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

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 27, 2004 - History
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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, first publsiehd in 2004, 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.
 

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User Review  - thcson - LibraryThing

Fascinating book on the practice of astronomy and astrology in Mesopotamia. The author convincingly argues that exact astronomy always played an important role in divinatory methods. She criticizes ... Read full review

Contents

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About the author (2004)

Francesca Rochberg is Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor of Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship and the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the author of Babylonian Horoscopes (1998) and Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Eclipse Tablets of Enuma Anu Enlil (1988).

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