Ancient Zodiacs, Star Names, and Constellations: Essays and Annotated Bibliographies

Compiled by Gary D. Thompson

Copyright © 2001-2018 by Gary D. Thompson

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General References


Ackermann, Silke. (2001). "Bartholomew of Parma, Michael Scot and the Set of New Constellations on Bartholomew's Breviloquium de fructu totius astronomie." In: Battistini, P., Bònoli, F., Braccesi, A. and Buzzeti, D. (Editors). Seventh Centenary of the Teaching of Astronomy in Bologna, 1297-1997. (Pages 77-98).

Ackermann, Silke. (2009(2010?)). Sternstunden am Kaiserhof: Michael Scotus und sein Buch von den Bildern und Zeichen des Himmels. [Note: In this book, Silke Ackermann (formerly a curator at the British Museum) presents an edition of the Liber de signis et imaginibus celi, an influential treatise on the constellations and their astrological associations compiled by Michael Scotus (circa 1175-circa 1235), court-astrologer of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Sicily. The book contains a comprehensive biographical introduction on Michael Scotus' life and his works, an edition of the Liber de signis et imaginibus celi with a parallel German translation followed by a detailed commentary referring to the sources used by Michael Scotus. The extant manuscripts are discussed in detail as well as the books influence on later medieval astrological works. See the (English-language) book review by Darrel Rutkin in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 43, Issues 1, February 2012, Pages 119-120).]

Allen, Richard. (1899, Reprinted 1936 (in France), and 1963 (in USA)). Star-Names and Their Meanings. [Note: The 1963 reprint title was "Star-Names: Their Lore and Meaning." The 1963 reprint was unrevised and included only grammatical corrections. (I am one of the very few to acknowledge the 1936 reprint. Until I referenced it circa 2005 it seemed almost entirely forgotten.) At the time of his death the author was working on a revised edition but it remained unfinished. (The original edition is now very scarce.) No one has attempted a revision of Allen's book. Whilst some people may have considered the project there are numerous issues. Allen's book really requires a complete overhaul and doing such would require considerable effort. Some corrective articles by several authors have been published over the years in the journal Sky and Telescope. Allen used a limited number of references. Today there are a larger number of references to be consulted; principally in English, German, and French. Allen's book should not be used as it is an uncritical compilation from out-dated secondary sources and contains numerous errors; especially regarding Arabic, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian constellations and star names. At the time he wrote the information on non-European star/constellation names was very incomplete and often simply quite wrong. (As example: Regarding his discussion of Arabic star names. Allen had no knowledge of Arabic and he uncritically relied upon Ludwig Ideler's outdated book, Untersuchungen über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen. He never made any attempt to check the accuracy of this secondary source he used with any primary sources - as Paul Kunitzsch did in the 1950s for his doctoral thesis.) Though a number of his bibliographical references are obscure it is possible to successfully identify most of his main sources. In the Introduction to his book Richard Allen indicates the main core of his sources as comprising, Untersuchungen über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen by Ludwig (some sources have Ludewig) Ideler (1809) (main source of Arabic and other European material); The Cycle of Celestial Objects by William Smyth (the edition used is not identified but either 2 volumes 1844, or the revised one volume edition by George Chambers, 1881) (the main source of Western historical star lore and general material); The Dawn of Astronomy by Norman Lockyer (1894) (the main source of Egyptian material); Observations of Comets: from B.C. 611 to A.D. 1640: extracted from the Chinese Annals by John Williams (1871) (a main source of Chinese material); A Dictionary of the Chinese Language by Robert Morrison (3 Parts, 1815-1823) (a main source of Chinese material); and unspecified publications by Johann Strassmaier and Joseph Epping, Archibald Sayce, Robert Brown Junior, Peter Jensen, and Fritz Hommel (the main sources of Mesopotamian material, generally circa 1895 latest). It is likely that publications by François Lenormant were also used. Paul Kunitzsch has demonstrated the unreliability of Ludewig Ideler as a reliable source for Arabic material. The historical chapters dealing with the solar zodiac and the lunar zodiac need to be ignored entirely. For Western constellations and star names use of Richard Allen's, Star-Names should be replaced with: Planetarium Babylonicum by Felix Gössmann (1950) (but now becoming outdated with two-thirds of his sources pre-dating 1920); Egyptian Astronomical Texts by Otto Neugebauer and Richard Parker (3 Volumes, 1960-1969); Gestirnnamen bei den indogermanischen Völken by Anton Scherer (1953); (importantly) Le vocabulaire latin de l'Astronomie by André Le Boeuffle (3 Volumes, 1973) (who traces both Greek and Babylonian antecedents for Latin constellation/star names); and Arabische Sternnamen in Europa by Paul Kunitzsch (1959); and for star lore use of Allen's book can be replaced with (importantly), Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets by Ed. Krupp (1991) and Mythen der Sterne by Friedrich Norman (1925); The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars by Julius Staal (1988). Note: Regarding, Planetarium Babylonicum by Felix Gössmann (1950). Gössmann lists some 124 sources for his compilation. The book is now (2015) 65 years old and 40 percent of his sources are earlier than 1920 (i.e., over 95 years old. More recent is: Zvezdnoe nebo drevnei Mesopotamii: Shumero-akkadskie nazvaniia sozvezdii i drugikh svetil [The Star Heaven of Ancient Mesopotamia: Sumero-Akkadian Names of Constellations and Other Heavenly Bodies] by Gennadii Kurtik [Kurtig] (2007). The author of this Russian-language publication is a Russian historian of astronomy. The more accessible and reliable publication at present (2016) (but very brief) is, A Dictionary of Modern Star Names by Paul Kunitzsch and Tim Smart (2006). This revised 2nd edition of Short Guide to Modern Star Names and Their Derivations (1986) is a 76-page pamphlet. Like its 1986 predecessor it focuses on Western star names in current use and comprises an excellent English-language summary of 254 Western star names. The most recent and the most satisfactory likely identifications of ancient Egyptian constellations (with modern Western constellations) is set out in Table 6.1 (Pages 162-163) in Lull, José. and Belmonte, Antonio. (2009). "The constellations of ancient Egypt." In: Belmonte, Juan. and Shaltout, Mosalam. (Editors). In Search of Cosmic Order: Selected Essays on Egyptian Archaeoastronomy. Identifications are made for 31 ancient Egyptian constellations. See the (English-language) article "Richard Hinckley Allen." by Lucy Morris in Popular Astronomy, Volume 14, 1906, Pages 592-594. Page XX: "Lastly do I thank my young friend Miss Lucy Noble Morris, of Morristown, for long-continued aid in various ways, especially in her tasteful selection of poetical illustrations." This is apparently a reference to Lucy Noble Morris, born August 18, 1892, Morristown, New Jersey, niece and adopted daughter of Harriet Morris (who had no natural children of her own), daughter of William S. Morris of Montclair, New Jersey. If correct, she was in her early teens when she wrote the biographical article. Life dates for Richard Allen: 1838-1908.]

Anastasiou, Magdalini. et al. (2012). "Positional Astronomy and the Parapegma of the Antikythera Mechanism." In: Proceedings of Science (Antikythera & SKA, 029). [Note: Proceedings of the meeting 'From Antikythera to the Square Kilometre Array: Lessons from the Ancients.' (Antikythera & SKA). 12-15 June 2012. Kerastari, Greece. Published online.]

Aveni, Anthony. (2008). People and the Sky. [Note: Includes some material on star names and constellations. Also includes some common errors on Mesopotamian star names and constellations.]

Bahn, Paul. (2009). (Editor). An Enquiring Mind: Studies in Honor of Alexander Marshack.

Bakhouche, Béatrice., Moreau, Alain., and Turpin, Jean-Claude. (Editors). (1996). Les astres: Actes du colloque international de Montpellier, 23-25 mars 1995. (2 Tomes). [Note: An interesting set of conference papers. Tome I, Les astres et les mythes. La description du ciel; Tome II, Les correspondances entre la terre, le ciel et l'homme. Les «survivances» de l'astrologie antique. Publisher: Seminaire d'etude des mentalites antiques, Publications de la recherche, Universite Paul Valery (1996).]

Barale, Piero. (2015). "Lost Skies in Italian Folk Astronomy." In: Ruggles, Clive. (Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (2 volumes; Pages 1755-1766). Note: Very interesting.]

Barentine, John. (2015 (2016?)). The Lost constellations: A History of Obsolete, Extinct, or Forgotten Star Lore. [Note: Summarizes the history of the major discarded Western constellation of which a written record remains. Author's description: "... The Lost Constellations is the first comprehensive treatment of the history of figures in the night sky that existed prior to the International Astronomical Union’s proclamation of a set of “official” constellations in 1922. Some of these persisted on star charts and maps for as long as three hundred years before being culled in an attempt to make uniform all maps of the sky for the benefit of astronomical research. The book describes the process by which some constellations were accepted as official while others were discarded, and for each obsolete figure includes a detailed history and over 250 illustrations gleaned largely from historical maps and atlases. Tales associated with the origins and fate of many of the constellations tell a very human story of aspirations of fame and the persistence of memory in a time before there was a widely agreed-upon geography of the night sky. The book is situated between the academic and popular and makes for both an interesting leisure read as well as a well-annotated reference for historians of astronomy. ..."]

Barentine, John. (2016). Uncharted Constellations: Asterisms, Single-Source and Rebrands. [Note: A companion to his 2015 (2016?) book. The author is an astronomer at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, USA. Publisher's description: "This book compiles an array of interesting constellations that fell by the wayside before the IAU established the modern canon of constellations. That decision left out lesser known ones whose history is nevertheless interesting, but at last author John Barentine is giving them their due. This book is a companion to "The Lost Constellations", highlighting the more obscure configurations. The 16 constellations found in this volume fall into one or more of three broad categories: asterisms, such as the Big Dipper in Ursa Major; single-sourced constellations introduced on surviving charts by a cartographer perhaps currying the favor of sponsors; and re-brands, new figures meant to displace existing constellations, often for an ideological reason. All of them reveal something unique about the development of humanity's map of the sky."]

Barnholth, William. (1959). Constellation Studies. [Note: 34 pages. Likely privately published.]

Barrett, John. (1800). An enquiry into the origin of the constellations that compose the zodiac, and the uses they were intended to promote. [Note: Unreliable, outdated. Life dates: 1753-1821.]

Barrow, John. (2008). Cosmic Imagery. [Note: See the first chapter "Midnight's Children: The Constellations." The author supports the flawed Minoan theory of constellation origins.]

Barton, Samuel. (2007). A Guide to the Constellations. [Note: 84 pages.]

Blacket, William. (1883). Researches into the Lost Histories of America: or, the Zodiac shown to be an Old Terrestrial Map in which the Atlantic isle is delineated; so that Light can be Thrown upon the Obscure Histories of the Earthworks and Ruined Cities of America. [Note: Another book about the mythical island of Atlantis. Complete nonsense.]

Blomberg, Peter. (2000). "An astronomical interpretation of finds from Minoan Crete." In: Esteban, C. and Belmonte, J. A. (Editors). Astronomy and cultural diversity: Proceedings of Oxford XI and SEAC 99, International conference on archaeoastronomy. (Pages 311-318).

Blomberg, Peter. (2002). "An attempt to reconstruct the Minoan star map." In: Potyomkina, T. M. and Obridko, V. N. (Editors). Astronomy of ancient societies. (Pages 93/95-99).

Blomberg, Peter. (2005). "Does Boötes Drive an Ox-Drawn Wagon on the Minoan Star Map?" In: Cosmic Catastrophes: A Collection of Articles. (Pages 23-26). [Note: Proceedings of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), 2002, Tartu, Estonia. The paper was presented at the SEAC 2002 Tenth Annual Conference, 27-30 August in Tartu, Estonia.]

Blume, Dieter. (2000). Regenten des Himmels. [Note: The first critical analysis of the speculative and erroneous ideas of Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl on proposed paths of transmission of planetary iconography/iconographical tradition (uncritically re-stated by Jean Seznec (1905-1983, eminent historian) in his book Survival of the Pagan Gods (1940)). C. Joanna Sheldon, UK, kindly pointed out that I had in the title originally omitted the 's' from Himmels]

Blume, Dieter. (2009). "Michael Scot, Giotto and the Construction of New Images of the Planets." In: Duits, Rembrandt. and Quiviger, François. (Editors). (2009). Images of the Pagan Gods. (Pages 129-150).

Blume, Dieter. (2014). "Picturing the Stars: Astrological Imagery in the Latin West." In: Dooley, Brendan. (Editor). A Companion to Astrology in the Renaissance. (Pages 333-398).

Bobrova, Larissa. and Militarev, Alexander. (1993). "From Mesopotamia to Greece: On the Origin of Semitic and Greek Star Names." In: Galter, Hannes. and Scholz, Bernhard. (Editors). Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. (Pages 307-329). [Note: A philological study of constellation and star names.]

Bursian, Conrad. (1895). Jahresbericht uber die Fortschitte der classischen Alterthumswissenschaft. [Annual report on the progress of classical antiquity.] Einundachtzigster [81st] Band. Zweiundzwanzigster Jahrgangg [Twenty-second year]. 1894.

Le Boeuffle, André. (1997). Le Ciel et la Mer: l'utilisation de l'Astronomie dens la navigation ancienne. [Note: Monograph on stellar navigation in Graeco-Roman antiquity.]

Le Bourdellès, Hubert. (1985). L'Aratus Latinus: Étude sur la culture et la langue latines dans le Nord de la France au VIIIe siècle.

Blume, Dieter., Haffner, Mechthild., and Metzger, Wolfgang. (2015 (2012?)). Sternbilder des Mittelalters: Der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie. Part One: 800–1200. (2 Volumes). [Note: The actual publication date is indicated as 2012. (Band 2: 1200-1500 CE, not yet published.) Magisterial. See the (English-language) book review by Eric Ramírez-Weaver (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and University of Virginia) in The Medieval Review (TMR 15.11.16).

Blume, Dieter., Haffner, Mechthild., and Metzger, Wolfgang. (Band 1: 800-1200 CE, 2012-Band 2: 1200-1500 CE, not yet published). Sternbilder des Mittelalters.

Boll, Franz. (1894). « Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie und Astrologie ». In: Jahrbüchen für Classische Philologie, Supplement 21, Pages 49-244.

Boll, Franz. and Bezold, Carl. (1916 but also given as 1918). Antike Beobachtungen farbiger Sterne. [Note: A study of coloured stars in both Mesopotamia and Greece. See the brief (German-language) book review by Otto Schroeder in Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 44, Number 7/8, 26 April, 1919, Columns 73-74.]

Büchel, Carl. (1905). Über Sternnamen. [Note: 15-page, A4 size pamphlet.]

Caiozzo, Anna. (2003). Images du ciel d'Orient au Moyen Âge. Une histoire du zodiaque et de ses représentations dans les manuscrits du Proche-Orient musulman. [Note: Excellent. The Forward is by the French historian Marianne Barrucand. The book may originally have been a PhD thesis under the supervision of Marianne Barrucand.]

Calvet, Carlos. (2005). Versunkene Kulturen der Welt - das Kompendium.

Condos, Theony. (1997). Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans: A Sourcebook. [Note: An English-language translation of the "Catasterismi" of the Pseudo-Eratosthenes and the "De Astronomia" attributed to Hyginus. Based on her doctorate thesis and needs to be used with some caution. See the (English-language) book reviews by Roger Ceragioli in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 30, Part 3, 1999, Pages 313-315; by Ken Dowden in The Classical Review, New Series, Volume 49, Number 2, 1999, Pages 587-588; and by John McMahon in Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Volume XVI, 2001, Pages 98-99.]

Congregado, Luz Antequera. (1991, sometimes given as 1992). Arte y astronomia: evolución de los dibujos de las constelaciones. [Note: = Art and astronomy: evolution of the drawings of the constellations. Unpublished doctoral thesis. Excellent but speculative in some parts. The Spanish researcher Luz Antequera Congregado in her doctoral thesis starts with the speculation that constellations (Taurus) and asterisms (Pleiades) are possibly represented in the Palaeolithic paintings in the Lascaux cave.]

Costard, George. (1746). A Letter to Martin Folkes, Esq., concerning the Rise and Progress of Astronomy amongst the Ancients. [Note: The title is more frequently catalogued as: A Letter Concerning the Rise and Progress of Astronomy. A well informed work for its time. George Costard (1710–1782), was a British astronomical writer. He was born at Shrewsbury in 1710, circa 1726 entered Wadham College, Oxford, of which body he became fellow and tutor, having taken degrees of B.A. and M.A. in 1731 and 1733 respectively. He was chosen proctor of the university in 1742, and on the death of Dr. Wyndham, in 1777, declined the wardenship of his college, on the ground of advanced age. His first ecclesiastical employment was the curacy of Islip, near Oxford, whence he was promoted to be vicar of Whitchurch, Dorsetshire. Finally, Lord Chancellor Northington, struck by the unusual attainments displayed in his writings, procured for him, in June 1764, the presentation to the vicarage of Twickenham, in which he continued until his death.]

Costard, George. (1748). A Further Account of the Rise and Progress of Astronomy amongst the Ancients, in Three Letters to Martin Folkes, Esq; President of the Royal Society. [Note: The title is more frequently catalogued as: A Further Account of the Rise and Progress of Astronomy amongst the Ancients. Contains a lengthy section on the origin of the constellations.]

Crossen, Craig. and Tirion, Wil. (1992, 2nd edition 2008). Binocular Astronomy. [Note: See Appendix A. The History of the Constellations (Pages 165-169). Thoughtful but at times mistaken and speculative. In other essays Crossen has demonstrated that he is well informed on the Mesopotamian material. The 'authorship' and exact nature of the 2nd edition is apparently controversial. Crossen and Tirion may not have been involved.]

Davidson, Norman. (2004). Sky Phenomena: A Guide to Naked-eye Observations of the Stars. [Note: Contains a lengthy discussion of the lore of the zodiacal constellations.]

Davis, Junior., George. (1944; republished 1963). "Pronunciations, Derivations, and Meanings of a Selected List of Star Names." (Popular Astronomy, Volume 52, Number 1, January, Pages 8-30). [Note: Republished as a pamphlet in 1963 by Sky Publishing Corporation. According to one source the author was an American lawyer, amateur astronomer, and Arabic scholar; according to another source the author was Research Associate in Astronomy, Buffalo Museum of Science. An excellent resource though not absolutely reliable on the derivation of Western star names from Arabic sources.]

Dekker, Elly. (2013). Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. [Note: Lengthy (480 pages) study of all extent celestial maps and celestial globes made before 1500. Contains detailed descriptions and analysis of all extent items, including their cultural context. 480 pages, The book includes 170 black and white illustrations, 16 pages of colour plates, of all items. The introduction of the moving sphere as a model for understanding the celestial phenomena caused a great breakthrough in scientific thinking about the structure of the world. It provided the momentum for making celestial globes and mapping the stars. Celestial globes were produced first by Greek astronomers, and soon became greatly appreciated in antiquity as decorative objects (3 antique globes). The design and construction of the globe varied greatly as it passed through the Arabic (10 scientific globes made before 1500) and Medieval European cultures (3 scientific globes made before 1500). It was the starting-point for the design of many maps in antiquity and later in the Middle Ages serving to illustrate books such as Aratus's Phaenomena. In the early fifteenth century scientific celestial maps (5) were constructed in their own right, independent of globes. The author is an independent scholar. A fabulous book; wonderfully written and packed with information. Philippe Morel has also been involved in researching the iconography of the heavens from antiquity to the Renaissance. Also, Kristen Lippincott is currently completing a book on the iconography of the constellations from antiquity to the Renaissance. See the (English-language) book reviews by James Evans in Isis, Volume 106, Number 1, March, 2015, Pages 166-167; and by Giorgio Strano in Nuncius, Volume 30, 2015, Pages 715-717.]

Dekker, Elly. (2016). "Construction and copy: aspects of the early history of celestial maps." In: Dick, Wolfgang. and Hamel, Jürgen. (Editors). Acta Historica Astronomiae Vol. 58: Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichte, Band 13. (Pages 47-94). [Note: Title also referenced as: Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichte, Band 13 (= Acta Historica Astronomiae; Vol. 58).]

Dekker, Elly. (2016). "The Nuremberg maps: a Pythagorean-Platonic view of the cosmos." In: Dick, Wolfgang. and Hamel, Jürgen. (Editors). Acta Historica Astronomiae Vol. 58: Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichte, Band 13. (Pages 95-124). [Note: Title also referenced as: Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichte, Band 13 (= Acta Historica Astronomiae; Vol. 58).]

Delporte, Eugène. (1930). Délimitation scientifique des constellation, tables et cartes.

Dement'ev, Mikhail. "New interpretation of the ancient constellations." In: JENAM-97, 6th Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting (JENAM 97) and 3rd Conference of the Hellenic Astronomical Society: New Trends in Astronomy and Astrophysics 2-5 Jul 1997. Thessaloniki, Greece. Meeting Abstracts. (Pages 330-?). [Note: Not the 44-page highlights booklet. Summary: "New method of study of the ancient constellations and mythes is discussed. It is based on the comparison of two maps - the sky and the Earth. The Stellar map is built in an equatorial system of coordinates, the geografic map - in the Mercator's projection and of the same scale. The former map is put on the laster one. The constellation of Pleiades (seven daughters of Atlant) is placed on the meridian of Atlant (Western coast of Africa). If the Stellar map is constructed for a epoch J-3000 (3000 years up to B.C.) then we could found the following. The constellations Andromeda (the daughter of the Ethiopian tsar), Cetus, Perseus and Cassiopeia (mother of Andromeda) are projected on the centre, south and west of Ancient Ethiopia and Mediterranean Sea, respectively. That is all the constellations fall to the places, where events described in mythes occured. A constellation Cepheus (Arabian name is "Burning") covers the Caucasus. Possibly, before a epoch J-1000 this group of stars was connected with Prometheus. It is known Prometheus was chained to the Caucasian rock because of stealing of a fire. Ancient Chineses divided the sky in other way. They called "The Heavenly Town" the area of sky consisting of stars in Herculis, Aquilae and Ophiuchi. Parts of the mentioned constellation were called as a provinces in Ancient China. If the Heavenly Town locate near the Ancient China then the Greek constellations (Andromeda, Perseus and Cetus) will appear over Africa. Three important conclusions follow from this: (i) the geography of the Earth is reflected on the sky; (ii) the ancient astronomers were investigating a connection between the sky and Earth; (iii) the ancient peoples exchanged by the information about a construction of the world." The typographical errors remain as they appear in the summary.]

Devevey, Frédéric. and Rousseau, Aurélie. (2009). "The Astral Curved Disc of Chevroches (France)." In: Rubiño-Martín, José Alberto. et. al. (Editors). Cosmology Across Cultures. ASP Conference Series, Volume 409.  (Pages 172-176).

Devevey, Frédéric. et. al. (2011). "The Chevroches zodiacal cap and its Burgundy relations." In: Valls-Gabaud, D. and Boksenberg, A. (Editors). The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture, Proceedings IAU Symposium Number 260, 2009. (Pages 1-8).

Dolan, Marion. (2007). The Role of Illustrated Aratea Manuscripts in the Transmission of Astronomical Knowledge in the Middle Ages. [Note: Presently unpublished doctoral thesis (450 pages), University of Pittsburgh, School of Arts and Sciences (but being prepared for publication). Since completing her doctoral thesis the author has been Visiting Lecturer, University of Pittsburgh, History of Art and Architecture Department, and an Adjunct Professor at Carlow University, Pittsburgh (Art Faculty, Humanities Division). Abstract: "The Aratea manuscripts contain Latin translations of the astronomical poem originally written in Greek by Aratus of Soli around 270 BCE. The Greek poem was translated into Latin by three Roman authors: Cicero, Germanicus and Avienus. These three Latin versions became quite popular in the Middle Ages and were usually decorated with pictures of the full cycle of constellations, a celestial map, and personifications of the Sun, Moon and planets. In undertaking this study, essential questions needed to be answered, such as: how many manuscripts survive and from what time periods? How are the three different authors illustrated? What were their models? Are there patterns to be discovered in regard to illustrations of each author? Are the illuminators reading the poem and creating images in accordance with their readings or simply following ancient models? Who was the intended audience? This body of Latin manuscripts, correctly called Aratea, had not been studied in its entirety, nor was there a catalog or listing of the pertinent information. Many conflicting statements have been published concerning Aratea manuscripts, as to their content and function in medieval society. Were Aratea manuscripts produced, collected and read for their poetic content, mythological content, astronomical content, or for their classical or historical connections? Or perhaps it was the pictorial cycle of classical gods, semi-gods, and celebrated semi-nude heroes of antiquity that should be credited for keeping Aratea manuscripts alive through the thousand years of the medieval period? This inquiry addresses these issues and attempts to clarify the content, function and circulation patterns of the three Latin poems. Therefore it was necessary to pursue the sources of astronomical art and to examine the cultural and historical circumstances that influenced Aratea manuscript production. This dissertation has attempted to pull together the numerous threads of this complex but highly-valued body of manuscripts in order to provide a more complete understanding of its role, especially in the transmission of astronomical knowledge."]

Dolan, Marion. (2017). Astronomical Knowledge Transmission Through Illustrated Aratea Manuscripts. [Note: Her book is based on her 2007 PhD thesis. Basically tracks the many variants on the original manuscript by Aratus, from Cicero's Aratea to Germanicus' Aratea. The intention of the author is to bring a better understanding of the history, changes and transmission of the original astronomical Phaenomena poem. Publisher's blurb: "This carefully researched monograph [nope, not always, at times its topics are carelessly researched] is a historical investigation of the illustrated Aratea astronomical manuscript and its many interpretations over the centuries. Aratus' 270 B.C.E. Greek poem describing the constellations and astrological phenomena was translated and copied over 800 years into illuminated manuscripts that preserved and illustrated these ancient stories about the constellations. The Aratea survives in its entirety due to multiple translations from Greek to Latin and even to Arabic, with many illuminated versions being commissioned over the ages. The survey encompasses four interrelated disciplines: history of literature, history of myth, history of science, and history of art. Aratea manuscripts by their nature are a meeting place of these distinct branches, and the culling of information from historical literature and from the manuscripts themselves focuses on a wider, holistic view; a narrow approach could not provide a proper prospective. What is most essential to know about this work is that because of its successive incarnations it has survived and been reinterpreted through the centuries, which speaks to its importance in all of these disciplines. This book brings a better understanding of the history, changes and transmission of the original astronomical Phaenomena poem. Historians, art historians, astronomy lovers, and historians of astronomy will learn more specialized details concerning the Aratea and how the tradition survived from the Middle Ages. It is a credit to the poetry of Aratus and the later interpreters of the text that its pagan aspects were not edited nor removed, but respected and maintained in the exact same form despite the fact that all sixty Aratea manuscripts mentioned in this study were produced under the rule of Christianity." Comprehensive but at times completely uncritical and needs to be used with care. Incorporates long demonstrated mistakes regarding the origin and antiquity of the Greek constellations. Likely her unrevised views up to 2007. Dolan supports (simply by quoting and presenting summary information) the discredited constellation speculations of Ovenden (1966), Ulansey on Mithraism, early knowledge of precession, and an early system of zodiacal world ages. Also, using Zhitomirsky (1999), and Henriksson/Blomberg (1999) (papers by the duo being incorrectly referenced as Blomberg and Henriksson), Dolan supports the discredited speculations that the Eudoxan/Aratean constellation observations (and location) date to the island of Crete circa 2600 BCE (plus or minus 800 years). Though she make frequent use of secondary sources the author appears to have drastically limited her literature review on some topics relating to the history of the constellations. The selectivity of references and viewpoints is somewhat difficult to understand. The books' foibles on the origin of the constellations distract from the rest of the book. The material on the transmission of the Aratea is indicated as excellent. Marion Dolan is a retired professor, having taught at University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University, Pittsburgh, as an adjunct in the department of History of Art and Architecture for over twelve years. Her BS degree was earned in the History and Philosophy of Science, concentrating on Astronomy. She received a MFA and a PhD in History of Art and Architecture, specializing in scientific medieval manuscripts, all from the University of Pittsburgh. She spent a year writing her doctoral dissertation, The Role of the Aratea in the Transmission of Astronomical Knowledge in the Middle Ages, and two preceding years researching and inspecting medieval astronomical and Aratea manuscripts in European libraries. Likely a 2nd edition correcting mistakes will not appear and her book will contribute to reiterating discredited theories regarding the origin of the Western constellations.]

Duits, Rembrandt. and Quiviger, François. (Editors). (2009). Images of the Pagan Gods: Papers of a Conference in Memory of Jean Seznec. [Note: "Research in astrological manuscripts has always been one of the strong points of the Warburg Institute (already true by the time of Aby Warburg's 1912 Rome conference): thus, it comes as no surprise that a considerable part of the publication is dedicated to it. Duits's presentation of illustrated constellation cycles revisits Saxl's thesis and, in the light of new research, concludes that instead of "a consistent set of classical constellation images . . . it appears that there were different parallel and sometimes interwining (sic) [intertwining] traditions" (100). In a less nuanced way, Kristen Lippincott, who studies the constellation of Eridanus, discards expediently altogether all previous work and Dieter Blume, in his paper on planetary astrology, is equally blunt: "there was in fact no survival of the pagan gods" (136). [Extract from (English-language) book review by Natalia Agapiou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) in Renaissance Quarterly, Volume 64, Number 1, Spring, 2011, Pages 167-169."]

Duits, Rembrandt. (2009). "The Survival of the Pagan Sky: Illustrated Constellation Cycles in Manuscripts." In: Duits, Rembrandt. and Quiviger, François. (Editors). (2009). Images of the Pagan Gods. (Pages 97-128).

Duits, Rembrandt. (2011). "Reading the Stars of the Renaissance. Fritz Saxl and Astrology." (Journal of Art Histography, Number 5, December, Pages ?-?). [Note: 18 pages.]

Dupuis, Charles. (1781). Mémoire sur l'origine des constellations, et sur l'explication de la fable, par le moyen de l'astronomie. [Note: The book was comprised of uniting various essays on this topic that had been published in the Journal of Savants. Thoroughly dated.]

Dupuis, Charles. (1836). "Mémoire sur l'origine des constellations." In: Dupuis, Charles. (1836, Edition Nouvelle). Origine de tous les Cultes ou Religion Universelle, Tome Neuvième. (Pages 1-408).

Dutton, Paul (2004 (Sometimes given as 2005)). Charlemagne's Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age. [Note: See Chapter 4, "Of Carolingian Kings and Their Stars." (Pages 93-127). Explains the larger context of astronomy in the Frankish world.]

E[?], C[?]., E[?], A[?]., and X. (1950). "Constellation." In: Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 6, Pages 311-313). [Note: Unreliable regarding the early history of the Mesopotamian constellations. The authors obviously regard the researches of Robert Brown Junior as reliable.]

van Ess, Margarete. (2013). "Babylonische Tempel zwischen Ur III- und neubabylonischer Zeit: Zu einigen Aspekten ihrer planerischen Gestaltung und religiösen Konzeption." Pages 59-84). In: Kaniuth, Kai. et al. (Editors). Tempel im Alten Orient. [Note: Colloquien der Deutschen Orient-Gesellsc haft, Band 7. (7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 11.-13. Oktober 2009, München. The paper includes a discussion of the underlying cosmological concepts. The author is a German archaeologist. Margarete van Ess read Near Eastern Archaeology, Ancient Oriental Studies, Pre- and Early History at Universität Tübingen and Freie Universität Berlin. In 1989 she joined the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI) as a Researcher. (German Archaeological Institute, Orient Department, Faculty Member.) There she conducted excavations in Uruk/Warka and edited various publications about several repositories. In 1996 she received a doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin with a thesis entitled "Die Architektur des Eanna-Heiligtums in Uruk zur Ur III- und altbabylonischen Zeit. Baukonzeption eines Heiligtums." Since then she has been the scientific Director of the Orient Department of the DAI and Director of the field office in Baghdad. She has conducted excavations in Baalbek, Uruk Sippar and Erbil.]

Folkerts, Menso. and Lorch, Richard. (2000). Sic Itur Ad Astra: Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften. [Note: Festschrift for Paul Kunitzsch. Excellent papers.]

Frank, Roslyn. (2000)."Hunting the European Sky Bears: Hercules Meets Harzkume." In: Esteban, César. and Belmonte, Juan. (Editors). Oxford VI and SEAC 99 "Astronomy and Cultural Diversity." (Pages 295-302). [Note: This publication is the proceedings of the 6th "Oxford" international symposium on archaeoastronomy, jointly with the SEAC99 (European archaeoastronomy) meeting, held in La Laguna, Tenerife, in 1999. Copies of the book are exceedingly rare due to water damage to stock during a devastating Madrid flood. A PDF file has now (February, 2010) been kindly made available by Michael Rappenglück and is freely downloadable from the publications page of the SEAC web site.]

Frank, Roslyn. and Bengoa, Jesús Arregi. (2001, Reprinted 2011). "Hunting the European sky-bears: on the origin of the non-zodiacal constellations." In: Ruggles, Clive., Prendergast, Frank., and Ray, Tom. (Editors). Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape. (Pages 15-43). [Note: Title also appears as: Hunting the European Sky Bears: On the origins of the non-zodiacal constellations. A paper first presented at the SEAC98 conference in Dublin. Interesting for what it attempts but it contains some key misunderstandings and dubious assumptions. One of 15 selected papers published from the sixth annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998. All the papers are in English. Roslyn Frank is a linguist]

Frank, Roslyn. (2001). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: Evidence for a celestial mapping system in European folk Traditions." In: Ros, Rosa Maria. (Editor). Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Teaching Astronomy: Proceedings of the Conference. (Pages ?-?). [Note: Conference held Vilanova I la Geltrú, Spain. November 23-25, 2000.]

Frank, Roslyn. (2002). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: Evidence for a celestial mapping system in Slavic and Finno-Ugric folk traditions." In: Obridko, Vladimir. (Editor). Astronomies of Ancient Civilizations. (Pages 237-253).

Frank, Roslyn. (2003). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: A Proto-European Vision Quest to the End of the Earth." In: Fountain, John. and Sinclair, Rolf. (Editors). Current Studies in Archaeoastronomy: Conversations Across Time and Space. (Pages 455-4476). [Note: Selected papers from the 5th Oxford international conference on archaeoastronomy held at Santa Fe in 1996.]

Frank, Roslyn. (2014). "Origins of the "Western" Constellations." In: Ruggles, Clive. (General Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (3 Volumes; Volume 1, Part 1, (Chapter) 10, Pages 147-163). [Note: Largely based on a discussion of secondary sources, including those based on the problematic "void zone" argument. Makes no reference to such standard studies as: Boll, Franz. and Gundel, Wilhelm. ((1924-)1937). "Sternbilder, Sternglaube und Sternsymbolik bei Griechen und Römern." In: Roscher, Wilhelm. (Editor). Aüsführliches Lexicon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. (Volume VI, Columns 867-1071). A book-length article that remains a standard study of Greek and Roman constellations and star names. Both the authors were classical philologists who specialized in ancient astronomy. Roslyn Frank's article/chapter is able to be downloaded from]

Frazer, James. (1912). “The Pleiades in Primitive Calendars.” In: The Golden Bough, Volume VII, Chapter 5, (Part 5, Volume 1), Pages 307-319). [Note: Spirits of the Corn and of the Wild, Volume I. The chapter and page reference changes with later editions. See also: Aftermath: A Supplement to The Golden Bough, 1937, Chapter LII, Pages 393-397.]

Fuchs, James [Jim]. (2003). Filling the Sky: The Modern Constellations. [Note: History of the 41 modern official constellations: those created in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. The classical Greek constellations are briefly mentioned. Over 100 illustrations including star charts of each covered constellations. Privately published by the author. See the (English-language) book review by Stuart Goldman in Sky and Telescope, Volume 108, Number/Issue 3, September, 2004, Page 114.]

Gallant, Roy. (1979). The Constellations: How They Came to Be.

Gee, Emma. (2013). Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition. [Note: Publisher Synopsis: "Why were the stars so important in Rome? Their literary presence far outweighs their role as a time-reckoning device, which was, in any case, superseded by the synchronization of the civil and solar years under Julius Caesar. One answer is tied to their usefulness in symbolizing a universe built on intelligent design. From Plato's time onwards, the stars are most often seen in literature as evidence for a divine plan in the layout and maintenance of the cosmos. Moreover, particularly in the Roman world, divine and human governance came to be linked, one striking manifestation of this being the predicted enjoyment of a celestial afterlife by emperors. Aratus' Phaenomena, a didactic poem in Greek hexameters, composed c. 270 BC, which describes the layout of the heavens and their effect on the lives of men, was an ideal text in expressing such relationships: a didactic model which was both accessible and elegant, and which combined the stars with notions of divine and human order. Across a period extending from the late Roman Republic and early Empire until the age of Christian humanism, the impact of this poem on the literary environment is apparently out of all proportion to its relatively modest size and the obscurity of its subject matter. It was translated into Latin many times between the first century BC and the Renaissance, and carried lasting influence outside its immediate genre. Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition answers the question of Aratus' popularity by looking at the poem in the light of Western cosmology. It argues that the Phaenomena is the ideal vehicle for the integration of astronomical data into abstract cosmology, a defining feature of the Western tradition. This book embeds Aratus' text into a close network of textual interactions, beginning with the text itself and ending in the sixteenth century, with Copernicus. All conversations between the text and its successors experiment in some way with the balance between cosmology and information. The text was not an inert objet d'art, but a dynamic entity which took on colors often in conflict in the ongoing debate about the place and role of the stars in the world. With this detailed treatment of Aratus' poem and its reception, Emma Gee resituates a peculiar literary work within its successive cultural contexts and provides a benchmark for further research." Emma Gee is Lecturer in Classics at the University of St Andrews. See the (English-language) book review by Clifford Cunningham in Sun News Network (online), Sunday, 21 September 2014. Review Extract: "In this study, Emma Gee in the University of St. Andrews is not concerned with the ‘scientific’ data or with the accuracy of the astronomical information put forth in the original work of Aratus or in his Latin translators. Her research is centered instead on the cultural and intellectual environment, beliefs and ideas circulating in each author’s time period. She presents a deliberate dissection of important contemporary writings of those who influenced Aratus and the Aratea poets, as well as those who were influenced by them."]

Genuth, Sara. (1997). "Constellations." In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. (Pages160-164). [Note: Excellent short article.]

Genuth, Sara. (1997). "Globes, Celestial." In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy. (Pages 235-238).

Gianni, Giovanna., Bortolotto, Susanna., and Magli, Giulio. (2013). Astronomy and Etruscan Ritual: The Case of the Ara della Regina in Tarquinia (Nexus Network Journal, Volume 15, Issue 3, December 2013, Pages 445-455). [Note: "Abstract: The ancient town of Tarquinia is the key place of the Etruscan system of beliefs, since its foundations were credited to Tarchon, descendant of the Greek hero Herakles, founder of the Etruscan League, and discloser of the sacred texts of the Etrusca Disciplina. These were said to come from the infant oracle Tages, who sprang out from the terrain in front of Tarchon while he was ploughing a field. In order to gain a better understanding of the relationship between the archaeological records and the Etruscan symbolic world we investigate here on different orientations and on their possible symbolic meaning at the Ara della Regina, the sanctuary of Tarquinia. The main base appears to be related to the sun rising a decades before the spring equinox, while the Archaic altar, probably representing Tarchon’s cenotaph, was orientated to the setting of the constellation Herakles."]

Ginzel, Friedrich. (1906-1914). Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie. (3 Volumes). [Note: All 3 volumes reprinted 1958. Somewhat dated but not yet superseded. Contains such interesting things as a comparative list of Arab, Indian, and Chinese moon stations. See the (English-language) book review by Christopher Cheney in The English Historical Review, Volume 75, Number 295, April, 1960, Pages 381-382. Friedrich Ginzel was an astronomer. Life dates: 1850-1926.]

Gleadow, Rupert. (1968). The Origin of the Zodiac. [Note: To be used with caution. French-language translation, Les Origines du zodiaque (1971).]

Goguet, Antoine-Yves. and Fugère, Alexandre-Conrad. (1809, Premier edition, 3 Volumes). De l'origine des lois, des arts et des sciences, et de leurs progrès chez les anciens peuples. [Note: Contains a discussion of the origin of Greek star names. Originally published 1758 (1759) in 6 volumes (though some sources state 3 volumes). Multiple editions - at least 6 editions to 1820. Perhaps it had an influence on the later works of Charles Dupuis. Life dates: Antoine-Yves Goguet, 1716-1758; Alexandre-Conrad Fugère, 1721-1758.]

Grimaldi, Alexander. (1905). A Catalogue of Zodiacs and Planispheres. Originals and Copies, Ancient and Modern, Extant and Nonextant from BC 1320 to AD 1900 arranged according to countries and in chronological order.

Gundel. Hans. (1992). Zodiakos Tierkreisbilder im Altertum. [Note: A revision and expansion of the author's 1972 article (which was also contributed to by Robert Böker) in Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. An excellent reference on the subject. (Hans Gundel was the son of the classical philologist Wilhelm Gundel.) See the (French-language) book review (of the separately published 1972 article) by Frank van Wonterghem in L'Antiquité Classique, Tome XLII, 1973, Pages 679-680.]

Gurshtein, Alex[ander]. (2017). The Puzzle of the Western Zodiac: Its Wisdom and  Evolutionary Leaps: A Painful Ascent to the Truth. [Note: 350 pages with 24 illustrations. Gurshtein has not succeeded in finding an academic publisher for his intended book setting out his speculations on constellation origins. It was published by AuthorHouse. Highly speculative and unsound. The author erroneously claims that the Mesopotamian cuneiform records "do not contain any keys to the ... impeti [impetus] behind its inception." Also, "... we do not have any reason to rule out the possibility that the birth of the Zodiac predates the period of its first written mentions."  Simply, the relevant cuneiform evidence shows that opposite is the case. More accurately he writes: Unfortunately, we are really short of facts at hand, and evidence evidence in favor of my concept is scarce and circumstantial. Nevertheless, under fire from skeptics and ill-wishers [= critics?], I turn to the comfort expressed in a piece of common wisdom: absence of evidence is not at all the same as evidence of absence." But this is a mistaken use of the traditional aphorism (which is a logical fallacy). The burden of proof is on the person making a claim/assertion to offer reason and evidence (that is not speculative) in support of such. Just how good evidence of absence is depends on how hard evidence of presence was sought. The case for evidence of absence depends upon whether or not evidence of any kind exists. If none exists, then absence of evidence is neither evidence of absence or of existence. The book contains numerous factual historical errors. Publisher blurb: "Though familiar to all, the twelve-strong Western Zodiac remains an enigmatic artifice of the archaic past. To date, no scholar has been able to determine who conjured up its constellations and when this might have happened. Nor do we know what the grand design behind this innovative endeavor might have been. This book, however, goes a long way towards answering those questions by combining together a variety of clues from multiple disciplines, including astronomy, archaeology, and linguistics. It provides a comprehensive framework that greatly expands our understanding of the genesis and purposes of this remarkable intellectual relic of our cultural heritage. The book’s overarching outcome – that the zodiacal necklace in the sky appeared gradually over time in three different stages, with each reflecting the immanent social and spiritual concerns of its time – provides a fundamental impact to reconsider our understanding of prehistory. No special knowledge is necessary to understand this captivating writing." AuthorHouse advertising description: "AuthorHouse is the leading provider of supported self-publishing services for authors in the United Kingdom and around the globe, with over 70,000 titles released. With our wide range of packages and services, we provide the tools and expertise you need to realise your publishing dreams. Distribute your book to a worldwide audience in classic black & white, vibrant full-colour, paperback, hardback, or custom leather-bound formats, plus all digital formats. For more information or to start your publishing journey, please call us on 0800 197 4150 or +44 1908 309250 if you are calling from outside the UK (international call rates apply). You can also follow @authorhouseuk on Twitter. It's time to share your story with the world!"]

Hadravov, Alena. and Hadrava, Petr. (2011). "The celestial globe from Bernkastel-Kues" In: K. Beneovsk (Editor). A royal marriage. Elizabeth Premyslid and John of Luxembourg - 1310. (Pages 358-363).

Hadravov, Alena. and Hadrava, Petr. (2012). "Literary and cultural tradition of the Ptolemaic constellations." In: Ennio Badolati (Editor). Proceedings of the Third Conference on Cultural Astronomy. (Pages 87-99).

Hadravov, Alena. and Hadrava, Petr. (2012). "Ancient Greek tradition in Arabic and Christian celestial globes." In: Ennio Badolati (Editor). Proceedings of the Third Conference on Cultural Astronomy. (Pages 77-85).

Hadravov, Alena. and Hadrava, Petr. (2012). "On the Astronomical Collection of the Premyslid Royal Court 1. The Celestial Globe now in Bernkastel-Kues." In: Johannes von Gmunden zwischen Astronomie und Astrologie. Hrsg. von Rudolf Simek und Manuela Klein. (Pages 111-121). [Note: Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia 22 = SMS 22.]

Hadravov, Alena. and Hadrava, Petr. (2012). "On the Astronomical Collection of the Premyslid Royal Court 2. A Digital Facsimile of the Bernkastel-Kues Celestial Globe." In: Johannes von Gmunden zwischen Astronomie und Astrologie. Hrsg. von Rudolf Simek und Manuela Klein. (Pages 123-130).

Haffner, Mechthild. (1997). Ein antiker Sternbilderzyklus und seine Tradierung in Handschriften vom frühen Mittelalter bis zum Humanismus. Untersuchungen zu den Illustrationen der "Aratea" des Germanicus. [Note: The author's doctoral dissertation. Contains an extensive bibliography of manuscript sources.]

Henriksson, Göran. and Blomberg, Mary. (2000). "New Arguments for the Minoan Origin of the Stellar Positions in Aratos' Phainomena." In: Esteban, C. and Belmonte, J. A. (Editors). Astronomy and cultural diversity: Proceedings of Oxford XI and SEAC 99, International conference on archaeoastronomy. (Pages 303-311).

Henry, Jonathan. (2008). "Origin of the Constellations in Babel." (Journal of Dispensational Theology, Volume 12, Number 35, March, Pages 5-19). [Note: Completely unreliable due to use of outdated references and also somewhat odd. The author is (at time of publication) Professor of Natural Science, Clearwater Christian College. The journal is a platform for conservative evangelical scholarship from a normative dispensational perspective.]

Henseling, Robert. (1923). Sternhimmel und Menschheit.

Herrara, Breanne. (2012). The Children of the Planets: Freedom, Necessity, and the Impact of the Stars – the Iconographic dimensions of a Pan-European Early Modern Discourse. [Note: Unpublished Master of Arts thesis. Approximately 100 pages.]

Higgins, William. (1882). The names of the stars and constellations compiled from the Latin, Greek, and Arabic: with their derivations and meanings. [Noted: A small booklet of 57 pages. Interesting but dated and needs to be used with caution. Relies somewhat heavily on the much earlier studies of Ludwig Ideler published in 1809.]

Hill, John. (1754; Reprinted 1768). Urania: or, A Compleat View of the Heavens; Containing the Antient and Modern Astronomy, In Form of a Dictionary. [Note: I have given the spelling of the full title as it appears. Contains a massive amount of (sometimes mistaken) ancient constellation lore. Also lists 15 now-forgotten minor constellations invented by Hill, many of which found their way into the 19th- and 20th-century literature on constellation lore. The author was a medical doctor and Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Bourdeaux. Life dates: 1707-1775. Kindly brought to my attention by Robert van Gent.]

Hoffleit, Dorrit. and Jaschek, Carlos. (1982, 4th revised edition). Bright Star Catalogue. [Note: Hoffleit was the principal author and Jaschek was a collaborator. The publication contains a discussion by Hoffleit of used and abused star names. However, the discussion is not always reliable and the information needs to be used with caution. The authors did not bother to check their sources for reliability.]

Hourihane, Colum. et al. (Editors). (2012, 5 Volumes). "Illustrated Astronomical Texts." In: The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture, Volume 2. (Pages 182-184).

Haysom, Monica. (2015). Time and Religion in Hellenistic Athens: An Interpretation of the Little Metropolis Frieze. [Note: PhD thesis, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University. Highly interesting. Excellent discussion of astronomical issues.]

Ideler, Ludwig [also Ludewig]. (1809, Reprinted 1994). Untersuchungen über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen. [Note: A landmark study for its time but now thoroughly outdated. The basis of the book is Ideler's translation of the original 13th-century Arabic text Description of the Constellations by the Persian astronomer Al Kazwini, with Ideler's additions and annotations from classical and other sources. Ludewig Ideler was an astronomer, mathematician, chronologist, and philologist. See the (German-language) book review by ? in Allgemeine Literatur - Zeitung, Dritter Band, Number 270, Dienstags, den 3., October, 1809, Columns 249-254. Life dates: 1766-1846.]

Kanas, Nick. (2007, 2nd edition 2012). Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography. [Note: Life dates: 1945- .]

Kelley, David. and Milone, Gene. (2005). Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy. [Note: An immense world-wide survey of ancient astronomy. Reliant on secondary sources. At times the sources used are unreliable and as a result numerous topics covered lack reliability. Somewhat selective on coverage but this is to be expected. Approximately 600 double-column pages. Numerous discussions of constellations and star names. Also see the section "Origin of the Constellations," Pages 220-221. Contains an extensive bibliography.]

Krupp, Ed. (2007). "Private Constellations." (Sky and Telescope, April, Pages 47-48). [Note: Discusses modern attempts to devise new constellations.]

Kunitzsch, Paul. and Smart. Tim. (1986; revised 2nd edition 2006). Short Guide to Modern Star Names and Their Derivations. [Note: An excellent English-language summary of 254 Western star names. See the (English-language) book review by Deborah Warner in Isis, Volume 78, 1987, Page 275.]

Kunitzsch, Paul. (1997). "Star Names." In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy: An Encyclopedia. (Pages 489-490).

Kunitzsch, Paul. and Smart, Tim. (2006). A Dictionary of Modern Star Names. [Note: The revised 2nd edition of Short Guide to Modern Star Names and Their Derivations. This revised 2nd edition is a 76-page pamphlet. Like its predecessor it focuses on Western star names in current use.]

Künzel, Ernst. (2005). Himmelsgloben und Sternkarten. Astronomie und Astrologie in Vorzeit und Altertum. [Note: Mostly a discussion of the Mainz globe. The Kugel (Paris) globe is ignored. See the (English-language) book review by Elly Dekker in Imago Mundi, Volume 58, Number 1, 2006, Page 110.]

Kuzmin, A[?]. (2001). "The celestial map: The symbolism of historical eras and reflection of the world model." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 20, Issue 6, December, Pages 1045-1064). [Note: Abstract: This paper will reconstruct the history of the celestial map, beginning from prehistoric times and continuing to the present. It will be based on the concept of the gradual development of the astronomical world picture. The development of the map depends on two things: man's attitude towards the whole world in general, and his own place in it, in particular. Each change in this attitude is reflected in the celestial map for the given era. Six major stages are described for this process, their changes being determined by the logic of anthropogenesis. Keywords: Constellations; celestial map; world model; stages of development.]

Langdon, Stephen., Fotheringham, John. and Schoch, Carl. (1928). The Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga. [Note: Somewhat dated; especially since the work of the Swiss statistician Peter Huber. For an (English-language) obituary of Carl Schoch by John Fotheringham see The Observatory, Volume 53, May 1930, Pages 83-85. For a (German-language) obituary of Carl Schoch by Paul Neugebauer see Astronomische Nachrichten, Volume 237, November 1929-February 1930, Number 5676, Columns 221-224. For an (English-language) obituary of John Fotheringham by John Myres see the Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume XXII, 1937, Pages 551-564. Life dates for Carl Schoch: 1873-1929. Life dates for Stephen Langdon: 1876-1937. Life dates for John Fotheringham: 1874-1936.]

Lartigaut, Antonie. (1716). Sphere Historique: Ou Explication Des Signes Du Zodiaque, Des Planetes, Et Des Constellations.

Lebeuf, Arnold. (2011). "The Alphabet and the Sky." In: Corsini, Enrico. (Editor). The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI. (Pages 181-195). [Note: ASP [Astronomical Society of the Pacific] Conference Series, Volume 441.]

Le Boeuffle, André. (2004). Astronymie, les noms des étoiles. [See especially: §1 : Le formation de la carte céleste. The author is a specialist on ancient astronomy and is now Professor Emeritus at l'université d'Amiens.]

Lippincott, Kristen. (2009). "The Problem of Being a Minor Deity: The Story of Eridanus." In: Duits, Rembrandt. and Quiviger, François. (Editors). (2009). Images of the Pagan Gods. (Pages 43-96).

Lippincott, Kristen. (2017). "Hyginus, Michael Scot (?) and the Tyranny of Technology in the Early Renaissance." In: Pontani, Filippomaria. (Editor). Certissima signa. A Venice Conference on Greek and Latin Astronomical Texts. (Pages 213-264). [Note: Abstract: Whereas the earliest history of illustrations accompanying the text of Hyginus's De Astronomia remains a mystery, the iconography found in fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts is relatively straight-forward and fairly consistent. Intriguingly, however, the woodblock images in the first illustrated edition of the text (Venice: E. Ratdolt, 1482) do not appear to follow any known Hyginian model, but closely resemble the idiosyncratic drawings that accompany the texts of Michael Scot's Liber introductorius. This paper explores current assumptions about Ratdolt's pictorial model and traces the impact of his illustrations on subsequent generations of astro-mythological treatises.]

Lloyd, G[?]. (2008). "The Varying Agenda of the Study of the Heavens: Mesopotamia, Greece, China." In: Nylan, Michael. (Editor). Star Gazing, Fire Phasing, and Healing in China: Essays in Honor of Nathan Sivin (Asia Major, Third Series, Volume 21, Part 1, June, Pages 69-88).

Lundmark, Knut. (1932/1933). "Luminosities, Colors, Diameters, Densities, Masses of Stars." In: Handbuch der Astrophysik, Volume 5, Parts 1 and 2. (Volume 5, Part 1, 1932, Chapter 4, Pages 209-697 (Article); Volume 5, Part 2, 1933, Chapter 4, Pages 1077-11501 (Appendices)). [Note: Volume 5 was issued in 2 parts (comprised 1156 pages). It formed the first section of a discussion of the Stellar System. The second section was published in Volume 6. Eventually, Handbuch der Astrophysik comprised 7 volumes, published 1928-1936. Chapter 4, "Luminosities, Colors, Diameters, Densities, Masses of Stars." - comprising 560 pages with the appendices included - is considered the most complete discussion of the subject that has ever appeared. The historical development of determinations of stellar magnitude is traced from the primitive constellation figures chipped into rocks by stone-age 'astronomers' up to modern times. The discussion contains a vast amount of original work. The Appendices to Chapter 4 appeared in Volume 5, Part 2. Knut Lundmark was a Swedish astronomer who had migrated to the USA but after a few years returned to Sweden. From 1921 to 1926 he was at Lick Observatory and Mount Wilson Observatory. He was professor of astronomy and head of the observatory at Lund University 1929-1955. Life dates: 1889-1958. I am grateful to Göran Johansson for corrective information concerning Knut Lundmark.]

Magini, Leonarda. (2015). Stars, Myths and Rituals in Etruscan Rome. [Note: Mainly concerned with the Etruscan origin of the roman calendar. From the dust jacket: "This book offers a detailed and fascinating picture of the astonishing astronomical knowledge on which the Roman calendar, traditionally attributed to the king Numa Pompilius (reign 715-673 BC), was based. This knowledge, of Mesopotamian origins, related mainly to the planetary movements and to the occurrence of eclipses in the solar system. The author explains the Numan year and cycle and illustrates clearly how astronomical phenomena exerted a powerful influence over both public and private life. A series of concise chapters examines the dates of the Roman festivals, describes the related rites and myths, and places the festivals in relation to the planetary movements and astronomical events. Special reference is made to the movements of the moon and Venus, their relation to the language of myth, and the particular significance that Venus was considered to have for female fertility. The book clearly demonstrates the depth of astronomical knowledge reflected in the Roman religious calendar and the designated festive days. It will appeal both to learned connoisseurs and to amateurs with a particular interest in the subject."]

Martos-Rubio, Alberto. (1992). Historia de las constelaciones: Un ensayo sobre su origen. [Note: The only 'recent' book on the history of the constellations that I am aware of. Published in Madrid; 178 pages.]

Maunder, Edward. (1926). "The Oldest Picture-Book of All." In: Berle, Adolf. (Editor). Our Wonderful World. (Pages 338-356). [Note: An essay concerning Maunder's ideas of how, when, and where the constellations originated.]

Mendillo, Michael. and Shapiro, Aaron. (2011). "Scripture in the Sky: Jeremias Drexel, Julius Schiller, and the Christianizing of the Constellations." In: Corsini, Enrico. (Editor). The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI. (Pages 181-195). [Note: ASP [Astronomical Society of the Pacific] Conference Series, Volume 441.]

Metzger, Wolfgang. (2011). "Stars, Manuscripts, and Astrolabes – The Stellar Constellations in a Group of Medieval Manuscripts between Latin Literature and a New Science of the Stars." In Corsini, Enrico Maria. (Editor). The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI. ASP Conference Series, Volume 441. (Pages 533-542). [Note: Proceedings of a conference held October 18-23, 2009 in Venezia, Italy. ASP [Astronomical Society of the Pacific] Conference Series, Vol. 441. "Abstract. The European Middle Ages inherited star names and constellations from Roman antiquity, mostly via Latin literary texts. When, from the 11th century onwards, Arabic texts and instruments became available, figures and vocabulary at first were not compatible with this tradition. The example of an excerpt from Pseudo-Hyginus De Astronomia shows, how a Roman text on the constellations was revised and supplemented with the names of the astrolabe-stars to combine the two different traditions."]

Moreux, Théophile. (1925, new edition 1947). "A la lueur des étoiles." In: La Science Mystérieuse des Pharaons. [Note: Chapitre VII, Pages 103-120. An unreliable general survey of the origin and early history of the constellations.]

Mouser, Robert. and Forbes, Eugene. (1949). Star Names. [Note: Privately published.]

[Multiple authors]. (2011). Issue title: Les Constellations de la préhistoire à nos jours. (Ceil et Espace, 04, Number 25).

O'Conner, Elizabeth. (1980). The Star Mantle of Henri II. (Note: Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Columbia University).

O'Neil, William.(1986). Early Astronomy: from Babylonia to Copernicus. [Note: The author taught psychology at University of Sydney (New South Wales) but also had a deep interest in ancient astronomy and ancient calendars. See the (English-language) book review by R[?]. Grognard in Search, Volume 18, Number 5, September/October 1987, Page 271.]

Oppenheim, Samuel. (1912). Das astronomie weltbild im Wandel der Zeit.

Orr, Mary. (1913; Revised edition 1956). Dante and the early astronomers. [Note: Includes a short critical discussion of the "void zone" theory of constellation origins. The author was a solar astronomer and was also a Director of the Historical Section of the British Astronomical Association. She was married to the noted British solar astronomer John Evershed. Full name: Mary Acworth Orr. The entry in Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers wrongly spelled "Ackworth." The best biographical source is the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. See the (English-language) book review by Robert Forbes in Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences, 1957, Page 141.]

Ottley, William. (1835). Observations of a Manuscript in the British Museum. [Note: An informed discussion/analysis of an early manuscript (dated 2nd- or 3rd-century CE) in the British Museum of Cicero's translation of Aratus' Phainomena.]

Paipetis, Stephanos. (Editor). (2017). Ancient Greece and Contemporary World. [Note: Conference papers, An International Conference Ancient Greece and Contemporary World, The Influence of Greek Thought on Philosophy, Science and Technology, Ancient Olympia, 28-31 August 2016. The section B4. Astronomy and Astronomical Instruments contains some very speculative papers that are most likely erroneous.]

Pàmias, Jordi. (Editor). (2016). Eratosthenes' Catasterisms Receptions and Translations.

Panaino, Antonio. (2009). "Zodiac." In: Encyclopedia Iranica. [Note: Excellent. Currently only available online as a digital article.]

Partridge, Archibald. (1936). The Story of the Heavens: How the 48 Ancient Constellations got their Names 5000 Years Ago. [Note: Uncritical and unreliable. The author was an astrologer and also appears to have been an occultist. Largely based on the book "Phainomena, or the Heavenly Display of Aratos" by Robert Brown Junior (1885). Contains the complete translation (by Robert Brown Junior) of the "Phainomena" by Aratus. He also wrote: The Story of the Zodiac, its Antiquity and its Message.]

Peck, William. (1926). The Southern Hemisphere Constellations and How to Find Them. [Note: See "I. The Origin of the Constellations" Pages 3-7.]

Pluche, Noël-Antoine. [commonly referred to as: Abbé Le Pluche.] (1739, 2 Volumes). Histoire du Ciel. [Note: A highly popular book. The first volume is largely devoted to a discussion of Egyptian mythology. The second volume is a chronological review of creation theories. Within the book he discusses the zodiac. Now thoroughly outdated. The author was a French priest and teacher of Rhetoric. Life dates: 1688-1761.]

Plunket, Emmeline. (1903; Reprinted 1997). Ancient Calendars and Constellations. [Note: The 1997 reprint was titled Calendars and Constellations of the Ancient World. A series of papers having no usefulness. In this book Plunket endeavours to prove that the zodiac must have been invented about 6000 BCE, when the sun entered Aries in the beginning of Winter. The Aristocratic author was a minor British poet and writer, and was a daughter of the 3rd Baron Plunket. Life dates: 1834-1924. Circa 1890 she became an adherent to astronomical interpretation of mythology. (See: "The Judgement of Paris and Some Other Legends Astronomically Considered" (1908(6?); Reprinted spiral bound by Ballantrae circa 1995). See (English-language) book reviews of her "Ancient Calendars and Constellations" by Anon in The Athenæum, Number 3967, November 7, 1903, Page 618; by Anon in Nature, Number 1773, Volume 68, Thursday, October 22, 1903, Pages 593-594; by Anon in Notes and Queries, Tenth Series, Volume 1, March 26, 1904, Page 260; by Edward Maunder in Knowledge & Scientific News, Volume 1, Number 1, New Series, February, 1904, Pages 1-3 (a demolition of the book); by Anon in The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XIV, October 1903-September 1904, Number 1, Pages 33-35; and the 1997 reprint review by Clive Davenhall in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Volume 2, 1999, Pages 164-165. Davenhall misspells her name as Plunkett. Plunket followed the erroneous ideas of Archibald Sayce, and Ftritz Hommel.]

Poole, Jane. (2008). Adam's Astronomy: The Original Zodiac. [Note: Unreliable. Naive Gospel on the stars book. Heavily indebted to the outdated and unreliable writings of Frances Rolleston.]

Powell, Robert. (2007). History of the Zodiac. [Note: The book was kindly brought to my attention by Jean Kelley. Based on the author's 2004 PhD thesis awarded at the Polish Academy of Science (Institute for the History of Science) in Warsaw. Robert Powell is an astrologer and the book is concerned with the issue of the sidereal zodiac versus the tropical zodiac during the history of its transmission. For some reason the author gives the misspelling Franz Zavier Kugler instead of the correct spelling Franz Xaver Kugler.]

Proctor, Richard. (1869; Frequently reprinted). Half-hours with the Stars. [Note: Life dates: 1837-1888.]

Proctor, Mary. (1938). "Origin of the Constellations." In: Proctor, Mary. Everyman's Astronomy. (Pages 141-157). [Note: Chapter IX of her book. The author was the daughter of the popular astronomical author/lecturer Richard Proctor by his first marriage. Basically the author supports the "void zone" argument.]

Ramírez-Weaver, Eric. (2008). Carolingian Innovation and Observation in the Paintings and Star Catalogs of Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, Ms 3307. [Note: Excellent. PhD dissertation, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Published by UMI. UMI Number: 3312920.]

Ramírez-Weaver, Eric. (2009). "Classical constellations in Carolingian codices: investigating the celestial imagery of Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307." In: Walker, Alicia. and Luyster, Amanda. (Editors). Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art: Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist. (Pages 103-128). [Note: Based on: Eric Ramírez-Weaver, Carolingian Innovation and Observation in the Paintings and Star Catalogs of Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, Ms. 3307, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, PhD dissertation, 676 Pages, 2008. "The Astronomical-Computistical-Pedagogical Handbook in Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional de Espana, Ms. 3307) is the most reliable record of the lost Handbook of 809. The Handbook of 809 arose at the intersection of Carolingian needs for a teaching book facilitating calendrical and astronomical study, an orthodox Christian assessment of late antique science and its pagan roots, and scientific interest in the classical forms of the star pictures. This dissertation identified three discrete recensions of manuscripts derived from the lost original Handbook of 809, which was created after Charlemagne convened a synod on astronomical and calendrical reform under the direction of Adalhard of Corbie. The copy of the Handbook of 809 in Madrid includes the truest copies after the original miniatures, but each handbook displays artistic differences. This dissertation shows that this is at least in part because the early, finely illustrated copies of the Handbook of 809 are linked to members of the royal Carolingian family. The copy in Madrid was made for Drogo, who was Bishop of Metz (beginning in 823), at the moment of the book's manufacture in Metz ca. 830."]

Ramírez-Weaver, Eric. (2016). A Saving Science: Capturing the Heavens in Carolingian Manuscripts. [Note: From the publisher: "In A Saving Science, Eric Ramírez-Weaver explores the significance of early medieval astronomy in the Frankish empire, using as his lens an astronomical masterpiece, the deluxe manuscript of the Handbook of 809, painted in roughly 830 for Bishop Drogo of Metz, one of Charlemagne's sons. Created in an age in which careful study of the heavens served a liturgical purpose—to reckon Christian feast days and seasons accurately and thus reflect a "heavenly" order—the diagrams of celestial bodies in the Handbook of 809 are extraordinary signifiers of the intersection of Christian art and classical astronomy. Ramírez-Weaver shows how, by studying this lavishly painted and carefully executed manuscript, we gain a unique understanding of early medieval astronomy and its cultural significance. In a time when the Frankish church sought to renew society through education, the Handbook of 809 presented a model in which study aided the spiritual reform of the cleric's soul, and, by extension, enabled the spiritual care of his community. An exciting new interpretation of Frankish painting, A Saving Science shows that constellations in books such as Drogo's were not simple copies for posterity's sake, but functional tools in the service of the rejuvenation of a creative Carolingian culture." The so-called Aachen Compilation of 809–812 is called by Eric Ramírez-Weaver in his 2008 PhD dissertation, the Handbook of 809. It is a Carolingian period astronomical compendium, compiled by a group of astronomers who assembled at the court of Charlemagne at Aachen in the year 809. They had been given the task of assessing the state of current knowledge about the heavens. They they drew from classical sources such as the Historia naturalis by Pliny and the Greek tradition based on the Phaenomena by Aratus of Soli. But the aim of the Carolingian review of astronomy was to Christianize this "pagan" scientific tradition, using a strategy which attempted to keep as much material as possible of the ancient authors while taking care to alter some details which had given cause for concern in early medieval Christian doctrine. An influential contributor was Adalard of Corbie, Charlemagne's cousin. He brought with him the texts Excerptum de astrologia and De ordine ac positione stellarum in signis, which were incorporated into the Handbook. De ordine ac positione stellarum in signis is a catalogue of 42 constellations (out of the total of 48 listed by Ptolemy). Excerptum de astrologia is an abstract of the Aratus latinus, itself a translation of Aratus' Phaenomena. The Aratus latinus was a product of the 8th century, possibly further revised at Adalard's monastery of Corbie in the late 8th century (Revised Aratus). The earliest surviving manuscripts date to only a few years after the Aachen synod of 809–812. The boo, A Saving Sciene, perhaps arising in part from: Eric Ramírez-Weaver, Creating Carolingian Interpretations of the Constellations from Pagan Precursors: Exegetical Emendation in the Paintings and Diagrams of the Handbook of 809, 36th Saint Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies, 16–17 October 2009. Eric Ramírez-Weaver is Associate Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of Virginia.]

Rappenglück, Michael. (2002). "The Milky Way: Its concept, function and meaning in ancient cultures." In: Potyomkina, T. M. and Obridko, V. N. (Editors-in-Chief). Astronomy in Ancient Societies. (Pages 270-279 (In English and Russian)). [Note: SEAC/JENAM 2000 Conference Proceedings.]

Rhode, Johann. (1809). Versuch über das Alter des Thierkreises und den Ursprung der Sternbilder. [Note: Life dates: 1762-1827.]

Ridpath, Ian. (1988, revised and expanded edition 2018). Star Tales. [Note: Synopsis: "Every night, a pageant of Greek mythology circles overhead. Perseus flies to the rescue of Andromeda, Orion faces the charge of the snorting Bull, and the ship of the Argonauts sails in search of the Golden Fleece. Constellations are the invention of the human imagination, not of nature. They are an expression of the human desire to impress its own order upon the apparent chaos of the night sky. Modern science tells us that these twinkling points of light are glowing balls of gas, but the ancient Greeks, to whom we owe many of our constellations, knew nothing of this. Ian Ridpath, well-known astronomy writer and broadcaster, has been intrigued by the myths of the stars for many years. Star Tales is the first modern guide to combine all the fascinating myths in one book, illustrated with the beautiful and evocative engravings from two of the leading star atlases: Johann Bode's Uranographia of 1801 and John Flamsteed's Atlas Ceolestis of 1729. This is an excellent reference and the perfect gift for the armchair astronomer and those interested in classical mythology alike." An improvement over the 1st edition but some aspects need to be used with caution. The contents have been freely downloadable from his website. It's good to see that Ridpath has finally modified the "void zone/precessional theory" and the "Minoan theory" but unfortunately has failed to understand that Archie Roy finally rejected these ideas that he had previously promoted and in his 80th Birthday Lecture in 2004 promoted his (likely incorrect) "Sumerian theory." Roy's earlier ideas were incorporated in the planetarium show The Lamps of Atlantis and presented for some 20 years. Unfortunately, it continues unrevised.]

