of messages from the gods, generally of their favourable or unfavourable attitude, and to advise on appropriate ritual action if it was necessary. Here is a typical entry in Livy, who wrote the history of the Republic from his perspective under the first emperor. It refers to BCE: Two domesticated cattle in the Carinae climbed up a stairway to the roof of a house. The haruspices ordered that they be burned alive and the ashes thrown into the Tiber.

At Terracina and Amiternum it was reported that there were several showers of stones, at Minturnae the temple of Jupiter and the shops around the forum were struck by lightning, at Vulturnum in the mouth of the river, two ships were struck by lightning and burned. On account of these portents the Ten were directed by a decree of the Senate to consult the Sibylline Books and they reported that a feast in honour of Ceres should be held and this repeated every fifth year; also that a nine-day festival should be celebrated and a period of prayer for one day, that those who offered the prayers should wear garlands and that she consuls should sacrifice.

Clearly, the old Roman institutions of divination were subject to reconsideration and debate at this time. The first cases of Roman aristocratic leaders associated with astrology emerge at the beginning of the first century BCE, in the turbulent period when generals like Sulla and Marius were taking the extreme step of marching on the capital to take it by force. In 87 BCE the consul Octavius, a supporter of Sulla, in effect seized sole power for himself when he had his colleague Cinna deposed and driven out of the city. According to Plutarch, the astrological diagram which had assured him of his safety was found on his dead body.

But Cicero, in his attack on astrology, mentions similar predictions made by astrologers for Pompey, Crassus and Julius Caesar, and none of them died of old age, at home and with glorious reputations, as promised. Suetonius, the chronicler of the lives of the Caesars, records prophecies made for all the emperors. There are two reported astrological prophecies of supreme power for Octavian, one for his birth in 63 BCE, supposedly made by Nigidius,26 and another set around 44 BCE, when the young man was in exile.

Agrippa went first and was prophesied such almost incredibly good fortune that Augustus expected a far less encouraging response, and felt ashamed to disclose the time of his birth. Yet when at last, after a great deal of hesitation, he grudgingly supplied the information for which both were pressing him, Theogenes rose and flung himself at his feet; and this gave Augustus so implicit a faith in the destiny that he even ventured to publish his horoscope, and struck a silver coin stamped with Capricorn, the sign under which he had been born.

It is set at a moment when Octavian was in obscurity, so that the prediction would be all the more impressive, and it is given a dramatic narrative structure. However, it is in an important sense archetypal for the imperial period. Furthermore, the fact that these accounts were elaborated does not suggest that there was no truth in them at all. Suetonius mentioned that Augustus had Capricorn put on his coins; in fact we find not only large numbers of coins with Capricorn on them see Plate 5 , but also sculptural reliefs, terracottas, paintings and jewellery.

It is clear that Augustus made Capricorn his personal badge, and linked it with a number of other themes as part of his image-making. It carried a number of connotations, mainly associated with the idea of a new era, as Capricorn was the sign in which the Sun began to rise again after the winter solstice. Thus the zodiac sign became the sign of a new age of peace after the civil wars.

Later emperors revived its use frequently, up until the third century. This story is backed up by the third-century historian Cassius Dio, who adds that the horoscope was published in an edict. The official diviners regulated by the Senate had given way to the unofficial advisers elevated by closeness to the ruler. In the place of the anonymous members of colleges, individual named diviners, who were honoured for their skill, emerged. They were not always astrologers, some were individual haruspices, but even in their case, often their traditional lore had been modernised with astrological additions, and they now tended to concentrate on individual fates, and to offer more precise predictions.

Whereas the typical procedure reported in the classical Republic involved only endorsement of an action, or vague warnings of doom, as it collapsed, diviners are presented in the role of advisers about all issues involving the future. Of course, the fact that we hear little of private divination under the Republic does not imply that it never happened, but the fact that the individual has moved centrestage is an important change in itself. The astrologer, with his individualised predictions, is the sign of the political shifts which had taken place.

There is the first astrological work in Latin, indeed the first classical astrological work to survive in its original form, the didactic poem of Manilius. Lucretius had also offered a Latin example, in writing his great exposition of Epicurean philosophy in verse. It may well be the case that Manilius was no more an astrologer than Virgil was a farmer, and that much of the appeal was in the difficulty of versifying such unlikely material. Since it is the first theoretical work to survive almost in its entirety, it is worth looking at its contents in some detail.

The technical terms are explained in Chapter 4. The first book, after a brief account of cosmological speculations, concluding with the view that the Earth is composed of four elements, offers an elementary description of the heavens and ends with a discussion of comets as omens. It seems to visualise the Babylonians as the originators of astronomy and the Egyptians as the inventors of astrology. Book 2 gives the characteristics of the signs of the zodiac, expounds their geometrical relationships, the zodiacal and planetary dodecatemories, the cardinal points, the Twelve Places and the Eight Places.

Book 3 describes the twelve Lots, the rising times and the Time-Lords, explains how to calculate the length of life, and concludes with a discussion of tropic signs. The fourth book gives an account of the characteristics of the zodiac signs imparted to the native, describes the decans and the influences of some of the individual degrees of the zodiac, depicts a map of the world along with the zodiacal rulers of each part, and finishes with a discussion of the effects of eclipses on different signs. The final book recounts the paranatellonta, or stars rising and setting with the signs.

It seems likely that a treatment of planetary influences has dropped out at this point, and the following account of stellar magnitudes, with which the poet closes, may also be incomplete. Apart from Manilius, Augustan literature furnishes us with ample evidence that astrology had become very fashionable in circles close to the court. For the most part, there are only occasional allusions to astrology, but in one case an astrologer is imagined as addressing the poem to the poet. In most cases the tone seems clearly lighthearted. However, the sudden appearance of astrological references can hardly be an accident—as in other areas, the poets pick up themes of imperial self-presentation.

Augustus was taking a risk in using astrology to legitimate his position, because he was opening up a way for others to follow. Tiberius is presented in our sources as a tyrannical ruler, and it is where tyrants appear that astrology is a leitmotiv in the literature. He is the first emperor to be reported to have a court astrologer. The story goes that he met Thrasyllus while in exile in Rhodes, when he was out of favour with Augustus.

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His practice was to test astrologers when he needed their guidance. If they seemed unreliable, or fraudulent, they would be thrown off the cliff on the way back from his house, which was at the top of a precipice. When Tiberius questioned Thrasyllus, he was impressed by his answers, which included a prediction that he, Tiberius, would succeed Augustus. The more he looked, the greater his astonishment and fright. Then he cried that a critical and perhaps fatal emergency was upon him. Tiberius clasped him, commending his divination of peril, and promising that he would escape it.

Thrasyllus was admitted among his closest friends, his pronouncements were regarded as oracular. Its appeal doubtless lay in its confrontation of the seer with the equivalent of the dictum Physician, heal thyself. For once, in the story, the seer comes up trumps. Nevertheless, regardless of the folk-tale element in the story, Thrasyllus was real enough. This is in fact the earliest securely dated mention of Hermes: Thrasyllus was thus one channel through which Hermetic astrology reached Rome. His friendship with Tiberius certainly brought rewards: though he had only received citizenship under Augustus, his daughter married the knight L.

Ennius in about 15 CE. Marcus Scribonius Libo Drusus, who was a young man related to the imperial family, had apparently consulted astrologers, magicians and dream-interpreters. Apart from Tacitus, who was hostile to Tiberius, the sources tend to agree that Libo was planning a coup. He committed suicide before the case could come to trial. The Senate immediately passed two decrees against astrologers and other diviners, and two men, either astrologers or magicians, were executed publicly, one being thrown off the Tarpeian Rock and the other beaten to death with rods to the sound of bugles.

Indeed, Tiberius is envisaged by Juvenal in his years of self-imposed retreat on the island of Capri, as surrounded by a flock of astrologers. Thrasyllus was also said to have prevented him from ordering the deaths of many, assuring him that he had many years of life left. Clearly, Domitian is indicated as that person. Improbable as the astrological secret police may seem as an imperial institution, the fear of those to whom astrologers had predicted an imperial future was not unjustified, even leaving out of account the fact that emperors, like most Romans, were not inclined to thoroughgoing scepticism about astrology.

But the letters reached the Prefect before they reached the emperor. For instance, there are explanations as to why a future emperor was permitted to live: Domitian only spared Nerva because an astrologer said he would die soon anyway.

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Septimius Severus was similarly credited with astrological skills such as were possessed by most Africans, according to the source. He noted with surprise that there was nothing imperial in the horoscope of his second son Geta, born on 27 May , to whom he left the empire as joint-heir with his first son Caracalla.

Again the art is proved infallible, for Geta was murdered by his brother. Septimius Severus knew that he would not come back from Britain, from his horoscope. He also supposedly found his wife by making enquiries to discover a woman whose horoscope predicted that she would marry a king. But we hear of only one other case of publication in the manner of Augustus: that of Septimius Severus. Like Augustus, he was in much need of legitimation, since the Antonine dynasty had collapsed, and the successor had only lasted three months before being murdered.

Septimius knew the value of such backing: Herodianus reports that the emperor published the dreams, oracles, omens and other predictions foretelling his power in his Autobiography, and had them represented in sculpture and painting on his public images. According to Dio, who had himself presented the emperor with an account of these omens, Septimius Severus had his horoscope depicted on the ceiling of the rooms in his palace where he held court, but was careful to ensure that the Ascendant was placed at a different place in each room, so that no one could know the full horoscope and use it as a basis for their own calculations.

However, he must have seen the ceilings concerned. There was Hellenistic precedent for such publication. High up in the Taurus mountains, on the summit of Nimrud Dagh, a relief shows a conjunction of planets in Leo represented as a lion, with stars in the appropriate places. It is in fact the earliest original Greek horoscope preserved, and backs up the association of astrology with monarchy. Astrologers were often used to check on the appropriate moment for coronation.

If Dio is correct, Severus had good reason to conceal his Ascendant, since it offered the possibility of calculating his death-date. Astrologers asserted that the conjunction of heavenly bodies under which Tiberius left Rome in 26 CE precluded his return, according to Tacitus. It is a favourite device in stories about predictions that a second interpretation, not originally apparent, is borne out in the fullness of time.

However, the astrologers had reason to avoid directness in this instance. Nero was unworried, he thought he could make a living as a lyre-player! Thus astrologers were wise to act as an anonymous group. He did not have long to enjoy the satisfaction of proving them wrong, for he only survived three months afterwards.

Despite the obvious risks, there are several accounts in which the astrologers confronted the emperor. When Caligula asked an astrologer called Sulla for his horoscope, he was told that his death was imminent. His response is not recorded. Severus Alexander was told that he would die by the sword of a barbarian; he was delighted to believe that he would die gloriously in battle. Once again, the ambiguity of the prediction is a source of dramatic irony, for Severus was assassinated by a barbarian guard in his own army.

But the man first predicted their imperial futures. Gordian might well be sceptical: he did not become emperor till he was 79, in CE. In the case of Domitian, his attempt to prove that the astrologer was wrong did not exclude his punishment. He hauled up the astrologer Ascletario, having heard that the man had predicted his imminent death. But while the funeral was in progress, a sudden gale scattered the pyre and dogs mangled the half-burned corpse.

Domitian was disturbed. Convinced that the danger had passed, Domitian went off quickly and happily to take a bath; whereupon his head valet, Parthenius, changed his intention by delivering the news that a man had called on very urgent and important business, and would not be put off. So Domitian dismissed his attendants and hurried to the bedroom—where he was killed. Augustine — believed that the determinism of astrology conflicted with the Christian doctrines of man's free will and responsibility, and God not being the cause of evil, [] but he also grounded his opposition philosophically, citing the failure of astrology to explain twins who behave differently although conceived at the same moment and born at approximately the same time.

Some of the practices of astrology were contested on theological grounds by medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-Farabi Alpharabius , Ibn al-Haytham Alhazen and Avicenna. They said that the methods of astrologers conflicted with orthodox religious views of Islamic scholars , by suggesting that the Will of God can be known and predicted in advance. Avicenna considered that the movement of the planets influenced life on earth in a deterministic way, but argued against the possibility of determining the exact influence of the stars.

