Research Sources For Astrology

Research Sources For Astrology


I first composed this bibliographical guide and posted it to the Web in the early 1990s. It was based upon a personal database I had compiled in the course of researching my doctoral dissertation, Astrology and Judaism in Late Antiquity (Miami University, 1990). Since that time the bibliography has proven useful to many and I have continued my researches, leading me to revise it more than once. A version was added to the published version of my dissertation, Written in the Stars: Ancient Zodiac Mosaics (Shangri La Publications, 2000). Now I am updating it and posting it to the Web once again, to replace the site which I formerly used.

Since 1997, I have lived and taught in China. I have not been able to read as many new Western books as formerly, but, on the other hand, I have been able to start studying Chinese astrology, and have added a section on that topic. As before, I welcome suggestions of other books and articles. I have also added a small section of links to other Web sites dealing with the scholarly study of astrology.

Let me add my thanks to all those who have helped me with this new version, particularly my editor, Sheldon Gosline, the autokrator of Shangri La Publs., who contributed many Islamic and Indian titles, and also Richard Brzustowicz, for bringing a rare book on Tibetan astrology to my attention, as well as for many stimulating e-conversations.

Lester Ness
PR China

 General Discussion

This reference bibliography is organized chronologically and by cultures. Astrology has a long, complex history, going back to pre-history. But one of the most interesting aspects of that history is the way in which the most diverse societies have adapted it to indigenous purposes. Astrology is important in both the United States and in India, but exactly because they are such different societies, their respective astrologies are different as well. An emphasis in this bibliography is archaeo-astronomy, that is, discerning and understanding astrological or astronomical symbolism in ancient buildings and other artifacts, and especially the zodiac decorations found in ancient Roman synagogues.
The first section is given over to reference works, general histories of astrology and to bibliographies of astrology in various times and places. Section two is on astrology in the Ancient Near East, primarily Mesopotamia, where astrology came into being. The third portion is about astrology in Classical culture, that is, in the world of Greece and Rome, including the Greco-Roman Near East. Section four is on Jewish astrology, from the days of the Israelite kingdoms down to modern times. Five deals with the attitudes of the early Christians toward astrology, from the time of the apostles to the end of the Roman Empire, while Six deals with astrology in the following Islamic Empire. Section Seven is on astrology in India from the third century CE to the present. Section Eight, on Chinese astrology, is a new addition to this bibliography, and is a pioneering effort, I believe. Section Nine is a brief account of New World or Native American astrology. Ten takes us back to the West, and the role of astrology in Medieval and Renaissance Europe. The eleventh segment is about astrology in modern times, since the rise of modern science in the later seventeenth century, and a twelfth and final section gives links to other scholarly Web sites, with other scholarly bibliographies.
Each work is listed alphabetically by author's surname, within its section. Annotations are in curly brackets {}, if another person's opinion, in quotation marks " ". In general I follow University of Chicago Manual of Style.
Astrology is usually linked to larger cosmologies. Western astrology began with an Ancient Near Eastern cosmology, but was dramatically affected by Hellenistic Greek cosmology. Ancient Mesopotamians believed that the universe and humanity had been made by superior beings, the gods, for their own purposes. They would sometimes signal their plans or desires to human beings by means of omens, messages in the form of occurences in the natural world. Mesopotamians looks for omens many places, including the sky. During the Neo-Assyrian dynasty of the first millennium BCE, sky omens became particularly important. Specialist scholars learned to predict when some omens would take place in the sky, inventing the horoscope.
After Mesopotamia was conquered by Alexander the Great, Greek scientists learned of Mesopotamian astronomy and astrology. They adopted them and modified them to fit their own cosmology. Such aspects of Hellenistic cosmology as the spherical universe, four element physics, and cosmic sympathy or idea that whatever happened in one place, affected every other part of the universe, have remained important in astrology to modern times. Upon the basis of this cosmology, many new astrological practices were developed. When Hellenistic cosmology was replaced by Newtonian cosmology in the late seventeenth century, astrology lost respectability among scientists and other intellectuals, although it remained part of the mental furniture of many ordinary people down to the present. The twentieth century has seen a great revival of popular belief in astrology, but it has not regained belief among scientists.
Let me explain how I categorize astrological practices. The basic principle is that there is some connection between events in the sky and events on the earth.. "That which is above is like that which is below, and that which is below is like that which is above," in the words of The Emerald Tablet. But there are many ways of explaining this connection. One may consider the planets to be living, intelligent beings, gods or the messengers of gods. In that case, one may look at the rules of astrology as the habits of the planets, and try to ask them for favors, just like any other deity. This was the case in Mesopotamia, where the classical astrological tradition began. It remained a common assumption in magic and religion in the Greco-Roman Near East. I call this approach "religious" astrology. Modern "Western" ritual magicians and wiccan practitioners are twentieth century representatives.
On the other hand, one might look at the planets as impersonal sources of influences, e.g., Jupiter rays, not too different from gravity or electromagnetic rays. This approach tends to interpret astrology in terms of contemporary mathematics and physics. I call this approach "scientific" astrology. It is the most common approach in twentieth century "Western" countries.
Another way to group astrological practices is into "practical" and "symbolic" astrology. "Practical" astrology is meant to do something for a client. A horoscope to decide the best day for a business trip, or a prayer to Mercury to make the clients eager to buy are clearly practical, in the same way that marketing surveys are today. "Symbolic" astrology uses astrological imagery to praise one's king or one's god. Thus, when Nero arranged to have a rotating ceiling, with paintings of the constellations, in the dining hall of the Golden House, the message was clear: the universe revolves around Nero. One of the Sasanian Persian kings, Khusrau Parviz, did the same thing with his throne-room some centuries later.
"Symbolic" astrology was particularly common in religious art, making the zodiac one of the most common motifs in Greco- Roman art. At Palmyra, for example, the Temple of Bel has Bel surrounded by the seven planet-gods, all within a circle of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The message was that Bel rules the world through the powers of astrology, i.e., Bel is powerful. In a private tomb at Palmyra, we find Dionysus in a zodiac. Again, the message is: Dionysus is powerful. Similar symbolism is especially common in the Roman Near East, and is found in Jewish and (rarely) Christian art. This is how I interpret the synagogue zodiacs, mentioned above: the LORD is powerful and takes care of His people.
Astrology has not had many historians. The major ones can be named easily. This is a strange phenomenon, for on the one hand, astrology did and does play an important role in politics. Historians of Renaissance politics, for example, must take astrologers seriously. But more typically, historians such as Bouché-Leclercq and Neugebauer were forced to defend their field as worthwhile even though astrology did not work. Bouché-Leclercq memorably wrote that it is not a waste of time to know how others have wasted theirs (L'Astrologie grecque, ix). There is a traditional hostility toward astrology by both astronomers and historians of science. Oddly, chemists do not seem to be as hostile towards alchemy. The great Collection des alchemistes grecs was edited by one of the most eminent chemists of his day, Marcellin Berthelot (3 Vols., Paris: 1887-88; repr., 3 Vols. in 1, London:, 1963). Bouché-Leclercq was envious (L'Astrologie grecque, ix). Perhaps the hostility exists because astrology is still a living practice, a real competitor for popular respect and patronage. I hope that the traditional hostility may be dying among historians and social scientists and that a true understanding of this influential practice and belief.

