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Philosophy before the GreeksThe Pursuit of Truth in Ancient Babylonia$
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Marc Van De Mieroop

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157184

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157184.001.0001

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The Structure of Knowledge of the Universe

The Structure of Knowledge of the Universe

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter 5 The Structure of Knowledge of the Universe
Source:
Philosophy before the Greeks
Author(s):

Marc Van De Mieroop

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157184.003.0005

This chapter focuses on Babylonian omen lists. The omen was always part of a list that presented a series of individual cases. With its interest in every aspect of the universe, divination’s scope had no limits, and each ominous occurrence deserved its own entry in the texts. The chapter first offers a structural analysis of the syntagm and paradigm before discussing the similitudes that the various omen series pursued to build up a system of knowledge that was all-encompassing and fully interconnected. It then explains how the diviners established links between events observed in reality and the divinatory series. It also shows how hermeneutics provided the tools to interpret the gods’ messages, however truthful.

Keywords:   Babylonian omen, universe, divination, syntagm, paradigm, similitudes, knowledge, hermeneutics, gods, truth

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