Ancient Zodiacs, Star Names, and Constellations: Essays and Critiques

The Development, Heyday, and Demise of Panbabylonism by Gary D. Thompson

Copyright © 2004-2020 by Gary D. Thompson

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The Development, Heyday, and Demise of Panbabylonism

Astral mythology: Explaining Mesopotamian (and other) mythology as a projection and allegory/metaphor of the movement of celestial bodies. It is an attempt to articulate knowledge of the Sun, Moon, stars and planets. First promulgated by the German star-myth school (by Eduard Stucken). An elaborate system of astronomical mythology is a different category to mythology supposedly being used as a (coded) technical language to explain an elaborate system of astronomical knowledge/astronomical constructs.

Theories of astronomical mythology are no longer popular. They are passé, but not defunct. The benchmark for the high-point of astronomical explanations of mythology comprised the activities of the late 19th-century German star-myth school and the early 20th-century German Panbabylonian school. During this period astronomy was commonly employed to explain mythology/ancient religions. Earlier in the 19th-century - and lasting mid to late 19th-century - there had been the German/British nature-myth school which had included astronomical explanations. One hundred years after the demise of Panbabylonism (at the end of World War I) a minor resurgence in astronomical mythology has occurred. See: Sullivan, Lawrence. (1983). "Astral Myths Rise Again: Interpreting Religious Astronomy." (Criterion, Volume 22, Number 1, Winter, Pages 12-21). Aspects of the modern renewal copy/repeat themes present in the German star-myth school and the German Panbabylonian school, plus the earlier nature-myth school. An example is Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Herth von Dechend (1969). An important/relevant issue is: what is meant by the descriptor 'astronomical mythology'? Approaches to the supposed content of astronomical mythology vary. There is a need to distinguish between what can be termed categories of explanation of astronomical mythology. Astronomical mythology as explanation can be reduced to 2 convenient (simplified but not distortive) categories. Each of these categories have distinctive parameters.: (1) Star stories (simple/descriptive stories independently invented by cultures). Included within this category are nature-myths. Star stories are usually comprised of catasterisms/star lore. The main sources of Greek star-myths were the lost astronomical poems of Hesiod and Pherecydes and later works by Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Aratus and Hyginus. (2) Coded language myths (preliterate origin, single point of origin, spread by cultural diffusion). This category comprises a more complex approach to the nature and function of astronomical mythology. Mythology is interpreted as a coded technical language for astronomical phenomena. Included within this category is Panbabylonism and the application of the theory to the Old Testament. The application of Panbabylonism (astral mythology) to the interpretation/explanation of Old Testament figures did not rule out historicity. The historicity of traditions was not denied. But the traditions had been shaped by astral motifs. However, the application of astral mythology acted to demolish the historicity of Old Testament figures. Important component parts of Panbabylonism include an equally divided 12-part zodiac and an exact knowledge of precession (and a system of 'world ages' based on it). There is no evidence to support the development of an elaborate system of astral myths, especially as a form of technical language. It is difficult to have any patience with claims for a widely spread ancient (pre-literate) system of myth as an astronomical language originating from the establishment of an ancient zodiac and knowledge of precession (precessional time (as calendar?)).


Panbabylonism was/is a school of thought within Assyriology and religious studies. Essentially, Panbabylonism flourished between 1900 and 1914. It was a relatively short-lived movement in scholarship amongst Assyriologists and bible scholars. It formally originated in 1901, reached the zenith of its popularity in 1907, and its effective demise can be dated to 1913. It has been described as a German fantasy. The Panbabylonist position was supported by leading German Assyriologists and biblical scholars (initially Winckler, Jeremias, and Zimmern), and also a number of scholars in Europe and North America. These scholars claimed that there was a single common cultural system extended over the whole of the ancient Near East, which was overwhelmingly influenced by the Babylonians. They maintained that all the religions of the Near East were identical. Using and misusing Babylonian scientific texts and the so-called Epic of Gilgamesh a core of scholars concluded that Babylonian astral science had influenced all religions and cultures. The Panbabylonian school assumed that the Bible (both old and new testaments) was also rooted in Babylonian culture, and not merely influenced by it.

Despite the copious productivity of the principal Panbabylonists, Stucken, Winckler, and Jeremias, very little of their work has retained any lasting significance. The only book translated into English was Des Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients (1904)/The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East by Alfred Jeremias (1911).

The wider dates for Panbabylonism - which was largely a phenomenon in German scholarship - are 1890 to 1925. The Panbabylonists were almost entirely confined to Germany. They can be considered an extreme wing of the astral-myth school. The proponents of Panbabylonism claimed a highly influential/dominant position for early Mesopotamian culture throughout the ancient Near East. The movement placed an exclusive emphasis on the importance of Mesopotamia. Particularly, the Panbabylonists believed that most of the world-wide narratives that are classified as mythology actually deal with astronomy. For the Panbabylonists the astral element they could uncover in a variety of religions and myths demonstrated they had a common origin, and this origin was in Babylon circa 3000 BCE. This article primarily seeks to trace the twin influences leading to Panbabylonism (pan-Babylonismus). (Also termed Pan-babylonianism/Panbabylonianism.) These were (1) the theme of Babylonian influence on the Bible, and (2) the theme of diffusion from Babylon. Panbabylonism became very preoccupied with diffusion. The theme of Babylonian influence on the Bible originated with the discovery of a Babylonian version of a flood myth that had similarities to the flood myth in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. The theme of diffusion of culture from Babylon originated with discoveries and theories regarding Babylonian metrology. Both ideas were to come together in the early 1900s in the Panbabylonian beliefs of Hugo Winckler. Winckler can be considered the real founder of Panbabylonism in his Geschichte Israels, Volume 2, 1900 (Chapter: "The System"). (In Volume II, however, Winckler would affirm that "the understanding of the map of the heavens as the key to mythology belongs to Stucken." (Eduard Stucken was the source and "guarantor" for Hugo Winckler's material on astral mythology.) In his Astralmythen, Stucken promoted the idea of the impact of the stellar constellations on the myths of the Babylonians, Hebrews, and Egyptians.) Winckler became the most prominent exponent of Panbabylonism. By 1901, with the publication of his Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier, Winckler had worked out a comparative schema of world mythology based on Babylonian presuppositions. Importantly, the Panbabylonian school of Winckler-Jeremias introduced the notion of a Babylonian 'Weltanschauung' (= a world view that comprised a total system of ideas and beliefs based on an astronomical and scientific basis). An alternative term for Panbabylonism is the Astral-mythological school. The more exact designation for Panbabylonism would be Panbabylonian astralism. Ultimately it sought to explain many historical persons and events within a framework of astral mythology (diffused at an early date from Babylonia). (The Panbabylonian theory contained no reason why other cultures could not themselves originate astral myths. The idea of independent or parallel development was rejected. It was argued that it could not account for systematic similarity between myths.) Loosely, the last quarter of the 19th-century and the first quarter of the 20th-century comprised the period for the development, heyday, and demise of Panbabylonism. What came to be known as the 'Babel-Bibel-Streit' continued from 1902 to 1920. The debate had importance for the study of theology in Germany.

There were 3 streams of Panbabylonism: (1) Star-myth school, (2) Babel-Bible school, and (3) Gilgamesh school. The Panbabylonian movement and the Babel-Bibel movement were distinct but related movements. (Panbabylonists converted Judaism into an astral religion and Jewish heroes into astral myths.) The star-myth school originated in the last decade of the 19th-century by Ernst Siecke, Eduard Stucken, and Hugo Winckler building upon their ideas. The "Bible versus Babel" controversy originated in the first decade of the 20th-century by Friedrich Delitzsch. The Gilgamesh school also originated in the first decade of the 20th-century by Peter Jensen. Peter Jensen's unique and radical development of Panbabylonism was the whole Bible was a rewriting of the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh epic. It has been suggested that perhaps Jensen could be more accurately termed a Neobabylonian diffusionist rather than a Panbabylonist. (Jensen's assertions followed the same general method as the assertions of Stucken and Winckler, differing from them only in the material used for comparisons.)

For simplicity the concepts of astronomical mythology can be divided into (1) pre German Star-myth/Panbabylonism period, (2) German Star-myth/Panbabylonism period, and (3) post German Star-myth/Panbabylonism period. Whilst it's hardly ideal it tends to be useful if the German Star-myth/Panbabylonism period from circa 1890 to 1930 is recognised as including non-German star-myth ideas. (Unfortunately the ideas of the German star-myth school now tend to be overlooked.) Astral mythology dominated much of the German Panbabylonism school.

Before Panbabylonism there were a number of other theories of a dominant widespread civilizing country/culture which lay the influential groundwork that other countries/cultures later followed. An example is seen in the Egyptomania which arose after the French mission to Egypt under Napoleon. The early advocates of Panbabylonism (circa 1890-1925) developed most of their arguments about borrowing around the Sumerian/Akkadian textual corpus. Any possibility of an Egyptian background for the Bible stories was not generally supported or sought. Ultimately, the roots of the Panbabylonism are the early 19th-century debates on the origin of religions.

In the late 19th-century and early 20th-century large quantities of cuneiform tablets and their information attracted the attention of scholars. It soon became evident that some of the most cherished aspects of the Hebrew Bible, such as the Creation and Flood stories, possessed counterparts in earlier Near Eastern literature. (At this time the corpus of Ugaritic/Canaanite literatures was either not yet discovered or not yet studied. Later similarities that would be identified included Yahweh's battle with Leviathan and the tannin showing similarities with Canaanite Baal myths, which show no signs of dependence on Mesopotamian sources.) The development of Panbabylonism essentially took place in the 1890s. After its heyday it lingered on until circa 1930.

There existed conflict between several Panbabylonists. Alfred Jeremias reserved particularly harsh criticism for the ideas of Peter Jensen. Several of Jensens' publications (specifically pamphlets?) setting out his views aroused Winckler's wrath. Jensen could be a severe critic of Winckler's views. Interestingly, Peter Jensen became embittered with the rejection of his ideas on the significance of the Gilgamesh epic. Theologians and classicists especially ignored his ideas.

Eduard Stucken, Hugo Winckler, and Alfred Jeremias were institutionally marginal. Stucken was without a doctorate, Winckler was academically insecure for most of his career (only receiving a university post when he was 41 years old), and Jeremias did not receive a university chair until he was 58 years old. By being outside the academic mainstream they all were able to develop their new ideas quite freely. 

(1) Development:

Assyriology can be said to begin with the agreement (achieved working independently) between 4 European scholars (Henry Rawlinson, William Talbot, Edward Hincks, and Jules Oppert) in 1857 on the method for correctly deciphering one particular type of cuneiform script. The decipherment of Assyrian cuneiform caused Assyriology to be acknowledged as a legitimate discipline. The early assyriologists had to work under the shadow of the biblicists, who for the most part considered Assyriology an auxiliary to biblical studies. Many Assyriologists in the early period maintained a traditional doctrinal orthodoxy.

The early discoveries showed that at the earliest stage of the development of cuneiform writing there was a developed system of mathematics. This and the concept of diffusion of ideas from Mesopotamia (and the concept of star myths) were the basis for Panbabylonism. The Panbabylonism existing in Germany from circa 1904 to 1918 was comprised largely of Assyriologists and cuneiform philologists. Additionally, for much of the 19th-century (and declining by the 1920s) the study of Assyriology was often valued primarily as a means of illustrating the Bible. (What had been known about ancient Near Eastern empires had been based on the Bible (Old Testament).) This period of biblical-Near Eastern comparative research resulted in what Samuel Sandmel has labelled as "parallelomania."

British excavations in the Near East largely recovered the first source material for the initial speculations that later became labelled as Panbabylonism. (The designation "Pambabylonism" was introduced as a caricature in 1903 by the theologian Karl Budde in his highly critical pamphlet Das Alte Testament und die Ausgrabungen. Budde was annoyed that the 3rd edition (published 1902) of Schrader's Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament had been transformed into Panbabylonist propaganda.


Discovery of Babylonian Astronomy

In 1847 the German Orientalist Julius Oppert (1825-1905) moved to France and in 1869 was appointed Professor of Assyriology in the College du France. In 1856 Oppert gave the first approximate correct rendering of the Michaux Stone (Caillou du Michaux) which had been brought from Mesopotamia to Paris in 1800. This was one of the earliest decipherments of the new newly discovered language on Babylonian inscriptions.

In 1891 the Reverend Archibald Sayce (1846-1933), a pioneer Assyriologist, was appointed Professor of Assyriology at the University of Oxford and held the position until 1919. In 1874 Sayce published a long and important paper titled the Astronomy and Astrology of the Babylonians (Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Volume 3, Part 1), with transcriptions and translations of the relevant cuneiform texts.

Both Oppert and Sayce were the first to recognise and translate astronomical cuneiform texts. Sayce initiated the modern study of Babylonian astronomy in 3 articles co-authored with Robert Bosanquet (1841-1912, an English scientist and musical theorist) and published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Volumes 39-40, 1879-1880). The 1st article discussed the calendar; the 2nd article discussed/analysed 2 planispheres (including astrolabe A); and the 3rd article discussed/analysed the so-called 'Venus tablet.'

Notion of Diffusion from Mesopotamia (1)

The Flood Tablets unearthed by the British scholar George Smith in 1872 unleashed a scholarly debate about the origins of culture and religion.

The idea of Babylonian influence on the Old Testament originated with the discovery by George Smith in 1872 of a Babylonian deluge story (this fragment of the flood story was Chapter II of the Gilgamesh epic), and in 1875 of a Babylonian creation story; both similar to the biblical stories. (When Smith first read the deluge story on the tablet he reportedly became very excited and ran around the room and began undressing. This is explained as the excitement of discovery brought on an epileptic fit.) George Smith's account of the Mesopotamian flood myth as a source for the flood story in Genesis stirred theological controversy. It also created a wave of scholarly interest in cuneiform texts. (Smith quickly prepared a paper to present to the Society of Biblical Archaeology at their premises at 9 Conduit Street in Mayfair.) In 1872 the newspaper announcement by the Assyriologist George Smith (1840-1876) of his discovery of a close parallel in Babylonian cuneiform tablets to the Bible story of the Deluge (he had discovered a Babylonian Noah in cuneiform tablets) served to create an ecclesiastical and scientific sensation sensation in both Britain and France, and an unflagging public and professional interest in the subject of Assyriology in both Europe and North America. Smith announced that the Bible deluge story was merely a Hebrew adaptation of an older Babylonian story. ("The Chaldean History of the Deluge." appeared in The [London] Times, Number 27551, 4th December, 1872; and "The Chaldean Story of the Deluge." appeared in The [London] Times, Number 27552, 5th December, 1872.) Coming less than 15 years after Darwin's book, On the Origin of Species, the Epic of Gilgamesh and its Flood story was received by many as a another great blow to the edifice of Victorian Christianity. Also triggered by Smith's discovery was an ongoing debate in Britain on the origin of culture and religion that engaged such scholars as James Frazer and Edward Tylor. (Smith first read a paper on his discovery to the December 3rd, 1872, meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology. December 3 1872 is reported as a cold and showery day when Smith gave his presentation to the Society of Biblical Archaeology. Because The Daily Telegraph had previewed Smith's discovery, the room was filled with reporters and members of the public, and the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, was also in attendance.)

His paper "The Chaldean Account of the Deluge." appeared in The Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, Volume 2, 1873, Pages 213-234.) In 1874/1875 he translated and pieced together the Babylonian creation story. The results of this further work by Smith was published in his book The Chaldean Account of Genesis (1876). Because the earlier Babylonian creation and deluge accounts were so similar to the biblical accounts it was recognised that the Bible narratives had been influenced by the Babylonian accounts. It was perhaps the start of exaggerated assertions concerning links between Babylon and the Bible.

The German Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch was in London at the time of the books publication and considered it to be an epoch-making book. He persuaded his brother Hermann to translate the text into German. The result was the book also appeared in a German edition in 1876; with a preface and afterward by Friedrich. Friedrich Delitzsch held that the Deluge accounts derived from a single source. In Germany there existed at that time the belief in a diffusionist cultural history. Initially, Friedrich Delitzsch, a Berlin assyriology professor, was the most important spokesperson for the ideas of Panbabylonism. (It is considered that Friedrich Delitzsch was not actually an ardent proponent of Panbabylonism. He was very interested in what the Mesopotamian material seemed to be indicating in the way of cultural, religious, and mythological influences/diffusion.) Delitzsch marginalised the importance of biblical sources and scholarship by showing that many Old Testament texts could be traced back to earlier Babylonian sources.

The revised 1880 second edition of Smith's book - The Chaldean Account of Genesis by George Smith and Archibald Sayce - draws extraordinary parallels between cuneiform documents and the biblical book of Genesis.

The closest similarities between Mesopotamian myths and the Old Testament lie in the Flood stories. (Smith's discoveries comprised incontrovertible evidence that implied a direct borrowing from East the West.) In the pioneering period of Assyriology most scholars assumed the primacy of Hebrew ideas over those of the Babylonians. Interestingly, for both Babylonians and Hebrews the Flood marked the end of an age.

An interesting early proponent of astronomical borrowing from Babylonia was Albrecht Weber. Albrecht Weber (1825-1901) was a German Indologist and historian. He was considered one of the outstanding scholars of the latter half of the 19th-century. In 1848, Weber qualified as university professor in Berlin. In 1856 he became an Adjunct (Associate) Professor of the Language and Literature of Ancient India. In 1867 he was appointed full professor. Weber was a member of the Academy of Sciences of Berlin, and was the author of many books and periodical contributions on classical subjects. Weber educated a whole generation of Indologists. Also, he was a close friend of Max Müller. The problem of the chronology of Indian texts induced Weber to study astronomical texts. In his Die vedischen Nachrichten von den Naxatra ("Vedic accounts of the Nakshatras"), published in 2 parts, 1860 and 1861, he concluded (correctly) that the Indian 'lunar mansions,' the nakshatras, could not have originated in China ('lunar lodges') as this type of system was mentioned earlier in India. After studying the semantic development of the word nakshatra in Vedic sources, Weber concluded (incorrectly) that the Indian (and other ?) concept of lunar 'mansions' had been borrowed from Babylonia.

Also, the discovery in 1887 of the cuneiform Tell el-Amarna tablets in Egypt, revealed a network of ruler correspondents had existed in Western Asia. The content of the tablets convinced researchers such as Archibald Sayce that Mesopotamian arts and sciences had dominated the scribal period of the Late Bronze Age throughout the region.

Note: Frank Scherer in his book, The Freudian Orient (2015) writes: "Inspired by the sensational archaeological discovery of a large stele in the acropolis of Susa (now Iran) inscribed with a Babylonian version of of the flood myth that showed astonishing similarities to the flood myth known from the Old Testament (Genesis), all three [i.e., Stucken, Winckler, and Jeremias] promoted "Panbabylonism"." This seems to be a confused reference to the recovery of a black diorite (stone) stele at Susa by a French expedition in 1901. The Stele - removed from Babylon during a raid - contained laws, not a flood myth.

Babel-Bibel Controversy

The babel-bibel controversy was between the emerging discipline of assyriology and its representatives, and Protestant theology and clergy.

Early in the 19th-century research in Assyriology began to instill doubt in devout members of the clergy about the accuracy of biblical history. "As early as 1847, a member of the Anglican church protested against the further prosecution of the excavations in Assyria, being alarmed at the idea that the annals of the Assyrian kings might test the credibility of biblical history." ("Images of Assyria in 19th and 20th Century Scholarship." by (the assyriologist) Eckart Frahm. In: Steven Holloway. (Editor). Assyriology, Orientalism, and the Bible. (2006, Pages 79-94, see pages 78-79.)

For a long time the believed distinctiveness of the religion of Israel was supposed to lie precisely in its seclusion from foreign influences. (Also, it should not be overlooked that during the 19th-century most theological scholars assumed the primacy of Israelite ideas over those of the Babylonians.) The German Orientalist Eberhard Schrader (1836-1908) was the first scholar to publish, in his book Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (1872), a compilation of what he believed were elements in the Old Testament that were borrowed from Babylonian religion. The commentary was arranged by canonical order of the Old Testament books. His commentary moved through each chapter and verse of the Old Testament, stopping at each verse where comparative philology, mythology, geography, or historical examples could shed light. It displayed a wide knowledge of the history of the ancient Near East and also of ancient languages. An English-language translation by Owen Whitehouse, of the second enlarged German edition, appeared in 1885-1888. (The German-language work was subsequently issued in revised form in 1903 by the German Assyriologists Hugo Winckler and Heinrich Zimmern. Needless to say they rewrote it in the interests of Panbabylonism. Schrader's 3rd-edition by Zimmern and Winckler was permeated with the tenets of Panbabylonism. The so-called 3rd edition by Zimmern and Winckler, with Eberhard Schrader's name retained on the title page, has every word originally written by Schrader removed and substituted with those by Zimmern and Winckler.)

Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament by Eberhard Schrader published (2nd expanded edition, 1885-1888) has been described as a model of thorough scholarship that helped lead to the founding of the Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society) in 1898 (which eventually led to the German excavations in Babylon and Assur). In 1899, the Deutsch-Orient Gesellschaft obtained permission from the Ottman authorities to conduct excavations at Babylon - resulting in a 15 year German excavation there. Schrader was a learned scholar and has been described as being free of bias.

For some scholars all Bible problems were to be explained by Babylonian culture, religion, and mythology.

Babel-Bibel proponents have been carelessly identified by many modern historians with the Panbabylonists and the Star-myth School. To identify the Babel-Bibel School with the Panbabylonist School is too simplistic, they were not really identical. To an extent the Babel-Bibel-Streit did originate from the tenets of Panbabylonism. The Panbabylonists held that all major myths throughout the world derived from a system of narratives created in Babylon/Mesopotamia circa 5000-3000 BCE. In the Babel-Bibel diffusionist scheme certain features of stories within the Bible are identified earlier Babylonian literature. However, Panbabylonists such as Alfred Jeremias held that Saul is the moon, David is Marduk, and Solomon is Nabu. Also, according to Jeremias the entire literature, history, theology, and thinking of Israel are the outworking of Babylonian ideas. Everything in Israel is Babylonian."

Panbabylonism became an particular/important feature of the larger Babel-Bibel controversy. The application of Panbabylonism (astral mythology) to the interpretation/explanation of Old Testament figures did not rule out historicity. The historicity of traditions was not denied. But the traditions had been shaped by astral motifs. However, the application of astral mythology acted to demolish the historicity of Old Testament figures.


Discovery of Babylonian Astronomy

The German Jesuit Joseph Epping (1835-1894) was the founder of the study of cuneiform mathematical astronomical texts. In 1876 he was appointed Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at the Jesuit College at Blijenbeck Castle, Holland.

When arriving at Blijenbeck Castle in 1881 to work on his Alphabetisches Verzeichniss (published in 6 parts, 1882-1886) the German Jesuit Johann Strassmaier (1846-1920), an Orientalist and leading pioneer in Assyriological studies, sought the help of Epping to understand the cuneiform mathematical astronomical texts he had been copying in the British Museum since 1878; particularly the ones he had come across that year and several of which were dated.

Epping initially succeeded in 1881 in understanding the concluding columns of a lunar ephemeris (BM 34033). The end results of studying further cuneiform mathematical astronomical texts in the British Museum that were copied by Strassmaier were published by Epping in his small book Astronomisches aus Babylon (1889).

The published works of Epping and Strassmaier, which showed the sophisticated content of late Babylonian astronomy, gave impetus to the Panbabylonian school which uncritically projected it back to earlier periods.

Work by others at this time included statements about Babylonian astronomy and astro-theology. Belief in a high level of Babylonian astronomical knowledge and a system of Babylonian astro-theology preceded the star myth school and Panbabylonism. "Astronomers will welcome this ancient list of festivals, as it proves very clearly the high character of the astronomical knowledge of the Babylonian priests." "The discovery of an important list of solar festivals such as we have here is an important addition to our knoeledge of Babylonian astro-theology." See the short article (an extract from an article in The Times): "Babylonian Sun-Worship.' by Anon (Knowledge, December 30, 1881, Page 174). See also the short correction of inaccuracies by Theophilus Pinches "Sungod Festivals." (Knowledge, Volume 1, January 27, 1882, Pages 278).

Notion of Diffusion from Mesopotamia (2)

In the late 19th-century the idea of cultural diffusion throughout history was influential in Germany. Questions gradually polarised into a debate over polygenesis versus monogenesis. This helped lead the way to Panbabylonism. In 1889 the German Orientalist Carl Lehmann-Haupt (1861-1938), Professor of Ancient History at the University of Innsbruck, submitted a paper titled Das altbabylonische Maass- und Gewichtssystem als Grundlage der antiken Gewichs-, Münz- und Maassysteme [The Old Babylonian System of Volume and Weight as the Foundation of the Ancient System of Weight, Coinage, and Volume] to the 8th International Congress of Orientalists meeting in Stockholm. (See: Actes du Huitième Congrès International des Orientalistes, Tenu en 1889, Section I: Sémitique et de L'Islâm, Pages 165-249.) The paper resulted in the general acceptance of the notion that a single system of measures spread throughout the world by diffusion from Mesopotamia. The further influence of the paper was that it was also reasonable to infer that scientific thinking spread by diffusion from Mesopotamia. Hence, during the 1890s there was the development of the notion of diffusion of culture from Mesopotamia. This was to influence the star-myth school of both Ernst Siecke and Eduard Stucken.

Overall diffusionism originated with a group of Austro-German anthropologists, led by Fritz Graebner and Wilhelm Schmidt. They rejected 19th-century evolutionism in favour of a belief that a few core cultures influenced all later societies. This diffusion, or spreading, of culture traits was believed to be the fundamental influence in human development. By analysing the cultural behaviours and aspects of a society, the diffusionists believed they could determine from which core culture that society derived its civilization. Because the diffusionists called the original ancient civilizations "kulturkreise" (or "cultural clusters") they were also known as the kulturkreise school of anthropology. Later, a British group of diffusionists, led by Grafton Elliot Smith and William J. Perry, argued that only one civilization was responsible for all cultural development. The English hyper-diffusionist writers Smith and Perry replaced Panbabylonism with an equally all-embracing Pan-Egyptionism. They believed that the civilization fitting their theory was ancient Egypt and that ideas were spread throughout the world from ancient Egypt, by voyagers who were seeking precious jewels. This theory was called the Manchester, or heliocentric (sun-centred) school of thought. The metaphor of the sun suggested that all cultures radiated from only a single source. The diffusionist approach to anthropology was dominant in early 20th-century Europe. However, it was thought to be an inadequate theory by later scholars because it disregarded important geographical and psychological differences in culture.

Evolutionists believed in a 3-step model of cultural evolution: a 'magical' stage is replaced by a 'religious' stage, which gives way to a 'scientific' stage. Diffusionism did not completely shed its evolutionist associations. Most diffusionists still believed that change generally led progress and increased 'sophistication.'

Panbabylonism and diffusion

For the Panbabylonists, all myths are concerned with the movements of the sun, the moon, the planet Venus, and precession- and originated in Mesopotamia. This system – held to be completely developed in Mesopotamia by 3000 BCE – was then diffused over the whole earth, being found even today in the myths of the 'primitives.' The Panbabylonists saw evidence of this diffusion in the astronomical knowledge they believe was implied in mythological systems (i.e., naturistic origin of myths}. They argued that because such scientific observations were impossible for most archaic peoples the knowledge was obtained from elsewhere – a single source. Thus the Panbabylonists linked the naturistic origin of myths in Mesopotamia with their historical diffusion from Mesopotamia. Against opposing viewpoints on the origin of mythology, the Panbabylonists emphasised what they saw as the highly elevated, 'scientific' origin of mythology, and its diffusion even among the so-called most 'primitive' tribes.

Note: Panbabylonian influence in Asia was maintained. At least one Panbabylonist held that Chinese writing is a product of cuneiform script and Chinese culture a Panbabylonian extension.

Astronomical Interpretation of Mythology

The French scholar Charles Dupuis was the founder of astralism and his bloated Origine des tous les cultes: ou, Religion universelle is the ancestor of all modern European works on astral mythology. (19th-century astral mythology has been described as the prototype of 20th-century archaeoastronomy.). Dupuis may have been influenced by astral theories of myth set out in Histoire du ciel [L'histoire du ciel] by Noël-Antoine Pluche (1739), a French priest. Charles Dupuis (1742-1809) and Comte de Volney (Constantin François de Chassebœuf; 1757-1820) (both French scholars) were pioneers in arguing for an astral-mythical interpretation of Jesus and Christianity, and other stories. He was also motivated by the antireligious fervour of post-revolutionary France (the period of the French Revolution dated 1789-1799). Charles Dupuis explained all religious myths as astronomical in origin. Charles Dupuis tried to prove that all primitive religions were evolved from a system of astral mythology originating in Upper Egypt. See: Dupuis, Charles François. (1794/1795). Origine des tous les cultes: ou, Religion universelle. (7 Volumes (in octavo) (appeared 1794) plus 1 Volume of plates (i.e., atlas) (appeared 1795)). Alfred Jeremias acknowledged this books' contribution to the astronomical interpretation of mythology. Jeremias stated that Dupuis had published the 'masterwork' and Stucken and Winckler had made new/additional discoveries about such. Also see the much smaller book: The Ruins by Comte de Volney (1793). In Volney's view, the entire Gospel tradition represented an astral myth.

The development of the astronomical interpretation of mythology basically originated with scholars such as Max Müller (1823-1900) who developed the 'comparative mythology' method of investigation. Müller considered mythologies to be primitive rationalisations of celestial phenomena. In its extreme form, proponents reduced the content of all myths, legends, and even fairy-tales to the eternal contest the sun and night, and also interpreted biblical and early Christian narratives entirely in terms of solar mythology. Eduard Stucken is an example of this type of extreme proponent. Proponents of the 'Naturmythologie' theories drew from Indian writings such as the Rigveda. These texts were considered to be the oldest Indo-European sources. Later Indian commentaries on the Rigveda seemed to confirm that natural phenomena were the actual subjects of myths. This led to the situation where proponents of the 'Naturmythologie' theories felt confident regarding their efforts to retrace the original meanings of myths. Within this conceptual framework even if the myth does not directly mention natural phenomena the researcher assumed that natural phenomena were implied. Also in the early 19th-century some scholars tried to reconstruct the oldest Indo-European religion in a manner similar to that used at the time for the attempted reconstruction of a proto Indo-European language. amongst these early scholars were the Grimm brothers who concentrated on the Old Germanic heritage and employed the German folk tales current at the time, as well as the Edda. The German folk tales collected by the Grimm brothers were considered to be old Germanic myths reduced over time to folk tales. Later followers of the work of the Grimm brothers added the notion of the folk tales as always being remainders of 'Naturmythen.' They believed the knowledge of this had been lost by by the people who conveyed the folk tales. The assumption was that diligent researchers could recover the original meaning which was always nature-related. As example: A torn cloak actually is allegory/code meaning a break in the cloud cover. Obviously the data did not decide the interpretations; as it should. See the Introduction by Jørgen Prytz-Johansen (1911-1989, Danish scholar, historian of religion) to Handbuch der Religionsgeschichte by Jes Asmussen and Jøorgen Laessøe (3 Volumes, 1971-1972).

A somewhat overlooked influence is Henry Rawlinson's mistaken notion that the Babylonians possessed advanced knowledge of the planets. This was uncritically accepted and promulgated by by his brother George Rawlinson (The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World (1879, Pages 571-579)). It resulted in numerous astral interpretations of Mesopotamian myth and religion and helped contribute to Panbabylonism.

Beginning circa 1880 various academics and popular writers began to increasingly publish astronomical interpretations of mythology. (Astralmythologie (to use German term) interpreted religion, myth, and rituals almost exclusively in terms of astronomical events.) For example: Theogonie und Astronomie by Anton Krichenbauer (1881). Krichenbauer (1825-1884), a classical philologist, interpreted Homer's Iliad as an astronomical allegory. The sun-myth theory of Ignác Goldziher, Mythology Among the Hebrews and its Historical Development (1877), depended largely on etymologies and was discredited soon after its appearance. In 1892 the German folklorist Ernst Siecke (1846-1935) published his Liebesgesschichte des Himmels. According to Siecke, myths must be understood literally because their contents always refer to some specific celestial phenomena, namely the forms and movements of the planets, stars, and moon. The result of his numerous publications was that interest in star myths generally and the particular interest in Babylon had a mutual affect on each other and resulted in their combining together. (The pan-lunarisn of Siecke overemphasised the role of the moon in cultures.) Eduard Stucken (Astralmythen, 1896-1907) (at least initially) sought to explain all the mythologies of the world on the basis of supposed astral lore encrypted in Mesopotamian myths.

The astronomical method of interpretation of mythology applied by Eduard Stucken (and later adopted by the key Panbabylonists) was simply the restricted application/extension of the nature method of interpretation of mythology applied by such persons as Wilhelm Schwartz (Friedrich Leberecht Wilhelm Schwartz, 1821-1899). There was actually, however, limited astral interpretation within Stucken's Astralmythen. The title Astralmythen is rather misleading as Stucken only ocasionally discussed (proposed) astronomical mythologies. Stucken's Astralmythen is actually an example of the Comparative School of Mythology in its most extreme form. The roots of Panbabylonism were in comparative mythology. Suzanne Marchand (Down from Olympus (2003)) has described Stucken's Astralmythen as "bizarre." Also, the book was written in an iconoclastic manner. According to Stucken, Abraham is originally the constellation Orion, and Sarah is the star Sirius. Also, Abraham and Sarah are parallel figures to Osiris and Isis in Egyptian mythology. According to Stucken the accounts of Abraham go back to 2 Babylonian sources, the legend of Etana and Istar's Journey to the Underworld. Not a lot is known about what the Panababylonists believed about supposed coding methods and rules. According to Hertha von Dechend's predecessor Eduard Stucken there were formal formulas of astral mythology. In an article on Panbabylonism in The American Journal of Theology, Volume 12, 1908, it is explained that Stucken applied the 'astral' test to the myths of various people. It was believed by Stucken that mythology was converted into a formula for universal application. In the case of Israel this particularly constructed mythology was later demythologized and recast as Biblical historical figures.

Stucken's background is interesting: The German dramaticist and author Eduard Stucken was an exotic and esoteric writer of neo-Romantic tendencies with a predilection for mythological themes. He came from an old Bremen merchant family . After extensive archaeological, philosophical, scientific, linguistic, and ethnological studies he turned to writing. In addition to his plays and historical novels he wrote a series of books on ethnographic and linguistic topics. His Grail sagas were played on German stages at the beginning of the 20th-century.

Eduard Stucken was a nephew of the anthropologist Adolf Bastian. Stucken completed a course in astronomy in Hamburg then went with Robert Koldewey's 1890-1891 German Oriental Society expedition to the Hittite site Sendschirli in northern Syria. On his return to Berlin Stucken studied multiple ancient languages but does not seem to have acquired sufficient knowledge of any. He was not - as some persons believed - a linguist. The first volume of his Astralmythen was published in 1896 and was crammed with philological detail. In it he argued that the origin of all myths (especially Old Testament stories) and art was Assyrian astral sciences. (Like the author's of  Hamlet's Mill (1969) he sought to explain all the mythologies of the world on the basis of supposed astral-lore encrypted in Mesopotamian myths.) The volume was written as his doctoral dissertation but it was rejected. Stucken simply proceeded with additional volumes. In his second volume of Astralmythen published in 1899 he rejected Adolf Bastian's ideas of independent cultural evolution and universal "elementary forms of thinking." (The polymath and pioneering ethnologist/anthropologist Adolf Bastian was Stucken's uncle.) Instead, Stucken argued for the diffusion of all myths from a ur-Babylonian form. After all 5 volumes of his Astralmythen were published (1896-1907) Stucken focussed on writing plays and novels. The Panbabylonists considered Stucken to be a dilettante. Stucken's ideas of astral myths were adopted by the Panbabylonists but usually Stucken's Astralmythen was not cited directly.

Dupuis held to the unity of all ancient religions and the astral origin of all myths. This is substantially the point of view of Eduard Stucken. Stucken, unlike Dupuis, held that all myths diffused to the rest of the world from Babylonia. Any influence of Dupuis on Stucken has not been shown and likely Stucken's ideas were formed independently of his predecessor Dupuis even though broad common agreement exists. Stucken was the originator of the theory of Panbabylonism. The comparative mythographer Stucken was the first to claim that ancient Mesopotamia was the source of a tendency to personify and allegorise the movements of heavenly bodies as mythic projections of the activities of gods/goddesses and from Mesopotamia these mythic interpretations diffused throughout the ancient world as astral mythology and astral religion.

According to Panbabylonists myth originated from ancient Mesopotamian (Babylonian) attempts to articulate growing knowledge of the stars and planets (i.e., Babylonian astrology and astronomy). According to Panbabylonism the mythology of the whole world originated as a system of sun, moon, star, and skylore developed by the Babylonians circa 3000 BCE. Additionally the Panbabylonian school maintained there was a time when Babylonian astronomers circa 5000 BCE began the year with the constellation Gemini, after which came Taurus, followed by Aries, then Pisces. Also represented more or less by Leo Frobenius, a sun-myth advocate, in his book Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes (1904); and by Ernst Siecke (sometimes (mistakenly) spelled Seiche) in the 'Panlunarism' of his Drachenkämpfe (1907). Within 'Panlunarism' the centre of all mythology was believed to be the moon. Representatives of this theory were Eduard Stucken, Georg Hüsing, Hugo Winckler, and Alfred Jeremias.

The excessive speculations of the 'Astralmythologie' school rejected any notions of independent or parallel developments of astronomical knowledge. It was simply assumed that all mythologies were based on astronomical events containing detailed but hidden information that spread throughout the world by cultural diffusion. 

The ill-founded ideas of Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend still affect modern research into the origin of mythology. An example is the ideas of the academic David Pankenier into the basis for early Chinese mythology. Modern adherents to the Panbabylonism that is Hamlet's Mill who uncritically support its interpretations are obviously not familiar with the 19th-century/early 20th-century history of the interpretation of religion and mythology/folk tales. Outside of knowledge of this conceptual framework modern investigators - claiming knowledge and insight - have proceeded to attach whatever interpretations to the data chosen for use.

Charles Dupuis in his Origine des tous les cultes: ou, Religion universelle proposed a common origin and unity of the astronomical and religious myths of ancient peoples. Among the numerous factors that enabled astralism/Astralmythologie to survive into the late 20th-century and present were (1) the abuse of comparative method, (2) the abuse of cross-cultural comparisons, and (3) the lack of contextualised evidence. Contextualised evidence is based on factors that address whether a strategy is useful, feasible to implement, and accepted by a particular community of scholars.

Panbabylonian Theory and Weltanschauung

In the late 1800s some German scholars believed they had the materials and expertise to tackle the big question of of the geographical origins of all myths, religions, and symbols. amongst this group were Friedrich Delitzsch, Fritz Hommel, Eduard Stucken, Hugo Winckler, Peter Jensen, Felix Peiser, Heinrich Zimmern, and later Alfred Jeremias and Ferdinand Bork.

According to Panbabylonism theory myth from its very beginning developed from astronomy - it was a projection of astral phenomena. According to the Panbabylonians it was the supposed old-Babylonian Weltanschauung and culture developed on an astronomical and scientific basis which always underlay religious and cultic symbolism. Further, the Panbabylonian school held that all religious and cultic symbolism derives from the Babylonian world view (Weltanschauung).

According to the Panbabylonians such as Winckler and Jeremias, myth could not have developed an inherently consistent Weltanschauung (which they believed they had identified in Babylonian religion/mythology) if it had originated first/solely from one or more such sources as primitive magical conceptions, dream lore, animistic beliefs, or other superstitions. They believed a Weltanschauung could develop only from a specific concept which was the idea of the world as an ordered whole – and that this condition was fulfilled only in Babylonian astronomy and cosmogony. For the Panbabylonians this particular historical orientation seemed to be a breakthrough which for the first time opened up the possibility of seeing myth not as a product of pure fantasy but rather as an intelligible and self-contained system. However, in the hands of the Panbabylonians, it was a form of a priori assertion (assumption) about the direction and aim of mythological research. The assumption that all myths were of astral origin, and that ultimately they are 'calendar myths,' was the core of the Panbabylonian method. For the Panbabylonists the astral explanation became the 'Ariadne's thread' (= the way of solving a problem with multiple apparent means of proceeding) which alone could offer a suitable pathway through the labyrinth of mythology. This general postulate was repeatedly called upon by the Panbabylonists to fill the gaps in empirical documentation and proof. The discoveries of archives at such places as Ugarit and Ebla, after the demise of Panbabylonism, would have provided the Panbabylonists with much needed 'ammunition.' However, these type of discoveries show it isn't all Ugarit/Ebla and it isn't all Babylonian.

The Panbabylonists maintained that the cuneiform texts showed that at a very early date the Babylonians believed the universe is double. According to the Panbabylonists the early Babylonian (imperial) cosmology comprised a worldview dominated by the equivalence "as above, so below." In actual fact this was a very late belief only.

Dating Problems

In the 1880s 2 Babylonian king lists were published for the first time. However, because of mis-readings and the general uncertain state of interpretation at the time, the first chronological models placed the reigns of kings far too early. With the gradual publication of new lists and datings the estimated dates of their reigns were gradually placed lower. In particular, the time between the estimated rule of Sargon of Akkad and Hammurabi of Babylon began to lessen. Cuneiform chronology began to have the appearance of being somewhat firmly established, but exactness was not suitable achieved until the 2nd half of the 20th-century. Up to circa 1930 Sargon of Akkad was generally believed to have reigned circa 3,800 BCE. This chronological error partly influenced the early dating of Babylonian astronomy by the Panbabylonists to circa 3,000 BCE. During the hey-day of Panbabylonism (early 19th-century) the chronology of early Mesopotamian/Babylonia was in a confused state. Very early dates were mistakenly established (and encouraged by Panbabylonists). (Hammurabi was once dated to circa 2400 BCE. The Mari records indicate that Hammurabi was a contemporary of Shamshi-Adad, who is dated to circa 1700 BCE.) Mesopotamian/Babylonian chronology was not suitably stabilized until circa the 1940s. At the turn of the 19th-century Sargon of Akkad was dated to circa 3,800 BCE until decades later circa 2,350 BCE was confidently established. (In one of his publications Jeremias dated Sargon to 2,650 BCE.) Hermann Hilprecht (who was also a Lutheran minister) had no problem with dating Enshakushanna, an early king of Uruk, to circa 6,500 BCE. The current dating is circa 2,500 BCE. Prior to the 1950s new material always compelled lowering of dates. (See, for example: "A Third Revision of the Early Chronology of Western Asia" by William Albright (Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, Number 88, December, 1942, Pages 28-36).


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Biblical-Near East comparative research in the late 19th-century eventually led to a quite spectacular controversy/debate, beginning early in the 20th-century. It is worth noting that Delitzsch's 1878 acceptance speech ("Keilinschriftenforschung und die Bibel") when he was appointed Professor of Assyriology and Semitic Languages at Leipzig University stressed his view that a close similarity existed between Assyrian-Babylonian religion and the religion of the Bible. (Delitzsch was never a Panbabylonist. Neither did he take any notice of Panbabylonism. He was for the priority of Babylon over the Bible.)

In 1891 the Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern published an article (in Zeitschrift für alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Band 11) in which he claimed that the feast of Purim, mentioned in the Old Testament (only in the Book of Esther), is of Babylonian origin.

In 1892 the Assyriologist Peter Jensen published two articles on Elamite proper names (in Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes) in which he claimed (1) that the names Haman and Vashti in the Book of Esther are the names of Babylonian deities, (2) that the names Mordecai and Esther (in the Book of Esther) are the Babylonian deities Marduk and Ishtar; and (3) Hadassa, a Babylonian word for bride, is another name for Esther. (Writing in 1908, George Barton identified Jensen's 2 articles as the beginning of Panbabylonism. However, several other German scholars published similar articles at this time.)

In March 1894, Paul Haupt presented at a conference of the American Oriental Society the lecture, "History of the Biblical Source." Much of the content matched Delitzsch's later 1902 lecture. Haupt's lecture was later printed in the literary supplement, Ner Hama'aravi, Volume 1, Number 6, June, 1895, Pages 2-10.

In 1895 Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932) published his book, Schöpjung und Chaos, Urzeit und Endzeit. In this study, largely dealing with the New Testament Book of Revelation, Gunkel also attempted the trace the influence of the Babylonian creation-myth in the Old Testament. Gunkel identified analogies between the dragon in the Babylonian creation epic and the dragon in the Book of Revelation. Gunkel sought support in Jensen's arguments concerning Babylonian proper names in the Book of Esther. Also, in 1895 Hugo Winckler published Volume 1 of his Geschichte Israels in Einzeldarstellung. In this volume Winckler viewed the history of Israel from the standpoint of Eberhard Schrader's Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (1872). Between circa 1895 and 1900 Winckler also published various minor writings on the history of Israel from this same standpoint.

In 1896 Heinrich Zimmern published the "Babel-Bibel" pamphlet Vater, Sohn und Fürsprecher in der babylonischen Gottesvorstellung. It presented many ideas that were to be later expressed in 1902 by the German Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch in his lecture series. However, because of limited readership it - and similar publications from a number of other authors in the 1890s - did not create controversy. (Also, in 1896 Stucken's Astralmythen: I, Abraham appeared.)

In 1899 Hugo Winckler published Das alte Westasien. Both this publication and Winckler's earlier Geschichte Israels in Einzeldarstellung (Volume 1, 1895) precipitated the 1902 "Babel-Bibel" controversy by the Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch. (Interestingly, Winckler believed that behind Babylonian polytheism there was actually a doctrine of monotheism that was held by chosen intelligentsia.)

Beginning 1900 (Assyrisch-Babylonische Mythen und Epen), Peter Jensen published a transliteration and translation of the Gilgamesh material with an extensive commentary. Jensen began the argument that the Mesopotamian myths (Gilgamesh in particular) were the foundation for all world folk tales, including the Bible (Jensen later expanded his ideas in 2 large volumes published in 1906 and 1924). For Jensen, Israelite history was simply a series of repetitions of the Gilgamesh story. The story of Jesus Nazareth in the New Testament was simply a retelling of Gilgamesh. Jeremias made the first German translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Zdubar-Nimrud, eine altbabylonische Heldensage, in 1891.

Also, publication of "Himmel, kalender und mythus." by Hugo Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, Zweite Reihe, Band II, 1899, Pages 354-395).

Note: For all those involved in speculation about Babylonian mythology and its spread, the origins and uniqueness of Christianity was a subject that was central to their work.

Star-Myth Movement

The German folklorist Ernst Siecke (1846-1935) was the real founder and most active supporter of the star-myth movement. For Siecke, myths are to be be understood literally because their contents always refer to some specific celestial phenomena. In 1892 Siecke published his Liebesgesschichte des Himmels. This was the first of his many books and pamphlets supporting an astronomical interpretation of mythology. The result of his publications was that interest in star myths generally and the particular interest in Babylon had a mutual affect on each other and resulted in their combining together.

In 1892 the German Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern published a paper "Der Jakobssegen und der Tierkreis." (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Zimmern, Siebenter Band, Pages 161-172) in which he showed his willingness to consider astronomical interpretations of Biblical literature.

The Star-Myth Movement laid emphasis on the predominant importance of the Moon ("Panlunarism") and also the Sun. Another term used for the Star-Myth Movement is the 'Mythological School.' Members of the 'Mythological School' included: Wolfgang Schultz (1881-1936), Georg Hüsing (1869-1930), Leopold von Schroeder (German Indologist; 1851-1920), Robert Bleichsteiner (Viennese ethnologist; 1891-1954), Fritz Röck (Viennese ethnologist; 1879-1953), the 'foreign academics' Walter Anderson (German ethnologist; 1885-1962), Rudolf Geyer (1861-1929), Heinrich Lessmann (1873-1916), Nikolaos Politēs (1852-1921), Wilhelm Roscher (1845-1923), and Heinrich Wossidlo (German (philologist?)). Franz Linnig (1832-1912) can also be included. [Note: It has been very difficult to locate any information about Heinrich Wossidlo excepting a reference to him as a member of the 'mythological school' and a reference to him as a contributing author to the journal Mitra. The key to finally identifying and finding biographical information about H. Wossidlo was a Russian-language booklet/pamphlet dated 1930 mentioning H. Wossidlo (Waren). It is likely he is related (brother?) to the folklorist Richard Wossidlo (1859-1939).]

The astro-mythological school of biblical interpretation began with the publication of Eduard Stucken's Astralmythen. (See the (German-language) book review by ? of Parts1 & 2, 1896-1897, in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Band 1, 1898, Column 114ff.) The German amateur Orientalist Eduard Stucken (1865-1936) began publication of his Astralmythen (5 parts, 1896-1907) on world mythology. (Part 1, 1896, Abraham; Part 2, 1897, Lot; Part 3, 1899, Jacob; Part 4, 1901, Esau; Part 5, 1907, Moses.) The work of Stucken, Astralmythen, Part 1, Abraham, and Part 2, Lot, began the idea that the origin of much of Hebrew culture lies in Babylonian mythology. Stucken had intellectual connections with the star-myth school of Siecke in that he adopted the methods of the star-myth school. However, Stucken (an amateur philologist) knew no restraint and attempted to trace the whole system of world myths (at least those he believed to be astral) back to Babylon. (Stucken claimed an astral character for all myths. Panbabylonim had its inception in Astralmythen. Winckler attributed to Stucken the discovery of the system according to which the astronomical sky is the map for understanding the historical traditions and and myths of past ages. According to Winckler the the map of the sky is the safest guide through the tangled paths of myths and legends. Stucken believed completely in the accuracy of his myth comparison method. However, Stucken's method of comparing myths was, from the beginning, criticised as high fantasy. Stucken believed that all legends word-wide are to be reduced to a creation myth - a primitive legend of the separation of the first parents, Heaven and Earth. According to Stucken the creation myth is comprised of 11 motifs.) It was the work of Stucken that paved the way for the attempt to make Babylonia the prime centre of all religious thought. Stucken held that the Pleiades was the key to the worldwide diffusion of astral myths from Babylonia. On the basis of cuneiform texts Stucken believed he could identify a calendar reform in 2800 BCE as the precise dated when astral myths began diffusing from Babylonia. Stucken believed the calendar reform was connected with a vernal equinox occurring in the constellation "Taurus" (to which the Pleiades belonged) in 3000 BCE. A succession of zodiacal world ages was also part of Stucken's scheme.

The Star-Myth Movement and the Panbabylonian Movement affected each other mutually. The Star-Myth movement was the earlier of the two and the Panbabylonian Movement arose from within its ranks. Eduard Stucken's Astralmythen strongly influenced Hugo Winckler. The entire theory of Panbabylonism received its stimulus from the elaborate work of Stucken, Astralmythen. Panbabylonism adopted the Star-myth school ideas of a highly developed astral-mythological scheme underlying the religions of both the Old and the New Worlds. The Panbabylonists further developed the tenets of the Star-Myth school specifically the mythological studies of Eduard Stucken. The Pleiades and the Zodiac, not the Moon and the Sun, were emphasised in Panbabylonism. The astral interpretation of mythology pioneered by Stucken was taken over and expanded by Winckler and Jeremias. Both Stucken and Winckler maintained the migration theory.

The Elamite scholar Georg Hüsing belonged partly to the Star-Myth School and partly to the Panbabylonian School. Hüsing derived all myths from Elam.

Astronomical Interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic

In the epic of Gilgamesh (Table ix. cols. ii.–iv.) there is mention of 2 giant scorpion-'men,' one male and the other female, terrible giants, keepers of a door.

Alfred Jeremias in his book, Izbubar-Nimrod. Eine Altbabylonische Heldensage (1891, "Das Izdubar-Epos und die Zeichen des Tierkreises" Pages 66-68) proposed that these (were) 2 celestial scorpions - reproduced in Babylonian sculptures - that were the 2 zodiacal constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius. A major problem is Jeremias dating the zodiac to circa 2000 BCE.

Peter Jensen in his book, Assyrisch-Babylonische Mythen und Epen (1900, Pages 205-210); also proposed that these (were) 2 celestial scorpions - reproduced in Babylonian sculptures - that were the 2 zodiacal constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius.


The nature-mythology theory was continued by the astral-mythological school of Panbabylonism, mainly through the work of Hugo Winckler, Alfred Jeremias, and Eduard Stucken.

According to Panbabylonism Babylonian religion was at first purely astral in character. All the world's major religions had their origin in a single astral religion of ancient Mesopotamia (Babylonia) which developed circa 3000 BCE. Alfred Jeremias strongly argued for the diffusion theory of all myths. Within the Panbabylonian school adherents maintained different and sometimes contradictory positions.

The sources for old Babylonian religion included an emphasis on, both actual and imagined, astronomical and meteorological phenomena. When the notion of diffusion was added on we had Panbabylonism. The religious nature of scientific knowledge in ancient Mesopotamia was quickly recognised from the earliest studies of cuneiform scientific texts. This - and building on the claims of the amateur comparative mythologist Stucken - was the foundation for the Panbabylonist claim for the existence of astral religions.

The first person to publish a major work setting out Panbabylonist ideas was Eduard Stucken whose Astralmythen (Part 1) appeared in 1896. It was originally his (abandoned) doctoral dissertation. Stucken sought to prove that all the mythologies of the world were based on astral-lore encrypted in Mesopotamian myths. The theory that astral elements in a variety of religions/mythologies showed they had a common origin was the core of Panbabylonism.

The ideas of the German Assyriologist Hugo Winckler (1863-1913), a Cuneiform Philologist and Professor at the University of Berlin, were to lead to the school of thought termed Panbabylonism. (The term "Pan-Babylonianism" was apparently first used by Alfred Jeremias in 1906. In his Der Einfluss Babyloniens auf das Verstandnis des Alten Testaments (1908, Page 8) (Jeremias preferred to designate the material discussed by the Panbabylonian school as "ancient Oriental lore.") Alfred Jeremias distinguished between Panbabylonism (Panbabylonismus) and Babylonism (Babylonianism).) Panbabylonism was largely spread through the efforts of Winckler. (The term "Panbabylonism" was actually coined by the critics of the Winckler-Jeremias school of astral diffusion from Babylon but became adopted by them.) Winckler was to become the leader of the main Panbabylonist movement (distinct from episodes such as Friedrich Delitzsch and the Babel-Bibel controversy, and the independence of the German Assyriologist and Panbabylonist Peter Jensen). Winckler began actively propounding his developing theories all through the 1890s. At the beginning of 1890 Winckler had not systematically worked out the details to his approach to comparative mythology. He produced and edited the periodicals Altorientalische Forschungen (3 volumes, 1893-1906), and Kritische Schriften (6 volumes, 1898-1907) which were the original mouth pieces for his emerging Panbabylonist views. His early book Geschichte Babyloniens und Assyriens (1892) also marked the start of his emerging Panbabylonist views.

By the early 19th-century the Panbabylonists were claiming Babylonian and also other foreign influences on all parts of the Bible. In the early 1900s the astral school of Panbabylonism was formed by Stucken, Jensen, Jeremias, Zimmern, and Winckler. (However, Stucken did not pursue an active role with anybody, and Jensen was outside the initial group cooperation comprising Winckler, Jeremias, and Zimmern. Jensen's approach was distinctly different to that of Winckler-Jeremias. Jensen combined the literary-critical method of his day with Panbabylonism. He limited his focus to the Gilgameš Epic and endeavoured to demonstrate it themes and a series of motifs were everywhere in ancient literature (including both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible).) Jensen argued that the Mesopotamian myths (Gilgamesh in particular) were the foundation of all world folk tales. (Note: Peter Jensen's translations of the Epic of Gilgamesh and many other literary compositions has been described by the modern-day assyriologist Andrew George as an extraordinary feat of scholarship.) Other scholars supporting Panbabylonism held mostly non-astral views (or limited astral views) and believed that Babylon had influenced/shaped Israel's civilisation, history, and literature.

Steven Holloway (2002) has stated that Winckler's diffusionist model was likely inspired by the ideas of Georg Creuzer set out in his Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Völker besonders der Griechen (1822, 1-Volume edition). Interestingly, Creuzer claimed that myth was a universal religion sustained by a priestly class.

Generally, the key Panbabylonists (Winckler and Jeremias) tried to show that the most important mythologies and world views of other peoples originated from an ancient system of astral myths diffused from Babylon. (Previously, Eduard Stucken believed he could show the existence of astral myths in all parts of the world.) Hugo Winckler held that all world myth originated from Babylonian astral religion which had originated circa 3000 BCE. Both Winckler and Jeremias held to the "analogy doctrine" of similarities between Mesopotamia and Israel that were borrowed by Israel from Mesopotamia. Peter Jensen's approach to establishing the case for Panbabylonism was distinctively different. Jensen held that virtually the entire bible was a rewriting of the Akkadian Gilgamesh Epic. According to Jensen, Israelite history in the Bible, and the story of Jesus of Nazareth, were simply a series of repetitions (a rewriting) of the Epic of Gilgamesh. He attempted to prove that the prominent figures and key narratives in the Old Testament were based on literary influences from the Epic of Gilgamesh. His case for Panbabylonism made almost exclusive use of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Peter Jensen held that Mesopotamian myths, in particular the Epic of Gilgamesh, were the source of all the mythological patterns (world folk tales) in world literature (including the Bible). According to Jensen's hyperdiffusionist hypothesis all mythological motifs in world literature were derivations of the Gilgamesh Epic, which in itself was astralmythology.

Panbabylonism was in conflict with the evolutionism of the Wellhausen school and was viewed as an attempt to overthrow it. Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918) was an eminent German biblical scholar. Wellhausen's, Prolegomena zur Geschitche Israels (Prolegomena to the History of Israel), published in 1878 as Geschichte Israels, then in 1883 with the changed title, is a detailed synthesis of existing views on the origins of the first 6 books of the Old Testament. Wellhausen placed the development of these books into a historical and social context. This approach, called the documentary hypothesis, remained the dominant model among biblical scholars until circa the early 20th-century. The Wellhausen school was founded upon detailed critical investigations of sources and, in regard to the history of religion, an evolutionary standpoint. Wellhausen and his school considered Judaism as a post-Israelite creation. The Panbabylonian school considered Judaism to be a pre-Israelite Babylonian creation. Winkler's work was considered an independent attempt to prove that the archaeological data gained from Babylonian sources overthrow the Wellhausen school. Panbabylonism very much had the effect of being a weapon for undermining the Wellhausen school of Old Testament criticism. Panbabylonism also replaced the Higher Criticism. (However, the Panbabylonism espoused by Winckler proved to be an unsatisfactory substitute for the Wellhausen school of Old Testament criticism. The astral theories were burdened with serious improbabilities.) See Winckler's booklet criticising the Wellhausen School: Religionsgeschichtler und geschichtlicher Orient by Hugo Winckler (1906).

According to some commentators Panbabylonism was involved in replacing Europe's "Ancient Model" (Egypt-Greece-Rome model) of historiography with the "Aryan" (India-Mesopotamia-Babylon-Assyria) model.

Winckler's periodicals Altorientalische Forschungen (3 Volumes, 1893-1906) and KritischeSchriften (6 Volumes, 1898-1907) were his earliest publications for his developing Panbabylonism.

The Orientalistische Literaturzeitung was founded in 1898. It is the oldest international review journal covering the field of Oriental studies. (The sympathy of the early editors of OLZ for Panbabylonism is clear in OLZ, Number 12, 1909, Columns 521-527.).

The founding of the Gesellschaft für vergleichende Mythenforschung in 1906

At the beginning of the 20th-century the so-called 'Star Myth'/'Astral-mythological' and Panbabylonian schools became popular in Germany. Although the supporters of either originally representing 2 independent approaches, their basic beliefs were similar. In 1906 the supporters of both schools founded the Gesellschaft für vergleichende Mythenforschung (Society for the Study of Comparative Mythology) in Berlin. The first volume published by the society was Ernst Siecke's, Drachenkämpfe: Untersuchungen zur indogermanischen Sagenkunde (1907).

