Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia

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Hermann Hunger, David Edwin Pingree
BRILL, Jan 1, 1999 - Religion - 303 pages
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Astronomy and astrology, or the astral sciences, played an enormous, if not a key role in the political and religious life of the Ancient Near East, and, later, of the Greek and Roman world. This is the first comprehensive and up-to-date account of the origins of the astral sciences in the Ancient Near East. Every type of Sumerian or Akkadian text dealing with descriptive or mathematical astronomy, including many individual tablets are thoroughly dealt with. All aspects, such as the history of discovery, reconstruction, and interpretation come to the fore, accompanied by a full bibliography. At that the reader will find descriptions of astronomical contents, an explanation of their scientific meaning and the place a given genre or tablet has in the development of astronomy both within the Mesopotamian culture and outside of it. Because celestial omens are intimately related to astronomy in Mesopotamian science, these are also discussed extensively. The material is arranged both chronologically and thematically, so as to help make "Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia" a reference work on the subject in its truest sense.
 

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Contents

Omens
5
Astronomy
32
TABLE OF CONTENTS
36
Observations and Predictions
116
Theoretical Texts
183
Appendix
271
Bibliography
278
Index
293
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About the author (1999)

David Pingree, Ph.D. (1960), Harvard University, is Professor of the History of Mathematics at Brown University. He has edited numerous scientific texts in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, and has collaborated for many years with Assyriologists in publishing cuneiform texts on astronomy and astral omens. Hermann Hunger, Ph.D. (1966) in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, University of Munster (Germany), is Professor of Assyriology at the Institut fur Orientalistik of the University of Vienna. He has published widely on Babylonian astronomy, e.g., "Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings" (Helsinki 1992).