References, Bibliographies And General Histories

L'Année philologique; Bibliographie critique et analytique de l'antiquite greco-latine, ed., Ernst, Juliette, et al. (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1924-1992) {An invaluable bibliography to all aspects of Greco-Roman Civilization. It appears annually, and tries to include all works published anywhere in the world, with brief annotations in the original languages. A version on CD-ROM is scheduled to appear in January 1994.}
Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt; Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung, ed. Hildegard Temporini (Berlin, NY: Walter de Gruyter, 1972-present) {ANRW is a serial publishing bibliographical essays and surveys of recent research, including articles on the occult sciences.}
Avi-Yonah, Michael and Avi Avi-Yonah, Piece by Piece! : Mosaics of the Ancient World (Buried Worlds). (Runestone Press, 1993) {Included are works from ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium, and some from modern times. Introduces tools and skills of a mosaicist.}
Avi-Yonah, Michael, Art in Ancient Palestine : Selected Studies Published in the Years 1930-1976. (Magnes Press, 1981) {Review of major archaeology work in Israel.}
Baigent, Michael, From the Omens of Babylon. (Arkana, 1994) {In spite of being the author of some classic works of "cult" history, this is a recent, up-to-date useful, survey of the history of astrology, with its beginnings in Mesopotamia. There is a kudurru on the paperback cover.}
Boll, Franz, Bezold, Carl, and Gundel, Wilhelm, Sternglaube und Sterndeutung; Die Geschichte und das Wesen der Astrologie, siebente unveränderte Auflage, mit einem bibliographischen Anhang von H. G. Gundel. (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1977). {This is a reprint of the sixth edition, without revisions. It is one of the best histories of astrology.}
Borger, Riekele [or Rykele], ed. and compiler, Handbuch der Keilschriftliteratur, 3 volumes. (1967-1975) {A very thorough and reliable book-length bibliography of Mesopotamian civilization, both for primary and secondary sources. A excellent guide to publications of cuneiform literature. Compare the annual "Keilschriftbibliographie" in Orientalia for more recent works.}
Bouché-Leclercq, Auguste, L'Astrologie grecque (Paris: Presses Universitaires de Frances, 1899; repr. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1979) {This is the best work on the techniques of greek astrology. Footnotes also contain useful discussions of Arabic and European authors of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.}
Caillet, Alb. L., Manuel bibliographique des sciences psychiques ou occultes. Sciences des Mages, Hermetique, Astrologie, Kabbale, Franc-Maconnerie, Medicine ancienne, Mesmerisme, Sorcellerie, Singularités, Aberration de tout ordre, Curiosites, 3 vols., Paris, 1912 {" 'most extended encyclopedia for the whole area of occultism' writes Ackermann in the 20ies of this century"; So says Andreas Bunkahle, "", in response to my request for additional works. -- Lester Ness}
Cambridge Encyclopedia of China, ed. Brian Hook (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1982) {good survey of history, geography, anthropology, etc.; good bibliography}
Carmody, F. J., Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1956) {This is a detailed descriptive bibliography, useful for both Islamic and Medieval European civilization. Works are listed chronologically.}
Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, ed. D. Olivieri, et al., 12 Volumes in 20 parts (Brussels: Academie Royale, 1898-1953) {The major collection of Greek astrological texts. Very important!}
Cavendish, Richard, A History of Magic (NY: Taplinger Publ. Co., 1977) {Excellent, by one of the best historians of the occult.}
Cavendish, Richard, ed., The Encyclopedia of the Unexplained. Magic, Occultism, and Parapsychology, special consultant on parapsychology, Prof. J. B. Rhine (NY: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1974) {Good popular reference work on all aspects of the occult, including astrology.}
Cavendish, Richard, The Black Arts (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967. NY: Putnum, 1967) {Similar to his History of Magic.)
Chiat, M. J., Handbook of Synagogue Architecture (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982) {A very good bibliography to works on ancient synagogues, including their zodiacs. It is a published version of her 1979 dissertation at University of Minnesota.}
Clairie, Thomas C., Occult Bibliography. An Annotated List of Books Published in English, 1971 Through 1975 (Metuchen, NJ and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1978) {A good bibliography of late twentieth century occult writings. "... analyzes approx. 1850 books, most of which are annotated with descriptive and critical commentaries"-Clairie, 1984.}
Clairie, Thomas C., Paranormal Bibliography. An Annotated List of Books Published in English, 1976 Through 1981 (Metuchen, NJ and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1984) {A sequel to the above work, it holds 3814 items listed with critical commentaries. One of the best.}
Cornell, James, The First Stargazers; An Introduction to the Origins of Astronomy, (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981) {Good introduction to prehistoric astronomy, the pre- cursor of scientific astrology.}
Culianu [or Couliano], Ioan Petru, "Sky," Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade, 1987. {This article emphasizes astral religion and astrological symbolism. Contains helpful reference notes.}
Dictionnaire des Antiquités grecque et romaines d'apres les textes et les monuments, ed. C. V. Daremberg and E. Saglio (Paris: Imprimerie Imperiale, 1877-1919) {The French equivalent to Pauly-Wissowa, this covers all aspects of Greco-Roman civilization. The article "Exotic" was written by Franz Cumont, one of the most notable historians of astrology.}
Encyclopedia of Asian History, Editor-in-Chief, Embro, Ainslee T. (NY: Scribner's, 1988) {Provides a useful introduction to astrology in Asia.}
Encyclopedia Judaica, ed.-in-chief, Cecil Roth (Jerusalem, NY: Macmillan, 1971-72) {This reference work should be one's first reference source for almost anything Judaic.}
Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, 4 Vols. Michael Avi-Yonah, ed. English edition (Englewood-Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975) {An important reference to archaeological sites in Israel and neighboring countries. It covers all the synagogue zodiacs known at time of publication. Avi-Yonah, the editor, was one of Israel's most noted historians, with a most creative explanation for these zodiacs. Cf. The New Encyclopedia, 2001}
Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Holy Land, The, 2 Vols., Benjamin Mazar, et al. (Jerusalem: Massada, 1971) {Contains discussions of the synagogue zodiac mosaics in their sites. Mazar was a leading Israeli archaeologist.}
Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 13 Vols., ed. James Hastings (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1908-27) {An old but still useful reference work. See the article "Sun, Moon and Stars," for a lengthy discussion of different ethnic varieties of astrology.}
Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade (NY: Macmillan Publ. Co., 1987, 1989) {Recent and very useful reference work edited by the leading historian of religion. It supplements, rather than replaces, Hastings' Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. See the article on "Sky" for the major discussion of astrology}
Galbreath, Robert, "The History of the Modern Occultism: A Bibliographic Survey," Journal of Popular Culture 5 (1971): 26-54 {A very good essay on twentieth century occult literature, in a special edition of the journal, given over to the occult.}
Gardner, F. Leigh, Bibliotheca Astrologica, A Catalogue of Astrological Publications of the 15th through the 19th Centuries. with a History of Astrology which serves as an Introduction by William Wynn Westcott (North Hollywood CA, Symbols and Signs, 1977). {"This valuable work, which is the only reasonably full attempt at a Bibliography in the English language on this subject, was first published in 1911 under the title, A Catalogue Raisonne of works on the Occult Sciences, Vol II, Astrological Books. The only other valuable book for this purpose is the Catalogue of Dr. John Dee's Library, for which see the separate entry. Gardner's Bibliography is not up to date, and it mostly deals with books to be found in England, and within these limits it is excellent." --Win Rowe. Westcott was a very influential 19th century occultist, one of the founders of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.}
Gundel, Hans Georg "Imagines Zodiaci: zu neueren Funden und Forschungen." in Hommages a Martin J. Vermaseren. Edited by B. M. de Boer and T. A. Ettridge, 1978. Leiden: E. J. Brill, pp. 438-54. {Hans Georg Gundel and his father Wilhelm Gundel are two important German historians of "scientific" astrology, emphasizing the Egyptian contribution. This supplements his Realenzyklopädie article.}
Gundel, Hans Georg "Zodiakos. Der Tierkreis in der Antike," Realenzyklopädie der classischen Altertums Wissenschaft, ed., August Friedrich Pauly, et al. (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1972), Volume X.A, columns 597-705. {A very thorough article listing all examples of zodiac in art, and much else. Separately published by Munich: Alfred Druckemueller Verlag, 1972.}
Gundel, Hans Georg, Zodiakos: Tierkreisbilder im Altertum: kosmische Bezug und Jenseitsvorstellungen in antiken Alltagsleben (Mainz am Rhien, Verlag P. von Zabern, c. 1992) {An up-date of Gundel's 1972 Realenzyklopädie article, with many good illustrations, which the Realenzyklopädie article lacks. This is one of the best resources for illustrations of zodiacs from the ancient world.}
Gundel, Wilhelm, "Astronomie, Astralreligion, Astralmythologie, und Astrologie. Darstellung und Literaturbericht, 1907-1933," in Bursian's Jahresberichte ueber die Fortschritte der classischen Altertums Wissenschaft Band 243, 60 Jahrgang, 2 Abteilung (Leipzig: O. R. Reisland, 1934), pp. 1-149 {Wilhelm Gundel was one of the major historians of astrology in all its forms. Very thorough bibliography covers the heyday of Panbabylonism, a popular theory at the turn of the century which claimed that all the religions of the ancient world were derived from Mesopotamian astrology. NB: Wilhelm Gundel was, I believe, also the father of Hans Georg Gundel.}
Gundel, Wilhelm, Sternglaube, Sternreligion und Sternorakel: Aus der Geschichte der Astrologie, 2. auflage, neu bearbeitet von H. G. Gundel (Heidelberg: Quelle und Meyer, 1959) {An excellent popular history.}
Hachlili, Rachel, Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology in the Land of Israel, Handbuch der Orientalistik, siebente Abteilungen, Kunst und Archäologie, ed. J. Stargardt, Erster Band, Der vordere Orient, zweiter Abschnitt, Die Denkmäler, ed. B. Hrouda, B--Vorderasien, Lieferung 4 (Leiden: Brill, 1988) {Catalogs and discusses all excavated ancient synagogues. Includes plans and discussions of all zodiacs known to date of publication. Hachlili is a disciple of Avi-Yonah.}
Holden, John Herschel, MA, FAFA, A History of Horoscopic Astrology from the Babylonian Period to the Modern Age (ca. 2002) {from; looks to be a good popular general history based upon up-to-date scholarship, and by a practitioner}
Hospers, J. H., A Basic Bibliography for the Study of the Semitic Languages, V. 1 (Leiden: Brill, 1973) {Excellent reference source for discussions of Ancient Near Eastern works, including astrological ones.}
Hunger, Herbert, Die hochsprachliche profane Literatur der Byzantiner, 2 Vols., Handbuch der Altertums Wissenschaft, XII.5.2 (Munich: Beck, 1978) {Abt. 12 T. 5. Volume 2, chapter 9 deals with astronomy, mathematics, astrology. Good reference notes. A standard reference work, in a standard series, describing Byzantine literature, including astrological works. Most of ancient astrology comes to us in works copied by Byzantine scribes for their own use.}
Huettenmeister, Frowald, and Reeg, Gottfried, Die Antike Synagogen im Israel, Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients herausgegeben in Auftrag des Sonderforschungsbereichs 19, von Wolfgang Röllig (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 1977) {Gives bibliographies of all synagogues discovered in Israel up to time of publication, including those with zodiacs. An unusual feature is that it has separate segments for Jewish and Samaritan synagogues.}
Kitson, Annabella, ed., History and Astrology. Clio and Urania Confer (London: Unwin, Mandala, 1989) {Originally a series of lectures at the Astrological Lodge of London: "... its works embraces the history, philosophy and symbolism of astrology". The articles seem serious, scholarly. Good article on Sabians of Harran, including the welcome information that excavations have resumed.}
Knappich, Wilhelm, Geschichte der Astrologie (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1964) {Useful chapters on Hellenistic, Roman, Islamic, and Indian astrology, with bibliographies at the end of each chapter.}
Krupp, E. C., Beyond the Blue Horizon; Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets (NY: HarperCollins, 1991) {A good popular survey of celestial myths, including astrological ones.}
Lehmann, Karl, "The Dome of Heaven," Art Bulletin 22 (1945): 1-17. {Discusses a variety of stellar motifs in world art. Many references to astral religion.}
Lexikon der Astrologie: Astrologie, Astronomie, Kosmologie, ed. Udo Becker (Frieburg: Herder, 1981) {Good short guide to the practice and history of astrology. Good, short bibliography, many excellent illustrations, particularly renaissance prints.}
Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrine. Conceptions of Nature and Methods Used for its Study by the Ikhwan al-safa, al-Biruni, and Ibn Sina (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1964; repr., Boulder, CO: Shambala, 1978) {"This is a study of various arabic sources, from the peak period of arabic scientific and mathematical writing, which explores not only the cosmological doctrines which were held, but the philosophical and religious implications of those doctrines. A valuable background study. Heavy focus on Al-Biruni, and decent chapter on Astrology. Other arabic savants discussed include [the] Ikhwan Al-Safa, and Ibn Sina." --Win Rowe. I have read the 1964 edition since I copied Rowe's comments. The book is indeed an excellent introduction to the Islamic development of Hellenistic scientific thought, with good references to, for example, the Ikhwan's works in Western translation. The Ikhwan was well-informed on Sabian beliefs.}
National Union Catalog, Compiled, Edited and Approved by the Library of Congress .... (Ann Arbor, MI: J. W. Edwards, 1956- present) {Lists all the books in North American academic libraries alphabetically by author. Divided into several chronological series, such as all books up to 1956. This is an invaluable resource for verifying references from footnotes and bibliographies. For more recent works, North American reference librarians use electronic utilities like OCLC and RLIN, which pull together contents of the electronic catalogs of libraries. RLIN works with members of the Association of Research Libraries, OCLC with all libraries in the US and Canada.}
Naylor, P. I. H., Astrology: An Historical Examination (London: Robert Maxwell, 1967) {Brief but reliable. Covers antiquity to present.}
Ness, Lester J., Astrology and Judaism in Late Antiquity (Oxford, Ohio, Miami University: PhD Dissertation, 1990) {Thorough history of astrology in the ancient world, with goal of explaining the use of zodiac mosaics in ancient Israeli synagogues. The planets and stars were identified with angels, messengers of the Invisible God. When portrayed in a religious context, the represented the Presence and love of their Creator. Cf. published revision, Written in the Stars}
Ness, Lester J., "Astrology," Dictionary of Biblical Backgrounds, ed. E. Yamauchi (Grand Rapids: Zondervan). {up-to-date account, emphasizing early Christian reactions; good biblio.}
Ness, Lester J., Written in the Stars: Ancient Zodiac Mosaics (Warren Center, Penn: Shangri La Publications, 2000) {A thorough revision and up-dating of Ness' 1990 dissertation}
Neugebauer, Otto, and van Hoesen, H. B., "Astrological Papyri and Ostraca: Bibliographical Notes," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 108 (1964): 57-72 {Lists publications and discussions of astrological works excavated, primarily in Egypt.}
New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in The Holy Land, The, ed. E. Stern (Israel Exploration Society; Jerusalem: Carta; NY: Simon and Schuster, updated 2001)
Peuckert, Will Erich, Astrologie (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag) {Good general history from antiquity to present. Peuckert has written valuable works on a number of esoteric movements.}
Peuckert, Will Erich, L'Astrologie, son histoire, ses doctrines, Petite librairie Payot (Paris: Payot, 1980) tr. from German by R. Jouan and L. Jospin {A 274 page French translation of the above.}
Pingree, David, "Astrology," in Philip P. Weiner, ed., Dictionary of the History of Ideas (NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1968) {"This is a short (8 p) article which expresses the views of D. Pingree, a distinguished historian of science, who has specialized in editing and translating astrological texts of great importance. His views are probably from outside of the astrological community, but place astrological ideas in the context of their contribution to the general history of western intellectual development. It is as important as Tester for understanding the contribution of the classical world to present day astrological methods, and more important for understanding the bridge to Arabic and Indian Astrology." --Win Rowe. Pingree took Neugebauer's and Sach's position at Brown University and is probably America's leading historian of astrology.}
Pingree, David, Census of the Exact Sciences in Sanskrit. Series A (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1970) {Vol. 81, sections 1-4. An extensive descriptive bibliography of astrological writings in India, with sizeable amounts of narrative.}
Pingree, David, et al., "Occultism," Encyclopedia Britannica, fifteenth edition, (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, inc., 1993), volume 25, pages 75-98 {The subsections were separate articles in earlier editions. See the subsection "Astrology" by David Pingree, who is probably America's most notable historian of astrology. The bibliography is also quite useful.}
Realenzyklopädie der classischen Altertums Wissenschaft, ed., Pauly, August Friedrich, et al. (Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 1972) {Commonly called Pauly- Wissowa, this is the ultimate example of Germanic scholarship. It is 88 volumes on every imaginable aspect of Greco-Roman society, including astrology. There is also an abridged version, the Kleine Pauly and reputedly a New Pauly, completely up-dated, in the offing.}
Religion Index, ed., Albert Hurd, et al. (Evanston, IL: American Theological Library Association, 1949-present) {This is the premier U. S. bibliography of works in religion, and a good source for recent works on astrology. Called Index to Religious Periodical Literature until 1974, since then it has taken the form of separate serials, Religion Index One: Periodicals, Religion Index Two: Multi-author Works, and Index to Book Reviews in Religion. A series of retrospective volumes cover the years 1949-1959. Wilson also publishes a version on CD-ROM and it is available on-line through Dialogue.}
Revue bibliographique de sinologie (Paris et LaHaye: Mouton, 1955-) {publishes English and French abstracts of publications in Chinese}
Rowe, Win, "[Historical Bibliography of astrology]," archived at FTP site in the directory pub/astrology {Rowe has compiled a sizeable bibliography of astrology, and made it available electronically. His interests are as much technical as historical, but he does provide valuable information on authors and works associated with the modern revival of scientific astrology.}
Saxl, Fritz, Verzeichnis der astrologischen und mythologischen illustrierten Handschriften des lateinischen mittelalters ..., 3 volumes in 4 (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1915-53) {Associated with the Warburg Institute, Saxl here catalogs Medieval Latin manuscripts with astrological and astronomical illuminations. A good source on the later use of astrological symbolism.}
Stierlin, Henri, L'Astrologie et le Pouvoir de Platon a Newton (Paris: Payot, 1986) {An excellent account of astrological symbolism used for political and religious symbolism in Greco-Roman, Islamic, Byzantine societies. Discusses, e.g., Nero's cosmic dining hall in the Golden House, the cosmic throne chamber of Khusrau, and much else. Comparable to L'Orange. No references to synagogue zodiacs, but worth reading and considering for articles, revisions, etc. A German translation, Astrologie und Herrschaft, also exists.}
Sullivan, Lawrence E., ed., Hidden Truths: Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult. Religion, History, and Culture. Selections from The Encyclopedia of Religion, ed. Mircea Eliade (NY: Macmillan Publ. Co., 1987, 1989) {Very good. Contains all the articles on the occult from the Encyclopedia of Religion. good bibliographies follow each article.}
Tester, S. J., A History of Western Astrology (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 1987; Ballantine, 1988) {A good history by a distinguished classicist, emphasizing scientific astrology, but weak on astrological religion and symbolism. "This is without a doubt the best book in its field. Its excellencies are most apparent in developing a view of the relationship between calendrical and agricultural concerns, and the astrological factors stressed in the work of Claudius Ptolemy. Together with the work of David Pingree it is the key to an understanding of classical astrology. It seems to be less detached from traditional astrological points of view than Pingree, and utilizes the researches of someone like Rupert Gleadow. " --Win Rowe.}
Thorndike [or Thorndyke], Lynn, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, 8 volumes (Columbia University Press, 1923-1958) {This is a lifetime's work with detailed discussion of sources, which make it still useful in spite of it's age. The author has the positivist outlook common in his day and any remotely sexual matters are in Latin. It remains a standard reference work especially for the Latin Middle Ages and Renaissance. However, many works which he read in manuscript have since been published, e.g., Picatrix}
Vogel, Eleanor K., Bibliography of Holy Land Sites ... Compiled in Memory of Dr. Nelson Glueck, parts 1-3 (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 1982) {Excellent reference work, listing all primary publications and discussions of archaeological sites in Israel and neighboring countries, including the zodiac mosaics. These volumes were originally published in the Hebrew Union College Annual.}

