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From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia (Arkana) [Paperback]

Michael Baigent
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Sep 1994 Arkana
This study is an account of what is known of Babylonian astrology, retelling a lot of Mesopotamian material that has been buried in abstruse academic tones. Although it is most specifically about Mesopotamian astrology, it also tells the story of the discovery in the 19th century of this ancient city, and describes what is known of their culture. The second part of the book focuses on each of the seven major deities of their religion - their myths, cults and omenology, and how much of these ancient Babylonian interpretations of the gods natures has survived in modern astrology.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Arkana (29 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140194800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140194807
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,281,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading 29 May 1999
By A Customer
I have to admit that I am an avid fan of Michael Baigent, and would purchase any book of his, even if it were on gardening. This book is a highly readable, lucid venture into the history of this ancient land, its customs, religion, astrology, government, etc.
It is sad, indeed, as Mr. Baigent writes, that the possibility of new discoveries in Harran are sadly impossible today, and may remain so for decades to come because governmental strictures and religious bias keep the light of knowledge dimmed.
Because of his chapter "From Babylon to Botticelli", I have become quite interested in George Gemistos, aka "Plethon", of whom I had not learned about in other books I have on Marcilio Ficino. I am now pursuing that further, thanks to Mr. Baigent.
I have one question: on page 202, regarding the Corpus Hermeticum, there seems to be a discrepancy whether it was just the Poimandre that Ficino was able to translate for Cosimo, or the whole collection. Some authors write as if the entire work was translated, while others write that it was specifically the Poimandre. Mr. Baigent is not clear on this.
The chapter dealing with Sumerian astrology demonstrates the similarities between their observations of the sky as a portent of possibilities, and the Egyptian knowledge of precession of the stars. Does this mean that the Sumerians also had knowledge of precession?
From the Omens of Babylon makes it clear that ancient knowledge is extremely important if we are to understand ourselves, and how we have been influenced by that history - not just in a mundane sense. It raises questions of how knowledge could have been disseminated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History of Astrology 10 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those who are interested in the history of astrology this book is invaluable. A mind opening view of the history of Babylon.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best 8 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The part of the book covering the history of Babylonian archaeology kept my interest however as it got into the
Omens themselves it became less compelling until I gave up on it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fine for my purposes 27 Jan 2013
By LisaM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I knew I wasn't buying an immaculate masterpiece for the price but just wanted a copy of the book to refer to. It is fine - has a cigarette burn on the cover but is fit for reference purposes. Arrived well within the estimated delivery date.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diligent work packaged in a readable manner 26 Oct 2001
By Ryan Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
This book is divided into two sections. The first deals with scholars, archaeology and the ancient near east. It discusses the relevant texts and provides an outline of the practice of the diviner and their role in the courts and ancient society. The next section is pure astrology/cosmology, planet by planet. What makes this book remarkable is the fact that it presents a lot of scholarly information in a very easy-to-read manner. Some scholarly books can get dry making it difficult to follow to all except only to those who are most passionate about the subject material. This author attempts to bridge the gap and his approach would probably even make a casual reader interested. The book explores a subject which still has room for development, but for those not patient enough to search through libraries for reprints of older journals, this book in an approachable overview. Highly recommended to those interested in the ancient near east society or religion or those interested in astrology.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice study of Babylonian mythology/astrology 16 July 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderfully written little book taking you through
the famous texts of ancient Babylon. The authors tell us
how their astrology worked, and how it affected their national
priorities. You'll understand how the Babylonians viewed
the cosmos and the respect they had for their world.
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