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Such connections were taken up by Thomas Mann, who in his novel Joseph and His Brothers attributes characteristics of a sign of the zodiac to each tribe in his rendition of the Blessing of Jacob.
Babylonia or Chaldea in the Hellenistic world came to be so identified with astrology that "Chaldean wisdom" became among Greeks and Romans the synonym of divination through the planets and stars.
By extension, the "zodiac of the comets" may refer to the band encompassing most short-period comets. GAL "The Great Twins", and Cancer "The Crab", from AL. Around the end of the 5th century BC, Babylonian astronomers divided the ecliptic into twelve equal "signs", by analogy to twelve schematic months of thirty days each.
The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian ("Chaldean") astronomy during the first half of the 1st millennium BC. Each sign contained thirty degrees of celestial longitude, thus creating the first known celestial coordinate system.
Changes in the orientation of the Earth's axis of rotation also means that the time of year the Sun is in a given constellation has changed since Babylonian times.
In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
The twelve astrological signs form a celestial coordinate system, or even more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude and the Sun's position at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude., "animal").
An example of the use of signs as astronomical coordinates may be found in the Nautical Almanac and Astronomical Ephemeris for the year 1767.
The "Longitude of the Sun" columns show the sign (represented as a digit from 0 to and including 11), degrees from 0 to 29, minutes, and seconds.