And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's and al-Dhanab , which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]? Maimonides , the preeminent Jewish philosopher, astronomer, and legal codifier, wrote that astrology is forbidden by Jewish law. The Catechism of the Catholic Church maintains that divination, including predictive astrology, is incompatible with modern Catholic beliefs [] such as free will: [].

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers.

They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and considers it a pseudoscience. Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias , a psychological factor that contributes to belief in astrology. Another, separate, form of confirmation bias also plays a role, where believers often fail to distinguish between messages that demonstrate special ability and those that do not.

Under the criterion of falsifiability , first proposed by the philosopher of science Karl Popper , astrology is a pseudoscience. In contrast to Popper, the philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued that it was not lack of falsifiability that makes astrology unscientific, but rather that the process and concepts of astrology are non-empirical. Rather, in Kuhn's eyes, astrology is not science because it was always more akin to medieval medicine ; astrologers followed a sequence of rules and guidelines for a seemingly necessary field with known shortcomings, but they did no research because the fields are not amenable to research, [] : 8 and so "they had no puzzles to solve and therefore no science to practise.

An astrologer could only explain away failure but could not revise the astrological hypothesis in a meaningful way. As such, to Kuhn, even if the stars could influence the path of humans through life astrology is not scientific. The philosopher Paul Thagard asserts that astrology cannot be regarded as falsified in this sense until it has been replaced with a successor.

In the case of predicting behaviour, psychology is the alternative. For these reasons Thagard views astrology as pseudoscience. For the philosopher Edward W. James, astrology is irrational not because of the numerous problems with mechanisms and falsification due to experiments, but because an analysis of the astrological literature shows that it is infused with fallacious logic and poor reasoning.

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What if throughout astrological writings we meet little appreciation of coherence, blatant insensitivity to evidence, no sense of a hierarchy of reasons, slight command over the contextual force of critieria, stubborn unwillingness to pursue an argument where it leads, stark naivete concerning the efficacy of explanation and so on?

In that case, I think, we are perfectly justified in rejecting astrology as irrational. Astrology simply fails to meet the multifarious demands of legitimate reasoning. Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity. In , the astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin stated that though he had failed to find evidence that supported indicators like zodiacal signs and planetary aspects in astrology, he did find positive correlations between the diurnal positions of some planets and success in professions that astrology traditionally associates with those planets.

Geoffrey Dean has suggested that the effect may be caused by self-reporting of birth dates by parents rather than any issue with the study by Gauquelin. The suggestion is that a small subset of the parents may have had changed birth times to be consistent with better astrological charts for a related profession. The number of births under astrologically undesirable conditions was also lower, indicating that parents choose dates and times to suit their beliefs.

The sample group was taken from a time where belief in astrology was more common. Gauquelin had failed to find the Mars effect in more recent populations, where a nurse or doctor recorded the birth information. Dean, a scientist and former astrologer, and psychologist Ivan Kelly conducted a large scale scientific test that involved more than one hundred cognitive , behavioural , physical , and other variables—but found no support for astrology.

Ten of the tests—which involved participants—had the astrologers pick the correct chart interpretation out of a number of others that were not the astrologically correct chart interpretation usually three to five others. When date and other obvious clues were removed, no significant results suggested there was any preferred chart. Testing the validity of astrology can be difficult, because there is no consensus amongst astrologers as to what astrology is or what it can predict.

Many astrologers claim that astrology is scientific, [] while some have proposed conventional causal agents such as electromagnetism and gravity. Western astrology has taken the earth's axial precession also called precession of the equinoxes into account since Ptolemy's Almagest , so the "first point of Aries", the start of the astrological year, continually moves against the background of the stars.

Astrologers usually have only a small knowledge of astronomy, and often do not take into account basic principles—such as the precession of the equinoxes, which changes the position of the sun with time. Charpak and Broch noted that, "There is a difference of about twenty-two thousand miles between Earth's location on any specific date in two successive years", and that thus they should not be under the same influence according to astrology.

