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The twenty-seven model drops Abhijit, which is of small dimensions. This will be discussed below 4.

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This stands in contrast to the zodiac signs, which are of uniform dimensions. This difference in systems would become an issue later on when the zodiac signs were introduced into Indian astronomy. See below. These are defined by a set of constellations relative to the celestial equator, which are different from the Indian system. Ancient Chinese astronomy divides the equator into It has often been speculated in modern scholarship that these two systems must share a common origin based on their similarities, or that one civilization first developed the model of lunar stations before transmitting it to the other.

The evidence, however, now indicates independent origins for both. This also resulted in a number of predictable problems, which will be discussed throughout this study. For the purposes of this study, we will divide these traditions into five relevant developments: Mesopotamian omenology, Hellenistic astrology, pre-Hellenized Indian astrology, Hellenized Indian astrology and Iranian astrology.

During the Tang dynasty, many relevant developments came together with Chinese astrology, leading to new traditions of astrology that were integrated into Buddhism and Daoism.


In Mesopotamia, a practice of accurate and constant astronomical observation developed as a result of a belief that divine omens concerning present and future developments — particularly with respect to the military, ruler and state — could be discerned from natural cycles and apparent anomalies.

The 13 David W. In , Bezold claimed to have discerned Babylonian influences in early Chinese astronomical texts in translation. This was subsequently accepted by influential figures like Joseph Needham and Edward Schafer. See David W. The Enuma Anu Enlil, running to a total of seventy tablets, included recorded omens and provided advice concerning what were perceived to be divine signals. Clive L. Around BCE, a series of Babylonian star lists recorded the twelve zodiacal constellations among eighteen star groups along the path of the Moon.

This new political landscape with its common language of Greek facilitated unprecedented interactions between Greece, Mesopotamia and Egypt. It was within such an environment that astrologers could draw on materials from multiple traditions in Babylon and Egypt, while also enjoying a greater freedom of movement than before. Mesopotamian astronomy was, within this political, linguistic and social environment, transmitted by figures such as the Greek astronomer Hipparchus c. The practice of horoscopy requires such advanced knowledge in order to accurately calculate the positions of planets at any given hour in the past or future.

The astrologer therefore need only refer to such a guide in drawing up a horoscope, either on parchment, or using a board and stone markers for the same purpose. As Rome seized Greece and the Mediterranean, it inevitably met with astrologers who provided an alternative practice to traditional forms of Roman divination. Horoscopy was tailored to the individual and, at least initially, was foreign and exotic to the Romans. In the upheaval of the late Roman Republic of the first century BCE, astrology was utilized towards political ends, and with this came an increasing awareness of it among elites.

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Astrology by this time was quite popular across the Roman empire both among Latin and Greek speakers, which facilitated its vibrant evolution. Hellenistic astrology would likely not have developed to the extent it did without elite Roman interest. Hellenistic astrology was connected to the Greco-Egyptian practices of astral 27 magic, which was heavily concerned with the timing of rituals and calendrical considerations.

Specific stones were used to represent them on horoscope boards and also in art.

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Incense are also prescribed for each planet. A basic chart could be easily constructed this way if one is in possession of ephemerides. The colors of these stones correspond to the prescribed colors for the planets in later literature. In 11 CE, he issued a ruling criminalizing all consultations about death i.

Nevertheless, it seems he simultaneously officially published his own horoscope. In the year 16, Tiberius reasserted the official stance against unsolicited astrological consultation, expelling astrologers from both Rome and Italy. Steven J. His outline of the relevant chronology is as follows: I. Vedic c. Greco-Babylonian c— Greek c— Islamic c— Pliny and Tiberius in the first century expressed concerns about Roman wealth flowing eastward, with at least a fifth headed to India.

The empire simultaneously imported luxury goods from India. An early foreign account of India is provided in The Geography by Strabo born c. Assuming this account has any truth to it, it suggests foreign influences were perhaps discernible in this period. Strabo, Geography, Book XV, trans. Horace Leonard Jones, published in Vol. The first usage of weekdays using the modern ordering of planets is found in the work of Dio Cassius born CE.

