Alphabetically arranged entries cover the history of astrology from ancient Mesopotamia to the 21st century. In addition to surveying the Western tradition, the book explores Islamic, Indian, East Asian, and Mesoamerican astrology. * Provides alphabetically arranged reference entries that delineate the historical and cultural significance of astrology from ancient Mesopotamia to the present * Directs users to additional sources of information via entry bibliographies * Offers sidebars offer additional facts from primary source documents * Incorporates a timeline to help readers to place astrological developments in chronological context * Features an introductory essay for a narrative overview of the history of astrology, priming readers on its cultural relevance
Alphabetically arranged entries cover the history of astrology from ancient Mesopotamia to the 21st century. In addition to surveying the Western tradition, the book explores Islamic, Indian, East Asian, and Mesoamerican astrology. • Provides alphabetically arranged reference entries that delineate the historical and cultural significance of astrology from ancient Mesopotamia to the present • Directs direct users to additional sources of information via entry bibliographies • Offers sidebars offer additional facts from primary source documents • Incorporates a timeline to help readers to place astrological developments in chronological context • Features an introductory essay for a narrative overview of the history of astrology, priming readers on its cultural relevance
This encyclopedia offers an interdisciplinary approach to studying science and technology within the context of world history. With balanced coverage, a logical organization, and in-depth entries, readers of all inclinations will find useful and interesting information in its contents. Science and Technology in World History takes a truly global approach to the subjects of science and technology and spans the entirety of recorded human history. Topical articles and entries on the subjects are arranged under thematic categories, which are divided further into chronological periods. This format, along with the encyclopedia's integrative approach, offers an array of perspectives that collectively contribute to the understanding of numerous fields across the world, and over eras of development. Entries cover discussions of scientific and technological innovations and theories, historical vignettes, and important texts and individuals throughout the world. From the discovery of fire and the innovation of agricultural methods in China to the establishment of surgical practices in France and the invention of Quantum Theory, this encyclopedia offers comprehensive coverage of fascinating topics in science and technology through a straightforward, historical lens. Provides readers with a multicultural view of the evolution of science and technology from prehistory to the present Covers both scientific theory and practical technology Encourages readers to think about science and technology in historical terms Places current conditions within a broad historical framework
Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Enlightenment argues for the centrality of magical practices and ideas throughout the long eighteenth-century. Although the hunt for witches in Europe declined precipitously after 1650, and the intellectual justification for natural magic came under fire by 1700, belief in magic among the general population did not come to a sudden stop. The philosophes continued to take aim at magical practices, alongside religion, as examples of superstitions that an enlightened age needed to put behind them. In addition to a continuity of beliefs and practices, the eighteenth century also saw improvement and innovation in magical ideas, the understanding of ghosts, and attitudes toward witchcraft. The volume takes a broad geographical approach and includes essays focusing on Great Britain (England and Ireland), France, Germany, and Hungary. It also takes a wide approach to the subject and includes essays on astrology, alchemy, witchcraft, cunning folk, ghosts, treasure hunters, and purveyors of magic. With a broad chronological scope that ranges from the end of the seventeenth century into the early nineteenth century, this volume is useful for undergraduates, postgraduates, scholars as well as those with a general interest in magic, witchcraft, and spirits in the Enlightenment.
This book is devoted to those human beliefs that fall in the "gray zone" between science, religion, and everyday life—call them superstitious, supernatural, magical, or just wrong. In an often incomprehensible world where lightning or plague could end life quickly or drought could condemn a poor family to agonizing death, superstitious beliefs gave people a feeling of understanding or even control. They have continued to shape societies and cultures ever since. This book covers a range of superstitious, supernatural, and otherwise unusual beliefs from the ancient world to the early 19th century. More than 100 entries explain beliefs, discuss historical evidence, and explain how each belief differs across cultures. This book is a perfect gateway for anyone curious about superstitious and magical beliefs, with topics ranging from the everyday, such as dogs and iron, to legendary figures, such as Hermes Trismegistus and the Yellow Emperor.