Over a year period there would be a difference greater than , miles. In the West, political leaders have sometimes consulted astrologers. For example, the British intelligence agency MI5 employed Louis de Wohl as an astrologer after claims surfaced that Adolf Hitler used astrology to time his actions. The War Office was " However, Quigley's role ended in when it became public through the memoirs of former chief of staff, Donald Regan. There was a boom in interest in astrology in the late s. The sociologist Marcello Truzzi described three levels of involvement of "Astrology-believers" to account for its revived popularity in the face of scientific discrediting.

He found that most astrology-believers did not claim it was a scientific explanation with predictive power. Instead, those superficially involved, knowing "next to nothing" about astrology's 'mechanics', read newspaper astrology columns, and could benefit from "tension-management of anxieties" and "a cognitive belief-system that transcends science. They were much younger than those at the first level, and could benefit from knowledge of the language of astrology and the resulting ability to belong to a coherent and exclusive group.

Those at the third level were highly involved and usually cast horoscopes for themselves. Astrology provided this small minority of astrology-believers with a " meaningful view of their universe and [gave] them an understanding of their place in it. In , the sociologist Theodor W. Adorno conducted a study of the astrology column of a Los Angeles newspaper as part of a project examining mass culture in capitalist society. The comparable percentage has not been this low since In India, there is a long-established and widespread belief in astrology. It is commonly used for daily life, particularly in matters concerning marriage and career, and makes extensive use of electional , horary and karmic astrology.

On February , the Bombay High Court reaffirmed astrology's standing in India when it dismissed a case that challenged its status as a science. In Japan , strong belief in astrology has led to dramatic changes in the fertility rate and the number of abortions in the years of Fire Horse. Adherents believe that women born in hinoeuma years are unmarriageable and bring bad luck to their father or husband. In the fifteenth century, references to astrology, such as with similes , became "a matter of course" in English literature.

In the sixteenth century, John Lyly's play, The Woman in the Moon , is wholly motivated by astrology, [] while Christopher Marlowe makes astrological references in his plays Doctor Faustus and Tamburlaine both c. In seventeenth century Spain, Lope de Vega , with a detailed knowledge of astronomy, wrote plays that ridicule astrology. In his pastoral romance La Arcadia , it leads to absurdity; in his novela Guzman el Bravo , he concludes that the stars were made for man, not man for the stars. The most famous piece of music influenced by astrology is the orchestral suite The Planets. Written by the British composer Gustav Holst — , and first performed in , the framework of The Planets is based upon the astrological symbolism of the planets.

The composer Colin Matthews wrote an eighth movement entitled Pluto, the Renewer , first performed in From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with astronomy , the scientific study of celestial objects. Pseudoscience claiming celestial objects influence human affairs. Main articles. Death and culture Parapsychology Scientific literacy. Main article: History of astrology.

See also: Babylonian astrology. Main article: Hellenistic astrology. Main article: Hindu astrology. Main article: Astrology in medieval Islam. See also: Christian views on astrology. Further information: Chinese zodiac. See also: Christian views on astrology , Jewish views on astrology , and Muslim views on astrology. Main article: Astrology and science.

James [] : Mars, the Bringer of War. Venus, the Bringer of Peace. Mercury, the Winged Messenger. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity. Uranus, the Magician. Oxford Dictionary of English. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 December Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Inc.

The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy. Mesopotamian astrology: an introduction to Babylonian and Assyrian celestial divination. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Foreword, The cosmic perspective 4th ed. Biswas, D. Mallik, C. Bappu 1. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. Asquith, ed. Dordrecht: Reidel. National Science Foundation.

Archived from the original on 1 February Retrieved 2 August About three-fourths of Americans hold at least one pseudoscientific belief; i. Bibcode : Natur. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. Bibcode : IAUS.. Pingree; Robert Andrew Gilbert.

Astrology Books - VEDIC ASTROLOGYl

Retrieved 7 October Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 6 July Astronomical Society of the Pacific. May Personality and Individual Differences. To optimise the chances of finding even remote relationships between date of birth and individual differences in personality and intelligence we further applied two different strategies. The first one was based on the common chronological concept of time e. The second strategy was based on the pseudo-scientific concept of astrology e.

