Routledge, 1994. — 245 p.An account of astrology from its beginnings in Mesopotamia, focusing on the Greco-Roman world, Ancient Astrology examines the theoretical development and changing social and political role of astrology.Most people today know their 'star-sign', but few know much of the system of thought which relates human destiny to the stars. Fewer still have any idea of its origins. This book reveals the importance of astrology in ancient thought, morals, politics and daily life. Tamsyn Barton first traces the history of the subject chronologically. She untangles the Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek threads which come together in Greco-Roman astrology, discussing the astrological literature of each period. The book examines intellectual and popular reactions to astrology. It also reveals its political role in the Roman Empire - astrologers could set emperors on the throne or depose them. Astrology's battle with the early church and its eventual decline after the fifth century are also examined. The remainder of the book looks at ancient astrology from a synchronic perspective. Dr Barton explains the principles of ancient astrology and brings the theory to life by interpreting the horoscope of Prince Charles according to the instructions of ancient treatises. The final section brings together a variety of evidence on the uses made of astrology in everyday life and discusses areas of knowledge related to astrology, from medicine and magic to Mithraic cult.
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