See also:astrology, an imaginary zone of the heavens within which lie the paths of the
See also:moon and
See also:planets . It is bounded by two circles equidistant from the
See also:ecliptic, about eighteen degrees apart; and it is divided into twelve signs, and marked by twelve constellations . These twelve constellations, with the symbols of the signs which correspond to them, are as follows:
See also:Libra, the
See also:Scorpio, the
See also:Scorpion 111
See also:Sagittarius, the
See also:Archer 7r
See also:Capricornus, the
See also:Goat Aquarius, the
See also:Water-carrier es;
See also:Pisces, the Fishes 3E '
See also:Gordon and Zobeir met in Cairo on the 25th and 26th of
See also:January (see
See also:Egypt No . 12 of 1884) and Gordon from that
See also:time onward asked for Zobeir's help . It was not, however, until the loth of
See also:March that his wish was made public, in a telegram from
See also:Khartum published in The Times . xxV111 . 32 The signs—the Greek &eBeKarrTh6pta--are geometrical divisions
See also:thirty degrees in extent, counted from the
See also:spring equinox in the direction of the sun's progress through them . The whole series accordingly shifts westward through the effect of precession by about one degree in seventy-two years . At the moment of
See also:crossing the equator towards the
See also:north the sun is said to be at the first point of
See also:Aries; some thirty days later it enters
See also:Taurus, and so on through Gemini,
See also:Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces . The constellations bearing the same names coincided approximately in position, when
See also:Hipparchus observed them at Rhodes, with the divisions they designate . The discrepancy now, how-ever, amounts to the entire breadth of a sign, the sun's path in Aries lying among the stars of Pisces, in Taurus among those of Aries, &c .
See also:Assyria and Babylonia.—The twelvefold division of the zodiac was evidently suggested by the occurrence of twelve full moons in successive parts of it in the course of each
See also:year .
This approximate relation was first systematically
See also:developed by the early inhabitants of
See also:Mesopotamia, and formed the starting-point for all their divisions of time . As the year separated, as it were of itself, into twelve months, so the
See also:day was divided into twelve "
See also:hours," and the
See also:great cosmical
See also:period of 43,200 years into twelve " sars." Each sar,
See also:month and
See also:hour was represented at once visibly and symbolically by a twelfth
See also:part of the " furrow "
See also:drawn by the solar Bull across the heavens . The idea of tracing the sun's path among the stars was, when it occurred to Chaldaean astronomers, an
See also:original and, relatively to their means, a recondite one . We owe to its realization by them the constitution and nomenclature of the twelve signs of the zodiac .
See also:Assyrian cylinders and inscriptions indicate for the
See also:familiar series of our text-books an antiquity of some four thousand years . Ages before Assur-bani-
See also:pal reigned at
See also:Nineveh the eighth month (Marchesvan) was known as' " the month of the
See also:star of the Scorpion," the tenth (Tebet) belonged to the " star of the Goat," the twelfth (Adar) to the " star of the
See also:Fish of Ea." 2 The
See also:motive underlying the choice of symbols is in a few cases obvious, but in most remains conjectural . The attributes of the deities appointed to preside over the months and signs were to some extent influential . Two of them, in-deed, took
See also:direct possession of their respective portions of the
See also:sky . The zodiacal Virgo is held to represent the Assyrian
See also:Ishtar, the ruling divinity of the
See also:sixth month, and Sagittarius the archer-
See also:Nergal, to whom the ninth month was dedicated . But no
See also:system of selection was pursued; or rather perhaps the results of several systems, adopted at various epochs, and under the influence of varying currents of ideas, became amalgamated in the final series . This, there is reason to believe, was the upshot of a pre-historic reform . So far as
See also:positive records go, Aries was always the first sign .
But the arrangement is, on the
See also:face of it, a comparatively
See also:modern one . None of the
See also:Ames. brighter stars of the
See also:constellation could be said even roughly to mark the equinox much before 'Soo B.C.; during a long stretch of previous time the leading position belonged to the stars of Taurus.3 Numerous indications accordingly point to a corresponding
See also:primitive zodiac . Setting aside as doubtful evidence derived from interpretations of cuneiform inscriptions, we meet, in connexion with Mithraic and Mylittic legends, reminiscences of a zodiac and religious
See also:calendar in which the Bull led the way.' Virgil's Candidus auratis aperit cum cornibus annum Taurus perpetuates the tradition . And the Pleiades continued, within
See also:historical memory, to be the first asterism of the lunar zodiac . 2
See also:Lenormant, Origines de l'Histoire, i . 236 . 3 The possibility should not, however, be overlooked that the " stars of the months " were determined by their
See also:heliacal risings (see Bosanquet and
See also:Sayce on Babylonian astronomy, in Monthly Notices
See also:Roy . Astr .
See also:Soc: xl . 117) . This would give a further extension backwards of over woo years, during which the equinox might have occurred in the month of the Ram . 4 J .
