The Akkadians and Sumerians of Mesopotamia (Babylonia) were the originators of the Zodiac signs which consisted of the original Taurus the bull, Cancer the crab, Virgo the moon goddess, Scorpio the scorpion, Capricorn the goat-man, and Pisces the fisherman. Added to the originals were Aries the ram, Gemini the twins, Leo the lion, Libra the scales and Sagittarius the archer. Much later, Aquarius the water bearer was added to complete the 12 signs of the Zodiac.

The Zodiac signs slowly evolved from 1300 BCE to 500 BCE. The Babylonians used the signs mainly for marking the seasons. Later they employed the zodiacal system for locating the position of the planets and the moon in the sky.  The Greeks borrowed the zodiacal system from the Babylonians for astronomical and astrological reasons. It must be noted though that the animals in the Zodiac are Greek in origin and it was said that these animals were honored by Zeus himself.

The Greek Zodiac signs are composed of part animals and part humans. On the other hand, the Chinese Zodiac signs are represented by twelve animals. Presently, both Zodiacs are used with the Greek Zodiac representing certain days of the year whereas the Chinese Zodiac representing a year on a 12-year cycle.

 

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