The presence of astrology in Egyptian sented on kudurrus, but their zodiacal meaning temples is conveyed by Clement of Alexandria, or any astral connotations cannot be confirmed who claimed that astrologers participated in the Iwaniszewski Astrological ideas were wall painting of Domus Uboni and Casa di Sirico also present in the cult of Sarapis; a great number in Pompeii on frescoes from both houses, signs of gems engraved with the images of Sarapis and are depicted on the shield of Achilles in the scenes astral symbols might point to the practice of astral of Thetis in the forge of Vulcan, Hardie The temple, which was consecrated in 32 AD, and explanations for a correlation between every- was almost completely destroyed by members of day events and the stars, but it could also possess the Islamic State in , and along with it, the a mystical-religious character of revelation which monumental zodiac which surrounded the flat was transmitted through Hermetic literature and dome filled with relief fields showing the busts of other pseudo-epigraphic texts.
A similar icono- the Nakovana cave.
Although representations of Museo Arqueologico Nacional in Madrid idem individual signs can be found in Assyro-Babylo- It was ex- their monuments and objects, nor that it was even cavated at the forum of the ancient town of Gabii, conceived as an individual motif. Charlotte Long assumes it was uncovered on Campus Martius by Edmund Buch- made in the Hadrianic period; she doubts that it ner in They were a part of a Horologium-So- had a cultic purpose or, as was also presumed, that larium which Augustus had set up in 9 BC for the it was used as a sundial, since horizontal sundials history of the excavation and different theories re- were rare in Antiquity loc.
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- Les signes du zodiaque et les signes astrologiques significations et caractéristiques?
The zodiac signs can be seen on time-measuring Images of the signs can be observed on the and time-keeping devices, but more often in their cippus Colotianus, a 1st century marble column written form. The names of the signs are inscribed representing a kind of rustic calendar, recording on the bronze plates of the so-called Antikythera for every month of the year the number of days Mechanism. This object, which was found by a in the month, the position of the Sun, the tutelary Greek sponge-diver in a shipwreck off the coast of deity, festivals and agricultural activities.
All this this small island, has proven to be a very sophisti- information is organised in columns, and on top of cated instrument which could determine the move- each column is placed a figure of the zodiac sign ments of certain planets, as well lunar and solar ruling over that month it is held in the National eclipses. Long , scholars and to the 2nd century BC by others see ; of similar design and content was the now Hannah The names of some of the lost menologium rusticum Vallense.
Column of Antoninus Pius, apotheosis relief, Rome after Davies , fig.
Zodiac figures could also be seen on para- ; Duke As on other uranographic im- pegma, a type of calendar in which data was re- ages, the figures of the zodiac are shown together corded by means of pegs inserted into holes chis- with the other constellations. In the 2nd century elled next to the days of the week, months, phases AD another type of globe appeared, whose only of the Moon, etc.
A 4th century parapegma was figural ornamentation were the images of the excavated in in a house near the Baths of signs. They were usually a part of a larger work Trajan, later converted into an oratory dedicated of art, yet there are some that are preserved on to Santa Felicita. Once belonging to ing over seven days were represented above. Among the most dynasty Torelli Column of Antoninus Pius, apotheosis relief, Fig. Marble portrait of Commodus in the guise of Rome, detail after Davies , fig. It is placed at the base of the Keler In fact, images of the zodiac are bust of Commodus represented as Hercules, now often present on scenes of Apotheosis.
A zodiac in the Palazzo dei Conservatori fig.
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This globe globe can also be seen on another famous Apoth- is also decorated with band showing three zodiac eosis relief, the one on the base of the column of signs, but they are not displayed in their chron- Antoninus Pius fig. The globe is held ological sequence. It has been assumed that the by a winged nude male, who carries the emperor signs, representing Taurus, Capricorn, and Scor- and his wife Faustina heavenward.
Five stars, a pio, had a particular importance for the emperor crescent moon and a zodiacal band are carved on see Hannah , fts. Robert Han- the globe. The signs that are visible are those of nah proposed a calendric interpretation of these Pisces, Aries, and Taurus. Their choice was not signs, relating them to the constellations visible arbitrary.