B . F . Lajard, Recherches sur he Culte de Mithra, p . 605 . 'r Aries, the Ram Taurus, the Bull Gemini, the Twins Cancer, the Crab Leo, theLion Virgo, the Virgin rf' f12 In the Chaldaean signs fragments of several distinct strata of thought appear to be embedded . From one point of view they
See also:shadow out the great epic of the destinies of the human
See also:race; again, the universal solar myth claims a
See also:share in them; hoary traditions were brought into ex
See also:post facto connexion with them; or they served to commemorate
See also:simple meteorological and astronomical facts . The first Babylonian month Nisan, dedicated to
See also:Anu and
See also:Bel, was that of " sacrifice "; and its association with the Ram as the chief primitive
See also:object of sacrifice is thus intelligible.' According to an alternative explanation, the heavenly Ram, placed as
See also:leader in front of the
See also:flock of the stars, merely em-bodied a spontaneous figure of the popular
See also:imagination . An
See also:antique persuasion, that the
See also:grand cycle of creation opened under the first sign, has. been transmitted to modern cognizance by
See also:Dante (Inf. i . 38) . The human race, on the other
See also:hand, was Taurus. supposed to have come into being under Taurus . The solar
See also:interpretation of the sign goes back to the far-off time when the year began with Taurus, and the sun was conceived of as a bull entering upon the great furrow of
See also:heaven as he ploughed his way among the stars . In the third ~emlal. month and sign the
See also:building of the first city and the fratricidal brothers—theRomulus and Remus of
See also:Roman legend—were brought to mind .
See also:symbol was at first indifferently a
See also:pile of bricks or two male
See also:children, always Cancen on early monuments placed feet to feet . The retro- grade
See also:movement of a crab typified, by an easy association of ideas, the retreat of the sun from his farthest
See also:northern excursion, and Cancer was constituted the sign of the L ~ summer solstice . The Lion, as the symbol of
See also:fire, represented the culmination of the solar
See also:heat . In the sixth month, the descent of Ishtar to Hades in
See also:search vireo of her lost
See also:husband Tammuz was celebrated, and the sign of the Virgin had thus a purely mythological signification . The
See also:history of the seventh sign is somewhat complicated . The earlier Greek writers—Eudoxus, Eratosthenes, Hipparchus—knew of only eleven zodiacal symbols, but made one do double
See also:duty, extending the Scorpion across the seventh and eighth divisions . The Balance, obviously indicating the equality of day and
See also:night, is first mentioned as the sign of the Libra autumnal equinox by Geminus and Varro, and ob- and tamed, through
See also:Sosigenes of Alexandria, official re-Scorpio. cognition in the Julian calendar . Nevertheless, Virgil (Georg. i . 32) regarded the space it presided over as so much waste
See also:land, provisionally occupied by the " Claws " of the Scorpion, but readily available for the
See also:apotheosis of
See also:Augustus . Libra was not of Greek invention .
See also:Ptolemy,.who himself chiefly used the " Claws " (XrtXai), speaks of it as a distinctively Chaldaean sign;2 and it occurs as an extra-zodiacal asterism in the
See also:Chinese sphere . An
See also:ancient Chinese
See also:law, moreover, prescribed the regularization of weights and
See also:measures at the spring equinox .3 No
See also:representation of the. seventh sign has yet been discovered on any Euphratean
See also:monument; but it is noticeable that the eighth is frequently doubled,' and it is difficult to avoid seeing in the pair of zodiacal scorpions carved on Assyrian cylinders the prototype of the Greek scorpion and claws .
Both Libra and the sign it eventually superseded thus owned a Chaldaean birthplace . The struggle of
See also:rival systems of nomenclature, from which our zodiacal series resulted, is plainly visible in their alternations; and the claims of the competing signs were long sought to be conciliated by representing the Balance as held between the claws of the Scorpion . The definitive decline of the sun's power after the autumnal ' Sayce, Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, iii . 162 . 2 In citing a Chaldaean observation of Mercury dating from 235 B.C . (Almagest, ii . 170, ed .
See also:Halma) . ' See Uranographie Chinoise, by Gustav
See also:Schlegel, who, however, claims an extravagant antiquity for the Chinese constellational system . Lenormant, Origines, i . 267.equinox was typified by placing a Scorpion as the symbol of darkness in the eighth sign . Sagittarius, figured later as a Centaur, stood for the Babylonian
See also:Mars .
Capricornus sagit- the sign of thewinter solstice, is plausibly connected tarius . with the caprine
See also:nurse of the
See also:young solar god in
See also:Oriental legends, of which that of
See also:Zeus and Amalthia is a Caprivariant.6 The fish-tailed Goat of the zodiac presents corn us . a close
See also:analogy with the Mexican calendar sign Cipactli, a kind of marine
See also:monster resembling a
See also:narwhal .6 Aquarius is a still more exclusively meteorological sign than Leo . The
See also:eleventh month was known in Euphratean regions as that of " want and
See also:rain." The deluge was tradi- Aquarius . tionally associated with it . It was represented in zodiacal symbolism by the god Ramman, crowned with a
See also:tiara and pouring water from a
See also:vase, or more generally by the vase and water without the god . The resumption of agricultural labours after the deluge was commemorated in the twelfth month, and a mystical association of the fishes, which were its Pisces. sign, with the
See also:life after
See also:death is evident in a monu- ment of Assyrian origin described by Clermont-Ganneau, showing a
See also:corpse guarded by a pair of fish-gods .? The doubling of the sign of Pisces still recalls, according to Sayce,s the arrangement of the Babylonian calendar, in which a year of 36o days was supplemented once in six years by a thirteenth month, a second Adar . To the double month corresponded the double sign of the " Fishes of Hea."9 Cyclical Meaning of the Succession of Ssgns.—The cyclical meaning of the succession of zodiacal signs, though now obscured by interpolations and substitutions, was probably once clear and entire . It is curiously reflected in the adventures of the Babylonian Hercules, the solar hero Gilgamesh (see GILGAMESH,
See also:Eric or) . They were recorded in the comparatively
See also:late surviving version of the 7th century Inc., on twelve tablets, with an obvious design of correlation with the twelve divisions of the sun's
See also:annual course . Gilgamesh's
See also:conquest of the divine bull was placed under Taurus; his slaying of the
See also:tyrant Khumbaba (the prototype of
See also:Geryon) in the fifth month typified the victory of
See also:light over darkness, represented in plastic
See also:art by the
See also:group of a lion killing a bull, which is the
See also:form ordinarily given to the sign Leo on Ninevite cylinders .
