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Since November 2004 I've been messing about in Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine astral science/religion/magic, with a view to offering a new look at very early contributions to astrological iconography.

OK, that's a lot to take on - which is why this project is taking some time. I've subdivided it into what I hope are manageable chunks, of which the main ones are: early Mesopotamian religion and magic; Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek astronomy/astrology and magic; the cult of the Bona Dea and/or Magna Mater in Rome and Roman territories; early Iranian religious thought; early Jewish and Arab religion; the cult of Mithras; early Christianity and Christian heresies; Hellenistic Greek and Roman astrology; Byzantine Christianity and astrology; the cult of the black Virgin; alchemy and the tarot; medieval astrology; hermeticism.

My main primary references thus far are as follows.

  • Early Mesopotamian: Oxford University's ETCSL (
  • Old-Babylonian: the creation story: Enuma Elish; the story of Gilgamec/Gilgameš; astrolabes and star catalogues
  • 10th - 6th centuries BCE: Hesiod's Works and Days; some passages from Homer; the early presocratic philosophers;
  • 5th - 1st centuries BCE: the late presocratics, Plato, Berossos, Manetho, Babylonian and Greek horoscopes, Greek magical papyri
  • Jewish: the Old Testament and O.T. Pseudepigrapha
  • Christian and Gnostic: the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, the New Testament and N.T. Pseudepigrapha
  • 1st - 2nd centuries: Ovid, Apuleius, Aratus, Dorotheus of Sidon, Lucian, M. Manilius, V. Valens, C. Ptolemy
  • 4th - 7th centuries: F. Maternus, Macrobius, Isidore, Bede
  • 11th - 16th centuries: the Picatrix; Marsilio Ficino; zodiac images in churches, psalters, breviaries and calendars; Giordano Bruno.

My main secondary references thus far have been R. Beck, M. Boyce, J. Bidez, A. Bouché-Leclerq, F. Cumont, V. Flint, D. Horowitz, H. Hunger, U. Koch-Westenholz, D. Pingree, E. Reiner, F. Rochberg.

Feel free to write to me about this, if you're interested. In the navigation column on the left, go to Toolbox > E-mail this user.