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Placidus versus Equal
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I doubt the absence of source citations in the Tetrabiblos is indicative of anything other than our own suppositions and expectations.


Sounds like a good point. Even Lilly’s Christian Astrology is deficient in the book standards we now expect. The passage of centuries has produced scholarship and publication dos and don’ts.
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woodwater



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
For an explanation, I’d defer to Mike Wackford and offer a link to his series on house division in polar regions: http://www.skyscript.co.uk/polar1.html

But astrology (as we know it) was not developed near to polar regions, so its ancient practitioners would never have experienced that problem, and that’s not what this thread is about. Unless someone is convinced that oldest is inevitably best, what does identifying the oldest system have to do with which system makes the best sense?


great article but confusing for a non astronomer for me. What house systems does he suggests then?
And is astro.com right when i get 3 of gemini rising at latitude 39?
Or the flaws in the softwares only apply to high latitudes?

thanks
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What house systems does he suggests then?


He advocates Placidus houses (the semi-arc system). Note:

Quote:
Without the convenience of trigonometry, calculation of the other cusps is both tedious and time-consuming, as are primary directions reckoned in the Zodiac. Placido de Titi was able to circumvent such calculation because he had access to hand-written tables, compiled for the purpose by Magini, but as these were not publicly available he devised alternative shortcuts for his manual, Primum Mobile. This book clearly warned that cusps obtained by the shortcuts, which use trigonometry to approximate the real house-lines, were no more than serviceable approximations, but Placido's caveat went largely unheeded by later commentators. This failure resulted in the widespread misconception that the makeshift trigonometric version of these houses was the system itself and it was criticised accordingly. It also contributed to almost universal acceptance of the notion that the semi-arc model could not be applied in the Polar Regions.


Note also:

Quote:
While degrees of the Zodiac will locate a planet's exact position within a sign, exact position within a house must be determined by the structure of whichever method is in use. As such, Ecliptic longitude alone will seldom indicate a planet's exact house position within the semi-arc [Placidus], Campanus or Regiomontanus systems. When a planet has much Ecliptic latitude, its longitude will often place it in the wrong house altogether. Ecliptic longitude will determine exact position within the Equal House system and it will also be of some assistance with Porphyry or Natural Graduation. Planetary house position has not been properly defined within the Topocentric system and it is ambiguous under the methods of Morinus and Koch.


Whether one chooses to work with the semi-arc system or not, Mr. Wackford's articles have cleared up many misconceptions about the nature and use of Placidus houses.
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woodwater



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do you know Michael Wackford`s site or contact? Books?
thanks
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Andrew



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodwater wrote:
do you know Michael Wackford`s site or contact? Books?
thanks


No, just the articles on this site ... and the responses he sometimes writes ...
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woodwater



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found this:

Global Horoscopes
Michael Wackford Correlation 2005, 23.1, 45-64. This paper concludes a 5-part review of horoscopy in the Polar Regions whose aim was to clear away some of the many misconceptions of circumpolar horoscopy, to examine the nature and viability of a number of house systems, and to establish which methods of house division can be successfully applied in the Polar Regions and therefore across the entire planet. Only Equal, Campanus and Placidus deserve consideration. The first presents difficulties when the circumpolar ascendant reverses, the second pretends that all skies are as witnessed at the equator, the last is the only quadrant system that can be applied in polar regions without sacrificing astronomical and astrological integrity. But it can still fail to give twelve unambiguous cusps

A Test of House Systems
Richard Nolle Kosmos 1987, 16.1, 25-27. The question of the best house system has plagued astrologers for centuries. My study used 375 notable athletes (most of them from the Gauquelin Book of Amnerican Charts) with 468 non-athletes as controls, all with timed births, whose charts were computer-calculated using Placidus, Koch, and Equal house systems. None showed a significant relationship between athletic achievement and house position, although Placidus did best followed very closely by Koch. In contrast, Mars conjunct ascendant or MC with a five-degree orb showed a significant relationship (p = 0.03) consistent with Gauquelin's Mars effect. Further tests are needed, but as they stand the results indicate that house placement is not a significant chart factor.
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Andrew



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
so, my dad died when i was 21. I have sun in 9th cusp. How do you explain that without WSH system?


