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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Mesopotamia"

Mesopotamia [Prima]

Astrology evolved in Mesopotamia as a highly developed system of omens, developing through a series of civilizations that followed one another in an unstable environment.

Mesopotamian astrology emphasized the risings, settings, and first and last visibilities of the planets.

Records of astrological interpretations of stellar omens are found on cuneiform tablets. The earliest known are the Ammizaduga tablets (first Babylonian dynasty, 1645-1625 B.C.), which contain information about the planet Venus. The earliest known horoscope dates back to 410 B.C.

The famous ancient city of Babylon was located in the Euphrates valley, close to the modern city of Baghdad. After 2250 B.C. it became the capital of Babylonia. The Tower of Babel was built in the city of Babylon; it may have been constructed as an ast- ronomical observatory and may have housed astrolog- ers and their libraries. A large astrological work entitled "The Illumination of Bel" was written dur- ing the period 2100-1900 B.C. Although Babylonia was long regarded as the country in which astrology first developed, modern research indicates that Egyptian astrology preceded the earliest efforts in Babylonia. The solar and lunar tables of the Babylo- nian astronomers Naburiannu and Kidinnu were sent to Aristotle by his nephew,Callisthenes, when Alexander the Great captured Babylon in 331 B.C. This event had a profound effect on Greek astronomy and astrol- ogy. In the tables of Naburiannu (500 B.C.), the Vernal Point was placed at 10 Aries; in the tables of Kidinnu (373 B.C.), it was placed in ARI 08°. Thus it is clear that the Babylonian zodiac, in use as early as 500 B.C., was the same as the ancient Egyptian zodiac (which is the same as the Western Sidereal Zodiac).


See also:
♦ Horoscope


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine