ISBN 978-1443883818
Hardcover 315 pages
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (1 Dec. 2015)


Astrology is the practice of relating the heavenly bodies to lives and events on earth, and the tradition that has thus been generated. Many cultures worldwide have practised it in some form. In some it is rudimentary, in others complex. Culture and scholarship have categorised it as both belief and science, as a form of magic, divination or religious practice – but in many ways it defies easy categorisation. The chapters in this volume make a significant contribution to our understanding of astrology across a range of periods of cultures. Based on papers presented at the annual conference of the Sophia Centre held in 2012, the contributions range from China and Japan, through India, the ancient Near East, the classical world and early modern Europe, to Madagascar and Mesoamerica. The different topics include ritual and religion, magic and science, calendars and time, and questions of textual transmission and methodology.

Astrology in Time and Place is essential reading for all interested in the history of humanity’s relationship with the cosmos.

Astrology in Time and Place

Cross-Cultural Questions in the History of Astrology

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements



Chapter One – On Chinese Astrology’s Imperviousness to External Influences
~David W. Pankenier (Department of Modern Languages & Literature, Lehigh University)

Chapter Two – Ptolemy and Sima Qian in Eleventh-Century Japan: The Combination of Disparate Astrological Systems in Practice
~Kristina Buhrman (Department of Religion, Florida State University)

Chapter Three – Transformations of the Social and Religious Status of the Indian Astrologer at the Royal Court
~Audrius Benorius (Director of the Center of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania)

Chapter Four – Astrology and its Ritual Applications: Propitiation of the Planet Saturn within the Sun Temple at Suryanaar Koyil (Tamil Nadu, India). A Case Study from Contemporary
~Tamil Shaivism Mario Friscia (University of La Sapienza, Rome)


Chapter Five – A Study in the Early Iconography of Gemini
~Micah Ross (Kyōto Sangyō University)

Chapter Six – Various Renderings of Πίναξ in Greek and Demotic at Medīnet Māḍi
~Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum and Micah Ross (University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Kyōto Sangyō University)

Chapter Seven – Correspondences of the Planets of the Solar System to Musical Pitches: From Ptolemy to a Twentieth Century Addition to Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi
~Johann F. W. Hasler (Departamento de Música, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia)

Chapter Eight – 159 Homocentric Science in a Heliocentric Universe
~Liana Saif (The Warburg Institute)

Chapter Nine – The Difference between Methods of Natural Sciences and Methods of Religious Studies on Modern Astrology
~Gustav-Adolf Schoener (Leibniz Universität Hannover)


Chapter Ten – The Meaning of Time: Mesopotamian Calendar Divination
~Ulla Susanne Koch (Carsten Niebuhr Institute, University of Copenhagen)

Chapter Eleven – 4QZodiac Calendar in Relation to Babylonian Horoscopes
~Helen R. Jacobus (University College London)

Chapter Twelve – Eternity in an Hour: The Astronomical Symbolism of the Era as the Maya Agricultural Year ~Michael J. Grofe (Maya Exploration Centre)

Chapter Thirteen – The Journey of Calendars, Wind and Life in the Indian Ocean: A Malagasy Perspective
Christel Mattheeuws (Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen)


Explore the rest of our catalogue