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Myths and Marvels of Astronomy

Myths and Marvels of Astronomy

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by Richard A. Proctor
     
 

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CONTENTS.


PAGE

I. ASTROLOGY 1

II. THE RELIGION OF THE GREAT PYRAMID 53

III. THE MYSTERY OF THE PYRAMIDS 78

IV. SWEDENBORG'S VISIONS OF OTHER WORLDS 106

V. OTHER WORLDS AND

Overview

CONTENTS.


PAGE

I. ASTROLOGY 1

II. THE RELIGION OF THE GREAT PYRAMID 53

III. THE MYSTERY OF THE PYRAMIDS 78

IV. SWEDENBORG'S VISIONS OF OTHER WORLDS 106

V. OTHER WORLDS AND OTHER UNIVERSES 135

VI. SUNS IN FLAMES 160

VII. THE RINGS OF SATURN 191

VIII. COMETS AS PORTENTS 212

IX. THE LUNAR HOAX 242

X. ON SOME ASTRONOMICAL PARADOXES 268

XI. ON SOME ASTRONOMICAL MYTHS 299

XII. THE ORIGIN OF THE CONSTELLATION-FIGURES 332




MYTHS AND MARVELS

OF

ASTRONOMY




I.

_ASTROLOGY._

Signs and planets, in aspects sextile, quartile, trine, conjoined,
or opposite; houses of heaven, with their cusps, hours, and
minutes; Almuten, Almochoden, Anahibazon, Catahibazon; a thousand
terms of equal sound and significance.--_Guy Mannering._

... Come and see! trust thine own eyes.
A fearful sign stands in the house of life,
An enemy: a fiend lurks close behind
The radiance of thy planet--oh! be warned!--COLERIDGE.


Astrology possesses a real interest even in these days. It is true that
no importance attaches now even to the discussion of the considerations
which led to the rejection of judicial astrology. None but the most
ignorant, and therefore superstitious, believe at present in divination
of any sort or kind whatsoever. Divination by the stars holds no higher
position than palmistry, fortune-telling by cards, or the indications of
the future which foolish persons find in dreams, tea-dregs,
salt-spilling, and other absurdities. But there are two reasons which
render the history of astrology interesting. In the first place, faith
in stellar influences was once so widespread that astrological
terminology came to form a part of ordinary language, insomuch that it
is impossible rightly to understand many passages of ancient and
mediæval literature, or rightly to apprehend the force of many allusions
and expressions, unless the significance of astrological teachings to
the men of those times be recognised. In the second place, it is
interesting to examine how the erroneous teachings of astrology were
gradually abandoned, to note the way in which various orders of mind
rejected these false doctrines or struggled to retain them, and to
perceive how, with a large proportion of even the most civilised races,
the superstitions of judicial astrology were long retained, or are
retained even to this very day. The world has still to see some
superstitions destroyed which are as widely received as astrology ever
was, and which will probably retain their influence over many minds long
after the reasoning portion of the community have rejected them.

Even so far back as the time of Eudoxus the pretensions of astrologers
were rejected, as Cicero informs us ('De Div.' ii. 42). And though the
Romans were strangely superstitious in such matters, Cicero reasons with
excellent judgment against the belief in astrology. Gassendi quotes the
argument drawn by Cicero against astrology, from the predictions of the
Chaldæans that Cæsar, Crassus, and Pompey would die 'in a full old age,
in their own houses, in peace and honour,' whose deaths, nevertheless,
were 'violent, immature, and tragical.' Cicero also used an argument
whose full force has only been recognised in modern times. 'What
contagion,' he asked, 'can reach us from the planets, whose distance is
almost infinite?' It is singular that Seneca, who was well acquainted
with the uniform character of the planetary motions, seems to have
entertained no doubt respecting their influence. Tacitus expresses some
doubts, but was on the whole inclined to believe in astrology.
'Certainly,' he says, 'the majority of mankind cannot be weaned from the
opinion that at the birth of each man his future destiny is fixed;
though some things may fall out differently from the predictions, by the
ignorance of those who profess the art; and thus the art is unjustly
blamed, confirmed as it is by noted examples in all ages.'[1]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015735444
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
12/11/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
302 KB

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Myths and marvels of astronomy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woth the effort abd time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyone out there. This is the book if you love astronmy and loves the solor sytem was worth money amd time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent !!!!