By Franz Cumont
It's the goal of those lectures added below the auspices of the yank Committee for Lectures at the background of Religions, to sum up the result of researches carried on by means of me for a few years within the box of historical astrology and astral faith. For a few proof set forth right here in a precis style, i will refer the reader drawn to the main points to a couple of detailed articles released in quite a few periodicals; the evidence of alternative assertions might be given in a bigger paintings that i am hoping at a few destiny date to submit in this similar basic subject matter.
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Extra info for Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans
Doubtless the theories of astronomers never [p. 16] completely eliminated the naive tales which tradition related about the divine stars; here, as elsewhere, the enquiry into physical causes failed to get rid of mythical survivals, and the doctrines of oriental cosmographers continued to be encumbered with absurd notions. In order to be convinced on this point it is sufficient to glance at the astronomic curiosities of the Book of Enoch, which as late as the first century before our era echoes the old Chaldean doctrines.
It was the heavenly bodies that by their regular movements taught man to divide into successive sections the unbroken chain of moments. Each of the periods marked in the unending flight of time shared the divinity of the stars, particularly the Seasons. In their worship old festivals of nature were combined with ideas derived from astrology. Babylonian theology had never entirely broken with the primitive veneration with which Semitic tribes regarded all the mysterious forces surrounding man. In the time of Hammurabi the supreme triad was composed, as we have said, of the gods of Heaven, Earth, and Water.
Perhaps, also, certain distant reminiscences of the original naturalism of the Aryan tribes led the common people to regard the stars as living beings. It was a shock to popular belief when Anaxagoras maintained that they were merely bodies in a state of incandescence. But although the piety of the multitude was full of reverence for the great celestial [p.
Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans by Franz Cumont