Brief History of Astrology

Brief History of Astrology

The fixed constellations seemed unchanging, but in the clear atmosphere of Mesopotamia, where observation was assisted by wide expanses of flat landscape, the movement of those heavenly bodies which seemed to traverse regular paths was noticed, the planets we call Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were known to the Sumerians and the Babylonians.

The belt of the Zodiac in which the parts of the planets mainly lay may have been known for millennia, though most modern scholarship ascribes its recognition to Greek science of the sixth and fifth centuries BC. The Sumerians identified Venus as the Lady of Heaven, while Babylonians regarded her as a goddess of war and carnage in her appearance as the Morning Star, but of love, procreation, fertility, gentleness, and luxury when she shone as the Evening Star.

Reports of earthly phenomena resulting from the movements of heavens gods, were recorded in writings dating from the beginning of the fourth millennium BC. Records of predictions soon followed, first of events such as wars and floods, later birth horoscopes of individual kings.

Astrology penetrated to India around the sixth century BC, and to China and Indochina soon after. Westward it travelled to Egypt and Greece. Primitive peoples in Western Europe, independently of Sumer and Babylon, had learned as early as 2000 BC to mark the solstices and other astronomical events by systems of megaliths. In Mexico, from about 300 AD, the Mayans developed an even more accurate knowledge of astronomy than the Babylonians, evolving a calendar of 365 days and a zodiac of 13 signs.

The Chinese were probably the first people to develop astronomy apart from Astrology, which they used to forecast events. They divided the sky into five “palaces”, a Central region around the pole and four equatorial divisions corresponding to the four seasons.

The complicated and apparently scientific system that was to be the ancestor of European Astrology was meanwhile being developed by the Greeks combined with Babylonian and Egyptian elements. Philosophy, medicine, and religion all supported at.

In Rome the official order polls Astrology when it arrived there during the second century BC, but the populace welcomed those who would tell their fortunes by the stars. The Roman emperors disliked Astrology, regarding it as a possible weapon to be used by would be usurpers of their thrones.

Since the stars influence human appetites, which few men can resist, their forecasts are mostly correct; but those morally strong enough to resist can negate their predictions.

Astrology/astronomy (for the two did not really part company until the 17th century), reached its zenith during the Renaissance, when the new learning permeated to the masses. Famous scholars wrote astrological treatises, that no man could resist the influence of stars and planets.
Source by Pauline Stradlen

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