The Babylonian Theory of the Planets

B́a trước
Princeton University Press, 1998 - 246 trang

In the second millennium b.c., Babylonian scribes assembled a vast collection of astrological omens, believed to be signs from the gods concerning the kingdom's political, military, and agricultural fortunes. The importance of these omens was such that from the eighth or seventh until the first century, the scribes observed the heavens nightly and recorded the dates and locations of ominous phenomena of the moon and planets in relation to stars and constellations. The observations were arranged in monthly reports along with notable events and prices of agricultural commodities, the object being to find correlations between phenomena in the heavens and conditions on earth. These collections of omens and observations form the first empirical science of antiquity and were the basis of the first mathematical science, astronomy. For it was discovered that planetary phenomena, although irregular and sometimes concealed by bad weather, recur in limited periods within cycles in which they are repeated on nearly the same dates and in nearly the same locations.

N. M. Swerdlow's book is a study of the collection and observation of ominous celestial phenomena and of how intervals of time, locations by zodiacal sign, and cycles in which the phenomena recur were used to reduce them to purely arithmetical computation, thereby surmounting the greatest obstacle to observation, bad weather. The work marks a striking advance in our understanding of both the origin of scientific astronomy and the astrological divination through which the kingdoms of ancient Mesopotamia were governed.

Originally published in 1998.

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Introduction Planetary Omens Observations
1
Part 1 Periodicity and Variability of Synodic Phenomena
34
Part2 Derivation of the Parameters for Synodic
73
Alignment to the Zodiac Initial Position Elongation
135
312A Venus System N and
165
Summary and Conclusion
173
Appendix Alternative Methods of Deriving Parameters
183
Tables
191
26A Mercury n Synodic Times from Diaries
204
29A Mercury 1 Synodic Times from Diaries
210
3 I3A Venus Modern Subdivisions St of Synodic Time
219
Figures
221
210A Mercury System A2 Q
226
Notation and Abbreviations
235
Index of Names
243
Bản quyền

21A Saturn Synodic Times from Diaries
196

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