10 The wooing of Ishtar by the hero of the epic falls under Virgo, and his encounter with two scorpion men, guardians of the rising and the setting sun, under Scorpio . The eleventh tablet narrates the deluge; the twelfth associates the apotheosis of
See also:Eabani with the zodiacal emblems of the resurrection . In the formation of the constellations of the zodiac little regard was paid to stellar configurations . The Chaldaeans
See also:chose three stars in each sign to be the " councillor gods" of the planets." These were called by the Greeks " decans," because ten degrees of the ecliptic and ten days of the year were presided over by each . The
See also:college of the decans was conceived as moving, by their annual risings and settings, in an " eternal circuit " between the infernal and supernal regions . Modern asterisms first appear in the Phaenomena of
See also:Eudoxus about 370 B.C . But Eudoxus, there is reason to believe, consulted, not the heavens, but a
See also:celestial globe of an anterior epoch, on which the stars and the signs were forced into unnatural agreement . The representation thus handed down (in the verses of
See also:Aratus) has been thought to
See also:tally best with the state of the sky about 2000 B.c.;12 and the mention of a
See also:pole-star, for which Eudoxus was rebuked by Hipparchus, seems, as W . T .
See also:Lynn pointed out," to refer to the time when a Draconis 6 Lenormant, Origines, i . 267 . 6 Humboldt, Vues
See also:des Cordillbres (181o), p .
157 . 7 Rev . Archeol . (1879), p . 344 . 9 Trans . Soc . Bibl . Archaeol., 166 . 9 The god Ea or Hea, the
See also:Oannes of
See also:equivalent to the fish-god
See also:Dagon, came to the
See also:rescue of the protagonist in the Chaldaean drama of the deluge . to Lenormant, Origines, i . 240 .
" Diod . Sic., Hist., ii . 30, where, however, by an obvious
See also:mistake the number of " councillor gods " is stated at only thirty . 12 R .
See also:Brown, Babylonian Record, No . 3, p . 34 . 16 Babylonian Record, No . 5, p . 79 . stood near the pole . The data afforded by Eudoxus, however, are far too vague to serve as the basis of any
See also:chronological conclusion .
See also:Egyptian Zodiacal Signs.—The Egyptians adopted from the Greeks, with considerable modifications of its attendant symbolism, the twelve-
See also:fold division of the zodiac . Aries became the Fleece; two Sprouting
See also:Plants, typifying equality or resemblance, stood for Gemini; Cancer was re-named Scarabaeus; Leo was converted, from the
See also:axe-like configuration of its chief stars, into the
See also:Knife: Libra into the
See also:Mountain of the Sun, a reminiscence, apparently, of the Euphratean association of the seventh month with a "
See also:mound," designating the biblical tower of
See also:Babel . A Srerpent was the Egyptian equivalent of Scorpio; the Arrow only of Sagittarius was retained; Capricornus became " Life," or a
See also:Mirror as an image of life; Aquarius survived as Water; Taurus, Virgo and Pisces remained unchanged.' The motive of some of the substitutions was to avoid the confusion which must have ensued from the duplication of previously existing native asterisms; thus, the Egyptian and Greek Lions were composed of totally different stars . Abstractions in other cases replaced concrete
See also:objects, with the general result of effacing the distinctive character of the Greek zodiac as a " circle of living things." Spread of Greek System.—Early Zoroastrian writings, though impregnated with star-worship, show no traces of an attempt to organize the heavenly array . In the Bundahish, however (9th century), the twelve " Akhtars," designated by the same names as our signs, lead the army of Ormazd, while the seven " Awakhtars " or planets (including a
See also:meteor and a
See also:comet) fight for
See also:Ahriman . The knowledge of the solar zodiac thus turned to account for dualistic purposes was undoubtedly de-rived from the Greeks . By them, too, it was introduced into Hindustan . Aryabhata, about the beginning of the Christian era, reckoned by the same signs as Hipparchus . They were transmitted from India by Buddhist missionaries to
See also:China, but remained in
See also:abeyance until the Jesuit reform of Chinese astronomy in the 17th century . Chinese Zodiacal Signs.—The native Chinese zodiacal system was of unexampled complexity . Besides divisions into twenty-eight and twenty-four parts, it included two distinct duodenary series . The tse or " stations " were referred by E .
