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Benefic And Malefic Planets In Babylonian Astrology

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Chapter Summary

In Babylonian astronomical literature of the Seleucid period, the five planets are enumerated in the following sequence: ၯၬၫၰၮ. This arrangement has nothing to do with a spatial arrangement of the planets in the cosmos, in contrast to the following planetary arrangement in Greek astronomy and astrology. Explicit reference to the benefic and malefic natures of the planets in Babylonian astrology is provided in TCL 6 13, a Seleucid tablet from Uruk. Sachs drew attention to this particular section of TCL 6 13 since it closely parallels a number of nativity omens in TCL 6 14, which he discussed, and further parallels are to be noted in a horoscope as well. Regardless of textual genre, therefore, the planets were enumerated by convention, a convention that was originally shaped by an underlying astrological schema identifying planets as either benefic or malefic.

Keywords: Babylonian astrology; benefic planets; malefic planets; TCL



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