skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

AP - Ancient philosophy & Astrology

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Traditional (& Ancient) Techniques
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Archived Post



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 234
Location: Skyscript

Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:55 pm    Post subject: AP - Ancient philosophy & Astrology Reply with quote

11 Aug 2003

Sue:

This is in response to Ekati's most recent post found in the Mars as ruler of Scorpio thread (Traditional Forum). The other one was getting out of hand.

Ekati, I would be interested to know what you mean when you say philosophy. Obviously it was a very different concept in ancient times and was very much tied into religious purposes for most of history. Much of history has been reconstructed to suit particular arguments. We are led to believe, for example, that there has been a long history of conflict between religion and science. Simply not true. Philosophy has also been a victim of the need to reconstruct history in a way that suggests a long line of development towards what we now know (or think we know) to be true.

Stoicism is very suited to astrology but originally the Stoics rejected it. It was largely due to the efforts of one man (Posidonius) that Stoics shifted to an acceptance. They came to realise that astrology, certainly as it was then, suited their beliefs. They believed in the oneness of Nature and the Universe, including gods and people. Everything worked according to the same laws, which they called Fate. They came to accept that since all things are one and the same stuff and work in the same way, there is a cosmic sympathy. This made sense of divination and therefore of astrology.
Aristotle, on the other hand, believed in two kinds of physics, one for the sublunary world and one for the heavens.
In ancient Greece, it was the poets who were seen as the purveyors of truth. They were the ones who generally conveyed the meaning of these things to others. They contribute a huge amount of understanding of what thoughts were prevalent in society at the time.
To me, the most important questions are not who invented or developed astrology or whether they were right or wrong in their techniques but how it functioned in their society and how it contributed to the quality and meaning of their lives as a society and as individuals.

----------------------------

Sue:

Quote:
Now about "ancient Babylonians". Babylon is the name of a city which was named Babylon after Alexander the great. Before that, there is no Babylon. There is no "ancient Babylon" or "ancient Babylonians". The city was called Ninevi and it was capital of the Assyrian empire. There was never a "Babylon empire", it was Assyrian empire those times. The Assyrians claim their origin from the mythical ruler Surmatreus (Sur-matr-eus, As-sur--> Assyrian). Assyria is also connected with the mythical woman-ruler Semiramis who -accirding to myth- created the famous "Gardens of Ninevi", who today are called "gardens of Babylon". But this is not correct since Babylon as a name, exists after Alexander the great.


I meant to reply to this aspect of your post earlier but had things I needed to do. When you talk about Ninevi do you mean Nineveh, which was the capital of Assyria? My understanding is quite different.
As far as I'm aware, Babylon, capital of Babylonia and Nineveh are two different places. And there was a region called Babylonia with Babylon as its capital. Assyria and Babylonia were part of Mesopotamia. It is a confusing history because many historians tend to call it Babylon before it was called that. The area was invaded around 1900BCE by the Amorites from Syria and Babylon, as it became known, became the centre of the region. As with many regions of the time (and indeed today) there was a long history of rise and fall. It's heyday at that time was under the rule of King Hammurabi who ruled somewhere around 1848BCE (Some say later, depending on who is writing). Their local god was Marduk who became known as the creator and slew Tiamat. Hammurabi's main claim to fame was to establish a centralised code of law, known Hammurabi's Code. The place was invaded around 1600BCE or thereabouts. It continued in various guises but still basically as Babylonia.
It's next real prominence came with King Nabonassar in the 700's BCE. This was when accurate records began to be kept on eclipses. Future astrologer/astronomers such as Ptolemy used these records. It was during this time that the area thrived. Nineveh fell to the Babylonians around 610BCE. Not long after that, Cyrus the Great established the Persian Empire, taking in both Assyria and Babylonia. And as we all know, Alexander the Great took over in about 334BCE.

------------------------

Ekati:

Sue wrote:
Quote:
Obviously it was a very different concept in ancient times and was very much tied into religious purposes for most of history.


Actually, it was religion that was tied up to philosophy. No matter what views, what beliefs, what theology one had, it had to be backed up with arguments and reason.

