Assyro-Babylonian carefully observed stars and planets; their movements and related phenomena – which may herald either good or bad omina – were believed to influence many aspects of human life. Moreover, stars and planets might both cause afflictions and diseases (on their own or through warlocks’ and witches’ manipulation), and prevent (or remove) evil and diseases through proper prayers, incantations and rituals, performed by the healers.
The mathematical systems of later Assyro-Babylonian astronomy is nowadays well known and studied; nevertheless, we must recognize little agreement among insiders about the true nature of the knowledges regarding astronomy in the earlier stages of the civilization. Agriculture and steady settlements surely allowed people to analyse the skies to establish strong links between food production and seasons.
The believes of the influence on daily lives from stars and planets is still today alive in modern culture where astrology is even encouraged and broadcasted by media. This makes the argument of intrinsic multidisciplinary interest: sociology, psychology, anthropology and science are called to investigate the origin and, possibly, the end of such deeply held convictions. It is our intention to start a series of events that may update on the actual status of our understanding of the passage mythos-logos and, therefore, from cosmogonies to cosmologies.
The organizers invite papers on the stars’ influence in daily life according to the Mesopotamian texts belonging to the divination and medicine fields, and to the importance of reconstructing the origin of some mythological believes that may have leaked through time.
Deadline: 25 September 2017. There is no registration fee.