As Penelope Davies had pointed out, it on the horizon during the month of October, the was under the sign of Pisces that Antoninus Pius constellations of the Bull and Scorpion, and that died, and his heirs, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius of the Capricorn which was culminating at the Verus, who commissioned this column, acceded time, equidistant between them, just as they are to the throne. Also, these signs designate spring, represented on the globe ibid.
It was in this month, in , that he was about Davies On the fragments of plaster in the calotte of the western apse, a representa- tion of Marcus Aurelius could be reconstructed. The fresco depicted the scene of his Apotheosis, on which the emperor was shown with a sceptre and a wreath, being carried to heaven on the back of an eagle.
The scene was framed by a circle in which the signs of the zodiac were alternat- ing with the figures of human heads, in medal- lions Eric Moormann believes these medallions represent imitations of gems and cameos, while Francesca Ghedini sees them as personifications of the twelve months. Moormann , ft. Images of Hercules himself can be found within the circle of the zodiac, as on the funerary monument of the Secundini family in Igel, near Trier. On the mon- ument, which was made c. Another instance of Apotheosis with the zodiac is found on the late antique ivory relief from the British Museum fig.
Commo- of the zodiac. This relief was probably a part of a dus even renamed this month Hercules. He rep- diptych, whose other half contained the rest of the resented himself in the likeness of this mythical zodiac signs. Behind the signs, a nimbed figure hero and with his attributes on other monuments can be seen, who is sometimes identified as Sol as well, he even used the titles Romanus Hercules Cameron Another divinity which was often shown with the zodiac was Aion. Its name was tied to a phil- osophical concept relating to the idea of eternity, and its image was also considered a personifica- tion of the same idea for different meanings and connotations of the term aion in ancient literature and philosophy, see Keizer ; for different mythological associations, see Levi As the oldest securely dated image of Aion Fig.
The central part of the mosaic is on dis- winged figure the author, as do many others, iden- play in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn. A comparable a triclinium of a Roman villa in Sparta Hachlili They also surround the image of this goddess on a votive relief from Argos, whose ar- chitectural setting is unknown, and whose dating is also a matter of dispute Stephen Patterson in- sists on a 2nd century date, while William Brashear suggests a later date, as well as Gnostic origins. Patterson ; Brashear Zodiac signs adorned representations of oth- er deities as well.
Many statues of the Artemis of Ephesus carry the signs, particularly on the chest area. Since all of the surviving statues belong to the Roman period, it is not certain whether the zodiac motif was a Roman innovation, or if it was present in Hellenistic representations of the goddess LiDonnici , ft.
Mouchez, Ernest Amédée Barthélémy
Other Greco-Roman gods can also appear with the zodiac. Such was the case with Jupiter, as in the aforementioned temple of Bel in Palmyra, but also on some of the later examples, such as the much restored 2nd century relief of Jupiter from Villa Albani fig. Jupiter together with Juno Fig.
A similar motif can be seen in different me- dia, as can be observed on the silver Parabiago plate fig. The function of this plate remains unknown, although it was most probably funer- ary, considering it was found in a grave, covering the mouth of an amphora containing the ashes of the deceased Alvar Various dates have been proposed for this plate, ranging from the 2nd to the 4th century, see ibid. The plate is decorated with imagery associated with the cult of Cybele and Attis, and among many other figures, Atlas is shown carrying the zodiac ring, inside which stands a half draped young man Fig.
Images of Aion are pres- ent in the art of other cults as well. The zodiac also accompanies Aion on the Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki. On the relief on the eastern side of the southern pier, depicting the Sacrifice of Galerius and Diocletian, behind the draped semi-naked figure identified as Aion Pond Rothman , an elliptical band with the signs can be discerned Rees Apart from the works of public imperial art, Aion with the zodiac band can be encountered in private settings, represented on a great number of mosaics found in villas throughout the Empire.
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Among the more renowned examples are those from Sentinum- modern Sassoferato in Italy, and the mosaic from the Villa Silin in Leptis Magna in modern Libya. Both mosaics are dated to the 2nd century, as is the mosaic from a triclinium of Fig.
