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Understanding Planets in Ancient Mesopotamia

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Abstract:

On our planet time flows evenly everywhere but the history as weknow it has different length and depth in every place. Maybe thedeepest layer of history lies in the land between Tigris and Eufrat a Mesopotamia (Greek a the land between two riversa ). Itis hard to grasp how much our current culture has inherited fromthe people of that land a be it either the wheel, the art of writing,or the units for measuring time and angles. Science and knowledgeof stars has always a though with varying success a been importantin European culture. Much from the Babylonian beliefs about constellationsand planets have reached our days. Planets had an importantplace in Babylonian astral religion, they were observed asmuch for calendrical as astrological purposes, and the qualities ofthe planetary gods were carried on to Greek and Rome.The following started out as an attempt to compose a list of planetstogether with corresponding gods who lend their names and qualitiesto the planets. Though it was easy to find such a list aboutGreece and Rome, texts concerning Mesopotamia included miscellaneousfacts subdivided into general categories only (e.g. Pannekoek1961). The reasons of this vagueness later became evident with thecompiling of such a table starting to look like Sisyphean work.

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