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Chapter Summary

MUL.APIN is a cuneiform astronomical treatise that appears in the early 7th century BCE. It is the first reasonably full exposition of the knowledge developed within the old written tradition of cuneiform astronomical and astrological texts. At the start of the first millennium, the more advanced type of astronomy found in MUL.APIN appears, which subsequently gives way to increasingly advanced forms of astronomical endeavor from the end of the Neo-Assyrian period. The actual date of the final composition of MUL.APIN is uncertain, but the presence of many exemplars of the treatise in the library of the 7th-century Assyrian king Assurbanipal (668-627) demonstrates that the composition had reached its canonical form by this date. The MUL.APIN treatise illustrates that Mesopotamian astronomy, and assumptions about its proper domain, diverge significantly from those of modern-day astronomy.

Keywords: cuneiform; Mesopotamian astronomy; MUL.APIN; scribal tradition



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