Skip to comments.Did the Romans think that the Planets were Gods?
Posted on 01/30/2023 2:04:27 PM PST by SunkenCiv
This video explores why the Romans invented astrology, and how they give it the basic form it still has today.
Did the Romans think that the Planets were Gods?
toldinstone | 333K subscribers | 27K views | 2 weeks ago
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Transcript 0:00 The new star was faint at first, little more than a glimmer in the summer dusk. 0:06 But as the Romans gathered to celebrate Caesar’s funeral games, it blazed brilliantly – a 0:11 sign, it was said, that the great man’s soul had joined the gods. 0:16 For seven days it was visible over the tile roofs and umbrella pines, a rival to the setting 0:22 sun. 0:23 Then it faded, with the majesty befitting a god, into the shimmering calendar of the 0:28 heavens. 0:30 Although a few scholars flirted with heliocentrism, virtually all Greeks and Romans accepted that 0:36 the earth occupied the center of the universe. 0:40 Around the earth revolved the seven planets, named for the gods. 0:45 First came the moon, near enough for its distance to be estimated by parallax during eclipses. 0:51 Beyond were Mercury, Venus, and the sun, which Aristotle described as a globe of luminous 0:57 ether. 0:58 Then Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, all embedded – like the other planets – in “spheres” 1:05 that carried them around the earth in a geometric dance of orbits and epicycles. 1:08 The outermost sphere of the universe carried the stars, which the definitive ancient catalog 1:16 grouped into 48 constellations. 1:19 The Greeks had identified some stars with figures from myth from a very early period 1:24 – Homer, for example, mentions the Pleiades. 1:28 But the division of the entire night sky into constellations seems to have taken place only 1:34 in the fourth century BC. 1:37 Of special significance were the 12 constellations of the Zodiac, aligned with the tracks of 1:42 the planets along the ecliptic. 1:44 The Zodiac had first been defined in Mesopotamia, where scholars had observed the heavens for 1:50 millennia, keeping careful records of eclipses, planetary motions, and other phenomena. 1:56 In the wake of Alexander’s conquests, these records became accessible to Greek astronomers, 2:02 along with the Babylonian tradition of using the motions of the planets to foretell the 2:07 future. 2:08 [embedded ad text redacted] 3:27 Back to the stars. 3:30 Astrology was born from the fusion of Babylonian astronomy with the methods of Greek science. 3:36 It seems to have originated in Hellenistic Alexandria, probably around the end of the 3:40 second century BC, when new developments in Greek scientific astronomy were being fueled 3:46 by the translation of Mesopotamian records. 3:50 Like its modern descendants, ancient astrology attempted to determine outcomes from the positions 3:56 and interrelations of the planets and signs of the Zodiac. 4:01 With knowledge of an individual’s birth date, astrologers claimed that they could 4:05 chart the whole future course of a life, and pick the most propitious time for undertaking 4:10 anything from a voyage to a bath. 4:14 Although some doubted that the stars influenced human affairs – pointing, for example, to 4:19 the fact that twins born in the same place and under the same stars often led very different 4:25 lives – most Greeks and Romans regarded astrology as a natural and legitimate extension 4:30 of astronomy. 4:33 Astrologers were especially popular in early imperial Rome, where they became confidants 4:37 of the emperors. 4:39 Augustus put Capricorn, his Zodiac sign, on his coins. 4:44 Scorpio, Tiberius’ birth sign, became the emblem of the praetorian guard. 4:50 Hadrian considered himself a master of astrology, and foretold the hour and day of his death. 4:56 Another emperor married a woman whose horoscope predicted she would become a queen. 5:02 The astrological manual of Firmicus Maternus, who wrote during the fourth century, illuminates 5:07 the degree to which the stars were thought to govern mortal lives. 5:12 According to Maternus, for example, any man born in the first degree of Libra will be 5:17 handsome and lovable. 5:19 If the ascendant is in the feminine stars, unfortunately, he is destined to be a male 5:24 prostitute, but one loved by all for his charm and sophistication. 5:29 Those born in the seventh degree of Libra, Maternus continues, will be captured by pirates 5:34 at some point, or possibly devoured by wild beasts. 5:39 Those born in the twentieth degree will be great doctors – unless Mars is in that degree, 5:44 in which case they are doomed to fall from a great height. 