Mesopotamian And Ancient Near East Sources

Astrology began in Mesopotamia. The horoscope was a late invention, but it was derived from much older practices, notably looking into the sky for omens, i.e., messages from the gods, and using astronomy to create a lunisolar calendar. Mesopotamian astrology was based upon observation, without the scientific theory which Greek astrologers used.
Baigent, Michael, From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia (London: Arkana Books = Penguin, 1994) {up-to-date popular account of Mesopotamian astrology; Baigent has written a number of kooky books in the past, such as Holy Blood, Holy Grail, but this is not like those.}
Beitzel, Barry J. and Gordon D. Young, eds., Amarna in Retrospect; A Centennial Celebration, (Winona Lake, IN: 2000?) {Extensive collective work of nearly 50 essays, studying the 336 tablets of the royal archives that shed a great deal of light on the Late Bronze Age in Syria-Palestine.}
Berossus, Berossos und die baylonisch-hellenistische Literatur, tr. and ed. Paul Schnabel (Leipzig and Berlin, 1923; repr. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968) {History of Mesopotamian civilization in Greek by a hellenized Babylonian priest of Bel, who also brought astrology to Greece. Berossus' work survives only in quotations in later works. This is a critical edition of the Greek text with a German translation and commentary. Compare Burstein's 1978 English translation.}
Berossus, The Babyloniaca of Berossus, Translated by Stanley Mayer Burstein (Malibu, CA: Undena Publications, 1978) {This is an English translation of the above without the Greek text. It includes a valuable introductory essay on Berossus and his goals.}
Berossus, Berossos and Manetho, introduced and translated: native traditions in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, by Gerald Verbrugghe (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996) {A recent text, translation and discussion}
Brown, David, Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy-Astrology (Groningen, the Netherlands: Styx Press, 2000). {Perhaps the most important recent book on the history of astrology, this dissertation demonstrates that astrology and astronomy were invented during the Neo-Assyrian dynasty, eight and seventh centuries BCE, when Mesopotamian scholars learned to predict what the planets would do in advance, rather than wait for omens. Prediction, in turn, was developed as part of the competition for royal patronage. Brown believes that this was the first example of a Kuhnian "paradigm shift." The book has other useful aspects, as well, such as the catalog of Mesopotamian names given to stars and planets in cuneiform sources or the evidence that the omens in the reference books were largely invented, not observed. Chief drawback: an unusually dense and difficult style, even for a doctoral dissertation in Assyriology.
Craig, James Alexander, Astrological-astronomical texts, copied from the original tablets in the British Museum and autographed by James A. Craig. Leipzig, J. C. Hinrichs, 1899. Assyriologische Bibliothek. Bd.14, 1977 ed. (Leipzig, Zentralantiquariat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, 1977) {Valuable resources for primary sources.}
Damascius, Damaskiou diadoxou aporiai kai luseis peri ton proton archon, ed. Charles E. Ruelle (Paris: 1889) {A version of the Mesopotamian creation myth, preserved in the writings of Damascius, a Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher of the sixth century CE., calling Bêl demiurge, or Creator. No one knows for what his sources were, but his account substantially agrees with Enuma Elish, the cuneiform creation epic. Compare Heidel, 1951.}
Damascius, Traité des premiers principes, I De l'ineffable et de l'un texte établi par Leendert Westerink and traduit par Jospeh Combes, Collection G. Budé (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1986) {French translation of the above.}
Dhorme, Édouard. Les religions de Babylonie et Assyrie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1949. {Very good account of Mesopotamian religion, including astrology.}
Ebeling, Erich, "Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Beschwörungsserie Namburbi," Revue Archeologique 48 (1954): pages 113-16 {Namburbis were rituals to counter bad omens listed in Enuma Anu Enlil and similar works. Ebeling has written nine articles with the same title, with editions of various namburbis.}
Frank, K., "Bilder und Symbole babylonisch-assyrischer Götter," LSS 2, 2 (1906): pages 1-44 (Leipzig: 1906; repr. Leipzig: Zentralantiquariat, 1968) {Stars and other objects as symbols of the Mesopotamian gods in art.}
Heidel, Alexander, The Babylonian Genesis. The Story of Creation, 2nd ed. (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1951. Phoenix Books, 1963) {The standard translation of the Mesopotamian creation epic, Enuma Elish . Planets were created to help rule the universe.}
Hinke, William J., A New Boundary Stone of Nebuchadnezzar I from Nippur with a Concordance of Proper Names and a Glossary of the Kudurru inscriptions Published thus Far (Philadelphia: 1907) {This is an older work, but is one of the few discussions of the symbols, astrological and otherwise, on kudurrus. Kudurrus were Babylonian boundary stones, carved with land rental contracts and symbols of the gods guaranteeing them. Astral deities figure prominently and there may be a zodiological connection.}
Horowitz, Wayne, Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography: Mesopotamian Civilizations, 8 (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1998) {This comprehensive study examines all extant Mesopotamian texts relating to the physical universe and constituent parts. The Mesopotamian view of the universe was at once cohesive as well as discordant, while remaining fairly constant over more than 2,500 years. Of importance for both Assyriologists and those interested in the history of ideas.}
Hunger, Hermann, ed., Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings; State archives of Assyria 8, illustrations edited by Julian Reade and Simo Parpola. (Helsinki : Helsinki University Press, 1992). {Useful primary source.}
Jastrow, Morris, Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria (1911. repr. NY: Benjamin Blom, Inc., 1971) {This work is the source of Cumont's Mesopotamian information. In spite of its age, and it's association with the now-rejected pan- Babylonian theory, it is not grossly out of date, at least on astral religion.}
Jastrow, Morris, The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria (Boston: Ginn and Co., 1898) {Similar to the above.}
Koch-Westenholz, Ulla. Mesopotamian Astrology: an introduction to Babylonian and Assyrian celestial divination. (Copenhagen: Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Near Eastern Studies: Museum Tusculanum Press, University of Copenhagen, 1995) {One of the most up to date studies. Relatively easy to read, too.}
Labat, Rene, Un calendrier babylonien des travaux des signes et des moins (Series Iqqur Ippush) (Paris: Honore Champion, 1965) {A divination manual which uses astral omens along with calendar dates. This is a useful French translation.}
McLean, Charles Victor, Babylonian astrology and its relation to the Old Testament. (Toronto, The United Church Publishing House, 1929) {Somewhat dated early study of the origins of Jewish Astrology, from author's PhD Thesis, Columbia University, 1929.}
Neugebauer, Otto, Astronomy and History. Selected Essays (NY: Springer Verlag, 1983) {An excellent collection of Neugebauer's essays. Neugebauer was one of the greatest historians of science, practically creating the history of Mesopotamian mathematics and astronomy. He has much to say on astrology as well.}
Neugebauer, Otto, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity (2nd ed., Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1957.) {The best introductory book on astronomy and mathematics in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece.}
Nougayrol, J., et al., eds., La Divination en Mesopotamie ancienne et dans les regions voisines, XIVe rencontre assyriologique internationale 1965 (Paris: Presse universitaires de France, 1966) {Anthology devoted to the history of Mesopotamian methods of divination, including astrology. Contains many useful articles.}
Oppenheim, A. Leo, "A New Prayer to the `Gods of the Night,'" Analecta Biblica 12 (1959): 287-88 {Mesopotamian prayers to the planets, in the Maqlu texts, prayers meant to counter the effects of witchcraft.}
Oppenheim, A. Leo, Ancient Mesopotamia. Portrait of a Dead Civilization, Revised Edition, completed by Erica Reiner (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1977) {A very good survey of Mesopotamian civilization in general, and of the role of divination in particular.}
Parker, Richard A., A Vienna Demotic Papyrus on Eclipse- and Lunar-Omina (Brown Egyptological Studies 2. Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1959) {An Achaemenian period (sixth- fourth centuries BCE) document with Mesopotamian type astral omens.}
Parker, Richard A., and Neugebauer, Otto, Egyptian Astronomical Texts, 4 Vols., Brown University Egyptological Studies 6 (Providence, RI: Brown U. Press, 1969) {Volume III has illustrations of late Egyptian zodiacs, such as at Denderah, first century CE/BCE.}
Parpola, Simo, Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Ashshurbanipal (Kevelaer: Butzon and Bercker, 1970) {The Assyrian kings had an elaborate empire-wide network of observer, looking for astral omens. These are the letters they wrote to court on what they saw, and what rituals the king should perform to make the gods happy again. One might compare them to the reports of modern economists or pollsters in political importance. Compare Thompson, 1900.}
Pettinato, Giovanni, La scrittura celeste: la nascita dell'astrologia in Mesopotamia. (Milano : Mondadori, 1998) {Recent study from Italian scholar.}
Pingree, David, "Mesopotamian Astronomy and Astral Omens in Other Civilizations," in Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn, politische und kulturelle Wechselbeziehungen im altem Vorderasien vom 4-1 Jahrtausend v. Chr., XXV Rencontre assyriologique internationale, Hans-Jörd Nissen and Johannes Renger, eds. (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1982), pages 613-31. {An excellent survey.}
Pingree, David, and Hunger, Hermann, Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999) {A new survey by two of the leading scholars of astrology}
Reiner, Erica, "The Uses of Astrology," Journal of the American Oriental Society 105 (1985): 589-95 {Featured address to the annual conference of the American Oriental Society, this is a good survey of the broader aspects of Mesopotamian astrology, including the astrological properties of plants, stones, etc.}
Reiner, Erica, and Pingree, David, Enuma Anu Enlil, Part 1: Tablet 63: The Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica, ed., Giorgio Buccelati (Malibu: Undena Publications, 1975) {Enuma Anu Enlil was the standard reference work on Mesopotamian astral omens and what they meant, and constantly cited by the Assyrian observer corps. Reiner and Pingree are slowly publishing a critical edition of the work. The work, per se, dates to the Neo-Assyrian empire, ninth through seventh centuries BCE. This section preserves observations from the grandson of Hammurabi, in the eighteenth century BC.}
Reiner, Erica, and Pingree, David, Babylonian Planetary Omens, Part 2: Enuma Anu Enlil (Malibu: Undena Publications, 1981) {Continuation of the above.}
Reiner, Erica, and Pingree, David, Babylonian Planetary Omens, Part 3, Cuneiform Monographs 11 (Groeningen: Styx Publs., 1998) {The long-awaited third fascicle}
Reiner, Erica, Shurpu, a Collection of Sumerian and Akkadian Incantations, Archiv fuer Orientforschung, ed. Ernst Weidner, Beiheft 11 (Graz, 1958. repr. Osnabrueck: Biblio Verlag, 1970) {This corpus includes prayers and sacrifices to the planet-gods.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, "Babylonian Horoscopes and their Sources," Orientalia NS (1989): 102-23 {More cuneiform horoscopes. Compare Sachs, 1952.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, "Benefics and Malefics in Babylonian Astrology," A. Sachs Memorial Volume (Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1993) {Explains the usual order of the planets in Mesopotamian texts as related to the planets' natures, favorable or hostile.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, "Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology," Journal of the American Oriental Society 108.1 (1988): pages 51-62 {Demonstrate how the doctrines of the hupsomata, dodekatemoria, and the trine aspect began in Mesopotamia.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, "New Evidence for the History of Astrology," Journal of Near Eastern Studies 43 (1984): pages 115-140 {The text of an Achaemenian period tablet BM36746 and an explanation of how it bridges gap between Mesopotamian and Greek astrology. Very important! Rochberg- Halton has done path- breaking research in recent years on Mesopotamian scientific astrology, particularly with practices hitherto known only in Hellenistic versions.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, "TCL 6 13: Mixed Traditions in Late Babylonian Astrology," Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie (1987): pages 207-28. {Tablet showing a mixture of Mesopotamian and Greek practices in scientific astrology.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Eclipse Tablets of Enuma Anu Enlil (Horn, Austria: Ferdinand Berger & Sohne, 1988) {This is Rochberg-Halton's dissertation, an edition of lunar omens in Enuma Anu Enlil. Also discusses Enuma Anu Enlil outside Mesopotamia.}
Rochberg-Halton, Francesca, ed., Language, Literature and History: Philological, and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner, American Oriental Studies, Vol. 67 (New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society, 1987) {Festschrift for Erica Reiner, with astrological essays.}
Sachs, A., "Babylonian Horoscopes," Journal of Cuneiform Studies 6 (1952): pages 47-100 {Publishes all cuneiform horoscopes known to 1952.}
Saggs, H. W. F., The Greatness that was Babylon: A Sketch of the Ancient Civilization of the Tigris-Euphrates Valley (New York and Scarborough, Ontario: Mentor Books, New American Library, 1962, 1968) {A good standard survey of Mesopotamian civilization. The chapter on science has a useful introduction to astrology.}
Sayce, A. H., Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians, with translations of the tablets relating to these subjects. (San Diego: Wizards Bookshelf, 1981) {Useful reference with some analysis. The date on this edition is deceptive; Sayce was a 19th century pioneer Assyriologist}
Seidl, Ursula, "Die babylonischen Kudurru-reliefs," Deutsche Achäologisches Institut Abteilung Baghdad, Baghdader Mitteilungen 4 (1968): pages 7-220, and plates 1-32 {A recent discussion of the iconography of kudurrus, including astral symbols.}
Slanski, Kathryn, A Study in the Form and Function of the Babylonian Kudurrus. (PhD dissertation submitted to Harvard University, November, 1997. Publication pending with ASOR) {One of the most recent studies on kudurrus, including a discussion of the astral images.}
Tuman, Victor S., "Astronomical Dating of the Nebuchadnezzar kudurru found in February, 1896," Nippur at the Centennial: Papers read at the 35e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Philadelphia: The University Museum, 1988, 281-295; Tuman "Immortality etched in stone", Griffith Observer 50/1 (1986) 10-19. {Tuman's work is extremely suspect.}
van Soldt, W.H., Solar Omens of Enuma Anu Enlil: Tablets 23(24)-29(30) (Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut, Istanbul, 1995 [Publication de l'Institut historique-archaéologique néerlandais de Stamboul, nr. LXXII]) {cf. Reiner 's and Pingree's edition of EAE; "also, E.F. Weidner's articles in Archiv fuer Orientforschung}
Wilfred H. van Soldt, Solar Omens of Enuma Anu Enlil: Tablets 23 (24) - 29 (30) (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1995. {A more recent study of solar omens.}
Thompson, R. Campbell, Late Babylonian Tablets in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (London: 1922) {A classic discussion astral divination in Mesopotamia. Contains primary sources, tablets in translation.}
Thompson, R. Campbell, The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon, The Original Texts, printed in cuneiform characters, edited tr., notes, vocab., index, and an intro., Luzac's Semitic Texts and Translations Series, Vol. VII (London: Luzac, 1900, reprinted New York: AMS Press, 1977) {These are the official reports of the Assyrian corps of omen observer, with many references to Enuma Anu Enlil. Compare Parpola, 1970.}

