A Critical Review of the Introduction (pp.xi-xvi) to Cumont, Franz, Astrology Among The Greeks and Romans, New York: Dover Publications 1960 (1911)

Good Essays

Franz Cumont’s introduction in Astrology and Religion Among The Greek and

Romans, the Dover 1960 edition of the unabridged and unaltered original work

published, by G P Putnam in 1912, is aimed at the general historical and

theological audience.

On reading Franz Cumont introduction it is obvious he is scathing in his comments

towards the practise of astrology. Along with his contempt of the continuing growth

in the belief of astrology and how, throughout humankind, intellects, academics and

ordinary folk continue to show interest in it.1 It will be argued that Franz Cumont is

outdated with his thoughts on the decline of astrology. He makes reference to the

scientific discovery of the
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This was difficult, but it was not impossible. 4 Therefore

showing how Cumont’s comment; that the planets and their influences made no

sense or difference to humanity after this new scientific discovery, can be considered

as outdated.

Nicholas Campion, author of "Prophecy, Cosmology And The new Age Movement:

The Extent and Nature of Contemporary Belief In Astrology”, also argues against this

theory of the decline of astrology by explaining Patrick Curry’s distinction of a three

tiered astrology in Power and Prophecy. A ‘high’ variety of astrology for the

academics and Philosophers, a ‘middling’ astrology based on horoscopes cast for

individual clients and a third the ‘low’ form of astrology mainly mass-produced

chronicles. Campion suggests that Curry demonstrated that only the ‘high’ form of

astrology declined and the ‘middling’ astrology dwindled in isolated cases, whereas,

the ‘low’ form of astrology continued to grow.5 Illustrating once again that astrology

did not necessarily decline or die with the scientific discovery of the heliocentric

theory as Cumont suggests.

Cumont continues to show his contempt for ancient astrological roots by suggesting

that astral mathematics had been wrapped up in ancient primal superstitions and he is

astonished it could be linked with intellectual
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