Stars, Time, and Birth

Lecture Theatre, Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford

 

In J. Crisostomo et al (eds), The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts Essays on Assyriology and the History of Science in Honor of Francesca Rochberg, AMD 13 (Leiden, 2018), pp. 382-419

Stars, Time, and Birth: The Temple and Astral Science in Graeco-Roman Egypt

Although astronomers are attested already in the earliest written sources in Egypt from the 3rd millennium BC, the preserved sources suggest that there was an increased focus on astral knowledge in the 1st millennium BC, and particularly from ca 500 BC onwards. A similar process can be observed in Mesopotamia, particularly after the introduction of the zodiac, which also made its appearance relatively early on in Egypt. In my talk, I will discuss the introduction of the zodiac in Egypt and its impact on the culture country in a broader sense, as well as the role of the Egyptian priesthood in transferring this knowledge further afield.