Scale in Ancient Astrology

Scale in Ancient Astrology
Where: Durham University, Institute of Advanced Study
When: 9-10 December 2016

Workshop sponsored by the British Academy and the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham; held under the auspices of the Durham Centre for the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Near East.

Ancient astrology confronts both ancient and modern interpreters with an acute problem of scale: given the spatial and temporal gulfs between celestial and terrestrial phenomena, how can the former be mapped onto the latter? This interdisciplinary workshop compares the ways in which Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek astrology dealt with this problem. All three cultures had in common the cosmic scale of celestial movements which can ultimately be understood and predicted mathematically, yet the ways in which they each ‘scaled down’ to human affairs were different. Even where concepts and techniques were borrowed cross-culturally, the relationship between events in heaven and earth was reconfigured, sometimes subtly, sometimes in far-reaching ways. The workshop brings together experts in the different cultures to explore points of intersection and divergence between Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek astrology, as well as changes within each tradition over time.

If interested in attending, please contact Kathryn Stevens: kathryn.stevens@durham.ac.uk

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