There was a custom in Ionian states and in mainland Hellas, already established by 600 bce. It was the custom of the "Kosmoidols". Each one who studied philosophy and wanted to get involved with it, had the obligation to write a paper, the Kosmoidol, and deposit it to the Prytaneio, of each city-state. In this paper, the young philosopher had to develop his own thesis and theory about the Kosmos. It did not matter if he believed it, or if it could apply in practice. It had to be backed up logically and also it had to be a whole new theory. It was not allowed to write something that someone else had already written. The reason for these rules was to help develop logical and original thinking. The Kosmoidols were usually titled "Peri Physeos" (On Physis). That is why there are so many hellenic works with this title, esp. before 400 bce. In time, all these that could be said reached the point of satiation. Then the theme of those papers became the politics and society and when in its turn, it came also to satiation, the theme became the human behaviour.

The Kosmoidols where an important custom that could make someone well known or destroy him, like in the case of Anaxagoras (who was sentenced to death, but Pericles intervened and Anaxagoras was exiled. Unfortunately Anaxagoras was a mathematician and not a philosopher and his views caused much harm)

Quote:
Much of history has been reconstructed to suit particular arguments. We are led to believe, for example, that there has been a long history of conflict between religion and science. Simply not true. Philosophy has also been a victim of the need to reconstruct history in a way that suggests a long line of development towards what we now know (or think we know) to be true.



Indeed and as usual I will say it is christianity to blame for that. It is the only system that came in total antithesis with philosophy, with science and with all the healthy religions on this planet (the non-monotheistic). It has even managed to be in bad terms with the other two monotheistic religions, judaism and muslim. Not to mention it has managed to be in bad terms with itself, resulting in all those versions (catholic, protestant, orthodox etc.) out of which the orthodox is the worst kind of all.

Quote:
Stoicism is very suited to astrology but originally the Stoics rejected it. It was largely due to the efforts of one man (Posidonius) that Stoics shifted to an acceptance.



Stoicism begins with Zeno, who was influenced by Parmenides. Aristotle did prove Parmenides kosmoidol to be irrational (with logical fallacies, as we would say today). In the beginning the Stoics were very good at mathematics but did not have much knowledge about the stars. Gradually they learned.

Quote:
They believed in the oneness of Nature and the Universe, including gods and people. Everything worked according to the same laws, which they called Fate. They came to accept that since all things are one and the same stuff and work in the same way, there is a cosmic sympathy.



Leaving the Parmenides ideas aside and under the gradual learning of the laws of the stars, the Stoics occupied themselves with Heimarmeni (imagine this something like Karma and Darma together). They did not think that "all things are one", but rather they viewed Universe as systemic, where all beings, gods, worlds, ideas etc interacted with one another, co-influenced and co-shaped the outcome.

The "all things are one" is not possible for Hellenes and I will explain why. In the English language the word Universe derives from uni-, one. So it is natural to think that way and say that "all things are one". In the hellenic language, the corresponding word is Sympan. It is a composite word from "syn" (=plus) and "pan" (=all). Sympan is the sum of all, the total sum of all the things that Exists. All these interact with each other, therfore Sympan is systemic.

Hence their interest on Heimarmeni, which is the systemic complexus of the interaction of all beings, and of their actions and the outcome of the interaction of all beings and all their actions. Heimarmeni is dynamically re-defined each moment, each second. Or as Heracletus had said, "new sun every day" or "one cannot enter the same river twice".

Quote:
In ancient Greece, it was the poets who were seen as the purveyors of truth. They were the ones who generally conveyed the meaning of these things to others. They contribute a huge amount of understanding of what thoughts were prevalent in society at the time.



The poets were something like the theologists of the time. The studies of a poet included mythology, numbers, rhymes and metres, harmonics and music.


Quote:
To me, the most important questions are not who invented or developed astrology or whether they were right or wrong in their techniques but how it functioned in their society and how it contributed to the quality and meaning of their lives as a society and as individuals.



From the few I know, it was used in many fields. In the building of temples and the construction of statues, along with mathematics and geometry (**this is very important**). In agriculture. In choosing the right time for feasts, for sacrifices and for the celebrations of the gods. In deciding about a battle and when to start. In medicine for diagnosis and cure of diseases and the making of medicines (Iatromathematics, the Aegyptian contribution). Also in Hippocratic medicine astrology was used. In predicting the weather (mostly by use of the sun and the moon and also observing other factors such as clouds, their colours, the halo around the moon etc.)

To me it is important to find out how the astrological system developed, in what condidions, by what needs and how it took shape in time and which is its underlying philosophy. That will tell me how and why it was used and this is important for understanding how to use it nowadays and what corrections should I make to the way I astrologise.

