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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Proper use of the term 'hairesis'
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 506
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Proper use of the term 'hairesis' Reply with quote

Hi Skyscribes

In a German book by Wilhelm Knappich, I saw hairesis being used in reference to the solar and the lunar hemisphere of the zodiac in the domicile scheme. I.e., Knappich calls them the hairesis of the Sun (Leo to Capricorn) and the hairesis of the Moon (Aquarius to Cancer) respectively.

However, in other texts I find hairesis always used as an alternative word for a planet's 'sect', so I wonder if Knappich is actually applying it correctly. And if not, is there another traditional name for the aforesaid?

Thanks
Michael
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Tanit3333



Joined: 12 Jul 2017
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Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took Latin in college as a minor and the now retired prof I studied with also knows Greek and classical astrology. This is a Greek word and might have more background than one realizes. He has translated ancient astrology texts and would likely be a good resource for a question like this (if it is a serious question to you):

https://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/

He is also on LinkedIn and he likes questions (at least he was always kind to me).
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael,

Knappich is surely wrong on this issue. I checked Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the most comprehensive corpus of Greek texts, for αἵρεσις in astrological texts, and a cursory glance didn't reveal anything but the familiar sect concept. For the most comprehensive treatment of the topic with references, see Heilen's Hadriani genitura on this link: https://bit.ly/2NVsuIO
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tanit3333 wrote:

Tanit3333 wrote:
I took Latin in college as a minor and the now retired prof I studied with also knows Greek and classical astrology. This is a Greek word and might have more background than one realizes. He has translated ancient astrology texts and would likely be a good resource for a question like this (if it is a serious question to you):

https://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/

He is also on LinkedIn and he likes questions (at least he was always kind to me).


Thank you, Tanit. I have dropped the professor an email. Smile
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Hi Michael,

Knappich is surely wrong on this issue. I checked Thesaurus Linguae Graecae, the most comprehensive corpus of Greek texts, for αἵρεσις in astrological texts, and a cursory glance didn't reveal anything but the familiar sect concept. For the most comprehensive treatment of the topic with references, see Heilen's Hadriani genitura on this link: https://bit.ly/2NVsuIO


Thank you Levente for lending support to my assumption that Knappich was wrong in this regard. Alas, your link leads to mostly empty book pages.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Alas, your link leads to mostly empty book pages.


Sorry, this is a Google Books annoyance. Anyways, my reference would have been Stephan Heilen's Hadriani genitura, pp. 702-703. It basically says that the "authoritative treatment" of the topic of "sects" (or "parties") is Suzanne Denningmann's Die astrologische Lehre der Doryphorie, pp. 164-182, and the earliest sources are Thrasyllus (CCAG 8.3: 100.22-24 = Thrasyllus test. 27 Tarrant = Rhetorius 6.57.16) and the possibly even earlier Imbrasius of Ephesus (Franz Cumont, "Les 'Prognostica de decubitu' attribués à Galien", Bulletin de l'Institut historique belge de Rome 15 [1935], 119-131, p. 125.1-15); its origins are possibly Babylonian. There's no indication of the "solar" and "lunar" hemispheres as an alternative interpretation, though.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Michael Sternbach"]Tanit3333 wrote:

Tanit3333 wrote:
I took Latin in college as a minor and the now retired prof I studied with also knows Greek and classical astrology. This is a Greek word and might have more background than one realizes. He has translated ancient astrology texts and would likely be a good resource for a question like this (if it is a serious question to you):

https://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/

He is also on LinkedIn and he likes questions (at least he was always kind to me).


Michael replied:

Quote:
Thank you, Tanit. I have dropped the professor an email. Smile


The good professor indeed replied promptly and elaborately. To summarize: He also isn't aware of the term hairesis being used by the ancients the way Knappich did and agrees that it seems wrong. However, he added for consideration that it was not unusual for a Greek author to give a commonly used term a new individualistic twist, so he couldn't be absolutely positive that hairesis had never ever been given the meaning Knappich suggested.

Be that as it may, I rest assured now that it wasn't common parlance by any stretch of the imagination, and that's what I needed to know. I will therefore avoid using it the way Knappich did, although it would have come in handy. But alas, I am not an ancient Greek, at least not in this life.

Thank you Professor Riley, if you are reading this. And thank you Tannit. Smile
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Alas, your link leads to mostly empty book pages.