See also:Biot to the date 1111 B.C . Measured from the winter solstice of that epoch, they corresponded, in conformity with the Chinese method of observation by intervals of what we now
See also:call right ascension, to equal portions of the celestial equator ? Projected upon the ecliptic, these were considerably unequal, and the tse accordingly differed essentially from the Chaldaean and Greek signs . Their use was chiefly astrological, and their highly figurative names—" Great Splendour," " Immense Void," " Fire of the Phoenix," &c.—had reference to no particular stars . They became virtually merged in the
See also:European series, stamped with official recognition over two centuries ago . The twenty-four tsieki• or demi-tse were probably invented to mark the course of
See also:weather changes throughout the year . Their appellations are purely meteorological . The characteristic Chinese mode of dividing the "yellow road " of the sun was, however, by the twelve "cyclical animals " —Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare,
See also:Dragon or
See also:Crocodile, Serpent,
See also:Pig . The opening sign corresponds to our Aquarius, and it is remarkable that the
See also:rat is, in the far East, frequently used as an ideograph for "water." But here the agreement ceases . For the Chinese series has the
See also:strange peculiarity of proceeding in a retrograde direction or against the course of the sun . Thus, the second sign (of the Ox) occupies the position of Capricorn, the third that of Sagittarius, and so on .
The explanation of this seeming
See also:anomaly is to be found in the primitive destination of the " animals " to the purposes of an " horary zodiac." Their succession, established to mark the hours of day and night, was not unnaturally '
See also:Brugsch, Z . D . M . G., ix . 513 . 2 Biot, Journ. des Savans, 1839, p . 729, and 184o, p . 151 ; Gaubil, Hist. de l'Astr . Chinoise, p . 9.associated with the diurnal revolution of the sphere from east to west ? They are unquestionably of native origin . Tradition ascribes their invention to Tajao,
See also:minister of the emperor Hwang-ti, who reigned c .
2697 B.C., and it can scarcely be placed later than the 7th century B.C.4 The Chinese circle of the " animals " obtained early a widediffusion . It was adopted by Tatars,
See also:Turks and
See also:Mongols, in
See also:Tibet and Tong-
See also:Japan and Korea . It is denominated by Humboldt' the "zodiac of hunters and. shepherds," and he adds that the presence in it of a tiger gives it an exclusively
See also:Asiatic character . It appears never to have been designed for astronomical employment . From the first it served to characterize the divisions of time . The nomenclature not only of the hours of the day and of their minutest intervals was supplied by it, but of the months of the year, of the years in the Oriental sixty-year cycle, and of the days in the " little cycle " of twelve days . Nor has it yet fallen into desuetude . Years " of the Rat," "of the Tiger," " of the Pig," still figure in the almanacs of Central
See also:Cochin China and Japan . Aztec Zodiacal Signs.—A large detachment of the " cyclical animals " even found its way to the New
See also:World . Seven of the twenty days constituting the Aztec month
See also:bore names evidently borrowed from those of the Chinese horary signs . The Hare (or
See also:Rabbit), Monkey, Dog and Serpent reappeared without
See also:change; for the Tiger, Crocodile and Hen, unknown in
See also:America, the
See also:Lizard and Eagle were substituted as analogous.' The Aztec calendar dated from the 7th century; but the zodiacal tradition embodied by it was doubtless much more ancient . Of the zodiac in its true sense of a partitioned
See also:belt of the sphere there was no aboriginal knowledge on the
See also:American continent .
Mexican acquaintance with the signs related only to their secondary
See also:function as
See also:dies (so to speak) with which to
See also:stamp recurring intervals of time . Lunar Zodiac.—The synodical revolution of ,the moon laid down the lines of the solar, its sidereal revolution those of the lunar zodiac . The first was a circlet of " full moons "; the second marked the diurnal stages of the lunar progress
See also:round the sky, from and back again to any selected star . The moon was the earliest " measurer " both of time and space; but its services can scarcely have been rendered available until stellar " milestones " were established at suitable points along its path . Such were the
See also:Hindu nakshatras, a word originally signifying stars in general, but appropriated to designate certain small stellar groups marking the divisions of the lunar track . They exhibit in an exaggerated form the irregularities of distribution visible in our zodiacal constellations, and
See also:present the further anomaly of being frequently reckoned as twenty-eight in number, while the ecliptical arcs they characterize are in-variably twenty-seven . Now, since the moon revolves round the
See also:earth in 271 days, hesitation between the two full numbers might easily arise; yet the real explanation of the difficulty appears to be different . The superfluous asterism, named Abhijit, included the bright star a Lyrae, under whose influence the gods had vanquished the Asuras . Its invocation with the other nakshatras, remoteness from the ecliptic notwithstanding, was thus due (according to Max Miiller.'s plausible conjecture)? to its being regarded as of especially
See also:omen . Acquaintance with
See also:foreign systems of twenty-eight lunar divisions tended doubtless to
See also:fix its position, which remained, nevertheless, always equivocal.' Alternately admitted into or rejected from the series, it was finally, some six or seven centuries ago, eliminated by the effects of precession in
See also:reversing the
See also:order of culmination of its limiting stars . The notion of a twenty-seven-fold division of the zodiac was deeply rooted in Hindu tradition . The number and the name were in early times almost synonymous .
