With Lavater the descriptive school of physiognomists may be said to have ended, as the astrological physiognomy expired with De la Belliere.
There was also an astrological symbolism, but it was superficial, and of secondary importance.
Moreover, it is doubtful from extant remains of Assyrian calendars whether the astrological week prevailed in civil life even among the Babylonians and Assyrians.
The denotation of elements by symbols had been practised by the alchemists, and it is interesting to note that the symbols allotted to the well-known elements are identical with the astrological symbols of the sun and the other members of the solar system.
They did not dedicate each day in turn to its astrological planet; and it is therefore precarious to assume that the Sabbath was in its origin what it is in the astrological week, the day sacred to Saturn, and that its observance is to be derived from an ancient Hebrew worship of that planet.4 The week, however, is found in various parts of the world in a form that has nothing to do with astrology or the seven planets, and with such a distribution as to make it pretty certain that it had no artificial origin, but suggested itself independently, and for natural reasons, to different races.
Here again we must distinguish between the week as such and the astrological week, i.e.
The probability is that all later associations with the symbol refer back to an early astrological origin (cf.
Astronomy was of old standing in Babylonia, and the standard work on the subject, written from an astrological point of view, which was translated into Greek by Berossus, was believed to go back to the age of Sargon of Akkad.
The successive entries of the moon and planets into the nakshatras (the ascertainment of which was of great astrological importance) were fixed by means of their conjunctions with the yogataras.
The first works executed by him at Prague were, nevertheless, a homage to the astrological proclivities of the emperor.