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Rhetorius Book
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:
David, Antioch <> Alexandria.


Thank-you for the geography lesson. You have read the nine books, I presume?

David R. Roell
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GR



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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enough to know he was born in Antioch.
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:
Enough to know he was born in Antioch.


Valens gives his chart data in numerous places in the book. He never once states where he was born. To the best of my knowledge, we have no other biographical information about him.

He does, at one single place, give his klima of birth.

You do know what klima is?

Valens sets his charts in klimas 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7, with other charts even further north.

You do understand, when sundials set the time and that time is Local Apparent, why latitude alone is sufficient in setting a chart? You do know what klima is?

I went to Wiki for klima and used its klima markers:

1 - Khartoum
2 - Aswan
3 - Alexandria
4 - Rhodes
5 - (not used by Valens)
6 - the Crimea
7 - somewhere north of the Crimea. As far north as Paris, actually. Wiki breaks down at this point.

The total number of charts in Valens is, for another week or so, unknown, as I have not yet sorted the duplicates. The raw number is over 100. There are not that many charts from klima 4. Which could be Rhodes, or could be Antioch or could be anywhere else at the same latitude, but none of those charts were Valens'. And again, there were not that many of them. While Antioch was a very big city, it, like Rome, does not seem to have been a port. By contrast there are a lot of charts from klima 6.

If you have evidence Valens was born in Antioch, you should share it. That he is known today as "Vettius Valens of Antioch" is not of itself conclusive. And yes, I did look for any evidence he was from or lived in Antioch. Or Alexandria. Valens' remarks about Egypt are disparaging.

Vettius Valens, by his own account, was presumably born in a Greek colony on the Dnieper, a navigable river, in the vicinity of Dnepropetrovsk, which is klima 7 & which is in keeping with known Greek whereabouts. He lived in a Greek colony in the Crimea and as a youth was a sailor. Even today these colonies are not well-known. Russia has swallowed them up and hidden them from western eyes. Publication of his Anthologies will open new avenues for research.
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dave,

Interesting topic. Although its not what I expected to find on an old thread about Rhetorius. Shocked

If you really want some commentary on this you have a far better chance of getting some good feedback by moving this post to a new thread on the traditional forum.

Mark
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Location: Bel Air, MD

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Hi Dave,

Interesting topic. Although its not what I expected to find on an old thread about Rhetorius. Shocked

If you really want some commentary on this you have a far better chance of getting some good feedback by moving this post to a new thread on the traditional forum.

Mark


Hello Mark,

My thanks for your note. I am going to retreat and concentrate on finishing Valens. A better use of my time.

Last week's newsletter had a comprehensive theory of astrology, which will astound you. Read it here:
http://www.astroamerica.com/newsletters/2011-august16.pdf

In Monday's issue, I tackle Rick Perry's horoscope.

Dave
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GR



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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mithra6 wrote:
This is exactly why we need more than one person translating these books in a transparent fashion. It doesn't have to be vastly. We all benefit from it.



I agree that the more good translations out there, the better, but bad first drafts will only degrade understanding.
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Dave of Maryland



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:
Mithra6 wrote:
This is exactly why we need more than one person translating these books in a transparent fashion. It doesn't have to be vastly. We all benefit from it.



Quote:
I agree that the more good translations out there, the better, but bad first drafts will only degrade understanding.


Thank-you for bringing up the two previous Hindsight editions, with my apologies to Hindsight.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ascensional times given in the example chart you are talking about don't match klima 7. They only make sense further south.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Brennan wrote:
The ascensional times given in the example chart you are talking about don't match klima 7. They only make sense further south.



You are working in "Hypsicles units", I presume
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave of Maryland wrote:

You are working in "Hypsicles units", I presume



Using system A.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Chris Brennan"]
Dave of Maryland wrote:

You are working in "Hypsicles units", I presume


Quote:
Using system A.


Regret I do not understand. There is no "A" in the Riley translation. To convert the rising times given in the text, one must multiply times four. The results are usually in agreement with Alcabitius. Regret I have not yet set the tables of rising times as given in Book I.

In working with the text, I have cast charts according to the klima given. I have noted discrepancies with klima and rising times, but as the entire text is quirky as to accuracy, these are not easy to resolve. I am presently checking the entire text for duplicate charts, which may help resolve a few of them. For charts without klima I have used a default of klima 6, as it seems clear that Valens resided in the Crimea. Close examination of the text does not support residence in Alexandria. Antioch is klima 4, which is comparatively rare.
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epurdue



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the likelihood that Riley's translation isn't exactly accurate? Not trying to start an argument, but it seems to have been made more in the spirit of experimentation.
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Dave of Maryland



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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mithra6 wrote:
What is the likelihood that Riley's translation isn't exactly accurate? Not trying to start an argument, but it seems to have been made more in the spirit of experimentation.


