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Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature$
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Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth L. Sanders

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479823048

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479823048.001.0001

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Networks of Scholars

Networks of Scholars

The Transmission of Astronomical and Astrological Learning between Babylonians, Greeks and Jews

(p.153) 7. Networks of Scholars
Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

Mladen Popović

NYU Press

This chapter examines the transmission of astronomical and astrological learning between Babylonians, Greeks, and Jews. More specifically, it considers influences and cultural encounters between Babylonia and Jewish Palestine. It first compares the Babylonian and Jewish texts for similarities and differences in order to identify which Babylonian elements were familiar to Jewish scholars and how they appropriated, used and reworked these. It then explores some of the social and cultural aspects that may have determined the context of transmission of Babylonian elements of astral sciences in Jewish texts and goes on to discuss Jewish texts that attest to knowledge of some elements from Babylonian astronomy, including the Astronomical Book of Enoch. It also highlights evidence suggesting that Babylonian sciences such as astronomy and astrology were transmitted beyond the Mesopotamian cultural realm to the west.

Keywords:   learning, Babylonians, Greeks, Jews, Babylonia, Jewish Palestine, transmission, Jewish texts, astronomy, astrology

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