• Issue: February 1961
  • Designer: I. Blaushild
  • Plate no.: 31 -43
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

"Zodiac" is the name of that imaginary belt in the sky containing the twelve constellations within which lie the paths of the principal planets and the sun. The signs of the Zodiac have assumed outstanding importance in astrology. The view that the names and myths of the constellations were of Greek origin was disproved. It was discovered that the Greek constellation system was in fact of early Semitic origin. In the "Creation Legend," a cuneiform compiled from records during the reign of Assur-bani-pal (ca. 650 BCE), there occurs a passage which can be interpreted as pointing to the acceptance of 36 constellations: 12 north, 12 south and 12 Zodiac. Talmudic literature - besides reproducing much of the current astronomical and astrological lore - also adds a specific symbolism of its own, e.g. the correlation of the twelve constellations with the Twelve Tribes. The signs of the Zodiac constituted a popular subject of Jewish art, figuring on the mosaic floors of ancient synagogues in the Holy Land as well an in books, marriage contracts, and other documents.

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Definitive Issue: Zodiac (I)