Greek And Roman Astrology

Greeks played an important role in the development of most astrological practices and thinking. It was Hellenistic Greeks who picked up a Mesopotamian practice, reformulated it in the light of their own science and philosophy, and created the phenomenon which has conquered the world. All later astrology is Greek astrology, whether artistic symbolism or practical techniques for improving one's luck.
Alföldi, A., and Alföldi, E., Die Kontorniat-Medaillons (Berlin: de Gruyter and Co., 1976) {Coin-like tokens with pix of gods; one of Sol Invictus is much like Hammath-Tiberias's sun- god}
Amand, D., Fatalisme et liberte dans l'antiquite grecque; Recherches sur la survivance de l'argumentation anti-fataliste de Carneade chez les philosophes grecs et les theologiens Chretiens des quatre premiers siècles (Louvain: Dissertation, 1945) {The classic work on philosophical arguments for and against astrology. Carneades formulated the key anti-astrology arguments, which were followed by most later anti-astrology writers, Christian and non-Christian. Compare Sextus Empiricus.}
Anson, Leo, Numismata Graeca. Greek Coin Types of for Immediate Identification, Pts. I-VI (London: L. Anson, 1910-1916) {A good source for astrological coins; Part VI is on science and the arts, including astronomy}
Aristotle, On Coming To Be and Passing Away [de Generatione et Corruptione], LCL, tr. E. S. Forster, M.A. (London: Wm. Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935; repr. 1969) {An influential work on physics by the most influential Greek scientist. Aristotle's physics was frequently used as the theoretical backing for "scientific" astrology. Compare Claudius Ptolemy.}
Aristotle, On the Cosmos [de Mundo], LCL, tr. D. J. Furley, M.A. (London: Wm. Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955; repr. 1965, 1978) {Probably this is not genuinely by Aristotle, but it has still been influential. It is a good example of Stoic physics, also used as theoretical backing for "scientific" astrology.}
Aristotle, On the Heavens [de Caelo], LCL, tr. W. K. C. Guthrie (London: Wm. Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1939) {An influential work on physics by the most influential Greek scientist. Aristotle's physics was frequently used as the theoretical backing for "scientific" astrology. Compare Claudius Ptolemy.}
Beck, Roger, "Mithraism Since Franz Cumont," Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt II.17.4 (NY: W. de Gruyter, 1984), 2002-15 {Cumont wrote influential books, at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, on the roman era mystery religion of Mithras, which used astrological art for religious symbolism. Beck's bibliography is a useful account of research in the last hundred years. Compare Cumont, Campbell, Ulansey.}
Beck, Roger, Planetary Gods and Planetary Orders in the Mysteries of Mithras (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1988) {A published dissertation on a religious movement which prominently featured astrological art and symbolism. Good bibliography}
Campbell, L. A. Mithraic Iconography and Ideology (Leiden: Brill, 1968) {More on astrological art and symbolism in the popular Roman religious movement.}
Capelle, W., "Älteste Spuren der Astrologie der Griechen," Hermes 60 (1925): 373-95 {Adoption of astrology by Greeks from Mesopotamians.}
Censorinus, Censorini de die natali liber, ed. Fredericus Hultsch (Lipsiae: in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1867) {Ancient Greek work on how to cast horoscopes. Chapter 17 tells how Berossus brought astrology to Greece. Chapter 18.14 describes Mesopotamian calculations methods used by Greeks. cf. Neugebauer, 1957; Tester, 1987, 16.}
Closs, A., Die Steinbücher in kultürhistorischer Überschau, Joanneum. Mineralogisches Mitteilungensblatt 1, 34 seiten (Graz: 1958) {Hellenistic works on the astrological properties of stones, etc.}
Colledge, Malcolm A. R., The Art of Palmyra, Studies in Ancient Art and Archaeology, Gen. Ed., Prof. D. E. Strong (London: Thames and Hudson; Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1976) {Palmyra was a rich caravan city, which used a great deal of astrological art in its official religion. Very good illustrations and bibliography. See particularly the zodiac relief from the temple of Bel. Colledge is probably the most notable student of the history and art of the Parthian Empire.}
Cornford, F. M., Plato's Cosmology: The "Timaeus" of Plato with a Running Commentary (Indianapolis; London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1945) {A commentary on a work influential on astral religion.}
Cramer, Frederick H., Astrology in Roman Law and Politics, (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1954) {An excellent account of astrology in Roman history, down to the end of the High Empire. The author promises, in notes, a sequel taking story down to Constantine, but it seems never to have appeared. Good bibliographies, many good illustrations.}
Cumont, Franz, "Le mysticime astral dans l'antiquite," Bulletins de l'academie royale des sciences, des lettres, et des beaux-arts de Belgique (1909): 256-279. {An important aspect of astrological religious symbolism by an important scholar.}
Cumont, Franz, "Les noms des planetes et l'astrolatrie chez les Grecs." L'antiquite classique 4 (1935): pp. 5-45. {Astral religion among the Greeks. Still the standard account, despite its age. Note that the cuneiform signs for the god he equates with Saturn are now read Ninurta, not Ninib.}
Cumont, Franz, Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans (New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1912; repr., NY: Dover, 1960) {The best single book on history of astrology in ancient society and religion. In spite of its age, it has not been replaced.}
Cumont, Franz, L'Egypte des astrologues (Brussells: Fondation egyptologiques reine Elizebeth, 1937) {Astrology as a source for social history.}
Cumont, Franz, Les Religions orientales dans le paganisme romain, 4th edition (Paris: Librairie orientaliste Paul Guethner, 1929) {An older standard reference work. Very good on the religious aspects of magic and astrology.}
Cumont, Franz, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, second edition (Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Co., 1911; repr. NY: Dover, 1960) {English translation of an earlier edition of the above.}
Cumont, Franz, Monumenta Mysteriae Mithraicae {The first collection of Mithraic astrological art. Compare Vermaseren, Corpus, 1965.}
Cumont, Franz, Textes et monuments figures relatifs aux mystères de Mithra (Brussels: 1899) {Corpus of Mithraic writings and art.}
Curtis, Col. James W., "Coinage of Roman Egypt: A Survey; Ch. IV: Mythology and the Zodiac," The Numismatist 69 (1956): 402-8 {Astrological coins in plates 27-8 with text describing them.}
Dicks, D. R. Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970) {Perhaps the best book on early greek astronomy, and pre-cursors of astrology.}
Dillon, John. The Middle Platonists: 80 BC to AD 220. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977. {Survey of an important philosophical school. Very good on spirits, astral religion, and their philosophical justifications.}
Dorotheus Sidonius, Carmen Astrologicum, Interpretationem Arabicum in lingvam Anglicam versam vna cvm Dorothei fragmentis et Graecis et Latinis, edidit D. Pingree (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1976) {Critical text, translations, and commentary of an influential astrological writer, by the most notable contemporary historian of astrology. Dorotheus is particularly important for "elections," that is, selecting the best astrological moment to begin some activity. Win Rowe notes that he was a contemporary of Jesus, in a neighboring region.}
Drijvers, H. J. W., Cults and Beliefs at Edessa (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980) {Edessa was an important commercial center in Roman Syria. Astral religion was an important part of its civic religion. Drijvers is an important scholar of the religion of the Roman Near East.}
Drijvers, H. J. W., The Religion of Edessa (Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1976) {Similar to the above.}
Drijvers, H. J. W. The Religion of Palmyra. Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1976. {Palmyra was the greatest caravan city, which emphasized the astral aspect of its civic religion. Compare Colledge, 1976.}
Empiricus, Sextus. Adversus Astrologos in Adversus Mathamaticos 5, Loeb Classical Library, ed. and trans., R. G. Bury (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1949) {This work summarizes the most common philosophical arguments against "scientific" astrology. Compare Amand, Hippolytus of Rome.}
Festugière, André Marie Jean. La revelation d'Hermes Trismegiste, 4 Volumes. Paris: Lecoffre, 1949-1954. {Hermes Trismegistus was a mythical person, credited with writing a large variety of popular philosophical and occult works. This work thoroughly reviews most hermetic works. Vol. 1 is on astrological hermetica. An appendix by Louis Massignon discusses Arabic hermetism.}
Green, Tamara M. The City of the Moon God ; Religious Traditions of Harran, Religions in the Graeco-Roman World [formerly EPRO] Vol. 114 (NY, Leiden, Köln: E. J. Brill, 1992) {A good recent book on Harran and it's important astral cultus in the Later Roman Empire. Good bibliography.}
Gundel, H. G., Weltbild und Astrologie in den griechischen Zauberpapyri (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1968) {A good discussion of one prominent use for astrological religion.}
Gundel, Wilhelm, and Gundel, H. G., Astrologoumena: die astrologische Literatur in der Antike und ihre Geschichte (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1966) {A very good book-length bibliographical essay, discussing nearly all known astrological works from the Greco-Roman world.}
Gundel, Wilhelm, Dekane und Dekansternbilder (Glückstadt und Hamburg: J. J. Augustin, 1936) {Decans are subdivisions of the zodiac, three to each sign, and were important in astrological medicine and magic. This is the classic account of the decans and is quite well-illustrated.}
Hajjar, Yousseff, La triade d'Heliopolis-Baalbek; Iconographie, Theologie, Culte, et Sanctuaires (Montreal: Université de Montreal, 1985) {Zeus of Baalbek was usually shown in a robe with the planet gods on it, proclaiming him the Lord of Heaven. This is an important collection of astrological religious art.}
Heliodorus. Heliodori, ut dicitur, in Paulum Alexandrinum commentarium, ed. A. E. Boer, Interpretationes astronomicas addiderunt O. Neugebauer and D. Pingree (Leipzig: Teubner, 1962) {Fifth century CE commentary on Paul of Alexandria by another well-known astrologer. This is a detailed work on casting and interpreting horoscopes.}
Hephaistion, Hephaistionis Thebani Apotelesmaticorum libri tres, 2 Vols., ed. David Pingree (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1973-74) {Hephaistion was a well- known astrologer. This work discusses connections between stars and exta, an animal's internal organs at section}
Höpfner, Theodor, Griechisch-ägyptischer Offenbarungszauber, Studien zur Paläographie und Papyruskunde, ed. C. Wessely, 21, 1921 and 23, 1924 (Leipzig: H. Hässel, 1921-24) {A major discussion of astrological magic, along much else. He also wrote a article in Pauly-Wissowa.}
Hübner, Wolfgang, Die Eigenschaften der Tierkreiszeichen in der Antike. Ihre Darstellung und Verwendung unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Manilius, Sudhoff's Archiv, Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft Beihefte, Heft 22 (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1982) {Discussion of the zodiac signs. Good bibliography, pp. 653-42.}
Julian the Apostate, Hymn to Helios, tr. Wilmer Cave Wright, The Works of Julian the Apostate, 3 Vols. (London: William Heinemann; NY: The Macmillan Co., 1913) {A major work of astrological religion.}
Kaimakis, Dimitris, ed., Die Kyraniden (Meisenheim am Glam: Hain, 1976) {The most recent edition of an important work of astrological medicine. Good introduction and bibliography.}
L'Orange, H. P., Studies in the Iconography of Cosmic Kingship in the Ancient World (Oslo: 1953) {A god in zodiac ring represents a supreme god, or a supreme king. Excellent argument, excellent notes.}
Luck, Georg, Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds, A Collection of Texts, Translated, Annotated and Introduced by Georg Luck (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1985) {A very good collection of texts in translation, including astrological texts. Good bibliography.}
Macmillan, Ramsay, Enemies of the Roman Order; Treason, Unrest and Alienation in the Empire (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966) {Very good on the political and social role of astrology. If there had been a Roman equivalent of the House Un- American Activities Committee, they would have investigated astrologers, M. says}
Manilius, Astronomica, trans. G. P. Good, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: Wm. Heinemann, 1977) {Written in the first century CE, this is one of the oldest surviving works on scientific astrology, besides one of few written in Latin. Manilius was a competitor with Virgil and Lucretius in writing popular science.}
Manilius, M. Magnolia Astronomicon, 4 vols., ed. A. E. Houseman (London: 1903-1930) {A critical edition of the Latin text. Houseman is probably better known to most readers as a poet than a classical scholar.}
Maternus, Julius Firmicus, Mathesis; Ancient Astrology, Theory and Practice trans. Jean Rhys Bram, (Park Ridge, Jew Jersey, Noyes Press, 1975 {Firmicus was the other well-known Latin writer on astrology, and lived in the fourth century CE. "He achieves almost no astrological influence in his own day, but his works directly transmit late Hellenistic astrological methods to the renaissance practitioners, by-passing arab influence, (and also in another sense paving the way for them). He is the best (most complete) source for the doctrine of the antiscia, see p. 58 and on, of the work. The Mathesis also contains a copy of the famous Thema Mundi, the horoscope of the creation. Firmicus Maternus is essentially a literary astrologer...." -- Win Rowe.}
Mely-Ruelle, Ch. de, Lapidaires grecs (Paris: 1898) {The signs and the astrological properties of stones, used in astrological medicine and magic.}
Murray, Gilbert, Five Stages of Greek Religion, 3rd ed. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1955) {Includes astrology as a religion.}
Nechepso and Petosiris, De Nechepsonis-Petosiridis Isagoge quaestiones selectae, ed. C. Darmstadt (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1916) {Nechepso and Petosiris were the inventors of astrology, according to one Greek legend. The work published under their name popularized Hellenistic astrology. This work gathers fragmentary quotations in later authors.}
Nechepso, and Petosiris, Nechepso et Petosiridis fragmenta magica, ed. E. Riess (Philologus Supplementband 6, Göttingen, 1891-93), pp. 327-88. {A rival attempt to collect the fragments of Nechepso and Petosiris.}
Neugebauer, Otto, and van Hoesen, H. B., Greek Horoscopes, Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society Held in Philadelphia for the Promoting of Useful Knowledge, V. 48 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1959) {Q 11 .P612 v.48 folio. This is a collection of all known Greek horoscopes, in translation, thus is an important source. The glossary is one of the best introductions to the terminology of "scientific" astrology.}
Nilsson, Martin P., Geschichte der griechischen Religion, 2 Vols., 3d ed., Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft V.2 (Munich: Beck, 1955) {The classic work; good references to astrology on pages 268-80, 486-519.}
Plato, Epinomis, in Plato, Complete Works, 8 Volumes, translated by W. R. M, Lamb, Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955) {This work may not be genuinely by Plato, but it belongs to the Platonic tradition of astral religion. The stars are explicitly called gods in section 984a.}
Plato, Laws, in Plato, Complete Works, 8 Volumes, translated by W. R. M, Lamb. Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955) {This is Plato's second ideal state, after Republic, and perhaps his last work. In section 10:899b, the planets are called divine.}
Plato, Timaeus, in Plato, Complete Works, 8 Volumes, translated by W. R. M, Lamb, Loeb Classical Library (London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955) {This work contains a famous creation myth, which became the equivalent of Genesis for Greek astral religion. A very influential work.}
Salzmann, Michele Renne, On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity, Transformation of the Classical Heritage XVII (Berkeley, CA: U. of Cal. Pr., 1990) {good up-to-date discussion of astrological calendar of 354 CE; cf. Stern, 1953}
Sennak, Labubna Bar, The Teaching of Addai, trans. George Howard, Society of Biblical Literature Texts and Translations 16; Early Christian Literature Series 4 (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1981) {Describes the astrological character of the civic religion of an important city in Roman Mesopotamia. Includes Syriac text and English translation.}
Speidel, Michael, Mithras-Orion; Greek Hero and Roman Army God, EPRO 81 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1980) {Another attempt to explain the astral symbolism of this popular religious movement.}
Stern, Henri, Le calendrier de 354, étude sur son texte et ses illustrations (Paris: 1953) {Neugebauer, HAMA, 1975, 1198; 199-202: astrological art; zodiac pictures; calendar very interesting; it was an illustrated Roman calendar drawn for, perhaps, Constantius II; it includes lots of pagan imagery, not only zodiacs, but a gallus dancing to illustrate the month of Cybele's major feast; original evidently survived down to C16; then destroyed in a library fire, but fortunately not before several copies made; Stern's books is a marvel of scholarship from every point of view; now cf. Salzmann, 1990}
Strabo, The Geography of Strabo, with an English Translation by Horace Leonard Jones, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1930) {Section 16.1.6 describes astronomy and astrology in Hellenistic Mesopotamia. Strabo lived late first century BCE.}
Suetonius, C. Tranquillus, Lives of the Caesars, Loeb Classical Library, 2 Vols., tr. J. C. Rolfe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1913; repr. 1989) {The life of Tiberius tells of his addiction to astrology. This is the source of much in the popular TV series I, Claudius.}
Tubach, Jürgen, Im Schatten de Sonnen Gottes; Der Sonnenkult in Edessa, Harran und Hatra am Vorabend der christlichen Mission (Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1986) {Discussion of worship of the Sun-god in Roman Syria and Mesopotamia. Outstanding bibliography, pages 489-529.}
Ulansey, David, The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries; Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, 1989) {Another attempt to explain the astrological symbolism of Mithraism. The cult image, the Tauroctony was a map of heavens, while Mithras was the constellation Perseus. good bibliography.}
Vermaseren, M. J., Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentum Religionis Mithraicae (The Hague: M. Nijhof, 1956) {After Cumont, this is the chief collection of Mithraic astrological art.}
Vermaseren, M. J., Mithras, the Secret God {A good popular book by a major authority.}

