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Gehrz Translation of Valens
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Gehrz Translation of Valens Reply with quote

I've just discovered that Andrea L. Gehrz has completed her translation of Valens (9 books). Her translation is available in 11 small volumes on Amazon.com. Her translation of Volume 1, 248 pages (discussed on Skyscript) now sells on Amazon for between $300 and $700. I purchased the book for $36 USD in 2011.

Except for the out-of-print Volume 1, her prices are reasonable and even cheap for a translation, although adding them all up will total upwards of $150. (I haven't yet added the costs for all of the books.) Most of the volumes are identified by X (volume number).1 which seems to indicate that text revisions or revised printings may be planned for later.

The Gehrz volumes are the only complete translation of Valens in published hard copy, though the Riley translation can be printed. The Project Hindsight translation went through Book 7. The earlier copies of Andrea's books that I've seen contain many hand drawn illustrations and lots of white space which makes reading Valens easy. I can't speak for the quality of the translation; It would take a specialist to do so.
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Wolfgang



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Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I have the right page!

https://www.amazon.com/Anthology-Book-3-1-Vettius-Valens/dp/0998701505/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1491864360&sr=1-5&keywords=vettius+valens


The price here is normal!

W.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The prices are normal except for the first out-of-print Volume 1. That book was very attractively and professionally done. I remember seeing a second and less expensive edition of Volume 1 (Vol. 1.2) published after the discussion here on Skyscript, but it doesn't come up now in an Amazon search. Later books, though nicely printed, are almost like sketch books with hand drawn casual illustrations and diagrams.
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Zagata



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Posted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is good to hear, Therese.

I would be interested to know how Gehrz has dealt with the tables in Book VIII.
They are used for a favourite topic of mine, namely calculating the length of life. To my knowledge, no translator has ever published the complete tables - not just those given by Valens - but for other latitudes as well.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’ve been purchasing Andrea Gehrz’s Valens books as they became available which makes it less painful financially than buying them all at once, especially since Book 1 has gone out of print and now has a skyrocketing price. Because I had other projects on my plate, I didn’t really read the books, but set them aside until later. Now that I discovered that her Valens translation is complete (unless in the future she decides on modifications), I’ve started to peruse the books.

I have to admit that Andrea has been very clever in how she is presenting Valens, suitable “for the rest of us.” These colorful little books seem infused with a happy spirit, unlike the usual ponderous academic translations. Her small hand drawn circular charts are much easier to read than the computer drawn square charts in the Schmidt translation, and her translation tends to be poetic and in plain English. Here is an example compared to the Schmidt translation. Which translation would we rather read?

1. “On Trigons” (Schmidt) The Anthology, Book II, Part 1, (p. 1) The Golden Hind Press, 1994.

When we have ordered the zodiacal circle in difference and by property, we find two sects–a diurnal and a nocturnal sect of the Sun and of the Moon respectively. The sun being truly fiery, was associated with Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, which was named its diurnal trigon and is also fiery by nature...

a; (alpha) “On the Triangles” (Gehrz) Vettius Valens 2.1 (p. 1) Moira Press, 2016

The circle of the starry regions can be likened to a vast celestial clock, illuminated by two bodies–the bright fiery Sun Helios and morphing Moon Selene. The Sun and Moon each govern half of the revolving starry sphere of time. Fittingly we find two classes of stars–daytime/nightime, solar/lunar, diurnal/nocturnal. The fiery Sun has been assigned to the fire signs–the Ram, Lion and Archer...
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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Sun May 27, 2018 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zagata wrote:
Quote:
I would be interested to know how Gehrz has dealt with the tables in Book VIII.

I have the book on order. I'll let you know when it arrives.
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Konrad



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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Here is an example compared to the Schmidt translation. Which translation would we rather read?


Dear Therese,

You are quite correct that Schmidt's translation is less readable than Gehrz's, but I would point out two things in response to that. First, the kind of prose that Schmidt reproduces is (generally) the type that Valens himself wrote. Valens has some poetic passages interspersed throughout his work, but it is mostly rather bland and dry; it is a technical manual after all. Second, I understand Gehrz's intention, but for a reader of her translation, the danger is that she may stray away from the actual Greek (as is your trigon excerpt) and at that point one is relying on her knowledge and understanding of the text being perfect. I remember an instance where that was not the case (http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6569&), so who knows if anything else like that has occurred? As I said, I understand her reasons for presenting the text as she has, but personally I would favour the more wooden, faithful approach as it lessens the effects of any of my own misunderstandings or mistakes as translator.
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Zagata



Joined: 15 Dec 2011
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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Therese.

As for Gehrz, I am most definitely "not the rest of us". As a serious Ancient Astrology practitioner, I can never rely on someone's interpretation, even more so when they are coming from the modern-psychological-change-your-fate-perspective.

I would also like to refer you to a comment by Martien Hermes here:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6514&highlight=


Schmidt shall remain the standard for me at least until I get to see and compare Eduardo Gramaglia's future translation of Valens, which Ben Dykes has promised to publish. Judging from Gramaglia's excellent translation and footnotes of Hephaistio Book III, I can't wait.
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your comments, Konrad, which are no doubt true for the serious student. I never did make my way through Schmidt's translation, but am enjoying Gehrz. What is important for the practicing astrologer is that she has accurately translated techniques that astrologers might use.

Gehrz admits that her translation has not been evaluated by scholars or had peer reviews. Thus, the informal "artsy" covers of the books. She's a unique voice for Valens for "the rest of us." Nevertheless, I'm glad that I have Schmidt's translation to compare certain passages in the text. Gehrz does encourage text comparison in her "Translator's Comment."

