Article

Observing and Describing The World Through Divination and Astronomy

Francesca Rochberg

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199557301.013.0029

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Observing and Describing The World Through Divination and Astronomy

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This article examines observation and description of the world through divination and astronomy in ancient Mesopotamian scribal culture. It discusses observation-statements that stand in relation to the omen divination programme and the astronomical observations of the Babylonian Diaries focusing on their relationships and the formation of the empirical foundation of mathematical astronomy. It suggests that the modern reconstruction of the Babylonian mathematical astronomical texts has been of profound significance for the history of science because the foundation of Western astronomy is traceable in those sources.

Keywords: divination; astronomy; scribal culture; ancient Mesopotamia; Babylonia Diaries; mathematical astronomy; Western astronomy

Article.  9898 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Philosophy ; Historical Archaeology

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