This book is a historical account of how natural philosophers and scientists have endeavoured to understand the universe at large, first in a mythical and later in a scientific context. Starting with the creation stories of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the book covers all the major events intheoretical and observational cosmology, from Aristotle's cosmos over the Copernican revolution to the discovery of the accelerating universe in the late 1990s. It presents cosmology as a subject including scientific as well as non-scientific dimensions, and tells the story of how it developed intoa true science of the heavens. Contrary to most other books in the history of cosmology, it offers an integrated account of the development with emphasis on the modern Einsteinian and post-Einsteinian period. Starting in the pre-literary era, it carries the story onwards to the early years of the21st century.