Studies | Reviews | Art | Texts | Courses/Student Projects | Bibliographies | Abstracts | Other


Amazon. Tamsyn S. Barton, Ancient Astrology. Winner of the 1993 Routledge Ancient History Prize. To my mind, it's the best general introduction to how ancient astrology worked and (more importantly) to what it was really about.

"The Character of Ancient Astrology and Alchemy" [MS-Word] and "Babylonian Medicine and Astrology" [MS-Word] fromLecture Notes: Magic to Science by Andrew Gregory (University College, London) with 17 lectures, many directly relevant to the interests of this page, including

Web Archive: "Ancient Jewish Astrology: An Attempt to Interpret 4QCryptic (4Q186)" by Francis Schmidt, 1996 conference paper on a one of the "Dead Sea Scrolls."

Electronic Manilius. Everything Manilius on the web. Extensive and multilingual site by Martin Pozzi.

"La resemantizacion de la fides las Astronomicas II.579-607 de Manilio" by Martin Pozzi (unpublished), from Electronic Manilius.

"Las relaciones sociales en la obra de Manilio (parte del proyecto de investigacion 'Fides et Verecundia: Estudio de las relaciones sociales en Roma'" by Martin Pozzi (unpublished), from Electronic Manilius.

"Nosotros y los Negros (Lecturas de la desigualdad racial en las Astronomicas de Manilio)"by Martin Pozzi (unpublished), from Electronic Manilius.

"Ratio + Fides + Fatum: los implicitos sociales en las Astronomicas 4.866-935" by Martin Pozzi (unpublished), from Electronic Manilius.

"Physiognomic Horoscopes 4QCryptic-4Q186, 4QPhysiogn=4Q561" Paraphrase and notes by Katie Kanyamas and Robin Kocot of one of the "Dead Sea Scrolls." Introduction by Alan Humm.

Three papers: "Was "astrology" invented by the Greeks?", "To what extent was the status of astrology in the Roman period influenced by politics?", and "Prevalence of Astrology in Early Jewish Tradition, History and Culture". Papers by professional astrologer Janice Barsky (student at "Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences," a pro-astrology outfit).

Web Archive: "Do you think Babylonian astrology should be classified as science or divination?" by Helen Glazier.

"The Divine Science of Babylonian Astrology" by Scott Silverman.

"To what extent was the status of astrology in the Roman period influenced by politics?" by Janice Barsky.

"The Oracular and Causal Models of Astrology" by Maria Mateus.


Web Archive: Roger G. Culver and David MacDonald, "An Astronomical Interpretation of Caracalla's Shield" The Ancient History Bulletin 3.1 (1989) 18-24.

Review of Tamsyn S. Barton, Power and Knowledge: Astrology, Physiognomics, and Medicine under the Roman Empire (Ann Arbor, 1995). Reviewed by Lee T. Pearcy, BMCR 95.

Review of Timothy D. Barnes (ed.), The Sciences in Greco-Roman Society in Aperion 27.4. Reviewed by John M. McMahon. BMCR 1997. A collection of articles including Alexander Jones's contribution, "The Place of Astronomy in Roman Egypt" (25-51).

Review of George Patrick Goold's new edition of Manilius, Astronomica (1998, Teubner) by Martin Pozzi in Argos 22, 1998, pp. 184-187), from Electronic Manilius.

Review of Anthony Grafton, Commerce with the Classics (Ann Arbor, 1997). Reviewed by N. G. Wilson, BMCR 98. (Grafton treats the Rennaisance reaction to astrology.)

Review of Patrizio Domenicucci's Astra Caesarum: Astronomia, astrologia e catasterismo da Cesare a Domiziano. Reviewed by John T. Ramsey, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.

"The foundation on which D. builds, however, is shaky because he does not always make the best use of the ancient sources, and he is furthermore unaware of many important pieces of anglophone scholarship. There is a vast body of evidence for the sidus Iulium that D. scarcely taps, and there are many questions to be put to this evidence which D. passes over in silence. Unfortunately these same shortcomings are also present in other parts of the monograph, and so I can only recommend that this work be consulted with caution."


Out of this World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas. Online version of a 1995 exhibition of 43 star atlases at the Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, MO. Filled with beautiful images.

Web Archive: Greek Myth in Western Art. Images, primarily Medieval from a coursepage by Sheila McNally (University of Minnesota).

Web Archive: Zodiac synagogue mosaic at Beth Alpha (Hefzibah), Israel c. 517 C.E. Courtesy of the World Zionist Organization.

"The So-called Ancient Synagogue at Beth Alpha Revisited" by David Landau. Argues that the Beth Alpha structure was not a synagogue.

Beth Alpha Synagogue's Zodiac Floor by Marcia Masino at the astrology site "Star IQ." Includes some good pictures.

Web Archive: Image from a 11c. French manuscript of Hyginus, De Astronomia.


The Reports of the Magicians & Astrologers of Nineveh & Babylon, c. 2500 - 670 BCE (Ancient History Sourcebook). Astrological and meteorological omina.

English translation of Hippolytus, "The Refutation of All Heresies," book four. Hippolytus takes on Astrology and divination generally. See also book five. Detailed and interesting discussion scanned, part of the Early Church Fathers series ("Christian Classics Ethereal Library" at Calvin College).

