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Babylonia and the Eastern Iran (1)

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01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

05 Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

Sasanid Empire
Iranian culture

The Babylonian astronomical and calendrical ideas were influential throughout Iran and beyond, but only in the Bactrian and Sogdian calendars the first month retained its Babylonian name Nisan, and in Bactrian the third month too was called Siwan (σιοανο). It seems to have been Sogdian Manichaeans who in the eight century CE introduced into China the Mesopotamian notion of the planetary week together with the names of the seven days or planets, including that of Saturn or Saturday, which retained its Semitic name Kēwān. In Pahlavi also the name for the planet Saturn is Kaywān, from Akkadian kajjāmānu “the stable one”. Also the sign of the zodiac Aqarius (Dōl) preserved its Semitic name in Iranian.


Sims-Williams 1996, 77Sims-Williams, Nicholas. “From Babylon to China. Astrological and Epistolary Formulae across Two Millennia.” In: La Persia e l'Asia centrale da Alessandro al X secolo. Atti dei convegni lincei 127. Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 1996, 77-84.

Amar Annus

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