More accurate than what? While Mark Riley himself says his translation is provisional, Riley's provisional is a lot better worked out than anything I have seen from the astrologer-translators. I suspect people are taking Riley's "provisional" and using it for an excuse to not look at his actual work. In other words, ignorance is being used merely to start an argument. (Just what Skyscript needs.)

As a member of the academic community (along with Pingree, Neugebauer and many others) Riley worked to very high, generally agreed-upon standards. He wasn't working alone, he wasn't experimenting and he wasn't just guessing. He had a great deal of previous experience, as well as access to the best minds in the field. As I myself am fluent in French, I have traveled a little ways down this road myself. A translator's goal is not only to be accurate, but also to be literate. Many of the astrologer-translators I have read to date (please do not make me name them, I don't need the enemies) have failed in this critical regard. Their work reads like gibberish. When asked, they always say, "well, that's how it was in the [Latin] [Greek] original." Which, among professionals will get you laughed at. I am very sorry to say this. Translation is a struggle, it requires experience as well as a certain genius. A famous 12th century translator gave us "sunbeam". I assure you that term was not in the original. The translator created it whole cloth, and we have thanked him ever since. This is what translation is.

On the very first page of Book II, Riley gives the word, "Triangles". I queried him. Shouldn't that be "triplicities" - ? No, the reply came back. The word in the text was triangle. Which made me realize that astrologers use "triplicity" for two very different meanings. Thirds of a sign, and thirds of the zodiac. Casual use can be confusing. It might be time we sorted that out. "Triangles" did just that.

There was the matter of "houseruler". Which is how Riley gave it. I immediately changed that to "house ruler" (two words), though I may change it back. But what did it mean? In an obscure corner of the text I learned it meant, "ruler of the term of the ascendant, given certain conditions." Because that's how Riley translated it, as "term".

Turns out, everyone else has translated "term" as "bounds". Where did "bounds" come from, as it's not in Valens' text?

More importantly, WHY is the word "bounds" being used? If bounds = terms and terms = bounds, then as the word terms is already established, why do we need another? I see something similar in Schmidt's work, where he gives us Zeus and Aphrodite. The generally accepted words are Jupiter and Venus. Well, yes, but Jupiter and Venus are Roman, don't you know? Yes, and Thursday is Norse. What was your point? Valens is not writing mythology. We are translating into our language, not some invented neo-Greek one. This is what I mean by standards. I assure you: Mark Riley is a very, very picky translator.

In setting Riley's text, I have been forced to refer to a vast number of secondary sources. Literally every.single.detail in the text must be queried. One must observe carefully, one must consider and weigh what Valens is saying, and why. It really takes more than just a translator to make sense of the Anthologies. Initially I wanted the help of an experienced Hellenist, but when one of the leading ones declined, I set myself the task of doing it myself. What has emerged is very different from what I read elsewhere.

As for the question, was Riley qualified as an astrologer?, I've looked closely at his Introductory Survey. I hate to tell you, but he has a better grasp of the astrology than many of the Hellenists. So did David Pingree, by the way.

When I get it published, get a copy and rip it to pieces. You will be doing all of us a favor. I will be most happy to incorporate all useful changes. Valens will be a work in progress for many years to come.
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epurdue



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
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Posted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave of Maryland wrote:

When I get it published, get a copy and rip it to pieces. You will be doing all of us a favor.


That's not where I'm coming from. I don't have any allegiances to any version of Valens or to modern Hellenistic astrology. I haven't even read Schmidt's translation.

My only point was that I seemed to remember Riley mentioning that this project was something of an experiment. To me that implies something more casual. If he knows more about Hellenistic astrology than "Hellenists" then I think that's great. By "accurate" I just meant to the text itself, and conveying the intended meaning of it. Again I'm not trying to start an argument.

If I understood that incorrectly, then so be it.
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Philip Graves



Joined: 07 Jan 2005
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Posted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nine years and three months after this thread began, the critical edition of Rhetorius's Compendium Astrologicum still hasn't been published.

In that time-frame, the world of traditional astrology has sadly lost Sue Toohey and also Dave Roell, both of whom contributed to this discussion, as well as James Herschel Holden, who published his English translation years after this discussion began but long before the critical edition was complete.

Lehmans, an academic bookseller based in Germany, is now tentatively suggesting July 2018 as a publication date for the critical edition of Rhetorius. Given that it was first listed as available for sale on pre-order on Amazon in 2006, some twelve years will have passed if it is published then. See here:

http://www.lehmanns.de/shop/geisteswissenschaften/23123961-9783119163231-compendium-astrologicum

But will it actually be published in July 2018?

Given the past record of scheduled publication dates for this book coming and going, you might be forgiven for thinking that that is a Rhetorical question.

I have no doubt that there are sound scholarly reasons for the delay, however. Stephan Heilen, who took over the job from David Pingree, has produced some outstanding work, and seems until recently to have been busy getting another astrological critical edition ready in time for its publication last year: that of Antigonus, as published by Walter de Gruyter, the same publisher due to publish the edition of Rhetorius.
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