Roberts, Peter. (1802). Essay on the origin of the constellations. [Note: Unreliable. Life dates: 1760?-1819.]

Roy, Archie [Archibald]. (1987). "The Lamps of Atlantis."  In: Nash, Sarah. (Editor). Science and Intelligence: Proceedings of an Interdisciplinary IBM Conference, London, March 1986. (Pages 167-circa 195). [Note: Contains a lengthy and unreliable article discussing the origin and history of the Greek constellations.]

Ruggles, Clive. (2005). Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth. [Note: Comprehensive and critical. Frequent discussion of ancient constellations and possible ancient constellations. The author is Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester.]

Santoni, Anna. (2017). "De signis coeli and De ordine ac positione stellarum in signis." In: Pontani, Filippomaria. (Editor). Certissima sigm. A Venice Conference on Greek and Latin Astronomical Texts. (Pages 127-144). [Note: The 2 star charts represent a contribution of the Aratean tradition to the basic astronomical knowledge in the early Middle Ages. The author is with the Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italia.]

Savage-Smith, Emelie. (1992). "Celestial Mapping." In: Harley, John. and Woodward, David. (Editors). The History of Cartography. Volume 2, Book 1: Cartography in the Traditional Islamic and South Asian Societies. (Pages12-76). [Note: Excellent.]

Selin, Helaine. (Revised and expanded edition, 2008). (Editor). Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. [Note: Now illustrated and approaching 2500 pages. The editor's intention is to keep producing revised and expanded editions. Lots of articles discussing star names and constellations.]

Sesti, Giuseppe. (1991). The Glorious Constellations. [Note: Unreliable and should not be used. (Best only for the numerous illustrations.) See the critical (English-language) book review by Elly Dekker in Annals of Science, Volume 50, Number 5, 1993, Pages 498-499; and also the somewhat uncritical (English-language) book review by George Lovi in Sky and Telescope, Volume 83, Number 3, March, 1992, Pages 283 & 286. I have not seen the (English-language) book review by ? in Astronomy, Volume 20, Number 2, 1992, Page 94.]

Scherer, Anton. (1953). Gestirnnamen bei den indogermanischen Völken. [Note: Invaluable. See the (English-language) book review by Ernest Pulgram in Language, Volume 30, 1954, Pages 284-285; and the (German-language) book review by Ernst Zinner in Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 82, Number 9, September, 1957, Columns 674-675.]

Schlachter, Alois. (1927). Der Globus Seine Entstehung und Verwendung in der Antike. [Note: Still useful even though dated and containing errors.]

Schmeidler, Felix. (1980). Planeten und Sternbilder im Wandel der Geschichte. [Note: 24 pages.]

Schnabel, Paul. (1923; reprinted 1968). Berossos und die Babylonisch-Hellenistische Literatur. [Note: The author was convinced that the Babylonians knew of the phenomena of precession. However, Otto Neugebauer thoroughly rebutted the evidence used by Schnabel. The book contains numerous errors. Paul Schabel was a German philologist and historian who held a number of university teaching positions. Schnabel studied ancient history and classical philology at Leipzig and Jena. He gained his Ph.D. in 1911 with his thesis on Berossos (Die babylonische Chronologie in Berossos' Babyloniaka), and became a lecturer. During World War I he served in the military. He completed his Habilitation in 1920 and became a privatdozent (an unsalaried university lecturer) at Universität Halle (University of Halle-Wittenberg) and in 1926 was promoted to extra-ordinarius (Associate Professor). In 1934 he was appointed to full Professor in the History of the Ancient Orient. He also taught at Universität Greifswald. In the 1930's he became associated with the Nazi Party. In 1937 malaria ended his teaching career. He suffered permanent neurological problems following a malaria infection. In 1938 he was admitted to hospital and he died 10 years later in a sanatorium. During his career he focused mainly on the history and chronology of the Ancient Near East, as well as ancient geography. Schnabel’s work on Babylonian astronomy spanned only the period from 1923 to 1927. Life dates: 1887-1947.]

Sprajc, Ivan. and Pehani, Peter. (Editors). Ancient Cosmologies and Modern Prophets.

Steele, John. (2016). (Editor). The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World. [Note: Excellent. The book had its origins in a 2014 conference held at Brown University.]

Swartz, Carl. (1807). Recherches sur l'origine et le signification des Constellations de la Sphère greque. [Note: Unreliable.]

Swartz, Carl. (1809). Le Zodiaque expliqué. [Note: The revised (standard) edition of his earlier work published in 1807. Unreliable. See the (German-language) book reviews by Anon (Franz Zach?) in Correspondenz zur Beförderung der Erd- und Himmels- Kunde, Band 20, 1809, Pages 34-50; and by Anon in Astronomisches Jahrbuch für das Jahr 1818 (edited by Johann Bode), 1815, Pages 188-197. See also the (English-language) review essays by Anon "Tracts on the Zodiac." in The Monthly Review, or, Literary Journal, Volume 76, 1815, Pages 539-542; and "Researches on the Origin and Signification of the Zodiac." in The Literary Panorama, and National register, Volume 1, 1814, Pages 257-259. See also the discussion of Swartz's ideas in the publications Widerlegung by Peter Körner (1813; German-language) and Lettre Critique de Mr. C. G. S. by Anon (1817; French-language). In the first and second editions of his book Carl Swartz, an amateur astronomer, proposed that the unconstellated area of the southern sky gave an approximate date for the formation of the constellations. The author was born in Sweden and died in France. His first name is sometimes given as "Christian" and his last name is sometimes spelled "Schwartz." Life dates 1757-1824.]

Taylor, Walt. (1933). "Some Doubtful Star-names." (Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts, University of Egypt, Volume 1, Pages 325-327).

Ungnad, Arthur. (1923). Ursprung und Wanderung der Sternnamen. [Note: Pamphlet. Title in English: Origin and Migration of the Star Names. The author was a noted German assyriologist.]

Verderame, Lorenzo. (2009). "The Primeval Zodiac: Its Social, Religious, and Mythological Background." In: Rubiño-Martín, José Alberto. et. al. (Editors). Cosmology Across Cultures. ASP Conference Series, Volume 409. (Pages 151-156).

Verkerk, C[?]. (1980). "Aratea: A Review of the Literature Concerning MS. Vossianus lat. q. 79 in Leiden University Library." (Journal of Medieval History, Volume 6, Issue 3, September, Pages 245-287). [Note: Abstract: "The beautiful, well-known, but highly problematical, illuminated Carolingian MS. of the classical astronomical work called the Aratea or the Syntagma Arateorum, once owned by Isaac Vossius, has long been a prized possession of Leiden's University Library. Aratos of Soli, the Greek poet (about 315-270/239 B.C.), was the author of the earliest version of this work, which he called the Phaenomena; Germanicus Caesar, Cicero and Festus Rufus Avienus produced Latin translations of it. Over the years an extensive literature has developed concerning the many problems raised by this MS. This literature is reviewed in detail in what follows and an attempt made, as it were, to clear the air ready for the further research which is shown to be necessary."

van der Waerden, Bartel. (1974). Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy. [Note: A generally excellent overview of Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, and Persian astronomy and star lore. The book is an English-language revision of his Die Anfänge der Astronomie (1965; Republished 1968). For the German-language book see the (German-language) book reviews by Willy Hartner in Gnomon, Band 44, 1972, Pages 529-537; and Wolfram von Soden in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Dreiundsechzigster Jahrgang, 1968, Columns 350-354; and the (English-Language) book review by Owen Gingerich in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 89, 1969, Pages 634-635.]

Wagman, Morton. (2003). Lost Stars: Missing and Troublesome Stars from the Catalogues of Johannes Bayer, Nicholas-Louis de Lacaille, John Flamsteed and Sundry Others. [Note: Not always reliable regarding discussion of early Mesopotamian constellations. Accepts Willy Hartner's conjectures regarding early Mesopotamian constellations. See the (English-language) book reviews by Anon in Sky and Telescope, Volume 107, Number 3, March, 2004, Page 72; and by Owen Gingerich in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 35, Part 2, May, 2004, Number 119, Pages 244-245.]

Webb. Edmund. (1952). The Names of the Stars. [Note: Still important for debunking many constellation myths such as Taurus being the leading constellation of the zodiac and marking the vernal equinox circa 3000 BCE. Argues a case for the Greeks inventing most of their constellations, and not largely borrowing their constellations from Babylonian uranography. See the (English-language) book review Benjamin Farrington in The Classical Review, New Series Volume V, Number 1, March, 1955, Pages 88-89; and the (French-language) book reviews by Joseph Mogenet in L'antiquité classique, Tome XXII, fascicule 2, 1953, Pages 529-530 (brief and capable); and by and by the classicist J[ean]? Beaujeu in Revue des Études Latines, Volume 33, 1955, Pages 500-501. The book also contains a memoir by his brother Clement Webb (Pages xiii-xv).]

Werner, Helmut. and Schmeidler, Felix. (1986). Synopsis of the Nomenclature of the Fixed Stars. [Note: Completed and edited by Felix Schmeidler. See the (English-language) book review by Morton Wagman in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 19, 1988, Pages 59-61.]

Whelan, Richard. (1998). The Sun, The Moon, and The Stars: Art, Literature, Science and Mythology. [Note: Deals with visual depictions and paintings. From the publishers blurb: "Since the dawn of human consciousness, the sun, the moon, and the stars have inspired awe, curiosity, fear, and delight. The great works of art collected in this book beautifully convey the sense of wonder and magic that have always attended these cosmic presences. The illustrated works range from Tintoretto's painting of the mythical origin of the Milky Way to a star map by Albrecht Durer; from Claude Monet's Impression: Sunrise (the painting from which Impressionism got its name) to Italian Renaissance tarot cards of the planets; and from a golden Inca sun god to a Japanese painting of the moon and a rabbit. These images are enhanced by dozens of great quotations and by Richard Whelan's essays, which explore astronomy, astrology, and mythological lore through the ages."]

Whyte, Charles. (1928). The Constellations and their History. [Note: Unreliable.]

Zucker, Arnaud. (Editor). (2016). L'encyclopédie du ciel: mythologie, astronomie, astrologie. [Note: The book is not organized alphabetically in the manner of a traditional encyclopedia. The book provides a complete translation of Hipparchus' Commentary on the Phaenomena of Eudoxus and Aratus. Arnaud Zucker is currently (2017) Professeur de langue et littérature grecque, Université de Nice.]


? (1909). "The Stars and Their Names." (The Living Age, Volume 232, Pages 252-?). [Note: Likely a reprint from another publication.]

Abraham, George. (1997). "Ancient and Medieval Star Catalogues." (Indian Journal of Science, Volume 32, Number 1, Pages 47-51).

Anonymous. (1937). "Pronunciation of Star and Constellation Names." (Griffith Observer, April, Pages ?-?).

Anonymous. (1937). "Constellation Myths as Human History." (Griffith Observer, October, Pages ?-?).

Antonova, Y[?]. (1999). "The Specificity of Pre-Literary and Early-Literary Cultures and the Problem of Their Interpretation as Symbols of Heavenly Bodies." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Number 6, Pages 441-448). [Note: A paper belonging to the 'Russian school' of Alex Gurshtein. The author is with the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.]

Baity, Elizabeth. (1973). "Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy So Far." (Current Anthropology, Volume 14, Number 4, Pages 389-431). [Note: Comments immediately follow the article from pages 431-439. The authors reply immediately follows the comments from pages 439-449. World-wide in scope, a little dated in some areas, and still very useful.]

Bakich, Michael. (2012). "How the Constellations Came to Be." (Astronomy, Volume 40, Number 4, April, Pages 58-59). [Note: A quite simple article. Some statements are inaccurate and/or misleading. The author is a senior editor of the magazine.]

Bilić, Tomislav. (2006). “Some Northern Constellations used for Navigation in Antiquity.” (Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu [VAMZ = Journal of the Zagreb Archaeological Myseum], Volume 39, Number 1, December, Pages 15-58). [Note: Abstract: “The text analyses the myth of Arion the citharode and his miraculous deliverance. It is believed that the background of this myth is actually the use of stars from the constellation Delphinus in celestial navigation by ancient sea-farers on the maritime route from Magna Graecia to Greece. The author further analyses the myth of Apollo Delphinius, according to which the god assumed the shape of a dolphin and thus guided a Cretan ship to Delphi. Further he considers the use of stars from the constellation Corona Borealis in celestial navigation; in this context he shortly addresses Theseus’ voyage to Crete and interprets it as an expedition to the Otherworld. Next, the author tries to reconstruct the foundation-myth of Tarentum based on Classical sources, in the context of Arion’s dolphin-assisted voyage. Associated with this is the analysis of stories with the eponym-hero of the city, Taras, and Phalanthus the Spartan as the main protagonists. The article briefly mentions some other »dolphin-riders« from Antiquity, namely Melicertes and Hermias. The final section discusses foundation-myths of Greek colonies in the Bay of Naples, again in the context of celestial navigation and open-sea voyages.” The author is employed by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb.]

Bishop, Jean. (2004). "How Astronomical Objects are Named." (The Planetarian, Volume 33, Number 3, Pages 6-24).

Blomberg, Peter. (2006). "On the origins of the modern star map." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 193-200). [Note: "Abstract: During the last few years there have been some papers dealing with the astronomical knowledge of the Minoans on Crete around 2000 BC and also of later cultures on Crete and the surrounding Greek speaking areas. These works not only deal with possible observation lines but also show that the Minoans had built structures that could be used for determining the time of the equinoxes and solstices, for developing stellar navigation as well as finding the seasons suitable for sailing and agriculture. There have also been some papers presenting an astronomical iconography seen in Minoan figurines and seals. This paper discusses these suggested symbols of celestial bodies and some uses of them. It is also shown that there are links between the Minoan-Mycenaean period and Hellenistic times, i.e. from the 3rd/2nd millennium BC down to around 200 BC. This leads to the hypothesis that the western map of constellations has its roots on Crete during the Minoan period around 2000 BC."]

Bodnár, Szilvia. (2007). "Two Fragments of a Renaissance Bronze Zodiac Frieze." (Metropolitan Museum Journal, Volume 42, Pages 95-105). [Note: The author also discusses classical period celestial/zodiac globes. At the time of publication the author was Curator of Prints and Drawings, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest.]

Boiy, Tom. (2002). "Early Hellenistic Chronography in Cuneiform Tradition." (Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Band 138, Pages 249-255).

Brady, Bernadette. (2013). "Images in the Heavens: A Cultural Landscape." (Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Volume 7, Number 4, December, Pages 461-?). [Note: Uncritical at times. Abstract: "The constellation images with their historically persistent nature and adaptability fulfil many contemporary definitions of culture. From the earliest Elamite seals of the fourth millennium to the list-maps in the first century CE through Ptolemy's Almagest, the constellation images became established in Western cultures. With the invention of printing and the age of the great star atlases from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the constellation images continued to display cultural resistance by cartographers to Gothicise, Christianise, politicise or simply remove them. This resilience has shown that the constellation images are in fact a living gallery of human history with images ranging from the Palaeolithic to the modern world. Furthermore, with their acceptance across a diversity of people and nations, the constellation images today have come to represent a form of world culture, in that they constitute a culture of humanity that is not linked by tribes, clans, nations, religions, or languages."]

Brumbaugh, Robert. (1976). "The Voynich 'Roger Bacon' Cipher Manuscript: Deciphered Maps of Stars." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 39, Pages 139-150).

Carlson, John. and Cherry, Ron. (1966). "Anthropods in Astronomy." (American Entomologist, Volume 42, Number 3, Fall, Pages 149-158).

Chadwick, Robert. (1992). "Calendars, Ziggurats, and the Stars." (The Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies Bulletin (Toronto), Number 24, November, Pages 7-24). [Note: Relevant for 2005: Robert Chadwick is Adjunct Professor at McGill University. He has, since 1972, taught the history and culture of the ancient Near East at John Abbott College, Concordia University, McGill University, l'Universite de Montreal and Bishop's University. He has excavated in England, the American south-west, Syria and Jordan. He is currently the assistant director of the Wadi Ath-Thamad Excavation Project. Life dates: 1941- .]

Chabanier, E[?]. (1935). "Astronomie méditerranéenne et marine grecque." (Extraits de la Revue scientifique des 23 février et 9 mars 1935. Volume 73 [Volume number appears variously as 1, 63, and 73], Pages 112-122, 153-159).

Devlet, E[?]. (1999). "Astronomical objects in rock art." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Number 6, Pages 475-482). [Note: A paper belonging to the 'Russian school' of Alex Gurshtein. The author attempts to demonstrate that some (Bronze Age) images on ancient rock art - in the Sayan Canyon of the Yenisei River, Tuva Republic, and elsewhere - may be connected with astronomical observations (and in some cases star maps).]

Dewdney, Selwyn. (1931). "The Zodiac and Early Astronomy." (Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Volume 25, Pages 400-408). [Note: Unreliable.]

Duchesne-Guillemin, Jacques. (1986). "Origines del la nomenclature astrale." (Ciel et Terre, Volume 102, Pages 139-148). [Note: Unreliable (needs to be used with caution). The author was a Classical Philologist and specialist in ancient Iran. He retired as Professor at the University of Liège, Belgium. Life dates: 1910-2012.]

Duits, Rembrandt. (2005). “Celestial Transmissions. An Iconographical Classification of Constellation Cycles in Manuscripts (8th-15th Centuries).” (Scriptorium, Volume 59, Pages 147-202). [Note: Rembrandt Duits, currently (2012) Deputy-Curator, Photographic Collection, studied Art History at the University of Utrecht (MA, PhD). He joined the staff of the Warburg Institute in 1999. His research interests include Renaissance art and material culture, with a particular focus on Italy and the southern Netherlands and the relationships between them.]

Duits, Rembrandt. (2011). "Reading the Stars: Fritz Saxl and Astrology." (Journal of art Historiography, Number 5, December, Pages 1?-18?). [Note: Excellent. An important critique and corrective of the speculative and erroneous ideas of Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl on proposed paths of transmission of planetary iconography/iconographical tradition (uncritically re-stated by Jean Seznec in his book Survival of the Pagan Gods (1940)).]

Duke, Dennis. (2002). "The Measurement Method of the Almagest Stars." [Note: Appears to be unpublished PDF file placed on Internet. 20 pages.]

Engledew, John. (1981). "Star Names in Western Astronomy." (Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume 92, Issue 1, December, Page 47 (Letters to the Editor)). [Note: also gets referenced as Volume 91, 1980, Issues 1-6.]

Evans, Michael. (2010). "Achieving continuity: a story of stellar magnitude." (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, Volume 41, Issue 1, March, Pages 86-94).

Evans, James. (2012). "Constellations and named stars." In: Bagnall, Roger. et. al. (Editors). The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. [Note: A multi-volume work. The article is likely in Volume 1.]

Flanders, David [Tony]. (2005). "Star Names. From Alcor to Zubeneschamali, every star's name tells a fascinating story." (Night Sky, May/June, Volume 2, Number 3, 2005, Pages 54-60). [Note: A reliable general overview of the history of Western star names.]

Fletcher, Rachael. (2009). "The Geometry of the Zodiac." (Nexus Network Journal, Volume 11, Number 1, April, Pages 105-128). [Note: A somewhat odd article. Rachael Fletcher is a theatre designer and geometer in Massachusetts, USA. She is an adjunct professor at the New York School of Interior Design. The parts of the article dealing with the origin and early history of the zodiac are unreliable. The author misunderstands and confuses information in the references used.]

Gee, Emma. (2001). "Cicero's Astronomy." (Classical Quarterly, Volume 51, Number 2, Pages 520-536).

Glauthier, Patrick. (2017). "Repurposing the Stars: Manilius, Astronomica 1, and the Aratean Tradition." (American Journal of Philology, Volume 138, Number 2, (Whole Number 550), Summer, Pages 267-303).

Goldfarb, Amanda. (2013). "Reinterpreting Iconography with Astronomy." (Journal: Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Volume 50, Pages 215-236). [Note: "Abstract: This paper (originating from her MA Thesis) focuses on Canaanite and Phoenician iconographical depictions of astronomical events. It draws on star mapping programmes that provide new insights into the ancient night sky. It is argued that well-known narratives such as the lion/bull attack, common in the Near East, had astronomical significance. The different depictions of seasonal events - especially those decorating metal bowls - indicate that artefacts bore multivalent iconographies often with clear astronomical associations. Phoenicians and Canaanites practised at least a basic level of observational astronomy, although their mathematical determinations remain conjectural."]

Gundel, Wilhelm. (1924/1925). "Die Sterne im Volksglauben." (Faust, Heft 8, Pages 22-28). [Note: The author was Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Giessen.]

Gundel, Wilhelm. (1949). "Paranatellonta." In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. (Sechsunddreissigster Halband Zweites Drittel, Columns 1214-1275).

Gundel, Hans. (1963). "Himmelsbilder auf antiken Planisphären." (Sterne und Weltraum, Band 2, Pages 203-206).

Gundel, Hans. (1968). "Zodiaco e costellazioni." In: Enciclopedia dell'arte antica e orientale (Volume VII, Pages 1274-1283, Figures Pages 1408-1417). [Note: Excellent general overview.]

Gundel, Hans. and Böker, Robert. (1972). "Zodiakos." In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. (Band XA, Columns 462-709). [Note: This lengthy article was also separately published in 1972.]

Hamp, Eric. (1972). "The Principal (?) Indo-European Constellations." In: Heilman, Luigi. (Editor). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Congress of Linguists. (2 Volumes, Pages 1047-1055). [Note: The paper is in Volume II.]

Heuter, Gwyneth. (1986). "Star Names - Origins and Misconceptions." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 29, Pages 237-251). [Note: Not always reliable.]

Ideler, Ludewig. (1838). "Über den Ursprung des Thierkreises." (Abhandlung der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Pages 1-24).

Włodarczyk, Jarosław. (2004). "Early Star Catalogues or What do We Really Know About Ancient Observational Procedures of Positional Instruments." (Acta historiae rerum naturalium necnon technicarum, New series, Volume 8, Pages 81-103).

Kaul, Flemming. (2005). "Bronze Age tripartite cosmologies." (Prähistorische Zeitschrift, Volume 80, Issue 2, November, Pages 135-148).

Kaunov, E[?]. (1999). "Sky luminaires in the space orienting activity of homo sapiens in the middle palaeolithic." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Issue 6, Pages 459-473). [Note: A paper belonging to the 'Russian school' of Alex Gurshtein. The author is a member of the Euroasian Astronomical Society. "Abstract: Data describing the beginnings of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens is analysed and systematized: observation of the Pole and the recognition of Ursa Major were used as the basis of the determination of the points of the compass. Data and results from astronomy, history of astronomy, archaeology and palaeoanthropology were used for the reconstruction of the evolution of the space orienting activity of Homo sapiens."]

Kollerstrom, Nicholas. (1997). "The Star Zodiac of Antiquity." (Culture and Cosmos, Volume 1, Number 2, Winter/Autumn, Pages 15-22). [Note: Unreliable. The author appears to be an astrologer.]

Krupp, Ed. (2000). "Night Gallery: The Function, Origin, and Evolution of Constellations." (Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture, Volume XV, Pages 43-63). [Note: The best summary study to date. Originally presented at Oxford VI, June, 1999. Supportive of Willy Hartner's controversial views on the earliest constellations. At the time Krupp wrote the article he was not aware of Carl Swartz and also was not aware of the earliest articles by Richard Proctor, Edward Maunder, Michael Ovenden, and Archibald Roy.]

Kunitzsch, Paul. (1997). "Star Names." In: Lankford, John. (Editor). History of Astronomy. (Pages 489-490).

Kurtik, G[?]. (1999). "The Identification of Inanna with the Planet Venus: A Criterion for the Time Determination of the Recognition of Constellations in Ancient Mesopotamia." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Pages 501-513). [Note: Interesting.]

Kurtik, Gennadij. and Militarev, Alexander. (2005). "Once more on the origin of Semetic and Greek star names: an astromonic-etymological approach updated." (Culture and Cosmos, Volume 9, Number 1, Pages ?-?). [Note: The title spelling is given as printed. "Abstract: The contribution is a new version of the paper "From Mesopotamia to Greece: to the Origin of Semitic and Greek Star Names" once written by a Sumerologist (L.Bobrova) and etymologist (A. Militarev), and recently revised, updated and corrected in most part by a historian of the Mesopotamian astronomy (G. Kurtik). The present paper analyzes Sumerian and Akkadian (Babylonian) names of 34 celestial bodies, and their equivalents in other Semitic languages (Arabic, Hebrew, Syrian Aramaic, and Ge`ez, or ancient Ethiopian) and in Greek and Latin. Its main goal is to demonstrate the importance of Sumerian and Babylonian celestial body names as a source of corresponding terms in other cultures, up to the conventional inventory of modern astronomy, and to reveal four strategies by which other cultures drew ideas for name-giving from the treasury of Mesopotamia's lexicon of celestial bodies. Whereas one of these strategies -- echoing, or full translation, of a Sumero-Akkadian term -- is axiomatic, the other three -- shift of meaning or interpretation of a Sumero-Akkadian term; lexical, or "material" borrowing; and, especially, folk etymology, or misinterpretation -- are understudied and practically unnoticed. The authors do not focus on such complicated matters as a historical background of Mesopotamian influence, direct or indirect, on Greek culture; a direction and routes of inter-borrowing between different speaking areas other than Akkadian and their contacts with the Greek world; a chronology of all kinds of cultural contacts and influences; probable connections between the early pre-Islamic Arabic and Babylonian traditions; or the problem of identification of Mesopotamian constellation and stars. However, the data presented may give a certain impulse to further investigation of these matters, while feasible etymologies and relations established between names can even throw some light upon debatable identification cases." The old paper it updates is: Bobrova, Lara. and Militarev, Alexander. (1993) "From Mesopotamia to Greece: To the Origin of Semitic and Greek Star Names." In: Galter, Hannes. (Editor). Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. (Pages 307-329).]

Kuzmin, A. V. (2001). "The celestial map: The symbolism of historical eras and reflection of the world model." (Journal Astronomical & Astrophysical Transactions, The Journal of the Eurasian Astronomical Society, Volume 20, Issue 6, Pages 1045-1064). [Note: The author is a Russian academic (mathematician/biological chemist) and has been affiliated with M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University and Saratov State Medical University. The title suggests it needs to be treated with caution.]

Lasserre, François. (1966). Die Fragmente des Eudoxus von Knidos.

Latura, George. "Plato's Cosmic X: Heavenly Gates at the Celestial Crossroads." In: Sprajc, Ivan. and Pehani, Peter. (Editors). Ancient Cosmologies and Modern Prophets. (Pages 257-264). [Note: The author tends to write speculative articles that incorporate a variety of errors. As example: George Latura posted to Hastro-L (13.9.2017) under the heading "Erasing astronomical history": "In Graf and Johnston's 'Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Tablets' (2007), Plato is quoted often. Most telling is the retelling of Plato's Vision of Er: "At the beginning of the story, we meet two types of souls who have recently arrived in an Underworld meadow." – p. 101. But Plato's own words describe gates to the heavens as well as to the underworld (Republic X, 614c). What happened to Plato's heavenly gates?" GDT replied (13.9.2017) under the heading "Erasing astronomical pseudohistory?": "Does Plato's Greek in the Republic (including Er) describe the entrances to heaven and earth as gates or [as] holes/openings? My recollection is Plato actually does not state the entrances to heaven and hell were gates." The academic classicist Lorenzo Smerillo clarified (Hastro-L, 13.9.2017): "Gary, Correct. Gate = pulê. Not found in Res Pub 614c2 which has 'khasmata' < khasma = 'big gaping hole, chasm, gulf, wide open space, a wide open mouth'. Two in the earth and two in the heavens. Also 'to khasma tou oupanou' in 614d4." In the Republic and the myth of Er, which concludes the Republic, Plato describes that when a person dies the sole leaves the body and comes to a meadow (a meeting place where there are Judges) like the one referred to in the Georgias. The soul approaches 2 pairs of openings: one pair of openings conveys those (judged to be just and carrying records of their good deeds) souls leaving for and returning from the heavens; the other pair of openings conducted (judged to be unjust and carrying records of their misdeeds) souls leaving for and returning from the interior of the earth.]

Lewis, Anne-Marie. (2010). "The Frequency and Function of Words of Astronomical Brightness in the Latin Poetic Translations of Aratus' Phaenomena." (Revue belge de philologie et d’histoire, Tome 88, Fascicle 1, Antiquité, Pages 25-43).

Linnartz, Harold. (1997). "Nachtvoorstelling: sterren en sterrenbeelden." (Natuur & techniek, Volume 65, jaarg., aug, Pages 76-85). [Note: This (Dutch/Flemish-language?) article is on the origin of the constellations in use today.]

Long, Eleanor. (1984). "How the Dog Got its Days: A Skeptical Inquiry into Traditional Star and Weather Lore." (Western Folklore, Volume 43, Number 4, October, Pages 256-264).

Lippincott, Kristen. (1984). "The Astrological Decoration of the Sala dei Venti in the Palazzo del Te." (Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes, Volume 47, Pages 216-222).

Lippincott, Kristen. (1985). "The Astrological Vault of the Camera di Griselda from Roccabianca." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 48, Pages 42-70). [Note: Also erroneously cited as: Lippincott, Kristen. (1985). “The Astrological Vault of the Camera di Griselda from Roccabianca.” (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 48, Pages 47-68).]

Lippincott, Kristen. and Pingree, David. (1987). "Ibn al-Hātim on the Talismans of the Lunar Mansions." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 50, Pages 57-81).

Lippincott, Kristen. (1988). "'More on Ibn Al-Hātim." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 51, Pages 188-190).

Lippincott, Kristen. (1990). "Two Astrological Ceilings Reconsidered: the Sala di Galatea in the Villa Farnesina and the Sala del Mappamondo at Caprarola." (Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes, Volume 53, Pages 185-207).

Lippincott, Kristen. (2014). "Exploring Differing Notions of Scholarship in the Eleventh Century: the Two Earliest Extant Illustrated Manuscripts of Hyginus's De Aastronomia." (Notes in the History of Art, Spring/Summer, Volume 23, Issue 3/4, Pages 11-18).

Lippincott, Kristen. (2015). "The Aratean corpus in Vat. Grec. 1087." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, May, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 249-250).

Lovi, George. (1993). "That Mysterious Zodiac." (Sky and Telescope, Volume 85, Issue 4, April, Page 67). [Note: To be used with caution.]

Lynn, William. (1910). "Classical and arabic origin of star names." (The Observatory, Volume 33, Pages 137-138). [Note: The brief note appears in Correspondence. William Lynn (BA, FRAS) was an assistant at Greenwich Observatory. See: Astronomische Nachrichten Volume 68, Page 105.]

Magli, Giulio. (no date). "Sirius and the project of the megalithic enclosures at Gobekli Tepe." [Note: Available at]

Makemson, Maud. (1954). "Astronomy in Primitive Religion." (The Journal of Bible and Religion, Volume 22, Number 3, July, Pages 163-171).

Maunder, Edward. (1885). "An Old Monument: or the Story of the Constellations." (Sunday Magazine, April, Pages 158-162). [Note: One of his earliest article on the origin of the constellations and unreliable. Obviously influenced by the ideas of the classicist and linguist Frances Rolleston (1781-1864) in her "gospel in the stars" book "Mazzaroth, or The Constellations" (4 Volumes, 1862-1865). The later articles (1898 onwards) by the Evangelical astronomer Edward Maunder (1851-1928) on the origin of the constellations were influenced by the ideas of the Swedish amateur astronomer Carl Swartz (1757-1824) in his "Le Zodiaque expliqué" (1809) published in Paris.]

Maunder, Edward. and Maunder, Annie. (1904). "Note on the Date of the Passage of the Vernal equinox from Taurus into Aries." (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 64, Number 3, Pages 488-507). [Note: The discussion on the origin of the constellations is completely unreliable.]

McEwan, Dorothea. (2011). "Saxl and Boll." (Journal of Art Histography, Number 5, December, Pages ?-?). [Note: 14 pages.]

Miller, Roy. (1988). "Pleiades Perceived: Mul.Mul to Subaru." (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 108, Pages 1-25).

Missinne, Stefaan. (2012). "The Solving of a Mystery: A Silver and Gold-gilt Celestial Globe Cup from a Catholic English Monarch in Exile!" (The Portolan, Issue 83, Spring, Pages 52-56). [Note: Very interesting essay.]

Moesgaard, Kristtan, and Kristensen, Leif. (1976). "The Bright Stars of the Zodiac, a Catalogue for Historical Use." (Centaurus, Volume 20, Issue 2, June, Pages 129-158)

Mostert, Richard. and Mostert, Marco. (1999). "Using astronomy as an aid to dating manuscripts. The example of the Leiden Aratea manuscript." (Quaerendo, Volume 20, Pages 248-261 [Note: Quaerendo is an academic journal devoted to manuscripts and printed books, especially in the Low Countries. It publishes (quarterly) scholarly articles dealing with codicology, palaeography and various aspects of the history of books from around 1500 until the present.]

Nazé, Yaël. (2012). "Astronomical arguments in Newton’s Chronology/ Astronomie et chronologie chez Newton Arguments astronomiques à l’appui de la Chronologie de Newton." [The paper is given first in English and then in French. Published at The author is a FNRS Researcher, Département AGO, Université de Liège, Belgique.]

Neugebauer, Otto. (1954). "On the Hatra Zodiac." (Sumer, Volume 10, Page 91).

Nielbock, Markus. (2017). "Navigation in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond." (AstroEDU manuscript no. astroedu1645, September 1, 2017.) [Note: Generally excellent discussion but not always accurate in its discussion of the antiquity (origin) of the Greek constellations. Downloadable from arXiv.]

Nye, Phila. (1923). "The Romanesque Signs of the Zodiac." (The Art Bulletin, Volume 5, Number 3, March, Pages 55-57). [Note: The author traces 12th-century use of zodiacal signs in church decoration ultimately to the zodiacal signs in Mithraic reliefs.]

Obridko, V[?]., et al. (2002). "Astronomy of Ancient Civilizations." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 21, Numbers 4-6, Pages 279-291). [Note: Paper presented at the International Conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture - SEAC, Moscow, 2000.]

Paluzie-Borrell, Antonio. (1956(1957?)). "Names of the Plough." (The Irish Astronomical Journal, Volume(s) 4(-5?), Pages 151-157).

Panofsky, Erwin. and Saxl, Fritz. (1933). "Classical Mythology in Mediaeval Art." (Metropolitan Museum Studies, Volume 4, Number 2, March, Pages 228-280).

Pendergraft, Mary. (1995 (mistakenly given as 1996). "Euphony and Etymology: Aratus' Phainomena." (Syllecta Classica, Volume 6, Pages 43-67). [Note: The refereed journal specializes in publishing long, substantial articles on Classical Greek and Roman literature, history, and culture, including their modern reception.]

Pietraszko, Philip. (1971). “Constellations - Myth or Reality?” (Griffith Observer, May, Pages ?-?).

Quinlan-McGrath, Mary. (1995). "The Villa Farnesina, Time-Telling Conventions and Renaissance Astrological Practice." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 58, Pages 52-71).

Quinlan-McGrath, Mary.(1997). "Caprarola's Sala della Cosmografia." (Renaissance Quarterly, Volume 50, Number 4, Winter, Pages 1045-1100).

R., J. H. [R. J. H.] (1935). "The Naming of the Stars: I." (Survey Review, Volume 3, Issue 16, 1 April, Pages 98-105).

R., J. H. [R. J. H.] (1935). "The Naming of the Stars: II." (Survey Review, Volume 3, Issue 18, 1 October, Pages 222-235).

R., J. H. [R. J. H.] (1936). "The Naming of the Stars: III." (Survey Review, Volume 3, Issue 19, 1 January, Pages 277-288). [Note: The 3 part article comprises a nice overview even if somewhat reliant on Robert Brown Junior and Richard Allen.]

Rappengluck, Michael. (2008). "Tracing the Celestial Deer - An Ancient Motif and Its Astronomical Interpretation Across Cultures." (Archaeologia Baltica, Volume 10, Pages 62-65).

Renson, Pierre. (1997). "Les constellations." [Parts I to V]. (Ciel et Terre, Volume 113, Number 1, Janvier-Février, Pages 3-8; Number 2, Mars-Avril, Pages 47-52; Number 3, Mai-Juin, Pages 111-115; Number 4, Juillet-Août, Pages 147-152; Number 6, Novembre-Décembre, Pages 193-200). [Note: The series of five (French-language) articles comprises a comprehensive overview of the origin and history of the Western constellations. The journal is published in Belgium by the Observatoire Royal de Belgique. The author is an astronomer (astrophysicist).]

Ridpath, Ian. (1990). "The Origin of Our Constellations." (Mercury, Volume 19, Number 6, November/December, Pages 163-171). [Note: Not wholly reliable.]

Ridpath, Ian. (2014). "Identifying the stars on Johann Bayer's Chart of the Southern Polar Sky." (The Antiquarian Astronomer. Journal of the Society for the History of Astronomy, Issue 8, April, Pages 97-108). [Note: Excellent discussion.]

Rolleston, Frances. (1862-1865, 4 Volumes). Mazzaroth, or The Constellations. [Note: Unreliable. A "gospel in the stars" book by a classicist and linguist. See the (English-language) book review by ? in "Astronomical Traditions," The Anthropological Review, Volume 3, Number 11, October, 1865, Pages 325-329. Life dates: 1781-1864.]

Roy, Archibald. (1984). "The Origin of the Constellations." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 27, Pages 171-197). [Note: Unreliable and misleading.]

Rumbrill, Harold. (1936). "Star name pronunciation." (Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Volume 48, Number 283, June, Pages 139-154). [Note: Rumbrill stated (page 140) that he consulted Allen's, Star Names and Their Meanings as the principal aid in making the list authoritative: "the most correct, detailed, concise, and scholarly list that we have."]

Sela, Shlomo. (2016). "Al-Farghānī on the 48 Ptolemaic Constellations: Newly Discovered Text in Hebrew Translation." (Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism, Volume 16, Number 2, Pages 249-365). [Note: "Abstract: The present study reports the discovery of a hitherto unknown account of the 48 Ptolemaic constellations, probably by al-Farghānī, or at least from the first phase of the Arabic Ptolemaic astronomical tradition. A Hebrew translation of this account is embedded in the chapter on the fixed stars in Jacob Anatoli's Hebrew translation (ca. 1230–1240) of al-Farghānī's Elements, which this paper studies closely. This chapter is a fundamental text for understanding the Jewish interest in the fixed stars from the twelfth century onward. The Arabic text underlying Anatoli's Hebrew translation was well known in the twelfth century, notably to Abraham Bar Ḥiyya and Abraham Ibn Ezra. Anatoli's Hebrew translation of this chapter had a strong impact on subsequent Hebrew astronomy, beginning in the second half of the thirteenth century." Shlomo Sela is professor emeritus in the department of Jewish Thought at Bar-Ilan University.]

Singleton, Esther. (1909). Hieroglyphs of the Heavens." (Scientific American, Volume CI (Volume 101), Number 10, Saturday September 4, Pages 157-158). [Note: A simple overview of the history of the Western constellations.]

Sparavigna, Amelia. (2008). "The Pleiades: the celestial herd of ancient timekeepers." (October 2008 article published at arXiv). [Note: Cautiously speculative. The author is with the Department of Applied Science and Technology at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. She has written over 150 papers.]

Sparavigna, Amelia. (2012). "Ancient bronze disks, decorations and calendars." (March 2012 article published at arXiv). [Note: Abstract: "Recently, it was published that some ancient bronze disks could had been calendars, that is, that their decorations had this function. Here I am discussing an example, the disk of the Trundholm Sun Chariot, proposing a new interpretation of it, giving a calendar of 360 days. Some geometric diagrams concerning the decoration layout are also proposed."]

Sparavigna, Amelia. (2013). "Maria Reiche's Line to Archaeoastronomy." (Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 48-54). [Note: "Maria Reiche devoted her life to the study of the Nazca Lines, the most famous Peruvian geoglyphs. In fact, she was an archaeoastronomer that proposed for the Lines some interesting astronomical interpretations. We can appraise her approach using satellite imagery and a free planetarium software. A discussion of some geoglyphs is also proposed."]

Sparavigna, Amelia. (2016). "A possible role of Alpha Crucis in the astronomical landscape of Silbury Hill." (November 2016 article published at arXiv). [Note: 6 pages, illustrated. Abstract: "The paper is (sic) discussing a possible link between the construction of Silbury Hill, the prehistoric artificial mound near Avebury, and the observation of Alpha Crucis, the main star of the Crux constellation, which was slowly disappearing from the local sky due to the precession of the Earth's axis. For the discussion, we use simulations of the local astronomical landscape made by means of Stellarium software."]

Squier, Ted. (1980). "The Sailor's Zodiac." (Cruising World, Jan-May, Pages 54-62). [Note: Interesting. The author is well-informed.]

Stegemann, Viktor. (1941). "Sternbilder I (Tierkreisbilder)." In: Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens IX). (Pages 596-677). [Note: Viktor Stegemann was a German classical philologist who specialised in religious antiquity, mainly in astrology. In 1943 he was Privatdozent for classical and medieval Latin and Coptic at the Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague. Life dates: 1902-1948.]

Stothers, Richard. (2011). "The ancient colour of Saturn." (The Observatory, Volume 131, Number 4, Pages 254-255).

Strano, Giorgio. (2017). "A New Approach to the Star Data of Early Planispheric Astrolabes." (Medieval Encounters, Volume 23, Pages 444-467). [Note: Excellent.]

Théophanidis, J[= Ioannis/John/Jean]. (1934). "Sur la navigation astronomique des anciens Grecs." (Praktica Akad. Athen. Pages 149-153). [Note: No other information for this reference excepting the author was apparently a rear admiral in the Greek navy.]

Tucker, R[?]. (1904). "The fundamental stars of the zodiacal list." (Astronomische Nachrichten, Volume 166, Issue 5, Pages 65-68). [Note: Discussion of why the colour of Saturn in black in Babylonian cuneiform texts and also in Greek-Roman writings.]

Various authors. (1921). "Sun, moon, stars." In: Hastings, James. (Editor). Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics. (Volume 12; Pages 48-103). [Note: Comprehensive and still useful world-wide coverage but now rather dated. Section titles are: Introductory, Primitive, American, Babylonian, Buddhist, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Hebrew, Hindu, Iranian, Japanese, Jewish, Muhammadan, Semitic, Teutonic and Balto-Slavic.]

Vit, Josef. and Rappenglück, Michael. (2016). "Looking Through a Telescope With an Obsidian Mirror. Could Specialists of Ancient Cultures Have Been Able to View the Night Sky using such and Instrument?" (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 16, Number 4, Pages 7-15).

Wagman, Morton. (1987). "Flamsteed's Missing Stars." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 18, Pages 209-233).

Waldron, Richard (1972). "The Legends of Orion." (Griffith Observer, March, Pages ?-?).

Werner, Helmut. (1952). "Klassische Sternbilder am Himmel der Tshuktschen." (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Band 77, Heft 1, Pages 139-141).

Werner, Helmut. (1955). "Gekrönte der Vergleichenden Sternbilderkunde." (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Band 80, Heft 1, Pages 116-124).

Werner, Helmut. (1964). "Wissenschaftliche Instrumente am Sternbilderhimmel." (Sonderdruck aus Zeiss, Mitteilungen 3, Heft 7, Pages 279-299).

Werner, Helmut. (1967). "Problems and Results of Comparative Studies of the Celestial Constellations." In: Beer, Arthur. (Editor). Vistas in Astronomy. (Volume 9, Pages 135-145).

Wilson, Edith. (1913). "The Story of the Zodiac." (Popular Astronomy, Part 1, Volume XXI, March, Number 3, Pages 151-158; Part 2, Volume XXI, April, Number 4, Pages 216-225). [Note: Outdated and unreliable.]

Woolard, Edgar. (1942). "Great Astronomical Treatises of the Past." (Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Volume 32, Number 7, July 15, Pages 189-216). [Note: Nice overview of ancient astronomy.]

Wolard, Edgar. (1942). "The Historical Development of Celestial Coordinate Systems." (Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Volume 54, Number 318, April, Pages 77-90).

Zhitomirsky, Sergey. (1999). "Archaeoastronomy and Aratus' Phaenomena." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 15, Pages 293-294). [Note: Argues that Aratus is describing the skies circa 2000 BCE. Outdated 'void zone' argument.]

Zhitomirsky, Sergey. (1999). "Aratus' "Phaenomena": Dating and Analysing its Primary Source." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Number 6, January, Pages 483-500). [Note: Argues that Aratus is describing the skies circa 2000 BCE. Outdated 'void zone' argument.]

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Mythology, Symbolism, and Religion


Adam, John. (1881). The Bible, Astronomy and the Pyramid. [Note: Outdated and unreliable.]

Aguilera, Carmen. (2001, Reprinted 2011). "The Mexica (Atzec) Milky Way." In: Ruggles, Clive., Prendergast, Frank., and Ray, Tom. (Editors). Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape. (Pages 127-132). [Note: One of 15 selected papers from the sixth annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998. All the papers are in English.]

Albright, William. (5th edition, 1968). Archaeology and the Religion of Israel. [Note: Has an extensive discussion of the possible cosmic symbolism in the temple of Solomon. See pages 144-150.]

Andrén, Anders. (2006). "A world of stone. Warrior culture, hybridity, and Old Norse cosmology." In: Andrén, Anders. et. al. (Editors). Old Norse religion in long term perspectives. (Pages 33-38).

Anderson, Benjamin. (2017). Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art. [Note: An excellent book. Description: In the rapidly changing world of the early Middle Ages, depictions of the cosmos represented a consistent point of reference across the three dominant states—the Frankish, Byzantine, and Islamic Empires. As these empires diverged from their Greco-Roman roots between 700 and 1000 A.D. and established distinctive medieval artistic traditions, cosmic imagery created a web of visual continuity, though local meanings of these images varied greatly. Benjamin Anderson uses thrones, tables, mantles, frescoes, and manuscripts to show how cosmological motifs informed relationships between individuals, especially the ruling elite, and communities, demonstrating how domestic and global politics informed the production and reception of these depictions. The first book to consider such imagery across the dramatically diverse cultures of Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic Middle East, Cosmos and Community in Early Medieval Art illuminates the distinctions between the cosmological art of these three cultural spheres, and reasserts the centrality of astronomical imagery to the study of art history. See the (English-language) book review by Steven Wander, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.05.36. Benjamin Anderson is assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies at Cornell University. The book is an expanded version of his PhD thesis.]

Andrén, Anders. (2014). Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: The World Tree, Middle Earth and the Sun in Archaeological Perspectives. [Note: See the (English-language) book review by Ethan White in Time and Mind, Volume 8, Issue/Number 2, 2015, Pages 219-220.]

Andrews, Munya. (2004). The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades. Stories from around the World. [Note: Unreliable somewhat mystical type of presentation.]

Andrews, Tamra. (1998). Legends, of the Earth, Sea, and Sky. An Encyclopedia of Nature Myths. [Note: The author is a university reference librarian turned full-time writer. The entries on astronomical topics are very general in nature and not always reliable.]

Ackerman, Phyllis. (1940). Gods of Our Forefathers. [Note: 16-page pamphlet on Persian astral beliefs/mythology. The booklet summarises the more detailed arguments given by the author in other publications of the Iranian Institute. Many of her detailed writings on the topic remain unpublished (and are in the care of a museum in Shiraz). She was a strongly original but somewhat speculative thinker.]

Ackerman, Phyllis. (1945). Ritual Bonzes of Ancient China. [Note: Numerous excellent photographs. The book is an example of the authors astral interpretation of artifacts. See the restrained (English-language) book review by Wolfram Eberhard in Artibus Asiae, Volume 10, Number 1, 1947, Pages 74-80.]

Ackerman, Phyllis. (1950; Reprinted but no date (circa 1970?). "The Dawn of Religions." In: Ferm, Vergilius. (Editor). Forgotten Religions. [Note: An informed (but somewhat speculative) article. Both the author and her husband, Arthur Pope, were experts on Persian art and architecture. Her ideas in this essay are critically discussed in "Some Recent Literature in Philosophy of Religion." by Richard Millard (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 12, Number 3, March, 1952, Pages 422-430.]

Ackerman, Phyllis (1960; Reprinted 1968). "Stars and Stories." In: Murray, Henry. (Editor). Myth and Mythmaking. [Note: An interesting article on Mesopotamian star lore. The author shows a lack of understanding of the origins of Panbabylonism.]

Aitken, Robert. (1948). The Era of the Four Royal Stars. (Leaflet Number 227, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, February). [Note: Generally unreliable.]

Allan, Sarah. (1991). The Shape of the Turtle: Myth, Art, and Cosmos in Early China. [Note: The author was Lecturer in Chinese at the School of Oriental Studies, London University.]

Anghelina, Catalin. (2013). On the Nature of the Vedic Gods. [Note: Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 241, October 2013. An astronomical interpretation of the gods/goddesses of the Rig Veda. The author believes the Rig Veda is about certain stars and constellations. See "The Main Vedic Gods and the Stars: Synopsis" Page 168. At the time of publication (October 2013) the author was on the staff at Columbus State Community College.]

Anghelina, Catalin. (2014). On the Date of the Aryan Religion, and the Minoan Religion of the Bull. [Note: Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 248, May, 2014. Highly speculative and lacking critical methodology. Contains numerous errors and controversial statements.]

Aronow, Abraham. (1962). Astronomy and Mythological Cosmology and Cosmogony in the Midrash Rabba and Zohar. [Note: Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Humanities, Course XXI-B, June, 1962. (May 12, 1962). 103 pages. Excellent. Life dates: 1940- .]

Ashurst, David. (2000). Journey to the Antipodes. Cosmological and Mythological Themes in Alexanders Saga." In: Barnes, Geraldine. and Clunies Ross, Margaret. (Editors). Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society. (Pages 1-13). [Note: Proceedings of the 11th International Saga Conference, 2-7 July 2000, University of Sydney, Australia. Interesting.]

Assasi, Reza. (2013). "Who is The Mithraic Leonthocephalic Man?" In: XXI SEAC conference, Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to the Future. Book of abstracts. 1st September to 7th September 2013. (Page 107-109). [Note: At the time of presentation the author was a Ph.D Candidate, School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Thee PhD oral examination of Reza Assasi "The House of Eternal Time: An Archaeoastronomical Study of Chartaqi and Mithraic Cosmology." took place 30th January 2015. Abstract. The modern term 'Mithraism' replaced the terms 'the mysteries of Mithras' or 'the mysteries of Persians' in antiquity. 'Mithras' is the name of the Indo-Iranian god 'Mithra', adopted into Greek. Because of the secret nature of this cult in Roman antiquity, almost no considerable written narratives or theology from the religion survive, but fortunately hundreds of materials related to Mithraism have been preserved. The majority of the research on Roman Mithraism focuses on interpreting the physical evidence, while the definition of Roman Mithraism remains problematic and controversial. Despite the fact that the Romans believed in an Iranian origin for this cult, finding its origins has been one of the controversies among 20th century scholars. The most important artefact is a repeated bull-slaying scene, which leaves no doubt that this figure conveys the core divine message of the cult. In this scene a man wearing a Phrygian cap (generally accepted as the figure of Mithras) kills a bull. The bull always faces towards the right and the bull slayer turns his head while killing the bull. In the elaborated form, usually a dog, a snake, a cup, and a raven appear in the scene. In this scene a scorpion is attached to the bull's genitals. Two other men wearing Phrygian caps are standing one on each side with crossed legs, and bear torches in different positions. Sometimes a complete zodiac is depicted on top of the scene, and, rarely, a lion is also present sitting in the middle. The majority of the research on Roman Mithraism focuses on interpreting the physical evidence, while the definition of Roman Mithraism remains problematic and controversial. Despite the fact that the Romans believed in an Iranian origin for this cult, finding its origins has been one of the controversies among 20th century scholars. The first surviving record of the name 'Mithra' dates back to 1400 B.C., spelled 'Mi-it-ra', in the inscribed peace treaty between the Hittites and the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni in Asia minor (sic). In Iranian mythology the god Mithra appears in the Avesta, the sacred texts of Zoroastrianism. The second longest Yasht (a collection of hymns) of the Avesta is named after him and has 146 verses. In this part of the Avesta, which is considered to preserve pre-Zoroastrian myths, Mithra appears to have Varahran (Bahram in modern Persian), a divinity associated with victory, as a companion. Varahran here is described as a boar with iron teeth running in front of Mithra's four-horse chariot, fighting for him. The first major scholarship on Roman Mithraism was published in 1894–1900 by Franz Cumont. Cumont believed that Roman Mithraism is the "Roman form of Mazdaism", and that the god Mithra came to Rome together with a large representation of the Mazdean pantheon. Cumont's theories remained widely accepted until the first International Congress of Mithraic studies in 1971. In this congress, John Hinnells and R. L. Gordon posed severe criticism of Cumont's theories. Hinnells argued that Cumont's reconstruction of Mithraic iconography is not supported by Iranian texts and is in fact in conflict with known Mazdean theology. Gordon claimed that Cumont forced the available material and evidence to conform to his model of Zoroastrian origins. He suggested that Roman Mithraism was an entirely new religion with no Persian origins. Yet none of these scholars proposed a new model to explain Roman Mithraism. However, after 1971, a few scholars continued to maintain that new theories about Zoroastrianism make some form of transfer from the east to the Roman empire possible. Michael Speidel, another scholar, associates some of the figures of tauroctony, or Mithras' slaughter of a bull, with figures of the zodiac, and the others to figures on the celestial equator. David Ulansey later suggested Taurus and Scorpios as the equinoctial constellations around the second millennium B.C., but argued that Speidel's model for the equatorial constellations is not convincing. He suggested instead that Mithras corresponds to Perseus, and believed that this concept originated in Asia Minor and developed in Rome as a new cult. Each of these theories suffers from a self-referential hypothetical nature and does not draw an acceptable framework to describe the reason for selecting these constellations, or explain their vital symbolic meaning in Mithraic theology. The Author presented a paper in SEAC 2012 conference in Ljubljana and demonstrated how the repeated bull slaying scene, known as Tauroctony, is a complicated astrological code that reflects the ancient Iranian Zurvanite concept of the great year divided to six astrological ages in a developed form of Roman representation of the zodiac signs and other constellations. The author also proposed a new constellation represented by the symbol of the swastika as the geometric celestial pattern in the north ecliptic pole. Based on archaeological evidences, he claimed this symbol to be used in Roman Mithraism as the four-horse chariot of Mithras or the ecliptic pole turned by four celestial horses in the direction of the axial precession. He also demonstrated identical astronomical alignments in Iranian structures called chartai and their contemporaneous Roman counter parts such as Heidentor in the Mithraic archaeological site of Carnuntum in Danube valley and the Arch of Janus in Rome and posed a question about the migration of the astronomical concepts upon which these structures are build. Among Mithraic artifacts there is another important character that seems to be as important as the figure of Mithras himself. The details and attributes of this mysterious figure is even more complicated than the other figures to interpret and therefore its identity remains highly controversial yet crucial to decoding the mystery. This figure is a naked man with human body, entwined by a snake with lion head, an open mouth giving frightening impression. He usually has four wings, holds one or two keys, and a scepter in his hand. He often has a thunderbolt and the sign of Thor, the thunder god. In some instances he is standing on the cosmic sphere. Scarcely, he is also shown with human head. This figure is restricted to Mithraic iconography and has almost the same importance as the Tauroctony. Cumont has identified this figure with Iranian Zurvan because of direct symbolic references to the concept of time in this figure and suggests it to be from an Egyption (sic) origin corresponding with the Greek Aion and or Graeco-Phoenician Kronos. Like other interpretations by Cumont this was generally rejected by the new trend of scholars. The identity of the lion-headed figure of Mithraic iconography was also treated in several of the papers of the first and the second conferences of Mithraic studies in 1971 and 1975. Cumont's view is maintained by vermasseren (sic) but he also calls in Egyptian influence of the Hellenistic Age. A. D. H. Bivar relates the lion-headed figure to the Babylonian gods of death and the underworld, Nergal and Moloch. Duchesne-Guillemin suggests Both Aion and Ahriman (the Iranian evil) are represented. John Hansman suggests an interpretation in his work and takes Hinnels concept, in which this figure is suggested as a being who presides over the ascent of the planetary ladder by the souls, and introduces the Lion-head god as a possible "divine soul inspired in part by the speculative writings of classical Greek philosophy." Despite the obvious astronomical symbolism in this figure and its attributes of a time god, finding its meanings and true origins is one of the most controversial problems in Mithraic studies. This figure also shares some elements with the Roman god, Janus. Janus is also a time god, holding keys and a scepter. He is the god of beginnings, transitions, and ends, usually depicted with two heads and also known as quadrifrons or four-headed. On the other hand, Iranian Mithra always have a companion named Varahran, or Bahram in modern Persian, who is a boar-headed or possibly a lion-headed warrior, fighting for Mithra in front of his celestial four-horse chariot. His weapon is the thunder, and thus is also known as the Iranian thunder god or the god or eternal fires. Indic Mithra is also accompanied Varuna and also has affiliation to Indra, the Indic thunder god. In this paper the author argues that how this figure borrows symbolic elements from several cultures to demonstrate a uniform concept according to which Mithraist believed in a revolving universe through the ages of time, that is the consequence geocentric observational record of the axial precession. This figure is proposed as the gate keeper of the heavens standing in the ecliptic pole, the point in the sky which believed to be the center of the cosmos or the center of the zodiac around which the cosmos revolves slowly. The souls can ascend on an eight-step ladder representing the seven orbits of the ecliptic and then on the last passages of the firmament to arrive at the gate of Heaven, where the lion-headed god holds the keys. By finding a common symbolic language among figures of Bahram, Aion, Janus, Mithras, and the Lion-headed god a conclusion might also be drawn to understand the single concept behind the identical astronomical alignments in Iranian chartaqi structures, Mithraic Heidentor, and the Arch of Janus in Rome that all symbolically reflect the same notion as in the form of architectural representation."]

Belting, Natalia. (1952). The Moons a Crystal Ball: Unfamiliar Legends of the Stars. [Note: Elementary text, approximately 150 pages.]

Birrell, Anne. (1993). Chinese Mythology: An Introduction.

Barber, Elizabeth. and Barber, Paul. (2004). When They Severed the Earth From the Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth. [Note: The authors maintain that myth originated in prehistoric non-literate societies as a vehicle to preserve and transmit information about real events and observations. The authors state that the original inspiration for much of their book were the essays in Before Philosophy by Henri and Henriette Frankfort, John Wilson, and Thorkild Jacobsen (1949). Chapter 16: Of Sky and Time is sufficient demonstration of the uninformed and wildly speculative nature of the authors arguments. They uncritically follow the central theme of Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha von Dechend. Elizabeth Wayland is Professor of Linguistics and Archaeology at Occidental College, Los Angeles. Paul Barber is a research associate with the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles. See the (English-language) book review by William Doty in The Journal of Religion, Volume 86, Number 4, October, 2006, Pages 716-717.]

Barnard, Mary. (1966). The Mythmakers. [Note: An interesting book on astral mythology. The author was an American poet and Greek-to-English translator. Life dates: 1909-2001. See the (English-language) book review by Ernst Dick, "The New Comparative Mythology," Western Folklore, Volume 29, Number 2, April, 1970, Pages 142-146.]

Bjarnadóttir, Valgerdur. and Kremer, Jürgen. (1998/1999). "Prolegomena to a cosmology of healing in Vanir Norse mythology." In: Yearbook of Cross-Cultural Medicine and Psychotherapy. (Pages 125-174). [Note: Interesting but speculative. Makes some use of Hamlet's Mill (1969).]

Blake, John. (1877). Astronomical Myths. [Note: Interesting but dated and generally unreliable. See the (English-language) book review by Anon in Nature, Volume XV, February 22, 1877, Pages 351-352. Life dates: 1839-1906.]

Boll, Franz. (1914; Reprinted 1967). Aus der Offenbarung Johannis: hellenistische Studien zum Weltbild der Apokalypse. [Note: See Classical Philology, Volume 11, Number 3,  July, 1916, Pages 343-344 for a (English-language) book review by Shirley Case. See The Classical Review, Volume XXX, 1916, Page 22, for a (English-language) book review by W. K. Lowther-Clarke; and see Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, 19 Jahrgang, Juni 1916, Number 6, Columns 187-188 for a (German-language) book review by Ferdinand Bork; and see Theologische Literaturzeitung, Vierzigster Jahrgang, Number 12, 1915, Columns 273-276 (for a (German-language) book review by [?] Bouffet. For a critical book-length rebuttal of Boll's ideas in his book see Die Apokalypse des Apostels Johannes und die hellenistische Kosmologie und Astrologie, by (the Catholic theologian/(later) bishop) Joseph Freundorfer (1929).]

Bonacci, Lucia. (2017). "Ratio Siderum in Pliny the Elder: Pleiades, Light and Wheat." In: Orlando, Andrea. (Editor). The Light, The Stones and The Sacred. (Pages 181-192). [Note: Proceedings of the XVth Italian Society of Archaeoastronomy Congress, held at the University of Catania, September 11-12, 2015.]

Bousset, Wilhelm. (1960). Die Himmelsreise der Seele. [Note: A reprint of the author's lengthy 1901 article.]

Boutsikas, Efrosyni. and Hannah, Robert. “(2011). "Ritual and the cosmos: astronomy and myth in the Athenian Acropolis." In: Ruggles, Clive. (Editor). Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures. (Pages 342-348). [Note: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, Volume 7, SymposiumS278 [Issue 278], (“Oxford IX” International Symposium on Archaeoastronomy).]

Brendel, Otto. (1977). Symbolism of the Sphere. [Note: English translation (by Maria Brendel) and re-publication of the author's earlier German-language essay.]

van der Broek, Roelof. (1972). The Myth of the Phoenix: According to Classical and Early Christian Traditions. [Note: Originally the author's Dutch-language PhD thesis, Utrecht. See the (English-language) book review by A. Hudson-Williams in The Classical Review, Volume 25, Issue 1, April 1975, Pages 165-166; and the (French-language) book review by Marcel Detienne in Archives de sciences sociales des religions, Année 1973, Volume 36, Numéro 1, Pages 217-218.]

Brown, Junior., Robert. (1881). The Unicorn: a Mythological Investigation. [Note: Small book/pamphlet comprising 96 pages. Brown saw the unicorn as a lunar symbol. Extract from (English-language) book review by Archibald Sayce in Nature, Volume 25, 6, April, 1882, Columns 525-526: "Mr. Brown has collected his facts from the latest and best authorities, and displays a wonderful amount of wide reading. His main object is to show that the unicorn of heraldry is the last faded representative of the horned moon of early mythology who struggles in vain with the solar lion, and among other curious points which he seems to have made clear is that the Triquetra of Sicily, the three legs of the Isle of Man, is the lunar ass of the Bundehesh [Bundahishn] with the triple legs. His book supplies another illustration of the close connection that exists between mythical astronomy and mythical zoology." Robert Brown Junior was a solicitor and amateur antiquarian. Life dates 1844-1912.]

Bunte, Bernhardus. [Bunte, Bernhard]. (Editor). (1856, reprinted 1875). Hygini fabulae. [Note: Latin-language text.]

Busenbark, Ernest. (1949). Symbols, Sex, and the Stars in Popular Beliefs. [Note: Unreliable popular freethought work.]

Burnham, Junior., Robert. (1966; Revised edition 1978). Burnham's Celestial Handbook. (3 Volumes). [Note: 2 volumes were published in 1966 and 3 volumes were published in 1978. This latter edition also comprised a revision of the first 2 volumes. The volumes are unreliable regarding discussion of the history of constellations and the meaning of star names.]

Burrows, Eric. (1935). "Some Cosmological Patterns in Babylonian Religion." In: Hooke, Samuel. (Editor). The Labyrinth: Further Studies in the Relation Between Myth and Ritual in the Ancient World. (Pages 43-70). [Note: The ideas in the article have been subject to criticism.]

Carrasco, Davíd. (1990). Religions of Mesoamerica: Cosmovision and Ceremonial Centers. [Note: Excellent. The author largely focuses on astral themes. At the time of publication the author was Professor of History of Religions at the University of Colorado.]

Chamberlain, Von Del., Carlson, John. and Young, Mary. (2005). Songs from the Sky: Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World. [Note: Comprises selected proceedings papers of the "First International Conference on Ethnoastronomy," Washington, D.C., 1983. Published as Volumes XII-XIII, 1996, of Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of the Center Archaeoastronomy. An excellent collection of papers.]

Chevalier, Jacques. (1997). A Postmodern Revelation: Signs of Astrology and the Apocalypse. [Note: Full of interesting material but the validity of its basic thesis has been criticized. At times the author handles the astronomical material uncritically. See the (English-language) book review by Roger Beck in Revue Canadienne, Volume 28, Number 1, 1999. Life dates: 1949- .]

Clark, Helen. (1910). A Guide to Mythology. [Note: Devotes 128 pages to astral myths.]

Clemen, Carl. (1912 (English-language translation/edition)). Primitive Christianity and its Non-Jewish Sources. [Note: The book contains a detailed summary of astronomical interpretations of the New Testament, circa 1800 to 1910. The ideas of Charles Dupuis receive some 20 pages of discussion.]

Clifford, Richard. (1972). The Cosmic Mountain in Canaan and the Old Testament. [Note: A revision and expansion of the author's 1970 doctoral dissertation.]

Cloudsley-Thompson, J[?]. (1990). "Scorpions in Mythology, Folklore and History." In: Polis, Gary. (Editor). The Biology of Scorpions. (Pages 462-485). [Note: Not reliable when discussing the history of astronomy. Discusses in a popular style astral scorpions in different cultures.]

Collingwood, William. (1886). Astrology in the Apocalypse, An Essay on Biblical Allusions to Chaldæan Science. [Note: Interesting but dated and unreliable. Life dates: 1854-1932.]

Collon, Dominique. (1992). "The Near Eastern Moon God." In: Meijer, Diederik. (Editor). Natural Phenomena: Their Meaning, Depiction and Description in the Ancient Near East. (Pages 19-37). [Note: A conference paper originally presented in 1989.]

Cook, Arthur. (1914-1940). Zeus: a Study in Ancient Religion. (3 Volumes). [Note: A standard study. Includes frequent discussions of astronomical themes. See the (English-language) book reviews by Arthur Pickard-Cambridge in The Classical Review, Volume XXIX, 1915, Pages 80-85; William Crooke in Folk-Lore, Volume XXVI, 1915, Pages 220-223; Herbert Rose in Folk-lore, Volume XXXVII, Number 3, September, 1926, Pages 305-310; and the (French-language) book review by Franz Cumont in L'Antiquité Classique, Tome XI, 1942, Pages 165-168.]

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2006). Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East and Hebrew Bible: The Reflexes of Celestial Science in Ancient Mesopotamian, Ugaritic and Israelite Literature. [Note: Ph.D. thesis; Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Forthcoming, 2013: Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East: The Reflexes of Celestial Science in the Literature of Ancient Mesopotamia, Ugarit and Israel by Jeffrey Cooley (Eisenbrauns).]

Critchlow, Keith. (1988). "Astronomical and Cosmological Symbolism in Islamic Patterns." In: Sevcenko, Margaret. (Editor). Theories and Principles of Design in the Architecture of Islamic Societies. (Chapter 5, Pages 47-56). [Note: Conference proceedings, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.]

Critchlow, Keith. (1976, reprinted 1999). Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach. [Note: Keith Critchlow is an architect and Director of the Islamic Arts course at the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture, London.]

Crouch, Carly. (2009). War and Ethics in the Ancient Near East. [Note: Deals with cosmology as a factor in war ideology/military violence. Very interesting.]

Csapo, Eris. (2008). "Star Choruses: Eleusis, Orphism, and New Musical Imagery and Dance." In: Revermann, Martin. and Wilson, Peter. (Editors). Performance, Iconography, Reception: Studies in Honour of Oliver Taplin. (Pages 262-290). [Note: An important explanation of the cosmic dance in ancient Greece. The book chapter also comprises an informed approach to understanding some of the issues regarding the Eleusinian Mysteries.]


[Note: I will re-edit this essay when I have time.] Some comments on George Beke Latura and some of 'his theories.' Latura's views/claims are imaginative and highly speculative, and questionable simply because of a lack of evidence. Latura withholds any information to do with his credentials (or lack of them). Apparently history is a scientific discipline unlike any other, where anyone can suddenly become an expert overnight - claiming to have valid views - and avoiding years of training that other people elect to bother with.