Thus a nakshatra-mdld ' Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres, p . 168 . 8 G . Schlegel, Ur .
See also:Chin., pp . 37, 561 . 5 Op. cit., p . 219 . 6 Ibid., p . 152; Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, iii . 321 (ed . 186o) .
' Rig-Veda Samhita, vol. iv . (1862),Preface, p. lxii . 8
See also:Whitney, Journ . Am . Orient . Soc., viii . 394 . denoted a necklace of twenty-seven pearls; l and the fundamental equality of the parts was figured in an ancient
See also:legend, by the compulsion laid upon King Soma (the Moon) to share his time impartially between all his wives, the twenty-seven daughters of Prajapati . Everything points to a native origin for the system of nakshatras . Some were named after exclusively Vedic deities; they formed the basis of the sacrificial calendar of the Brahmins; the old
See also:Indian names of the months were derived from them; their existence was pre-supposed in the entire structure of Hindu ritual and science .2 They do not, however, obtain full recognition in
See also:Sanskrit literature until the
See also:Brahmana period (7th or 8th century B.C.) . The Rig-Veda contains only one allusion to them, where it is said that " Soma is placed in the
See also:lap of the nakshatras "; and this is in a part including later interpolations . Positive
See also:proof of the high antiquity of the Hindu lunar zodiac is nevertheless afforded by the undoubted fact that the primitive series opened with Krittika (the Pleiades) as the sign of the vernal equinox .
The arrangement would have been correct about 2300 B.C.; it would scarcely have been possible after 1800 B.0 3 We find nowhere else a well-authenticated zodiacal sequence corresponding to so early a date . The reform by which Krittika, now relegated to the thirdplace, was superseded as the
See also:head of the series by " Acvini " 4 was accomplished under Greek influence somewhere near the beginning of the Christian era . For purposes of ritual, however, the Pleiades, with
See also:Agni or " Fire " as their presiding deity, continued to be the first sign . Hindu astronomy received its first definite organization in the 6th century, with results embodied in the Surya-Siddhanta . Here the " signs " and the " constellations " of the lunar zodiac form two essentially distinct systems . The ecliptic is divided into twenty-seven equal parts, called bhogas or arcs, of 800' each . But the nakshatras are twenty-eight, and are represented by as many " junction stars " (yogatara), carefully determined by their spherical co-ordinates . The successive entries of the moon and planets into the nakshatras (the ascertainment of which was of great astrological importance) were fixed by means of their conjunctions with the yogdtdras . These, however, soon ceased to be observed, and already in the firth century, al-
See also:Biruni could meet with no Hindu astronomer capable of pointing out to him the
See also:complete series . Their successful
See also:identification by Colebrooke5 in 3807 had a purely archaeological
See also:interest . The modern nakshatras are twenty-seven equal ecliptical divisions, the origin of which shifts, like that of the solar signs, with the vernal equinox . They are, in fact, the bhogas of the Surya-Siddhanta .
The mean place of the moon in them, published in all Hindu almanacs, is found to serve unexceptionally the ends of astral vaticination.6 The system upon which it is founded is of great antiquity . Belief in the power of the nakshatras evidently inspired the invocations of them in the Atharva-Veda . In the Brahmana period they were distinguished, as "deva " and "
See also:yama," the fourteen lucky asterisms being probably associated with the waxing, the four-teen unlucky with the waning moon ? A
See also:special nakshatra was appropriated to every occurrence of life . One was propitious to
See also:marriage, another to entrance upon school-life, a third to the first ploughing, a
See also:fourth to laying the foundation of a
See also:house . Festivals for the dead were appointed to be held under those that included but one star . Propitiatory a,bstinences were recommended when the
See also:natal asterism was menaced by unfavourable planetary conjunctions . The various members of the
See also:body were parcelled out among the nakshatras, and a rotation of
See also:food was prescribed as a wholesome accompaniment of the moon's revolution -among them .s ' Max
See also:Muller, op. cit., p. lxiv . 8 Ibid., p . 42 . ' A . Weber, Indische Studien. x .
241 . ' Named from the Acvins, the Hindu
See also:Castor and Pollux . It is composed of the stars in the head of Aries, and is figured by a horse's head . 6 As . Res., ix . 330 . 6 J . B . Biot, Etudes sur l'Astronomie Indienne, p . 225 . 7 A . Weber, " Die Vedischen Nachrichten von den Naxatra," in Berliner Abhandlungen (1861), p .
309 . B Ibid., p . 322; H .
See also:Kern, Die Yogatara des Varamihira; Weber's Ind .
See also:Stud., xv . 174-181 . The nomenclature of the Hindu signs of the zodiac, save as regards a few standard asterisms, such as Agvini and Krittika, was far from uniform . Considerable discrepancies occur in the lists given by different authorities.9 Hence it is not surprising to meet in them evidence of foreign communications . Reminiscences of the Greek signs of Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, Capricornus and Pisces are obvious severally in the Hindu Two Faces, Lion's Tail,
See also:Beam of a Balance, Arrow, Gazelle's Head (figured as a marine nondescript) and Fish . The
See also:correspondence does not, however, extend to the stars; and some coincidences adverted to by Humboldt between the nakshatras and the zodiacal animals of Central Asia are of the same nominal characterl° Mexican loans are more remarkable . They were apparently direct as well as indirect . The Aztec calendar includes nakshatra titles borrowed, not only through the
See also:medium of the Tatar zodiac, but likewise straight from the Indian
See also:scheme, apart from any known intervention .
