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Babylonian Horoscopy: The Texts And Their Relations

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Chapter Summary

A descriptive analysis of the astronomical content of the small corpus of Babylonian horoscopes shows how interconnected all the parts of late Babylonian astronomical science were. This chapter focuses on the elements of Babylonian horoscopes astronomical content, and the derivations of these elements from diverse astronomical sources. In discussing the connections between horoscopes and other classes of astronomical texts it utilizes the standard classification and nomenclature established by A.J. Sachs, of which the major categories are non-mathematical texts, including diaries, goal-year texts and almanacs, and mathematical ephemerides, also termed simply ACT after publication of Otto Neugebauer. It shows that horoscopes draw upon a variety of astronomical sources that include most of the classes of astronomical texts, both non-mathematical and mathematical. The implications are that astronomical methods underlying Babylonian horoscopy do not stem from only one tradition, but include observation as well as computation, and non-mathematical as well as mathematical methods.

Keywords: A.J. Sachs; almanacs; astronomical texts; Babylonian horoscopy; goal-year texts; mathematical ephemerides



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