(A theory interacts with evidence. A theory dies on its lack of merit = lack of suitable evidence. This is something Latura fails to appreciate. Latura seems to have problems understanding evidence. It seems that becoming a 'zodiacal light authoritarian' using nothing but speculation is all that is required. However, Latura's claims are frequently at odds with what has been credibly established by expert academics. Also, there is no reason to conclude that the basis of Latura's ideas are original to him. Latura does not indicate that he is aware of early 20th-century German studies.) Latura's presentations can hardly be regarded as scholarly/academic since he has no formal qualifications, no knowledge of ancient Greek, exhibits only a limited knowledge of relevant publications, and lacks a truly comprehensive critical approach to what material he uses for evidence. He frequently engages in elaborate speculation to support his ideas. The (ab)use of speculation is now an established problem. For some it has become a means of promoting fictional beliefs. Latura cannot establish - let alone build up - this so-called 'theories' - theories require evidence. We cannot write good history from absence of evidence or bad evidence. Amateur historians continue to write on various issues with no credible evidence being cited. Nothing positively identifies, or even suggests, the cultic use of the zodiacal light at Eleusis. Also, the title suggest what is not proven on the contents. Absent are a wealth of detail and depth of knowledge of the subject. The contents do not match what the title indicates. It is known that refereed journals have accepted papers with obvious strong flaws. For Latura to expect uncritical acceptance for his somewhat bizarre claims is somewhat arrogant. The point of critiquing is to be truthful concerning the known/identified errors in a person's writings. People who oppose critiques of their writings are asserting that they are not wrong; they have not made errors, these are being made by the person doing the critiquing. The issue is how each has constructed their case. Latura obviously believes his 'theories' - despite lack of compelling evidence - are of constant interest to others - a somewhat arrogant belief. Latura is another 'self-taught/self-proclaimed' 'researcher.' People calling themselves researchers, but having no training in any relevant discipline is simply dubious. Latura describes himself as a researcher, without giving any explanation for the self-designated title. Latura has no training in history or any other discipline and does not understand any classical languages. Latura has not studied any type of history or any comparable discipline at undergraduate or postgraduate level. Some people - not identifiable a trained historians - have admiration for Latura and his claims. It is difficult to see what excites admiration. But people like his ideas. This has nothing to do with their correctness.


The most celebrated ancient Greek Mystery-festival took place at Eleusis. The festival is thought by some scholars to date to the mid 2nd-millennium BCE. However, the Mystery-festival at Eleusis may only date to the 8th-century BCE. It involved the Eleusinian cult of the goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone (Kore). In the Eleusinian Mysteries the myth of Persephone (the Greek goddess of vegetation) was dramatically represented. Under Athenian sovereignty, the Mysteries were divided into the Greater and Lesser Mysteries. The Lesser Mysteries - celebrated in Agra, a suburb of Athens - were a prerequisite for the Greater Mysteries (but not deemed an essential requirement). The Greater Mysteries (celebrated in Athens and in Eleusis) lasted 9 days. The ultimate goal - and likely the real 'substance' of the Eleusinian mysteries - was the gaining of a personal awareness of immortality. The lesser mysteries served as a preparation for the greater mysteries but this first level of initiation was not essential. It is thought their basis was an old agrarian cult, and it is also thought there is some evidence that they were derived from the religious practices of the Mycenaean period (circa 1500 BCE). However, a more critical dating is circa 600 BCE (but perhaps circa 800 BCE). (The origin of deemed solstice festivals has a purpose arising from the fundamental agrarian background of Mediterranean society.) The cult of Demeter may have originated locally but some scholars believe the cult perhaps came from Thessaly or Thrace. Though localized at Eleusis this particular cult influenced rites that were celebrated elsewhere in widely scattered centres. In Attica, an Eleusinian festival was celebrated every 5 years. Due to a combination of politics and destruction, celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries was defunct by 392 CE. There are no written accounts by initiates. Neither have any ritual inscriptions been found.

The Eleusinian mysteries were a location specific religion. Geographic closeness to Athens was a distinct advantage for participation. (Also required by each participant was the sacrifice of pig.) Initially, before Athens took control of Eleusis (perhaps circa 600 BCE), the mysteries of Demeter and Kore were conducted by an independent Eleusis. The Eleusinian festival perhaps existed originally as a local tradition (a local agrarian cult). It may then have been elaborated circa 760 BCE as a Pan-Hellenic activity/obligation in response to a prolonged famine beginning in the late 8th-century that BCE that devastated large areas of Greece (caused perhaps by a prolonged shortage of rainfall; the result being a mega-drought). It was under Peisistratos of Athens (608-527 BCE, a ruler of ancient Athens during most of the period between 561 and 527 BCE, became the popular tyrant of Athens in 547 BCE) that the Eleusinian Mysteries became pan-Hellenic. Beginning circa 300 BCE the Athenian polis took over control of the Eleusinian mysteries and the festivals were controlled by 2 families, the Eumolpinae and the Kerykes. At least during the period of Athenian management the Eleusinian cult was primarily a cult of what was seen and experienced. It was not text-based/instructional. How exactly initiates were engaged in activities is unknown.

Non-academic (amateur) history is now engaged in by a multitude of persons who seek to give their own preferred 'alternative' explanations in the conviction they are more accurate and 'truthful' than the perspective of so-called conventional history. They obviously believe that they have exalted knowledge. Some enthusiasts are now claiming that as part of the Eleusinian Mysteries the initiates sighted the zodiacal light with an ergot-based kykeon as an aid. (See: Mysteries of Eleusis, Kykeon & Zodiacal Light: Synergy of Ritual, Chemistry & Astronomy by George Latura (whose credentials we are told nothing about) (SEAC, Rome, Nov 2015).) The zodiacal light is neither indicated nor necessary to explain the Eleusinian mysteries. The kykeon and the things that were eaten may simply have been a liturgical communion, and certainly without ergot. The months of September and October were suitable for observing the zodiacal light. (The earliest recent revival of the zodiacal light that I am aware of is: Blackwell, Patricia., Talcott, Gary. and Talcott, Richard. (2010). "Stargazing in ancient Egypt." (Astronomy Magazine, Number 6, June, Pages 64-66).) The chemist Albert Hofmann claimed that an ergot-infected barley grown at Eleusis was actually capable of producing the dramatic ecstatic visions and experiences? Hofmann's position was set out in his small (co-authored) book, The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries (1978 (but a version available in 1976)). However, Hofmann writes in a biased way that presents the ergot proposal as the sole option. (An hallucinogenic theory was first proposed by the Hungarian classical philologist, Károly Kerényi.) In Hofmann's presentation of his proposal (The Road to Eleusis) there is no recognition of other explanations and no discussion of selecting his idea from amongst others. You really wouldn't know there were any competing ideas established. No consideration is given to any other possible solution. Also, Hofmann and his co-authors never manage to establish the certainty of the ergot proposal. Whilst speculative theories should not be readily dismissed as that would stifle creative thinking, that does not mean that all sorts of speculative theories are credible and have legitimacy. That would be mistaking what is logically possible for what is historically possible and reasonable given what sources there are to work with. In his book review (The Classical Review, Volume 29, 1979, Page 323) the classicist Nicholas Richardson wrote: "There is no real evidence that the cyceon [kykeon] had such an effect as is claimed, and all the evidence for its use in other contexts points the other way." For an understanding of the effects of ergotism see the recent 2-part article "Ergotism in Norway." (History of Psychiatry, Volume 24, Numbers 1 and 2, 2013). In Hofmann's own words (Chapter II): (1) "We have no way to tell what the chemistry was of the ergot of barley [Claviceps purpurea] or wheat raised on the Rharian[/Rarian] plain in the 2nd-millennium BCE. [I] ... assume that the barley grown there was host to an ergot containing perhaps among others, the soluble hallucinogenic alkaloids." (2) "The separation of the hallucinogenic agents by simple water solution from the non-soluble ergotamine and ergotoxine alkaloids was well within the range of possibilities open to Early Man in Greece. An easier method still would have been to have recourse to some kind of ergot like that growing on the grass Paspalum distichum, which contains only alkaloids that are hallucinogenic and which could even have been used directly in powder form." So Hofmann's proposal is that the ancient Greeks might have been able to extract the water-soluble psychoactive alkaloids, from ergot-infested plants reduced to powder, with a cold water (soaking) technique that filtered out the non-water-soluble toxic alkaloids, and then using only the enhanced water in the kykeon, the residual powder (plant matter) being filtered off and discarded. Also, Hofmann further suggested that those preparing the kykeon may have employed ergot of the wild grass Paspalum, which produces only the entheogenic alkaloids. Key problems for Hofmann trying to establish more than conjectures include: (1) He has never successfully established that naturally occurring ergot alkaloids were actually capable of producing the dramatic ecstatic visions and experiences described at Eleusis. (2) His so-called "ergot experiment" (self-tests) conducted using a commercially extracted and modified form of eronovine (2.0mg of ergovine maleate), resulted in a mild psychedelic experience lasting more than 5 hours that did not match the depth of the experiences described at Eleusis. The results of self-tests by Hofmann with ergovine leave considerable doubt regarding it having a sufficient and suitable effect. (3) Apparently no one has actually tested a cold water extract of Claviceps purpurea powder to determine if it can provide a safe experience for ecstatic visions. (4) Accepting the basic premise, the variability of the resulting mixture from year to year, due to how weather conditions affect the barley, has not been addressed. Put simply: How was quality control  of dosage maintained over the years - indeed maintained over hundreds of years? This important issue is not addressed by Latura. The side effects of the particular drug are also not discussed by Latura. The absorption of ergot alkaloids is erratic, and exact therapeutic and toxic levels have not been established. Acute toxic effects may occur between 2mg and 15mg in 24 hours. A side effect of ergot is a change in vision.  Ergot contains chemicals that cause a narrowing of the blood vessels (constricts the blood supply). An effect of acute poisoning is dimness of vision. Toxic cataracts result from drug or chemical toxicity with ergot alkaloids. (Ergot alkaloids are a diverse category of secondary metabolites that have been classified into 3 groups as clavines, amides of lysergic acid, and ergopeptines.) Serious extremity ischemia has been reported with as little as 2mg of ergotamine. (Ergotamine is in a group of drugs called ergot alkaloids.) The problem of the need for experienced facilitators is not explained/discussed either. Overall, the evidence to support the drug theory is lacking. In his book review (The Classical World, Volume 73, 1979, Page 197-198) the classicist Michael Jameson wrote: "In the end, since there can be no proof, acceptance of the thesis depends either on one's view of its plausibility, or on faith." (In, Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe by Carl Ruck, José Alfredo González Celdrán, and Mark Hoffman (2011) it is proposed that the cult of Mithras used psychedelic mushrooms. As one review commented: "Maybe [the wobbely (sic) [wobbly] argument] ... is rather an intellectual game than fact based scholarship.")

Note: It is indicated that during the course of the Eleusinian mysteries initiates moved further into the temple complex, with the final ceremonies being held underground. From information given by Plutarch (Moralia 81d) the crucial rites were confined to the initiation hall (Telesterion). Some early form of the initiation may have taken place under the open sky, before the erection of the Telesterion. (The Moralia of the 1st-century Greek scholar Plutarch of Chaeronea is an eclectic collection of 78 essays and transcribed speeches.)

The Telesterion was a large rectangular hall, probably columned, with six entrances, two on each of the three sides, and eight tiers of seats along all of the four sides, where the initiates sat. It was capable of holding 10,000 people. The centre of the hall was occupied by the "megaron", the adyton (sacred innermost sanctum/shrine that initiates were forbidden to enter) of the Eleusenian cult, where only the hierophantes (the high priest/priestess who brings religious congregants into the presence of what is deemed holy) was allowed to enter in order to perform the mystery rites. The Eleusinian temple complex is built around a Mycenaean magaron, a subterranean chamber/temple. The megaron was beneath the Telesterion. This is evidence for the connection of the temple complex to archaic chthonic tradition. Several architectural phases are distinguished in the Telesterion, dated from the 5th-century BCE until the 2nd-century CE. By the 5th-century BCE the Telesterion was capable of housing thousands of initiates. (The original date of construction was circa 435 BCE - 421 BCE.) In response to the ever-growing popularity of the cult the size of the Telesterion (great hall) was physically expanded - in order to meet the increasing number of initiates. The Telesterion (great hall), used for initiation ceremonies was the primary centre of the Eleusinian mysteries. The Telesterion served as the key hall for the reenactment of events connected with the mysteries.

The Greater Mysteries were held yearly in Eleusis, in late Summer (September-October = Autumn (Fall)/about the time of the Autumn Equinox). The Lesser Mysteries were held yearly in Agra (a suburb of Athens) in Spring (January-February, perhaps March) (about the time of the Spring Equinox). Hence the introduction of the proposition that the zodiacal light (best visible at the equinoxes) played a part in the content of the Eleusinian festival. Another point is wheat was the central symbol of Eleusis, not barley. Regardless, modern tests show that it is not conclusive that wheat and barley will always contain the water soluble ergovine. Helene Foley (The Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays (1993, Page 71)), states that "all important rites of Demeter in Attica seem to have been linked (at least loosely) to stages of the agricultural year." The Lesser Mysteries were held annually in the early spring, the time when the crops are coming to maturity. The Lesser Mysteries are part of the sacred festival cycle of grain in ancient Greece, along with the Proerosia (October), Thesmophoria (also October), Haloa (December), Thargelia (May), Skirophoria (June) and the Eleusinian Mysteries (September). The Lesser Mysteries held in Agra (an Athenian suburb) included dramatic representations of the legend of the 2 goddesses, Demeter and Kore (Parke, H. W., Festivals of the Athenians (1977, Page 123)), which would function as a reminder to people of the connection of the season with the harvest cycle. The Lesser Mysteries were celebrated in the sanctuary of 'Mother at Agrai,' a figure distinct from Demeter though readily to be identified with her.

A sympathetic book review by the classicist Georg Luck appears in The American Journal of Philology, Volume 122, 2001, Pages 135-138. A skeptical view of Hofmann's ideas is given in the unpublished MA Thesis, "Cleansing the road to Eleusis" by Floris van den Bosch (2013). See also the reviews of relevant arguments for Hofmann's proposal in The General History of Drugs by Antonio Escohotado (2010; Pages 272-286), and Pharmakon by Michael Rinella (2012; Pages 83-87). Also, for an excellent recent discussion of the Eleusinian Mysteries see: Bronze Age Eleusis and the Origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries by Michael Cosmopoulos (2015). He is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and has spent 25 years researching the book. Cosmopoulos is skeptical of Hofmann's proposal. Sources state the ingredients of kykeon at Eleusis comprised barley meal (barley gruel (flour?)), water, and (an aromatic herb) mint (= pennyroyal (a variety of mint)). They are the only known ingredients. No one disputes the ancient sources. (Athenaeus of Naucratis, a Greek rhetorician and grammarian who flourished circa 200 CE, described kykeon as a lightly thickened mixture, part food, part drink. This suggests the barley was ground into a meal/gruel as opposed to being ground into a flour (Greek milling techniques did not always enable this). The name "kykeon" comes from the fact that the mixture must be stirred before being consumed, because otherwise the solid components fall to the bottom of the cup. There does not seem to be a total prohibition on alcohol being consumed at Eleusis. It appears that it was specifically wine that was not permitted to be consumed. The Eleusinian Mysteries involved initiates drinking kykeon (at night) that apparently differed significantly from the common version of the drink. Two key ingredients were barley and water which can ferment quickly. Yeasts are naturally present on barley grain. Regarding heat. I am presuming the kykeon mix was prepared and left sitting in the open. (When barley gruel is mixed with water, it begins sooner or later to ferment and thus can have a mildly intoxicating effect.) The September ritual was conducted in warm weather of perhaps about 25 degrees Celsius. Some other added ingredients may have contributed to the alcoholic content of the kykeon. The initiates would have been used to drinking diluted wine. At the Eleusinian Mysteries the kykeon was gulped not sipped. On these issues there is considerable differing opinion amongst specialists. That fasting and drinking alcohol is an effective way of becoming drunk is, I think, uncontroversial. The wish by people to establish an explanation despite there being too few details is natural. (According to Gordon Allport (1965) a cause of rumours is the lack of facts/explanations.) Regarding the detail of what occurred at the Eleusinian Mysteries. My view accepts that there is not enough historical information to ever know, and that explanations that do not seem to correspond with the very few details known (relating to public events at Eleusis) should not be rated as being certainly correct. If there were no explanations and then one was offered that would not make it the 'basic solution' by default. Also, it's not a situation that no explanations were able to be offered until Albert Hofmann proposed his. (The drinking of the kykeon is not at the centre of the action of the mysteries at Eleusis.) In the absence of evidence the ergot/zodiacal light claim is a lapse in rigorous scholarship. The claim is not considered by more cautious and systematic scholars. Another issue is that nowhere is light and lighting equipment (i.e., torches) discussed by Latura. But we know that torches played a role on the Eleusinian Mysteries. The importance of light in the Eleusinian Mysteries is clearly stated in source material such as The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, considered the earliest document bearing on the Eleusinian Mysteries. However, the moments of the appearance of light is not exactly known. (The 5th day is the day of lamps, Demeter searching for her lost daughter.) The use of light in the Eleusinian Mysteries is a matter for night vision. Most important for me is what are the range of academic theories and the assessment of them. There is no reason to give the greater balance to the ergot/zodiacal light theory. Casual talk of drug use at the Eleusinian Mysteries seems facile when only 'supported' by supposition, and neither helpful or insightful.

Included in Im Bannkreis Babels by Franz Kugler (1910) was a satirical analysis of King Louis IX of France (1214-1270) and the Mesopotamian hero Gilgamesh (2nd-millennium BCE), in which he gave 17 pages of striking parallels 'showing' that Louis IX was actually a Mesopotamian solar hero. Otto Neugebauer wrote (The Exact Sciences in Antiquity, 1969, Page 138): "Kugler's example [of odd-match/coincidental parallels] should be studied by every historian because it demonstrates far beyond its original purpose how easy it is to fit a large body of evidence into whatever theory one has decided upon." (Earlier, Archbishop Richard Whateley had 'showed' that Napoleon Bonaparte is a solar myth, in his 22-page pamphlet, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bounaparte (1819).) The performance of a theatrical ritual is perhaps best indicated as the sustaining activity. The performance at Eleusis likely consisted of pantomimes, the singing of hymns, and the exhibition of sacred symbols. This type of theatre has credibility and is within the constraints imposed by the source material and similar. Some people like to use their imagination to fill the gaps. I believe we will increase our chances of actually knowing less about the history of astronomy by too readily accepting their ideas. However, there is a solution - provide evidence. Also, let's clearly identify speculation as speculation and also give it some sort of credibility value. That puts the matter back into the hands of experts, an idea not liked by a number of amateur historians ("cowboy pundits"). The issue with Latura attempting to be original is he constantly uses speculation his articles. The nature of the speculation calls his credibility into question.


The further suggestion that the owl connected with Athena, both appearing on ancient Athenian coins for centuries, with a crescent moon frequently depicted behind the owl, suggests an astronomical link. Owls are a very common bird in Athens. The simple fact that owls appear at night and hence the depiction of the crescent moon, seems too easily overlooked. Also, owls are a natural predator. This fact suggests a martial aspect that matches with Athena's role as a warrior goddess. (The owl of Athena was deemed to be the equivalent of the eagle of Zeus.) In Greek  stories an owl repeatedly appears on the battlefield to urge Athenian soldiers on the victory i.e., an owl flies over Athenian troops at Marathon, and an owl lands on the rigging of a trireme at Salamis. The crescent moon is featured prominently on Athenian silver coins, appearing on the earliest of the owl coins minted circa 510-505 BCE. Circa 470 BCE the crescent moon was placed in the upper left field of Athenian silver tetradrachms just beside Athena's owl. The archaeologist and classical historian Joan Connelly (The Parthenon Enigma (2014, Page 267)) has suggested a connection with the timing of the Panathenaic festival (held every 4 years) which culminated on the day the moon waned. The fantastic suggestion has been made that the large eyes of the owl depicted on Athenian coins is symbolically referring to the dilation of the pupils of initiates caused by supposedly consuming ergot-treated kykeon at the Mysteries of Eleusis. Ignored is the goddess Athena being called "owl-eyed" as early as the 7th-century BCE in Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's Theogony. In the Greek world owls were believed to portend death. The owl's role as harbinger of death is the reason for its close association with Athena. (See: The Parthenon Enigma by Joan Connelly (2014, Page 285). The Athenian large silver tetradrachms (simply known as "owls") were minted without interruption from the last decade of the 6th-century BCE until the 1st-century CE. They depicted Athena on the obverse and her owl on the reverse. On some specimens the crescent moon is shown in the field just to the left of the owl's head. This symbolic device may be a reference to the Panathenaia which was the quintessential Athenian celebration, what Athens was best known for.


The accidents of survival in the evidence that comes down to us renders our constructions of the past approximate at best. Our comprehension of the "facts" determines what is perceived as "true." Latura's claims go beyond available historic evidence and rational reasoning. With Latura's poorly presented ideas we are not engaging in genuine argument over the validity or interpretation of concrete facts and occurrences. It is more a matter of "what if." The issue becomes what is reasonable given the extant sources we have to work with. Some issues cannot be resolved with any certainty. However, this does not mean that all explanations are equally reasonable. More recent presentations/publications by Latura demonstrate an uncritical use of historical information to make dubious claims and create an interpretation of history that is untrustworthy. A simplistic approach involving a superficial consideration of the material is being utilised rather than the rigours of an in-depth study using suitable methodology. At least one person in correspondence on the web believes Latura is a "scholar and academic." Latura refers to himself as an "independent researcher" - whatever that may mean. I have never seen Latura claim formal academic qualifications let alone any academic position. Several other web pages place George Latura within the category of scholar/academic but this is just a simplistic convenience for identifying conference presenters. (Amazingly, after almost 10 years of making claims, I have never seen Latura present any formal academic credentials (i.e., formal qualifications, career path in academia, publications in academic journals.) The Eleusinian Mysteries was oldest known Greek festival called Mysteria (mystery), and the most famous of this type. It was celebrated in Athens (in a sanctuary at Eleusis) involving the 2 goddesses Demeter and Kore. Eleusis was 14 miles (22.5 kilometres) west of the centre of Athens. The Eleusinian Mysteries entailed a drama of the wandering of Demeter in search of Kore and finally, Kore's return. No outdoor astronomical performance is mentioned, or even hinted at (including in the archaeological evidence). See: "The Mysteries of Demeter and Kore." by Kevin Clinton. In: A Companion to Greek Religion edited by Daniel Ogden (2007). (Chapter 22, Pages 342-356). The author focuses on the iconographic evidence recovered from archaeological excavation Eleusis. The emphasis was on initiates experiencing, not learning.

Attempting to add to what little we know of the Eleusinian Mysteries is important. However, it is pointless pressing for a precision that the paucity of evidence does not allow. Latura does not contribute any certain new knowledge. There is no examination of ancient evidence - there is none. In his essays I fail to see that Latura has established any connection between the Eleusinian mysteries and astronomy. Latura makes no convincing argument. (He writes in a biased manner.) Latura is completely dogmatic about 'his theories.' However, his methodology and evidence are insufficient. He seems to be stretching material in order to reach preferred conclusions. Latura's speculative arguments are no more convincing than the speculations he makes to establish foundations for them. It has all the earmarks of a do-it-yourself history project. Establishing astronomy as a core feature is different to the possibility of some limited connection with a few stars and the possibility of the constellation Virgo as a celestial figure of Demeter. Importantly, the question is: Is it possible for Latura to establish any credible connection between the secrets of the Eleusinian mysteries and astronomy using extant evidence, and does not involve employment of conjecture (imagination)? The use of such words as 'possible,' 'suggests,' and 'might' (amongst other similar words) are surely not a means for reconstructing reliable history. They are tools for constructing historical fiction. It is inevitable that the authors of dubious essays will attract supporters who are just that - the supporters being unable to offer any anything tangible. The Eleusinian mysteries honoured the grain goddess Demeter. The Eleusinian mysteries were connected with the goddess Demeter and fertility and were related to agriculture. The Eleusinian mysteries was centred on the story of Demeter and Persephone and was primarily related to the underworld. This is not seriously disputed. The two elements of the Eleusinian mysteries are understood to be: (1) knowledge of the seasons for the cultivation of crops, and (2) knowledge of a joyous life and some kind of good afterlife. (Numerous fertility-related festivals were held at Eleusis throughout the year in addition to the Mysteries. Outside of the Eleusinian mysteries the perception of the Greek afterlife was somewhat grim.) As far as I am aware the aspect of fate in this afterlife was connected with the underworld, not a celestial abode. According to Jan Bremmer, vase painters in their representation of the Eleusinian mysteries chose fertility for their theme, not eschatological themes.

The importance of good research must not be overlooked. As an example of the weaknesses of Latura's methodology and evidence, and mismatch with what is historically established: Using the conclusion by Boutsikas and Ruggles (American Journal Archaeology, 2011) that astronomy played a crucial role in Greek religion and cult practices, Latura simply concludes (without evidence and without seeking advice from Boutsikas and Ruggles) the astronomical event that connects with the Eleusinian Mysteries is the zodiacal light. However, it is clear that Boutsikas and Ruggles (AJA, 2011) have neither implied or later endorsed this particular interpretation by Latura as falling within their concept of astronomy within Greek religion and cult practices. According to Latura, without citing any evidence, Demeter was a psychopomp (a guide of souls to the afterlife) who revealed the path to heaven along the zodiacal light, with a little help from the psychotropic nature of the kykeon. No evidence is cited for this conclusion. It is simply speculation that is not suggested by what little is known about the Eleusinian Mysteries. It is unsurprising that Latura wants to avoid being pinned down to identifying specific evidence, if any, and the looseness of his methodology being based on speculation. His assumptions are highly speculative and speculation is built upon speculation. The establishment of sound historical claims involves scholarly argumentation, however this does not give people making historical claims a licence for speculation. The establishment of accurate (as can be) history must involve credible evidence and credible reasoning. The subject matter requires the attention of trained scholars who have a close association with the material. Unsurprisingly, Latura does not publish in journals that provide for academics/scholars who have an expert knowledge of the Eleusinian mysteries and engage in critical discussions of such. Examples of professional journals: The Classical Journal, Classical Antiquity, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, and the Journal of Ancient History. Examples of professional scholars: Michael Cosmopoulos, George Mylonas, Hugh Bowden, Alberto Bernabé, Fritz Graf, Sarah Iles Johnston, and Radcliffe G. Edmonds III. The English-language Journal of Ancient History (published twice yearly by De Gruyter) publishes peer-reviewed original research articles. Its stated objective: "The Journal of Ancient History aims to provide a forum for scholarship covering all aspects of ancient history and culture from the Archaic Period to Late Antiquity (roughly the ninth century BCE through the eighth century CE). The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles concerning the history and historiography (ancient and modern) of the ancient Mediterranean world and of neighboring civilizations in their relations with it. The journal is open to submissions in disciplines closely related to ancient history, including epigraphy, numismatics, religion and law. The journal does not currently publish book reviews." Its stated editorial policy: "An Editorial Board processes all submissions for the JAH. The Editor circulates submissions at his/her discretion to the Editorial Board. The Editorial Board members submit their opinion on publication to the Editor as well as that of a second reader (a "referee") chosen by the Board member or the Editor. From there, the Editor makes a final verdict about publication (usually: "accept," "reject," "accept with revision," "revise and resubmit"). Detailed comments are normally sent only to authors of accepted submissions, or of submissions thought suitable for resubmission. JAH and De Gruyter are committed to a speedy process, from submission to final publication. Once accepted and prepared for publication, articles will appear on the journal's website for immediate access and reference. Articles in the journal will thereafter appear in print form in one of two yearly issues." Even the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage (which is refereed) seems out of reach. Another journal which seems out of reach is the Journal for the History of Astronomy (JHA) which is a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes papers in the History of Astronomy from earliest times to the present, and in history in the service of astronomy.

Expert and diligent reviewers are important. Dr Duane Hamacher, who joined the editorial team of the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage in 2015, found that some 40 percent of papers to come to him for assessment and refereeing were not of an adequate standard. There is an example of a peer-reviewed academic journal not using reviewers for at least one paper it published. This was pointed out by the author of the paper. It is important to be able to understand that a published paper has been properly peer-reviewed prior to publication. Part of the intention of the peer review process is the intention to act as a spam filter. The editor sends the paper out for review to several experts in the field - the ‘peers’ of the author. The reviewers examine the paper to see whether the author has taken into account the relevant research in the subject, whether the research and its methods appear to be reliable, and whether the conclusions are reasonable. The reviewers can recommend that the journal publish the article as submitted, that it needs more research or a better write-up, or that the editor reject the article. Reviewers do not have to agree with every statement in an article or with its conclusion, but they must think it worthy of publication so that others may learn of the work and allow it to form their own research. The process means that articles in peer-reviewed journals have no obvious defects and represent a contribution. When a journal publishes a flawed paper, an error of commission, other persons will identify and announce the errors. The issue is one of evident high or low standards being involved in the peer-review process.


It is without force to argue that: "The Lesser Mysteries were in Spring, when the zodiacal light appears shortly after sunset, while the Greater Mysteries took place in Fall when the sacred light manifests itself before sunrise ... revealing the shining road to the heavens." That spring and autumn are when the zodiacal light is best seen and thus comprise evidence is simply to continue with speculation. The introduction of the terms "sacred light" and "shining road to the heavens" are simply Latura's evidentless embellishments. (Also, there is no reason to believe that for each festival the weather for viewing the zodiacal light was always suitable. Meteorology (weather) at Eleusis is not discussed by Latura.) Also an evidentless embellishment is the introduction of Hofmann's speculation that the kykeon was psychotropic. The barley (and wheat, and rye) was infested with ergot having the effect of dilating the pupils and enabling high sensitivity to the faintest light. The kykeon was consumed during the day. Not discussed by Latura is the requirement for quality and dose control of the ergot. How is the toxicity of the ergot controlled over time, and how is the amount of psychotropic kykeon consumed also controlled? Are portions of kykeon individually issued to each of the thousands of participants? Not explored by Latura in his essays is whether spring and autumn have important agricultural connections. Both season have agricultural importance in ancient Greece. Agriculture was the foundation of the Ancient Greek economy. Barley, wheat, olives, and grapes were 4 of the top crops of ancient Greece. Farming in ancient Greece was difficult due to the limited amount of good soil and cropland. It is estimated that only 20 percent of the land was usable for growing crops. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of the ancient population was involved in agriculture. Greece is extremely mountainous and the climate is considered semi-arid, which means that crops may have difficulty growing. Crop-failure and plague were a constant concern. There are only a few areas within Greece that are considered fertile. Only a few rare plains such as those of Messenia qualify as being fertile. Eleusis was an agricultural area for grain. Wheat and barley, the most important of all crops in the Greek world, ripen anytime from the middle of May (perhaps earlier) to the end of June (= late spring), depending on a number of factors. Spring was the rainy season (and also melting snow provided water); farmers took advantage of this to bring fallow ground back into production. In effect, they practised biennial crop rotation, alternating from year to year between fallow and cultivated. Autumn was considered the most important season. The farmers had to break the hard crust that had formed over the summer on grain fields. Three-times plowing with additional digging was necessary in autumn. In Greece there was the practice of autumn-sown crops. Hesiod told that sowing should be done in autumn. The fallow land for next year was sown by hand. There is sufficient seasonal connection to agriculture to be sufficient explanation for the scheduling of the festivals, if indeed this was relevant. If it was not relevant then this still does not give Latura's speculations any greater credibility. Latura has to establish the credibility of his ideas. It is indicated that the initiates whilst alive were to receive benefits from the Mysteries, likely in the form of better crops. Once again: The origin of solstice festivals has a purpose arising from the fundamental agrarian background of Mediterranean society.

There are now so many theories concerning the nature/purpose of the Eleusinian mysteries that nearly all of them must be wrong - comprised only of speculation and fancy. Henri Jeanmaire (French classical philologist and historian of religion, 1884-1960) argued for initiation rites. See: (1) La Sibylle et le retour de l’âge d’or. (1939, Phil. Diss.), and (2) Couroi et Courètes: essai sur l'éducation spartiate et sur les rites d'adolescence dans l'antiquité hellénique (1939). But his ideas are controversial and (perhaps) not always reliable. The iconography on a number of 4th-century vases affirms the Eleusinian initiation offered the hope of agricultural fecundity in particular, and material prosperity in general. Latura offers no reason to enable one to say there may be 'something in it' regarding his zodiacal light claim. The so-called evidence is not even circumstantial. It is just as valid to claim there were astronomers at Eleusis.

It has been maintained that ancient mystery cults were very much concerned with the destiny of the soul and the afterlife (individual salvation). This has obscured their more practical worldly concerns. Eschatological concerns (an eschatological component offering protection after death) was not the exclusive concern of mystery cults. What 'salvation' was being offered was practical well-being and protection in the here-and-now worldly life. The interpretation that ancient mystery cults were primarily 'religions of salvation' (primarily dealing with other worldly issues) originated in the 19th and 20th centuries. (See: "'Salvation' (Soteria) and Ancient Mystery Cults." by Theodora Suk Fong Jim (Archiv für Religionsgeschichte, Volume 18-19, Issue 1, 2017, Pages 255-282).) The concept of a fully sentient psyche and the immortality of the individual had likely become part of all the mystery cults by the late period (i.e., from circa 400 BCE); adding a new and personal dimension to the substance of their rituals. The beliefs that were embodied in the Greater Mysteries at Eleusis could also be found in some form in other systems of religious rites both public and private.

The zodiacal light was known in antiquity. (Latura's claims regarding the zodiacal light were preceded by those of the German assyriologist Fritz Hommel (1854-1936), to name just one person. In 1910 Fritz Hommel published an article in the Münchener Neuesten Nachrichten, „Das Tierkreislicht in der Symbolik des alten Orients" [The Zodiacal Light in the Symbolism of the Ancient East]. An astronomical interpretation of the Eleusinian mysteries dates at least to the 19th-century. See: Myths of Greece by George St. Clair (1901, 2 Volumes; Volume 2, Pages 655-665).) In antiquity, the manner of describing lights/glows seen in the sky can create difficulties in understanding what exactly was observed. (Helpful descriptors: Hazy triangle of white/reddish light (pillar of light resembling the form of a cone or spear), about as luminous as the Milky Way, and it is brightest at the horizon and fades out toward the zenith. The main cone may only be a few degrees wide but as much as 25 degrees wide. The best times to see the zodiacal light is when the ecliptic is most nearly perpendicular to the horizon, right after the end of astronomical twilight in the evening when the Sun is 18 degrees below the horizon (Sun altitude -18°), and right before the beginning of astronomical twilight in the morning. The other factor to consider (besides minimal to no light pollution) for picking zodiacal light best viewing times is no lunar interference. The zodiacal light fades from the horizon before it fades from the zenith. It cannot remain visible late at night because by then the sun has dropped well below the horizon and the zodiacal light has also set. The triangle-shaped 'beam' of light is easily mistaken for the lights of a far-off city just over the dark horizon in the countryside.) The zodiacal light was generally known in (late) antiquity as the "false dawn." According to Andrew Fazeka (March 24, 2011), the ancient Romans thought this faint glow came from far-off campfires below the horizon (like distant and thus unseen flames), while the ancient Greeks speculated that it must be caused by distant volcanic eruptions. ( Fazeka's unreferenced Roman source is likely a reference to the Roman Stoic philosopher and statesman, Seneca the Younger (Lucius Seneca). Seneca in the 1st-century CE described what appears to have been the zodiacal light (or perhaps an aurora display) as "scattered fires." A tentative identification of the zodiacal light in Homer's Odyssey has recently (2013) been made. See also: Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion by Arthur Cook (Volume 3, Part 2, 1914/1940, Pages 1115-1116), and Astronomy Before the Telescope: The Solar System by Nicholas Bobrovnikoff (1990, Page 195). The zodiacal light was recorded by Middle Eastern skywatchers in the Middle Ages. (During the Middle Ages, astronomy was mostly stagnant in medieval Europe, at least until the 13th century.) Arab-Islamic knowledge of the zodiacal light existed in the Tail of the Wolf or False Dawn. Solomon Gandz (Studies in Hebrew Astronomy and Mathematics (1970, Pages 234-235)) believed the old Arabs had identified and described the zodiacal light. The white and dark thread descriptions given in texts both refer to the column of the zodiacal light. The axis was referred to as the white thread, whilst the two lateral beams were called the dark thread. The zodiacal light is important in Islam because Muhammad (571-632 CE) used it to describe the times of prayer. Muhammad described zodiacal light in reference to the timing of the 5 daily prayers, calling it the "false dawn" (al-fajr al-kādhib). Muslim oral tradition preserves numerous sayings, or hadith, in which Muhammad describes the difference between the light of false dawn, appearing in the sky long after sunset, and the light of the first band of horizontal light at sunrise, the "true dawn" (al-fajr al-sādiq), the astronomical dawn. (Use of the term "false dawn" should not be confused with false sunrise, which is a different, unrelated optical phenomenon.) The Quran (Chapter 2, Verse 183) mentions the requirement for the faster to finish the meal before distinguishing the white thread from the black thread and this descriptor is believed to apply to the zodiacal light. According to Martha Noyes the Hawaiians and other Polynesian peoples referred to the zodiacal light as "mist." The zodiacal light was apparently identified by the Chinese by the 2nd-century BCE. An ancient Aztec manuscript preserved in the Bibliotheque du Roi (Paris), apparently contains an account of a light that was visible for 40 consecutive in the year 1509. It was recorded to have been seen in the immediate vicinity of the Sun when it was below the horizon. It is now thought to have been an unusually luminous zodiacal light. In Europe, the earliest explicit description of the Zodiacal light was by Joshua Childrey in his Britannia Baconia (1660). (It is considered that the zodiacal light was first discovered in England by Joshua Childers in 1659.) In the spring of 1663 it was more particularly observed and described by the astronomer Dominic Cassini. Ammonius in his life of Charlemagne, 807 CE, mentions an appearance somewhat like the zodiacal light. (For an early refutation that the zodiacal light was first noticed by Johannes Kepler see: Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe by Alexander von Humboldt (1845, Pages 138-140). Humboldt makes an interesting case against the zodiacal light being seen by Kepler.) Andrew Fazeka was perhaps relying on the German engineer Hermann Gruson (1821-1895) and the German Egyptologist Heinrich Brugsch. In 1893 Gruson published, largely unnoticed, a research paper on the zodiacal light, entitled "In the kingdom of light." Brugsch published numerous ancient Egyptian texts identifiable as describing the zodiacal light. Brugsch even cited a text in which the zodiacal light was thought to be a god. Mesopotamian material has been examined by Fritz Hommel and forgotten. Theodor Dombart wrote (draft translation): "It should also be pointed out here, however, something that should not be left out of consideration, is the Zodiacal Light, whose luminous "cone" is obtrusively above the horizon at certain seasons before the rising sun and after the setting sun." In a Babylonian cylinder seal illustration/depiction of a cone shape, described as 'holy tree on top of mountain' (simply called by some the sun-bathed mountain), Fritz Hommel sees the the zodiacal light cone. However, it can be interpreted as an image of The Tree of Life. (Unfortunately the complete cylinder seal is not shown. It is perhaps: Carnelian cylinder seal showing the Tree of Life with Ishtar to the left and King to the right, seal of Mushezib-Ninurta, Tarbiso 850-825 BCE. If not then it is similar to the Tree of Life on this depiction.) The interpretation of scenes in ancient Mesopotamian art is immensely difficult. There is no textual description supporting this subjective interpretation. Cylinder seal images are not accompanied by explanatory text. Themes in mythological texts, etc., must be looked for to enable understanding of what is being depicted in an image. Descriptions of a strange light seen in 373 BCE ("of a great light for several nights, which was called, from its shape, the burning beam") recorded by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (Diodorus the Sicilian, flourished 1st-century BCE) in his Bibliotheca Historica, and another recorded by the Greek ecclesiastical historian Nicephorus Xanthopoulus in his 14th-century Ecclesiastical History, of a strange light seen for several months (summer and fall) in 410 CE, may have been manifestations of the zodiacal light. Rabbi Levi (3rd-century CE) may have mentioned the zodiacal light: "Die Sonne sägt am Rakȋa, wie ein Zimmermann; daher kommt die Sonnenstaubsäule." If so, this is the last recorded Western sighting of the zodiacal light in late antiquity. It is possible that the zodiacal light - when seen - was mistaken for a sunset effect. Some writers have stated that the first Persian to mention the zodiacal light was the polymath and poet Omar Khayyám circa 1100 CE in his poem the Rubáiyát. However, this is based on Edward Fitzgerald's rather free (inaccurate) adaptation of the poem into English. It is considered that the first Persian poet to actually mention the zodiacal light - using the Persian name for the zodiacal light, "false dawn": (subhi kazib) - was the poet Attar circa 13th-century CE. The false dawn is also distinguished from the true dawn in the early Arabic lexicons, such as the late 10th-century CE, The Ṣaḥāḥ of al-Jauharī.

Latura makes the rather odd statement: "Once Theodosius shut down the Mysteries in 392 AD, the zodiacal light disappeared from the Western mind until Kepler and Cassini re-discovered it in the 1600s." (From Abstract, "Zodiacal Light: Forgotten for a Thousand Years," INSAP IX.) This is a 'cause and effect' statement that is made without any proof. No contemporary sources documenting this claim are known. Latura indicates that people had knowledge of the zodiacal light due to its supposed incorporation into the secret rituals at Eleusis. But it is indicated that people - both Greek and Roman - uninvolved in the secret rituals at Eleusis, had knowledge of the zodiacal light until the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It is not any connection with Eleusis, but the collapse of the Western Roman Empire that provides the reason.

Loss of knowledge of the zodiacal light in Latin Europe is unsurprising. It is not connected with the termination of the Eleusinian Mysteries at the end of the 4th-century CE. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Western Europe experienced recurring political and social upheavals and instability - declining economy, continual warfare and disease, declining populations, and declining literacy. Without strong urban centers and wealthy patrons, science was in a decline. Mathematical and observational astronomy, being a socially fragile enterprise, did not survive the tumult of the collapse of the Roman Empire in Western Europe. After the breakup of the Western Roman Empire, astronomy did not have as great an importance in Western scholarship as had earlier been the case. Most Greek astronomical texts were lost with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th-century CE. In the late 4th and early 5th centuries CE, textbooks of astrology vanished in the West. Hence the absence of any on-going technical astronomical tradition in Western Europe. (People studied astronomy in order to practice astrology.) Some knowledge of the constellations (and astronomy) was maintained in Western Europe from the fall of the Roman Empire in circa 475 CE to the Carolingian revival circa 800 CE. Some astronomical research agendas that did exist, as example, were that of Carolingian scholars who attempted to work with the limited Latin sources to investigate the problems of the orbits of Venus and Mercury. Also, a variety of uses of astronomy in the early Middle Ages included the replacement of pagan solar festivals with Christian festivals and monastic timekeeping. The historian Valerie Flint has argued that the early Middle Ages was characterized by the attempt of the Catholic Church to salvage astrology for its own purpose. The Phaenomena of Aratus was well known in the Latin West through the translations of several Roman authors. Early medieval Western Europe was a wasteland. Law and order had ceased to exist and numerous local wars were an ongoing occurrence. The Roman municipal régime had collapsed. (The stability of a continuous imperial system was lacking in Western Europe.) Control passed to bishops and lay princes. This was the end result of the hordes of Vandals, Goths, Huns, Visigoths, Franks, and Saxons, that had overwhelmed the Roman Empire in the 6th-century CE. They had been succeeded by roving bands of indigenous brigands, mercenaries, and feudal barons. The social disruption that followed the fall of the Roman Empire - including also epidemic diseases, harvest failures, and successive waves of invasion/migration into Italy (and elsewhere) - confined astronomy to a small number of intellectual pockets. The invasions into Italy and elsewhere effectively wrecked Roman civilization. There was an enormous loss of libraries and ancient texts. The Roman Empire was in tatters. By circa 500 CE the urban world of the Roman Empire was in tatters. By the end of the 7th-century most of Western Europe was in ruins. Whole cities had been destroyed or fell into disrepair and disuse. Roads and bridges fell into disrepair and disuse. Most of the original classical texts comprising the bulk of Greco-Roman learning had been lost. The invasions alone destroyed cities, monasteries, libraries, schools, and institutions such as law and government. Law and order vanished, and education almost disappeared. Monastic enclaves sometimes preserved - but also usually ignored the contents of - remnants of classical thought and culture. Competent/learned scholars were scarce, resources were scarce, and general literacy was minimal. The Greek language was largely forgotten, only simplified Latin remained in use. Overall there was a tremendous decline in cultural sophistication. The European Middle Ages initially inherited star names and constellations from Roman antiquity, mainly through Latin literary texts. Rome transmitted very little of what has been called 'Greek thought' to Christian Europe. The very little that was transmitted did not include the astronomical systems of Hipparchus or Ptolemy. But there are reasons for this. Most 'Greek thought' remained in Greek, and was not translated into Latin. As knowledge of Greek declined with the fall of the Roman Empire, so did the knowledge of Greek texts, many of which remained untranslated into Latin. The Greek language was all but forgotten until a group of 12th-century scholars rediscovered and translated the works of Aristotle. The term "Recovery of Aristotle" refers to the copying or re-translating of most of Aristotle's books from Greek or Arabic text into Latin, during the Middle Ages, of the Latin West. The Recovery of Aristotle spanned about 100 years, from the middle 12th century into the 13th century, and involved copying or translating over 42 books, including Arabic texts from Arabic authors. Previously, Latin versions of 2 books were in general circulation in Latin Europe: Categories and On Interpretation (De Interpretatione). These were due to the translation work of Manlius Boethius, a Roman senator, consul, magister officiorum, and philosopher of the early 6th-century. Aristotelian logic, which was to become an integral part of medieval scholasticism, was first transmitted to Latin Christianity through the work of Manlius Boethius. His copy of Categories and its commentary is thought to derive from the school of Proclus (the Greek Neo-Platonist philosopher Proclus Lycaeus (412-485 CE)). Ptolemy's Almagest in the original Greek continued to be copied and studied in the eastern (Byzantine) empire. Latin Europe, had lost the original Greek version of Ptolemy's work until recovered in Byzantine in the 15th-century.

Hesiod does not strictly provide a manual for farming. However, advice for farmers regarding the yearly cycle of seasons with their appropriate signs (both astronomical and terrestrial) and labours forms a core part of Works and Days. The busy periods of the agricultural year were spring and fall (autumn). Seasonal work correctly done ensured likelihood of success. A list of all the chores that must be completed before the autumn plowing can begin is given. The cold of winter and the heat of mid-summer are seasons of enforced inactivity; a respite from agricultural toil. The culmination of the autumn plowing is the critical time of the late spring threshing and storage of the year's grain. A bountiful harvest is dependent upon Demeter. A farmer without a successful spring harvest is deemed a desperate person.


Latura is fascinating for his ability to make irrelevant replies to critical comments. He simply deflects. He is obviously heavily personally invested in his own pet inventions. What is interesting is no recognition is made that I can demonstrate a suitable/reasonable knowledge of what is being discussed. Critics are simply to be dismissed. Latura considers critical comments of the numerous flaws with his ideas (which he terms 'his theories') as 'reprehensible attacks.' Latura treats anything less than complete approval as an 'attack.' (There is no reason to conclude that Latura has rigorously evaluated the robustness of 'his theories.') Latura also sets conditions for his involvement in any 'discussion' of 'his theories.' His requirements for discussion of 'his theories' are civil exchange of information that must not involve making critical statements. The idea that this is a commendable balanced approach and that everything may be valid is ludicrous. This is a focus on interpretative agendas with the supposition that one idea may be as valid as any other. This misses the fact that they can't all be valid interpretations otherwise it would be impossible to write history. (This is a defensive technique/strategy for ensuring 'his theories' cannot be excluded or dismissed from consideration, regardless of their lack of merit (uninformed amateur status). Choices have to be made. This is where expert decisions regarding the evidence becomes important. Also, when he has provoked debate on Hastro-L he has never been able to successfully defend his ideas. Basically, this is because he assumes what needs to be proved. Remarkably, Latura posted to Hastro-L (August 31, 2016): "It is the policy of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) that all participants in Society activities will enjoy an environment free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. Violators of this policy will be subject to discipline." Apparently, it indicates Latura's belief that he should be able to enjoy posting whatever views he likes and not be subject to any critical/cogent responses. And, of course, Latura obviously believes his 'bugging' Hastro-L with his inexpert postings are not to be classed as harassment.) It seems that for Latura 'academic' validation are his articles posted at (And he posts these himself.) is not - despite its name - an institutional repository and it is not a not-for-profit academic initiative of any kind. hosts PDFs. is a venture capital-backed software company that seeks to derive revenue by selling analytics about the activities of its installed user base. Central to it being successful is the sharing of papers and the metrics around that activity. Maintaining a web site at is not obligatory for anybody. I have no program for posting evidentless claims at Latura's false comparison of the number of his essays posted on against none for me I find intriguing. Latura falsely asserted on Hastro-L that I have an established web site at In actual fact the web site was created by in order to encourage me to consolidate a web site with them. It must be obvious that I chose not to progress with it. (It was unable to be removed and even if it was it would likely be created again by Latura, without establishing that I had a meaningful web site at proceed to compare 'hits' as if this was meaningful. It is a case of 'apples and oranges.' Latura has a a web site at and I don't ( established a pseudo site in my name). An inevitable question is: Is Latura a self-publicist? Certainly, from his postings to Hastro-L, self aggrandizement comes to mind. Latura constantly promotes his web site (i.e., posts links to his essays there) and I simply ignore the pseudo web site having my name at Latura has no knowledge of any professional articles I have published on workplace health and safety, and the widely recognised training courses I have developed and implemented (some 40 in all), or the numerous conference presentations I have given, or that I am recognised as an authority on accident investigation, and industrial respirators. Doubts have been raised regarding whether is to be classed as an academic web site. They are very much fee-for-service. is a commercial enterprise. It was created to make money. is a for-profit American social networking website for academics. Their terms of service are undesirable. Also, there is no quality checking of uploaded papers, etc. (Amateurs use the web site to post their non-academic essays.) See: or Why it is implied that it is obligatory for me (or any other person) to frequently fly to Europe or elsewhere and present a 20 minute paper to qualify for it to be published in conference proceedings?

Point 1: Maintaining a personal web site makes the task of presenting, expanding, and revising articles easier; as well as their ordered accessibility. The closed form of printed papers is a problem. It is impossible to update printed publications on a regular basis. A personal web site enables ideas to be put out more quickly than traditional publishing allows. Other big advantages are flexibility with variety of content, and, importantly, you own your own material. It also enables wider possibilities for academic and other contact that the limited circulation of published articles. Several times it has been the case that important biographical information/corrections has come from someone distantly related to the person being discussed. Once again it is a situation where printed sources are in error.

Point 2: The (false) statement that I haven't published anything, or contributed anything, shows ignorance of 2 things. (1) It overlooks that the exchanges concern material/claims posted to Hastro-L, or referred to in postings to Hastro-L. There is no exchange over material that the List cannot access through links placed on postings to the List. (2) My critiques are fully detailed and this has required considerable research effort on my part. I have carried out the rigorous research that should have been carried out by Latura, etc. There is a duty to condemn nonsense. Importantly my critiques are a corrective to the erroneous claims being made. This of course is an important contribution but is one that Latura, etc. declines to recognise. Latura does not give up his claims no matter how thoroughly they have been refuted by evidence. It indicates he is not seriously trying to engage with the reality of historical methods and evidence. Latura follows his own historical methods and interpretations. He attempts to have his views gain force through constant repetition without reference to what trained professional experts have produced/concluded.


It seems indicated that Latura has the belief that his increasing number of speculative and somewhat repetitive presentations and published papers - as well as increasing the number of his site visits (which he constantly promotes) - indicates that he is making academic contributions. But Latura has not shown he is contributing any real information, any genuinely historical insight. Contributing only to a conjectural version of history is not a contribution to fact(evidence)-based history. Latura implies that all his presented/published essays can be claimed as a 'contribution' to academic research. But repetitiously speculative essays are hardly a contribution to 'the body of knowledge.' He apparently fails to recognise that he basically is not creating new knowledge. Latura does not explain what contributions he believes he has made. Evidence of a positive influential impact on knowledge in a field of study is a more solid test for contribution to academic research. Basically, creating new knowledge. The question is: What unprecedented theories has Latura presented with suitable evidence establishing them? In other words: What new information/evidence does Latura present that readily establishes "his theories." What process has validated this? Presenting a paper and having it accepted for publication is no guarantee of contributing to knowledge. Employment of speculation to reach a conclusion is not a contribution to new knowledge. Latura needs facts to prove his assertions. Academic support for his ideas does not exist. (Latura can hardly claim to have gone unnoticed.) By academic support I mean published papers by classicists and historians, specialists in ancient Greek philology, ancient Greek art, and ancient Greek archaeology. (The entry "Getty Hexameters, the" by Roy Kotansky in the online Oxford Classical Dictionary has a brief reference to Plato's Cosmic X and 2 of Latura's essays. This does not qualify as support. Rather, the author of the entry obviously has mistaken several conference presentations as professional contributions.) If such support for Latura's ideas ('his theories') exist then where is it? The fact that he can apparently only refer to his own essays as vindication of his scholarship I also find intriguing. He has not contributed to academia until his ideas gain recognition/acceptance by acknowledged experts. Apparently Latura experiences no personal contacts with academics who want to discuss 'his theories,' or receives no requests for assistance. Any suitable search on the web will show that my web site essays are quoted/used by a number of academics in their printed books and journal articles. "Hidden" is my assistance given to researchers and others for particular information.

There is an element of self-promotion in conference presentations. Not to be overlooked is the conference offers the opportunity to perform, behave like and talk like, and assume the identity of expert scholar. Realistic benchmarking of academic standards: First, obtaining formal post-graduate academic qualification(s) is the basic starting point. Then gaining subject-matter expertise working with primary sources. A full length journal paper - after peer review - is rightly considered superior to a conference paper. A conference paper primarily is a short presentation of work done so far. 'Work' does not mean using secondary sources in an unorganised manner and adding one's own speculations. Primary sources (earliest existing documents) are the key to conducting historical research. Some conferences take whatever conference papers you send them if you participated in the event. Expert review and feedback are usually at a lesser level to papers submitted to journals.

Why a person asserting a claim regardless of its credibility is somehow making a contribution that is superior to a person demonstrating why a claim has no likely credibility is naive. Credible evidence is required for proof of an assertion and credible evidence is required to legitimately critique an assertion. A contribution to what we reasonably can't believe (and hence investigations must be directed elsewhere) is, according to some proponents of speculative ideas, not a contribution at all. But they too seek to replace other ideas and deny the validity of other ideas. The problem with Latura's essays is they comprise a phantasmagoria. Latura fails to understand he is not introducing any new critical methods. He appears to have a program for gradually replacing attention to academic scholarship with his own views. If so, I find this disturbing. More disturbing is his intolerance of legitimate comments opposed to his ideas. Latura classes all criticisms of 'his theories' as attacks whatever the format, postings to Hastro-L, conference presentations, essays in publications. Excluded from a contribution is any criticism of Latura's fantasies. It appears that according to Latura a suitable demonstration that his case-making is flawed is dismissible; it is simply of no consequence to 'his theories' and his 'contributions.' I simply find this ludicrous. Latura decrying public evaluation of his publicly available material is at odds with academic endeavour. Potentially influential but ideas that are erroneous cannot be left to exist unchallenged. What does exist is such expert advisory statements as: "Mystery cults continue to vex scholars because the surviving evidence is problematic, comprising a few written sources, mostly late in date, and often with questionable aims and biases. Modern reconstructions that view the mysteries as a cohesive religious phenomenon run the risk of oversimplification." (Kiki Karoglou; Latura's weaknesses for 'his theories' are his unstructured methodology and 'vacuum cleaner' technique for gathering 'evidence,' and mismatch with what is established. Where he should be citing evidence he introduces conjecture.

I fail to see any demonstration that bona fide research has been carried out. What I see demonstrated is the essays are 'fluff' that skate over genuine historical studies. What I also see demonstrated is the essays represent a serious criticism of attempts at refereeing (quality control).

Another complaint by Latura, made several times on Hastro-L, is that other peoples actions are shutting down his research projects. Of course no such thing is occurring. But it is interesting that Latura considered Hastro-L as a platform for reporting on his research activities. Apparently if it is not reportable on Hastro-L (because it is outside the function of Hastro-L) then the research is considered to have been stopped.

Latura is somewhat obsessed regarding published articles being a benchmark. This is simply nothing more that Latura expressing his self-authority on issues. It has no interest for anybody than Latura himself. He is not publishing articles in any major academic journals. Why amateurs without formal academic qualifications believe they can assert/promote/dictate absolute benchmark standards that are designed to suit them is an indication of their arrogance. Their views are arbitrary and irrelevant - simply pretentious.


Latura is apparently aspiring to become recognised as some type of astronomical historian. In my opinion, in this regard, he is a self-promoter. (He is not a Classical/Hellenistic academic.) Latura's approach to publications as his benchmark invites examination of his listings on ('member content'). Approximately only one-quarter can properly be deemed articles. (They are simply essays he has posted to A few preliminary remarks. There are 58 listings to July 4, 2018. (It is indicated Latura is trying to establish a record of publication, as well as prestige.) Two of these listing are unconnected with essays or similar and so are irrelevant. Another 2 listings are simply advertising for very small 'books,' one at least comprising material already presented or 'published.' The 2 'books' that are listed are Ancient Coins in Ancient Skies (URSKOLA, 2014, 114 Pages), and Visible Gates in the Pagan Skies (Create Spaces, 2009, 90 Pages). Ancient Coins in Ancient Skies is basically a collection of existing essays. Described as: "Award-winning collection of articles from magazines and journals as well as peer-reviewed papers from scholarly publications (Numismatic Literary Guild "Extraordinary Merit" Chicago August 2014). Includes the winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for BEST ARTICLE (International Magazines)." (There are 4 categories (= 4 awards) for 'best article.') Ancient Coins, Ancient Skies (a collection of essays) was one of 8 books receiving a Numismatic Literary Award for “Extraordinary Merit” in 2014. Six books received an award for "Best Specialized Book." (See: On the cover it has "Numismatic Literary Guild Award 2013 Best Article, International Magazines." Regarding best article: "WORLD NUMISMATIC MAGAZINES. BEST ARTICLE OR SERIES OF ARTICLES: Coins: "Constantine's True Vision: From Plato's Chi (X) to the Christian Chi Rho," George Beke Latura, Coin News. The award was given for the category, Coins. There were 2 other categories winning best article awards. (See: ("Best Article or Series of Articles in the World Numismatic Magazine division, coin category, went to George Beke Latura for his "Constantine's True Vision: From Plato's Chi (X) to the Christian Chi Rho," published in Coin News." (See: Regarding CoinWeek: "The CoinWeek Mission: Our mission is a simple one: to inform, entertain, and educate collectors about coins, paper money, and every other area of numismatic pursuit." Contributions are unpaid. (Note: It is not identifiable that this deemed 2013 'best article' was originally peer-reviewed.) The award process involves articles being submitted for consideration - no submission, no consideration. Authors usually submit their own articles. The award is a contest. Also, entries are accepted only from members of the Numismatic Literary Guild who are in good standing. So, how many articles published within the designated time period and how many submitted to the contest. I can not see any reason for the descriptor: "as well as peer-reviewed papers from scholarly publications." (My web site was selected to receive the prestigious Griffith Observatory Star Award for the week of September 4-10, 2005, for excellence in promoting astronomy to the public through the World Wide Web.) No information on URSKOLA was able to be found. It appears that this is a self-published book. CreateSpace is a self-publishing service/platform and print on demand service/platform belonging to Use of the service/platform creates a print-ready PDF file. A small book that is not mentioned is Digging up the Dog: The Greek Roots of Gurdjeff's Esoteric Ideas (Indications Press, 2005, 81 Pages). Barely any information on Indications Press is able to be found. It appears they are located in North America and primarily publish material on George Gurdjieff. Whether they are a vanity publisher (enabling self-publishing) is not identifiable. Including both so-called books leaves 56 listings to be examined (plus 1 excluded essay). Note: At the first mentioned essay is in Parabola Quarterly Journal for June 2011. The next published article is in Parabola Quarterly Journal for September 2011. Parabola Quarterly Journal is not mentioned as a refereed journal. But Latura's earliest identifiable article is in The Alchemy Journal for 2007. This is not mentioned as a refereed journal. Latura does not mention his early article in The Alchemist. There is simply no mention of it at Latura's listing of his essays at his page at (I will redo and recheck the quick assessment below shortly - and slightly modify the descriptors - but the total should be 56/57 (depending on how the count is made). The total below is 57. It appears to indicate a productive output until analysed. In a number of his essays it is indicated that Latura has used 'cut and paste' to bring together a series of snippets from texts (secondary sources), out of context, and spread over some 1500 years. The result is a jumble. Treating this time span as a coherent unit creates issues of relatedness. The semblance of analytical coherence is reliant on the use of a variety of speculative terms. Also problematic is lack of knowledge combined with false logic (misleading inference).

The article "Constantine's True Vision: From Plato's Chi (X) to the Christian Chi Rho" has numerous speculative statements. In this 'award' article Latura constantly fails to identify his speculations. Since its publication no professional study has appeared supporting Latura's speculations. The article is ignored within the body of professional studies.

(1) Irrelevant: 2

(2) Oral presentation, publication not indicated: 11

(3) Oral presentation not indicated: -

(4) Abstract, acceptance not indicated: 4

(5) Abstract accepted for poster presentation: 1

(6) Abstract for poster presentation, acceptance not indicated: 1

(7) Abstract accepted, essay publication not indicated: 5

(8) Proposal for oral presentation at conference, acceptance not indicated: 8

(9) Poster presentation: 7

(10) Poster presentation, publication in conference proceedings indicated: 1

(11) Publication not indicated: 2

(12) Publication in conference proceedings, oral presentation not indicated: 4

(13) Publication in conference proceedings indicated, oral presentation not indicated: 1

(14) Publication in popular journal: 9

(15) Publication in refereed academic journal: -

(16) Books, small books indicated as self-published: 2

(17) Excluded publication in popular journal: 1

Comments: (a) Indicated as articles published in professional journals: Null. (b) Indicated as presentations published in conference proceedings: 5. (c) Indicated as articles published in popular journals: 10. None are indicated as peer-reviewed/peer-reviewed per rigorous standards of academic journals. At least one essay was rejected for publication in conference proceedings (Monotheism vs Planets, SEAC 2016, Bath). Latura complained his essay was suppressed. But SEAC guidelines for conferences - since 1997 - state: "Also, the presentation of the paper at the Conference does not guarantee its "automatic" publication." My having a book-review essay published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada puts me 'ahead' of Latura. Also, if we allow Latura some 30 essays, my web site with some 140 essays far exceeds his output. There is enormous diversity amongst my essays and a number of my essays are genuinely book-length (i.e., exceed 80,000 words). I see nothing comparable from Latura. All of his articles can be described as short.

Latura is contributing little else to the discussion of the Eleusinian Mysteries (and other topics) other than speculation. Latura needs to state/show what advances are being made with his claims. The methodology is weak (not reliable). Latura's practice of jumping between dates that can be hundreds of years apart in order to draw material and construct an argument hardly engenders confidence. Attempting to unite material of diverse origin has drawbacks. His essays are lacking in scholarly rigour. Repetition between essays is annoying. Most of the articles are comprised of 'padding.' Latura continually writes about the zodiacal light in antiquity even though we know so little (almost nothing except for what appear to be mentions of it). Latura's unwillingness to defend 'his theories' in open discussion suggests problems and that he has been careless with the evidence. His claims need to be founded on hard evidence, not simply his opinions. Given that what we know (or think we know) about the Eleusinian Mysteries is based on very little evidence, mostly from later writers, my preference is for laborious scholarship that explains carefully what evidence is reliable (or not) and draws judicious conclusions about specific issues. Latura makes rather large assumptions even in the absence of any relevant evidence being cited. His arguments are really only speculative claims. This is a simplistic treatment of scholarship and result in 'his theories' lacking substance. The reassessment of any scholarly topic requires not only examination of new evidence (if any) but also a meticulous sifting of material that has previously been discussed. Sparse analysis is not adequate. Given that Latura's essays are limited to several types of astronomy conferences combining serious and more popular presentations, and a few popular journals, it is difficult to understand how he expects to influence specialist academics in ancient history.

Conference papers can be subject to nominal/superficial reviewing. The process of peer-review can be quite flexible. The tradition of peer-reviewed journal articles allows for major revisions and second-round reviews. Conference papers are generally related to talk abstracts. When there is a proceedings volume it is possible that other participants who didn't give talks are invited to submit papers. Whether conference papers can be counted as publications remains somewhat controversial. For academics it is generally proposed that conference papers not be considered publications. Unpublished conference presentations are simply papers that have been presented in a conference. They are not publications. Many researchers follow up their truncated conference presentation by publishing a more detailed version in a peer-reviewed journal. The peer-review process is key. Conference papers are not necessarily presented in the presence of experts in the field. A poster presentation, at a congress or conference with an academic or professional focus, is the presentation of (nominally) research information, usually not peer-reviewed work, in the form of a paper poster that conference participants may view. A poster is not endorsed, just accepted. Acceptance of a talk (oral presentation) isn't an endorsement either (except in some disciplines like Computer Science where giving a talk is conditioned on successful peer review of a paper). Peer review involves subjecting an author's article submitted for publication to the scrutiny of experts in the particular field to check its validity and evaluate its suitability for publication. The peer-review process is a central component of academic research. A competent peer review process assists a publisher to decide whether an article should be accepted. Good peer reviewers make specific, useful comments on the article's presentation and pitfalls. Incompetent refereeing behaviour, and the use of referees who lack expertise in the particular field, adversely affects the quality of essays accepted for publication. Manuscripts may be reviewed by one to five referees. Bad referees quickly skim over an essay. Referees make recommendations. The editor/editorial board decides whether or not to accept an article for publication. Books do not go through the refereeing process. During 2011 to 2013 Latura had multiple articles published in Coin News Numismatic Monthly and The Celator Numismatic Monthly (defunct since 2012, consisted of only an editor). I cannot find any mention of a refereeing process for either journal. My understanding is The Celator was not considered a serious academic journal.


Ten examples should suffice to demonstrate the highly speculative approach and low historical accuracy that Latura is reliant upon. (Identification of essay details has been done as best able with the sometimes cryptic information given.) Though Latura makes claims with total confidence nothing suggests a shrewd analysis. Conclusions/proof needs to be based on suitable standards of evidence, not on speculation. Mostly, his claims/assertions are not based on anything that be described as evidence. In a number of his essays it is indicated that Latura has used 'cut and paste' to bring together a series of snippets from texts, out of context, and spread over some 1500 years. The result is a jumble. Treating this time span as a coherent unit creates issues of relatedness. (It becomes too time consuming (and time wasting) to point out all of Latura's speculations and errors.)

