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By Francesca Rochberg

Interpretations of heavenly phenomena as indicators of the longer term was once a Mesopotamian culture of serious antiquity. The perform of Babylonian celestial divination, spanning a interval from ca. 1800 B.C. to Hellenistic instances, is understood within the type of celestial omens portending the lifetime of the king and the steadiness of the country. rising for the 1st time within the 5th century B.C., horoscopes mirror the applying of the suitable and perform of celestial divination to the lifetime of the person. this is often the 1st entire variation of the extant cuneiform horoscopes--with transcription and philological and astronomical remark. it's the first research to supply a scientific description of the files as a definable classification of Babylonian astronomical/astrological texts.

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Additional resources for Babylonian Horoscopes (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society)

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H. 25-26. 24 Babylonian Horoscopes daylight part of the Babylonian day, even though the beginning of the Babylonian day precedes this date by the time between sunset and midnight. Sachs-Hunger8correlatethe BabylonianandJulian dates differently. Dates for the horoscopes are restated in terms of the Julian calendar, either, in cases where the time of birth is indeterminable, by means of the two consecutive Julian dates that the Babylonian day overlaps, or, if the time of birth is known, by the Julian date that correlateswith the part of the day on which the birth falls.

52. edge2. but no mention is made of fixed star phases in the horoscopes. The referencesto stars in horoscopes are confined to the use of the ecliptical stars as a set of observational reference points. , falling within a fairly narrow band of latitude between + 10? within which the moon and planets can be seen. No complete list as such is attestedin an ancient source, but about 34 normal stars are presently known. 17-19. 14 In these few horoscopes, the position of the moon seems to be given with referenceto a normal star when it is above the horizon at (or near) the time of the birth, and usually is given in addition to a zodiacal position.

3. 212-213. v. namarulexical section. The specific sense of "dawn"used here follows that suggestedby B. R. Goldstein in his review of G. 117. 38 Babylonian Horoscopes the hour itself increasesand decreasesits length through the year is known as the seasonalhour. "25The system of time reckoning by seasonal hour, according to which the daytime and night each were dividedinto twelve equal portions is first attested in the seventh century, in material such as a NeoBabylonian arithmetical scheme for the variation in the length of the subdivisions of the day (the values given represented one-twelfth of the length of daylight)26and, later, in horoscopes.

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