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Planets in Babylonian astrology

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Planets in Babylonian astrology: gods. It is possible to view more than 5000 stars with the naked eye at night when the sky is clear and there is no artificial light. Consistently orbiting the Earth in the same manner, it seems like they are linked to an enormous globe that rotates once a day.

Planets in Babylonian astrology: gods
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Planets in Babylonian astrology: gods

The Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Sun are among the seven objects that seem to move independently of this sphere. The other six are the planets Saturn and Jupiter.

The Sun and Moon, as well as the fixed sphere of stars, all move in predictable patterns over consistent periods of time, and humans have used them to anticipate the seasons and help in navigating for thousands of years now. Astronomers believe that the earliest constellations were established to make maps and calendars simpler to comprehend and use.

People might have formed constellations by at least 30,000 BCE when a possible image of Orion was carved into a mammoth tusk. Other evidence of prehistoric star maps comes from cave paintings found in the Lascaux caves in France, which date back to 15,000 BCE. These are thought to depict the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters, which are part of the Taurus constellation.

There must have been a long period of time between each phase in the development of Babylonian planetary theory, which may have taken a century or more. In order to accurately describe the motion of the planets in a theoretical setting, a zodiacal coordinate system is required.

Because we know that the 360° Babylonian zodiac was introduced sometime during the fifth century BC, this development most likely took place during the fifth and fourth centuries BC. This development most likely took place prior to the appearance of the oldest preserved ephemeris (for the planet Mercury) for the years 309–289 BC.

According to certain estimates, this time corresponds to the discovery of an early system A type technique to determine the longitudes of Mercury’s last appearance, which may have taken place about 400 BC or earlier.

The initial sections of Babylonian lunar theory, according to my latest research, might date back to the late sixth/early fifth century BC, meaning that the development of lunar system A theory occurred before the development of planetary theory. I will discuss the evolution of Babylonian system A theory as well as the selection of model parameters for the outer planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in this paper.


It is essential to the notion of Babylonian astronomy that lunar and planetary events occur on a regular basis. When it comes to the Moon, Babylonian astronomers established an 18-year periodicity (Saros) in the occurrence of lunar eclipses, whereas periods in solar years were discovered for the recurrence of synodic events for the planets.

Given the duration and accuracy of these epochs, it is reasonable to assume that their determination needed at least a hundred years of observation.

Periods are computed by counting the number of times a specific synodic phenomenon happens on the same day of the year, according to the Babylonian lunar calendar, for a certain number of consecutive days. They may be constructed by multiplying the number of days in the synodic period, lunar month, and solar year by a common multiple of those numbers.

Therefore, none of these timings are correct; discrepancies range from several days to several weeks, depending on the source of the information. It seems that the Babylonian intellectuals were aware of these weaknesses and included them into their predictions.


In astrology, the emphasis is on aspects of nighttime happenings. Astrology was formerly thought of as a personified entity, and the moon was so recognized as such in the ancient world. Morris Jastrow said that En-Zu was referred to as “the ruler of learning” and that he was also known by the generic name Sin in ancient China.

However, although the identification of Sin as the “lord of knowledge” may be older than the mature astrological system, the term accurately conveys the ideas connected with the moon-god in astrology that were prevalent at the time of its designation.

“Knowledge,” in the context of the moon god, refers to information gained by his position of prominence among the forces or hosts of heaven, and it is essentially this information that he refers to as “knowledge.” ] [This information is obtained from Morris Astrow’s lectures, which were delivered more than a decade after the publication of his book “Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria”].

He is the God of knowledge and counsel, and he is in charge of managing the affairs of men and the whole cosmos as their principal counselor. He is considered to be the most powerful of the gods. The title “father” of the gods is frequently used in “Sumerian” compositions from an early period, and it is particularly applicable to an astral theology system; it is in his role as the chief luminary of the night that he is referred to as the “father” of the planets and stars, which is especially significant when we consider that “father” is a synonym for chief and leader in both ancient and modern Oriental language.


After being developed over a period of several hundred years, it is likely that the Babylonian planetary theory was polished still more. Observers of lunar eclipses in Babylonia found the Moon’s 18-year periodicity in the frequency of lunar eclipses, which they dubbed “the Moon’s 18-year periodicity.”

For the planets, they discovered the recurrence of synodic events, which they then tracked down to the periods of solar years during which they happened. Morris Jastrow referred to the moon-god as “the sharpest of the gods,” and he “serves as the principal counsel in governing both human affairs and the affairs of the cosmos,” according to Jastrow.

The religious community refers to him as the “Father of the Planets and Stars” in acknowledgment of his preeminence among the forces or hosts of heaven, and this is in appreciation of his preeminence among the forces or hosts of heaven.

Read also: Sumerian Astrology Signs; Astrology in ancient Mesopotamia ; Sumerian Contributions

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