Expelling Misconceptions: Astrologers at Rome
Ripat, Pauline. "Expelling Misconceptions: Astrologers at Rome." Classical Philology 106 (2011): 115–54. DOI: 10.1086/659835.
"The views ... that the science of astrology swept the Roman world to win the devotion of the Roman people and the Roman emperors, that emperors consequently loved and feared astrology -- have become standard in scholarly discussions and student textbooks alike. On this line of argument, it seems that the repeated expulsions of astrologers from Rome or Italy ... require little more by way of explanation: expulsions of astrologers are the natural conclusions of general belief in the powerful science and consequent imperial ambivalence toward it. But in the decades since the question of why astrologers were expelled has been laid to rest, to my knowledge it has not been asked how the expulsions were undertaken. The introduction of this question instantly strips away the facade of historical certainty from the whole phenomenon.... How does one identify an astrologer so as to expel him? It then remains only to face the inexorable resurrection of 'why?' It is the aim of this article to navigate the choppy historical waters we find ourselves plunged into, with the deflation of the convictions that have so long buoyed discussion."