In either Placidus or Koch:

The natal Sun in Capricorn (domicile ruler of the fourth house, exaltation ruler of the twelfth house) conjoined by direction to Jupiter in Aquarius (domicile ruler of the eighth house, exaltation ruler of the third house) is afflicted by Neptune in the sixth house, which (by direction) afflicts the Ascendant in Gemini, itself afflicted by Uranus in transit (conjoined to the directed Neptune).

The Koch system (which I prefer) places the natal Sun in the eighth house.

Ambiguously, of course. Wink


Last edited by Andrew on Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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woodwater



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: carlson test Reply with quote

Many astrologerscriticized the Carlson test,like G. Cornelius. Hers what happened:

Summary of Carlson's Double-Blind Test of Astrology
Francoise Gauquelin APP 1986, 4.1, 4-8 followed in the same issue by comments from Hans Eysenck and Teresa Weed Hamilton. The original study by Shawn Carlson appeared in Nature 1985, 318, 419-425 at which time it was the largest study of its kind and was notable for involving an advisory panel of three prominent NCGR astrologers to ensure that the study was fair, and double-blind conditions to avoid any possibility of bias. In view of the controversy it created, the following abstract includes information kindly provided by Carlson in 1986 that is not in the APP abstract or in the original paper. The study involved three different tests as follows:

(1) 128 subjects obtained via advertisements and notices in the San Francisco Bay area had to pick their own chart interpretation out of three. Subjects excluded those who strongly disbelieved in astrology, had previously had a chart constructed, or were under 17. Roughly half were male and the mean age was 28, range 17-65. Subjects could not be test subjects (but could be controls, see below) if their birth place, date and time were not documented and if their birth time was not recorded to better than 15 minutes. The charts were calculated by two astrologers using a Digicomp DR70 [a dedicated chart-calculating computer introduced in the 1970s before PCs became popular], and the interpretations were individually typed by a total of 28 experienced astrologers selected by the advisory panel for competence and a background in psychology. Each interpretation was about 1000 words on pages supplied by Carlson that had pre-printed headings typical of an astrology reading (personality, relationships, career, education, current situation) to ensure uniformity of content and length. So each was representative of the best US professional practice. To avoid give-away clues, each interpretation avoided astrological terms and age indications. In addition, 128 control subjects (same Sun sign as the actual subjects but differing in age by at least 3 years) were given the same task. Usable responses were received from 83 subjects and 94 controls. The 83 subjects ranked the authentic interpretation 28, 33, 22 times in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, which was not significantly different from the results expected by chance (83/3 = 27.7 times in each case, p = 0.57). The 94 control subjects ranked the authentic interpretation 42, 34, 18 times in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, which was almost significantly different from the results expected by chance (94/3 = 31.3 times in each case, p = 0.07).

(2) To test whether subjects could recognise themselves, they also had to rank the accuracy of 3 CPI profiles. One was their authentic profile, the other two were chosen at random from other subjects of the same sex. The same 3 profiles were also given to control subjects chosen at random and of the same sex as the test subjects. The subjects had to be matched for sex because the CPI contains scales that discriminate between the sexes. The CPI has 18 scales, 3 of which (well-being, good impression, communality) are designed to detect faking, and the rest provide scores on personality dimensions such as dominance, sociability, self-control, responsibility, achievement, and femininity. The CPI was used in preference to other personality inventories because its scales were judged by the advising astrologers to be closest to what is discernible in a chart. It had also been extensively researched. Unfortunately the subjects had not been advised in advance of this second test, most were not particularly interested in the CPI, and more than half failed to respond. The 56 subjects who responded ranked the authentic profile 25, 16, 15 times in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place vs 56/3 = 18.7 expected, which was in the right direction (and more in the right direction than picking authentic charts) but not significant (p = 0.46). For the 50 control subjects who responded the corresponding rankings were 21, 13, 16 vs 50/3 = 16.7 expected, again nonsignificant (p = 0.61). Given the difficulty of understanding a graph rather than readable text, these results are perhaps unsurprising.

