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"In The Foot Of Taurus": Astrological Notions In 4QZodiacal Physiognomy (4q186)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the astrological hypotheses, both in terms of their ability to explain certain elements in 4QZodiacal Physiognomy (4Q186) as well as being considered against the background of ancient astrological notions from Babylonian and Greek astrology. It begins by addressing some aspects of ancient Babylonian and Greek astrology. Ancient astrology’s two areas of interest, viz. general and individual astrology, are both represented in the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Aramaic text 4QZodiology and Brontology ar (4Q318) covers mundane astrology, while genethlialogical astrology is hinted at in 4QZodiacal Physiognomy. In both cases there is nothing particularly sectarian, or even Jewish, about these texts. 4Q186, is not only concerned with the entire zodiacal sign, but also with a specific part of it, viz. in 4Q186 1 ii 9 “the foot of Taurus”. According to Roland Bergmeier, the specific division of Taurus in 4Q186 is determined by observing the position of the moon.

Keywords: 4QZodiacal Physiognomy(4Q186); 4QZodiology and Brontology ar (4Q318); ancient astrology; Aramaic text; Dead Sea Scrolls; Roland Bergmeier; Taurus; zodiacal sign



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