Sun Signs, The Elements, and astrological gender , as discussed in the book Astrology: Science or superstition? Online Etymology Dictionary.

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Retrieved 6 December Differentiation between astrology and astronomy began late s and by 17c. Oxford English Dictionary Second ed. September In Old French and Middle English astronomie seems to be the earlier and general word, astrologie having been subseq. Not in Shakespeare. History of western astrology. Volume II, The medieval and modern worlds first ed. Moyer Bell. The Homeric hymns and Homerica Reprinted ed. Cambridge, Mass. Fifty days after the solstice, when the season of wearisome heat is come to an end, is the right time to go sailing.

Kelley, Eugene F. Milone Exploring ancient skies an encyclopedic survey of archaeoastronomy Online ed. New York: Springer. Google PNG Francesca1. Google PNG Pingree Google PNG Swerdlow. University of Toronto, Important doctoral thesis on the Parapegmata, "texts and instruments used for tracking cyclical phenomena" in Babylon, Greece, Egypt, Rome, etc , essentially for astrometeorological purposes.

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Google PNG Francesca2. Compendium of articles on Babylonian astrology from to , reviewed by Lorenzo Verderame of Roma in Aestimatio 8, Google PNG Francesca3. A colossal work : the first modern complete essay on history of Chinese astronomy and astrology, initially published in the journal T'oung pao series 2, vols between and parts A to G1 and G2 to I.

About the origin of Hindu Nakshatras and Chinese Siu. Only seven unuseful pages on astrology hsing ming : "it has hardly been investigated at all by modern historians of science. Pacing the void. Google PDF Schafer. A concise comparative study between ancient Chinese and Babylonian astronomies and astrologies : "Some of the earliest preserved Chinese writing deals with divination and corresponding celestial phenomena Autoritative dictionary including various articles on Ancient astrology : among them, Franz Cumont's article on Zodiacus.

Cannot be ignored for the study of Greek astrology. The reference book on Greek horoscopes. Astronomical Papyri from Oxyrhynchus: P. Latin version and comments. Greek text, German translation, introduction in Latin. Wilbourhall PDF Geminos. With Latin text. Gallica PDF Fastes. Astronomica [or] Astronomicon Venice, [Bernardinus Venetus], [c.

Astronomicon ; Castigationes et notae in M. Versified translation of the first book of Astronomicon, with an essay on the origin and progress of astronomy, a precious catalogue of the most eminent astronomers [i. Google PDF Sherburne. Google PDF b. Reading the human body. A study of two fragmentary manuscripts Hebrew manuscript 4Q and Aramaic manuscript 4Q The first edition of the Tetrabiblos, translated by Plato of Tivoli.

The edition includes the Almagest and the interpretation by Georgius Valla of Proclus's commentary the Hypotyposis astronomicarum positionum , the Quadripartitum, the ps-Ptolemy's Centiloquium, and the Inerrantium stellarum significationes, translated in Latin by Nicolaus Leonicus.

Tetrabiblos English translation from the Greek paraphrase of Proclus by J. Ashmand, London, Davis and Dickson, []. Teubnerian Greek edition of the Karpos comments in Latin. The article illustrates finely the differences between research and popular astrology, although Ptolemy was not a real investigator in this aera but more probably a rather good compilator. Another edition by Pingree : Leipzig, Teubner, Entire and useful translation of Valens' Anthologiae, completed in the 's, and based on Kroll's and Pingree's editions.

Sacramento PDF Riley. Gellius gives the Latin text and translates the argumentation of Favorinus d'Arles c. Gallica PDF Gellius. A skeptical philosophical treatise against all arts, sciences and techniques. De die natali Bologna, Benedictus Hector, [and] Venice, ca. Written in A. Editio princeps, edited by Antonius Laurus The first English translation : a questionable one after his Doct.