Here, at last, is the massively updated and augmented second edition of this landmark encyclopedia. It contains approximately 1000 entries dealing in depth with the history of the scientific, technological and medical accomplishments of cultures outside of the United States and Europe. The entries consist of fully updated articles together with hundreds of entirely new topics. This unique reference work includes intercultural articles on broad topics such as mathematics and astronomy as well as thoughtful philosophical articles on concepts and ideas related to the study of non-Western Science, such as rationality, objectivity, and method. You’ll also find material on religion and science, East and West, and magic and science.
When we think of "heaven," we generally conjure up positive, blissful images. Heaven is, after all, where God is and where good people go after death to receive their reward. But how and why did Western cultures come to imagine the heavenly realm in such terms? Why is heaven usually thought to be "up there," far beyond the visible sky? And what is the source of the idea that the post mortem abode of the righteous is in this heavenly realm with God? Seeking to discover the roots of these familiar notions, this volume traces the backgrounds, origin, and development of early Jewish and Christian speculation about the heavenly realm -- where it is, what it looks like, and who its inhabitants are. Wright begins his study with an examination of the beliefs of ancient Israel's neighbors Egypt and Mesopotamia, reconstructing the intellectual context in which the earliest biblical images of heaven arose. A detailed analysis of the Hebrew biblical texts themselves then reveals that the Israelites were deeply influenced by images drawn from the surrounding cultures. Wright goes on to examine Persian and Greco-Roman beliefs, thus setting the stage for his consideration of early Jewish and Christian images, which he shows to have been formed in the struggle to integrate traditional biblical imagery with the newer Hellenistic ideas about the cosmos. In a final chapter Wright offers a brief survey of how later Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions envisioned the heavenly realms. Accessible to a wide range of readers, this provocative book will interest anyone who is curious about the origins of this extraordinarily pervasive and influential idea.
Opening chapters cover the early history of astrology, from ancient Mesopotamia through Greek, Egyptian, and Arabic enhancements and further developments. The author then describes the structure of the modern horoscope and the key components of its symbolic language: signs, houses, planets, aspects, and how these factors are put together in basic interpretation. Tracing the yearly path of the sun through the zodiac, the author then shows how the seasons resonate with the meanings inherent in each sun-sign. A full discussion of each sign of the zodiac is included in this segment. In a separate section, an extensive, in-depth analysis is devoted to astrology's four elements, connecting them to principles largely derived from C.G. Jung's theory of psychological types. In the final segment, a chapter each is devoted to the inherent meanings of the planets, each planet encompassing basic life principles --archetypes -- that are associated with Greco-Roman myths. This is a book for general readers who want to understand the basic tenets of astrology; serious students who want to deepen their knowledge of astrology's rich symbolism; and seasoned astrologers who want to gain further insights into its art and technique.
This volume examines how historical beliefs about the supernatural were used to justify violence, secure political authority or extend toleration in both the medieval and early modern periods. Contributors explore miracles, political authority and violence in Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, various Protestant groups, Judaism, Islam and the local religious beliefs of Pacific Islanders who interacted with Christians. The chapters are geographically expansive, with contributions ranging from confessional conflict in Poland-Lithuania to the conquest of Oceania. They examine various types of conflict such as confessional struggles, conversion attempts, assassination and war, as well as themes including diplomacy, miraculous iconography, toleration, theology and rhetoric. Together, the chapters explore the appropriation of accounts of miraculous violence that are recorded in sacred texts to reveal what partisans claimed God did in conflict, and how they claimed to know. The volume investigates theories of justified warfare, changing beliefs about the supernatural with the advent of modernity and the perceived relationship between human and divine agency. Miracles, Political Authority and Violence in Medieval and Early Modern History is of interest to scholars and students in several fields including religion and violence, political and military history, and theology and the reception of sacred texts in the medieval and early modern world.
Astronomy Across Cultures: A History of Non-Western Astronomy consists of essays dealing with the astronomical knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Polynesian, Egyptian and Tibetan astronomy, among others, the book includes essays on Sky Tales and Why We Tell Them and Astronomy and Prehistory, and Astronomy and Astrology. The essays address the connections between science and culture and relate astronomical practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay is well illustrated and contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both the history of science and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.