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Square Horoscope Diagrams In Middle Eastern Astrology And Chinese Cosmological Diagrams : Were These Designs Transmitted Through The Silk Road?

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Chapter Summary

Many horoscopes from antiquity were written down either as plain texts or as tables. The few diagrams found in them all share the same crude circular form. The more frequent medieval horoscope diagrams in Greek, Arabic, and Latin codices and documents show, in contrast, a quadratic frame divided into nine squares, with diagonal divisions of the four corner squares. Although unkown to antiquity, this layout was common in Chinese hemerology, where the twelve yellow and black spirits were arranged in an identical scheme. Presenting a precise example of the transmission of scientific knowledge from China to the Islamic World would be significant because the matter has too often been discussed in vague terms. As we can see, Central Asian astrology differs from astrological practices in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. The concept of twelve chronological elements that matched a diagram with nine squares was taken from China.

Keywords: antiquity; Arabic astrology; Central Asian astrology; Chinese hemerology; Islamic World; Middle Eastern regions; square horoscope diagrams

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