In the Journal of Hellenic Studies, xli. (1921), pp. 70–85, Mr. Webb has written a merry paper, dealing with a paper on Cleostratus which I contributed to the same Journal, xxxix. (1919), pp. 164–184. After reading Mr. Webb's paper, I saw at once that my theory as to the meaning of the word ‘prima’ in Pliny, Nat. Hist., ii. 8(6), 30, and the word πρῶτα in the phrase πρῶτα σημεῖα in Cleostratus was no longer tenable. But, while withdrawing my own views on the subject, I am unfortunately unable to adopt Mr. Webb's. On all other points of importance I adhere to the opinions expressed in my paper.
The question of widest interest on which we differ is that of the source from which Cleostratus derived the zodiacal signs and the octaeteris. In my opinion Babylon was the source in both cases. Mr. Webb differs from me on both points.
That our signs of the zodiac were in common use in Babylon long before the time of Cleostratus is beyond question. Dr. Langdon has drawn my attention to several Babylonian and Assyrian lists of these signs. Of these, the one that corresponds most closely with our list is certainly not later than the eighth century before Christ. It is found on an Ashur text, and, although the extant copy belongs to the Persian period, an imperfect duplicate which belonged to the library of Ashur-bani-pal proves its antiquity. The list runs as follows:—Bull of heaven, Twins, Crab, Lion, Ear of Corn, Scales, Scorpion, Archer, Goat-fish, Waterman, Canal, Hireling. Pisces, here represented as a Canal, is in many other texts the Fish constellation.