Jewish Astrology

Astrology was a problem for Jewish thinkers. The Bible appears to forbid worship of the heavenly bodies, and of looking to them for knowledge of the future. At the same time, the Biblical writers sometimes used them as symbols of divine power and plans for the future. Before the Babylonian exile, Mesopotamian astral omen watching was known only as a foreign practice. After Hellenistic astrology was developed, Hellenistic Jews re- interpreted it in a monotheistic way, making the stars into angels, superhuman assistants of God. As such, they made good visual substitutes for the Almighty in art.
Allegro, John Marco, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert, V: Qumran Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968) {DJD is the official publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Pages, 88-91 give a fragmentary astrological document, fragment 4Q186 [also 4Qcryptic], analyzing personality by means of astrologically determined physical appearance. Compare Eisenman and Wise, 1993 and Vermes, 1987.}
Altman, Alexander, "Astrology," Encyclopedia Judaica, III, ed.-in-chief, Cecil Roth (Jerusalem, NY: Macmillan, 1971-72), cols. 788-95 {The Encyclopedia Judaica should be one's first reference source for almost anything Judaic. The article on Astrology is brief, thorough, and reliable. Compare the article on "Astronomy.".}
Bischoff, Erich, Kabbala : An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism and Its Secret Doctrine (Weiser Classics Series, 1985) {An introduction, but is confusing and leaves more questions unanswered than answered.}
Dobin, Rabbi Joel C., The Astrological Secrets of the Hebrew Sages; To Rule Both Day and Night (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 1977, 1983). {The entire book is a very instructive example of how one may reconcile rabbinic and astrological traditions in the modern world.}
Enoch, 1 (Ethiopic Apocalypse of) trans. E. Isaac, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume I, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pp. 5-90. {I Enoch dates to perhaps third century BCE, and emphasizes the role of angels as powers in nature, including the planets, under God's command; a striking example of Judaic religious astrology.}
Enoch, 2 (Slavonic Apocalypse of) Enoch, trans. F. I. Anderson, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume I, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pages 91-221. {The exact date and provenance of II Enoch is unknown, but planet angels are important.}
Enoch, 3 (Hebrew Apocalypse of) Enoch, tr. P. Alexander. In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume I, ed., James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), pages 223-316. {In this work, dating to the fifth or sixth centuries CE, Enoch is promoted to chief angel. A classic of rabbinic angelology.}
Artapanus, "The Fragments of Artapanus." Translated by John J. Collins. In The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha. Edited by James H. Charlesworth. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983, II, pages 897-902. {Artapanus was a Jewish writer who claimed that Moses invented astrology.}
Avi-Yonah, Michael, Art in Ancient Palestine. Selected Studies, Collected and Prepared for Republication by Hannah Katzenstein and Yoram Tsafrir (Jerusalem: The Hebrew University, The Magnes Press, 1981) {Collected essays on ancient art history. Discussions of the zodiac mosaics included.}
Beer, Arthur, "Astronomy," Encyclopedia Judaica, Vol. III (Jerusalem: Keter. NY: Macmillan, 1971), columns 795-808 {Ref H DS 102.8 .E496. Good companion to the article on "Astrology."}
Charles, R. H., ed., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 Volumes, English translation, with introductions and critical and explanatory notes, in conjunction with many scholars (Oxford: 1913) {Those ancient Jewish writings not included in the Hebrew or Christian Bibles are collectively called "apocrypha" or "pseudepigrapha." This was the standard collection in English until recently. Compare Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.}
Charlesworth, James H., "Jewish Interest in Astrology During the Hellenistic and Roman Periods," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II 20.2, ed. W. Haase (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1987), pages 926-49. {Useful survey of the evidence and sources.}
Charlesworth, James H., ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 Volumes (Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1983) {The pseudepigrapha are ancient Jewish writings which are not included in Jewish or Christian Bibles. This is the standard collection of English translations, with good introductions and bibliographies. It contains astrological documents including the Treatise of Shem and the Testament of Solomon, the fragments of Artapanus and Eupolemus, as well as First, Second, and Third Enoch, which have much to say about the stars as angels.}
Dead Sea Scrolls, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, trans. Geza Vermes, 3rd Edition (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1987) {This is the preferred translation of those Dead Sea Scrolls published up till 1987. It included several astrological documents. The Qumran sectarians may have used astrology to screen applicants.}
Dead Sea Scrolls, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered. The First Complete Translation and Interpretation of 50 Key Documents withheld over 35 Years, by Robert H. Eisenmann and Michael Wise (NY: Penguin Books, 1993) {This edition contains translations of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments published since 1987. Some of Eisenman's interpretations are rather controversial, but should not affect translated astrological documents here.}
Dobin, Joel C., To Rule Both Day and Night. Astrology in the Bible, Midrash, and Talmud (NY: Inner Traditions International, 1977) {Dobin is an American rabbi who practices astrology and claims that it is the only future for Judaism. Eccentric but stimulating, it is the only book I know which is really explicit about the Judaic system of interpretation. Although it is quite ahistorical, it does give guidance to discussions of astrology in classic rabbinic literature. There has been a 1983 reprint with a slightly different title.}
Dothan, Moshe, "The Representation of Helios in the Mosaic of Hammath-Tiberias," in Atti del Convegno internazionale sul tema: Tardo antico e alto medievo, Roma 4-7 aprile 1967. Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Quaderno No. 105 (Rome: 1968), pages 99-104. {Dothan is a distinguished Israeli archaeologist, and the excavator of the Hammath-Tiberias synagogue zodiac.}
Dothan, Moshe, "The Synagogue at Hammath-Tiberias," in Ancient Synagogues Revealed, ed. Lee I. Levine Detroit: Wayne State University Press. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society), pages 63-69. {A useful article first published in Hebrew in the popular journal Qadmoniot. Good color photographs.}
Ginzberg, Louis, The Legends of the Jews, 7 Volumes, trans. Harold Szold (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909-28; Reprint, 1968) {A very useful compilation derived from a wide variety of sources. A detailed index allows one to, e.g., find the classic stories of Abraham as astrologer, while detailed notes give references to where the original versions may be found.}
Goodenough, E. R., Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. 13 Volumes. NY: Pantheon. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1953-68. {A magnificent corpus of ancient Judaic art, with most of the astrological art- works known. Goodenough was one of the greatest historians of ancient Judaism, but in this work tends to see astrology where no one else does. Very few are persuaded by his theory that a Judaic mystery religion was the ancestor of Christianity.}
Goodenough, E. R., Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, Abridged Edition, ed., with a foreword, by Jacob Neusner (Princeton University Press, 1988) {This abridgement of Goodenough's magnum opus has the entire astrology section. Jacob Neusner is himself a very distinguished historian of ancient Judaism.}
Solomon, "Hygromancie of Rehoboam," Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, Volume VIII.2, ed. J. Heeg (Brussels: 1911), 143-65. {Greek text of "Solomon's" Letter of Rehoboam, which see. An important Jewish text of astral religion and magic.}
Hübner, Wolfgang, Zodiacus Christianus. Jüdisch-christliche Adaptionen des Tierkreises von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 144 (Königstein: Hain, 1983) {Ways in which Jews and Christians adapted the zodiac to their own purposes. Index of biblical references as well as a bibliography, pages 231-38. Hübner has written several good books on ancient astrology.}
Jeffers, A. "Magic and Divination in Ancient Palestine and Syria" (S. Ribichini) in Rivista di Studi Fenici e Supplemento: Ultime Pubblicazioni, Sul fascicolo 2 del volume XXVI (1998) della Rivista di Studi Fenici I: pp. 243-246. F. Mazza - S. Ribichini, Bibliografia. 26: pp. 247-68.
Josephus, Flavius, Complete Works, 9 Volumes, tr. H. St. John Thackeray, Loeb Classical Library (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. London: William Heinemann, 1926-63) {Josephus is the most important Jewish historian of the Greco-Roman period, and his corpus a cave of treasures filled with information found nowhere else. He identifies symbolism in the Jerusalem temple with astrological elements. The seven branches of the menorah are the seven planets, for example, while the veil in front of the Holy of Holies is embroidered with the zodiac.}
Lehmann, M. B., "New Light on Astrology in Qumran and the Talmud," Revue de Qumran 8.4 (1975): 599-602. {The zodiac mosaics are not astrological because Talmud forbids astrology. His real assumption is that his ancestors could not do something as embarrassing as practice astrology. This is a false assumption: astrology was quite respectable in antiquity.}
Löw, Leopold, "Die Astrologie in der biblischen, thalmudischen, und nachthalmudischen Zeit," Ben Chananja. Wochenblatt für jüdische Theology 6 (1863): cols. 401-08, 431-35. {A classic analysis of astrology in rabbinic literature.}
Maier, Johann, "Die Sonne im religiösen Denken des antiken Judentums," Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.19.1, ed. W. Haase (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1979) 346-412. {Good discussion of a prominent aspect of astral religion.}
Mazar, Benjamin, et al., The Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Holy Land, 2 Volumes (Jerusalem: Massada, 1971) {Standard reference work on archaeology in Israel and neighboring lands. Contains discussions of the synagogue zodiac mosaics and their sites.}
Merchavya, Chen, "Razim, Sefer Ha-," Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume XIII (NY: Macmillan, 1971), columns 1594-95 {A good survey of an important work of astrological magic from the fourth or fifth centuries CE.}
Merrill, E. H., Qumran and Predestination (Leiden: Brill, 1975) {Discussion of how the Qumran sectarians used astrology.}
Milik, J. T., Ten Years of Discoveries in the Judaean Desert tr. J. Strugnell (London: SCM. Naperville, IL: A. R. Allenson, 1959) {Survey of research from discovery, including astrological documents. See pages 42 and 119.}
Niggemeyer, J.-H., Beschwörungsformeln aus dem "Buch der Geheimnisse," Zur Topologie der magischen Rede, Judaistische Texte und Studien 3 (Hildesheim, NY: Georg Olms Verlag, 1975) {Detailed discussion of Sepher Ha-Razim and comparison with non- Jewish magical texts.}
Pesikta Rabbati, tr. William G. Braude, Yale Judaica Series, Volumes 18-19 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968) {A collection of early rabbinic homilies. See section 20. 27-8 for astrological references.}
Philo of Alexandria, Complete Works, Tr. R. Marcus, Loeb Classical Library, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1953) {Philo was an important Jewish Platonist philosopher, roughly contemporary with Jesus, who saw astrological references in Jewish religious artifacts. The twelve stones in the High Priest's breastplate, for example, represent the twelve signs as well as the twelve tribes.}
Rubenstein, Rosemary, Incorporation of the Zodiac in Some Synagogues During the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Centuries of the Common Era (Drew University: MA Thesis, 1983) {Brief account of rabbinic period astrology. No reference to astrological religion.}
Schürer, Emil, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.-A.D. 135), 3 Volumes, A New English Version, Revised and Edited by Geza Vermes and Fergus Millar, Literary Editor Pamela Vermes, Organizing Editor, Matthew Black (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, Ltd., 1973-1987) {Updated and thoroughly revised version of a classic survey, including discussions of nearly all primary literature surviving from the period. The segment by P. S. Alexander, "Incantations and Books of Magic," with its bibliography, Volume III, pages 342-7, is particularly valuable.}
Sedgewick, Charlalee Bailey, Discussions of the Meaning of the Zodiac in Ancient Palestinian Synagogues (University of Georgia, 1976) {Found in "First Search," on-line reference. I have not read it personally. 91 leaves.}
Sepher Ha-Razim. The Book of Mysteries, Michael A. Morgan, tr., Society of Biblical Literature, Texts and Translations, 25, Pseudepigrapha Series 11 (Chico, CA: Scholar's Press, 1983) {A translation of a famous work of rabbinic angel magic. Composed about 300 CE, and thus contemporary with the synagogue zodiacs, it invokes the planet-gods Aphrodite (Venus) and Helios (the Sun) with their Greek names, although written in Hebrew. Morgan's translation contains an excellent introduction and footnotes.}
Sepher Ha-Razim: A Newly Recovered Book of Magic from the Talmudic Period, Collected from Genizah Fragments and Other Sources, [Title and text in Hebrew] edited with introduction and annotation by Mordecai Margalioth (Jerusalem: Yediot Aharonot, 1966) {This is the Hebrew text which Morgan translated.}
Shanks, Herschel, Judaism in Stone: The Archaeology of Ancient Synagogues, preface by Yigael Yadin (NY: Harper and Row. Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1979) {Shanks is editor of the popular journal Biblical Archaeology Review. This popular work contains excellent color photographs of the synagogue zodiacs.}
Shem, "Rylands Syriac MS 44 and a New Addition to the Pseudepigrapha: the Treatise of Shem, Discussed and Translated," by James H. Charlesworth, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 60.2 (1978): pages 376-403. {Syriac text, English translation, and discussion of this astrological work.}
Shem, "The Treatise of Shem," tr. James H. Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha I, 1983, pages 473-86. {The supposed instructions of the angel Raziel to Shem the son of Noah. A interesting Jewish astrological work dating to the first century CE., with good bibliography.}
Solomon, "The Epistle to Rehoboam: Introduction and Translation," {Unpublished translation and introduction by Dr. Scott Carroll. The introduction has been published in Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 4 (1989): 91-103. This is a very interesting first century CE document of Jewish astrological magic and astral religion. It pretends to be Solomon's instructions to his son, in how to make angels and demons work for him. It invokes God to make planets obedient, then asks the planets to do things. A translation is scheduled to appear in a forthcoming volume of Solomonic works, edited by Denis Duling.}
Sparks, H. F. D., ed., The Apocryphal Old Testament (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985) {"See especially I Enoch (Ethiopic Enoch) Bk III beginning at Chapter LXXVII, page 257: and II Enoch (Slavonic Enoch) Chapter VI, verses 14-30 starting on page 332. These quotations from the Enoch literature are during an ascent of the narrator to God, and the astronomical details of the spheres are described as the narrator and his angelic guide pass through. With the Enoch literature there are editorial differences in presentation, based on the preferences for basic texts. The oldest accurate translation is R. H. Charles, any of several editions. See also James H. Charlesworth for another up to date contemporary translation. These Apocalypses whether we call them intertestamental, Apocryphal, or Pseudepigrapha are full of interesting material. These two are quoted simply as a place to get started, and many others in and out of the various canons of Scripture will have great astrological significance. See also G. R. S. Mead, Pistis Sophia for a gnostic development on this theme.--Win Rowe". This edition was meant to update Charles, 1913. It is rather less extensive than Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.}
Stemberger, Günter, "Der Tierkreis in der jüdisch-christlichen Traditionen," W. Strolz, Kosmischer Dimensionen religiöser Erfahrung, Veröffentlichen der Stiftung Oratio Dominica (Freiburg: Herder, 1978): pages 101-27. {Zodiac symbolism in Jewish and Christian traditions.}
Stemberger, Günter, "Die Bedeutung des Tierkreises auf Mosaikfussböden Spätantiker Synagogen," Kairos 17 (1975): 11-56 {A major discussion of the meaning of the synagogue zodiacs, containing good notes, referring one to most Talmudic discussions of astrology and art.}
Sukenik, Eleazar Lipa, The Ancient Synagogue of Beth Alpha: An Account of the Excavations Conducted on Behalf of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem by E. L. Sukenik (Jerusalem: The Hebrew University. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1932) {Sukenik excavated this famous ancient synagogue and its zodiac mosaic. This is the official record of his research. He says little about astrology, merely that, since it was widely practiced, no one should be surprised at its use in art, with its good color illustrations.}
Theuer, Gabriele, Der Mondgott in den Religionen Syrien-Palaestinas, OBO 173, (Fribourg [Switzerland] 2000) {comprehensive; emphasis on Ugarit, the one Canaanite city whose religion we know well, and on the Bible; I have not read this one personally, but it has been praised by scholars I trust}
Trachtenberg, Joshua, Jewish Magic and Superstition. A Study in Folk Religion (Behrmann's Jewish Book House, 1939; NY: Atheneum, 1987) {A very stimulating, useful, book on the history of magic among Jews. It focuses on the Jewish community of Medieval Germany, but much refers to Late Antiquity. For example, Trachtenberg often cites the Sepher Raziel, which is now known to be closely derived from the fourth century CE Sepher ha-Razim.}
Zatelli, Ida, "Astrology and the Worship of the Stars in the Bible," Zeitschrift für alttestamentische Wissenschaft 103 (1991): 86-98 {Contains detailed analysis of Old Testament vocabulary of stars, heavens, etc., with good notes.}

Early Christians And Astrology

The earliest Christians were Jews and had the same ambiguous attitudes toward astrological practices as other Jews. They were part of an astrological society, but they wanted to avoid idiolatry, worshiping gods other than the Father of Jesus. In general, Christian writers, particularly apologists and polemicists, were opposed to scientific and religious astrology. The former, they attacked for its determinism, which conflicted with their belief in free will. Usually they used the same arguments as Skeptical philosophers such as Carneades. Augustine makes the most detailed attack in City of God, one which modern astrologers still try to reply to in popular magazines. But the suspicion arises that writers had to make the same attacks over centuries because ordinary Christians were ignoring them and using astrology. Astral religion, of course, was rejected as idiolatry pure and simple. But symbolic astrology is found in, e.g., the story of the Magi, who were brought to Jesus. It was by a star foretelling a new king of the Jews. Revelations also uses astral symbolism extensively. A few examples of early Christian astrological art survive, too, notably in the 3rd century tomb excavated in the foundations of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, in the 1950s.
Augustine, De Civitate dei libri XX [City of God], Corpus Christianorum, Series latina XLVIII, 2 Volumes (Turnholtii: Typographi Brepols, 1955) {Standard Latin text of the following. Also available in electronic form, on the CETEDOC CD-ROM.}
Augustine, Confessions, tr. John K. Ryan, Image Ed. (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1960) {Discusses Augustine's early infatuation with astrology, and how his father's friend, who cast horoscopes for dogs, influenced him to abandon belief.}
Augustine of Hippo, The City of God, Against the Pagans, ed. David Knowles, trans. Henry Bettenson (London: Pelican, 1972) {Augustine practiced astrology early in life, then after conversion attacked it as contrary to free will as well as being a non-Christian practice. Nevertheless, like most of the Fathers, he accepted the powers of the planets.}
Boll, Franz, Aus der Offenbarung Johannes; Hellenistischen Studien zum Weltbild der Apokalypse Stoicheia I (Leipzig: 1914; repr. Amsterdam, 1967) {astrological symbolism in the Biblical Book of Revelation; cf. Malina}
Chalcidius, Platonis Timaeus interpretate Chalcidio, ed. Z. Wrobel (Lipsiae: 1976) {This half-finished translation and commentary was all that the Latin Middle Ages had of Plato, but it was influential, nevertheless. Cf. Lewis, Discarded Image, 1964.}
Ciotti, Joseph E., "The Magi's Star: Misconceptions and New Suggestions," Griffith Observer 42 (Dec. 1978): 2-11 {Discussion of Christmas star and Magi.}
Dölger, F. J., Die Sonne der Gerechtigkeit und der Schwarze (Münster: Aschendorf, 1925) {A classic. Solar symbolism applied to Christ by early Christians. The title is a reference to Malachi 4:2, which the early Christians interpreted as a prophecy of Christ.}
Dölger, F. J., Sol Salutis (Münster: 1925) {Solar symbolism for Christ in Late Antiquity. The "lux crescit" in the Latin Christmas mass is supposedly from NTH "LP,4 [PHOS AUXEI] in a pagan December 25 liturgy.}
Grabar, André, "L'iconographie du ciel dans l'art chrétienne," Cahiers archéologiques 30 (1982): 5-24 {Hellenistic star maps inspired early Christians to paint their churches's ceilings to look like the sky. cf. the early Islamic palace at Qusayr Amra.}
Hermippus Anonymi christiani Hermippus de astrologia dialogus, ed. G. Kroll and page Viereck {An early christian dialog supporting astrology -- a very unusual opinion.}
Hippolytus, The Refutation of All Heresies in Roberts, Alexander and Donaldson, James eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans,1978) {There is major anti-astrology polemic in Book IV, Chapters I-XXVII (pages 24-34), the same, word for word, as Sextus Empiricus' argument. Hippolytus' work is an important source on all varieties of early Christianity. All heretics are Platonists, he claimed. Often cited by Bouché-Leclercq. Now available on-line in the Ethereal Library, q.v.}
Hübner, Wolfgang, "Das Horoskop der Christen," Vigiliae Christianae 29 (1975): 120-37. {Very useful. Contains a German translation and commentary on Zeno of Verona's sermon, "The Twelve Signs".}
Kirschbaum, Engelbert, The Tomb of St. Peter and St. Paul (London: Secker & Warburg, 1959) {An account of excavations in the foundations of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Among other interesting finds was an early Christian tomb, with a mosaic of Christ wearing the crown of rays and driving the four-horse chariot of the Sun, 34-35.; cf. Toynbee and Ward-Perkins}
Malina, Bruce J., The Genre and Message of Revelation: Star Visions and Sky Journeys (Peabody, Mass. : Hendrickson Publishers, c1995.) {much of the symbolism in the New Testament book of Revelations is drawn from astrology. The various bowls refer to the symbolism of bowl-shaped comets, for example. Cf. Boll}
Molnar, Michael, The Star of Bethlehem, The Legacy of the Magi (Rutgers U. Pr., 1999) {xvi, 187 p. : ill., map ; 23 cm.; ISBN 0-8135-2701-5 ; star of magi a royal horoscope, 2 occultations of Jupiter in Aries, 6 BC; coins show event well-known, celebrated; Aries assoc. with Judaea in chorography of Manilius, etc.; probably the most thorough recent treatment of a perennial topic}
Morehouse, A. J., "The Christmas Star as a Supernova in Aquila," Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 72 (1978): 65-68
Mosley, John, "When was the Christmas Star," Griffith Observer 44 (1980): 2-9 {Discussion of the Christmas star as well as on Magi.}
Münter, Der Stern der Weisen (1827) {This relates to both section on Jewish and Early Christian astrology.}
Rahner, Hugo, "The Christian Mystery of Sun and Moon," in Hugo Rahner, Greek Myths and Christian Mystery (London: Burns and Oates, 1963. NY: Biblo and Tannen, 1971), 89-179 {Explains early Christian use of astral symbols.}
Richards, Carl P., "The Star of Bethlehem," Sky and Telescope 16 (Dec. 1956): 66-7.
Robinson, James, gen. ed., The Nag Hammadi Library in English, third completely revised edition, first U.S. edition, with an afterword by Richard Smith, managing editor (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988) {The Gnostics were a group of early Christians which did not become mainstream. This is a very important collection of Gnostic documents. The planet-gods are very important in the Gnostic creation myth, and anti- astrological polemic is a major element in their theology.}
Rosenberg, Roy A., "The 'Star of the Messiah' Reconsidered," Biblica 53 (1972): 105-09 {More discussion of the Christmas star.}
Seymour, Percy A. H. and Colin Wilson. The Birth of Christ. (Virgin Publishing, 1999) {The earth saw the age of Pisces dawn and Christ at the same time. The New Age meets magi, using computer-generated star maps and other "research," to shed light on the "real" date of Christ's birth, the virgin birth and of course why the fish was an important Christian symbol. Hard to know where to put this creative literary gem! :-)}
Sloelt, D. A. W. T., Der Stern der Wijzen (Bussum P. Braun, 1920) {Mars very bright in 7 BC; cf. F. X. Kugler}
Stentzel, Arthur C., Jesus Christus und sein Stern, 2nd ed. (Hamburg: H. Christian, 1928) {Discussion of the Christmas star.}
Toynbee, J. M. C., and Ward-Perkins, J. B., The Shrine of St. Peter and the Vatican Excavations (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1956) {Jesus as Sol Invictus, the Sun-god, in a mosaic from St. Peter's is discussed pages 72-5, and plate 32. Toynbee and Ward-Perkins are both well-known historians of Roman art. Cf. Kirschbaum}
Viana, J. Enrico, "La estella de Jesus," Por los senderos de la Biblia (Madrid: Studium, 1957) {II, 155-60}
Yamauchi, Edwin M., "The episode of the Magi," Chronos, Kairos, Christos [festschrift J. Finegan]; ed., J Vardaman (1989), 15-39. {Discussion of the Christmas star as well as on Magi.}
Zeno of Verona, "XXXVIII. Tractatus de XII signis ad neophitos," in Zenonis Veronensis Tractatus, Corpus Christianorum, Vol. 22 (Ternhout: Brepols, 1971), 105-6 {Zeno was bishop of Verona in the fourth century CE. This is one of the first Christian writings to use astrological symbolism in a positive way. It is translated into German with commentary in Hübner, "Horoskop der Christen," VC 29 (1975): 120-37. An easily searched electronic version on CD-ROM, called CETEDOC, is produced by Brepols.}

