The Study of Astronomy During the medieval period, scientists in the Islamic world made many contributions to the field of astronomy. While their work was based on ancient sources from Greece , Iran , and India, they updated methods for measuring and calculating the movement of heavenly bodies, and continued to develop models of the universe and the movements of the planets within it.
ASTROLOGY SYMBOLS GUIDE
Between the eighth and tenth centuries, Baghdad was a major center of study under the Abbasid caliphs al-Mansur r. At this time, scientists translated studies in Sanskrit, Pahlavi, and Greek into Arabic , and, for the first time, recorded Arab Bedouin traditions. The Indian Sanskrit and Persian Pahlavi sources taught medieval astronomers methods for calculating the position of heavenly bodies, and for creating tables recording the movement of the sun, the moon, and the five known planets.
The Bedouin traditions contained knowledge on the fixed stars, the passage of the sun and moon through the zodiacal signs and lunar mansions, and the seasons and associated phenomenon. This body of knowledge was refined in part because of the specific requirements of Islam; the religion required the ability to correctly determine the time and direction of Mecca for prayer, the moment of sunrise and sunset for fasting during Ramadan, and for fixing the appearance of the moon that marked the start of a new month. This led to the refinement of scientific instruments, an improvement in methods for making observations, and the creation of new calendrical systems.
The most influential Greek texts were more concerned with creating a model of the universe and the movement of the heavenly bodies within it, but the literature proposed two very different approaches to this problem. On the other hand, the work of Ptolemy 85— A. Between the ninth and eleventh centuries, Islamic astronomers focused on criticizing and improving the geometrical models of Ptolemy.
It was written in Arabic, the language in which most scientists of the Islamic world worked, and was based on a series of new observations made by al-Sufi at Isfahan , the city in central Iran. The Study of Astrology Astrology seeks to predict the influence of the heavenly bodies on events on earth, relying on understanding the movement of the planets and the ability to calculate their positions in the future.
The Scales and the Scorpion
The number of medieval theologians, jurists, and philosophers who wrote anti-astrology tracts, however, indicates that it was controversial and not universally accepted as a scientific or ethical practice. Many believed it was against the tenets of Islam to suggest that forces other than God could determine human events. This did not stop the practice of astrology—in fact, astrologers offered their services in bazaars, where anyone could pay for horoscope readings and predictions; and they were employed at royal courts, to help rulers decide such matters as when to announce an heir or launch a military campaign, or to predict the future state of their kingdoms.
Horoscopes were also devised at the foundation of capital cities, such as Baghdad, capital of the Abbasids , and al-Mahdiyya, capital of the Fatimids , to foretell their futures. The three tools of the astrologer were the astrolabe, used to determine the time by measuring the altitude of the sun or any visible stellar object Most astrologers learned their practice by studying with a master, acquiring a basic knowledge of astronomy and mathematics and the ability to use astronomical instruments.
These interpretations were based on the large body of literature associated with astrology, from manuals for interpreting signs to treatises that ascribed certain personality traits to those born under each zodiac sign. The Zodiac in Art Because of the popularity of astrology in the medieval period, it became common to decorate objects with personifications of the planets and the Zodiac constellations. This reflected the belief that objects with astrological decoration had talismanic powers —that is, they were capable of influencing the occult power of the planets and stars, and thus protected the owner from sickness, bad luck, or defeat.
The symbols the Arab and Iranian astronomers used to represent each Zodiac constellation were derived from the images ancient Greek astronomers had used to describe them. These were a ram known as the sign Aries, Objects such as these were especially popular from the late twelfth to the fourteenth century in Egypt, Syria , and Iran. Several are inscribed with the names and titles of rulers , and it is believed that on objects so closely associated with a particular ruler, representations of the sun, planets, and stars also symbolized the power of that patron In representing the Zodiac constellations, artists of this period mostly copied Greek models.
The personifications of the planets, on the other hand, had few iconographic precedents, and so imagery for each evolved from the characteristics each was attributed in the Islamic astrological writings, including a color, an occupation, and a day of the week. Or you could get an idea about some consulting work you would like to do, and you should put a proposal out as soon as possible.
You are headed into a period of greater independence and financial reward with your work. Right now you could be examining your budget.
Recently you've probably had some extra expenses. You could be concerned with cash flow. Try not to worry too much. Today you could see how to put more money in your bank account.
Maybe you need to take on an extra job. Or perhaps you will want to talk to your bank about a loan. If you make a plan to spend more carefully, you'll soon see improvement. Today you should be asking yourself a lot of really important questions.
The universe is pushing you along on your journey of self-discovery. If you're resisting, you're not going to be in a very good mood. You might want to try facilitating this period with some yoga or meditation.
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Or you may decide to start keeping a dream diary. Try to really listen to yourself on an intuitive level. You'll probably find out that you have the answers already It's amazing what you have allowed yourself to put up with for quite some time now, dear! For example, if there is one thing that you can't stand at the moment, it's people who think they know everything about everything! Today, you may dare to go head-to-head with one of them. The challenges of the last few months have given you tremendous self-confidence Life: Avoid being too irritable at the start of this week!
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