Word search for "Astrology" in the Early Church Fathers series from the "Christian Classics Ethereal Library" at Calvin College.

Hyginus, De Astronomia. Latin text from Forum Romanum.

"Project Hindsight" of the Phaser Foundation offers translations of Vettius Valens, Hephaestion and others for $18 a book. -- Has anyone looked at one of these?

Manilius' Astronomica at Ad Fontes Academy. Latin text; no translation.

P.Oxy. LXV 4475, "General Astrology" from the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents -- A scan of this small fragment. No text or translation provided.

Jean Rhys' translation of Firmicius Maternus and J. M. Ashmand's 1822 translation of the Tetrabiblos, from The Astrology Center of America (believers).

"Astrology" tract from "Catholic Answers" the contains, inter alia, a good introductory set of selections from church fathers condemning astrology.

Censorinus, "de Die Natali." Latin text with French translation and introduction. (Third century AD text on birthdays that touches on astrology.)

Web Archive: Czech translation of Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos from Josef Zacek.

Courses/Student Projects

Course: "Magic and Astrology in Greco-Roman Religion." Taught by Prof. Williams at Mt. Holyoke. The course page has gone dead, so here's a newspaper article about it.

Web Archive: "Ascent to heaven: Mithraism, magic and the Mithras Liturgy." Web-project by students in "Magic and Astrology in Greco-Roman Religion." (Prof. Williams, Mt. Holyoke). Lengthy, with a web bilbiography.

Web Archive: "Astrology in the Hellenized World" notes from lecture by Zach Harrelson, another student in "Magic and the Supernatural in the Ancient World." [Dead?]Here's the discussion questions [Alive].

Bibliographies (making astrological bibliographies seems to be quite the rage these days)

Web Archive: Resource Guide to the History of Astrology. Lester J. Ness. Expansive and heavily-annotated bibliography of books and articles from Mesopotamia to today. [ unattributed mirror? ]

An Annotated Bibliography Of Studies of Occidental Constellations and Star Names to the Classical Period. Compiled by Gary D. Thompson

"Histoire de L'Astrologie Occidentale" By David Juste. See the exhaustive section on antiquity.

Link List: "History of Astronomy... Astrology, Mythology, Religion" by Wolfgang R. Dick for the Working Group for the History of Astronomy in the Astronomische Gesellschaft. Dick's list overlaps mine somewhat, except with more links on the star of Bethlehem and concerning cultures not covered here.

Comprehensive Manilius bibliography, assembled by Martin Pozzi, Electronic Manilius.

Web Archive: Spanish bibliography.

Bibliograpfia de la Historia de la Astrología Grecorromana compiled by Aurelio Pérez Jiménez y Cristóbal Macías Villalobos. Enormous.

An enormous "Star of Bethlehem Bibliography" by Astronomer Robert H. van Gent. Includes a linkography.

Bibliography de L'histoire de l'astrologie occidentale by David Juste.

Quelques ouvrages majeurs afin d'aborder en toute serenite l'etude de l'astrologie et de son histoire by Dr. Patrice Guinard. Annotated. From the believer site Centre Universitaire de Recherche en Astrologie.

Links to online bibliographies on historical astrology and astronomy, connected to Gary D. Thompson' s Studies of Occidental Constellations and Star Names to the Classical Period: An Annotated Bibliography.


Twenty abstracts on Greco-Roman Astrology from Homo Mathematicus, a 2001 conference in Malaca, Spain. Among these are "Galeno e l' astrologia," "La esperanza de vida en Vetio Valente," and "La antiastrología de Tertuliano." Most of the abstracts are in Spanish or French.

APA Abstract: Manilius' Heavenly Steps (Astronomica 4.119-121) by Katharina Volk. For the 2002 APA (American Philological Association) meeting.


3D Renderings of Nemrud Dagi with its famous lion horoscopic sculture, the "first Greek horoscope found on an original document."

Sciences et techniques: Astronomie - Cosmologie - Astrologie - Mathematiques. Bibliography and some links.

Cielo e Terra: associazione per lo studio dell'astrologia classica. Italian non-profit group of believers. Contains a great deal of factual information and some good links.[Altavista translate]

Amazon. "Ancient Astrology and Celestial Divination" by N. M. Swerdlow (ed.). A book of academic papers, slanted toward Mesopotamian astrology.

Blurb from MIT press.

Information on the conference "Prayer, Magic and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World," held March 2000 in Seattle. Includes titles of the talks and some links.

Culture and Cosmos: A Journal of the History of Astrology and Cultural Astronomy. Unfortunately, only a few abstracts are online, most of them Medieval or modern. Some article and reviews in the back issues look interesting.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may also like these other sites by me:

The Oracle of Delphi and Ancient Oracles. Covers physical oracles, including academic information and site photos.

Ancient Library. Exciting new project, putting dozens of classical dictionaries and other resources online. There is a category for Ancient Divination.

Angels on the Web. Angels in culture, theology and art. Includes over 550 categorized images.

Hieroglyphics! Comprehensive guide and web directory to Egytian hieroglyphics.