Islamic / Arabic Astrology

Islam grew up in an environment in which Christianity, Judaism and astrology were all important. Planet-worshiping Mesopotamian pagans (Sabians) who passed for an obscure religion praised in the Koran, were also influential. Islamic thinkers generally had an attitude toward astrology which resembled the Jewish one more than the usual Christian one. Islamic thinkers generally allowed one to practice astrology, while they might condemn ideas and practices which were conflicted with Islam, e.g., predicting the rise and fall of world religions astrology. Islamic astrologers combined Greek, Indian, Sasanian and Sabian practices and came up with innovations of their own, such as astrological history. Sabian scholars such as Thabit ibn Qura played an important role in translating Greek scientific texts into Arabic. These translations and further developments by Islamic writers in Latin translation greatly influenced Medieval and Renaissance Europe.
Biruni, Muhammad ibn Ahmad, al-, Tafhim li-awa'il sina`at al-tanjim Kitab# al-tafhim li-ava'il sina`at al-tanjim / ta'lif-i Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad Biruni Khvarazmi ; ba tajdid-i nazar va ta`liqat va muqaddamah-'i tazah bi-khamah-'i Jalal al-Din Huma'i. (Tihran: Intisharat-i Babak, 1362 [1983 or 1984] ) [Persian] {Includes bibliographical references and indexes on early works of Arab astrology.}
Chwolson, Daniel, Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus (St. Petersburg, 1859; reprinted Amsterdam: Oriental Press, 1965) {Excellent collection of nearly all texts, with German translation, on the Sabians. The Sabians were the pagan inhabitants of Harran, who emphasized the worship of the planet- gods. They played an important role in the translation and transmission of Greek science to the Arabic world, and claimed Hermes Trismegistus as their prophet.}
Creswell, K. A. C., Early Muslim Achitecture (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932) {An excellent account of Ummayad architecture, including the zodiac painting at Qusayr Amra; cf. Gundel, "Zodiakos".}
Dirasat fi al-falak `inda al-`Arab. (Baghdad: Wizarat al-Ta`lim al-`Ali wa-al-Bahth al-`Ilmi, Jami`at Baghdad, Markaz Ihya' al-Turath al-`Ilmi al-`Arabi, 1989) [Arabic] {Papers presented to Nadwat al-Falak `inda al-`Arab, organized in Baghdad by Markaz Ihya' al-Turath al-`Arabi, 12/9/1987-12/10/1987. Includes bibliographical references.}
Fahd, T., "Ibn Wahšiyya," Encyclopedia of Islam, 2d ed., Vol. 3 (1971): 963-65 {on the author of Nabataean Agriculture, an important work on astral magic and perhaps the major source for Picatrix}
Fahd, T., "Matériaux pour l'histoire de l'agriculture de Irak: al-filâha an-nabatiyya {Nabataean Agriculture}," Handbuch der Orientalistik, ed. B. Spuler, Erste Abteilung, Der Nahe und der Mittlere Osten, Sechster Band, Geschichte der islamischen Laender, sechster abschnitt, Wirtschaftsgeschichte des vorderen Orients in islamischer Zeit, Teil 1 (Leiden and Koeln: E. J. Brill, 1977), 276-378 {Rodgers, JAOS 100, 7, n.8; Tubach, Sonn., 1986, 152, n.35; The Nabataean Agriculture is a ninth century CD supposedly giving the secrets to the agricultural success of the Sasanian and Byzantine farmers of the Fertile Crescent; Nabataean here means Aramaic-speaking peasant; it includes astral magic and religion, and was probably the source for most of the information on the Harranian Sabians in Picatrix; Fahd claims that he can show that it is largely based on agricultural manuals from Late Antique Mesopotamia perhaps the 4-5th centuries CE, and is preparing a critical text, translation and commentary on the whole work; this article deals with how to handle insect pests and parallel discussions in other Classical agricultural authors, such as Cato; cf. M. el-Faïz}
Faïz, M. el-, L'agronomie de la Mesopotamie ; analyse du "Livre de l'agriculture nabatéenne" de Qûtâma {ISBN 90 04 10199 3 ; info from list of _Studies in the History and Culture of the Ancient Near East_, ed. B. Halpern and M. H. E. Weippert, in back of Ann Jeffers, _Magic and Divination in Ancient Palestine and Syria_, 1996; cf. Fahd}
Fehevari, G., "Harran," Encyclopedia of Islam, III, (Leiden: Brill; London: Luzac, 1965-present) pages 227-30 {Fehevari has custody of Harran excavation materials at the School of African and Oriental Studies, University of London. Good survey of Harran's history, including astral religion in Late Antiquity.}
Margalioth, D. S., "Harranians," Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, ed. James Hastings, et al. (NY: Scribners, 1920) {Harran had an important temple to Sin, the Mesopotamian mood-god, from prehistoric times. Somehow, the native pagan religion survived in Harran well into the Islamic period, in the form of a cult of the planets. It's practitioners were called "Harranians" or "Sabians," and played an important role in early Islamic science and philosophy. This is a short but thorough account.}
Masha'allah, The Astrological History: On Conjunctions, Religions, and Peoples, in the version of Ibn Hibinta eds. E. S. Kennedy and David Pingree, (Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 1971) {"No text of Masha'allah's work has survived, but the Ibn Hibinta text is close, and for the general argument suffices. This work comprises not only a text, and translation of the Ibn Hibinta version, but also a most valuable commentary on the whole subject of Arabic (Islamic cultural, Ibn Hibinta was a Christian Arab, Masha'allah was Jewish) mundane astrological theories. Deals with such things as the development of historical periodization, attribution of astrological knowledge to pre-deluge figures, or other pseudepigraphic attributions. Very important for transmitting late Hellenistic cultural phenomena into European and Indian cultures, as well as an important source for various occult theories in our own time (i.e. Hermes Trismegistus as Ur-astrologer.) It also records many particular interpretive methods of Islamic culture area mundane astrology, particularly an emphasis on exaltation of the planets in addition to, or even instead of the usual rulerships." --Win Rowe. With Abu Ma'shar, Masha'allah was one of the most important Islamic scientific astrologers, and was very influential in Europe, too. Translated into Latin in twelfth century CE as Messahala.}
Morony, Michael G., Iraq After the Muslim Conquest (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984) {Very good discussion of religions in Iraq, including astral polytheism, before and after the Islamic conquest in the seventh century CE. Excellent bibliography.}
Nadim, Muhammad ibn Ishaq al-, The Fihrist of al-Nadim; A Tenth-Century Survey of Muslim Culture, 2 Vols., ed. and tr. Bayard Dodge (New York and London: Columbia University Press, 1970) {Al-Nadim was a book-seller at a time when Islamic book shops were the equivalent of European universities or Greek stoas. His "Catalog" is an encyclopedic history of scholarship, with a great deal of information on the Sabians of Harran, including an entire cultic calendar. He says the pagan Harranians gained toleration from the Islamic state by claiming they were the sect of Sabians mentioned in Koran, and their prophet was Hermes Trismegistus! Bayard Dodge was the president of the American University of Beirut.}
Nadwah al-Qawmiyah li-Tarikh al-`Ulum `inda al-`Arab, Buhuth al-Nadwah al-Qawmiyah al-Awwal li-Tarikh al-`Ulum `inda al-`Arab. (Baghdad, Iraq: al-Markaz, 1989) [Arabic] {Includes bibliographical references and maps.}
Peters, F. E., Allah's Commonwealth. A History of Islam in the Near East, 600-1100 A.D. (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1973) {The best book I have read on history of "Golden Age" of Islam and Arabs, with much on Islamic philosophy and science, including "scientific" astrology.}
Picatrix, "Picatrix" Das Ziel des Weisen von Pseudo-Magriti, Studies of the Warburg Institute 27, ed. G. Bing, tr. Helmut Ritter and Martin Plessner (London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962) {A classic Islamic grimoire, probably composed in 10th century Spain; probably the best known example of "religious" astrology from the Islamic world. It claims to give the rituals with which Sabians of Harran worshipped planets. It was translated into Latin in the twelfth century, and was influential in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, too.}
Picatrix, Das Ziel des Weisen [or Ghayat al-Hakim], ed. H. Ritter, Studien der Bibliothek Warburg 12 (Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1933. repr. London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1962) {Arabic text of Picatrix, falsely attributed to Spanish scientist Maslamah ibn Ahmed al-Majriti. Also translated into Latin. One of the most famous of all works of astral magic. There is an extended description in Thorndike, Magic and Science, and an important reference in Cumont, Astrology and Religion, as well as major discussions in Yates, 1964, and Ritter, 1923. This last essay, revised, also forms the introduction to the H. Ritter and M. Plessner German translation, q.v. Pingree has published the Latin translation, and promises editions of the various Renaissance vernacular translations.}
Picatrix [Ghayat Al-Hakim]: The Goal of the Wise, Volume I., transl. Hashem Atallah, Edited by William Kiese. (Ouroboros Press. Seattle, Washington ca. 2001) {English translation from the Warburg Institute's Arabic text by an Arabic scholar}
Pingree, David, "Astrology," in The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature. Religion, Learning and Science in the `Abbasid Period, ed. M. L. J. Young, J. D. Latham, and R. R. Serjeant (Cambridge: C. U. page, 1990), pp. 290-300 {Excellent survey of "scientific" astrology.}
Pingree, David, "Some Sources of the Ghayat al-Hakim," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 43 (1980): pp. 1-15 {Very good on connections with the astral religion of Late Antiquity. Bibliography very useful.}
Pingree, David, The Thousands of Abu Mashar (London: The Warburg Institute, 1968) {"This is not a text of the Abu Mashar work, but rather a commentary on its sources, and dating, by a most distinguished historian of science. In the absence of an English translation this will have to do. The work duplicates much of the subject matter of the Astrological History of Masha'allah, with same characteristics of transmitting late Hellenistic ideas, pseudepigraphic habits, and romanticizing rewrites of history to fit into vast schemes of periodization, all of which leads to India and the Yogas and other Indian mythological perodizations. Given the Hellenistic background, some questions about relations to the gnostics with their Æons and so forth should also be raised." -- Win Rowe. As Albumasar, Abu Ma'shar was the father of Medieval and Renaissance European astrology, often referred to in Bouché-Leclercq's footnotes, while as Apomasar, he was prominent in Byzantium.}
Rice, D. S., "Medieval Harran. Studies on its Topography and Monuments, I," Anatolian Studies 2 (1952): 36-84 {Report on initial excavation. Rice believes the moon-temple of the Sabians may still exist, recycled into a Crusader-era fortress. In spite of important finds, the excavation did not last long. See Yardimci for the situation at the site as of 1993.}
Rosenthal, Franz, A History of Muslim Historiography (Leiden: Brill, 1968) {Pages 110-3 are on astrological history, a Sasanian Persian and Islamic specialty. Political historians were more skeptical than astrological ones, but the latter's works still contain useful information, Rosenthal says. I would guess that the chronological data is especially useful. All early chronology is based on astronomical events in any case.}
Ruska, Julius, "Griechischen Darstellungen in arabischen Steinbüchern," Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, philsophisch-historisch Klasse, Bd. 10.1 (Heidelberg: Carl Winters Universitätsbuchhandlung, 1919) {Greek astrological ideas in Arabian garb. The astrological properties of stones were important to Greek astrological medicine, while Islamic astrologers used the same concepts to invent the talisman, a device to attract favorable influences from the planets.}
Shami, Yahy `Abd al-Amir. Tarikh al-tanjim `inda al-`Arab wa-atharuhu fi al-mujtama`at al-`Arabiyah al-Islamiyah. (Bayrut, Lubnan: Mu'assasat `Izz al-Din, 1994). [Arabic] {Includes bibliographical references (pp. 471-86) and indexes.}
Ullmann, Manfred, Die Nature- und Geheimwissenschaften im Islam, Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung 1, Ergänzungsband 6, Abschnitt 2 (Leiden: Brill, 1972) {The standard work on the natural and occult sciences, including astrology, in the Islamic world. Contains an excellent bibliography.}
Wahshiyah, Amad ibn Ali, ibn, Nabataean Agriculture [al-filâha an-nabatiyya ] {Pingree, "Ghayat," 43:12; prayers to planets, major source of Picatrix; cf. Fahd; written C9; based on C5 meso. work? evidence of late meso paganism, sim. to Sabians? See also Ibn W.'s book on magical alphabets; Rodgers, JAOS 100, 7, n.8; Tubach, Sonn., 1986, 152, n.35; The Nabataean Agriculture is a ninth century CE work, supposedly giving the secrets to the agricultural success of the Aramaic-speaking (=Nabataean) farmers of the Fertile Crescent; it includes astral magic and religion, and was probably the source for most of the information on the Harranian Sabians in Picatrix; in the 19th century, it was the subject of academic controversy; Chwolson claimed that it was based on materials dating to the classic Mesopotamian civilization, while Noeldeke claimed it was completely of the Islamic era; Noeldeke won; Now Fahd claims that he can show that it is largely based on agricultural manuals from Late Antique Meso, perhaps the 4-5th centuries CE, and is preparing a critical text, translation and commentary on the whole work; }
Wahshiyah, Muhammad ibn `Ali, ibn, Kitab al-Filahah al-Nabatiyah [Nabataean Agriculture]/ tarjamat Abi [i.e. Abu] Bakr ibn Wahshiyah
(Frankfurt, Jumhuriyat Almaniya al-Ittihadiyah : Ma`had Tarikh al-`Ulum al-`Arabiyah wa-al-Islamiyah, 1984- ); 24 cm. {Arabic text of Nabataean Agriculture}
Yardimci, Nurettin, "Excavations, Surveys, and Restoration Works at Harran," in M. Frangipane, et al., eds., Between the Rivers and Over the Mountains; Archaeologica Anatolica et Mesopotamica Alba Palmieri Dedicata (Rome: Dipartimento de Scienze Storiche Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell'Antichita, Universita di Roma "La Sapienza",1993), pp. 437-52. {Alba Palmieri festschrift. Yardimci is currently in charge of restoration work at Harran. The article contains many good photos, for example, of the castle which may incorporate the Sabian Moon Temple, as well as maps of site and region. No notes, no bibliography, but a good over-view of excavations in the region. His historical survey largely ignores the Hellenistic and Roman epochs.}