Category Title Refereed? Examples of Speculations (and Speculations Involving Mistakes)
Article, The Celator numismatic monthly, June 2011. Celestial Symbols on Roman Standards. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. (1) Why would Roman legions carry at their forefront a representation of the Planets stacked along the ecliptic? Because savants of the time, neo-Pythagoreans (Nigidius Figulus, Cicero, Numenmius) as well as neo-Platonists (Porphyry, Iamblichus, Macrobius), taught that the departed soul ascended to the celestial abode through the planetary spheres. (2) This elite soteriology would be passed down to the Roman legions by the scions of the equestrian and senatorial orders, the traditional leaders of the Roman army. (3) Without doubt, the greatest glory and reward for a Roman warrior, should be die that day on the battlefield, would be to join the company of the heavenly gods. (4) With the crescent Moon at the bottom and a zodiacal sign at the top [of the military standard], there can be little doubt that the orbs in between also stand for celestial objects that travel along the ecliptic: the Planets that trace out the Zodiac itself. (5) The planetary stairway to heaven on the standards of Roman legions delivered the ultimate physical challenge and spiritual promise, one that could well have issued from the mouth of a Roman commander: "Courage men! We march into battle for fame, honor, and possibly, celestial immortality!" [What Latura believes are stars are in fact a decoration called phalerae (shining metal disks worn as a mark of distinction). Other decorations were crescents, laurel wreaths, mural crowns and other emblems representing the battle honours won by the unit. Animal totems could include bulls, boars, goats and were also used on military issue coins and brick stamps.]
Article, Coin News, February 2013. Constantine's True Vision: From Plato's Chi (X) to the Christian Chi Rho. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. (Note: It is not identifiable that this deemed 2013 'best article' was originally peer-reviewed. Nothing indicates the later award process mimics a peer-review. The 'award' is not an endorsement of the content. As yet I cannot find information regarding how the awards are judged. The article has numerous speculative statements. In his 'award' article Latura constantly fails to identify his speculations. Since its publication no professional study (or even popular study) has appeared supporting Latura's speculations.) (1) The planetary ladder to the heavens was carried at the forefront of legions on Roman standards, promising a heavenly afterlife to any soldier who might die that day in the field, a pledge that Constantine, in his role as emperor and highest priest, guaranteed to fulfill .... [Latura makes this claim in at least 2 other articles. Coin depictions of military standards were not standardised as Latura infers.] (2) Coin of Constantine with standards of the Roman army showing the planetary ladder to heaven. [The reverse is usually described as: The reverse shows two soldiers each holding a spear and shield with two standards between them.] (3) The celestial ladder can be seen on every Roman coin that sports a legionary standard with disks or circles that represent the Planets and their orbits ('Celestial Symbols on Roman Standards,' The Celator, June 2011). (4) Roman silver coin of Manlius (107b.c.) showing on the reverse the Sun in his quadriga [car or chariot drawn by four horses abreast], and the crescent moon and Plato's X in the sky. [Sol/Helios in facing quadriga rising from the waves of the sea, star on either side, X and crescent above. In the past a cross-bar X had been common.] (5) Coin of Constantine with standards of the Roman army showing the planetary ladder to heaven. (6) The celestial ladder can be seen on every Roman coin that sports a legionary standard with disks or circles that represent the Planets and their orbits ('Celestial Symbols on Roman Standards,' The Celator, June 2011). (7) Roman silver coin of Manlius (107b.c.) showing on the reverse the Sun in his quadriga, and the crescent moon and Plato's X in the sky. (8) Coin of Constantine, with Sol Invictus granting the Emperor command over the gates of heaven at the celestial X. (9) Constantine's genius led him to combine two ancient heavenly symbols in to one. Climbing up the ladder of the Planets, we arrive at the heavenly intersection that had appeared on Roman coins for centuries. By the addition of a vertical crossbar, Plato's celestial X is transformed into the Christian Chi Rho .... (10) Coin of Delmatius, junior emperor under Constantine, with the planetary ladder leading up to the heavenly gate marked by the Cho Rho (336 A.D.) [A coin issued after the weight reduction that occurred near the end of the life of Constantine I (and continued after his death). Coins of the reduced weight standard are designated by the loss of one standard from the reverse. This late example shows that one standard decorated on the top with the Christian symbol Chi-Rho.] (11) Coin of Constantius II, with the emperor holding standards with the planetary ladder and the ChiRo (sic) at the top. [The reverse shows the military standard first adopted by Emperor Constantine containing the Chi-Rho (the first 2 letters of Christ.] (12) Coin of Constantius the II with the emperor carrying the labrarum (a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol and a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek - Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ)) with the Chi Ro (sic) under the legend, "Hoc Signo Victor Eris". - the planetary symbols along the shaft have disappeared. [Note: Coins not identified as Latura's private collection, museum collection, or published catalogue. All supposed identifications are indicated as Latura's own speculations, but not indicated as such by Latura. It is indicated that Latura is an amateur coin collector without any professional/academic knowledge of antique Greek/Roman coins. It is not indicated that he has held any professional/academic position with antique Greek/Roman coins. I have not seen any indication that he has sought the assistance/opinions of people possessing a professional knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman coins. Latura does not discuss the history of Roman knowledge of the planets. [The Roman poet] Ovid [first century BCE] explains the contrast between Greek astronomical knowledge and Roman military practice (F[asti]. 3. 99-112; 1. 29-30. Romans had not yet gained astronomical knowledge from conquest of Greek (101-2) .... Ignorant of heavens (sidera libera, inobservata, 111), early Romans did not consider astral signa divine (113), but instead worshipped signa, military standards (112). (Desiring Rome by Richard King (2006, Page 164).) It is essential that anyone discussing the Xi Rho consults in depth: The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins by Larry Hurtado (2006), to avoid speculative fantasy. Also, "Archaeology and Agendas: Reflections on Late Antique Jewish Art and Early Christian Art" by Jas Elsner ( JRS, 2003); "Ancient Viewing and Modern Art History" by Jas Elsner (Mètis, 1998); Life Death and Representation-Some New Work on Roman Sarcophagi by J. Huskinson (2010); "The Staurogram in Early Christian Manuscripts" by Larry Hurtado (in New Testament Manuscripts edited by Thomas Kraus and Tobias Nicklas, 2006); and "Archaeologies and Agendas: Jewish and Early Christian Art in Late Antiquity" by Jas Elsner (JRS, 2003).]
Presentation to INSAP VIII 2013 Conference. Published 2015 in Conference Proceedings. Eternal Rome: Guardian of the Heavenly Gates. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. The title is hyperbole. (1) Once the Roman emperor discarded the title Pontifex Maximus, the bishop of Rome picked it up and placed it above his own head, as can be seen on coins and medals of the Vatican to this day. In Jubilee years, the Pope knocks down the brick wall that has kept closed the Holy Door for a generation, a ceremony that reaffirms Rome's control of the celestial gates. [In a posting to Hastro-L, Latura equates the heavenly gates of Roman paganism with the Pope, with a silver hammer, ceremoniously knocking down the brick wall that is sealing the door closed and opening the Holy Door or 'Porta Sancta' to the Basilica of St. Peter in early December 2015 (December 8). However, the Pope opening the Holy Door to the Basilica of St. Peter is without any connection to the concept of the pagan heavenly gates. To imply otherwise is simply misleading. The Pope's adoption of the pre-Christian Roman title Pontifex Maximus is simply not used in a pagan context. The assumption of the pre-Christian title does not mean the assumption of any previous pre-Christian attributes. The Pope is not perpetuating any aspect of pre-Christian astral beliefs. (The Pope has never led the worship of Sol Invictus.) The reason why the Pope is referred to as the "Pontifex Maximus" or "Supreme Pontiff" today is not really because of any carry-over from paganism. It was not until the Roman Empire was split into two, West and East, with the Western Empire going to Emperor Gratian (circa 360/376/381 CE) that the Pope was given the title Pontifex Maximus.] (2) In A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins we learn that [Roman army] "standards were decorated with a variety of objects on their shafts. Paterae, phalerae, crescent, and circles (perhaps lunar and solar symbols) ...." (3) The history of standards, as seen on the coins of Rome, suggests a celestial connection.
Summary/Abstract of Presentation to SEAC, 2014 Conference, Malta. Celestial Ladders & Intersections Across Continents/Millennia. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. (Read by Sepp Rothwangl in absence of George Latura.) (1) In On the True Doctrine, the Hellenistic philosopher Celsus set out to refute Christian soteriology, and there he described the celestial ladder of the Planets that revolve along the ecliptic, as taught by the popular cult of Mithras. [The lack of data is one of the great problems with any attempt to study the ancient mystery religions/cults. Imitations resulting in transformations/distortions are not examined unless by expert academics. The Mithraic ladder is one example. Latura simply follows the generally accepted belief that the Roman Mithraic cult had a celestial ladder within their eschatology. However, several modern scholars, Robert Turcan (2016) and Attilio Mastrocinque (2017), both experts on Roman Mithraism, pose problems with the held belief that the Roman Mithraic cult (the mysteries of Mithra) had a celestial ladder within their iconography and ritualism. "Several Gnostic sects adopted Mithraic terminology .... [B]oth pagan and Christian authors agreed in asserting that several Gnostic sects borrowed some doctrines from from Mithraism. The dependence of Gnostic features on Mithraism spread from the Flavian period whereas the Christian Gnostic sects are documented from the Trajanic and Hadrianic periods on. In the 2nd century CE some Christian Gnostic sects imitated the Mithraic mysteries and created a kind of symbolic ladder with seven rungs, a ladder which was thought to lead to the kingdom of the heavens. ... The Gnostics thought that the ladder was a way for the individual soul to reach Paradise, whereas Mithraism would probably have had different ideas. ... This passage from Celsus [Celsus, apud Origen, Contra Celsum VI.23-30.] influenced the interpretation of a mosaic from the Mithraeum of Felicissimus at Ostia (2nd century CE), where a ladder has been identified, even though it is a simple arrangement of seven square panels with two large black stripes on the lateral sides. To conclude: we think that some doubts can be put forwards about the Mithraic ladder, because it is possible that it was, instead, a seven-branched or four-branched tree, but we can express no more than a doubt about this. ... Other doubts and perplexities have been expressed by R. Turcan ...." (The Mysteries of Mithra by Attilio Mastrocinque (2017).) See further: Page 11-17, Appendix 3: The Mithraic Ladder a Fiction? Another problem: According to the Mithraic scholar Roger Beck, the order in which initiates ascend the Mithraic grades does not correspond to any of the planetary orders in common use in antiquity. The only evidence to the contrary is in the scenes on the Mainz ritual vessel. The pottery vessel was recovered in 1976 from a mithraeum. The scenes are molded onto the sides of the vessel.]
Abstract of INSAP IX 2015 Presentation, London. Paper to appear in INSAP IX Proceedings. (Not published, clarification needed.) Zodiacal Light: Forgotten for a Thousand Years. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. (1) The earliest Pyramid Texts describe a ladder to the sky assembled by the Sun for the Pharaoh, best explained as the zodiacal light .... (2) In 'Stargazing in Ancient Egypt,' Patricia Blackwell [,] Gary and Richard Talcott suggest that the triangular shape of the Egyptian pyramids that promised a celestial ascent was inspired by the appearance of the zodiacal light. (3) The paper 'Plato's X & Hekate's Crossroads: Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of Eleusis' (Latura, SEAC 2013 Proceedings) posits that the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries, celebrated for centuries at opposite seasons of the year, align with the zodiacal light that is best seen in temperate zones, at the equinoxes. (4) Once Theodosius shut down the Mysteries in 392 AD, the zodiacal light disappeared from the Western mind until Kepler and Cassini re-discovered it in the 1600s. [I remain curious about what may have gone unrecorded/undocumented or have become lost. The so-called 'Dark Ages' = paucity of written records.]
Presentation to INSAP IX 2015 Conference, London. Published 2018 in Conference Proceedings. The Zodiacal Light and its Use in Cultic Practice. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. Latura states the essay was refereed. (1) Its [zodiacal light] close link to the equinox, which has been connected to cultic practice over millennia, suggests that the zodiacal light had the potential to have been likewise employed in ancient cultic practice. (2) The zodiacal light appears to have been known in Islam since the time of Muhammad .... (3) Awareness of the zodiacal light in Islam seems to have been viewed not as astronomical knowledge but as part of cultic practice. (4) The equinox does appear in cultic context over millennia and across continents, which suggests that the zodiacal light that is closely linked to the equinox has the opportunity for similar usage in cultic practice. (5) If the bus carrying the SEAC delegates to the Mnajdra equinox sunrise had arrived ninety minutes earlier, they might have witnessed (depending on light pollution) another amazing sight: the zodiacal light that foretells the fall equinox sunrise - illustrating the close relationship between these two celestial apparitions. [To whom ...?] (6) Mesoamerica seemed to have likewise recognized the cultic power of an equinox astronomical alignment. (7) The use of the equinox in cultic practice has also been proposed in Ulansey's identification of the two attendants at the Mithraic tauroctony with the equinoxes. The intersecting legs of Cautes and Cautopates suggest to these authors the intersections of the ecliptic and the celestial equator that indicated the equinoxes. (8) Beck likewise interprets the layout of a mithraeum in equinoctial terms. (9) With the cult of Mithras carried by Roman legions from Syrian Dura-Europos to the British Isles, the equinox was apparently used in cultic practice across the Roman Empire. (10) The equinox therefore appears to have been used in cultic practice over thousands of years and thousands of miles. (11) The close connection between the equinoxes and the zodiacal light suggests that potential exists for cultic usage of the celestial light that precedes the autumnal equinox sunrise, and follows the vernal equinox sunset, by about an hour in temperate zones. (12) Various authors have also proposed links between the zodiacal light and cultic practice in the ancient world. (13) Another hypothesis that connects the zodiacal light to cultic practice proposed that the Mysteries of Eleusis held near Athens for a thousand years had an astronomical link to that celestial sight. [Latura is referring to his SEAC 2013 conference presentation.] (14) The Lesser Mysteries of Eleusis were held in spring in preparation for the Greater Mysteries that were celebrated in the fall, the two opposite equinoctial seasons when the zodiacal light is best witnessed. [So ...? Suggestion is not connection.] (15) Boutsikas and Ruggles suggested that the Mysteries had an astronomical component. [This is somewhat distortive. Further, Boutsikas and Ruggles have never given their support to how Latura chooses to use their ideas.] (16) Since the ethereal glow of the zodiacal light along the ecliptic is best seen in temperate zones at a specific time of the night - at a particular time of the year - it would seem well suited to religious ritual and recurrent cultic festivals. (17) Likely links to the cultic aspect of the equinoxes have been located in ancient Malta, in the British Isles, in the cult of Mithras across the Roman Empire, and in Mesoamerican Maya and Aztec rituals, a seasonal solar event that seems to have been connected to cultic practice over millennia. (18) The close temporal spacing - about an hour - between the best sighting of of the zodiacal light and the autumnal equinox sunrise (or the vernal equinox sunset) suggests a potential for use of the zodiacal light in cultic practice inspired by astronomical phenomena. [(5) and (14) are in a slightly different category to speculation. The article is a 'conjecture fest.' No conclusions are reached. No corroborative evidence is presented. Simply, there is no conclusive evidentiary justification for the essay title. Irrelevant examples used by Latura in support of the zodiacal light in Eleusinian ceremonies: (1) Another hypothesis that connects the zodiacal light to cultic practice proposed that the Mysteries of Eleusis held near Athens for a thousand years had an astronomical link to that celestial sight. [Note: Latura is referring to his SEAC 2013 conference presentation.] (2) Boutsikas and Ruggles suggested that the Mysteries had an astronomical component. [Note: This misrepresents what is actually stated about Greek temple astronomy by these authors. The authors had no evidence to establish this idea and never mentioned the zodiacal light.] Latura's methodology is little else than speculation. The essay, like others he writes, adds nothing of historical value. Evidence is the building block of the research process. (Note: Corroborative evidence may be fallible.) A garnered assembly of mostly dissociated 'bit and pieces.' There is no speculative historical reconstruction. There is simply a series of speculations. Speculation is used to tie disparate ideas together. Latura's main research technique seems to consist of 'cherry picking' sources. No evidence is offered to suggest that interest in the equinoxes also means interest in the zodiacal light. Nothing suggests that the zodiacal light is the common factor of interest across thousands of years (and across continents). The issues of orientation (accidental) and alignment (deliberate) are not discussed by Latura. Talking/writing about the equinoxes is not equivalent to a discussion of the relevance of the zodiacal light. Also, no attempt is made to exclude other nocturnal sky phenomena. Why the orientation of a large stone structure is thought necessary/required to mark where the zodiacal light (favourably) occurs is not explained. The example given of the temple at Mnajdra, Malta is hardly satisfactory. There is little archaeological evidence to determine the precise use of monuments that are called 'temples.' But a sun alignment at the winter solstice is indicted at Mnajdra. Almost all the monuments on Malta have their entrances facing between southeast and southwest. Nothing in the article's content suggests cultic use as suggested by the title. (Islam is not a cult - far too big for the usual definition of cult. A "Depends on how you define cult." approach is not merited. A cult is usually a small group whose religious attention is directed towards a particular figure.) There is no establishment or explanation of cultic use, merely speculation of an association. Speculation is offered as evidence. Latura is making an interpretation that is consistent with 'his theories,' but not supportive. The zodiacal light is neither indicated nor necessary to explain the Eleusinian mysteries. An idiosyncratic interpretation of history is a fragile foundation for justifying a new history. Also, Latura obviously contends that we need look no further than 'his theories.' But Latura's claims have no solid basis. The importance of relevant, credible evidence having 'compelling weight' and the concept of 'burden of proof' are indicated as flexible ideas with some persons.]
Abstract of ND XII 2015 Biennial History of Astronomy Workshop Presentation, Notre Dame University. Zodiacal Light: Lost to the West for 1200 Years. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to brief assessment. (1) Although "scientifically, it seems fair to leave the credit for the discovery of the zodiacal light to Cassini ..." ... it seems far-fetched to think that no one has ever noticed this celestial phenomena before the 1600s. (2) With the zodiacal light commonly known in the Muslim world from the time of Muhammad (c. 620 AD), a link to earlier times seems not unlikely. (3) Already in the first Egyptian Pyramid texts (c. 2300 BC), a ladder to the sky is assembled for the Pharaoh by the Sun ... best explained as the zodiacal light .... (4) In Astronomica (Book I, 666-683), the Roman writer Manilius claimed that the path of the planets is brightly visible to the human eye, which is true only if you know where to look for the zodiacal light. (5) The Greek Mysteries of Eleusis that endured for a thousand years celebrated the Lesser Mysteries in spring and the Greater Mysteries in fall, coinciding with the zodiacal light .... (6) The all-night vigil of the Greater Mysteries suggests that initiates would witness the zodiacal light that envelops planets along the ecliptic like a stairway to heaven (Latura, Proceedings SEAC Conference). (7) Once the long-declining Mysteries were shut down on the authority of Theodosius in 392 AD, the zodiacal light disappeared from Western memory until Cassini and others 'discovered' it a millennium later. [There is no such entity as 'Western memory.']
Abstract of SEAC 2015 Presentation, Rome. Publication not indicated. Eleusis, Kykeon & Zodiacal Light: Synergy of Ritual, Chemistry & Astronomy. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. (1) The astronomical event that aligns with the Eleusinian Mysteries is the zodiacal light .... revealing the shining road to the heavens (Latura, Proceedings SEAC 2013 Conference). (2) What might help neophytes to witness this ethereal sight? That would be the barley-infused beverage ("I drank the kykeon ...") that according to Hofmann was psychotropic .... (3) Demeter ... was also a psychopomp .... She also revealed the path to heaven along the zodiacal light, with a little help from the kykeon. [Latura's sole argument (not to be confused as evidence) for the zodiacal light as part of the Eleusinian festival is the scheduling of the festival at the spring equinox: equinoxes (both spring and fall/autumn) = well suited to sighting of zodiacal light. Latura's imagined nocturnal event involving the zodiacal light is at odds with the reconstructed day-by-day outline of events of the Eleusinian mysteries. See: "The sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis." by Kevin Clinton (1993). In: Greek Sanctuaries: New Approaches edited by Nanno Marinatos and Robin Hägg. (Pages 88-98, Pages 92-93).
Abstract submitted for SEAC 2016 Conference, Bath Planets & Roman Standards. Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. Not indicated a published in conference proceedings. (1) But the breastplate of the statue Augustus found in Prima Porta in 1863 suggests a celestial connection, and in 'A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins' (1990), Jones proposed that the crescents and circles along the vertical pole of the signum are "perhaps lunar and solar symbols." (2) If Jupiter, Sol and Luna might be seen on Roman military standards, what could the other circular objects along the shaft of the standards signify? (3) Though written evidence for the Planetary meaning of the Roman signum has apparently disappeared, visible and tangible evidence survives on Roman coins suggesting that the legionary standards symbolized the Planetary gods. [According to Latura, once again using speculation (including the supposed existence and loss of written evidence), the standards carried at the forefront of legions bore crescents and orbs or circles that stood for the Planets. A standard is a long pole with badges or flags on. "A peculiar characteristic of the Roman army is the immense symbolic importance of the signa, the ensigns. Standards and flags played an outstanding role in both the everyday and the cultic lives of the troops. They were omnipresent at all rituals - the service oath was taken before them, sacrifices were made in their presence, and parades were led by them. The signa were symbols of the regimental spirit and fulcra of regimental pride. The stands bore on their shafts the name of the regiment and the decorations it had been awarded by the emperor in the course of its service." (A Companion to the Roman Army edited by Paul Erdkamp, (2007, Page 457).) "Another kind of principal "coat of arms" the regiments bore were the so-called animal-emblems. The exact meaning of symbols such as Capricorn, Pegasus, the boar, or the ram, is not clear." (A Companion to the Roman Army edited by Paul Erdkamp, (2007, Page 458).) "Marius [Gaius Marius, Roman general who implemented military reorganisation] is also credited with making the eagle (aquila) the legion's chief standard, and a focus for loyalty and affection. Our source, the Elder Pliny, place adoption of the eagle precisely in 104 [BCE], at the start of preparations for the northern wars. He notes that the legion hitherto had had a variety of standards - the eagle (which had always had the first place), the wolf, the minotaur (a man-headed bull), the horse and the boar, and that all had been carried in front of different elements in the legion. Marius is stated to have given preeminence to the eagle and to have abolished the others. All five standards were animal totems, reflecting the religious beliefs of an agricultural society." (The Making of the Roman Army from Republic to Empire by Lawrence Keppie (1984, Page 46).) "The cult of the standards was the primary cult used to instill loyalty to the unit, the state and the ruling dynasty." (Soldiering for God: Christianity and the Roman Army by John Shean (Page 44).) "The practice of mixing religious and military imagery on the standards would suggest that Constantine's decision to add the chi-rho to his army standards had many precedents.) (Soldiering for God: Christianity and the Roman Army by John Shean (Page 49).) "The various standards carried by Roman armies were not simply for show, nor were they purely utilitarian symbols to mark a rallying point in battle, or honorific emblems representing tradition or unit pride. In fact, each unit's standards were venerated a deities that encapsulated the very spirit of the unit itself. It is no wonder that the loss or destruction of the standards was considered shameful and brought disgrace on the men, on the unit, and on Rome herself." ("The Cult of the Standards in the Roman army." by Duncan Campbell (Ancient Warfare, Pages 34-39, Page 34).) "The primary role of the signum was to create feelings of 'brotherhood' within the smaller units of a legion, essential for cohesion and success in battle." ("The military standards of the Roman legions." by Jessica Billing (Ancient Warfare, Pages 41-45, Page 45).) In addition to the standard-bearer's practical function as a reference and rallying point for the various companies ... they served a largely exhortative role, encouraging the men to fight for the glory of their Caesar and Rome." (Jupiter's Legacy by Justin Hayes, 2014, Senior Thesis, Vassar College, Page 13).)]
Abstract of SEAC 2016 Presentation, Bath. Presentation indicated but not certain, publication in proceedings rejected. Monotheism vs Planets: Thousand-Year War on Astronomy. [Note: Latura is a strong (but poorly informed) foe of Roman Catholicism and this influences his view of history. Christianity with its inheritance of Iranian entities is hardly monotheistic. The science versus religion conflict model is an over simplification that fails to recognise the fostering and support given to scientific endeavour by the Catholic Church. Being a Huxleyite warrior in the 21st-century is to ignore serious historical scholarship and retain and promote ideas that remain in the Victorian era. It is surprising that this type of amateur essay of no value as history was considered for presentation. There is nothing new, or valid with its thesis, and nothing astute regarding its discussion.] Not identifiable as refereed, perhaps subject to a brief assessment. Attention was given to the paper. The title is hyperbole. (1) Once the Theodosian edicts went into effect, religious zealotry spread across the Empire: "The burning of books was part of the advent and imposition of Christianity. ..." [Dirk Rohmann (Department of History, University of Sheffield), in the 6th chapter ("Destruction of Libraries") of his book, Christianity, Book-Burning and Censorship in Late Antiquity: Studies in Text Transmission (2016), comes to the conclusion that targeted actions against libraries were the exception. Other conclusions by Dirk Rohmann: Some of the earliest book burnings were arranged or supported by state authorities; the emphasis being on the persecution of Christians. The Christian perception that Diocletian's persecution of Christians was driven by philosophers led to a greater willingness by Christians to use similar means against pagans. Censorship laws as a means of greater control were introduced by the Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305 CE) and the Roman Emperor Julian (361-363 CE), and this approach was introduced into Church legislation. The destruction of magic books did not occur for reasons of censorship but rather it was supposed to destroy suspected demonic powers. The hard legislation of the Theodosian dynasty (392-457 CE) is little evidence for actual book destruction. The state authorities did not conduct any systematic research regarding books. There were cases in which Christian groups destroyed literary works of their own accord. However, clerics did so independently with denunciation playing an important role. Most often it was not religious in its motivation but rather socially, economically or personally motivated.] (2) From the book burnings at the end of the Roman Empire to the book burnings on Mesoamerica, the war on astronomical knowledge lasted more than a millennium. [Regarding the destruction of Maya codices: Most of the Maya codices in 16th-century Yucatán at the time of the Spanish conquest were destroyed by both the activities of the Conquistadors (military) and Franciscan priests. The Franciscan Order was given authority for the evangelisation of Yucatán. In particular, many in Yucatán were ordered destroyed by Diego de Landa Calderón, whose activities continued for many years. Early Franciscan missionaries to Yucatán - a group comprising some 15 to 20 friars - over a protracted period of time burned nearly all of the Maya's written records in an effort to eradicate their religion - not to specifically eradicate their astronomy. Not all codices contained astronomy. (Codex = singular; codices = plural.) Also, Spanish soldiers destroyed many documents and archives. Often this was done for military reasons - to demoralise the indigenous fighters opposing them. (Practical considerations of wealth, power, and privilege was an underlying cause for the military conflict waged by the Spaniards against the Maya.) Destruction also included ritual/sacred implements and clothing. During the main period of Maya book destruction the fanatical priest Diego de Landa Calderón (1524-1579) was a Spanish monk and later bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Yucatán. (The last codices destroyed were those of Tayasal, Guatemala in 1697.) It was apparently the actions of Diego de Landa Calderón that destroyed much the Maya civilization's history, literature, and traditions. When the Maya made the mistake of taking him into their confidence and showing him some of their sacred codices, Diego de Landa Calderón concluded that their writings were "nothing more than superstition and lies of the devil," and decided that, if the Indians were to become true Christians, all such profanity/sacrilege must be destroyed. It is indicated that a "trigger" was the realisation by the Franciscans of the incorporation of Christian elements into traditional Maya rituals. This caused the Franciscan missionaries great concern. Lewis Spence The Myths of Mexico and Peru (1913) explains that the Maya texts were destroyed because of priestly fanaticism based on the belief that the texts were "inventions of the father of evil [Devil]" in depicting scenes of human sacrifice. (The Maya do not seem to have practiced - as the Aztecs did - ritual cannibalism.) After hearing of Roman Catholic Maya who continued to practice idol worship, he (illegally) ordered an Inquisition in Mani, ending with a ceremony called auto de fé. During the ceremony on July 12, 1562, a disputed number of Maya codices (according to Diego de Landa Calderón, 27 books, but other sources give much higher figures i.e., 40 books) and approximately 5000 (but also estimated to be 20,000) Maya cult images were burned. Overall, thousands of Maya codices were destroyed. He also had many of the Indian leaders severely (physically) punished (i.e., by several forms of torture and also flogging). (The Spanish Crown had decisively ruled that Indians could not be subject to the Inquisition or be enslaved.) Diego de Landa Calderón's heavy-handed behaviour was strongly condemned as being both excessive and illegal. Francisco de Toral, newly arrived in 1563, was so revulsed by Diego de Landa Calderón's actions that he halted the proceedings and reversed many of the sentences that had been meted out. Diego de Landa Calderón presided over the arrest and torture of over 4000 Maya (200 of them tortured to death) in a campaign against "idolatry." The focus was on eliminating idolatry. The result was a prolonged power struggle between Francisco de Toral and Diego de Landa Calderón. After many years it was eventually won by Diego de Landa Calderón. Diego de Landa Calderón was sent back to Spain by Bishop Francisco de Toral, to stand trial for conducting an illegal Inquisition. (Lorenzo de Bienvenido, a pioneer in the Yucatán mission field, also formally denounced the activities of his Franciscan colleagues.) His actions were strongly condemned before the Council of the Indies. Probably because they were sent out of Mesoamerica to Europe before the inquisitorial destruction, three codices and possibly a fragment of a fourth, survived. Diego de Landa Calderón sought to learn as much as he could of native culture. He immersed himself in the study of their language and customs. The writings of Diego de Landa Calderón contain invaluable ethnographic information on pre-Columbian Maya civilization. and his actions. (See his: Relacion de Yucatán.) Francisco de Toral, O.F.M. (1502–1571) was a Franciscan missionary in New Spain, and the first Bishop of Yucatán. Francisco de Toral was ordained a priest in the Order of Friars Minor. In 1561, Francisco de Toral was appointed by Pope Pius IV the first bishop of the Diocese of Yucatán. As part of his effort to Christianize the Indians of New Spain, Toral learned to speak the Nahuatl and Popoloca languages, and compiled a dictionary and grammar of the latter. He also charged Bernardino de Sahagún with the creation of the Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España. In Yucatán he led an investigation into the alleged abuses of the Maya by Diego de Landa Calderón. Diego de Landa Calderón would eventually be acquitted, and in 1573 followed Francisco de Toral as Bishop of Yucatán. Diego de Landa Calderón travelled extensively in Central America. Diego de Landa Calderón made "visitations" throughout what today are the states of Yucatan in the north and Campeche in the west, as well as an incursion into adjacent Tabasco. Everywhere his goal was the same: not only to uncover as many "idolaters" as possible and to destroy as many of their cult objects and writings as he could find, but also to punish them as severely as he dared. The Franciscan scholar and ethnographer Antonio de Ciudad Real (1581-1631), writing in 1588, lamented the destruction and loss of knowledge. The Franciscan historian Bernardo de Lizana (1551-1617), writing circa 1630, shared the sentiments expressed by Antonio de Ciudad Real. The Spanish historian and Dominican missionary Father Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474 or 1484-1566) lamented that when found, such books were destroyed: "These books were seen by our clergy, and even I saw part of those which were burned by the monks, apparently because they thought [they] might harm the Indians in matters concerning religion, since at that time they were at the beginning of their conversion." There is no evidence that the codices were destroyed primarily because of their astronomical content. A lot of the particular content would have remained unknown to the Franciscans involved in their destruction. The codices were primary written records of Maya civilization, embracing a range of topics (including history). The Spanish lawyer/judge, Alonso de Zorita (circa 1511-1585) wrote that in 1540 he saw numerous such books in the Guatemalan highlands which "recorded their history for more than eight hundred years back, and which were interpreted for me by very ancient Indians." The last Maya codices destroyed were those of Nojpetén (Tayasal), Guatemala in 1697, the last city conquered in the Americas. In total, approximately 15 Mesoamerican codices remain in existence. Not all are considered pre-Columbian. The differing attitudes and actions of the Franciscans demonstrate that a policy to suppress astronomy was not existent.] (3) In Europe, Copernicus was afraid to publish his central work until just before his death in 1542. With good reason, it turned out, as Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600, mostly for his belief in the multiplicity of worlds (Martinez, 2014). And the Inquisition condemned Galileo to house arrest until his death in 1642, for deductions that supported the heliocentric (sic) hypothesis of Copernicus and observations of the multiple satellites of Jupiter, king of the pagan gods. [See: Essay Thirty (30): The Roman Catholic Church and Astronomy in the Middle Ages: Some Notes on Facts and Fallacies. Latura's evidenceless claim (Hastro-L, 4 September, 2017) that "the Church ... shut down related scientific inquiry for centuries in medieval Latin Europe" does not abide with actual history for a number of reasons. For a good starting point see: "Science and the Medieval Church." by David Lindberg. In: The Cambridge History of Science. Volume 2. Medieval Science edited by David Lindberg and Michael Shank (2013, Pages 268-285). Latura's article title is misleading. My Hastro-L reply to Latura: "Brassens is making simplistic and inaccurate generalisations from some Greco-Roman (East Mediterranean) gods/goddesses. Also, Christianity with its inheritance of Iranian entities is hardly monotheistic. The lengthy political persecution of paganism is seen as ensuring its demise. (Syncretism was also an interesting force.) Regarding the assumption of planetary gods/goddesses in early Near Eastern cultures, with the example of the astral associations of Inanna/ Ištar. Inanna was associated with (1) the planet Venus, and (2) the constellation Anunītu (the eastern fish of the later zodiacal constellation Pisces), and (3) Ištar was associated with the 7 stars of the circumpolar Margidda (Wagon) constellation (= Ursa Major/'Big Dipper'). The eminent assyriologist Francesca Rochberg believes that Mesopotamian religion was not astral in nature. Rather, an astronomical body (i.e., sun, moon, planet, star, constellation) might represent a specific god/goddess, but astronomical bodies themselves did not have a god/goddess-like status. (See: Rochberg, Francesca. (2009). "The Stars Their Likenesses." In: Porter, Barbara. (Editor). What Is a God? (Pages 41-91).) However, the astronomical aspect of Inanna is somewhat ambiguous. During the Ur III period the heliacal settings of the planet Venus were marked by the festivals of Nanaya and Anunnitum (Sauren). The German assyriologist Wolfgang Heimpel wrote that when and how the link between the planet Venus and Inanna was made cannot now be ascertained; it is prehistorical (i.e., prior to written records). Apart from these astronomical examples the identity of Inanna takes other forms of imagery such as torch (as Venus in the night sky she 'flared as a living torch'), dragon, snake, lion, bird (hawk), and rainbow."]

See: (The Roman Catholic Church and Astronomy in the Middle Ages: Some Notes on Facts and Fallacies) for Latura's general (and somewhat unclear) claim that the Milky Way was demonised during the Middle Ages.

An analysis of Latura's claims shows they are founded upon facts, supposed facts and speculations. In the face of inadequate historical evidence it is best to suspend judgment rather than to jump to conclusions. For some historical issues no definitive explanations can be expected. Whether a claim is a plausible scenario is not the issue. This tells us nothing. The issue is whether there is legitimate evidence for a claim being a plausible scenario. If we believe something we need to believe it for a reason. Believing something despite lacking supportive evidence is baseless 'knowledge.' Ideally referees are concerned with upholding the the quality of the journal. However, they may be less concerned than the journal's editor with the quality of the journal.


A falsehood established on Hastro-L and eagerly repeated by Latura is "I have not published anything."/"I have yet to publish anything." Apparently I too must establish myself within the category of amateur historians. But having no training in any relevant discipline makes this simply dubious. Also, why I should necessarily feel obliged to compete with professional, specialist historians/scholars is not explained. Not stated by pet theory advocates is their advice on what I should publish on, and where. What is being set out is their belief that it is proper to acknowledge that amateur historians like themselves have a productive place in establishing an accurate version of history, that can replace/aid the work of professional specialist scholars. My point is their essays are characterised by amateurish blunders and clumsy attempts to impose their ideas of history. They are not credible amateur historians. They misread evidence in the light of their own biases. However, what obviously counts is their own views of history, even when bolstered by exaggeration and unchecked imagination. They want to convince other people that their views are correct. All types of people/self-proclaimed historians now seek to influence our understanding of the past regardless of whether their narratives are accurate or not, and regardless of whether their narratives comprise a superficial understanding of the subject matter.


Miscellaneous issues as examples of Latura's concept of evidence:

(Example 1) George Latura wrote (Hastro-L, 4-December-2015):

"[snip] "The Mesoamerican Milky Way crocodile god that is killed finds parallel in Mesopotamian myth where Tiamat's corpse is flung into the heavens by Marduk (Jupiter)." [snip]"

I replied (Hastro-L, 5-December-2015):

"(1) In Mesoamerican creation mythology there is the sacrifice/killing of a crocodile/monster in order to create the earth and sky. (Palenque by Damien Marken (2007, Page 215.)

(2) Karen Bassie-Sweet (Maya Sacred Geography and the Creation Deities (2008/2014, "The Milky Way Crocodile" Pages 266-268) does mention that the god GI performed the "decapitation" of one or more crocodiles. She does not mention Marduk or Tiamat.

(3) The diffusionist John Sorenson (Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 195, December 2009) though claiming every sort of parallelism between Mesoamerica and the Old World is silent on this "correspondence."

(4) The claim of a Mesoamerican-Mesopotamian parallel is made by Graham Hancock in his 1995 book (Page 144), Fingerprints of the Gods. He has Quetzalcoatl = Marduk, and Cipactli = Tiamat.

(5) Hancock cites (a) Pre-Hispanic Gods of Mexico by Adela Fernandez (1992, Page 59), and (b) Aztecs by Inga Glendinnen (1995, Page 177).

(6) According to Inga Clendinnen (Page 251) in the Nahuatl version of the myth 2 sky gods, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca are said to have seized the limbs of the great Earth Monster (not specifically identified with a crocodile) as she swam in the primeval waters, and wrenched her body in half, one part forming the sky and the other part forming the earth. I have not yet seen the book by Adela Fernandez.

George, could you please provide minimal sources to establish the parallelism you claim."

No reply was made by George Latura.

(Example 2) Asked of Latura on Hastro-L: In your abstract you say that "The standards carried at the forefront of legions bore crescents and orbs or circles that stood for the Planets." Is there a source for this in the original Roman literature and is it discussed in any secondary sources?

Latura's response on Hastro-L: "Josephus writes that Roman troops offered sacrifice to their standards: "The Romans, now that the rebels had fled to the city, and the sanctuary itself and all around it were in flames, carried their standards into the temple court and, setting them up opposite the eastern gate, there sacrificed to them…" — The Jewish War, VI: 316. A footnote adds: Havercamp quotes Tertullian's Apology, xvi. "sed et Victoris adoratis… Religio Romanorum tota castrensis signa veneratur, signa jurat, signa omnibus diis praeponit." Sacrifice is made to the gods, and the primary gods of the Roman world were Jupiter Conservator, Sol Invictus, Mars Ultor, Venus Victrix, Luna Lucifera, etc., as can be seen on Roman coins over centuries. Roman soldiers did not risk their lives solely for the meager pay (a denarius a day, or 30 pieces of silver a month). Josephus describes Titus exhorting his troops with a celestial soteriology during the siege of Jerusalem: "For what brave man knows not that souls released from the flesh by the sword on the battlefield are hospitably welcomed by that purest of elements, the ether, and placed among the stars, and that as good genii and benignant heroes they manifest their presence to their posterity… — The Jewish War, VI: 47. Perhaps the best example of the Roman standard as celestial symbol is the breastplate of the statue of Augustus of Prima Porta: It shows a Parthian returning a standard to a Roman soldier. Along the pole sit circular/spherical objects, while at the top perches the eagle of Jupiter, king of the celestial gods, as the Parthian looks up to the heavenly gods above. That the Parthians held this Planetary soteriology has been pointed out by Ghirshman (Persian Art, 1962: 86) and Ingholt (Parthian Sculptures from Hatra, 1954:46), while Dirven connects Roman standards to similar Parthian symbols (Semeion, 'Smy, Signum: A Note on the Romanization of the Semitic Cultic Standard,; (sic) Parthica 7, 2005: 132). In On The True Doctrine, Celsus describes a Mithraic ascent through the Planetary ladder (trans. Hoffman, 1987: 95), a celestial ladder depicted on the mosaic path of the mithraeum of Felicissimus in Ostia. The Mithras cult was well known in the Roman army, and Celsus also describes celestial gates, which is relevant to the Holy Door being opened. Once the Parthians returned the standards, Augustus had them installed in the temple of Mars Ultor (Avenger), which he advertised widely on his coins, a diplomatic feat also shown on the Prima Porta statue. In A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (1990: 296), Jones describes the symbols along the vertical staff as 'crescents and circles' (perhaps lunar and solar symbols). Macrobius states that gates to the afterlife are located at the intersection of the Zodiac (path of the Planets) and the Milky Way (Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, Book I, xii:13), and he too describes the passage of the soul through the planetary orbits."

Questioners response on Hastro-L: "... The issue is not whether standards were ritual objects possessing sacred power but wither (sic) they include representations of sun, moon and planets, which you don't specify ...."

Latura's response on Hastro-L: "Standards often carry crescents which logically stand for the Moon. At times the personal symbol of Divus Augustus sits at the top of standards — Capricorn. The Moon and Capricorn are celestial symbols. What might the other circular symbols stand for? So much has been wiped away by intolerant monotheism that the symbolism of the polytheistic Roman world can stare us right in the face, yet we doubt what we see with our own eyes."

GDT on Hastro-L: "But see Divus Julius by Stefan Weinstock (1971, Pages 118-120) for a discussion of evidence why the personal symbol of Divus Julius at the top of standards - the bull - is not Taurus. We can easily assume too much if we value logic and deduction over evidence.

Latura's response on Hastro-L: "It may be claimed that the Roman standard as Planetary symbol is only a hypothesis, but plenty of contextual evidence survives to support this idea." [But Latura fails to provide this 'plentiful contextual evidence.' The wording "It may be claimed that the Roman standard as Planetary symbol is only a hypothesis ...." is somewhat ambiguous. Latura appears unwilling to concede that this is the case i.e., is only his idea. But most often in historical studies hypothesis and theory mean the same thing.]

(Example 3) Latura's errors/confusion with kudurrus is dealt with on Page 11-6. Much of this comes from his postings on Hastro-L.


Claims are not supported by hard evidence. Speculations simply proliferate throughout the essays/presentations (sometimes on almost every page). It is difficult to find merit in the essays. Speculation is 'press-ganged' in an effort to provide 'proof'' of what Latura wants to believe (and wants us to believe). Every erroneous conclusion that becomes influential is damaging to the subject matter. Latura's essays cannot be recommended.

Making fact-free claims is a problem. Fact-free history needs to get back to fact-based history. But apparently this would hinder the continuation of traditional multiple day events for SEAC, INSAP, and ND conferences.

Sometimes Latura is not exactly clear with his outbursts (fits of temper). On Hastro-L in late September 2017 Latura complained that Michael Rappenglück (President of the SEAC at the time) attacked his presentation on Plato's Cosmos at SEAC 2016, and also complained that his subsequent paper was "suppressed" from publication "without comments or possibility of revision," which Latura stated amounted to "censorship." (It appears that a referee rejected 2 of Latura's essays for publication in conference proceedings.) The exact nature of the supposed attack was not detailed by Latura in his protestation. It seems that Rappenglück may have made a remark critical of Latura's viewpoint (but this is not specifically stated by Latura in his protestation) or simply omitted, in a 14 minute talk, to make reference to Plato's Living Cosmos (which was specifically stated by Latura in his protestation). As part of his protestation/complaint, Latura referred to his 2 past SEAC presentations on Plato's Cosmos which were published in the proceeding of those conferences. In a very polite reply, Rappenglück made the point that the content his very short talk involved his decisions for content. It is interesting that Michael Rappenglück, a formally qualified academic, can read ancient Greek, something that Latura cannot. Apparently Rappenglück gave a presentation, for which he only had 14 minutes in which to do so, titled 'The World as a Living Entity: Essentials of a Cosmic Metaphor' in which he made no mention of Plato's World Soul in Timaeus.' Latura dismissed it as disingenuous to "claim that Plato's Living Cosmos could not be mentioned in a 15-minute talk." The fact that Latura has felt the need to point this out, in the context of what Latura believes and presents, seems to identify that some other issues may be present. Latura obviously wanted to claim a published paper. For academics it is debatable whether a conference paper is to be claimed as a published paper. For a non-academic this point is discarded. Also, what Rappenglück presents is not something to be controlled by Latura. The whole scenario is rather odd.

Latura obviously prefers to avoid debating 'his theories' and so-called evidence. There is no evidence of Latura engaging with critics in scholarly journals. Conference presentations and publication of presentations in conference proceedings has advantages. This strategy minimises the likelihood of any critical response. There is presently, and has been for years, an inability to engage Latura in a traditional academic manner. It is perhaps unlikely that a critique of Latura's claims ('his theories') would be accepted for presentation at a SEAC or similar conference or published in the conference proceedings. Latura does not have essays published in academic journals. It is unlikely that an academic journal would publish an 'orphan' critique of Latura's conference presentations. On Hastro-L, Latura simply attempts to derail any attempt to engage him in a debate regarding 'his theories.' Web site comments becomes the only solution.

Silence might be taken as an admission of the correctness of far-fetched claims. In his replies to Hastro-L, Latura readily employs personal invective in his incorrect and unfair statements. The tone of his postings show no restraint. Based on tone an editor of a journal would unlikely give approval for any published exchange and likely close any discussion.

Latura needs to explain his obsession with the necessity for hobbyist historians to publish in journals and proceedings that are accessible to amateurs and their imaginative ideas, and why he sees it as a requirement for other people to follow this obsession of his. If he is implying professionalism then he is mistaken. The simple fact is he is not presenting/publishing professional quality papers. He is presenting/publishing in mediums that accept amateur standards - as long as format standards are met. There are 2 aspects to Latura's conference presentations/papers. One is the issue of amateurs presenting papers at astronomy related conferences and then having them published in the conference proceedings. It is not simply a case of popular presentations/published papers being mixed with legitimate professional presentations/published papers. It is difficult to apply the description 'professional' to a number of astronomy related conferences/published papers. Presentations and the proceedings can not be readily described with the blanket term 'professional.' The presentations/papers need to be separated into 'professional' and 'popular,' with the reliability of popular presentations/published papers not being readily accepted. This is regardless of a claim for a referee process. Two important considerations are content and qualifications. Professional/scholarly presentations/papers are based on research by authorities/scholars in a particular field (= are not based on personal opinions). One aspect of a professional presentation/paper is that essentially it is a lot of facts connected together in a coherent narrative. Professional/academic presentations are essentially 'fact-heavy.' The purpose is to effectively inform readers. People without relevant qualifications and/or relevant practical experience who give presentations are really amateurs giving a popular presentation and any paper published in conference proceedings is a popular paper. A popular presentation/paper is identifiable by titles used that try and catch peoples' attention. A title may sound like a newspaper headline. Professional presentations/papers are by scholars/academics or a professional in the field. Latura's conference presentations/papers published in proceedings are not published in what can be deemed professional journals. Also, Latura is not an expert in the particular fields he chooses to become involved with. Popular presentations/papers included opinions (= speculations). Whether a presentation or paper is professional or popular, a transparent and open exchange necessarily involves critical assessment. This is something that a number of amateur contributors do not like.


Application by Latura to myself of the term 'self appointed critic' (stated on his own 'authority') to perhaps infer the concept of 'toxic behaviour' is an attempt to stereotype and create the impression of narrow-mindedness. (This sort of accusation can be made against every person who criticises Latura's ideas.) There is no position of self-appointed critic to be taken. Who would be an appointed critic? (Anyway, Latura acts as a self-appointed social commentator on Hastro-L.) No formal licence is required to share concerns regarding the quality of some posts on Hastro-L. Persistent posting to Hastro-L of highly dubious claims is, by some persons, not seen as an issue for concern; especially if the claims are appealing. (Maintaining academic standards on a academic list does not seem to be a consideration for some people.) I am not behaving unethically. Critical comments inform why there is resistance committing to the arguments and conclusions of others. Usually this is related to evidence-free argument or factual mistakes resulting in historical fiction able to be presented as possible fact. Heterodox views are not the issue. If my remarks on Latura's claims are uninformed or irrelevant then Latura should demonstrate why my remarks do not have legitimacy. Constructive comments regarding weaknesses in methodology and evidence surely should not be shunned. Reacting with use of ad hominem attacks and attempting to silence the source through attempts at embarrassment (i.e., putting the source on the defensive) is outside reasonable academic discussion. (But is scholarly readership really Latura's intention?) Another ludicrous concept introduced into Hastro-L by some posters who persistently post pseudo-history, is the concept that consistently questioning/critiquing the fantastic claims perpetually made by people promoting their pet theories is bullying. Personal attacks are not not part of the protocols for scientific discourse. Apparently people who repetitiously assert their pet theories - but are continually unable to substantiate them - are not to be contradicted (at least not more than once). Hastro-L is a history of astronomy discussion group. The discussion is dependent upon the nature of what is posted. I am not criticising people but aspects of their claims. The benefit of unsolicited free criticisms/corrections is one of the big advantages of Hastro-L. Also, I am not necessarily making a rebuttal. Anyone on the list has the opportunity to respond to a posting. This is nor necessarily bad behaviour. Criticisms/corrections are not "ad hominem smear tactics" and should not be reacted to with indignation as if they are. There is a requirement for peer critiques in the sciences and humanities. The present goal is to do good (accurate as possible) history of astronomy. It's difficult to do this when errors overlooked by a writer don't get flagged. It is not a rare thing for writers to resist criticisms and also to want to 'bury' criticisms. Latura's method of making confident assertions adopts a tone of infallibility. This is a vain expectation. (But revisions to his ideas do not really appear.) Once an essay has been published in some 'approved' publication it cannot be maintained that it therefore should be taken as truth. Numerous published essays are easily identifiable as containing numerous errors - both in methodology and evidence. The use of speculation as a substitute for facts is also an indicator of potential problems for reliability. People making errors in the essays they write can always follow up with further essays containing further errors.

To state a paper was refereed does not automatically give it the 'stamp of approval' regarding quality/reliability of content. It is used as a tactic to imply that reader criticism cannot be legitimate. It certainly does not cancel the need for the reader to be a critic. Foregoing critical thinking is certainly not a criteria for reading the paper. It is not offensive for professional scholars to be critical of refereed studies published by others.

John Stuart Mill wrote that any given opinion that someone expresses is either wholly true, partly true or false. Latura's ideas are not part of reasonable mainstream ideas that have the advantage of being established with critical use of relevant evidence. A conference presentation, journal article, or academic poster should have something worthwhile to present. Speculative content is a deficiency that disqualifies essays as serious academic contributions. Speculation is not a synonym for proof. Just because Latura claims to be making contributions it is no guarantee that he is contributing reliable historical claims. Exactly what are his contributions (not necessarily the same as claims made) and which expert academics support them? Latura needs to point these out. The final arbitration of reliable knowledge is determined by exchanges in professional journals by specialist academics, not in popular journals and conference presentations/proceedings. It is the responsibility of Latura to provide suitable evidence for his ideas. Latura's lack of evidence (= lack of merit) in support of his claims lays the foundation for questioning the concept of limiting discussion to an exchange of information (whatever is meant by information). Continuing discussion of ideas that cannot be established with evidence is not a demonstration of intellectual open-mindedness. It is a demonstration of wasted time and wasted attention. Research shows that repeatedly hearing assertions increases the likelihood of belief - even when the assertions are able to be shown to be false. Latura finding stable platforms for his ideas increases the likelihood that people will believe his ideas. The annual astronomy conferences/conference proceedings (such as SEAC and INSAP) and Hastro-L provide Latura with platform and prestige for constantly promoting his ideas. This can be identified in his postings to Hastro-L. He is claiming a right to an audience. Latura should not be allowed to set the terms of any discussion involving his participation. Conventional academic standards need to be applied. Allowing Latura to set the terms of any exchange with him regarding his ideas will enable him to be 'invincibly ignorant.' Unsupported speculations constantly repeated and treated with the same respect as informed views, if not suitably challenged, enables propaganda to survive alongside informed views. (In my opinion the SEAC and INSAP conferences exercise considerable latitude with historical nonsense. It can be readily that Latura decidedly lacks critique. His essays/presentations fail to secure a scholarly basis in methodology and evidence. He does not always readily distinguish between established facts and his speculations. His speculations are not always able to be readily connected with evidence-based history. Reconstructing the practices of the Eleusinian cult using speculation/speculative interpretations to substitute for paucity of evidence is without merit. He also lacks critique of objections to proposed to his historical solutions. Because of such issues his numerous speculations can be rejected. A point to be made is that speculations by veteran specialist academics are not to be readily dismissed.) Latura suggesting that as a retired hobby historian 'his theories' involving the zodiacal light is the solution to understanding aspects of ancient history that have taxed expert scholars is nothing but grandstanding. Latura projects himself as competent and experts as incompetent.

Some general remarks regarding amateur rubbish. Dividing between amateur historians and avocational historians (hobbyist historians). Hobbyist historians: Their activity is a pastime rather than a profession. Evidence of academic skill is most usually lacking. No new/genuine academic insights are offered. The term describing those persons who continually spend a lot of their time on their hobby is  'avocational.' Avocational historians, etc. self-claiming expert knowledge - and using a professional label i.e., historian, archaeologist - comprise an interesting scenario. They have no formal qualifications for their pastime and no professional experience. The reliability of their accounts vary widely. Commonly, direct proofs are not given. Commonly, the data given has no proving force. That some claims are proceeded with at all is likely due to strong imaginations. Regarding author biases. Checking for biases in an author is important - especially when the subject is controversial. Does the author have a personal bias in portraying history in a certain way?/Could the author be prejudiced in some way about portraying history in a certain way? Disputation about archaeological evidence is possible. Archaeological evidence may not be able to provide very accurate information. This enables speculations. It is not possible to succeed by guesswork, removing the need for texts and archaeology combined. This is simply unsophisticated argument.


Day, John. (1985). God's conflict with the dragon and the sea. [Note: Contains a discussion of some astral interpretations of the Biblical book of Revelation.]

Day, John. (2000; reprinted 2002). Yahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan. [Note: See: Chapter 6. Yahweh and the Astral Deities (Sun, Moon and Lucifer). Pages 151-184.]

De Armas, Frederick. (1986). The Return of Astraea: An Astral-Imperial Myth in Calderón.

Dement'ev, Mikhail. (2013). "Research of the Greek and Biblical myths by astronomical methods." In: XXI SEAC conference, Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to the Future. Book of abstracts. 1st September to 7th September 2013. (Pages 30-33).

Didier, John. (2009). Inside and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 BC - AD 200. (3 Volumes). [Note: Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 192, September, 2009. Lengthy and engrossing doctoral thesis. Volume 1: The Ancient Eurasian World and the Celestial Pivot; Volume 2: Representations and Identities of High Powers in Neolithic and Bronze China; and Volume 3: Terrestrial and Celestial Transformations in Zhou and Early-Imperial China.]

van Dijk, Jan. (1998). "Inanna raubt den "groβen Himmel". Ein Mythos." In: Maul, Stefan. (Editor). Festschrift für Rykle Borger zu seinem 65. (Pages 9-38).

Drews, Arthur. (1923). Der Sternhimmel in der Dichtung und Religion der Alten Völker und des Christentums. [Note: An astronomical interpretation of religion and mythology. One of many penned by the author. Unreliable but also interesting. See the (English-language?) book review by Julius Ruska in Isis, Volume 7, Number 1, 1925, Pages 158-162. Arthur Drews [pronounced "drefs"] PhD was a German philosopher, writer, and important representative of German Monist thought. He was Professor of Philosophy and German at the Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe. During his career he wrote widely on a variety of subjects, often provoking controversy - in part because of his unorthodox ideas on religion, and in part because of his repeated attacks on the philosophy of Nietzsche - and was instrumental in the rise of the German Faith movement. Life dates 1865-1935.]

Drews, Arthur. (1928). Das Markus-Evangelium.als Zeugnis Gegen die Geschichlichkeit Jesu. [Note: A detailed astronomical interpretation of the life of Jesus as set out in the Gospel of Mark. Unreliable but also interesting.]

Dupuis,Charles-François. (1910). Ursprung der Gottesverehrung. [Note: Deutsche Ausgabe von F. Streißler. – 347 S., Leipzig (Eckardt), 1910. (Abrégé de L'Origine de Tous Cultes, 1798.) Full title: Ursprung der Gottesverehrung: die Glaubenslehren und Religionsgebrãuche aller Zeiten und Võlker und die damit verbundene Herrschaft des Preiestertums und Aberglaubens in ihrer Entstehung und Entwickelung.]

Ehrenreich, Paul. (1905). Die Mythen und Legenden der Südamerikanischen Urvölker. [Note: Issues as Supplement (37. Jahrgang., 1905) to Zeitschrift für Ethnologie. Paul Ehrenreich was an ethnologist and anthropologist who studied medicine and the natural sciences in Berlin, Heidelberg and Würzburg. During 1884-1885 he undertook research trips to study the indigenous tribes of central and eastern Brazil, and during 1887-1888 he accompanied Karl von den Steinen on the second Xingu expedition. These activities were followed by expeditions to the Río Araguaia region during 1888 and the Río Purus region during 1889. During 1892-1893 he traveled to India and Eastern Asia, and during 1898 and 1906 he journeyed to both North America and Mexico. Ehrenreich's research was focused on comparative mythology and linguistic studies. His papers are held at the library at the Ibero-American Institute, Berlin. They consist of five folders, four photo albums and 127 boxes containing manuscripts, travelogues, official documents, correspondence, photographs, drawings, sketch books, offprints, notes, etc. The materials contain a wealth of information on subjects as diverse as ethnology, mythology, religion, sociology, handicrafts, folklore and graphic art as well as on regions as wide apart as Argentina, Brazil, Arabia, Europe, Persia, America, North America, Mexico, South America and Asia. Life dates: 1855-1914.]

Eisler, Robert. (1910; Reprinted 2002). Weltenmantel und Himmelszelt: Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen zur Urgeschichte des Antiken Weltbilds. (2 Volumes). [Note: An interesting collection of material. Eisler's two volumes have been called "highly valuable as phantasmagorias of uncritically used material." The entire volume 1 contains a great mass of material for the heavenly garment (i.e., astral symbols on garments) worn by royalty in ancient and medieval times, as well as by a great number of gods in ancient religion and on into Christianity. Volume 2 presents a similar body of material from sources of all sorts on the vault of heaven as a religious symbol. See the (English-language) book review by Francis Burkitt in The Classical Review, Volume XXV, 1911, Pages 145-147; and the (French-language) book review by Ed[?]. L[?]. in L'Année Sociologique, Tome XII 1909-1912, 1913, Pages 260-266.]

El-Aswad, El-Sayed. (2002). Religion and Folk Cosmology: Scenarios of the Visible and Invisible in Rural Egypt. [Note: Excellent. Combines the study of modern and traditional beliefs.]

Engnell, Ivan. (1943, Revised edition 1967). Studies in Divine Kingship in the Ancient Near East. [Note: Supports the "Myth and Ritual" School of Samuel Hooke and his associates. Discusses astral interpretations of material.]

Fasching, Gerhard. (1998). Sternbilder und ihre Mythen.

Ferrari, Gloria. (2008). Alcman and the Cosmos of Sparta. [Note: The author is a classical scholar and expert on ancient Greece. From the publishers blurb: "The Partheneion, or “maiden song,” composed in the seventh century BCE by the Spartan poet Alcman, is the earliest substantial example of a choral lyric. A provocative reinterpretation of the Partheneion and its broader context, Alcman and the Cosmos of Sparta excavates the poem’s invocations of widespread and long-lived cosmological ideas that cast the universe as perfectly harmonious and invested its workings with an ethical dimension. Moving far beyond standard literary interpretations, Gloria Ferrari uncovers this astral symbolism by approaching the poem from several angles to brilliantly reconstruct the web of ancient drama, music, religion, painting, and material culture in which it is enmeshed. She shows, for example, that by stringing together images of horses, stars, and birds, the poem evokes classical antiquity’s beloved dance of the constellations. Instrumental in shaping the structure of the lyric, this dance symbolizes the cosmic order reflected in the order of the state, which the chorus would have enacted in a ritual performance of the song. With broad implications for archaeology, art history, and ancient science, Ferrari’s bold new analysis dramatically deepens our understanding of Greek poetry and the rich culture of archaic Sparta."]

Fischer, Claudia. (2002). "Ur-gigir, a Sumerian Cosmopolitan." In: Wunsch, Cornelia. (Editor). Mining the Archives: Festschrift for Christopher Walker. (Pages 75-92). [Note: A very interesting article on early Mesopotamian astral iconography and mythology.]

Frahm, Eckart. (2013). "Rising Suns and Falling Stars: Assyrian Kings and the Cosmos." In: Hill, Jane. et al. (Editors). Experiencing Power, Generating Authority: Cosmos, Politics, and the Ideology of Kingship in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. (Pages 97-120).

Frank, Roslyn. (1996). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: When bears ruled the Earth and guarded the Gate of Heaven." In: Koleva, Vesselina. and Kolev, Dimiter. (Editors). Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures. (Pages 116-142).

Frank, Roslyn. (2000). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: Hercules Meets Harzkume." In: Esteban, César. and Belmonte, Juan. (Editors). Oxford VI and SEAC 99 "Astronomy and Cultural Diversity." (Pages 295-302). [Note: This publication is the proceedings of the 6th "Oxford" international symposium on archaeoastronomy, jointly with the SEAC99 (European archaeoastronomy) meeting, held in La Laguna, Tenerife, in 1999. Copies of the book are exceedingly rare due to water damage to stock during a devastating Madrid flood. A PDF file has now (February, 2010) been kindly made available by Michael Rappenglück and is freely downloadable from the publications page of the SEAC web site.]

Frank, Roslyn. (2014, 2 Volumes). "Skylore of the indigenous people of Northern Eurasia." In: Ruggles, Clive. (Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (Pages 1679-1686).

Fries, Carl [also appears as Karl]. (1910-1911). Studien zur Odyssee. (2 Volumes). [Note: An astronomical interpretation by a Panbabylonist and adherent of the star-myth school. The author was a philologist and Orientalist (author and "Gymnasiallehrer" (High School teacher); but also described as a Gymnasialoberlehrer (Upper Secondary School teacher). A number of his publications on Homeric subjects were highly speculative. Fries uncritically applied solar methodology to the Odyssey. The Odyssey presents the adventures of a single hero. (The same was done by the German historian Eduard Meyer (1855-1930) his "Der Ursprung des Odysseusmythos." in Hermes, Band 30, 1895, Pages 241-288.) Critics held he had applied uncritical solar mythology. An example of the solar mythology of Carl Fries is the identification of the Roman triumphator with the vehicle of the Sun-god's progress through the skies. Fries held that the sojourn of Odysseus in Scheria showed Babylonian influence. See the (English-language) book review by A.S. in The Classical Review, Volume 27, 1913, Page 181 (Volume II only); and the (German-language) book review by Wolfgang Schultz in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Number 8, August, 1911, Columns 350-357; and Number 4, April, 1913, Columns 173-177. John Scott's paper "Odysseus as a Sun-God" (Classical Philology, Volume 12, Number 3, July, 1917, Pages 244-252) is an incisive critique of some of the ideas of Carl Fries and his disciples. (John Scott was a Classicist (and Homeric scholar) at Northwestern University, USA.) See also, Archery at the dark of the moon: problems in Homer's Odyssey (1975 by Norman Austin. Life dates: 1867-circa 1950? The date 1934 given by one source is likely mistaken. Also, for a discussion of the awkwardness of indiscriminate attempts to explain every event or gesture in a poetic narrative as embodying cryptic ritual see Genèse de l'Odyssée by Gabriel Germain (1954). For an account of the prevalence of solar symbolism in the Middle Ages see, Symbolism in Medieval Thought and its Consummation in the Divine Comedy by Helen Flanders (1929, republished 1961; Chapters 3 and 4). Life dates for Helen Flanders: 1902-1959.]

Fries, Carl. (1911). Die griechischen Götter und Heroen: Vom astralmythologischen Standpunkt aus betrachtet. [Note: An astronomical interpretation of the Greek gods and goddesses by a Panbabylonist. See the (German-language) book review by Wolfgang Schultz in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Number 4, April, 1913, Columns 173-177.]

Frobenius, Leo. (1904). Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes. [Note: Unreliable. Leo Frobenius had, from the early 1900s, published Panbabylonian ideas and claimed correspondence between mythological themes and celestial phenomena, world-wide. The German ethnographer Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) was the founder of the Institute of Cultural Morphology, which was destroyed by Allied Bombing in World War II. His work is now regarded as outdated and flawed. He created dozens of speculative/foolish theories. See: "Leo Frobenius and the Revolt Against the Western World." by Suzanne Marchand in Journal of Contemporary History, Volume 32, Number 2, April, 1997, Pages 153-170. In 1911 he claimed to have discovered the 'lost continent of Atlantis' in Africa. See: Leo Frobenius, anthropologue, explorateur, aventurierle monde étranger, c'est moi (1999) by Hans-Jürgen Heinrichs. Frobenius was an eccentric amateur German ethnologist/anthropologist and archaeologist, who was the originator of the concepts of the Kulturkreise (culture circles) and of the Paideuma (or "soul" of culture). He lacked formal academic qualifications and was criticized by scientists for his non-systematic and rather romantic approach to anthropology. Frobenius was involved in extensive research in Africa, which was made possible by donors and by his own income from books and lectures. He left school without gaining any formal qualifications because his family moved constantly, and Frobenius did not attend school regularly. For this reason he could not satisfactorily take up his studies at a university but became an autodidact. His PhD thesis was rejected. Leo Frobenius, a pupil of Friedrich Ratzel, expanded on the "culture circle" concept. See: Frobenius, Leo (1898) Die Weltanschauung der Naturvolker. The Kulturkreise (culture circle) school of thought was proposed by Friedrich Ratzel and the concept then widened by his student Leo Frobenius. This version formulated by Leo Frobenius in Vienna was called "culture circles" or Kulturkreise. In Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes, Frobenius sought an ancient sun myth origin for world-wide mythology. See the (French-language) book review by Ch[?]. Renel in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, Vingt-Cinquième Année, Tome Cinquantième, 1904, Pages 74-80); and the (German-language) book review by Georg Hüsing in Orientalistische Litteratur-Zeitung, 8 Jahrgang, Januar 1905, Number 1, Columns 25-30, 8 Jahrgang, Februar 1905, Number 2, Columns 68-73.]

Gee, Emma. (2013). Aratus and the astronomical tradition. Classical culture and society. [Note: A new reading and detailed treatment of Aratus' poem and its reception.]

Gemoll, Martin. (1911; Reprinted 2009). Die Indogermanen Im Alten Orient: Mythologisch-historische Funde und Fragen. [Note: The author was a German academic who followed the Panbabylonians in their astral interpretation of mythology. The title in English is Indo-Europeans in the Ancient East: Mythological-historical Discoveries and Enquiries. Mostly unreliable.]

George, Andrew. (1997). "'Bond of the Lands': Babylon, The Cosmic Capital." In: Wilhelm, G[?]. (Editor). Die Orientalische Stadt: Kontinuität, Wandel, Bruch. (Pages 125-145). [Note: Andrew George is a leading assyriologist.]

Gétaz, Claude. (2007). Le Roman Sabéen. (3 Volumes). [Note: The author is a Swiss amateur involved in uncovering "astronomical mythology." He has been influenced by Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969), amongst others. He identified astral myths everywhere. A fourth volume is currently being written.]

Giedion, Sigfried. (1964; Reprinted 1981). The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Architecture. [Note: Includes a discussion of Mesopotamian and Egyptian astral concepts and the involvement of such ideas in architecture.]

Goldham, Joakim. (2013). "Rethinking Bronze Age Cosmology: A North European Perspective." In: Fokkens, Harry. and Harding, Anthony. (Editors). The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. (pages 248-269).

Goldziher, Ignaz. (1877; Reprinted circa 1970). Mythology Among the Hebrews and its Historical Development. [Note: More sun-myth school in its approach to mythology than truly astronomical.]

Grant, Mary. (Editor and translator). (1960). The Myths of Hyginus. [Note: The author uses the edition of the Fabulae by Herbert Rose (1934). In addition to her own explanatory notes she also includes condensations of the notes by Herbert Rose.]

Green, Tamara. (1992). The City of the Moon God: Religious Traditions of Harran. [Note: A variety of astronomical topics are discussed.]

Green, Peter. (2004). From Ikaria to the Stars. Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern. [Note: See: "13. Getting to a Star: The Politics of Catasterism", Pages 234-249.]

Gressmann, Hugo. (1925). Die hellenistische Gestirnreligion. [Note: The author was an authority on the Ancient Near East. See the (German-language) book review by M[?]. G[?]. in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, Tome XCV, Numbers 2-3, Mars-Juin 1927, Pages 322-323.]

Grill, Julius. (1903). Die persische Mysterienreligion im römischen Reich und der Christentum. [Note: Some discussion of astral themes.]

Grimm, Jacob. (1883, Volume II; 4 Volumes, 1882-1888). "Sky and Stars." In: Teutonic Mythology. Volume II. (Pages 698-734). [Note: Translated from the Fourth Edition by James Stallybrass.]

de Gubernatis, Angelo. (1872; Reprinted 1968). Zoological Mythology or The Legends of Animals. (2 Volumes).

Gruppe, Otto. (1921). Bericht über die Literatur zur Antiken Mythologie und Religionsgeschichte aus den jahren 1907-1917. (Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der Klassischen Altertumswissenschaft begründet von Conrad Bursian, Supplementband Hundertsechsundachtzigster Band, 1921.) [Note: Excellent. Otto Gruppe (Prof. Dr. in Berlin-Charlottenburg) (1851-1921) was a German mythographer/philologist. Charlottenburg is a locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Established as a town in 1705. Son of philosopher, scholar-poet and philologist Otto Friedrich Gruppe 1804-1876.]

Guglielmino, Salvo. et al. (2017). "Astronomy in the Odyssey: The Status Quaestionis." In: Orlando, Andrea. (Editor). The Light, The Stones and The Sacred. (Pages 165-180). [Note: Proceedings of the XVth Italian Society of Archaeoastronomy Congress, held at the University of Catania, September 11-12, 2015.]

Gundel, Willy [Wilhelm]. (1912). Die naiven, religiösen und philiosophischen Anschauungen vom Wesen und Wirken der Sterne. [Note: I. Teil. I do not know if additional parts were issued.]

Gundel, Guilelmus. [Gundel, Wilhelm.] (1907; Republished 2008). De stellarum appellatione et religione Romana. [Note: This was the authors doctorate thesis written in Latin. Deals with the stars in Roman religion and literature. For a critical (English-language) book review by F[?]. Granger see The Classical Review, Volume XXIII, Number 2, March, 1909 [1910?], Page 53. The author was born in Strassburg (26/8/1880) and died in Giessen (5/5/1945).]

Gundel, Wilhelm. (1922; Reprinted 1981). Sterne und Sternbilder im Glauben des Altertums und der Neuzeit. [Note: For at least one printing of the first edition the cover title is Sterne und Sternenbilder im Glauben des Altertums und der Neuzeit whilst the title page is Sterne und Sternbilder im Glauben des Altertums und der Neuzeit. For the second edition both the "cover" title and the title page have Sterne und Sternbilder im Glauben des Altertums und der Neuzeit. See the (German-language) book review by Anon in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Siebenundzwanzigster Jahrgang, 1924, Number 2, Columns 71-72. The 1981 reprint has some additional bibliographic material by (the author's son) Hans Gundel. The book contains a lot of information about the astral lore lore associated with the Milky Way.]

Gundel, Hans. (1968). Weltbild und Astrologie in den griechischen Zauberpapyri. [Note: An analysis of the cosmic, astral, and astrological lore of the Greek magical papyri. See the (English-language) book review by John Griffiths in The Classical Review, New Series, Volume 19, Number 3, December, 1969, Pages 358-360.]

Gunzburg, Darrelyn. (2016). (Editor). The Imagined Sky: Cultural Perspectives. [Note: Conference papers.]

Hadingham, Evan. (1983). Early Man and the Cosmos. [Note: Excellent broad overview of early astronomy and astronomical lore. The American author is an archaeologist by training. He has a master’s degree in Prehistory and Archaeology from Sheffield University in England. In 1986, Hadingham was a Macy Fellow in Broadcast Journalism at WGBH-TV in Boston and became the Science Editor for NOVA in 1988. From 1995-1998, Hadingham was the Co-Executive Producer for the Discovery Channel’s series, Discover Magazine. Returning to NOVA in 1998 as Senior Science Editor, Hadingham resumed responsibility for the science content of all NOVA’s original documentaries and co-productions.]

