Giorgio de Santillana became professor of the History of Science in the School of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954 and along with Hertha von Dechend they published a book entitled “Hamlet’s Mill, An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time” in 1969. It was an attempt to marry science and mythology that had become separated by the ancient Greeks. Santillana and von Dechend believed that the old mythological stories handed down from antiquity were not random fictitious tales but were accurate depictions of celestial cosmology clothed in tales to aid their oral transmission. The chaos, monsters and violence in ancient myths are representative of the forces that shape each age. They believed that ancient myths are the remains of preliterate astronomy that became lost with the rise of the Greco-Roman civilization.
Santillana and von Dechend state that ancient myths have no historical basis but a cosmological one based on a primitive form of astrology. They recognized the importance of the heliacally rising constellation as markers for the astrological ages and claimed that knowledge of this phenomenon had been known for thousands of years previously. They claim that to understand ancient thinking it is necessary to understand astrology, not the modern sun-sign or horoscopic astrology, but the astrology of ancient times which was the lingua franca of ancient times. They go further and state that our knowledge of the dawn of astrology and its relationship to ancient myths and star names is limited to about 2100 BC during the Renaissance of Sumerian Culture instead of being able to examine the real old material on the subject. In it is claimed that the ancient Greeks knew of three successive destructions that correlate to three ages and that since the beginning of history the vernal point has moved through Taurus, Aries and Pisces. Hesiod in “Works and Days” refers to five successive ages.
As early as , modern researchers were examining evidence for knowledge of precession of the equinoxes and astrological ages before Hipparchus. Sir William Drummond published “Oedipus Judaicus – Allegory in the Old Testament” in 1811. Drummund expounds on his hypothesis that a greater part of the Hebrew Scriptures are merely allegorical writings that hide the true content. Furthermore the Orientalist were mainly concerned with astronomy and most of their ancient myths are really disguised astronomical records Drummond believed that the 49th chapter of Genesis contains prophecies allied to astronomy and that the twelve tribes of Israel represented the 12 zodiacal signs.Drummund makes his case that at the time of Abraham, the Amorites first recorded the shift from the Age of Taurus to the Age of Aries as represented by the year commencing with the Ram rather than the bull (Taurus). The Book of Joshua indicates that by the time of Moses the equinoxes had already shifted from Taurus to Aries as Moses had ordained that the civil year should commence with the month of Nisan rather than the month of Taurus. The feast of the Passover is probably a celebration of the Age of Aries with the Paschal Lamb representative of Aries, traditionally associated with the symbol of the ram or sheep. Drummond also hypothesizes that most number references in ancient texts were coded to hide their real value by their multiplication by 1000 or multiples of 1,000. For example in the Old Testament Joshua commanded 30,000 men and he slew 12,000 inhabitants of the city of Ai. The historian Tuberoses stated the Babylonians commenced astronomical observations before Alexander the Great. Most early references were related to 7 Moon and five visible planets number of zodiacal signs and months per year degrees per sign of the zodiac and higher combinations of these numbers and other numbers associated with astronomical observations and astrology.
The problem of understanding the exact nature of ancient astrology is that it was only partly documented, leaving the question of the extent of their undocumented astrological knowledge? Michael Baigent in “From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia”, suggests that there is evidence that there was probably an older or parallel oral tradition of astrology at the time of publication of believed published over the period. The ancient Mesopotamians believed that history repeated itself after a massive cycle of many years