A Cultural History of Western Astrology: the Ancient and Classical Worlds
By Nicholas Campion
The Dawn of Astrology covers the period between the first Paleolithic lunar counters around 30,000 BC and the end of the classical world and the rise of Christianity. Nicholas Campion examines the relationships between astrology, religion, magic, and science, as well as its use in politics and the arts with clarity and originality and relates the theory of astrology to examples of its use at all levels of society.
Many have assumed that astrology was invented by the Greeks, but Campion challenges this idea and traces the discipline's roots back to Neolithic culture, Mesopotamian astral divination, Egyptian stellar religion, and attitudes to astrology and celestial prophecy in the Bible. Beginning with theories of the origins of religion in sun-worship and such artifacts as the mysterious, fifteen-thousand year-old "Venus of Lauselle", Campion considers the reasons for the orientation of the pyramids, the latest theories on Stonehenge as a sacred observatory, Greek theories of the ascent of the soul to the stars and the Roman emperor Nero's use of astrology to persecute his rivals. The contribution of Jewish cosmology, which was to be vital in shaping Christian views of astrology, is also investigated and explained.
This is the first comprehensive examination of astrology's origins and examines the foundations of what has become a major feature of popular culture in the contemporary West. Its scope, depth and vast historical breadth--from the Stone Age to the end of the Roman Empire--is greater and more complete than any other book on the subject.