(2) Heyday:

Panbabylonism flourished in Germany between 1900 and 1914. Indeed the Panbabylonists were almost confined to Germany. (Off-shoots of Panbabylonism did appear in England and North America. At the beginning of the 19th-century the Anglican Church retained sufficient supremacy over biblical studies to ensure that Babel-Bibel issues and Panbabylonism remained 'Germanisms' that were not widely adopted in Britain.) Though the founder of the main Panbabylonist movement was Hugo Winckler its short though virulent popularity was largely due to the writings of the German Archaeologist Alfred Jeremias. (Hugo Winckler has been described as the unsuspecting founder of Panbabylonian school of thought. He sided with the diffusionists and argued for monogenesis. It was Winckler who brought coherence to the tenets of Panbabylonism.) Jeremias was a great admirer of Winckler and untiring in both his promotion and defence of Winckler's views on Panbabylonism. The claim that moderate Panbabylonism was represented by Alfred Jeremias seems misplaced.

The initial core of staunch Panbabylonists consisted of Eduard Stucken, Hugo Winckler, Heinrich Zimmern, and Alfred Jeremias. Heinrich Zimmern was not as combative as the other. The Panbabylonists were never an entirely cohesive group. (Simo Parpola has stated that the original group of Panbabylonians consisted of Hugo Winckler, Alfred Jeremias, and Heinrich Zimmern. However, Eduard Stucken and Hugo Winckler had collaborated on a number of publications.) Their ranks were later added to by Peter Jensen (whose Panbabylonist arguments remained largely independent from those of the Winckler-Jeremias school) and Ernst Weidner. (Winckler, Jeremias, and Zimmern had all studied Assyriology at the University of Leipzig under Friedrich Delitzsch. Jeremias spent most of his working life as a Lutheran pastor in Leipzig. As a student he had studied both Assyriology and Theology.) They can be considered an extreme wing of the astral myth school.

Stucken bases his assertions upon motifs (individual elements) of the legends. Stucken's method was to identify motifs within Mesopotamian stories and then identify correspondences. Stucken based his theory on certain similar features of narratives/myths. According to Stucken the motifs diffused and the personages attached to them likely varied within different cultures. Whilst he collected a huge number of (loose) parallels from all over the world they largely remain unconvincing. These parallels are often only very incidental. As example, Stucken was unconcerned when matching motifs whether certain features of a historical tale were analogous to certain features of a mythical story. Winckler's distinctive emphasis was the identification of number symbolism. Hugo Winckler found ultimate significance in an abstract mathematical scheme. Distinctive in Winckler's particular version of Panbabylonism was the emphasis/importance he gave to its "number theory." He claimed that this has come down to us in the Pythagorean teaching (which was simply a product of the ancient Near East). Winckler's approach to Panbabylonism was gradually transformed by Jeremias. Jeremias placed emphasis on astral symbolism. Jeremias focused on what he believed was astral symbolism. However, like Winckler, whose methods he adopted, he emphasises in his mythological arguments the role played by numbers. (Later, Jensen was to distinctively emphasise the influence of the Gilgamesh myth. For Jensen, Bible narratives in which he believed he could detect traces of the Gilgamesh saga were unhistorical. He also regarded important events in the gospel stories of Jesus as forms of the Gilgamesh myths. The 4 gospels were "mythographs." Both Jensen and Zimmern failed to distinguish between documents approximately contemporary with the events they record and documents which are centuries removed from the events they describe.) 


Discovery of Babylonian Astronomy

In 1900 the German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer Franz Kugler (1862-1929) Franz Kugler published his first study of Babylonian astronomy Die Babylonische Mondrechnung which brilliantly extended the previous work of Epping. By the end of the decade Kugler, a chemist by training who was appointed to teach mathematics and astronomy at Ignatius College in Valkenburg, had become a competent Assyriologist and single-handedly, and in scholarly isolation, demolished the tenets of the Panbabylonist movement. Kugler showed that Panbabylonian claims were established upon their ignorance of Babylonian astronomy and 'astrology.' Most of his academic life was dedicated to the interpretation of cuneiform texts dealing with astronomy and with the related topics of chronology and mythology. The main characteristic of his method was the application of mathematical rigor for which he is still considered unsurpassed today.

Babel-Bibel Controversy

The appearance of Winckler's Geschichte Israels, Teil II. The Panbabylonian school conceived the Babel-Bibel controversy later articulated by Friedrich Delitzsch. Winckler, in his Geschichte Israels (Volume II, 1900), built his ideas on astral mythology largely upon the recurrence of characteristic numbers. As example: In his view the 4 wives of Jacob are the 4 phases of the moon; the 12 sons are the 12 months; the 7 children of Leah are the gods of the days of the week; the 300 pieces of silver given to Benjamin are the 30 days of the last month; the 5 changes of raiment are the 5 intercalary days. The 318 men with which Abraham put to flight the armies of Cherdolaomer and his allies are the 318 days during which the moon is visible during the year.

Other German scholars at the beginning of the 20th-century argued for all cosmology and other cultural beliefs coming from Babylon. "Some scholars, as for instance Winckler, Zimmern, Jensen, Delitzsch, extend this Babylonian influence both to form and to substance, claiming Babylonian origin for practically every Hebrew belief, rite, custom, and law. It will be remembered, from the so-called Babel-Bible controversy, that Professor Delitzsch claimed Babylonian origin even for the name of Jahwe—and in our next study we shall see that almost every feature in the picture of Christ is traced back to Babylon—so that there remains hardly anything which could be considered specifically Hebrew. According to these scholars, the historical books of the Old Testament are pamphlets with a religio-political tendency. Their religious aim is to inculcate the teaching of monotheism; their political object, to demonstrate the religious claims of the reigning dynasties. The prophets, according to this view, were the political advance-agents of Babylonian imperialism, hired to make Babylonian supremacy plausible to the Hebrews as having been decreed by Jahwe." (Some Recent Phases of German Theology by John Nuelsen (1908, Pages 34-35).)


The foundations of the whole Panbabylonian system were laid (with some reserves) by Winckler. At the end of volume 2 of his Geschichte Israels (1900) Winckler set out for the first time the mythological and astronomical tenets of the Panbabylonian system. In volume 2 of his Geschichte Israels Winckler proclaims that Stucken's astral interpretation of myths is a great discovery and a most reliable guide to understanding myths and legends. The Panbabylonians, from Stucken onwards, engaged in far-fetched analogies between astral phenomena and Biblical figures. In volume 2 of his Geschichte Israels Winckler's initial ideas focused on Israelite legends. In this volume Winckler adopted and extended Stucken's point of view set out in the published parts of Astralmythen. In volume 2 of his Geschichte Israels Winckler maintained that a large astral entered into Israel's early national stories. Winckler sought to identify moon gods, sun gods, astral goddesses, and moon goddesses in the biblical stories spanning from Abraham to Solomon. Babylonian astral cult  was seen as the origin of religion. (The bible scholar Sigmund Mowinckel made the point that one of the things the Panbabylonians lacked was sufficient knowledge of general comparative history of religions.) However, Winckler built his argument more upon the recurrence of characteristic numbers than upon parallel motifs. As example: The four wives of Jacob are the four phases of the moon; the twelve sons of Jacob are the twelve months; the seven children of Leah are the gods of the days of the week; Lot is associated with Abraham so the two must be Gemini; Abraham's wife Sarah is also his sister and so are identical with Tammuz and Ishtar (who in Babylonian mythology were similarly related to each other).

Both Winckler and Jeremias (and Stucken) had intellectual connections with the star-myth school of Siecke. Their Panbabylonism movement can be considered a special part of it which put forward particular tenets of their own. Stucken's work attracted the attention of Winckler. Winckler's Panbabylonism owed much to the volumous work Astralmythen (5 parts) by his pupil Stucken (which also had connections to the Star-Myth School of Siecke). It was the work of Stucken which laid the foundations for the Panbabylonist attempt to make Babylonia the prime centre of all religious thought (and grounded in an astral philosophy). (However, similar "Babel-Bibel" conceptions of the Old Testament antedate both these authors.) Stucken (who had studied assyriology but was essentially a writer, artist, and dramatist) had uncritically reached the conclusion that all sagas of all peoples can be traced back to the astral myths, such as the creation-myth, of the Babylonians. Stucken's method was to define myths by their motifs, not by persons or types, and he maintained that as it was motifs that were passed from people to people then only motifs could be used for the purposes of comparison. (A motif is a small narrative unit recurrent in tales. The same motif in different cultures may hold vastly different meanings.)

The basic astral-myth tenets of Panbabylonism were fixed prior to the large-scale decipherment of Babylonian mathematical astronomical texts. The task of the decipherment of Babylonian mathematical astronomical texts was first begun with the pioneering work of Franz Kugler. The task of fully understanding their intellectual context would only begin nearly 100 years after Kugler began his pioneering work.

To some degree Panbabylonism originates out of an initial low regard shown by theologians and Biblical specialists in Germany and other parts of Europe to Assyriology. (At first most scholars assumed the primacy of Israelite ideas at the expense of the Babylonians. Many pioneering assyriologists were also Biblical scholars.) At the same time there was a growing desire by some German Assyriologists for increasing recognition in Biblical studies and to independent of Biblical studies. Biblical theology was viewed by some German Assyriologists as encroaching dangerously on the emerging field of Assyriology. Panbabylonism represented a break and a new frontier. The initial trigger for Assyriological self-assertion beginning in earnest has been identified as the publication of the 1st part of Eduard Stucken's Astralmythen in 1896. It is identified that the conclusive event that ultimately gave Assyriology the academic recognition that it had been lacking was Friedrich Delitzsch's controversial public lectures beginning in 1902. (Steven Holloway (Orientalism, Assyriology and the Bible (2006) attributed Panbabylonism to "sweeping neo-romantic diffusionist models.")



Panbabylonism was perhaps first (formally) proposed in the 1901 essay "Die altbabylonische Weltanschauung." by Hugo Winckler, that appeared in the influential (conservative) monthly journal for politics, history, and literature, Preussische Jahrbücher [= Prussian Yearbook/Almanac] (May, 1901) then edited by Hans Delbrück (1848-1929), Professor of History at the University of Berlin, and military historian. Winckler proposed an original Babylonian astralmythology from circa 3000 BCE exerting a worldwide influence. Stucken's 1st part of Astralmythen presented his key to Near Eastern mythology, and this captured Winckler's imagination. It provided the impetus for Winckler to form his own version of Babylonian astral mythology and its diffusion. It was Winckler who provided the drive and systematicity that brought cogency and order to the Panbabylonist project. Stucken's enormous collection of suggestive but loose/incidental parallels became, with Winckler, a well-worked-out 'scientific' scheme for understanding the ancient civilizations and cultures of the world. 

In 1901 Winckler published the booklet Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier. The star-myth aspect of Winckler's Panbabylonism was only fully adopted with this publication - which was written for a nonspecialist audience. The booklet was very influential within Germany. Outside of Germany the publication attracted very little attention and remained obscure. Winckler contended that the zodiac was recognised when the spring equinoctial constellation was the "Twins" circa 4000 BCE. Also, Winckler believed he had worked out an important element of the ancient "world conception" in the formula Himmelsbild ist Welt and he used the term Entsprechungstheorie to describe the formula as the "theory of correspondence." (See also Winckler's: Die Weltanschauung des Alten Orients (1904).) Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier caught the attention of the Assyriologist Alfred Jeremias who quickly became the major proponent of Panbabylonism.

In his lengthy pamphlet, Arabisch-Semitisch-Orientalisch. Kulturgeschichtlich-mythologische Untersuchungen. (1901) Winckler claimed to have found an astro-mythological basis for many of the stories of early Mohammedanism.


Peter Jensen was a harsh critic of Winckler's booklet Himmels- und Weltenbild der Babylonier. Felix Peiser promptly came to Winckler's defense in print after Jensen's bitter critique. Peiser was a key promoter of the works of Hugo winckler whom he had met at the University of Leipzig and befriended. 


Babel-Bibel Controversy

The Babel-Bibel controversy involved the extent to which the text of the Bible was dependent on Babylonian culture. The Bible had traditionally been considered the oldest book. However, the new field of Assyriology was presenting new knowledge that predated the Bible.

The "Babel-Bibel" controversy broke out in 1902 over 2 (public) lectures by the German Assyriologist (Semitist/Semiticist) Friedrich Delitzsch (1850-1922). (The lectures were aided by lantern slides.) The invitations for Delitzsch to deliver the first and second lectures were a kind of 'command performance' of German élites (business, government and military leaders) with nationalistic aims. Delitzsch, 51 years old at the time, had established through his numerous publications a reputation as a leading Semitic scholar (and ancient historian). Delitzsch has rightly been called one of the founders of modern Assyriology. He put the emerging discipline of assyriology on an equal footing with biblical studies. Delitzsch gave a set of lectures on "Babylon [Babylonia] and the Bible" before the German Oriental Society (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft). The 1st public lecture was delivered in January (actually January and February), 1902, in Berlin's renowned Music Academy (Singakademie), in the presence of the German Emperor Wilhelm II and numerous members of the court. Also included in the audience were business elite, military personnel, scholars and pastors. (Kaiser Wilhelm II was President of the German Oriental Society , and was always present for the annually held lectures on Mesopotamia.) Delitzsch's lecture did not contain any original discovery or insights. Most of the lecture material was based on studies by British and French scholars. Within the content of his lecture, Delitzsch described Babylonia as the ancient source of Western culture. The Kaiser enjoyed the 1st lecture and asked for it to be repeated privately. (Delitzsch repeated the lecture on February 1 in the Royal Palace at Berlin.) Between the 1st and 2nd lectures Delitzsch visited the Near East. A year later the 2nd public lecture was delivered in January, 1903 (and largely consisted of an answer to his critics). The 2nd, even more inflammatory, lecture (Delitzsch's radical criticism of the New Testament was contained in his 2nd lecture) was delivered in the presence of the emperor and the empress, and an even more distinguished audience of friends and foes. (Most of the controversy arose out of the content of the 2nd lecture - certainly the international controversy.) Because Delitzsch deviated into theology the Kaiser was not supportive and rebuked Delitzsch for the content and tone of his 2nd lecture. (Kaiser Wilhelm II was the titular head of the Lutheran Church.) It is considered doubtful whether Friedrich Delitzsch's positions in the "Babel-Bible" controversy were actually inspired by theology. The 'big picture' point Delitzsch had made was to challenge the Old Testament's origin in divine revelation. The eventual series of 3 lectures delivered between 1902 and 1904 was titled "Babel und Bible" ("Babylonia and the Bible"). (The German Emperor invited Delitzsch to repeat the (first) lecture for the Empress 2 weeks later at the Royal Palace.) The second public lecture, also delivered in the presence of the German Emperor, was given in January, 1903. It mainly comprised an answer to his critics. Delitzsch's lecture series was subsidised by the German Oriental Society (founded in 1898). The 3rd lecture took place over 3 separate evenings at the end of October and the beginning of November, outside Berlin. Delitzch's 3rd Babel-Bibel lecture is regarded as infamous. The 3rd and final lecture in the series was presented on October 27th and 28th before the literary societies of Barmen and Köln respectively. The final presentation was given before the Verein für Geographie und Statistik in Frankfurt am Main. The Kaiser was not present for the 3rd lecture.

The high profile of the Babel-und-die-Bibel-Streit was contributed to by the interest of Wilhelm II in it. (Even the Kaiser himself argued that Jesus was a non-Jew who actually opposed the message of the Old Testament.)

Note: Delitzsch (and others) preferred to give the name Babylonia to the cultures of Mesopotamia. The name Babylonia is applied to any of the succession of southern Mesopotamian states (circa 2000-540 BCE) having Babylon as their principal city. The name given to the discipline dealing with the history of Mesopotamia, Assyriology/assyriology, was derived from the name of Assyria.

The "Babel und Bibel" lectures series and resulting pamphlets containing the lectures contained little that was new to scholars. (Public lectures given by Delitzsch prior to 1902 contained similar views but did not generate controversy.) Rather it was the emphasis that Delitzsch placed on his claims for the superiority of Babylonian religion over Israelite religion that quickly brought "Babel und Bibel" to attention. (Delitzsch never retreated from his original Babel-Bibel views.)

Delitzsch argued against the independence of the Old Testament. He argued that Israelite traditions were directly dependent on earlier Babylonian traditions. Like the Panbabylonians, Delitzsch argued for an exclusive emphasis on the importance of Mesopotamia for human religion and culture. For Delitzsch, Babylon was the starting-point for the whole of European culture up to the present time. The lectures by Delitzsch brought Panbabylonism into the public arena. Previously the idea of Panbabylonism had been limited to discussions among academics specialising in Assyriology or Biblical studies. In academic circles discussions about Babylonian culture went far beyond theology and involved the origin of the natural sciences. (By 1902 Panbabylonism was well established amongst German assyriologists and bible scholars. It was the German Panbabylonists who asked Delitzsch to present his ideas on such in his 1902 lectures.) In his two public lectures Delitzsch attempted to demonstrate the Babylonian origins for many Old Testament beliefs. (Both were published as pamphlets. Babel und Bibel ein Vortrag (1903) and Zweiter Vortrag über Babel und Bibel (1903). More than 60,000 copies of the first pamphlet were printed, and more than 45,000 copies of the second pamphlet were printed. Note: The number of printed copies of Delitzsch's first lecture, which is given as "more than 60,000 copies" is the total number of different, modified and extended editions.) The "Babel-Bibel" debate was a debate between scholars. Basically the initial reaction against the views expressed by Friedrich Delitzsch was that of conservative German protestantism. The anti-Semitic aspect of the views expressed by Delitzsch within his arguments did not really heighten until 1908. (Note: The only detailed assessment of Delitzsch's publications for anti-Jewish bias was published by Reinhard Lehmann. (Lehmann, Reinhard. (1994). Friedrich Delitzsch und der Babel-Bibel-Streit.) From his critical analysis of modifications and add-ons in various passages in several passages Lehmann demonstrated that the shift in Delitzsch's attitude from a pro-Jewish (in 1900/1902) towards an anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic bias took place after the Babel-Bibel series, the turning point being somewhere in the years 1907/1908 (but not earlier), under the influence of the "prophet of Germanic religion" Wilhelm Schwaner (1863-1944).) The Babel und Bibel lectures of Delitzsch raised a furor in Germany. (If the German Emperor had not been present at the 1902 lecture then it is likely that scant attention would have been given to the lecture series. "Had the German Emperor not been in the main the advertising and press agent of the advocate of Panbabylonianism little attention would have been paid the lectures of the renowned Berlin Assyriologist. His material was certainly anything but new." (The Advocate, Volume 45, 1913, Page 5.) This was also the opinion of Paul Haupt.) The "Babel-Bibel Streit" ("Babel Bible Controversy") (more fully, Babel-und-die-Bibel-Streit = Babylon and the Bible Controversy) begun by Delitzsch was the most public controversy of the time. The "Babel-Bibel" controversy was at its height in throughout 1903 and began to subside in 1904. (A 3rd and final lecture was given in October, 1904.) However, Old Testament studies have been constantly beleaguered by by a number of similar attempts to demonstrate/prove parallels with ancient Near Eastern Culture and religion ever since.

Yaacov Shavit and Mordechai Eran (2007) make the point that the Babel-Bibel controversy was a public scholarly controversy. It was not waged in the pages of professional journals or by private correspondence between scholars. The flood of oppositional articles that followed the 1903 and 1903 lectures by Delitzsch only decreased after the 3rd lecture in 1904. Delitzsch estimated that by 1904 the response (in Germany and other countries) had totalled 1350 brief articles, 300 lengthy articles, and 28 pamphlets. Bibel und Babel [The Bible and Babylon] by Eduard König (1902) (English translation 1905) was, at the time of its publication, deemed the principle rebuttal of Delitzsch. A book review (recension) by Hugo Winckler appeared in a supplement of the Norddeutsche Allgemeine dated August 3, 1902.

Some people took Panbabylonism to be a form of anti-semiticism - specifically Friedrich Delitzsch's 'Babel-Bibel' stream. The anti-semitic use of Panbabylonism was promoted by Delitzsch who basically sought to prove that the Jews were copiers and corruptors of Babylonian civilisation. Delitzsch was anti-semitic in that he wanted to show that Aryan cultures rather than Semitic cultures laid the foundation for civilisation. Delitzsch argued that because Assyria was an older Aryan culture than the Semitic world of the Bible it was necessarily more influential.

The 1902 lectures by Delitzsch intensified the Babel-Bibel aspect of the Panbabylonism of both Winckler and Jeremias. (Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel view were part of the Panbabylonism movement supported by Winckler.) For several years after 1902 Winckler and Jeremias emphasised biblical studies. After 1902 the application of the Panbabylonian theory to the narrative of the Old Testament is made in detail by both Winckler and Jeremias. In this manner the publications of the Panbabylonists served to continue the Babel-Bibel debate. The Winckler-Jeremias school held that the astral conception of the world and of religion was known in Canaan and was expressed by the Israelite writers in the Old Testament stories especially. The Winckler-Jeremias school held that substantial Biblical narratives are presented under astral forms. (See also, apart from Geschichte Israels (Volume 2, 1900) by Winckler; Winckler in the first half of Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (3rd edition) edited by Schrader; Zimmern in the second half of Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament (3rd edition) edited by Schrader; and Jeremias in Das Alte Testament.)

In the Johns Hopkins University Circular Volume XXII, Number 163, June 1903, Paul Haupt published "Bible and Babel" claiming all the heterodox views expressed in Germany by Delitzsch in his lectures had already been promulgated by Haupt himself at various periods during the last 24 years. However, even if the case, both Delitzsch and Haupt were only elaborating what they derived from the works, writings, and oral remarks of Henry Rawlinson and George Smith regarding the Creation and Deluge tablets.

Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species (1859) had indirectly discredited the account of human origins in Genesis. Friedrich Delitzsch's "Babel und Bibel" lectures comprised a major blow to the textual and historical authority of the Bible. However, in the early 20th-century greater ecclesiastical attention was given to evolutionary thought.

Publication of: Jeremias, Alfred. (1902). "Das Gilgameš-Epos in der israelitischen Legende." (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie. Band 16).


Publication of the pamphlet Die babylonische Kultur in ihren Beziehungen zur unsrigen (1902, 54 pages) by Hugo Winckler marks the beginning of numerous publications over the next decade by the group of German scholars who would become known as Panbabylonists. The pamphlet is mainly a popularisation of earlier investigations by Eduard Stucken and Hugo Winckler of Babylonian mythology and astrology.

By 1902 the twin themes of Babylonian influence on the Bible (from George Smith in 1872 through to Friedrich Delitzsch in 1902) and diffusion from Babylon (from Carl Lehmann-Haupt in 1889, through Ernst Siecke in 1892, through to Eduard Stucken in 1896) had been absorbed into the Panbabylonism of Winckler and Jeremias. Before the 1902 lectures by Delitzsch interest in the Panbabylonism of Winckler was confined to limited academic circles in Germany. Delitzsch made public the views of many Assyriologists, who now publicly espoused to a school of thought called 'Panbabylonism,' championed by Hugo Winckler, who argued that all world myths were reflections of Babylonian astral religion which had developed about 3000 BCE. After the 1902 lectures by Delitzsch the Panbabylonism of Winckler went to extreme lengths in its reduction of the Old Testament to dependency of Babylonian astral mythology.

The beginning of the astronomical interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic by Peter Jensen. Publication of "Das Gilgamis-Epos und Homer. Vorlaufige Mitteilung." in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Sechzehnter Band [Band 16], 1902, Pages 125-134; and "Das Gilgamis-Epos in der israelitischen Legende." in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Sechzehnter Band [Band 16], 1902, Pages 406-412.

Star-Myth Movement

Publication of "Beiträge zur orientalischen Mythologie." by Eduard Stucken (Mitteilungen der vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, 1902, Volume 7, Number 4 [72 pages]).


Das Gilgamis-Epos in seiner Bedeutung für Bibel und Babel by Chr[istian?]. Dieckmann (1902) is a typical example of the uninformed responses rejecting the claims made by Friedrich Delitzsch. The book comprises a series of lectures by Dieckmann, a self-proclaimed "country parson" ("Landpfarrer") residing in Niederaudenhain, Sachsen (Saxony), Germany, with no training in Assyriology or languages. See: "Kritik über Dieckmann's »Das Gilgamis-Epos in seiner Bedeutung für Bibel und Babel«," Berliner philologische Wochenschrift, 1903, Number 31/32, Sp. 1001. [A weekly publication, issued 1884-1920.] Also, see the book review of his apologetic polemic in Theologische Revue, February, 1903.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

The 3rd revised edition of Die Keilinschriften und das Altes Testament (1903) by the German Orientalist Eberhard Schrader (1836-1908) was rewritten by the co-editors Hugo Winckler and Heinrich Zimmern in the interests of Panbabylonism.

Publication by Hermann Gunkel of Zum religionsgeschichtlichen Verständniss des Neuen Testaments (1903). In this radical book Gunkel claimed that the eschatology of the Old Testament prophets and psalmists contain numerous mythological elements traceable to Babylonia. He believed that Israelite eschatology was borrowed from a fully developed Babylonian eschatology. He also regarded the figure of the Jewish Messiah as mythological and of Babylonian origin. The Jewish belief in the resurrection is traced by Gunkel to Egyptian and Persian influence. Astral elements are also introduced to explain apocalyptic material. Many statements connected with the story of Jesus in the gospels are seen as having a mythological basis. (Hermann Gunkel’s bible commentaries (on Old Testament books) were an important source for the spread of academic support for Panbabylonism to England and the USA.)

Publication by Wilhelm Bousset of Religion des judentums im neutestamentlichen Zeialter (1903). In the final chapter Bousset claimed that the Hebrews borrowed certain stories from Babylonia as well as astronomy, astrological fatalism, and magic. Bousset also claimed that later Jewish religion took their belief in Satan, and the legends of the Antichrist, from the Persian religion.

In England, where the Panbabylonist theory had received a great deal of public attention, the London Times of February 25,1903, printed a letter in which Wilhelm II answered those who wondered whether he had performed his imperial duty of upholding the Christian faith.


After 1900 Winckler found a vigorous and efficient ally in Alfred Jeremias. In his booklet Im Kampfe um Babel und Bibel (1903) Alfred Jeremias first fully and emphatically accepted the hypotheses of the mythological system developed by Winckler. Jeremias followed Winckler in essentials but lay special stress on the notion of zodiacal ages. (The idea of zodiacal eras marked by the (shifting) location of the spring equinox in a constellation and dating back to circa 5000 BCE is not original with the Panbabylonism school but was merely put forward by them with more insistence on the Babylonian origin of such ideas.)

An important work published in 1903, supporting the tenets of Panbabylonism, was Keilinschriften und Babel nach ihrem religionsgeschichtlichen zausammenhang by the German Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern (1862-1931). Zimmern dealt more with the New Testament. (Winckler, for example, dealt more with the Old Testament.)

In a lengthy letter published in The [London] Times during 1903 the English Assyriologist William St. Chad Boscawen defended the German Assyriologist Friedrich Delitzsch from the growing number of attacks made on him since his two "Babel-Bibel" lectures in 1902.


Publication of Hermann Gunkel's classic rebuttal-essay, Babyloniern und Israel (1903), to the 1902 lectures of Delitzsch. An early and influential critique of some ideas of Delitzsch. This short essay of approximately 80 pages comprised a point-by-point response to the 1902 lectures of Delitzsch. (The publication of the essay was encouraged by Gunkel's colleagues.) Gunkel sharply criticises Delitzsch for (1) getting facts wrong; (2) failing to take into account the influence of oral tradition; and (3) failing to consider the parallels between the Hebrew and Mesopotamian traditions in terms of degree (i.e., to assess how much of the Old Testament is indigenously Hebrew versus how much might be originally Babylonian). (An English-language translation by E.S.B. was published in 1904 and another English-language by Kenneth Hanson was published in 2009. Mistakenly believed by some recent scholars, such as Michael Moore, to be a response to Panbabylonism. It was, as Gunkel states, a response to the Babel-Bibel controversy begun by Delitzsch. The Star-Myth school of Panbabylonism developed by Winckler-Jeremias was ignored. Gunkel's focus was the extreme methods of Delitzsch. Of concern also to Gunkel was Delitzsch was denying the independence of the Old Testament.)

A major critic of Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel ideas was Eduard König, who - beginning 1903 and continuing until 1912 - published numerous pamphlets and articles opposing Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel claims. See: Bible and Babylon: Their Relationship in the History of Culture by Eduard König (translated by William Turnbull) (1903). For more against the position taken by Winckler and Jeremias, see the small book (108 pages) entitled Babylonisierungsversuche betreffs der Patriarchen und Könige Israels (1903) by Eduard Konig. König's publications also criticised Panbabylonism. 

The brochure Babylon und Christentum. Erstes Heft. Delitzschs Angriffe auf das Alte Testament [Babylon and Christianity: The Attacks of Delitzsch on the Old Testament] by von Franz Xaver Kugler (1903) was written, as the sub-title indicates, with special reference to Delitzsch's "Babel und Bibel," It set out Kugler's initial rebuttal (a 2nd one followed). Kugler's brochure originally appeared in 1903 as a 3-part article in the journal Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, shortly after the 2nd lecture by Delitszch. The booklet is almost unchanged. Early in his career Kugler was one of the numerous critics of the "Babel-Bibel" claims of the Berlin Assyriologist Delitzsch, who suggested that the Biblical account of the Creation and other events in Genesis had been taken from Assyrian mythology.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

A 3rd and final lecture in the "Babel und Bibel" lectures series was given by Delitzsch in October, 1904. Delitzsch's 3rd lecture bordered on anti-Semitism, as Delitzsch emphasized the non-Semitic roots of Mesopotamian civilization. Delitzsch also declared that, since the Old Testament was entirely superfluous to the Christian church, one should rather read German cultural folk epics. He advocated replacing the Old Testament with Wilhelm Schwaner's Germanen-Bibel cms heiligen Schriften germanischer Volker (1904 [the earliest edition]), which was a compilation of German folk traditions and theological ideas.


In his Die Panbabylonisten: Der alte Orient und die ägyptische Religion (1904) Jeremias agreed with Fritz Hommel in holding that the Egyptian religious system was based on, or derived from, the Babylonian religious system. Something of a Panbabylonism textbook. It gained considerable attention in its 2nd edition publication in 1907.

In 1904 Alfred Jeremias also published Das Alte Testament im Lichte den Alten Orients (2 Volumes). The later (1911) English translation of this book is the best presentation of Panbabylonism in English. It is a comparativist tour de force. In it Jeremias formulated and firmly grounded the Panbabylonian position, drawing upon his own area of expertise, the Biblical Near East. The book's major goal is to prove that the Old Testament Weltanschauung derives from and is the same as the Babylonian one. In it, Jeremias set out in detail arguments previously presented, in which he held that Old Testament legends from Abraham to Solomon belong to a system resting on Babylonian astrology. According to Jeremias, astrology is the last word of science in antiquity.

The last of several early flirtations by Franz Kugler (the pioneer of the recovery of much of Babylonian astronomy) with the astral tenets of Panbabylonism is his essay "Die Sternenfahrt des Gilgamesh: Kosmologische Würdigung des babylonischen Nationalepos." (Stimmen aus Maria-Laach, Volume LXVI, 1904, Pages 432-449, and 547-561). It was an examination of the Gilgamesh epic as astronomical mythology. (A few years later in his Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, Buch 1, (1907) Kugler rejected the article.) In this 1904 essay Kugler agreed with Panbabylonism to a limited extent. At the time of its publication Kugler's essay was accepted as an excellent exposition proving the purely astral character of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Kugler at first was sympathetic to Panbabylonism, but later rejected it when he became convinced that any significant astronomy could not have existed in Mesopotamia before the era of Nabonassar. Late Mesopotamian and Hellenistic astronomers calculate the years by a chronological system called 'era of Nabonassar,' which began on February 26, 747 BCE. Regarding Kugler's, "Die Sternenfahrt des Gilgames, kosmologische Würdigung des babylon Nationalepos." (Stimmen aus Maria Laach, Band LXVI, 1904). In the epic of Gilgamesh (Table ix. cols. ii.–iv.) there is mention of 2 giant scorpion-'men,' one male and the other female, terrible giants, keepers of a door. Kugler believed in his 1904 article that he had shown that these (were) 2 celestial scorpions - reproduced in Babylonian sculptures - that were the 2 zodiacal constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius. This position was also argued earlier by Peter Jensen in his book, Assyrisch-Babylonische Mythen und Epen (1900, Pages 205-210); and by Alfred Jeremias in his book, Izbubar-Nimrod. Eine Altbabylonische Heldensage (1891, Pages 66-68).

Universal Solar Myth Movement

Publication of Das zeitalter des sonnongottes (1904) by the eccentric amateur anthropologist and ethnologist Leo Frobenius. Frobenius sought an ancient sun myth origin for world-wide mythology. The arguments in this book were to later influence his last pupil Hertha von Dechend and result in her 1969 book (with Giorgio de Santillana) Hamlet's Mill.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Publication of Die Götter Babyloniens und die Neue Testament [The Gods of Babylonia and the New Testament] by von Franz Xaver Kugler (1905). This booklet was Kugler's 2nd rebuttal to Delitzsch's "Babel und Bibel." Note: Despite Kugler's advice that it was published it is impossible to actually ocate a printed copy.


Publication of Babylonisches im Neuen Testament by Alfred Jeremias (1905). The author suggested a background in ancient Near Eastern myth, especially for the Book of Revelation. (See the (English-language) book review by George Barton in The American Journal of Theology, Volume 9, Number 35, April, 1908, Page 471.)

After circa 1905/6 both Winckler and Jeremias retired from debates about the value of Biblical testimony for the Panbabylonist case. By circa 1905 reaction was setting in against the astral theories comprising Panbabylonism. However, the Panbabylonist debate continued and was not a spent force until the time of Winckler's death in 1913. Peter Brown expressed the opinion that with the death of Winkler Panbabylonism was scientifically dead. However, its tenets were never more than pseudo-scientific. After World War 1 it lingered on through the efforts of Alfred Jeremias and Peter Jensen (and, to a lesser extent, Ernst Weidner).

Also, publication of "Astronomisch-mythologisches 1." by Hugo Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, Dritte Reihe, Band II, 1905, Pages 179-184); "Astronomisch-mythologisches 2-4." by Hugo Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, Dritte Reihe, Band II, 1905, Pages 185-211); Astronomisch-mythologisches 5-18." by Hugo Winckler (Altorientalische Forschungen, Dritte Reihe, Band II, 1905, Pages 274-314).

Stucken's Astral Myth Theory

Publication of the lengthy critique of the first 4 parts of Stucken's Astralmythen, "Fantaisies Biblico-Mythologiques d'un Chef d'École M. Édouard Stucken et le Folk-Lore." by Emmanuel Cosquin (Revue Biblique Internationale, Nouvelle Série, Deuxième Année, Number 1, Janvier, 1905, Pages 5-38). The article was also published as a brochure in 1905 and parts appeared in the authors book, Études Folkloriques (1922). Emmanuel Cosquin (1841-1919) was a leading/prominent fastidious French folklorist. He supported the theory that the origin of folk-tales is historically traceable to India. His books include, Contes Populaires de Lorraine [Popular Tales of Lorraine] (1860).


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Wilhelm Erbt in his book Die Hebraer (1906, Pages 196-201), under the influence of the astral theories of Panbabylonism, suggested that Canticles is a collection of paschal songs of Canaanitish origin. Erbt proposed that Canticles describes the love of the sun-god Tammuz (called Dod or Shelem), and the moon-goddess Ishtar (under the name of Shalmith). His arguments met with little favour.

Hugo Winckler published the booklet, Der Alter Orient und die Bibel. Nebst  einem Anhang: Babel und Bibel - Bibel und Babel. For Winckler (and others) all the heroes of early Old Testament "history" - from Abraham down to Elijah, and perhaps further i.e., Sampson - are nothing more than astral, zodiacal, solar, and lunar gods/goddesses.


The Panbabylonists organized a "Gesellschaft für vergleichende Mythenforschung" (a society for pursuing the comparative study of mythology, founded in June, 1906 in Berlin), which began the publication of a series, of popular works in advocacy of its views, titled Im Kampfe um den alten Orient. The principal representatives of Panbabylonism (Winckler, Jeremias, and Stucken) were among the founders of the Gesellschaft für vergleichende Mythenforschung ("Society for the Promotion of Comparative Mythology"). Indeed, they were the key founders. (The Star-Myth School with Panbabylonism was established within such. It advocated the so-called astral mythology that was championed by Ernst Siecke.) The Society then proceeded to publish (from 1907 to 1916) a "Mythological Library" (Mythologische Bibliothek) The first volume published was Drachenkampfe: Untersuchungen zur indogermanischen Sagenkunde by Ernst Siecke (1907).

Publication of Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur (Volume 1) by the German Assyriologist Peter Jensen (1861-1936). (Volume 2 was published in 1928.) The assyriologist Peter Jensen was a capable philologist but less than astute with his Panbabylonian constructions. In this book Jensen maintained that the greater parts of the Old Testament (i.e., the Patriarchs and the Prophets) and even the substance of the Gospels (including Jesus) are simply faint echoes of the old Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh. According to Jensen the New Testament is a divergent Israelitish form of the Gilgamesh saga. (Jensen expected little support for his views.) It was an uncritical attempt to derive all ancient myths from the Babylonian Gilgamesh epic. For Jensen, the single Gilgamesh myth was the source for a world-wide system of myths and stories. Apparently it was this book and its doctrines that completely converted Zimmern to Panbabylonism. However, Jensen's book was largely ignored. The ultimate (sole) source for the Panbabylonism of Jensen was the single Gilgamesh myth. Jensen never supported the Winckler-Jeremias view of Panbabylonism - an encompassing ancient world-system based in astral mythology. However, in Jensen's view the Gilgamesh epic is a story that that deals with the movements of a planet in its conjunction with the fixed stars, and that the story is to be understood in terms of the astrological significance of such. (For Jensen, Gilgamesh was a solar myth. Basically, the passage of the sun through the 12 zodiacal signs.) The fallibility of Jensen's multitude of Gilgamesh parallelisms with various world-wide sagas, myths, and tales is that most of such are simply coincidences of detail, sometimes of a very natural and unsurprising character, and sometimes the resemblances are of such a general nature as to be quite useless as convincing evidence. Jensen never formed part of the Winckler-Jeremias school of Panbabylonism and a degree of hostility actually existed between them. It has been remarked that Jensen was a rival of Winckler and the remark likely applies to Panbabylonism. As far as Winckler and Jeremias were concerned the Gilgamesh-centred approach of Jensen excluded Jensen from being a Panbabylonist. Jeremias made clear the Winckler-Jeremias school of Panbabylonism specifically dissociated itself from the claims Jensen made in his highly controversial book on Gilgamesh. (The prominent German assyriologist Albert Schott (1901-1945) who wrote Das Gilgamesch-Epos (1934) was a student of Peter Jensen.)

Morris Jastrow Junior in his 1906 fascicle for Die Religion Babylons und Assyriens gave a short but sympathetic outline of Winckler's views. However, 2 years later he expressly rejected Panbabylonism.


Publication of "Winckler's altorientalisches Phantasiebild." by Hugo Gressmann (Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Theologie, Band 49, 1906, Pages 289-309). An early and major criticism of Panbabylonism. Winckler was particularly hostile to this article and he replied to it at length.

Jensen’s exaggerated views (wild phantasies) concerning analogies with the Gilgamesh epic were set out in Volume 1 (Hebrew legends) and (Volume 2 (Greek legends) of his massive work. Jensen conceded that he was outside his field of expertise with the study and its claims. A key criticism made by critics was that merely comparing a series of stories rather than scrutinizing individual stories on their own merits ignores a fundamental principle of comparative mythology.

Lods, Adolphe. (1906). "Le Panbabylonisme de M. Jeremias." (Revue de l’histoire des religions, Volume 27, Number 54, Pages 218-230). Basically a book review essay. Lods has a focus on the book, Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients (1904). (Adolphe Lods (1867-1948) was a French Protestant Bible scholar and historian. He described the ideas of the Panbabylonist school (especially the Babel-Bibel stream) as "fantastic" and "romantic.")


Babel-Bibel Controversy

The 2nd revised edition of Hebräische Archäologie by Immanuel Benzinger (1907) was influenced by Panbabylonism. (The 1st edition was influenced by Wellhausen. The 2nd edition was influenced by Panbabylonism.) The 3rd edition appeared in 1927.

Discovery of Babylonian Astronomy

Kugler begins publication of his monumental Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel (2 volumes and 2 supplements, 1907-1924; supplement 3 by the German Assyriologist Johann Schaumberger, 1935). Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel [Star Science and Star Beliefs in Babylon] was the masterwork that recovered Babylonian astronomy. (Kugler's projected 4 volumes of Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel was unfortunately never completed.) In 1907 the first volume of Kugler's Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel appeared which showed the non-existence of the astronomical foundation on which Panbabylonism had been built. Kugler demonstrated that the idea of a highly developed scientific astronomy in ancient Mesopotamia was untenable. Kugler showed that a highly developed astronomy did not originate at the beginning of Babylonian civilization but quite at the end of it - after circa 700 BCE. Kugler's conclusions on the age of Babylonian astronomy was supported by the (German) astronomers (Friedrich) Leopold Ambronn (1854-1930), Adolf Berberich (1861-1920), Friedrich Ginzel (1850-1926), Siegmund Günther (geographer, 1848-1923), and Joseph Plassmann (1859-1940). After World War I the open controversy between Kugler and the Panbabylonists was not renewed.


Publication of the book Die babylonische Geisteskultur by Hugo Winckler in which he set out for the general public the main ideas of Panbabylonism. This is Winckler's last important publication on the subject of Panbabylonism. (An Italian-language translation, La cultura spirituale di Babilonia appeared in 1982.) 1907 marks the heyday of Panbabylonism.

In 1907 the journal (more a series of booklets) Im Kampfe um den alten Orient: Wehr- und Streitschriften was established by Winckler (and edited by Winckler and Jeremias) to specifically promote and further the cause of Panbabylonism. It largely avoided mythological arguments and the focus was on arguments based on cuneiform philology. (The Panbabylonists argued their skills in being able to read cuneiform writing enabled them to properly comprehend the texts. But Jesuits such as Franz Kugler were gaining expert knowledge of cuneiform writing and combined this with expert knowledge of astronomy to understand Babylonian astral sciences. The Jesuits had realised since the 1872 announcements by George Smith that they could only be successful in the newly developing field of Assyriology and the associated Babel-Bibel controversies about the historicity of the Bible if they had the necessary competence to discuss the primary source material.) The 2nd pamphlet in the series Im Kampfe um den alten Orient (published 1907) is Winckler's harshly worded response to criticisms of his ideas by Hugo Gressmann ("Winckler's altorientalisches Phantasiebild." in Zeitschrift für Wissenschaftliche Theologie, Band 49, 1906, Pages 289-309) and Friedrich Küchler (1874-1920) (Die Stellung des Propheten Jesaja sur Politik seiner Zeit (1906) [sometimes: J./Kuechler/Die Stellung des Propheten Isaia[/Jesaia] sur Politik seiner Zeit; sometimes confused with Friedrich Küchler SJ (1822-1898).]), (2 students of Peter Jensen). As editor of Orientalistische Literaturzeitung Peiser was friendly towards the Panbabylonists. When the German Assyriologist and Panbabylonist Felix Peiser (1862-1921) became editor of Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, the German journal dedicated to ancient Near Eastern studies, Winckler and the supporters of Panbabylonism dominated its content. Peiser, with his Orientalistische Literaturzeitung gave Panbabylonistic tenets protection and support.

There were only 4 issues/monographs of KAO (Im Kampfe um den alten Orient) published. 1. Die Panbabylonisten der alte Orient und die Aegyptische Religion by Alfred Jeremias (1907). 2. Die jüngsten Kämpfer wider den Panbabylonismus by Hugo Winckler (1907). 3. Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie by Alfred Jeremias (1908). 4. Alter und Bedeutung der babylonischen Astronomie und Astrallehre by Ernst Weidner (1914). (Hugo Winckler died in April 1913 and WWI began in July 1914.)

Publication of the 2nd edition of Die Panbabylonisten: Der alte Orient und die ägyptische Religion (1907) by Alfred Jeremias. The 2nd edition gained great currency and was akin to a Panbabylonian textbook. Also: Jeremias, Alfred, "Sterne (bei den Babyloniern." In: W. H. Roscher. (Editor). Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie (1915), Volume 4, Columns 1427-1500).

The German archaeologist Immanuel Benzinger (1865-1935) was converted to the ideas of Panbabylonisn by both Winckler and Jeremias. Benzinger's book Hebräische Archäologie (1894) was revised (1907) to include the Panbabylonian concepts of Winckler and Jeremias. This 2nd edition was permeated with its tenets.

In 1907 the journal Mythologische Bibliothek ("Mythological Library") was established/began publication with the specific purpose of applying Panbabylonistic methods to the investigation of the mythologies of all countries. It published until 1916.


In his Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, Buch 1, (1907) Kugler first set out his firm opposition to the tenets of Panbabylonism. He also discussed the issue of supposed Babylonian knowledge of precession.



Alfred Jeremias published the 1st edition of his booklet, Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie (1908). This booklet is mainly directed against Kugler. Also: Jeremias, Alfred. (1908). "Ages of the World (Babylonian)." In: James Hastings (Editor). Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, Volume 1, Columns 183-187.

In his Der Einfluss Babyloniens auf das Verständnis des Alten Testaments (1908, Page 8) Alfred Jeremias distinguished between Panbabylonism (Panbabylonismus) and Babylonism (Babylonianism).

For enthusiastic support for Panbabylonism in an English-language publication see: "Panbabylonism" Pages 33-38; and "II The Person and Work of Jesus Christ." Pages 44-57; in: Some Recent Phases of German Theology by John Nuelsen (1908). Interestingly, the author attempts to show that Theodore Roosevelt could be explained as a mythical figure.


The ethnologist and historian Wilhelm Schmidt quite early set out to refute Panbabylonianism. His 1908 19-page pamphlet (off-print) Panbabylonismus und ethnologischer Elementargedanke was originally published as a journal article in: Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, Band XXXVIII, (der dritten Folge Band VIII).

In his "President's Address" (Transactions of the Third International Congress for the History of Religions, 1908, Volume 1, Pages 231-248) the American Semiticist Morris Jastrow Junior criticised the "Babel-Bibel" aspect of Panbabylonism. (At least one current academic mistakenly believes that Morris Jastrow Junior was a proponent of Panbabylonism.)



Publication of the monograph Moses, Jesus, Paulus: Drei Varianten des babylonischen Gottmenschen Gilgamesch [Moses, Jesus, Paul: Three Variations on the Babylonian God-Man Gilgamesh] by Peter Jensen (1909, Reprinted 1910, 64 Pages). It continued the extreme claims he made in his book published three years earlier (i.e., particularly focused on his assertion that Gilgamesh was the ancient prototype of the Bible figures Moses, Jesus, and Paul). Jensen attempted to derive both the Synoptic and Johannine traditions of Jesus' life from the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, or, more exactly, from an Israelitish form of it. Jensen attempted to accomplish this derivation only by presupposing a divergent Israelitish form of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Peter Jensen first published studies of the Gilgamesh epic in 1900 (Assyrisch-babylonische Mythen und Epen, an anthology of Akkadian narrative poetry) and 1901. (The earlier complete edition of the Gilgamesh Epic published by Paul Haupt under the title Das babyloniscke Nimrodepos (1884-1891) did not come to public notice.) Later, Jensen believed he could identify aspects of the Gilgamesh epic in the pattern of all other myths and sagas, worldwide, including the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and the Homeric epics. He argued that Abraham, Jesus and John the Baptist, for example, were borrowed from Babylonian mythology Jensen’s broad position was that Christianity was based on a form of the Gilgamesh myth. Jensen declared the Gilgamesh epic to be a source for all mythological motifs in world literature, and that the Old and New Testaments should be destroyed as religious texts. These exaggerated claims have now been largely discredited. Jensen’s claims for the Gilgamesh Epic as the source of all the mythological patterns in world literature was a sort of forerunner of Joseph Campbell's monomyth.

As much as anything, Heinrich Zimmern (1909) thought that the Weltanschauung of the Panbabylonists made possible a better understanding of Babylonian religion. (Article: "Babylonians and Assyrians." In: Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics edited by J. Hastings, Volume II, 1909, Columns 309-319.) Note: Heinrich Zimmern did not really adopt the tenants of Panbabylonism until 1909 when he wrote the article on the religion of the Babylonians and Assyrians for Hasting's Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. Zimmern was usually more prudent in his Panbabylonistic tendencies.

Regarding Ernst Dittrich's precession articles in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung (OLZ). Dittrich wrote OLZ, Number 7, 1909, Column 292; then OLZ, Number 3, 1910, Column 103. Kugler replied in OLZ, Number 6, 1910, Column 277 to Dittrich's 1910 article. Dittrich then replied to Kugler in OLZ, Number 1, 1911, Columns 14-18. It appears Kugler did not reply. (The sympathy of the early editors of OLZ for Panbabylonism is clear in OLZ, Number 12, 1909, Columns 521-527.)

The publication in 1909/1910 of Part 1 of Volume 2 of Franz Kugler's Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel forced the Panbabylonists to adopt new tactics. In 1909 some key Panbabylonists stated their intention to now only examine whether the astrological foundations of Panbabylonism were better assured than its astronomical ones. Kugler in 1910 with his book Im Bannkreis Babels showed that Panbabylonism was just as unsound in its astrological as in its astronomical foundations.


Publication in the journal Anthropos of the trenchant article against Panbabylonism Auf den Trümmern des Panbabylonismus [On the Ruins of Panbabylonism] by Kugler. Kugler, after some indecision, definitely concluded in 1909 that the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, not the Babylonian, was the discoverer of precession. The article was mostly a critique of a volume in the series Im Kampfe um den alten Orient: Wehr- und Streitschriften. An English-language summary review of Auf den Trümmern des Panbabylonismus at the time: "Critique of the "pan-Babylonian" theory of mythology set up by Hommel and Winckler. The astronomic and other data in Dr A. Jeremias's Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie (Leipzig, 1908) are severely handled. The character of the older Babylonian astronomy, the assumed Babylonian knowledge of the precession, the Babylonian order of the planets, etc., are discussed." The Panbabylonist Alfred Jeremias replied the same year with the 2nd edition of his 1908 booklet Das Alter der babylonischen Astronomie (1909). Jeremias opposed Kugler's denial of any scientific astronomy in Mesopotamia before the Assyrians. An English-language blurb at the time stated: "This pamphlet deals with one of the important questions of the Pan-Babylonian controversy, viz. Did the old Babylonians possess a genuine astronomical science, as distinguished from mere general observations of the heavens, and from astrology? Upon the answer to this question the fate of Pan-Babylonianism depends. Jeremias, in this second edition of his treatise, seeks to nullify the considerations urged against the high age of astronomy in Babylon by F. Kugler in a recent volume." Kugler (and others, such as Carl Bezold and Franz Boll) held the evidence showed that Old Babylon astronomy was the beginning of astronomy, primarily a collection of omens rather than the establishment of strict astronomical facts. Jeremias insisted that the collection of early omens recovered from the Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (reigned 7th-century BCE), could not give an adequate idea of the earlier Babylonian astronomy. Jeremias stressed doing so ignored (would overthrow) all that was known of Old Babylonian civilization and make the Assyrians innovative and the Babylonians laggards.

In his Geschichte des Altertums (Erster Band. Zweite Abteilung: Die ältesten Geschichtlichen Völker und Kulturen bis zum sechzehnten Jahrhundert), (1909, Page 309), the prominent German philologist and historian Eduard Meyer wrote a trenchant criticism of Panbabylonism.

In the USA the Semiticist Albert Clay spent the first half of his book Amurru: The Home of the Northern Semites specifically critiquing the claims of Panbabylonism and arguing against a Babylonian origin for the religion and culture of Israel. (He was the leading opponent of Panbabylonism in North America.) Interestingly, Clay proposed the Israelites were descended from the Semitic Amurru. Clay argues the Babylonians emigrated from Palestine and Syria, taking with them their religion, learning, and traditions. A reworked edition setting out Clay's Pan-Amurrism appeared in 19919, The Empire of the Amorites.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Zum Streit um die "Christusmythe": Das babylonische Material in seinen Hauptpunkten dargestellt by Heinrich Zimmern (1910). The German Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern (1862-1931) collected a mass of material from Babylonian sources which he used in an attempt to prove that the "Christusmythe" is derived from the legends of the Babylonian god Bel-Merodach [Bel-Marduk]. (Or, more exactly, simply a repetition of such. Zimmern argued that the Babylonian creation epic was an older version of the New Testament.) Hermann Zimmern held that the New Testament mirrored the Babylonian Creation Epic and that the "myth of Bel-Marduk of Babylon" formed the basis for the story of Christ's Passion. His arguments were set out in his book Zum Streit um die "Christusmythe" (1910) but the (flawed) arguments by Zimmern actually appeared as early as 1901. According to Zimmern, Babylonian mythology influenced the story of Jesus in the Gospels and Epistles. For Zimmern: (1) the whole story of the birth of Jesus is simply the story of the birth of Babylonian god Marduk; (2) the agony of Jesus in the garden is traced to an experience in the life of Ashurbanipal as a "penitent expiator;" (3) the death and descent of Jesus into Hades was suggested by the death of Marduk and Tammuz, and the descent of the goddess Ishtar into Hades; and (4) the resurrection of Jesus has its origin in Babel and is found in the repetition of a myth concerning Marduk.

Panbabylonism influenced, to some extent, biblical studies. As example: Old Testament scholars such as Hermann Gunkel began to examine literary types in the Old Testament in the light of Mesopotamian literature. Publication of 3rd edition (1st edition 1901) of Genesis by Hermann Gunkel (comprising his extensive commentary). In this very influential book, Gunkel gave significant consideration to the ideas of the major Panbabylonists (Winckler, Jeremias, Jensen, and Hommel). In 1997 an English-language translation was published. Hermann Gunkel (1862–1932) was a German Protestant Old Testament scholar and a pioneer of source- and form- critical methods.


Circa 1910-1912 the German astral-mythological and Panbabylonism schools were declining.

Publication in 1910 of the trenchant book against Panbabylonism, Im Bannkries Babels [In Babylons Binding Spell: Panbabylonian Constructions and Facts of Historical Religions] by Franz Kugler. The British assyriologist Stephen Langdon wrote that it was a profound investigation of astral religion. It destroyed the fantastic claims of certain astral mythologists, particularly Alfred Jeremias. The book was an expansion of his 1909 article in the journal Anthropos. Kugler demonstrated that the methods used by the Panbabylonians were unsound. Kugler exposed the fact that Winckler and Jeremias were not knowledgeable concerning Babylonian astronomy and astral lore. In this book Kugler solidly rejected his previous astral interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic undertaken in his 1904 article. A main focus of Kugler's book was the critique of newly implemented Panbabylonian claims/tactics for astrological evidence of the tenets of Panbabylonism. (According to Jeremias, astrology is the last word of science in antiquity.) The Panbabylonists also argued their skills in being able to read cuneiform writing enabled them to properly comprehend the texts. But Jesuits such as Franz Kugler were gaining expert knowledge of cuneiform writing and combined this with expert knowledge of astronomy to understand Babylonian astral sciences. The Jesuits had realised since the 1872 announcements by George Smith that they could only be successful in the newly developing field of Assyriology and the associated Babel-Bibel controversies about the historicity of the Bible if they had the necessary competence to discuss the primary source material.

Included in IBB was a brilliant/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).)

Carl Bezold discussed the results of Kugler's SSB volumes and their bearing on the Panbabylonistic question in a lecture delivered before the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences on December 3, 1910. This was published in 1911 as Astronomie, Himmelsschau und Astrallehre bei den Babyloniern.

In his article "Panbabylonianism." (The Harvard Theological Review, Volume III, 1910, Pages 47-84) the American theologian Crawford Toy made a lengthy criticism of the "Babel-Bibel" aspect of Panbabylonism.

In his standard volumes The History of Babylonia and Assyria (2 Volumes, 1910-1915) the English Assyriologist Leonard King showed his disbelief in Panbabylonism by simply ignoring Panbabylonist tenets.

In his much admired book, Light from the East (1910) the British Assyriologist Charles Ball (C. J. Ball) (1851?-1924) denied the tenets of Panbabylonism.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Publication of Grundsteine zur Geschichte Israels (1911) by Martin Gemoll. The author showed he belonged to the mythological school of Winckler and Stucken.

The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East (1911, 2 Volumes), the English-language translation of Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orient (1904). Alfred Jeremias' examination of literary types in the Old Testament in the light of Mesopotamian literature.


Publication of an English-language edition of the book Das Alte Testament im Lichte den Alten Orients (2 Volumes) by Alfred Jeremias. The English title was The Old Testament in the light of the Ancient East (2 Volumes). Effectively a 3rd edition. The translator was the Assyriologist (and Church Canon) Claude Johns (Master of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge) who, in his Editor's Introduction, confirmed his leaning towards the tenets of Panbabylonism. However, he did not hold extravagant Panbabylonist views. The translation is considered the best statement in English of Panbabylonism and its application to the interpretation of the Old Testament. The special introduction by Dr. Claude of St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, points out the significance of this work as furnishing English readers with the best statement of the astral theory of the universe and its application to the interpretation of the Old Testament. In this edition the first 3 chapters explain the astral theory of the universe that is thought to have been current in the Ancient East. [The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East by Alfred Jeremias. Manual of Biblical Archaeology. English Edition Translated from the Second German Edition, Revised and Enlarged by the Author, by C. L. Beaumont. Edited by C. H. W. Johns. Theological translation library, Volumes. XXVIII and XXIX. 2 volumes. New York: Putnam, 1911. xxx+352, xii+331 pages. See the overall critical (English-language) essay book review "Astrology and the Old Testament." by J. M. Powis Smith in The Biblical World, Pages 282-285.

Note: During the heyday of Panbabylonism the claim (made, I think, by Alfred Jeremias) that the zodiac was divided perpendicularly by the Babylonians made way to the demonstration that they divided it longitudinally.


Publication of the booklet Astronomie, Himmelsschau und Astrallehre bei den Babyloniern (1911) by Carl Bezold. Based on his 1910 discussions of Panbabylonism. The booklet gave support to the criticisms of the Panbabylonist position made by Franz Kugler. Note: Kugler also had the support of the German philologist Franz Boll. Franz Boll was always careful in dating every piece of evidence. In doing this he was an enemy of Panbabylonism.

A critique of Panbabylonism appeared in Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia and Assyria (1911) by Morris Jastrow Junior.

Publication in 1911 of Das Gilgamesh-Epos by Arthur Ungnad and Hugo Gressmann. It was an important study at the time of its publication and it included a critical lengthy discussion of possible astronomical elements in the Gilgamesh epic.



Publication of lengthy critical article by Catholic priest and scholar Father Gvido Rant, O. Fr. M., "Panbabilonizem." in ČAS, Znanstvena revija "Leonove družbe", Letnik VI, Zvezek 5, 1912, Pages 321-337. Note: Yearly Catholic publication (Tisk Katoliške Tiskarne), spanning 1907-1942; published in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Focuses on both the Babel and Bible stream and Hugo Winckler's Panbabylonian astral ideas. The content owes considerably to Franz Kugler's 1910 book, Im Bannkries Babels.


Star-Myth Movement

Publication of the monograph Der Ursprung des Alphabets und die Mondstationen by Eduard Stucken (1913). (See the extensive (German-language) review by Anon in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Volume XVII, 1914, Number 5, Columns 210-215.)


