The Origin of Culture and Civilization , by Thomas Dietrich

Book Classification : Ancient History - Mythology - Meanings of Astrological & Mythological Symbolism

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The Origin of Culture and Civilization , by Thomas Dietrich
Paperback - 360 pages
First Edition, September 1, 2005
Published by TurnKey Press

ISBN 0-9764981-6-2 / ISBN 0976498162
ISBN-13 : 978-0-9764981-6-2 / 9780976498162

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Book Review

Just as nations appropriate the inventions of others, they also appropriate their myths. This may occur due to invasions, migrations, the construction of ports of cosmopolitan trade, or other reasons.

In his new book, The Origin of Culture and Civilization , Thomas Dietrich sets out to investigate "cultural continuity," the "transmission of culture," [117] by several fascinating methods, one of which is his reinterpretation of ancient people's choices of mythical symbolism.

Buy the book The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion by Thomas Dietrich

Although early civilizations may have been lost, some of their effects live on in the cultures of newer civilizations. Ancient Libya and Morocco once had intricate societies that were ultimately destroyed by earthquakes and other geological disasters. [25] Many of the Libyan and Moroccan myths and inventions were adapted by later civilizations which, though newer, we are more more accustomed to call "ancient" -- those in Greece, Egypt, and the Middle East.

The complete title of the book is:

The Origin of Culture and Civilization : The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion

According to ancient maps, what is now desert in Africa was once wet land and coastline connected, well enough for boat transportation, to the Atlantic Ocean. [123, 146] The people of Morocco and Libya also had advanced equestrian skills. [151] Poseidon, the god of the sea and horses, was a Libyan god long before the Greeks adopted him. One of the ways in which the tradition was transmitted to numerous countries was in the use of horse head ornamentation on ships. [147]

The author also believes that these lost civilizations in Africa, where we now have the Sahara Desert but where coastal cities once thrived, inspired the tales of Atlantis.

"Our general goal," Dietrich writes, "is to establish a cultural context for religion, history and science that existed prior to Mediterranean culture." [93]

Some mythology grew out of chronicles of actual historical events, however much the stories might have been fictionalized. In such cases, there is "degradation of the historical fact" through various phases of mythology, folklore and fairy tales. [97] One of the more obvious examples of this is the several times that recollections of regional floods have led to tales of a "Great Flood." [33, 104]

On the surface, mythology appears to be simply a collection of folk tales, as astrology appears to be simply a fortune telling ritual. In reality, historical facts are "occluded" [96], "encoded" [184], in the symbolism. To better paraphrase the author's asssertion, I must first digress, and discuss something about how the planet earth moves, after which I will relate this matter to Dietrich's thesis.

The earth is tilted on its axis, relative to the ecliptic, the plane of the earth's revolution around the sun. This tilt is the reason that the sun's rays strike points on the earth more directly or indirectly at different times of the year, which we call the seasons of the year. The tilt of the earth's axis wobbles very slowly, in a cycle which has been measured to have a period of about 25,800 years. Today, the earth's axis, extrapolated outward from the North Pole, points to the star Polaris, which we can therefore use as the North Star, but it did not always point to Polaris. It also pointed to Polaris 25,800 years ago, and it will do so again 25,800 years in the future, but at intermediate times it does not do so. Modern scientists call this wobble of the earth's tilt the precessional motion. The plane of the equator intersects the ecliptic at two points: the spring (vernal) equinox and the fall equinox. Because of the wobble, both equinoxes move westward very slowly, an effect which we call the precession of the equinoxes. Ancient people who believed in astrology observed the apparent movement of the vernal equinox across the dome of the sky, and they roughly estimated the duration of its 25,800 year cycle. They thought that it had religious significance.

The previous digression now permits me to return to a discussion of Dietrich's book.


Origin of Culture and Civilization is the first book to successfully decode ancient mythology and astrology by uncovering their mysterious scientific foundation.

Origin outlines the Atlantic context of the Ancient Sea Kings who preceded and influenced all Mediterranean Culture.

Origin unfolds the cosmological philosophy of the ancient world-view whose achievement was the Concordia of science, history, and religion.

Origin looks at such fascinating subjects as the Dendera Zodiac, the ancient Atlantic Prime Meridian, Jerusalem as the navel of the world, maps, and histories of the last colonies of Atlantic culture, and Vitruvian Men in Ireland before Da Vinci!

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It is the author's thesis that the mythical transmission of historical events also contains approximate date information in the form of the symbols of myth and astrology. For example, there is a Greek myth about the god Zeus assuming the form of a bull. Assuming that some real event was subsequently mythologized here, during what time period did the actual event occur? The symbolism of the bull probably indicates that the event took place when the vernal equinox was in the constellation of Taurus the Bull, which was between 4320 BC and 2160 BC. [96] Similarly, the vernal equinox was in constellation of Leo when the ancient Egyptians assigned a lion head to the Sphinx. [199] The reason for such symbolic forms was that the ancients believed that the precession of the equinoxes had magical significance.