5:47 To move to a different sign, those born in the first degree of Sagittarius will be pious 5:52 and just, but those born in the second degree are sure to be ill-tempered sacrilegious liars. 6:00 Occasionally, Maternus is quite specific: those born in the tenth degree of Capricorn, 6:06 for example, will be charming adulterers, who will seduce all their friends’ wives 6:11 but never be caught. 6:13 Their own wives, however, will be equally adulterous. 6:18 They will become rich, and die abruptly. 6:21 Understandably, in the view of such dire predictions, Roman parents took care to note when their 6:27 children were born, sometimes stationing a man with a gong to inform a waiting astrologer 6:33 of the exact moment. 6:35 Doctors studied astrological manuals to determine the moon’s effects on the human body; philosophers 6:41 hailed astrological predictions as manifestations of omnipotent fate. 6:47 The seven laps in a standard chariot race and the seven degrees of Mithraism were pattered 6:52 on the seven planets, as was the seven-day week we still use, each of its days named 6:58 for the planet that governed its first hour. 7:01 During the early imperial era, astrologers were repeatedly expelled from Rome, largely 7:07 from fears that their predictions would encourage plots against the emperors. 7:11 Later, when the Roman world became Christian, they fell under suspicion again, since the 7:16 idea that the stars influenced human affairs seemed to contravene divine omnipotence. 7:22 Astrology, however, outlasted the emperors and their anxieties, and enjoyed unprecedented 7:28 prestige during the Renaissance, when astrologers were employed by popes and kings. 7:34 Despite comprehensive debunking of its principles and practices, astrology is with us still, 7:40 an uncanny offspring of Greek science. 7:44 Thanks again to Blinkist for sponsoring this video; see the link in the description to 7:49 subscribe. 7:51 Check out my two other YouTube channels, Scenic Routes to the Past and Toldinstone Footnotes. 7:56 If you enjoyed this video, please consider supporting toldinstone on Patreon. 8:02 You might also enjoy my book, Naked Statues, Fat Gladiators, and War Elephants. 8:07 Thanks for watching.
Except, the Babylonians invented Astrology.
Did the gods know about Pluto?
I dont have time to watch the video right now... But I saw interesting thing about some of their gods.
Im a bible believer and I believe that Adam and Noah and Noahs decedents lived extra ordinary long lives... 800+ years then descended.
Now the Romans believed in Immortals and the Immortals had children with Mortals that were like 1/2 Immortals. The long ages of Noahs decedents totally explains these Immortals. What would people think if they grew old but “Bob” stayed young for their entire life... I find it fascinating.
Doesn’t Genesis 6 kind of say that?
Doesn’t Genesis 6 kind of say that?
I guess so, but that was pre-flood. Do you think Romans made it up from story’s of Noahs decedents... or that Noah and his decedents lived a long time...
Im no scholar or in anyway an expert. Teach me, I’m open to learn.
Everyone had some form of astrology. The Babylonians invented the version we’re most familiar with.
In a word, yes, but there are Flood legends in many many cultures. I believe the whole sons of God thing (immortals/mortals) was the reason for the Flood in the first place.
If its astrologian,it must be Babylonian...
In Noah’s times a lifespan was measured in hundreds of years.
They were indeed. Methuselah lived, if I recall, 969 years. That’s a ton of years. I wonder what these people did, to occupy their time, on a daily basis for 900 years? We do not, however, know what kind of technology, those fallen angels (sons of God) gave to Genesis man. We simply don’t know.
I would guess, they might have been doing things that we could only dream about. Did they have aircraft? Who knows, but these people were not stupid. They didn’t live in caves. They built great cities. Who knows what else they did?
The Romans’ traditions were similar to other non-Hebrews around the Med, none of whom got them from the Old Testament.
They didn’t know about Pluto, Neptune, or Uranus. :^)
In a word, no.
As someone pointed out long ago, the existence of an astrology presupposes the existence of an astronomy.
Elements of the Babylonian Contribution to Hellenistic Astrology
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 108, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1988), pp. 51-62 (12 pages)
Published By: American Oriental Society
a few from some Assyrian keywords, sorted:
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