The first edition of Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Jeremias appeared. An interpretation of Mesopotamian culture and its astral beliefs, and the supposed influence of these on other ancient cultures. In this publication Jeremias also proposed that the body of astral myths claimed to begin in Babylon was diffused to other civilizations/cultures as secret lore. Jeremias's Handbuch is his visionary expansion of the first chapter of his Das Alte Testament im lichte des alten Orients (1906). In spite of its title it is mostly concerned with astronomy (and indulges in considerable speculation). It was in this publication that Jeremias proposed that not only Old World cultures relied on Babylonian astronomical science but also cultures in the New World. In spite of being regarded as unreliable it quickly gained a wide and popular audience (and was even reprinted in 2012). (Overall, Hugo Winckler's writings had gained the greater support from Orientalists.) On Page 7, Note 2, Jeremias objects to Peter Jensen being termed a Panbabylonist; he states that Jensen is an opponent. Note: Doing the course of Weidner's involvement with Panbabylonism he prepared what he claimed was a Babylonian star map (including zodiac) for circa 3200 BCE. The only publication I know of this Panbabylonist fantasy star map is in Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Alfred Jeremias (1913). The star map does not appear in Weidner's book, Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (1915). Also, the star map was not included in the 2nd edition of Jeremias' book. I have seen a single comment that the star map gave an easy overview of the star information in Weidner's book, Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (the likely reason it was prepared). Also, it appears that Jeremias had access to the printing proofs. Though published in 1915, Weidner's book had actually been written and (incompletely) printed in 1913.

Weidner's book review (criticism) of Kugler's Im Bannkreis Babels : Panbabylonistische Konstruktionen und Religionsgeschichtliche Tatsachen appeared in the periodical Orientalistische[n] Literaturzeitung Band 16, Numbers 1 and 2, 1913, Columns 20-26 & 54-57. The title is "Zum Kampfe um die Altorientalische Weltanschauung: Besprechung von F. X. Kugler, S. J., Im Bannkreis Babels." It was also reprinted as a small 16-page pamphlet in the same year: Zum Kampfe um die altorientalische Weltanschauung: Besprechung von F.X. Kugler, S.J., Im Bannkreis Babels (J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig, 1913). The essay includes a discussion by Weidner of the supposed religious ideas and Natural Philosophy at the root of religions. Interestingly, Weidner, in his books published between 1911-1915, never refers to Kugler's IBB. A 1913 article by Weidner that could refer to Kugler's IBB or SSB is "Beiträge zur Erklärung der astronomischen Keilschrifttexte." in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Band 16, Number 5, (1913), Columns 204-212.

With the death of Hugo Winckler in 1913 Alfred Jeremias was considered the leading exponent of Panbabylonism.


Publication of Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel. Ergänzungen zum Ersten und Zweiten Buch. I. Teil by Franz Kugler. It contained a further critique of Panbabylonism and a discussion of the origin and date of scientific astronomy in Babylon.



In 1914 the cuneiform philologist Ernst Weidner (1891-1976) entered the fray on the side of the Panbabylonists. After the publication of Im Bannkries Babels (1910) by Kugler the ranks of the Winckler-Jeremias Panbabylonism movement received support in the person of the very young Weidner who was not only expert in cuneiform languages but was also proficient in astronomy and mathematics. As a young Assyriologist Weidner was influenced very early by the Assyriologist and Panbabylonist Felix Peiser (who was editor of the journal Orientalistische Literaturzeitung). However, It appears that Weidner was a student of both Felix Peiser and Alfred Jeremias. The monograph (published by the Winckler-Jeremias movement) Alter und Bedeutung der babylonischen Astronomie und Astrallehre (1914) by Weidner was intended to be a refutation of Kugler's main contention regarding the falsehood of Babylonian knowledge of precession and the phases of Venus. Kugler responded with a highly critical review of the monograph.


Short critique of Panbabylonism in opening chapters of Pantheon Babylonicum (1914) by Nicolaus Schneider, an Assyriologist.

The core Panbabylonists, who were Assyriologists, tended to readily dismiss critics who were not Assyriologists. By 1914 (the end of the hey-day of Panbabylonism), in order to contest the Panbabylonists, an increasing number of Catholic priests had undertaken appropriate studies to become directly involved in Assyriology, especially the structure of cuneiform grammar/vocabulary. These included the Franciscans Engelbert Huber, Anastasius Schollmeyer, and Maur Witzel. Included in the publications, Huber wrote Personennamen aus der Zeit der Konige von Ur und Xisin (1907); Schollmeyer wrote Sumerisch-babylonische: Hymnen und Gebete an Shamash (1912); Witzel wrote Untersuchungen über die Verbalpräformativa im Sumerischen nebst zahlreichen Hinweisen auf die Verbalaffixe (1912). (This last publication was a dissertation on the prefixes of the Sumerian verb).

(3) Demise:

Intellectually, Panbabylonism was no longer influential prior to WWI. After having been subject to incisive criticism within the context of the Babel und Bible debate it had become a 'lame duck.' The Panbabylonists were unable to answer the many criticisms of Franz Kugler. Mircea Eliade stated: "Around 1910-1912 the German astral-mythological and pan-Babylonian schools were declining." The Panbabylonian controversy ended with the death of Hugo Winckler in 1913 and Panbabylonism was scientifically dead by the end of World War 1. The final publications were Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Jeremias, and Alter und Bedeutung der babylonischen Astronomie und Astrallehre by Weidner (and also Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie by Weidner). Following World War 1 Jeremias spent his time mostly updating his key publications and produced only a few new pamphlets. In the mid-1920s Panbabyloniasm continued to receive the support of some influential scholars but was not nearly so dominant as it was by the time of the First World War. By the 1930s it had gradually faded into being a historical curiosity.

Three important factors leading to the demise Panbabylonism were: (1) successive generations of Assyriologists essentially 'de-bunked' all the important alleged parallels; (2) the study of Ugaritic/Canaanite materials showed  indications of similarities with biblical themes; and (3) scholars ascertained that the West Semitic cultures had exerted influences on early Babylonia (both mythic themes and loan words).

Apparently, the topic of Panbabylonism did increase interest in the study of astral omen in cuneiform texts.



Publication of Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie by Ernst Weidner. Written from the Panbabylonian viewpoint. First volume of a planned multi-volume work on Babylonian astronomy. The other volumes were never proceeded with. Though published in 1915 the book had actually been written and printed in 1913. Note: Doing the course of Weidner's involvement with Panbabylonism he prepared what he claimed was a Babylonian star map (including zodiac) for circa 3200 BCE. The only publication I know of this Panbabylonist fantasy star map is in Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Alfred Jeremias (1913). The star map does not appear in Weidner's book, Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (1915). Also, the star map was not included in the 2nd edition of Jeremias' book. I have seen a single comment that the star map gave an easy overview of the star information in Weidner's book, Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (the likely reason it was prepared). Also, it appears that Jeremias had access to the printing proofs. Though published in 1915, Weidner's book had actually been written and (incompletely) printed in 1913.


Publication of A History of Babylonia and Assyria (3 Volumes, 1915-1919) by the British assyriologist Leonard King. In the last chapter of Volume 1, King considers the cultural influence of Babylonia and presents an excellent critique/rebuttal of the Panbabylonian views of Winckler and Jeremias. See especially: Volume 1, Chapter X Greece, Palestine, and Babylon : An Estimate of Cultural Influence. (Pages 289-?).


Panbabylonism/Babel-Bibel Controversy

Zum babylonischen Neujahrsfest by Heinrich Zimmern (1918). The so-called (incorrectly) 'Marduk Ordeal Text' which Zimmern thought paralleled the later Gospel passion story.

Source: Prehistoric Religion (1918) by Philo Mills. (Life dates 1870-1947.)


Publication of lengthy paper "Historical and Mythical Elements in the Story of Joseph." by W[illiam]. F. Albright (Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 37, Number 3/4, (1918), Pages 111-143). After an initial flirtation with Panbabylonism, Albright rejected its tenets. (Among other things, Albright, during his support for Panbabylonism, made an imaginative connection between Abraham and the Habiru.) However, William Albright retained the underlying assumption of uniformity of culture across the Ancient Near East. See: "From Babylon to Christianity: William Foxwell Albright on Myth, Folklore, and Christian Origins." by Stephen Alter (Journal of Religious History, Volume 36, Issue 1, March, 2012, Pages 1-18). Abstract: "The American Orientalist William F. Albright (1891–1971) is remembered as a leading voice of twentieth-century "biblical archaeology," a field that aimed to demonstrate empirically the Hebrew Bible's substantial historicity. Less well known is Albright's research on Christian backgrounds, which by contrast reflected modernist theology's scepticism about the gospel narratives' literal truth. Drawing ideas from the "Pan-Babylonian" school of biblical criticism, Albright invoked the influence of ancient Near Eastern myth and folklore on the Christ story, this being the culminating theme of his magnum opus From the Stone Age to Christianity (1940). Originally Albright believed that this mythological interpretation would reestablish Christianity's intellectual credibility in the twentieth century and thus help revive New Testament theology. Yet in the latter part of his career he omitted the mythological thesis from his writings, apparently having concluded that it was harmful to orthodox Christian faith."



As late as 1919 Stucken's Astralmythen still had support. See the astral interpretations in: "Noah and his Family." by W[ilhelm]. Max Müller [the son of Friedrich Max Müller] and M. Milman. (The Monist, Volume 29, Number 2, April, 1919, Pages 259-292). M. Milman regarded Astralmythen as an important pioneer work.


Babel-Bibel Controversy

Die grosse Täüschung [The Great Deception] by Friedrich Delitzsch (2 volumes, 1920/21). The culmination of his original Babel-Bibel views. The book showed that Delitzsch had continued to hold to his views. The book is regarded as scurrilous. In this book Delitzsch claimed that many of the prominent stories in the Old Testament must be interpreted as astronomical information and that this information was derived from Babylonian scientific astronomy. The book was strongly anti-Semitic; it has been described as an "anti-Semitic polemic." In this diatribe against Judaism Delitzsch tried to prove, amongst other things, that Jesus had not been Jewish but a Galilean Aryan instead. (Some members of the Panbabylonian school claimed the figure of Jesus originated from Babylonian myth. Note: Regarding the chronological delimitation of Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel Streit. Die grosse Täüschung is not part of the Babel-Bibel Streit. Between 1903/1904 and 1920 there had not only been World War I but also a remarkable shift in Delitzsch's Weltanschauung and his attitude towards Jewry, which was not anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish in 1903, but definitely was in 1920. In his, The Great Deception [Delusion], Delitzsch showed affinities with the Völkisch writer Wilhelm Schwaner and his rejection of Christianity. Delitzsch in his, Die grosse Täüschung proposed that, for German Christians, the use of the Hebrew Bible should be replaced by Germanen-Bibel by Wilhelm Schwaner (2 Volumes, 1905-1910), which was a compilation of the thoughts of past German heroes concerning God, eternity, and immortality. It comprised what was declared to be "the holy scripts of the German Völker." Wilhelm Schwaner (1863-1944) was a journalist and publicist who promoted a salvationary scheme in which he proposed to fuse Aryan racism and doctrines of 'superior blood' with a purified and de-Judaized German Christianity. Note: It has been commented that Delitzsch appears to have written Die grosse Täüschung in 1914 but waited 2 years before his death to publish it.

Friedrich Delitzsch was never a proponent of Panbabylonism. He did, however, very early, share their sense of excitement about the new source material that was being made available from the Near East. Also, he expressed his frustration with the general unwillingness of scholars to draw theological conclusions from this new archaeological material. In 1902, shortly before his 1st lecture the recovery (by French excavators) of the Code of Hammurabi showed Mesopotamian precursors for the content of the Bible. Throughout his career Delitzsch retained his prestigious institutional positions.


Publication of 16-page pamphlet Zu den babylonischen Grenzsteinsymbolen by Fritz Hommel (1920). The pamphlet is a detailed attempt to use the kudurru symbols to draw and date the Babylonian constellations. He argued in this latter essay that the kudurru symbols represented an equatorial zodiac dating to the 5th-millennium BCE. This is pure fantasy. The prelude to this pamphlet comprise Hommel, Fritz. (1900). "Der Ursprung des Tierkreises." In: Hommel, Fritz. Aufsätze Abhandlungen II, Number 7. (Pages 236-268). This is a thoroughly outdated discussion of possibility of zodiacal symbols being depicted on kudurru. The essay has several parts. The second part comprises "die babylon. Grenzstein-Embleme." (Pages 244-265).


Star-Myth Movement

Publication of Der Sternhimmel in der Dichtung und Religion der Alten Völker und des Christentums by Arthur Drews (1923). 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.


Publication of Berossos und die babylonisch-hellenistische Lieratur by Paul Schnabel. In this book he tried to demonstrate that precession was discovered by the Babylonian astronomer Kidinnu. However, Schnabel mistook scribal errors for corrections because he only had parts of broken clay tablets available to him. When additional fragments were identified his theory could no longer be maintained. (Basically, a new join to VAT 7821 disproved Schnabel's conclusions.) See: "The Alleged Babylonian Discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes." (Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 70, Number 1, 1950, Pages 1-8). It comprises an excellent discussion and demonstration of Schnabel's errors. 



Publication of the 68 page booklet Gilgamesh-Epos: judäische Nationalsagen, Ilias und Odyssee by Peter Jensen.



Publication of "Hebrew and Egyptian Apocalyptic Literature." by C. C. McCown (Harvard Theological Review, Volume 18, Issue 4, October, 1925, Pages 357-411). The author sets out the importance of the influence of Egypt in Palestine as an antidote to Panbabylonism.



The German historian of religion and Old Testament scholar Hugo Gressmann (1877-1927) was a staunch opponent of the Panbabylonist movement. One of his early critiques of the ideas of the movement was set out in the article "Babylonische-Assyrische Texte" with Erich Ebeling in their book Altorientalische Texte und Bilder zum Alten Testament (1926).

In 1926 the acclaimed German Assyriologist Benno Landsberger gave a inaugural address when he was appointed Associate Professor of Assyriology at the University of Leipzig. (This was published as "Die Eigenbegrifflichkeit der babylonischen Welt." in Islamica, Band 2, 1926, Pages 355-372.) The address and paper was a benchmark reaction against the comparative methods underpinning the Babel-Bibel Controversy initiated by Friedrich Delitzch. Benno Landsberger sought to ensure that Mesopotamian culture was investigated on its own terms. He called for the study of Mesopotamian culture for its own sake - not for the purpose of the comparative approach to the Old Testament, and its superficialities, implemented by the Panbabylonist movement. This address finally put an end to Panbabylonism. Benno Landsberger also stated that the so-called "Panbabylonianism" more strictly should be called "Pansumerianism."



In his article "Kidenas, Hipparch und die Entdeckung der Präzession." (Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Neue Folge, Band 3 (Band 37), 1927, Pages 1-60) Paul Schnabel revisited and expanded the arguments in his 1923 book regarding his belief that the Babylonian astronomer Kidinnu was the discoverer of precession.


Astral myths

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.)



Publication of Das Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur (volume 2) by the German Assyriologist Peter Jensen. (The external cover has the publication date of 1929 and the inside page has the publication date of 1928.)

The second edition of Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Jeremias also appeared. In this 2nd edition Jeremias tried to give a Panbabylonian context to all the discoveries in Assyriology that had been made since the 1st edition, and going further with Panbabylonian claims that Winckler ever had. To the end of his life, Alfred Jeremias tenaciously continued to promote his Panbabylonian ideas.

These were the last substantial publications by Panbabylonists.

The Panbabylonist Alfred Jeremias eventually promoted Pan-Sumerianism as an offspring of his Panbabylonism. Beginning circa 1929 Jeremias promoted Pan-Sumerianism, in the 2nd edition of Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur and also articles and pamphlets. Once again his arguments are based on the tenets being implied in widely divergent material. See: "Die Weltanschauung der Sumerer." (Der Alte Orient, Band 27, Heft 4, 1929); and "Der Kosmos von Sumer." (Der Alte Orient, Band 32[31-32], Heft 1, 1932).


The discovery of Ugaritic material in 1929 effectively brought Panbabylonism to a close. The Ugaritic material provided a much more secure context for understanding the Old Testament than Mesopotamia.



By the beginning of the 1930s the extent and importance of Egyptian influence on the Levant had become obvious and provided an antidote for the ideas of Panbabylonism. 

(4) Resurgence of Panbabylonism:



Publication of the Panbabylonian pamphlet, Der Kosmos von Sumer (1932) by Alfred Jeremias. This was the last Panbabylonist publication by Alfred Jeremias (appearing 3 years before his death).


Walter Anderson (1885-1962; eminent Baltic German philologist, ethnologist and folklorist) published a critical review of Peter Jensen's work, titled "Über P. Jensens Methode der vergleichenden Sagenforschung." (Acta et commentationes Universitatis Tartuensis (Dorpatensis). B, Humaniora. XXI, Dorpat, 1930-1931).


Publication of the doctoral thesis Die Kultrichtung in Mesopotamien (1932) by Günter Martiny, an architect and later medieval building archaeologist. He argued (unsuccessfully) for the precessional realignment of Babylonian temples.


Astral Mythology

In his Archaeological History of Iran (1935) the German Philologist and Archaeologist and Iranian expert Ernst Herzfeld maintained the localities for the most ancient Iranian myths are not on earth but in the heaven and later the gods became heroes with their places in the heaven projected onto the earth (Page 18). (Ernst Herzfeld was a Professor at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Berlin.)



The Panbabylonist ideas were also fostered by the writer Lord Raglan (Fitzroy Somerset, 4th Baron Raglan, 1885-1964) in his small book How Came Civilization? (1939). He insisted that all higher culture and civilization came from southern Mesopotamia.



Publication of the original French-language edition of Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircia Eliade (The revised and expanded English-language edition was first published in 1964.) It was one of a number of books on the history of religions (especially by the so-called phenomenologists of religion) that showed the influence of Panbabylonism. (In his publications Eliade drew a number of ideas from Panbabylonism.)

The theory of an original diffusion of ideas from proto-historical Mesopotamia, as set out by Henri Frankfort in his book The Birth of Civilization in the Near East (1951) is quite different to Panbabylonism.



In his article "Survivances de l'ancien Orient dans l'Islam (Considerations generales)" in Studia Islamica, 1957, Volume 7, Pages 47-75, the Spanish Orientalist César Dubler draws on some of the Panbabylonist ideas of Hugo Winckler to explain the religious ideas of the Bedouin nomads. (However, César Dubler cannot be classed as a Panbabylonist.)



In his book Das Weiterlebendes des Alten Orients im Islam (1958; Pages 5-6) the Spanish Orientalist César Dubler again draws on some of the Panbabylonist ideas of Hugo Winckler to explain the religious ideas of the Bedouin nomads.

In his book Myth and Ritual in the Ancient Near East (1958) the Reverend Professor Edwin James (1888-1972) claimed Babylonian influences on parts of the Old Testament. The Reverend Professor E. O. [Edwin Oliver] James was an anthropologist in the field of comparative religion. He was Professor Emeritus of the History and Philosophy of Religion in the University of London, Fellow of University College London and Fellow of King's College London.


History Begins at Sumer by Samuel Kramer (1959) was described by Noel Weeks (2010) as "a non-racist version of the basic [Panbabylonian] thesis." See also: Sumerian Mythology by Samuel Kramer (1944, Page 8, Footnote 1), "these volumes [Des Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur by Jensen (1906, 1928)] may prove to be more significant than is generally assumed." Samuel Kramer was Professor of Assyriology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of the tablet collection of the University Museum.


There has been a stubborn persistence of Panbabylonist ideas.

One modern proponent worth mentioning is the Panbabylonist Werner Papke. Werner Papke (born 1944 in Olsztyn, Poland) is a German historian of science and religion in antiquity and scholar of religion. His university studies encompassed biophysics, history of science, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. In 1978 he received his PhD from the University of Tübingen with a controversial thesis on the MUL.APIN series. (Papke, Werner, Die Keilschriftserie MUL.APIN, Dokument wissenschaftlicher Astronomie im 3. Jahrtausend, Dissertation, Tübingen, 1978. Papke states the aim of the study is to disprove the alleged late composition of the astronomical cuneiform series Mul.Apin.) Since 1983 Papke has worked at the Institute for the History of Science at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Since 1985 he has taught at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich. He gained academic notoriety for his controversial book Die Sterne von Babylon (1989), where he gave an astronomical interpretation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. A recent supporter of Paple's ideas is Dieter Koch of Zürich, Der Stierkampf des Gilgamesch - Vom Ursprung menschlicher Kultur (2007). Papke's speculative theories, however, have not been found acceptance by specialists in Assyriology. This is especially so with his claims to date the Mul,Apin series to the 3rd-millennium BCE. This dating was critiqued by Johannes Koch. Papke's books are now self-published.

Werner Papke is similar to the Panbabylonist Peter Jensen in holding the entire Bible is based on Babylonian astral mythology. Papke interpreting the epic of Gilgamesh as an astronomical poem dating to the 3rd-millennium BCE dates back to the early Panbabylonists. Papke's dating of Mul.Apin is worth mentioning in detail. Papke uses the Pleiades to interpret an early date for the Mul.Apin series. Though the Pleiades are stated in cuneiform texts to be in the Path of Anu, Papke places them in the Path of Enlil. See David Pingree's critical remarks on Papke's methodology and results in: "Zwei Plejaden-Schaltregeln." (Archiv für Orientforschung, Einunddreissiaster Band, 1984, Pages 70-71; Babylonian Planetary Omens, Part Two (with Erica Reiner), 1981, Page 6, Footnote 10; Mul.Apin (with Hermann Hunger), 1978, Pages 10-11). Papke proposes an early zodiac existing in the 3rd-millennium BCE and a zodiac reform occurring circa 2340 BCE. According to Papke, Gilgamesh is two-thirds divine and one-third human because his constellation stars PA.BIL.SAG are approximately two-thirds in the Way of Anu (Anu = heaven = divine) and approximately one-third in the Way of Ea (Ea = earth = human). But, Gilgamesh' two-thirds divinity derives from his parents, not from the stars.

See also: (1) Papke, Werner. (1978). Die Keilschriftserie Mul.Apin. Dokument wissenschaftlicher Astronomie im 3. Jahrtausend. Dissertation. (Note: Werner Papke's 64 page doctoral dissertation that formed the basis for his later books was published in booklet form. Argues that information in the Mul.Apin series can be dated to the 3rd-millennium BCE. Unreliable because of how his argument is constructed. See the effective criticisms in Mul.Apin: An Astronomical Compendium in Cuneiform by Hermann Hunger and David Pingree (1989).) (2) Papke, Werner. (1989). Die Sterne von Babylon. (Note: Unreliable. See the (German-language) book review by Johannes Koch in Die Welt des Orients, Band 24, 1993, Pages 213(215?)-222. See especially the devastating (English-language) book review/critique by the assyriologist Alasdair Livingstone in Bibliotheca Orientalis, Volume XLIX, Number 1/2, januari-maart, 1992, Columns 165/166?-168. Koch's review has a critique of Papke's solar interpretation of the Gilgamesh epic.) (3) Papke, Werner. (1994). Die geheime Botschaft des Gilgamesch. (Note: Unreliable. The book is a reprint (with changed title) of the authors Die Sterne von Babylon.)


The publication of Les Cycles du Retour Éternel (2 Volumes, 1963).by the French writer Jean-Charles Pichon contained the twin themes of an ancient zodiac and precession underlying the origin of world-wide mythical themes.

The publication of Hamlet's Mill (1969).by Giorgio de Santillana (USA) and Hertha von Dechend (Germany). Hamlet's Mill is an attempt to salvage Panbabylonism. Panbabylonism is the template/prototype of Hamlet’s Mill. However, Hamlet’s Mill is Panbabylonism run rampant. Hamlet's Mill, like its predecessor Astralmythen, is dense with arcane analyses that demand dedication from the reader to persevere. The reader has to believe that the premises behind either book have a real validity and are important enough to be worth following to some conclusions. The Panbabylonian school maintained that the precession of the equinoxes had been long known to the Babylonians and formed the substratum of a large part of Babylonian and classical mythology. Accumulated evidence neither supports Panbabylonism nor Hamlet's Mill. The book, basically comprising von Dechend's material edited by de Santillana, contained the twin themes of an ancient zodiac and precession underlying the origin of world-wide mythical themes. The authors held the origin for such lay in the Ancient Near East (i.e., "Babylonia") circa 4000 BCE. The book basically consisted of Hertha von Dechend's poorly organised material for her 1961 and 1966 MIT seminars poorly edited into book form by Giorgio de Santillana when he was ill. Strong influential sources for Hamlet's Mill would have been two Panbabylonian books by Alfred Jeremias listed in the Bibliography of Hamlet's Mill - Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients (3rd Revised Edition 1916 (2 Volumes); and Handbuch der Altorientalischen Geisteskultur (2nd Revised Edition, 1929). In the former Alfred Jeremias sets out such ideas as: (1) zodiacal world ages due to precession, (2) the change in world ages represented in myths, and (3) the celestial earth in the zodiac (ecliptic). Interestingly, Jeremias claimed the zodiac was divided perpendicularly i.e., the division of the ecliptic by perpendicular (latitudinal) lines, by the Babylonians (rather than longitudinally). Jeremias also claimed the Babylonian calendar year was sun-based year. Rather, it was a moon-based year.

In her book The Death of Gods in Ancient Egypt: An Essay on Egyptian Religion and the Frame of Time (1992; 2nd edition, 2003) the American amateur Egyptologist Jane Sellers applied, with much speculation, the precessional theme of Hamlet's Mill to early Egyptian mythology.

In his book The Myth of Replacement: Stars, Gods, and Order in the Universe (1991) the American Classical scholar Thomas Worthen unsuccessfully took up the themes of Hamlet's Mill with his own speculative examination of world-wide mythology.

In his book The Secret of the Incas: Myth, Astronomy, and the War Against Time (1996) the American writer and cultural anthropologist (?) William Sullivan unsuccessfully took up the themes of Hamlet's Mill with his own speculative examination of Inca mythology and beliefs.

Dr. Erik van Dongen, Part-Time Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Classics, Saint Mary's University ( "This, then, is where the IHANE Project [Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East project (University of Helsinki)] comes in. Actually, to understand its position we should go back to a little bit before its foundation. In 1999, the Melammu Project was founded by the Finnish assyriologist Simo Parpola. Recognizing the very same problems as outlined above, Parpola envisioned the creation of a project that would unite scholars interested in the question of Mesopotamia’s cultural importance, who could exchange ideas through a website and, especially, regularly organized meetings. Six such meetings have been held so far, and the seventh will take place in Austria in November, as was described in an earlier post on this blog. IHANE is closely related to Melammu: IHANE was founded by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila and Robert Rollinger, two scholars first brought together by Melammu, and makes use of academic networks laid out through the various Melammu meetings. Nonetheless, through its focus on the connection between Mesopotamian and Arabic culture, IHANE also adds something new and vitally important, as the Arabic world so far has not featured very much in the Melammu activities."

In their book When They Severed Earth From Sky Elizabeth Barber and Paul Barber (2004) maintain that myth originated in prehistoric non-literate societies as a vehicle to preserve and transmit information about real events and observations. In Chapter 16: Of Sky and Time they uncritically follow the central theme of Hamlet's Mill by Giorgio De Santillana and Hertha von Dechend. Their arguments are uninformed and wildly speculative. 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.


In an essay published in 1980, "Biblical History in its Near Eastern Setting: The Contextual Approach" (In: Scripture in Context: Essays in the Comparative Method (1980), edited by C. Evans, et al, Pages 1-26), the historian William Hallo called for a balanced approach between the extremes of parallelomania and specialisation/compartmentalisation. Hallo proposed and promoted a contextual approach/method in which similarities as well as differences are examined. This contextual method seeks to weigh similarities and differences and chart diachronic and synchronic variation within and across cultures.

Also of interest:

The classicist Martin West (1937- ) is an internationally acclaimed scholar in classics, classical antiquity, and philology, who has published books and articles examining Near Eastern influences on Greek culture. He is currently (2013) an Emeritus Fellow and Lord Mallard of All Souls College, University of Oxford. He has written extensively on the relations between Greece and the ancient Near East. West’s interest in the Greeks and the Orient, first demonstrated in Early Greek Philosophy and the Orient (1971), appeared again in The East Face of Helicon (1997), a comprehensive investigation of parallels between Greek literature and the literatures of the Ancient Near East.

The classicist Walter Burkert (1931- ) is an internationally recognised German scholar of Greek mythology and cult who has published books and articles examining Near Eastern influences on Greek culture. He is currently (2013) an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. See especially: The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (1998); Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture (2004).

Pan-Ugaritism and Pan-Eblaitism:

The discoveries at Ras Shamra in 1929 saw the old Panbabylonism approach replaced with pan-Ugaritism. The school of Pan-Ugaritism began in the 1930s with Frank Cross and his ideas of Pan-Ugaritic mythology. The idea of a pervasive Near Eastern mythic pattern lying behind much of Biblical literature was taken up by Frank Cross, but with a greater emphasis on Ugaritic myths. In the 1960s the Jesuit scholar Mitchell Dahood was initially an influential proponent of Pan-Ugaritism. The 1970s and 1980s saw the move to restudy the Old Testament in the light of the archaeological discoveries at Ugarit and Ebla in the ancient Middle East. Claims (the origin of which actually dates back to circa 1930) were made for the influence of the Ugaritic language and Canaanite beliefs on the Old Testament language and religion. Later (late 1970s and early 1980s), the scholars Mitchell Dahood SJ, Giovanni Pettinato, and David Freedman expressed ideas that bordered on Pan-Eblaism. Scholars warned that such had the likelihood of repeating the errors and interpretive distortions of the Old Testament in the manner that the "Babel-Bibel"/Panbabylonism movement had done. The finds at Ugarit have shown that Canaanite mythology need not be influenced by that of Mesopotamia.


Pan-Sumerian School

There are several versions of the Pan-Sumerian School. What was perhaps the earliest one held the origin of the Euphratic civilisations (i.e., Euphratic language speakers comprising the Euphrates Valley civilisations) lay with the Sumerians who were 100 percent Mongolians. See: The Jewish Forum, Volume 5, 1922, Page 240. See also: "Milking the udder of heaven: A note on Mesopotamian and Indo-Iranian religious imagery." by Gordon Whittaker In: From Daēnā to Dīn edited by Christine Allison, et al. (2209) (Pages 127-137).

The Panbabylonist Alfred Jeremias eventually promoted Pan-Sumeriansim as an offspring of his Panbabylonism. See also: Wolz, George. (`943). "Pan-Sumerianism and the Veil Motif." (The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 3, July, Pages 275-292). [Note: Critique of the Pan-Sumerianism of Alfred Jeremias (an offspring of his earlier Panbabylonism.]

First page of Wolz's article on the Pan-Sumerianism of Alfred Jeremias which dates from circa 1929 (the second edition of Handbuch der altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Alfred Jeremias).

History Begins at Sumer by Samuel Kramer (1959) was described by Noel Weeks (2010) as "a non-racist version of the basic [Panbabylonian] thesis." See also: Sumerian Mythology by Samuel Kramer (1944, Page 8, Footnote 1), "these volumes [Des Gilgamesch-Epos in der Weltliteratur by Jensen (1906, 1928)] may prove to be more significant than is generally assumed." Samuel Kramer was Professor of Assyriology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of the tablet collection of the University Museum.


The Elamite scholar Georg Hüsing maintained the priority of Elam. Georg Hüsing belonged partly to the Star-Myth School and partly to the Panbabylonian School. Hüsing derived all myths from Elam. See his, Die einheimischen Quellen zur Geschichte Elams (1916).

Pan-Amorite School (Pan-Amurrism):

After Panbabylonism came the equally militant, but smaller, Pan-Amorite School of Albert Clay (Pan-Amurrism). See: Empire of the Amorites (1919) by Albert Clay (in which he states his Amurru theory), and  A Hebrew Deluge Story in Cuneiform by Albert Clay (1922). Clay, in a series of works beginning with Amurru, the Home of the Northern Semites (1909), proposed the hypothesis that the Semitic elements that entered into the composition of the Babylonian (Akkadian) culture had a long development in Amurru or Aram before they migrated into Babylonia. Clay's original volume was a protest against the wild claims of the Panbabylonists. However, he controversially substituted Pan-Amurrism for Panbabylonism. Other scholars rejected and refuted in detail the claims put forward by Winckler and his school but did so without proposing other theories having insecure bases as did the claims of Panbabylonism.


Some Egyptologists and others have made claims for the influence of Egyptian ideas upon the Old Testament. Egyptian parallels were used to support the borrowing of Egyptian ideas, especially of Wisdom Literature and certain Psalms. One early attempt was the small book, Aegypten und die Bibel: die Urgeschichte Israels im Licht der aegyptischen Mythologie by Daniel Völter (1855-1942) (4th edition, 1909). The book is about the composition of the Old Testament according to Egyptian beliefs. Völter was a German-Dutch theologian. In 1885 he was Professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of Amsterdam. He devoted himself in particular to the interpretation of Revelation.

Two leading Pan-Egyptian advocates of the 1920s were Grafton Elliot Smith (1871-1937, a distinguished anatomist who became professor of anatomy in 1919 at University College London) and James Rendel Harris (1852-1941, a Biblical scholar and curator). They held that civilization only arose once - and this was in Egypt - and then spread across the globe. (Smith held the view that any type of invention could only happen once. Hence the spread of an invention from a single location.) These two English "diffusionist" writers replaced Panbabylonism with an equally all-embracing Pan-Egyptionism. This Pan-Egyptian theory was most usually called the Manchester (the city where Smith held an institutional position before moving to University College London), or heliocentric (sun-centred) school of thought. The metaphor of the sun suggested that all cultures radiated from only a single source. The 'heliocentric' school flourished during the years between 1911 and 1934. It promoted the view that all higher forms of culture spread from Egypt along with solar religion. William Perry (1868-1949, British geographer and anthropologist who became reader in cultural anthropology in 1924 (actual appointment, August 1923) at University College London), was also noted for his diffusionist theory of cultural development. According to him Megalithic culture was transmitted to the rest of the world from Egypt. He frequently collaborated with Grafton Elliot Smith. He was also a convinced Heliocentrist. His books include: The Megalithic Culture of Indonesia (1918), The Children of the Sun: a Study in the Early History of Civilization (1923), The Origin of Magic and Religion (1923), and The Growth of Civilization (1924). The term diffusionism originates with the 'heliocentric' school. Smith and Harris were amateur archaeologists/anthropologists. The development of Smith's eccentric ideas began when he was appointed a professor of anatomy in 1900 at the Government School of Medicine in Cairo. He held this post until 1909. This was a period of major international archaeological research in the Nile Valley. Elliot Smith was combative in print regarding his diffusionist ideas (which were not usually written for the general public).

Smith, Harris, and Perry believed ancient Egyptian ideas were spread throughout the world from ancient Egypt, by voyagers who were seeking precious jewels.

In England at least, diffusionist works were treated respectfully and diffusionists were taken seriously through to the mid 1920s. Unlike the Panbabylonists their adherents were very few.

Samuel Hooke (1874-1968) seems to have been a prominent supporter of  the 'heliocentric school.' As it favoured Egypt as the cultural centre it was a rival to Panbabylonism.

Changes in funding support by the Rockefeller foundation contributed to the decline of this diffusionist school. Ultimately, scientific progress in archaeology in the 1940s proved beyond doubt that the Egypt of circa 4000 BCE could not have been the source of all human culture, and gave the coup de grâce to British hyper-diffusionism.

See: Grafton Elliot Smith: Egyptology and the Diffusion of Culture by David Crook (2012).


In the early 1900s the German assyriologist Arthur Ungnad developed a Pan-Subaraic theory. (Akkadian term Subaraic = Subartum/Subartu, meaning Assyria.) It was most developed in his book, Subartu (1936).

Pan-Hurrian School:

The Pan-Hurrian School of the 1930s - involving a small group of scholars only - did not completely materialise.

Myth-and-Ritual School:

The so-called Myth-and-Ritual School of the early 20th-century argued that there was a basic religious "pattern" shared by all the religions of the ancient Near East. Some of the early Myth-and-Ritual School scholars were William Smith, James Frazer, Jane Harrison, and Samuel Hooke. In 1959 Carl-Martin Edsman, in his essay "Zum sakralen Königtum in der Forschung de lezten hundred Jahre." (in: The Sacral Kingship (1959)), noted that the British Myth-and-Ritual School (as well as like-minded scholars in Scandinavia) held many similar ideas to the Panbabylonians, even though they seldom made reference to them. See: S. H. Hooke, Myth and Ritual: Essays on the Myth and Ritual of the Hebrews in Relation to the Culture Pattern of the Ancient Near East (1933); S. H. Hooke, The Labyrinth: Further Studies in the Relation Between Myth and Ritual in the Ancient World (1935); S. H. Hooke, The Origins of Early Semitic Ritual, Schweich Lectures for 1935 (1938).

North Arabian Theory:

Proposed the influence of North Arabia in Israel (especially Judah). Supported by the prominent scholars Thomas Cheyne (1841-1915) and James Montgomery (1866-1949). Cheyne published Traditions and Beliefs of Ancient Israel (1907), and The Two Religions of Israel (1912), supporting the theory. James Montgomery (1866-1949) supported the theory in his Arabia and the Bible (1934). The North Arabian theory (also called the Jerahmeelite theory) was advocated in different ways by Hugo Winckler, Thomas Cheyne, and Fritz Hommel (?). Aspects of the North Arabian theory were advocated by Hugo Winckler in 1893. Cheyne was the translator of Winckler's The History of Babylonia and Assyria (1906, translated 1907) into English. Cheyne was influenced by Panbabylonism. In 1902 Cheyne published his support for the North Arabian theory. Whereas the Panbabylonists would derive everything in the Old Testament from Babylonia, the North Arabian theorists would derive it all from the Jerahmeelites and from North Arabia. It basically involves the supposed influence of the North Arabian cult of Dusares also on the New Testament. One of the most widely spread cults of ancient North-West Arabia, if not even the most prevalent, was that of Dusares; who was a vegetation deity, probably associated more particularly with the vine. The Nabataeans claimed that Allat was the goddess-consort of Dusares.


The bible scholar Jan de Waard has coined the term Panqumranism for the exaggeration of similarities between the New Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls. See the "Introduction" to his book, A Comparative Study of the Old Testament Text in the Dead Sea Scrolls and in the New Testament (1965).

Pan-Hittite School:

Dr. Erik van Dongen, Part-Time Professor, Department of Modern Languages and Classics, Saint Mary’s University ( "A few decades in the shades followed for our subject. The person responsible for getting it back into the light was the German hittitologist Hans Gustav Güterbock. In the 1930s, Emile Forrer, a Swiss scholar working in Berlin at the time, had discovered a Hittite text that bore strong similarities to the Theogony, a didactic poem about the creation of the gods and their fights for kingship ascribed to the Greek poet Hesiod. Although Forrer published a few articles on the subject, it really caught the limelight only when Güterbock published a full edition of the Hittite text in 1946, followed by a more widely accessible article in the American Journal of Archaeology in 1948. This text pointed out once again that Greek culture had not developed in isolation, but somehow had been in contact with surrounding cultures and had taken over elements from them."


See: "Does the Idea of the Old Testament as a Hellenistic Book Prevent Source Criticism of the Pentateuch?" by Niels Lemche (Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament, Volume 25, Number 1, 2011, Pages 75-92). "Abstract: It is sometimes maintained that the dating of the Old Testament to the Hellenistic Period precludes any serious critical analysis of, in this case, the Pentateuchal narrative. It is my intent in this paper to state that this is not the case. On the contrary, the idea of the "Endprodukt" coming from a special period says little about the date of its individual parts. The essay will provide examples to show how the Pentateuchal stories rely on traditions (some today will say "memories") with a very old history of their own. Furthermore it is also the aim of this paper to warn against a pan-Hellenism as a substitute for the old "pan-Babylonism." There is no need to exchange a Babel-Bibel Streit with a new Hellas-Bibel Streit."


Claims that Zoroastrian or Iranian ideas moulded ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish thinking. See: Faith and Philosophy of Zoroastrianism by Meena Iyer (2009, Page 16). Pan-Iranianism is also mentioned by the French conservative scholar Jean Steinmann in his small book, Biblical Criticism (1958, Page 120).


The development of German diffusionism has its origins in the 19th-century. It was linked to their auto-identification with the Aryan 'race,' a supposed white master race that had migrated from Asia to Germany, establishing complex civilisations as they went. The belief in an Aryan origin of the 'Germanic race' also involved the variant scenario that the Aryan culture first originated in northwest Europe then migrated to Asia and then migrated back to Europe. The main proponents of this idea were Gustaf Kossina, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Reinerth, and Hans Günther.

Interestingly, Thor Heyerdahl held pseudoscientific racist theories and hyperdiffusionist ideas. Heyerdahl believed a white 'race' was the core/source for all major advances in human development. This type of claim derives from Victorian ideas of race which held that the Aryan peoples (the Indo-Europeans) were the apex of civilization, and all other peoples were culturally undeveloped. See: A Hero for the Atomic Age by Axel Andersson (2010). Also: "White-Skinned Gods: Thor Heyerdahl, the Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Racial Theory of Polynesian Origins" by Scott Magelssen (TDR/The Drama Review, Spring 2016, Volume 60, Number 1, (T229), Pages 25-49). Abstract: "Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 performative experiment, to sail a raft from Peru to Polynesia, was lauded as a feat of ingenuity and endurance. Largely undertreated is the racially motivated theory undergirding Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki project—that the first settlers in Polynesia were a race of bearded, white-skinned supermen who remained deities in both South American and Polynesian mythology. Contemporary commemorations, however, emphasize feel-good stories of human achievement over Heyerdahl’s racist performance." Scott Magelssen is (2016) Associate Professor in the School of Drama and Center for Performance Studies at the University of Washington. See also: "Burying the White Gods: New Perspectives on the Conquest of Mexico" by Camilla Townsend (The American Historical Review, Volume 108, Number 3, June 2003, Pages ?-? [39 pages]).

Pan-Africanism (Afrocentrism):

Contemporary movement originating circa 1970 that attempts to establish a legacy for its ideological core back to ancient Egypt.


An attempt (by a single person) to revive aspects of Panbabylonism as a so-called 'Neo-panBabylonian' theory. See: "Neo-panBabylonianism: A Cosmological Interpretation of Homer's Odyssey." by Safari Grey who refers to herself as "author, academic, astronomer." Paper presented at SEAC 2016, Bath. It appears she was a PhD student at University of Birmingham.

Pan-Armenian claims:

For decades Armenia has been claiming 'firsts' in everything. Within the context of a national movement, the root of all human history and civilisation is claimed to be Armenian; to originate in the prehistoric Armenian highlands some 1,000,000 years ago. In Armenia there is a close collaboration between science and tourism i.e., between science institutions/scientists and academics and travel agencies/experts in tourism. The promotion of "science tourism" has been established for several decades. A lot of claims originating out of Armenia seem to be aimed at bolstering their economically important tourist industry. The 1980's saw the beginning of nationalist mythmaking in Armenia. It was influenced by the belief that the Soviet Armenian historians were intent on undermining the national consciousness of the Armenian people by promoting the idea of a common Caucasian history. Needless to say this is a controversial viewpoint. During the 1970's Armenian historians at the University in Yerevan wrote the 4-volume History of the Armenian People; which is a history that is acceptable to them (and to be used with caution). Armenian independence was achieved in September 1991. The standard English-language history of Armenia The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Times edited by Richard Hovannisian (2 Volumes, 1997). It is a general survey of Armenian history. The editor is Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History, University of California, Los Angeles; and also the Holder of the Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Its scholarship stands outside of the Armenian nationalist project.


Some of the Panbabylonists such as Winckler, Jeremias, and Jensen were criticised for writing as if every scrap of archaeological evidence yet unearthed had supported their astral theories together with their views on the religion of Israel. In reality there is not a shred of evidence from archaeology for the views of the Panbabylonists.

The Panbabylonists made fantastic assumptions about the early age of a developed Babylonian astronomy based on sources that did not exceed Greek antiquity. Knowledge of the astronomy of the Babylonians had been advanced mainly by collaborative work done in England and Holland. The Panbabylonists thought that only remnants remained of an immense and ancient Babylonian astronomy. The Panbabylonists believed the astronomy of the Babylonians indicated an ancient/prehistoric culture that had attained complex astronomical knowledge, followed by diffusion and decadence. (The astronomical knowledge of the Greeks and Romans was based on what was transmitted from Babylon.) To some extent Panbabylonism was a product of the environment of Wilhelminian Imperialism, and its development waned with the end of that era.

The methods of Panbabylonism have been mined and refined or otherwise for over a century.

Friedrich Delitzsch originated 'Babel und Bibel' and never withdrew from his original position set out in his 1902-1903 lectures. His Die grosse Täüschung (2 volumes, 1920/21) is perhaps to be seen as the culmination of his work. His ideas were never widely accepted. Delitzsch's viewpoints were shaped by racial and theological biases. The lecture series (1902 to 1904) was part of an attempt by Delitzsch to prove the primacy of 'Indo-Aryans' in world history. Delitzsch believed the Babylonians were an 'Indo-Aryan' people. Hugo Winckler originated Panbabylonism - and promoted both Panbabylonism and 'Babel und Bibel' ideas. Without the benefit of objectivity, Pan-Babylonianism also claimed Sumero-Babylonian roots for almost every element of Israelite religion (and saw it as an astral religion). Leading German philologists Hugo Winckler, Heinrich Zimmern, Hermann Gunkel, Friedrich Delitzsch, and Peter Jensen staked out different and at times contradictory positions.

The Old Testament has some stories/themes showing similarities to stories/themes in the corpus of Ugaritic/Canaanite literatures. The New Testament is very much a product of the Roman era and demonstratively reflects the Graeco-Roman worldview of that epoch, e.g., in references to miracles, astrology or demonic possession.

Panbabylonism appeared at the beginning of modern, systematic, scholarly comparison. It is now appreciated that the issue of mythological parallels is more complex than anticipated when first raised.

The Panbabylonists did succeed in forcing how the increasing amount of information from the Near East (relating to cuneiform studies) was looked at in relation to Biblical studies and Israelite religion. However, scholars have become more rigorous in their use of parallels.

Panbabylonism was an episode of pseudo-science in early Assyrian studies. It was an extreme theory of single cultural origins - an example of extreme generalisation. For its critics, its mono-mania comprised premature simplifications. It placed an exclusive emphasis on the importance of Mesopotamia for human religion and culture. All the world's major religions and myths had an astral component and had their origin in the single astral religion of ancient Babylonia. Its tenets were never scientifically established. It has been described as an extreme form of the traditional comparative method. The Panbabylonism movement was characterised by excessive speculation and the absence of rigorous evidence. It was also skillfully popularised by its leading advocates, especially Winckler and Jeremias. The Panbabylonian movement has not been the only one to overstress and exaggerate "parallels" and similarities. The puzzling aspect of Panbabylonism is how such an improbable explanation for religion and mythology became so widely popular so quickly when there was no adequate supporting evidence for most of its claims. (It has been stated that Panbabylonism was never widely popular. However, at the very least, it had considerable successful for circa 2 decades.) The Panbabylonists had continuing difficulty in finding any proof-texts to support their views/tenets.

Claims differ regarding how widely Panbabylonism was accepted. Modern judgments are that it was not widely accepted (but mostly confined amongst German assyriologists of the pre-world War I era. (See: Fictional Akkadian Autobiography: A Generic and Comparative Study by Tremper Longman (199, Page 25).) Recently, the British assyriologist David Brown wrote ("The Scientific Revolution of 700 BC." In: Learned Antiquity edited by Alaisdair MacDonald et. al. (2003)): "More recently the evidence for and against cultural transmission to the biblical and classical world, and to India, has formed the subject of more measured studies attempting to move beyond the simple juxtaposition of similar motifs to the all-important issues of how and why transmission could have occurred - particularly in the fields of myth, divination, and in the exact sciences."

In her book review of Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East: The Reflexes of Celestial Science in Ancient Mesopotamian, Ugaritic, and Israelite Narrative by Jeffrey Cooley (2013) Francesca Rochberg writes: "One of the detrimental effects of Pan-Babylonism, besides the dissemination of highly fanciful and erroneous interpretations of nature and star-mythology and claims of the diffusion of such ideas from Babylonia to the rest of the world, was to drive a long-lasting wedge between scholars of Babylonian astral science and those of cuneiform literary texts. After Kugler's demolition of pan-Babylonist claims, the very idea that mythology and astral science might have some intertextual resonance became virtually anathema and no Assyriologist in his or her right mind would touch the subject for nearly one hundred years. This division has been slowly eroding in the last generation, and Cooley's study can be viewed as a culmination of this change in attitude. Poetic astronomy in the ancient Near East removes that wedge, provides a corrective to Pan-Babylonism (p. 87), and considers the cultural continuities between narrative and technical literatures, not only of the cuneiform world, but those of ancient Ugarit and Israel as well. The book's thesis is that contemporary knowledge concerning the heavens is indeed found in ancient Near Eastern literature, thus reflecting a cultural matrix in which science and literature are not separate." (See the (English-language) book review essay "Astronomy in the ancient Near East" by Francesca Rochberg in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Volume 45, Number 1, February 2014, Pages ?-?)

However, the school of Panbabylonism has left a legacy that remains influential still. Hamlet's Mill (1969) is a revival of the tenets of Panbabylonism. The parallelomania of Panbabylonism underpins Hamlet's Mill.

There is no reason to believe there was any association between Panbabylonists and the Thule Society.

Appendix 1: Tenets of Panbabylonism:

The Panbabylonist school is historically rooted in a period of time when the cultural sciences were concerned with questions of the diffusion, migration, and independent or parallel invention of cultural traits. Panbabylonism necessarily involved a diffusionist hypothesis, the world-wide influence of ancient Babylonian religion. The Panbabylonists rejected independent or parallel invention. According to them the theory of independent parallel invention could not logically account for the overwhelming amount of systematic unity that they extracted from their data. Jan de Vries (The Study of Religions, 1967, Page 95) defined Panbabylonism as a set of historical and diffusionist views. Their tenets comprised the belief in: (1) the astral content of major myths, (2) diffusion from the centre that was Babylonia, and (3) the early dating of sophisticated astronomy and astral beliefs in Babylonia.

The main premises of the Panbabylonism argument have been described by a critic (at the time the theory was popular) as: "(1) The Babylonian "Weltanschauung," i.e., the theory that everything on earth is but a reflection of the movements of the heavenly bodies, was completely worked out before our written documents begin, already in prehistoric times. (2) This "system" permeated the whole of Babylonia, Elam, Arabia, Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, and even Egypt from earliest times. Both these premises are assumptions. That the Babylonians did develop a "Weltanschauung" such as Winckler has worked out will be admitted by anyone acquainted with Babylonian religion and history; but they developed it in the course of their history, and it reached its full development only after the fall of the neo-Babylonian Empire."

Some problems of the Panbabylonism argument have been described by a critic (at the time the theory was popular) as: "But are they [i.e., the Panbabylonians] correct? Is there proof for such views? Has archaeology spoken in favor of the theories? Am I too dogmatic when I say that there is not a shred of evidence from archaeology for the views of the pan-Babylonian? This is a strong way of putting the matter, but we feel absolutely on safe ground when we so state. We do not question that given a theory, many findings of archaeology resemble points in the theory, but resemblance is not confirmation. Even granting that certain Babylonian myths, etc., resemble the biblical stories, it is not scientific to scrape together a conglomerate from all the quarters and ages of Babylonian history and then say, "See how Israel has borrowed from Babylon." Such, however, is the method of the comparative mythologists."

The Panbabylonist school held:

(1) All myths (they literally included every religion and mythology within their scheme of interpretation) are concerned entirely, or nearly so, with astral phenomena. (Most mythological narratives were held to have an astronomical basis and contain detailed (but hidden) astronomical information.) In particular they are concerned with the course of the Sun, of the Moon, and on occasion with that of the planet Venus, especially in relation to the twelve signs of the zodiac and the stars in them. Winckler argued that a common astronomical world view was predominant in the ancient Near East and that all the gods/goddesses of the ancient Near East were astral figures.

(2) This whole cosmological system was derived from Babylon (or rather a unified Babylon/Akkad) where it was fully developed as early as circa 3000 BCE. From Babylon its influence gradually extended over the entire world. (In this regard the Panbabylonists were hyperdiffusionists.)

(3) In the 3rd millennium BCE the Babylonians held the concept of the universe as a double-sided principle i.e., the astral belief of correspondences that everything on earth corresponds to its counterpart in the heavens.

(4) The Babylonians as early as 3000 BCE knew that the sun moved through the zodiac in a fixed period of time (i.e., the precession of the equinoxes) and were capable of reforming their calendar in accordance with such.

According to the theory of Winckler's school, Babylonian astronomy had reached its highest perfection as early as 3000-2000 BCE. By this period the Babylonians had knowledge of/had established:

(a) A constellation scheme (uranography) for the entire night sky.

(b) Marked the ecliptic.

(c) A zodiacal scheme.

(d) The position of the sun's course.

(e) The celestial equator.

(f) A scheme of celestial coordinates.

(g) An accurate calendar.

(h) The 8 years and 19 years intercalating cycles (and thus the relation between the sun and the moon).

(i) Reformed their calendar when the vernal point (or Autumnal point) passed from one sign of the zodiac to another.

(j) The position of the equinoctial points.

(k) The precession of the equinoxes (to the fairly exact figure of 50 seconds per year).

(l) The periods of the 5 planets.

(m) The phases of Venus.

(n) The 4 larger moons of Jupiter.

(o) A sophisticated mathematical knowledge.

(p) A highly developed astral-mythological scheme.

The central assumptions of the Panbabylonists were based on a comparative method. They saw in the myths of ancient cultures/civilisations world-wide traces of a prehistoric culture of an unknown location. Comparing the cultures/civilisations of the world, from Egypt to China, from prehistoric Europe to India, from Spain to North America, a common background in Near Eastern myths was claimed to be identified. The source and location of the prehistoric culture was claimed/named as Babylonia because Babylonia was identified as its oldest 'witness.'

The foundation of the theory of Panbabylonism was the claim for an early date for scientific astronomy in Babylonia. This entailed knowledge of precession of the equinoxes and a system of astronomical/astrological 'World Ages.' Both Winckler and Jeremias proposed ideas of world ages. Their system of astral world ages does not correspond with periods of history (i.e., emphasis particular zodiacal figures in iconography/symbolism). Both Winckler and Jeremias maintained that Babylonian history from the pre-historic period was divided into 3 major periods that correspond to the signs/constellations, Gemini, Taurus, and Aries. It was held by Winckler and Jeremias that if we do not take into account these 'cosmic ages' then we will be unable to understand the history of the ancient Near East. According to Jeremias it was during the 'age of Taurus' that Babylon became the metropolis of the world. The Babylonians did not divide history into astral ages. The Babylonians were not, as both Winckler and Jeremias maintained, aware of the precession of the equinoxes.

Winckler's assumptions regarding the astronomical knowledge of the Babylonians have not withstood investigation. Gradual Babylonian advances in astronomical knowledge from the 8th-century BCE prepared the way for the mathematical astronomy of the Seleucid period.

Appendix 2: Critique of Panbabylonism:


It is baseless to introduce such dramatic statements as "the much-feared pan-Babylonism." It was never "feared." It was easily rebutted.

The original foundation of Panbabylonism was the German star-myth school. and the comparative mythology pioneered by Eduard Stucken. However, it was quickly taken over and expanded within the context of assyriology by a number of German assyriologists, principally, Winckler, Jeremias, and Jensen. Their numerous publications were often populist. Panbabylonism emerged alongside the rigorous pioneering investigations of Epping and Kugler.

Though its supporters tried to prove their case directly and indirectly, Panbabylonism remained speculative throughout its existence. Panbabylonism had the difficulty of not being able to find proof-texts to support its dogmas. (Interestingly, some of the Panbabylonists such as Jeremias wrote as if every item of archaeological evidence unearthed gave support to their astral claims and also their views on the religion of Israel.) During the period in which they advocated their views the Panbabylonians were considered indiscriminate in their hypotheses, and most of their extreme ideas were rejected by both biblical and Assyriological scholars.

The Panbabylonists sought a single ancestral religion. Panbabylonists asserted there is a world-wide unity of myth. At core, the Panbabylonism of Winckler-Jeremias asserted that all of the world's major and religions had their origins in a single astral religion of ancient Mesopotamia. The a priori assumption that all myths are of astral origin and they are ultimately calendar myths was the foundation of the Panbabylonian method. In the light of the hyper-diffusionist hypothesis of Panbabylonism, all similarities revealed by comparison were constituted as evidence of the world-wide influence of ancient Babylonian religion. There is no explanation of why there was some type of 'cultural barrenness' outside of the Neolithic Near East. Astral ideas existed and some astral motifs became widely diffused in the ancient Near East. However, not on the scale envisaged by the Panbabylonists.

Panbabylonism is now regarded as discredited speculation. The Panbabylonists were/are criticised for their:

(1) Disregard for textual evidence.

(2) Excessive speculation (postulates and assumptions) and absence of rigorous evidence.

(3) Abuse of the argument from analogy.

(4) Wide use of secondary sources.

(5) Wide use of antiquated translations.

(6) Use of a preconceived chronology of Babylonian civilization.

(7) Uncritically argued ideas about an alleged Babylonian "Weltanschauung (i.e., astral philosophy)."

(8) Inability to provide any directly supporting statements contained in texts (i.e., the Panbabylonists could only argue their tenets were implied in widely divergent material).

(9) Overstressing "parallels" and similarities.

(10) Far-fetched interpretations and combinations.

The Panbabylonists were over-excessive in their claims for Mesopotamian influence; especially for the influence of cuneiform religion and astral science. Another of the problems with the Panbabylonists was they back-projected Hellenistic concepts into earlier times.

Working against the high antiquity of scientific astronomy in Babylonia is the fact that in the Old Babylonian omen literature the Babylonians used to predict eclipses by the risings, settings, and colours of the planets, and by liver- and oil-divination, and astronomical omens such as halos, and fog. (See: Antike Beobachtungen farbiger Sterne by Franz Boll (1916, Page 24); "Babylonian Celestial Divination." by Erica Reiner. In: Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination edited by Noel Swerdlow. (1999, Pages 21-37; Page 23); Observations and Predictions of Eclipse Times by Early Astronomers by John Steele (2000); and "Eclipse Prediction in Mesopotamia." by John Steele (Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Volume 54, Number 5, February, 2000, Pages 421-454; See Page 426).) Not until the Assyrian period were attempts made to predict eclipses using sound astronomical knowledge. Circa the early 7th-century BCE lunar eclipses could be predicted only shortly before  their occurrence. There is no evidence that the Babylonians possessed a physical theory of eclipses.

Many Panbabylonian arguments are not formed by evidence but rather by a general "Panbabylonian mentality." Interpretations were made to fit the overall theory.

One of the major flaws of the Panbabylonist school was to argue for a far too early date for the astronomical knowledge of the Babylonians. At the factual/evidentiary level the Panbabylonians placed too great a reliance on the seeming high antiquity of Babylonian astronomical/astrological texts, dating them circa 2000 years too early. Part of the problem lay with a misplaced chronology.

In the 1880s 2 Babylonian king lists were published for the first time. However, because of mis-readings and the general uncertain state of interpretation at the time, the first chronological models placed the reigns of kings far too early. With the gradual publication of new lists and datings the estimated dates of their reigns were gradually placed lower. In particular, the time between the estimated rule of Sargon of Akkad and Hammurabi of Babylon began to lessen. Cuneiform chronology began to have the appearance of being somewhat firmly established, but exactness was not suitable achieved until the 2nd half of the 20th-century. Up to circa 1930 Sargon of Akkad was generally believed to have reigned circa 3,800 BCE. This chronological error partly influenced the early dating of Babylonian astronomy by the Panbabylonists to circa 3,000 BCE. During the hey-day of Panbabylonism (early 19th-century) the chronology of early Mesopotamian/Babylonia was in a confused state. Very early dates were mistakenly established (and encouraged by Panbabylonists). Mesopotamian/Babylonian chronology was not suitably stabilized until circa the 1940s. At the turn of the 19th-century Sargon of Akkad was dated to circa 3,800 BCE until decades later circa 2,350 BCE was confidently established. (In one of his publications Jeremias dated Sargon to 2,650 BCE.) Hermann Hilprecht (who was also a Lutheran minister) had no problem with dating Enshakushanna, an early king of Uruk, to circa 6,500 BCE. The current dating is circa 2,500 BCE. Prior to the 1950s new material always compelled lowering of dates. (See, for example: "A Third Revision of the Early Chronology of Western Asia" by William Albright (Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, Number 88, December, 1942, Pages 28-36).

