Astrology numbers among mankind`s oldest sciences. It played a prominent role not only in the advanced civilizations of antiquity but also in the cultural history of Europe. It contributed to the development of the natural sciences, primarily astronomy, physics and chemistry, was an integral element of philosophies and religions and influenced political decisions, some of which had substantial consequences. Kocku von Stuckrad masterfully interweaves the disparate aspects of this often neglected or gingerly approached field and provides a thorough synopsis of a central stream in the European history of science and ideas. Not least, this well organized and highly informative book will serve as a first-class introduction to systems of astrological interpretation. It includes a glossary which defines the most important concepts. A must for all who are interested in astrology today or in historical times, regardless of whether they are searching for relationships between the vault of heaven and the earth. In this first comprehensive history of astrology Kocku von Stuckrad describes how celestial science emerged in Mesopotamia and played a significant role in ancient Egypt.
Over the course of antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, knowledge of the course of planets and stars grew more sophisticated. The author examines the role of astrology in various philosophical systems and in major religions, and he discusses the new approaches astrology took in modern times after its legitimacy increasingly came under fire.
Table of Contents
Forward Introduction 1. Interpreted Time:What is Astrology? 2. The Elements of Astrological Interpretation II. From the Beginnings to a Complex System of Interpretation 1. Calendar, Cult and Cosmos: Astrology in the Stone Age? 2. Mesopotamia 3. The Influence of Egypt. III. The Astrology of Antiquity 1. Greek Astrology to Hipparch 2. The Rise of Astrology as the leading Technique for Interpreting Time in Rome 3. Where do the Ancient Religions stand with regard to Astrology? IV. Colourful instead of Dark: The Middle Ages 1.Introduction: The Construction of the 'Christian Occident' 2. Astrology in the Islamic Cultural Area 3. Astrology in the Christian Cultural Area. V. Revolving Door into Modern Times: The Renaissance 1. The Rediscovery of 'Original' Wisdom 2. Natural Philosophy and Esotericism 3. Professional Astrologers and University Professors 4. The First Medial Mass Event of Modern Times VI. The End of Astrology? Scientific Revolutions and Enlightened Reseaerch into Nature 1. Astrology in the Circle of Things Banned by Denominationalism 2. The Scientific and Philosophical 'Revolutions' 3. From the Enlightenment to Romanticism VII. Lines of Development in Modern Astrology 1. Great Britian in the 19th Century 2. Development in Other Countries 3. Soul instead of Event 4. The Situation Today 5. Astrology in Empirical Social Research. APPENDICES Bibliography, Timetable, Glossary of Astrological Technical Terms, Astrological Symbols, General Index, Index of Illustrations
Kocku von Stuckrad teaches at the Institute for the History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Previously he was a professor of religious studies at the University of Bayreuth. His most recent work includes Einfuhrung in die Religionswissenschaft (Introduction to the Science of Religion) with Hans G. Kippenberg published in 2003 in German by C.H. Beck.