Astrology In India

Astrology developed in India in stages. The earliest stage was of native ideas about the stars and the future, found primarily in the Vedas. Mesopotamian astral omens also became known, perhaps during the Achaemenian period. But Greek astrology came to India during the first century CE, probably from Alexandria, and was adopted enthusiastically. Most astrology in India today is Greek astrology. But it is Greek astrology heavily modified to fit Indian society. As a result, it is in modern India that classical astrology, including astral religion, is most alive and powerful. The modern Euro-American revival of belief in astrology is due in part to the Theosophical Society's promotion of Indian astrology.
Biruni, Muhammad ibn Ahman, al-, Alberuni's India: An Account of the Religion, Philosophy, Literature, Geography, Chronology, Astronomy, Customs, Laws, and Astrology of India about AD 1030, ed., with notes and indices, by Edward Sachau (New Delhi: Oriental Reprint, distributed by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1983) {Eye-witness account of Indian astrology, and much else, at the time of the first Muslim invasion of Hindu India. Al-Biruni was a distinguished Islamic astronomer and anthropologist.}
Defouw, Hart and Robert Svoboda, Light on life: an introduction to the astrology of India. (New Delhi; New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 1996)
Dikshita, Prema and Umesa Pande, Anishta graha cikitsa: purvarddha. (Dilli: Sahaja Ananda Karyalaya, 1988) [Hindi] {Includes passages in Sanskrit. Summary role of astrology in the cure of various diseases.}
Holt, Peter, Stars of India: travels in search of astrologers and fortune-tellers. (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1998) {Provides interesting comparative evidence.}
Makalatcumi, Ti, Ilakkiyattil cotitam. Series Publication (International Institute of Tamil Studies); no. 247. (Cennai: Ulakat Tamilaraycci Niruvanam, 1996) [Tamil] {Summary Study of astrology in Tamil literature that includes bibliographical references (pp. [302]-309) and index.}
Marinangeli, Luciana, Introduzione all'astrologia indiana. Milano: Biblioteca universale Rizzoli, 1993) {Useful introduction.}
Mody, Ramniklal Ratanlal, Indian Astrology. Ashtottari & vinshottari dashas; an exposition. (Bombay [Printed by M.N. Kulkarni], 1935) {Early work on the subject, before it became popular in the west.}
Pingree, David, "Representations of the Planets in Indian Astrology," Indo-Iranian Journal 8 (1965): pp. 249-67 {Astrological art in India.}
Pingree, David, "The Indian Iconography of the Decans and Horas," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 26 (1963): 223-54 {Very good! Contains a great deal of information of how Indians adopted and re- interpreted the Greek astrological iconography; demonstrates, to my mind, that specific illustrated treatises were translated from Greek to Sanskrit.}
Sharma, Sharmistha, Astrological lore in the Buddhist Sardulakarnavadana.
(Delhi, India: Eastern Book Linkers, 1992) {Contains bibliography, criticism, interpretation, etc. with Alternative Title: Tripitaka. Sutrapitaka. Avadana. Divyavadana. Sardulakarnavadana.}
Shil-Ponde, Hindu Astrology (Joytisha-shastra) ( New York, N.Y.: Larwood publishers, 1939) {Interesting early western publication on the subject.}
Sivapriyananda, Swami, Astrology and Religion in Indian Art. (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1990) {Includes bibliographical references (p. [145]-146) and index. Subject is the religious aspect of Indic art.}
Sphudjidhvaja, The Yavanajataka of Sphudjidhvaja, 2 Vols., ed., tr., and commented upon by David Pingree (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1978) {This is a critical text, translation and commentary of a classical work of Indian astrology. It has an extensive bibliography of Greek sources and secondary studies. Volume one is the Sanskrit text, volume two, the translation and commentary. I have found it one of the most generally useful works on the history of "scientific" astrology.}
Stone, Anthony Philip, Hindu Astrology: Myths, Symbols and Realities (New Delhi, India: Select Books, Books for Better Living, 1981) {This is a reliable, recent, thorough history of "scientific" mathematical astrology in India. It has a good bibliography, mostly to primary sources in Sanskrit and contains a useful glossary of Sanskrit technical vocabulary.}

Astrology In China And East Asia

Although I have been living in China since 1997, I know rather less about Chinese astrology than about the Greco-Chaldaean tradition. I can say that what foreigners think of as "Chinese astrology," the cycle of twelve animals, is not a parallel to the Western zodiac. Rather, they are the Chinese hours. They are also used to compose cycles of twelve days and twelve years. Called the twelve Heavenly Stems, they are combined with another cycle, the ten Earthly Branches and with the five Chinese elements to create a cycle of 60 hours, days and years. The cycle of 60 years is particularly important. Nearly every Chinese calendar gives both the international Gregorian year and the year in the 60 year cycle. Combination calendars, giving the date and year in the international Gregorian calendar and traditional almanac information on lucky days are very common.
However, as interesting as the stems and branches are, they have little to do with the stars. The Stems are identified with twelve constellations through one of which the planet Jupiter moves each year. However, that is far from their most important use.
Chinese civilization did pay attention to the sky from earliest times and a sophisticated astronomy with records still useful to modern astronomers grew up. The Imperial Observatory in Beijing may be visited easily today. (It even has its own subway station). The purposes were two: regulate the lunar calendar and counter bad omens. Chinese emperors claimed to rule at the pleasure of a supreme deity called Tian or Heaven [Sky], with the Mandate of Heaven. Heaven signaled displeasure with omens, particularly eclipses. New dynasties often demonstrated their submission to Heaven by reforming the calendar, which meant new research in astronomy. Interesting examples of political and military predictions based upon observations of the sun, moon, and planets are found both in historical works and in works of popular literature, such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. When Buddhist literature first came to China from India, it included "Western" astrological lore . But after a first enthusiasm, it rarely competed with the native tradition, although it does still exist. Some foreign influence may also have come from Manicheism, once strong in Xinjiang, and which had an subterranean influence on Chinese apocalyptic literature and secret societies, and also via Chinese Muslims. Astrology certainly was common in Tibet but appears to be closely related to Indian astrology, with some Chinese additions.
At the end of the twentieth century, and the beginning of the twenty-first, the Western zodiac has a certain fad appeal in China and is sometimes seen as decoration on objects such as purses for adolescent girls. Serious Western astrology does not seem to be well-known. College students are aware of it from WWW sites but it does not appear to have the cultural authority that I Ching does, for example. All attempts to combine the Western and Chinese traditions that I know are by westerners . Indiana University-Bloomington includes a sizeable number of astrological documents in the Tibetan and Mongolian special collections of its library, providing much material for further study!
There is a interest in archaeo-astronomy in academic circles. The recent Fourth International Conference on Oriental Astronomy, held in August, 2001, in Nanyang, Henan Province, PR China, concentrated on the subject. Astronomers can deduce useful information from paintings of recognizable stars and constellations. Such paintings of the sky are common in ancient tombs throughout East Asia, particularly at the time of the early Tang Dynasty. Unfortunately, I am not in touch with Chinese archaeologists and cannot say how interested in archaeo-astronomy they are. I suspect, however, that salvaging sites from the many development projects is their highest priority ca. 2002. In any case, there is much room for future research!
Armstrong, Robin Armstrong, et al., Eastern Systems for Western Astrologers: An Anthology. (Samuel Weiser, 1997) {Collection of essays written by eight astrologers: "Astrology and the Chakras" by Ray Grasse, "The Degrees of the Zodiac & the I Ching" by Robin Armstrong, "Chinese Element [Tzu P'ing] Astrology" by Bill Watson, "Tibetan Astrology" by Michael Erlewine, "The Humanism of Vedic Astrology" by Hart deFouw, "The Night Sky & the Eastern Moon" by Dennis Flaherty, "Prediction East" by James Braha, and "Life & Death East and West" by Richard Houck. This a typical work of Western syncretism}
Bezold, Carl, "Sze-ma Ts'ien und die babylonische Astrologie," Ostasiatische Zeitschrift 8 (1919) {I have not read this, but Bezold was a good scholar, not a hyper-diffusionist. Nor does it date to the heyday of Pan-Babylonism. Sze-ma Ts'ien, otherwise spelled Sima Qian, was the first great historian of Imperial China and undoubtedly interested in omens and their political implications.}
Campion, Nicolas and Steve Eddy, The New Astrology: The Art and Science of the Stars. (Trafalgar Square, 1999) {A more serious attempt at synthesis by a westerner scholar. Presents parallels among world views, from the creation myths of the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians to the most modern speculations of astronomers and physicists.}
Carus, Paul, Chinese Astrology (Peru, IL: Open Court Publ. Co., 1974, 1989) {originally published late 19th century as a section in Paul Carus' well-respected book on Chinese Religion. Carus, in turn, was the first US academic to have a serious interest in Chinese philosophy, and founded Open Court Press to publish his own writings on the subject. This work does not in fact deal with the stars very much, but outlines the traditional cosmology and calendar of lucky and unlucky days.}
Collected astrological and prognosticatory texts from Bhutan (Thimphu : Kunsang Topgyal, 1981) [Tibetan] {Useful for primary Tibetan sources}.
De Groot J. J. M., The Religious System of China {a thorough work including divination, etc., as religion by a well-informed 19th century missionary with extensive quotes of sources; particularly good on southern China.}
Henderson, John B., The Development and Decline of Chinese Cosmology (NY: Columbia U. Pr., 1984) {Presents a useful introductory study on the subject.}
Ho Peng Yoke, "A long lost astrological work: the Dunhuang ms of the Zhan yunqi shu," Journal of Asian History, 19 no 1 (1985):1-7. {A good study of this primary source for Chinese astrology. Ho is perhaps Needham's most notable successor as a scholar writing on the history of Chinese astronomy in English}
Lau, Theodora, The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, calligraphy by Kenneth Lau. (3rd ed., New York : HarperCollins, 1995; 4th ed., New York: HarperPerennial, 2000) {an elementary attempt to combine the Western Greco-Chaldaean tradition with that of China; more important to the West than China.}
Li, Chung. Ancient Wisdom for the New Age: Chinese Astrology. (New Holland Publishers, 1997) {If you think this is about Chinese astrology, you're wrong. This is a very meager introduction at best. The Twelve moons are explained in about two lines each!}
Lu Sixian and Li Di, Notes on Astronomically Considered Relics and Monuments of China [Tian Wen Kao GuoTong Lu] (Beijing: Forbidden City Publishing House, 2000) {This is a volume publishing research in archaeo-astronomy}
Luo Guazhong, Three Kingdoms; A Historical Novel Attributed to Luo Guazhong, tr. with after word and notes by Moss Roberts (Beijing/Berkeley, Los Angeles, Oxford: Foreign Languages Press/University of California Press, 1991) {An influential work of popular literature which mentions astrological predictions.}
Maspero, H., "Les instruments astronomiques des chinois au temps es han," in Melanges chinoises et bouddhistes. (Brussels, 1939), VI, 183. {These instruments would have been used for both astronomy and astrology, which were not sharply divided.}
Needham, Joseph, et al., Science and Civilization in China, 7 Vol's (Cambridge: 1954 -) {Pingree, 1982, n.34; Vol. 2, 353-4: suggests a possible Mesopotamian influence on Chinese astrology; cf. Bezold 1919; a large multi-volume pioneering discussion of Chinese science and technology; includes astrology among much else.}
Needham, Joseph, et al., Shorter Science and Civilization in China (Cambridge: 1986) {a condensed version of the above}
Ong Hean-Tatt, Chinese Animal Symbols (Kelana Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia: Pelanduk Publications, 1993, 1997) {not about astrology per se, but a good introduction to the Chinese constellations, particularly the 28 lunar mansions; also contains a useful introduction to Chinese cosmology}
Palmer, Martin, with Mak Hin Chung, Kwok Man Ho and Angela Smith. T'ung shu, the Ancient Chinese Almanac. (Boston: Shambhala, 1986) {In the past the almanac was compiled by the Imperial staff at the Ancient Observatory in Beijing, and presented to the Son of Heaven before being distributed around the country. The observations were made by Jesuit astronomers in later centuries, but they seem to have had no influence on the system of interpretation; cf. Smith.}
Pankenier, David William, Early Chinese Astronomy and Cosmology: the 'Mandate of Heaven' as Epiphany. (Stanford University, 1983), pp: 358 {A doctoral dissertation on astrology in Zhou dynasty China, related to the idea of the "Mandate of Heaven".}
Schafer, Edward H., Pacing the Void; T'ang Approaches the Stars. (Berkeley, CA: U of CA Pr., 1977) {Sections on astrology & astral religion are quite good; includes an account of a painted tomb with a western zodiac on its ceiling.}
Smith, Richard J., Fortune-tellers and Philosophers; Divination in Traditional Chinese Society (Boulder, San Francisco, Oxford: Westview Press, 1991) {Fairbank, China, 1992; broad survey with extensive sources and bibliography}
Smith, Richard J., Chinese Almanacs. Hong Kong; New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) {This is a modern explanation of the traditional almanac, along with excellent illustrations by a western scholar; cf. Palmer.}
Sun Xiaochun, "Crossing the Boundaries Between Heaven and Man: Astronomy in Ancient China," in Astronomy Across Cultures, ed. Helaine Selin and adv. ed. Sun Xiaochun (Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000) {This is the best short intro. which I have read to Chinese astronomy, the calendar, and chinese omen astrology.}
Tai, Sherman, Principles of Feng Shui: An Illustrated Guide to Chinese Geomancy, ill. by Loke Siew Hong, transl. by Clara Snow {Not about astrology per se but gives a good explanation of the traditional Chinese cosmology in which Chinese beliefs about the powers of the stars were included. This is a type of book which is common in China but not in the US, a sort of comic book but on a serious non-fictional topic. It is interesting to note that the cover blurb tells us that the author was a successful engineer before turning to his first love, feng shui, to earn a living}
Tibetan Astronomy and Astrology: A Brief Introduction (Dharamsala, India: Astro. Department, Tibetan Medical and Astro. Institute, 1995) {distributed by Men See-Kang Exports, 13 Jaipur Estate, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi, 110013, India; This anthology is produced by the traditional academic establishment associated with the Dalai Lama in India. Astrology in Tibet seems to be primarily Indian astrology with Chinese elements added. For example, the _ba guo_, or 8 hexagrams best known from I Ching, are believed to rotate through the zodiac as well. The titles of the chapters are: "An Introduction to Tibetan Astro. Science," by Prof. Jampa G. Dagthon; "Traditional Community Role of the Astro-Practitioner," Jhampa Kalsang, Lecturer; "The Importance of Astro. Science in Medicine," Prof. Jampa G. Dagthon; "Outline of the Tibetan Horoscope," Mrs. Tsering Choezem, Astrologer; "A Brief Introduction to rSipa-Ho," Jhampa Kalsang, Lecturer; "Commonly Asked Questions about Tibetan Astro. Science," Mrs. Tzering Choezem}
White, Suzanne, Chinese Astrology Plain and Simple. (Eden Grove Editions, 1999) {In addition to learning how to determine and analyse personal horoscopes, this book aims to provide insights into friends, lovers and their self as they gain a deeper understanding of the forces governing interactions. Typical syncretism, the twelve animals are assumed to be an alternative zodiac}
Xu Zhentao, Pankenier, David W., and Jiang Yaotiao, East Asian Archeoastronomy, Historical records of Astronomical Observations of China, Japan and Korea (Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 2000) {ISBN: 90-5699-302-X ; ISBN: 1026-2660; I have not inspected this work personally, but it is recommended by members of HASTRO-L; it is not directly astrological, but records ominous events among others; cf. Pankenier's diss, 1983}
Yabuuti, K., "Astrology of Western Origin in Ancient Japan," Scientia 101: 353-8. {Really study of Chinese origins of Japanese astrology, rather than the "west" of Eurasia.}

