The genesis of social cycle theories

"The invention of this theory of cycles in the history of mankind was a natural corollary to the sensational astronomical discovery, apparently made in the Babylonic society at some date between the eighth and the sixth centuries BC, that the three conspicuous and familiar cycles--the day-and-night, the lunar month and the solar year--were not the only examples of periodic recurrence in the movements of the heavenly ; that there was also a larger coordination of stellar movements embracing all the planets as well as Earth, Moon and Sun; and that 'the music of the spheres', which was made by the harmony of this heavenly chorus, came round full circle, chord for chord, in a great cycle which dwarfed the solar year into insignificance." -- Toynbee, A Study of History, p 251

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