Article ID: CBB382957253

A proto-Normal Star Almanac dating to the reign of Artaxerxes III: BM 65156 (2020)


Babylonian methods for predicting planetary phenomena using the so-called goal-year periods are well known. Texts known as Goal-Year Texts contain collections of the observational data needed to make predictions for a given year. The predictions were then recorded in Normal Star Almanacs and Almanacs. Large numbers of Goal-Year Texts, Normal Star Almanacs and Almanacs are attested from the early third century BC onward. A small number of texts dating from before the third century present procedures for using the goal-year periods to predict planetary phenomena. In addition, two texts, one dating to the late sixth century BC and the other to the late fifth century BC, contain planetary data which was probably predicted using these methods. In this article, I discuss a further example of a tablet dating from before the third century BC which contains planetary data predicted using the goal-year periods. I show that the planetary phenomena contained in this tablet can be dated to the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes III (347/6 BC) and that they were predicted using goal-year periods without the application of the kind of corrections which were used in the third century BC texts in order to produce more accurate predictions.

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Authors & Contributors
Steele, John M.
Muroi, Kazuo
Hunger, Hermann
Gray, J. M. K.
Ratzon, Eshbal
Yusta, Piedad
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Historia Scientiarum: International Journal of the History of Science Society of Japan
Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture
University of Texas Press
Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes Georges-Dumezil
de Gruyter
Primary literature (historical sources)
Tablets; papyri
Zacuto Lusitan, Abraham
Sergius of Res'aina
Time Periods
3rd century
Middle and Near East
Uruk (extinct city)

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