The 360Day Degree Year and the Months

Although a number of scholars have mentioned a calendar of 12 months of 30 days each, used in some Assyro-Babylonian astronomical texts, we have not seen an adequate discussion of this calendar. We will consider statements relative to the Venus table, the Sun, the series of heliacal risings of stars, the list of culmination stars, and lunar dates.

We begin with the omens from the movements of Venus given in tablet 63 of Enuma Anu Enlil. Reiner and Pingree (1975) have provided a critical edition of the text with extensive comments on textual variations, on details of translation, and on the astronomy. No less than 20 (often fragmentary) copies of the text are now known that provide a substantially more reliable version than that published by Langdon Fotheringham (1928), with the tables of Schoch (1928b), which used only 7 copies. The text is divided into four sections. The first deals with a series of observations made during the first eight years of the reign of Ammizaduqa, which will be discussed in connection with tests of Babylonian chronology. The third section is another series of observations also usually believed to belong to the reign of Ammizaduqa. We accept Pingree's judgment that this is not based on any reliable evidence. The fourth section puts the entries of sections I and III into a monthly sequence. The second section is a series of statements about the dates of first and last visibility of Venus as Morning Star and Evening Star, and the intervals between them, in a formalized table. The structure of these statements is shown in

Table 7.2.

Calculated intervals" in the Venus tablets of Enuma Anu Enlil.

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