Synopses & Reviews
Today our most obvious link to the ancient cultures of Babylonia is through the twelve constellations that make up the zodiac. The zodiac is, however, but a part of a much larger system of star-lore that could reveal so much about ancient man and his beliefs. Knowledge of this lore could provide many profound insights into how early civilisations viewed the gods, the nature of the universe and the destiny of mankind. This book is the first of its kind, specifically written for the layman, to explore the constellations and star-lore of ancient Babylonia. It presents the idea that the constellation figures as a whole amount to a 'pictorial calendar' that integrates various seasonal festivals - concerned with the mythic life-cycle of the sun, the farming and herding year, the institution of kingship and various rites directed towards the dead - into an elegant system that ultimately represents an archaic image of time itself. The introductory sections describe the structure of the archaic cosmos, and then go on to give an overview of the whole star-map. The main body of the book is composed of an A-Z gazette, which explores the names, appearances and associated lore of each star and constellation in greater detail. A set of appendices furnishes additional background information on the reconstruction of the Babylonian star-map, the history of star-lore in Mesopotamia, the calendar, the cuneiform writing system and the use of the stars in divination. Beyond the familiar figures of the zodiac, the Babylonian constellations have laid in almost total obscurity for the last two thousand years. Here for the first time the complete star-map is reconstructed and many of its secrets revealed, sothat now the whole system of celestial symbolism can be restored to something approaching its former glory.
Specifically written for the layman, this text explores the constellations and star-lore of ancient Babylonia, presenting the idea that the constellation figures as a whole amount to a pictorial calendar that integrates various seasonal festivals into an elegant and archaic image of time itself.