Ancient Astrology

Front Cover
Routledge, 1994 - History - 245 pages
Most people today know their 'star-sign', but few know much of the system of thought which relates human destiny to the stars. Fewer still have any idea of its origins. This book reveals the importance of astrology in ancient thought, morals, politics and daily life.
Tamsyn Barton first traces the history of the subject chronologically. She untangles the Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek threads which come together in Greco-Roman astrology, discussing the astrological literature of each period. The book examines intellectual and popular reactions to astrology. It also reveals its political role in the Roman Empire - astrologers could set emperors on the throne or depose them. Astrology's battle with the early church and its eventual decline after the fifth century are also examined.
The remainder of the book looks at ancient astrology from a synchronic perspective. Dr Barton explains the principles of ancient astrology and brings the theory to life by interpreting the horoscope of Prince Charles according to the instructions of ancient treatises. The final section brings together a variety of evidence on the uses made of astrology in everyday life and discusses areas of knowledge related to astrology, from medicine and magic to Mithraic cult.

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User Review  - jvalamala - LibraryThing

A fresh, objective look at an influential but often maligned and neglected social-science. A nice touch was to take the birth chart of Prince Charles and run it through the gauntlet of two astrologers ... Read full review

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User Review  - timspalding - LibraryThing

An excellent scholarly introduction to Greco-Roman astrology. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

David Barton is Professor of Language and Literacy and Director of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University. His publications include "Beyond Communities of Practice "(co-edited with Karin Tusting, 2005), "Letter Writing as a Social Practice" (co-edited with Nigel Hall, 2000), and "Local Literacies: Reading and Writing in One Community" (with Mary Hamilton, 1998).

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