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Elements Of The Babylonian Contribution To Hellenistic Astrology

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on three elements which are demonstrably Babylonian in origin yet form basic and integral parts of Greek astrological doctrine. The three elements are: planetary exaltations, the micro-zodiac, and trine aspect. It clarifies a number of fundamental distinctions between Babylonian celestial divination and Greek horoscopic astrology. It then turns to some specific elements which may be cited in defense of the claim for the Greek dependence on Babylonian traditions. The chapter discusses three examples, two of which are attested in some form in pre-Seleucid celestial omen texts and one which stems from texts dating after the fifth century B.C.E. These are (1) the planetary hypsomata, or exaltations, (2) the dodekatemoria, literally, the twelfth parts, or micro-zodiac, and (3) trine aspect. These three examples illustrate with particular cogency the origin of certain elements of Hellenistic astrology in Babylonian tradition.

Keywords: Babylonian tradition; dodekatemoria; Greek astrological doctrine; Hellenistic astrology; omen texts; planetary hypsomata; trine aspect



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