The History Of Astrology

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ancient egypt & classical Greece

This ceramic calendar from Egypt has Greek symbols of the zodiac around its edge.

This ceramic calendar from Egypt has Greek symbols of the zodiac around its edge.

Ancient Egypt is sometimes credited with being the mother of astrology. While the culture did look obsessively to the heavens, and so opened the door to the study of the planets, it is the texts of Ptolemy and Valens of Antioch that hold the keys to astrology, and continue to provide inspiration and source material for astrologers today

Egyptian Star Gazers, Greek Teachers

When the Greek historian Herodotus visited Egypt in about 45ÜBCE, he noted that Egyptian astrologers "can tell what fortune and what end and what disposition a man shall have according to the day of his birth ... when an ominous thing happens they take note of the outcome and write it down, and if something of a like kind happens again, they think it will have a like result."

A carved sphinx sits at the Tomb of Ramses II;

when the tomb was excavated, gold discs were found with symbols marking the rising and setting points of stars.

From this account, it is clear that the Egyptians were engaging in a rational and carefully researched examination of the relationship between the planets and events on Earth. However, the idea that ancient Egypt was a major source of knowledge and made a great contribution to the development of astrology is misleading. The claim that the first horoscope was cast in Egypt in 2767bce is equally suspect, though at a very early date Egyptian astronomers were certainly thoroughly familiar with the positions of the stars. When the tomb of Rameses II (1292-1225bce) was excavated, for example, it was found to contain two circles of gold marked in 360° and bearing

A carved sphinx sits at the Tomb of Ramses II;

when the tomb was excavated, gold discs were found with symbols marking the rising and setting points of stars.

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