Astrology today is in a state of mess, full of mistakes, misunderstandings, improvised techniches and irresponsibility. This mess should eventually be cleaned in order for Astrology to be considered a science (again). And let's just say that I am interested in seeing astrology restored.

I will write some more, on Ninevi tomorrow. Now it is dawn...time to sleep


--------------------------

Graelhaven:

It is appropriate to say that the Greek states demanded belief be backed by reasoning, but I believe you are applying this Greek philosophy to Assyrian/ Mesopotamian and Egyptians, rather than actually having documetation to back that up. In fact I've always thought that one of the reasons Greeks conquored much of this part of the world was simply that they logik'd their way through... the mesopotamian valley shows little reason to believe that they had any such beliefs... "the Hanging Gardens of Babylon" are one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. And its called that simply because the person who called them that to start with didn't see them until LONG after the place was called babylon... One thing I'd rather like to see in an interactive world map online that will tell you the name of a place if you type in the era you are asking about, so you can see both its current and past affiliations... For instance Nambibia did not exist as a country until 1990, before that it was merely another part of South Africa. I think it would be an invaluable tool for Historians, UN, and Travelers. really shouldn't be a horrible program to build either... hmmmm, guess its time to go talk to some programmers...

---------------------------

Sue:

An interactive historical map sounds like a great idea. I’m surprised that this isn’t available already. Perhaps it is somewhere. I will have to check it out. There are certainly enough hard copy publications. It is true that it is sometimes difficult to track the history of names when looking at the past. But generally, historians try to put it into context by using the name that a place was known as at the time. A good example of this would be what is now known as Istanbul. Until around 330CE it was known as Byzantium. It then became Constantinople finally becoming Istanbul somewhere around 1930CE (not really sure of the date). Most books I have read tend to remain faithful to the name that was used at the time. It isn’t exactly clear when Babylon was named. Some say around 2200BCE. Others say the Amorites named it Babylon at the time of the invasion in about 1900BCE. What is fairly clear is that it was called Babylon during the reign of Hammurabi (which reminds me, his reign was in the 1700’s not the 1800’s as I said in my previous post. That was a genuine typo). In the document known as the ‘Code of Hammurabi’, the name Babylon is used. There could perhaps be an argument to suggest that it is the translators who have used the name but this is unlikely. Even the writings of Aristotle prior to the invasion by Alexander the Great, mention Babylon. Ancient texts abound with examples of the name.

-------------------------

Graelhaven:

I have a history program at home that sorta does what I'm thinking of, but not quite, I've emailed friends at National Geographic and they are thinking on it. they have lots of really cool interactive maps now, but not quite one that does what I'm talking about.

Hopefully we'll see something in the not to distant future...this would be an Invaluable teaching tool! lets all cross our fingers, ron at NG will tell me if it goes to production or not.

--------------------------

Sue:

Thanks for reminding me about National Geographic. I have the whole collection on cd rom going back to the first issue. There's about 30 cd's or something like that in a very nice wood box. I'd forgotten I had them. Anyway, I spent a large part of yesterday going through some of their articles about Babylon and Babylonia. (I'll do anything to get out of working on my Uni assignment.) They have some very interesting articles. There were some major archeological digs happening in the first part of the 20th century. Lots of cool maps too, as you would expect from National Geographic. Not interactive though. The whole region has a fascinating history.

----------------------------

Ekati:

llo again,

sorry for this long absence. I had to stay some time without pc, until I was able to replace it. In the meanwhile, I found out some more on the subject of Babylon.

Sue, you were right, it was an area name, prior to Alexander. But not so far in the distant past. By Herodotus times, Babylon is already refered as an area. Prior to that, it was a metaphoric expression. Aeschylus uses the word in this sense in his tragedy Perses, as a poetical expression.

The name Babylon origins from Babel and depending whether it was spelled with one or two l's, it meant gate (babel) or gate of gods (babell), in the local dialect of the inhabitants of Mesopotamian area. There were two main tribes living there, the Sumerians who lived to the south and were mostly a peaceful agricultural nation and the Goordioi who lived to the north and were more warlike. Later on the Goordioi are referenced as Karduchoi (Xenofon, Kyrou Anabasis) and propably are the ancestors of the contemporary Kurds.

Babylon as a city, comes finally into existence in Alexander times.

