ISBN 978-1441127372
Paperback 408 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury (16 April 2009)
Product Dimensions 15.29 x 2.34 x 23.39 cm


This is the first comprehensive examination of astrology’s origins and it examines the foundations of a major feature of popular culture in the contemporary west, one which has its origins in the ancient world. Campion explores the relationship between astrology and religion, magic and science, and explores its use in politics and the arts.

Beginning with the theories of the origins of religion in sun-worship, it spans the period between the first Paleolithic lunar counters around 30,000 BC and the end of the classical world and rise of Christianity. Campion challenges the idea that astrology was invented by the Greeks, and asks whether its origins lie in Near-Eastern religion, or whether it can be considered a decadent Eastern import to the West. He considers the evidence for reverence for the stars in Neolithic culture, Mesopotamian astral divination, Egyptian stellar religion, and examines attitudes to astrology and celestial prophecy in the Bible. He considers such artefacts as the mysterious, 15,000-year-old ‘Venus of Lauselle’, 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 emporer Nero’s use of astrology to persecute his rivals.


“It shines light on the heaven for scholars and amateurs alike; its narrative is dense but rich, readable and suggestive.”
~Literary Review

“Campion leaves few stones unturned and the large section of notes and the ample bibliography make these two volumes [History of Western Astrology Volume I and II] an excellent starting point for those who wish to dig deeper.”
~The Observatory

“The advantage of Campion’s work lies in its material wealth, including figures, themes and topics normally excluded from histories of astrology.”
~European Review of History

A History of Western Astrology Volume I

The Ancient World

Table of Contents


Chap 1 Distant Echoes:
Origins of Astrology

Chap 2 Prehistory:
Myths and Megaliths

Chap 3 The Mesopotamian Cosmos:
The Marriage of Heaven and Earth

Chap 4 Mesopotamian Astrology:
The Writing of Heaven

Chap 5 The Assyrians and Persians:
Revolution and Reformation

Chap 6 Egypt:
The Kingdom of the Sun

Chap 7 Egypt:
The Stars and the Soul

Chap 8 The Hebrews:
Prophets and Planets

Chap 9 Greece:
Homer, Hesiod and the Heavens

Chap 10 Greece:
The Platonic Revolution

Chap 11 The Hellenistic World:
The Zodiac

Chap 12 The Hellenistic World:
Scepticism and Salvation

Chap 13 Hellenistic Astrology:
Signs and Influences

Chap 14 Rome:
the State, the Stars and Subversion

Chap 15 Christianity:
A Star out of Jacob

Chap 16 Rome:
The Imperial Heaven

Chap 17 Christianity:
the Triumph of the Sun




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