- "A physician without a knowledge of astrology has no right to call himself a physician."
- "I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical."
- –Arthur C. Clarke
Astrology is the earliest science in human history. A blend of stargazing and early insight in the workings of nature, Astrology hints to humankind the wonders that exist beyond what eyes can see, and spur their spirituality to a new height. After that, a civilization is able to construct its first District - the Holy Site - along with its first building, the Shrine, and start working towards one of the most important aspects of the game: Religion.
Astrology is one of the first five techs you can start researching right away, and the only one of those which actually unlocks a district, and a very important one at that. This tech is of paramount importance to civilizations which strive for Religious victory, since they want not only to be able to Found a Religion, but also to be of the first doing so! If you want to try and build Stonehenge (and thus get a Religion without the usual headache) you should also research Astrology first. But other than that you have no incentive to develop it too fast - there are other, more important technologies to be researched first.
Seafaring civilizations would also want to research Astrology fast, since it leads to Celestial Navigation, which in turn unlocks the seafaring-oriented district in the game, along with an important Wonder. Still, even for them there are again more important techs to be nailed first (like Sailing).
Now considered a “pseudoscience,” astrology is based on the premise that there is some sort of relationship between celestial objects and phenomena and events on this small ball of earth. Constellations, the moon, comets, the sun and planets (those that could be seen from Earth) were associated with gods, and it was believed that these thus had an impact on the physical universe. A certain planet or cluster of stars might appear each year around harvest time, and eventually men decided that that planet governed the harvest. Perhaps if one sacrificed a goat on the day that the planet first appeared, it would bless the upcoming harvest.
Most primitive civilizations attached great significance to this nonsense, and that spurred a number of advances. The Indians, Chinese and Mayans developed elaborate calendars to track celestial events. The standing stones of Stonehenge may have been erected for astrological purposes. The mixing of Hellenic astrology with Babylonian astronomy gave rise to many mathematical principles. Chinese astrology flourished during the Han dynasty, and gave birth to several traditional cultural markers: the yin-yang dichotomy, the five elements, Confucian philosophy, Chinese theories of medicine.
During the so-called Scientific Revolution astrology shed much of its religious and mystical trappings, morphing into astronomy. In 1543 AD Nicolai Copernicus published 'De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium,' which postulated that the sun was the center of the universe, not the Earth, and that the planets orbited the sun, and the moon orbited the Earth. If all these heavenly bodies didn't circle our planet, why should they affect our lives? During the Enlightenment, the last vestiges of support for astrology fell away, with leading thinkers declaring it to be puerile and infantile. Leaving only the old ladies casting horoscopes and the occasional New Age resurgence to keep astrology afloat in modern times.
|Civilization VI Technologies |
|* Future Tech is an Information Era technology until the Gathering Storm expansion.|