Scribd PDF Bram. Compilation by several authors during the first three centuries AD. Another edition by David Pingree : Leipzig, Teubner, , 2 vols. The edition gives the Greek text and a Latin translation of Proclus commentary of the Tetrabiblos, Porphyry comments on Ptolemy's astrology, and the De revolutionibus nativitatum of "Hermes". Internet archive PDF Mensibus. Lydus Greek text on divination and presages is edited with Greek calendars including Ptolemy's 'Apparitions of the Fixed Stars'. Internet archive PDF Lydus. Google PNG Rhetorius.

These chapters of "L'astrologie grecque" have been separately published in in the "Revue d'Histoire des Religions" and in the "Revue Historique". The first edition of the most famous essay on Greek astrology. Putnam's Sons, Astrology as astrolatry : sociologically oriented but not really comprehensive. Scribd JPG Laistner. A rather good review of the subject : "Hellenistic and Late Antiquity astrologers built their craft upon Babylonian and to a lesser extent Egyptian astrological traditions, and developed their theoretical and technical doctrines using a combination of Stoic, Middle Platonic and Neopythagorean thought.

HTML Lawrence. Did the division of the year by the Babylonians into twelve months lead to the adoption of an equal twelve-sign zodiac in Hellenistic astrology? Astrozero PDF Mitchell. I Paranatellonta nella letteratura astrologica antica di lingua greca [The Paranatellonta in ancient Greek astrological literature] Genova, ; English translation, A concise history of the Paranatellonta the stars rising together in Greek literature Teukros, Valens, etc.

The earliest known astrological text in Sanskrit AD : a translation by a Yavanesvara "Lord of the Greeks" in AD, of a Greek text that might have been written ca. Sanskrit compilation of Greek astrology. Astronomy and natural astrology. Chidambaram Iyer, Madras, Foster Press, Published without original texts in Devanagari and transliteration. A chief treatise of Jyotish Astrology. General manual beginning with the distinction between Razis zodiacal signs and Bhavas houses.

Gallica PDF Thibaut. Jewish Pagan converted to Islam. Technical manual. With a preface by Joachim Heller to his tutor Philipp Melanchthon. Opera Zahelica Introductorium, Quinquaginta precepta, De interrogationibus, De electionibus, Liber temporum [or] De significatione temporis ad judicia Venice, Petrus Liechtenstein, [and] Venice, heirs of Octavius Scoti, [and? Astrorum judices [aut Liber], de pluviis, imbribus et ventis, ac aeris mutatione Venice, Petrus Liechtenstien, Translated by Salio or Solomon of Padua, c.

Short treatise related to the interpretation of the revolution of the year Spring equinox Ingress chart. De magnis conjunctionibus, annorum revolutionibus, ac eorum profectionibus Augsburg, Erhard Ratdolt, On the great conjunctions of Jupiter-Saturn and other mundane operators : the chief work of the most influential Arabic astrologer. Gallica PDF Conjunctionibus. De magnis conjunctionibus, annorum revolutionibus, ac eorum profectionibus Venice, Iacobus Pentius Giacomo Penzio de Leucho for Melchiorre Sessa, Latin translation by Hermann of Carinthia or Dalmatia c. Collection of aphorisms, and some pages on planetary hours, and on triplicities.

Google PDF Arcandam. First known Latin editions in Bologna , Venice and Venice. Astronomie judiciarie principia tractans cum Ioannis Saxonii commentario [c. A best-seller of Arabian astrology, published with commentary by the Parisian astronomer Jean Danko de Saxe, and a small treatise of infirmities by Pierre Turrel, the "Tractaculus infirmitatum". First attestation of the oldest part of this ritualist text, partially astrological : 10th century. Edward Sachau, London, William Allen, Famous compilation covering the four main branches of Medieval astrology interrogations, nativities, elections, revolutions.

Liber novem judicum in judiciis astrorum [c. On interpretation of nativities. Peeters, Google PNG Kennedy.


Internet version of the doctoral thesis of Lester Ness. Doctoral thesis on the theory of the great conjunctions of Jupiter-Saturn, especially in Zoroastrian Sassanid and Arabic astrologies. Google PNG Bladel. Migne, Patrologia Latina, Paris, Garnier, Google PDF Alcuin.