The " three footprints ofVishnu," for example, unmistakably gave its name to the Mexican day 011in, signifying the " track of the sun "; and both series further contain a "
See also:flint weapon," a " stick," and a " house." n Several houses and couches were ranged along the Hindu zodiac with the naive idea of providing resting-places for the wandering moon . Relative Antiquity of Hindu, Chinese and Arabian Systems.—Relationship of a more intimate kind connects the Hindu lunar mansions with those of the
See also:Arabs and Chinese . The resemblance between the three systems is indeed so close that it has been assumed, almost as axiomatic, that they must have been framed from a single
See also:model . It appears nevertheless to have become tolerably clear that the nakshatras were both native to India, and the sieu to China, but that the manazil were mainly of Indian derivation . The assertion, paradoxical at first sight, that the twenty-eight " hostelries " of the Chinese sphere had nothing to do with the moon's daily motion, seems to convey the actual fact . Their number, as a multiple of four, was pre-scribed by the
See also:partition of the heavens, fundamental in Chinese astronomy . It was considered by Biot to have been originally twenty-four, but to have been enlarged to twenty-eight about Iwo B.C., by the addition of determinants for the solstices and equinoxes of that period 12 The essential difference, however, between the nakshatras and the sieu is that the latter were
See also:equatorial, not ecliptical, divisions . They were measured by the meridian-passages of the limiting stars, and varied in
See also:amplitude from 2° 42' to 300 24'.' The use of the specially observed stars constituting or representing the sieu was as points of reference for the movements of sun, moon and planets . They served, in fact, and still serve (though with astrological ends in view), the precise purpose of " fundamental stars " in European astronomy . All that is certainly known about the antiquity of the sieu is that they were well established in the 3rd century B.C . Their initial point at the autumnal equinox marked by Kio (Spica Virgins) suits a still later date; and there is no valid evidence that the modern series resulted from the rectification of an, older superannuated arrangement, analogous to the Krittika sequence of nakshatras . The Hindu zodiacal constellations belong then to an earlier epoch than the Chinese " stations," such as they have been transmitted to our acquaintance .
Yet not only were the latter an
See also:independent invention, but it is almost demonstrable that the nakshatras, in their more
See also:recent organization, were, as far as possible, assimilated to them . The whole system of junction stars was doubtless an imitation of the sieu; the choice of them by the Hindu astronomers of the 6th century A.D. was plainly instigated by a
See also:consideration of the Chinese
See also:list, compiled with a widely different
See also:intent . Where they varied from it, some intelligible reason can generally be assigned for the change . Eight junction stars lie quite close to, seven others are actually identical with, Chinese determinants; 14 and many of these coincidences '
See also:Jones, As . Res., ii . 294-95 . 10 Humboldt, Vues des Cordillbres, p . 154 . 11 Ibid., p . 152 . 12 Biot, Journ. des Savans (1845), p . 40 .
13 G . Schlegel, Ur . Chin., p . 77 . 14 Biot, Etudes, p . 136 . are between insignificant and, for the purposes of ecliptical division, inconveniently situated objects . Arabian Mansions of ;he Moon.—The small stellar groups characterizing the Arab " mansions of the moon " (mandzil alkamdr) were more equably distributed than either the Hindu or Chinese series . They presented, nevertheless, striking resemblances to both . Twenty-four out of twenty-eight were formed, at least in part, of nakshatra or sieu stars) . That the Arab was essentially a copy of the Hindu lunar zodiac can scarcely admit of doubt . They were divided on the same principle; each opened at the spring equinox; the first Arab sign Sharatan was strictly equivalent to the Hindu Acvini; and eighteen constellations in each were virtually coincident .
The model of the sieu. was, however, also regarded . Eighteen Chinese determinants were included in the Arab asterisms, and of these five or six were not nakshatra stars; consequently, they must have been taken directly from the Chinese series . Nor were the Greek signs without effect in determining the names of the mandzil,L the lateappearance of which, in a complete form, removes all difficulty in accounting for the various foreign influences brought to bear upon them . They were first enumerated by Alfarghani early in the 9th century, when the Arabs were in astronomy the avowed disciples of the
See also:Hindus . But, although they then received perhaps their earliest quasi-scientific organization, the mansions of the moon had for ages previously figured in the popular lore of the Bedouin . A set of twenty-eight rhymes associated their heliacal risings with the changes of
See also:season and the vicissitudes of nomad life; their settings were of meteorological and astrological import; 3 in the
See also:Koran (x . 5) they are regarded as indispensable for the reckoning of time . Yet even this intimate penetration into the modes of thought of the
See also:desert may be explained by prehistoric Indian communication . The alternative view, advocated by Weber, that the lunar zodiac was primitively Chaldaean, rests on a very shadowy foundation . It is true that a word radically identical with mandzil occurs twice in the Bible, under the forms mazzaloth and mazzaroth (2
See also:xxiii . 5;
See also:Job xxxviii . 32); but the heavenly halting-places which it seems to designate may be solar rather than lunar .
