The article is intended to be pleasing to those readers who have a natural curiosity. There are books and articles out there on the that pertain to to the heavens you can really enjoy and you don’t have to be a genius to understand them. You can just sit back and spend time relaxing while you enjoy basking in their knowledge. Personally, I am completely different.
Western astrology is based in ancient times, long before the Greeks began watching the skies. The people who settled in Mesopotamia (roughly, present-day southern Iraq) around 4000 BC considered the sun, the moon and Venus to be gods, or the homes of gods. Mixed with the other people were those who were believed to have the ability to contact Gods. They were able to tell of future events such as eclipses through keeping an eye on the planets and stars. The astrological theories that were gradually developed in ancient Mesopotamia are the basis upon which later astrological traditions were built, including classical Greek and Hellenistic astronomy. Hellenistic astrology has a hand in influencing other types of astrology.
So what is Ptolemaic Alexandria? Alexander the Great founded the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 331 BC, and the city later became the Ptolemaic Kingdom’s capital (it was appropriately named in honor of the first ruler, Ptolemy) from 332 BC (when the Alexander died) up until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. Alexandria continued to be the capital of Egypt for nearly a thousand years until the Muslim conquest of the country in the middle of the 7th century AD and Hellenism (the Greek way of life spread by Alexander) continued to prosper there throughout that time.
The distinguishing feature of Hellenism was the blend of Classical Greek culture and the cultures of the peoples to the east and south conquered by Alexander the Great. In Alexandria, this translated into a mixture of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Macedonian, Persian, Syrian, Jewish, and Babylonian (Mesopotamian) cultures. One aspect of the rich cultural activity underway in Ptolemaic Alexandria is the development of astrology.(ordinarily the date of the individual’s birth or conception); most contain no predictions. Nevertheless, Horoscopic Astrology had its beginning in Babylonian Astrology.
During the middle of the 4th century BC, Babylonian astrology was introduced in Greece and using the names of the Gods in Greek mythology, the two practices blended together introducing those familiar names we know today. However, the most significant contribution of the Greeks to Western Astrology was the development of Horoscopic Astrology under Hellenistic rule in Ptolemaic Alexandria.
The nucleus of Greek society, Ptolemaic Alexandria, melded the traditions of Babylonian astrology and Pharaonic Egyptian astronomy together. In Greece, India, and Egypt, Greek had evolved into a major form of communicating, which allowed knowledge to be shared amongst those countries. Hellenistic astrology was built on Egyptian and Babylonian traditions and produced a system of Horoscopic Astrology that is the origin of the modern day western Horoscopic Astrology.
Claudius Ptolemy is the astronomer/astrologer who created the development of the horoscope astrology from Alexandria at this great time. Even though he was born of the south of Egypt, Ptolemy was a Hellenistic scholar (85 BC?) and died in Alexandria (165 BC?), no one knows whether he was Egyptian or Greek. He was a Greek man who had been born in Egypt yet resided in Rome, but it did not make the difference that it does now.
Tetrabiblios was one of Ptolemy two best known works (where he compiled all known astrological theories of the time), and the Almagest (a thirteen volume discussion of how the solar system functions). Ptolemy believed that the earth was round, even though he claimed the everything else in the universe revolved around the earth. The Ptolemaic theory taught astronomy students that the sun revolved around the earth for 1400 years, until it was found that the opposite was true. Though Ptolemy made an incredible contribution towards the Horoscopic astrology yet we are unable to discover any horscopes made by him.
However, several zodiacs found in Egypt and dating back to Ptolemaic era provide evidence of Ptolemaic Egypts contribution to Horoscopic Astrology. The most widely known of these is the Dendera zodiac ,found on the ceiling of a chapel dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Osiris. You will be able to visit and glance at these articles in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In the early 19th century, the renowned French linguist Jean-Francois Champollion (who, just a few years earlier, had managed to decipher hieroglyphics) correctly dated the Dendera zodiac to the Ptolemaic era. Currently the date that is agreed upon is 50 BC since it demonstrates the situation of the stars and planets as they would have been observed then. The Dendera zodiac shows the twelve constellations and this is the map of the starts in plane projection (zodiacal band) forming 36 ten-day Decans, is there any other evidence of how babylonian astrology is joined with traditional egyptian decanic astrology.
The Horoscopic Astrology developed by Hellenistic scholars in Ptolemaic Alexandria was the result of the fusion of Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Greek astrology. The seventh century AD marked the end of Hellenistic astrology. In the eighth century, Muslim scholars revitalized interest in the basic elements of ancient astronomy to provide the original source for Western Horoscopic Astrology as we know it today.
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