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Astrologers casting horoscopes during the celebrations for the birth of Timur (1336). A miniature painting from a manuscript of Akbarnama. India; 17th century. The Akbarnama, which literally means History of Akbar, is a biographical account of Akbar, the third Mughal emperor, written in Persian. It includes vivid and detailed descriptions of his life and time.
Bearer of the demon's head, 10th century. A Persian representation of the constellation Perseus, who holds the head of Medusa, in accordance with the myth. From the star catalogue of the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi. It is shown in double aspect in order to show it as seen from the earth and reversed as on a star-globe.
The signs of the Zodiac from the mosaic floor of the cathedral of Otranto, southern Italy. September: a man in Phrygian cap pounds grapes with two wooden paddles. October: a farmer ploughing his field. The cathedral was built in 1088, the mosaic was completed in 1166. See also 40-11-24/36-46
The Rosetta stone,an irregularly shaped stone of black basalt,found in 1799 near the town of Rosetta (Rashid) near Alexandria by Napoleon's armies. The inscription is a priestly decree affirming the royal cult of the 13-year old Ptolemy V. With its inscriptions by priests of Memphis, in Hieroglyphs, (suitable for a priestly decree) demotic (the native script used for daily purposes) and Greek (the language of the administration), it permitted Champollion,in 1821,to decypher hieroglyphs. EA 24