Euphratean exploration has so far brought to light no traces of ecliptical partition by the moon's diurnal motion, unless, indeed, zodiacal associations be claimed for a set of twenty-eight deprecatory formulae against evil
See also:spirits inscribed on a Ninevite tablet.4 The safest general conclusions regarding this disputed subject appear to be that the sieu, distinctively and unvaryingly Chinese, cannot properly be described as divisions of a lunar zodiac, that the nakshatras, though of purely Indian origin, became modified by the successive adoption of Greek and Chinese rectifications and supposed improvements; while the mandzil constituted a frankly eclectic system, in which elements from all quarters were combined . It was adopted by Turks, Tatars and Persians, and forms part of the astronomical
See also:paraphernalia of the Bundalzish.• The sieu, on the other hand, were early naturalized in Japan . Astrological Systems.—The refined system of astrological prediction based upon the solar zodiac was invented in
See also:Chaldaea, obtained a second home and added elaborations in Egypt, and spread irresistibly westward about the beginning of the Christian era . For genethliacal purposes the signs were divided into six solar and six lunar, the former counted onward from Leo, the " house " of the sun, the latter backward from the moon's domicile in Cancer . Each
See also:planet had two houses—a solar and a lunar—distributed according to the order of their revolutions . Thus Mercury, as the planet nearest the sun, obtained Virgo, the sign adjacent to Leo, with the corresponding lunar house in Gemini; Venus had Libra (solar) and Taurus (lunar); and so for the
See also:rest . A ram frequently stamped on coins of
See also:Antiochus, with head revered towards the moon and a star (the planet Mars), signified Aries to be the lunar house of Mars . With the respective and relative positions in the zodiac of the sun, moon and planets, the character of their
See also:action 1 Whitney, Notes to Surya-Siddhdnta, p . 200 . '- Ibid., p . 2o6 . 3 A .
See also:Sprenger, Z . D . M . G., xiii . 161; Birdnl, Chronology, trans. by Sachau (
See also:London, 1879), p . 336 seq . ° Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, p. i.on human destiny varied indefinitely . The influence of the signs, though secondary, was hence overmastering: Julian called them Beal, 3ev(5z6,1,5 and they were the objects of a corresponding veneration . Cities and kingdoms were allotted to their several patronage on a system fully expounded by Manilius: Hos exit in fines orbis pontusque notandus, Quem Deus in partes per singula dividit astra, Ac sua cuique dedit tutelae regna per orbem, Et proprias gentes atque urbes addidit altas, In quibus exercent praestantia sidera vires8
See also:Syria was assigned to Aries, and Syrian coins frequently bear the effigy of a ram;
See also:Scythia and
See also:Arabia fell to Taurus, India to Gemini .
See also:Palmyra, judging from numismatic evidence, claimed the favour of Libra, Zeugma that of Capricorn; Leo protected
See also:Miletus, Sagittarius Singara.7 The " power of the signs " was similarly distributed among the parts of the human body: Et quanquam communis eat tutela per omne Corpus, et in proprium divisis artubus exit: Namque aries capiti, taurus cervicibus haeret; Brachia sub geminis censentur, pectora cancro.8 Warnings were uttered against surgical treatment of a member through whose sign the moon happened to be passing;° and zodiacal anatomy was an indispensable branch of the healing art in the
See also:Middle Ages . Some curious memorials of the superstition have survived in rings and amulets, engravers with the various signs, and worn as a kind of astral defensive
See also:armour . Many such, of the 14th and 15th centuries, have been recovered from the
See also:Thames.10 Individuals, too, adopted zodiacal emblems .
Capricornus was impressed upon the coins of Augustus, Libra on those of Pythodoris,
See also:queen of
See also:Pontus; a sultan of
See also:Iconium displayed Leo as his ' horoscope " and mark of
See also:Stephen of England chose the
See also:protection of Sagittarius . Egyptian Astrology.—In Egypt celestial influences were considered as emanating mainly from the thirty-six " decans " of the signs . They were called the "
See also:media of the whole circle of the zodiac "; 11 each ten-day period of the Egyptian year was consecrated to the decanal god whose section of the ecliptic
See also:rose at its commencement; the body was correspondingly apportioned, and disease was cured by invoking the zodiacal
See also:regent of the part affected.12 As early as the 14th century B.C. a complete list of the decans was placed among the hieroglyphs adorning the
See also:tomb of Seti I.; they figured again in the
See also:temple of Rameses I I., 13 and characterize every Egyptian astrological monument . Both the famous zodiacs of
See also:Dendera display their symbols, unmistakably identified by
See also:Lepsius . The late origin of these representations was established by the detection upon them of the cartouches of Tiberius and
See also:Nero . As the date of inception of the circular zodiac now at
See also:Paris the year 46 B.C. has, however, been suggested with high probability, from (among other indications) the position among the signs of the emblem of the planet
See also:Jupiter.14 Its design was most likely to serve as a sort of thema coeli at the time of the
See also:birth of Caesarion . The
See also:companion rectangular zodiac still in situ on the portico of the temple of
See also:Isis at Dendera suits, as to constellational arrangements, the date 29 A.D . It set forth, there is reason to believe, the natal scheme, not of the emperor Tiberius, as had been conjectured by Lauth,15 but of the building it served to decorate . The Greek signs of the zodiac, including Libra, are obvious upon both these monuments, which have thrown useful light upon the calendar system and method of stellar grouping of the ancient Egyptians.is Planispheres.—An Egypto-Greek planisphere, first described by
See also:Bianchini," resembles in its general plan the circular zodiac of Dendera . The decans are ranged on the outermost of its five concentric zones; the. planets and the Greek zodiac in duplicate occupy the next three; while the inner circle is unaccountably reserved for the Chinese cyclical animals . The relic was dug up on the Aventine in 1705, and is now in the Louvre . It
See also:dates from the 2nd or 3rd century A.D .