On the theoretical level the Panbabylonists placed too great a reliance on diffusion. Panbabylonists rejected the idea of independent or parallel development. It was held the idea of independent or parallel development was unable to account for the systematic similarity that Panbabylonists were claiming existed. Hence Panbabylonists were preoccupied with diffusion. Panbabylonists such as Winckler conceded that they did not know how ancient Babylonian ideas spread throughout the world. The assumption that astral (and other) ideas travelled only in one direction is rather simplistic.

The evidence shows Babylonian astronomy actually progressed through three phases:

(a) Simple descriptive (3rd millennium BCE): Names and mythic attributes.

(b) Systematic descriptive (2nd millennium BCE): Simple mathematical and positional.

(c) Scientific/mathematical (1st millennium BCE): Predictive and theoretical.

Interestingly, in the last centuries BCE astral religions developed regionally in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Appendix 3: Prominent Panbabylonists:


(1) Star Myth School:

(a) Ernst Siecke (1846-1935) (Germany) Philologist?/Teacher/Author/Editor. By 1897 at least Ernst Siecke was Dr. phil. und Professor am Lessing-Gymnasium in Berlin. He was a student of the German sinologist/philologist Franz Bopp (1791-1867). His published PhD thesis seems to have been, De Niso et Scylla in Aves mutatis (Scripsit Ernestus Siecke, 1884, 15 pages). At head of title: Wissenschaftliche beilage zum Programm des Friedrichs-gymnasiums. Ostern [Easter?] 1884. - "Programm no. 56." Ernst Siecke was a teacher, a member of the staff of a prestigious Berlin high school, Friedrichs-Gymnasium. (He is also identified as: Professor am Lessing-Gymnasium in Berlin.) He was a proponent of the German Volk and was openly anti-Semitic, but not openly anti-Semitic towards Jewish students in his classes. (See: The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich by George Mosse (1981, Page 156). Also: Die Judenfrage und der Gymnasiallehrer by Ernst Siecke (1880).) It appears likely that Siecke was a follower of Adolf Stöcker. Adolf Stöcker (1835-1909) was the court chaplain to Kaiser Wilhelm II, a politician, and a German Lutheran theologian who founded one of the first Christian Social Gospel political parties in Germany, the (anti-Semitic) Christian Social Party. He found that he could attract more followers to his conservative Christian Social political movement by attacking the Jews in Germany. The German folklorist Ernst Siecke was the real founder and most active supporter of the star-myth movement. For Siecke, myths are to be understood literally because their contents always refer to some specific celestial phenomena. In 1892 Siecke published his Liebesgeschichte des Himmels. This was the first of his many books and pamphlets supporting an astronomical interpretation of mythology. Together with Eduard Stucken he began the so-called 'star-myth' school which proposed astronomical interpretations of mythology. Basically, Siecke gave a lunar-solar explanation for all mythology. He was one of the founders of lunar mythology. In his pamphlet, Die Urreligion der Indogermanen (1897, Page 38) he asserted that all the great gods/goddesses of the primitive Indo-Germanic people go back to the sun, moon, heavenly vault, and like powers of nature. The result of his publications was that interest in star myths generally and the particular interest in Babylon had a mutual affect on each other and resulted in their combining together. According to Joseph Campbell (Flight of the Wild Geese, 2002, Page 199), Siecke followed the lead of Max Müller and cogitated on the lunar phases and the interplay of sun and moon. It appears that Max Müller was an influence on Siecke's early star myth books/monographs, Die Liebesgeschichte des Himmels (1892) and Die Urreligion der Indogermanen (1897). Both these publications supported "Panlunarism." The Star-Myth Movement laid emphasis on the predominant importance of the Moon ("Panlunarism") and also the sun. Siecke maintained that myths always referred to celestial phenomena, and especially to the changing character of the moon. The lunar school of mythological interpretation of Siecke was strongly influential for a time. Siecke identified that the number 9 occurs conspicuously in numerous moon sagas and saw its origin in an ancient application in time division. See also Siecke's early publication: Beiträge zur genaueren Erkenntnis der Mondgottheit bei den Griechen (1885). (Note: The title also appears as: Beiträge zur genaueren Kenntnis der Mondgöttin bei den Griechen (1885).For his approach to the folk-tales published by the Grimm brothers see: Über die Bedeutung der Grimmschen Märchen sür unser Vollstum (1896).

(b) Eduard Ludwig Stucken (18.3.1865, Moscow-9.3.1936(sometime incorrectly given as 1937), Berlin) (Germany) Writer (Playwright and Novelist)/Panbabylonist/Amateur Philologist/Grail Poet. Also, an amateur artist and amateur pianist. Stucken's drawings were published (he mentioned the English poet, painter, and print maker William Blake (1757-1827) as a major influence on his work). Stucken Edward was the son of a German-American merchant/businessman. After attending high school in Dresden from 1882 to 1884, he completed a commercial apprenticeship in Bremen. After completing his initial training as a merchant he then studied art history and linguistics (Assyriology(Assyrian) and Egyptology(Egyptian)) at universities in Dresden and Berlin. (He studied linguistics and Egyptology in Berlin, 1887-1890.) He then worked temporarily at the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg. He was widely travelled. Stucken undertook extensive tours of Europe and the East. His travels included to Greece, the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Italy and England as well. During 1890/1891 he took part in a scientific expedition to Syria. It is indicated he participated in more than one academic expedition to the Middle East. From 1891 onwards he lived in Berlin and worked as a freelance writer. Stucken is best known as a writer of literature. His early writing is heavily indebted to popular neo-romantic trends. However, his early attempts as a neo-romantic writer failed. In the following decades, he published a number of scientific studies in addition to anthropological and historical subjects. His numerous publications include studies on ethnology, the history of language, and myths (myth motifs). In 1902 he published Beitrage zur orientalische Mythologie. In 1913 Stucken explored his ideas of the relations of the alphabet with the Moon (Der Ursprung des Alphabets und die Mondstationen). His extensive published output also included literary works. Eduard Stucken has been described as an exotic and esoteric writer of neo-Romantic tendencies with a predilection for mythological themes. His literary work includes novels, short stories, poems and plays. Stucken's novels contain occult themes. Occultism was popular in Germany at the time. In his early, neo-romantic dramas his works are often derived from Celtic mythology. It has been remarked his prose works are characterized by the author's penchant for opulence and exoticism, and a tendency toward a bombast style. Stucken was a prolific author of Arthurian literature and also one of the neo-romantic poets. He wrote stories and several (lengthy) poems, epics, and dramas. Stucken wrote numerous successful plays on Celtic mythological subjects (though nowadays largely forgotten). Between 1901 and 1924 he composed 8 Grail dramas (eight-play Arthurian cycle) which were collected under the title, Der Gral. Ein dramatisches Epos (1924). Stucken produced wordy verse fairy tales in his 8-part dramatic Holy Grail cycle (most of which appeared 1902-19l6, Die Zauberer Merlin appeared in 1924). (His Grail cycle, or dramatic epos as it has been called, consisted of 8 plays: Gawan (1901), Lanval (1903), Lanzelot (1909), Merlins Geburt ("Merlin's Birth," 1912), Tristram und Ysolt (1916), Das verlo - rene Ich ("The Lost Self," 1922), Vortigern (1924), and Zauberer Merlin ("Merlin the Magician," 1924).) Several of the Arthurian plays were written in rhyming verse, and were produced by Max Reinhardt (1873-1943), Gawan (1902), Lanzelot (1909), and Merlins Geburt (1912), and treated the story of Tristan in the play Tristram und Ysolt (1916). His neo-romantic play Tristram und Ysolt [Tristram und Yseult] (1916), was heavily influence by the German composer Wilhelm Richard Wagner. (In 1938 Max Reinhardt emigrated first to England, then to the United States.) It has been stated that the culmination of the romantic drama was achieved by Eduard Stucken with these grail-cycle mystery plays. Stucken juggled plots and characters in order to transform the Grail quest into the central thread connecting Arthurian themes based on diverse sources, including Karl Immermann's Merlin: Eine Mythe (1832). His Grail plays combine religious mysticism and Jugendstil. Also, the plays were described as full of neo-romantic colouring and often feverish sensuality. It was also considered they lacked real dramatic impact. Stucken's most successful work was the multi-volume historical novel, Die weißen Götter (1918-1922), describing (inaccurately) the destruction of the Aztec empire by the Spanish. (Hefte 1: 1918; hefte 2: 1920; hefte 3: 1920; hefte 4: 1922.) The set of historical novels deals with Mexico and Montezuma in the period before and after the advent of Cortes. His novels were based on exotic subject matter, especially his 4-volume epic, Die Weiß Götter (1918(sometimes given as 1917)-1922). Stucken found international acclaim in his 50s with this particular novel. Previous to this recognition he had been prolific as a dramatist (writing plays). The novel was translated and printed several times and reflected the contemporary popularity of exoticism. It was translated into English as, The Great White Gods. Stucken immersed himself in Mexican lore when writing this novel. The novel was criticized for cramming far too much historical detail into its story. However, it was still considered exciting reading. The novel was a lengthy saga of the Spanish conquest of Mexico. See the critical (English-language) book review (in The Saturday Review of Literature, November 17, 1934, Page 289) by Oliver Farge of the English-language translation (by Frederick Martens), The Great White Gods (1934). Stucken is criticised for being a mediocre historian. Another of his historical works that was translated into English was The dissolute years; a pageant of Stuart England, translated Marguerite Harrison, published New York, Farrar & Rinehart, 1935. Stucken also wrote on vampires. It has been identified that Stucken’s great liking for the occult showed in his Astralmythen. For Stucken as an occult writer see: The Esoteric Musical Tradition of Ferruccio Busoni by Judith Crispin (2007, Page 235). Together with Ernst Siecke he began the “star-myth” school. According to Stucken all myths are creation myths. It was believed that the earliest form of myth in Babylon was a creation myth. Later forms of myth developed from this primary myth. Stucken wrote 'scholarly' works on astral myths, Oriental mythology, and Polynesian languages. (At least attempted such.) Stucken held to a diffusionist view of history (with some modifications to his ideas over time). Stucken was the first person to publish a major Panbabylonian work (Astralmythen, Part 1, 1896). His Astralmythen appeared in 5 parts over the years 1886-1907. This work of Stucken paved the way for the tenets of Panbabylonism which made Babylonian the prime centre of all ancient religious thought. The entire theory of Panbabylonism received its stimulus from Stucken’s elaborate work, Astralmythen. Astralmythen was originally prepared as a doctoral dissertation but was abandoned due to difficulties with it. His doctoral supervisor declared himself incapable of judging it. Stucken dedicated Astralmythen to the eminent folklorist Adolph Bastion (his uncle at the University of Berlin, who encouraged him in his academic pursuits), but as a diffusionist he explicitly rejected evolutionist ideas regarding folklore tales. Stucken had intellectual connections with the star-myth school of Siecke in that he adopted the methods of the star-myth school. However, Stucken (an amateur Orientalist/philologist) knew no restraint and attempted to trace the whole system of world myths (at least those he believed to be astral) back to Babylon. It was the work of Stucken that paved the way for the attempt to make Babylonia the prime centre of all religious thought. The sources for old Babylonian religion included an emphasis on, both actual and imagined, astronomical and meteorological phenomena. When the notion of diffusion was added on we had Panbabylonism. The religious nature of scientific knowledge in ancient Mesopotamia was quickly recognised from the earliest studies of cuneiform scientific texts. This - and building on the claims of the amateur comparative mythologist Stucken - was the foundation for the Panbabylonist claim for the existence of astral religions. Eduard Stucken likely followed the nature-myth theories of Max Müller. Of all the key Panbabylonists, Stucken was the least committed to the Panbabylonist endeavour. Whilst Stucken was initially influential to the Panbabylonian project he was too eclectic in his interests to be tied to it. His greater interest was literature. Later in life Stucken became interested in the Pacific region and the Americas. By 1927 some (dubious) linguistic parallels he had uncovered among Polynesia, the Americas, and Sumer made him question the basis principle of Panbabylonism: the origin of culture may not be the Near East but the Pacific region instead – Indonesia, or Thailand, or the lost continent of Atlantis. Eduard Stucken came to hold the opinion that the origin of civilization was to be located, not in Mesopotamia or the legendary continent of Atlantis, but in a 6th continent "Oceania," that has been broken up into the present archipelago of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia by cataclysmic upheavals of Nature. Stucken postulated the inhabitants of the east coast of the shattered continent "Oceania" found a 2nd home in America (also, there was possibly sea-borne commerce between the empire of the Incas and Polynesia), while the inhabitants of the west coast travelled by ship to India, Mesopotamia, and Madagascar (but may originally have settled in Thailand or in the Sunda Islands). Stucken cited what he believed was the affinity of language between the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Polynesians (Malayo-Polynesian languages), and the South Americans. (See Stucken's, Polynesisches Sprachgut in Amerika und in Sumer (MVAG, Band 31, Heft 12, 1927, 127 Pages).) (Paul Rivet (1876-1958, the French anthropologist/ethnologist and diffusionist) also made a similar claim.) The custom of building pyramids was also cited in support of the theory. According to Stucken words which were written in cuneiform script on clay tablets circa 6,000 years ago were still in use in America and Polynesia. As example of his philological argument: The Sumerian word kud means to part, the Maori word koti means to cut, the Peruvian word kutu means to break a thread with the teeth, and the Mexican word kokota means cutter. Stucken's scholarship was criticised for being too fanciful. Eduard Stucken belonged to the Prussian Academy of Arts and remained a member even after the Nazi purges of the Academy in 1933. In October 1933 he was one of the "loyal German authors" who were signatories of the loyalty pledge "Faithful Pledge of Allegiance ("Gelöbnisses treuester Gefolgschaft")," addressed to the Hitler regime. Throughout his life/career Stucken moved back and forth between literature and myth scholarship. Stucken became a father for the first and only time on his 60th birthday. He asked Alfred Jeremias to be the godfather. (See also: "Eduard Stucken: Eine Studie." by Clemens de Baillou (Kentucky Foreign Romance Quarterly, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1961, Pages 1-6). Less accessible is the most detailed examination of Eduard Stucken, Eduard Stucken: Eine Monographie by Ingeborg Carlson (1924-?) (1961, Reprinted 1978 as Eduard Stucken : (1865-1936) : ein Dichter und seine Zeit, German-language PhD thesis). For brief biographical details see: Dictionary of German Biography, Volume 9: Schmidt-Theyer edited by Walther Killy, et al. (2005, Pages 623).

Eduard Stucken (Photograph details unknown).

(2) Babel-Bible School:

(a) Friedrich Delitzsch (1850-1922) (Germany) Assyriologist/Philologist. Friedrich Delitzsch was a renowned Assyriologist (and the son of the evangelical German professor Franz Delitzsch). Friedrich Delitzsch was the outstanding student of the German Orientalist Eberhard Schrader (1836-1908). He was a professor of Semitic languages and Assyriology in Leipzig (1877), in Breslau (1893), and then Berlin (1899). He was among the founders of modern Assyriology. In addition to his purely Assyriological studies he investigated the Hebrew language in its relation to Akkadian and the Semitic languages in relation to the Indo-European languages. In addition to works on Assyriology, he published works on Sumerian, Hittite, the Old Testament (studies of the world of the Bible, and a critical account of Judaism and the Jews), and Islam. Most controversial are his liberal comparative studies of Babylonian culture and the world of the Bible. It is claimed that their motivation was not objectively scientific but blatantly anti-Semitic. In 1902, Delitzsch prepared a number of lectures on the topic of "Babel and Bible" in which he claimed the absolute superiority of "Babylonia" over "Israel" and that the Bible, in and of itself, is devoid of religious and moral value. Delitzsch identified Jesus as Babylonian and probably in part Aryan. In his last (anti-Semitic) publication, Die Grosse Tauschung (The Great Deception) he stated that the Hebrew Bible was an untruthful historical record that should be replaced by German Christians with Schwaner's, Germanen-Bibel, which collects the thoughts of Germany's heroes of the past concerning God, eternity, and immortality. During the 19th-century it was thought necessary for any type of Oriental study to be conducted only by scholars having philological expertise. Also, during the 19th-century and the early 20th-century the term Assyriologist was loosely applied to many scholars who had no primary interest  in ancient Mesopotamia but simply wrote or conducted short courses on ancient Mesopotamia. Delitzsch was well-liked by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

(3) Panbabylonism (Star Myth/Babel-Bible):

(a) Hugo Winckler (1863-1913) (Germany) Cuneiform Philologist/Assyriologist/Archaeologist/Historian. Hugo Winckler was born in Gräfenhainichen, Saxony-Anhalt, and died in Berlin. In 1886, soon after receiving his PhD, Hugo Winckler and Felix Peiser founded a scholarly society, the Akademisch-Orientische Verein zu Berlin. In 1898 Hugo Winckler was co-founder with Felix Peiser of the periodical Orientalische Literaturzeitung. Stucken, Winckler, and Jeremias were all founding members of the Society for the Promotion of Comparative Mythology. Winckler's presentation of Panbabylonism has been described as methodical, systematic, and coherent, even if not always convincing. The claim of the German Panbabylonists (especially Alfred Jeremias) that Mesopotamian/Sumerian astrology originated in the supposed zodiacal age of Gemini (circa 5,000-6,000 BCE) and is the foundation of all the religions and cultures throughout the world is impossible to maintain. Both Hugo Winckler and Alfred Jeremias claimed the astral theory underpinning the 'Weltanschauung' ('view of the universe') originated in the 'Age of the Twins' (Gemini). Hugo Winkler dated such between 5,700 BCE and 2,500 BCE. Winckler studied at the University of Berlin and was appointed associate professor of Assyriology there in 1904 (Professor of Oriental Languages?). (According to one source he became a lecturer at Berlin University in 1891 and professor extraordinary in 1904.) His early scholarly activities were focused on the study of Assyrian inscriptions. During his career Winckler studied and published numerous cuneiform texts, including the Code of Hammurabi and the Amarna letters. He headed several excavations in the Near East and Middle East. In 1903-1904 he took part in the excavations of the Phoenician city of Sidon. During the archaeological excavations in 1906-1907(1908?) (at what is now Boğazkale in Turkey), in conjunction with Theodore Makridi, the second director of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Winckler discovered the palaces and fortifications of the Hittite capital of Hattusa and the archives (10,000 clay tablets) of the Hittite kings (royal Hittite archives). Unfortunately the decipherment of Hittite was achieved after Winckler's death. The tablets were deciphered in 1924 by the Czech scholar Friedrich Hrozny. (Winckler continued excavations at the site until 1912. According to one source, from 1906 to 1912 he was in charge of the German excavations at Boghazköy (ancient Hattusas, the capital of the Hittite Empire in Asia Minor).) Winckler was the founder (co-founder?) of the German Near East Society (German Orient Society). In The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd-edition, 1970-1979), D[?] Reder states: "Winckler's historical views are distinguished by extreme idealism and subjectivity." Winckler frequently protested that he was being unfairly treated by his critics and that his publications on Panbabylonism had not been read by them. Winckler's enthusiastic promotion of Panbabylonism likely hindered his career prospects. Winckler's academic career also was not helped by his notoriously difficult personality. Though he was recognised as energetic, an original researcher, a fine translator, and editor he was 41 years old when he was appointed an associate professorship in Berlin. His career never advanced from this appointment. Winckler and Jeremias started off as academic enemies. Winckler had attacked Jeremias in print and Jeremias had responded in kind. A chance personal encounter between them (on a street) resulted in the consolidation of a friendship between them. Despite their different approaches to Panbabylonism they supported each other closely. See: "Hugo Winckler als Forscher." by Otto Weber (MVAG, Band XX, 1915, Pages 13-24).

(b) Alfred Jeremias (1864-1935) (Germany) Theologian/Archaeologist. Alfred Jeremias was born in Markersdorf bei Chemnitz, Kingdom of Saxony, and died in Leipzig. Jeremias was a student of Friedrich Delitzsch. Alfred Jeremias was not a pioneering assyriologist (though some persons still like to make this claim). After studying assyriology and theology Alfred Jeremias spent most of his life working as a Lutheran Pastor of the Luther Kirche in Leipzig. From 1890 until his death he was pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Leipzig, and from 1922 he was also professor at Leipzig University. Jeremias's Christian convictions acted to shape how he presented Panbabylonism. He received honorary degrees in 1905 from Leipzig and in 1914 from the University of Groningen. He basically pursued assyriology as a pastime and only late in life came to hold a permanent university position in assyriology. Following World War 1 Jeremias spent his time mostly updating his key publications and produced only a few new pamphlets. In 1891 he published the first German translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Alfred Jeremias would be judged "odd" by reasonable benchmarks. According to Jeremias a single religious system lies behind all the religions of the world. He held that the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language. He became an admirer of the notorious racist Hermann Wirth who was a Dutch-German lay amateur folklorist and historian of ancient religions and symbols. It appears Alfred Jeremias wasn't above toying with reincarnation and characterising the Panbabylonist Hugo Winckler as an old Babylonian king. Alfred Jeremias (The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient Near East, (English edition (1911), Volume 1, Pages 13 & 71) claimed mythological motifs connecting the beginning of a new era with Gemini (Dioscuros myths) indicate that the zodiac was devised in the 'age of the Twins.' He further claimed: "A planisphere from the library of Assurbanipal [K 8538 (CT 33, 10)], based upon ancient calculations ... shows a graduation of the sun's course and marks for the zero point a point between the Bull and the Twins ("Scorpion's Star, 70 degrees")." Alfred Jeremias concluded that the zodiacal division of the heavens was devised in the 'Age of Gemini' prior to the Sumerian civilisation beginning. Also, he claimed: "In the most remote time upon which we have as yet any historical light, the spring equinox was in the zodiacal sign of Gemini." (See: Ilgauds, Hans-Joachim. (2008). "Der Leipziger Theologe Alfred Jeremias (1864-1935) und die Geschichte der frühen Astronomie." In: Dick, Wolfgang. et al. (Editors). Beiträge zur Astronomiegeschichte, Band 9, Pages 185-204). Also: "The theologician Alfred Jeremias (1864-1935) of Leipzig and the history of early astronomy."; (German Title: "Der Leipziger Theologe Alfred Jeremias (1864-1935) und die Geschichte der frühen Astronomie.") by Hans-Joachim Ilgauds (Acta Historica Astronomiae, Volume 36, Pages 185-204; Abstract: "We present, after a short sketch of the life of A. Jeremias, his concept of historical development and his political views. Jeremias carried out religious studies at Leipzig University, and was one of the main proponents of "Panbabylonism", the notion that the Babylonian astral world view has given its imprint to all world cultures. He substantiated his views in handbooks as well as polemic brochures. The astronomical knowledge assigned to the Babylonians by the panbabylonists Winckler, Jeremias and Weidner is summarized, and the concept of precession is discussed in some detail. Obviously there were no contacts to astronomers of Leipzig Observatory, and Jeremias' poorly substantiated views were justly dismissed by later scientists like O. Neugebauer.")

(c) Heinrich Zimmern (1862-1931) (Germany) Assyriologist/Philologist.
Graduated in 1885 in Assyriology from the University of Leipzig. He was a student of Friedrich Delitzsch. Heinrich Zimmern began teaching at the University of Breslau in 1899 and at the University of Leipzig in 1900. The founder of the Leipzig school of Assyriology, he studied Sumerian and Babylonian literary and religious texts, the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages, Akkadian linguistics, and the influence of Akkadian on other languages. Zimmern also studied the Hittite legal code, the Old Testament, and documents from the Tell el-Amarna archive. Heinrich Zimmern was a scholar of outstanding ability at comprehending Babylonian and Sumerian texts. In 1896 Heinrich Zimmern, married Hilda Kühnen.

(4) Independent Stream (Star Myth/Babel-Bible):

(a) Peter Jensen (1861-1936) (Germany) Semitist, Assyriologist. Professor für semitische Sprachen; Professor für orientalische Geschichte (at the University of Marburg). Peter Jensen was born at Bordeaux, France. He was the son of Conrad Jensen, the Friesian pastor of the German-Danish Evangelical community in Bordeaux. From 1863 he  grew up in Holstein (the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider in northern Germany), In 1871 the family moved to Nustrup (Nordschleswig, the Danish-German border region  = South Jutland county), part of Denmark. Until 1879 he attended the Stadtgymnasium Schleswig. In 1880 he commenced studies at the Theologische Fakultät Universität Leipzig. However, he soon changed to Oriental Studies with a focus on Assyriology. Jensen obtained his Assyriological training at the University of Leipzig under Friedrich Delitzsch. One of the greatest authorities of his time on Assyriology. In 1883 he continued his studies in Berlin. He studied Hittite archaeology and Semitic archaeology at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin. He worked as a librarian in Kiel and Strasbourg. His Habilitation was completed in Strasbourg in 1888. Subsequently he became professor of Semitic philology at Marburg University (in 1892). (Professor für semitische Sprachen; Professor für orientalische Geschichte (at the University of Marburg).) He remarried in 1897 to Martha Luise Behn, and they had 3 children. (One source states he was only married once.) His senior academic qualifications were PhD  in Berlin (15-December-1884) and Habilitation in Strasbourg (25-April-1888). His PhD thesis appears to be: De incantamentorum sumerico-assyriorum seriei quae dicitur šurbu tabula sexta. His book, Die Kosmologie der Babylonier: Studien und Materialen (1890) was basically a philological study of some Babylonian literature. His book, Assyrisch-babylonische Mythen und Epen (1900) was well received. His main academic post was Associate Professor, Semitic Philology and Oriental History, Marburg University, 1892 (außerordentlicher (extraordinary) Professor) and 1895 to 1928 (ordentlicher (ordinary) Professor). His places of residence were: Bordeaux; Holstein, Nustrup, Leipzig; Berlin; Kiel; Straßburg; and Marburg. He did valuable early work with the translation of cuneiform texts. At the turn of the 20th-century he was a well-known Hittite scholar. In 1898 he published a book entitled (title in English) Hittites and Armenians, in which he claimed that the Hittite hieroglyphic (Hittite hieroglyph) was related to the Christian Armenian alphabet. This view was supported at the time by Harry Raphaelian. He also helped to bring the Gilgamesch epic to prominence. He became a firm supporter of Panbabylonist views and had an independent approach to the topic through the Gilgamesh epic. His 2 massive tomes on this theme (Das Gilgamesche-Epos in der Weltliteratur (Erster band 1906 - Zweiter band 1928)) helped the final demise of Panbabylonism. He  died 16-August-1936 in Marburg, after much suffering due to a stroke he suffered in January 1932. (According to one source he taught until his stroke.) See the detailed biography and bibliography in the entry for Peter Jensen by Reinhard Lehmann in Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexicon [BBKL], Band III, 1992 (Verlag Traugott Bautz GmbH).


(a) Georg Hüsing (1869-1930) (Germany) Philologist. Georg Hüsing (born 1869 in Liegnitz, Silesia - died 1930 in Vienna) was a versatile German scholar (primarily a linguist) who among other fields (e.g., German studies, mythology) specialized in Old Iranian and Elamite studies. He was also a Panbabylonist. He studied Oriental languages and ancient history in Breslau, Berlin, and Königsberg, where he took his Ph.D. in 1897 with a dissertation entitled Die iranischen Eigennamen in den Achämenideninschriften. He was a student of the Iranist Friedrich von Spiegel and the Orientalist/Iranist F. C. Andreas (one of the most distinguished Iranological scholars of his time). From 1912 on, he lectured on history of the ancient Near East at the University of Vienna - from 1921 as an associate professor (extraordinarius) (Associate Professor of the Ancient History of the East and Iran). He became an important figure in Austrian folklore studies. Hüsing was particularly occupied with the study of the history and culture, geography and ethnography, religion and mythology of ancient Iran. He edited and interpreted Elamite inscriptions. His proposed sequel volume to an early 2-volume work on Elamite cuneiform texts did not appear. His numerous publications have long been outdated. For a critique of Hüsing's general lunar mythological interpretations of folk narrative, see: "Mondmythologie und Wissenschaft," by Rudolf Much (Archiv für Religionswissenschaft, Band 37, (1941-1942), Pages 321-261). He vigorously questioned the existence of sun myths.

(b) Fritz Hommel (1854-1936) (Germany) Semiticist. Fritz Hommel was born in Ansbach, Germany and died in Munich. He studied in Leipzig (he was a student of Friedrich Delitzsch) and habilitated in 1877 in Munich, and in 1885 became an associate Professor of Semitic Languages. (His first (undergraduate) degree was in Semitics.) He taught in Munich for almost half a century. In addition to linguistics he was also interested in the history of the Middle East, and its connection/interaction with culture and intellectual life, for example in Ancient Egypt. Fritz Hommel held that the Egyptian religious system was based on, or derived from, the Babylonian religious system.

(c) Felix Peiser (1862-1921) (Germany) Philologist. He was born in Berlin and died in Königsberg. Felix Peiser was the son of Wolf Peiser, a Berlin publisher. Peiser completed his habilitation in 1890 at the Silesian Friedrich Wilhelm University. In 1894 it appears he went to the Albertina (Königsberg) (Albertus-Universität Königsberg) as Privatdozent. (He is also mentioned as: Priv.-Doc. a.d. Universität Breslau, circa 1892, where he worked on Hittite inscriptions.) In 1905 he was appointed professor at the Albertina (Königsberg). In 1898 (sometimes incorrectly given as 1899) he founded and was editor of the periodical Orientalistische Literaturzeitung at his father's press, with Hugo Winckler as co-founder.

(d) Karl Mücke (1854-1932) (Germany) Philologist. Karl Mücke is the German-language name of Arnošt Muka (Großhänchen, Germany) who was a Sorbian writer and folklorist. (The Sorbs are a Western Slavic people of Central Europe living predominantly in Lusatia, a region on the territory of Germany and Poland.) From 1869 to 1874, Arnošt Muka studied at the Gymnasium in Bautzen. Then from 1875 to 1879 he studied theology, philology and Slavic Studies at the University of Leipzig. He obtained a position as a teacher at the Gymnasium in Bautzen and Zittau.

(e) Immanuel Benzinger (1865-1935) (Germany) Protestant Theologian/Old Testament Scholar/Orientalist. Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at University of Berlin (1898-1902); spent 10 years (1902-1911) teaching (Old Testament Exegesis [?] in Jerusalem at various Christian institutes and at the Ezra Society School) and doing research (excavated at Megiddo from 1903 to 1905) in Palestine; Professor of Bible [Oriental Languages?] at University of Toronto (1912-19125); Meadville (Pennsylvania) (1915-1918); Riga (Latvia) (1921-1935). He was a follower of the Wellhausen school of biblical criticism before later becoming an adherent of the Panbabylonian school. In some ways Panbabylonism was a further development of the (secular) school of biblical criticism of Julius Wellhausen (1844-1918). Its culmination was the Babel-Bibel controversy. Wellhausen challenged the documentary theory of the Pentateuch. He proposed multiple authorship of the texts and also a late date for their composition. Previously scholarship had upheld belief in the very early date of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and believed it had influenced other early cultures.   

(f) Otto Weber (1857-1928) (Germany) Orientalist/Philologist/Assyriologist. At the time of his sudden death Otto Weber was the Director of the Ancient Near East Department (Vorderasiatischen Abteilung Department) of the Berlin Museum (BerlinerMuseen). Among his responsibilities was the collection of Boğazköy texts recovered by his friend Hugo Winckler. After Winckler’s death in 1913, Weber continued the excavations in Boğazköy. For several years Weber devoted his attention to the restoration, editing and publication of the Boğazköy texts. Otto Weber made significant contribution to the organization of the Berlin Museum, the planning of new buildings, and also to the professionalization of both the museum administration and its public relations. Otto Weber studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) in Munich with Fritz Hommel. He worked as a philologist first with South Arabian and Assyrian texts. He also worked as an archivist in Landshut. After the death of Leopold Messerschmidt, the first curator of the Ancient Near East Department in 1911, he eventually obtained the position. On 1 April, 1912, the beginning of the new financial year, Weber was appointed Curator of the Ancient Near East Department on the same salary as his predecessor. However, unlike Messerschmidt, Weber was also appointed Professor. It was not until 1 April, 1919, that he was finally appointed the first full-time director of the cuneiform collection of the Berlin museum. Weber remained in this role until his sudden death in 1928. Weber was recognised for his leadership, organisational, and diplomatic skills.His (German-language) book, Die Literatur der Babylonier und Assyrier (1907) provides a general guide to the literature and ideals of Panbabylonism.

(g) Ernst Weidner (1891-1976) (Germany) Assyriologist. He began publishing books and articles on Babylonian astronomy whilst still in his teens. He was a student of Felix Peiser. As a young Assyriologist Ernst Weidner was strongly influenced by the Assyriologist and Panbabylonist Felix Peiser (who was editor of the journal Orientalistische Literaturzeitung). The very young Weidner was a convinced Panbabylonist and an active supporter of the Panbabylonist ideas of Hugo Winckler and Alfred Jeremias. In 1923 he began his own periodical Archiv für Keilschriftforschung. With the issue of Volume 3 in 1926 the name of the periodical was changed to Archive für Orientforschung. (The periodical was published direct by Ernst Weidner as the editor.) Weidner remained its editor until his death. Weidner graduated in 1922 from the University of Leipzig. (It appears his doctoral thesis was on the Babylonian constellations; especially the constellations of the zodiac: Der babylonische Fixsternhimmel. I. Die Gestirne des Tierkreisgürtels.) His Habilitation (Die Reliefs der assyrischen Könige) was completed in 1942. Until 1942 he lived in Berlin (apparently relying on journalism as a principal means of income). At the beginning of 1943, Weidner gained the position of Professor in the Department of Oriental Research at the Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz. During his early career he focused on Babylonian astronomy. Later, he focused on Babylonian chronology and did excellent work in this area. Both Ernst Weidner and Franz Kugler, the trenchant scholarly critic of Panbabylonism and the leading expert on Babylonian astronomy, were mutually combative and when Kugler died Weidner made only a brief mention of such in his periodical. Unlike Peiser's approach as editor of Orientalistische Literaturzeitung Weidner did not make Archive für Orientforschung a platform for Panbabylonist views. The journal published scholarly papers encompassing a wide outlook. Weidner's early announced plan to publish a comprehensive 3-volume study of Babylonian astronomy was abandoned after publication of Volume 1 in 1915. In his periodical Archive für Orientforschung Weidner published, in the 1940s and 1950s, a series of valuable papers on the first 50 tablets comprising the omen series Enuma Anu Enlil. Relevant key publications: Handbuch der Babylonischen Astronomie (1915, reprinted 1976 but now thoroughly dated and unreliable). Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie by Ernst Weidner (1914) was written from the Panbabylonism standpoint and is a veritable wonderland of Panbabylonism. (It was completed several years prior to its publication in 1914, and was in press from 1913.) In Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie Weidner declared a sophisticated Babylonian astronomy existed at least circa 2,000 BCE, misunderstood and incorrectly used 'The Hilprecht Text' (HS 245) – which he could not date (but is Middle Babylonian Period circa latter part of the 2nd-millennium BCE) - as evidence of an early sophisticated mathematical astronomy (before the Kassite Period), and asserted texts from the library of King Ashurbanipal go back to at least 4,500 BCE. (For Weidner 'The Hilprecht Text,' which he believed likely dated to the 3rd-millennium BCE, provided evidence for an equator-based system of coordinates for measuring the locations of fixed stars.) Weidner also wrongly claimed that the Babylonians identified the Pole of the Equator and the Pole of the Ecliptic. In Handbuch der babylonischen Astronomie Weidner holds that (Pages 32-34) Nibiru is the Pole of the Ecliptic (= Enlil is the Pole of the Ecliptic), and (Page 97) kakkab MU-SIR-KEŠ-DA = kakkab Niru, is the Pole of the Equator (= Anu is the Pole of the Equator).)

(h) Carl [also appears as Karl] Fries (1867-circa 1950? (the date 1934 is likely mistaken)) (During 1934-1936 he published a number of articles; in 1935?/6? he published in Philologische Wochenschrift (Band 56, Pages 254-256); he is indicated as active to at least 1943)) (Germany) Classicist?/Philologist? He resided in Berlin where he was a Gymnasialoberlehrer (Upper Secondary School teacher (but also described as Gymnasiallehrer (High School teacher)). Was described as an accomplished Orientalist by a book reviewer in The Classical Review. His PhD appears to have been: Quaestiones Herodoteae: Dissertatio Inauguralis by Carolus Fries (1893, 40 pages). However, the title Weddâsê Mârjâm (1892) also appears as a published dissertation (Universität Up[p]sala) for Carl Fries. A number of his publications on Homeric subjects were highly speculative. Fries uncritically applied solar methodology to the Odyssey (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.) Carl Fries argued for the Babylonian borrowing of the Odyssey. 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.) 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.

(i) Ferdinand Bork (1871-circa1962) (Germany) Assyriologist/Philologist ("Oberlehrer F. Bork, Königsberg (Pr.)."). Ferdinand Bork was an expert on Elamite script. Among his writings are are those claiming a Venus-year calendar was being used in ancient Elam. See: Bork, Ferdinand. (1910). "Das elamische Venusjahr." (Memnon, Band 4, Pages 83-105); the critique by Hrozný, Friedrich. (1911). "Das Venusjahr und der elamische Kalendar." (Memnon, Band 5, Pages 81-98); the reply, Bork, Ferdinand. (1911). "Entgegnun." [to Hrozný]. (Memnon, Band 5, Pages 99-1-2). See also: Weidner, Ernst (1911) "Die astronomische Grundlage des Venusjahres." (Memnon, Band 5, Pages 29-139). Theis, Johannes. (1911). "Zum Namen der Istar." (Memnon, Band 5, Pages 40-41). (Note: Circa 1913 or slightly earlier he was apparently connected with Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat zu Berlin. He appears to have been an assyriologist and biblical scholar, Semiticist/Philologist. He also appears to have been connected with Friedrich Delitzsch. Amongst his publications is the short pamphlet, Sumerisches im AltenTestament (1912, 45 pages). PhD thesis: Geschichtlich und literarkritische Fragen in Esra 1-6. Inaugural- Dissertation von Johannes Theis (Münster i. Westf., 1910). His 1917 book Die Weissagung des Abdias carries the following information: "Dr. theol. u. phil. Johannes Theis, Profeffor des Alten Teßamentes und der Hebräirchen Sprache am Bifchöfliehen Priefierfeminar zu Trier." Biblica, Volume 30, 1949, Pages 477: "Dr. Johannes Theis, n. Oberweis, 17 lui. 1878, annis 1913-1938 prof. exeg. VT et lin- guarum orient, in Seminario Maiore Trier, m. Oberweis 2 Maii 1949.")

(j) Paul Haupt (1858-1926) (USA) Assyriologist/Philologist. Paul Haupt was a brilliant Semitic linguist and scholar and pioneer of Assyriology in North America. He initiated Assyriology at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. He was Director of the Oriental Seminary of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Hermann Hugo Paul Haupt born in Gorlitz, Germany and died in Baltimore, Maryland (USA), was a Semitic scholar and a pioneer of Assyriology in the USA. He studied at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin. He studied Oriental languages at the University of Leipzig where he received his Ph.D. 1878. Haupt then spent 5 years doing post-doctoral work in Semitic languages at the University of Leipzig, the University of Berlin, and the British Museum. In 1880 he became privatdocent in the University of Göttingen and from 1883 to 1889 was assistant professor of Assyriology. In 1883 he arrived in the USA ready to begin his appointment as Professor of Semitic languages at John Hopkins University. Until 1889 he also continued to lecture in the summer at University of Göttingen. He began the initial school year of 1883-1884 at John Hopkins by teaching language courses in Sumerian and Akkadian. Paul Haupt is credited with being the first person to scientifically treat a bilingual Sumerian-Akkadian text. See his 1879 book, Die sumerischen Familiengesetze (The Sumerian family laws). In 1883 (January 3 to January 13, 1884) Paul Haupt conducted a course in Assyriology specially designed for scholars and professors from other institutions. The course was repeated in 1890. No fee was charged for the course. It covered Akkaian language, history, and art. By the early 1890s Haupt was also teaching courses in Hebrew, Aramaic, Ethiopic, and Arabic. Haupt served as associate editor of the new journal Hebraica (begun in 1884), and he became co-editor with Friedrich Delitzsch of the journal Beiträge zur Assyriologie und semitischen Sprachwissenschaft (established in 1889 and published in Leipzig). Some of his publications include: Akkadische und sumerische Keilschrifttexte (1881-1882), and Die akkadische Sprache (1882). Haupt also developed and edited the Polychrome Bible, a critical edition of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, with a new English translation with notes. The Polychrome Bible used different colors to distinguish the various sources and component parts in the Old Testament books - each one of which was entrusted to a specialist in biblical studies.

(k) (Baron) Felix Oefele [Felix Freiherr von Oefele] (1861, Wildberghof (Mittelfranken) -1954(1955?), New York) (Germany) Doctor of Medicine/Historian. Felix Freiherr von Oefele was born in Wildberghof (Mittelfranken) and died in New York City. His address in Ney York in 1913 was: Dr. Felix, Freiherr von Oefele, 326 East 58th St., New York, N. Y. In 1908 he migrated to the USA and established a pathological laboratory. He had practiced medicine for a number of years in Germany. He studied medicine in Erlangen and Munich. After completing university, in 1885 he worked for several months at the Marine Zoological Station (Zoologischen Meeresstation) in Naples. After his Approbation, he practiced physician at various locations in Bavaria, before establishing a medical practice in 1892 as a doctor in Bad Neuenahr. At the age of 50 he began studying Egyptian hieroglyphics and became a noted Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer. His numerous monographs and journal articles naturally included his medical expertise in the field of Balneology and through clinical chemistry and dietary treatment of metabolic diseases. Oefele's studies of the medical knowledge and practices of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia are particularly important and are based on the original sources. Also, other medical history research dealt with the importance of astrology and superstition in medicine. His publications include: Handbuch der Geschichte der Medizin (Band 1, 1901, See especially pages 52-109);  Keilschriftmedizin in Parallelen (1902, 32 pages). The former dealt with the early history of medicine in West Asia, Egypt and the Mediterranean. The latter (mostly dealing with the use of drugs) was based on cuneiform tablets in the Kouyunjik-Collection (and is generally termed 'cuneiform medicine'). For a detailed study of cuneiform medicine see: Franz Köcher, Die babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen (6 Volumes, 1963-1980; texts from Assur and Nineveh).

(l) Fritz Saxl (1890-1948) (Germany) Art historian. Born in Vienna, Austria. He studied art history and archaeology at the Institüt für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, in Vienna. His PhD was completed in 1912 when he was 22 years old. The topic of his doctoral dissertation was Rembrandt. He first met Aby Warburg, a private scholar and art historian, in 1911. In 1913 he joined the Warburg library in Hamburg (Warburg's library was held in a house in Hamburg) as the librarian. He served as a first lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War 1 and returned to the Warburg library in 1919. From 1918 to 1923 Aby Warburg suffered from severe mental illness and was hospitalised. (From 1921-1923 Warburg was treated by the psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger (1881-1966).) During the time Warburg was committed to a metal asylum Saxl developed the library into the Warburg Institute (basically accomplished in 1921) and aligned it with the University of Hamburg (established in 1921). Warburg had initially discussed with Saxl in 1914 the idea turning his vast personal library into a research institute. However, the advent of World War 1 delayed the idea. When Warburg died in 1929 Saxl became the director of the Warburg Institute. The existence of the Jewish-named library was made difficult when the Nazis came to political power in 1933. In 1933 Saxl succeeded transferring the Warburg Institute to England. This involved the shipping of some 60,000 books alone. Aby Warburg had begun collecting such in 1886 and the collection had come to include many rare books on astrology. In 1934 Saxl moved to England permanently with the successful relocation of the Warburg Institute from Hamburg to London (and became a British citizen in 1940). Initially he had hoped to moved the Warburg Institute to Holland but the negotiations were unsuccessful. The University of Leiden had suitable quarters to house the Warburg Institute but had no funds to support it. He had then entered into a contract (1933) to move the Warburg Institute library "on loan" to the Courtauld Institute at the University of London. In 1944 the Warburg Institute officially became part of the University of London. Saxl, due to the influence of Warburg, viewed the history of art as the history of the transmission of pagan mythology. He frequently traced the history of many medieval iconographic themes to ultimate origins in Babylonian traditions. For a critical discussion 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 Survival of the Pagan Gods (1940)) see the first critical analysis in Regenten des Himmels by Dieter Blume (2000). Also, Duits, Rembrandt. (2005). "Celestial Transmissions. An Iconographical Classification of Constellation Cycles in Manuscripts (8th-15th Centuries)." (Scriptorium, Volume 59, Pages 147-202); and Duits, Rembrandt. (2011). "Reading the Stars: Fritz Saxl and Astrology." (Journal of Art Historiography, Number 5, December, Pages 1?-18?). Also, 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 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."]

(m) Paul Schnabel (1887-1947) (Germany) Philologist/Historian. Also described as an Orientalist. Associate Professor/Professor at several universities in Germany. Paul Schnabel has also been identified as a pan-Germanist völkisch philosopher. In the 1920s Paul Schnabel wrote articles on Babylonian calendars and astronomy. The German ancient historian and classical philologist Paul Schnabel was born in Steinbach/Thüringia (now Sonnenberg) and died in Schkeuditz). Schnabel studied ancient (Near Eastern) history and classical philology in Leipzig and Jena. He completed a doctoral thesis on Berosus in Jena in 1911. In the following years, until the outbreak of World War II, Schnabel worked as a teacher. After his military service from 1914 to 1918 he taught at the University of Halle-Wittenberg, and was made an associate professor in 1926. He received a scholarship from the Prussian Ministry of Culture until 1930. In 1933 he joined the Nazi Party and in in 1934 was made a lecturer in the history of the ancient Near East in Halle. A nervous disease triggered by a malaria infection ended his career in 1937. His teaching qualification and title of professor were withdrawn in 1938 and he was committed to a mental hospital. Paul Schnabel focused mainly on the history and chronology of the ancient Near East, in particular, Berosus, and ancient geography (including Claudius Ptolemy).

(n) Paul Ehrenreich (1855-1914) (Germany) Ethnologist/Anthropologist. Ehrenreich escapes the label of Panbabylonism. Paul Ehrenreich was an ethnologist and anthropologist who studied medicine and the natural sciences in Berlin, Heidelberg and Würzburg. Ehrenreich established his reputation as an anthropologist by his explorations in Brazil. 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. The nature mythology of Paul Ehrenreich was of a solar or lunar kind. Basically, Ehrenreich focused on panlunarism (unkindly termed selenomania by critics).

(o) August Wünsche (1839[1838?]-1913) (Germany) Christian Hebraist/Historian. Karl August Wünsche was born in Hainewalde bei Zittau and died in Dresden.Senior teacher at the Dresden Municipal Higher Girls' School from 1869 to 1905. (Oberlehrer an der Städtischen Höheren Töchterschule Dresden 1869-1905.) Wünsche was a colleague of Alfred Jeremias. He devoted his studies almost exclusively to rabbinic literature (specialising in Jewish mysticism).

(p) Knut Tallqvist (1865-1949) (Finland) Assyriologist. Knut Leonard Tallqvist was a prominent Finnish Semiticist and Assyriologist and the founder of Finnish Assyriology. He was the first specialist in Assyriology in Finland. Tallqvist obtained his Assyriological training at the University of Leipzig under Friedrich Delitzsch. Tallqvist became lecturer in Assyriology and Semitic languages in Helsinki in 1891. From 1899 to 1933 he was professor of Oriental literature at the University of Helsinki. From 1893 to 1895 he went on archaeological expeditions to Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Tallqvist published a lengthy book (approximately 400 pages with illustrations) on moon worship and moon folklore, Månen i myt och dikt, folktro och kult (1947). It was never translated from Swedish. He also published, as a pamphlet, his article, Babylonische Schenkungsbriefe transscribiert, übers. und commentiert (1891), a study of Assyrian-Babylonian letters autographed by Johann Strassmaier. For biographical details see: Knut Tallqvist och hans fäs editor and contributor Hellen Tallqvist (1986, Volume 7 of Svenskspråkiga skrifter utgivna av Finska Orientsällskapet).

(q) Wilhelm Bousset [Commonly but incorrectly spelled Boussett.] (1865-1920) (Germany) New Testament Scholar/Theologian/Historian (Professor at Göttingen). In the early years of the 1900s, a prominent supporter of the Babel-Bibel school. Wilhelm Bousset was born in Lübeck and died in Gießen (and was of Huguenot ancestry). He was a New Testament scholar and theologian. He began his studies at the University of Erlangen. Later he studied at Leipzig, where he was student of Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930). He then continued his studies at the University of Göttingen. Bousset was professor successively at the universities of Göttingen and Gießen. In 1890 he became the Professor of New Testament Exegesis at Göttingen, and in 1916 relocated to the University of Gießen as a senior professor. He was co-founder of the so-called Religionsgeschichtliche Schule (history of religions school) of biblical study. His many publications include works on New Testament textual criticism, Gnosticism, and the early church. His better known work involved comparative studies between the early Christian church and other religious beliefs, particularly Hellenistic Judaism. Bousset showed in his writings that Christian thought was profoundly influenced by neighboring cultures and belief systems.

(r) Wilhelm Erbt (1876-1944) (Germany) Scholar. Wilhelm Erbt was an authority on Jewish and Teutonic folklore. He specialised in Biblical history and was considered a militant partisan of Panbabylonism. Wilhelm Erbt (Dr. phil., Pädagoge) was Director of the Lyceum in Neumünster (Direktor des Lyzeums Neumünster). In the early years of the 1900s, he was a prominent supporter of the Babel-Bibel school. In his book Hebraer (1906), however, whilst appearing to accept Winckler's astral theory, he does not make use of it. In this book he also makes limited use of mythological interpretations of Israel's history. During the course of the Nazi regime he became involved with racial theories.

(s) Wolfgang Schultz (sometimes (apparently mistakenly?) spelled Schulz). (1881-1936) (Germany) Philologist/Linguist. Wolfgang Schultz was Privatdozenten in Wien. He became an important figure in Austrian folklore studies. Wolfgang Schultz was a disciple of the Indologist, Leopold von Schroeder. Schultz was a member of the German "star myth" school. He favoured a lunar interpretation of mythology and iconography (see especially his published Habilitation). Schultz was born in Vienna and studied Philosophy, Mathematics, and Classical Philology at the University of Vienna. In 1904 he received a PhD for his doctoral dissertation on "Color Sensitivity of the Hellenes." (He had become familiar with Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau's racial teachings.) Schultz's Habilitation submitted to the University of Vienna (and later published) was "Zeitrechnung und Weltordnung in ihren überein-stimmenden Grundzügen bei den Indern, Iraniern, Hellenen, Ithalikern, Kelten, Germanen, Litauern und Slaven." Under the influence of Leopold von Schroeder and Georg Hüsing he directed his research interests to comparative religion and mythology/comparative mythology. He was also interested in fairy tales and riddles. Prior to WWI he was primarily interested in 'the intellectual history of the early Indo-Germanic Peoples.' He served with the German military during WWI (and was imprisoned in connection with such). In 1918 he became "Curator" of the newly founded "Research Institute of the East and the Orient" in Vienna. In this role he also devoted himself to establishing "schooling courses" for high school and university students, and also held "instructional courses" for the diet warden of the gymnastics union and the leaders of the "School Union of South Styria." The Teaching Program 'German Education' (founded in 1919 by Georg Hüsing or Wolfgang Schultz, probably with the assistance of the other person) contained the tenets of racial hygiene. Wolfgang Schultz was one of the early and leading National Socialists in Austria. Due to pressure from persons opposed to his political and racial views he relocated to Görlitz (a German town on the Lusatian Neisse River) as a 'private scholar ("Privatgelehrter").' There he made fiends with the pre-historian Gustaf Kossinna. After Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933, the State Minister Alfred Schlemm appointed Schultz to the chair of Philosophy at the University of Munich, as 'Professor for Germanic World View Studies (Philosophy)' (in 1934). He was to establish an 'Advanced School for Racially Pure Thinking' drawn from Nordic intellectual history. He was the Bavarian State Leader in Alfred Rosenberg's 'Reich Union for German Prehistory,' and he also belonged to the Reich Leadership of the NSDAP. Wolfgang Schultz, Georg Hüsing, and Edmund Mudrak were 3 of the primary representatives of the 'Mythological School.' All 3 gave lectures in the Teaching Program 'German Education.' It is considered that all 3 were living in an 'intellectual fantasy.' From 1919 until 1931 the Teaching Program 'German Education' was associated with the Deutsch-Österreichischer Jugendbund (German-Austrian Youth Union). Throughout its existence the teaching faculty and lecture/instruction hours decreases rapidly. The last meeting was in 1938. Georg Hüsing remained part of the program until shortly before his death. He used it to propagate a Germanic-German revival. From 1922 to 1933 the meetings were held in the Histology Institute of the University of Vienna. For the first 4 programs the name of Wolfgang Schultz is included as a lecturer. Schultz was editor of the journal 'Mitra: Monatschrift für vergleichende Mythenforschung,' published from 1914 to 1920. It was one of a number of early outlets for the 'Mythological School.' (The monthly journal Mitra issued a program statement in the editorial of the first issue (draft translation): It will focus on serious investigations toward the field of comparative mythology, regardless of the direction and "school" only if the methods of work/investigation suit scientific requirements. It promises factual criticism and new publications.) Wolfgang Schultz died unexpectedly in September, 1936, from complications following a difficult operation. See: The Study of European Ethnology in Austria by James Dow and Olaf Bockhorn (2004). Obituaries by Otfried "Otto: Wilhelm von Vacano for Wolfgang Shultz appeared in the bi-monthly periodical Germanen-Erbe, Band/Number? 1, 1936, Page 193 ("Wolfgang Schultz."); and the monthly periodical Volk und Rasse, Number 11, 1936, Pages 442-444 ("Wolfgang Schultz zum Gedachtnis."). Both periodicals were Nazi Party publications. Otfried von Vacano (Erstein, Alsace, France 1910-1997) was a German archaeologist and an authority on the Etruscans

(t) Anton Deimel SJ (1865-1954) (Germany) Sumerologist(Assyriologist)/ Theologian. Born Olpe, Westphalia, 1-12-1865, died Rome, 7-8-1954. In 1888 he entered the Society of Jesus in Blijenbeek, Netherlands. Professor of Assyriology at the Pontifical Institute in Rome. From 1904 to 1907 he initially studied Assyriology under Johannes Strassmaier in London. From the founding of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in 1909, he occupied the chair of Assyriology, becoming emeritus in 1941. Deimel was a highly productive scholar who spent many years studying the temple documents recovered from Lagash and contributed significantly to cuneiform studies as a whole. He wrote numerous books, monographs, and articles dealing with Near Eastern and biblical subjects. Deimel was the founding editor (1920) of the scholarly journal Orientalia and also the scholarly journal Analecta Orientalia (1930-1932 (first journal published 1931?). Amongst other books, editor of Sumerisches Lexikon (Bands 1-3 (1925-1935). This mammoth work was his major contribution to Assyriology. It was the first standard lexicon of significant scope for the Sumerian language. The 4th volume - on Babylonian star names, and published 1950 - was written by Felix Gössmann. Deimel did pioneering work in the publishing and interpretation of Sumerian texts from the early 3rd-millennium, especially from Fara: Die Inschriften von Fara (3 Volumes, 1922-1924). Deimel tried to show the almost world-wide influence of Babylon from the 3rd-millennium BCE onwards. (His Panbab ylonism was described as being "within certain limits.") See the obituary: "Anton Deimel, s. j. (1865-1954)" by Alfred Pohl (editor, 1935-1961) in Orientalia, Volume 24, Facsimile 1, 1955, Pages 104-106. See also the obituaries: A. Vogt, In memoriam patris Antonii D. SJ (1865-1954), Bb 35(1954) 539-544; A. Falkenstein, NDB III 569-570; A. Pohl, LThK III 195.

(u) Carl/Karl Niebuhr (not to be confused with Carsten Niebuhr (1733-1815)) (a pseudonym for Carl/Karl Krug). (1861-1927) (Germany) Independent scholar. Editor of Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (daily newspaper published in Berlin from 1861 to 1918; between the 1860s and 1880s it was the official organ of Bismark's government). Carl Krug lived in Berlin and published several learned works on the ancient Near East. Part 5 (Heft 5) of the first volume of Hugo Winckler's "Ex Oriente Lux" contained an essay by Carl Niebuhr. Interestingly, his book, Studien und Bemerkungen zur Geschichte des alten Orients (1894) has, as authors, Carl Krug and Carl Niebuhr. Only one of his books was translated into English, The Tell Amarna Period: The Relations of Egypt and Western Asia in the Fifth Century B.C. (1903). (For details of Carl Krug see: Alashia Revisited (1989) by R. S. Merrillees.)

(v) Martin Gemoll (18[circa 50?]-19[circa 20?]) (Germany) Academic (Semiticist?/Bible Scholar?). Martin Gemoll resided/taught in München. With his publication of Grundsteine zur Geschichte Israels [Foundations of the History of Israel] (1911), comprising 480 pages, Gemoll showed he belonged to the mythological school of Winckler and Stucken. Gemoll assumes that Yahweh was an Aryan god introduced into Canaan by the Aryan Hyksos. (See the (English-language) book review by Lewis Paton in The American Journal of Theology, Volume 17, Number 3, July, 1913, Pages 420-424.) Another of Gemoll's numerous publications, also published in 1911 (Reprinted 2009), was Die Indogermanen Im Alten Orient: Mythologisch-historische Funde und Fragen. (The title in English is Indo-Europeans in the Ancient East: Mythological-historical Discoveries and Enquiries.) The author again followed the Panbabylonians in their astral interpretation of mythology. The book is mostly unreliable. His book, Die Indogermanen im Alten Orient (1911) is a painstaking and elaborate effort to connect figures in Celtic and other Indo-European beliefs. He also proposed that Ahuramazda was the same god as Ashur.

(w) Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) (Germany) Political Philosopher (of History). Eric Voegelin considered himself to be a Political Scientist. He was born in Cologne, then Imperial Germany, and educated in political science at the University of Vienna. He taught political theory and sociology at the University if Vienna after his habilitation there in 1928. (Teacher and then an associate professor of political science at the Faculty of Law. He emigrated to the USA in 1938 shortly after Nazi forces entered Austria in 1938. He became a U.S. citizen in 1944. He spent most of his academic career at the University of Notre Dame, Louisiana State University, the University of Munich, and the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He remained in Baton Rouge at LSU until 1958 when he accepted the Max Weber chair in political science at Munich's Ludwig Maximilians Universität. (The chair had been vacant since Weber's death in 1920.) While in Munich he founded the Institut für Politische Wissenschaft. Voegelin returned to America in 1969 to join Stanford University as well as the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. After retirement from the university he continued his work to the very day of his death. He adopted the ideas of Alfred Jeremias that the early Babylonians had an elaborately developed astronomy/astrology and cosmology. His magnum opus is the multi-volume (English-language) Order and History, which began publication in 1956 and remained incomplete at the time of his death 29 years later. The 1st volume, Israel and Revelation (1956), where it discusses early astronomy, reflects the ideas of Panbabylonism. 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. Voegelin's publications also reflect his strong pro-Christian views and mythological view of politics.

(x) Daniel Völter. (Not to be confused with David Völter.) Daniel Völter attempted (unconvincingly) to find Egyptian mythology in early Israelite history. One early attempt was the small book, Aegypten und die Bibel: die Urgeschichte Israels im Licht der aegyptischen Mythologie by Daniel Völter (1855-1942) (1st edition, 1903). The book is about the composition of the Old Testament according to Egyptian beliefs. Völter was a German-Dutch theologian. Daniel Volter was a Privatdozen (Professor) at Tübingen in 1884. In 1885 he was Professor of New Testament exegesis at the University of Amsterdam (City University (städtischen Universität)) (and was still so in 1905). He devoted himself in particular to the interpretation of Revelation. In 1885 he also became a Professor at the Lutheran seminary (?) (lutherischen Seminar) in Amsterdam.

(y) William Hinke (1871-1935?). The assyriologist Dr Hinke of Auburn Theological Seminary was sympathetic to the Panbabylonian position of early Babylonian scientific astronomy set out by Ernst Weidner.

(z) Erich Bischoff (1865-1936). The prominent German (Jewish?) scholar Erich Bischoff (PhD), Babylonisch-astrales im Weltbilde des Thalmud und Midrasch (1907; reprinted 1998) attempted to prove the Panbabylonian origin of astrology in Judaism. The book is based on the Panbabylonist ideas of Alfred Jeremias and is unreliable.

(aa) Emmeline Plunket (1834/5?-1924). (England) Writer. Panbabylonist? 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 (1906; 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; 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. Her earlier book was 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.

(bb) Count Carlo Landberg (1848-1924) Arabist/South Arabian Arabist). The distinguished and eccentric aristocratic Swedish-German Arabic scholar was the best-known Arabist support of Panbabylonism. Even though Panbabylonism received some attention in Arabic scholarship Landberg was the only first class Arab scholar who connected Islam and Arab culture with Panbabylonism. Note: Since the end of the 19th-century there has been two significant efforts to connect Islam and Arab culture closely with the pre-Hellenistic Near East: the Panbabylonian movement and the proto-Semitic interpretation of modern Arabic folk religion. 

Latter-Day Panbabylonists:

The ideas and influence of Panbabylonism has never disappeared completely. Its ideas were particularly revived and revised in the latter half of the 20th-century, by several scholars. Hamlet’s Mill was one attempt. Hamlet’s Mill is an attempt to institute a new form of Panbabylonism. However, it similarly promoted a unified Babylonian (see von Dechend's MIT seminar notes) world-view established world-wide by the Neolithic period.

The Finnish assyriologist Simo Parpola also later proposed a radical Panbabylonist theory.

(a) Günter Martiny (1901-1980) (Germany). Architect/Building Archaeologist. In 1932 Günter. Martiny published Die Kultrichtung in Mesopotamien. Basically it was the publication of the authors doctoral thesis (for the Technical College of Berlin). (Dissertation zur Erlangung der Würde eines Doktor-Ingenieurs der Technischen Hochschule zu Berlin vorgelegt am 15. Februar 1932.) In his doctoral thesis/this monograph he claimed to have determined some of the stars used by the ancient Mesopotamians to orient their temples. (Martiny, who had a PhD, only rarely used the title "Doctor.") The author offers (flimsy) evidence that Neo-Babylonian temples were oriented with reference to the constellations appropriate to their tutelary deities. (The astronomical orientation, but not precessional re-alignment, of Mesopotamian temples was considered by some 19th-century excavators and briefly considered in Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered by Norman Lockyer (1906, Chapter XXIX A Short History of Astronomy).) See the extensive (German-language) reviews by Anon in Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, 1934, Number 4, Columns 218-232; by Paul Neugebauer and Albert Schott in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Verwandte Gebiete, Volume 42, 1934, Pages 198-217; and the entry in Astronomischer Jahresbericht, Volume 34, 1932, Page 12. (Martiny (Architectura, 1. Jahrgang, Heft 6, Page 236) mentions a review by Viktor Christian in Architectura, 1. Jahrgang, Heft 1 (Number 311 in the Bibliography)) but I cannot presently access this journal. Both Paul Neugabauer (an astronomer) and Albert Schott (an Assyriologist, Universität Bonn) supported the temple-orientation theory of Günter Martiny. Martiny's ideas on temple orientation are briefly noted by the assyriologist William Hallo in his book Origins: The Ancient Near Eastern Background of Some Modern Western Institutions (1996, Page 84). Günter Martiny believed that temple orientation to celestial phenomena began in Mesopotamia in the 3rd-millennium BCE and that by the 2nd-millennium BCE temples were oriented to specific stars, and the cult statue faced the direction of the rising star. According to Martiny the particular star would have heliacally risen on the Assyrian New Year. Günter Martiny believed he had found evidence that the orientation of a succession of Assyrian temples (of which the oldest date of foundation known is 1800 BCE) varies as a function of the angle of precession. (Martiny charted the changes of orientation of temples at Assur from 3000-500 BCE and believed he had identified a "steady" eastward movement in their orientations. His published chart indicates he examined the perceived "steady" eastward movement with changes in azimuths for β Andromedae.) According to Günter Martiny, Assyrian temples oriented to the southeast and Babylonian temples oriented to the northeast. In attempting to interpret Martiny's archaeological data Neugebauer and Schott initially proposed that Neo-Babylonian (i.e., Assyrian) temples were purposely directed towards the azimuth of the hour angle circle passing through the star alpha Virginis (Spica) and intersecting the horizon when the spring equinox is on the horizon.(As a result of his review of Dr. Günter Martiny's work on the survey of Assyrian sanctuaries, Professor P. V. Neugebauer, (Observatory at the Rechen-Institut in Berlin-Dahlem), believed he had discovered that all Assyrian Temples, from 2930 BCE to 603 BCE, whose foundation dates were recorded, were oriented at dawn on 1st Nisan to the point of intersection with the horizon of a great circle of the sphere, passing through the stars Eta Ursae Majoris (η Ursae Majoris (Ursa Major)) (Eta Ursae Majoris has the traditional names Alkaid (or Elkeid) and Benetnash (Benetnasch)), and Spica.) Neugebauer later discarded this explanation when he could not find evidence that the star alpha Virginis (Spica) had importance in Mesopotamian astronomy. The competent German amateur astronomer and historian of early astronomy Robert Böker disagreed with the alpha Virginis (Spica) explanation given by Neugebauer and Schott. Böker suggested an alternative hypothesis based on the azimuth of the descent of the star alpha Crucis and showed that it had better agreement with the reputed dates and axis azimuths of the temples. (In his short pamphlet Berechnungen zur vorgriechischen Astronomie (1948) Robert Böker showed that in antiquity there was no competent way to determine the equinoctial point with sufficient accuracy or to fix the azimuth of the intersection.) However, Neugebauer's changed explanation held that a clearly recognisable line is formed by the stars alpha Cassiopeiae, eta Cephei, beta Ursae Minoris, alpha Draconis, eta Ursae Majoris, and eta Virginis, and this line formed the meridian used in the centuries before and after circa 3000 BCE, as the basis for the orientation of Neo-Babylonian (Assyrian) temples. See the review/critique of Die Kultrichtung in Mesopotamien by Franz Weissbach in OLZ, Band 37, 1934, Columns 218-232. Also, circa 1986 Asger Aaboe advised that Martiny's claims were purely hypothetical and that still today nothing is known about if and how the ancient Mesopotamians used astronomy to orient their temples. (See: Revue d'assyriologie et d'archéologie oriental, Tomes 80-81, 1986, Page 39.) As it is extremely difficult to obtain any biographical information on Günter Martiny I have chosen to go into some detail here. (Only recently, November, 2010, after years of systematic searching, have I located a source that provides core biographical details.) Günter Martiny (1903-1980) was a German architect (and building archaeologist or excavation architect) who specialized in ancient and medieval building archaeology. (I have seen 1908 offered as his year of birth.) (In one publication he is referred to as Architekt [i.e., Architect] Dr. Günther Martiny. His name appears mispelled as Günther instead of Günter in a few publications.) He was a member of the German Archaeological Institute [Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts] (at least during the 1930s). He was, it appears, also connected with the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. There is reason to believe that in 1929 he was practicing as an architect (whose designs were highly regarded) in Dresden, Germany. When he began (sharing) editing/publishing the journal Architectura (with Leo Adler) he was residing in Berlin. (He was residing in Berlin at least by circa 1933. He may have also (briefly) resided in Munich.) I have also seen him referred to as an engineer but this is incorrect. (In several publications briefly mentioning him the terms Diplomingenieurs, Architekten Dipl.-Ing and Architekten Dr.-Ing., Berlin, are used (the latter obviously identifying this qualification was obtained in Berlin). At that period of time the German Diplom-Ingenieur (Dipl.-Ing.) was the equivalent of a M.S. degree. It is an engineering degree in the sense that technical studies were undertaken. In more modern terms he had a Diplom-Ingenieur der Architektur [Architekten] which is a Master of Architecture (Degree).) His Dr.-Ing. is obviously his PhD qualification. (His Dipl, Ing., was awarded 1927, Dresden; his [PhD] was awarded 1932, Berlin.) Amongst other things he was an architectural historian. He was interested in the (sacred) architecture of ancient Mesopotamia (at least during his younger days). For his doctoral dissertation he went to Mesopotamia as a member of the German expedition to Warka [= ancient Uruk] to specifically study the architecture of the ancient temples and buildings, and investigate the astronomical orientations of the temples. At least those temples for which foundation dates could be established. This particular German expedition was conducted from 1929 until 1934. (This expedition included the assyriologist Albert Schott (Privatdozenten für Assyriologie an der Universität Bonn).) (The German Research Foundation (Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft getragen) at one time also supported excavations at Warka. However, I am presently unsure of the years.) For the period 1928/1929 Martiny obtained a full scholarship (travel grant) from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI). Since 1859 the DAI allocated an annual grant for the promotion of young academics in archaeology and its neighboring sciences. In general, the focus was classical antiquity and the Mediterranean region, but also included the Middle East. (Other recipients for that period were Christoph Albrecht, Walter Hahland, Hans Bach Klum, Harald Koethe, William Kraiker, and Emil Kunze. (The duration of the scholarship is usually one year but can be extended in justified exceptions for a further one year.) The purpose was to assist scholars/students under 30 years to gain an impression of the countries and cultures, but especially get experience of the archaeological and historical sites and artifacts. During the time he was a member of this expedition he also spent time at Assur with the Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft. In his doctoral dissertation (published in 1932 as Die Kultrichtung in Mesopotamien) he described in detail the methods upon which he believed they based the orientation of their temples. The thesis of Martiny is based on figures from Warka that were later seriously questioned. (Babylonian and Assyrian 'temple sites' included in his study were Uruk (Southern Iraq), Tell El-'Obēd (Tell el-'Ubaid) ) (Southern Iraq), Tepe Gawra (Northwest Iraq), and Assur (on the upper Tigris River in Iraq). One of the methodological issues with the figures produced by Martiny is that he charted the orientation of the Gimilsin Temple and the Palace Chapel according to True Magnetic North rather than True North and he made adjustments accordingly. Also, he gave no explanatory information regarding the data on the orientation of the other temples included in his orientation chart. Further, the "orientation chart," whilst showing the eastward movement of the Assur temples and β Andromedae, is somewhat vague. (There is no persuasive evidence that Mesopotamian temples, of any period, were systematically aligned to any directions.) Along with Leo Adler he was an editor/publisher of the journal Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Aesthetik der Baukunst. This journal first began publication in 1933. Leo Adler, a prominent German voice in architectural discussion between 1918 and 1926, could be described as an architectural theorist. From the majority of his publications Günter Martiny can be considered a specialist in Mesopotamian temple architecture. In the late 1930's he appears to have resided (for a time) in England. From 1935 through 4 seasons to the summer of 1938 he was part of a British (or rather international, as a Turkish archaeologist was also included) archaeological 'dig,' led by Professor J. H. Baxter of St Andrews University (as Director of Excavations). (One source indicates that at some time, possibly in the 1930s, Martiny was also involved at a 'dig' at Tell Asmar, the mound being the site of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Eshnunnu (located in the Diyala Plain of Iraq). Also, another source located him in Istanbul in 1936, which would be the St Andrews University 'dig.'.) On this Istanbul 'dig' Baxter was Director of Excavations and Martiny was Field Director. The first part of the report of these 4 seasons of archaeological excavations (1935-1938) was published in 1947 as The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors (108 pages). The 2 young British scholars on this excavation were Robert Stevenson and Gérard Brett. Some details of an archaeological expedition involving Baxter and Martiny are contained in Sir David Russell: A Biography by Lorn Macintyre (1994). This is likely the Istanbul expedition. (In the book Günter Martiny is described as an archaeologist and architect. It is also mentioned that at one excavation of a building in 1948(?) the work of describing the excavation of the building was Günter Martiny's.) David Russell was a Fife paper manufacturer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and benefactor. He had a deep interest in history, archaeology, etc. and was a founding member of the National Trust for Scotland. David Russell (partly?) financed an archaeological 'dig' at Arasta Sokak, North Nicosia, Cyprus. On this 'dig' Günter Martiny sent a damning report on Baxter to David Russell headed "Professor Baxter is incapable of directing the excavation in the Arasta-Sokak." Apparently Baxter never found it easy to work with others and at one excavation at least there were clashes with members of the 'dig.' At this period of time Istanbul (Constantinople) was a magnet for archaeologists and art historians. Up to this period very little field-work had been carried out in Istanbul. (A source has indicated that in the early(?), mid(?) or late 1930s(?) Günter Martiny appears to have come under the scrutiny of the German SS. By early 1935 the 'racial content' of his lectures were under the scrutiny of the 'Racial Expert' at the Ministry of the Interior(/SS). (See: Prähistoire und Nationalsozialismus (2002) by Achim Leube and Morten Hegewisch.) Another source indicates he was concealing certain information from them (marriage details(?). This is indicated as part reason for his emigration.) In 1935 Martiny emigrated from Germany (in the sense that he permanently resided elsewhere for nearly half a decade. However, he seems to have remained employed by/connected with the German Archaeological Institute [Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts]. (He was a member of the German Archaeological Institute at least up until World War II.) His residence for approximately 5 years was likely divided between Turkey and the United Kingdom. (For 4 years he was involved in archaeological excavation work in Turkey, and then for 2-3 years he lived in London.) From 1938 to circa 1940 he was in London. In late 1939 he returned to Germany. From 1939 to circa 1947 he served as a soldier in the German army and became a prisoner-of-war. In 1946 he lectured at the Theological Seminary in Rimini, Italy. From 1949 to 1953 he was secretary of the YMCA in Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Bavaria. He then worked there as an Architekt and remained in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) for the rest of his life. (Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Volume 100, 1950, gives his address as Frauentorgraben 19, Nürnberg. This is in downtown Nürnberg where (at least presently) the Museum complex is located. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Volumes 102-103, 1952, gives his address as Bleichstrasse 16, Nürnberg. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft. Volume 92, 1966, indicates that Martiny may have returned to Istanbul in 1966 at least.) It appears that Martiny was, at least prior to World War II, a significant shareholder in the specialist glassworks manufacturer, S[amuel]. Reich & Company, Zawiercie, Poland. Gunter Martiny's early work involved the investigation of the construction and alignment of Mesopotamian temples. At some time (likely the mid 1930s) he changed his attention to Islamic/Byzantine architecture. In 1936 his small but detailed book (176 pages) Die Piyale Pasha Moschee was published. It is considered to be an exhaustive study of the construction and decoration of this 6-domed mosque. He also published another small book, titled Istanbul, in the same year. In 1936 his article "Die Piyale Pas͟ha Moschee." was published in Ars Islamica, Volume 3, Number 2, Pages 131-171. A large portion of the journal Asia and the Americas, Volume 37, Issues 1-6, 1937, is given to an article by Günter Martiny on the Piyale Pasha Mosque in Istanbul, with plans, diagrams and architectural details. During the 1940s he focused on Byzantine architecture. (For a time in the 1950s he lived in Istanbul. However, he worked in Turkey earlier than this date. He was in Istanbul in 1940.) His later work involved the investigation of medieval Ottoman mosque architecture. His involvement in this latter work would place him within the job category of an excavation architect. (Circa 1937 he worked as an archaeologist and architect on the excavation of Justinian's palace (built circa mid-5th-century CE) in Istanbul.) In 1948 (or earlier?) he wrote the 30 page (?) article Die Ausgrabungen im byzantinischen Kaiserpalast, Istanbul. He was an admirer of Wilhelm Dörpfeld (1853-1940), the German archaeologist who was a specialist in ancient Greek architecture. He organised and contributed to the publication Wilhelm Dörpfeld: Festschrift zum 80 (1933). (It was William Dörpfeld who took the first steps to answer the questions of whether Odysseus' Ithaca can be found and whether it even actually existed. His excavations on Ithaca were largely financed by a wealthy Dutch gentleman, Adrian Goekoop. In his 2004 paper "Mapping Homer’s Odyssey" Armin Wolf states: "Nevertheless, in 1925, even the distinguished archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld, drew a map of Homer's world in which Ulysses reached not only Tunisia (Lotos-Eaters, Cyclops) and Italy (Thrinakia), but also the southernmost point of Africa where he located the port Telepylus in the land of the Laestrygonians and -like Eumaios- "Aiaia," the island of Circe.") Likely his last published article on Babylonian temples was "Das stabhaltende Tonmannchen in den ziegelkapseln babylonischer Tempel (Jahrbuch für kleinasiatische Forschung [Heidelberg], Volume 3, 1959, Pages 235-243). The last article by Günter Martiny that I can identify is "Wiederaufbau des Bergsfrieds Schloßberg bei Osternohe." in Mitteilungen der Altnürnberger Landschaft (abbreviation: MittAltnürnbergerLandschaft), Band 17, 1968, Page 68. It appears that from 1953 onwards he began working in his own (self-employed) business in Nürnberg (Nuremberg) as an Architect. Interestingly, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Volume 93, 1966, mentions "Herr Dr. Günter Martiny, 31, Bedford Way, London, W.C. l." The topic of temple orientation has never gained popularity in Assyriology. The planned publication of Assur- und Sin-Samai-Tempel in Assur by Walter Andrae, Günter Martiny, and Ernest Heinrich (identified as in preparation in 1941) was never finalised by these authors. However, in 1955 A. Haller and W. Andrae published "Die Heiligtümer des Gottes Assur- und Sin-Samai-Tempel in Assur." (Wissenschaftliche Veroffentlichung der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft (WVDOG), Band 67). Also see his article: "Astronomisches zum Babylonischen Turm, 11 bis." (Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient Gesellschaft (MDOG), Number 71, 1932).

(b) Lord Raglan [Fitzroy Somerset] (1885-1964) (England) Writer. Major Fitzroy Somerset, 4th Lord Raglan, was a British soldier, beekeeper, farmer and independent scholar (student of mythology), (and collector). He is frequently, but mistakenly, referred to as an anthropologist. The Panbabylonist ideas were fostered by Fitzroy Somerset in his small book How Came Civilization? (1939). He insisted that all higher culture and civilization came from southern Mesopotamia. Raglan attended Eton and Sandhurst before entering the British Army. He joined the Grenadier Guards, serving in Hong Kong, North Africa and Palestine, and eventually rose to the rank of major. From 1913 to 1918, he served in the Sudan where he became interested in cultural anthropology. He was an accomplished linguist and became fluent in Arabic. A serious illness in 1914 prevented his assignment to the Western Front in WWI. He remained instead in the Middle East. Following the death of his father in 1921, he retired from the military and returned to his ancestral home, Cefntilla Court in Monmouthshire. He ran the estate as a working farm, and was a proficient carpenter, bricklayer, and beekeeper. He began studying and writing on various subjects, including anthropology. He never pursued nor was awarded any academic degree. He worked independently of the academic establishment. He carried out little original research and mostly synthesized existing scholarship into provocative new lines of reasoning. His reasoning was heavily deductive. He corresponded widely with scholars and participated in many professional associations. He served as president of the Folklore Society, Section H of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Anthropological Institute, and numerous other organizations. Raglan's erroneous/confused concept of the "universal" Hero (set out in his small book The Hero (1936)) and his attributes (comprising a 22-point myth-ritualist Hero archetype supposedly appearing as common patterns across Indo-European cultures for Hero traditions) is deemed by some to relate to the planets. (In 1934 Raglan published an article outlining his schema.) Raglan’s schema was preceded by that of the British anthropologist Edward Tylor (1871), the Austrian scholar/philologist Johann von Hahn (Sagwissenschaftliche Studien, 1876, Page 340), the Austrian psychoanalyst Otto Rank (The Myth of the Birth of the Hero (first published in German in 1909)), and Sal.[Salvador] Luria (his essay, "Ton sou huian phrixon (Die Oidipussage und Verwandtes)", 1927). Other people have since modified Raglan's schema. Most of the assumptions and conclusions found in Raglan's schema, however, have long been discredited. Numerous real persons can be fitted into the hero-story schema.

(c) Jean-Charles Pichon (1920-2006) (France) Writer/Occultist. Jean-Charles Pichon was a writer, dramatist/playwright, screenwriter, poet, philosopher and mathematician of prolific output. He was a metaphysician and writer whose work is marked by esotericism/esoteric content. He enjoyed considerable success during the 1960s and 1970s. His book, Les Cycles du Retour Éternel (2 Volumes, 1963) contained the twin themes of an ancient zodiac and precession underlying the origin/basis of world-wide mythical themes.

(d) Giorgio de Santillana (1902-1974) (USA) Historian. Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science, M.I.T. See further: "Critics and Criticisms of Hamlet's Mill."

(e) Hertha von Dechend (1915-2001) (Germany) Ethnologist?/Comparative Mythologist. See further: "Critics and Criticisms of Hamlet's Mill."

(f) Jane Sellers (USA) Writer/Amateur Egyptologist. (1926- ) Author of The Death of Gods in Egypt (1992; revised edition 2003). Jane Sellers, who is not a professional Egyptologist, used Egyptian mythology (but underrates the complex nature of Egyptian cosmology) to test the ideas in Hamlet's Mill. Jane Sellers "gained her BA late in life, at Goddard College, Vermont, and went on to study Egyptology at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute." For reasons unrelated to the course the author did not complete her PhD in Egyptology (under Dr. Klaus Baer) at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. Jane Sellers currently (2012) lives in Portland, Maine. Previously, she lived in Osprey, Florida from 1997 to 2004. Before that, she lived in Venice, Florida from 1997 to 1999.

(g) Thomas Worthen (USA) Classicist. Retired in 1999 as Associate Professor, Department of Classics, The University of Arizona. Now an Associate Professor Emeritus. Thomas Worthen came to the Department of Classics, The University of Arizona, as an ABD from the University of Washington in 1965. He completed his PhD in 1968. Worthen is the author of The Myth of Replacement: Stars, Gods, and Order in the Universe (1991). Basically the book takes an anthropological approach (applies the ideas of Georges Dumézil) to precessional mythology. See also 2 of his journal articles: "The Idea of 'Sky' in Archaic Greek Poetry: en de ta teirea panta, ta t' ouranos estephanotai. Iliad 18.485," Glotta LXVI.1-2 (1988), 1-19; and "The Pleiades and the Hesperides: Finding Parity with an Astronomical Key," Vistas in Astronomy 39 (1995), 539-45.

(h) William Sullivan (1946- ) (USA) Anthropologist?/Writer. He is the author of The Secret of the Incas: Myth Astronomy and the War Against Time (1996), in which he argues for his belief that the Incas recorded precessional events in their myths. William Sullivan is still (incorrectly) referred to as an archaeoastronomer, cultural astronomer, historian, and anthropologist. Sullivan's career is actually focused on working as a carpenter and house renovator.  Sullivan, who holds his doctorate from the Center of American Indian Studies at the University of Saint Andrew's (Scotland), applied the precessional mythology theme of Hamlet's Mill to the mythology of the Incas. His doctorate is highly speculative and generally not accepted by Andeanists. The framework for his often elaborate ideas lies in his attempts to link stories told by the Incas to their Spanish conquerors in the 16th-century, with the movement of celestial bodies bodies nearly 1000 years earlier (supposedly highly accurately observed by the Incas). Sullivan also holds a MLitt degree from the Centre for Latin American Linguistic Studies at the University of Saint Andrew's (Scotland). The thesis topic for this was "Quechua Star Names", and was based on fieldwork into star names currently known to the Indians of Peru and Bolivia. His PhD was awarded in 1987 for research on which his book is based. The title of his doctoral dissertation was "The astronomy of Andean myth: The history of a cosmology." The Abstract reads: "It is shown that Andean myth, on one level, represents a technical language recording astronomical observations of precession and, at the same time, an historical record of simultaneous social and celestial transformations. Topographic and architectural terms of Andean myth are interpreted as a metaphor for the organization of and locations on the celestial sphere. Via ethnoastronomical date [dating?], mythical animals are identified as stars and placed on the celestial sphere according to their topographical location. Tested in the planetarium, these arrays generate cluster of dates - 200 B.C. and 650 A.D. Analysis of the names of Wiraqocha and Manco Capac indicates they represent Saturn and Jupiter and that their mythical meeting represents their conjunction in 650 A.D. The astronomy of Andean myth is then used as an historical tool to examine how the Andean priest-astronomers recorded the simultaneous creation of the avllu and of this distinctive astronomical system about 200 B.C. The idea that the agricultural avllu, with its double descent system stressing the importance of paternity, represents a transformation of society from an earlier matrilineal/horticultural era is examined in light of the sexual imagery employed in myth. Wiraqocha's androgyny and the division of the celestial sphere into male (ecliptic) and female (celestial equator = earth) are interpreted as cosmological validations of the new social structure. Phoebe-Lou Adams in The Atlantic Online, April, 1996, Brief Reviews, states: "The Secret of the Incas by William Sullivan Crown, 496 pages, $35.00. Mr. Sullivan candidly explains that his study was inspired by two books -- Alexander Marshack's The Roots of Civilization and Hamlet's Mill, by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend. The first [seemingly] demonstrates the enormous antiquity of moon-calendar keeping, and the second argues the factual content of myths. Mr. Sullivan sees Inca myth as a coded record of astronomical events with a bearing on Inca religion. He does not expect to be taken seriously by archaeologists, astronomers, anthropologists, or myth experts, and he probably won't be, but even if one assumes that the puzzle the author claims to have solved was of his own creation, his book is of interest as the record of an intellectual obsession." The Secret of the Incas: Myth, Astronomy and the War Against Time has an interesting cosmological study of Viracocha, based on Mircea Eliade's study of shamanism, see: Pages 79-114, especially, Page 90. For several general brief critiques see: Handbook of Inca Mythology (2004) by Paul Steele and Catherine Allen; and The Incas: New Perspectives (2006) by Gordon McEwan.

(i) Simo Parpola (1943- ) (Finland) Assyriologist/Historian. Currently (2011) Professor of Assyriology at the University of Helsinki. He specialises in the epigraphy of the Akkadian language, and has been working on the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project since 1987. Simo Parpola directs the Helsinki-based project, State Archives of Assyria. Parpola is also associated with the influential Melammu Project (Melammu - The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West), originating in Helsinki. It holds conferences involving international scholars discussing the impact that Mesopotamian, and especially Assyrian culture, had on neighbouring cultures. It is also constructing an extensive knowledge database. Parpola is also an Honorary Member of the American Oriental Society. His publications include, Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (2 Volumes, 1993, Reprinted 2007). One of Simo Parpola's more controversial proposals is the Neo-Assyrians had a form of monotheism (see his essay: "Monotheism in Ancient Assyria."). Since his article: "The Assyrian Tree of Life: Tracing the Origins of Jewish Monotheism and Greek Philosophy." (Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Volume 52, Number 3, July, 1993, Pages 161-208) he has revived the Panbabylonian theory. In Parpola's version there was a neo-Assyrian influence on Jewish monotheism and Jewish culture, beginning before the Babylonian Exile and continuing thereafter. (See the critical book review article of Parpola's, Assyrian Prophecies (1997) by Jerrold Cooper in Journal of the American Oriental Society, Volume 120, Number 3, July-September, 2000, Pages 430-444.) Parpola, believes: "[Winckler and Jeremias] ... were well informed in astronomy, astrology .... [and] the facts collected by them are on the whole presented accurately and reliably, and have not lost their validity." One of the main demolition arguments against Panbabylonism, first proposed by Franz Kugler in 1910 and still relevant, is the Panbabylonists base(d) their ideas upon the supposed antiquity of sophisticated Babylonian astronomical knowledge and astrological schemes (5th-4th-millennium BCE). However, Kugler demonstrated that both were quite late in origin (1st-millennium BCE). Simo Parpola has asserted that Peter Jensen is not to be included in the Panbabylonian school because of the rejection of his ideas (largely) by Alfred Jeremias. However, Jensen's scheme has some resemblance to Winckler's. Correctly, Simo Parpola advocates a 'Pan-Assyrian' model of cultural diffusion, but it has many similarities to the earlier Panbabylonism. Most scholars reject these ideas of Parpola.



(1) Publisher blurb (Undoubtedly written by Rumen Kolev): The Babylonian Astrolabe [published 2013], or "Three Stars Each (Month),"as it was called in antiquity, is an enigmatic document that has been the subject of much controversy and debate ever since its discovery in the 1870s. It comes in two versions, a circular star map divided in three concentric "paths" and 12 month sectors, and a multicolumn text specifying the times of the heliacal risings of the stars and associating them with the main divinities of the Mesopotamian pantheon and the main events of the Mesopotamian cultic year. Both texts were of fundamental importance to Mesopotamian astral sciences, religion, and royal ideology, all of which were ultimately based on the 360-day "perfect year" of the astrolabes. This is the first full critical edition of all currently known astrolabe texts and a ground-breaking study of their astronomical content, showing that the text as it has come down to us consists of three redactional layers dating from different time periods, the earliest of which is to be dated to prehistoric times (ca. 5000 BCE). The appendixes to the book include 255 first-hand observations of heliacal phases of stars and planets and an appendix explaining in detail the heliacal phases.

Born in Varna, Bulgaria 29 Nov 1960 3:00 AM (1:00 GMT)
Ascendant 21 deg Virgo Babylonian Zodiac (17 deg Libra tropical)
Formal: mathematical high school 1979, math, economics BA University of Washington Seattle 1992
one year in PhD economics UCLA in LA, USA 1993
MD Medical Academy Varna 1996
Informal with private teachers:
Ancient-Greek, Latin, Akkadian, Arabic, French, German, Russian, computer programming.

Interests and Fields of Research:
Babylonian and Ancient Astrology- from original sources in Greek, Latin, Akkadian and Arabic, Heliacal Phases computation and observation, Primary Directions, Ancient Knowledge, History of Astrology and Astronomy, Ancient Astral Magic and Astral Talismans, Hermes and Hermetica.

Personal Interests:
Zen, Sufism, Ancient History, Ancient Art.


Academic Publications: The Babylonian Astrolabe SAAS vol. 22 Eisenbrauns 2013

Important Other Publications in English: Hermes on the Fixed Stars - first time translation from Latin, Babylonian Sky Observer- with many translations from Akkadian, The Primary Directions, The Horoscope of Maximilian I Emperor (Regiomontanus)- first time translation from Latin manuscript, Three Annual Horoscopes for Ferdinand I (Lucas Gauric)-first time translation from Latin manuscript, Gauricus and Henry II, King of France, Greek and Arab Astrology- Hyleg, Alkokoden and Almuten.

Publications in Bulgarian: Ancient Astrology volumes 1,2, 3, Babylonian Astrology volumes 1,2, 3, + other books.

Computer Programs created: Placidus, Porphyrius Magus, Sumer, Babylonia for primary directions, heliacal phases, Ancient and Babylonian Astrology

Places of past Residence:
Varna, Bulgaria: present
Egypt: 2018
Seattle, USA: 1990 to 1992, 2001 to 2006
LA, USA: 1992 to 1995

Special Work and Research: Gemology- ancient and modern, Ancient Magical Jewelry, Hermetic Jewelry Talismans

Internet Sites:, ApolloVision on
Contact: rumen_k_kolev at

(2) Horowitz, Wayne. (2014 (but actually 2015?)). The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts. Published for Archiv fur Orientforschung Beihefte-series; Archiv für Orientforschung Beiheft 33. The working title was: The Astrolabes and Related Texts: Mesopotamian Astronomy Before 1000 B.C. The abstract for a 2010 presentation by Wayne Horowitz titled "Astronomy and Mythology in Ancient Babylonian Tradition: Enuma Elish and the Astrolabes." States: "In the Babylonian national epic Enuma Elish, Tablet V lines 1-8, Marduk, the newly crowned King of the Gods, takes it upon himself to arrange the luminaries in the heavens in the wake of his victory over Tiamat at the end of Tablet IV. Here Marduk assigns three stars to each month of the year, and sets the station of his star N alongside the stations of Enlil and Ea to regulate the stars. The system described here is that of a group of cuneiform astronomical texts commonly known as "Astrolabes," or more properly by their ancient name, "The Three Stars Each." The affinities between the Astrolabes and Enuma Elish help prove the late second millennium date for the composition of Enuma Elish, and demonstrate that the Astrolabes are not only astronomical works, but moreover have important religious and theological implications." From the book: "Forward The term ‘Astrolabe’ in the study of cuneiform astronomical texts does not refer to the antique instrument of this name, but instead to a group of texts and tablets which name the stars and constellations that were expected to rise each month of the year, and so served to help regulate the Mesopotamian lunar calendar. This book, The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts, is intended to offer a comprehensive study of this group. The book is divided into three parts. Part I presents introductory material consisting of two distinct and separate introductions. The first introduction, Chapter 1, is an independent essay which surveys the group and its place in Ancient Mesopotamian science, religion, and thought. Here, many issues are raised which are only fully addressed later in the book. Chapter 2 then, in a sense, begins the book proper, offering discussion of the history of the group, its sources, and a survey of the central themes, ideas, and terminology present in the Astrolabe texts. This is followed by Chapter 3 which presents the list of sources belonging to the group. Part II gives the editions of the main body of Astrolabe texts. It begins with Chapter 4 which provides a study, transliteration, and translation of the most comprehensive source for the Astrolabes, the Berlin Astrolabe, best known as Astrolabe B, which consists of four elements: 1) a menology, 2) a star catalogue, 3) the list of the 36 month-stars that stand at the heart of the Astrolabe tradition, and 4) a second list of these same 36 stars, here listing stars that rise as others set over the 12 months of the year. These elements, or sections of Astrolabe B, we will call Astrolabe B Sections I-IV (Alb B I-IV). The next chapters study the duplicates and parallels to Alb B. Chapter 5 studies the Alb B I menology and its parallels. Chapter 6 studies the star catalogue Alb B II and its parallels, and Chapters 7-8 study the more varied sets of texts that duplicate and parallel Alb B III and IV. Here, Chapter 7 includes a number of sub-chapters, each of which studies one of the most important sources, or sets of sources, for Astrolabes. For example, Chapter 7.1 gives editions of the surviving fragments of Astrolabe planispheres, what we call below ‘circular Astrolabes.’ Chapter 9 then studies the Astrolabe omens of EAE Assumed tablet 51, and Chapter 10 gives editions of three fragments that appear to belong to the Astrolabe group. Part II then comes to an end with Chapter 11, this being a study of the month-stars of Alb B III-IV, and their parallels and duplicates. Part III presents editions of related materials including a study of the list of Elam-, Akkad-, and Amurru-stars in The Great Star List in Chapter 12; a study of CT 33 9 and the related tablet Nv.10, now in Istanbul, in Chapter 13; and The Hilprecht Text in Chapter 14. Part IV includes two appendixes, the bibliography, and the indexes. Appendix 1 gives transliterations of selected sources, including those which are edited in more than one chapter of the book. For example, K. 2920+ which includes part of the menologies that are edited in Chapter 5, and omens which are edited in Chapter 9. Here too may be found running editions of the entire texts of VS 24 120 and Sm. 755+, which are presented month by month in the study of the Astrolabe menologies in Chapter 5, and a transliteration of the Middle Babylonian 30-star catalogue HS 1897 which is presented star by star in the edition of the star catalogues in Chapter 6. The second appendix gives a list of stars named in the Astrolabe group with their ancient spellings, modern equivalences, and references to their place in the group. The book closes with Part V, plates with handcopies and photographs."

Areas of Interest: Ancient Mesopotamian Literature, Religion, Science, Astronomy.

For most of my adult life I have lived in Israel and taught Assyriology at The Hebrew University, but before that I was born in the United States, and studied for my Ph.D in England. My B.A. was in Classical and Oriental Studies (Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Akkadian) at Brandeis University in the United States. It was there that I first met the Ancient Near East and its cuneiform script, and decided to continue my studies in this direction. After a year at the University of California at Berkeley, I moved to England, to study with the great Professor W.G. Lambert at Birmingham University, and to work with the tablets of The British Museum. My Ph.D. topic was Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography, a study of the physical universe, Heaven, Earth, and Underworld, as they are represented in cuneiform sources, both Sumerian and Akkadian. After completing my Ph.D. in 1986, my family came to Israel as olim chadashim (new immigrants), and I began my now nearly 30 years of work at the Hebrew University, as a teacher of Sumerian and Akkadian texts and traditions, with a particular interest in literature, religion, science, and most of all ancient astronomy. Over this time I have written on a wide range of topics relating to the Ancient Near East, and supervised many fine graduate students in their M.A. and Ph.D. research. For many years, I was also a key member of the faculty of the Rothberg International School, serving as Academic Advisor in both the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs of the school for overseas students, and participating in the development of the M.A. Program in Bible and Ancient Near East.

The completion of my most recent book, The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts, now accepted for publication as Archiv für Orientforschung, beiheft 33, represents both an end and a new beginning for me and my academic career. This book, consisting of over 800 pages of manuscript in its final form, has occupied most of my professional life. I began my research on the Astrolabe group of cuneiform texts in 1991, and spent the following years and decades discovering new manuscripts in various tablet collections around the world, as I tried to understand the history and impact of this group of astronomical texts on Mesopotamian and world civilization. Now, that the final pieces of this puzzle have come together, I expect the book to appear in press sometime in late 2014 or early 2015.

My other main area of research at the Hebrew University has been the study and publication of cuneiform documents from The Land of Israel. This work began with an invitation to study and publish newly discovered tablets at Hazor in the 1990's and exanded into a research project to collect and publish all the known cuneiform texts from the Ancient Land of Israel. The project has continued on long after the publication of our 2006 Cuneiform in Canaan volume. A trickle of tablets continue to be recovered at Hazor, and I have also recently had the honor to publish the first two cuneiform tablets ever found in Jerusalem. Such documents have been published by myself and my research team in primary publication in The Israel Exploration Journal, and will be revisited in a revised 2015 2nd edition of Cuneiform in Canaan to be published by Eisenbrauns in The United States.

In addition to these two main projects, I have published a number of articles relating to my main interests in Ancient Near Eastern astronomy, science, and religion, but with an eye towards the full richness of the cuneiform corpus which has allowed me to publish on topics as far afield as Sumerian as a tonal language based on parallels with phenomena in Chinese, and the domestication of the camel. To this, of course, should be added the joys of teaching, particularly my pleasure at having shepherded five research students to their Ph.D. degrees, with three more officially on the way. Further, my growing international reputation has allowed me to teach and study with colleagues and students around the world, for example during my 2006-07 sabbatical in China, and during a sabbatical in 2012, with colleagues in the Canadian Arctic, California and Australia.

With my responsibilities to the Astrolabe project now completed, I am ready to begin a time of new projects and challenges, which should bring me forward in time (unbelievably) to retirement. I envision three major projects for the coming years. First, remaining in the realm of cuneiform astronomical texts, I plan to write a monograph length study and edition of a text known as The Great Star List, which like the Astrolabes themselves has intrigued me since my days as a graduate student in Birmingham. This work, which presents a mixture of scientific astronomy, astrology, and astral lore, is known from a number of exemplars at the British Museum, and now one example held in The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California. While at Berkeley in the Winter of 2012, I had the opportunity to study this tablet and found that it holds the key to restoring and understanding The Great Star List as a whole; a text which hitherto had been misunderstood. In fact, I am now able to propose with near certainty that what we know as The Great Star List is in fact a set of texts for which we have canonical and alternate versions. The Great Star List is the last remaining long work of the cuneiform astronomical tradition which has yet to be fully edited. My planned edition will in a sense complete the work on the cuneiform astronomical corpus begun by the fathers of Assyriology in the 1800's, making all the major works of the cuneiform astronomical tradition finally fully available to the academic community and other interested parties.

My second project is centered on the Southern Hemisphere. While on sabbatical in Australia, I joined with colleagues there to begin a project to collect and publish the cuneiform inscriptions held in Australian and New Zealand collections. This project, now known as CANZ (Cuneiform in Australia and New Zealand), is in its first stages but already has produced two preliminary short articles, and a major discovery, that the Otago Museum in Dunedin New Zealand holds a collection of approximately 150 tablets, making it the largest known collection in the Southern Hemisphere. My colleagues in CANZ and myself are now working to publish this collection in book form.

My third project brings me to the opposite side of the world from Australasia. In recent years, I have become very interested in the world of ethno- and archaeo-astronomy. This interest originated when I was invited to a set of conferences on the subject, culminating in a visit to archaeo-astronomical sites in the American southwest, mostly in New Mexico. As I prepared my lectures for these conferences, and learned the discipline and techniques of these new (to me) fields, I realized that the cuneiform data base, with its thousands of cuneiform tablets relating to astronomy and astrology, formed the greatest reservoir of untapped knowledge for native astronomical traditions of the type being studied by my colleagues in the realm of ethno-astronomy. After lengthy contemplation of the issues involved, I formulated a preliminary research question which I hoped would guide my research: How much of what we see in a given culture’s astronomical traditions is universal, i.e. common to all mankind, and how much is particular to that culture alone? In search of answers to this question I have begun intensive anthropological field work on the astronomy of the cultures of northern Canada, these being as far away from Ancient Mesopotamian astronomy in time, place, and experience as possible: north rather than south, hot rather than cold, and with the sun, moon, and stars as seasonal phenomena in the far north (the midnight sun in Summer, noon time stars in Winter), rather than daily phenomena in the temperate zone to which Mesopotamia belongs. A generous research grant from The Halbert Center for Canadian Studies of The Hebrew University allowed me to pursue this line of inquiry in the Yukon and Northwest Territories of Canada in the winter of 2012. For the past two winters, I have continued this study with colleagues from the Gwich’in People of the Mackenzie Delta under the supervision of The Gwich’in Social and Cultural Institute (GSCI), and with the cooperation of The Aurora College of The Northwest Territories, and in Alaska with colleagues at The University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF). The first publications resulting from this research may be expected in 2015-16, and will include a survey of what I have learned thus far. The ultimate aim of the Canadian side of this project is to produce a book on Gwich’in astronomy and cosmology together with the GSCI. In the long term, I hope to use the tools and methods that I am learning from the GSCI and my Alaskan colleagues to publish a book-length study of the cuneiform astronomical tradition from the perspective of ethno-astronomy, using the cuneiform corpus as my data base in-lieu of living informants. In addition, I hope to someday be able to publish a comparative work examining Mesopotamian ethno-astronomy in relation to the astronomical traditions of the peoples of northern Canada, and perhaps Australia.

There are also a number of smaller projects, most notably a joint work with colleagues in North America to publish a newly identified group of cuneiform texts that describe how to draw constellations that is now nearing completion. To this I can also add my involvement with The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem which will allow me to make an important contribution to the field of Jewish History, as well as Assyriology, through the museum’s December 2014 exhibition of an archive of administrative tablets from the town of Al-Yahudu, the City of the Jews, this being a new Jerusalem in southern Babylonia. These tablets, the earliest of which date to the 570's BCE, document the life and times this exilic Judean community on Babylonian soil at the start of the Babylonian exile. Beyond all this, I look forward to spending much of the next decade training the generation of scholars who will eventually take my place and bring my field of study forward into the middle of the 21st century.

Note: The authoritative publication on Babylonian astrolabes is by Wayne Holrowitz.



(j) Rumen Kolev (1960- ) (Bulgaria) Astrologer and astrology software developer, mathematician, and amateur astronomer. Born in Varna (Bulgaria) in 1960; became a naturalised American citizen in 1995. (States he has a BA in Economics (1992); and MD (Doctor of Medicine) (2000) from the Medical Academy of Bulgaria. (Apparently (2007) PhD student at Rousse University, Bulgaria (Department of Computer Systems and Technologies?).) (John Halloran's website has: "He holds a B.A. in Economics and the equivalent in Mathematics from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. He has spent one year in the Ph.D. program in Economics at UCLA where he studied mathematical models for predictions in Macro Economics and chaos theory. He holds also a MD degree from the Bulgarian Medical Academy in Varna.") Kolev was one of 4 astrologers contributing to the date of the birth of Bulgaria. See the book: The Date of the Birth of Bulgaria (2009). Abrasive self-declared expert on Babylonian astronomy and astrology. Trenchant (and ill-informed) critic of most professional assyriologists (both pioneering and modern). Avid supporter of the discredited Panbabylonism of Alfred Jeremias and Ernst Weidner. (Believes Alfred Jeremias was a pioneering assyriologist!) Kolev, who lacks any training or reputation as an assyriologist, chooses to reject modern assyriology (especially the scholarship of outstanding professional scholars such as Neugebauer, Sachs, Pingree, and Hunger) as some sort of conspiratorial fraud to hid their own, and also Franz Kugler's errors, and seeks to frame issues and discussion within the framework of Panbabylonian tenets propagated by Jeremias and Weidner during the period circa 1900 to 1925. Historic issues long over and irrelevant to modern assyriology are regarded as still currently valid. (It is possible that Kolev's beliefs are a radical extension of the more moderate pro Panbabylonian views expressed by Simo Parpola in his 2004 paper "Back to Delitzsch and Jeremias: The Relevance of the Pan-Babylonian School to the MELAMMU Project.") Kolev's Babylonian Astrosophy (Astrosophy meaning literally 'Star Wisdom') is indicated by his statements as involving belief in some form of mystical and causative Babylonian astrology. (His beliefs are set out in his book The Restoration of the Astral Teachings of the Golden Age (2010, 370 Pages).) His Babylonian Astrosophy does not seem to be connected with the tenets of the Astrosophy Research Center founded in 1985 by the German occultist Willi Sucher (1902-1985) who was influenced by the Austrian occultist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). It perhaps is taken from the use of the term 'Astrosophie' by Alfred Jeremias. Kolev has developed 2 astrological software programs 'Placidus,' and ' Porphyrius Magus;' and ostensibly 1 astronomy software program 'Babylonia.' Currently (2009) promotes his radical and eccentric ideas through his own journal. (Where he establishes matters to his own satisfaction only.) He rejects the conclusions of modern scholarship (the conclusions of almost all scholars in Assyriology since the end of WWII) as incompetence. He has succinctly stated his own radical chronological framework: "The first coordinate system going back to 5,500 BC [± 300 years] was an equatorial system consisting of 3 circles-paths each divided in 12 sections." (It needs to be noted that Kolev has also claimed it was an ecliptic system. The Mesopotamians did not have a concept of either the celestial equator or ecliptic.) He believes he has correctly dated all (or most of) the Babylonian 'astrolabes' to the middle of the 6th-millennium BCE. His work on heliacal risings and atmospheric extinction has the support of a number of professional and amateur astronomers. However, he is unreliable on issues regarding the history of Babylonian astral sciences. In recounting events connected with his pursuits he views himself as a story-teller and elaborates and embellishes his experiences and changes them into dramatic stories. The 'Placidus Research Center' - of which he is Director - is simply a name for his home-based researches.

In essence, with such claims as an ecliptic system established in Mesopotamia circa 5,500 BCE, the astrologer Kolev is seeking to establish the view that Mesopotamian astrology (not simply a system of astral omens) developed much earlier than the results of modern scholarship establish. At the MELAMMU VI Symposium 2008, Kolev claimed that not only were the path-positions of the starts in Astrolabe B originating in 5,500 BCE, but the complete Astrolabe! Because of his prior assumptions about dates proposed by the Panbabylonist Alfred Jeremias, a caveat on his finding would be in order. The assyriologist Wayne Horowitz, an expert on Mesopotamian "astrolabes," states (1998, Page 157): "Although Astrolabe B (KAV 218), the earliest known example of the "Astrolabes," is found on a Middle Assyrian tablet, it is probable that the first "Astrolabe" was composed no later than the Middle Assyrian Period and perhaps as early as the Old Babylonian Period." (See the detailed discussion: Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography by Wayne Horowitz (1998, Pages 157-161.) Within his discussion Horowitz makes the point that the earliest surviving evidence for month-stars and for the division of the sky into 3 paths belonging to Anu, Enlil, and Ea is found in the Middle Babylonian Prayer to the Gods of the Night from Boghqazkoi (KUB 4 47) dated to the 13th-century BCE, and the Middle Assyrian star-catalogue from Nippur (HS 1897). A Middle Babylonian or older origin for the first Astrolabe is indicated by evidence provided by the Babylonian fragment VAS 24 120 and KAV 218. The tablet containing "Astrolabe B," VAT 9416 (KAV 218) dates to the 12th-century BCE.

A few texts (i.e., lists) also mentioning stars and constellations date to the 3rd millennium BCE. However, Hermann Hunger points out that no principle is evident in the order of these celestial objects. "It is only in the 2nd millennium BCE that texts appear which are dealing with phenomena in the sky. In these texts we see a desire to find out how the skies are organised., and a belief that this organization can be understood and described in relatively simple ways. The use of observation is limited: while obviously one must look at the sky to be able to say something about it, schematic approaches were predominant .... An example for this are the so-called Three-stars-each texts which probably go back to between 1500 and 1000 BCE. They list, for each month of the Babylonian calendar, three constellations which are supposed to become visible in this month: one constellation to the North, one near the equator [there is no word for equator in these texts], and one to the South; it is furthermore stated that the same constellations disappear again after six months. This gives a neat scheme of 36 constellations from whose risings one could tell the time of year. However, it would not work in practice: first of all, the period of visibility is different for stars depending on their declination; it is simply incorrect to assign all of them a visibility of six months. Then, the Babylonian calendar is not easily attuned to the solar year so that helical risings of stars will not stay in the same month every year. And, just to indicate that we are far from a secure interpretation, the lists also include planets, which are subject to entirely different visibility conditions, independent of the time of the year; finally there are even variant forms of the list which have only ten constellations - instead of 12 - which makes an alignment with the months of the year impossible. The Three-stars-each lists may be seen as attempts to organise what is known about stars. At about the same time an astronomical text was compiled, called Mul-Apin (which means Plough star) after its first word. It is only attested on tablets from the 7th century [BCE] onwards, but probably goes back to the 13th century BCE." (Hunger, Hermann. (2011). "The relation of Babylonian astronomy to its culture and society." In: Valls-Gabaud, D. and Boksenberg, A. (Editors). The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture. Proceedings of the IAU Symposium No. 260, 2009. (Pages 62-33).)

The core of Kolev's technique is simply to look for the common period when all the stars (or at least maximum numbers) are in their deemed path/way. He seems unable to appreciate that within the nature of the normal Mesopotamian scheme there was (normally) an inexact match between the months and the heliacal risings of their associated constellations. (Also, only a few astrolabe texts - but including the complete Astrolabe B - are used in this way by Kolev.)

Kolev also has a mystical belief at the core of his approach and beliefs. On October 31, 2010 at he posted: "Ultimately, the pre-diluvial Hermes should be no-one, but En Meduranki- the true prophet of God given the true knowledge of Astrology in a Revelation somewhere around 5,500 BC or earlier. More on this will be in my own research on the Babylonian Astrolabe soon to be published in the 'Proceedings of the Melammu VI symposium' [expected in the end of 2010 or early 2011 ….The main topic is the dating of the Babylonian Astrolabe, but one of the consequences of the research is exactly the conclusion: Hermes Trismegistus = En Meduranki. This should be the initial point for the next stage of the research to reconstruct the original teachings of EnMeduranki {since now we have a thread we can follow straight to the begin of mythological time}." Earlier, January 10, 2009, at, Kolev posted: "I started from both ends: from the Renaissance moving back in time and at the same time from the Babylonian moving forward in time, reading in Latin and Akkadian. Since couple of years I was lucky to close in on the center- the Greek-language Astrology. Doing the research on the original texts was an Enlightment ! The whole process of the Astrology stood before my eyes. I saw the bright Light of Enmeduranki- the pre-deluvial proto-Sumerian king (from around 5500 BC according to my research) moving through the latest 7500 years of Time. Enmeduranki- the pen-ultimate king-prophet before the Deluge from Old Sipar (sic) received his knowledge directly from the conference of the 'Gods' being lifted there by the Sun-god (Utu) and the god of the Wind (Adad). What I saw was a clear picture of a brilliant Light getting dimmer and dimmer as it approached my own time. [[[ Read my Post in HELLENISTIC ASTROLOGY titled 'HELIACAL APPEARANCES (Phaseis):GREECE/BABYLON' for a very concrete and detailed example of this process that I would call 'Corruption and Profanation of the Astrology-Revelation ' ]]] The Babylonians gave hints here and there, but they kept the secret tradition from the un-initiated with an immense instrumentarium of code-words. They rarely put explanations on their 'paper' of clay tablets. The Greeks though were more fond of talking. I found in their writings many traces of the original Revelation handed to Enmeduranki- the prophet of Astrology." Kolev has written elsewhere his belief that the tenets of Babylonian astrology was received by Enmeduranki all at once in an "Illumination."

Kolev's claims have already been uncritically picked up (in a distortive context) and - along with mention of Gavin White's speculative ideas of an early Mesopotamian constellation set - included in The Dawning (2011) by the Australian astrologer Terry MacKinnell (who appears quite uninformed of the critical issues).

Some initial issues: The key is whether the astrolabe texts (and the Mul.Apin series served a calendrical purpose (a system of month-stars established within the scheme of an ideal year) or a divinatory purpose (and was only loosely connected with observational reality). It is difficult to understand why this supposed early system of 36 month-stars did not diffuse to either Elam or Ebla at least. Also, Wayne Horowitz is cited for the claim by Kolev that the celestial system of three 'paths' are mentioned in the Old Babylonian Period. The claim is false. Wayne Horowitz specifically states no Old Babylonian material preserves evidence for either month-stars or the Paths of Anu, Enlil, and Ea. (See: Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography (1998, Page 158).) "The scribes of the Old Babylonian period were very zealous copyists and went to great lengths to preserve the literature that came down to them from the past, especially the archives of the Third Dynasty at Ur [the Neo-Sumerian Empire, 22nd to 21st century BCE]. There were as well, however, many marvellous and original works put together by these Akkadian scribes themselves." ("Syro-Mesopotamia: The Old Babylonian Period" by Ronald Veenker. In: Mesopotamia and the Bible edited by Mark Chavalas and K. Younger Junior. (2002; Pages 149-167, Page 163). Further, the Ur III period (2112-2004 BCE) (not to be confused with the earlier Uruk III period reaching up to circa 3000 BCE) is generally considered the best documented century in antiquity. It is also termed the Neo Sumerian period or the "Sumerian Renaissance." The tens of thousands of cuneiform tablets that have survived document an immense range of activities. This has resulted in nearly 100 years of intense scholarly work on the Ur III period. Within the context of the active intellectual endeavour recorded at this period no astronomy emerges. There is no compelling reason for assuming that the astronomical texts from the 2nd-millennium BCE relied upon astronomical texts from the 3rd-millennium BCE. There is no formal astronomy in Sumerian texts. Sumerian literary texts, however, contain astronomical references. The Sumerian term UDDU-IDEM (Akkadian bibbu) = wild sheep = stars/planets. In the religious text Nanna-Suen Hymn 1, the mention of cows is an allusion to the stars in the night sky. In the religious text, The Exaltation of Istar, the sun and moon are herdmen keeping the stars (as cattle) in their order.

Trying to understand Rumen Kolev's own explanations for how he reached the date of 5,500 BC [± 300 years] for some of the information on 1 or more of the 'astrolabes' (?) - or this date for all of the information on all of the 'astrolabes' (?) - has proved confusing (and continues to be so). (It appears Kolev expects people to buy his book in order to gain a detailed explanation.) Kolev claims that circa 5,500 BCE is the date when the Path positions of the 36 month-stars in the Astrolabes are correct. It seems he has primarily used the month-star list information in Astrolabe B and used one of his computer programs to precess backwards in time until a 'best match' was achieved between them and the "three ways" (for heliacal rising only (?)). How the set times are dealt with is unknown (i.e., not yet (March, 2010) explained by Kolev). Also, how the planets and circumpolar constellations are dealt with is unknown (i.e., not yet (March, 2010) explained by Kolev). This selective use of data is only one problem associated with Kolev's early dating claims for the 'astrolabes.' A binomial analysis is used for the data. His 2008 presentation "Astronomical Dating of the Babylonian Astrolabe." remained unpublished until being included in June, 2011 publication of The Proceedings of the Melammu VI Symposium 2008. (The symposium was organised by the assyriologist Simo Parpola, who is sympathetic of the Panbabylonism of Winckler and Jeremias.) To presently access his claims in detail (March, 2010) Kolev imposes a requirement to purchase his publications. Even though his ideas (1) have not yet been clearly communicated, (2) have not been communicated in any detail, (3) have not been able to be suitably assessed, and (4) have not been acknowledged as accepted by any professional assyriologist; Kolev is confidently treating his claim for the early dating of the Astrolabe star lists as being established.    

The unifying principle behind all the of "Three Stars Each"/Astrolabe class of cuneiform texts is a star heliacally rising in each of the "three ways" during each of the 12 months of the unintercalated 'ideal' year, and that a total of 36 stars astronomically fixed the months of the yearly calendar (i.e., fixed the months astronomically in place). The format for presenting the lists of 36 month-stars was not standardised. The 36 month-star lists could appear in either circular or list format. In the tabular (list) "Astrolabes" (such as "Astrolabe B"), the texts are divided into 12 paragraphs, 3 lines each. Each line contains the name of a star, constellation or planet, the explanation of this name and a number. Each paragraph deals with one Babylonian month and each line with a specific Path of the sky (Path of Ea, Anu, or Enlil). Supposedly, the selected stars, constellations, and planets rose heliacally in exactly that month in that Path of the sky. The Path of Ea (south of -17 degrees declination; first line of each paragraph). The Path of Anu (between +17 degrees declination and -17 degrees declination; second line of each paragraph). The Path of Enlil (north of +17 degrees declination; last line of each paragraph). However, Jeffrey Cooley, relying on BPO 3, Pages 15-16, writes (2013, Page 63): "... it seems as though the Path of Enlil began about 13 degrees north of east, Ea extended south beginning at about 11 degrees south of east, and Anu would have been the area between these two points."

"Since the various astrolabes do not all agree about which stars belong to a particular Path, it seems that the precise limits of each Path probably varied according to the particular celestial observer and the circumstances of his locality ... that is, which landmarks the individual would choose to define the limits of each Path." (See a suitable summary discussion in: Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East by Jeffrey Cooley (2013, Page 63, Note 4). See also: BPO 2, Page 17; and BPO 3, Pages 15-16.) Also, the fact that often the stars/constellations do not actually reside in their named star-paths - the paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil, suggests that the star-paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil were introduced later than the stars/constellations assigned to them.

Geoffrey Elton (1921-1994) (The Practice of History, 1967) counselled: "Those determined to put their faith in 'sophisticated' mathematical methods and to apply 'general laws' to the pitifully meagre and very uncertain detail that historical evidence often provides for the answering of interesting and important questions, are either to be pitied because they will be sinking in quicksand while believing themselves to be standing on solid earth, or to be combated because they darken counsel with their errors." It will be interesting if the constellation anunitu (formed by part of the stars comprising our Pisces), one of the rising stars of Astrolabe B (and in the Path of Enlil), is included and used. No Sumerian word is used for this constellation, the name appears in Akkadian only. (Another example of the absence of a Sumerian word as a name is the star/constellation tultu "the Worm," in the Path of Ea. Though this is likely to be a late additional/alternative name for an existing constellation.) The Mesopotamian month-star lists comprising 36 stars, and the system of the Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil, are connected not only with the "Astrolabe" texts (they originate as the month-stars) but also with the Creation Epic (Enūma Elish), and the omen series Enūma Anu Enlil. Any attempt to date the contents of these documents to circa 5,500 BCE can be dismissed. Both the month-star lists and the texts were being developed at the same period. They date to the time of Assyrian independence and expansion, starting circa 1350 BCE. In this sense all are Assyrian Period documents and there is an interconnectedness between them. (For the Babylonian origin, rather than the Assyrian origin of the "Astrolabes," see the discussion in Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography by Wayne Horowitz (Pages 158-159). Horowitz concludes the earliest surviving evidence for both the month-stars and the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea dates to the Middle Babylonian Period (1532-1000 BCE) and suggests the first "Astrolabe" was produced at this time.) Also, according to the investigations of Wayne Horowitz, the 10-star tradition (AO 6769) and the 30-star catalogue/list (BM 55502) were a development that preceded the 3 x 12 = 36 month-star lists. Kolev's ideas of the system of 36 month-stars, allocated into 3 defined Paths, dating to circa 5,500 BCE needs to take all of this into account.

Aspects of early lunar and planetary astronomy are embedded in the Enūma Anu Enlil omen series, the content and finalisation of which is clearly dated to the late 2nd-millennium BCE. Astrolabe B is closely related to tablet 51 of the Enūma Anu Enlil omen series. (The ideal Astrolabe is reflected in the Enūma Anu Enlil tablets 50-51.) If the star-list content of the "Astrolabe texts" (which also appear in the Enūma Anu Enlil omen series) are to be dated to circa 5500 BCE then it is odd that astronomical development then remained static for another 4000 years. Also, the earliest Mesopotamian list of relations between months and gods/goddesses seems to be Astrolabe B. Dūzu, the 4th month of the Babylonian calendar, was named after the god Dumuzi ("Dumuzi of Uruk"). The text of Astrolabe B reflects this Old Babylonian tradition (mythology surrounding Dumuzi) referring to the month Dūzu as "the month in which the shepherd Dumuzi, was captured." 

The evidence is against the use - in the late 2nd-millennium BCE - of an 'inherited' use system of 36 month-stars (from 5500 BCE) that was not further developed for some 4000 years. Problems with Kolev's statistical method are demonstrable with the analysis of relevant cuneiform tablets. (For an expert discussion by a professional assyriologist regarding the date of composition of Astrolabe B see The Three Stars Each by Wayne Horowitz (2014, Pages 30-33. He identifies the astrolabe genre as late 2nd-millennium texts - including astronomical content.) Circa 1400 BCE we had the development/composition of a list of 30 heliacally rising stars, 10 each in the Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil. (10 = completeness.) It appears these were the original lists from which both the Astrolabes and the Mul.Apin lists were derived. The Kassite period (Middle Babylonian period) texts VS 24 120 (from Babylon) and HS 1897 (from Nippur) (and BM 55502) provide antecedents to Sections 1 and 2 respectively of Astrolabe B. The 2 Middle Babylonian period 10 star catalogues HS 1897 and (the somewhat later text) BM 55502 parallel the star-catalogue of Astrolabe B (KA5 218). The evidence clearly shows the precedence, durability and influence of the 10-star tradition. The roughly contemporary text KUB 4 47 Prayer to the Gods of the Night, from Boghazköy, provides the earliest direct evidence for the division of the night sky into the three Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil. (Not used, however, is the term harranu (= paths).)

The silence of Sumerian texts of the Ur III dynasty (2113-2006 BCE) is a problem for early astrolabe/calendar ideas.

Note: The only example for comparison with Kolev's claim of early transmission prior to writing is the Rig-Veda. The collection of Sanskrit hymns known as the Rig-Veda is thought to have been composed prior to 1000 BCE but the earliest manuscripts date from the 17th-century CE.

The Stars of Elam, Akkad, and Amurru. There are two cuneiform texts containing lists of 12 stars of Elam, 12 stars of Akkad, and 12 stars of Amurru. (Both were published in Cuneiform Texts in the British Museum, Volume 26, See Plates 40-41 and 44.) The names Elam, Akkad, and Amurru reflect the political situation in Old Babylonian times. The stars of Elam, Akkad, and Amurru are identical with the stars of Astrolabe B and in each text their order corresponds exactly with the order of the twelve months in Astrolabe B. This verifies that the stars of Elam, Akkad, and Amurru are month stars, corresponding to the twelve months of the year. Bartel van der Waerden (Science Awakening II, Page 68) commented: "There is no astronomical principle to be found in the distribution of the stars over the three countries." This is because the system comprises a regional division rather than an astronomical one.

The main example of the "3 stars each" genre is Astrolabe B. Astrolabe B is not exclusively nor primarily an astronomical document. Astrolabe B is a multifunctional text - serving as an astronomical treatise as well as a theological treatise. It is more strongly a theological treatise. The astronomical content of Astrolabe B is highly schematised. Astrolabe B was composed in the same political context as Enūma eliš and reflects the victory of Nebuchadnezzar I over Elam circa 1100 BCE.

Astrolabe Berlin (Astrolabe B) was discovered by the young German assyriologist  Ernst Weidner amongst the cuneiform tablets collected by the Berlin Museum. Weidner identified Astrolabe B as belonging to the library of king Tilgath-Pileser I. Astrolabe B (= VAT 9416, KAV 218) is a rectangular (list) Astrolabe and is a bilingual Sumerian/Akkadian text. The text of Astrolabe B was copied in Asshur/Ashur in the late 2nd-millennium BCE and is the oldest of the Astrolabes known. (It is thought the tablet was likely copied in the reign of King Ninurta-apil-Ekur (1190-1178 BCE).) Astrolabe B, in contrast to the other Astrolabes known, states explicitly that the stars named rise in their month. According to the assyriologist Wayne Horowitz it appears the content of Astrolabe B is a compendium compiled from independent sources of information. Astrolabe B is an assemblage of various data originating from as yet unidentified sources, different in both their origin and purpose. Regardless, the text in Astrolabe B describing the risings and settings of stars clearly indicates its schematised design. (See for example the discussion by Johann Schaumberger, Ergan. 3, (1935).) Also, what is definitely not demonstrated is the standardised use of Astrolabe "path stars" from supposedly the 6th-millennium to the 2nd-millennium. It is not demonstrated that there was a standard list of Astrolabe stars. Wayne Horowitz makes the point that there is no such thing as an authoritative, standard Mesopotamian star list.

There is no justification for the view that ancient Mesopotamian astral science was developed early and then merely copied mindlessly and without change or alteration for some 3 to 4 millennium. A greater problem is no examples of texts earlier than the 2nd-millennium BCE containing parallel material to sections of the Astrolabes are known.

Astrolabe B (VAT 9416, published as KAV 218) is an almost completely preserved tablet measuring 18.8 centimetres in height and 11.4 centimetres in width. Part A (Section 1) of Astrolabe B associates each of the twelve months with a constellation, a god, mythological events (rites and rituals), and agricultural activities associated with the particular months. The 'mythological notes' in Part A (Section 1) comprise a bilingual menology for the 12 months of the Babylonian year. (Menologies prescribe by month and day what actions are advisable or not. They are related to divinatory texts.) For each monthly section the Sumerian-language description is given first and this is followed by the Akkadian-language description. In 10 of the 12 months the first item noted in the Sumerian-language version of the menology is the month-star for that month. Part B (Section 2) of Astrolabe B is a list (star-catalogue) of 36 stars - comprised of 12 stars for each of the Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil. Part B usually notes the position of each star by referring to their locations relative to each other, and occasionally refers to the colour of the star, or to particular parts of the constellation. The division into Stars of Ea, Anu, and Enlil (zones approximately parallel to the celestial equator) has scientific characteristics. Part C (Section 3) of Astrolabe B (lines 1-12) comprises a list-Astrolabe that systematically lists three constellations in each of the three Paths, for each month (= 36 stars), according to the sequence of their presumed helical rising. The star list is slightly different to that of Part B (Section 2). Part D (Section 4) (lines 13-36) states that the 3 constellations of each month rise in that month, and that three other constellations set (i.e., the constellations in the 7th month from it set in that same month). Part D (Section 4) of Astrolabe B also states that those constellations which it states set are specifically those constellations which rise six months later (= a list of 'stars that rise as others set.' This schematic 6 month difference is not astronomically possible. Also, the astronomical theory that non-circumpolar stars rise and set at half-year intervals is false. (Actually it is noted that 34 of the 36 stars set exactly 6 months after rising. Part D, states that all 36 stars with the two exceptions of the planet Venus (mul dili.bad) and "The Plough" constellation (mul apin), set 6 months after rising.) The information in Parts A, B, C and D are unique to Astrolabe B. The information does not occur together in any of the other Astrolabes.

Horowitz, Wayne ("The Astrolabes: An Exercise in Transmission, Canonicity, and Para-Canonicity." In: Banks, Michaela et al. (Editors). (2013). Between Text and Text: The Hermeneutics of Intertextuality in Ancient Cultures and Their Afterlife in Medieval and Modern Times. (Pages 273-287)) writes: "[T]he individual elements of Astrolabe B (Sections I, II, III, and IV) each on their own, and sometimes in other combinations, find numerous parallels and duplicates, both before the twelfth century date of Astrolabe B, and later throughout the first millennium. For example Astrolabe B II is also known in a 30 star format, 10 stars for each path rather than 12, in two parallels that are separated in time by about a millennium, each in a different setting than in Astrolabe B. The earlier one is the Middle Babylonian Nippur tablet HS 1897, which is slightly older than Astrolabe B and is dedicated in full to the 30 star-catalogue. This would appear to be a precursor, in Assyriological jargon a "forerunner," to the 36 star-catalogue of Alb B Section II. Later is the Hellenistic period Astrolabe compendium, BM 55502, which gives the list of the 36 rising and setting stars best known from Alb B IV, but also a 30 star-catalogue that nearly duplicates that of HS 1897, and so differs from the star-catalogue Alb B Section II which gives 12 stars per path. This comes as somewhat of a surprise since one might expect the 36 star-version known from Astrolabe B II from ca. 1160 to have entered the canon and have been repeated in the first millennium, rather than the earlier 30 star-version found on HS 1897."

Tom Peters (Hastro-L, 12 November, 2009), struggling with a lack of clear explanation writes a succinct critique: "I gather that Mr. Kolev derives an age for the data of this list by playing around with precession until he gets a best match for actual rising and setting of these stars in some distant past. If this is correct, then this approach is problematic.

- You always get a best match, however poor it actually is.

- The result is completely dependent on your interpretation of the meaning of the data.

As has already been brought forward, how reliable are the identifications of the objects in the list with actual stars? And how sure can we be that it is actually the kind of list that we think it is? Also, any systematic deviation will lead to a (large) error in dating this way - for instance, for what latitude was it made?"

Problems associated with the "three stars each" as star calendars are apparently not dealt with by Rumen Kolev. Firstly, after a lengthy discussion of the issues Hunger/Pingree state (Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia, Page 63): "The "astrolabe" lists provide no information useful for identifying the constellations because we do not know the principles of their categorizations."

There are several significant problems associated with interpreting the "three stars each" lists as identifying ideal heliacal risings. (Only KAV 218 (Astrolabe B) specifically states the listed stars are connected with monthly heliacal risings in the three Paths.) Firstly, the associations of the stars with particular months and also the "three paths" seems to be in part purely religious/mythical. Secondly, some of the month-stars listed are actually planets (i.e., Venus, Mars, and Jupiter), with no annual cycles able to be preserved in the "three stars each" calendrical system. (Planets do not rise in the same position of the sky at annual intervals. Therefore they cannot be used as month-stars if the "three stars each" calendrical system is to be used for more than a single year.) Thirdly, two of the stars (in the northern Path of Enlil) are actually circumpolar (the Wagon and the Fox), and it problematic to see how these could have been used in the "three stars each" calendrical system. (Four more circumpolar stars (making a total of 6) were included in the Path of Enlil in the later Mul.Apin series. The 'fixed-star' catalogue of the Mul.Apin series contains 60 rising and setting stars, 6 circumpolar stars, and 5 planets.)

Heliacal risings are also a problematic issue. Reiner/Pingree in Babylonian Planetary Omens, Volume Two (1981, Page 3) discussing two issues to be understood in relation to 'Astrolabe B' state: "... the association of a constellation with a particular ideal month does not signify that that constellation had its heliacal rising in that ideal month, and that the three paths do not correspond to bands located between certain circles parallel to the equator. ... We presume that these associations with ideal months and with the three paths are influenced by mythological as much by astronomical considerations ...."

Regarding Habasirānu in the Path of Ea. There remains some uncertainty about how to transcribe the Sumerian name (logogram) of this star/constellation, as well as its exact identity. Various transcriptions such as Hasirānu / Habasirāttu are used. Thought by early assyriologists to be a star name but, perhaps correctly, by contemporary assyriologists to be a constellation (figure of a mouse (mouse-like creature) or rodent (?)) occupying most of the stars of Centaurus. (The name infers a mouse or rodent.) In Astrolabe B, Section C, Habasirānu is replaced by nu.muš.da ('Swarm') (and the Hyades - also in the Path of Ea - are replaced by gu-la (gula) (Aquarius)). The identification of nu.muš.da is uncertain, and also whether it is a name for a constellation or single star (but Hunger/Pingree (1999) identify the star η or κ Centauri).

Taken as "astronomical" texts it is possible that "three stars each" texts listing planets as month-stars may not have been intended to predict heliacal risings for longer than a single year. Another possibility is that certain months were identified with the planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter for religious or mythological reasons. ("Names of fixed stars and constellations may have varied and constellations whose names remained constant may have been composed of different stars in different periods. (Mesopotamian Cosmic Geography by Wayne Horowitz, 1998.))"

Basic questions are: how astronomical were the astrolabes? What genre of literature are they connected with? Their purpose was not to regulate the calendar. It is certain that astrolabes were not intercalation devices. The Babylonian national epic Enuma Elish is the earliest written creation myth. It sets out that the chief god of the Babylonians (also the most powerful of the Babylonian gods), Marduk, created an ordered world out of the original state of chaos. He then created time by establishing/devising the first calendar. He establishes the year, divides the length into 12-months, and assigns three stars to each month. (3 stars – 1 in each star path – were meant to rise heliacally in each of the 12 months of the 'ideal year.') Simply, Marduk arranges the stars in the image of the astrolabes. The ideal year set out in the astrolabes matches the ideal year established by Marduk (360 days, comprising 12 months of 30 days each). The ‘ideal astrolabe’ was underpinned by the ‘ideal year’ created by the god Marduk. This artificial construction meant they did not fulfil the role of a sidereal calendar. David Brown makes the point: "They were based only very loosely on observational reality." The 'stars' listed were never intended to accurately reflect reality (i.e., what could be actually observed). Divinatory thinking/tradition was given precedence over strict astronomical reality. The order of the 'astrolabe constellations' and the dates of their ideal first appearances are also listed in Enūma Anu Enlil tablet 51, and in the commentaries on Enūma Anu Enlil tablet 50. Thus the genres are associated. In tablet 51 of the omen series Enūma Anu Enlil the astrolabe stars are used to predict good or evil. Thus the astrolabe star lists had magical/divinatory purposes.

Essentially the "astrolabe" texts comprised a scheme in which 3 stars, one lying in each of the 3 star-paths, were meant/(supposed?) to rise heliacally in each of the 12 30-day months of the of the "ideal year." (The dates - per Astrolabe B - reflect their ideal first appearances. However, no days, only months, are noted on the Astrolabe texts.) The "ideal astrolabe" was thus underpinned by the "ideal year." It is likely that the "Astrolabe texts" as well as the Mul.Apin series, comprise an invented scheme and not an observation-based scheme. The assyriologist David Brown thinks it highly unlikely that the "astrolabe texts" served the astronomical purpose of enabling a calendar and marking seasonal events. He instead states (Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy-Astrology (2000, Page 115)): "They were, instead, learned elaborations based only very loosely on observational reality with regard to the heavens, whose purpose was not to regulate the calendar, but to permit celestial diviners to interpret the occasion of a star's first appearance as good-boding if it corresponded with the scheme and ill-boding if it did not."

Kolev has also stated he has extended his "precess method" to the Mul.Apin series. The Mul.Apin series is usually considered to be "astronomical" (an "astronomical compendium") with the primary aim of regulating the luni-solar year. However, many of the stars/constellations listed appear to be out of order. David Brown (Mesopotamian Planetary Astronomy-Astrology (2000, Page 116)) suggests this "may be because the star lists were never intended accurately to reflect reality."  The star-lists reflect divinatory purposes. Tradition and divinatory purpose often determines content rather than a strict observance to observed fact. The dates given in Mul.Apin for heliacal risings of stars - though ultimately observation-based - were produced artificially. Both the "Astrolabe texts" and the Mul.Apin series are ultimately ideal schemes that do not accurately correspond to reality but serve the purpose of being useful for divinatory purposes.

The nature and widths of the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea still continues to create some uncertainty. (David Brown has proposed that the system of "Three Ways" was awkwardly imposed on an already established (earlier) system of 36 stars. This has clear implications for assumptions of an astronomically accurate scheme.) The 3 broad Paths (Ways) of the great gods Enlil, Anu, and Ea are roughly demarcated bands of varying declination. Opinion still differs whether they were conceived as bands in the sky or arcs along the horizon, and whether they marked declinations of 15, 16 or 17 degrees (with the Path of Anu naturally comprising one of these figures x 2). The Mesopotamian definition of the Paths is connected to the eastern horizon. Hunger/Pingree state (Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia, 1999, Page 61 (but see the discussion Pages 61-62)): "It is clear that the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea meant something different to the author of the second section of "Astrolabe B" and the compiler of the first list in MUL.APIN." (Ernst Weidner, and others, in the early 20th-century thought the circular astrolabes indicated 3 concentric spheres for the three paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil.) An example of the lack of observational reality is the astrolabe texts place the Pleiades (located near the celestial equator) in the Path of Ea rather than in the Path of Anu (which the later Mul.Apin series does).

Interestingly, Weidner (1915) assumed the scheme of the '3 Ways' represented in Mul.Apin went back to very ancient times. For this scheme, Weidner opted for a date of circa 4500 BCE when the Vernal Equinox was near the stars comprising the feet of the constellation Gemini.

Just how rigidly the boundaries of the "3 Ways" were defined over time is an assumption based on late texts and is not established by any early texts or myths/literature with dates to the 6th-millennium through to the 3rd-millennium BCE. This has implications for the basis for Kolev's claims. The claim  for an observation-based system of 3 loosely equatorial stellar paths (Kolev would have ecliptic-based stellar paths) with 12 month stars/asterisms established in each; the system being established circa 5,500 BCE as canonical (disregarding further observation over time establishing loss of practical function of the system) until replaced by the Mul.Apin schemes; that originates only with a statistical argument that contradicts archaeological evidence, indicates a serious problem with the statistical methodology. The singular use of the mathematical method cannot surpass the archaeological evidence. I know of no relevant example that establishes otherwise. The Kolev's early date matches a set of preconceptions he holds signals the need for a close scrutiny of all aspects of his ideas and methods. However, it is his responsibility to suitably establish his claims.

The recent doctoral thesis The Exact Transmission of Texts in the First Millennium B.C.E. by Russell Hobson (2009) includes examination of Enuma Anu Enlil tablet 63 (the 'Venus Tablet') and the Mul.Apin series. Of interest is the concluding statement (Page 494) regarding the lack of stabilisation in the transmission of astronomical/omen cuneiform texts. The latter is interesting. Hobson's examination demonstrates persistent error-making by the trained scribal elite in copying cuneiform astronomical/omen texts. And this error-making occurred over a relatively short period of time. For errors, misreadings, and uncertain signs connected with Mul.Apin see, "Mul.Apin - Catalog of Variants - R. Hobson 2012" (33 pages; A tradition of oral transmission existed in Mesopotamia. (The numerous variants of popular myths is used as an argument for an oral tradition in Mesopotamia. A group of 'experts' and later, in the Neo-Assyrian period (circa 950-600 BCE), 'chief singers' is identified with oral tradition. It is accepted by a number of scholars that these persons would make slight changes. It appears that in Mesopotamia there was an early reliance/preference for scribes trained to accurately copy texts. According to The Cambridge History of the Bible (Volume 1, 1975, Page 40): "In Mesopotamia oral tradition played only a limited part in the transmission of literary texts after 2,700 B.C., the scribe using an oral source only when all else failed." It is quite evident that scribal tradition = variation and copyist errors. Even the text of the omen series Enuma Anu Enlil exhibits divergences and was not really fixed.

In N.A.B.U. (Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires) 2010, Number 2, Juin, Pages 53-56, and 2010, Number 3, Pages 59-67, Johannes Koch, the late German expert on Babylonian astronomy, in a 2-part article, analyses and rejects Kolev's claims regarding an early date for the astrolabe scheme ("Stammte Astrolab B aus dem 6 Jahrtausend vor Chr. ?"). (Current issues of N.A.B.U. are not readily available electronically. Access is by subscription (27 Euros per year). It amounts to about 120 pages, issued in 4 fascicles. The intention is to publish short notes (4 pages maximum) relatively quickly to current scholarly discussions, or simply for information, without review. Most of N.A.B.U. is very technical Assyriology. Address for subscriptions is: Dominique Charpin (one of the 3 editors), SEPOA, 14, Rue des Sources, 92160 Antony, France.) Kolev's reply to the 1st part of Koch's critique appeared in N.A.B.U. 2010.3, Pages 67-69 ("The Real Age of the Babylonian Astrolabe"). Kolev stated his reply to the 2nd part of the critique by Johannes Koch ("Nochmals: Stammte Astrolab B aus fruhsumerischer Zeit ?"; N.A.B.U. 2010.3) would appear in N.A.B.U. 2010.4. However, with the death of Johannes Koch the editors of N.A.B.U. have stopped accepting further papers on the subject. Undaunted, Kolev, at his website page on the issue (2013), writes: "Kolev, R.: "The Three Celestial Paths in Babylonian Astronomy" (in English) (submitted on May 6th 2011 to N.A.B.U. for publication and as of January 2013 not yet published) (The answer of Kolev to the second article of Koch)."

Kolev uncritically accepts that astronomical ideas of 5500 BCE have/would come down unaltered. There is no evidence to give the claim credibility. We know nothing of Mesopotamian astronomical ideas dating to circa 5500 BCE. Only a particular statistical analysis by Rumen Kolev exists for the date he claims. Earlier claims by Panababylonists based on archaeological evidence were clearly based on misdating. That Kolev claims to have established a date that he has previously promoted - the date claimed by the Panbabylonist Alfred Jeremias - signals caution. But Kolev aims to set aside the results of modern assyriology. According to Kolev modern assyrologists are unreliable. Exclaiming his mathematical analysis to be a conclusive argument simply lacks rigorous reasoning. It is an odd result and one that is at odds with the historical evidence. The claim excludes the necessary use of all the related archaeological evidence and what it indicates. This evidence is scattered across time and place and text genres. The genres involved comprise astronomical, literary (religious), and omen texts. One searches in vain for any conference presentation or published paper by an assyriologist that is supportive of Kolev's claims. As far as I am aware even Simo Parpola has not done this. Kolev's statistical argument is not evidence until it is demonstrated to be relevant and objective. The limitation of the statistical analysis is the certainty of its validity. What other ways exist for an analysis of the data? Presently, the validity of Kolev's approach is questionable and the conclusion he has reached is not unassailable.

Excursus: Anatoly Fomenko a Russian mathematician, professor at Moscow State University (since 1980) where he is Head of the Department of Differential Geometry and Applications, and a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, has focused on the statistical analysis of ancient texts and his own mathematical notions about ancient astronomical observations. He advocates a radical revision of historical chronology (a so-called New Chronology) - "an improved version of the global chronology of the Ancient Time." The New Chronology claims that everything historians think they know about historical dating is wrong. Instead, almost all events associated with the ancient world (Greeks, Romans, etc.) actually occurred after the year we identify as 1000 CE. Interestingly, Fomenko has focused on the statistical analysis of ancient texts and his own mathematical notions about ancient astronomical observations. See the series: History: Fiction or Science by Anatoly Fomenko (2nd edition, 7 volumes, 2003-2006). Also see: Geometrical and Statistical Methods of Analysis of Star Configurations Dating Ptolemy's Almagest by Anatoly Fomenko and Vladimir Kalashnikov (1993); Mysteries of Egyptian Zodiacs and Other Riddles of Ancient History by Anatoly Fomenko et. al. (2004). However, the sound basis for refuting/disproving their ideas include: (1) Astronomical events (i.e., supernovae, eclipses, comets), (2) Dendrochronology, and (3) Radiometric dating (i.e., radiocarbon dating). Astronomical records involving supernovae, eclipses, and comets exist on several different continents; especially in areas such as Mesopotamia and China. Mesopotamian and Chinese astronomical record go back to before 1000 BCE. Records of return visits of Halley’s comet exist on 3 continents. The Chinese records use a completely different dating system to the Julian and Gregorian calendars. However, the Chinese dates can be precisely correlated to the Western calendars when these astronomical events are matched up. For the centuries that Fomenko claims did not exist we have historical reports of Halley's comet that anchor historical chronology to the dates of the sightings. Of particular interest is Halley's comet was sighted in Europe in 760, 837, 912, 989, 1066, and 1145 CE per the conventional calendar system of the time. Formenko simply asserts that the European reports are forgeries, and that the Chinese and other astronomical records are useless/unreliable. Kolev's application of mathematics/statistics to the correctness of historical dating seems to be influenced by the approach taken by Fomenko and other "new chronologists."

In a series of 3 ranting postings to Hastro-L, 13-17 June 2011, titled: KOCH JOHANNES & THE ASTROLABE (THE 5500 BC SAGA of NABU) [Part 1, 2, and 3], Kolev restarted his campaign against Johannes Koch (who was then ill and died a few weeks later) and the editor of N.A.B.U. One Hastro-L member posted (15 June, 2011): "Kolev's Parts I and II contain nothing except his usual delusive statements about and attack on Koch without clearly explaining why and where he disagrees with Koch." Kolev is unable to accept that, with the death of Johannes Koch in mid June, 2011, and the standard of unacceptable conduct exhibited by himself [Kolev], the editor of N.A.B.U. declines to print Kolev's further response to Koch's critique. Kolev sees this as part of an 'establishment' conspiracy to to suppress the truth of his 'revolutionary findings.' This same Hastro-L member who [posted on 15 June also posted (17 June, 2011): "You seem to have ignored the fact that, in the absence of an irrefutable proof, modern elucidation of a set of ancient data does not necessarily equate with its original/contemporary interpretation. In your case, you have fitted a set of old Babylonian observations to a modern mathematical model that apparently holds for the 6th millennium BC and, with no solid proof, expect everyone to accept your preferred model. Please explain why you so vehemently attack Koch's arguments and accuse him of "inventing" a model to deceive the readers of his articles? Do you have access to a contemporary Babylonian source that backs your dates and rejects those concluded by Koch? If another model finds an equally good match dating to ca. 25,000 years earlier than your dates, can we insist that the prehistoric inhabitants of Babylonia had devised the Astrolabe in question? Considering little else and putting your arguments and those of Koch on the balance of probabilities, ca. 1500 BC is a far more likely date than 5500 BC for the data set in question."

Kolev's claim that the '3 Ways' scheme of Astrolabe B is validated his mathematically matching to the date of 5,500 BCE has 2 particular problems (in addition to others). There is an assumption that the '3 Ways' scheme was established prior to the 2nd-millennium BCE, and there is an assumption that the '3 Ways' scheme existed in a fixed form (i.e. was canonical) for 4 millennium. Neither proposition has been established by Kolev.

Kolev's focus on Koch ignores the article - independently supporting Koch and refuting Kolev - by M[?]. Nickiforov and J[?]. Tabov "Problems of dating of the Babylonian "Astrolabes." (1991?) in which they write: "The calculations show, that there is no historical epoch or turn of the heavenly sphere on a longitude, for which the hypothesis that the order of the constellations in the "astrolabe" follows the order of their declinations is correct. Conclusions: 1. The verifications based on the content of the "astrolabes", the order of the constellations by longitude and the order of the constellations by declination show that the traditional view on the "astrolabes" [as astronomical documents] causes many contradictions. 2. It is possible that the Babylonian "astrolabes" actually do not represent real observations of the star sky. They could be related to some ritual or could be religious or astrological texts. 3. If the "astrolabes" mirror real astronomical observations, probably some basic parts of the Babylonian astronomical texts are deciphered incorrectly, and at least the identification of the constellations, stars and planets for all texts are incorrect. 4. Even if we assume, that the "astrolabes" reflect real astronomical observations, it is difficult to say if the available information could be used for astronomical dating of these observations. Most probably, the "astrolabes" are [to be] dated by some archaeological data or by other reasons." The authors make the point that the Astrolabes texts are at odds with astronomical reality. This raises the question of the relationship between reality and practice; and why their originators were seemingly unbothered by their contradictions with reality.

If the astrolabe genre was earlier than the 2nd millennium BCE it does not mean the earlier texts would be the same as those we have from the 2nd millennium BCE. The assyriologist Wayne Horowitz, an expert on astrolabes - he has been studying them for some 2 decades - states the astrolabe group of tablets never reached a canonical form. Competing versions circulated. "For the Astrolabes ... the group never reached a canonical form which could be passed down from generation to generation. Hence, the four sections of the earliest and most complete form of the Astrolabes, the so-called 12th-century Berlin Astrolabe, better known as Astrolabe B, never occur together on any earlier or later tablet belonging to the group, although each of the four sections survives separately into the first millennium." (Writing Science before the Greeks by Rita Watson and Wayne Horowitz (2011, Page 13).)

There is no way in which an orator can identify whether the story being recited is identical to one that was recited thousands of years prior. Modern anthropological work has shown that and oral tradition is not frozen in time. (At least a written record is frozen in time.) The concept that the so-called astrolabe text dates from thousands of years prior to being written down has the problem that there is no evidence of it existing before the first written record discovered. Also there is no plausible mechanism of transmission during the preceding millennia. Everything indicates that Kolev's analysis and results are flawed.

To summarise the views of the British assyriologist David Brown who writes of the "divinatory genre of astrolabe texts": The astrolabe texts, like all cuneiform texts, need to be placed in their cultural, social, and intellectual contexts. Divinatory purposes underpin all 3. The wide array of cuneiform texts on astral sciences ultimately had a divinatory purpose and divinatory lore and purpose shaped the content of the astrolabes - not accurate observational astronomy. The ideal (but not standardised) astrolabe is reflected in Enūma Anu Enlil tablets 50-51. Furthermore astral practices and beliefs of the 2nd-millennium BCE shaped later astral practices and beliefs (those of the 1st-millennium BCE). This is an important point. (Note: There is no reason to believe the 'Astronomical Diaries' were compiled for astrological reasons; rather they were compiled for astronomical reasons.) The assyriologist Alasdair Livingstone, dealing with problems posed by the claim by Werner Papke for a high standard of astronomical knowledge being achieved shortly after the invention of writing, pointed out that it must be envisaged: (1) this astronomical knowledge did not subsequently develop and was ultimately forgotten, and (2) this astronomical knowledge had no appreciable effect on the rest of Babylonian "science." These same points apply to Kolev's claim.

Kolev, being mathematically focused also does not deal with the 10-star tradition and 30-star catalogue. Two Middle Babylonian Period astronomical tablets (HS 1897 and BM 55502 (82-7-4, 76) contain close examples of a star/constellation catalogue in KAV 218 (= Astrolabe B). However, though related to the 36-star tradition of the Astrolabes they also contain a 30-star tradition (i.e., 10 stars each in the paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea). The Middle Babylonian tablet HS 1897, from Nippur, sets out the earlier 30-star catalogue. (In Babylonian number symbolism 10 was a number of finality or completeness.) When complete the star lists/catalogues of both HS 1897 (late 2nd-millennium (early middle period)) and, what is taken to be the reverse of, BM 55502 (late middle period) list only 30 stars (i.e., 3 x 10; 10 stars in each of the 3 paths of the sky - Enlil, Anu, and Ea. (What is taken to be the obverse of BM 55502 lists 36 rising and setting stars matching Astrolabe B, Section 4 (and parallels).) The use of 30 stars of Enlil, Anu, and Ea would appear to show a 2nd-millennium BCE tradition of listing stars in groups of 10 in each of the paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea. These would be important - not monthly - stars for each of the 3 stellar paths. They may have been used to help define the limits of the 3 stellar paths. The Prayer to the Gods of the Night is the earliest surviving evidence of a 10-star tradition. The 10-star version of the Prayer to the Gods of the Night (preserved on tablet AO 6769) matches the Sumerian version of the bilingual menology in Astrolabe B, Section 1. In 10 of the 12 months the first item noted in the Sumerian-language version of the menology is the month-star for that month. BM 55502 demonstrates a knowledge of both 30-star and 36-star traditions existing alongside each other for nearly 1000 years. This scheme was later replaced by a scheme of 12 stars for each of the three paths of the sky (3 x 12 = 36). (One star for each country/path and each month. The paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil perhaps derive from the stars of Elam, Akkad, and Amurru. The Astrolabe stars are correlated with the lists of Elam-, Akkad-, and Amurru-stars.) However, the 30-star tradition scheme existed alongside the later 36-star scheme for circa the millennium between HS 1897 and BM 55502. The late mention of the 30-star tradition in the 1st-century BCE writings of the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus is likely a garbled form of the 30-star tradition in Babylonia. For the complexity of the astrolabe genre see: Horowitz, Wayne. (2013). "The Astrolabes: An Exercise in Transmission, Canonicity, and Para-Canonicity." In: Banks, Michaela et al. (Editors). Between Text and Text: The Hermeneutics of Intertextuality in Ancient Cultures and Their Afterlife in Medieval and Modern Times. (Pages 273-287).

The Kassite period text VS 24 120: 8-9 is identified by Wayne Horowitz (2014, Page 65) as a forerunner to the menology of Astrolabe B. Also, "It is likely that the 36-star catalogue of Alb B II [Astrolabe B Section II] and the 30-star catalogue first known from HS 1897 have a common ancestor; a star catalogue of the type HS 1897 without the short astrological comments." (The Three Stars Each by Wayne Horowitz (2014, Page 102).)

In his journal The Babylonian Sky Observer (Volume 3, September, 2008) Kolev claims that modern mainstream assyriology is falsifying history. He writes: "[T]he aim of the modern Minimalistic mainstream assyriology seems to be to deny any antiquity to the birth of the Sky Knowledge in Mesopotamia and to push its beginning [forward] somewhere around 1600 BC and even 1200 BC. This is without doubt the most important task of the minimalists. … Who are these people? Who are the minimalists? They are the vast majority (but not all) of the leading modern scholars who research Mesopotamia - assyriologists, historians, astronomers .... just any well established scholar with interest in the field. Most of them seem to be brainwashed people who really believe in what they say. I, however, do not exclude the possibility that some are conscious or semi-conscious perpetrators. Their ultimate aim is to keep under veil the ancient Knowledge of Mesopotamia. They reach this trough many different ways of manipulation, indoctrination, censorship and outright suppression of research. Some methods may be very rude including sacking of 'dangerous' scholars and their gradual elimination from the academic life." No evidence is offered for any of these uninformed claims. The ferocity of these absurd attacks have increased in his lengthy article "The Destruction of the pan-Babylonism or pan-Babylonian Fantasies becoming reality." in Volume 5 of The Babylonian Sky Observer (Published 2010). The Babylonian Sky Observer, which is produced and edited by Rumen Kolev, is the vehicle for his views. None of his articles on the Astrolabe have, to date, been published in a professional refereed journal. Unacknowledged (unknown?) to Kolev is the early dates of the Panbabylonists were tied to a flawed chronology.

The absurdity of Kolev's position is his own decision. The knowledge gained by sophisticated modern assyriology is rejected as deliberately distorting/obscuring the knowledge established by the German Panbabylonists Alfred Jeremias and Ernst Weidner - and Kolev seeks to vindicate their original dating for Babylonian astronomy. Ignored is the fact that Ernst Weidner (an assyriologist) started his own assyriology journal circa the 1930s and continued to edit and publish it until his death in 1976 - yet, except for (inappropriately) dating some star-lists to the 3rd-millennium BCE, never attempted to defend his earlier positions, nor those of Alfred Jeremias. 

Rumen Kolev also supports the flawed system of astrological 'primary directions' developed by the 17th-century Italian monk Placidus de Titus.

At his website Kolev has posted (June, 2011) his 5-page: *THE CRITIQUE of GARY THOMPSON CONCERNING THE 5,500 BC DATING of THE ASTROLABE*. (Kolev apparently thinks they were my sole comments when in fact they were only my initial comments.) Kolev 'cherry picks' material to reply to and ensure he keeps the focus purely on his claims for accuracy with mathematical/statistical analysis. Needless to say he avoids/misunderstands arguments concerning the interrelatedness of multiple 2nd-millennium BCE documents. Completely ignore are the concepts of omen astronomy controlling/distorting the literal observational accuracy of the Astrolabes and Mul.Apin. Both Wayne Horowitz and David Brown have made the point that the star/constellation data in in the Astrolabes and Mul.Apin were never intended to accurately reflect reality. There is no convincing reason to consider the Astrolabes and the Mul.Apin series to be primarily astronomical documents. Ignored by Kolev is the relationship between the Astrolabes and the Enūma Elish and the Enūma Anu Enlil. The Astrolabes are connected to the creation epic Enūma Elish and all are connected with the omen series Enūma Anu Enlil, very much a late 2nd-millennium BCE text. This is a 'sticking point' for Kolev's dating arguments. Combined with the fact that he refuses to acknowledge he is dealing with omen astronomical (astral omenology) documents his arguments are unpersuasive, except to himself. Nothing recovered to date from Sumerian period texts matches the Old Babylonian omen texts. Interestingly, Kolev also denies statements that he has made. On March 25 (last edited November 26), 2009 at ACT Astrology ( he posted "The first coordinate system going back to 5,500 BC was an equatorial system consisting of 3 circles-paths each divided in 12 sections." I have mentioned this statement above, adding his accuracy criteria that he had mentioned elsewhere: [± 300 years]. However, in his supposed "*THE CRITIQUE of GARY THOMPSON ...." he writes (very first statement): "Gary Thompson quotes me as having said: "The first coordinate system going back to 5,500 BC [± 300 years] was an equatorial system consisting of 3 circles-paths each divided in 12 sections." This is not true." It very much is true that I have reliably quoted Kolev.

Kolev commits what David Fischer termed the fallacy of the overwhelming exception which occurs when the historian/person excludes evidence that is vital to constructing the whole picture. This leaves to one side the issue of the fallacy of statistical sampling which occurs in generalisations resting upon an insufficient body of data. There is sufficient completeness of archaeological/philological evidence from Mesopotamia to conclude there is an association between Astrolabes and 2nd-millennium BCE omen astronomy and creation epic astronomy. Also, the fact is it discards use of other information. That a Bayesian framework is the only one that can be used to evaluate the data presupposes that an analysis must only be done in quantitative terms. Other information is discounted. Kolev's acknowledgement of associated evidence playing a role is given in his response that a correlation date of 25,000 BCE would not be realistic as it would not fit with other (historical) evidence. It is difficult to achieve a successful interpretation from statistics alone. A solely statistical approach ignores the relevant issue of cultural context. Statistical analysis can only achieve limited explanatory success. A careful consideration of the broader evidence from both archaeological and historical evidence is required. (Note: Kolev's dismissal of 25,000 BCE is 2-fold: (1) It demonstrates that he realises the importance of associated issues/evidence - in this case the archaeological and cuneiform evidence. This is needed in order to decide regarding multiple dates given by his statistical analysis. The date of 25,000 BCE would not fit with archaeological and cuneiform evidence. (2) Kolev also wants to match the date of 5,500 BCE given by Jeremias

Regardless of any claimed statistically significant outcome independent archaeological/philological confirmation is necessary. Tests of significance can be very misleading, especially where small data sets are involved. Only statistical analysis with a large set of data is suitable. Once again, statistical analysis ignores actual cultural issues. Quoting p values as an indicator that error is unlikely is a fallacy. Depending, the opportunities for error (so-called false positives) could be 30-40 percent or higher. A statement of p value and confidence intervals is one issue. Because of opportunities for error in statistical/experimental procedures, techniques such as the Bonferroni procedure and the Benjamin-Hochberg procedure, have been developed. Two questions that go with claims for statistical significance: Why is it considered statistically significant? What is the chance of getting statistically significant results? The significance test and its result should perhaps be regarded as a prima facie test only with the results being open to question if further supportive evidence is not to be found.

In 2016 the American Statistical Association, issued/published a statement ("The ASA's Statement on p-Values: Context, Process, and Purpose" by Ronald Wasserstein and Nicole Lazar (The American Statistician, Volume 70, Issue 2, Pages 129-133) on the proper role of significance testing in research. The 6 principles, which are elaborated in the statement, are summarised as:

1. P-values can indicate how incompatible the data are with a specified statistical model.

2. P-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone.

3. Scientific conclusions and business or policy decisions should not be based only on whether a p-value passes a specific threshold.

4. Proper inference requires full reporting and transparency.

5. A p-value or statistical significance does not measure the size of an effect or the importance of a result.

6. By itself, a p-value does not provide a good measure of evidence regarding a model or hypothesis.

See also: (1) "Scientific method: Statistical errors." by Regina Nuzzo (Nature, Volume 506, 12/13? February 2014, Pages 150-152). Regina Nuzzo warns: "The more implausible the hypothesis — telepathy, aliens, homeopathy — the greater the chance that an exciting finding is a false alarm, no matter what the P value is." Also: "It has been shown that changes in a few data-analysis decisions can increase the false positive rate in a single study to 60%." (2) "Creating falseness - How to establish statistical evidence of the untrue." by Per Lytsy (Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, Volume 23, 2017, Pages 923-927). Per Lytsy states in the Abstract: "When scientifically implausible or empirically weakly supported hypotheses are tested, there is an increased risk that a positive finding in a test is in fact is false positive. ... The standard of evidence of a hypothesis should depend not only on the results of statistical analyses but also on its a priori support. Positive findings from studies investigating hypotheses with poor theoretical and empirical foundations should be viewed as tentative until the results are replicated and/or the hypothesis gains more empirical evidence supporting it as likely to be true." It bears repeating that Kolev has no archaeological/textual/historical evidence for his claim for a very early date for the astrolabe material.

As previously remarked, tests of significance can be very misleading. A statistical analysis of misleading data produces misleading conclusions. The reliability of the data used is a problem. The Astrolabe data is viewed as a literally accurate star calendar. however, there is no expert consensus that this is the case. The possibility of a false discovery with the data set is ignored. The statement of p value and confidence intervals is one issue. The p value is neither as reliable nor as objective as most people assume. Though p values are called confidence values they are not measures of accuracy. In spite of what Kolev claims for statistics, a high p value for significance does not rule out error. When British statistician Ronald Fisher introduced the p value in the 1920s, he did not mean it to be a definitive test. He intended it simply as an informal way to judge whether evidence was significant and worthy of a second look. Kolev needs to report effect sizes and confidence intervals as these convey what a p value does not: the magnitude and relative importance of an 'effect.' The p value cannot be construed as a statement about the underlying reality. Kolev's conclusion requires a lot more evidence than simply a p value. It is an exploratory study which should be treated with skepticism unless other tangible supporting evidence is found. The plausibility of the outcome is an important factor in an assessment. The more implausible the hypothesis - sophisticated astronomy in Mesopotamia circa 5500 BCE - the greater the chance that a finding is a false alarm, no matter what the p value is. Also, the reminder, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. An analysis not using a p value would be more convincing. It is actually possible to 'fish' for significant p values (known as p-hacking (= data dredging or significance chasing)).

Competently conducted research that fails to reach "statistical significance: can still impart knowledge. Numerous journals are now reporting exact p-values.

There is also the unexplored issue that the alleged dating is a statistical artifact (a spurious finding). There does not seem to have been any attempt to control for a statistical artifact.

For his conclusions to be regarded as reliable, Kolev needs to include examples from earlier researches (by anybody) that demonstrates the methodological success of his approach. Otherwise, we can rest assured that statistics can prove anything.

Kolev's claim that: "If the Astrolabe was not an astronomical text, then its model would be a random model." lacks any demonstration or explanation on Kolev's part. Why would randomness be the most probable alternative? It is not unusual for randomness to exhibit 'clumpiness.' The data analysed can be deemed selective. In order for Kolev to to carry out his statistical method(s) he makes selections with the data. Statistical generalisations based on a biased sample or a 'contaminated' sample won't be accurate.

For an example of a rant by Kolev on (October 9, 2009) see:

See Kolov's restated critique of parts of my rebuttal at: No document interrelatedness discussion is entered into.

UPDATE NOTE (July 11, 2013; from Page 3): Kolev, Rumen. (2013). The Babylonian Astrolabe: The Calendar of Creation. [Note: It is surprising to see this published as State Archives of Assyria Studies 22, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project – NATCP. Though it claims to be the first full critical edition of all currently known astrolabe texts it is written from the perspective of the Panbabylonism of Alfred Jeremias. Kolev particularly supports the Panbabylonian ideas of Alfred Jeremias. Alfred Jeremias) thought that Mesopotamian/Sumerian astrology originated in the supposed zodiacal age of Gemini (circa 5,000-6,000 BCE) and is the foundation of all the religions and cultures throughout the world. Kolev claims that with his book (The Babylonian Astrolabe: the Calendar of Creation (2013)) he has reestablished the veracity of all the claims of the Panbabylonists! Of course Kolev has done no such thing, excepting in his own imagination. Kolev has avoided the peer review process of his ideas in professional publications. Part of the critical issue is (1) the existing divergence of views on the width of the "three ways each," (2) contradictions in astrolabe texts for stars and their associated months, and (3) astrological considerations rather than astronomical considerations regarding placement of stars and planets in the paths of the "three ways each." (See a suitable summary discussion in: Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East by Jeffrey Cooley (2013, Pages 58-63).) Kolev's book became redundant with the publication of The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts by Wayne Horowitz (2014). Publisher's description of Kolev's book: "The Babylonian Astrolabe, or "Three Stars Each (Month)," as it was called in antiquity, is an enigmatic document that has been the subject of much controversy and debate ever since its discovery in the 1870s. It comes in two versions, a circular star map divided in three concentric "paths" and 12 month sectors, and a multicolumn text specifying the times of the heliacal risings of the stars and associating them with the main divinities of the Mesopotamian pantheon and the main events of the Mesopotamian cultic year. Both texts were of fundamental importance to Mesopotamian astral sciences, religion, and royal ideology, all of which were ultimately based on the 360-day "perfect year" of the astrolabes. This is the first full critical edition of all currently known astrolabe texts and a ground-breaking study of their astronomical content, showing that the text as it has come down to us consists of three redactional layers dating from different time periods, the earliest of which is to be dated to prehistoric times (ca. 5000 BCE). The appendixes to the book include 255 first-hand observations of heliacal phases of stars and planets and an appendix explaining in detail the heliacal phases." Rumen Kolev is a Bulgarian astrologer, astrology software developer, mathematician, and amateur astronomer. Kolev's practical astronomy work specialises in heliacal rising phenomena and he has been mistaken on Hastro-L as an (amateur) astronomer (and not wearing any other 'caps') for his excellent work on the heliacal risings of stars and planets. However, it is all simply all 'grist for the mill' for his astrological software. Simo Parpola is a somewhat uncritical Panbabylonist who has mentored the astrologer Rumen Kolev who is also a Panbabylonist (with a particular misplaced venom against Franz Kugler). The 3-part critique of Kolev's claims by the late Johannes Koch in NABU will likely be brushed aside by Kolev. Kolev will also likely produce a book on Panbabylonism. A number of years ago he had an arrangement with a publisher to do this, but lacked the core publications. Both Parpola and Kolev probably did not know that Wayne Horowitz had (finally) completed his book on the astrolabes (likely to be the definitive study); or if they did it was a race to get into print first. Wayne Horowitz's book (The Three Stars Each: The Astrolabes and Related Texts) was 'in press' 2013 and appeared in 2014 (but actually 2015?).

An interesting (English-language) article by Kolev is: "The Ancient Cimmerian (Black-Sea) Civilization before the Deluge." (published in the Bulgarian(?) journal BAPHA, 2'2010, Pages 44-5). Kolev proposes that the 3 Tărtăria tablets (identified by Kolev to be written in Sumerian proto-script) excavated in 1961 in Romania and the astrolabes excavated in Mesopotamia - both items dated to circa 5,500 BCE by Kolev - originated with a culture migrating from the Black-Sea because of a deluge there circa 5,500 BCE. It is thought the Cimmerians probably lived in the steppes area on the northern shore of the Black Sea. The language spoken by the Cimmerians is thought to be related to Iranian. (Ancient sources dating to the 1st-millennium BCE classical tradition maintain this but some modern scholars consider this imaginary.) The Cimmerians are thought to be of Iranian origin. They were possibly forced to flee their homeland by invading Scythians. (Ancient sources dating to the 1st-millennium BCE classical tradition maintain this but some modern scholars consider this imaginary.) Regardless, it is generally thought that in the 2nd-half of the 8th-century BCE bearers of the Cimmerian culture were moving westward with one group arriving in what is now Bulgaria. (See also: The Black Sea Flood Question edited by Valentina Yanko-Hombach (2006).)

I am not aware of any publication by Rumen Kolev regarding his Astrolabe dating claims appearing in a professional, peer-reviewed journal. As Kolev dates his original discovery to July 2005 it appears this is unlikely to happen. (I am aware that Kolev claims ( that the Mesopotamian module for his Placidus 7 astrology software program (released 2012) "... brings to life the astrology practiced in Mesopotamia from 5500 BC to 70 AD.") Peer Review is a process that academic/scientific journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. The peer review process for journal publication is essentially a quality control mechanism. An article submitted for publication is submitted to experts in the field who then carefully evaluate the quality of the submitted manuscript. The reviewers check the manuscript for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures. (Reviewers would ideally critique how the data analysis was done and how results were reported and interpreted.) If appropriate, they suggest revisions. If they find the article lacking in scholarly validity and rigor, they reject it. Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field. Peer-reviewed articles provide a trusted form of scientific communication.

Finally, one reliable investigator has written (Hastro-L, 27-7-2013): "I am reading your book (which is now part of history;-) and I have tried to calculate the same graphs and distributions (page 35-64) as you did in your book (except I am using Schaefer's heliacal rise theory). And I agree that your date of around 5600 BCE makes sure that most star paths (EN.LIL/ANU/EA) (using Pingree's azimuthal model) map the astrolabes (like the Berlin one). Using the same method: the MUL.APIN would be from around 900 BCE. This is indeed very interesting! What would be interesting to know: Why the Babylonians kept presenting this 'old'/historic data (star's heliacal rise azimuth of around 5500 BCE) while over time these would have changed (and they even knew that, like in the MUL.APIN [~900 BCE])? So a kind of history of astronomy in Babylonian times..." Kolev has not responded to this issue.

Summary of Views of Wayne Horowitz and David Brown on Astrolabes and Star Lists: Astrolabes were an Old Babylonian or early Middle Babylonian creation. The Babylonian circular star calendar was divided into 36 individual stellar sectors (with one sector for each of the 36 stars) comprising 3 concentric bands (rings) (marking the borders between the 3 stellar paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil) each divided by 12 radial lines (demarking the 12 months of the year). The astrolabe genre was a scheme in which 3 stars, 1 lying in each star path, were meant ideally to rise heliacally, in each of the 12 months of the 'ideal year.' (No days, only months are noted in the astrolabes.) Astrolabes were not a sidereal calendar, though a residue of certain traditional seasonal-stellar associations may have filtered in to them. It may be that star lists – including Mul.Apin – were never intended accurately to reflect reality. There may have been (overriding) divinatory reasons. There was precedence of divinatory (astral omenology) thinking over astronomical reality. Even lists of simultaneously rising and setting stars likely include ideal propositions. Star data were produced 'artificially' only corresponding very broadly to reality. Babylonian omen astronomy included parameters that could not actually occur astronomically. The best preserved text of Astrolabe B is Schroeder KAV 218 from Assur and dated to circa 1100 BCE. Its relationship to EAE omen series is very close. It shares the same ideal year attested in EAE 14, and omens in EAE 51. Horowitz has provided reasons to believe the content of the Pinches-type astrolabes and the Hilprecht text HS 245 derives from a common Old Babylonian tradition that leads ultimately to the compendium we know as Astrolabe B. (Also, Hunger/Pingree wrote (Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia, 1999, Page 61): "[I]t is very easy to see that the compilar of the first list of the constellations in MUL.APIN and the author of the first and second sections of "Astrolabe B" drew upon the same source for at least some of their associations of gods with constellations." The astrological omina underpinning the purpose of the astrolabes and exhaustively collected in the Enuma Anu Enlil are controlled by rules, codes, and categorisations, and the use of ideal periods (year, month, day) for practical astrological purposes. Summary of Views of Wayne Horowitz on Affinities Between Texts: There are affinities between the Astrolabes, the Enuma Elish, and the Enūma Anu Enlil omen series. The Enuma Elish relates the origin of the 36 star astrolabe genre. In Tablet 5 lines 1-8 of the Enuma Elish (dated by some to the early Kassite era circa 1800-1600 BCE but likely circa 1200 BCE), the newly established principal god Marduk decides to establish a system of 36 stellar sectors (3 stars for each of the 12 months of the year i.e., 1 per sector) by bringing into existence 3 stellar paths (the path of Enlil, the path of Anu, the path of Ea) divided by 12 radii. No Sumerian writing offers a definitive creation account of the type found in the Babylonian Enuma Elish.

The evidence indicates that in Mesopotamia, aside from calendrical matters, astral omens preceded scientific astronomy. The earliest collections of celestial omens in Mesopotamia emerge in the Old Babylonia period, and reflected a purely Akkadian genre. Their main focus is indicated a lunar eclipses. The idea of signs in the heavens was, however, already established at least at Lagash in the late 3rd-millennium BCE (Cylinders of Gudea). (Lagash (modern Telloh) was one of the oldest and most important cities in ancient Sumer, located midway between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southeastern Iraq.) Also, the believed divine origin (and hence revealed character of its knowledge) of the omen series Enūma Anu Enlil made the text fundamentally unalterable. However, the evidence indicates that text standardisation (literary stabilisation) involving deemed official scientific texts (involving the disciplines of divination, medicine, and magic) took place only in the Kassite period (1595-1155 BCE). Regardless, texts continued to appear that were produced by a different stream of tradition (para-canonicity). Additionally, there is the problem that texts may well have been corrupted, edited, and added onto.

Kolev's claim that the Panbabylonists were correct in their early dating for Babylonian astronomy is unfounded and unsupported by his own radical claims. With his controversial astrolabe dating claim Kolev only manages to introduce more controversial and flawed evidence. Nowhere does Kolev show that the original evidence and arguments of the Panbabylonists have veracity. Working against the high antiquity of scientific astronomy in Babylonia is the fact that in the Old Babylonian omen literature the Babylonians used to predict eclipses by the risings, settings, and colours of the planets, and by liver- and oil-divination, and astronomical omens such as halos, and fog. (See: Antike Beobachtungen farbiger Sterne by Franz Boll (1916, Page 24); "Babylonian Celestial Divination." by Erica Reiner. In: Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination edited by Noel Swerdlow. (1999, Pages 21-37; Page 23); Observations and Predictions of Eclipse Times by Early Astronomers by John Steele (2000); and "Eclipse Prediction in Mesopotamia." by John Steele (Archive for History of Exact Sciences, Volume 54, Number 5, February, 2000, Pages 421-454; See Page 426).) Not until the Assyrian period were attempts made to predict eclipses using sound astronomical knowledge. Circa the early 7th-century BCE lunar eclipses could be predicted only shortly before  their occurrence. There is no evidence that the Babylonians possessed a physical theory of eclipses.

The book review by Marianna Ferrara in Indologica Taurinensia, Volume 35, 2009, Pages 377-378, of Tre-stelle-per-ciascun(-mese). L’astrolabio B: edizione filologica by Maria Casaburi (2003).

The (English-language) book review "Review of R. K. Kolev, The Babylonian Astrolabe: The Calendar of Creation," is in preparation to appear in Archiv für Orientforschung.


(k) Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) Romanian historian of religion, and professor at the University of Chicago. Eliade argued that the Panbabylonian school was correct in comparing religious phenomena which were "historically related and structurally analogous." Eliade drew on a number of Panbabylonian ideas. "Wheatley's arguments concerning the axis mundi was based on the work of Eliade. Eliade in turn based his arguments on the Pan-Babylonian scholars - with the crucial difference that the Pan-Babylonian scholars saw notions of the sacred center as diffused from the Near East, whereas Eliade saw them as a universal aspect of what he called primitive cultures. In other words the entire notion of an axis mundi came originally from the Pan-Babylonian scholars' reading of Near Eastern materials, and Eliade, and later Wheatley, then universalized the notion. However, the existence of the notion of an axis mundi in the Near Eastern materials has been called into question as well. As Jonathan Z. Smith (To Take Place, p. 16) has argued: "There is no pattern of the 'Center' in the sense that the Pan-Babylonians and Eliade described it in the Near Eastern materials." (To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China by Michael Pratt (2002, Page 42, Note 37.) Mircea Eliade has been described as "notoriously reluctant" to elaborate on the origins of mythological motifs. However, what few statements he did make on the issue demonstrate his close affinity with the ideas of the nature-school of the early 19th-century (i.e., Max Müller). (For example see Eliade's: Patterns in Comparative Religion (1958, Pages 449 onwards.) See the 1992 critique by Koron of Eliade's Panbabylonism. Eliade was a diffusionist who was particularly influenced by Leo Frobenius's theory of myth-producing cultural centres. Also, Eliade was a follower of the Sufi René Gúenon [Guénon] Politically, Eliade is stated to have demonstrated decades of sympathy toward fascism. Generally, Eliade's publications and ideas are now ignored.

(l) Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010 (of prostrate cancer)) (USA) An Azerbaijani-born (born in Baku, Soviet Socialist Republic (= Russia)) American Journalist/Fantasist (Russian pseudo-scholar). He was raised in Palestine. Sitchin graduated (undergraduate degree in economic history from the London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London). His early career involved moving to Israel and working for a few years as a journalist and editor; then (after failing as a journalist) moving/settling in New York City in 1952 (initially, it appears, having a job as an executive at a shipping company). According to Traffic World (Volume 132, 1967, Page 132), Sitchin was the President of Intercontinental Trailsea. In the present-day the ultimate level of absurdity with Panbabylonian ideas is reached with the Sumer-centred 'ancient astronaut' claims of Zecharia Sitchin. His seminal first book The 12th Planet (1976) is now (2010) in its 45th printing). After his 1st book he wrote 13 other books on the same theme. He has been thoroughly criticised for misunderstanding (or wanting to misunderstand) Mesopotamian literature (and cuneiform philology, biology, and astronomy). Interestingly, most of Sitchin’s sources are obsolete. Scientists and academics have repeated demonstrated that Sitchin's ideas are pseudo-science and pseudo-history and his books have been repeatedly criticized for flawed methodology and mistranslations of ancient texts as well as for incorrect astronomical and scientific claims. Sitchin never responded to questions regarding how he learned to read Sumerian cuneiform script. At best he would broadly state that -  starting in childhood - he has studied ancient Hebrew, Akkadian and Sumerian. Sitchin never demonstrated he had a scholarly, or indeed any understanding, of ancient languages. No scholar (who has taken the time) with credentials or expertise in Sumerian or Akkadian has positively assessed Sitchin's publications. His 2-Volume autobiography (Earth Chronicles Expeditions: Journeys to the Mythical Past) was published 2004-2007. His wife of 66 years died in 2007; they raised their 2 daughters in New York City. A particular event Sitchin would organise was the (3-day) Sitchin Studies Certification Seminar. His stated intention was to create a cadre of in-depth students who would be qualified to continue his legacy! (People attended from overseas.) It appears persons who attended 3 of these seminars were given recognition as Alumni (a certificate signed by Sitchin). Each attendee was called a Sitchinite. Sitchin's niece, Janet Sitchin (who appears to have been a swimming instructor, based in Miami, Florida), currently (2012) maintains "The Official Website of Zecharia Sitchin" and proposed that October 9 mark a Sitchin Studies Day each year. One of his latest disciples is South African musician and actor Michael Tellinger Slave Species of God (2005). Tellinger has a B.Pharm (1983) from Wits University.

