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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Greece and Rome"

Greece and Rome [Prima]

The Hellenistic Period

A synthesis of Greek and Mesopotamian thought. The Greeks applied geometry to Near Eastern ideas on astrology. The travels of Pythagoras and other early philosophers are significant in this regard – as is that of Berossus, a Chaldean, who taught the Greeks astrology at his school in Cos around 280 B.C.

During this period Egypt emerged as the great center of astrological studies (a phenomenon that tended to obscure the earlier origins of astrology). Perhaps the earliest, certainly the most popular, astrological manual of this period was that attributed to Petosiris-Nechepso. Petosiris was the supposed name of an Egyptian priest who wrote the text for his king, Nechepso. A fair amount of subsequent semi-astrological hermetic text has erroneously been ascribed to this same source but is now thought to belong to the Alexandrian school circa the 1st century B.C.

The Greeks furthered the development of astronomy by speculating on the actual nature of the universe. Planetary systems came into being, culminating with that of Ptolemy in 150 A.D. Ptolemy was the author of two major works: the Tetrabiblos (or "four book"s) on astrology and the Almagest, an astronomical text.



Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine