Historians believe that astrology originated with the Babylonians over 2,000 years ago; ancient peoples used astrology in combination with other natural events to make sense of the natural world and predict future events. Traditionally, astrology focused on how the movements of heavenly bodies affected events on Earth. As astrological theories spread to Greece, China and India, the information was assimilated into local lore and superstitions. Astrologers are responsible for the first accurate maps of the stars.
Early astrologers attributed many ordinary events, such as outbreaks of illness, to the movement of the stars, and astrological ideas were incorporated into language and literature frequently. For instance, some Latin words are based on astrological ideas, and Shakespeare based some of his characters on astrological ideas. Centuries later, Sigmund Freud incorporated astrological ideas into some of his scientific works.
In 300 B.C., the Greek astrologer Zeno helped to foster the mainstream belief in astrology in Greece. The Roman emperor Augustus chose an image of Capricorn to replace his image on the coins, but later rejected astrology when the art predicted his death.
Horoscopes, or personalized astrology, became more commonplace in the last decades before Christ. As a result of the increasing influence of Christianity, astrology became less mainstream after the 5th century.