Haider, S[?]. (1988). "Islam, Cosmology, and Architecture." In: Sevcenko, Margaret. (Editor). Theories and Principles of Design in the Architecture of Islamic Societies. (Chapter 7, Pages 73-85). [Note: Conference proceedings, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.]

Haliburton, Robert. (1863, Reprinted 1920). New Materials for the History of Man Derived from a Comparison of the Calendars and Festivals of Nations. No 1. The Festival of the Dead. [Note: Deals with lore and calendars connected with the Pleiades. The author was a Canadian lawyer. Robert Haliburton (lawyer, author and anthropologist), M.A. (1852), Q.C. (1876), D.C.L. (Honorary), was born in Nova Scotia and died in Mississippi. He was the elder son (and second youngest of 11 children) of Thomas Haliburton, a jurist, writer, and member of Parliament. Robert Haliburton graduated from King's College, Windsor, with high honours. Within a few years he had established a successful legal practice in Halifax. Haliburton rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the Nova Scotia militia, and in 1862 he was made an aide-de-camp to the lieutenant governor. He resigned from this post 2 years later. He spent some time in Ottawa in the late 1860s and resided in England from 1871 to 1876. The following year he set up practice in Ottawa, but ill health forced him to abandon it in 1881 and spend his winters in tropical or semi-tropical climates. He lived for a considerable time in Jamaica. He declined a promising political career on his father’s advice. A passage in Peruvian Antiquities by Mariano Rivero [Ribero y Ustariz] and Johann Tscudi (1853) led him to pursue the study of astronomy in primitive myths and ceremonials. The result was this particular book. He believed the origin of astronomy was preceded by prehistoric star lore. Haliburton spent his last years collecting folklore relating to an alleged pygmy group in the Atlas Mountains and vicinity. This endeavour involved Haliburton being part of one of the oddities of 19th-century anthropology. Haliburton believed he had identified the existence (or at least a tradition) of a pygmy 'people' living secretly somewhere in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Other persons looked for evidence of pygmy people in the Americas and Europe. At the suggestion of Haliburton, Frederick Starr, Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago, on a field trip/expedition in 1895, looked for evidence of pygmy people in Mexico (without success). Stansbury Hagar believed he had identified the existence (or at least a tradition) of a pygmy 'people' living in Peru. Robert Haliburton and Julius Kollmann (1834-1918), Professor of Anatomy at Basel University, Switzerland, initiated the view that physical statue was determined by 'race' rather than other factors (i.e., environment). Europeans of short statue were believed to exhibit a 'primitive' pygmy inheritance. Haliburton was described by his friend Stansbury Hagar as a tolerant, genial, and kindly man. He remained unmarried. Life dates: 1831-1901.]

Hammond, Rose. (2012). Islands in the Sky: The Four-Dimensional Journey of Odysseus through Space and Time. [Note: Based on her doctoral dissertation. Influenced by Hamlet's Mill (1969). See the sympathetic but critical (English-language) book review by Francisco Vaz da Silva (Folklorist/Anthropologist, University of Lisbon) in Cosmos, Volume 30, 2014, Pages 193-195.]

Hard, Robin. (2015). Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena. Eratosthenes, Hyginus, and Aratus. [Note: The title may also appear as: Eratosthenes and Hyginus Constellation Myths with Aratus's Phaenomena.]

Harding, Arthur. (1935). Astronomy: The Splendour of the Heavens Brought Down to Earth. [Note: The fact that the author was an astronomer did not prevent him from holding the view that the zodiac was invented circa 26,000 BCE.]

Harris, Lynda. (2011). "The Milky Way: Path to the Empyrean?" In: Corsini, Enrico. (Editor). The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI. (Pages 181-195). [Note: ASP [Astronomical Society of the Pacific] Conference Series, Volume 441. To be used with caution as the author uncritically relies on the statements of Mircea Eliade, and Uno Holmberg (who uncritically followed many of Eliade's ideas. In her book The Secret Heresy of Hieronymus Bosch, Harris claims that Bosch's work was influenced by secret Cathar heretical beliefs which appear through various symbols in his works. However, these symbols are also traditional Christian iconography. The book by Harris is deemed by critics to be entirely speculative. Harris believes that Bosch’s ancestors may have been Cathar refugees, people who fled to a place where they hoped they would be safe: ‘s-Hertogenbosch. According to Harris, Cathar heretics were known to have lived in the areas along the Rhine, not far from Brabant. Harris reasons that these Cathar forebears would have passed on their religious convictions to their descendants, and Bosch reflected Cathar convictions in his art. "In her book The Secret Heresy of Hieronymus Bosch, 1995, 2002, Lynda Harris presents the case for Bosch being a Christian heretic, infused with some Cathar Manichaean zeal, who used his paintings to secretly advance Cathar ideas. This book is full of "if this were so...", "one might assume...", "there is a good chance, then, that...", "it is most likely...", that is, it presents no firm evidence but merely a thin insubstantial tissue of fabricated speculation. There is no evidence of Cathar influence in 's-Hertogenbosch and its environs in the late 15th century, and nothing to suggest that Bosch was a member of a secret cult. So in order to find some connection, Harris has to go on a fishing exhibition. She realises that some paintings of Bosch were recorded as being in Venice by 1521. So she makes the giant leap of suggesting Bosch had visited Venice and even perhaps painted these works in that city. She sees Venice as a hotbed of Cathar heresy, and that Bosch visited there in order to develop his secret heresy further. There is no proof, of course, that Bosch ever did visit Venice, so Harris goes fishing for some. She assumes Bosch would have met the notable artists living and working in Venice at that time and may indeed have influenced these artists. So she finds a candidate for this in Giorgione, suggesting these as these two shared a common painting style "using light brush-strokes and paint delicate, wispy highlights on details such as waterfalls, embroideries or metals" they must have met and influenced one another. She also sees Bosch as meeting Leonardo da Vinci and even goes so far as to say "But Bosch did not just take influences from Leonardo. He also seems to have given some back." This is based on such thin evidence. The reason she needs us to accept this is to establish that Bosch had visited Venice. So she fishes for more "evidence". She finds a depiction of a Persian Philosopher in Giorgione's The Three Philosophers to be a portrait of Bosch with a beard and wearing Eastern dress. The whole thing is such total nonsense, stretching rubbery interpretation well beyond its breaking point. "Could there be", note the ever present subjunctive, states Harris "any connection, for example, between their [Giorgione, Bosch and Leonardo] meeting in Venice, and the group of three thoughtful men depicted in Giorgione's Three Philosophers?" It is not difficult to answer this question for her. NO ! But she ploughs on disregarding. She has to take us on a journey to Bosnia as this is the only place in the Europe of that period when there is any recorded Cathar influence during that late 15th early 16th century. We are presented with some photographs of what she calls Cathar tombstones (stecci). These have among other things carvings of stags and also herons. But wait! Bosch includes stags and herons in his paintings. Ah! it is obvious he was influenced by such primitive stone carving. He could not have thought to depict a stag or heron till he saw these. How can a person intelligent enough to be able to write a book, believe she can convince anyone with such nonsense? In order to explain the lack of evidence for her thesis, at one point Harris states : "We should not assume that where there are no records of Cathars, no Cathars existed." Really ! She obviously applies the logical rule of transposition (~R -> ~C) <-> (C -> R) in a way not recognised by logic. Logicians would say that the statement "if no records exist then no Cathars" is equivalent to saying "the existence of Cathars implies the existence of records". She is saying "if no records exist then no Cathars" is equivalent to saying "Cathars exist" (~R -> ~C) <-> C. Last time I checked propositional logic this was not so. This is like saying - the fact that there is no evidence of Polar bears in the Antarctic does not mean that they are not there. If you accept her logic then you can rewrite history in any way you want, as you don't need any evidence. She concludes: "With luck and patience, a small group of Cathars could have lived undiscovered in 's-Hertogenbosch for years or even centuries..." "Once Bosch's art came into its own in Venice, he would have been able to produce an illustrated record which would preserve all the main tenets to Mitigated Catharism before it vanished completely..." [His pictures] "depict the Cathar universe with all its heights and depths. The spirituality of Bosch, as well as his dualism and his Cathar message, are visible in every painting he produced." I will advance a little theory of my own. Could it be that Linda Harris having read Fraenger's thesis which had Bosch as a member of a secret Adamite cult related to the Brethren of the Free Spirit, thought she might top this by bringing in the wonderfully obscure Cathars? Poor old Bosch, the master painter of 's-Hertogenbosch now reduced to the role of defending a heretical, cranky, belief system, that was rapidly dying out of existence. How can Harris, the master of the subjunctive, feel comfortable stealing his delightful creations from him and appropriate them as mere propoganda (sic) for a dualistic cult? Leave the poor man alone. Let his works speak for themselves." (]

Herbster, R[?]. (1994). "Saturn und Weltenwebe. Ein Beitrag zur chinesischen Astralmythologie." In: von Gotstedter, Anton. (Editor). Ad radices. Festband zum fünfzigjährigen Bestehen des Instituts für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. (Pages 65-80(81?)).

Hedeager, Lotte. (2002). "Scandinavian 'Central Places' in a Cosmological Setting." In: Hårdh, Birgitta. and Larsson, Lars. (Editors). Central Places in the Migration and Merovingian Periods. (Pages 3-18). [Note: A paper presented at the 52nd Sachsensymposium, Lund, August 2001. The author is at the Department of Archaeology, University of Oslo.]

Heiden, Bruce. (2008). Homer's Cosmic Fabrication.

Henseling, Robert. (1925). Sternbilder primitiver Völker. [Note: English-language title is, Constellations of Primitive Peoples.]

Henseling, Robert. (1925). Der Sternhimmel in Religion und Volksdichtung. [Note: 96 pages with maps and illustrations. Comprises Welt und Mensch,  Erste Folge, Numbers 1-4. Number 1: Astronomie und Religion; Number 2: Sternbilder Primitiver Völker; Number 3: Märchen von den Sternen (Naturvölker); and Number 4: Märchen von den Sternen (Kulturvölker). Zweite Folge was issued as Die Herkunft Unserer Sternbilder und Sternnamen in 1926. It contained 1 essay by Konstantin Reichardt and 2 essays by Wilhelm Gundel. The entire series of essays was (originally) issued as << Welt und Mensch >> 2 Folge (1925-1926). However, the series continued to be issued at least until 1928. Dritte Folge was issued in 1927 as Grundlagen des Sternglaubens and contained 1 essay by Hugo Kunike and 1 essay by Wilhelm Gundel. At least 1 essay by Robert Henseling (Welt und Mensch, Numbers 13-14 (12 pages)) appeared singly in 1928. It is likely that Welt und Mensch, Numbers 15-16, comprising 1 essay by Robert Henseling ("Kommende Weltanschauung?") also appeared in 1928 (and concluded the series). Robert Henseling was a German astronomer, teacher (Professor), populariser and supporter of amateur astronomy, and writer of popular books on astronomy. He worked directly for Hans Frank, Governor-General (General Governor) of the General Government, held office from October 1939 to January 1945. Henseling was editor of the annual Sternbüchlein, founder of the Stuttgart Volkssternwarte (Stuttgart Public Observatory) in 1952, and founder of the magazine "Die Sterne" in 1921. Henseling vigorously opposed astrology and the cosmic ice theory of Hans Hoerbiger (a self-styled cosmologist). Life dates for Robert Henseling: 1883-1964. Hörbiger's information about the 'true' state of the Universe was based entirely on intuition. In 1913 (1912?) the school teacher and amateur astronomer Philipp Fauth, who had some reputation as a Moon specialist (described by one commentator as a a renowned selenologist) - published a book of approximately 800 hundred pages entitled Hörbiger's Glazial – Kosmogonie: Eine neue Entwicklungsgeschichte des Weltalls und des Sonnensystems. (It is worth noting that Philipp Fauth is considered the last of the great visual observers of the Moon. The very high standard of his lunar drawings remains unmatched.) Much of the book was actually been written by Hans Hörbiger (1860-1931), an Austrian mining engineer (and amateur astronomer) who tried to solve cosmological questions, especially the formation of planets, geological history and meteorology with engineering principles. He started his career as an engineer in 19th-century Austria; primarily connected with the Budapest subway system, inventing a range of valves, compressors and general "improvements" for the subway project. He was also steam engine designer, whose invention of the Hörbiger valve made him a wealthy man. According to Willy Ley "both his publications and his letters revealed clearly that he was not even a good engineer." The outbreak of World War I resulted in cessation of interest in this first publication, which was later referred to as the Main Work. Hörbiger's 'cosmic ice' doctrine was revived in the 1930's, becoming a key part of German pseudoscience (Welteislehre or WEL, or World Ice Theory). It eventually had literally millions of fanatical supporters due to Hörbiger's theories becoming generally accepted amongst the population of Nazi Germany. One of the early supporters of Hörbiger's theories was Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the leading theorist behind the early development of the National Socialist Party in Germany in 1923. Adolf Hitler became an enthusiastic follower of the WEL theory and adopted it as the Nazi party's official cosmology. The World Ice Theory was intended to form part of a planetarium Hitler planned to build on Linz's Mount Pöstling. A German Hörbiger Organization had thousands of members and maintained an Information Bureau in Vienna, and issued a monthly magazine (The Key to World Events) which had a large circulation. The movement produced 3 or 4 "scientific" books, nearly 40 "popular" books, and several dozen throw-away pamphlets. Hörbiger's ideas were adopted and developed further by the writer 'H. S. Bellamy' (likely a pseudonym for Hans Schindler Bellamy (1901-1982)) in a number of his books (beginning with, Moons, Myths and Man. A Reinterpretation (1936, revised 1949)). Hans Schindler Bellamy was a disciple of Arthur Posnansky and Hans Höerbiger. Hans Bellamy was a British student of mythology who became Hoerbiger's disciple in the English-speaking world. J. Egerton 'Bill' Sykes was born in London and served as a lieutenant during WWI. He spoke several languages and as a Foreign Office official travelled widely. After WWII he retired early and lived at 14 Montpelier Villas, Brighton, Sussex, with his wife. After WWII it was apparently Hans Schindler Bellamy who influenced the eccentric British Atlantologist, Egerton Sykes (1894-1983), to establish The Hoerbiger Institute in the United Kingdom. Sykes' belief in Atlantis and its destruction led him to believe it had been destroyed by some kind of extraterrestrial impact. This belief led him to adopt some aspects of Hans Hörbiger's cosmological theories. Sykes clung to a belief in Hörbiger’s concept of an ice covered lunar surface. (See: The Moon Capture Theory of Hoerbiger After Fifty Five Years, by Egerton Sykes (1966, 24 pages); Meteor Strikes and the Hoerbiger Theory, by Egerton Sykes (1971, 24 pages); Hoerbiger and the March of Science, by Egerton Sykes (1976, 20 pages). The fact the moon is moving away from Earth completely destroys the foundation of Hoerbiger's basic theory. Sykes' Atlantis Research Centre had approximately 300 world-wide members/journal subscribers in its early years. Robert Henseling also held pseudo-historical beliefs. In October, 1934, in Berlin he announced to a scientific gathering his belief that America was the cradle of civilisation and that other cultures were only Mayan colonies. He also held radical views on Maya chronology. In 1935 Robert Henseling, inquiring into the in the possible relation of Maya and Chinese astronomy, visited the Maya country with several fellow astronomers (perhaps including Hans Ludendorff and Arnošt (Arno) Dittrich), in order to study on-the-spot the monumental records (stelae, etc.) and conditions there. On returning to Berlin he published his conclusions (as example: Das All und wir (1936); "Zur Astronomie der Maya." Die Sterne, Band XIII, Pages 105-106; "The Scope and Antiquity of Mayan Astronomy." Research and Progress, Volumes 4-5, 1938, Pages 121-128). In his view there was a convergence between the two. (Even before going to Mesoamerica he had begun to write article on Maya astronomy. An ally was the astronomer Hans Ludendorff in Potsdam. Between the world wars, Hans Ludendorff (1873 - 1970) published extensively on Mayan astronomy. Hans Ludendorff, from 1921 to 1939, was Direktor des Astrophysikalischen Observatoriums Potsdam.) However Henseling's speculative arguments were effectively critiqued in the review of his book, Das All und wir, in Maya Research, Volume 3, 1936, Pages 210-211. The reviewer, Hermann Beyer, writes: "We have, then, to declare Henseling's treatise on Maya astronomy, contained in the last quarter of his book [approximately 50 pages], a complete failure." Arnošt Dittrich (1878-1959) was a Czech astronomer, mathematician, and historian. He became Head of the Konkoly Observatory in Ó Gyalla (now Slovak Central Observatory, Hurbanovo, Slovakia). He published considerable material on Maya astronomy.]

Hewitt, James. (1894-1895; Reprinted 1972, and 2002). The Ruling Races of Prehistoric Times. (2 Volumes). [Note: Unreliable. Hewitt, however, believed he was writing revolutionary works on ancient history and astronomical mythology (= precessional mythology). James Hewitt (1835(36?)-1908) was a career civil servant in the Indian Civil Servant (Bengal Government Service). He died in retirement in England at the age of 72. He was born in Ireland in June, 1835. In March, 1870, he married Constance Stanley, the youngest daughter of Edward Stanley (then deceased). (See: The Baronetage and Knightage of the British Empire for 1882 by Joseph Foster (1882).) Hewitt was a member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland for 20 years. (His obituary is contained in its Journal - July, 1908, Pages 963-966.)  He was also a member of the Asiatic society of Bengal. (The Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, January to December 1884, lists his election as August, 1875.) He was also a subscriber to the Proceedings of the International Congress of Americanists. (In the 1902 Congress Proceedings he is mentioned as presenting the paper: "The History of the Sun God in India, Persia, and Mexico: His Annual Death and Resurrection, and his Impenetrable Armour.") James Hewitt was the son of a clergyman, the Hon. J. P. Hewitt. He was educated in England at Westminster and Christ Church (Matriculated at Christ Church in 1854), Oxford. Before entering the Indian Civil Service he lived mostly in Warwickshire, near Coventry. He died after a short illness precipitated by an attack of influenza followed by pneumonia (at Holton Cottage, Wheatley, in Oxfordshire). He was appointed to the Indian Civil Service after passing the open Competitive Examination of 1858 (for admission to the Civil Service of India). He arrived in India in February, 1859. He served variously as Assistant Magistrate, Audit Collector, Settlement Officer, Deputy Commissioner, Magistrate, and Commissioner. sources are somewhat conflicting. In 1863 he went to Chota Nagpur[/Nagpore] (Bengal) as Deputy Commissioner and eventually replaced Colonel Edward Dalton (1815-1880) (East India Company) as the Commissioner of the Province. However, from the end of 1864 until 1869 he was Settlement Officer for the adjoining district of Chuttisgurh. In February, 1873, he was appointed Deputy Commissioner, Wards Estate in Behar. In September, 1874, he was Officiating Secretary for the Board of Review. In October, 1878, he was appointed Magistrate and Collector, 1st grade. In March, 1879, he was appointed Commissioner, Chota Nagpur division. (See: The India list and India Office list, 1902.) He retired in July, 1883 (some sources have July, 1885) and had returned to Britain at least by 1887. His retirement address was initially - at least till 1896 - Devoke Lodge, Walton-on-Thames; then later - at least by 1902 - Holbon Cottage, Oxford. Similar to Colonel Dalton (who was the first to pioneer ethnological studies in Bengal and whose major book was Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal (1872)) he engaged in anthropological investigations of the local culture. He apparently had a good knowledge of Sanskrit. His books are not reliable (and probably neither are his numerous published articles). (He was an Ordinary Member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.) The reviewer in Notes and Queries, 1908, reservedly commented: "Mr. Hewitt has not the gifts of lucid exposition; and orderly argumentation." (Jeanne Reesman describes his books as "utter nonsense" and prefixes her description as charitable. Regarding Hewitt's book Primitive Traditional History, the reviewer in the journal Nature wrote: "His work is comprehensive : it covers the whole world. And what it is all about it is difficult to discover. "History" it is not; there is no history known to science in it." The reviewer in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association wrote regarding Hewitt's book History and Chronology of the Myth-making Age: "If Mr Hewitt had provided himself before he commenced with that useful little instrument, a precessional globe, and had duly consulted it, he would have saved himself much useless labour, and us the task of reading his book." Hewitt's books are certainly curious fantasies and contain myths of his own making i.e., Hewitt's concept of nationally appointed mythic tale-spinners to transmit tribal, national, and racial history (developed out of nature myths).) He was a friend of the civil servant John O'Neill who authored the book The Night of the Gods (2 Volumes, 1893-1897), and ensured the publication of Volume 2 after the author's untimely/unexpected death. Similarly to John O'Neill he saw an astronomical basis in almost every ancient "Aryan" myth and rite. Also, he believed in the 19th-century ideas and conjectures concerning the Indo-Aryans and nature myths. (O'Neill's book Night of the Gods is a book on astronomical mythology that has the great benefit of being understandable; but not always believable.) Jeanne Reesman (Jack London's Racial Lives: A Critical Biography (2009, Page 47) states: "Hewitt saw Greece as the source of "northern" individualism, the myth of Apollo as sun god structuring the sun gods of Europe; nothing less than divine education led the Aryans to create the rule of law. Though the book is a slapdash collection of historical inaccuracies in its strange brew of anthropological and classical knowledge, fantasies about Aryan dominance, ... appealed to London and many others of his day, especially its overarching thesis that somehow all human development is somehow connected." According to Hewitt (History and Chronology of the Myth-making Age) the closing event for the universally observed national custom to record history in the form of historical myths was the time when the sun entered Taurus at the vernal equinox (circa 4500 BCE). Hewitt becomes more esoteric/mystical in tone in his later books. Having read all three books on “mythic history” by Hewitt I can only agree with all reviewers/commentators - the books make no sense at all. Surprisingly his anthropological ideas - expressed in other books - still find some support in some "academic" quarters. His books are, for some reason, classed as ethnology. (Hewitt considered himself to be an anthropologist.) Since the 1980s all of Hewitt's books have been reprinted. (English-language) book reviews appear in The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review and Oriental and Colonial Record, 1895, Pages 479-?; The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Volume 63, 1896, Pages 219-?; and The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Part 1, 1908, Pages 255-? For interest see James Hewitt confidently used by Elsdon Best in his 1922 pamphlet "The Astronomical Knowledge of the Maori." As an example of how unreliable Richard Allen's book on star names can be simply refer to one of any books by James Hewitt (one of the sources Allen uses). Primitive Traditional History (2 Volumes, 1907) will suffice as an illustrative example. James Hewitt is described by Allen as an "English essayist." Allen used material by Hewitt when discussing the identification of the star Vanant (See page 59 of the 1963 edition of Allen's book on Stars Names). See the (English-language) obituary in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, July, 1908, Pages 963-966; and the (English-language) entry in The India List and India Office List for 1905 (See: Page 519). Eleven volumes of The India List and India Office List were produced from 1896 to 1906. He published an article on astronomical mythology in The Westminster Review, Volume 145, 1896.]

Hewitt, James. (1901; Reprinted 2010). History and Chronology of the Myth-making Age. [Note: Unreliable. See the English-language) book reviews by Anon in The Journal of the British Astronomical Association, Volume XII, Number 3, 1901-2, Page 140; Folk-Lore, Volume XIII, December, Number IV, 1902, Pages 441-442. A (English-language) book review also appeared in The Westminster Review, Volume 157, 1902, Pages 295-? See also the lengthy critical (English-language) review by Anon of his books in Nature, Volume 66, Number 1702, 1902, Thursday, June 12, Pages 145-147. The reviewer makes the point that Hewitt's books are full of philological absurdities. Book review (slightly abbreviated) in Folk-Lore: "Ever since the beginnings of the study of myths, enquirers have been inclined, like Mr. Casaubon, to search for some one "key to all the mythologies." Often, as in the case of Max Muller and the nature school, they have hit on a true principle, and run it to death; so the latest exponent of this school, O. Gilbert, who derives everything from the clouds, has been led to propound the most fantastic theories in order to include everything. The day of totems too, seems to be waning; and of late years the tendency has been to exaggerate the importance of astronomy. This is exemplified in the works of Mr. Robert Brown, Jr., and Mr. St. Clair. The book now before us is a third instance of the same mistake. Mr. Hewitt divides his work into books dealing successively with the Age of Polar Star Worship, the Age of Lunar-Solar Worship, and the Age of Solar Worship. He connects the religious beliefs which he sees, with the worship of trees and animals, with the various migrations of mankind, and with their arrangement of the calendar; and uses his principles to interpret certain legends of the saints and others. But these connections are not made clear. Probably they are clear to the writer, but to the reader they are not so. Nor is proof offered, other than coincidence, of the connection of astronomy with religion. The theories are, for the most part, propounded ex cathedra, and left to commend themselves by their inherent appropriateness. Symbolism and metaphor too often do duty for argument. Thus Mr. Hewitt says: "Achilles was the sun-god of the race of the Myrmidons or ants, the sons of the red earth, the Adamite race who succeeded the sons of the southern mother-tree, and who believed that man was formed from the dust of the earth moulded by the Divine Potter, the Pole-star god, who turned the potter's wheel of the revolving earth." This is all pure imagination. Symbolism is also used to explain certain primitive signs, amongst them the sign for the female, which is clearly pictorial (p. 72). The Breotian eel, in place of being a fisher's firstling, is also moralised (p. 128); so is the bed of Odysseus (p. 144), where the potter's wheel reappears. There is no historical examination, as there should be, of the principles and limitations of symbolism, which, in western lands at least, plays a much smaller part than is usually assumed. Mr. Hewitt also ventures on the dangerous ground of etymology. .... Again : the oldest Cyclopean walls are said here to be accurately fitted polygonal; and there are many other signs that Mr. Hewitt's general knowledge is insufficient for the building up of a universal theory such as this. But when we come to Indian questions, the case is altered. Mr. Hewitt can tell us by first-hand knowledge of the village system, sacred groves and common halls, of priestly ritual revealed to him as a special favour (p. 159), and the customs of Chotia Nagpur. We cannot help wishing he had confined himself to these topics, and give us in detail what he hints at or sketches in tantalising fashion. There is much of value to be learned from the book by a discriminating reader; but the general impression is one of confused statement and rash inference."]

Hewitt, James. (1907; Reprinted 2009). Primitive Traditional History. (2 Volumes). [Note: Unreliable. See the (English-language) book reviews by Anon in Nature, Volume LXXVII, January 30, 1908, Pages 291-292; and by William Flinders Petrie in Man, Volume IX, 1909, Pages 94-96.]

Hijmans, Steven. (2009). Sol: The Sun in the art and religions of Rome. [Note: Excellent. The book is based on the author's 2009 (English-language) PhD thesis at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, which was a continuation of his 1989 (Dutch-language) thesis, Sol Invictus: een Iconografische Studie.]

Hill, J[?]. (no date but 1895). Astral Worship. [Note: The author was M.D. This short book is completely unreliable.]

Holberg, Jay. (2007). Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Sky. [Note: An expert history of the lore and science of  the star Sirius throughout the ages. The author is a noted astrophysicist and expert on the star Sirius.]

Holmberg, Uno. (1927). The Mythology of all Races. Volume IV. Finno-Ugric, Siberian. [Note: Contains considerable astral lore. Still valuable but now dated and to be used with caution. Criticised for imagined reconstructions of belief systems (the author was originally a Protestant theologian and Lutheran minister), and the conversation philology which is sometimes erroneous. The book - which included the concepts of the shaman's tree and the shaman's ascent to the heavens, the center of the world and the symbolism of the tree of life and the world pillar (axis mundi) - provided a source for the ideas later developed by Mircea Eliade. The author (who in 127changed his name from (Swedish) Holmberg to (Finnish) Harva) was Professor of Sociology at the University of Turku. Life dates: 1882-1949. See the (English-language) book review by the Polish anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) in The Saturday Review, April 7, 1928, Pages 738-739.]

Hommel, Fritz. (1901). Der Gestirndienst der alten Araber und die altisraelitische Ueberlieferung. [Note: The author's theory of an early Arabic star religion. See the (English-language) book review by Alexander Chamberlain in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 15, Number 57, April-June, 1902, Page 138.]

Houtman, Cornelis. (1993). Der Himmel im Alten Testament: Israels Weltbild und Weltanschauung. [Note: Deals with the concepts of the association between heaven and earth, and the structure and order of the cosmos. Life dates: 1945- .]

Hung, Wu. (2010). The Art of the Yellow Springs: Understanding Chinese Tombs. [Note: See "3 Temporality" (Specifically pages 149-163).]

Jankovic, Nenad. (1951). Astronomija u predanjima, obicajima i umotvorinama Srba. [Note: The book is written in Serbo-Croation (Cyrillic). The English translation of the title is: Astronomy in the lore, customs, and the folk wisdom of the Serbs.]

Jansen, H. Ludin. (1939, Number 1). Die Henochgestalt eine Vergleich ende Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung. [Note: The author includes discussion of astral themes.]

Jacob, Alexander. (2012). Brahman: A Study of the Solar Rituals of the Indo-Europeans. [Note: The author is considered controversial regarding methods and evidentiary claims and the book needs to be used with caution. See the (English-language) book review by Carole Cusack in Journal of Religious History, Volume 38, Issue 2, June, 2014, Pages 282-283.]

Jenkins, John. (2002). Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan [sic], Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions. [Note: Unreliable. Falls within the New Age genre. Mostly a combination of fantasy and speculation. The author identifies himself as an independent scholar and has been identified as a 'Galactic Centre theorist.'

Jensen, Paul. (1900; reprinted 1901). Assyrisch-babylonische Mythen und Epen. [Note: The author was a competent Assyriologist and also a Panbabylonist, and includes some astronomical interpretations of the epic material. See the (English-language) book review by Theophilius Pinches in The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1902, Pages 203-207; and the brief (German-language) book review by Charles Fossey in Revue de l'Histoire de Religions, Vingt-Troisiè Année, Tome Quarante-Sixième, 1902, Pages 449-450.]

Jeremias, Alfred. (1911). The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East. (2 Volumes). [Note: A revision and enlargement of the second German edition. The author was a leading Panbabylonist and most of the contents on astral lore are unreliable. The book sets out one of the few detailed English-language expositions of Panbabylonism. For a book review of the 1904 German edition see the (German-language) book review by Otto Weber in Orientalistische Litteratur-Zeitung, Achter Jahrgang, Number 3, März 1905, Columns 100-103. See also the (English-language) book review by Allen Menzies in The Review of Philosophy and Religion, Volume 3, Part 1, July 1907 - June 1908, Pages 77-? For book reviews of the 1916 German edition see the (German-language) book reviews by Max Löhr in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Zwanzigster Jahrgang, Number 10, 1917, Columns 308-309; and by Eduard Mahler in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Einunddreissigster Band, 1917/1918, Pages 170-189. For book reviews of the 1930 German edition see the (German-language) book reviews by Anton Jirku in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 55 Jahrgang, Number 21, 11 Oktober 1930, Columns 484-485; and by Ferdinand Bork in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Band XXXIV, Number 2, Februar, 1931, Columns 136-144. For book reviews of the English-language translation see the (English-language) book reviews by Jacob Hoschander in The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, Volume 3, Number 4, April, 1913, Pages 575-?; and by John Merlin Powis Smith (1866-1932) in The Biblical World, Volume 38, Number 4, October, 1911, Pages 282-285. Alfred Jeremias corresponded with Oswald Spengler (See: Letters of Oswald Spengler, 1913-1936 edited by Arthur Helps (1966). Also, see the highly critical (English-language) book review article titled "Jeremias and astral-mythology in the Old Testament" by Edward Maunder in London Quarterly Review, Volume 118, October, 1912 or 1913, Pages 220-222.]

Jobes, Gertrude. and Jobes, James. (1964). Outer Space: Myths, Name Meanings, Calendars, From the Emergence of History to the Present Day. [Note: An uncritical compilation that needs to be used with caution.]

Johnson, Lauren. (2004). Shining in the Ancient Sea. [Note: Unreliable and speculative. The author attempts to show that Homer's Odyssey is an ancient astronomical almanac created by an Indo-European parent culture circa 3500 BCE, to transmit astronomical knowledge. See the (English-language) book reviews by John McMahon, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2000.09.19, and by Dimitris Sinachopoulos in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Volume 7, Number 2, December 2004, Pages 122-123.]

Jónsson, Björn. (No date but (circa) 1994). Star Myths of the Vikings: A New Concept of Norse Mythology. [Note: Björn Jónsson (1920-1995) was a physician of Icelandic descent residing in Canada. The book is riddled with errors and shows little understanding of the material. The author could not distinguish the American freemason Robert Hewitt Brown, author of "Stellar Theology" (1882), from the English solicitor Robert Brown Junior, author of "Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians" (2 Volumes, 1899-1900). Jónsson's extensive list of Scandinavian constellations should not be regarded as reflecting indigenous tradition. Jónsson's astronomical identifications of persons in Viking myth are simply unprovable assertions. See the (English-language) book review by Ed Krupp in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 28, 1997, Pages 353-354 for a summary of its fundamental weaknesses.]

Kane, Matt. (1999). Heavens Unearthed in Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales. [Note: Speculative. Argues that nursery rhymes and fairy tales were closely connected to solar and lunar activity. See the (English-language) book review by Gail de Vos (Storyteller, University of Alberta, School of Library and Information Studies) in The Journal of American Folklore Volume 114, Number 451, Winter, 2001, Pages 112-114.]

Karetzky, Patricia. (2012). The Image of the Winged Celestial and Its Travels along the Silk Road. [Note: Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 225, June, 2012.]

Kelly, Fergus. (2001, Reprinted 2011). "The beliefs and mythology of the early Irish, with special reference to the cosmos." In: Ruggles, Clive., Prendergast, Frank., and Ray, Tom. (Editors). Astronomy, Cosmology and Landscape. (Pages 167-172). [Note: One of 15 selected papers from the sixth annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Dublin, Ireland, in 1998. All the papers are in English.]

Kelley, David. and Milone, Gene. (2005). Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy. [Note: See the section "Astronomy and Mythology in Ancient Religion," Pages 474-478.]

Ķensis, Toms. (2012). A disciplinary history of Latvian mythology. [Note: PhD thesis, Institute of Cultural Research and Fine Arts, University of Tarta. Some discussion of astral mythology.]

Kolb, Hugh. (2013). Foxes from the Gods: The Mythology and Symbolism of the Fox in the Middle East and Europe Over the Past Five Thousand Years. [Note: Excellent and highly readable. The book is the outcome of a great deal of research. See especially: 2. Foxes in the Sky. Some disciplined speculation that is readily identified by the author when it occurs. Hugh Kolb Ph.D. is an eminent naturalist. "This book traces the symbolism and mythology of the fox from the earliest Sumerian Wisdom Literature of the third millennium BCE up to English Public Houses of the twentieth century, taking in later Mesopotamian, Persian, Greek and Medieval European cultures on the way. … Hugh Kolb is a graduate of Oxford and Aberdeen Universities. He studied the biology and behavior of foxes in Scotland for ten years. Among his previous publications is Country Foxes (Whittet, 1996)."]

Koneckis, Ralf. (1994). Mythen und Märchen : was uns die Sterne darüber verraten. [Note: Ralf Konecks identifies himself as a private scholar, author, and archaeoastronomer. The author believes that by exploring European mythology our scientific knowledge of the astronomical knowledge of the earliest Europeans can be increased. The author believes in an early (perhaps circa 4th-millennium BCE) sophisticated astronomical knowledge being developed by European cultures. He argues that myths and tales were intended as an oral means to convey knowledge of astronomy. As example: According to Koneckis the tale of the hare and the hedgehog basically describes how the moon crosses the sky in a month but the sun is much slower and requires a whole year to cross the sky.]

Konstantopoulos, Gina. (2015). They are Seven: Demons and Monsters in the Mesopotamian Textual and Artistic Tradition. [Note: Some interesting astral material is included in this 2015 University of Michigan doctoral dissertation. (It is downloadable from the internet.) The Abstract doesn't mention the detailed astral discussion appearing at the end of the dissertation. For the astral material see pages 263-367 (which includes the Appendices). "Abstract: This study examines the place supernatural creatures (or demons and monsters) held in the textual and artistic record of Mesopotamia. It focuses upon a particular group of demons, known as the Sebettu, or the Seven. The Sebettu are both a means by which to examine the larger problems pertaining to the study of demons in Mesopotamia, and the focal point of a full and detailed study of their own. Attestations to the Sebettu comprise a corpus from 2100 BCE to 300 BCE and cross over a number of textual genres, including incantations, literary texts, royal inscriptions, and divine hymns. Despite being fierce and terrifying demons, the Sebettu appear increasingly in protective, benevolent roles from the latter half of the second millennium BCE onwards. They are shifted over the course of several centuries into the divine pantheon of state deities, while retaining their demonic qualities. It is clear that the Sebettu are characterized by their fierce, military prowess and ability as warriors, and this ability may be directed at the enemies of the state or the state itself. Initially, this study tracks the major Old Babylonian literary works wherein the Sebettu feature. At this stage, the Sebettu are restricted to literary texts and hymns and are not represented in the household sphere. These texts begin to establish a continuity of imagery for the Sebettu, which is followed by the later, first millennium texts such as Erra, where the Sebettu are given a different divine genealogy and fight with Erra against the homeland, as opposed to earlier texts where they are tasked to assist one divine figure or another. All of these texts work together to create a common conception of the Sebettu, which the Neo-Assyrian kings of the first millennium draw upon in royal inscriptions, incorporating the Sebettu into the divine pantheon of Neo-Assyria without loosing (sic) the terrifying, potentially destructive force that the Sebettu possess. The dissertation examines the development of the Sebettu over time, analyzing how they are eventually employed in the propaganda of Neo-Assyria as their nature is shifted from demonic to divine."]

Kornemann, Mathhias. (1998). Vom Astralmythos zum Roman.

Krichenbauer, Anton. (1881). Theogonie und Astronomie. [Note: Interprets Homer's Iliad as an astronomical allegory. The German author was a classical philologist. Life dates for author: 1825-1884. See the (English-language) book review by Anon in Nature, Volume XXVI, 1882, August 10, Page 341.]

Kritsky, Gene. and Cherry, Ron. (2000). Insect Mythology.

Kristiansen, Kristian. and Larsson, Thomas. (2005). The Rise of Bronze Age Society: Travels, Transmissions and Transformations. [Note: See: 6. The cosmological structure of Bronze Age society (Pages 251-319); and 8. Cosmos and culture in the Bronze Age (Pages 357-368).]

Krupp, Ed. (1991). Beyond the Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets. [Note: Comprehensive and excellent. See the (English-language) book review by Von del Chambelain in Sky & Telescope, Volume 83, Number 1, January 1992, Pages 40-41.]

Krupp, Ed. (1997). Skywatchers, Shamans and Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power. [Note: Excellent survey of world-wide beliefs connecting earthly rulers and priests with celestial power and cosmic order.]

Krupp, Ed. (2000). "Sky Tales and Why We Tell Them." In: Selin, Helaine. (Editor). Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astronomy. (Pages 1-30). [Note: Excellent article. See the (English-language) essay book review by Clive Ruggles in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 35, Part 2, May, 2004, Number 119, Pages 229-236.]

Krupp, Edwin. (2005). "The Color of Cosmic Order." In: Chamberlain, Von Del., Carlson, John. and Young, Mary. (2005). Songs from the Sky: Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World. (Pages 9-20). [Note: Comprises selected proceedings papers of the "First International Conference on Ethnoastronomy," Washington, D.C., 1983. Published as Volumes XII-XIII, 1996, of Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of the Center Archaeoastronomy. An excellent collection of papers.]

Kugler, Franz. (1927; English translation 1979). Sibyllinischer Sternkampf und Phaëthon in Naturgeschichtlicher Beleuchtung. [Note: A (mistaken) literal interpretation of the story as a natural catastrophic event. The 1979 (spiral bound) English translation by Guenter Koehler was titled "The Sibylline Starwar and Phaethon In the Light of Natural History." See the (German-language) book reviews by Wilhelm Gundel in Gnomon, Band 4, 1928, Pages 449-451; by (Pater) Damien Kreichgauer in Anthropos, Band 23, Heft 3/4, May-August, 1928, Page 7; the (presumably German-language) book review by ? in Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie, Volume 52, Number 2, 1928, Pages 276-277; the (French-language) book review by Hugh Bévenot in Isis, Volume XII, 1929, Pages 156-157; and the (English-language) book review by Arthur Nock in The Journal of Theological Studies, Volume XXXIII, 1932, Pages 77-78. Pater Damien Kreichgauer (1859-1940) held a PhD in Physics and was an expert on the astronomical knowledge of the native Mesoamericans and native South Americans.]

Kunike, Hugo. (1927). Sternenmythologie auf ethnologischer Grundlage.

Labuschagne, [Bart] C[?]. (1989). "The Life Span of the Patriarchs" In: Mulder, M[?]. and van der Woude, A[?]. (Editors). New Avenues in the Study of the Old Testament. (Pages 121-127). [Note: An informed discussion and astronomical interpretation of the supposed long lives of the Patriarchs in Genesis.]

Lamb, John. (1848). The Phenomena and Diosemeia of Aratus, Translated into English Verse with Notes.

Lancellotti, Maria Grazia. (2002). Attis. Between Myth and History: King, P:riest and God. [Note: See "3.7. The astralisation of Attis" Pages 115-118.]

Lang, Andrew. (New edition 1898). "Star Myths." In: Lang, Andrew. Custom and Myth. (Pages 121-142).

Langdon, Stephen. (1914). Tammuz and Ishtar: A Monograph Upon Babylonian Religion and Theology. [Note: See especially: Chapter V. Tammuz and Innini as Astral Deities.]

Langdon, Stephen. (1931; reprinted 1959). Semitic Mythology. [Note: Contains some interesting discussions of astral lore. See the (French-language) book review by Ch-F. J. in Revue d'Assyriologie et d'Archéologie Orientalie, Volume XXIX, 1932, Number 1, Pages 40-41.]

Lankford, George. (2007). Reachable Stars. Patterns in the Ethnoastronomy of Eastern North America. [Note: Wide ranging and useful. However, an uncritical use of sources. The author is (2007) Professor Emeritus at Lyon College where he served as endowed professor and chair of Social Sciences. Life dates: 1938- .]

Larbordus, Leonardus. (1946). De Astronomische Mythen in de Griekse Literatuur van Homeros tot Aratos. [Note: This is a Dutch-language publication. See the (Dutch-language) book review by R[?]. van Pottelbergh in L'Antiquité Classique, Tome XV, 1946, Pages 377-378.]

George Latura Beke

Latura, George. (2009). Visible Gates in the Pagan Skies. [Note: The author, present usual full name George Beke Latura (but earlier full name used was Georg Latura Beke), describes himself as an independent researcher (whatever that means). Latura is Romanian, lives in the USA, and maybe worked as a copy editor or insurance salesman in New York. (On several occasions he is credited by presenters with the English proof reading of their conference papers.) I have been informed that one web site identified that he is a retired insurance salesman who is active in a Pythagorean group/cult. It is now not possible to find any biographical information about him on the web. It is not indicated that he is a maven on the issues of ancient history that he involves himself with. It is indicated that Latura seeks to perpetuate his spurious historical claims. The 90-page publication is really only a short essay. The author also self-published the small book, Digging Up The Dog: The Greek Roots Of Gurdjieff's Esoteric Ideas. (2005, 92-pages). (Joseph Azize (PhD, LIB, in 2010 at least was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney) commented (Crossroads, Volume V, Issue I, 2010, Page 22, Note 30): "... not an academically valuable study, and lacks methodology.") At the 2nd Annual Gurdjieff Conference in Armenia, George Beke gave a 1 hour presentation: Gurdieff and Greek Thought. George Gurdjieff was Greek Armenian. Digging Up The Dog: The Greek Roots of Gurdjieff's Esoteric Ideas by George Latura Beke is based on his presentation given at the 2005 Armenia Gurdjieff Conference, where he asserts that Gurdjieff's teachings can be found in ancient Greek ideas. A number of short essays by Beke followed his presentation on Gurdjieff. See: The short essay, "Gurdjieff and Greek Esoteric Thought" by George L. Beke was published by the Gurdjieff Club. Also, Beke, George. (2008). "Gurdjieff and Greek Esoteric Thought" In: Pittman, Michael. (Editor). G. I. Gurdjieff: Armenian Roots, Global Branches. (Pages 1-12). Beke is not indicated as a Gurdjieff follower. However, as example of a metaphysical statement he has written: "The two major Universal Drives seem to be Dominance (survival) and Sex (love). As long as these two conflicts don't arise, there is peace in the world." Comment made by George L. Beke on 11 October 2000 in the class "Act to Write" at the New School Online University (division of the New School for Social Research). His short essay, "The Planets: Stairway to Heaven" by George L. Beke. (Alchemy Journal, Volume 8, Number 3, Winter, 2007, Pages 1-5) falls within the category of an uncritical popular article. Latura has now obviously fixed upon annual SEAC (and similar) conferences to present his ideas and have them published. Redundant practices per publications and notices have ensured repetition. It is indicated that Latura wants to ensure that people are continually exposed to his ideas. The question is: Is George Latura an authority on anything? Latura is undeterred when his errors are pointed out and rarely discusses them. It is evident that Latura underestimates others and overestimates the exclusive importance of his own opinion and judgment. On Hastro-L he constantly talks up his own articles. Aspects of Latura's/Beke's presentations/articles can be contrived rather than carefully argued. When his mistakes and other issues are pointed out he usually simply reasserts his claims. See as example: "Eternal Rome – Guardian of the Heavenly Gates." (Talk by George Latura given at INSAP VIII Conference, American Museum of Natural History, New York, July 9, 2013. The paper is due to appear in the Conference Proceedings in the ASP Conference Series.) The title given by Latura for his INSAP VIII presentation makes no historical sense. Latura equates the heavenly gates of Roman paganism with the Pope opening the Holy Door to the Basilica of St. Peter in early December 2015. However, the Pope opening the Holy Door to the Basilica of St. Peter is without any connection to the concept of the pagan heavenly gates. To imply otherwise is simply misleading. The Pope's adoption of the pre-Christian Roman title Pontifex Maximus is simply not used in a pagan context. The assumption of the pre-Christian title does not mean the assumption of any previous pre-Christian attributes. The Pope is not perpetuating any aspect of pre-Christian astral beliefs. (The Pope has never led the worship of Sol Invictus.) The reason why the Pope is referred to as the "Pontifex Maximus" or "Supreme Pontiff" today is not really because of any carry-over from paganism. It was not until the Roman Empire was split into two, West and East, with the Western Empire going to Emperor Gratian (circa 360/376/381 CE) that the Pope was given the title Pontifex Maximus. The head priest of the Roman state religion was the Pontifex Maximus, or the greatest of the college of pontifices. The Christian Emperor Gratian felt that it was not right for him to carry that title (since he was not a Christian priest) and he bestowed it upon Pope Damasus I (Pope from 366-384 CE), who became the first Pope in history to hold the title "Pontifex Maximus." It was only a legal title that the Popes did not give much attention to at the time. The Popes continued to maintain that their authority came from the Apostle Peter and Peter alone. It was not until the Popes began to conflict with several heretical Eastern Emperors (who, incidentally, also held the title "Pontifex Maximus" in the Eastern Empire) that the Popes began asserting their legal authority under imperial law. The system of pre-Christian Roman Pontiffs originally began as a role of early Roman kings. During the Roman Republic, the Pontifex was elected by the Comitia Tributa and served for life, while during the Roman Empire (12 BCE to circa 381 CE latest), the position was usually held by the Roman Emperors. We need to be reminded - and not overlook as is becoming the case - that relevant, credible evidence is the successful way to support ideas. Hypotheses and theories function to organise evidence/knowledge. Without evidence we have nothing to legitimately suggest an explanation and the force of its possible validity. A mix of authors (amateur enthusiasts), editors, and referees now overlook this issue. Also being overlooked is the concept of 'burden of proof.' Latura fails to establish anything new. His essays are imaginative and highly speculative. His interpretations are highly selective. He ignores research that brings his ideas into question.]

Latura, George. (2013). "The Cross Torch of Eleusis & The Astronomical Secret of the Mysteries." In: XXI SEAC conference, Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to the Future. Book of abstracts. 1st September to 7th September 2013. (Pages 61-63).

Leach, Marjorie. (1992). "Stellar Gods: Constellations, Planets, Stars." In: Leach, Marjorie. Guide to the Gods. (Pages 145-169). [Note: Chapter 10 of her book. Brief entries and world-wide coverage.]

Lebeuf, Anold. (1996). "The Milky Way, a path of the souls." Koleva, Vesselina. and Kolev, Dimiter (Editors). Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, (Pages 148-161). [Note: A collection of 20 selected papers from the first annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Smolyan, Bulgaria, in 1993. The volume also contains the SEAC statutes, both in French and English. Papers are in English with abstracts in Bulgarian. Published by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.]

Ledo, Michael. (2009). On Earth as It is In Heaven: The Cosmic Roots of the Bible. [Note: The Bible stories as cosmic myth. The authors is an American atheist. Odd and unreliable.]

Lenzi, Alan. and Stökl, Jonathan. (2014). Divination, Politics, and Ancient Near Eastern Empires. [Note: Excellent.]

Lerro, Bruce. (2000). From Earth Spirits to Sky Gods. [Note: In Chapter 9, the author considers that celestial events (comets, asteroids, and meteors) led to sky-god mythology/beliefs. The entire book is rather speculative.]

Lewis-Williams, David. and Pearce, David. (2005). Inside the Neolithic mind. [Note: Includes informed speculations on Neolithic cosmology.]

Lewy, Hildegard. (1965). "Istar-Sad and the Bow Star." In: Güterbock, Hans. (Editor). Studies in Honor of Benno Landsberger on his Seventy-fifth Birthday. (Pages 273-281).

Lloyd-Jones, Hugh. (1978). Myths of the Zodiac.

L'Orange, Hans. (1953; Reprinted 1982). Studies on the Iconography of Cosmic Kingship in the Ancient World. [Note: Heavily focused on Persian astronomical symbolism but also discusses Mesopotamian, Hebrew, and Greek, and Christian astronomical symbolism.]

Lum, Peter. (1948, USA; n.d. but 1951, UK). The Stars in our Heaven: Myths and Fables. [Note: See the (English-language) book reviews Austin Fife in Western Folklore, Volume 8, Number 3, July 1949, Pages 287-288; and by Evon Vogt in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 63, Number 248, April-June, 1950, Pages 254-255. The book review by Austin Fife is somewhat critical of the structure of the book.]

Lundquist, John. (1983). Studies on the Temple in the Ancient Near East. [Note: Unpublished PhD dissertation, The University of Michigan. Discusses the cosmological aspects of Near Eastern temples.]

MacKenzie, Donald. (1926; Reprinted 1968). The Migration of Symbols and their Relations to Beliefs and Customs. [Note: Interesting material. See the (English-language) book review by H. D. [H. Dodwell] in Bulletin of The School of Oriental Studies, London Institution, Volume IV, Part III, 1927, Pages 660-661.]

Malandra, William. (1983). An Introduction to Ancient Iranian Religion: Readings from the Avesta and Achaemenid Inscriptions. [Note: See the discussion: Tishtrya, Pages 140-149.]

Malina, Bruce. (1997). On the Genre and Message of Revelation: Star Visions and Sky Journeys. [Note: Contains a considerable number of errors and to be used with care. The authors argument is weakened by an uncritical reliance on the outdated and error-riddled "Researches into the Origin of the Primitive Constellations of Greeks, Phoenicians and Babylonians," by Robert Brown Junior. (2 Volumes, 1899-1900). Also, the author seems not to appreciate the forced arguments of Franz Boll in his "Aus der Offenbarung Johannis: hellenistische Studien zum Weltbild der Apokalypse," (1914). For a succinct critique of Malina's astral ideas on other points see: Revelation by Ben Witherington III (2003). See the (English-language) book reviews by David deSilva (also spelled Desilva) in Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 116, Number 4, Winter, 1997, Pages 763-765; and by Paul Duff in The Journal of Religion, Volume 81, Number 4, October, 2001, Pages 631-632.]

Malina, Bruce. and Pilch, John. (2000). Social-Science Commentary on the Book of Revelation. [Note: Positing an astronomical/astrological basis for the Book of Revelation is somewhat flawed.]

Marchal, Edmond. (1906). "Le "Puits de la verite" issu du symbole de l'astronomie chaldeenne." [Note: The author was Secrétaire perpétuel de l'Académie Royale de Belgique.]

Masri, Larisa Rana. (1998). Astral Religion and Christian Symbolism in Late Antiquity. [Note: Little known study that appears to focus on sun worship. It was perhaps a PhD thesis for the University of Arkansas, Fayettville. In 2008 Larisa Rana Masri was a graduate student at the University of Chicago and was one of a number of students awarded the Provost's Summer Fellowship to further academic research. (See: The University of Chicago Chronicle, Volume 27, Number 18, June 12, 2008.) Life dates for Larisa Rana Masri: 1971?- .]

Massey, Gerald. (1883; reprinted numerous times since). The Natural Genesis. (2 Volumes). [Note: Completely unreliable.]

Mathisen, David. (2015). Star Myths of the World and how to interpret them, Volume One. [Note: An amateur's approach to interpreting world myths and stories in a manner similar to Alvin Kuhn (1880-1963) (an American theosophist/occultist). Interprets myths as celestial metaphor/spiritual symbolism. The approach also reminds me of the pantheist Dorothy Murdock (1960-2015) who also liked to believe she was an expert on religion, mythology, and spiritual traditions. She mostly used outdated late 19th-century and early 20th-century amateur freethought sources to construct her books.]


Non-academic (amateur) history is now engaged in by a multitude of persons who seek to give their own preferred 'alternative' explanations in the conviction they are more accurate and 'truthful' than the perspective of so-called conventional history. David Mathisen imposes a single explanation (precessional astronomy) on immensely varied myths regardless of their location, context or provenance. The notion that one key or kind of key would explain all myths has long been abandoned by most scholars. However, amongst laypersons natural phenomena is still being proposed as the key to all mythologies. In his book The Mathisen Corollary we have the fantasy that experts do not know best but that Mathisen does, and his theory - based on the catastrophic geological hydroplate model proposed by the creationist Walt Brown to refute evolution and defend Biblical literalism and the Noahic flood - "completely changes our understanding of mankind's ancient past." Mathisen believes that conventional academics/historians are co-operatively involved in suppressing the true history of humankind (and substituting it with 'conventional' history). When and where this conspiracy began and how it is perpetuated is not suitably explained. However, Mathisen believes he not only can see through this conspiracy of suppression but that he also has knowledge of the true history of humankind and its ancient wisdom.

"The world's sacred traditions share a common system of celestial metaphor .... Details of it have been systematically analyzed most thoroughly perhaps by the Reverend Robert Taylor of England (1784-1844), working with the stories found in the scriptures we call the Old and New Testaments of the Bible." (Star Myths of the World, and how to interpret them by David Mathisen (Volume 1, 2015, Page 1.) The 2 volumes of discourses by Taylor that Mathisen most admires are: The Devil's Pulpit, or Astro-Theological Sermons (1857), and Astronomico-Theological Lectures (1857). In The Undying Stars (2014, Page i), Mathisen begins with quotes from Gerald Massey and Alvin Boyd Kuhn. (The full book title is: The Undying Stars, the truth that unites the world’s ancient wisdom, and the conspiracy to keep it from you.) Gerald Massey (1828-1907) was a British poet and spiritualist without any formal education. Alvin Kuhn (1880-1963) was an American theosophist/occultist. He was very much influenced by the work of Gerald Massey and Godfrey Higgins. (I have had copies of books by Robert Taylor, Gerald Massey, and Alvin Kuhn for some 50 years. They fall within the freethought genre. None are useful.) Regarding Mathisen's admiration for Robert Taylor. Mathisen seems to think that his acceptance of Taylor simply validates Taylor's essays. Why the later German star myth school is ignored is somewhat puzzling. It appears that Mathisen does not read German. Robert Taylor's essays are worthless. Alvin Kuhn is heavily reliant on Gerald Massey. Neither Taylor or Kuhn can be classed as scholars. Taylor's scholarship (largely an astronomical critique of the gospels) has been described as "phantasmagoria of misplaced erudition." Kuhn simply uses Massey as an authority. Taylor was eccentric and his astronomical critique of the gospels remains bizarre. (I have had multiple copies Taylor's works for 50 years. They fall within the freethought genre.) By 1824, when he came to London, Taylor was a BA graduate of St John's College, Cambridge, qualified and experienced surgeon (4 years training (apprenticeship) with a Birmingham surgeon), an ordained Church of England clergyman, a schoolteacher, and a journalist. At one time Robert Taylor, a radical clergyman and former deist turned radical freethinker, delivered esoteric mythological sermons (later published as essays) several times a week from the Blackfriars Rotunda in London. Taylor combined irreligion with ultra-radical politics. He believed all religions were fictions constructed from codes of astronomical and astrological symbols. Also, Christianity developed from Egyptian religions. These ideas were also set out in his Syntagma (1828) and Diegesis(1829). Taylor's ideas were clearly based on late 18th-century French freethought books, especially Ruins of Empire by Count Constantine de Volney, and The Origin of all Religious Worship by Charles Dupuis. His Sunday evening theatrical performances (involving outlandish dress, numerous props, exaggerated gestures, and burlesque on Anglican ceremony) of "Astronomico-Theological" discourses on Christianity were repeated during the week. His voice and ranting delivery were modelled on the actor Charles Kemble. One assessment of Taylor (Radical Expression, Page 137) states: "Taylor was a fop, a dandy, a boozer, and a womanizer - a man of almost uncontrolled excess." Taylor also associated with persons deemed to be of questionable character.

Mathisen is now (2017) engaged in widening how he communicates his beliefs. Posted October 12, 2017 to The Mathisen Corollary: "The New Academy of Celestial Mythology & Ancient Wisdom commences this Saturday, October 14 with a live, three-hour web-based course on the celestial mythology of the Bible. I will be leading the discussion and using visual images, diagrams, star charts, and planetarium software to help explain how the system works, how specific stories and characters in the scriptures of the Old and New Testament correspond to constellations and other heavenly bodies, and how those celestial actors relate to the profound message contained in the ancient texts. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion, and by the end of the class you should be equipped to begin to converse with the ancient myths yourself in the language that they are actually speaking, as well as to see connections between the stories and figures found in the Bible and those found in the other amazing ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories from around the world. You will also see the stars in a new light the next time you are able to go out and view the heavens in person. To reserve your place in the course, please visit the sign-up page here. The live class will begin this Saturday at 10am Pacific time, which is the same as 1pm Eastern time and 5pm (1700) UTC. Posted by David Warner Mathisen at 10:56 AM."

Mathisen (and others of the same ilk (New Age history)) would do well to pay attention to the bizarre thesis in The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language by C. H. Kang and Ethel R. Nelson (1979), and Genesis and the Mystery Confucius Couldn’t Solve by Ethel R. Nelson and Richard E. Broadberry (1994). The authors attempt to show that the book of Genesis encoded in the Chinese language. The authors analyse the oldest Chinese ideographs to 'reveal' that ancient Chinese history includes biblical events from creation to the flood. The Chinese, as they left the Tower of Babel, embed the story of creation to the flood in their language. However, the Bible is their presupposition: their axiomatic "starting point" from which they interpret the world around them. Also, the arguments of the authors have nothing whatsoever to do with the way Chinese characters have been created historically and have functioned. Chinese language developed from divination symbols used on the so-called oracle bones. The symbols/inscriptions used in divining practice with oracle bones became words and a recognizable (extended) Chinese script developed. Most of the oracle bones discovered come from the Shang Dynasty (circa 1600-1046 BCE). Also, importantly, humans have an eye for finding 'patterns.' This is a problem when patterns are identified that don't really exist - or when specific meanings are superimposed on something very vague. Also, it is a well-known psychological phenomenon that once there is the conviction that a pattern is present, then everything will seem to confirm it, even if objectively there is nothing there.

Mathisen does not engage in balanced discussions of historical material. As examples:

(1) In The Undying Stars (Page 27), Mathisen writes: "... but for sheer comprehensive explication of the celestial metaphors in the Bible, the Reverend Taylor (who was imprisoned for his efforts) is hard to beat." This simply avoids the fact that Taylor was twice convicted of blasphemy for which he twice served time in prison (1828-1829; 1831-1833). At this time blasphemy was a criminal offence. Taylor was basically "preaching" Bible mythicism based on the publications of Dupuis and Volney. Taylor's theatrical spoofs on religious services during his lectures were quite wild. He dressed as a bishop, parodied Anglican church services, and made outrageously blasphemous comments on Christian rituals or the Scriptures. It was Taylor's theatrical actions involving mockery of Christianity - not his Bible mythicism - that led to his being twice charged with blasphemy, and his sentences to imprisonment. At the Rotunda his theatrics on the Bible was accompanied by 12 zodiacal emblems painted on the dome overhead, a large board carrying Greek 'hieroglyphs,' a mechanical pointer, an illuminated globe, and a clockwork orrery. Sometimes he was accompanied by a female chorus playing guitars. His Rotunda performances on Bible mythicism encompassed spoofs, burlesque, buffoonery, satire, parody, and ridicule. Taylor had no problem filling the Rotunda with his style of theatre/show. He was not involved in the serious education of the London working class.

(2) Promoting the Ruamahanga (Ruamahunga) River Skull in New Zealand as causing major problems for conventional historical timelines, instead of the most likely explanation of it being evidence of a Dutch shipwreck survivor - there was a lot of Dutch sailing activity at this time, especially along the coast of Australia and to Indonesia - forgoes a critical approach. DNA testing has identified the skull as European rather than Maori. Also, the shape of the skull indicates a European rather than Maori origin. (The ethnicity of the skull was determined using anatomical metrics. However, a large portion of the cranium is missing.) At best the Ruamahunga River Skull - discovered 2004 - could rewrite the history of European presence in New Zealand prior to the arrival of James Cook in 1769 and Abel Tasman in 1642. Using radio carbon dating the skull is dated to the first half of the 16th-century. Unfortunately radio carbon dating is not very reliable. Also, the Ruamahanga River Skull has no archaeological provenance. In 2009, Marcus Boroughs, director of the Aratoi – Wairarapa's Museum of Art and History, stated he had been informed the skull may have been taken from a medical school in Wellington and thrown off a bridge into the river in the mid 1970s. See: "A Pre-Tasman Shipwreck?" by Robin Watt. In: Shipwrecks of New Zealand by Lynton Diggle and Charles Ingram (8th edition, 2009). In the 15th-century the Portuguese were frequent voyagers to India and the East. Records of the early Portuguese voyages to the region of Australia were destroyed in the Lisbon earthquake and fire of 1755. It is thought possible that the Portuguese in the early 16th-century discovered Australia.

In the 16th-century the Spanish were frequent voyagers in the Pacific. (Spanish exploration of the Pacific Ocean was underway in the 16th-century.) Robert Langdon (Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University) contends that some Maoris are of part-European descent from the crew of a long-fogotten 16th-century Spanish caravel, the San Lesmes (with its crew of some 50 men), which disappeared in the eastern South Pacific more than 460 years ago (i.e., circa 1530). There is evidence - 4 abandoned heavy cannons - that they were in the region of Tahiti.) Langdon posits that the course for the return to Spain brought them to the then unknown North Island of New Zealand. See: "Caucasian Maoris: 16th-Century Spaniards in New Zealand." by Robert Langdon (American Anthropologist, Volume 93, 1991, Pages 440-444).

In the first half of the 17th-century the Dutch were frequent voyagers to the Pacific. In the 18th-century the French and British were frequent voyagers to the Pacific. Women were in the Pacific in the late 16th-century. In 1595 Doña Ysabel Barreto Mendaña accompanied her husband on his search for the Solomon Islands. The first woman to circumnavigate the globe, Jeanne Baret, did so disguised as a man. In 1766, she sailed on the French ship La Boudeuse as servant to its naturalist, Philibert Commerson. Dutch traders/merchants brought their wives with them to Indonesia. From circa 1600 to 1750, Holland had the largest merchant fleet of any nation. In the mid 17th-century the Dutch were exploring the western Australian coast. Exploration by Dutch ships off Australia was soon followed by Spanish and Portuguese ships. A problem was navigational longitude couldn't be accurately measured until the mid-18th century. Until then finding longitude at sea was mostly guesswork. In order to estimate an approximate idea of longitude navigators used dead reckoning (which depended on measuring the ship's speed = distance travelled over a specific period of time). The problem of longitude was particularly problematic on long voyages out of sight of land. Southern charts were inaccurate and incomplete. Longitude errors could involve hundreds of nautical miles. Shipwrecks were common. The requirement for far more evidence is being overlooked by Mathisen. The pre-Tasman shipwreck/castaway explanation is more likely. Perhaps the woman was a descendant of the union of a Maori woman and a European sailor. Radio carbon testing suggests the person died some time between 1674 and 1742. Both James Cook and Joseph Banks believed the Dutch had sent other ships to New Zealand soon after Abel Tasman's discoveries. Also, the Dutch ship Ridderschap van Holland, which left Capetown in 1694, vanished on its voyage to Australia. If it was demasted off the southern Australian coast the prevailing currents would have carried it to the western coast of New Zealand. Demasting would limit capabilities to maneuver. See: Pre-Tasman Portuguese Down Under? by John Tasker (2012); Sixteenth Century Portuguese Down Under by John Tasker (3 Volumes, 2012); and Quest Aotearoa by John Tasker (2 Volumes, 2014; see Volume 2). Note: The author does make some errors.

(3) According to David Mathisen (The Mathisen Corollary, Wednesday, May 4, 2011), Darwinian evolution is simply wrong and Darwinian evolution is a religion. This is simply fantasy. The single compelling evidence for evolution is DNA. Today Darwin's theory, brought up to date by genetics is stronger than ever in the scientific community. Darwin did not know about genetic mutations, he did not know about Mendelian genetics, and he did not know molecular genetics. Mathisen is not a geneticist. Regardless of the professional qualifications lacked by Mathisen it is obvious that he considers his views to be the correct interpretation of world history and ancient mythology. Also, he demonstrates his overconfidence by choosing to speak as an authority and being quite dogmatic in his views. However, Mathisen basically uses force-fitting to generate evidence to fit his views - he simply subjectively reinterprets the existing evidence/myths to fit his preconceived views. The views of opponents are condemned. A tactic Mathisen uses is known as "elephant hurling." Elephant hurling is a discussion/debate tactic in which a participant/debater will refer to a large body of evidence which supposedly supports the participant's/debater's arguments, but without demonstrating that all the evidence does indeed support the argument. Put another way: Elephant hurling occurs when the critic throws summary arguments about complex issues to give the impression of weighty evidence, but with an unstated presumption that a large complex of underlying ideas is true, and failing to consider opposing data, usually because they have uncritically accepted the arguments from their own side. (3) According to David Mathisen (The Mathisen Corollary, Wednesday, May 4, 2011), Darwinian evolution is simply wrong and Darwinian evolution is a religion. This is simply fantasy. The single compelling evidence for evolution is DNA. Today Darwin's theory, brought up to date by genetics is stronger than ever in the scientific community. Darwin did not know about genetic mutations, he did not know about Mendelian genetics, and he did not know molecular genetics. Mathisen is not a biologist or geneticist (nor a trained archaeologist, anthropologist, or geologist). Mathisen does not do archaeology, anthropology, geology, or folklore, but rather talks about these subjects from his viewpoint of alternative (and quite fantastic) claims. Regardless of the professional qualifications and experience lacked by Mathisen it is obvious that he considers his views to be the correct interpretation of world history and ancient mythology. Also, he demonstrates his overconfidence by choosing to speak as an authority and being quite dogmatic in his views. However, Mathisen basically uses force-fitting to generate evidence to fit his views - he simply subjectively reinterprets the existing evidence/myths to fit his preconceived views. The views of opponents are condemned. His audience seems to be those persons susceptible to the ideas of alternative history proponents. A tactic Mathisen uses is known as "elephant hurling." Elephant hurling is a discussion/debate tactic in which a participant/debater will refer to a large body of evidence which supposedly supports the participant's/debater's arguments, but without demonstrating that all the evidence does indeed support the argument. Put another way: Elephant hurling occurs when the critic throws summary arguments about complex issues to give the impression of weighty evidence, but with an unstated presumption that a large complex of underlying ideas is true, and failing to consider opposing data, usually because they have uncritically accepted the arguments from their own side.

It may seem unacceptable to Mathisen that he is not taken seriously by specialist scholars but that is a problem only for himself. The issue is the establishment of credibility. A claim made without evidence is both questionable and dismissible. A claim made with questionable evidence is questionable.


Mathisen, David. (2016). Star Myths of the World and how to interpret them, Volume Two. [Note: A least a 3rd volume can be expected.]

Mathisen, David. (2016). Star Myths of the World and how to interpret them, Volume Three. [Note: These 3 volumes are unreliable.]

McBeath, Alastair. (1999). Tiamat's Brood: An Investigation into the Dragons of Ancient Mesopotamia. [Note: Fascinating reading. See the (English-language) book review by Clive Davenhall in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Volume 2, Number 2, 1999, Pages 163-164. Neither the book author or the book reviewer are wholly accurate.]