These differences, which will be discussed below, are apparent in the relevant Buddhist literature that was translated into Chinese throughout the first millennium CE. It used months and days rather than nights , as was the custom in the Indo-Greek kingdoms.

Pingree speculates that this might have been the Seleucid calendar, which was itself an adaptation of the Babylonian calendar as employed by the earlier Achaemenid Persian empire. This calendar was in use by Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions, hence it was probably implemented also by the civil administration.

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Similarly, there were multiple schools of astronomy active throughout the centuries. These disparate calendrical systems were introduced in an unsystematic fashion into China through Buddhist scriptures, monks proficient in astrology, and several professional Indian or Sino-Indian astronomers resident in China in the eighth century. Various calendrical systems are employed or mentioned in Indian Buddhist literature in Chinese translation.

Another complicating factor within the Chinese context is that an additional source of astrological and astronomical knowledge was the Iranian cultural sphere, the astronomy and astrology of which are far less well documented compared to Indian materials. Iranian astrologers can also be credited with some innovations. Persians active at the court in the late eighth century also contributed to the transmission of Iranian knowledge into China.

Chinese Astrology China had its own indigenous traditions of astronomy and astrology. They initially developed independent of foreign influences.

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Great interest was paid to the movements of celestial bodies, which deeply influenced rulers in their city planning and arrangement of the political hierarchy. Archaeological evidence from the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties all demonstrate cities and structures built with conscious consideration of cardinal orientation along the north—south axis. Pankenier argues that it was built according to cosmological theory. Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, , In addition to material culture, this deep interest in suitably aligning human activities with Heaven and Earth is also found within spiritual and political contexts.

He looks up to observe celestial patterns, and looks down to examine terrestrial principles; thus, he knows the causes behind darkness and light. He traces the beginning and end of things, and thus knows the explanation of death and life. This early model excluded non- Chinese realms. The Yellow River corresponds to the Milky Way, while asterisms are connected to the corresponding territories. It was believed that such astral-terrestrial associations allow for prognostications about future fortunes based on the movements of the planets.

It was also specifically employed in military operations. This system is not 48 Ibid. Knechtges and Taiping Chang, eds. Its orbit may therefore be roughly divided into twelve sections through which Jupiter transits over approximately twelve years. The Han shu also provides a model of predictive astrology based on convergences. The following sample is instructive. Michael Loews et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , When Venus is in the south and Jupiter is in the north, it is called the union of male and female beasts.

When Venus is in the north and Jupiter is in the south, there will be some gains and some losses in that year. Detailed knowledge of astrology in this period was largely only available to elite men in the state with access to the relevant texts. It does appear, however, that the significance of astrologically significant events, such as convergences, was understood by commoners.

If such garments were worn in remote outposts of Chinese civilization, they were presumably also fashionable in the capital. He is in charge of reporting good days and taboo times whenever there are national sacrifices, 57 Han shu, Zhonghua Shuju edn. He is in charge of recording auspicious responses [of Heaven], calamities and abnormalities whenever the country has them.

It seems that there also emerged a belief in the astrological luck justifying the founding of the Tang. The Tang history has the following. Shen comprises the stars of Tang. The country in which it lodges is lucky when it resides there before it is supposed to. Here Saturn is regarded as auspicious, which stands in contrast to occidental astrology, in which it is regarded as malefic. It apparently moved unexpectedly into the constellation Shen during the last days of the Sui before the rise of the Tang in This was probably not immediately apparent at the time, but later Li Chunfeng, who was a professional astrologer, and spent his life serving the court, retrospectively interpreted the development in a way favorable to the new order, or so the dynastic history tells us.

As in Indian and Greco-Egyptian traditions of astral magic, China also developed its own astral pantheon, which has its origins in the earliest known years of Chinese civilization. During the Warring States period, the numerological calculations of the calendar were arranged alongside the organization of spirits or gods.