The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World


Volume Editor: John M. Steele
Astronomical and astrological knowledge circulated in many ways in the ancient world: in the form of written texts and through oral communication; by the conscious assimilation of sought-after knowledge and the unconscious absorption of ideas to which scholars were exposed.
The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World explores the ways in which astronomical knowledge circulated between different communities of scholars over time and space, and what was done with that knowledge when it was received. Examples are discussed from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, India, and China.

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John Steele, PhD (1998), is Professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity in the Department of Egyptology and Assyriology at Brown University. He is the author of A Brief Introduction to Astronomy in the Middle East (Saqi Books 2008), and Ancient Astronomical Observations and the Study of the Moon’s Motion (1691–1757) (Springer 2012), as well as the editor of several volumes including Calendars and Years: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient Near East (Oxbow Books 2007).

Contributors are: Dennis Duke, Yuzhen Guan, Ethan Harkness, Alexander Jones, Zoë Misiewicz, M. Willis Monroe, Clemency Montelle, Daniel Patrick Morgan, Weixing Niu, Joachim Friedrich Quack, Francesca Rochberg, Matthew T. Rutz, Shenmi Song, John M. Steele, Zackary Wainer, John Z. Wee, Andreas Winkler.
List of Figures and Tables

1 The Brown School of the History of Science: Historiography and the Astral Sciences
Francesca Rochberg
2 Astral Knowledge in an International Age: Transmission of the Cuneiform Tradition, ca. 1500–1000b.c.
Matthew T. Rutz
3 Traditions of Mesopotamian Celestial-Divinatory Schemes and the 4th Tablet of Šumma Sin ina Tāmartišu
Zackary Wainer
4 The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge between Babylon and Uruk
John M. Steele
5 The Micro-Zodiac in Babylon and Uruk: Seleucid Zodiacal Astrology
M. Willis Monroe
6 Virtual Moons over Babylonia: The Calendar Text System, Its Micro-Zodiac of 13, and the Making of Medical Zodiology
John Z. Wee
7 On the Concomitancy of the Seemingly Incommensurable, or Why Egyptian Astral Tradition Needs to be Analyzed within Its Cultural
Joachim Friedrich Quack
8 Some Astrologers and Their Handbooks in Demotic Egyptian
Andreas Winkler
9 The Anaphoricus of Hypsicles of Alexandria
Clemency Montelle
10 Interpolated Observations and Historical Observational Records in Ptolemy’s Astronomy
Alexander Jones
11 Mesopotamian Lunar Omens in Justinian’s Constantinople
Zoë Misiewicz
12 A Parallel Universe: The Transmission of Astronomical Terminology in Early Chinese Almanacs
Ethan Harkness
13 Mercury and the Case for Plural Planetary Traditions in Early Imperial China
Daniel Patrick Morgan
14 Calendrical Systems in Early Imperial China: Reform, Evaluation and Tradition
Yuzhen Guan
15 The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac during the Tang and Song Dynasties: A Set of Signs Which Lost Their Meanings within Chinese Horoscopic Astrology
Shenmi Song
16 On the Dunhuang Manuscript p.4071: A Case Study on the Sinicization of Western Horoscope in Late 10th Century China
Weixing Niu
17 Were Planetary Models of Ancient India Strongly Influenced by Greek Astronomy?
Dennis Duke

Index of Modern Authors
Index of Subjects
Index of Sources
The volume will be of interest to scholars and advanced postgraduate students of ancient science, the history of astronomy, and transmission-reception studies in the ancient world.