McBeath, Alastair. (1998). Sky Dragons and Celestial Serpents. [Note: An interesting study of constellations having draconic and serpentine characteristics, and related star lore. Obviously based on his previous articles. The author is an amateur astronomer (Vice-President of the International Meteor Organization, and Meteor Section Director to the Society for Popular Astronomy. See the rather uncritical (English-language) book review by John Rogers in The Observatory, Volume 118, Number 1147, December, 1998, Page 386(383?); and the critical (English-language) book review by Clive Davenhall in Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Volume 2, December, 1999, Pages 163-164.]

McCoy, Lee. (1912). Origin of Architectural Design or the Archaeology of Astronomy. [Note: Somewhat interesting small book with some very odd ideas.]

McDonald, Marianne. (1996). Star Myths: Tales of the Constellations.

McGinty, Kyle. (2013). Circles of Framing and Light: Analyzing the Nimbus in the Mediterranean. [Note: Honours Thesis, Department of Classics, Dartmouth College. Freely downloadable from the internet.]

Meijer, Diederik. (1992). Natural Phenomena: Their Meaning, Depiction and Description in the Ancient Near East. [Note: Proceedings papers of the Colloquim, Amsterdam, 6-8 July 1989. Contains numerous interesting (and critical) papers. Especially worth reading is "The Moon as Seen by the Babylonians" by Marten Stol (Pages 245-277). See the See the (French-language) book review by Dominique Charpin in Revue d'Assyriologie et d'Archéologie Orientale, Volume LXXXVIII, Number 1, 1994, Pages 95-96; the (German-language) book review by ? in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Band 85, I Halbband, 1995, Pages 166-167; and the (English-language) book review by Robert Biggs in Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 55, Number 3, January-October 1996, Pages 243-244.]

Melrose, Robin. (2011). The Druids and King Arthur: A New View of Early Britain. [Note: An astronomical explanation of some aspects of the legend.]

Metevelis, Peter. (2002). Mythical Stone: Volume 1 of Mythological Essays.

Metevelis, Peter. (2002). Myth in History: Volume 2 of Mythological Essays. [Note: The author is an Asianist historian and considered to be a meticulous researcher.]

Meyer, Elard. (1891). Eddische Kosmogonie. [Note: Now very much dated.]

Miller, James. (1986). Measures of Wisdom: The Cosmic Dance in Classical and Christian Antiquity. [Note: See the (English-language) book reviews by Michael Allen in Renaissance Quarterly, Volume 41, Number 2, Summer, 1988, Pages 310-313; and by James Nohrnberg in Speculum, Volume 63, Number 2, April, 1988, Pages 438-443.]

Mitchell, Terence. and Searight, Ann. (2007). Catalogue of the Western Asiatic seals in the British Museum, Volume 3. (Pages 11-14). [Note: Briefly discusses seal impressions, mainly from Warka, which can be seen a representing signs of the zodiac. At the time of co-authoring the book Terence Mitchell was Keeper of Western Asiatic Antiquities at the British Museum. Ann Searight has been professionally involved in archaeology since 1960 as conservator and subsequently draughtsman. She also conducts work for the British Museum's Middle East and Asia Departments.]

Montzka, Harold. (2009 (2010?)). The Separation of Heaven and Earth. [Note: Speculative and biased.]

Morosow, Nikolaus. (1912). Die Offenbarung Johannis. Eine astronomish-historische Untersuchung. [Note: German-language translation of a book originally published in Russian in 1907. The author's last name is also given as Morozov. The original Russian title was: Revelation in Storm and Tempest. Morosow was apparently influenced by the ideas of Franz Boll (who later published Aus der Offenbarung Johannis: hellenistische Studien zum Weltbild der Apokalypse (1914)). The author believed that the Book of Revelation was based on events experienced during the day and night of 30th September, 395 CE. The events giving rise to the astronomical and astrological speculations were a thunderstorm and earthquake on the day of a solar eclipse and the course of the constellations during the night. Morosow further believed the author of the Book of Revelation was John Chrisostom, the future bishop of Constantinople. (Morosow also assumed that John Chrisostom was capable of calculating the Saros cycle.) Nikolaus Morosow (Nikolai Morozov) was a Russian poet, scientist (taught chemistry and astronomy at the University of Petrograd), and revolutionary. "The Revelation in Storm and Thunder." by Michael Kissell (Popular Astronomy, Volume 48, 1940, Pages 537-549, & Volume 49, 1941, Pages 13-24), gives a summary of Morozov's 1905 astronomical dating of the Book of Revelation. For a succinct explanation of the book and the weaknesses of the theory see: Watchers of the Skies by Willy Ley (1969, Pages 43-47); and the effective critique "Pseudo-Science and Revelation." by N. T. Bobrovnikoff in Popular Astronomy, Volume 49, May, 1949, Pages 251-256. Life dates: 1854-1946. N. T. Bobrovnikoff (non-US born), Lick Observatory and (in the 1930s at least) Assistance Professor of Astrophysics at Ohio Wesleyan University, was an astronomer and historian of astronomy. Upon completion of his doctorate on the physics of comets, Nicholas Theodore Bobrovnikoff embarked on a four decade career in research and teaching at the Lick Observatory in California and the Perkins Observatory of the Ohio Wesleyan and Ohio State Universities.]

Müller, Carl. (1844). Introduction to a Scientific System of Mythology. [Note: Translated from the German by John Leitch (Archaeologist). See: Appendix to Chapter IX. On Astronomical Mythi. (Pages 130-145).]

Murray, Gilbert. (3rd revised and expanded edition, 1924). The Rise of the Greek Epic. [Note: The British classicist Gilbert Murray made the recognition of calendar numbers in The Odyssey.]

Niemojewski, Andrzej. (3 Volumes in 2; 1910). Gott Jesus im Lichte fremder und eigener Forschungen samt Darstellung der evangelischen Astralstoffe, Astralszenen und Astralsysteme. [Note: Unreliable. The authors longest work on the supposed astral origins of Christianity.]

Niemojewski, Andrzej. (1913, Reprinted 1921?). Astrale Geheimnisse des Christentums. [Note: Unreliable. The author was a Polish journalist and proponent of astral mythology. Life dates: 1864-1921.]

Nikolov, Nikola. (1996). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: when bears ruled the Earth and guarded the Gate of Heaven." Koleva, Vesselina. and Kolev, Dimiter (Editors). Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, (Pages 116-142). [Note: A collection of 20 selected papers from the first annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Smolyan, Bulgaria, in 1993. The volume also contains the SEAC statutes, both in French and English. Papers are in English with abstracts in Bulgarian. Published by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.]

Nilsson, Martin. (1920; Reprinted 1960). "The Stars." In: Nilsson, Martin. Primitive Time-Reckoning. (Pages 109-146). [Note: Chapter IV of his book. Brief, world-wide coverage of star lore. See the (English-language) book reviews by William Rouse in The Classical Review, Volume XXXV, 1921, Page 31; by A. C. B. in Man, Volume XXII, 1922, Pages 31-32; by Gladys Reichard in American Anthropologist, Volume 24, 1922, Pages 381-383; and the (German-language) book review by Ludwig Borchardt in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Achtundzwanzigster Jahrgang, 1925, Number 9/10, Columns 618-621.]

Noegel, Scott., Walker, Joel., and Wheeler, Brannon. (2003). (Editors). Prayer, Magic, and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World. [Note: See essay 8 in Part III, and essays 10-13 in Part IV.]

Normann, Friedrich. (1925). Mythen der Sterne. [Note: Comprehensive and world-wide in coverage but not always critical. See the (German-language) book review by Alfred Maaß in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 58 Jahrgang, 1926, Heft 1-2, Page 238.]

Nugent, Tony. (1993). Star-god: Enki/Ea and the biblical god as expressions of a common ancient Near Eastern astral-theological symbol system. [Note: Unpublished doctoral thesis (Syracuse University). 534 pages. Abstract: "Although some late 19th and early 20th Century scholars proposed that the Israelite god Yahweh is a form of the Sumero-Akkadian god Enki/Ea, this theory was quietly abandoned in the scholarly reaction against "Pan-Babylonism," and has not been revived since that time. In light of new knowledge gained over the past century, this theory deserves a fresh, comprehensive argumentation on its behalf. The primary basis for the idea that the biblical god (considering both Yahweh and his incarnation in Jesus) is a form of Enki/Ea lies in the considerable congruency between the theological traditions of these gods, which encompasses divine names, functions, values, and character traits; literary themes; mythic images; ideologies; cultic forms; and socio-historical circumstances. The theological symbol system encompassing Enki/Ea and the biblical god has an underlying "astral" character, with this god-form being a personification of the star Canopus. The astral symbology of this symbol system is indicated by the identification of deities with stars in late Babylonian astronomical and astrological texts, including Ea = Canopus; the use of a star-sign in cuneiform for the word "deity"; coherence between behaviors and characteristics of gods and the heavenly bodies which are their visible manifestations; and social and cultic institutions which mirror the heavens, following the principle of "as above, so below." Arriving at this conclusion requires knowledge of the principles of positional astronomy, including data generated by computer calculations of star positions in antiquity, taking the phenomenon of precession into consideration. Among the challenges the argument faces is that of bridging the gap between polytheism and monotheism, a task aided by evidence of significant residues of polytheism in the biblical tradition, as well as of the monolatrous character of the Enki/Ea tradition. The principal other Sumero-Akkadian god who appears to be implicated in biblical religion is Dumuzi/Tammuz, a son of Enki/Ea and a personification of the planet Mercury. Part one discusses Enki/Ea; part two discusses the biblical god as a development of Enki/Ea; and part three discusses the astral character of the symbol system encompassing Enki/Ea and the biblical god."]

Nuttall, Zelia. (1901; Reprinted 1970). The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations. [Note: Originally published as Volume II of the "Archaeological and Ethnological Papers of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University. Zelia Nuttall (1857-1933) was an archaeologist and diffusionist, and became an honorary Professor of Anthropology at the National Museum of Mexico. In her book the author believes that astronomical parallels exist between ancient Near Eastern and American civilizations. The author is uncritical with her use of secondary sources and the book needs to be used with caution. The influence of J. F. Hewitt and John O’Neill is obvious with her attention to what she believed were polar elements of astronomical symbolism. Nuttall proposed to follow the book with further volumes on similar themes but this did not occur. See the (English-language) book review by Thomas Wilson in American Anthropologist, New Series, Volume 3, 1901, Pages 360-365. See also the uncritical/unreliable (English-language) book review and discussion by Stansbury Hagar in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 14, Number 54, July-September, 1901, Pages 216-220. See the biographical obituary "Zelia Nuttall" by Alfred Tozzer in American Anthropologist, Volume 35, 1933, Pages 475-482; and also the biographical entry in "International Dictionary of Anthropologists," edited by Christopher Winters, (1991), Pages 513-514; and by Beverley Chiñas in "American National Biography," General editors, John Garraty and Mark Carnes, Volume 16, (1999), Pages 559-560. Life dates: 1857-1933.]

Oberhuber, Karl. (1977). (Editor). Das Gilgamesch-Epos. [Note: A marvellous collection of essays dating from 1903 to 1975. Included are essays which explore the astronomical interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic.]

O'Connor, Elizabeth. (1980/1982). The Starry Mantle of Henry II. [Note: Her doctoral thesis at Columbia University. Made available in 1982 through University Microfilms International. Life dates: 1938- .]

Ogier, James. (2011). "Islands and Skylands: An Eddic Geography." In: Grafetstätter, Andrea,, Hartmann, Sieglinde. and Ogier, James. (Editors). Islands and Cities in Medieval Myth, Literature, and History. (Pages ?-?). [Note: Beihefte zur Mediaevistik. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. Paper presented at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK, July 12, 2005. James Ogier PhD, is Professor of German, Department of Modern Languages, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, USA. Current Research Interests: Ancient and Medieval Germanic and Finno-Ugric Astronomy (book in progress).]

Ogier, James. (2014). "Two-Faced Solstice Symbols and the World Tree." In: Antoni, Klaus and Weiß, David. (Editors). Sources of Mythology: Ancient and Contemporary Myths. (Pages ?-?). [Note Speculative. Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Comparative Mythology, May 15-17 2013, Eberhard Karls University, Tūbingen, Germany. James Ogier PhD, is Professor of German, Department of Modern Languages, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, USA. Current Research Interests: Ancient and Medieval Germanic and Finno-Ugric Astronomy (book in progress).]

Olcott, William. (1911; reprinted 2004). Star Lore of All Ages. [Note: Interesting but not always reliable. The author was a Lawyer who became interested in astronomy in 1905 and became an enthusiastic variable star observer in 1910. See the (English-language) obituary by Anon in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 97, (February, Number 4), November 1936 - October 1937, Pages 278-279. Life dates: 1873-1936.]

Olcott, William. (1914). Sun Lore of All Ages. [Note: Reprinted by Health Research in 1985 as a spiral-bound book.]

Olivieri, Alessandro. (1896). I Catasterismi di Eratostene. [Note: 26-page pamphlet. Italian-language.]

O'Neill, John (1893-1897; Reprinted circa 1995 and several times since). The Night of the Gods: An Inquiry into Cosmic and Cosmogonic Mythology and Symbolism. 2 Volumes. [Note: The author at his eccentric best. Also, a somewhat undisciplined book. Useful, but needs to used with caution. The author was obsessed with explaining all world mythology and symbolism as referring to the revolution of the heavens around the celestial pole (i.e., in terms of polar or axis gods/goddesses). O'Neill insisted that humankind's oldest religions centred on a god of the celestial pole. The importance of the Milky Way to ancient astronomy was perhaps first suitably recognised and discussed by John O'Neill in this book. John O'Neill was a civil servant (Auditor and Accountant-General in Cyprus), and a student of the Japanese language and culture. The Cyprus Gazette (Saturday, September 11, 1880) notes that the High Commissioner granted him (open-ended) leave of absence from August 3, 1880; and then (Wednesday, October 13, 1880) that John O'Neill had resigned his appointment in Cyprus. After leaving Cyprus he lived in France for some years. According to Fredrick Boase, O'Neill was "... employed in the war office; retired on a pension of £350 in 1879; accountant general in Cyprus, where he had to reduce eleven different currencies [and was successful]." It appears he was appointed Auditor and Accountant-General in Cyprus on the cessation of Cyprus to Great Britain in 1878, but he gradually became more interested in literature and writing. Phyllis Ackerman considered this book to be an extension of the Jean Biot-Léopold de Saussure school of thought. Due to the authors sudden death volume 2 was basically an assembly of his rough notes edited and prepared for publication by James Hewitt (another eccentric astronomical mythologist). He was also a close friend of the late 19th-century poet, critic, editor, and journalist William Henley. See John O'Neill's (English-language) obituary by his friend Gustave Schlegel in T'oung pao, Volume VI, 1895, Pages 77-78. Also see the entry in Modern English Biography (1897, Volume 2) by Frederick Boase. See also the (English-language) book reviews by Gustave Schlegel of Volume 1 in T'oung pao, Volume IV, 1893, Pages 444-452; and Volume 2 in T'oung pao, Volume VIII, 1897, Pages 231-232; and of Volume 1 by William Newell in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 7, Number 27, Oct.-Dec., 1894, Pages 328-329; and of Volume 2 by William Newell in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 10, Number 37, Apr.-Jun., 1897, Pages 167-168. See also the (French-language) book review by N[?]. of Volume 1 in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, 1895, Seizième Année, Tome Trente-Et-Unième, Pages 76-77. Life dates: (circa?)1837-1895.]

Palmer, Abram [Abraham]. (1899]. Jacob at Bethel: The Vision-The Stone-The Annointing. [Note: Contains out-of-date astral speculations. My thanks to John McMahon for bringing this publication to my attention.]

Pàmias i Massana, Jordi. and Zucker, Arnaud. (Editors; Translators). (2013). Ératosthène de Cyrène. Catastérismes. [Note: This book is the definitive edition of Catastérismes (philological, historical , literary, scientific). Catastérismes is the first comprehensive manual of mythological stories behind the presence in heavens of heroes or objects forming the constellation figures. It also provides the first known placement of stars forming the constellation figures. Catastérismes describes all the classical constellations in the northern hemisphere (42 main and 6 secondary constellations) and the planets. Arnaud Zucker is (2013) Professor of Greek Literature at l’université de Nice. Jordi Pàmias i Massana is (2013) a Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. My thanks to John McMahon for bringing this publication to my attention.]

Panaino, Antonio. (2004). "Astral Characters of Kingship in the Sasanian and Byzantine Worlds." In: Accademia nazionale dei Lincei ; Istituto italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente. (Editors/Publishers). Convegno internazionale la Persia e Bisanzio (Roma, 14-18 ottobre 2002). (Pages 555-594 [Also erroneously given as Pages 455-494]). [Note: Papers presented at 2002 conference. Commonly referenced as: Persia e Bisanzio. Details also given as: La Persia e Bisanzio, Atti dei Convegni Lincei 2001, Roma, 2004, Pages 555-594.]

Pankenier, David. (2000). Popular Astrology and Border Affairs in Early China: An Archaeological Confirmation." (Note: Sino-Platonic Papers, Number 104, July. Comprises 23 pages).

Pankenier, David. (2011). "The cosmic centre in Early China and its archaic resonances." In: Ruggles, Clive. (Editor). "Oxford IX" International Symposium on Archaeoastronomy Proceedings IAU Symposium Number 278 [entitled Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures, took place in Lima, Peru], 2011. (Pages 298-307).

Pankenier, David. (2013). "The Star-crossed Romance of the Weaving Maid and Ox-herd as Etiological Myth." In: XXI SEAC conference, Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to the Future. Book of abstracts. 1st September to 7th September 2013. (Page 85). [Note: "Abstract: The earliest textual reference to the Weaving Maid and Ox-herd occurs in China's earliest literary work, the Book of Odes (ca 800 BCE), here it is already clear that the reference is to two stars. Throughout East Asia everyone is familiar with the moving story of the star-crossed young lovers' painful exile to opposite banks of the Sky River and their annual conjugal visit on the night of the 7th day of the 7th month. There is no controversy about the astral identities of the pair as our Vega (α Lyr) and Altair (α Aql). After briefly highlighting the salient astral temporal facts preserved in the myth, his talk will focus on explaining its original significance as an ancient teaching story about the seasonal stars, which will take us back to the dawn of East Asian civilization." Also, "Wherefore the Star-crossed Lovers Weaving Maid and Oxherd." Paper presented at: The Eighth International Conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAPVIII), Hayden Planetarium, NYC (7-12 July 2013). Not known if latter presentation is published.]

Peet, Stephen. (1905, Reprinted 2012). Myths and Symbols or Aboriginal Religions in America. [Note: Dated.]

Peiser, Benny. (1996). "The cosmic symbolism of the Mesoamerican ballgame." In: Van der Merve, F[?]. (Editor). Sport and Symbols - Symbols and Sport.

Pentikäinen, Juha. (1987). "The Shamanic Drum as Cognitive Map." In: Gothóni, René. and Pentikäinen, Juha. Mythology and Cosmic Order.

Peratt, Anthony. (2003). "Evidence for an intense aurora recorded in antiquity." In: Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science. (Pages ?-?). [Note: Conf. Rec., Jeju, Korea, June, 2003.]

Peratt, Anthony. (2003) "Characteristics for the occurrence of a high-current Z-pinch aurora as recorded in antiquity." (IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 31, Number 6, December, Pages 1192–1214).

Peratt, Anthony., McGovern, John., Qöyawayma, Alfred., Van der Sluijs, Marinus. and Peratt, Mathias. (2007). "Characteristics for the Occurrence of a High-Current Z-Pinch Aurora as Recorded in Antiquity Part II: Directionality and Source." (IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Volume 35, Number 4, August, Pages 778-807). [Note: Excellent illustrations. Abstract — The discovery that objects from the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age carry patterns associated with high-current Z-pinches provides a possible insight into the origin and meaning of these ancient symbols produced by humans. Part I deals with the comparison of graphical and radiation data from high current Z-pinches to petroglyphs, geoglyphs, and megaliths. Part I focused primarily, but not exclusively, on petroglyphs of some 84 different morphologies: pictures found in laboratory experiments and carved on rock. These corresponded to mankind's visual observations of ancient aurora as might be produced if the solar wind had increased (T. Gold) at times between one and two orders of magnitude, millennia ago. Part II focuses on the source of light and its temporal change from a current-increasing Z-pinch or dense-plasma-focus aurora. Orientation and field-of-view data are given as surveyed and contributed from 139 countries, from sites and fields containing several millions of these objects. This information allows a reconstruction of the auroral form presumably associated with extreme geomagnetic storms and shows, based on existent geophysical evidence, plasma flow inward at Earth’s south polar axis.]

Pichon, Jean-Charles. (1963). Les Cycles du Retour Éternel: Essai d'une histoire thématique des religions. (2 Volumes). [Note: The author, a French occultist, argues for a common astronomical origin of religious themes based on an early zodiac. Life dates: 1920-2006.]

Pizzimenti, Sara. (2013). "The Other Face of the Moon. Some Hints on the Visual Representation of the Moon on the III Millennium BC Mesopotamian Glyptic." In: Feliu, L. et. al. (Editors). Time and History in the Ancient Near East. Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Barcelona, 26–30 July 2010. (Pages 265-272).

Pizzimenti, Sara. (2014). "The Astral Family in Kassite Kudurru Reliefs. Iconographical and Iconological Study of Sîn, Šamaš and Ištar Astral Representations." In: Marti, Lionel. (Editor). La famille dans le Proche-Orient ancien: réalités, symbolismes, et images. Proceedings of the 55th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Paris, 6th-9th July 2009. (Pages 151-161). [Note: A very interesting paper. Currently (2014) Research Fellow in Near Eastern Archaeology, Department of Ancient World Studies, 'Sapienza' University of Rome, Italy. Education in archaeology: Università degli Studi di Roma 'La Sapienza.' PhD Near Eastern Archaeology.]

Pizzimenti, Sara. (2014) "The Kudurrus and the Sky. Analysis and Interpretation of the Astral Symbols as Represented in Kassite Kudurrus Reliefs." [Note: Presentation at American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting, November 19-22, 2014, San Diego, California, Papers "Conservation and Site Preservation in the Near East." "Abstract: People have always been fascinated with the vault of heaven. The stars have been synonymous with immortality, due to their continuous and cyclical presence. Because of their immortality, stars and planets were considered heavenly images of the gods. With the rise of the Kassite dynasty, in the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE, a transformation happened in religious though and in the representation of the gods. One notices a gradual but continuous transformation in their representation, with the introduction of the symbolic representation of the divinities that replaced the anthropomorphic one. Symbolic divine representations are the main subject of the decoration of the kudurrus, the Babylonian boundary stones. The crescent, the eight-pointed star, and the sun-disk have a prominent place, and are always rendered in the upper part of the kidders. It is thus possible to note an iconographical change and some differences in their relative positions by analyzing each symbol represented on the kudurrus. The aim of this paper is to identify recurring symbolic patterns on Kassite kudurrus reliefs, and to understand their meaning. Thanks to modern software it is now possible to calculate the equinox precession (e.g. Solexv. 10.0). It is in fact possible to reconstruct the heavenly vault of the Kassite period, enabling one to compare the patterns identified and the astral conjunctions. It is possible that these patterns are not only divine symbol representations, but also a time image of the sky, with its own specific meaning."]

Pitluga, Phyllis. (2000). "Cultural Concepts of the Milky Way." In: Esteban, César. and Belmonte, Juan. (Editors). Oxford VI and SEAC 99 "Astronomy and Cultural Diversity." (Pages 343-348). [Note: This publication is the proceedings of the 6th "Oxford" international symposium on archaeoastronomy, jointly with the SEAC99 (European archaeoastronomy) meeting, held in La Laguna, Tenerife, in 1999. Copies of the book are exceedingly rare due to water damage to stock during a devastating Madrid flood. A PDF file has now (February, 2010) been kindly made available by Michael Rappenglück and is freely downloadable from the publications page of the SEAC web site.]

Plunket, Emmeline. (1908 (sometimes misstated as 1906); Reprinted spiral bound by Ballantrae circa 1995). The Judgment of Paris and Some Other Legends Astronomically Considered. [Note: See the (English-language) book reviews by Anon in English Mechanic and World of Science, Number 2276, November 6, 1908, Page 319; by Anon in Notes and Queries, Tenth Series, Volume 11, June 26, 1909, Pages 520; by Harry [Harold] Hall in Nature, Number 2047, Volume 79, January 21, 1909, Page 335; and by Anon in The Athenæum, Number 4255, May 15, 1909, Page 589.]

Polcaro, Vito. and Viotti, Roberto. (2001). "The legacy of pre-telescopic astronomy and the case of 80 UMa: a possible Sumeric P Cyg?" In: de Groot, Mart. and Sterken, Christiaan. (Editors). P Cygni 2000: 400 Years of Progress. (Pages 199-205). [Note: ASP Conference Series [= Proceedings], Volume 233. ASP = Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Speculative and at times misleading in its discussion of Mesopotamian astronomy.]

Pongratz-Leisten, Beate. (2015). "Empire as Cosmos, Cosmos as Empire." In: Religion and Ideology in Assyria. (Pages 145-197). [Note: A very interesting chapter of her book.]

Prinz, Hugo. (1915). Altorientalische Symbolik. [Note: Scholarly overview of both Egyptian and Babylonian astral symbolism. See the (German-language) book review by Hugo Gressmann in Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 40, Number 23, November, 1915, Columns 481-485.]

Quispel, Gilles. (1979). "Astrology." In: Quispel, Gilles. The Secret Book of Revelation. (Pages 21-24). [Note: The section "Astrology," is contained in the chapter "New Light on the Secret Revelation" of his book. Attempts a succinct and balanced summary. The author was a Catholic scholar.]

Raduncheva, Ana. (1996). "Eneolithic astronomical observations and mythological beliefs." Koleva, Vesselina. and Kolev, Dimiter (Editors). Astronomical Traditions in Past Cultures, (Pages 162-166). [Note: A collection of 20 selected papers from the first annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), held in Smolyan, Bulgaria, in 1993. The volume also contains the SEAC statutes, both in French and English. Papers are in English with abstracts in Bulgarian. Published by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.]

Rappenglück, Michael. (2000). "The Whole Cosmos Turns Around the Polar Point: One-legged Polar Beings and their Meaning." In: Esteban, César. and Belmonte, Juan. (Editors). Oxford VI and SEAC 99 "Astronomy and Cultural Diversity." (Pages 169-176). [Note: This publication is the proceedings of the 6th "Oxford" international symposium on archaeoastronomy, jointly with the SEAC99 (European archaeoastronomy) meeting, held in La Laguna, Tenerife, in 1999. Copies of the book are exceedingly rare due to water damage to stock during a devastating Madrid flood. A PDF file has now (February, 2010) been kindly made available by Michael Rappenglück and is freely downloadable from the publications page of the SEAC web site.]

Rappenglück, Michael. (2007). "Cosmic spinning and weaving: Making the texture of the world." In: Pásztor, Emilia (Editor). Archaeoastronomy in Archaeology and Ethnography. (Pages ?-?). [Note: BAR S1647 2007. Papers presented at the annual meeting of SEAC (European Society for Astronomy in Culture), held in Kecskemét, Hungary, in 2004.]

Rappenglueck, Barbara. (2002). ""Rushing Through the Clashing Rocks" - Does this Old Motif Have an Astronomical Meaning?" In: Kõiva,  Mare., Pustylnik, Izold., and Vesik, Liisa. (Editors). Cosmic Catastrophes. [Note: Proceedings of SEAC Xth, 2002, Tartu, Estonia: Cultural Context from the Archaeoastronomical Data and the Echoes of Cosmic Events, Tartu, Estonia, 27-30 August 2002, Tartu 2005, (Pages 151-156).]

Rappenglück Michael. (2013). "The Cosmic Deep Blue: The significance of the celestial water world sphere across cultures." In: XXI SEAC conference, Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to the Future. Book of abstracts. 1st September to 7th September 2013. (Pages 102-104). [Note: "Abstract: The aquatic world plays a most essential part in human ecosystems. Water is everywhere, above, on and below the ground. It rains down from the sky and pours up from the caves, flowing in rivers and filling lakes or giant seas. The wet element constitutes a cosmic sphere, which surrounds and intersperses the otherwise dry world. On Earth it provides the fertilizing, vital basis for life. Devastating giant flooding, especially a tsunami, however, was experienced as destructive and fatal for culture. Archaic people identified the realm of the water world as the primeval and lasting cosmic ocean, out of which the respective land surfaces ("the Earth"), but also celestial bodies emerged, and in which they both swim as the first "aquatics". It isn't surprising that the prototypes of water animals and plants had been considered to be inhabitants of the cosmic water world, having counterparts in the seas, the lakes, rivers, and in groundwater shown up in caves or wells. People identified some of these, represented by different species, with the moon, single stars and asterisms, open star clusters, zodiacal star patterns, shooting stars, and the Milky Way. Still today the IAU's fixed scope of 88 constellations consists of several real aquatics or fantastic chimeras, coming mostly from older times, but also from the early modern period. The celestial fauna of other cultures worldwide contains shells, cephalopods, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and especially undefined "sea monsters". Examples for the cosmic symbolism of aquatic plants are the water lily and the lotus, which often are closely connected to the world axis. The chronobiology of aquatics, including eye-catching migrations (e.g. summer or winter salmon), related to specific seasons an weather conditions, was and is still used by man for purposes of time-reckoning and calendars. In addition certain star phases of single stars or open clusters, like the Pleiades, were correlated to the rhythms of water animals. A peculiar example for a unique connection of lunar chronobiological rhythms and time-reckoning is given by the Palolo worm and the calendar of Samoan Islanders. Hunting and exploitation of aquatics followed the course of the moon, certain stars and asterisms. In addition archaic people perceived fishing aids (nets, hooks, spears) in star patterns. The roots of these experiences and practices can be traced back at least into the Upper Palaeolithic. Some celestial aquatics, e.g. certain fish asterisms, were important as navigation aids for seafaring cultures. Such star and fish based courses are well known from Oceanian people, for example. Moreover vehicles to cross the waters (boots, ships) and navigation aids are to be found as asterisms. Finally there are certain special significant topics of archaic cosmovisions relates to the cosmic water world and its inhabitants: In general aquatics are associated with the fertilizing but also destructive power of water, with clouds, rain, the celestial region of the winter solstice, the watery chthonic underworld, a hidden otherworld, and primeval matter. Some of them seem to be rotted in the Upper Palaeolithic time. People had special cosmogonic and cosmological ideas about the giant fish at the middle in the abyss of the cosmic ocean, causing earthquakes and tsunamis; the octopus holding sky and earth together, defining a center and eight cardinal directions; the slayed and split sea monster, from whose body parts the world is made; the monster water animal swallowing the sun every dusk, transporting it through the netherworld, and disgorging it at the new dawn; the creation of the world by a reptile or fish, which angles land up from the ocean's bottom. Finally the combat between a bird (raptor) and a reptile / fish, illustrating the antagonism and polarity of the upper and the lower world (highest and lowest pole of world axis), was an essential topic of archaic cosmovisions worldwide. Based on selected examples and an integral methodology the talk sums up the main aspects of the topic."]

Rappenglück, Michael., Rappenglück, Barbara., Campion, Nicholas. and Silva, Fabio. (Editors). (2016). Astronomy and Power: How Worlds Are Structured. [Note: British Archaeological Reports (BAR:S2794). Proceedings of the SEAC 2010 Conference, Gilching (Germany). Descriptive: "Throughout the course of history, from early prehistory to the Space Age, power structures have existed which have been more or less derived from or correlated to astronomical phenomena or certain cosmologies and cosmovisions. These have significantly affected and formed the economic, social, political, artistic and religious life of people across different cultures. Cosmographies, time reckoning and calendar systems, celestial navigation techniques, landscape and architectural models of cosmic potency, celestial divination and astrological ideas, cosmic clothing and other related concepts have been used successfully by interest groups to establish, maintain and expand psychological, social, religious and political power. Furthermore, the celestial sphere and its inhabitants have also been closely connected and partially interwoven with the concept of the manifestation of cosmic order and power both in nature and in culture. The book's 43 chapters cover numerous aspects of the topic, from general ideas to astronomy and politics in the Modern Age."]

Rees, Alwyn. and Rees, Brinley. (1961; Reprinted 1978). Celtic Heritage: Ancient tradition in Ireland and Wales. [Note: The authors (both academics) claim to have discovered a cosmological framework for the themes and numbers they discuss. Most book reviewers were quite critical of the book and its claims. See the (English-language) books reviews by C. R. Ó Cléirigh in Béaloideas: The Journal of the Folklore of Ireland Society, Iml (Volume). 28, 1960, Pages 126-128; by Mary Williams in Folklore, Volume 73, Number 1, Spring, 1962, Pages 63-64; by Gerald Bordman in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 76, Number 299, January-March, 1963, Pages 73-74; and by Charles Haywood in Western Folklore, Volume 22, Number 2, April, 1963, Pages 142-144. Alwyn Rees was Director of Extra-Mural Studies at the University College of Wales. His brother Brinley Rees was a lecturer in Welsh Language and Literature at the University College of North Wales.]

Refiti, Albert. (2014). Mavae and Tofiga: Spatial Exposition of the Samoan Cosmology and Architecture. [Note: PhD Thesis, The Auckland University of Technology. Excellent.]

Reiner, Erica. (1995). Astral Magic in Babylonia. [Note: Excellent. See the (English-language) book reviews by Nick Veldhuis in Archiv für Orientforschung, Vierundvierzigster und Fünfundvierzigster Band, 1997/1998, Pages 417-419; and by Mark Geller in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Volume 93, Numbers 4/5, 1998, Columns 455-458. Also, see the (English-language) book review by Wilfred Lambert in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 119, Number 1, 1999, Page 140.]

Reynolds, Frances. (1999 [2000?]). "Stellar Representations of Tiāmat and Qingu in a Learned Calendar Text." In: van Lerberghe, Karel. and Voet, Gabriela. (Editors). Languages and Cultures in Contact: At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamian Realm. (Pages 369-378). [Note: The volume contains 33 papers presented at the 42th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale held at the University of Leuven in July 1995. (Proceedings of the 42e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale.) Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta - OLA 96. At the time of publication Frances Reynolds was at the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Birmingham. Currently (2011) she is Shillito Fellow in Assyriology; Senior Research Fellow of St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford.]

Richer, Jean. (1994). The Sacred Geography of the Greeks. [Note: Unreliable. Asserts all kinds of largely imaged zodiacal allegories in ancient Greek sources. also, speculative arguments for astrological alignments of classical Greek temples. Jean Richer was not a Hellenistic scholar. He was quite open that his viewpoint arose from "intuitive insight/perception." Some of his ideas actually came to him in his dreams about Apollo. His book (which originates from his conclusions formed in the 1950s) is simply speculative argument in the extreme. Part of the problem is his argument for a system of zodiacal projection being established circa 800 BCE. Needless to say there is no evidence that an evenly divided 12-constellation division of the ecliptic had been invented by the Babylonians at that date. Indeed the evidence indicates the contrary. He not only believed that Greece was saturated with zodiacal geometry but that the whole Mediterranean world was also saturated with zodiacal geometry. His brother Lucien Richer took up this aspect in his 1977 article (latter published as a pamphlet) "The St Michael-Apollo Axis: A Study in Sacred Geography." Life dates for Jean Richer: 1915-1992.]

Robert, Carl. [Robert, Carolus]. (Editor) (1878, Reprinted 1963). Eratosthens Catasterismorum Reliquiae.

Rochberg, Francesca. (2005). "Mesopotamian Cosmology." In: Snell, David. (Editor). A Companion to the Ancient Near East. (Pages 316-329). [Note: Excellent overview of the structure of the Mesopotamian universe.]

Rochberg, Francesca. (2010). "Sheep and Cattle, Cows and Calves: the Sumero-Akkadian Astral Gods as Livestock." In: Melville, Sarah. and Slotsky, Alice. (Editors). Opening the Tablet Box: Near Eastern Tablets in Honor of Benjamin R. Foster. (Pages 347-359). [Note: Festschrift volume.]

Rose, Herbert. (Editor). (1933, republished 1967). Hygini fabulae. [Note: Commentary on the constellation mythology of (or at least attributed to) Caius Julius Hyginus, a 1st-century CE Latin writer who resided in Roman Spain. Herbert Rose was internationally recognised as a great classical scholar. Life dates: 1883-1961.]

Rotblum, Yehuda. (2014). Heavenly Art. Rock Art in Israel. [Note: Self-published by the author. Speculative. Needs to be used with considerable care.]

Rothwangl, Sepp. (1998). Sternstunde 2000: der Countdown zum "Jüngsten Tag." [Note: The Austrian author, a forester/forest owner/wilderness camp owner (owner of 160 hectares of forest land in Kindberg municipality, Styria province, Austria) and in the past a prolific and unrelenting spammer (if not troll) to numerous internet discussion lists concerning his flawed and pseudoscientific ideas, is now reinventing himself as an independent scholar, lecturer, writer (freelance author/freelance science writer) on archaeoastronomy and calendrical topics, and website moderator. In an e-mail query to the newsgroupsoc.culture.india, dated 26-9-2000 he referred to himself as an "Austrian astronomer." He has recently (2012) stated/claimed he is an archaeoastronomer (= self-styled archaeoastronomer). (As far as I am aware the earliest date he made this claim is his e-mail to the newsgroup sci.archaeology dated May 1997 where he referred to himself as an "Austrian Archeoastronomer and expert in calendars.") The term "archaeoastronomer" is merely a popular epithet (that many laypersons/dilettantes now self-apply; it is only a pseudo-academic term; it is not a professional title. (The same may be said for the term "cultural astronomer.") Some websites mistakenly refer to him as a historian and calendar scholar. No formal academic qualifications are able to be identified. For nearly 2 decades he has presented the same paper at conferences and has republished the same paper in different publications.]


Rothwangl believes the usefulness of the present Gregorian calendar ended with the year 2000. He is obsessed with wanting a new way of counting time implemented - a system based on planetary conjunctions. A short comment and critique of Sepp Rothwangl's imaginative calendar claims: Rothwangl's unproductive calendar reform claims are based on his erroneous claims that Dionysius Exiguus combined the Great Year (diurnal motion) with the so-called Platonic Year (which Rothwangl erroneously claims was a precessional year) to adjust the year 1 CE. According to Rothwangl, Dionysius calculated the Great Year would end with the alignment of 5-5-2000 and then adjusted the birth date of Jesus exactly 2000 years before that date (assuming the precessional constant was 66 2/3 years for each 1 degree, resulting in 2000 years each 30 degrees. The 2 dates marked for Dionysius the beginning and end of the so-called Age of Pisces. However, there are variations in the way Rothwangl explains his ideas (Hastro-L, 22-August-2001): "The year of Christ's birth, from which the Gregorian calendar takes its starting point to count the years, was actually determined by Dionysius Exiguus by calculation the planet conjunction of last May (5-5-2000) [Rothwangl is asserting that Dionysius calculated the planetary conjunction of 5-May-2000; which Rothwangl erroneously refers to as "the pearl string."]. Dionysius wanted to mark the beginning and the end of the Piscean age. He used the early medieval constant of precession with the value 66 2/3 year per 1° (2000 years for 30°) as the base of his calculations and the common multiple of the synodic planetary periods. 1999 years before the precalculated conjunction of all "old planets" he adjusted the year of Christ's birth and thus made sure that this conjunction would coincide exactly with the Millennium in his new yearly counting." This is simply fantasy. (Also, Rothwangl attempts to present his fantasy as a natural part of what Dionysius Exiguus was attempting to do.) It's all part of Rothwangl's unsophisticated attacks on the Christian religion. (Rothwangl demonstrates that he is eager to find/conjecture what can discredit religion/Roman Catholicism.) The aim of Exiguus was to facilitate the calculation of Easter, not to provide a convenient dating era. Dionysius Exiguus did not invent the Annus Domini reckoning. AD was used by Tyrannius Rufinus (340-410) over a century before Exiguus compiled his Paschal table in 525 CE. Interestingly, the BC/AD system of Exiguus is not the basis of Bede's later chronological technique. Bede's chronology is fundamentally organised around regnal years. According to Rothwangl the Christianity-based calendar has passed its "termination" point and is now without "orientation." Rothwangl claims that close planetary conjunctions are important for calendars. Rothwangl, for anti-religious reasons, advocates that the established calendar needs to be changed to another (arbitrary) system. This would undoubtedly be one that he would judge suitable (i.e., the one he personally uses).

There was no Age of Pisces at the time Christianity originated. No textual evidence from Dionysius Exiguus, or any contemporary or predecessor, of a perceived Christianity-Pisces link has ever been produced. The association between Christianity and Pisces is of later medieval origin. See: "The "Star of the Messiah." Reconsidered" by Roy Rosenberg in Biblica, Volume 53, 1972, Pages 105-109. It is essentially a discussion of the Jewish philosopher Isaac Abrabanel's (1437-1508) views of the signs Pisces, Aries, and Virgo and their associations. The best attempt at evidence by Rothwangl (Hastro-L, 2 May 2001) is to refer to his belief that the triple alignment (as Rothwangl likes to call it) in Pisces in & BCE was the Star of Bethlehem, and the Fish as a painting and as the pictograph ICHTHYS as the first sign of the Christians. (Excursus: A monumental study is IXΘYC: Das Fischsymbol in frühchristlicher Zeit by Franz Dölger (a German Catholic theologian and church historian, life dates: 1879-1940) (1922-1928, 2 Volumes. First published in 1-Volume in 1910.). Also relevant: Orpheus the Fisher: Comparative Studies in Orphic and Early Christian Cult Symbolism by Robert Eisler (1921).) Some of the several speculative 'vacuum-cleaner' arguments include: (1) Precession was mentioned by Origen Adamantius (184/185-253/254 CE), early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian. If he knew about it then other Christian would also. We can suppose the beginning of the Christian revelation would be associated with a new "World Age," especially when it coincided with the beginning of a new "Platonic month," with the movement of the vernal equinox into Pisces. (2) In the brief polemical Latin treatise on baptism, (De baptismo, i) by the Church Father Tertullian (circa 155-circa 240) he writes, "But we little fish, like our Fish Jesus Christ, are born in water ...." These are not effective evidence of a Pisces World Age. The only other comparison is the Christian Bishop Zeno of Verona (circa 300-371) who in a Paschal baptismal homily gives the 12 signs of the zodiac a Christian interpretation to accommodate the "curiositas" as to what sign they are being reborn under. He begins with Aries and ends with Pisces, saying: "How necessary it is that in one sign follows the two Fishes, that is two peoples from the Jews and the Gentiles by the living waters of baptism are signified as one people of Christ by one sign." (See: Ancient Astrology by Tamsyn Barton (1994, Page 71).) This also is not effective evidence of a Pisces World Age. The earliest extant example of precession being used to undermine astrology was written by the Church father and early Christian theologian Origen of Alexandria (circa 184/5-253/254), who spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. Origen was not an astrologer. It is evidence that precession was understood. It is not evidence that system of zodiacal "World Ages" was established or that there was currently an "Age of Pisces." First example, The Philocalia of Origen, (an anthology (compilation of selected passages) of Origen's texts, probably compiled by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, English-language translation by George Lewis (1911; XXIII Fate, Astrology, etc., see specifically Page 191, Paragraph 18): "There is a well-known theorem which proves that the Zodiac, like the planets, moves from west to east at the rate of one part in a hundred years, and that this movement in the lapse of so long a time changes the local relation of the signs; so that, on the one hand, there is the invisible sign, and on the other, as it were, the visible figure of it; and events, they say, are discovered not from the figure, but from the invisible sign ...." I have not seen a more recent translation. Second example, referenced as, De Oratione, [= On Prayer; a treatise on prayer] 27 [likely, Origen's Treatise on Prayer: Translation and Notes with an Account of the Practice and Doctrine of Prayer from New Testament Times to Origen by Eric Jay (1954)]: "As the last month is the end of the year, after which the beginning of another month ensues, so it may be that since several ages complete a year of ages, the present age is the end, after which certain ages to come will ensue, of which the age to come is the beginning ...." However, the translation by William Curtis ( differs in text and meaning. Translation by William Curtis of the complete passage: "Well, in conjecture as to matters so great, I believe that, just as the year's consummation is it's last month after which arises another month's beginning, so probably the present age is a consummation of numerous ages completing as it were a year of ages, and after it certain coming ages will arise whose beginning is the coming age, and in those coming ages God shall show forth the riches of His Grace in kindness, when the greatest sinner, who for having spoken ill against the Holy Spirit is held fast by his sin throughout the present age and the coming one from beginning to end, shall after that, I know not how, receive a dispensation." It is pointed out that the first of these 2 remarks relating to a connection between astrology and the zodiac and its movements and how Origen differentiates between "invisible signs" (= the tropical signs?) and their "figures" (the starry constellations?). Also claimed that the suggestion of "new ages" indicates the precession-like conception involved in his thought, and the progression of the "ages." It is an obviously weak argument. It is not able to be claimed as definite evidence for precessional "World Ages" and there is no mention of an "Age of Pisces." With the second of these 2 remarks the translation by Curtis shows clearly there is no connection with astrology or precessional "World Ages" and there is no mention of an "Age of Pisces." (3) There is useful material in David Fideler's book, Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism (1993). The blurb for the book reads: "The early Christian Gnosis did not spring up in isolation, but drew upon earlier sources. In this book, many of these sources are revealed for the first time. Special emphasis is placed on the Hellenistic doctrine of the "Solar Logos" and the early Christian symbolism which depicted Christ as the Spiritual Sun, the illumination source of order, harmony, and spiritual insight. Based on 15 years of research, this is a unique book which throws a penetrating light on the secret traditions of early Christianity. It clearly demonstrates that number is at the heart of being. Jesus Christ, Sun of God, illustrates how the Christian symbolism of the Spiritual Sun is derived from numerical symbolism of the "ancient divinities."" Both "Precession" and "Age of Pisces" are listed in the index: "Pisces, Age of, and Christian fish symbolism, 161-62; inaugurated by triple conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, 166, 168-69 ... Precession of the equinoxes, 149-151; described by Origen, 345 n. 12; and religious symbolism, 160-163." There is interesting material in David Fideler's book, but also fanciful speculation. Fideler uses material and arguments from David Ulansey and Carl Jung. A house of cards is constructed. (4) David Ulansey has shown quite convincingly in his book, The Origin of the Mithraic Mysteries (1989) that knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes knowledge of precession is the central secret of the Roman Mithraic mysteries, and is discoverable in Mithraic iconography. Ulansey's claims lack any credible evidence or argument and is nothing more than fanciful speculation. Importantly, David Ulansey has never provided any evidence that 'zodiacal ages/astrological ages' as developed by 19th-century theosophy and early 20th-century astrology was also a concept understood anywhere at all in the ancient Greco-Roman world. (The concept of precessional "world ages" can be traced back to Origine des tous les cultes: ou, Religion universelle by Charles Dupuis (1794).) See further: Page 11-17. Still worth reading is "Hipparchus and the Precession of the Equinoxes." by Maxwell Close (Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Third Series, Volume 6, 1900-1902, Pages 450-456).

Dionysius Exiguus (Latin for "Dionysius the Humble") circa 470 – circa 544 CE was a Christian monk born in Scythia Minor (probably modern Dobruja, which is in Romania and Bulgaria). He was a member (Canon) of a community of Scythian monks concentrated in Tomis, the major city of Scythia Minor. Dionysius is best known as the inventor of the Anno Domini (AD) era, which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the (Christianised) Julian calendar. (Exiguus did not invent the notion of "BC." That originated with Bede several hundred years later.) Circa 523 CE, the papal chancellor, Bonifatius, asked Dionysius Exiguus (in English known as Denis the Little) to devise a way to implement the rules from the Council of Nicaea (the so-called "Alexandrine Rules") for general use. The First Council of Nicaea, in 325 CE, had decided that Easter would fall on the Sunday following the full moon that follows the spring equinox. Exiguus' assignment was to prepare calculations of the dates of Easter. At that time it was customary to count years since the reign of emperor Diocletian; but in his calculations Dionysius chose to number the years since the birth of Christ, rather than honour the persecutor Diocletian. Dionysius (wrongly) fixed Jesus' birth with respect to Diocletian's reign in such a manner that it falls on 25 December 753 AUC (ab urbe condita, i.e., since the founding of Rome/Anno Urbis Conditae, "in the year of the city's foundation."), thus making the current era start with AD [= CE] 1 on 1 January 754 AUC. (The Roman calendar was counted from the founding of Rome, 1 AUC (ab urbe condita) = 753 BCE.) Rome's system of numbering years began from the year in which the city of Rome was supposedly founded. The year eventually decided on for this purpose was the year which corresponds with that now known as 753 BC, so that the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome was celebrated in 247 AD [CE].

It is stated that there exists evidence that Dionysius' desire to replace Diocletian years (Diocletian persecuted Christians) with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ was to prevent people from believing the imminent end of the world. In 525 CE, Dionysis Exiguus (Dennis the Little), was commissioned by Pope John I to formulate an algorithm to ascertain the date of Easter in any year. Dionysius Exiguus' intent was to invent a time-system enabling all Churches throughout Christendom to celebrate Easter on the same day. That is what he was requested to do. A result was his invention of the Anno Domini years to enumerate the years in his Easter table. In his system Exiguus replaced the Diocletian era reckoning system that had been used in an old Easter table. Exiguus realised that his task would be made very much easier if years were counted consecutively from a common starting-point, and for this purpose he chose the year now known as 1 AD. It is uncertain that he intended this year to mark the historical date of Jesus' birth. We do not know the source of his information for Jesus being born in 1 BCE. It is more probable that he simply chose a year which happened to fit agreeably with his proposed algorithm, and which coincided approximately with the beginning of the Christian era. It is indicated that it was the English cleric and historical scholar, the Venerable Bede, who, with his use the abbreviation AD (Anno Domini, or "Year of our Lord") when applying the system devised by Exiguus, thereby popularised the assumption that the year 1 AD was the year in which the historical personage of Jesus Christ was born. (Modern historians (both secular and theological) now accept that Jesus was probably born between the years 6 BCE and 4 BCE.

It has been speculated by Georges Declercq (Anno Domini. The Origins of the Christian Era (2000)) that Dionysius wanted to replace the use of Diocletian years with a calendar based on the incarnation of Christ (= the god Yahweh came to earth in human form (was conceived)) in order to prevent people from believing the end of the world was imminent. Some people at that period held the belief that the 2nd coming of Jesus and end of the world would occur 500 years after the birth of Jesus. The old Anno Mundi calendar (then current) theoretically commenced with the creation of the world based on information in the Old Testament. Dates from the creation of the world are called Anno Mundi ("by the year of the world").) It was believed and promoted by a number of early Christian scholars that, based on the Anno Mundi calendar, Jesus was born in the year 5500 (or 5500 years after the world was created) with the year 6000 of the Anno Mundi calendar marking the end of the world. Anno Mundi 6000  (approximately AD[= CE] 500) was thus equated with the 2nd coming of Jesus and end of the world. However, this date had already passed in the time of Dionysius. (The belief that the end of the world was to last 6000 years was one figure among many dubious figures. However it fostered the belief that the end of the world could be calculated (Chialism). In both ancient and modern millennial apocalypticism there are different schemes of time-reckoning. One such belief, connected with an old tradition and linked to 2 Peter 3:8 ("a day is like a thousand years"), is that from the creation of the world to the beginning of the millennium the earth would last for 6000 years and then there would be a period of 1000 of peace and justice (before the end of time/history).) The Anno Domini dating system was devised in 525 CE by Dionysius Exiguus. It was not the intent of Dionysius to create a new time-system. His system was expressly designed to allow all Churches throughout Christendom to celebrate Easter on the same day (no small issue at that time). Churches celebrating Easter on different days existed for centuries and was considered a major problem during his time. Years before the birth of Christ are in English traditionally identified using the abbreviation BC ("Before Christ"). Years after the birth of Christ are traditionally identified using the Latin abbreviation AD ("Anno Domini," that is, "In the Year of the Lord"). Some people, who want to avoid the reference to Christ that is implied in these terms, prefer the abbreviations BCE ("Before the Common Era" or "Before the Christian Era") and CE ("Common Era" or "Christian Era"). See: "Time Computations and Dionysius Exiguus." by Gustav Teres (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 15, 1984, Pages 177-188.

Excursus: Millennianism is not about the expectation of catastrophes marking the year 1000 or 2000. It is about the expectation of 1000 years of earthly happiness (the earthly rule of Jesus for 1000 years before the 'last judgment'). The end of the millennium and millennianism get confused. Millennianism originated from the Book of Revelation but is embedded in ancient Jewish tradition. The millennium ideology of 1000 years derives from the theological interpretation of 2 Peter 3:8. Millennial beliefs are found among Christians of the first centuries but there was also strong opposition in the early Church to millennial beliefs and it was somewhat marginalised. Apocalyptic/millennial beliefs are connected with the understanding of history as a limited span of time. The coming of the millennium begins with the Apocalypse, hence the importance given by Christians to dating this occurrence. Apocalyptic/millennial beliefs are now quite diverse and not really amenable to simple analysis. Apocalyptic thought has not been exclusively based on calendar chronology. Other apocalyptic streams of thought have existed and continue to do so. These are both religious and secular. "... a millennial time or moment can be determined by non-European calendars, by signs in the stars or in nature, by numerology, or by particular events that a group considers to be millennial." (Encyclopedia of Millennialism and Millennial Movements edited by Richard Landes (2000, Page i).) Apocalyptic beliefs and millennium beliefs are historically correlated. However, apocalyptic beliefs = the destructive end of the world (the end of history/time as we know it), whilst millennial beliefs don't necessarily mean the world's end but = a transformation of society to a 1000 year period of perfect order. Apocalyptic/millennial beliefs are now wider than specific Judeo-Christian tradition and calendar chronology and require less restrictive explanations.

The BC component was introduced 2 centuries after Dionysius, when the Venerable Bede (Latin: Bēda Venerābilis) of Northumbria published his, Ecclesiastical History of the English People in 731. (The Anno Domini era became dominant in western Europe only after it was used by the Venerable Bede to date the events in hi,s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, completed in 731.) Up until this point, Dionysius' AD system had become widely used. Bede's book not only brought the AD system to the attention of other scholars, but also expanded the system to include years before AD 1. Prior years were numbered to count backward to indicate the number of years an event had occurred "before Christ" or "BC." The modern concept of the number zero, (i.e., 0), first published in 628 CE by the Indian scholar Brahmagupta (but realised earlier in several cultures), remained unknown in medieval Christian Europe until at least the 11th-century. Because Bede was ignorant of the number zero (it did not exist for him), the year that came before 1 AD was 1 BC. There simply was no year zero. Although Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th-century, the term "Before Christ" (or its equivalent) did not become common until much later. (It has been stated that Exiguus indicates in the first entry in his new table that the epact is zero for the Anno Domini 532.)

Note: AD dates did not form the core of Bede's chronicling technique. The BC/AD time reckoning scheme is not used by Bede as an historical absolute but synchronised with other mundane time schemes. Bede's chronicling technique focused on the use of regnal years.

The BC/AD system of enumerating the years began gaining popular acceptance from the 9th-century when the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne adopted the system for dating acts of government throughout Europe. By the 15th-century, all of Western Europe had adopted the BC/AD system. The system's inclusion was implicit in the mid 16th-century (1582 CE) introduction of the Gregorian calendar.

The chronologist Paul Crusius in his (posthumously published) book, Liber, De Epochis seu Aeris Temporum Et Imperiorum (1578) did not use BC/AD as a benchmark. The reason was the lack of a verifiable date (undecidability) for Jesus actual birth date. The founder of scientific chronology was perhaps the Renaissance polymaths Joseph Scalinger (1540-1609). Even for the Orientalist and Classicist Joseph Scalinger in his great work on chronology, De Emendatione Temporum (7 Volumes, 1583) the date of Jesus' birth was not the key benchmark in time reckoning. BC/AD dates were not routinely used as historical eras and historical markers. Scalinger designed a time scale period of 7,980 years - known as the Julian Period (named after his father, and not to be confused with the Julian calendar) - that was sufficiently extended to encompass all historical events known at the time. (The epoch, or starting point for the Julian Period (and its system of Julian dates) was January 1, 4713 BC,12:00 Noon.) Importantly, Scalinger systematically eliminated all emotional, moral, political and ideological implications from his data, leaving him with only the facts to work with. However, Scalinger (a Huguenot) did not contest a late date for the creation of the world arrived at through fundamentalist Protestant reckoning. Modern chronology began with Domenicus Petavius in 1633 (some 25 years after Scaliger’s death). In 1627, the French Jesuit theologian Domenicus Petavius (Denis Pétau) in his book, Opus de Doctrina Temporum set out the BC/AD system as a basis for a universal scheme of time reckoning. Petavius proposed the acceptance of 1 AD as a conventional (agreed upon point) rather than an actual date for Jesus' birth. Also, Petavius boldly and convincingly argued that, if the calculated date of Creation was opposed to established facts then the calculated date of Creation would have to be changed (i.e., .dated earlier).

In computus the problem is to devise/discover a luni-solar cycle numerical scheme (pattern) to enable the future identification of a large number of Easter dates (Easter full moons). The Paschal (Easter) table devised by Exiguus (consisting of 8 columns) is based on a 19-year lunar cycle of the Alexandrian church. Thus the early Christian church tied the date of Easter to the phases of the Moon. (It could also be used to visualise a grand scheme of future time involving the last of the World Ages. The concept of 6 World Ages, each of 1000 years duration, was still a controversial Christian chronology.

An effective calendar needs to have compatibility with the solar year. The Julian Calendar, the work of the Greek-Egyptian astronomer Sosigenes, was a remarkably fine piece of mathematics for its time. The Julian Calendar, as devised by Sosigenes, was based on a year of 365 days and 6 hours. Caesar's most significant reform was to reject the old Roman lunar month completely and to adopt a solar year whose average length was 365.25 days. The Julian Calendar was accurate to about 11 minutes per year. The credit for the Gregorian calendar belongs to the Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius (1538-1612). Christopher Clavius was a German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer who modified the proposal (suggestions) of the modern Gregorian calendar after the death of its primary author, the Italian astronomer and chronologist Aloysius Lilius (1510-1576). In devising the Gregorian Calendar, Clavius replaced the Julian year of 365 days and 6 hours with a Gregorian year of 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds. This reduced the difference between the calendar year and the solar year from about 11 minutes to about 26 seconds.

The Gregorian calendar is a successful/effective dating system. The Gregorian calendar has a zero point and this makes it a rational calendar for time order. The use of the year zero (i.e., 0) preceding the year AD 1 on the Gregorian calendar is due to Jacques Cassini in 1740. The advantage of a zero point is it enables time projections for the future and the past, indefinitely. In 1988 the Gregorian calendar became an international standard when the International Organization for Standardization released ISO 8601, which describes an internationally accepted way to represent dates and times. The Gregorian calendar is now the internationally accepted civil calendar. Most western and other countries use the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is now embedded world-wide. (The placement of year number either before or after AD is now common.)

Rothwangl has claimed (Hastro-L, 28-9-2016) that "... the present calendar is pure apocalyptic!" This is simply not the case and confuses later schemes/ideas that were associated with it. It was not an apocalyptic calendar for Exiguus and it was not an apocalyptic calendar for Bede. (Nowhere did Bede tie his use of AD dating to concerns about apocalyptic time ...." (The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages by James Palmer (2014, Page 98).) The dating of Easter during the coming 95/100 years was the problem Exiguus had to solve - and not the development of a new calendar. At best, Exiguus introduced/implemented an Incarnation Era dating system that was not finally consolidated until Bede's publications on time-keeping. We now use a secularised calendar of Christian origin. The "Christian calendar" is the term traditionally used to designate the calendar commonly in use, even though it originated in pre-Christian Rome. Two main versions of the so-called Christian calendar have existed in recent times: The Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar is a slightly modified version of the Christianised Julian calendar. The difference between them lies in the way they approximate the length of the (solar) tropical year and their rules for calculating Easter. The Julian calendar was introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE. It was a reform of the complicated/messy Roman calendar. (Prior to 46 BCE, the calendar in use in ancient Rome was, by modern standards, a very peculiar one.) The Christianized Julian calendar was better than its predecessors. The Julian calendar was in common use until the late 1500s, when countries started changing to the Gregorian calendar. However, some countries (for example, Greece and Russia) used it into the early 1900s, and the Orthodox church in Russia still uses it, as do some other Orthodox churches.

The accelerated change to secular ideas began circa the Renaissance with the sciences as a major force in societal and economic development. The modern idea of time has emerged as secular and an individual commodity susceptible to building progress and shaping the future. The modern civil Gregorian calendar is largely used for administrative and economic/commercial integration, social purposes, and as the basis of scholarly dating. It appears that because Rothwangl is of the opinion that the current calendar system is arbitrary and somehow superstitious then everyone else needs to agree with him. But even the use of BC/AD now is a somewhat without the force of religious nomenclature. That the current Gergorian calendar is one of the most successful devised is ignored. The Gregorian calendar is based on 12-month year that closely approximates the earth's solar cycle. The calendar is based on a 365-day common year and a 366-day leap year. Rothwangl is an advocate for his view that the established calendar should be changed to another arbitrary system that presumably he would judge suitable. However, he has not produced any rational answers regarding a replacement calendar and how the replacement could possibly be achieved - let alone a "cost-benefit analysis." It is not indicated that Rothwangl has ever made approaches to the International Organization for Standardization to revise/change ISO 8601. Why he ignores doing so is unexplained. It is unlikely that any further calendrical reforms will be required or attempted.

A concluding example of how Rothwangl gets things wrong with facts and speculation. Rothwangl (Hastro-L, 6 May 2001): "Christianity is linked also to Virgin! Pls remember Jesus is born out of from (sic) the Virgin. There could be originally meant be the constellation, but later due religious fanatics turned into the immaculate conception." The immaculate conception is the Roman Catholic doctrine, proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854, that Mary was born free of original sin. It has nothing to do with the conception of Jesus and is unrelated to, but often confused with, the virgin-birth doctrine. Many people mistakenly believe that the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Jesus. The Immaculate Conception, according to Catholic Church doctrine, was the conception of the Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus. An official roman Catholic statement of the doctrine reads, “The blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin.” Essentially, the Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was protected from original sin, that Mary did not have a sin nature, and was, in fact, sinless. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception originated out of confusion over how Jesus Christ could be born sinless if he was conceived inside of a sinful human female. The thought was that Jesus would have inherited a sinful nature from Mary had she been a sinner.

An example of Rothwangl as an interpreter of myths/stories: The Hare and the Hedgehog:

Is Grimm's Fairy Tale "The Hare and the Hedgehog", a Mythical Report of a Lunar Eclipse. An interpretation by Sepp Rothwangl ( Rothwangl writes (Page 1): "Another great example of how fairy tales and myths are related to star lore and may have originated with it is one of the famous fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm, "The Hare and the Hedgehog." It may be a report of a total lunar eclipse, presumably distorted by later Christian revisions. We owe the first astronomical and calendrical interpretation of this fairy tale to the German author Koneckis1, and other research even offers us an opportunity to date it2." The opening paragraph already contains 3 speculations. 1Koneckis, Ralf. (1994). Mythen und Märchen. Was die Sterne darüber verraten. 2Rothwangl, Sepp. 2007). "Is Grimms' Fairy Tale "The Hare and The Hedgehog" a Mythical Report of a Lunar Eclipse?" [Note: Zvagnznota Debess. 2007/08 Gada Ziema, Latvijas Universitates Astronomijas Instituta. To be published in the proceedings of the SEAC conference "Astronomy and Cosmology in Folk Traditions and Cultural Heritage" 2007. Klaipeda, Lituhania.]

Koneckis made an identification of Hare = Moon and Hedgehog = Sun, and found in an ancient Styrian (a state of Bundesland, located in the southeast of Austria) farmer calendar symbols of the 73 days from autumn equinox to eve of St. Nikolas' Day, and interpreted it as time from Full moon to dark Moon (devil, Krampus). Rothwangl then turned it around and interpreted it as a lunar eclipse, an d then made an attempt to date it. However, I think Ralf Koneckis began with earlier essays: Koneckis, Ralf. (1988). "Astrale Grundmuster im deutschen Volksmärchen. Der Hase und der Igel [Astral pattern in German folk tales. The Hare and the Hedgehog]." (Sterne und Weltraum, Number 12, Pages 730-732). Question: How does it compare with Rothwangl's article on the same? Also, see for example Ralf Koneckis:ärchen-Ralf-Koneckis/dp/3440068625; But if these tales are astronomical as Rothwangl asserts then he should expand his claimed demonstration to them all with suitable historical commentary.

The tale describes a contest between two mismatched contestants. It is deemed more likely to be a late variation of Aesop's fable of the 'Hare and the Tortoise.' The other likely late variation – also included within the Grimm collection – is the 'Hare and the Porcupine' (also see: Stories Rabbits Tell by Susan Davis and Margo DeMello (2003)). Interestingly, the 'Hare and the Porcupine' appears as an American folktale (see: Southern Folklore Quarterly, Volume 14, 1950) and is included in the collection, American Folktales and Legends edited by Frank de Caro (2008).

It seems agreed the first known example of this animal tale appearing in writing is 1840 in Hannoversches Volksblatt. It was published anonymously by Wilhelm Schröder (1808-1878) a newspaper journalist in Buxtehude, Germany. It appears he claimed to have heard it in Bexhövede but changed the location of the tale to Buxtehude. It soon became popular throughout Germany by it being included in two early and popular German fairy tale collections. Shortly after its introduction various 19th-century lunar and solar mythologists (a considerable number of whom were German) interpreted the tale in an astronomical manner. Whether nursery rhymes and fairy tales are some surviving remnant of an ancient oral tradition (especially conveying some form of scientific/astronomical information) has recently become even more controversial. There is a strong case that both are relatively modern and have their roots in the medieval period. See especially the somewhat controversial book: Fairy Tales: A New History by Ruth Bottigheimer (2009). Lutz Röhrich, in his essay "The Quest for Meaning in Folk Narrative Research," in The Brothers Grimm and Folktale edited by James McGlathery (1991), wrote: "What is the use of context if it cannot provide a "clear text" – that is, to help us to a proper understanding of the material." Perhaps a fairy tale

In his essay Rothwangl mentions "The Hare and the Hedgehog" as a published story by Wilhelm Schroeder in his paper Hannoverschen Volksblatt, and its publication in the 5th edition of the Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the Grimm brothers. There appears to be little information regarding the origin of the tale. One guess is that it originated in the 17th-century. According to one version Schröeder appears to have been told the story in Bexhövede by an old hunter and also the village Pastor. According to another version the story was Schröeder's own. Schröeder was a journalist and the story helped to launch the first issue of his newspaper. My understanding is the tale was passed to the Grimm brothers by Karl Firnhaber, but in a slightly modified form. It was this version that was used by the Grimm brothers. Rothwangl has an English-language version of the tale reproduced in his essay, without any identification of its origin. Obviously this is the version of the tale that he has worked from. If not then it would not be relevant.

The issues are (1) the faithfulness of the English-language translation when compared with Firnhaber's original text, (2) since Rothwangl has cited Schröeder; the faithfulness of the English-language translation when compared with Schröeder's (original) published story, and (3) any differences between Firnhaber and Schroeder versions of the story. Question: Did Rothwamgl make any attempt to sight and compare versions to determine if the English-language translation is a variant form from which he may be drawing unreliable conclusions based on based on false premises? There is no indication in his essay that he has taken variants of the tale into account.

The Grimm brothers were editors and revisers of folktales. They changed the content of the tales multiple times. It is now well established that the Grimm brothers had a range of editorial procedures that included 'fusing' variant versions of a story. Working directly from their published stories in the hope of discovering an astronomical code becomes, I would think, an unreliable method. Their editorial procedures also included particular ways of stylizing the stories, and the addition of numerous Christian expressions and references, and morality. The first academic study of their editing procedures (and still the standard) was Ammerhungen zu den Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Brüder Grimm by the German scholar Johannes Bolte (1858-1937) and the Czech scholar Jiří (Georg) Polívka (1838-1933) published in 5 Volumes, 1913-1932, reprinted 1963. The authors compare the original documents for a story with the story form that was published. Question: Did Rothwangl check against this? (I only have access to Volume 1 which does not discuss "Der Hase und der Igel.")


Rougier, Louis. (1959). La Religion Astrale des Pythagoriciens.

Schadewaldt, Wolfgang. (1956). Griechische Sternsagen.

Schadewaldt, Wolfgang. (2002). Sternsagen die Mythologie der Sternbilder.

Schaubach, Johann. (Translator and editor). (1795; reprinted 2015). Eratosthenis Catasterismi. [Note: Schaubach was an astronomer. Life dates: 1764-1849.]

Schmid, Alfred. (2005). Augustus und die Macht der Sterne. Antike Astrologie und die Etablierung der Monarchie in Rom. [Note: Kindly brought to my attention by David Ross.]

Schmid, Konrad. and Uehlinger, Christoph. (Editors). (2016). Laws of Heaven - Laws of Nature: Legal Interpretations of Cosmic Phenomena in the Ancient World. [Note: A unique collection of revised 2011 conference papers.]

Schultz, Wolfgang. (1912). Die Anschauung vom Monde und seinen Gestalten in Mythos und Kunst der Völker. [Note: A lunar interpretation of mythology and iconography. The author was a member of the German "star myth" school. Life dates: 1881-1936.]

Scott, D[?]. Peratt, Anthony. (2003). "The origin of petroglyphs - Recordings of a catastrophic aurora in human prehistory?" In: Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science. (Pages ?-?). [Note: Conf. Rec., Jeju, Korea, June, 2003.]