(3) For each of the charts they had interpreted and a further chart, each astrologer was given 3 CPI profiles. One was the authentic profile for the chart subject, the other two were chosen at random from other subjects of the same sex. Each astrologer also received a copy of the CPI interpretation manual that explained the meaning and interpretation of each of the 18 CPI scales. They then rated the fit between each profile and chart on a scale of 1-10. Because all astrologers had some background in psychology (nearly all claimed to have some formal training in psychology, average 3 years, three were professional psychologists, and most claimed to have some experience with the California Psychological Inventory), this test should have been easier than it was for the subjects. Nevertheless, of 226 charts sent out, only 114 were returned. The astrologers matched the authentic profile 40, 46, 28 times in 1st, 2nd, 3rd place vs 114/3 = 38 expected by chance, which was in the right direction but was not significant (p = 0.32).

The advisory panel had predicted that, in tests (1) and (3), the hit rate would be about 50% vs 33.3% expected by chance, whereas the observed hit rates were 33.7% and 34.5%. So even though the panel was satisfied that the tests were fair, the results were at chance level (and still less than the 44.6% hit rate for subjects picking their own CPI profile). Comments by Hans Eysenck and Teresa Weed Hamilton focussed on the CPI. Despite its popularity, most of the validity coefficients for single scales are low, while collectively the scales are both too complex and too limited to be a good test of astrology. Its acceptance by the advising astrologers suggests they had little training in psychology. Carlson's study cannot therefore be considered as a valid test of astrology. [This ignores the first test, which did not involve the CPI, and therefore remains valid.]
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woodwater



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew wrote:
Quote:
so, my dad died when i was 21. I have sun in 9th cusp. How do you explain that without WSH system?


In either Placidus or Koch:

The natal Sun in Capricorn (domicile ruler of the fourth house, exaltation ruler of the twelfth house) conjoined by direction to Jupiter in Aquarius (domicile ruler of the eighth house, exaltation ruler of the third house) is afflicted by Neptune in the sixth house, which (by direction) afflicts the Ascendant in Gemini, itself afflicted by Uranus in transit (conjoined to the directed Neptune).

The Koch system (which I prefer) places the natal Sun in the eighth house.

Ambiguously, of course. Wink

what has house 3 to do with father?
technically the Sun is in 9 in Koch. Anyway i have 2 cousins with sun in 8 in wsh system whose father didnt die early. In Placidus their Suns are in 7
So direction is when a planet rules the house where nother planet is?
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Andrew



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Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What has house 3 to do with father?


More to the point: what might it have had to do with your experience at the time? I provided the information, not the interpretation. You know far more about that than any astrologer ever will.

Quote:
Technically the Sun is in 9 in Koch.


That depends on which parameters you use to determine a planet's house position. Ecliptic latitude? The five-degree rule? I read it as in the eighth. In the Equal-House system, it is unambiguously in the eighth; in the Koch system, it is "ambiguously" in the eighth.

Quote:
Anyway I have 2 cousins with sun in 8 in wsh system whose father didn't die early. In Placidus their Suns are in 7. So direction is when a planet rules the house where another planet is?


Then I might favor the Placidus system over the WSH system, though an eighth-house Sun in any system is not necessarily an indication of the early death of one's father. Is the chart nocturnal? Then take Saturn for the father, not the Sun.

Symbolic directions are often described as an enormously simplified method of primary directions. All planets and points are symbolically progressed approximately one degree of zodiacal longitude (more or less) for each year after birth.
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woodwater



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in no case it was nocturnal
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Chris Brennan



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
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Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steven wrote:
Hi Deb and all,

Deb wrote:

Quote:
You know, there is an interesting contradiction here. On the one hand, the consensus of opinion is that Ptolemy’s interest leant more towards the academic/theoretical. On the other, he is accused of presenting a theory that deviates from the mainstream works of his era (?). That doesn’t make sense does it? One thing for certain is that Ptolemy was passionate about his interest in astrology – if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have taken the trouble to point out and correct statements that he felt were misleading or wrong. At the same time, there was no reason for him to innovate, and no advantage to be gained from 'making things up'? So I agree with you. I don’t believe that Ptolemy is as divergent from mainstream tradition as he is made out to be either, and I think the perceived points of departure show us that we still have a lot to learn.


