ASTROLOGY IN ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA
Few and far between are the occasions when I have read a book in its entirety in one sitting. This is not due to me identifying the subject matter of a given read jejune, nor am I deterred by the esoteric nature of some published materials. If you have ever read any of Michael Baigent’s previous efforts you know that he has a gift for presenting in-depth levels of scholarship and detail in a context that can be easily digested by the laymen. The same is true with respect to his latest work, Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia, and the breakneck pace at which I absorbed Baigent’s research was by no means capricious.
Baigent opens Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia exploring amateur archeologists and their paramount contribution to the archeological field. He vividly describes the often life threatening conditions gallantly overcome by Henry Creswicke Rawlinson in his attempt to replicate the inscriptions found on the Behistun Inscription in western Iran. The copying of these inscriptions would ultimately allow scholars to decipher the Sumerian cuneiform language and allow historians to begin the daunting process of piecing together the history of ancient Mesopotamia. The way Baigent presents this account to the reader is captivating, providing his audience with a page turning glimpse into the Behistun Inscription’s past.
Baigent continues to explore several discoveries dating to ancient Mesopotamia, including the rat race for antiquities by competing archeologists and the assembling of the massive library of Ashurbanipal. Prior to diving into this 214 page read, I thought that I had a solid understanding of astrology. However, upon completing Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia, I am the first to acquiesce there is a copious amount of astrological knowledge to be procured from this read. Baigent leads us through a labyrinthine of academic scholarship that presents a plethora of provocative and mind bending astrological suppositions as they relate to ancient Mesopotamia.
My only qualm with Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia is the lack of imagery. The amount of times I chose to set the book down to satiate my curiosity with an image query online was excessive. I yearned for the inclusion of visual representations of the cuneiform tablets and other antiquities he was referencing, however a quick Google search remedied this dilemma. Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia was a phenomenal read and it is a must have for any bookshelf. We give Astrology in Ancient Mesopotamia 4 out of 5 stars.
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