The Tatar zodiac is not unfrequently found engraven on Chinese mirrors in polished
See also:bronze or
See also:steel of the 7th century, and figured on the "
See also:plateau of the twelve hours " 5 Orat. in Solem," Op., i . 148 (ed . 1696) . 8 Astr., bk. iv. ver . 696 seq . °
See also:Eckhel, Descriptio Nummorum Antiochiae Syriae, pp . 18, 25 . 8 Manilius, Astr., bk. iv. ver . 702-5 . ° A . J .
See also:Peirce, Science of the Stars, p .
84 . Journ .Arch . Soc. xiii . 254, 310, and xx . 80 . ii In a fragment of Hermes translated by Th .
See also:Taylor at p . 362 of his version of Iamblichus . 12 Pettigrew, Superstitions Connected with Hist. of
See also:Medicine, p . 30 . 13 Lepsius, Chronologie der Aegypter, part i. p .
68 . "Ibid., p . 102 . 16
See also:Les Zodiaques de Denderah, p . 78 . 18 See
See also:Kiel's Das feste Jahr von Denderah (1878) . 17 Mem. de t' Acad., Paris, 1708, Hist., p .
See also:Ito; see also Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres, p . 170; Lepsius, op. cit., p . 83; Frohner, Sculpture du Louvre, p . 17 . in the
See also:treasury of the emperors of the Tang
See also:dynasty.' Probably the most ancient zodiacal representation in existence is a fragment of a Chaldaean planisphere in the
See also:British Museum, once inscribed with the names of the twelve months and their governing signs .
Two only now remain ? A zodiac on the " astrological
See also:altar of Gabies " in the Louvre illustrates the
See also:apportionment of the signs among the inmates of the Roman
See also:Pantheon;' and they occur as a classical reminiscence in the
See also:mosaic pavements of
See also:San Miniato and the baptistery at Florence, the
See also:cathedral of
See also:Lyons, and the crypt of San Savino at
See also:Piacenza.' Zodiacal symbolism became conspicuous in
See also:medieval art . Nearly all the French cathedrals of the 12th and 13th centuries exhibit on their portals a
See also:species of rural calendar, in which each month and sign has its corresponding labour . The zodiac of Notre
See also:Dame of Paris, opening with Aquarius, is a noted instance.' A similar series, in which sculptured figures of Christ and the Apostles are associated with the signs, is to be seen in perfect preservation on the chief doorway of the abbey
See also:church at
See also:Vezelay . The cathedrals of
See also:Sens and Rheims are decorated in the same way . In Italy the signs and
See also:works survive fragmentarily in the baptistery at
See also:Parma, completely on the
See also:porch of the cathedral of Cremona and on the west doorway of St Mark's at Venice . They are less
See also:common in England; but St
See also:York, and the church of Iffley in
See also:Oxfordshire offer good specimens . In the zodiac of Merton College,
See also:Oxford, Libra is represented by a
See also:judge in his robes and Pisces by the
See also:dolphin of Fitzjames,
See also:warden of the college, 1482-1507.6 The great rose-windows of the Early
See also:Gothic period were frequently painted with zodiacal emblems; and some frescoes in the cathedral of Cologne contain the signs, each with an attendant
See also:angel, just as they were depicted on the vault of the church at
See also:Mount Athos .
See also:Giotto's zodiac at
See also:Padua was remarkable (in its undisturbed
See also:condition) for the arrangement of the signs so as to be struck in turns, during the corresponding months, by the sun's rays) The " zodiac of labours " was replaced in French castles and hotels by a " zodiac of pleasures," in which
See also:hunting, hawking, fishing and dancing were substituted for hoeing, planting,
See also:reaping and ploughing.' It is curious to find the same sequence of symbols employed for the same decorative purposes in India as in
See also:Europe . A perfect set of signs was copied in 1764 from a
See also:pagoda at Verdapettah near Cape
See also:Comorin, and one equally complete existed at the same period on the
See also:ceiling of a temple near Mindurah' The hieroglyphs representing the signs of the zodiac in astronomical works are found in
See also:manuscripts of about the loth century, but in carvings not until the 15th or ,6th.10 Their origin is unknown; but some, if not all of them, have antique associations . The hieroglyph of Leo, for instance, occurs among the symbols of the Mithraic worship." See also the article ASTROLOGY, and the
See also:separate articles on the constellations . The whole subject of the history of the zodiac is very obscure .
See also:Boll, Sphaera (
See also:Leipzig, 1903) ; also the
See also:bibliographies to ASTROLOGY and BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN RELIGION . (A . M .
ZOBEIR RAHAMA (183o- )
There are no comments yet for this article.
Do not copy, download, transfer, or otherwise replicate the site content in whole or in part.
Links to articles and home page are encouraged.