Sorry, this is a Google Books annoyance. Anyways, my reference would have been Stephan Heilen's Hadriani genitura, pp. 702-703. It basically says that the "authoritative treatment" of the topic of "sects" (or "parties") is Suzanne Denningmann's Die astrologische Lehre der Doryphorie, pp. 164-182, and the earliest sources are Thrasyllus (CCAG 8.3: 100.22-24 = Thrasyllus test. 27 Tarrant = Rhetorius 6.57.16) and the possibly even earlier Imbrasius of Ephesus (Franz Cumont, "Les 'Prognostica de decubitu' attribués à Galien", Bulletin de l'Institut historique belge de Rome 15 [1935], 119-131, p. 125.1-15); its origins are possibly Babylonian. There's no indication of the "solar" and "lunar" hemispheres as an alternative interpretation, though.


Thank you, Levente. That by itself is pretty conclusive. Smile
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The confusion probably arises because there was some sort of debate in the early Hellenistic tradition about how to assign some of the sect-related rejoicing conditions to the signs. Everyone agreed about the basic distinction between day charts and night charts and the two teams, and they also seem to have been on the same page about the hemisphere related rejoicing condition in terms of daytime planets preferring to be above the horizon by day and below by night. However, it seems like there were some different approaches for the third condition. Most of the later astrologers just follow Ptolemy and make the masculine signs diurnal and the feminine nocturnal, but there is at least one author, Hephaistio I think, who divides the signs into two hemispheres between Cancer and Leo and then assigns sect to the signs that way based on the domcile scheme. So, Knappich isn't wrong in connecting that to the doctrine of sect, but it is only one variant tradition that is connect to the broader doctrine.

Sidenote: Tanit3333, you studied with Mark Riley? That is pretty cool. Were you aware of his work on ancient astrology at the time, or did you only come to realize the significance later?
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Tanit3333



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Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Brennan - No, Dr. Riley never mentioned astrology in class and this was something I discovered after graduating. My guess is that he kept that private from his students. Had I known, I would have been happy to discuss astrology with him. I always wondered why he talked about how he believed he would die from a heart attack, and he exercised religiously. In hindsight, I wonder if it is something he saw in his natal chart. He must be at least in his 70s and still active, though! He was a very brilliant professor and one of my all-time favorite teachers.
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margherita



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Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Brennan wrote:
Most of the later astrologers just follow Ptolemy and make the masculine signs diurnal and the feminine nocturnal, but there is at least one author, Hephaistio I think, who divides the signs into two hemispheres between Cancer and Leo and then assigns sect to the signs that way based on the domcile scheme.


Ptolemy says the same. Don't blame him Smile
"The system of houses is of the following nature. Since of the twelve signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and of warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, that is, to the luminaries, as houses, Leo, which is masculine, to the sun and Cancer, feminine, to the moon. In keeping with this they assumed the semicircle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar"
Quadripartite, I,17
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, but did Hephaistio and/or Ptolemy actually use the term hairesis in this context?
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margherita



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Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Yes, but did Hephaistio and/or Ptolemy actually use the term hairesis in this context?


Ptolemy obviously not. He is talking about domiciles.
About Hephaistio, about whom Schmidt says it is a paraphrase of Tetrabiblos with excerpts from Dorotheus (page viii of Hephaistio first book, Hindsight edition) it would be nice to have the quote.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

margherita wrote:

About Hephaistio, about whom Schmidt says it is a paraphrase of Tetrabiblos with excerpts from Dorotheus (page viii of Hephaistio first book, Hindsight edition) it would be nice to have the quote.


It is in book 1, chapter 1 of Hephaistio, where he outlines the significations of the signs of the zodiac. Hand has a footnote about it in Schmidt's translation on page 3, where they are initially perplexed about why Hephaistio says that Aries is nocturnal, and then he speculates that it may have been a variant tradition derived from the domicile assignments.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

margherita wrote:

Ptolemy says the same. Don't blame him Smile
"The system of houses is of the following nature. Since of the twelve signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and of warmth are Cancer and Leo, they assigned these to the greatest and most powerful heavenly bodies, that is, to the luminaries, as houses, Leo, which is masculine, to the sun and Cancer, feminine, to the moon. In keeping with this they assumed the semicircle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar"
Quadripartite, I,17


Good point, although in his chapter on masculine and feminine signs he does seem to conflate gender with sect:

"Again, they similarly assigned six of the twelfth-parts to the masculine and diurnal nature, and six to the feminine and nocturnal nature. The order given to them was every other one because day is always coupled to night, and female is always found close to male." Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 1, 13: 1, trans. Schmidt, p. 28.
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