AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 1. HAD I: Special Topics in the History of Astronomy
Special, Sunday, January 5, 2003, 2:00-6:00pm, East Room (Sheraton)

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[1.06] The Astrologer's Apparatus: The Material Culture of an Astronomical Specialty in Greek Egypt

J. Evans (Universilty of Puget Sound)

While astrology was certainly of Babylonian origin, it was enthusiastically embraced by the Greeks in Egypt, starting in the second century BC. Astrology triumphed because it resonated with many other aspects of Greek culture: astronomy and mathematics, as well as religion and philosophy, magic and mysticism. We have half a dozen Greek and Latin manuals of astrology, written between the first and fifth centuries AD, so we know a lot about the history of astrological doctrine.

However, until recently, we have known very little about the social and material circumstances of astrological consultations. Who were the practitioners? Where did they practice? What apparatus did they use? What took place in an astrological consltation? By drawing on a wide range of sources, including literary texts, mathematical papyri, engraved gems, coins, statues and mummy portraits, we can now sketch a very detailed picutre of the professional practice of astrology in Greek Egypt.

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