Item – Thèses Canada

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Lehoux, Daryn Rosario,1968-
Parapegmata, or, astrology, weather, and calendars in the Ancient World, being an examination of the interplay between the heavens and the earth in the Classical and Near-Eastern cultures of antiquity, with particular reference to the regulation of agricultural practice, and to the signs and causes of storms, tempests, &c.
Ph. D. -- University of Toronto, 2000
Ottawa :National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada,[2001]
3 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
I examine a set of texts and instruments, called 'parapegmata ', which were used in the classical world for tracking cyclical phenomena such as stellar phases, weather, hebdomadal cycles, lunar cycles, and more. I argue that these texts are primarily astrological rather than astronomical or calendrical. I trace the possible connection between parapegmata and calendrical cycles in Greece, Rome, and Babylon, but I maintain a sharp distinction between calendars and parapegmata: the parapegmata were not used for chronological purposes, but rather for the regulation of various activities, most prominently agriculture. Different types of parapegmata were used by the Greeks and Romans for tracking stellar and lunar phenomena, and these distinct phenomena were used by them as signs for the timing of various activities, partly in an attempt to align their actions with sympathetic forces in the Cosmos. In order to understand how the parapegmata were used, I devote a chapter to unraveling the modes of predictive signification in the parapegmata, showing how these texts and instruments eliminated the need for astronomical observation. I show that some similar astronomical phenomena were tracked by the Babylonians and Egyptians for similar purposes, although the parallels we find in these cultures show a much closer connection to other, more diverse types of omina than the classical texts do. The work includes a descriptive catalogue of all the parapegmata known to me.