Astrology In The New World

Not to be confused with "New Age", the native Americans of pre-western contact had developed their own astrological traditions. Probably the origins of this New World astrology is in the deep prehistory of East Asia, although I would never claim expertise on this subject. I know even less about pre-Columbian astrology than Chinese astrology.
Monté, Carlo, L'astrologie aztéque (Paris: R. Laffont, 1984) {French original of useful introduction to the subject.}
Volguine, Alexandre, Astrologie chez les Mayas et les Astéques [Astrology of the Mayas and Aztecs] tr. by W. J. Tucker. (Sidcup, Pythagorean Publications, 1969). Originally published as L'astrologie chez les Mayas et les Aztéques. (Nice, 1946) {Useful comparative study, including bibliographical references.}
Volguine, Alexandre, L'astrologie chez les Mayas et les Aztéques. (Nice, Éditions des Cahiers astrologiques, 1946) {Original French version from the Series Les Matres de l'occultisme, 6.}

Astrology In Medieval And Renaissance Europe

Astrology declined, rose, and declined again during the Latin Middle Ages and Renaissance. During the early middle ages, the early Christian hostility towards astrology and the decline of education in Greek led to the near-disappearance of astrology. It was re-introduced during the twelfth century when a great variety of Greek philosophical and scientific texts were translated from Arabic. Of course, Arabic language commentaries and original works were translated as well. The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries saw the first translations directly from Greek, notably Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos, and the Renaissance of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries became one of the great ages of astrology. Astrology declined, however, with the rise of modern science in the late seventeenth century.
Allen, Don Cameron, The Star-Crossed Renaissance: The Quarrel about Astrology and its Influence in England (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1941) {Good survey.}
Blazekovic, Zdravko, Music in Medieval and Renaissance astrological imagery. (PhD Thesis, City University of New York, 1997. Photocopy. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1998. [UMI 9807907] ) {Includes bibliographical references (pp. 523-45) and index of manuscripts.}
Calvin, John, An Admonicion Against Astrology Judiciall and Other Curiosities (London: Roulande Hall, 1561; University Microfilms, # 11404) {Calvin brings out all the classic anti- astrological arguments, emphasizing its conflict with free will (!). He uses the same arguments as Augustine.}
Capp, Bernard, Astrology and the Popular Press: English Almanacs, 1500-1800 (London & Boston: Faber & Faber, 1979) {An excellent social history. Almanacs were the major media of the day, for astrology and much else. Almanacs primarily predicted weather, but also political events.}
Carey, Hilary M., Courting Disaster. Astrology at the English Court and University in the Later Middle Ages (Houndsmills, Hampshire, UK, and London: Macmillan, 1992) {A good dissertation on astrology in medieval English politics. Very good bibliography.}
Cross, F. L. and Livingston, E. A., eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 2nd ed., (London, Oxford, Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1974) {Short article, which referred me to Augustine's City of God. Augustine's influence, they say, suppressed astrology in Latin Europe down to the thirteenth century, when it was re-introduced the Islamic world.}
Dee, Dr. John, The Private Diary of, and the Catalogue of his Library of Manuscripts, from the original Manuscripts in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford and Trinity College Library, Cambridge. ed. J. O. Halliwell (London, England, 1842) {"This Diary contains much fascinating material on the life, views and methods of Queen Elizabeth the great's leading astrologer, John Dee. The Appendix, which is a list of his Astrological, and other occult MSS is NOT aimed at works in English, for Dee was the master of many languages, but it constitutes the first attempt at a Bibliography of astrological books in the English speaking world. Dee is perhaps most famous for his attempts to contact the spirit world using a crystal, and his recording of the "Enochean" language and alphabet, but he was a serious historian, astrologer and mathematician in addition to his addiction to a primitive form of seance." --Win Rowe. Dee had a European reputation; the Emperor Rudolph and Ivan the Terrible competed to hire him. He was an important mathematician as well as astrologer, and was the first to translate Euclid's Geometry into English.}
Flint, Valerie I. J., The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991) {BF 1593.F45 1991. Magic and astrology made acceptable to Latin Medieval Christians in same ways I think it was to Late Antique Jews: the planets were interpreted as angels carrying out God's commands. Good bibliography, good ideas, but very poorly written.}
Fludd, Dr. Robert, Utriusque Cosmi Maioris scilicet et Minoris Metaphysica Physica Atque Technica Historia, (Frankfurt: Oppenheim, 1617) {Classic excursus on the Hellenistic/medieval/renaissance cosmology; particularly famous for its marvelous copper-plate engravings}
French, Peter J., John Dee; The World of an Elizabethan Magus (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972; repr. as paperback, 1984) {A good biography of the famous astrologer.}
Kepler, Johann, De fundamentis astrologiae certioribus, 1602 {Kepler, the great astronomer, also practiced astrology. In this work he rejects many traditional aspects of astrology, such as the houses and zodiac signs, and emphasizes aspects, the angular relationships between the planets.}
Kepler, Johann, Concerning the More Certain Fundamentals of Astrology (Edmonds, WA: Sure Fire Press, 1987) {An English translation of above.}
Klibansky, R., Panofsky, E., and Saxl, F., Saturn and Melancholy (London: 1964) {An interpretation of Albrecht Dürer's print "Melancolia I," in light of astrological medicine.}
Lewis, C. S., The Discarded Image (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964) {Excellent survey of medieval and Renaissance intellectual commonplaces, such as the powers of the planets. Lewis is particularly good in that he emphasizes what a motley collection of books medieval people inherited, and the distinctive way in which they interpreted and reconciled them.}
Lilly, William, An Introduction to Astrology, ed. Zadkiel [pseudonym] (London: G. Bell, 1907) {Lilly was the most famous astrologer in seventeenth century England, with a great deal of political influence during the English Civil War. "Zadkiel" was the re-founder of modern astrology in the nineteenth century, according to Howe, 1968.}
Lilly, William, An Introduction to Astrology, reprinted (Hollywood CA, Newcastle Books, 1972) {"This William Lilly's most famous work, and the standard text for the Horary tradition. Pretty much all Horary work begins here. Absolutely essential." --Win Rowe. It is largely based on Abu Ma'shar's works. Lilly was a "Hermetic" astrologer, the last of the magi. Astrology went out of intellectual fashion after his death, and later proponents have tried to use the methods of modern science.}
Lilly, William, The Last of the Astrologers, ed. K. M. Briggs (London: Folklore Society, Mistletoe Books, 1974) {First printed 1602-81. +IU. Cavendish, Magic, 1977, 170. Lilly's autobiography. "This is a reprint of William Lilly's autobiography, which is valuable in assessing the sincerity of a typical astrological publicist, popularizer, and practitioner in the last century of its involvement in ordinary public life in England." --Win Rowe. Compare Parker's 1975 biography}
Nowoty, K. A., "Construction of Certain Seals and Characters in the Work of Agrippa von Netesheim," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 12 (1949): pages 46-57 {Magic squares symbolizing the planets in amulets traced to Sabians. Extensive notes.}
Parker, Derek, Familiar to All. William Lilly and Astrology in the Seventeenth Century (London: J. Cape, 1975) {A biography of England's most important astrologer.}
Picatrix: The Latin Version of the Ghayat Al-Hakim, ed. David Pingree (London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1986) {Very good. Pingree promises a second volume with Renaissance Italian, French, and English translations.}
Pingree, David, "Between the Ghaya and Picatrix I: The Spanish Version," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 44 (1981): pages 27-56 {On fragments of a twelfth century Spanish translation. Spanish and Latin text in parallel columns. Contains a useful account of how medieval translations were actually made.}
Rowse, A. L., Sex and Society in Shakespeare's Age: Simon Forman the Astrologer (NY: Scribner's, 1976) {Simon Foreman was Lilly's teacher, and quite an interesting character in his own right. Rowse puts Forman's astrological sex diaries to good use. Compare Parker, Familiar to All.}
Seznec, Jean, The Survival of the Pagan Gods. The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, tr. from the French by Barbara F. Sessoins, Bollingen Series 38 (Pantheon Books, 1953) {French edition, Warburg Inst. Studies Vol. 11, London: Warburg Institute, 1940. Very good account of astrological symbolism in use in the Latin Middle Ages and the Renaissance.}
Shumaker, Wayne, The Occult Sciences in the Renaissance. A Study in Intellectual Patterns (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: U. of CA Pr., 1972) {A good introduction to Renaissance occultism in general. The first chapter is on astrology. Shumaker deserves praise for the unusual step of explicitly stating his own skeptical views of the occult, in the foreword. Well illustrated with reproductions of Renaissance woodcuts.}
Strauss, H. A., and Strauss-Klöbe, S., Die Astrologie des Johannes Kepler. Eine Auswahl aus seinen Schriften (1926) {The famous Renaissance scientist was also a prominent astrologer.}
Thomas, Keith, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1971) {A well-known, good, survey. Magic declined with the rise of Protestantism.}
Turner, Robert, Elizabethan Magic: The Art and the Magus, fwd. by Colin Wilson (Longmead, Dorset, UK: Element Books, Ltd., 1989) {A basic introduction to careers of Dee, Forman, Fludd, et al. Moderately good.}
Vicente-Garcia, Luis Miguel, La Astrologia En El Cristianismo Y En La Literatura Medieval Castellana. Edicion De La Octava Parte Inedita Del 'Libro Conplido En Los Juyzios De Las Estrellas' (University of California, Los Angeles: doctoral dissertation, 1989) {abstract: This dissertation brings to light an unedited medieval manuscript, the eighth part of the Libro conplido en los juyzios de las estrellas, found in the Cathedral of Segovia's archives. The edition of the manuscript is preceded by a study that highlights the attitude of Christian thinkers toward astrology and demonstrates how this attitude manifested itself in medieval Castilian literature}
Wright, Peter William George, Astrology in Mid-Seventeenth Century England. A Sociological Analysis (London, UK: University of London, Dissertation, 1983) {The author studies the social uses and milieu of astrology, and reasons for its decline in late seventeenth century. Astrology did not die because of the new astronomy.}

Astrology Since The Renaissance

Astrology died at the end of the 17th century with the rise of modern science. Modern astronomers were and are quite hostile to a rival. When Bouché-Leclercq wrote, in the late 19th century, the beginnings of a modern revival were barely visible. It became popular once more in the aftermath to WW I and the revulsion toward that disaster, brought about by modern science and technology, many thought. Robert Graves was not the only one to conclude that anything might be true, except what you read in newspapers. The techniques of modern astrology were partly taken from reprints of Renaissance astrologers, such as Lilly, partly brought to Europe from India by such groups as the Theosophical Society. Modern astrology is largely "scientific." "Religious" astrology is found occasionally among Wiccans and modern ritual magicians.
Brooke, John L., The Refiner's Fire; The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994) {Early American occult beliefs and how they affected the first generation of Mormons. Cf. Leventhal}
Chaney, W. H., "The Astrologer's Vade Mecum," in James R. Lewis, The Beginnings of Astrology in America. Astrology and the Re-emergence of Cosmic Religion, Cults and New Religions, J. Gordon Melton, gen. ed. (NY and London: Garland Publishing, 1990) {Only original pages given, not any for Lewis volume. Melton has edited many good reference works on North American religions. This series began recently to re-publish works of historical value.}
Dean, Geoffrey and Mather, Arthur eds. Recent Advances in Natal Astrology (Bromley, Kent, England, The Astrological Association, 1977). {"This is billed as a 'critical review' and it really is. many articles on every conceivable contemporary application and research project on astrology. It has numerous formulas and algorithms printed nowhere else. Essential for serious research programs, particularly scientific, and statistical. It is already dated, and it is to be hoped that another edition is in the making." --Win Rowe.}
Gargalis, S., "The Daily Guide," in James R. Lewis, The Beginnings of Astrology in America. Astrology and the Re- emergence of Cosmic Religion, NY and London: Garland Publishing, 1990 {Only original pages given, not any for Lewis volume. Early astrological pamphlet of historical interest.}
Gettings, Fred. The Secret Zodiac : the hidden art in mediaeval astrology. (London; New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987) {Study of the S. Miniato al Monte (Church : Florence, Italy) with index and bibliography (pp. 171-91) on astrology in art, Christian art and symbolism, and the zodiac in art.}
Hazelrigg, J., "Metaphysical Astrology," in James R. Lewis, The Beginnings of Astrology in America. Astrology and the Re-emergence of Cosmic Religion, NY and London: Garland Publishing, 1990 {Only original pages given, none for Lewis volume.}
Howe, Ellic, Astrology: A Recent History Including the Untold Story of its Role in World War II (NY: Walker, 1968) {reprint of Urania's Children, 1967. This is nearly the only good history of the astrological revival in modern times. Howe helped print bogus astrological magazines to drop on Hitler's Germany, and has written on the history of ritual magic and of printing, as well.}
Hungad, Temple, "A Brief History of Astrology," in James R. Lewis, The Beginnings of Astrology in America. Astrology and the Re-emergence of Cosmic Religion, NY and London: Garland Publishing, 1990 {Only original pages given, not any for Lewis volume.}
Leventhal, Herbert, In The Shadow of the Enlightenment: Occultism and Renaissance Science in Eighteenth Century America (NY: New York University Press, 1976) {The occult renaissance in colonial America. Cf. Brooke}
Lewis, James R., ed. with introduction, The Beginnings of Astrology in America. Astrology and the Re-emergence of Cosmic Religion, in J. Gordon Melton, Cults and New Religions NY and London: Garland Publishing, 1990 {An anthology of early US astrological texts.}
Quinn, D. Michael, Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, 1987) {A distinguished Mormon historian demonstrates that Joseph Smith was a backwoods occultist, as well as a prophet. Fascinating photographs of Smith's amulets, seer stones, etc. Quinn demonstrates that the Jupiter amulet that Smith wore at his death was copied from a particular edition of Reginald Scott's Discoverie of Witchcraft. There is a curious foreword in which Quinn testifies to the sincerity of his own Mormon faith.}
Truzzi, Marcello, "Astrology: A Review Symposium," Zetetic Scholar 3-4 (1979): 71-121 {reviews and discussion of Dean, Mather, et al., 1977. Includes George O. Abell, Dane Rudhyar, Hans J. Eysenck, Michel Gauquelin, Malcolm Dean, Joseph Agassi and Arthur Mather. An excellent discussion of the issues facing modern "scientific" astrology.}
Zoller, Robert, The Arabic Parts in Astrology. A Lost Key to Prediction (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1989) {Despite the title, not particularly Arabian. Ostensibly on the lots, fictional planets calculated as so many degrees away from a real planet. The Lot of Fortune was the most important. (Compare Neugebauer and van Hoesen.) Zoller is an unusually scholarly believer, pp 15-76 are on the metaphysics of astrology, largely Neo-Platonic: "... the basis of astrology is not the physical movements of the planets, not some kind of 'radiation' from the stars, but is in fact the esoteric nature of number...." He is also rather deterministic: "... it is in fact one of the primary tenets behind the study of astrology that all experiences... are caused by the action of 'Heaven' on `Earth'....", pp 71-133 translate Guido Bonnati's thirteenth century Liber Astronomiae. Includes a section on predicting commodity prices -- probably as useful as any stockbroker's formula used today. "The most important and complete book in English on the computation and use of the so called 'Arabic Parts'. An essential and excellent work." --Win Rowe.}


These are a few links to scholarly sites which I have found useful. Most of them have further bibliographies. No one knows better than I how many other worthy sites I have missed. {A collection of primary sources in English translation; many of their e-publications are available in paper form as well} {Another excellent collection of primary sources} {"Sober, kook-free information about ancient astrology and divination "} {The Christian Classics Ethereal Library, early Christian sources on-line} {Good bibliographies and on-line archives. Also an on-line journal.} {Excellent account of the Chinese calendar} {[This is the Twilit Grotto, Joseph Peterson's useful online library for general magic and the occult. Not specifically devoted to astrology] {Adam McLean's alchemy website; it is so huge and has so much information it is useful even if alchemy is not your area, for general esoteric information} {a homepage devoted to Chinese Buddhist astrology, reminiscent of Indian astrology} {David Juste's bibliography from Histoire de l'Astrologie Occidentale}