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Fortune telling in the Ancient Near East

Apr 25, 2014

Prof. Dr. Stefan M. Maul has published a new book on the art of fortune telling in the ancient Near East. The volume discusses the question how political consulting based on extispicy and astrology could result in a stable political situation.

The book titled “Die Wahrsagekunst im Alten Orient: Zeichen des Himmels und der Erde“ gives an insight into the practices and rituals of fortune telling in the ancient Near East. Different methods of fortune telling, the different groups of people conducting the rituals and different purposes for doing so are introduced. For his research, Stefan Maul took into account partly unpublished writings of Babylonian scholars. The book shows how the ancient art of fortune telling builds the basis for todays’ scientific research.

“Die Wahrsagekunst im Alten Orient” – 423 pages was published by C.H. Beck publishers in 2013. The book is part of the series “Historische Bibliothek der Gerda Henkel Stiftung”.

Prof. Dr. Stefan M. Maul is Professor of Assyriology at Heidelberg University and coordinator of the Cluster’s project C14 “Medical Systems in Transition: The Case of the Ancient Near East”. He has been member of the Central Direction of the German Archaeological Institute since 2001.


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