In some cases, the hidden message is a philosophical idea. The ancient people, Dietrich believes, "disguised their most noble thoughts" in an "outer wrapping" of mythological symbols. [18]

In addition to this device of finding facts encoded in the symbolism of myths, Dietrich uses every available means to trace the transmission of culture from one country to another.

He takes much information from ancient maps that were used by seafaring explorers and traders. [63, et seq.]

He draws conclusions from the naming of cities and rivers after others in the lands from which populations originally came. [117, 178]

He discovers meaning in rare passages from the writings of ancient historians and poets.

He ponders the meaning of archaeological objects. The mathematical ratio known as the Golden Mean, which was considered important by the Renaissance artist da Vinci and the astronomer Kepler, can be seen also the design of a pre-Christian cross made of stone which has been found in Ireland. [9-16, 302, 329]

The Origin of Culture and Civilization is a delightful account of the process of transmission of human ways and beliefs, some more documented and some more speculative.

I offer one area of criticism. It is customary today for historians to interpret culture as resting upon a base of material conditions, such as the inventions of agriculture, the bow and arrow, pottery, iron and bronze, the domestication of animals, etc. A book title such as The Origin of Culture and Civilization would seem to call for at least a minor overview of what place, if any, the author assigns to such material factors. Dietrich nowhere mentions any significance to these material or economic elements.

I heartily recommend this skillfully written and carefully documented volume to all readers who ponder the depth of ancient civilizations beyond the more conventional and superficial knowledge of them.

Readers of almost every genre of nonfiction -- history, anthropology, technology, philosophy, religion and more -- will be captivated by Dietrich's unique interweave of these fields.

Book review by Mike Lepore for

Paperback; 360 pages; black-and-white illustrations; 12-page bibliography; No index

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The Origin of Culture and Civilization
by Thomas Dietrich
ISBN 0-9764981-6-2 / ISBN 0976498162

Read a book excerpt

Table of Contents

Ancient Ideas about Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion

by Thomas Dietrich


Introduction to Cosmological Philosophy
The Antiquity Puzzle and the Mythology Code
The Chronology of the Cosmic Kingship

PART I: Western Genesis

1. Plato and Solon
2. Skytobrachion and the Other Atlantis
3. Confirmation on the Atantic Island of Ireland
4. Confirmation on Cadiz, the Balearic, and Sardinian Islands
5. Atlantis in Andalusia, Spain

PART II: Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings

1. On the Nature of the Prime Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time
2. The Trade Secrets of the Phoenicians
3. The Deep-Ocean Going Ships of the Veneti of Brittany

PART III: West of Egypt; In the Land of Night, Sleep, and Dreams

1. Degradation of the Historical Fact and Nonnos of Panopolis
2. Cultural Ages and their Cultural Gods
3 Morocco and the Golden Apples of the Garden of the Hesperides
4. Atlantic People, Gods, and Heroes, and Ethiopians
5. The Transmission of Culture
6. Egyptian Culture from Morocco, Libya, and the West

PART IV: The Heaven-Holders and the Earth-Holders

1. Adas of Morocco, Paradigm of All Earth and Heaven-Holders
2. The Pleiades, Daughters of Atlas
3. Hermes, Son of Maia, Grandson of Atlas
4. Poseidon: Earth-Holder and Earth-Shaker
5. More Poseidon and Horse Culture 6. Hercules, Last Earth-Holder of the Classical Period

PART V: Heritage of the Earth-Holder and The Secret Culture

1. Pontifex Maximus
2. The Dowry of the Palladium
3. The Pallium and Ceremonial Robes
4. Athena and Pallas
5. Athena of Many Names

PART VI: Astrology, the Language of Cosmology

1. Origin of Astrology: The Moon, Tides, and the Ocean.
2. Water, Fire, Air, and Earth within the Cosmological Cycles.
3. Microcosm and The Cosmic Body
4. Earth, Planets, and The Thema Mundi
5. That Knowledge by Astronomical Means is Attainable
6. On the Nature of the Ancient Sites

PART VII: Revelation; the Most Important Scientific Fact

1. The Expectation of the Coming of the Messiah
2. The Circular Stone Zodiac of Dendera
3. The Twelve Regions of Geography & Earthquakes
4. Paleo-Climatology and the Mobius Universe

PART VIII: The Remaining Jewel of Atlantic Culture

1. Ogygia
2. Pythagoras and the Prophetic Stones
3. The Final Equation of the Golden Mean

Appendix 1: Time Periods of the Zodiac and the Cosmic Body
Appendix 2: Cosmological Synopsis
Appendix 3: Astrological Decans
Appendix 4: The Mystery of Chaco Canyon
Appendix 5: The Western Coastal Regions of the Americas
Appendix 6: Someone Lived Here Before Us
Appendix 7: Mesoamerican Culture
Appendix 8: The Golden Proportion of the Labyrinth

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The Origin of Culture and Civilization: The Cosmological Philosophy of the Ancient World View Regarding Myth, Astrology, Science, and Religion
by Thomas Dietrich
ISBN 0-9764981-6-2 / ISBN 0976498162

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