Thank you for the reference to Hermes' comment, Zagata. Very excellent!...which reminds me of why initially I didn't care for the Gehrz translation. Actually, the entire discussion on that link is worth re-reading. http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6514&highlight=

David Roell gives an interesting Gehrz-Riley text comparison here:
http://www.astroamerica.com/ancient.html#g112
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Zagata



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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Тherese wrote:

Quote:
What is important for the practicing astrologer is that she has accurately translated techniques that astrologers might use.


That is not true from my experience. The only translation of hers that I have is the one she kindly provided me with when I was working on my tutorial on being abroad and emigration (Valens Book II chapters 29-30).

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9671

I was already working with Schmidt's, Riley's and the German translation at the time to make sure I have what I consider to be the most consistent one for me and my students. There is no need to get into specifics but let me just say that Gehrz's was almost unusable.

She asked what I thought of it and, to reply her kindness for providing me with her translation of those two chapters, I decided to write commentaries and send them to her. Her text was so off on so many occasions that my commentaries ended up being longer than the translation itself.

In her defence, the text quoted by Valens is very difficult and technical. It is just over 3 pages long and I devote 20 pages of interpreting it in my tutorial + another 10 pages of glossary. Yet 3 other people, none of which were astrological practitioners at the time of the translation, unlike Gehrz, did the 2 chapters in question much better than her.

Lastly, whether she took my comments to heart and amended her translation of these two chapters, I do not know, because I never heard from Gehrz after my email with the commentaries.

So the bottom line for the serious student is:

1) to make sure they understand the difference between a translation and an interpretation;

2) to always compare translations of a given text;

3) to make sure they know where the original text begins, where it ends and where the translator's notes and interpretation begin.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to have your comments and experience, Zagata. Thank you. I'm doubly grateful that I have the Schmidt translation, and hope that we'll soon see the Gramaglia translation. If anyone still wishes to purchase Gehrz's Volume 1 (2nd edition), it does come up on Amazon for $29.95 USD if your search request is "Vettius Valens Anthology, Book 1.2."

Seems like a poetic interpretation isn't what we're looking for in a scholarly translation.
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, thanks for this update. I might suggest to those of us who are not fluent in ancient Greek (let alone, who are not competent philologists,) that it is a good idea to acquire more than one translation. That way, any question-raising passages can be compared.

Zagata, re: Hermes' post in your link, it is probably fair to point out that some of the standard translations of Hellenistic astrologers were published as critical editions. They contain a lot of explanatory footnotes and introductory material, that do not otherwise clutter up the translation.

I have a copy of Gehrz's first volume, and thought what she was doing in his cited passage was effectively explaining to her reader what a difficult concept meant: interpretation within the translation. As you know, a concept in one language may not actually have a close equivalent in the language of translation. "Pronoia" as Gehrz explains it, apparently is a more complex concept than simple "foresight," as the others had it.

I also found this definition of pronoia, which is different yet again, so maybe she wanted to clarify the specifc meaning in the context of Valens.

http://www.dictionaryofspiritualterms.com/public/Glossaries/terms.aspx?ID=344

"providence; the well ordered arrangement of things in the cosmos is based on a guiding and planning providence; the concept is developed before Socrates; according to Proclus, since all proceeding things in their essential aspect ‘remain’ in their higher causes, or archetypes, the higher causes not only contain their lower effects but they known, or fore-known ( pro-noein) these effects; foreknowledge is also a kind of love – the providential love (eros pronoetikos) by which the higher causes care for their effects."

Incidentally, does anyone know why Mark Riley never officially published his translation?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waybread wrote:
Quote:
Incidentally, does anyone know why Mark Riley never officially published his translation?

It's very sad that of August 2013 David Roell had almost completed the complex preparation for the publication of the Riley translation including charts, critical notes and tables. Dave was a talented publisher and had already given us many fine texts, most notably his two volume edition of Lilly. Beautifully done, a work of art. Dave wasn't just a publisher. He was an artist at his work. The Riley translation would have been a gift to astrologers.

I wish someone could find a way to discover what has happened to Dave's publishing efforts, and if someone could put the finishing touches on the manuscript he had been working on. I tried to contact his wife, but there was no reply. Is there a way to contact Riley? He must have been in touch with Dave?

One aspect of the Gehrz publication I liked was her explanation of Greek terms in footnotes. I don't know if she continued this through later volumes. I have been finding it very interesting and helpful to read her translation along with Schmidt's.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, Mark Riley is still listed as a Professor Emeritus at CSU Sacramento.
http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/

If he doesn't respond to his public contact information, probably the departmental secretary or CSU Sacramento Human Resources Department would be willing to send a message to him.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Waybread. I see that there is an email address on the link you sent, but I haven't tried it yet.

Zagata wrote:
Quote:
I would be interested to know how Gehrz has dealt with the tables in Book VIII.
They are used for a favourite topic of mine, namely calculating the length of life. To my knowledge, no translator has ever published the complete tables - not just those given by Valens - but for other latitudes as well.

I haven't reached Book 8 yet in reading, but Gehrz has 24 pages of tables, two for each sign with these headings:

Degrees (1 through 30)
(Planet glyphs for sections)
Numbers
And (?)
Years
Months

Book 8 is one of her least expensive volumes if you are curious enough to buy it, about $10 USD. For the time being Book 8 is all Greek to me. I do have to say that leaving the interpretation questions aside, Gehrz's unusual method of presentation with multiple casual sketches makes the study of Valens pleasant. The photos of Gehrz and her editor look like Hollywood photos shoots. Is she thumbing her nose at academics? (Which doesn't mean that the majority of her translation isn't valuable.)

It's difficult to read Riley on-line, and the text layout in the Schmidt translations is dense enough so that it's necessary to stop and think after many sentences, and even take notes....which is why I had difficulty getting past the first few volumes.
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