---------------------------

Ekati:

Nineveh, got its name from the mythical ruler Ninos. According to myth, he married Semiramis (of aegyptian origin perhaps, as her name implies) and she turned out to be a very capable woman ruler. Nineveh became a wealthy and strong city under her governing, and she continued to rule after the death of Ninos. Semiramis had created the mythical hanging gardens of Nineveh.

In historical times now, Nineveh became the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrian Empire consisted of five realms-areas, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Persia, the Lydia and Medeia. When the Assyrian empire crumbled, the Perso-Medo-Lydic empire formed that later on gets to be known generally as Persian Empire. Gradually Persian Empire, took over Mesopotamian and Assyrian areas and the areas of Phoeniki and Aegypt.

Persians contributed to Astrology with the development of natal Astrology. So far, in my extensive historical research, I found that branches of Astrology like electional for example, were developed by Hellens, other branches relevant to medicine were developed by Aegyptians, but the natal Astrology, was conceived and developed by Persian astrologers (who later on were generally referenced as Chaldeans and even later on, in roman times, the term Chaldean was applied to anyone who was involved with astrology and some forms of divination - by that time, it had already started to acquire a negative meaning).

---------------------------

Ekati:

Quote:
In the document known as the ‘Code of Hammurabi’, the name Babylon is used. There could perhaps be an argument to suggest that it is the translators who have used the name but this is unlikely.



Oh, no, not Hammurabi. Now how am I supposed to find the original text and a decent, non-christian translation? Wink
Even asking for an oracle by Apollon would be easier than this...

-----------------------------

Graelhaven:

Hammerappi's laws are printed in full on a couple of archeological sights on line. Non christian translations. I believe I first found them through archeology today, but it was a university sight that had the translations and they were very literal, not poetical, so I presume they were not muddied with any religious leanings. And they were quite interesting. far more liberal than current laws of that area in my opinion. It's been a while since I looked them up, will see if I cant find a decent link.

-------------------------------

Sue:

If you are interested in reading a translation of the 'Code of Hammurabi' and can't find one, I will be happy to email you a copy of the translation that I have. I retyped it from a CD rom version.

--------------------------------

Ekati:

Thanks Sue,

I tried to find some translations. I came across one, from the Ancient History Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.html).

In most of the text, the word Babylon comes up, more as an allegory rather than actual city. For example:

"I have in Babylon the city where Anu and Bel raise high their head in E-Sagil, the Temple, whose foundations stand firm as heaven and earth"

"successor of Sumula-il; the mighty son of Sin-muballit; the royal scion of Eternity; the mighty monarch, the sun of Babylon, whose rays shed light over the land of Sumer and Akkad; the king, obeyed by the four quarters of the world, Beloved of Ninni, am I."

"who conquered the four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon, rejoiced the heart of Marduk"

"When Anu the Sublime, King of the Anunaki, and Bel, the lord of Heaven and earth, who decreed the fate of the land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of Ea, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Igigi, they called Babylon by his illustrious name, made it great on earth, and founded an everlasting kingdom in it, whose foundations are laid so solidly as those of heaven and earth; then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi"

In all these cases, Babylon is referred more as a divine and/or mythical place rather than an actual place on earth.

It looks like the Olympus references in hellenic mythology. Although there is a mountain in mainland Hellas, that is called Olympus, in most of mythology, the name Olympus, when it comes up, it does not refer to the actual place (i.e. mount Olympus) but to a mythical place, Olympus, where the gods live.

I think that in the same way, that there was first the mythical Olympus, and then it became a mountain name, there seems to have been a mythical Babylon, that later on became the name of a specific area and even later on, the name of the city that was built in alexander times.

Still, I would like one day to look into the prototype. My personal experience from translations is dreadful...in the end I had to study ancient hellenic with lots of help from syntax/grammar books and dictionaries, in order to be able to read the actual meaning of the texts I was researching. It is not that all the context of the translation is wrong, but there are phrases here, bits there, that if not correctly translated, they can change the whole meaning of a paragraph or of a section.

In addition, you have to understand the logic/way of thinking of the ancient texts. See what happend to Aristotle and his definition of "god", that was seriously distorted by Aquinates, resulting in jerks like Morin not just getting it all wrong, but building a whole theory on this wrong foundation. And what is worse, is that even in contemporary times, and with all the available correct information there are many people that are still unwilling to accept the facts and keep spreading this older mistake around.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Archived Post



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 234
Location: Skyscript

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AP - This is an archived post, but may still be responded to.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Traditional (& Ancient) Techniques All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated