Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine,  7 (1858–59), 1–4.

The Religions of the World: 'Babylon'



Regular Feature, Essay


Religion, Astronomy, Astrology, Cosmology, Observatories, Extra-Terrestrial Life, Anthropocentrism

    Description of Babylonian sun-worship and cosmology. Notes Thomas Tenison's claim that the tower of Babel 'was a temple within and an observatory without [...] while the resting place in the centre was chosen for the profound and unwearied philosophical investigations'. Describes how, in Babylon, 'the observation of the stars which led to astrology' was solely practised by the Chaldeans, who were 'celebrated' as 'priests and astronomers'. Notes the dispute over whether the Chaldeans or the Egyptians are the oldest 'race of astronomers' and emphasises the importance of astronomical observation to 'our antediluvian ancestors', although they became 'deluded by the beauty and lustre of the heavenly host'. Describes the Chaldean belief that celestial bodies are 'animated by intelligent beings of various rank and power in the universe'. (3) Ends with a discussion of the Babylonian zodiac and their belief in the influence of planets over 'the fortunes of men' (4).

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