Personally I don't think Ptolemy necessarily presents his own deviant theories. I have all of his works and there are big differences in what he presents in the Almagest and what he presents in Tetrabiblos. In the Almagest, Ptolemy often goes out of his way to document his sources and reiterate earlier physics and mathematics and he clearly documents his corections. In the Tetrabiblos there is not one documented source. This I fear is a lot of the source of the criticism and scepticism because it is very strange that he so carefully presents various arguments in the Almagest but with only one case in the Tetrabiblos does he vaguely offer a source. There is no doubt that in the Tetrabiblos he is very selective as to his sources. That raises an even bigger question of why? It is clear from many statements that if he thought an astrological did not necessarily fit his scientific concepts he leaves it out. But again I question why he does not so assiduously document his sources as he does in his even larger and more detailed works. If we take for example his contemporary Vettius Valens, Valens gives us the sources without fail of all his quotes and doctrines; whether it was "Abraham" or "Petosiris" or "Nechepso" or who ever he quotes. It is this big deviation within Ptolemy's own works that raises questions.

If I post a quote, 9 out of 10 times people react to its legitimacy if I don't reference my quote or doctrine. Yet Ptolemy we swallow hook line and sinker and there is not one single reference to an earlier work or author! Think about it - that's strange and it is not true with his greater work the Almagest! Sorry- there's something fishy with Ptolemy's astrology <g>! Especially if we don't find his teachings at least re-iterated in his contemporaries! That's what I've always liked about Valens, he makes it very clear what is his own formulations and what is the historical foundation.

Steven





Not to negate your point, but there is one obscure reference that Ptolemy makes in the Tetrabiblos to earlier sources. At the beginning of his length of life treatment he appears to allude to Nechepso when he says that the 'ancient one' said that the length of life treatment should go before all else, since there is no use predicting future glory for someone who wont live long enough to see it, or something to that effect.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:

You know, there is an interesting contradiction here. On the one hand, the consensus of opinion is that Ptolemy’s interest leant more towards the academic/theoretical. On the other, he is accused of presenting a theory that deviates from the mainstream works of his era (?). That doesn’t make sense does it? One thing for certain is that Ptolemy was passionate about his interest in astrology – if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have taken the trouble to point out and correct statements that he felt were misleading or wrong. At the same time, there was no reason for him to innovate, and no advantage to be gained from 'making things up'? So I agree with you. I don’t believe that Ptolemy is as divergent from mainstream tradition as he is made out to be either, and I think the perceived points of departure show us that we still have a lot to learn.

On the issue of the houses, the only comments within the Tetrabiblos that are clear and unambiguous are those that demonstrate the use of quadrant division. Any that are used to support the use of whole-sign houses are the result of Schmidt’s arguments about his perspective, using his translation of Hubner’s preferred Greek text. Ultimately, any argument made in favour of whole sign is just as easily contradicted, whilst the demonstration of quadrant division is clear. Ptolemy describes the influence of these places and how they are calculated, so I don’t see how the Tetrabiblos could ever be used to argue that whole-sign is the oldest system, since the only clear evidence it presents is to show the use of quadrant division.



This is interesting though, because if your argument about Ptolemy not using whole sign houses at all for any purpose is correct, then this certainly does present us with a significant departure from the rest of the Hellenistic tradition. That is to say, it would be divergent from the other authors that we have at this point who clearly use whole sign houses the majority of the time, or at least in part: Antiochus, Manilius, Dorotheus, Valens, Manetho, Anonymous of 379, Hephaistio, Paulus, Firmicus, etc. Even Masha'allah, Abu 'Ali and apparently Sahl for that matter (from what Ben Dykes tells me).
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, my mistake. I accidentally overlooked that statement. My apologies.

I agree that the influence of other astrologers like Valens and Dorotheus on the Arabic tradition is sometimes overlooked. There is still an open question as to how much of Valens' work they inherited though, but we know that some of it was being transmitted along with the Pahlavi version of Dorotheus due to the quote (singular) from book 5 of Valens that has been inserted in Dorotheus' work. There was also an article published a few years ago in a collection of papers dedicated to Pingree in which the author outlined the transmission of the elaborate length of life treatment in book 8 of the Anthology through the Arabic tradition. Apparently the original version of this Arabic translation of Valens' work was written in gold ink, which presumably means that it was rather important to someone!