(m) Ephraim Speiser (1902 – 1965) was a Polish-born American assyriologist. He received his MA in 1923 from the University of Pennsylvania, then his Ph.D. in 1924 from Dropsie College in Philadelphia 1924. From 1924 to 1926 he was Harrison Research Fellow in Semitics at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1927, excavating in northern Mesopotamia, he discovered the ancient site of Tepe Gawra and supervised its excavation between 1931 and 1938. In 1928 he was appointed assistant professor of Semitics at the University of Pennsylvania, and full professor in 1931.He translated the Hurrian legal texts found at Nuzi. After service in Washington during WWII he returned to the University of Pennsylvania, becoming Chairman of the Department of Oriental Studies from 1947 to 1965. In 1954 he was also appointed Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures there. Parallels were drawn by Speiser between the Nuzi tablets and biblical traditions. Speiser drew many parallels between the stories of the Patriarchs and the Horite documents from Nuzi dating mainly from the 15th-century BCE. In what is considered a classic example, Speiser argued that the Nuzi tablets explained Sarah's relationship to Abraham as a wife/sister. Speiser's flirtation with Panbabylonism was ably critiqued by Thomas Thompson in his 1974 article, "The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham." The results of the parallels are no longer as promising as Speiser thought. The Patriarchs, by the traditional biblical chronology, antedate the Nuzi texts by 400 to 500 years. (Cyrus Gordon also supported many of Speiser's parallels and arguments.)

(o) Wolfram von Soden (1908-1996) was a prominent German assyriologist. Particularly noteworthy is his: Akkadisches Handwörterbuch (3 Volumes, 1965–1981). In his book, The Ancient Orient (1994, Pages 157 note & 178 note) he sees all cultural innovations as beginning at 'Babylon' or whatever location and then spreading elsewhere.

(p) Homer Hostetter (Clyde Hostetter) (1925- ) (USA) American journalist; a writer/photographer for the Topeka Daily Capital; then taught journalism at California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo). Hostetter is a proponent of the origins of complex astronomy in Sumer circa 3000 BCE, and a diffusionist.  Like the Panbabylonists of the early 20th-century, Hostetter promotes claimed evidence and arguments for an early Mesopotamian (i.e., Sumerian) technical astronomy. His claims are consolidated in his book, Star Trek to Hawa-i'i (1991). The book basically sets out his claims (1) the Sumerians (i.e., Inanna cult) 3rd-millennium BCE had developed a technical planetary astronomy (but the claim is based on his mistaking a Qajar period copper bowl for a Sumerian copper bowl), (2) the astronomical interpretation of the Sumerian myth of The Descent of Inanna to the Underworld (an example of his ability for invention), and (3) the origin of the Polynesians can be traced to Mesopotamia (an example of wildly erroneous speculation). Though he is a constant proponent of his ideas his arguments suffer from the same types of weaknesses as those of the earlier Panbabylonists (excessive speculation and inability to provide any direct supporting statements contained in texts); plus Hostetter cannot read cuneiform. He has made some 15 historically worthless claims.

(q) Robert Temple. A relatively recent attempt to to interpret Gilgamesh in astronomical terms is He Who Saw Everything by Robert Temple (1991). It comprises an annotated verse translation of the Gilgamesh Epic. It is similar to the larger German books by Werner Papke. Both authors are totally unreliable. Temple is an undergraduate in Oriental studies and Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965. Born in the USA he now resides in England. For many years he was a science writer for the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and a science reporter for Time-Life, as well as a frequent reviewer for Nature and profile writer for The New Scientist. He publishes on alternative archaeology/alternative history (= fantastic) (i.e., The Sirius Mystery (1999)). He is a Master Mason. Sirius is a very important star for Freemasons, who base their traditions and esoteric knowledge to some degree on what they believe is ancient Egyptian knowledge.

Appendix 4: Prominent Opponents:

(1) Star Myth School Tenets:

(a) Elard Meyer (1837-1908) (Germany) Philologist. Elard Hugo Meyer (1837–1908) was a German teacher, mythologist and folklorist (Indogermanist). He was born in Bremen and died in Freiburg im Breisgau. Meyer attended the Bremen Gymnasium (High School) then, from 1850-1860, studied German philology at the universities of Bonn (Universität Bonn), Tübingen (Universität Tübingen), and then Berlin (Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin). Whilst studying in Berlin he was influenced by medievalist Karl Müllenhoff and mythologist Wilhelm Mannhardt. Upon completing his studies in 1860, Meyer became the assistant (from 1860 to 1862) to the conservative historian Johann Lappenberg who was completing his Hamburgische Chroniken in niedersächsicher Sprache for publication in 1861. At the time of Lappenberg's retirement in 1862, Meyer gained a position as teacher at the Bremen Hauptschule (Middle School). According to several sources, in 1863 Meyer obtained a position as a teacher at an elementary school in Bremen (Lehrer an einer Volksschule in Bremen). He then obtained a position at the trade school in Bremen (Handelsschule in Bremen). In 1876 he was appointed professor and director of the Handelsschule. During his time at the Bremen Hauptschule, Meyer intensely studied mythology and folklore. From 1875 to 1878 he used the copious addenda appended by Jacob Grimm before his death to revise Jacob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie for the publication of the 4th edition. In 1882, failing health (he fell ill) forced Meyer to retire from his teaching position at the Bremen Hauptschule. He moved to Freiburg im Breisgau, where he focused on furthering his mythological studies. In 1883, the 1st volume of his Indogermanische Mythen was completed, with the 2nd volume following in 1887. In 1887 he also completed his habilitation at the University of Freiburg. In 1888 (1889?) he became a lecturer there and in 1890 he became honorary professor there. (According to one source he was later a visiting professor of folklore at the University of Freiburg. He also held lectures on Germanic mythology (each summer semester 1890, 1897, 1899 and 1901). (1882 erkrankte er, trat als Lehrer in den Ruhestand und siedelte nach Freiburg im Breisgau über. 1888 wurde er Privatdozent. Seit 1889 lehrte er zunächst als Privatdozent, später als Honorarprofessor für Volkskunde an der Universität Freiburg.) In 1891 Meyer published two works, Germanische Mythologie and Die eddische Kosmogonie. Both of these served to establish his reputation as a mythologist and folklorist. During the early 1890's, Meyer, in collaboration with colleagues Friedrich Kluge and Friedrich Pfaff, carried out an ethnographic survey in the form of a questionaire influenced in part by those previously designed by his teacher and colleague Wilhelm Mannhardt. It was designed to record the customs, superstitions and beliefs of the people of Baden. The analysis of the results appeared in 1900 under the title Badisches Volksleben im 19. Jahrhundert. Over the interim period, Meyer had completed a more general work treating German ethnography which made ample use of the material previously collected by Mannhardt. This was published in 1898 as Deutsche Volkskunde. Following the completion of his own ethnographic studies, he carried on the work of Adolf Wuttke, revising Wuttke’s Deutsche Volkaberglaube der Gegenwart for the 3rd edition in 1900. For the remainder of his life Meyer revised his previous work and continued his investigations into Indogermanic culture and mythology. In 1903, he revised his Germanische Mythologie for the general public and published it under the title Mythologie der Germanen. Key publications include: Deutsche Mythologie (1875-1878), Indogermanische Mythen (2 volumes, 1883-1887) Völuspa: Eine Untersuchung (1889), Germanische Mythologie. Lehrbücher der Germanischen Philologie (1891), Die eddische Kosmogonie (1891), Deutsche Volkskunde: Geschichte der deutschen Lebensweise und Kultur (1898), Badisches Volksleben im 19. Jahrhundert (1900), and Mythologie der Germanen, gemeinfasslich vorgestellt (1903). (He also published essays on medieval German and French poetry.) Indogermanische Mythen (2 volumes, 1883-1887) is considered to be one of his most important works. His viewpoints were different to those of Max Müller.

(b) Adolf Bastian (Philipp Wilhelm Adolf Bastian) (1826-1905) (Germany) Ethnologist/Historical geographer. Adolf Bastian was a Professor at the University of Berlin. Generally recognised as the founder of ethnography. Was particularly opposed to the star myth ideas of Eduard Stucken (as well as Panbabylonism). Bastian was born into a wealthy German family of merchants. His career at university was very broad. He studied law at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, and biology at what is today Humboldt University of Berlin, the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, and the University of Würzburg. While at the University of Würzburg he attended lectures by Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902, biological anthropologist) and developed an interest in what was then known as ‘ethnology.’ Bastian finally decided to study medicine and earned a degree from Prague in 1850. He became a ship's doctor and went on a 8-year voyage around the world. He would eventually spend some 25 years travelling outside the German Confederation. In 1859, during his return to the German Confederation, he wrote a popular account of his travels and also a 3 volume work, Man in History. Beginning in 1861 he made a 4-year trip to Southeast Asia and wrote and upon his return wrote an account of this trip, The People of East Asia (6 volumes). He did not travel again for 8 years. He was involved in the establishment of several key ethnological institutions in Berlin. He was an avid collector, and his many contributions to Berlin's Royal museum eventually resulted in a 2nd museum, the Museum of Folkart. He worked with Rudolf Virchow to establish the Ethnological Society of Berlin. During this period he was also the head of the Royal Geographical Society of Germany. The young Franz Boas, who later founded the American school of ethnology, studied under Bastian at the University of Berlin and later worked briefly for Bastian at the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde (Ethnology), was profoundly influence by him (and also Rudolf Virchow). In the 1870’s Bastian resumed extensive travelling; first to Africa and then to the American Continent. He died during one of these journeys. For Bastian the object of ethnological/anthropological research is not the study of the individual per se, but rather the "folk ideas" or "collective mind" of a particular people. Bastian believed that the "elementary ideas" are to be scientifically reconstructed from "folk ideas" as varying forms of collective representations (Gesellschaftsgedanken). His books have been criticised for being disorganized collections of facts rather than coherently structured or carefully researched empirical studies. Publications include: Die heilige Sage der Polynesier, Kosmogonie und Theogonie (1881). See also: Koepping, Klaus-Peter. (1983). Adolf Bastian and the Psychic Unity of Mankind: The Foundations of Anthropology in Nineteenth Century Germany; and Lowie, Robert. (1937). The History of Ethnological Theory (contains a chapter on Bastian).

(2) Early Scientific Babylonian Astronomy Tenets:

(a) Franz Kugler (1862-1929) (Born in Germany but resided in Holland) Mathematician/Assyriologist. The Polymath Franz Kugler was a German chemist, mathematician, astronomer, assyriologist, chronologist, and historian. He was born in Königsbach, Germany and died in a Catholic nursing home in Lucerne, Switzerland. In 1885 he received a PhD in chemistry. (During 1884-1885 he was an assistant in the chemical laboratory at the Technischen Hochschule München whilst undertaking his doctoral studies.) In 1886 he entered the Jesuit Order and in 1893 he was ordained a priest. In 1894 the Jesuit Order appointed him Professor of Astronomy and Mathematics at the newly built Ignatius-College, Valkenburg (in Holland). In 1897, at the age of 35, he was appointed Professor of Higher Mathematics there. For most of his career he resided in Holland at the Jesuit theologate at Valkenburg. After the death of Joseph Epping in 1894 Kugler expressed his interest in taking over and continuing Epping's work. Kugler's monumental work on the Babylonian theory of the moon appeared in 1900 (Die Babylonische Mondrechnung) and that of the planets in 1907 (Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel, Volume 1). Volume 2 and supplements of Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel basically contain essays on a variety of topics relating to Babylonian astronomy. He was brilliant at decoding Babylonian mathematical astronomical texts. The great bulk of Kugler's work on the rediscovery of Babylonian mathematical astronomy was almost exclusively based on the copies of astronomical texts in the British Museum that were made by the pioneer assyriologist and prolific copyist Johann Strassmaier SJ. On several occasions, basically between 1900 and 1910, after Strassmaier's work at the British Museum came to a premature end, he visited the British Museum to access the actual tablets he was engaged in decoding. World War 1 and the hardships it imposed on the Valkenburg klooster (reliant for its finances on German funds) seems to have effectively ended his studies on Babylonian astronomy and thereafter he focused his attention on chronological matters (but produced only 2 volumes). (His middle name Xaver is sometimes misspelled Xavier.) That Panbabylonism was remarkably short-lived was due in large part to criticisms of Kugler. Relevant key publications: Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel (2 Volumes and 2 Supplements in 6 Parts, 1907-1924).

(b) Carl Bezold (1859-1922) (Germany) Assyriologist. The German assyriologist Carl Bezold was born at Donauwörth in Bavaria in 1859 and died in Heidelberg (Germany) in 1922. Carl Bezold studied Semitic languages at Munich, Strassburg, and Leipzig. He graduated (under Friedrich Delitzsch) with work on epigraphy at Leipzig in 1880 and received his Habilitation for Semitic languages at Munich in1883. In 1883 Bezold was a Privatdozent at the Universität München. After Bezold had worked at the British Museum (1888-1893) he returned to Germany and was appointed to the chair for Semitic languages at Heidelberg in 1894. He actually lived in London (England) from 1888 to 1895 whilst engaged in preparing a catalogue of the British Museum tablet collections (Kouyunjik Collection). Bezold became the editor for the journal Zeitschrift für Assyriologie (a major journal for Assyriology) in 1886, and held the position until 1922 (some source state 1915). In 1894 he was appointed Professor of Semitic Philology and Director of Oriental Seminars at the University of Heidelberg. He held this prestigious academic position until his death. At the time of his employment at Heidelberg the employment policy at some German universities caused formally delineated as dealing with "Semitic languages," to focus on Assyrian studies. Bezold's appointment at Heidelberg, as ordinarius in 1894 was part of the beginning of this process. Bezold also joined the German association for Islamic studies. (See: German Orientalism: The Study of the Middle East and Islam from 1800 to 1945 by Ursula Wokoeck (2009). He lived in London (England) from 1888 to 1895 whilst engaged in preparing a catalogue of the British Museum tablet collections (Kouyunjik Collection). The 1891 England Census gives the following information: Name: Charles Bezold; Spouse Abele Bezold; Birth: about 1860 - Germany; Residence: 1891 - St Pancreas, London, England. The end result of his work at the British Museum was the Catalogue of the Cuneiform Tablets of the Kouyunjik Collection of the British Museum (5 Volumes, 1889-1899). This catalogue contains descriptions of approximately 14,500 tablets and fragments. His knowledge of assyriology was considered encyclopedic. He was proficient in numerous ancient and modern languages including Chinese, Assyrian, Arabic, Syriac, English, French, and Italian. Bezold was initially interest in the Chinese language and script. He also translated Syriac material. In 1888 he edited and published the Syriac and Arabic edition of the text of the Book of the Cave of Treasures. In 1909 he edited/collated (and translated) and published (with critical notes) the entire text of the Ge’ez (Ethiopic) epic Kebra Nagast. (But did not engage in the task of disentangling the literary sources. He left this as a challenge to future scholars.) In 1912, to satisfy the needs for an Assyrian dictionary that incorporated the tremendous body of new materials, Bezold initiated a new multi-volume dictionary/theasaurus project under the sponsorship of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences. However, Bezold's advanced age and the size of the undertaking and forced him to relinquish the ambitious project and to prepare instead a brief glossary based on his copious collection of material. The manuscript of the glossary, completed by Bezold just before his death in 1922, was edited by a student of his, Albrecht Gotze (Goetze), and published as Babylonisch-assyrisches Glossar (1926). Though without references and bibliographical discussions, the Babylonisch-assyrisches Glossa served for many years as a useful tool for students of Assyriology. Bezold's 1911 pamphlet Astronomie, Himmelsschau und Astrallehre bei den Babylonier strongly defended Franz Kugler's chronology of Babylonian scientific astronomy and also his critique of Panbabylonism. Relevant key publications: Zenit- und Aequartorialgestirne am babylonischen Fixsternhimmel (1913, in collaboration with August Kopff and Franz Boll).

(3) Babel-Bibel Tenets:

(a) Hugo Gressmann (1877-1927) (Germany) Old Testament Scholar. Professor at the University of Berlin. Hugo Gressmann was born in Mölln (Germany) and died in Chicago (USA). He was a prominent Old Testament scholar and an advocate of the religio-historical approach. He was a friend and associate of the eminent scholar Hermann Gunkel. After completing his studies at the University of Göttingen, he became a lecturer at the University of Kiel (1902–1906). His series of Hilda Stich Stroock lectures in New York (for the Jewish Institute of Religion), published as The Tower of Babel (1928, 92 pages), dealt with his views on the influence of Babylonia upon Israel.

(b) Albert Clay (1866-1925) (USA) Philologist. A Lutheran oriental scholar who, during his academic career, edited large numbers of cuneiform texts. He was ordained in 1892 and served as a Pastor in Philadelphia and South Bethlehem, Pennsylvannia; and Chicago, Illinois. During the latter part of his career he was Professor of Semitic Philology and Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania, 1909-1910. He was Professor of Assyriology at Yale University from 1910-1925, and Curator of the Yale Babylonian Collection, 1912-1925. Clay's 1909 book, Amurru, the Home of the Northern Semites is a response/reply to the Panbabylonian school. Clay attempts to show that the Babylonians emigrated from Palestine and Syria, taking with them their religion, learning, and traditions.

(c) Morris Jastrow Junior (1861-1921) (USA) Semiticist. Was Professor of Semitic Languages in the University of Pennsylvania. He was a naturalised American citizen. Morris Jastrow Junior considered himself to be an assyriologist. Born in Warsaw, Poland and came to Philadelphia, USA, in the autumn of 1866 when his father Rabbi Marcus Jastrow agreed to be the Rabbi for the then Orthodox Rodeph Shalom Congregation (Rodef Shalom) there. (In 1866 the long established Rodeph Shalom Congregation in Philadelphia had just completed construction of a large synagogue. Marcus Jastrow was an eminent Rabbi (and had been in charge of a congregation in Warsaw, and then Worms) and Talmudic lexicographer.) Morris Jastrow Junior initially studied for the ministry, and for a short time assisted his father, but preferred scholastic work. He studied Oriental languages at the universities of Breslau, Leipzig, Strassburg, and Paris, and received his PhD from the University of Leipzig in 1884. (His doctoral dissertation concerned the unpublished grammatical works of a Jewish Arabic Grammarian.) In 1885 he started teaching at the University of Pennsylvania. Originally the university appointed him to a professorship in Arabic and Rabbinics. In 1887 he became Lecturer in Semitics. In 1891 the university changed his title to Professor of Semitics (or Professor of Semitic Languages and Literature?). Morris Jastrow Junior was the founder of University of Pennsylvania's Semitic languages program. He was also a pioneering figure in the critical study of religion. His appointment at the University of Pennsylvania was unpaid. His income came from his service as rabbi at a synagogue in Philadelphia. Many of his publications were on Babylonian and Assyrian religion. In 1888 he became Assistant Librarian of the University. From 1898 to 1919 (or until his death in 1921?) he was Librarian of the University (or Director of the university's library?). In 1914 his alma mater honoured him by conferring on him the Degree of Doctor of Laws. In 1915 he became president of the American Oriental Society. Relevant key publications: Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens (2 Volumes in 3 Parts, 1905-1912).

(d) Crawford Toy (1836-1919) (USA). The Faculty of Divinity, Harvard University. Crawford Toy was a Hebrew scholar. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1856, and studied at the University of Berlin from 1866 to 1868. From 1869 to 1879 he was professor of Hebrew in the Southern Baptist Theological College (first in Greenville, South Carolina, and after 1877 in Louisville, Kentucky). In 1880 he became professor of Hebrew and Oriental languages at Harvard University, where until 1903 he was also Dexter lecturer on biblical literature. Soon after Toy became the professor of Hebrew and Semitic languages at Harvard he broke his ties with Southern Baptists and became a practicing Unitarian. Toy's modernist approach to the Old Testament, and his views on the doctrine of biblical inspiration led to his forced resignation from the Southern Baptist Theological College.

(e) Hermann Hilprecht (1859-1925) (USA). German-American assyriologist and archaeologist. Born in Germany and emigrated to the USA in 1886 and became a professor of Assyrian at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1887 he became the curator for the Semitic department of the University of Pennsylvania's museum. Hilprecht obtained a DD from the University of Pennsylvania. Hilprecht argued against Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel, and Panbabylonism. See his, Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands (1896).

(4) Basis in Assyriology Tenets:

(a) Nikolaus Schneider (1887-1953) (Germany) Assyriologist. Nikolaus Schneider was a German cuneiformist/assyriologist and Catholic priest. He was located in Luxembourg (Priestseminar). Professor of Biblical Studies at the Seminary at Luxembourg. (Prof. Rer. Bibl. Dr. Theol. Nikolaus Schneider, Professor der Bibelwissenschaften im Priester-seminar zu Luxemburg.) He exhibited some academic eccentricities.

(b) Leonard King (1869-1919) (England) Assyriologist/Archaeologist. Leonard King M.A., F.S.A., was born in London and died in London. He was an English archaeologist and assyriologist. King was educated at Rugby School and King's College, Cambridge. He obtained an appointment in the Egyptian and Assyrian department of the British Museum and conducted the Museum's excavations on the site of Nineveh. He also travelled widely in the Near East and collected rock/stone inscriptions in Assyria, Persia and Kurdistan. He was for a number of years professor of Assyrian and Babylonian archaeology at King's College, London. King published a large number of works on these subjects, including Babylonian Magic and Sorcery (1896); Cuneiform Texts in the British Museum (1896-1909); Babylonian Religion and Mythology (1899). He is also known for his translations of ancient works such as the Code of Hammurabi. He became the Assistant to the Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, at the British Museum. Importantly, in this latter position, he assisted Franz Kugler with astronomical cuneiform materials and also facilitated Kugler's visits to the British Museum.

Other Opponents:

(a) Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954) (Germany) Ethnologist/Historian. Wilhelm Schmidt was born in Hörde (Dortmund-Hörde), Germany, the son of a teacher. Wilhelm Schmidt, a renowned linguist, anthropologist, and ethnologist, was a German Roman Catholic priest of the Verbite Order. In 1890, after graduating from the humanistic gymnasium at Steyl, Holland, he joined the Mission Seminary of the Society of the Divine Word (Societas Verbi Divini) at St. Gabriel, Wien-Modling, where he completed his philosophical and theological studies. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1892. After that he went on to study linguistics at the universities of Berlin and Vienna for 2 years. In 1892 he also became an Austrian citizen. He was a professor of ethnology, languages and the history of religions in Modling and Freiburg. Schmidt served as a professor at the University of Vienna from 1921 to 1938, and the University of Freiburg, Switzerland, from 1939 to 1951. (According to Martin Gusinde, Wilhelm Schmidt was appointed as teacher of linguistics and ethnology in St. Gabriel, a village on the outskirts of the capital of Austria, and he lived there until 1938 until his escape from arrest by the Nazi police. He was received in Switzerland as a refugee. The Anthropos-Institut, founded by him in St. Gabriel in 1906, was also displaced to, and continued in, Switzerland. In the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s the Vienna culture-historical school was the dominant school of thought in Austrian academic ethnology. It was centred around Wilhelm Schmidt. Schmidt was a strict opponent of cultural evolutionism inspired by Darwinism and instead hypothesized a primordial culture characterised by monotheism, monogamy, and private property. In his endeavour to prove his theory of primordial monotheism (Urmonotheismus), he engaged other members of his religious (Societas Verbi Divini) to conduct fieldwork to gather ethnological evidence for his hypotheses. Peoples believed to be contemporary representatives of this Urkultur--those of short stature living in marginal areas, such as the Central African pygmy populations--became the central focus of research. Paul Schebesta (1887-1967) was one of the missionaries who conducted intensive anthropological field research. He was the first to study the Malaysian Semang and then, in 1920-1930 and 1934-1935, the pygmies of the Ituri region. In 1906, Schmidt founded the journal Anthropos, and in 1931, the Anthropos Institute, which he directed from 1932 to 1950. He established the ethnological department of the papal Missionary Ethnological Museum at the Vatican in 1927 (1925?), serving as its first director from 1927 to 1939. His research studies were mainly directed towards the study of the origin of the idea of God and religion within various cultures, trying to link what emerged from ethnological studies with what is stated in the Bible. His work in systematizing the languages of Southeast Asia revealed connections to those of Oceania, leading to the recognition of the Austric group of languages. Schmidt formulated the idea of "cultural circles" - four stages in the development of all human societies. The stages are as follows: (1) Primitive stage (essentially the culture of hunter-gatherers; (2) Primary stage (horticultural society); (3) Secondary stage (pastoralist society); and (4) Tertiary stage (modern society). This stage theory of cultural development, popular during his lifetime, was inspired by Fritz Graebner's idea of "cultural diffusion," formulated in his theory of Kulturkreis. Schmidt was interested in the development of cultures around the world. Early influences on him included the anthropologists Franz Boas and Edward Westermarck. Schmidt concluded that monotheism, not polytheism or totemism, was the most primitive type of religion worldwide. Schmidt published over 600 books and articles. His works available in English translation include: The Origin and Growth of Religion (1931), High Gods in North America (1933), and The Culture Historical Method of Ethnology (1939). From 1912 to his death in 1954, Schmidt published his 12-volume Der Ursprung der Gottesidee (The Origin of the Idea of God). In this multi-volume work he set out his theory of primitive monotheism - the belief that primitive religion in almost all tribal peoples began with an essentially monotheistic concept of a high god - usually a sky god - who was a benevolent creator. He argued that all primitive cultures in the world have that notion of a supreme god. They worship a single, high deity, omniscient, and essentially similar to the God of Christianity. Schmidt's theory has not been widely accepted. (Also, Wilhelm Schmidt claimed to have discovered in the African Pygmy an Urkultur which, originating in Africa, had later spread to different parts of the world.) Schmidt spent the last years of his life in productive work in Posieux-Froideville, near the university city of Fribourg. For an (English-language) obituary see: "Wilhelm Schmidt, S.V.D., 1868-1954." by Martin Gusinde in American Anthropologist, New Series, Volume 56, Number 5, Part 1, October, 1954, Pages 868-870. See also: Brandewie, Ernest. (1990). When giants walked the earth: The life and times of Wilhelm Schmidt.

(b) Otto Schroeder (1851-1928 (also given as 1851-1937) (Germany) Assyriologist. Schroeder studied in Berlin under Friedrich Delitzsch and Hugo Winckler. From 1912 he was employed in the Near Eastern department of the Prussian State Museum. His major works include: Keilschrifttexte aus Assur verschiedenen Inhalts: Autographiert, mit Inhaltsübersicht und Namenlisten versehen (1920); and Keilschrifttexte aus Assur historischen Inhalts 2: Autographien (1922, Band 2 ("Zweites Heft")). Note: Leopold Messerschmidt published Erstes Heft in 1911. Otto Schroeder prepared the "Winckler-Bibliographie." that appeared in Mitteilungen der Vorderasiatischen Gesellschaft, Band XX, Number 1, 1916, Pages 25-48. For an obituary (with photo) see: AfO Band 4, 1927 Pages 245-246.

(c) Heinrich Rühle (1871-?) (Germany). I have not yet been able to find any biographical details (I have no reason to believe there is confusion with Otto Rühle). At present it is not indicated that he was an assyriologist or ancient historian (Professor) at a university. (Franz Rühl certainly was.) I have seen an indication that he was perhaps a meteorologist or similar. Late in his career (at least 1935) he appears to have been associated with the Staatliche Observatorium Danzig (State Observatory in Danzig (a meterology establishment)). See: "Die scheinbare Flächenhelligkeit einer schwarzen Fläche in Abhägigkeit von Sonnenazimut bei großen Sichtweiten." by Heinrich Rühl (Forschungsarbeiten des Staatliches Observatoriums Danzig, Leipzig, 1930); and "Beiträge zum Strandklima." by Heinrich Rühle (Forschungsarbeiten des Staatliches Observatoriums Danzig. Heft 6., Leipzig, 1935).

Perhaps his details in the Nazi arrest list of Monarchists. Source: Hitler's Conservative Opponents in Bavaria: 1930-1945 by James Donohoe (1961).

(d) Friedrich Küchler (1874-1921) (Germany) Theologian/Assyriologist. It is presently difficult to find detailed information. It appears he was, however, a university professor or teacher. PhD: Beiträge zur Kenntnis der assyrischen Medizin. Inaugural-Dissertation, 1902, Marburg. Published in book form in 1904 as Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Assyrisch-Babylonischen Medizin. Texte mit Umschrift, Übersetzungen und Kommentar. (A study of medical texts from the library of Ashurbanipal, together with German translations.) Habilitation FWU 1906; 1910 Professor at Strassburg; 1919 Professor at Heidelberg. Other publications: Küchler, Friedrich. Hebräische Volkskunde (1906); Küchler, Friedrich. (1911). "Die altorientalische Weltauffassung und ihr Ende." (Theologische Rundschau, Band 14, Pages 237-?). Critical of the Panbabylonists for exaggerations and especially for exaggerating the astronomical knowledge of the Babylonians.

(e) Eduard Meyer (1855-1930) (Germany) Philologist/Historian. The German historian Eduard Meyer was one of the most important historians of his age. He was born in Hamburg and died in Berlin. From 1902 Eduard Meyer was a faculty member at the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Universität in Berlin, and from 1919/1920 he was vice-chancellor. He taught ancient history and was a hyper-generalist, or universal historian, who published an astounding range of materials on the history of antiquity from the oriental and occidental worlds, including important works on Egypt, Rome and the Americas. His most important work was Geschichte des Altertums (5 volumes, 1884-1902). It includes the ancient oriental cultures, contains a sociological-anthropological methodology, and considers cultural issues, especially religious history. Meyer was extremely well-read, and developed the standard chronology for Egyptian history which remained in used for almost 100 years.

(f) Franz Boll (1867-1924) (Germany) Philologist. Franz Boll was a renowned German classical philologist who specialized in ancient astronomy and astrology. He had the ability to combine astronomy, religion, and literature with great originality. Boll was born in 1867 in Rothenburg on the Tauber river and he died unexpectedly in Heidelberg in 1924. (See the obituary by Albert Rehm, Biographisches Jahrbuch für Altertumskunde 47 (1927) 13- 43.) His early death in 1924 at the age of 57 put an end to his further masterly contributions to elucidating little-known traditions. Boll was also very much interested in the history of mathematics, and had a deep interest in Plato. Boll devoted much of his early work to studying Ptolemy. He is still highly regarded for his editorial and biographical work on Claudius Ptolemy. Later, Boll devoted his research activities almost exclusively to the early history of astrology.  His doctoral dissertation was on Ptolemy. He had the ability to combine astronomy, religion, and literature with great originality. His sudden early death in 1924 at the age of 57 put an end to his further masterly contributions to elucidating little-known traditions. His last academic position was Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Heidelberg. In 1908 he succeeded Albrecht [Albert] Dieterich (1866-1908) as Professor at the University of Heidelberg. (Studying ancient forms of magic and magic papyri was so suspect (circa 19th-century and early 20th-century) in the eyes of German traditionalistic philology that Albert Dieterich felt obliged to conceal the object of his Summer seminar in 1905 on magic papyri under under the tame (non provocative) title of "Selection of Greek Papyri." Such texts and interest in them were deemed to rob antiquity of the distinguished luster of classicism.) Franz Boll was one of a number of early 20th-century philologists who contributed fundamental new insights into the theory, history, and European development of the Greek and Roman languages, literatures, and cultures. Gustav Müller who lived for a time at Franz Boll's house described him as a kind and jovial Bavarian, great teacher and impeccable scholar. Müller describes student life in Heidelberg as being under the shadow of poverty, gloom, and desperation. Students had few clothes and stood in long soup lines. Franz Boll’s Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie und Astrologie (1894) is still considered to be the most comprehensive study to date of Ptolemy’s philosophical commitments. It examines the philosophy in several of Ptolemy’s texts, including the Almagest, On the Kritêrion, Harmonics, and, especially, the Tetrabiblos. Boll takes a philological approach and traces the philosophical concepts of Ptolemy’s texts to their predecessors and emphasizes the influence of Aristotle and Posidonius in particular. The inherent fault's in Boll's study are rectified in the 2009 doctoral dissertation by Jacqueline Feke, Ptolemy in Philosophical Context: A Study of the Relationships Between Physics, Mathematics, and Theology. There had been some controversy in the early 199th-century whether Ptolemy authored the astrological work Tetrabiblos (comprised of 4 books). Franz Boll sufficiently demonstrated that the book in its general philosophic views, its language, and its astronomy, is entirely in accord with the works of Ptolemy (especially through textual comparison with Ptolemy's Almagest) whose genuineness has been unquestioned. Franz Boll had begun work upon a new edition of the Tetrabiblos prior to his death in 1924. His pupil, Emilie Boer, continued Boll's work but their completed text did not meet with critical approval. In some 75 instances Boll altered the text by outright emendation. Also, some 40 key mistakes are contained in the 2nd edition. Towards the end of the 19th-century the Belgian scholar Franz Cumont organized and led a group of European scholars to collect, catalogue and edit all of the existing manuscripts on astrology that were written in ancient Greek during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. During the first half of the 20th-century Franz Cumont and Franz Boll, and others (including Wilhelm Kroll), systematically collected and edited a huge quantity of texts and fragments of ancient Greek astrological material. The project took over 50 years to complete. It involved scouring the world’s libraries and private collections for ancient texts and manuscripts that had been copied and preserved since their original composition. Initially the project culminated in the publication of a massive 12 volume compendium, Corpus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum (= Catalogue of the Codices of the Greek Astrologers) (1898-1953). It is most commonly known simply by its acronym as the CCAG. It is a catalogue of Greek astrological manuscripts that contains in its large appendices critical editions of many previously unknown texts. Although this massive compendium of astrological material has been available in print since the beginning of the 20th-century has has been somewhat neglected and unused due to the challenges involved in studying the material in the original Greek language. Alexander Jones has commented: "Scholars like Hermann Usener (1834–1905), Auguste Bouché-Leclercq (1842–1923), Franz Boll (1867–1924), and Franz Cumont (1868–1947) laid the foundations of all subsequent research into the history of ancient astrology." It was Franz Boll who discovered and reconstructed the history of the passage of the Sphaera Barbarica. Boll's most important and most outstanding work is perhaps Sphaera (1903). (The title is plural because 2 sky maps existed in Graeco-Roman antiquity - the Greek and the Barbarian.) The first major modern work devoted to elucidating the Sphaera Barbarica was the classic book-length study Sphaera by the German philologist Franz Boll (1903). The masterly work Sphaera was Franz Boll's ingenious recovery of the Sphaera Barbarica, based on the discovery of new manuscripts. It is still an important work on ancient and Arabic astrology. Boll became aware of the Sphaera Barbarica through the discovery of excerpta (brief segments of writing taken from longer works) from the Byzantine period. He ingeniously reconstructed the Sphaera Barbarica and also traced the major stages of its journey to the Islamic Persian Empire and back to Europe. In Sphaera Boll published and annotated the texts of then newly discovered Classical and Byzantine astronomical/astrological manuscripts by Teukros the Babylonian, Antiochus of Athens, Vettius Valens, and Johannes Kamateros, a 12th-century Byzantium astrologer. Boll recognised the contributions of Teukros the Babylonian to constellation lore ahead of his contemporaries. The first part of the book is a critical discussion of the newly discovered texts, the second part describes the constellations in them, and the third part deals with the history of the "Sphaera Barbarica" as described by Nigidius Figulus and others. In Sphaera Boll first described the genre of paranatellonta writing and edited much of the material. His last academic position was Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Heidelberg. Relevant key publications: Sphaera (1903).

(g) Franz Cumont (1868-1947) (Belgium) Philologist/Historian. Franz Cumont was a Belgian archaeologist, historian, and philologist. (Franz Cumont can also be classed as an astral-diffusionist - but not a Panbabylonist.) He obtained his PhD from the University of Ghent in 1887. Between 1887 and 1906 he was actively involved in a number of archaeological excavations in Pontus (the region of northeast Asia Minor bordering on the Black Sea) and Armenia. From 1906 he was a Professor at the University of Ghent, Belgium. His research into the neglected Roman cult of Mithraism established his reputation as an historian of religions. Up to the 2nd-half of the 19th-century - under the influence of founding fathers such as Friedrich Welcker (1784-1868) and Max Müller - the study of ancient religions was approach from a strictly philological perspective. Both Welcker and Müller based their study of ancient religions on language, texts, and mythology. Müller believed (erroneously) he had traced the development of ancient religions from monotheism to polytheism by examining the evolution of the names of the gods. Franz Cumont was the first scholar who studied one specific ancient religion (Mithraism) from the viewpoint of the entire Altertumswissenschaft. Cumont collected all extant documents related to Mithraism, and also epigraphical and archaeological material. The theory that Roman Mithraism had its origins in Persian Zoroastrianism (i.e., the Persian sun-god Mithra) was first proposed by Franz Cumont in his two-volume study Textes et monuments figurés relatifs aux mystères de Mithra (1896 and 1899). At least during 1910 Cumont corresponded with Franz Kugler who was then attending the International Congress of Orientalists in Copenhagen. (Cumont also corresponded with Carl Bezold in Germany.) He resigned his position at the University of Ghent when, in spite of faculty recommendation and student support, Édouard Descamps (Baron Descamps), Belgium's Minister of Arts and Sciences from 1907 to 1910, refused to approve his appointment to the chair of Roman History and another candidate was named in 1912. He then divided his time between Rome and Paris and also conducted an archaeological excavation of Dura-Europas on the Euphrates River in eastern Syria. Relevant key publications: Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum (12 Parts, 1898-1909, Part 1 by Franz Cumont and Franz Boll).

(h) David Sidersky. (1858-circa1935?/1940s?) (France) Chemical Scientist (Engineer). David Sidersky was a (French?) Chemical Scientist (Ingénieur-chimiste) whose hobby was ancient Oriental astronomy, mathematics, and chronology. He was a member of the Société Asiatique. Sidersky was a well-known and respected Jewish chronologer. He made several important contributions to Babylonian calendars and chronology and published 2 books on the topic. In his books he would point out the late age of Babylonian exact/scientific astronomy. (It appears his father was Rabbi Aharon Sidersky of Grodno and likely his mother was Hode Leib/Libe (daughter of Rabbi Arye Lieb in Brezene), who later divorced Rabbi Aharon Sidersky and married Rabbi Ya'akov Mareino of Grodno. David Sidersky was also the grandson of Rabbi Israel Lipkin "Salanter.") In addition to his numerous publications on astronomical chronology David Sidersky published Les Origines des légendes Musulmanes dans le Coran et dans les Vies des Prophètes (1933). The publication concerned the origins of the Islamic traditions about Solomon and especially their relation with Midrash and Talmudic literature However, he was a dilettante in Orientalism and ignorant of Arabic. See the use of Sidersky, and also criticisms, by Shari Lowin in The Lineaments of Islam: Studies in Honor of Fred McGraw Donner (2012) edited by Paul Cobb. At least during the first half of the 20th-century, David Sidersky lived in Paris.

(i) Daniel Luckenbill (1881-1927) (USA) a Professor of Semitic Languages at the University of Chicago.

(j) Hermann Hilprecht (1859-1925) (USA). German-American assyriologist and archaeologist. Born in Germany and emigrated to the USA in 1886 and became a professor of Assyrian at the University of Pennsylvania. He was a student of Friedrich Delitzsch and obtained his PhD under him. In 1887 Hilprecht became the curator for the Semitic department of the University of Pennsylvania's museum. Hilprecht obtained a DD from the University of Pennsylvania. Hilprecht argued against Delitzsch's Babel-Bibel, and Panbabylonism. See his, Recent Discoveries in Bible Lands (1896), and Die Ausgrabungen der Universität zu Pennsylvania im Bêl Tempel zu Nippur by Hermann Hilprecht (1903; 76 pages). In the last few pages of the pamphlet he critiques several of Delitzsch's claims; otherwise the pamphlet adds nothing new to his 1896 book.

Appendix 5: Alfred Jeremias:

The claim of the German Panbabylonists (especially Alfred Jeremias) that Mesopotamian/Sumerian astrology originated in the supposed zodiacal age of Gemini (circa 5,000 - 6,000 BCE) and is the foundation of all the religions and cultures throughout the world is impossible to maintain. Both Hugo Winckler and Alfred Jeremias claimed the astral theory underpinning the 'Weltanschauung' ('view of the universe') originated in the 'Age of the Twins' (Gemini). Winkler dated such between 5,700 BCE and 2,500 BCE. Alfred Jeremias (The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient Near East, (English edition (1911), Volume 1, Pages 13 & 71) claimed mythological motifs connecting the beginning of a new era with Gemini (Dioscuros myths) indicate that the zodiac was devised in the 'Age of the Twins.' He further claimed: "A planisphere from the library of Assurbanipal [K 8538 (CT 33, 10)], based upon ancient calculations ... show's a graduation of the sun's course and marks for the zero point a point between the Bull and the Twins ("Scorpion's Star, 70 degrees")." Alfred Jeremias concluded that the zodiacal division of the heavens was devised in the 'Age of Gemini' prior to the Sumerian civilization beginning. Also, he claimed: "In the most remote time upon which we have as yet any historical light, the spring equinox was in the zodiacal sign of Gemini."

It would be a mistake to think that Alfred Jeremias was a pioneering assyriologist. Alfred Jeremias was, of course, no such person. After studying Assyriology and theology Alfred Jeremias spent most of his life working as a Lutheran Pastor in Leipzig. He basically pursued assyriology as a pastime and only late in life came to hold a permanent university position in assyriology. Following World War 1 Jeremias spent his time mostly updating his key publications and produced only a few new pamphlets. Alfred Jeremias would be judged "odd" by reasonable benchmarks. He held that the various cultures of mankind are no more than the dialects of one and the same spiritual language. He became an admirer of the notorious racist Hermann Wirth who was a Dutch-German lay amateur folklorist and historian of ancient religions and symbols. It appears Alfred Jeremias was not above toying with reincarnation and characterising the Panbabylonist Hugo Winckler as an old Babylonian king. Jeremias wrote that association with Hugo Winckler could make you believe he was a reincarnation of an Assyrian king.

During the hey-day of Panbabylonism (early 19th-century) the chronology of early Mesopotamian/Babylonia was in a confused state. Very early dates were mistakenly established. Mesopotamian/Babylonian chronology was not suitably stabilized until circa the 1940s. At the turn of the 19th-century Sargon of Akkad was dated to circa 3,800 BCE until decades later circa 2,350 BCE was confidently established. (In one of his publications Jeremias dated Sargon to 2,650 BCE.) Hermann Hilprecht had no problem with dating Enshakushanna, an early king of Uruk, to circa 6,500 BCE. The current dating is circa 2,500 BCE. At this period in assyriology new material always compelled lowering of dates. (See, for example: "A Third Revision of the Early Chronology of Western Asia." by William Albright (Bulletin of the American School of Oriental Research, Number 88, December, 1942, Pages 28-36).

Appendix 6: Reproduction of Article Posted on Web:

Dr. M.G. Nickiforov (Moscow), Dr. J.B. Tabov (Sofia).

von Eino ... am 07 Jul. 2008 17:23 [17 Dec. 2008 16:22]

Forum - IV Internationale geschichtsanalytische Tagung [This work was presented by Jordan Tabov at September Potsdam conference.]

Dr. M.G. Nickiforov (Moscow), Dr. J.B. Tabov (Sofia)

Problems of dating of Babylon "Astrolabes"
[Problems of dating of the Babylonian "Astrolabes"]

[Abstract: Many historians share the opinion, that the astronomical records on the “Babylonian astrolabes” reflect real astronomical observations, and that these records can be used for their dating. This assumption was investigated by M.G. Nickiforov .... The contradictions, which were found in the text of the “Babylonian astrolabes”, lead to several conclusions and hypothesis, which are described in the present paper.]

Among of traditional history supporters is considered that the ancient Babylon chronology can be confirmed as a result of dating of cuneiform tablets of the astronomical content. To present the basic results of researches of Babylon "Astrolabes", obtained in work [1] and to call into question adequacy this historical documents for acknowledgement of traditional chronology is the purpose of this report.

Origin and content of "Astrolabes". An astrolabe is one of the oldest goniometric tool for measuring the positions of stars. It is considered, that in Ancient Babylonia this device was not known. The Babylon astrolabe (unsuccessful term applied by experts) is means as the not named device. They are related to number of the most ancient astronomical cuneiform documents of the Babylon origin. Instead of the Babylon astrolabe we mention simply "astrolabe".

Earliest of the kept texts is considered "astrolabe B" or "Berlin astrolabe". It occurs from Ashur and is dated approximately 1100 B.C. Round "astrolabes" in the form of a disk are divided by three enclosed circles and twelve "monthly" sectors on 36 fragments. They are considered as the most old kind. Later type of the texts (for example, so-called "astrolabe Р") are considered rectangular "astrolabes" in the form of the tables containing three columns on twelve lines, corresponding to areas of sky Eа (southern stars), Anu (stars of the middle of the sky) and Enlil (northern stars).

Elam, Akkad and Amurru star lists have only one column of stars. However the content of these lists coincide with stars of "astrolabes" and the order of their enumeration precisely corresponds to the order of twelve months in "astrolabes". Therefore, the lists of stars specified above and "astrolabes" represent related categories of texts which we further shall consider as one. Researchers of "astrolabes" consider, that these are approximately dated 11 century B.C. [2].

They suggest "astrolabes" are results of real astronomical observations and contain the information about heliacal risings of the specified stars and constellations for corresponding month. Under heliacal rising the first appearance of a star or constellation in a morning sky is understood.

Astronomical verification of traditional views about "astrolabes". If "astrolabes" really originated from observations:

1) the stars and constellations in each column of "astrolabe" should be ordered on a longitudes to correspond the order of the heliacal risings appropriated to fixed months of a year

2) stars and constellations in each column of "astrolabe" should be ordered on declinations or areas of the sky (northern stars, southern stars, stars of the middle of the sky).

As declinations of stars are changed affected by lunar-solar precession, the belonging of heavenly bodies or constellations to the certain sky areas can be the tool for astronomical dating.

For the present research we have taken advantage of "astrolabe P” from work [2]. Work [3] was used for an identification of the Babylon astronomical terms. The verification has shown:

1. From 36 objects of "astrolabe" one of names is not identified, identification of two constellations does not allow to carry them to northern stars during any historical epoch. Besides, the stars α, β Gem and the planet Jupiter are contained in "astrolabe" twice. Furthermore, “both of the Jupiters” are divided from each other by several constellations which the planet cannot overcome within one year.

2. „Astrolabes Р” contain the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter (twice), but all this identifications are considered very reliable. Presence of moving planets contradicts conception about heliacal risings in star "astrolabe" and conformity of each astronomical object named in “astrolabe” to the certain month.

3. Constellations of "astrolabe" columns are ordered on a longitude only for southern stars (Ea). In set of stars of the middle of the sky (Anu) for preservation of the order of following on a longitude it is necessary to refuse identification of five constellations. The most part of northern stars of "astrolabe" (Enlil) is not ordered on a longitude. Thus, the hypothesis about conformity of constellations to the order heliacal risings does not find acknowledgement.

4. The calculated positions of constellations for 11-th century B.C. mismatch their specified positions to areas Ea, Anu and Enlil. It is shown, that there is no historical epoch (or turn of heavenly sphere on a longitude) for which declared conformity it would be carried out.

The conclusion. As a result of an identification of separate stars and the constellations specified in "astrolabes" on the basis of decoding of other Babylon texts was established, that the card (scheme) of the star sky of "astrolabe" received as a result of substitution mismatches a real arrangement of constellations in the sky and to the order of following heliacal risings. From this conclusion a number of alternatives follows.

1. The Babylon cuneiform tablets is called by tradition "astrolabes", actually have no attitude to astronomy and real observations of the star sky. Possibly, they are related to some ritual, religious or astrological texts with not clear applicability.

2. There is an opportunity, that "astrolabes" really was originated from real astronomical observations. However, the basic part of the Babylon texts is deciphered so unreliably, that it is impossible to establish uniform and unequivocal identification of constellations, stars and planets for all texts. As a result, numerous errors in identifications of constellations lead to discrepancy of configurations of constellations in "astrolabes" to the real star sky. The question of a problematic of translations of the Babylon texts and very liberal interpretation of their content by some authors, has been mentioned in work [4].

Thus, even we assume, that texts is named by "astrolabes" is a result of astronomical observations it is impossible to confirm or to deny this thesis on the basis of an information available on today. The analysis shows unsteadiness of astronomical dating of age of "astrolabes" on the basis of the information concluded in these documents. Most possibly, dates of drawing up of "astrolabes" offered by researchers are postulated by any other reasons.


1. Nickiforov, М.G.: Drevnie Vavilonskie "astrolyabii" i problemi ih datirovki. // It is presented to the Collection of articles on New Chronology №7 ” (>).

2. Van der Waerden, B.L: Ontwakende wetenschap Ecyptiche, babylonysche, en criekse wiskunde Groningen, 1954.

3. Kurtik, G.E.: Zvezdnoe nebo drevney Mesopotamii. Spb, Aleteinya, 2007.

4. Nickiforov, М.G.: K voprosu datirovki drevnevavilonskih tablichek LBAT 1456, 1452, 1413. // The collection of articles on New Chronology №6. (, and .

Dr. M.G. Nickiforov (Moscow), Dr. J.B. Tabov (Sofia) , (Eino * | 07 Jul. 2008 17:23)

Full version of paper:

Appendix 7: Reproduction of Book Review

In her short book (107 pages), Tre-stelle-per-ciascun(-mese). L’astrolabio B: edizione filologica (2003), the Italian assyriologist Maria Casaburi discusses the Middle-Assyrian miscellaneous texts labeled as "Astrolabe B[erlin]" (KAV 218 = VAT 9416, written by the Babylonian scribe Marduk-blassu-ēreš at Assur during the 11th century BCE). Astrolabe B is composed of a bilingual almanac written in Sumerian and Akkadian, a planisphere, a stellar calendar, and the colophon. As most persons are not likely to sight this book a (English-language) book review by Marianna Ferrara (Indologica Taurinensia, Volume 35, 2009, Pages 377-378) is reproduced here (with spelling corrections):

"I The book under review focuses on the study of the Middle-Assyrian miscellaneous texts known as Astrolabe B(erlin), which belong to a group of ancient astronomical texts (the so-called "Astrolabes") dating around the II millennium BCE. These texts in fact do not concern the determination of the altitudes of stars, as the true astrolabes do, but contain several lists of stars that rose ideally each month in the Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil. The title of this book, appropriate to its topic, refers to the Sumerian compound MUL.MES.3.TA.AM, literally translated as "three-stars-each(-month)", by which these astronomical texts are referred to in the Mesopotamian sources, and suggests the three constellations, contained in Astrolabe B, apparently intended to be in order of the Paths of Ea, Anu, and Enlil in each month. Texts in Astrolabe B appear to be divided into three different sections corresponding to three subjects, but until recently only the section first had been well known and edited in English translation. In this book, instead, the author presents a complete translation of the other two parts (second and third sections), which have never been discussed so far. Beginning with a short sketch of the historical background (pp. 3-27), the author succinctly sets forth the basics of Mesopotamian beliefs, mythology, and cult, and illustrates the present state of research on Astrolabe B, making some central considerations. Compiled from older sources, as the subdivision into three sections suggests, these texts have often been ignored by scholars and, in the author's view, they merit more attention than they have so far received, in order to understand their real function. She notices that these texts can be considered astronomical texts in some sense, but they highlight or obscure a certain different aspect —religious, theologian— of the all-compassing study of stars. An important example of this is found in this article. The author argues that Astrolabe B differs from the other Astrolabes by giving a different correspondence between the constellations and the three Paths of Ea, Anu and Enlil. It is possible that these texts contain some real (viz. not ideal) observational data, recorded at different times and then stripped of their original context, or at least absorbed into the scribal tradition. A second possibility is that the variation is due to an error in copying the tablet on the part of the scribes. Moreover, the third section of Astrolabe B, which is similar to the other Astrolabes in contents and phraseology, presents each constellation differently associated with each month. The meaning of this deviation, according to Casaburi, is to be found in the close connection between the star calendars and the divinatory art, which has far received almost no attention whatsoever. Besides providing us with some astronomical records, Astrolabe B is also a rich source of mythological material, to which the author returns in the appendix. The second and third sections of Astrolabe B are presented in the second half of the book (pp. 29-62 ) with the transliterated text and an Italian translation. Taking account of some other sources, the author examines the texts introducing some useful philological considerations (pp. 63-70). Finally, appendix (pp. 71-83) deserves attention. Here the author examines the nomenclature of months and the events to which they refer, pointing out their relevance for agriculture and myth. The book provides also a complete list of star names, the indexes of the Sumerian and Akkadian terms, the Sumerograms and their Akkadian equivalents, and the names of deities. These philological tools offer a glimpse on the cultural background, to which the author pays close attention, providing a fine survey of the Mesopotamian cultural and agricultural activities. Despite interesting questions, however, the answers are often not so satisfying. This is probably due to the absence of a complete critical edition of the Astrolabe B, which, as the author notices, is required in order to understand the real function of these texts. The present study is a first attempt to rescue from oblivion the records contained in Astrolabe and does promise essentially what the book delivers. The great merit of Casaburi is that it is the first time that an edition of the second and third sections of the Astrolabe B along with its Italian translation has been published."

Appendix 8: Development of Diffusionism

Gold, Daniel. (2003)."Explaining Together: The Excitement of Diffusionist Ideas." In: Gold, Daniel. Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion: Modern Fascinations. "This chapter traces the fate of some British and German diffusionist theories in the early twentieth century and reveals how explanatory hypotheses really can provide common grounds for working groups, even if these dissolve and become forgotten, as their hypotheses have been proven false. Diffusion theories appeared in the first few decades of the twentieth century, positing diversity among human cultures. Radical diffusionist projects were often promoted by just one or two people taken up with a daring new idea about the origin and spread of cultures. Championed by outspoken proponents able to arouse an initial exhilaration among a group of colleagues, these ideas have led to collaborative work that eventually petered out. In contrast to interpretive phenomenological visions, diffusionist explanations provided concrete programs of collective research. In the study of early cultures and civilizations at the turn of the twentieth century, diffusion vied with evolution as a concept that could explain the similarities found in the lifeways of diverse peoples."

Diffusionism attempts to understand culture in terms of the origin of culture traits and their spread from one society to another. Early versions of diffusionist thought included the conviction that all cultures originated from one culture center (heliocentric diffusion); the view that cultures originated from a limited number of culture centers (culture circles); and the notion that each society is influenced by others but that the process of diffusion is both contingent and arbitrary. Diffusionist research originated in the middle of the 19th-century when some scholars attempted to understand the nature of culture and whether it spread to the rest of the world from few or many innovation centers. Among the major questions was whether human culture had spread from innovation centers by diffusion.

The diffusionist approach was slowly replaced by studies concerning acculturation, patterns of culture, and the relation between culture and personality. By World War I, diffusionism was also being challenged by the newly emerging Functionalist school of thought lead by Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942; a Polish-born British-naturalized anthropologist) and Alfred [A. R.] Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955; British anthropologist). They argued that even if one could produce evidence of imported aspects of culture in a society, the original culture trait might be so changed that it served a completely different function that the society from which it diffused. A more holistic approach, stemming from the play of diffusionism against evolutionism, has provided a more adequate understanding of the overall picture. In the 1920s, Franz Boas (1858-1942; German-American anthropologist and a pioneer of modern anthropology) and other American anthropologists, such as Robert Lowie (1883-1957; Austrian-born American anthropologist) and Ralph Linton (1893-1953; American cultural anthropologist), argued that cultural change had been influenced by many different sources. They argued against the attempted grand reconstruction of both evolutionists and diffusionists.

The German anthropologists tended to be extreme diffusionsists. German and Austrian diffusionists argued that there were a number of culture centers, rather than just one, in the ancient world. Culture traits diffused, not as isolated elements, but as a whole culture complex, basically due to migration of individuals from one culture to another. Their school of thought was dominated by the Catholic clergy, who wanted to reconcile anthropological prehistory and cultural evolution with the Book of Genesis. 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. This concept provided the criteria by which Fritz Graebner would study Oceania at first and two years later cultures on a world-wide basis. This influenced Fritz Graebner at the Berlin Ethnological Museum to write about Kulturkreise in his studies about Oceania, then on a world-wide scale. One of the best known leaders in this attempt was Wilhelm Schmidt, who had studied and written extensively on the relationships between religions of the world. Father Schmidt became a follower of Fritz Graebner, who was also working on a world-wide scale with "culture-circles." After becoming a follower of these ideas Wilhelm Schmidt created his version of the Kulturkriese, and began the journal, Anthropos (official journal of the Anthropos Institute; the journal's scope covers ethnology, linguistics and related human sciences). The "culture circle" concept proposed that a cluster of functionally-related culture traits specific to a historical time and geographical area diffused out of a region in which they evolved. Both Fritz Graebner and Wilhelm Schmidt claimed that they had been able to reconstruct a "limited number of original culture circles."

Diffusionism occurred in its most extreme form in the ideas of the British school of thought. William Rivers was the founder of these ideas. His studies were confined to Oceania, where he sought to explain the contrasts between Melanesian and Polynesian cultures by the spread of original complexes, which supposedly had been spread by successive waves of migrating people. He also applied this extreme concept of diffusionism to Australian burial practices. The leading proponent of this extreme diffusionist school was Grafton Elliot Smith. The diffusionist theory proposed by English scholar Grafton Elliot Smith was Egypt was the primary source for many other ancient civilizations. This form of diffusionism is known as heliocentric diffusionism. He claimed that Egypt was the source of culture and that every other major culture in the world was due to diffusion from Egypt, but that a dilution of this civilization occurred as it spread to increasingly greater distances.

Key figures include:

(1) Freidrich Ratzel (1844-1904) was a German anthropologist who was a significant contributor to 19th-century theories of diffusion and migration. He developed criteria by which the formal, non-functional characteristics of objects could be compared; based on the belief that it would be unlikely that these characteristics would have been simultaneously invented. See: Ratzel, Friedrich (1896 (A. J. Butler, translator); original German publication 1885-88) The History of Mankind.

(2) Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) was a charismatic German explorer, ethnologist and archaeologist (and cultural philosopher), who was the originator of the concepts of the Kulturkreise (culture circles) and of the Paideuma (or "soul" of culture). (The geographer Frederick Ratzell (1844-1904) was the founder of the Culture History Approach and the key influence for Leo Frobenius.) Frobenius was an amateur scholar of myth. Early in his life he worked as a business apprentice for an export firm in Bremen, Germany, and studied Greek, anthropology, and mythology at night. 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 (due to his father's occupation as a fortification architect/builder – his father, Lieutenant-Colonel Herman Frobenius, was a Prussian military officer), 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. A revival of Max Müller's "sun-myth" theory was attempted by Leo Frobenius. Stucken, Frobenius, and Ehrenreich all assumed that sun myths are primarily representations of celestial phenomena. (The pioneering English anthropologist, Edward Tylor (1832-1917) also attempted to revive the "sun-myth" theory. For Tylor, sun myths describe sun gods and not merely the sun as a natural phenomenon.) Frobenius was a diffusionist who spent a lot of time in Africa. He was an early and influential proponent of the diffusionist cultural migration theory. He believed that parallel mythic themes were diffused from a few myth-producing cultural centres. For example, he believed there was a central myth-producing region that stretched from West Africa to India, and from there through Indonesia and Oceania to the Americas. He is credited with being the first radical diffusionist. Frobenius believed that parallel myths were the result of cultural exchanges between ancient peoples on a scale not considered possible by most scholars. His book Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes (1904) was described as concerning itself with the "Darwinian diffusion of solar myths." Ugo Bianchi states that for Frobenius the mythology of 'primitive' people was to be understood as cosmological (i.e., as a mythical interpretation and vision of the real world). Frobenius held a number of bizarre beliefs and theories. He was not willing to credit Africans as the innovators of traditional African art. He instead held that these arts originated from ancient Greco-Roman influence. Frobenius believed the people and culture of Nigeria descended from Atlantis (Plato's imaginary continent). This belief was the reason for his 1910-1912 collecting expedition Nigeria. This was funded by the German ethnological museums of Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig. Frobenius made 6 German government funded expeditions to Africa in the 10 years from 1904 to 1914. Frobenius was confident of his ability to judge the non-Africanness of certain (art) objects - needless to say, a highly subjective and unempirical process. He was also convinced he could trace the early migrations of humankind by the comparison of their artistic symbolism. Doubts have been expressed about the authenticity of myths that Frobenius published in 1921 concerning the Berber-speaking region of Kabylia in northern Algeria. See: Le Conte Kabyle by Camille Lacoste-Dujardin (1970), a book on Kabyle folktales. During his lifetime Frobenius was believed to be the world's foremost authority on prehistoric art. Thor Heyerdahl's epic 1947 balsa-wood boat journey from Peru to Polynesia was influenced by the theories of Frobenius. See: Leo Frobenius and the Reorientation of German Ethnology, 1890-1930 by DeWitt Clinton Durham (1985).

Source: Pound in Purgatory by Leon Surette (1999), Page 259. Jahn refers to the German 'Frobenian' anthropologist Janheinz Jahn.

First page of book review by Franz Boas in American Anthropologist, New Series, Volume 1, Number 4, October, 1899, Pages 775-777.

(3) Fritz Graebner (1877-1934) was a German anthropologist, who was a leading diffusionist thinker (a cultural diffusionist). Graebner supported the school of "culture circles" (Kulturkreis), which could trace its beginning to Friedrich Ratzel, the founder of anthropogeography. The ideas of Leo Frobenius influenced Fritz Graebner, then at the Berlin Ethnological Museum (1904), to write about culture circles and culture strata in Oceania. Two years later, he applied these concepts to cultures on a world-wide basis. In 1911 he published Die Methode der Ethnologie in which he attempted to establish a criterion for identifying affinities and chronologies, called the Criterion of Form. See: Graebner, Fritz (1911) Die Methode der Ethnologie.

(4) William [W. H. R.] Rivers (1864-1922) was a British doctor and psychiatrist who became interested in ethnology after accompanying a Cambridge expedition to the Torres Straits in 1898. He later pursued research in India and Melanesia. Rivers was converted to diffusionism while writing his book, The History of Melanesian Society, and was the founder of the diffusionist trend in Britain. In 1911, He was the first to speak out again social evolutionism (later linked with independent invention). See: Rivers, W. H. R. (1922) History and Ethnology.

(5) Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954), an Austrian national, was a Catholic priest in Germany and an ethnologist who studied the religions of the world and wrote extensively on their inter-relationship (Barnard 1996:589). At about the same time that Fritz Graebner (1906) was applying the culture-circle and culture-strata ideas on a worldwide scale, Father Schmidt help to promote these ideas, began the journal Anthropos, and created his own version of the Kulturkriese. Although both Fritz Graebner and Wilhelm Schmidt believed that all culture traits diffused out of a limited number of original culture circles, Father Schmidt's list of Kreise (culture circles) was the most influential.

(6) Sir Grafton Elliot Smith (1871-1937) was a prominent British anatomist, and William [W. J.] Perry (1868-1949) (British geographer and anthropologist), a student of William Rivers, hypothesized that the entire cultural inventory of the world had, after the advent of navigation, diffused from Egypt. The development began in Egypt, according to them, about 6,000 years ago and was spread during Egyptian migrations by land and sea. See: Smith, Grafton Elliot (1928) In the Beginning: The Origin of Civilization; and Smith, Grafton Elliot (1933) The Diffusion of Culture.

Appendix 9: The Origin of the Nature Myth School

The German scholar Max Müller in the 19th-century defined myths as metaphors/allegories for solar phenomena. Max Müller was one of the founders of comparative myth investigation and also of the nature school of interpretation of myths. Max Müller (1823-1900) was a Sanskrit scholar and philologist, and professor at Oxford, who founded the study of comparative religion. Max Müller was very influential for the entire 2nd-half of the 19th-century. During the 1850s and 1860s Müller proposed a number of philologically-based theories on the nature of Aryan mythology. His ideas saw the establishment of an influential school of comparative mythology/folklore research ("nature myth movement") which abruptly- and almost completely – disappeared around the turn of the 20th-century. There were several notable exceptions. One exception was Wilhelm Schwartz (Friedrich Leberecht Wilhelm Schwartz, 1821-1899) who continued to vigorously promote nature myth interpretations (see his: Ursprung der stamm- und gründungssage Roms unter dem reflex indogermanischer mythen (1898)). Another exception was Georg Hüsing who held that all myths were solar myths (see his: Contributions to the Kyros Myth (1906)). (The discrediting of nature mythology coincided with the growth of anthropology based on field observation in a single culture. An exception was Georges Dumézil, who compared structure, not etymology.) Müller was an ardent solar mythologist who thought that nearly all myths were symbolic/allegorical stories about the rising and setting sun, light and darkness, and the seasons. Some followers of Müller's approach quickly modified the original theory and espoused nature mythology. Myths were explanations of meteorological and cosmological phenomena. In this view deities were associated with one or more natural phenomena such as clouds and thunderstorms. Comparative mythology in the 19th-century was driven by the wide acceptance of interpretations of myths as natural phenomena, primarily the sun and moon, etc.

Comparative mythology - with its basis in solar mythology - effectively was abandoned by the end of the 19th-century.

It has been remarked that Panbabylonism seemed capable of replacing Max Müller's linguistically based mythology.

Slightly prior to Max Müller the German philologist and folklorist Franz [Aldabert] Kuhn (1812-1881) was an important early adherent of nature mythology. He made important contributions to comparative philology, and is regarded as the founder of the science of comparative Indo-Germanic mythology. From 1841 he was connected with the Kollnisches Gymnasium at Berlin, and he was appointed its director in 1870. Kuhn was the founder of a new school of comparative mythology, based upon comparative philology. Inspired by Jakob Grimm's Deutsche Mythologie, he initially devoted himself to German stories and legends but his reputation is founded on his later researches into the language and history of the Indo-Germanic peoples as a whole. He maintained that the origin of myths is to be looked for in the domain of language.

Ludwig Preller (15 September 1809–21 June 1861) was a German philologist and antiquarian. Preller was born in Hamburg, he studied at Leipzig, Berlin and Göttingen, in 1838 he was appointed to the professorship of philology at the University of Dorpat, which, however, he resigned in 1843. He afterwards spent some time in Italy, but settled in Jena in 1844, where he became professor in 1846. In 1847 he relocated as head librarian to Weimar. His chief works are: Demeter und Persephone (1837), Griechische Mythologie (2 Volumes, 1854–1855) and Römische Mythologie (1858). He also co-operated with Heinrich Ritter in the preparation of the most useful Historia philosophiae graecae et romanae ex fontium locis contexta (1838). Also, he contributed extensively to Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopädie and Pauly's Realencyklopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Preller emphasised the sky in interpreting myths.

In the 19th-century Adalbert Kuhn and Wilhelm Schwartz (also misspelled Schwarz), and also Carl Muellehoff, held to a "meteorological theory" of folklore. They believed that folklore/myths could be traced to the deification of thunderstorms, lightning, and winds. (Müller emphasised the sun; Kuhn emphasised storm clouds; Schwartz emphasised the wind; and Preller emphasised the sky.)

However, there was no way to test these theories. Until the growth of anthropology nobody really bothered to investigate living people – the actual sources of many myths – and ask what they thought their myths meant.

George Cox (1827-1902) was a proponent of Pan-Aryanism. Cox was a British classicist, historian, and comparative mythologist. Born in Benares, India, and educated at Rugby and Trinity College, Oxford. In 1850 he was ordained, and in 1860 took a mastership at Cheltenham College, which he held for only 1 year. In 1881 he was made vicar of Scrayingham, York, but resigned in 1897. In 1896 he was given a civil list pension. From 1861 he devoted himself entirely to literary work, chiefly in connexion with history and comparative mythology. His studies in mythology were influenced by Max Muller, but his treatment of the subjects was his own. He was an extreme supporter of the solar and nebular theory as the explanation of myths. Cox accepted the existence of nature myths other than solar. For Cox myths which are not solar are stellar or nebular. See his books: The Mythology of the Aryan Nations (1870, new edition 1882); and An Introduction to the Science of Comparative Mythology (1881).

Appendix 10: Diffusionism versus Dynamic Cultural Interaction

Common myth/cult pattern throughout regions of the world has led to various attempts at explanation. The 3 models for consideration are (1) cultural isolationism, (2) cultural diffusion, and (3) dynamic cultural interaction. According to the tenets of diffusion/Panbabylonism it is simply assumed that cultural traits naturally moved from more developed cultures to less developed cultures. The particular diffusionist theory of the Panbabylonists resulted in comparative similarities being held as evidence of borrowings by the younger culture from the older culture. The assumption is the more 'developed' culture (i.e., ancient Babylonia) imposed its models (i.e., astronomical knowledge) on a passively receiving neighbouring culture, or neighbouring cultures - and likewise these recipient neighbours do the same - fundamentally because the receiving neighbouring culture have a 'blank slate' on the matter. This ignores the likelihood of a more active process of circulating ideas and constant and creative adaptation being the norm. It is now being realised that it is a trap to ignore the dynamics of cultural interaction and culture-specific mechanisms of adaptation. Comparative methods employing ancient Near Eastern data have become increasingly more sophisticated. A modern approach to the subject of cultural exchange in the ancient world is lucidly set out in When the Gods Were Born: Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East by the Spanish-born scholar Carolina Lopez-Ruiz (2010). The author bypasses traditional diffusionism in preference for a model of cultural exchange which encompasses an active process of circulating ideas and constant and creative adaptation.

Convergence in mythology/folklore where myths/tales from totally different sources appear almost identical may simply be due to similar lines of development. However, of interest is Introducing the Mythological Crescent: Ancient Beliefs and Imagery connecting Eurasia and Anatolia by Harald Haarman and Joan Marler (2008). Using examples such as the 'Mother Goddess' and 'Bear Cult' the authors propose an interconnected zone of Paeolithic culture. In the Paeolithic era there was a culturally interconnected zone that reached from Western Europe to Eastern Siberia: "There was a broad cultural region with related traditions of mythical beliefs interconnected by longterm (sic) contacts during prehistoric times. This area - called here the "Mythological Crescent" - is a zone of cultural convergence that extends from the ancient Middle East via Anatolia to Southeastern Europe, opening into the wide cultural landscape of Eurasia."

There is little doubt that there is has been some Mesopotamian influence on the Bible stories. However, it is now recognized that relationships between different cultures and their mutual impact were far more subtle and complicated than the proponents of Panbabylonism ever imagined. It is now recognized that Babylonian civilization was comprised of a number of strands, including Sumerian and Amorite. It is difficult to identify whether a particular facet of Babylonian civilization originated within one of the ‘feeder-groups’ or was a creation of Babylonian civilization. Babylonian culture was a highly composite one and there are now sufficient grounds for rejecting the view that all of it features and ideas originated in Mesopotamia and then moved westward. Thorkild Jacobsen had set out that themes (especially the mythological motif of a victorious struggle of the god of thunderstorms (Marduk) over the sea (Tiamat)) within the Enuma Elish were derived from Ugaritic myth (Baal’s victory over Yam (Sea). Their diffusion from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia occurred through the Amorites, Western Semites who founded the first dynasty of Babylon. (See: "Creation in the Old Testament." by Frederick Moriarty SJ. In: Studia Missionalia, Volume 18, 1969, Pages 297-314.)

Appendix 11: Some Members of the 'Mythological School'

The so-called 'mythological school' of folklore essentially originated with Max Müller. The 'mythological school' sought to explain European folktales as the last remnants of primitive Aryan (nature) myths. When the Grimm brothers published their so-called folktales in 1812, some scholars believed (incorrectly) that this type of folklore material was to be found in Germany only. Interestingly, the Grimm brothers held that similarities in the folklore of various people was due to the existence of a common ancient mythology, some kind of "proto-myth." It was believed (incorrectly) that the Germans were the only pure Aryans and so naturally they had inherited the old 'Aryan tradition' - the folktales. It is accepted as prudent to exercise care with German folklore studies published between 1933 and 1945. (During the period between WWI and WWII, the general populace of Vienna was intensely anti-Jewish. It was this 'atmosphere' that also stimulated Adolf Hitler.) Many of the German folklorists of the 1930s were members of the German youth movement. There were over 100 Nazi party approved researchers appointed to positions in folklore during WWII. The Nazi period left German folklore studies ideologically compromised. The theories and publications of the main academic figures comprising the Viennese Mythological School were largely shaped by Nazi ideology. (They were shaped also by the ideas of Leopold von Schroeder (1851-1920).) However, it is also now accepted that even the Grimm brothers changed the stories they collected, incorporated their national and cultural ideas, and that their description of sources is misleading. Many of the tales actually derive from printed sources/medieval Germanic literature (enabled through the library of Freidrich Carl von Savigny, a law professor at Marburg). The peasant world depicted by the Grimm brothers - unschooled peasants professing a reflective wisdom contained in their oral heritage and living a simple and decent existence that reflected an ancient way of life - most likely never existed.

(1) Franz Linnig

Franz Linnig (1832 in Aegidienberg – 1912 in Koblenz-Pfaffendorf) Linnig was a Catholic and a Gymnasium teacher. He studied Catholic theology at the University of Bonn (beginning 1854) and graduated in 1856. He later graduated in philology from Karl Simrock. In 1861 he passed the required examination for secondary school teachers. After his year of probation at Marzellengymnasium in Cologne he became acting teacher the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium in Trier and in 1869 his teaching position was given permanency there. In 1873/1874 he was appointed to the provisional government council in Cologne. In 1876 he was appointed to the provincial council for the Rhine Province, and was authorized to issue directives for Catholic teacher’s colleges and Protestant gymnasiums. He authored a number of books, including poetry and mythology/folklore, and several school textbooks. He was an influential advocate for school reform. In 1883 he published Deutsche Mythen-Märchen. He was a nature mythologist and member of the 'Mythological School.' He held the view that myth was about natural events, and included mythological interpretations of sunrise and sunset.

(2) Wilhelm Roscher

Wilhelm Roscher (German Classicist/Philologist; 1845-1923). He is best known for his Lexicon, the Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie. Roscher published several books on Greek moon worship and moon folklore. Roscher's, Studien zur griechischen mythologie und kulturgeschichte vom vergleichenden standpunkte (4 volumes, 1878-1890) included material on Greek moon worship. His, Über Selene und Verwandtes (1890) dealt with Greek moon worship and moon folklore. See also his monograph on Greek moon worship, Nachträge zu meiner schrift über Selene und verwandtes (1895).

(3) Leopold von Schroeder

Leopold von Schroeder (German Indologist; 1851-1920). The Balto-German and Viennese Indologist Leopold von Schroeder (1851-1920) was born and educated outside of Austria. He is considered an outstanding Indologist. (However, this opinion is not shared by all.) Schroeder was born in Livonia. He began his studies in 1870 at the University of Dorpat. He then continued them in Leipzig, Jena, and Tübingen. He was a Professor at the Universities of Innsbruck and Vienna. apprarently he had already written a Habilitation study in 1877 even though he did not complete his doctorate until 1879. Schroeder taught Indology as a Private Docent until 1882 and as a 'budgeted Docent' until 1894. He commenced worked as lecturer ('budgeted Docent') in Indology in 1882, then as an assistant since 1890. In 1893, when Russian became the language of instruction in Dorpat, he moved to Germany. In 1894 he obtained a position as Adjunct Professor at the University of Innsbruck. Schroeder became professor ('Ancient Indian History and Antiquities') in Innsbruck in 1896, and, eventually, in Vienna from 1899 on. In his last academic position at the University of Innsbruck he focused primarily on researching comparative mythology and ethnology. In 1899 Schroeder was made Ordinarius for 'Ancient Indian Philology and Antiquities,' in Vienna. Among his notable achievements is the translation of the Bhagavadgita from Sanskrit to German. He was also engaged in scientific studies of legends and myths. In his book, Mysterium und Mimus im Rig-Veda (1908) Schroeder presented the view that there were links between Classical and Medieval times with the Folk-customs of to-day. According to Schroeder the root of such belief and custom is imbedded in a deeper stratum of Folk-tradition that is a heritage from the far-off past of the Aryan peoples. Schroeder was also a proponent of the role of the sun in the 'religion of Aryan antiquity.' See: Arische Religion (1914-1916; specifically Band 2).

(4) Nikolaos Politēs

Nikolaos Politēs (Greek Archaeologist/Philologist/Folklorist; 1852-1921). N. G. Politēs, a Professor at the University of Athens, was the founding father of Greek folklore studies. He was recognised as a great folklore scholar, the leading Greek folklorist of his age, and a philological comparativist of extraordinary erudition and scope. See: Politēs, Nikolaos. "Mond in Sage und Glauben der heutigen Hellenen." In: Roscher, Wilhelm. (1890). Über Selene und Verwandtes. Politēs also studies the sun in Greek tradition. See also his volumes, Laografika Symmikta (Folklore Melanges), (3 Volumes,1920-1931). See: N. G. Politis, Founder of Modern Greek Folklore Studies (1980) by John Porter, and the biographical entry in, Encyclopedia of Modern Greek Literature (2004) by Bruce Merry, Page 341.

(5) Rudolf Geyer

Rudolf Geyer (Viennese Orientalist (Arabist and Semiticist); 1861-1929). A university professor at Vienna. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Geyer was Professor of Arabic at the University of Vienna. He began studies at the University of Vienna in 1879. At first focused on Indology (philology) but was persuaded by the Semiticist David Müller to change to Semitic studies (philology). Geyer then focused primarily on Arabic. He gained his Ph.D. in 1884. After working in a library he became, in 1900, a Priv. Doz. of Arabic language and literature at the University of Vienna. In 1906 he became an associate professor, and in 1915 he became a full professor (Professor of Semitic Studies and Director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Vienna). He was a Member of the Academy of Sciences, Vienna. In 1922 he became a corresponding member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, in Berlin. His preferred field of research was old Arab poetry and its cultural environment. During the period comprising WWI was co-leader (with Rudolf Much) of a group of nationalist university academics who advocated anti Czech and anti Slav tenets. The literary estate of Rudolf Geyer (comprising a very comprehensive collection of Arabic literature) was purchased in 1930 by the Saint Florian Monastery for its library.

(6) Heinrich Lessmann

Heinrich Lessmann (German Philologist/folklorist; 1873-1916). His Inaugural-Dissertation was "Studien zu dem mittelenglischen "Life of St. Cuthbert", I. Beiträge zur Erklärung und Textkritik. II. Zur Flexion des Verbums" (1896). Lessmann, during military service, was killed in action or during a military action/assault (24.12.1916) in Rumania/Romania during WWI. "Prof. Heinrich Lessmann ist bei einen Sturmangriff in Rumänien gefallen. Die OLZ verliert in ihm einenbewährten Mitarbeiter auf mythologischem Gebiet. (Orientalistische Literaturzeitung, Band 20, Number 2, Februar, 1917, Column 59)" Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Band 3-5, 1899, Page 102 identifies him as "144 Lessmann Heinrich, Dr. phil., Görlitz, Postplatz 4." and Page 110 identifies him as "Lessmann, Heinrich, Dr. [Beruf] Oberlehrer, Charlottenburg, Krummestr. 8." Oberlehrer = senior primary school teacher. Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Band 3-5, 1899, Page 102 identifies him as "144 Lessmann Heinrich, Dr. phil., Görlitz, Postplatz 4." and Page 110 identifies him as "Lessmann, Heinrich, Dr. Oberlehrer, Charlottenburg, Krummestr. 8." Oberlehrer = senior primary school teacher [1905/1906: Städtische Realschule zu Charlottenburg = State Secondary School Charlottenburg]. Another source has: "Dr Lessmann Oberlehrer Charlottenburg 2 Berliner Strasse 44." Internationales Taschenbuch für Orientalisten, Band 2, 1910, Page 211 has "Oberlehrer Dr. Heinrich Lessmann (Charlottenburg 2, Kirchstr. 33/34)." Prof. Dr. Heinrich Lessmann was a scholar of comparative folklore and mythology (and prone to speculation). See his book, Die Kyrossage in Europa (1906). Also (published 6 years after his death), Der Deutsche Volksmund Im Lichte Der Sage (1922). (See the (English-language) book review by Alexander Krappe in Modern Language Notes, April, 1923, Volume 38, Number 4, Pages 235-241.)

(7) Fritz Röck

Fritz Röck (Viennese ethnologist; 1879-1953). Fritz Röck (an "Americanist") was a Germanophilic scholar of Mexican ethnology. In 1914 he was appointed to head the Anthropology and Ethnology Department of the Austrian-Hungarian Naturhistorisches Museum (Museum of Natural History), formally opened in 1884. From 1928 (1927?) to 1945 (the end of WWII) he was the Direktor des Museums für Völkerkunde (Direktor des Völkerkundemuseum [Museum of Ethnology] Wien) (MVK). In the 1930's by Fritz Röck and the Viennese Study Group for African Culture History originated "ethnohistory." Ethnohistory was an attempt to understand the histories of cultures by using a wide range of (historical) ethnographic data (a holistic approach) rather than the standard approach of remaining limited to written texts. He was a member of the 'Mythological School' (another term used for the Star-Myth Movement). The Star-Myth Movement laid emphasis on the predominant importance of the Moon ("Panlunarism") and also the Sun. In the 1930's by Fritz Röck and the Viennese Study Group for African Culture History originated "ethnohistory." Ethnohistory was an attempt to understand the histories of cultures by using a wide range of (historical) ethnographic data (a holistic approach) rather than the standard approach of remaining limited to written texts. his publications include: Kalender, Sternglaube und Weltbilder der Tolteken als Zeugen verschollener Kulturbeziehungen zur Alten Welt (1922); Ein mythisch-religöses Motiv der alten Mayakunst (1924); Kalendarkreise [Kalenderkreise] und Kalendarschichten im alten Mexiko und Mittelamerika (1928); Chiuhnauteca und Cempoalteca, die altmexikanischen Neuner- und Zwanzigerleute : ein Beitrag zur kulturhistorischen Zahlen- und Kalenderkunde (1930).

(8) Walter Anderson

Walter Anderson (German philologist, ethnologist and folklorist; 1885-1962). Walter Anderson (1885, Minsk, Belarus - 1962, Kiel, Germany) was an eminent Baltic German ethnologist and folklorist, and follower of the historic-geographical school of folklore studies. (At least 1 source describes him as Estonian and in an obvious 'typo' gives his date of birth as 1855. He was born in Belarus and raised in Estonia.) Anderson was the son of German parents living in Minsk. Anderson moved to Kazan (Russia), on the edge of Siberia. His father, Nikolas [Nikolai] Anderson, was (later) professor in Finno-Ugric languages at the University of Kazan. Nikolas Anderson was born in Estonia and studied philology at the University of Tartu. Walter Anderson studied 1904-1911 Kasan, St. Petersburg and Berlin¸ and earned a Dr. phil. He was Privatdozent in Kasan (literature of western Europe and reader of Italian, University of Kazan ), 1920-1939 Prof. für estnische u. vergleichende Volksdichtung in Dorpat (Tartu). He was the first to occupy the chair of folklore, the chair was officially titled Estonian and comparative folklore. Anderson started lecturing in 1920 in German but began to teach in Estonian only two years later. From 1940-1945 Prof. f. Volkskunde in Königsberg, then, after the end of WWII, Gastprofessor, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel. Walter Anderson held his professorship at the University of Kazan until 1939, when he left for Germany following the call for repatriation addressed to Baltic-Germans by the authorities of Nazi Germany. Walter Anderson was one of the driving forces behind the comparative geographic-historical method of folklore. He died in a street accident. He is best known for his thorough monograph Kaiser und Abt (1923); also Der schwank vom alten Hildebrand (1931). Both studies displayed great erudition. Walter Anderson summarised his method into 12 pages and published it in Handwörterbuch des deutschen Märchens (1934). A list of some members of the 'mythological school' - including the name of Walter Anderson - is given in: Study of European Ethnology in Austria by James Dow and Olaf Bockhorn (2004, Page 49). However, it may not be strictly correct, at least for Walter Anderson. Anderson belonged to the historic-geographical school (Finnish school) of folklore. The historic-geographic method approached folklore from the point of view of its history and geographic distribution, i.e. the spatial and temporal origins of folklore. It followed the historical perspective of the 19th-century and focused on the past. It believed folklore was associated with the traditional, with an oral culture regarded as static and vanishing. Thus it contrasted with civilisation and literacy, with modern urban culture. The creation of folklore was explained by monogenesis and its distribution by diffusion. This meant that each fairy tale or folk song was claimed to have been created at a certain time and in a certain place as a unique artistic whole that in the course of time had spread out by means of borrowings/adoptions. The historic-geographic method was developed by Nordic researchers in the 1870-80s, with the leading role taken by Finnish scholars, father and son Julius and Kaarle Krohn in particular. The method is also known as the Finnish school/method or, alternatively, the geographical-historical method or, in more general terms, the comparative method. The Finnish school, under the leadership of Antti Aarne (1867-1925), Karle Krohn (1863-1935). and Walter Anderson, had the primary aim of reconstructing archetypes, or primitive, fundamental types of folktales. At best he had some ideas in common with the 'mythological school.' Walter Anderson was a devolutionary folklorist. He believed that folktales usually moved from "culturally higher" to "culturally lower" peoples. In common with all devolutionary folklorists, he assumed that the original form of the tale must have been the fullest and most complete version. Later, shorter versions, were assumed to be fragments of the original. The devolutionist folklorist normally postulates a movement from complex to simple whereas an evolutionist folklorist might well argue that the development from simple to complex is equally likely. For further discussion of (German) folklorists of the early 20th-century see: Folklore and Fascism: the Reich Institute for German Volkskunde by Hannjost Lixfeld and James Dow (1994). On the life and scholarly activities of Walter Anderson, see: Seljamaa, Elo-Hanna (2005). "Walter Anderson: A Scientist beyond Historic and Geographic Borders." In: Kristin Kuutma and Tiiu Jaago (Editors). Studies in Estonian Folkloristics and Ethnology. A Reader and Reflexive History. Tartu: Tartu University Press, Pages 153–168. Also see: Vīksna, Māra (1996) "Walter Anderson and Latvia." In: Ü. Valk (Editor). Studies in Folklore and Popular Religion. Tartu: Department of Estonian and Comparative Folklore, University of Tartu. Note: Based on James Dow and Olaf Bockhorn (2004), I had originally (incorrectly) placed Walter Anderson as a proponent within the 'mythological school.' I am indebted to Dr Eike Anderson, Bournemouth University (personal communication, 30/11/2012), for his correction that Walter Anderson was definitely not a member of the 'mythological school.' Also, for Dr Eike Anderson pointing out that this is quite obvious if you read Walter Anderson's review of Peter Jensen's work "Über P. Jensens Methode der vergleichenden Sagenforschung," published in the Acta et commentationes Universitatis Tartuensis (Dorpatensis). B, Humaniora. XXI, Dorpat, 1930-1931 (digitized version downloadable from Dr Eike Anderson points out that Walter Anderson concludes that Jensen's work and beliefs are complete nonsense and categorically states that the work is not worth the paper it is printed on.

(9) Robert Bleichsteiner

Robert Bleichsteiner (Viennese ethnologist; 1891-1954). Attended High School and then University of Vienna, studying Languages and Ethnology. Prof. Robert Bleichsteiner (Phil.D.) was a noted ethnographer and anthropologist, whose fields of research and expertise were the Orient and the Caucasus. He was an expert on Central Asian cultures and languages. He was Prof. at the University of Vienna and also was the Director of the Museum für Völkerkunde in Vienna. Robert Bleichsteiner earned his Ph.D. in 1920 with a thesis on the Šāh-nāma of Ferdowsi, under the supervision of Leopold von Schroeder. See: Who's who in Austria edited by Stephen Taylor (1955, Page 44).

(10) Heinrich Wossidlo

Heinrich Wossidlo. (German (philologist?)). It has been very difficult to locate any information about this person excepting a reference to him as a member of the 'mythological school' and a reference to him as a contributing author to the journal Mitra. The key to finally identifying and finding biographical information about H. Wossidlo was a Russian-language booklet/pamphlet dated 1930 mentioning H. Wossidlo (Waren). (Waren now usually appears as Waren (Müritz) or Waren/Müritz. Waren (Müritz) is a town and climatic spa in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. It was the capital of the former district of Müritz (Kreis Müritz) until the district reform of 2011. It is situated at the northern end of Lake Müritz, approximately 40 kilometres west of Neubrandenburg.) Among the early outlets for the 'Mythologists' was the German-language journal Mitra: Monatschrift für vergleichende Mythenforschung, published from 1914 to 1920, edited by Wolfgang Schultz (sometimes (apparently mistakenly?) spelled Schulz). Life dates for Heinrich Wossidlo were perhaps circa 1860-1930.

(11) Karl von Spiess.

Karl von Spiess (German folklorist and ethnologist, 1880-1957). Connected with the University of Vienna. Promoted moon mythology. See: Das deutsche Volksmärchen (1917), English-language translation The German Folk Tale (1925). Spiess was considered a rather radical folklorist. He strongly opposed the notion that folktales were universal in spirit, and that in their motifs and structure there were at least some cross cultural patterns shared by many cultures. Spiess wanted an emphasis on the elements that made the German folktale unique. See: Linguistics and the Third Reich by Christopher Hutton (2002). Karl von Spiess, along with Georg Hüsing and Edmund Mudrak, belonged to 1 of the 2 Vienna schools of mythologists (the other has been termed the 'ritualist school'). At the beginning of the 1930s Spiess was in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Volkskunde an der Universität Wien (= Working Community for Folklore of the University of Vienna). He was considered to be an eminent folklorist. Spiess has been described as an important intermediary between mythology and Volkskunde. Also, it has been stated that his 'world disintegrated' at the end of WW2. During the period of the Nazi regime Karl von Spiess was a folklorist in the Rosenberg Bureau (as was his colleague, the folklorist Edmund Mudrak). See: The Nazification of an Academic Discipline: Folklore in the Third Reich James Dow and Hannjost Lixfeld (1994). In 1938 Karl von Spiess and Edmund Mudrak (also connected with the University of Vienna) published the small book, Deutsche Volkskunde als Politische Wissenschaft (= German Folklore as Political Science). Mudrak became an important figure in Austrian folklore studies. Both Spiess and Mudrak sought to separate out reworkings, degenerate forms, and racially alien influences. Karl von spiess, Edmund Mudrak, Georg Hüsing, and Wolfgang Schultz sought to prove the existence of an unbroken continuity between contemporary German culture and the original prehistoric Germanic and Indo-Germanic cultures. (See: Aryan Idols by Stefan Arvidsson (2006).) By 1940 both spiess and Mudrak lectured regularly in the evenings on folklore topics similar to those given as part of the 'German Education' program. These lecture evenings in Vienna were organised by the Culture Office (Kulturamt) of the NSDAP Kraft durch Freude. Note: It appears there was also another Karl Spiess (1873-1921) who was a pastor and folklorist.

Appendix 12: Viktor Rydberg

Abraham Victor Rydberg (1828-1895) a Swedish writer (author, journalist, poet and novelist) has both enthusiastic supporters (who consider him an early authority on Teutonic/Germanic myth) and informed detractors consider him speculative and subjective. He has been described as "Primarily a classical idealist" and "Sweden's last Romantic." He first attracted attention with his novel The Doctrine of Christ According to the Bible (1859). He was highly regarded as a novelist was regarded as one of Sweden's leading literary figures. The focus for his detractors is his Teutonic Mythology (2 volumes, 1886-1889). (See: Undersökningar i germanisk mythologi, första delen (1886), (Investigations into Germanic Mythology, Volume I), translated 1889; Undersökningar i germanisk mythologi, andre delen (1889), (Investigations into Germanic Mythology, Volume 2, Parts 1 & 2). It is stated that Rydberg started Teutonic Mythology as an attempt to save the Old Norse Eddaic myths from allegations of Christian and Classical influence. He then began to form the idea that they were not only very ancient but also fragments of a vast and coherent mythical epic. He then laboured for almost a decade trying to reconstruct and prove this epic. The results set out in the volumes comprising Teutonic Mythology were largely dismissed by other scholars as his poetical imaginations. "The main thesis in Undersokningar is that the originally individual myths were arranged in an epical chain, starting with chaos and creation, and ending with Ragnarok and the new creation, during the Neolithic period (the oldest Indo-European age, according to Rydberg. Rydberg sees the epical chain as the essence of the Teutonic and Indo-Iranian mythologies. He probably got this idea from the Old Norse poem Völuspá, which contains a kind of eschatological epos. The focus on apocalypse and eschatology in the ancient Iranian religion probably also inspired him. (Viktor Rydberg och den jämförande indoeuropeiska religionshistorien = Viktor Rydberg and the comparative study of the history of Indo-European religion by Anna Lindén (2004, Doktorand, Lund University))" From 1838 to 1847 Rydberg went to school in Jönköping where he attended the Vaxjö Superior School (= Grammar School), and afterwards he studied law at the University of Lund for 1 year (1851-1852). Lack of funds compelled him to quite the University of Lund without completing a degree. He then became a private tutor. At the age of 27 he was befriended by the editor of "Goteborgs Handels - och Sjöfartstidning" and appointed as a contributor to the newspaper. Over a period of 20 years he wrote articles on a variety of subjects for the newspaper, as well as short stories and serialised novels. From 1870 to 1872, Rydberg was a member of the Swedish Parliament as a supporter of the Peasant's Party. For his lifetime of literary achievement, Rydberg received an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala. In 1888 ("The New York Times" obituary has 1877) he was elected a member of the Swedish Academy. In 1889, he was also elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Starting 1883 he was a teacher, then from 1884 ("The New York Times" obituary has 1877) he was appointed professor, of the History of Culture at the Superior School of Stockholm (högskola), now Stockholm University, and from 1889 as the first holder of the J. A. Berg Chair of the History and Theory of Art, also at Stockholm University. Between 1886 and 1889, his literary work was focused on Norse and broader Germanic mythology. Rydberg identified the mill in the sea (the Ocean-Mill) with the "world-mill ("heavenly-mill/"cosmic-mill")" of Scandinavian mythology, which supposedly produced the regular motion of the starry sky and also of the sea (the Maelstrom). (See his: Investigations into Germanic Mythology (1886).) The "world-mill" involves the analogy of the rotating sky and a rotating mill. Rydberg's conjecture of a world mill turning the constellations has been taken up in Hamlet's Mill and given a central focus. Henrik Schück wrote at the turn of the 20th-century that he considered Viktor Rydberg the "last - and poetically most gifted - of the mythological school founded by Jacob Grimm and represented by such men as Adalbert Kuhn" which is very synthetic in approach to understanding of myth.

Appendix 13: The Early Use of the Terms 'Diffusionist' and 'Evolutionist'

The term 'diffusionist' was first used in 1893 to denote a scholar who believed that most folklore was borrowed from an Old world centre of high culture, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, or India. The term initially contrasted with 'diffusionist' was 'evolutionist.' Its initial use in this context meant a folklorist who maintained that most traditional oral narratives originated in the geographic area in which they were current. The word 'inventionist' soon came to replace 'evolutionist' (and its common biological meaning) as the term to denote a scholar who believed in predominantly autonomous local cultural development. Diffusionism had run its course by the early part of the 20th-century.

Appendix 14: The Beginning of the Babel-Bibel Streit

"In 1898, the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft (DOG, German Oriental Society) was founded in Berlin. Its primary purpose was to finance and organize archaeological digs in Mesopotamia. The society's founders included not only scholars but also leading business people and political figures. Kaiser Wilhelm II, himself highly interested in archaeology, agreed in 1901 to become the society’s Protektor (Patron), leading to major grants from the empire's "available funds" as well as the Prussian ministry of finance. Excavations, which had begun in Babylon by 1899, were soon followed by other campaigns, notably at Ashur.

Each year the DOG organized a formal lecture at the Sing-Akademie in Berlin, regularly attended by the kaiser. The lecture was designed to provide benefactors with an assessment of excavations and the major results of research in a form accessible to the general public, all in glamorous surroundings. The board of the DOG invited Friedrich Delitzsch, head of the royal museums’ new Near East Department, to give the annual lecture on January 13, 1902. He chose the title, "Babel and Bible." Delitzsch was certainly the most esteemed and renowned Assyriologist of his day, even beyond specialized circles. He was convinced that one of the major goals of Mesopotamian archaeology and Assyriological studies was a better understanding of the Bible; he was sure that contemporary research represented "a new era […] in our understanding of the Old Testament." Delitzsch asserted that primal Semitic monotheism had waned over time, to the benefit of a polytheism long anchored in Babylonia. He added that the Babylonian elements of the Bible, such as the tale of the Flood, were part of a secondary, poorly understood tradition originating out of Babylon, which meant that "many Babylonian elements remained attached, via the Bible, to our religious thought."

On publication, that same year, of a printed version of Delitzsch's lecture, a public controversy broke out, fueled by countless pamphlets and newspaper articles. Satire weighed in, and the title page of a 1903 issue (no. 6) of the Lustige Blätter, a satirical review founded in 1885, pictured a courtroom scene: in the dock, seated, was Moses; the plaintiff, labeled Delitzsch, pointed to the Ten Commandments and claimed that Moses hadn't received them on Mount Sinai but had stolen them from the royal library in Babylon; the defense lawyer, dressed as a Protestant minister and perhaps alluding to the conservative politician and former court chaplain Adolf Stoeker (1835–1909), pointed to the heavens and claimed he would call a key defense witness. One year after the first lecture, Delitzsch gave a second lecture on the same subject, in the same place and once again in the presence of the kaiser, but this time before a crowd of nearly a thousand people including the Reich chancellor. The virulent public discussion that followed placed the emperor in a delicate situation. As Summus Episcopus (Supreme Bishop) of the Lutheran Church of Prussia, he had to consider his position in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The situation became even trickier when Delitzsch went beyond the Old Testament and brought the New Testament into the discussion.

On both right and left, a connection was made between Delitzsch's positions and the ones defended by Social Democrats; the kaiser therefore decided to write a private letter to retired Admiral Hollmann, the deputy director of the DOG, making clear his differences with Delitzsch, at least as far as allusions to the New Testament were concerned; he also accused Delitzsch of "raising the question of the Revelation in a highly polemical manner, and having more or less rejected it, or, more exactly, having claimed he was able to reduce it to purely human historical facts." Intended for publication, this letter was widely discussed and helped to calm things somewhat.

From Delitzsch’s own perspective, the rejection of the Old Testament acquired anti-Semitic connotations, which would totally dominate his argument in his 1920 publication, Die Grosse Täuschung (The Great Deception).

During the famous Babel-Bible dispute, Babylon increasingly became a symbol that no longer had any direct relationship to archaeological exploration and philologico-historical study of Babylonia and ancient Mesopotamia in general. Nevertheless, for several years in Germany it focused public attention on the ancient Near East and its recent re-discovery, something that had never happened and would never recur again." (Source:

Appendix 15:  Alexander Hislop

Alexander Hislop (1807-1865). Presbyterian Free Church of Scotland theologian. Author of The Two Babylons (subtitled: The Papal Worship Proved to Be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife), a religious pamphlet published in 1853, expanded in 1858, and finally published as a book in 1919. Its central PanBabylonian theme is its allegation that the Catholic Church is a veiled continuation of the pagan religion of Babylon, a product of a millennia-old conspiracy. One scholar has described it as a "tribute to historical inaccuracy and know-nothing religious bigotry" with "shoddy scholarship, blatant dishonesty" and a "nonsensical thesis." As example: Hislop claimed that "the Pope himself is truly and properly the lineal representative of Belshazzar." The book has remained popular among some fundamentalist Protestant Christians, and among Jehovah's Witnesses, with The Watchtower frequently publishing excerpts from Hislop's book until the 1980s.

Appendix 16: Some Comments on Methodological Problems

Lacking entirely from Panbabylonism and Hamlet's Mill is any attempt at chronological order in the development/diffusion of world myths that are used by the various authors to argue their respective cases. Nothing is discussed regarding the historical development of mythical conceptions, their earliest beginnings, and their gradual elaboration and distinct formulation. Hugo Winckler conceded that nothing was known regarding how Babylonian ideas/teachings spread throughout the world and became dominant. Implied though was diffusion through migration and amazingly long sea voyages even in (at least) the Neolithic period. The simple fact is that certain world-wide myths are astral. The astral element of the Panbabylonism/Hamlet's Mill theory is based upon arbitrary parallelisms carried out without regard to establishing historical conditions. According to Stucken it was the motif only that was passed. Stucken's parallels are gathered from all over the world, but these parallels – though numerous – are often only very incidental.

Jarita Holbrook, guest post Cosmos Diary blog, June 1, 2012 writes: "The idea of myths and legends possibly containing scientific truths about the sky is not new. Studies trying to tease out astronomy facts from the narrative of myths have been fraught with methodological errors center around the question of 'what myths are the best candidates for having astronomy content?' Books have been written in answer to this question that offer guidelines for identifying celestial motifs in myths across cultures. My 2008 analysis of African creation myths focused on identifying common cosmological themes that appear in more than one ethnic group. For that study, the myths selected were chosen from published sources—which can present problems that should be taken into consideration. For example, oftentimes the person recording the myth has: a) combined several versions of the myth into one version for simplicity, and b) changed the language used in the myth in order for it to read better for academic audiences. It is rare to impossible to find original transcriptions of African creation myths." (Jarita Holbrook is a researcher at UCLA (2012) and among the first African American women to earn a doctorate in astrophysics in the USA.)

Andrew Dalby in his book Rediscovering Homer (2006, Page 191) writes (regarding epic poem transmission): "Parry and his followers showed, then, that singers learn from their predecessors the poetic language, the system of formulas, the traditional stories and characters. What they do not learn from each other is the precise wording of a story or poem. Whole poems are not transmitted from one poet to another." Applied to the concept of hyper-diffusion of precessional mythology from Mesopotamia the inevitable variations in accuracy from an original version poses problems of a garbled code.

Appendix 17: References

Anon? (1912). "Some Recent Books on Panbabylonism." (Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, Volume 1, Number 3, September, Pages 563-578). [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonian astral ideas.]

Anon. (Our British Correspondent). (1926). "Fresh Examination of the Pan-Babylonian Theory." (The Homiletic Review, Volume 91, Pages 24-?). [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonism.]

Arnold, Bill. and Weisberg, David. (2002). "A Centennial Review of Friedrich Delitzsch's 'Babel und Bibel' Lectures." (Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 121/3, Pages 441-457). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Barton, George. (1908). "Recent German Theories of Foreign Influences in the Bible." (The Biblical World, Volume 31, Number 5, May, Pages 336-347). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Barton, George. (1908). "The Astro-Mythological School of Biblical Interpretation." (The Biblical World, Volume 31, Number 6, June, Pages 433-444). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Beth, Karl. (1927). "Astralmythologie." In: Hoffmann-Krayer, Eduard. (Editor). Handwoerterbuch des Deutschen Aberglaubens : Aal - Butzemann. [Note: Columns 632-645.]

Budde, Karl. (1903, 2nd edition). Das Alte Testament und die Ausgrabungen. [Note: A pamphlet. Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. Includes critical comments on the astral mythology of Eduard Stucken.]

Carlson, Ingeborg. (1978). Eduard Stucken: (1865-1936) : e. Dichter u. seine Zeit. [Note: 116 pages.]

Cosquin, Emmanuel. (1905). "Fantaisies Biblico-Mythologiques d'un Chef d'École M. Édouard Stucken et le Folk-Lore." (Revue Biblique Internationale, Nouvelle Série, Deuxième Année, Number 1, Janvier, 1905, Pages 5-38). [A lengthy critique of the first 4 parts of Stucken's Astralmythen.  The article was also published as a brochure in 1905 and parts appeared in the authors book, Études Folkloriques (1922). Emmanuel Cosquin (1841-1919) was a leading/prominent fastidious French folklorist. He supported the theory that the origin of folk-tales is historically traceable to India. His books include, Contes Populaires de Lorraine [Popular Tales of Lorraine] (1860).] 

Ebach, Jürgen. (1998). "Panbabylonismus." In: Gladigow, Burkhard. et. al. (Editors). Handbuch religionswissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe, Band IV. (Pages 302-304).

Elliott, Mark. (2002). Biblical Interpretation Using Archaeological Evidence, 1900-1930. [Note: Discusses Panbabylonism.]

Ermoni, Vincent. (1909). "Le panbabylonisme." (Revue des Idées, Tome 6, Pages 339-366). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. Life dates: 1858(also given as 1852)-1910.]

Faraone, Christopher., and Lincoln, Bruce. (2013). (Guest Editors). "Introduction in Imagined Beginnings: The Poetics and Politics of Cosmogonic Discourse in the Ancient World." (Archiv fur Religionsgeschichte, Volume 12, Issue 1, March, Pages 1-13). (Archiv fur Religionsgeschichte, conference papers.]

Finkelstein, Jacob. (1958). Bibel and Babel: A Comparative Study of the Hebrew and Babylon Religious Spirit." (Commentary, Volume 26, July-December, Pages 431-444). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. A review of the Babel-Bible question.]

Gold, Daniel. (2003). Aesthetics and Analysis in Writing on Religion: Modern Fascinations. [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonian astral ideas. Contains numerous interesting references.]

Gundel, Wilhelm. (1934). Astronomie, Astralreligion, Astralmythologie und Astrologie. Darstellung und Literaturbericht 1907-1933. (Jahresbericht über die Fortschritte der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft. Zweihundertdreiundvierzigster Band.)

Huffmon, Herbert. (1983). "Babel und Bibel: The Encounter Between Babylon and the Bible." (Michigan Quarterly Review, Volume XXII, Number 3, Summer, Pages 309-320). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Jastrow. Junior, Morris. "President's Address." In: Allen, Percy. (Editor). (1908). Transactions of the Third International Congress for the History of Religions. (Pages 231-248).

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.]

Johanning, Klaus. (1988). Der Bibel-Babel-Streit: Eine forschungsgeschichtliche Studie. [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Karge, Paul. (1913). Babylonisches im Neuen Testament. [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

König, Eduard (Friedrich Eduard). (1905). "The Latest Phase of the Controversy over Babylon and the Bible." (The American Journal of Theology, Volume 9, Number 3, July, Pages 405-420). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. The German Semitic scholar and Lutheran minister/theologian Eduard König (1846, Reichenbach im Vogtland -1936, Bonn) was a conservative Protestant scholar. König was born at Reichenbach im Vogtland, and died in Bonn. He was educated at the University of Leipzig, where he became docent in 1879 and professor in 1885. In 1888 he became professor at Rostock and in 1900 at Bonn. Whilst at Bonn he became involved in the so-called "Babel-Bible Dispute" as a critic of Panbabylonism. From 1903 at least he wrote numerous articles and publications critical of Panbabylonism.]

König, Eduard. (1922). Die Moderne Babylonisierung der Bibel. [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Kornemann, Mathias. (1998). Vom Astralmythos zum Roman : Gestalt und Verwandlung des Motivs im Werk Eduard Stuckens. [Note: The authors 1997 doctoral thesis. Translated to English the title is: From astral myth to novel: form and transformation of motifs in the work of Edward Stuckens. See especially: Teil I Gestalten des mythischen Motives: 7 Panbabylonismus und Elementargedanke.]

Korom, Frank. (1992). "Of Navels and Mountains: A Further Inquiry into the History of an Idea." ((Asian Folklore Studies, Volume 51, Pages 103-125).

Küchler, Friedrich. (1911). "Die altorientalische Weltauffassung und ihr Ende." (Theologische Rundschau, Band 14, Pages 237-?). [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonism.]

Kugler, Franz. (1909). "Auf den Trümmern des Panbabylonismus." (Anthropos, Band IV, Pages 477-499).

Kugler, Franz. (1910). Im Bannkreis Babels: Panbabylonistische Konstruktionen und Religionsgeschichtliche Tatsachen. [Note: Book length refutation of the idea that a highly developed knowledge of astronomy existed in Babylonia circa 3000 BCE.]

Larsen, Mogens. (1989). "Orientalism and the Ancient Near East." In: Harbsmeier, [M?]. and Larsen, Mogens. (Editors). The Humanities Between Art and Science: Intellectual Developments, 1880-1941. (Pages 181-202).

Larsen, Mogens. (1995). "The "Babel/Bible" Controversy and Its Aftermath." In: Sasson, Jack. (Editor). Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. (Pages 95-106). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Lehmann, Reinhard. (1994). Friedrich Delitzsch und der Babel-Bibel-Streit. [Note: Book-length study of the Babel and Bible stream which focuses on Friedrich Delitzsch.]

Lods, Adolphe. (1906). "Le Panbabylonisme de M. Jeremias." (Revue de l'histoire des religions, Volume 27, Number 54, Pages 218-230). [Note: Basically a book review essay. Has a focus on the book, Das Alte Testament im Lichte des Alten Orients (1904). Adolphe Lods (1867-1948) was a French Protestant Bible scholar and historian. He described the ideas of the Panbabylonist school (especially the Babel-Bibel stream) as "fantastic" and "romantic."]

Marchand, Suzanne (2003). Down from Olympus.

Marchand, Suzanne (Department of History, Louisiana State University). (2004). "Philhellenism and the Furor Orientalis." (Modern Intellectual History, Volume 1, Issue 3, November, Pages 331-358). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.] ["Abstract: Focusing on the study of the ancient Orient in fin-de-siècle Germany, this essay argues that "orientalism" had a wider range of cultural consequences than the term usually evokes in studies of Western imperialism and its ideologies. The essay describes the development of a generational movement in German scholarship that was characterized by its vigorous championing of the Orient over and against the dominant tendency to isolate and exalt classical civilizations, and especially ancient Greece, and by its role in destabilizing Western presumptions. It demonstrates that the furor orientalis did contribute to the decentering of the Greeks and the ancient Hebrews, bequeathing to the twentieth century both a much deeper and more diverse picture of the ancient Near East and an obsession with origins that could be mobilized by racist propagandists. The essay offers three case studies of groups which exemplified this furor—the Panbabylonists; the Religious-Historical School; and the iconoclastic mythographer Heinrich Zimmer, who represents a strong strain of Schopenhauerian Indology. It concludes by suggesting the more constructive directions taken by orientalists outside Germany in the 1920s–1940s, and poses the question: how long will the peaceful solutions they promoted last?"]

Marchand, Suzanne. (2009). German Orientalism in the Age of Empire.  [Note: Focuses both on the Babel and Bible stream and Panbabylonsism. Contains insightful analysis. Unfortunately the author does not include a study of the German Star-myth School.]

Oettli, Samuel. (1903). Der Kampf um Bibel und Babel. [Note: Focuses mainly on the Babel and Bible stream. Includes a discussion of Hugo Winckler's Panbabylonian astral ideas. The German bible scholar Samuel Oettli (1846-1911) was a Conservative Protestant scholar.]

Ouro, Roberto. (2011). "Similarities and Differences between the Old Testament and the Ancient Near East Texts." (Andrews University Seminary Studies, Volume 49, Number 1, Pages 5-32). [Note: Important discussion of comparative studies.]

P[?]. (1912). "Some Recent Books on Panbabylonism." (Studies: An Irish Quarterly Revgiew, Volume 1, Number 3, September, Pages 563-578). [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonism. An informative essay discussion containing some rare details of the controversy.]

Parpola, Simo. (2004). "Back to Delitzsch and Jeremias: The Relevance of the Pan-Babylonian School to the MELAMMU Project." In: Panaino, Antonio. and Piras, Andreas. (Editors). Schools of Oriental Studies and the Development of Modern Historiography. [Note: Parpola has re-introduced the discussion of Panbabylonism with this circa 2005 conference paper. It comprises an informed and sympathetic approach to Panbabylonism. However, Parpola, believes: "[Winckler and Jeremias] ... were well informed in astronomy, astrology .... [and] the facts collected by them are on the whole presented accurately and reliably, and have not lost their validity." One of the main demolition arguments against Panbabylonism, first proposed by Franz Kugler in 1910 and still relevant, is the Panbabylonists base(d) their ideas upon the supposed antiquity of sophisticated Babylonian astronomical knowledge and astrological schemes (5th-4th-millennium BCE). However, Kugler demonstrated that both were quite late in origin (1st-millennium BCE). Parpola, believes: "[Winckler and Jeremias] ... were well informed in astronomy, astrology .... [and] the facts collected by them are on the whole presented accurately and reliably, and have not lost their validity." The very young cuneiform philologist Ernst Weidner, when a Panbabylonist, supported such concepts as early Babylonian knowledge of precession and the crescent of Venus. It is generally agreed that Franz Kugler never suitably answered the claims made by Ernst Weidner that the Babylonians knew of the crescent phase of Venus. None of the texts used by Weidner were earlier than the 1st-millennium BCE. Weidner's ideas regarding Babylonian knowledge of the crescent phase of Venus were taken up by Joseph Offord. (See: Offord, Joseph. (1915). "The Deity of the Crescent Venus in Ancient Western Asia." (The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (New Series), Volume 47, Issue 2, April, Pages 197-203). A capable responding article is: Campbell, W. W. (1916). "Is the Crescent Form of Venus Visible to the Naked Eye?" (Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Volume 28, Number 162, February, Pages 85-86).) Parpola, believes: "[Winckler and Jeremias] ... were well informed in astronomy, astrology .... [and] the facts collected by them are on the whole presented accurately and reliably, and have not lost their validity." One omen text used was from Assurbanipal's era. However, decades later, the equally competent Johann Schaumberger did not. Also, in a very brief article, Anon (= Editor?), "The Crescent of Venus," in, The English Mechanic and World of Science (Volume 77, Number 1984, 1903, Page 161), cites a letter from Johann Strassmaier to Knowledge: An Illustrated Magazine of Science, Literature and Art, stating that he did not know of any cuneiform inscriptions that mentioned the "phases of Venus." The horns of Venus issue (which dates back to the early period of Assyriology) has been dealt with by Johann Schaumberger in his Erganzungsheft 3 (1935, See pages 290ff but especially page 302) of Franz Kugler's Sternkunde und Sterndienst in Babel (1907-1924; continued by Schaumberger 1935). According to Schaumberger the cuneiform term "karnu" (or "karni") can mean "horn" or can mean "side." Thus the "horn of Venus" is properly interpreted to mean the "side of Venus." Schaumberger mentions the term "karnu" is also applied to Mars but the interpretation cannot be the "horns of Mars." Schaumberger (Page 303, Der Bart der Venus) also explains the "Beard of Venus."

Popova, A. (2020). "Panbabylonism in Russian historical scholarship of the first third of the 20th century: From criticism to exploitation." (Uche Zapiski Kazanskogo Universiteta. Seeiya Gumantarnye, Volume 162, Number 3, Pages 27-41). [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonism. A somewhat odd but interesting Marxist explanation of Panbabylonism in Russia.]

Price, Ira. (1904). "Review: More Literature on Babylon and the Bible." (The American Journal of Theology, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1904, Pages 144-152).

Rant, Gvido. (1912). "Panbabilonizem." (ČAS, Znanstvena revija "Leonove družbe", Letnik VI, Zvezek 5, Pages 321-337). [Note: Pater Gvido Rant (1880, Prem - 1956, Ljubljana), O. Fr. M., was a Franciscan priest and scholar. Yearly Slovenian-language Catholic publication (Tisk Katoliške Tiskarne), spanning 1907-1942; published in Ljubljana, Slovenia by Natisnila Ljudska tiskarna. Article focuses on both the Babel and Bible stream and Hugo Winckler's Panbabylonian astral ideas. The content owes considerably to Franz Kugler's 1910 book, Im Bannkries Babels.]

Richardson. G. H. (1916). "The Abuse of Biblical Archaeology (Concluded)." (The Biblical World, Volume 47, Number 3, March, Pages 174-182). [Note: Focuses both on the Babel and Bible stream and Panbabylonsism.]

Rogerson, John. (1974). Myth in Old Testament Interpretation. (See: Chapter 4 "Astral Mythology and Anthropological Mythology", Pages 45-51). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. Discusses Panbabylonism.]

Sandmel, Samuel. (1962). "Parallelomania." (Journal of Biblical Literature, Volume 81, Pages 1-13).

Schmidt, Wilhelm. (1908). Panbabylonismus und ethnologischer Elementargedanke. [Note: The pamphlet (off-print) was originally published as a 19-page journal article in: Mitteilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien, Band XXXVIII, (der dritten Folge Band VIII), Pages 73-91.]

Schmidt, Wilhelm. (1931). The Origin and Growth of Religion: Facts and Theories. (See: Chapter VIII "Star Myths and Panbabylonianism", Pages 91-102). [Note: Comprehensive but not wholly reliable.]

Shavit, Yaacov. and Eran, Mordechai. (2003). The War of the Tablets: The Defence of the Bible in the 19th Century and the Babel-Bibel Controversy. [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream. An English-language edition of this Hebrew-language book was issued in 2007.]

Shavit, Yaacov. and Eran. Mordechai. (2007). The Hebrew Bible Reborn. [Note: Focuses on the Babel- and Bible stream. An expanded English-language edition of The War of the Tablets (2003). An excellent discussion.]

Smith, Jonathan. (1982). Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown. (See: "In Comparison a Magic Dwells", Pages 19-35).

Streck, Bernhard. (2003). "Babel-Bibel oder die wiederkehrende Theomachie." (Paideuma, Band 49, Pages 61-86). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Surburg, Raymond. (1983). "The Influence of the Two Delitzsches on Biblical and Near Eastern Studies." (Concordia Theological Quarterly, Volume 47, Number 3, July, Pages 225-240). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream but recognises that it lies within the framework of Panbabylonism.]

Toy, Crawford. (1910). "Panbabylonianism." (The Harvard Theological Review, Volume III, Pages 47-84). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Toy, Edward. (1913). Introduction to the History of Religions. [Note: See pages 155-157.]

de Vries, Jan. (1967). The Study of Religion: A Historical Approach. (See: Chapter Fourteen "Panbabylonism", Pages 95-98).

Wardle, William. (1925). Israel and Babylon. (See: Chapter XII "The Panbabylonian Theory", Pages 302-330). [Note: Focuses on the Babel and Bible stream.]

Weichenhan, Michael. (2016). Der Panbabylonismus: Die Faszination des himmlischen Buches im Zeialter der Zivilisation. [Note: Focuses on Panbabylonism. A short academic book (144 pages) and well referenced.]

Weichenhan, Michael. (2018). "Weltliteratur unterm Sternenhimmel. Gilgamesch um 1900." (Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, Jahrgang 12, Heft 4, Winter, Pages 67-74). [Note: Panbabylonism. Life dates: 1965- .]

Whaling, Frank. (1985). (Editor). Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Religion. (2 Volumes). (See: Volume 1, Pages 312-316, for discussion of Neo-Panbabylonism.)

Wheeler, Edward. (1907). "The "Astral" Theory of Biblical Interpretation." (Current Opinion, Volume 43, Pages 62-?).

Wolz, George. (1943). "Pan-Sumerianism and the Veil Motif." (The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Volume 5, Number 3, July, Pages 275-292). (Discusses Jeremias' introduction of Pan-Sumerianism.)

An unpublished book (but able to be download from, Precis d’historiographie de l’astrologie Babylone, Égypte, Grèce by Giuseppe Bezza (2002, 262 pages), which I only saw in April 2015, contains a lot of patient and accurate research. (The lengthy bibliography contains some errors.) Dr Giuseppe Bezza (1946-2014) was an Italian academic at the University of Bologna (and also an astrologer?).

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