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Marjorie
2004-Jul-12, 04:27 PM
I have been reading the book by Whitley Strieber that the superstorm movie was based on, and I am interested in something that he says about ancient calendars. He refers to the astrological calendar that divides the world up into various ages: The age of Leo, Pisces, etc. I am wondering if ancient man was aware of the fact that the position of the stars changes gradually over long periods of time. I have always assumed that this idea of astrological ages was an invention of modern astrologers.

ToSeek
2004-Jul-12, 04:53 PM
Somewhat to my surprise, Hipparchus discovered precession. (http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Sprecess.htm) (I would have thought it would have taken better observations than those available at the time.)

Spacewriter
2004-Jul-12, 06:37 PM
Not to be totally facetious, but do we know what ancient WOMAN knew?

;)

But yes, you're correct about Hipparchus.

Normandy6644
2004-Jul-12, 06:41 PM
Fire BAD!

:lol:

Lurker
2004-Jul-12, 06:46 PM
Not to be totally facetious, but do we know what ancient WOMAN knew?

;)

But yes, you're correct about Hipparchus.
Oh...... I am soooo not goin' there!!! 8)

SciFi Chick
2004-Jul-12, 06:48 PM
Fire BAD!

:lol:

Tree pretty. :P

Spacewriter
2004-Jul-12, 07:29 PM
Fire burns paper.

Scissors cut paper.

Stone absorbs heat from fire.

Swift
2004-Jul-12, 07:58 PM
I don't even quite know what the astrological calendar is.
However, many ancient civilizations had excellent knowledge of astronomy (Egyptians, Mayans) to the point of excellent calendars and the abilities to predict things like the Venus's phases and lunar eclipses. It is amazing what good written records and many years of visual observation can give you. It is also wrong to assume that because they didn't have our technology, that they were not as smart as we are.

Lurker
2004-Jul-12, 08:35 PM
It is also wrong to assume that because they didn't have our technology, that they were not as smart as we are


If I have seen a little farther than others, it's because I stood on the shoulders of giants."
This indicates to me that accumulation of wisdom and knowledge is as important as being intelligent.

Marjorie
2004-Jul-13, 04:13 PM
Swift, I agree that the reference to a "calendar" was a bit confusing. I think Strieber was just thinking of the way in which some people have defined historical periods by astrological signs, as I mentioned in my original post. I had not thought of this as a calendar until I saw it described as such in the book. If the ancient people were aware that there is a long cycle as well as the annual one, this could be where the custom originated.

If you are old enough to remember the hippie movement of thee 1960;s you'll recall that the hippies always referred to the upcoming age as The Age of Aquarius.

Lurker
2004-Jul-13, 04:29 PM
OK... if no one else is going to say it...
This remindes me too much of:

How much did ancient man really know and when did he know it??

Congressional Hearings are definitely in order!!
:P

tlbs101
2004-Jul-13, 08:37 PM
We will never know the true extent of ancient knowledge; one large reason being the burning of the library of Alexandria around 2000 years ago.

http://www.bede.org.uk/library.htm

Spacewriter
2004-Jul-13, 08:45 PM
We will never know the true extent of ancient knowledge; one large reason being the burning of the library of Alexandria around 2000 years ago.

http://www.bede.org.uk/library.htm

Also, don't forget that much ancient knowledge (and even current knowledge) is largely oral -- common sense stuff passed along that wasn't necessarily written down. The earliest societies were not immediately into making up executive summaries of everything they knew.

CERDIP
2004-Jul-16, 02:33 PM
We will never know the true extent of ancient knowledge; one large reason being the burning of the library of Alexandria around 2000 years ago.

http://www.bede.org.uk/library.htm

Evidently a cover-up of epoch proportions.