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years as more work is done in tracing some of these transmission issues. I'm looking forward to the publication of some of Ben Dykes' forthcoming translations which should really help to expand our understanding of the Medieval Arabic tradition.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great obstacle for the study of astrological traditions is the lack of reliable editions of texts from the Byzantine and Arabic period. To name the most important authors from the perspective of transmission, Rhetorius, Theophilus, Māshā’allāh, Sahl and Abū Ma‘shar, but enormous material is preserved in the forged Eleutherian treatises issued under the name of Ahmad and Palchus. Moreover, there is a rarely noticed problem: we just partly know the tradition of Dorotheus, Valens, and even Ptolemy!
Let me clarify. 'Dorotheus' now largely a synonym for ‘Umar ibn Farrukhān's translation which is far from reality: this translation represents only a descendant of the Dorothean tradition, but yes, the most complete one that survived. In Pingree's original edition there are also some fragments and paraphrases in Greek (and Latin) but the selection is not exhausting. (And to tell the truth, the main source of genuine fragments and prose paraphrases is Hephaistio whose work is very poorly preserved.)
Besides them, we can find many unpublished Dorothean and pseudo-Dorothean passages in Greek, Pahlavi, Arabic and Latin. For example: the so-called 'Leiden Dorotheus' (Kitāb fī bayān al-ifrādāt) which was probably utilized by Māshā’allāh and which found its way to pseudo-Ahmad; a genethlialogical work of the same Māshā’allāh which was translated by Hugo of Santalla as Liber Aristotilis; the short compilation in Vatican codex Vat. gr. 1056, fol. 238-241 whose main sources are Dorotheus and Rhetorius; finally, the numerous quotations in Theophilus', Māshā’allāh's, Sahl's and others' works. Without putting together these sources, we cannot know for sure what survived from Dorotheus' tradition.
This is for Dorotheus; for Valens, the situation is somewhat worse. Of course, there is a survived text (or, more correctly, a bunch of texts) which can be labelled as Vettius Valens' Anthologiae. Yes, but this is a poorly preserved and mutilated Byzantine version in 9 books, stemmed back to the 7th century whose source is a 5th-century redaction of a 3rd-century reworking of Valens' circa-175 collection. It is certainly not worthless but without the knowledge of parallel Pahlavi and Arabic tradition, namely, the fragments of Burjmihr's Bizīdaj which was a commentary of Valens' 10 (!) books, and other sources that could clarify Vettian intentions and inventions, we are poorer indeed.
Of course, Ptolemy is slightly another case. I did not mention him just because his will-o'-the-wisp-like place division is under discussion, but also because the understanding of his Arabic tradition is still missing. OK, his Apotelesmatika was first translated by al-Bitrīq ibn Yahyā in the middle of 8th century, then there was a version from Ibrāhīm ibn al-Salt that was corrected by Hunayn ibn Ishāq, and there are and were several commentaries, e.g. from ‘Umar ibn Farrukhān, al-Battānī and Ibn Ridwān. These works can be interesting even from the perspective of textual criticism since the oldest Greek manuscript of the Apotelesmatika is from the 13th century.
It is, however, certain that Dorotheus and Valens played greater role in early Arabic astrology than Ptolemy. As it seems to me, it was just the 9th and 10th centuries when the reputation of Ptolemy began to rise. But even then Dorotheus is a popular authority (though, I suspect, it is some pseudo-Dorotheus in this time). Perhaps the key moment of Ptolemy's enlarged role is Ahmad ibn ad-Dāya's forgery of Kitāb al-thamara or Ptolemy's Centiloquium in the beginning of 10th century. Of course, his high reputation is not unbroken until the Renaissance when a second landmark can be Cardano's commentary in 1554.

PS Steven, Chris, you mentioned Ptolemy's single obscure reference to an old (archaios) astrologer. If I remember well, the anonymous Greek commentary for Ptolemy clarifies the meaning of palaios and archaios as a reference to previous astrologers, and while the former is used to Hermes, Nechepso and the like, the latter is employed for the immediate predecessors. Thus I suppose it is a reference to a Critodemus-, Thrasyllus- or Barbillus-like astrologer. But this keyword also helps us to uncover some other instances of reference: for example, when Ptolemy is speaking about 'ancients' whose method is to mix all the quality of the celestial bodies (Book III, Chapter 2) which is a Hellenistic standard as we can see from Dorotheus, pseudo-Manetho, Anubio, Valens, Maternus and others.
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