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A History of Western Astrology Paperback – April 5, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: BOYE6; New edition edition (April 5, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851152554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851152554
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,494,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A delight to read and an excellent guide through so wide-ranging and complex a subject...superb general account. --The Times Literary Supplement

Lucid, well-informed and concise...stimulates thought and commands respect.' --New York Times Book Review

Tester's book because of its breadth and solid textual explications might become the standard historical introduction, in English, to the language of the skies.' --Speculum

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 1999
I give this book a mildly enthusiastic 5 stars. My passion for the book is somewhat diminished in that his history is rather insular: one learns a great deals about the thought of some of the central figures in the history of astrology, but almost nothing about the historical or social setting of that discipline. For instance, a general knowledge of Greek science is utterly essential in understanding the manner in which astology first developed in the West. Tester seems to assume a mastery of this background.
Despite this, Tester discusses all the key figures in the history of Western astrology from the Hellenistic period through the Renaissance, and does so with depth and subtlety.
It should be added that this is a very scholarly treatment of the subject. Anyone seeking a popular history of the subject or anyone who actually believes in the validity of astrology is likely not to find this volume to their liking. But those who enjoy the works of authors like Frances Yates and Keith Thomas, this volume will prove to be of great interest.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Fenn on September 2, 2001
Just the fact that this book was written at all earns it a 5-Star from me. Where else will you find a sympathetic book about the history of astrology written by a Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of London?
I often use this book in my astrology classes to delve into the fascinating history of our favorite field.
Tester takes it from the very beginning -- the Greeks, not the Chaldeans as sometimes supposed -- and brings it right through the Middle Ages and the Age of Enlightenment. Chances are you've never heard astrology talked about this way. If you are a history buff, like me, it's just all that much more interesting. It's history the way you never heard it taught, too.
Tester's work is scholarly but readable and I found the information just fascinating.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Renstrom on February 20, 2003
This is an extraordinary book. It's quite an accomplishment to take an artform that is over 2,000 years old and condense it into one readable volume. As a reference source, it is unparalleled and I refer to it almost as much as I do the dictionary. My only regret is that Tester didn't live long enough to realize his complete vision--- which was to write a fully comprehensive history. However what he did write is amazing and I strongly urge anyone who has even a passing interest in Astrology to purchase it. One of the best books you can ever hope to own.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 2003
I believe that a good history book should be more than even brilliant scholarship. It should be interesting. It should tantalize the reader to go deeper into the subject. It should convey to the reader the author's love of the subject... why the book is worth the reader's valuable time (and money). Scholarly and readable are not contradictory terms.
If you share this belief, then avoid Mr. Tester's book. I'm sure the scholarship is fine (just like your high school history text). But this book isn't fun; this book isn't interesting, it's a bore. The erudite Mr. Tester shows no emotion, wit or enthusiasm in this numbing display of pedantry.
My guess is that Mr. Tester was from the "no pain, no gain" school of education: learning isn't meant to be easy. One can struggle through a chapter, have dinner, and completely forget what one has just read...I mean completely! It's really amazing how one can take a topic as intrinsically interesting as astrology and turn it into lifeless trivia.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "firerizing" on February 2, 2002
Tester's book is wonderful for learning the facts of astrology and how and why it began. He offers factual information on how it has advanced from the ancient days to what it is now.
It's not so much a learning tool for learning astrology but a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about astrology's history.
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