Scott, Oral. (1942). The Stars in Myth and Fact. [Note: A popular survey. The author gives no indication of his sources, excepting sometimes by name. On page 155 Scott states he is drawing his information on cosmic catastrophes from C. C. Zain's "admirable work on the stellar religion ...." C. C. Zain was the pseudonym used by the American occultist and astrologer Elbert Benjamine (1882-1951). Zain's book used by Scott is likely to be Spiritual Astrology: The Origins of Astro-Mythology and Stellar Religion (The Brotherhood of Light, Course 7, 1935). Zain purports to trace the origins of the religion of the stars from Atlantis, destroyed he believed circa 9000 BCE. Identifying Scott is more difficult. One of the few facts is that he was an Oregon writer. However, turning over to pages 156-157 the reader is quickly led into an astrological discussion. I don't have the benefit of accessing more than a snippet of the critical (English-language) review of Scott's book that appeared in Sky and Telescope, Volume 2, May, 1942, Page 21?/69? It indicates Scott is also likely to have been an American occultist and astrologer. The book may have been written to help astrologers become more familiar with astronomy. It appears that Scott's book received extensive favourable reviews in astrology magazines. See the (English-language) book review by Brewton [sometimes misspelled Brenton] Berry in The Journal of American Folklore, Volume 56, October-December, 1943 [sometimes given as 1942], Number 222, Pages 307-308.]

Scott, James. (2005). On Earth as It is In Heaven: The Restoration of Sacred Time and Sacred Space in the Book of Jubilees.

Shephard, Paul. and Sanders, Barry. (1985). The Sacred Paw: The Bear in Nature, Myth, and Literature. [Note: Contains excellent discussions of the constellations Ursa Major (Great Bear) and Ursa Minor (Little Bear).]

Siecke, Ernst. (1892). Die Liebesgeschichte des Himmels Untersuchungen zur indogermanischen Sagenkunde. [Note: This publication originated the German star-myth school which eventually resulted in Panbabylonism. The author was Professor of Philology at Lessing-gymnasium, Berlin.]

Siecke, Ernst. (1907; reprinted 1978). Drachenkämpf. Untersuchungen zur indogermanischen Sagenkunde. [Note: See the (French-language) book review in L'Année Sociologique, Tome XI 1906-1909, 1910, Pages 248-249.]

Siecke, Ernst. (1909). Götterattribute und sogenannte Symbole.

Smith, Earl. (1950; Reprinted 1971). The Dome: a Study in the History of Ideas. [Note: Discusses celestial aspects of the dome in early architecture.]

Smith, Mark. (2003). "Astral Religion and the Representation of Divinity: The Cases of Ugarit and Judah." In: Noegel, S., Walker, J., and Wheeler, B. (Editors). Prayer, Magic and the Stars in the Ancient and Late Antique World. (Pages 187-206).

Smith, Mark. (2003). "When the Heavens Darkened: Yahweh, El and the Divine Astral Family in Iron Age II Judah." In: Dever, William. and Gitin, Seymour. (Editors). Symbiosis, Symbolism, and the Power of the Past: Canaan, Ancient Israel, and Their Neighbors from the Late Bronze Age Through Roman Palaestina. (Pages 265-277).

Smith, Earl. (1956). Architectural Symbolism of Imperial Rome and the Middle Ages. [Note: Discusses celestial aspects of the Ancient Near-Eastern city-gate concept. The manuscript was completed by the author when he was terminally ill. Ensure you refer to the 4 pages of Errata Corrige.]

Snodgrass, Adrian. (1990). Architecture, time and eternity: studies in the stellar and temporal symbolism of traditional buildings. (2 Volumes). [Note: This is a study of the stellar and temporal symbolism of traditional buildings. It is comprehensive in scope and spans from the generalities of the symbolism of time in general, to the temporal symbolism in Indian, Greek, Roman, Near Eastern, Christian, Chinese, Islamic North American Indian, African, South American Indian and Mesoamerican architectures. Circa 2007 the author is Adjunct Professor, University of Western Sydney; Research Associate, University of Sydney. It appears the author was previously Professor of Architecture at University of Sydney (New South Wales, Australia).]

Sofaer, Joanna, (2013). "Cosmologies in Clay: Swedish Helmet Bowls in the Middle Bronze Age of the Carpathian Basin." In: [Publisher as editor.] Counterpoint: Essays in Archaeology and Heritage Studies in Honour of Professor Kristian Kristiansen. (Pages 361-365). [Note: BAR International Series 2508, 2013. Interesting.]

Soltysiak, Arkadiusz. (2003). "Betrayed lovers of Istar: A possible trace of the 8-Year cycle in Gilgames VI: i-iii." In: Blomberg, Mary., Blomberg, Peter., and Henriksson, Göran. (Editors). Calendars, Symbols, and Orientations: Legacies of Astronomy in Culture. (Pages 101-106). [Note: Proceedings of the 9th annual meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), Stockholm, 27-30 August 2001.]

Norman St. Clair (1865(not 1863)-1912; oldest son of George St. Clair and Emma Boden.)

St. Clair, George. (1898; Reprinted 2009). Creation Records Discovered in Egypt. [Note: An astronomical interpretation of Egyptian mythology. Unreliable. Interestingly, 6 years before Eduard Meyer's proposed Sothic dates, St. Clair independently suggested 4245-4242 BCE as the earliest starting time for Sothic dates (and July 20). However, St Clair's identification of gods/goddesses and his chronological sequence are flawed and dated and to be used with caution. See the (English-language) book reviews by Anon in Notes and Queries, Ninth Series, Volume 1, January-June (March 19), 1898, Pages 499-500; by Anon in Nature, Volume LVIII, August 4, 1898, Pages 315-316); and by Anon in Folklore, Volume X [sometimes given as XLIV], Number 1, March, 1899, Pages 109-110; and the authors reply in Folklore, Volume X, Number 2, June, 1899, Pages 246-248; and the (French-language) book review by (the Egyptologist) Gaston Maspero in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, Vingtième Année, Tome Quarantième, 1899, Pages 124-126. See also the (English-language) book review by ? in The Westminster Review, Volume 150, 1898, Pages 226-? The book (and an article in The Westminster Review) was also noted in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Volumes 1-3, 1898, Page 267. St. Clair is also noted in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschraft, Volumes 17-18, 1897, Page 367.]


As it is extremely difficult to obtain any biographical information on George St. Clair I have chosen to go into some detail here. Mainly because most authors who currently mention him completely misunderstand who he was. He was neither an Archaeologist or Egyptologist as some persons popularly maintain. George St. Clair (1836-1908) was born (according to Kathryn Crawford, a relative) in Spitalfields, London. As mentioned in his obituary and verified by additional documents, he was orphaned at the age of 10 years. He appears to have originally been a Baptist (= non-conformist) minister who later in life, circa 1890 or earlier, became a Unitarian minister. (See: The Forward Movement in Religious Thought as Interpreted by the Unitarians by Brooke Herford (1895).) According to the South London Chronicle: "In 1854 he had become a member of the Baptist Church." He attended the Baptist College, Regent's Park and appears to have completed his studies there to become an ordained minister. Alan Betteridge, author of Deep Roots, Living Branches (2010, Page 195) also states that George St Clair was trained at Regent's Park College, 1860-1864. The Quarterly Statement - Palestine Exploration Fund 1869 lists him as "Rev. Geo. St. Clair." His article "Rational Views of Heaven and Hell" in Arena, Volume 5, 1892, has him designated as Rev. George St. Clair D.D. The Transactions of the Unitarian Historical Society (Volume 4, 1927, Page 206) indicated that he was a Unitarian minister from June 1891 to December 1897. In an article in The Unitarian, Volume 7, 1892, Page 238(?), he is also referred to as "George St. Clair, DD." (In Victorian times the Doctor of Divinity was an advanced academic degree in divinity.) (Neil Silberman, in his book Digging for God and Country (1990, Page 153) describes George St Clair as "an Anglican priest and amateur antiquarian." There is no reason to believe he was an Anglican priest.)

In 1863, whilst still attending Regent's Park College, he married (at St. Philip's, Dalston) Emma Boden, the youngest daughter of (the then late) John Boden (a Protestant nonconformist) of Salop in Shropshire. (One announcement of the marriage mentioned him as: Rev. George St. Clair.) In January, 1864, when he was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, his address was given as Holford House, Regent's Park, N.W. (Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London, Volume 20, 1864, Page 121). Holford House was his address from 1860 to 1864. (Construction of the very large Holford House, for the wealthy wine merchant James Holford, began/was completed in 1823(1832?). Following Holford's death it became Regent's Park Baptist College between 1854 and World War II. (The College had effectively moved to Oxford in 1927?) In 1944 the building was mostly destroyed when a bomb was dropped on it and it was subsequently demolished in 1948.) According to multiple sources George St. Clair's wife Emma was also born in Islington, London, in 1836 (not 1837 as one source indicates). Other sources indicating this is not a correct identification can be dismissed as erroneous. The Boden name is prolific in Shropshire, near Birmingham. Interestingly, The Musical Times (a monthly newssheet), Volume 14, 1870, October 1, Page 614, carries the advertisement: "Mrs St. Clair (late Miss Emma Boden) CONTRALTO begs to inform her friends that she is again residing in London, and is open to a few Engagements for Oratories in the coming season. Address 104, Sussex-road, Finsbury-park, N." Earlier advertisements in The Musical Times, for at least the years 1858, 1860, 1862, and 1864, appeared. The Musical Times, Volume 8, 1858, November 1, Page 330, "Miss Emma Boden (Contralto) 18, Bartholomew-close, City. - Wishes to re-engage a Choir." The Musical Times, Number 208, Volume 9, June 1, 1860 carries a brief 2-line advertising notice with the address "18, Bartholomew-close. (E.C.)"; another brief advertisement appears in the July 1 issue (Number 209). Another advertisement appears in The Musical Times, Number 238, Volumes 10, December 1, 1862. The Musical Standard, Volume 2, 1864,  Page 104 records that (that year) Emma Boden assisted The Concordia Choir with their performance at the Large Room, Bay Street, adjoining Middleton road, Kingsland.) It is perhaps worth noting that Salop is an ancient name for Shropshire. Shropshire (also abbreviated as Salop) is a county in the West Midlands of England. The spelling Stropshire sometimes appears i.e., area of "Salop" Stropshire.

The Baptist Magazine, 1868, reports he resigned the pastorate of the Baptist Church, Banbury, in that year.) At least 2 of his sermons at Banbury were seemingly printed by order of the Oxfordshire Association. (The Church, September 1, 1864, Pages 252 reported: "The Rev. George St. Clair of Regent's Park College, has accepted the cordial and unanimous invitation of the church at Banbury and will enter ... the duties of the pastorate ... in September.") The Church, February 1, 1865, Page 55, records that in January, 1865, the Rev. George St. Clair was publicly recognised as pastor of the church, Bridge-street Chapel, Banbury. In the Census of United Kingdom 1881 he is listed as a Free Church Minister, Edward Street Chapel. (This would be close to a "Unitarian Baptist" position.) It would appear he derived his basic income from his role as a minister and also from public lectures. It would appear that as early as circa 1857 he began to deliver public lectures. The earliest address indicated for him is Banbury. In 1864 he was established as the pastor of the (Baptist) Bridge Street Chapel, Banbury, in Oxfordshire (Oxon) until his resignation in 1868 (or 1869?). It is likely he was there until 1869 simply because in a 2-part article in The Baptist Magazine for 1869 ("The Method of Creation") he states his location as Banbury. (The supposition that this may mark the period of his break with the Baptist Church is incorrect. Also incorrect is the supposition that he seems to have moved to the Free Church and then, in the early 1870s, to the Unitarian Church.) While at Banbury he wrote "The Pursuit of Literature in Connection With the Work of The Christian Ministry." (The Baptist Magazine, 1866, Pages 401-408). In it he expressed a number of views. On page 401 he wrote: "I should feel pleasure in discoursing of our principal work, which I take to be the conversion of sinners, the instruction and comfort of Christians, the glorifying of God, and the justifying of his ways to men." On page 404 he added: "I venture to think that it is both the privilege and the duty of everyone to cling to old beliefs, not simply till they are suspected to be erroneous, but till they are proved to be so." Near the latter part of the article, page 407, he wrote: "Of course, as leaders of the people, we must never give and uncertain sound; nor is it worthwhile, where matters admit of doubt, to disturb people from their old views."

While at Banbury he became a lecturer for the Palestine Exploration Fund. The Baptist Magazine (1869, Page 394) states: "The Rev. George St. Clair, of Banbury, has become [official/accredited] Lecturer to the Palestine Exploration Fund; and, though not relinquishing the ministry, will devote his principal attention to the work of the Society during the winter of 1869-70. He intends to commence a tour of England in September, visiting the principal Churches of the various Nonconformist denominations, to explain the Society's work, past and contemplated." Some of the towns he lectured in were Chipping North, Banbury, Abingdon, Bristol, Clifton, Swansea, Paddington, Mile End, Canonbury, and Nottingham. Often there were only 2-5 days between lectures in different towns. On February 3, 1873 he lectured in Wordsley near Stourbridge (and close to Birmingham). Stourbridge is approximately 174 kilometers (108 miles) from London where he resided. (After 10 years he began lecturing independently.)

By the time of the 1871 census, St. Clair had moved to Islington, London where his occupation is listed as a Baptist Minister, though the church he was affiliated with is unknown. He did not remain long in London. It's known from his obituary and census records that he was living in Birmingham from 1875-1891. (In one publication he gave his address as Bristol Komi, Birmingham. However, his address was correctly 127 Bristol Road, Birmingham. But, in a publication dated 1883 his address is given as 61 Bristol Road.) When exactly and why he went to live in Birmingham, and eventually chose to leave there, is unclear. According to one source he came to Birmingham in 1875 as a colleague of George Dawson. (See: Deep Roots, Living Branches: A History of Baptists in the English Western Midlands by Alan Betteridge (2010, Page 195).) Birmingham had a large number of Unitarians. Until leaving Birmingham, circa 1895 or earlier, he appears to have retained his close connection with the cross-denominational Church of the Saviour in Edward Street, Birmingham, which was founded in 1847 by the charismatic Baptist pastor George Dawson (1821-1876). The Church of the Saviour in Birmingham was a liberal Unitarian church founded for the liberal non conformist preacher, George Dawson. Dawson was originally a Baptist pastor in Birmingham, which he moved to in 1844 to become minister of the Mount Zion Baptist Chapel. His theologically liberal Christian beliefs and preaching eloquence (Dawson was an outstanding orator) soon attracted a large following amongst the working class of Birmingham. His theological views caused a rift with the Baptists and the Church of the Saviour was established (built) as Dawson's own church. It was undenominational/unsectarian. It could seat 1500 people.


Church of the Saviour, Birmingham, no date.


Source: Birmingham : History and General Directory of the Borough by White, Francis & Co. (1849), Page 8.

Following the death of his close friend George Dawson in 1876 (a Wikipedia entry (2014) mistakenly has 1886) St. Clair succeeded him as minister (his title was the Reverend George St. Clair, Minister of the Church of the Saviour, Edward Street, Parade, Birmingham) and regularly delivered weekly sermons at the Church of the Saviour throughout 1877. (See: The Unitarian, Volume 2, 1887, Page 125.) His views at this period had agreement with those of Unitarians but Church of the Saviour was not formally Unitarian. The Church of the Saviour in Edward Street, was, however, considered to be Unitarian. Kelly's The Post Office directory of Birmingham with its Suburbs, for 1878 lists Rev. George St. Clair, Church of the Saviour, Edward Street. His sermons there continued through to (at least) 1883. Another source confirms his presence there until at least this date. (It is usually stated that the Edward Street Church was closed "some years" after Dawson's death but actually the Church of the Saviour closed at the end of 1895. It was certainly still open in 1882. George St. Clair, became sole minister following Dawson's death. In 1896 the church was sold to a Methodist congregation and the proceeds from the sale were donated to another Unitarian church in Waverly street.) St. Clair's obituary in The (London) Inquirer states he was the Minister at Birmingham (Church of the Saviour) from 1875 to 1885. It is certain that in Birmingham he became the assistant to George Dawson in his ministry at the Church of the Saviour from 1875 to 1885. "Another assistant [over time Dawson had a series of assistant ministers (one or more at a time?)], George St Clair (born 1836) was trained at Regent's Park College, 1860-64, and after being at Banbury Baptist Church he came as Dawson's colleague in 1875. He stayed on after Dawson's death as sole minister until 1886, but the great days were over. The Church of the Saviour closed at the end of 1895 with little on-going influence … . (Deep Roots, Living Branches: A History of Baptists in the English Western Midlands by Alan Betteridge (2010, Page 195))" (In a 1881 publication and again in a 1886 publication St. Clair gave his address as 127 Bristol Road, Birmingham. It appears as his address from 1881 to 1887, and also 1890.) Circa 1880 he resided in the Birmingham suburb of Edgbaston, Warwick(shire). (In the 1881 Census of the United Kingdom his Dwelling is given as: 61 Bristol Road; and his Census Place is given as: Edgbaston, Warwick, England. Jean Kelly has pointed out to me that Edgbaston is not connected with the town of Warwick which is some 40 kilometres away. It seems then that the census entry Warwick intends to mean Warwickshire County. I am also currently unable to identify what his 1880 resignation concerned.)

Source: Birmingham : History and General Directory of the Borough by White, Francis & Co. (1849), Page 8.

Historic photograph of the Unitarian Free Christian Church (a red brick building), West Grove, Cardiff. (Picture © Reproduced as 'fair use' for the purposes of education, criticism and comment.)

After leaving Birmingham he seems to have moved frequently. From 1891 to circa 1900 he was in Cardiff, south east Wales. (His Cardiff address is given as 225 Castle Road.) (He served as a church minister in Cardiff from 1891 to 1897.) After leaving Cardiff, he served as the pastor of a Unitarian Church while living at 11 Vicarage Drive, Eastbourne Sussex. By at least 1895 he was the minister at the Unitarian Free Christian Church, West Grove (a road), Tredegarville (now a residential district of Cardiff city), South East Wales (see: Kelley's Directory, South Wales, 1895). This church seated 150 persons. Tredegarville was the name given to an upper class area of streets and villas in Cardiff, Wales, developed during the 2nd-half of the 19th-century. The area is now part of Roath. Interestingly, George St. Clair appears in the membership list of the Astronomical Society of Wales, for 1898 (but not for any other year). In the Society's renamed publication (journal), the Cambrian Natural Observer (Volume 1, Number 4, November, 1898, Pages 117-120) his membership details are "St. Clair, Rev. G., F.G.S., Birmingham. (The Society held its meetings in Cardiff.) It appears he was a member of the Astronomical Society of Wales whilst still residing in Birmingham. (Any source indicating he was still in Birmingham in 1898 is mistaken.) Circa 1900, or earlier, he resided in Eastbourne, (East) Sussex. A 1901 publication gives his address as Vicarage Drive, Eastbourne. Oddly, a 1864 publication gives his address also as 11 Vicarage Drive, Eastbourne. Eastbourne is located at the foot of the South Downs on the South Coast of England. In 1897 he again became a lecturer for The Palestine Exploration Fund. In all he was an intermittent lecturer for 10 years for The Palestine Exploration Fund.)

George St. Clair is indicated as being a Unitarian Minister at least by 1891, as seen on the census of that year.  (See also the brief mention of him in The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals). His small book The Problem of Evil (1893 expounded the Unitarian position. In the Census of United Kingdom 1901 that I have sighted he is listed simply as a Clergyman. I cannot find him in any listing of 19th-century English Unitarian ministers (but at least one source (see above) specifically identifies him as a Unitarian minister). It would seem he only very rarely used his title of Reverend. He is mentioned in The Unitarian, Volume 7, 1892.) It is indicated that from June, 1891 to December 1897 (at least) he was a Unitarian. In becoming a Unitarian he was possibly influenced by Charles Dawson who, though he founded his Birmingham church on Evangelical lines, had considerable sympathy for the Unitarian position. It is also indicated that it may have originated from a doctrinal squabble with Baptist Church authorities. One of his (Baptist) ministerial appointments was certainly the subject of controversy (Bridge Street Chapel, Banbury) and though he obtained it through the unanimous support of the congregation - through the process of election (and had the support of associated ministers) - he only remained several years (somewhere between 3 and 4 years). A meeting in connection with the public recognition of George St Clair as pastor of the church was held in January, 1865 (see: The Church, February 1, 1865, Page 55). The Baptist Magazine, 1868, reports he resigned the pastorate of the Baptist Church, Banbury, in that year. At some time the theologically independent views held by George St. Clair were likely not theologically acceptable to the Baptists and the cause of a rift. This may have led to his brief association with Unitarianism. Possibly there were issues involving what comprised the authentic gospel. It is indicate that George St. Clair had particular views on such.

From circa 1885 onwards George St. Clair directed much of his effort to his belief that ancient religions had an astronomical basis. (However, he was still presenting and writing on theological topics into circa the mid-1890s. I have not identified the date when he left the active ministry.) He believed that all myths are related to each other and are astronomical in origin. Possibly his last published article, "Adam's Two Wives." (The Theosophical Review, Volume 37, 1906) set out a calendrical interpretation. He was possibly influenced by the appearance of Gerald Massey's two early books: A Book of the Beginnings (1881, 2 Volumes), and The Natural Genesis (1883, 2 Volumes). He became a close friend of Gerald Massey, who was a Poet, Spiritualist, and amateur Egyptologist. (See his "Gerald Massey as Egyptologist (I)" in The Theosophical Review (London), Volume 41, 1908, Page 511; and "Gerald Massey as Egyptologist (II)" in The Theosophical Review (London), Volume 42, 1908, Page 43.) George St. Clair helped Gerald Massey receive sufficient funding to enable the publication of Massey's final book Ancient Egypt (1907, 2 Volumes). As much as St. Clair disliked receiving bad reviews for his own books he critically reviewed Massey's Ancient Egypt (Literary Guide, 1 February, 1908, Pages 21-22) and complained about Massey's incompetence with philological renderings, particularly Massey's interpretation of Hebrew proper names. George St. Clair could basically be classed as a precessional mythologist. His later books on the origin of mythology are based on fundamentally mistaken ideas about calendars and the antiquity of the zodiac and have little value. He believed that the first calendars were invented circa 4,500 BCE and that the zodiac of 12 equal divisions also originated at the same time. His methodology, or lack of it, is mentioned in the article "Presidential Address: The Methods of Magic and of Science." by John Myers (Folklore, Volume 36, Number 1, March 31, 1925, Pages 15-47).

George St. Clair was a Fellow of the Geological Society (FGS), a Fellow of the Anthropological Society of London (FASL), a Fellow of the Ethnological Society (FES), a Member of the Society for Biblical Archaeology, a Member of the Anthropological Institute, for nearly 6 years to August 1875 (then intermittently for another 4 years) an authorised Lecturer for The Palestine Exploration Fund, and a Member of the Society of Authors. He also had an M.A. His book Buried Cities and Bible Countries was based on (lecture) material obtained during his association with The Palestine Exploration Fund. (He first resigned his appointment as an authorised lecturer for The Palestine Exploration Fund in August, 1875, and began lecturing independently. Financial issues may have played a part. He was an active lecturer and most of the funds raised went to The Palestine Exploration Fund. The Quarterly Statement - Palestine Exploration Fund 1869, Pages 268 mentions the proceeds of a lecture by the "Rev. Geo. St. Clair" on February 3, 1870 raised "Collection at doors ₤4.00 [and] Sale of Publications 8 schillings, 4 pence.") He was a popular writer on the archaeology of the Bible. Between 1890 and 1907 he frequently contributed short articles to the Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement.) The Palestine Exploration Fund, Quarterly Statement, 1888, page 4 (also page 53) mentions: "Mr George St. Clair, F.G.S., who has lately returned from his Eastern tour, and is giving Lectures for the Society in all parts of Great Britain. His subjects are - (1) The Buried City of Jerusalem, and General Exploration of the Holy Land. Numerous diagrams. (2) Buried Cities of the East. Numerous diagrams. (3) Sight-seeing in Palestine. Lantern views, where local help can be obtained." St. Clair's address is given as Bristol Road, Birmingham. His book Cyclopædia of Nature Teachings (1891) is almost forgotten. (He contributed articles on (non-telescopic) astronomical observations and geological observations to various scientific publications.)

Apart from 3 sons he also had 3 daughters. I presently only know the brief details of 2 sons and 2 daughters. His eldest son Norman (1865-1912, born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, November 24, 1865; and Oswald (born 1869 in Banbury, (Oxford[shire]). One of his daughters, Ruth, according to the 1881 census was born in Bishopham, Norfolk, in 1879. This is certainly erroneous. There are 5 other sources that state she was born in Birmingham. Another daughter, Florence, was born in 1884, also in Birmingham.

George St. Clair died at Balham, London, in 1908. The England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 states: "Name: George St Clair, Death: 13 Jun 1908 - Surrey - England, Other: 3 Jul 1908 - London - England." (Several publications (one published 1907) give his address as 16 Ryde Vale Road, Balham, (S.W. Salisbury) London. One publication indicates this was his address at least since 1905.) His wife Emma died in 1912 in Balham. They were perhaps living in retirement in Oswald's house rather than living independently. (The following is irrelevant/unrelated  information: The England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966 states: "Name: Emma St Clair, Death: 1 Oct 1909 - Surrey - England, Other: 30 Nov 1909 - London - England.") At this time his son Oswald, who authored several books on economic issues, was residing (in Balham) and working in London as an Insurance Clerk. Oswald (born 1869 in Banbury, (Oxford[shire]) Oxon) later, after the death of his father in 1908, emigrated to South Africa. (He is possibly to be identified as the retired businessman who published the book A Key to Ricardo (1957).) In 1887 his eldest son Norman (1865-1912), born in Banbury, Oxfordshire, November 24, 1865, who had studied architecture and worked as a draughtsman in England, emigrated to the United States of America. He worked first as an architect (in Boston, Denver, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, then later as a water colour artist (primarily self-taught) after moving to Pasadena circa 1900. Norman St Clair married Ann Fleetwood, who became a Christian Scientist after Norman's death. They had 4 sons, Malcolm, Bernard, Eric, and Aubrey.) George St. Clair (and Emma) did not make a trip to the United States of America to visit Norman. Nor it seems did Norman make a return visit to England. A collection of George St. Clair's letters, primarily correspondence with Charles Darwin, is held by the Southwest Museum (presumably in the Braun Research Library) in Pasadena, USA.

George St. Clair was very empathic/defensive of the poor/working classes.

George St. Clair is briefly mentioned on Page 587 (Volume 3 (sometimes stated as volume 2)) of Old and New Birmingham by Robert Dent (2nd Edition, 3 Volumes, 1880) regarding his role at Church of the Saviour in Edward Street, Birmingham. In his small publication "Rational Views of Heaven and Hell" (1892) he shows he was no supporter of the old ideas of heaven and hell - he very much combated the old ideas of heaven and hell. In his earlier book Darwinism and Design (1873) he was an informed supporter of evolution and a proponent of the doctrine that design was executed through evolution. However, in his book The Secret of Genesis (1907) he upheld the literal historical accuracy of the narratives of Genesis and Exodus. An obituary for him appeared in the Inquirer (a Unitarian newspaper published in London) 1908, Page 389. A biographical sketch of him (including details of his scholastic career) appeared in The Biograph and Review, Volume 3/Part 13, January, 1880. This later (along with press notices and reviews) formed part of a small (8-page) pamphlet titled George St. Clair, F.G.S.: Minister of the Church of the Saviour, Edward Street, Parade, Birmingham. I do not know the publication date but it is cited in a catalogue as 188?. See also the record in the Essex Hall Year Book for 1909. (The Essex Hall Year Book - previously The Essex Hall Year Book and Unitarian Almanac issued by the British and Foreign Unitarian Association) contains a list (register) of Unitarian, Free Christian, Presbyterian, and other Non-subscribing Churches, with names and addresses of Ministers. Essex Hall was a Unitarian Academy. It was destroyed in 1944. The site was, circa 1980, occupied by Unitarian Headquarters.) Some documents and letters relating to George St. Clair (and his lectures for some years) are mentioned in A Guide to Manuscripts and Documents in the British Isles Relating to the Middle East and North Africa by Nöel Matthews et al., 1980, Page 150. (Interestingly, he is mentioned in, Christian Metzger: founder of an American family by Ella Milligan (1942).) It seems he was generally highly regarded. In March, 1884, in a school room in Bristol Street, Birmingham, he presided over a debate described as "Spiritualism versus Materialism." The spiritualist periodical The Medium and Daybreak, 1884, page 173, wrote "Both the contestants are fortunate in securing the services of the latter gentleman [George St. Clair], who occupies a prominent position among the advanced clergy of the town." At least one religious journal referred to the "scholarly Mr St. Clair." Regarding the notion of love and marriage in Victorian times, in 1880 he stated his view "A young woman now is free to accept or reject any offer which is made to her." For his book review of The Legend of Perseus by Edwin Hartland see Science, New Series, Volume 4, Number 87, August 28, 1896, Page 297. The ideas of George St. Clair on mythology were similar to, but preceded, the Panbabylonian school.

Census records for George St Clair: (1) 1871 England Census (UK & Irish Records); Name: George St Clair; Spouse: Emma St Clair; Birth: about 1837 - Middlesex, Spitalfields, London, England; Residence: 1871 - Islington, London, England. (2) 1881 England Census (UK & Irish Records); Name: Geo. St Clair; Spouse: Emma St Clair; Birth: about 1837 - London, Middlesex, England; Residence: 1881 Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England. (3) 1891 England Census (UK & Irish Records); Name: George St Clair; Spouse: Emma St Clair; Birth: about 1837 - London, England; Residence: 1891 - Edgbaston, Warwickshire, England. (4) 1901 England Census (UK & Irish Records); Name: George St Clair; Spouse: Emma St Clair; Birth: about 1837 - Spitalfields, London, England; Residence: Eastbourne, Sussex, England. Other: UK, City and Country Directories (UK & Irish Records), 1766-1946, Name: George St Clair; Residence: 1902 - London, England. Census records for Emma Boden: To date none have been correctly identified and personally sighted. (It is perhaps worth noting that at this period Spitalfields was a small area of London with immense levels of poverty and the grimmest social problems.)

  Barry Dock News (Welsh Newspaper), November 27, 1891, see: Local & District News, Cadoxton Barry.

Note: I am indebted to Kathryn Crawford, a relative of George St. Clair, for taking the time to review the essay, conduct research and make numerous corrections and comments on the biographical material, and also for further contributions of biographical information, sent to me in 2016.


St. Clair, George. (1901). The Myths of Greece. (2 Volumes). [Note: St. Clair believed that all Greek mythology had an astronomical basis, not an anthropological. "Mr. George St. Clair challenges every attempt ever made to explain the mythology of Greece and Rome, and he offers an explanation of his own. He does not take the myths literally; nor does he believe in the human explanation of Euhemerus, nor again in the explanation identifying the myths with the phenomena of the natural world, nor in Andrew Lang's folklore theory. Mr. St. Clair believes that Greek and Roman mythology was based upon astronomy and the calendar. The signs of the zodiac, the planets, the Pleiades, and the stars generally are in it." (The Ecclesiastical Review, Volume 31, 1904, Page 624 (637?).) See the (English-language) book review by Anon in Folklore, Volume XII [sometimes given as XLVIII], Number 3, September, 1901, Pages 362-364; and the authors reply in Folklore, Volume XII [sometimes given as XLVIII], Number 4, December, 1901, Pages 469-471. See also the (French-language) book review by Pierre Decharme in Revue Critique d'Histoire et de Littérature, 1902, Number 14, Pages ?-? A letter by George St. Clair in defense of his book appeared in The Author, Volumes 7-8, 1897, Page 115.]

St. Clair, George. (1907). The Secret of Genesis: An Astro-religious Record. [Note: Deals with the first 11 chapters only of Genesis. Attempts to show that the creation story in Genesis is the history of conflicting astronomical calendar systems. Biblia, Volume 18, 1905, Page 252, mentions he had The Secret of Genesis in preparation at that time. See the (English-Language) book reviews by Anon in The London Quarterly and Holborn Review, Volume 108, 1907, Pages 342-?; and by Stanley Cook in The Journal of Theological Studies, Volume IX, 1908, Pages 455-456(8?). See also: Review of Theology & Philosophy, Volume 3, 1908, Page 627; and The Expository Times, Volume 19, 1908, Page 3, for short (English-language) book reviews. A short (English-language) book review by Anon also appeared in The Academy, Volume 73, July December, 1907, Page  228. A reply/protest by St. Clair over the reviewer's use of the word "smart" appeared on page 254, along with a reply by the reviewer (under the heading "Genesis and the Calendar").]

Staal, Julius. (1988). The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars. [Note: A revised edition of the authors "Patterns in the Sky." (1961).]

Stähli, Hans-Peter. (1985). Solare Elemente im Jahwesglauben des Alten Testaments.

Steele, John. (2015). "Mesopotamian Astrological Geography" In: Barthel, Peter., and van Kooten, George. (Editors). The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi. (Pages 201-216). [Note: See especially the discussion and examples in the important section "Cities" (Pages 207-216). [Note: John Steele has explained there was not a simple one-to one correspondence between city and constellation, although there are some associations which appear regularly. The earliest text attesting to associations between constellations and cities is K 4386 (= CT 1919), a Neo-Assyrian copy of a lexical list from Nineveh.]

Stegemann, Viktor. (1930). Astrologie und Universalgeschichte: Studien und Interpretationen zu den Dionysiaka des Nonnos von Panopolis.

Steinkeller, Piotr. (2005). "Of Stars and Men: The Conceptual and Mythological Setup of Babylonian Extispicy." In: Gianto, Agustinus. (Editor). Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. Moran. (Pages11-47). [Note: Brilliant essay on the nature of Babylonian extispicy. Some discussion of constellations and star names.]

Sigurðsson, Gisli. (2014). "Snorri's Edda: The Sky Described in Mythological Terms." In: Tangherlini, Timothy. (Editor). Nordic Mythologies: Interpretations, Intersections, and Institutions. (Pages 184-198). [Note: The authors theme indicates that he is influenced by Hamlet's Mill, but apparently he does not advocate precessional mythology. Abstract: "Mythologies from around the world all have an astronomical aspect to them in the sense that they reflect detailed knowledge and observation of the sky above. All over the world people have used mythological language to talk about and share astronomical knowledge among the learned elites of all cultures; knowledge about the movements of the sun, the moon and the planets within the ever revolving firmament around the fixed points in the extreme north and south. It can be demonstrated, from celestial observations in 19th century Icelandic tradition, that certain ideas in Old Norse mythology referred directly to peculiar celestial phenomena. In view of that actual proof it should be worth discussing the possibility of taking that idea a step further and read the entire Snorri's Edda as a mythological interpretation of the world as it appears to the naked eye: The earth below and the sky above where the stars and other heavenly bodies move around, as well as up and down, some in a clearly regular pattern and others less so, day and night. This approach changes radically all our discussion about systematic thought behind the individual myths as well as about their source value as reflections of pre-Christian ideas in the north. In my paper I shall read Gylfaginning (Gylfi's Illusion) as a general introduction to what can literally be observed in the sky where, as Snorri tells us 82 times, we should be looking for the gods. Gylfi's illusion in the frame-story is therefore to think that he is observing what he is being told about the gods and their dwellings and the world tree in the sky when, in fact, all he sees with his mortal eyes is the stars, the planets, the Sun and the Moon, and the Milky way; with occasional celestial phenomena such as the rainbow, sun-/moon haloes and eclypses (sic), all of which have their mythological equivalent and "can be seen from Earth" as Gylfaginning (ch. 11) puts it when explaining the children Bil and Hiuki, well known as moon-dogs in English." Gísli Sigurðsson is with the University of Iceland.]

Stol, M[?]. (1992). "The Moon as Seen by the Babylonians." In: Meijer, Diederik. (Editor). Natural Phenomena: Their Meaning, Depiction and Description in the Ancient Near East. (Pages 245-277). [Note: A conference paper originally presented in 1989.]

Strawn, Brent. (2001). What is Stronger Than a Lion?: Leonine Images and Metaphor in the Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East. [Note: Unpublished PhD dissertation, Princeton Theological Seminary. Chapter 4 has 2 pages of discussion on the constellation Leo.]

Stucken, Eduard. (1907, limited edition reprint (100 copies) 1995). Astralmythen: Religiongeschichtliche untersuchungen. [Note: The author was a principal proponent of Panbabylonism. The book's 5 chapters were originally published in 5 parts between 1896 and 1907. The author attempts to argue his case, that all mythology has an astronomical basis, by defining myths by their motifs. He was criticized for knowing no restraint for his ideas. Life dates: 1865-1936. See the (German-language) book reviews by Carl Niebuhr in Orientalistische Literatur-zeitung, 1 Jahrgang, April, Number 4, Columns 114-118; Alfred Bertholet in Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 33, Number 8, April, 1908, Columns 230-233; and the (French-language) book reviews by H[?]. H[?]. and M[?]. M[?]. in L'Année Sociologique, Tome VI, Sixieme Année 1901-1902, 1903, Pages 261-263; and H[?]. H[?]. in L'Année Sociologique, Tome XI 1906-1909, 1910, Page 247. Also see the critical (French-language) article "Fantaisies biblico-mythologiques d'un chef d'école." by Emmanuel Cosquin in Revue Biblique, Nouvelle Série, Deuxième Année, Number 1, Janvier, 1905, Pages 5-38. The book is to be reprinted by George Olms Verlag circa 2008.]

Sun, Xiaochun. (2011). "Connecting Heaven and Man: The role of astronomy in ancient Chinese society and culture." In: Valls-Gabaud, D. and Bokenberg, A. (Editors). The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture. (Pages 98-106). [Note: Proceedings, IAU Symposium Number 260, 2009. The author is with the Institute for the History of Natural Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences.]

Schwartz, Dov. (2005). Studies on Astral Magic in Medieval Jewish Thought.

Taylor, J[?]. (1993). Yahweh and the Sun. Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sun Worship in Ancient Israel.

Teixidor, Javier. (1979). The Pantheon of Palmyra. [Note: See chapters II (The Cult of the Sun and the Moon at Palmyra (pages 29-52)) and III (section: Shamash and His Astral Companions (pages 64-71)).]

Temple, Robert. (1991). He Who Saw Everything. [Note: The author attempts to show that the Gilgamesh epic is actually astronomical mythology.]

Theuer, G[?]. (2000). Der Mondgott in der Relionen Syrien-Palästinas unterbesonderer Berücksichtigung von KTU 1.24.

Tolley, Clive [Clifford]. (Expected date of publication 2015). "Astral Themes in Norse Myths." [Note: No other journal reference details until published. A careful speculative examination of some possible Norse astronomical myths. Dr Clive Tolley is (2014) Docent, Department of Folkloristics, University of Turku, Finland.]

Tymieniecka, Anna-Teresa. and Grandpierre, Attila. (2010). (Editors). Astronomy and Civilization in the New Enlightenment: Passions of the Skies. [Note: The collection of conference papers read at the World Congress of Astronomy and Civilization, Budapest, 2009. The papers are of varying quality. Some are completely unreliable and it is puzzling that they were able to be presented, let alone were actually published. Poor quality conference presentations seem to be on the increase.]

Heinlein, Christine. (2011). Kaiser und Kosmokrator. Der Große Kameo von Frankreich als astrale Allegorie. [Note: Doctoral thesis.]

Ungnad, Arthur. and Gressmann [misspelled Gressman], Hugo. (1911). Das Gilgamesh-Epos. [Note: An important study at the time of its publication. The new translation was by Arthur Ungnad and the commentary/discussion ("Gilgames-Epos - und die Astral-Mythologie.") was by Hugo Gressmann. Published as Heft 14 of Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments. Includes a lengthy discussion of possible astronomical elements in the Gilgamesh epic. See the (German-language) book review by H[ugo?] G[ressmann?] in Revue d'Assyriologie, Volume VIII, Number 3, 1911, Pages 159-160.]

Ungnad, Arthur. (1923). Das wiedergefundene Paradies. [Note: The author, an Assyriologist, holds that l-Iku (the Pegasus-square = alpha beta gamma Pegasi and alpha Andromedae) enclosed by the constellation Pisces is "Paradise" i.e., the primordial field.]

Vaughan, Valerie. (1998). Astro-Mythology: The Celestial Union of Astrology and Myth. [Note: The author is an astrologer. Unreliable.]

Voegelin, Eric. (1956; reprinted 1958, 1969, & new edition 2001 with introduction by Maurice Hogan). Order and History, Volume 1: Israel and Revelation. [Note: The project was to be completed in 6 volumes but it appears that only 5 volumes were issued. Part 1 of Volume 1 (as well as other parts of this volume) deals with the cosmological basis of the political ordering of ancient near eastern civilizations. In his delayed publication of Order and History, Volume 4: The Ecumenic Age (1974), Voegelin endorsed Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969) and added new arguments. See page 132 onwards. Life dates: 1901-1985.]

Volk, Katharina. (2004, 2009). ""Heavenly Steps": Manilius 4.119–121 and Its Background." In: Boustan [sometimes mistakenly Boustant], Ra'anan. and Reed, Annette. (Editors). Heavenly Realms and Earthly Realities in Late Antique Religions (Pages 34-46). [Note: Some comments regarding connecting Jacob's ladder (i.e., Jacob's ladder dream, Genesis 28: 10-17) and similar with the Milky Way. The ladder-to-heaven motif can be found world-wide (See: F52 in Motif-index of Folk-literature by Stith Thompson (Revised edition 1955-1958)). The ladder-to-heaven theme includes stairway-to-heaven, and heavenly rope. Various interpretations of the ladder-to-heaven (road to the sky) tales include: polar axis, Milky Way, world tree, as a ladder to heaven. The Midrash says that the ladder in Jacob's dream was a ladder ascending from the altar. (Midrash is a genre of ancient Rabbinic commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures, attached to the biblical text. The earliest Midrashim come from the 2nd-century CE, although much of their content is older.) In the Zohar, Jacob's ladder is characterised as the sign of the covenant. (The Zohar is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology.) There are traditions of a ladder (staircase) associated with a sun-god (i.e., solar ladders). Akkadian literature contains 3 explanations for ways the gates of heaven can be reached: (1) to fly like Etana (an ancient Sumerian king of the city of Kish) and the eagle, (2) to take a roadway, and (3) to climb a stairway. There is no implied association with the Milky Way. It might be argued that there is an implied association with the sun-god Shamash and his gateway(s) (gate(s) of heaven). In an Old Babylonian prayer (uttered at dawn) the sun-god Shamash opens the doors of heaven and ascends into heaven by a stairway to preside over a judicial assembly of the 7 great gods/goddesses (at dawn). Ereskigal, the goddess of the land of the dead (underworld), ascended the stairs of heaven to visit the gods/goddesses of heaven. Volk identifies that Manilius' ladder is simply a metaphor for the poets present work, Astronomica. Within Christian mysticism, beginning with St. Perpetua's dream, the ladder became a common Christian symbol for the ascent to God (the transition from earthly to heavenly life). Perpetua/St. Perpetua was a Christian martyr of the 3rd century. It is recorded that Perpetua had multiple dreams prior to her martyrdom. Her first dream is categorised as a 'dragon-ladder-shepherd' dream. "Perpetua's first dream involves her avoiding a dragon, climbing a ladder, seeing a white-haired shepherd in an immense garden and tasting some cheese which the shepherd offers her." (Interpreting Perpetua and her Dreams by Jerrold Mitchell (unpublished PhD thesis, Episcopal Divinity School, 2001, Page 7).) Per a Christian telling: "Perpetua had a dream that seemed to foretell her fate. In it she saw a ladder going up to Heaven. At the foot of the ladder was a fierce dragon, and attached to the sides of the ladder were knives, lances, and other sharp instruments set in such a way that anyone ascending the ladder would be severely cut. In her dream she saw Saturus, her Christian teacher and fellow prisoner, calling from the top of the ladder for her to follow him up. She saw many people in white robes standing in a garden and they were led by a man with white hair dressed in shepherd’s clothing. The dragon actually placed his head so she could step up on it to reach the ladder. She climbed up, and the white haired man gave her some sweet curds to eat as the people cried "Amen"." ( On Hastro-L (August 2016) there are several proponents of the idea that in both Jewish and Christian beliefs/mysticism/magic the 7 planets (including sun and moon) are associated with specific angels. Implied is these are early held beliefs. However, it seems these beliefs when they do occur date to late antiquity and derive from non Jewish and non Christian influences. Texts cited include (1) The Mithras Liturgy, (2) the Sepher Ha-Razim, and (3) the Sefer Yetzirah. The word Jew/Jewish is late i.e., relatively modern. However, the concept is early. The word Jew is derived from the word Judah. The word Jew/Jews can be defined in the sense of a country i.e., a Judean. More exactly, the origin of the term Jew is from the Hebrew Yehudi, being the people of Yehudah, where Yehudah is translated by the English translators of the Bible as Judah. The term Jew is derived from the name of Jacob's 4th son, Judah (Yehudah). According to the biblical account, on the succession of Solomon's son, Rehoboam (dated circa 930 BCE), a civil dispute split the tribes of Israel into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Judah in the south, and the Kingdom of Israel in the north. In the 5th century BCE, the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyrian King Sennaherib, and the tribes exiled. The remaining residents were the Kingdom of Judah, and the term Yehudi (Jew) came to refer to all the Israelites, regardless of their tribal ancestry. Regarding "The Mithras Liturgy and Sepher Ha-Razim." by Kimberly B. Stratton: In: Religions of Late Antiquity in Practice edited by Richard Valantasis (2000), (Pages 303-315): In this article she holds that there is genuine Mithraic content in The Mithras Liturgy. She also holds that an early date can be assigned to the Sepher Ha-Razim. Currently (2016) Stratton is an Associate Professor at Carleton University (Canada). Stratton was completing her Ph.D. in the history of ancient religions in 2000 (awarded 2002). Her website biography states: "Kimberly Stratton received her B.A. degree (1991) in English and Religion from Barnard College in New York City. She completed a Master of Theological Studies at Harvard University (1995), concentrating on scripture and interpretation. In the middle of her master's degree she studied in Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a year and a half (1992-1994), where she passed the Hebrew Language Equivalency Exam (ptor). She returned to New York City to pursue doctoral studies at Columbia University, completing her Ph.D. (2002) in the History of Religions in Late Antiquity. Her research covers the fields of early Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, as well as Greco-Roman culture and religion." ( The point is it would be interesting to know if after some 16 years she still holds her previous positions or revises her judgements. Her "Magic in the Greco-Roman World up to and including the Republic." In: Cambridge History of Magic and Witchcraft in the West. edited by David. Collins. S.J. (2015) obviously does not cover the later period and the Sepher Ha-Razim is not mentioned. Gideon Bohak also contributed to this volume. Regarding the magical text The Mithras Liturgy, usually dated to circa 4th-century CE: The issue regarding this text is not indicated as settled. Scholars have debated pro and con whether it has a direct connection to authentic Mithraic ritual. Early scholars to reject such a connection were Franz Cumont and Richard Reitzenstein. See: "Mithraism and Magic." by Jaime Alvar Ezquerra In: Magic and Practice in the Latin West edited by Richard Gordon and Francisco Marco Simón (2010 (not 2009), but 2005 conference papers; Pages 519-550; see his critical discussion of The ‘Mithras Liturgy’ on Pages 522-534). (I do not have a copy of The 'Mithras Liturgy' by Hans Dieter Betz (2003).) Ezquerra (Page 528) also rejects the claim that the text is an authentic Mithraic liturgy. Its provenance is thought to be Egypt (it was discovered with other magical texts in Thebes in the 19th-century) which creates a problem for regarding it an authentic liturgy. See: Ezquerra, Page 532. The reason for the text being called the Mithras liturgy is that it contains a mention of "Helios Mithras." Regarding Sepher Ha-Razim: The syncretic Mediterranean-West Asian world of the Hellenistic-Late Roman period is well recognised. It has been long recognised there are extensive foreign influences on Jewish magical beliefs of late antiquity (cross-cultural cooperation). It has also been recognised that the content of Jewish magic changed over time and also with different Jewish groups. (See: Ancient Jewish Magic: A History by Gideon Bohak (2008, Page 66). Margalioth (Sepher Ha-Razim (1966)) placed the date of the original text to the early 4th- or late 3rd-century CE (the early Talmudic period) and most scholars gave support to this date. An exception to this dating is Ithamar Gruenwald (Apocalyptic and Merkavah Mysticism (1980, Page 226)) who dates the text to the 6th or 7th-century CE (as late as possible in the pre-Muslim period). His strong archaeological argument is also explained by Gideon Bohak (Page 174), who indicates he is also supportive of it. A Palestinian origin has been recently been given for the book but this is by no means certain. The Sepher Ha-Razim is a Jewish magical text - painstakingly reconstructed from some 25 scattered Genizah fragments by Mordechai Margalioth - dated as early as the late Roman period. It is extant in its entirety but not necessarily in its original version. The reconstruction of the text made by Margalioth relied on some 25 later Medieval and even later texts. (See: Ancient Jewish Magic: A History by Gideon Bohak, Page 170). Bohak states (Page 170) quite bluntly that "No copy of the text as it existed at that period is extant today." Also, Medieval Jewish magic was influenced by the culture of magic in the Middle Ages, especially Islamic magical practices. (See: Cambridge History of Magic and Witchcraft in the West. edited by David. Collins. S.J. (2015)) There is no archaeological reason to believe the book was widely used by Jewish magicians. (See: Ancient Jewish Magic: A History by Gideon Bohak, Page 174.) The text contains an extensive list of angelic names. Bohak states (Page 172): "The long and tedious list of angels - undoubtedly corrupted by the books copyists and therefore impossible to reconstruct accurately - are more problematic ... most of the angel names of Sepher ha-Razim have no meaning in any language, and the method by by which they were "generated" - if there ever was one - remains obscure." Bohak states (Page 175) there are enormous historical and textual uncertainties surrounding the Sepher Ha-Razim. Mention is made of the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation) the origin and dating of which is still keenly debated by specialist scholars. In their book, The Varieties of Magical Experience: Indigenous, Medieval, and Modern Magic by Lynne Hume and Nevill Drury (2013) they write (Page 94): “... it is thought that the Sefer Yetzirah, or Book of Creation, was composed in Palestine between the third and sixth centuries CE."]

Wallenfels, Ronald. (1993). "Zodiacal Signs among the Seal Impressions from Hellenistic Uruk." In: Cohen, Mark. et al. (Editors). The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo. (Pages 281-289).

Wallenfels, Ronald. (1994). Uruk: Hellenistic Seal Impressions in the Yale Babylonian Collection, Volume I. Cuneiform Tablets. [Note: Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka Endberichte 19. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. This volume is an expanded, fully illustrated reworking of his 1990 Columbia University dissertation, "Sealed Cuneiform Texts from Hellenistic Uruk: An Iconographic and Prosopographic Analysis of the Private Business Documents." The book contains three appendices, the first of which is: "Zodiacal Signs among the Uruk Tablet Seal Impressions" (a slightly modified version of his 1993 study "Zodiacal Signs among the Seal Impressions from Hellenistic Uruk").]

Wallis, Faith. (2005). "'Number Mystique' in Early Medieval Computus Texts." In: Koetsier, T. and Bergmans, L. (Editors). Mathematics and the Divine: A Historical Study. (Pages 179-199).

Weigelt, Andreas. (2009). "Oath and sovereignty: Hesiod's Theogony, Enuma Enlil, and The Kingship in Heaven." In: Baker, Heather. et al. (Editors). Your Praise is Sweet. (Pages 401-412). [Note: Memorial volume for Jeremy Black.]

Wellendorf, Jonas. (2006). "Homogeneity and heterogeneity in Old Norse cosmology." In: Andrén, Anders. et. al. (Editors). Old Norse religion in long term perspectives. (Pages 50-53).

West, Martin. (2007). Indo-European Poetry and Myth. [Note: Excellent. A variety of astronomical issues are discussed.]

Wilk, Stephen. (2000). Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon. [Note: Controversial and largely ignored book that presents a poorly argued case for a variable star interpretation of the Medusa myth. It does, however, contain a large amount of valuable and critical discussion. Only a few persons bothered to review it. See the supportive (English-language) book review by Philip Morrison in the Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 32, Part 1, February 2001, Number 106, Pages 88-90. Stephen Wilk is a physicist.]

Wilson, Thomas. (1894). The Swastika. [Comprehensive. Report of the [U.S.] National Museum, Pages 757-1011. The author was Curator, Department of Prehistoric Anthropology.]

Wirth, Hermann. (1921). Homer und Babylon: Ein Lösungsversuch der Homerischen Frage vom Orientalischen Standpunkte Aus. [Note: See VIII. Astrologie, Astronomie, Mathematik. Pages 87-96. Hermann Wirth was Gymnasialprofessor in Freiburg im Breisgau.]

Wonderley, Anthony. (2009). "Iroquois Star Lore: What Does it Mean?" In: At the Font of the Marvellous: Exploring Oral Narrative and Mythic Imagery of the Iroquois and Their Neighbours. (Pages 1-13). [Note: An earlier version of this essay was published in the journal American Antiquity (2005). The folktales, legends, and myths of the Iroquois were mostly recorded circa 1900 (but some as early as 1835). Stories about the Pleiades and Big Dipper star groups are most usually deemed mythological rather than astronomical. The author points out the 7 stars of the Pleiades are dancers/singers. The specific cultural context of the Pleiades to the Iroquois is dancing to retain their tribal identity. The author (B.A., M.A., (Historical Archaeology), Ph.D., (Anthropology) is (2017) curator of the Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida, N.Y.]

Wood, Florence. and Wood, Kenneth. (1999). Homer's Secret Iliad: The Epic of the Night Skies Decoded. [Note: Based on unpublished papers left by Edna Leigh, MSc? (Masters degree in literature from Kansas State Teachers' College, at Pittsburgh, Kansas.), a school teacher, who was, according to the authors, "devoted to astronomy" and had a "passion for Homer." There is a massive amount of literature on the 'Homeric Question.' In the introduction to the book, Kenneth Wood describes the cold reception received by himself and his wife, when they presented their analysis to "establishment academia." They then contacted/visited the supposed serious scholar Hertha von Dechend (as opposed to the less than than serious "establishment academia") who gave them encouragement to continue with their particular interpretation. This is known as bad advice. From the contents of the book I find it difficult to consider Edna Leigh as a serious Homeric scholar and doubt whether she would even qualify as a minor historian. The so-called evidence used to substantiate the claim that the Iliad is a coded astronomy book is far-fetched and utterly unconvincing. Interpreting the Iliad as an allegory of various precessional changes in the sky (see page 65-66) ranging from 8900 to 1800 BCE contradicts everything that is known about the history of astronomy. They even argue that the zodiacal constellations are also of the same antiquity. The author grew up in England and later moved to the USA. It appears that whilst growing up in England she developed a passion for both mythology and astronomy. (Passion is an interesting word. It is often employed when formal qualifications are lacking.) She became convinced that the important characters of the Iliad are set in the sky and relate to the movements of the stars and constellations. The book is an astronomical interpretation of the Iliad that attempts to push its content back to circa 8000 BCE. The siege of Troy as astronomical allegory is treated in considerable detail. The book argues for an early equally divided 12-constellation zodiac, and Greek mythology embodying knowledge of precession. Inaccurate on basic issues and quite speculative. The book lacks a wholly clear position on constellation origins (but the thrust is clear in Chapter 1 (see especially page 2) for implying a system of astronomy and constellations thousands of years prior to Homer), see page 244 regarding the suggestion for the origin of the constellations as early as the 8th-millennium BCE. See also pages 207-208, 212, 217, and 220 for the reliance on a system of early zodiacal constellations stretching back to the 8th-millennium BCE. For the antiquity of the constellations, they refer to Allen's, Star Names (see pages 31-32), and later to the "void zone" arguments of Ovenden and Roy (see pages 39-40) even though the inferred dates are millennia apart. The claim that the magnitude fluctuations of Rigel and Betelgeuse (page 121) were known in Homer's time is unfounded. Astronomers only became aware of these variations in the 19th-century. The use of classical sources is not always accurate. Sirius is placed in the breast of Canis Major whilst all classical sources place it in the mouth (see page 125). They also seem to mix up the sidereal and synodical periods of Jupiter (see page 174). The "backward projection" concept is also not made wholly clear (see pages 218-219). It introduces concepts (they attempt to formulate certain rules) that are termed by the Woods, "Rule of Magnitude," "Rule of Seniority," and "Rule of Wounding." These fall with the rest of the book. According to Florence and Kenneth Wood the warriors described in the Catalogue of Ships of Book 2 of Homer's Iliad are constellations/stars in the heavens. According to Leigh (and Florence and Kenneth Wood) the 45 regiments detailed in the Iliad's famous Catalogue of Ships in Book II, represent 45 constellations. Part of their "evidence" is that the astronomical poem Phaenomena by Aratus identifies 45 constellations - the number of constellations in Aratus match the number of regiments in the Iliad. It then supposedly follows from the comparison of regiments and constellations that individual stars represent individual warriors, with the brightest star in each constellation representing one of the main characters: Achilles as Sirius in Canis Major; Odysseus as Arcturus in Bootes; red-haired Menelaus as the red giant Antares in Scorpius; Agamemnon (of Lion-gated Mycenae) as Regulus in Leo; and so forth. It is also claimed that some of the story line in the Iliad follows the nightly motion of the constellations/stars across the night sky. The Catalogue of Ships in the 2nd book of the Iliad (2.494-759) is an epic muster list - a more than 250-line catalogue of the leaders of the Greek forces and the number of their ships that (supposedly) sailed to Troy. The enumeration of Greek contingents takes up much of the 2nd book of the Iliad (commonly known as the Catalogue of Ships). The Catalogue of Ships is the list of forces assembled at Aulis, but arranged in geographical order. It may have had a programmatic function and served as a basis for maintaining order (maintenance of narrative control) with the exposition of the lengthy and complex narrative, that was orally transmitted. The sheer bulk of the narrative made recitation by a single person difficult. A number of the book's ideas are not exclusive to Edna Leigh. It is now impossible to know if she had been influenced by preceding ideas. We are not always dealing with a "heroic individual" but rather with a phase in a school of thought. The ideas in the book were preceded by The Judgment of Paris and Some Other Legends Astronomically Considered by the British writer Emmeline Plunket (1908). Also, that the Iliad is allegory  and was set in the sky was discussed by proponents of the 19th-century "sun-myth" school. Further, allegorical interpretations of Homer go back at least to Porphyry in the 6th-century CE. For a whole different line of speculation see: The Iliad as Politics by Dean Hammer (2002). An outstanding recent study, that clarifies its indebtedness to West Semitic myth, is The Iliad: Structure, Myth, and Meaning by Bruce Louden (2006). "There is a single passage in the Iliad, and a parallel one in the Odyssey, in which the constellations are formally enumerated by name. ... There is reason to believe that the stars enumerated in the Iliad and Odyssey constituted the whole of those known by name to the early Greeks. This view is strongly favoured by the identity of the Homeric and Hesiodic stars [i.e., the same stars/constellations are identified]. It is difficult to believe that had there been room for choice the same list precisely would have been picked out for presentation in poems so widely diverse  in scope and origin as the Iliad and Odyssey on the one side and, the Works and Days on the other. (Familiar Studies in Homer by Agnes Clerke (1892, Pages 41-42).)"]

Wood, Florence. and Wood, Kenneth. (2011). Homer's Secret Odyssey. [Note: An astronomical interpretation of The Odyssey. Relies on many of the false assumptions made in their previous book, and introduces new ones. The authors state the book involves a "... challenging new reading of the [Odyssey] narrative ...." The authors state the book falls under archaeoastronomy; correctly, the category would be pseudo-history. There is nothing new in inflated claims and astronomical/calendrical interpretations for Homer's epic poems. I would not support the claim that Edna Leigh did pioneering studies and that her work falls under archaeoastronomy. I would support the claim that she set out a fantasy-theory. A number of the book's ideas are not exclusive to Edna Leigh. Without making the list exhaustive the following works are interesting. The British classicist Gilbert Murray recognized (without inflated claims) calendrical numbers in The Odyssey; see: pages 210-212 "Odyssey and the Calendar" in The Rise of the Greek Epic (3rd edition, 1924). The German classicist/philologist Carl Fries conducted an astronomical interpretation (followed the solar mythology school and the tenets of Panbabylonism) of the Odyssey; see: Studien zur Odysee (2 volumes, 1910-1911). Earlier, the British writer Emmeline Plunket (now genuinely forgotten) did a calendrical analysis of the Odyssey; see: pages 127-144 "Odyseuss" in The Judgment of Paris and Some Other Legends Astronomically Considered (1908). Earlier, George St. Clair (Myths of Greece Explained and Dated (2 volumes, 1901)) suggested an astronomical interpretation of Homer. St. Clair (now genuinely forgotten) pioneered the use of simply assuming an early equally-spaced 12-constellation zodiac to explain mythology. The technique reached its zenith with the book Hamlet's Mill (1969). It is a technique used in Homer's Secret Iliad (1999). One of numerous persons to claim a secret navigational code in the Odyssey was the French amateur sailor Gilbert Pillot; see: The Secret Code of the Odyssey: Did the Greeks Sail the Atlantic? (1969, English translation by Francis Albert 1972). The author seeks to prove that the voyages of Ulysses were located in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Mediterranean Sea. The author is heavily reliant on the use of the zodiacal system claimed by Jean Richer whose zodiacal ideas were directly inspired by his dream in Athens in 1958. Earlier the American patent lawyer Henriette Mertz (an adherent of cultural diffusion through early voyaging) decided 'yes'; see: The Wine Dark Sea (1964). See also: Islands in the Sky: The Four-Dimensional Journal of Odysseus through Space and Time (2012) by Rose Hammond. See the sympathetic but also at times critical (English-language) book review by Francisco Vaz de Silva (Folklorist/Anthropologist, University of Lisbon) in Cosmos, Volume 30, 2014, Pages 193-195. The content of the book is a completely different approach to that taken by Homer's Secret Odyssey (2011) by Florence and Kenneth Wood.]

Woolsey, John. (1917 (1911?)). Symbolic Mythology and Translation of a lost and Forgotten Language. [Note: Fanciful, unreliable and long outdated astral interpretations of mythology. The British author was a Member of the Folk Lore Society of London and the Folk lore Society of New York. Life dates: 1833-?]

Worthen, Thomas. (1991). The Myth of Replacement: Stars, Gods and Order in the Universe. [Note: Similar in speculation to the tenets of "Hamlet's Mill," by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969). See the (English-language) book reviews by Anon in Scientific American, September, 1991, Volume 265, Number 3, Page 136; by Raymond Mercier in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 23, 1992, Pages 303-305; and by Anthony Aveni in Isis, Volume 84, Number 1, March, 1993, Pages 133.]


[?]. (1946). "The Silver River." (The Living Museum, Pages ?-?). [Note: Published by the Illinois State Museum. No other details found to date. "Silver River" was the Chinese name for the Milky Way. See the Chinese astral myth of the Weaver Maid and the Cowherd. The name "Silver River" for the Milky Way was used throughout East Asia, including Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.]

Abdel-Hadi, Yasser. and Yehia, Maha. (2008). "Astronomical Interpretation of the Winding Canal in the Pyramid Texts." (NRIAG Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Special Issue, Pages 317-340). [Note: Essentially, speculative arguments for the term Winding Canal being the Milky Way.]

Ackerman, Phyllis. (1938). "The Oriental Origins of Janus and Hermes." (Bulletin of the American Institute for Iranian Art and Archaeology, Volume V, Pages 216-225). [Note: Astronomical mythology. Phyllis Ackerman was a teacher, author, editor, and translator in the fields of Persian textiles, and European tapestries, and also Chinese bronzes, iconography, and symbolism. At the University of California, Berkeley, she excelled in mathematics. However, she changed disciplines and in 1920 married Arthur Pope (who was then a lecturer in the department of philosophy and aesthetics at the University of California, Berkeley. She and Arthur Pope collaborated to edit the monumental A Survey of Persian Art (6 Volumes, 1938-1939). She and her husband spent most of their lives in Iran, and both are buried there. See the (English-language) biographical entry (including incomplete bibliography) by Cornelia Montgomery in Encyclopaedia Iranica edited by Ehsan Yarshater (1985 - Present). Life dates: 1893-1977.]

Ackerman, Phyllis. (1953). "The Symbolic Sources of Some Architectural Elements." (The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Volume 12, Number 4, December, Pages 3-7). [Note: The author discusses cosmological themes in early architecture.]

Albright, William. (1918). "Historical and Mythical Elements in the Story of Joseph." (Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 37, Numbers 3/4, Pages 111-143).

Alencar, Victor Alves. (2011). "Sky observation and mythology: paths to an astronomical culture." In: Valls-Gabaud, D. and Bokesenberg, A. (Editors). The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture, Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260, 2009. (Pages 207-212).

Alster, Bendt. (1974). "The Paradigmatic Character of Mesopotamian Heroes." (Revue d'Assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, Volume 68, Number 1, Pages 49-60).

Alster, Bendt. (1974). "On the interpretation of the Sumerian Myth "Inanna and Enki."" (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Volume 64, Issue 1, January, Pages 20-34).

Amiet, Pierre. (1956). "Le Symbolisme cosmique du répertoire animalier en Mésopotamie." (Revue d'Assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, Volume 50, Number 3, Pages 113-126).

Amory, Frederick [Frederic]. (1977). “The Medieval Hamlet: A Lesson in the Use and Abuse of a Myth.” (Deutsche Vierteljahresschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Geistesgeschichte, Volume 51, Number 3, Pages 357-395). [Note: Neglected/forgotten critique of Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend (1969). Includes 123 references. Abstract: I. Réfutation de l'interprétation cosmologique donnée par G. deSantillana et H. von Dechend (Hamlet's Mill, 1969) de l'histoire d'H. Le moulin magique dans les mythologies nordiques et scandinaves, dans le folklore, la religion germanique, et les épopées nordiques. II. L'A. considère Hamlet comme le personnage du fourbe décrit par Lévi-Strauss dont la fourberie résoud dans un mythe un cas d'inceste. L'Hamlet de Saxo Grammaticus: sources irlandaises et islandaises, diverses formes de la légende. Son achèvement chez Shakespeare. The article is in English.]

'Amr, Abdel-Jahil. (1985). "A Nude Female Statue with Astral Emblems." (Palestine Exploration quarterly, Volume 117, Issue 2, 1 July, Pages 105-111). [Note: Interesting.]

Amsterdam, E[?]. (2016). "On the Constellation Origin of the Place Name Hindeloopen." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 16, Number 4, Pages 369-378).

Anderson, Kasper. and Helmke, Christophe. (2013). "The Personifications of Celestial Water: The Many Guises of the Storm God in the Pantheon and Cosmology of Teotihuacan." (Contributions in New World Archaeology, Volume 5, Pages 165–196. [Note: The article deals mainly with Mesoamerica and North America. Steve McCluskey writes: At pages 177-179 they discuss "The Colours of the Cardinal Directions." From my work with the Hopi, I'd treat it with caution. They aren't aware that Hopi directions are solstitial, not cardinal and ... they miss the point that in the direction context, including naming the colored objects associated with the directions, the Hopi don't distinguish green from blue, but use the term sakwa, a light turqoise-blue.]

Andree, Richard. (1893). "Die Plejaden im Mythus und in ihrer Bezichung." (Globus, Volume 64, Pages 362-366).

Anghelina, Catalin. (2010). "The Homeric Gates of Horn and Ivory." (Museum Helveticum, Volume 67, Number 2, Juni, Pages 65-72). [Note: Abstract: The two sets of gates in the Odyssey, the gates of horn and ivory and the gates of the sun, seem to be identical. According to the allegorical interpretation of Porphyry, the gates of the sun represent the sun's tropics. Internal evidence from Greek as well as elements of the Vedic tradition suggests that Porphyry's interpretation may be true.]

Anghelina, Catalin. (2011). "The Paths of Night and Day in the Odyssey." (Hermes, Volume 139, Number 2, Pages 249-256). [Note: The author is a Professor at Columbus State Community College, Columbus, OH, USA.]

Antonello, Elio. (no date, circa 2012?). "The myths of the Bear." (Accessible at [Note: Speculative, and uncritically uses secondary sources. The 13 page (illustrated) article is based on 2010 and 2011 conference talks. Since 1979 the author has been an astronomer at the Brera Astronomical Observatory, Italy.]

Bajoni, Maria. (2004). "Gli Astronomica di Manilio come rappresentazione politica dello spazio celeste." (Latomus Revue d'Études Latines, Tome 63, Pages 98-106).

Balza, Maria. (2012). "Two cylinder Seals From Kavuşan Höyük (Turkey)." (Kaskal, Volume 9, Pages 49-54).

Banou, Emilia. (2008). "Minoan 'Horns of Consecration' Revisited: A Symbol of Sun Worship in Palatial and Post-Palatial Crete." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 8, Number 1, Pages 27-47).

Barton, George. (1908). "The Astro-Mythological School of Biblical Interpretation." (The Biblical world, Volume 31, Pages 433-444).

Berezkin, Yuri. (2005). "Cosmic Hunt: Variants of Siberian - North American Myth." (Folklore [= Electronic Journal of Folklore], Volume 31, December, Pages 79-100). [Note: Excellent lengthy article with extensive bibliography.]

