9780521716611

The Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780521716611

  • ISBN10:

    0521716616

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-10-29
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Summary

In antiquity, the expertise of the Babylonians in matters of the heavens was legendary and the roots of both western astronomy and astrology are traceable in cuneiform tablets going back to the second and first millennia BC. The Heavenly Writing discusses the place of Babylonian celestial divination, horoscopy, and astronomy in Mesopotamian intellectual culture. Focusing chiefly on celestial divination and horoscopes, it traces the emergence of personal astrology from the tradition of celestial divination and the use of astronomical methods in horoscopes. It further takes up the historiographical and philosophical issue of the nature of these Mesopotamian 'celestial sciences' by examining elements traditionally of concern to the philosophy of science, without sacrificing the ancient methods, goals, and interests to a modern image of science. This book will be of particular interest to those concerned with the early history of science.

Table of Contents

The historiography of Mesopotamian science
Celestial divination in context
Mesopotamian genethlialogy: the Babylonian horoscopes
Sources for horoscopes in babylonian astronomical texts
Sources for horoscopes in the early astrological tradition
The scribes and scholars of Mesopotamian celestial science
The classification of mesopotamian celestial inquiry as science
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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