When was astrology banned
Answer: as soon as there were laws, there were regulations on astrology
Now that I have access to a university library (via a generous friend) I am furnished to go deeper with my research! It’s incredible that I couldn’t find any information like this on a search engine, but art history at Brooklyn College was the most academically rigorous subject that I took in undergrad… needless to say my research skills are developing.
I have access to this lovely book “Ancient Astrology” by Tamysn Barton, published in 1994. I am not going to do a citation here, directly, but it basically informed me that astrology was frowned upon by authorities in Rome even before the advent of Christianity. So much so that Roman emperors banned astrology and at one point forced them to leave town.
This was the moment when astrology started to become popular, coincidentally. Once it became regulated, its legitimacy was enforced. The ruling class was taking it seriously, using it in their state elections.
Astrologers could be tortured! So they worked extra hard to be on the good side of the emperor. Firmicus was extra careful, and is quoted in a 334 astrological treatise:
“Never reply to anyone who asks about the condition of the State or the life of the Roman emperor. It is both morally wrong and illegal...An astrologer who replies when he is asked about the fate of the emperor is a disgrace and deserves all the punishment he gets, because he can neither say nor discover anything. In fact no astrologer could find anything true about the emperor. The emperor alone is not subject to the course of the stars and in his fate alone the stars have no power of determination. Since he is master of the whole world, his destiny is governed by the judgement of the god most high; since the whole of the earth's surface is subject to the power of the emperor, he himself is also considered among those gods whom the supreme power has set up to create and serve all things.”
I had to laugh.
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