Each week students will post a comment of 250-350 words on a question related to the weekly readings or other materials. It requires specific references and citations to the readings or other assigned materials (e.g. films).

Please read:

– Otto Neugebauer, “ The Survival of Babylonian Methods in the Exact Sciences of Antiquity and Middle Ages,” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 107, No. 6, Dec. 20, 1963, pp. 528-535;

– Otto Neugebauer, “The History of Ancient Astronomy Problems and Methods,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan., 1945, pp. 1-38.
– Enuma Elish at http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/blc/blc07.htm

And discuss:

  1. A) Using the Neugebauer readings, and examples from theEnuma Elish, and discuss briefly how Babylonian astronomy developed over its three periods.
  2. B) Discuss why the Ancient Babylonians spent so much effort in tracking the movement of the stars and planets.  In other words, what place did astronomy have in Babylonian society?  Did is serve their religious, political, social needs?  What does this tell us about the nature of ‘science’ in their society?
  3. C) Also, can we trust Negebauer completely? Or is his portrayal of the Ancients limited in how he assesses their science–think about what Rochberg said.

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