Marble relief with Tauroctony, London Museum after Elsner , fig. Zodiac signs can also be seen overar- of the zodiac, their contexts and purposes were ching or framing Tauroctony scenes fig. The multivalent meaning but ordinary citizens could also be placed with- of the images of the signs was the result of their in the circle of the zodiac. On three sarcophagi application in different fields. As the concept of from the first half of the 4th century, portraits of the zodiac was used in astronomy, astrology, and the deceased are framed by a band with the twelve chronometry, the visual renditions of its signs ap- signs.
However, as has been noticed, on tional Museum in Sassari displays a portrait of a some of the devices, particularly those for deter- young woman inside the zodiac Parodo Since, sis. In these cases, the signs of the zodiac designate according to astrological notions, planets, by exert- the destination of the souls of the departed Parodo ing their influence, determined the course of events In various cosmological theories, the on Earth, they were considered cosmocratores- zone of the fixed stars, to which the constellations rulers of the universe, a term first encountered in of the zodiac belong, represents the outermost the 2nd century Anthologies of Vettius Valens Cu- sphere of the universe Wright Thus, Petronius: Greek mythology, This was made visually manifest on some of unlike Babylonian, was not set on a celestial stage.
The zodiac was also repre- custom of naming planets after gods. Yet, it was sented on the images of other gods, some of them the Romans who established the uniform nomen- of oriental origin. While we have mentioned the clature of the planets by the end of the Republican preponderance of zodiacal imagery in the cult of age. When they started referring to planets not as Mithra, the zodiac also framed images of Sarapis, stella or sidus Iovis, Saturnis, Martis, etc. From the time of It can be viewed against the background of Augustus, individual zodiac signs were depicted the highly competitive atmosphere of religious on coins.
However, the whole circle of the twelve pluralism in the Roman Empire, in which a large signs is encountered for the first time on coins is- number of cults wanted to demonstrate their dom- sued by Antoninus Pius. In the 8th year of his rule inance and superiority. The same mint, Even though not all meanings of zodiac imag- in the same year, issued a series of drachmes with es in the ancient world was astrological, in this pa- twelve types of reverses each showing one of the per we contend that the influx and development of signs of the zodiac together with one of the plan- astrological ideas played a significant part in the ets Sayles Whatever the occasion for popularity of the visual renditions of the signs and the issuing of these coins was see Geissen the zodiac motif as a whole.
While the dating of , ft.
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While Coincidentally or not, in astrological theory, the there are certainly other factors contributing to the zodiac signs are not merely constellations lying popularisation of this motif, such as its presence on the path of the Sun, or its segments used for de- in cosmological and eschatological theories of the termining the positions of the stars and for desig- Classical world, many of them were imbued with nating time, they determined the fates of individ- astrological notions.
As Porphiry tells us, follow- uals, states and entire nations. It was mostly with ers of the Mithraic cult believed that the soul on predictions concerning the future of the state and its descent to Earth and ascent to Heaven, passed the sovereign that the Babylonian proto-astrolo- through the gates that are situated on the zodiac gers dealt with. Their number could have never Porphiry: 11 , a belief also present among other been great, for their expertise required literacy and groups and thinkers DeKonick Thus, their services must have After the fall of the western part of the Roman been costly and only available to the most affluent, Empire, the zodiac would not be seen on artefacts perhaps solely to the head of state.
Democratisa- produced in its territories for almost five centuries. When they re- astrological calculations and allowed a greater emerged, the signs of the zodiac were seen on number of people to obtain predictions from as- the pages containing astrological predictions trologers. Obrist tury AD started to be represented in the decoration Also, a surge of zodiacal imagery can be of private spaces and objects. From the 1st centu- witnessed on the facades and in the interiors ry dates the earliest astrological work preserved of Romanesque churches, as Western Europe in its entirety- Astronomica by Marcus Manilius.
Bijovsky, G. Throughout the entire pre-modern Frieze, Metropolitan Museum Journal From the historical overview and the material presented in this paper, it can be ascertained that Brashear, W. Mair, Loeb Classical R. Stillwell, W. MacDonald and M. Holland Library Vol. Cameron, A. Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis, and Mithras, trans. World, Vol. Baratta, G.