History of Stargazing

in the Anciet World

Ancient cave art that depicted one of the earliest discovered lunar calendars

Since the dawn of civilization, astrology has been a part of human history and culture. Astrology's origins can be traced all the way back to 25,000 BCE when Neanderthals first started noting the lunar cycles. By 3,000 BCE, this superstitious science was deeply rooted in many sophisticated ancient cultures.

A Babylonian mosaic depicting the traditional zodiac calendar.

Babylonian astrology, most famous for creating the modern-day zodiac calendar, was the first organized, most widespread and agreed-upon system of divining information from the stars of its time. When Egypt was conquered by the Persians in 525 BCE, the native beliefs and the Mesopotamian influences began to clash.

A statue of Atlas who is often depicted as holding up the sky or heavens

When Alexander the Great conquered the region, traditional Decanic and foreign Babylonian astrology combined to create Horoscopic astrology. This form of astrology included the zodiac calendar, which was then divided into decans, and the heralding signs of planets, astral bodies and eclipses. Hellenistic culture, including Horoscopic astrology, greatly influenced the Roman people. In the 2nd century BCE, astrology began to appear in literature, but was always portrayed as superstition amongst the poor and working class. Over time, horoscopic astrology gave rise to divination and found a place in the emperor's court. Throughout the Roman era, astrology's popularity would wax and wain, but most often it played integral roles in superstition, rituals, and religion.

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