Berezkin, Yuri. (2010). "The Pleiades as Openings, the Milky Way as the Path of Birds, and the Girl on the Moon: Cultural Links across Northern Eurasia." (Folklore = [Electronic Journal of Folklore], Volume 44, Pages 7-34). [Note: Abstract: "The Baltic-Finnish and the Baltic (Latvian and Lithuanian) cosmonyms mostly coincide while the Baltic and Slavic cosmonymic patterns are different. The Pleiades in the Eastern Baltic are ‘a sieve’, the Milky Way is ‘the path of migratory birds’ and a girl holding water pails is seen on the Moon. Across most of Central, Western and Southern Europe the Pleiades are ‘a hen with its chicken’, the Milky Way and the lunar spots have other (and different) interpretations. The Eastern Baltic pattern is identical with the Middle Volga one where it is widespread among both Finnish-Permian and Turkic groups and probably relates back to the (Proto-Baltic?) culture of the Iron Age. However, parallels for the cosmonyms in question are found across most of Northern Eurasia and find corresponding similarities in some parts of North America. ‘Water-carrier on the Moon’ is the most widespread of these motifs being known in Japan and Polynesia. In Eurasia, the Northern Samoyeds noticeably lack all three images. The initial emergence of at least some of the cosmonyms under discussion in the Terminal Pleistocene of northern East Asia and their further dissemination towards the West, down to the Baltics, is a hypothesis to be checked."]

Bertola, Francesco. (1999 [2001 sometimes given]). "The Moon, the Stars and the Milk." (Earth, Moon and Planets, Volume 85-86, Pages 505-513). [Note: Informed discussion of the Sumerian origins of the Greek myths of the Milky Way. Abstract of presentation of paper at INSAP III: "The Sumerian moon god Suen was supposed to herd his cattle, which is identified with the stars. From the cows he was getting the milk that he was used to pour in the churn. It is believed that this legend constitutes the background of the myth of the Milky Way, which is of Greek origin. The infant Hercules was approached to the breast of Juno to receive the milk generating immortality. The spilled milk formed the stars of the Milky Way in the sky and the lily flowers on the ground. Alternatively Saturn gave to Rhea a stone to be nourished and the milk coming out from her breast filled the sky and formed a white circle. The moon, the stars and the milk characterize the images of the Egyptian goddess Isis, who is portrayed nursing Horus dressed with a mantle decorated with the moon and the stars. The attributes of Isis and Juno were inherited by the Virgin Mary, often depicted nursing Jesus with the moon at her feet and the stars as background. This imagery has his roots also in the description of the Woman of the Revelation "robed with sun, beneath her feet the moon and on her head a crown of twelve stars." The moon, the stars, the lactation and the Milky Way are all represented in the famous painting (1609-1610) by Adam Elsheimer "The Flight into Egypt", where the rendering of the Milky Way was inspired by the then recently discovery of Galileo on the stellar nature of this celestial phenomenon." The author is an astronomer with the Department of Astronomy, University of Pardova.]

Bertola, Francesco. (2009). "The Milky Way through the Ages: An Iconographic Journey." In: Rubiño-Martín, José Alberto. et. al. (Editors). Cosmology Across Cultures ASP Conference Series, Vol. 409. (Pages 237- 241). [Note: Proceedings of the conference held 8-12 September, 2008, at Parque de las Ciencias, Granada, Spain. Published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.]

Blackwell, Patricia., Talcott, Gary. and Talcott, Richard. (2010). "Stargazing in ancient Egypt." (Astronomy Magazine, Number 6, June, Pages 64-66). [Note: Among the subjects discussed is the visibility of the zodiacal light.]

Bobrovnikoff, Nicholas. (1949). "Pseudo-Science and Revelation." (Popular Astronomy, Volume 49, May, Pages 251-256). [Note: An effective critique of the ideas of Nikolaus Morozov [Morosow], Die Offenbarung Johannis. Eine astronomish-historische Untersuchung (1912). Non-US born Bobrovnikoff, Lick Observatory and (in the 1930s at least) Assistance Professor of Astrophysics at Ohio Wesleyan University, was an astronomer and historian of astronomy. Upon completion of his doctorate on the physics of comets, Nicholas Theodore Bobrovnikoff embarked on a four decade career in research and teaching at the Lick Observatory in California and the Perkins Observatory of the Ohio Wesleyan and Ohio State Universities.]

Bon, Edi. et. al. (2010). "Astronomy and catastrophes through myth and old texts." (Memoire Società Astronomica Italiana, Supplementi, Volume 15, Pages 219-223). [Note: Speculative and unreliable in what the authors accept concerning ancient astronomy. Edi Bon is an astronomer at the Astronomical Observatory, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia.]

Borgeaud, Philippe. (1983). "The Death of Great Pan: The Problem of Interpretation." (History of Religions, Volume 22, Number 3, February, Pages 254-283). [Note: The author considers several astronomical interpretations.]

Bork, Ferdinand. (1927). "Planetenreihen." (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 59. Jahrg., Heft 3/6, Pages 153-186).

Boutsikas, Efrosyni. and Hannah, Robert. (2012). "AITIA, Astronomy and the Timing of the Arrhēphoria." (The Annual of the British School at Athens, Volume 107, November, Pages 233-245). [Note: Excellent article. "Abstract: This paper deals with the cult and myths of the daughters of the mythical king of Athens, Erechtheus, who lived on the Acropolis. The myth, preserved in Euripides’ tragedy Erechtheus, establishes the deceased daughters as goddesses who are owed cult by the Athenians. It further equates them with the Hyades, a prominent star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, which they form after their deaths. We examine here the possibility that this myth not only narrates the placement of the girls after their death in the sky in the form of the Hyades, but also may have bound the constellation to certain festivals held on the Acropolis, which through their aetiological myths were connected to the daughters of Erechtheus and in which the participation of young girls (arrhēphoroi) was important. To explicate this cult, we explore its context on the Acropolis as fully as possible, through the visual arts, the literary myth, the festival calendar, and the natural landscape and night sky, so as to determine whether the movement of the Hyades was indeed visible from the Acropolis during the time when the young maiden cult rites were performed on the hill. This study investigates for the first time the role of the night sky and astronomical observations in the performance of the nocturnal festival of the Arrhēphoria."]

Braakhuis, H. E. M. (2009). "The Tonsured Maize God and Chicome-Xochitl as Maize Bringers and Culture Heroes: A Gulf Coast Perspective." (Wayeb Notes, Number 32, Pages 1-38).

Brendel. Otto. (1936). "Der Schild des Archilles." (Die Antike, Volume 12, Pages 272-288).

Brett, George. (1926). "Astronomical Symbolism." (The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Volume XX, Numbers 9-10, November-December, Whole Number 160, Pages 335-350). [Note: The contents of the article are wide-ranging but lack any real detail or depth. George Brett (1879-1944) was a lecturer in the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto, Canada. He was the author of the highly acclaimed work, The History of Psychology (3 Volumes).]

Brown, John. (1968). "Cosmological Myth and the Tuna of Gibraltar." (Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Volume 99, Pages 37-62).

van Buren, Elizabeth. (1939). "The Rosette in Mesopotamian Art." (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vordereasiatische Archäologie, Band 45, Issue 2-3, January, Pages 99-107). [Note: The author identifies the rosette motif as also typifying a star.]

Burillo-Cuadrado, Pilar. and Burillo-Mozota, Francisco. (2014). "The Swastika as Representation of the Sun of Helios and Mithras." (Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry, Volume 14, Number 3, Pages 29-36).

Brown, Lawrence. (1923). "The Cosmic Five, Seven and Twelve. Part I."; "The Cosmic Five, Seven and Twelve. Part II."; "The Cosmic Five, Seven and Twelve. Part III." (The Open Court, Part I: Volume XXXVII, Number 5, May, Number 804, Pages 307-320; Succeeding issues, Part II: Pages 373-383; Part III: Pages 431-448). [Note: Dated, unreliable. Sun myth and zodiacal myth interpretation of numbers in myths/legends.]

Burrow, Ian. (1975). "Star-spangled Avalon: the Glastonbury Zodiac." (Popular Archaeology, Volume 4, Number 8, Pages 28-31). [Note: A definitive debunking of Katherine Maltwood's fantasy of an ancient terrestrial zodiac marked out by shaping of landscape features around the town of Glastonbury, England. Ian Burrow is an archaeologist.]

de Callataÿ, Godefroid. (1996). "The Knot of the Heavens." (The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 59, Pages 1-13).

Carlson, John. (1982). "The Double-Headed Dragon and the Sky. A Pervasive Cosmological Symbol." (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Volume 385, Issue 1, Ethnoastronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the American Tropics, Pages 135-163).

Chapman-Rietschi, P[?]. (1991). "Pre-telescopic Astronomy: Invisible 'Planets' Rahu and Ketu." (Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 32, Number 1, March, Pages 53-55). [Note: Excellent. The author is an independent researcher.]

Clausen, Claus. (2014). "Neolithic Cosmology?" (Adoranten, Pages 68-75). [Note: Adoranten is an (open access) international peer reviewed rock art magazine that is published annually.]

Deonna, Waldemar. (1958 & 1959). "Mercure et le Scorpion." (Latomus, Volume XVII, Pages 641-688, Volume XVIII, Pages 249-261).

Cannon, Calvin. (1960). "The Mythic Cosmology of Unamuno's El Chrsto de Velazquez." (Hispanic Review, Volume 28, Number 1, January, Pages 28-39). [Note: Interesting article.]

Carrington, Phillip. (1931). "Astral Mythology in Revelation." (Anglican Theological Review, Volume 13, Pages 289-305). [Note: Phillip Carrington was the Anglican Archbishop of Quebec. Life dates: 1892-1975.]

Casanova, Paul. (1902). "De quelques Légendes astronomiques Arabes, considérées dans leurs rapports avec la Mythologie Egyptienne." (Bulletin de L'Institut français d'archéologie orientale - Le Caire, Issue 2, Pages 1-39).

Cherry, Ron. (2002). "The Functions of Insects in Mythology." (American Entomologist, Volume 48, Number 3, Fall, Pages 134-136).  

Clarke, Hyde. (1878). "On the Relations Between Pasht, the Moon, and the Cat, in Egypt." (Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Volume 6, Pages 316-322).

Clemen, Carl. (1909). "The Revelation of John." (The Biblical World, Volume 34, Number 2, August, Page 91-103).

Colona, Paolo. (2016). "The Myth of Ixion: An Astronomical Interpretation." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 16, Number 4, Pages 183-189).

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2006). "A Star is Born: Mesopotamian and Classical Catasterisms." (Humanitas, Fall, Volume 30, Issue 1, Pages 8-16). [Note: Simply excellent.]

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2008). "Early Mesopotamian Astral Science and Divination in the Myth of Inana and Šukaletuda." (Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 8, Pages 75-98).

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2008). ""I Want to Dim the Brilliance of Šulpae!" Mesopotamian Celestial Divination and the Poem of "Erra and Išum." (Iraq, Volume 70, Pages 179-188).

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2011). "Astral Religion in Ugarit and Ancient Israel." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 70, Number 2, October, Pages 281-287).

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2012). "Celestial Divination in Ugarit and Ancient Israel: A Reassessment." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 71, Number 1, April, Pages 21-30).

Cooley, Jeffrey. (2015). "Celestial Divination in Esarhaddon's Aššur A Inscription." (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 135, Number 1, January-March, Pages 131-147).

Cornelius, I[?]. (1989). "The Lion in the Art of the Ancient Near East: A Study of Selected Motifs." (Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages, Volume 15, Pages 59-63).

Crossen, Craig. and Procházka, Stephan. (2007). "The Seven Sleepers and Ancient Constellation Traditions - a Crossover of Arabic Dialectology with the History of Astronomy." (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, Band 97, Pages 79-106). [Note: Very interesting article.]

Culver, Roger. and MacDonald, David. (1989). "An Astronomical Interpretation of Caracalla's Shield." (The Ancient History Bulletin, Volume 3, Number 1, Pages 18-24). [Note: Identification of the Supernova of CE 185 which was brighter than Venus, easily seen in daylight, and lasted 7-8 months.]

Daressy, Georges. (1915). "L'Egypte Céleste." (Bulletin de L'Institut français d'archéologie orientale du Caire, numéro 12, Pages 1-34). [Note: A discussion of late Egyptian celestial geography. For a short English-language discussion of the article see "Egyptian Astronomy and the Zodiac," by Joseph Clifford (Nature, Volume XCVIII, September 1916 to February 1917, Number 2445, September 7, Pages 7-8).]

Dorson, Richard. (1955). "The Eclipse of Solar Mythology." (Journal of American Folklore, Volume 68, Number 270, Myth: A Symposium, October-December, Pages 393-416). [Note: Detailed and competent study by a professional folklorist.]

Drews, Arthur. (1927). “Astralmythologie.” (Astrologie. Süddeutsche Monatshefte, 24. Jahrgang, Heft 9, Juni, Pages 155-159).

Dwyer, Eugene. (1992). "The Temporal Allegory of the Tazza Farnese." (American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 96, Number 2, April, Pages 255-282). [Note: Using the constellations that surround Orion in the Greek astronomical sphere the author concludes the cup is a product of Alexandrian court art circa 100-31 BCE.]

Edwards, Richard. (1954). "The Cave Reliefs at Ma Hao." (Artibus Asiae, Volume 17, Number 1, Pages 4-28). [Note: The author refers to the astral ideas of John O'Neill to make some interpretations of the iconography.]

Eisler, Robert. (1926). "Joshua and the Sun." (The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Volume 42, Number 2, January, Pages 73-85).

Estey, F[?]. (1943). "Charlemagne's Silver Celestial Table." (Speculum, Volume 18, Number 1, January, Pages 112-117).

Faulkner, Raymond. (1966). "The King and the Star-religion in the Pyramid Texts." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume XXV, Pages 153-161).

Feuchtwang, D. (1915). "Der Tierkreis in der Tradition und im Synagogenritus." (Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, Jahrg. 59 (Neue Folge, 23), Heft 10/12, Oktober/Dezember, Pages 241-267).

Fischer, Claudia. (2002). "Twilight of the Sun-God." (Iraq, Volume LXIV, Pages 125-134). [Note: An interesting analysis of certain cylinder seals.]

Frank, Roslyn. (1995). "Hunting the European Sky Bears: When the celestial bear comes down to earth." (Vistas in Astronomy, Volume 39, Issue 4, Pages 723–724). [Note: Originally presented at an early The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena conference.]

Gaerte, Wilhelm. (1914). "Kosmische Vorstellungen im Bilde prähistorischer Zeit." (Anthropos, Band IX, Pages 956-979). [Note: Draft translation: "Images of cosmic ideas in prehistoric times." Perhaps not reliable. Discusses the concept of a cosmic mountain. The author was a German archaeologist, folklorist, and museum director. Life dates: 1890-1958.]

Gandz, Solomon. (1943). "The Zodiacal Light in Semitic Mythology." (Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research, Volume 13, Pages 1-39).

Giulia, Maria., Guzzo, Amadasi., and Castellani, Vittorio. (2006) "La Coppa Foroughi : un atlante celeste del 1. millennio a. C." (Rivista italiana di archeoastronomia : astronomia nell'antichità, astronomia storica, astronomia e cultura, Number 4, Pages 1-8).

Graham, Lloyd. (2010). "The Seven Seals of Revelation and the Seven Classical Planets." (The Esoteric Quarterly, Summer, Pages 45-58). [Note: Lloyd D. Graham holds a BA (Hons) from Trinity College Dublin, a PhD from Cambridge University, and is an associate member of the Societas Magica. In addition to over 50 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals, he has published research articles in Modern Believing, Australian Aboriginal Studies, Jones’ Celtic Encyclopedia, AusAnthrop, Fickle Muses, Mythos Journal, and Lamhfada.]

Griffith, J[?]. (1964/1965). "The Celestial Ladder and the Gate of Heaven (Genesis xxviii. 12 and 17)." (The Expository Times, Volume 76, October 1964-September 1965, Pages 229-230).

Guardiola, Ezequiel Usón. et al. (2014). "The Influence of Religious and Cosmological Beliefs on the Solar Architecture of the Ancient World." (International Journal of Architectural Engineering Technology, Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 3-11). [Note: Interesting.]

Güney, A. Öncü. ( no date). "An Iconological Study on the Lion Horoscope Relief of Nemrut Dag Hierothesion." [Note: Posted at 11 pages, illustrated. The female author is a Turkish PhD candidate.]

Haekel, Josef. (1957). "Astralmythologie." In: Lexicon für Theologie und Kirche (Erster Band, Columns 963-964).

Hale, Horatio. (1894). "The Fall of Hochelaga." (Journal of American Folk-Lore, Volume VII, Number XXIV, January-march, Pages 1-14). [Note: The author, M.A. (Harvard), F.R.S. Canada, was at one time President of the American Folk-Lore Society. The paper was prepared for the World's Congress of Anthropology held at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, August and September 1893. Life dates: 1817-1896.]

Hall, Henry [Normally referred to as Harry]. (1925). "A Jasper Group of a Lion and a Bull fighting, from El-Amarnah, in Egypt." (The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Volume XI, Pages 159-161).

Hannah, Robert. (1993). "The Stars of Iopas and Palinurus." (The American Journal of Philology, Volume 114, Number 1, Spring, Pages 123-135).

Hardie, Philip. (1985). Imago Mundi: Cosmological and Ideological Aspects of the Shield of Archilles." (Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume CV, Pages 11-31).

Harper, Prudence. (1965). "The Heavenly Twins." (The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, New Series, Volume 23, Number 5, January, Pages 186-195).

Harris, Lynda. (2011). "The Milky Way: Pathway to Empyrean?" In: Enrico, Maria. (Editor). Proceedings of the INSAP Conference VI, Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series Volume 441. (Pages 387-391). [Note: The title also appears as: The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena VI - Proceedings. Speculative and uncritical; as are a number of INSAP presentations. The author also presented similar themes at INSAP VII and IX. Lynda Harris has degrees from Bryn Mawr College, Boston University and The Courtauld Institute of Art. She taught extra-mural diploma classes for the University of London for seventeen years, and has also given single lectures at the Theosophical Society, Talisman Arts and other venues. Publications include The Secret Heresy of Hieronymus Bosch (Floris Books 1995 and 2002), and The Cathars and Arthur Guirdham (Psypioneer 2001, with addenda 2014). She has also contributed articles to the Theosophical periodicals Insight and The Quest. Harris is now an independent art historian, lives in London, and is retired from the University of London.]

Harris, Linda. (2012). "Visions of the Milky Way in the West: The Greco-Roman and Medieval Periods." (Culture and Cosmos, Volume 16, Numbers 1 and 2, Pages 271-282). [Note: Using with a little caution is recommended. Abstract. "Before the new Greek cosmological system was developed, many ancient cultures had pictured the Milky Way as a vertical axis or tree, which was seen as a route leading into the heavens of a layered universe. This model began to change from about the sixth century BC, when the image of a spherical earth and geocentric universe became increasingly widespread among the educated people of Greece. The new model, standardised by Ptolemy during the second century AD, visualised a universe comprised of eight concentric crystalline spheres surrounding a fixed earth. By the Middle Ages, the Ptolemaic system had become the established picture of the cosmos in Europe and the Islamic world. Losing its old vertical image, the Milky Way was now pictured as a circular band surrounding the spherical earth. Now known as the Milky Circle, it kept something of its earlier religious significance in the pagan world. In Rome it was visualised as a post-mortem place of purification, located below the sphere of the moon. With the establishment of traditional Christianity, the Milky Way’s position became unclear. It had always been a scientific puzzle to thinkers trying to analyse its substance and define its place in the Ptolemaic universe, and its true nature remained unresolved. In one of its most intriguing identities, originated by the thirteenth century astrologer Michael Scot, it migrated to the sphere of the fixed stars where it became a mysterious, living constellation, known as the Daemon Meridianus." The Daemon Meridianus is a constellation and in the Middle Ages also the Milky Way. It was discussed at a History of Astronomy Conference 2000, held in Rome. With the astrological Daemon Meridianus constellation of Michael Scotus there was probably confusion about the meaning and form of his representation. In the Middle Ages the Milky Way was also puzzlingly named Daemon Meridianus, In more ancient times it also appears that the Milky Way was identified as the Daemon Meridianus. Interestingly, 4th-century Egyptian desert hermits detailed their encounters with the depression or lassitude during the midday (when the sun shone bright and hot) and sapped their energies and their minds would begin to wander, The bouts of depression or lassitude was personified as a fearsome devil/demon, the daemon meridianus, the "noonday devil"/"noon day demon," who stalked the souls of monks during that part of the day.]

Heath, Robin. (1997). "An Astronomical Basis for the Myth of the Solar Hero." (Culture and Cosmos, Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 3?-9?).

Heimpel, W[?]. (1986). "The Sun at Night and the Doors of Heaven in Babylonian Texts." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 38, Issue Fall, Number 2, Pages 127-151).

Herringham, Christiana. (1908). "Notes on Oriental Carpet Patterns - II." (The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Volume 14, Number 68, November, Pages 84+87-89+92-94). [Note: The author refers to the astral ideas of John O'Neill to make some interpretations of the iconography. The entire article appeared in 6 parts; 5 parts in Volume 14 and 1 part in Volume 15.]

Herringham, Christiana. (1909). "Notes on Oriental Carpet Patterns - IV." (The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Volume 14, Number 70, January, Pages 218+223-225+228-230). [Note: The author refers to the astral ideas of John O'Neill to make some interpretations of the iconography.]

Herzfeld, Ernst. (1933). "Mythos und Geschichte." (Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, Volume 1-2, Pages 1-100). [Note: I have not sighted this article. It seems that Volume 4 was published in 1932 and Volume 7 was published in 1934. There is a possibility that the correct reference is: Volume 6, 1934, Pages 1-109. ]

Hodges, Horace. (1997). "Gnostic Liberation from Astrological Determinism: Hipparchan "Trepidation" and the Breaking of Fate." (Vigiliae Christianae: A Review of Early Christian Life and Language, Volume LI [Volume 51], Number 4, November, Pages 359-373). [Note: The author argues that at least some Gnostic sects used Hipparchus's discovery of the precession of the equinoxes as evidence of a benevolent force (a soteriological god) intervening in the world to successfully shift the zodiacal sphere to break the bonds of astrological fate and release the Gnostic elect from the power of the cosmos and its creator.]

Hommel, Fritz. (1909). "The Constellations of the Apocalypse." (The Expository Times, Volume 20, October 1908 - September 1909 (June, 1909), Pages 426-427).

Hommel, Fritz. (1928). "Die <<zwei verschwundenen Götter>> der Adapa-Legende und Apokalypse 11, 3-13" (Altorientalische Studien Bruno Meissner zum Sechzigsten Geburtstag, Mitteilungen der Altorientalischen Gesellschaft, Band IV, Heft 1-2, Volume 1, Pages 87-95). [Note: Festschrift für Bruno Meissner, 2 Volumes, 1928-1929, (Reprinted 1972).]

Hopkins, Clark. (1965). "Astrological Interpretations of Some Phoenician Bowls." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 24, Numbers 1/2, Pages 28-36). [Note: Has some discussion of lion motifs.]

Hugo Figulla in Archiv für Orientforschung, Siebenter Band, 1931-1932, Pages 192-193; and by Ferdinand Bork in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Vierunddreissigster Jahrgang, Number 2, 1931, Columns 136-144. Life dates: 1864-1935.]

Huxley, Margaret. (1997). "The Shape of the Cosmos According to Cuneiform Sources." (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 3rd Series, Volume 7, Number 2, July, Pages 189-198).

Huxley, Margaret. (2000). "The Gates and Guardians in Sennacherib's Addition to the Temple of Assur." (Iraq, Volume 62, Pages 109-137). [Note: Full of interesting material.]

d'Huy, Julien. (2013). "A Cosmic Hunt in the Berber sky: a phylogenetic reconstruction of a Palaeolithic mythology." (Les Cahiers de l'AARS, Number 16, Pages 93-106). [Note: Les Cahiers de l'AARS = L'association de Amis de l'Art Rupestre Saharien. See also: "Scientists Trace Society's Myths to Primordial Origins." by Julien d'Huy, in Scientific American, September, 2016).]

Ionescu, Doina. and Dumitrache, Christiana. (2012). "The Sun Worship with the Romanians." (Romanian Astronomical Journal, Volume 22, Number 2, Pages 155-166).

Jackson, Howard. (1985). "The Meaning and Function of the Leontocephaline in Roman Mithraism." (Numen, Volume XXXII, Pages 17-45).

Jaffe, Alexander. (2013). "Sea Monsters in Antiquity: A Classical and Zoological Investigation." (Berkeley Undergraduate Journal of Classics, Volume 1, Number 2, Pages 1-12). [Note: Discusses relevant Greek constellation myths. Excellent article.]

Jairazbhoy, Rafique. (1961). "The Taj Mahal in the Context of East and West: A Study in the Comparative Method." (Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Volume 24, Numbers 1/2, January-June, Pages 59-88). [Note: The author is an educationalist and an authority on architecture. The article frequently mentions astral themes and symbolism in architecture from ancient Babylonia through to the Islamic period.]

Jakubiak, Krzysztof. and Sołtysiak, Arkadiusz. (2009). "Mesopotamian influences on Persian sky-watching and calendars. Part II. Ishtar and Anahita." (Archaeologia Baltica, Volume 10, Number 1, Pages 45-51). [Note: Conference papers. The publication is based on the presentations of the international SEAC 2007 and OXFORD VIII conference "Astronomy and cosmology in folk traditions and cultural heritage." The SEAC (La Société Européenne pour l'Astronomie dans la Culture) and ISAAC (The International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture) conference was held on 22-31 July, 2007 and organized in Klaipėda by Klaipėda University in collaboration with the Molėtai District Museum. Abstract: "There are a small number of similarities between Ishtar and Anahit, the Persian and Babylonian Venus-goddesses. These similarities may result from cultural diffusion between Persia and Mesopotamia, which was mainly eastwards. We present a comparison of the attributes belonging to both Ishtar and Anahita. This is mainly based on the Mesopotamian sources, since the Persian ones are very meager. The relationships and influences between the two goddesses are visible in the symbolism of the planet Venus and the constellation Leo, and are associated with autumnal equinox festivals." Arkadiusz Sołtysiak, Department of Bioarcheology, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Poland; Krzysztof Jakubiak, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Poland.]

James, Peter. and van der Sluijs, Marinus. (2008). "Ziggurats, Colors, and Planets: Rawlinson Revisited." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 60, Pages 57-79).

Jensen, Peter. (1928). "Astralmythen." In: Reallexikon der Assyriologie (Erster Band, Pages 305-309). [Note: The author was a noted Assyriologist and also a radical Panbabylonist.]

Kak, Subhash. (1994). "The astronomical code of the Rigveda." (Current Science, Volume 66, Number 4, 25 February, Pages 23-27, "Historical Notes"). [Note: Dates the composition of the Rigveda to circa 3000 BCE. Kak is a Kashmir-born Louisiana scientist.]

Kak, Subhash. (1999). "The Solar Numbers in Ankor Wat." (Indian Journal of Science, Volume 34, Number 2, Pages 117-126).

Kákosy. László. (1981). "The Astral Snakes of the Nile." (Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo, Volume 37, Pages 255-260).

Kákosy. László. (1982). "Decans in Late-Egyptian Religion." (Oikumene, Volume 3, Pages 163-191).

Kákosy. László. (2001). "Astral Mythology in Egypt." (Acta Antiqua, Volume 40, Numbers 1-4, January, Pages 213-216). [Note: Journal published by Akadémiai Kiadó.]

Kantor, Helene. (1947). "The Shoulder Ornament of Near Eastern Lions." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 6, Number 4, October, Pages 250-274).

Kaye, George. (1920). "Hindu Astronomical Deities." (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 16, New Series, Pages 57-77). [Note: The author had an expert knowledge of Hindu astronomy.]

Knobloch, Eberhard. (1981). "Antike Sternsagen." (Sterne und Weltraum, Band 19, Pages 232-238, and 338-343).

Koch, Johannes. (2004). "Ein astralmythologischer Bericht aus der Zeit der diadochenkämpfe." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 56, Pages 105-126).

Kochhar, Rajesh. (2011). "Scriptures, science and mythology: Astronomy in Indian cultures." In: Valls-Gabaud, D. and Bokesenberg, A. (Editors). The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture, Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260, 2009. (Pages 54-61).

Koneckis, Ralf. (1988). "Astrale Grundmuster im deutschen Volksmärchen. Der Hase und der Igel [Astral pattern in German folk tales. The Hare and the Hedgehog]." (Sterne und Weltraum, Number 12, Pages 730-732). [Note: Koneckis makes the equation of Hare = Moon and Hedgehog = Sun.]

Korom, Frank. (1992). "Of Navels and Mountains: A Further Inquiry into the History of and Idea." (Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 51, Number 1, Pages 103-125). [Note: A further critique of the ideas Mircea Eliade of the notion of the axis mundi as the "centre of the universe." "Abstract: The notion of axis mundi as the "center of the universe" has been an important component in the construction of universal theories concerning mythology. The primary theoretician behind the propagation of the concept was Mircea Eliade, who borrowed insights from the Pan-Babylonian school during the early part of his career in Romania in order to provide concrete evidence for the existence of a world axis. While the case can be made for the symbolism of the center in some cultural and religious contexts, it is virtually impossible to generalize about the idea. This paper provides more data to supplement J. Z. Smith's earlier critiques of Eliade's position." The author was with the University of Pennsylvania.]

Kósa, Gábor. (2015). "The Sun, The Moon and the Paradise - An Interpretation of the Upper Register of the Chinese Manichaean Cosmology Painting."  (Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology, Volume 6, Pages ?-?).

Kosarev, M[?]. "The System of the Universe in Pagan Siberian Indigenous Peoples." (Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Volume 17, Issue 6, Pages 449-458). [Note: The author is a member of the Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.]

Kruger, Hennie. (1999). "Sun and moon grinding to a halt: Exegetical remarks on Joshua 10:9-14 and related texts in Judges." (HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, Volume 55, Number 4, Pages 1077-1097). [Note: Interprets Biblical passages within the framework of Hamlet's Mill. Completely speculative and uncritical. Professor H.A.J. Kruger (1944- ), Old Testament/Biblical Studies, School of Religion & Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Now retired.]

Krupp, Ed. (1998). "Celestial Kings." (Sky and Telescope, Volume 96, Number 5, November, Pages 92-94).

Krupp, Ed. (1999). "View from the Top." (Sky and Telescope, June, Pages ?-?). [Note: Includes a fragment of "Guanche" celestial lore. Properly speaking the Guanches are the ancient inhabitants of Tenerife Island. Popularly the term is applied to the ancient inhabitants of any one of the Canary Islands.]

Krupp, Ed. (2000). "Whiter Shade of Pale." (Sky and Telescope, Volume 100, Number 1, July, Pages 86-88). [Note: Deals with the lore of the Milky Way.]

Krupp, Ed. (2003). "High Fashion." (Sky and Telescope, Volume 106, Number 1, July, Pages 78-79[80?]). [Note: Mentions an Elamite figure found at Susa, in southern Iran, dated to the 11th-century BCE, thought to portray a king. His shirt is full of star symbols and may link loyal power with the stars.]

Krupp, Ed. (2015). "Crab Supernova Rock Art: A Comprehensive, Critical, and Definitive Review." (Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, Volume 1, Number 2, Pages 167-197).

Kugler, Franz. (1904). "Die Sternenfahrt des Gilgamesch. Kosmologische Würdigung des babylonischen Nationalepos." (Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, Band LXVI [66], Part 1: Pages 432-449; Part 2: Pages 547-561). [Note: An examination of the Gilgamesh epic as astronomical mythology by a pioneer of our understanding of Babylonian astronomy. Kugler later repudiated the ideas he had expressed in the article.]

Kuperjanow, Andres. (2002) "Names in Estonian Folk Astronomy - From 'Bird's Way' to 'Milky Way'." (Folklore (Tartu) [= Electronic Journal of Folklore], Volume 22, Pages 49-61).

Landsberger, Benno. (1923). "Ein astralmythologischer Kommentar aus der Spätzeit babylonischer Gelehrsamkeit." (Archiv für Keilschriftforschung, Erster Band, Pages 43-48). [Note: I have seen the page numbers incorrectly given as 69-78. The author was a recognized authority on ancient Mesopotamia.]

Laoupi, Amanda. (2006). "The Sirius' Cult in Ancient Greece. Aristaios and the Formation of the Attico-Cycladic Mythological Substratum." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Special Issue, Volume 6, Number 3, Pages 129-141).

Lehmann, Karl. (1945). "The Dome of Heaven." (The Art Bulletin, Volume 27, Number 1, March, Pages 1-27).

Lehmann-Nitsche, Robert. (1926). "Aus ethnologischen Sternbilderstudien." (Philologus, Band LXXXI, (N. F. Band XXXV), Pages 202-207).

Lehmann-Nitsche, Robert. (1933). "Der apokalyptische Drache. Eine astralmythologische Untersuchung über Ap Joh 12." (Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, Fünfundsechzigster Jahrgang [65. Jahrgang] [Band 65], Heft 4/6, Page 193-230).

Lenzi, Alan. (2010). "The Metonic Cycle, Number Symbolism, and the Placement of Psalms 19 and 119 in the MT Psalter." (Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, June, Volume 34, Number 4, Pages 447-473). [Note: Abstract: "This study explores the possibility that the scribe responsible for the final redaction of the MT Psalter knew about the Metonic Cycle, a 19-year calendrical system that synchronized the lunar and solar years, attributed a symbolic significance to the number 19 related to this number's role in creating cosmological harmony in that system, and then used 19 as a symbolic number to inform the placement of Psalms 19 and 119 in the final redaction of the MT Psalter. A discussion of the contrastive content of Psalm 19 provides some warrant for looking to a number symbolism derived from the Metonic Cycle. Both the Metonic Cycle and Psalm 19 are thematically similar in that they harmonize two apparently different but cosmologically significant entities (sun and moon / creation and Torah). The proposal outlined in this study provides a theologically significant reason for the precise position of Psalms 19 and 119 in the MT Psalter and offers a suggestion for how this position may have subtly contributed to the Torah's cosmological exaltation within the Psalter as a whole." The author is in the Department of Religious and Classical Studies, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, USA.]

Lewis, Peter. (2003). "The Origin of the Chi-Rho Monogram as a Christian Symbol." (Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia Inc. [also online], Volume 14, Pages 19-31).

Liritzis, Ionnis. and Castro, Belén. (2013). "Delphi and Cosmovision: Apollo's Absence at the Land of the Hyperboreans and the Time for Consulting the Oracle." (Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, Volume 16, Number 2, Pages 184-206).

Loewen, Gregory. (2011). "Elements of Iberian and pre-Columbian religious cosmology in central Meso-America." (International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, Volume 3, Number 1, January, Pages 22-39). [Note: The author is with the Department of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. Abstract: "In order to argue that contemporary performances of religious roles and theater in Middle America in fact are continuous replays of the original trauma of contact and its rehabilitation, and thus act as immanent conduits of the period of conquest and subjugation, the past sixty years of relevant anthropological texts are analyzed as discursive statements. These disciplinary archives rely on much older historical records and narratives, some of which contain ostensibly pre-Columbian accounts or descriptions. As well, anthropologists, and archaeologists with this regional specialization were interviewed concerning their understandings of culture change and conquest, and their observations regarding ethno-analogy and the interpretation of archaeological data and historical narrative. This project relies on a creative combination of sociology and anthropology to tease out the relationships amongst scientific discourse, historical narrative, and ethnographic observation. The problem that historicism renders what has been as what can only be both fragment and figment is judged to be partially assuaged by the performative interaction amongst non-Western pre-contact elements of cosmological beliefs and Western religious models of time, divinity, nature and the universe."]

Long, Eleanor. (1984). "How the Dog Got Its Days: A Skeptical Inquiry into Traditional Star and Weather Lore." (Western Folklore, Volume 43, Number 4, October, Pages 256-264). [Note: Excellent.]

Lundwall, John Knight (2016). "The Heavenly Shepherd: Approaches to a Resurrection Story." (Cosmos & Logos: Journal of Myth, Religion, and Folklore, Volume II, August, (Mind and Meaning in the Oral Age), Pages 153-185).

Magli, Giulio. (2009). "On the origin of the Roman idea of town: geometrical and astronomical references." (Archaeologia Baltica, Volume 10, Number 1, Pages 149-154). [Note: Conference papers. The publication is based on the presentations of the international SEAC 2007 and OXFORD VIII conference "Astronomy and cosmology in folk traditions and cultural heritage." The SEAC (La Société Européenne pour l'Astronomie dans la Culture) and ISAAC (The International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture) conference was held on 22-31 July, 2007 and organized in Klaipėda by Klaipėda University in collaboration with the Molėtai District Museum. Abstract "Recent ideas about the formation of the Roman tradition of town layout and the associated foundation rituals are briefly reviewed. The example of Cosa is used as a case study to investigate the possible existence of an archaic, tripartite layout, as is mentioned by some authoritative ancient writers." Giulio Magli, Dipartimento di Matematica, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.]

Makemson, Maud. (1954). "Astronomy in Primitive Religion." (The Journal of Bible and Religion, Volume XXII, Number 3, Pages 163-171). [Note: The author was an American astronomer.]

Malcor, Linda. (2008). "The Icelandic Sword In The Stone: Bears In The Sky." (The Heroic Age. A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe, Issues 11, May, Pages ?-?). [Note: Speculative but interesting. The author identifies herself as an independent scholar. "Abstract: This paper examines the Icelandic saga of Hrolf Kraki, compares it to the Greek stories of Theseus and Kallisto, and argues that both traditions of the Sword in the Stone stemmed from a celestial event that occurred in 2160 B.C.E."]

Marinatos, Nannó. (2009). "The So-called Hell and Sinners in the Odyssey and Homeric Cosmology." (Numen, Volume 56, Numbers 2/3, Pages 185-197). [Note: At the time of writing the author was in the Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago University Hall.]

Matossian, Mary. (2013). "The Phaistos Disk: A Solar Calendar. Contribution to a Decipherment." (Mediterranean Arhaeology (sic) and Archaeometry, Volume 13, Number 1, Pages 235-264). [Note: At time of publication the author was with the Department of history, University of Maryland, USA.]

MacGillivray, Alexander. (2004). "The astral labyrinth at Knossos." (British School at Athens Studies, Volume 12, Pages 329-338).

Malina, Bruce. (1998). "How a Cosmic Lamb Marries: The Image of the Wedding of the Lamb (Rev 19:7 ff.)." (Biblical Theology Bulletin, Volume 28, Number 2,  Pages 75-83). [Note: The author is not as familiar with the material for astral interpretations as he believes.]

Maravelia, Amanda-Alice. (2003). "Cosmic Space and Archetypal Time: Depictions of the Sky-Goddess Nut in Three Royal Tombs of the New Kingdom and her Relation to the Milky Way." (Göttinger Miszellen, Heft [Volume/Issue] 197, Pages 55-72). [Note: A small part of the author's PhD thesis.]

MacGillivray, Alexander. (2004). "The astral labyrinth at Knossos." (British School of Athens Studies, Volume 12, Knossos: Palace, City, State., Pages 329-338).

McBeath, Alastair. (1995). "The Dragon: Northern Sky Constellation." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 6, Pages 5-7).

McBeath, Alastair. (1996). "Sky Dragons and Celestial Serpents Part 1: Cetus the Sea Monster." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 7 (Volume 2:1), Pages 21-24).

McBeath, Alastair. (1996). "Sky Dragons and Celestial Serpents Part 2: Hydra the Water Serpent." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 8 (Volume 2:2), Pages 21-24).

McBeath, Alastair. (1996). "Sky Dragons and Celestial Serpents Part 3: Serpens the Sea Serpent & Hydrus the Little Water Snake." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 9, Pages 21-24).

McBeath, Alastair. and Gheorghe, Andrei. (1997). "The Great Romanian Sky Dragon." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 11, Pages 11-14).

McBeath, Alastair. and Gheorghe, Andrei. (1998). "Romanian Sky Dragons & Celestial Serpents." (The Dragon Chronicle, Number 12, Pages 31-33).

McHugh, John. (2016). "The Celestial Puns that Produced Pegasus." (Cosmos & Logos: Journal of Myth, Religion, and Folklore, Volume II, August, (Mind and Meaning in the Oral Age), Pages 49-72).

McHugh, John. (2016). "How Orion's Ability to "Walk upon the Sea" Was Ascribed to Jesus." (Cosmos & Logos: Journal of Myth, Religion, and Folklore, Volume II, August, (Mind and Meaning in the Oral Age), Pages 123-152).

McMahon, John. (2009). "Ancient Skies for Modern Eyes: Ovid's Celestial Tales." (The Astronomical Chronicle, October, Pages 4-5). [Note: Publication of the Syracuse Astronomical Society.]

van der Meer, L[ammert]. Bouke. (2014). "The Etruscan Bronze Lamp of Cortona, its Cosmic Program and its Attached Inscription." (LATOMUS, Revue d’études latines, Volume 73, Issue 2, Pages 289-302). [Note: Dr. Lammert Bouke van der Meer (born 1945 in Leeuwarden, Friesland) is a Dutch classicist and classical archaeologist specialized in Etruscology. He studied classics and archaeology at the University of Groningen. Van der Meer is now retired associate professor of Classical Archaeology at Leiden University, The Netherlands, and is a leading authority on Etruscan religion. In 2013 he was Associate professor of classical archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology University of Leiden, The Netherlands.]

Metevelis, Peter. (2005). "The Dog Star and the Multiple Suns Motif: An Asian Contribution to European Mythology." (Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 64, April 1).

Meyer, E[?]. (1895). "Der Ursprung des Odysseusmythos." (Hermes, Volume 30, Pages 241-288). [Note: The author applied uncritical solar methodology. See: Archery at the dark of the moon: problems in Homer's Odyssey (1975) by Norman Austin.]

Millar, Frederick. (1998). "The Earth Diver Myth." (Nova Notes, Volume 29, Number 3, June, Pages 2-4). [Note: F. Graham Millar.]

Miller, O. D. (1881). "Solar Symbolism in the Ancient Religions." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume III, Number III, April, Pages 218-227). [Note: Dated. It is difficult to find any biographical details for the American clergyman and amateur assyriologist/archaeologist Reverend O. D. Miller. A brief obituary notice was published in Proceeding, American Oriental Society, 1888, Page cxx: "Rev. O. D. Miller was born at Woodstock, Vermont, Oct. 19, 1821, and died Oct. 11, 1888. He was graduated at Norwich University [a private university located in Northfield, Vermont] in 1845. He began the study of law, but turned to the ministry in the Universalist Church, and was pastor at various places in several states. ..." He had an active interest in science, ethnology, and ancient history. He was considered a distinguished archaeologist. After his death his large and valuable library was apparently donated to Norwich University by his 2 daughters.]

Miller, O. D. (1881). "Symbolical Geography of the Ancients." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume III, Number IV, July, Pages 307-319). [Note: Dated.]

Mladenović, Dragana. (2009). "Astral Path to Soul Salvation in Late Antiquity? The Orientation of Two Late Roman Imperial Mausolea from Eastern Serbia." (American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 113, Number 1, January, Pages 81-97).

Mörner, Nils-Axel. and Lind, Bob. (2015). "Long-Distance Travel and Trading in the Bronze Age: The East Mediterranean-Scandinavian Case." (Archaeological Discovery, Volume 3, Pages 129-139). [Note: Deals with a few constellations. Originally prepared as a symposium paper. Revised and updated for journal publication.]

Mosenki, Iurii. (No date but circa 2007). “The Ages of Taurus and Aries in the Egyptian Myths and Cults.” (Posted at [Note: Speculative and unreliable.]

W[ilhelm]. Max Müller [the son of Friedrich Max Müller] and M. Milman. (1919). "Noah and his Family." (The Monist, Volume 29, Number 2, April, Pages 259-292). [Note: M. Milman regarded Astralmythen as an important pioneer work. Wilhelm Max Müller (1862-1919), an Orientalist, was the son of Friedrich Max Müller.]

Murray, Margaret. (1906). "The Astrological Character of the Egyptian Magical Wand." (Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, January - December, Volume 28, Pages 33-43). [Note: The author eventually became a noted Egyptologist and historian. However, not all of her ideas gained general acceptance. Her ideas on the origins of European witchcraft have been thoroughly demolished. This particular article is unreliable.]

Newell, William. (1900). "The Bear in Hellenic Astral Mythology." (Journal of American Folk-Lore, Volume 13, Number 49, April-June, Pages 147-149).

Nickel, Helmut. (1978). "And Behold, a White Horse ... Observations on the Colors of the Horses of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." (Metropolitan Museum Journal, Volume 12, Pages 179-183). [Note: Fascinating. At the time of publication the author was Curator of Arms and Armor, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.]

Nilsson, Martin. (1954). "Die astrale Unsterblichkeit und kosmische Mystik." (Numen, Volume 1, Pages 106-119).

Noegel, Scott. (2004). "Apollonius' Argonautika and Egyptian Solar Mythology." (The Classical World, Volume 97, Number 2, Winter, Pages 123-136).

Oppenheim, Adolf. (1949). "The Golden Garments of the Gods." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 8, Number 3, July, Pages 172-193). [Note: Some astral references.]

Palmer, Edwina. (2010). ""Slit Belly Swamp" A Japanese Myth of the Origin of the Pleiades?" (Asian Ethnology, Volume 69, Number 2, Pages 311-331). [Abstract: "This article analyzes the entry for Harasaki in Harima Fudoki and provides a fresh interpretation. Through comparisons with Lévi-Strauss's From Honey to Ashes, it is argued that in the Harasaki tale the kanji for "concubine" is not a copyist's mistake as previously thought. The drowned "concubine" is revealed to be Carp, a trope representing a licentious woman. Her internal organs float upwards to become individually the six visible stars of the star cluster Pleiades, thus accounting for their mythological origin. it is inferred that this Japanese version is a vestige of such myths that are found worldwide, and that its transmission may date from several thousand years ago." At time of publication the author was at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.]

Pàmias, Jordi. (2017). "Non-Eratosthenic Astral Myths in the Catasterisms." In: Pontani, Filippomaria. (Editor). Certissima signa. A Venice Conference on Greek and Latin Astronomical Texts, Venezia (2017). (Pages 51-60). [Note: Abstract: Two astral myths are studied in order to show that a catasterismic tradition ran parallel to the Eratosthenic one in Antiquity. Eratosthenes absorbed these interpretations into his mythographical handbook by cancelling those elements that contained a religious or a philosophical significance. The author is with the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.]

Pankenier, David. (?). "Characteristics of Field Allocation (fenye) Astrology in Early China." (? Pages 499-513). [Note: Interesting for the astral lore.]

Pankenier, David. (1999). "Applied Field-Allocation Astrology In Zhou China: Duke Wen of Jin and the Battle of Chengpu." (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 119, Issue 2, Pages 261-279).

Panofsky, Erwin. and Saxl, Fritz. (1933). "Classical Mythology in Medieval Art." (Metropolitan Museum Studies, Volume 4, Number 2, March, Pages 228-280). [Note: Includes a lengthy discussion of astronomical manuscripts.]

Papathanassiou, Maria. (1991). "On the Astronomical Explanation of Phanes's Relief at Modena." (Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 22, Archaeoastronomy Supplement, Number 16, Pages S1-S13 ). [Note: speculative, should be used with caution.]

Peet, Stephen. (1894). "Sabeanism or Sky Worship in America." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume XVI, July, Number 4, Pages 217-237). [Note: Interesting but dated.]

Peet, Stephen. (1894). "The Zodiac and Orientation in America." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume XVI, July, Number 4, Pages 245-252). [Note: Editorial. Dated.]

Peet, Stephen. (1896) "The Lunar Cult and Calendar System." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume XVIII, January, Number 1, Pages 116-125). [Note: Editorial. Dated.]

Peet, Stephen. (1896). "Astronomical Symbols in Asia and America." (The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Volume XVIII, July, Number 4, Pages 174-189). [Note: Interesting but dated.]

Phillips, Jr., Kyle. (1968). "Perseus and Andromeda." (American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 72, Number1, January, Pages 1-23). [Note: 20 pages of plates = 43 pages.]

Porter, Deborah. (1993). "The Literary Function of K'un-lun Mountain in the Mu T'ien-tzu chuan." (Early China, Volume 18, Pages 73-106). Abstract: "In this article I question the assumption that all place-names in the Mu T'ien-tzu chuan refer to real places. I suggest instead a mythic origin for many of these seemingly referential elements. By analyzing a complex of myths either referred to or alluded to in the text, I show that several crucial place-names come in fact from cosmological referents rather than geographical ones. The Mu T'ien-tzu chuan cannot then be read purely as a historical account. I extend this argument by revealing how the elements of cosmological myth in the narrative must themselves be read as elements of symbolic discourse; that is, they have to be read within an astronomical context as references to celestial phenomena. By reading the cosmological and astronomical discourses of the myths together, I demonstrate the literary significance of the Mu T'ien-tzu chuan, a significance which to date has been obscured by misreadings of its historicity. Finally, I argue that only by reading the Mu T'ien-tzu chuan as a literary fiction can one understand what it tells us about how notions of political legitimacy were constructed and then altered in the representation of King Mu's (fictional) journey. The narrative is thus revealed to be a wholly symbolic tale whose interpretation has implications for the wider realm of the interconnections among history, literature and culture."

Priskin, Gyula. (2015). "The Dendera zodiacs as narratives of the myth of Osiris, Isis, and the child Horus." (Égypte Nilotique et Méditerranéenne (ENiM), Tomé 8, Pages 133-185). [Note: ENiM is a free French electronic (annual) Journal of Egyptology.]

Priskin, Gyula. (2016). "The Astral Myth of Osiris: the Decans of Taurus and Libra." (Égypte Nilotique et Méditerranéenne (ENiM), Tomé 9, Pages 79-111).

Ramsay, William. and Lepsius, Johannes. (1911). "The Symbolic Language of the Apocalypse." (The Expositor, Eighth Series, Volume 1. Pages 160-180, 210-230, 375-380, 461-475, & 504-519). [Note: Dual articles with William Ramsay offering critical comment to an article by Johannes Lepsius (translated by Helena Ramsay) on an astronomical interpretation of the New Testament "Book of Revelation." Pages 210-230, 461-475, & 504-519 are headed "The Symbolic language of the Revelation." Johannes Lepsius (1858-1926) was a German professor of religious studies.]

Randall, Robert. (1982). "Qoyllur Rit'i, an Inca Fiesta of the Pleiades: Reflections on Time & Space in the Andean World." (Bulletin de l'Institut français d'études andines, Volume XI, Number 1-2, Pages 37-81).

Rappenglück, Michael. (2006). "The cosmic symbolism of tortoises and turtles."  (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 4, Number 3, Pages 223-230).

Rappenglück, Michael. (2014). "The Cosmic Deep Blue: The Significance of the Celestial Water World Sphere Across Cultures." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 14, Number 3, Pages 293-305). [Note: The author (2014) is at the Adult Education Center and Observatory, Gilching, Germany.]

Reed, George. (1986). "Ancient Astronomers Along the Nile." (The Science Teacher, Volumke 53, Number 6, September, Pages 59-62).

Revello, Manuela. (2016). "The Sun of Homer." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Volume 16, Number 4, Pages 179-182). [Note: The author is an independent scholar.]

Reynolds, Frances. (1999). "Stellar Representations of Tiāmat and Qingu in a Learned Calendar Text." In: van Lerberghe, Karel. and Voet, Gabriella. (Editors). Languages and Cultures in Contact: At the Crossroads of Civilizations in the Syro-Mesopotamian Realm. (Pages 369-378). [note: Speculative but interesting.]

Richardson, Robert. (1958). "The Star of Bethlehem – Fact or Myth?" (Griffith Observer, December, Pages ?-?).

Ridpath, Ian. (1988). "Private lives of the stars." (New Scientist, 24/31 December, Number 1644/1645, Pages 34-37). [Note: Double issue of journal.]

Rochberg, Francesca. (2007). "Marduk in Heaven." (Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, Band 97, Pages 433-442).

Röck, Fritz. (1919/1920). "Die Götter der sieben Planeten im alten Mexiko und die Frage eines alten Zusammenhanges toltekischer Bildung mit altweltlichen Kultursystemen." (Anthropos, Band. 14/15, Heft 4/6, July-December, Pages 1080-1098).

Röck, Fritz. (1920). "Kalendar, Sternglaube und Weltbilder der Tolteken als Zeugen verschollener Kulturbeziehungen zur Alten Welt." (Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, L. Band (Der Dritten Folge XX. Band) Pages 43-136). [Note: Apparently published as a separate booklet in 1922.]

Roth, Ann. (1993). "Fingers, Stars, and the 'Opening of the Mouth': The Nature and Function of the NTRWJ-blades." (The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Volume 79, Pages 57-79).

Rousseau, A[?]. and Dimitrakoudis, S[tavros]. (2006). "A study of catasterisms in the 'phaenomena' of Aratus." (Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Special Issue, Volume 6, Issue 3, January, Pages 107-115 (also given as 111-119). [Note: In this highly speculative article the authors believe that Aratus wrote an astronomically accurate poem. The expectation that rather exact astronomical descriptions will be found in Aratus' Phainomena is puzzling. Aratus was not an astronomer or mathematician or even a good poet. The astronomical poem is best described by David Pingree "as a rather rough handy guide." Aratus avoided any descriptions of the complicated planetary phenomena. "Abstract: We provide a fresh analysis of the constellations in Aratos Phenomena by using the astronomical program Cybersky (by Stephen Schimpf) to check each reference of constellations within the poem for validity in 2800 BCE and 300 BCE (the later accounting for the broader period of time covering Eudoxus of Cnidus and Aratus of Soli). In each case, the latitude of observation was chose to be 36 North in agreement with the area of the sky that is not covered in the descriptions of Aratus (and contains the unseen constellations for a particular latitude). Each constellation was traced back to its Greek mythological origin through the various writers of antiquity. Our results are collected in a table of the constellations mentioned by Aratus in his epic poem, with respect to the ancient authors who have mentioned each constellation shaping its myth, the locations on the earth each constellation is associated with and the most likely date of observation according to Aratus description and taking into account precession and the proper motion of stars." The authors were on the staff of Section of Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mechanics, University of Athens, Greece.]

Russell, D[?]. (1993). "Countdown. Arithmetic and Anagram in Early Biblical Interpretation." (The Expository Times, January, Volume 104,  Number 4, Pages 109-113).

Saeedipour, Abbas. (2012). "The Celestial Trinity of Indo-Iranian Mythology: Comparative Study on Indo-Iranian Mythology." (International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 2, Issue 5, May, Pages 1-3).

Saul, John. (1989-1993). ""As it Is Above, So Shall it Below": the Blueprint of Civilization." (Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of the Center for Archaeoastronomy, Volume XI, Pages 104-107). [Note: Interesting but speculative. Influenced by the ideas in the book "Hamlet's Mill." However, several sources relied on by the author are unreliable. The ideas in the article have now been expanded into a book-length manuscript.]

Schulte, Jörg. (2016). "The Gates of Horn and Ivory: A Geographical Myth." (Studia Letterarum, Volume 1, Numbers 3-4, Pages 82-91). [Note: Excellent. The author is Professor of Slavic Studies, Institute of Slavic Studies, University of Cologne, Germany.]

Scott, John. (1916). "Assumed Contradictions in the Seasons and Odyssey." (Classical Philology, Volume 11, Number 2, April, Pages 148-155).

Scott, John. (1917). "Odyssey as Sun-god." (Classical Philology, Volume 12, Number 3, July, Pages 244-252).

Sehgal, Linda. (1982). "Climbing Jacob's Ladder: Symbolism of a Fantastic Journey Along the Milky Way." (Rock Art Papers San Diego Museum Papers, Volume 6, Number/Issue 24, Pages 83-90). [Note: The publication is issued by the San Diego Museum of Man , San Diego, California.]

Seitz, Charmaine. (2007). "Jerusalem and its Gods: A Review of Ancient Astral Worship and 'Jerusalem'." (Jerusalem Quarterly, Issue 32, Autumn, Pages 88-93). [Note: Jerusalem Quarterly is published by the Institute of Jerusalem Studies.]

Seymour, Percy. (1997). "A week of names." (Astronomy Now, Volume 11, July, Pages 24-25). [Note: An explanation of the astronomical origins of the names of the days of the week.]

Simson, Georg von. (1997). "Zum Ursprung der Gotter Mitra und Varuna." (Indo-Iranian Journal, Volume. 40, January Pages 1-35). [Note: The author holds that Mitra and Varuqa can be understood as the double aspect of the planet Venus as morning and evening-star.]

von Simson, Georg. (1984). "The Mythic Background of the Mahābhārata." (Indological Taurinensia, Volume 12, Pages 191-223). [Note: The author is a German Indologist. His ideas are controversial and not considered reliable.]

St. Clair, George. (1887). "Dragon Sacrifices at the Vernal Equinox." (Report of the Fifty-Sixth Annual General Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Part - 1886, Page 838). [Note: The report relates to the meeting held in September 1886. Brief additional comment (two-third page) by St. Clair on his paper read on Friday September 3. To my knowledge the actual paper was never published.]

St. Clair, George. (1901). "Pasht and the Sed Festival." (Proceedings of the Society of Biblical archaeology, January - December, Volume 23, Pages 225-229).

St. Clair, George. (1901). "The Cat and the Moon." (The Gentleman's Magazine, March, Pages ?-?).

St. Clair, George. (1902). "Sphinx and Cherubim." (Biblia, Volume XV, Number 9, December, Pages 265-268). [Note: Dated, unreliable.]

St. Clair, George. (1905). "Patriarchs - The Antediluvian." (Biblia, Volume 17, Pages 1-8).

St. Clair, George. (1906). "Adam's Two Wives." (The Theosophical Review, Volume 37, Pages 123-128).

Shokoohy, Mehrdad. (1994). "Sasanian Royal Emblems and Their Reemergence in the Fourteenth-Century Deccan." (Muqarnas, Volume 11, Pages 65-78). [Note: Deals with astral symbols in royal emblems.]

Siimets, Ülo. (2006). "The Sun, the Moon and Firmament in Chukchi Mythology and on the Relations of Celestial Bodies and Sacrifice." (Folklore [= Electronic Journal of Folklore], Volume 32, Pages 129-156). [Note: Detailed discussion of astral mythology and constellations of the Chukchi, an indigenous people inhabiting the (Russian) Chukchi Peninsula.]

Skipwith, Grey. (1907). ""The Lord of Heaven."" (The Jewish Quarterly Review, Volume 19, Number 4, July, Pages 688-703). [Note: Discusses the 'Vision of Ezekiel.']

Sommer, Benjamin. (2000). "The Babylonian Akitu Festival: Rectifying the King or Renewing the Cosmos? (Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society, Volume 27, Pages 81-95). [Note: A re-examination of the purpose of the Babylonian Akitu New Year festival. The author believes that certain observances of the Babylonian Akitu's 2nd day signified the destruction and rebuilding of Esagila and these events served as a device (synecdoche) for the annihilation and recreation of the whole world.]

Stejskal, Karel. and Krása, Josef. (1964). "Astralvorstellungen in der mittelalterlichen Kunst Böhmens." [Variant title: "Astrální představy v českém středověkém umění."] (Sborník prací Filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity. F, Řada uměnovědná. Volume. 13, Issue F8, Pages 61-85). [Note: Czech-language article.]

Stieglitz, Robert. (1982). "Numerical structuralism and cosmogony in the ancient Near East.” (Journal of Social and Biological Structures, Volume 5, Issue 3, Pages 255-266). [Note: Abstract: "The systematic investigation of sexagesimal numbers, by means of reciprocals and ratios, led to a 'dualism' in the numerical theory developed in ancient Mesopotamia. The historical development of mathematical thinking — the mathopoeic mind — resulted in a proto-science, including arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and possibly harmonics, which attempted to formulate a structural theory for the pantheon and cosmos. An exponential matrix, based on sexagesimal considerations, is proposed as a means of exlploring (sic) the mathopoeic component in ancient mythology, which often incorporates significant proto-scientific data. Since the mathopoeic mind in Mesopotomian (sic) civilization is fully developed by 1750 BC, it is likely that the vast body of data gathered by Near Eastern proto-science served as the historical reference reservoir for the Greek mathopoeic mind — especially for the Pythagoreans. Both of these mathopoeic traditions were, however, de-emphasized in Graeco—Roman Judaism because it appeared that they could divert the believer to pagan 'natural philosophy'."]

Stoddard, Henry. (1927). "The "Piasa" or "Thunder Bird"." (Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Volume 20, Number 3, October, Pages 357-367). [Note: Discusses constellations and cardinal points.]

Stokley, James. (1932). "Mythology in the Sky." (The Science News-Letter, Volume 22, Number 600, October 8, Pages 226-227).

Strong, S[andford]., Arthur. Mrs. [= Sellers, Eugénie]. (1916). "A Bronze bust of a Iulio-Claudian Prince (? Caligula) in the Museum of Colchester; with a Note on the Symbolism of the Globe in Imperial Portraiture." (The Journal of Roman Studies, Volume VI, Pages 27-46). [Note: The globe in imperial portraiture is identified as having a celestial significance. The author was at the British School at Athens prior to 1914, and was later Assistant director of the British School at Rome.]

Sullivan, Lawrence. (1983). "Astral Myths Rise Again: Interpreting Religious Astronomy." (Criterion, Volume 22, Number 1, Winter, Pages 12-21). [Note: Well researched article. Unfortunately the author does not reference his sources.]

Tedlock, Dennis. and Tedlock, Barbara. (1993). "A Mayan Reading of the Story of the Stars." (Archaeology, Volume 46, Number 4, July/August, Pagaes 33- 35).

Thureau-Dangin, François. (1919). "Un acte de donation de Marduk-zākir-šumi." (Revue d'AssyrioIogie et d'Archéologie Orientale, Volume XVI, Number 3, Pages 117-156).

Uehlinger, Christopf. and Trufaut, Susanne. (2001). "Ezekiel 1, Babylonian Cosmological Scholarship and Iconography: Attempts at Further Refinement." (Theologische Zeitschrift, Heft 2, Band 57, Pages 140-171). [Note: Excellent.]

Unger, Eckhard. (1961). "Die Erde als Stern des Kosmos im vierten Jahrtausend am Toten Meer (telēlāt ghassūl)." (Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins (1953-), Band 77, Pages 72-86). [Note: Excellent.]

Vollgraff-Roes, Anne. (1953). "The Lion with Body Markings in Oriental Art." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 12, Number 1, January, Pages 40-49).

Wainwright, Gerald. (1932). "Letopolis." (The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Volume XVIII, Pages 159-172).

Wainwright, Gerald. (1936). "Orion and the Great Star." (The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Volume XXII, Pages 45-46).

Walters, H[?]. (1892-1893) "Poseidon's Trident." (The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 13, Pages 13-20). [Note: The author refers to the astral ideas of John O'Neill to make some interpretations of the iconography.]

Wee, John. (2016). "A Late Babylonian Astral Commentary on Marduk's Address to the Demons." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Number 1, Pages 127-167). [Note: A very interesting article.]

Weidner, Ernst. (1925). "Das Paradies am Sternenhimmel." (Archiv für Keilschriftforschung, Zweiter Band, Heft 3-4, Pages 124-130).

Weinstock, Stefan. (1949). "Lunar Mansions and Early Calendars." (Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 69, Pages 48-69).

Wells, R[onald]. (1992). "The Mythology of Nut and the Birth of Ra." (Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Band. 19, Pages 305-321). [Note: "Abstract: An analysis of star patterns for the Old Kingdom and earlier suggests that the origin of the legend concerning the sky goddess Nut and the course of the sun stems from early inhabitants of the Nile Valley or Delta. By observing the stars, these people created a means of measuring time which led to the development of a calendar. At the same time, such nightly observations led to stories which later formed the pantheon of myths connected with gods and goddesses who were worshipped for thousands of years. This paper indicates that Nut originated as an anthropomorphic form of the Milky Way and that a particular position of this group of stars in the pre-dawn sky on the morning of the winter solstice gave rise to the legend of the birth of the sun depicted in many monument scenes. Other aspects of Nut are also discussed."]

Wertime, Richard. and Schuster, Angela. (1993). "Written in the Stars. Celestial Origin of Maya Creation Myth." (Archaeology, Volume 46, Number 4, July/August, Pages 26-32). [Note: Excellent article. Includes comments on the more speculative ideas of the epigrapher and iconographer Linda Schele.]

West, Martin. (1980). "The Midnight Planet." (The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 100, Centenary Issue, Pages 206-208).

Wiercinski, Andrzej. (1977). "Pyramids and Ziggurats as the Architectonic Representations of the Archetype of the Cosmic Mountain." (Katunob, Volume 10, Pages 71-87). [Note: Discussion of the temple in Egypt and Mesopotamia as cosmic symbolism. Katunob is an occasional Newsletter-Bulletin on Mesoamerican anthropology. It is published by University of Northern Colorado.]

Wilkinson, Richard. (1989). "A Possible Origin for the 'Shoulder Ornaments' in Egyptian Representations of Lions." (Varia Aegyptiaca, Volume 5, Number 1, Pages 59-71). [Note: The author identified Regulus as the star ornament. He also discusses Kantor's arguments, etc.]

Wintemberg, William. (1908). "Myths and Fancies of the Milky Way." (Journal of the Royal Society of Canada, Volume 2, October, Pages 235-247). [Note:  Basically a discussion of world-wide ancient names for the Milky Way. William Wintemberg was a pioneer Canadian archaeologist at the National Museum of Canada. Life dates: 1876-1941.]

Witzel, Michael. (2005). "Vala and Iwato: The Myth of the Hidden Sun in India, Japan and beyond." (Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS), Volume 12, Number 1, March, Pages 1-69).

Woods, Christopher. (2009). "At the Edge of the World: Cosmological Conceptions of the Eastern Horizon in Mesopotamia." (Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions, Volume 9, Issue [Number] 2, Pages 183-239). [Note: Ph.D. Harvard University, 2001. Associate Professor of Sumerian at Harvard University since Autumn 2002.]

Yalouris, Nicolas. (1980). "Astral Representations in the Archaic and Classical Periods and Their Connection to Literary Sources." (American Journal of Archaeology, Volume 84, Number 3, July, Pages 313-318).

Younger, Jr., K[?]. (2007). "Some of What's New in Old Aramaic Epigraphy." (Near Eastern Archaeology, Volume 70, Number 3, June, Pages 122, 139-146). [Note: Discussion of inscribed Aramaic astral bowl.]

Younger, Jr., K[?]. (2012). “Another look at an Aramaic Astral Bowl.” (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 71, Number 2, October, Pages 209-230). [Note: K. Lawson Younger, Jr. (Ph.D. Sheffield University) is Professor of Old Testament, Semitic Languages, and Ancient Near Eastern History at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School of Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois. He is a specialist in Assyriology and Aramaic, as well as the Hebrew Bible. He is a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research, as well as an active member of the American Oriental Society, the International Association of Assyriology, and the Society of Biblical Literature. He is presently (2012) working on a book on the history of the Arameans.]

Zimmern, Heinrich. (1892). "Der Jakobssegen und der Tierkreis." (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Siebenter Band, Pages 161-172).

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Related Studies


Boll, Franz. (1950). (Edited by Victor Stegemann). Kleine Schriften zur Sternkunde des Altertums. [Note: A valuable collection of the authors major (and now difficult to access) articles. See the (English-language) book reviews by Stefan Weinstock in The Journal of Roman Studies, Volume XLI, 1951, Page 167; and Arthur Nock in Gnomon, Band 24, Heft 3, 1952, Pages 162-163; and the (German-language) book reviews by W[?]. Foerster in Theologische Literaturzeitung, Volume 79, Number 11, November 1954, Column 684; and by Karl Jax in Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft, VII Band, 1954, Columns 106-107.]

de Callataÿ, Godefroid. (1996). Annus Platonicus: A Study of World Cycles in Greek, Latin and Arabic Sources. [Note: The best book on the subject of the "World Year."]

Evans, James. (1998). The History and Practice of Ancient Astronomy. [Note: An excellent general study. See the (English-language) book reviews by Hugh Thurston in DIO, Volume 8, Number 1-2, November, 1998, Pages 36-41; Benno van Alen in Isis, Volume 91, Number 3, September 2000, Pages 580-581; and James Voelkel in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 32, 2001, Pages 82-84.]

Manuel, Frank. (1963). Isaac Newton Historian. [Note: Includes a two chapter discussion of Isaac Newton's investigations into the origin of the Greek constellations.]

Zinner, Ernst. (1931). Die Geschichte der Sternkunde von den Ersten Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. [Note: A world-wide general history that includes discussions of constellations, star names, and star lore. The author was an expert on the history of astronomy but the book has its critics. See the critical (German-language) book review by Alexander Pogo in Isis, Volume XVI, 1931, Pages 161-167. See also the (English-language) book review by C. A. C. in Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Volume 25, Number 2, 1931, Pages 84-85. Ernst Zinner was Director of the Remeis Observatory, Bamberg. See the (German-language) obituary by Diedrich Wattenberg in Astronomische Nachrichten, Band 293, Heft 1-2, 1971, Pages 79-80. Life dates: 1886-1970.]


Gundel, Wilhelm. and Gundel Hans. (1950). "Planeten." In: Paulys Realencyclopädie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. (Volume XX, Part 2, Columns 2017-2185).

Jones, F[?]. (1908). "The Ancient Year and the Sothic Cycle." (Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, January - December, Volume 30, Pages 95-106 (plus 4 plates)).

Palter, Walter. (1993). "Black Athena, Afro-centrism, and the History of Science." (History of Science, Volume 31, Pages 227-287). [Note: Contains an interesting discussion of Egyptian astronomy.]

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