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Length of life procedures in Vettius Valens?

 
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:34 pm    Post subject: Length of life procedures in Vettius Valens? Reply with quote

In Greek Horoscopes (p. 78), Neugebauer and Van Hoesen claim to imitate Vettius Valens in measuring the distance between 'starter' and 'destroyer' (aphetēs and anairetēs, hyleg and abscissor) simply by degrees of longitude, along the ecliptic. I have never seen this in Valens and strongly suspect the two scholars of being mistaken; but I haven't read all of Valens. Has anyone seen such a procedure in his text?
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astroart



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Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:04 pm    Post subject: Ballbilus Reply with quote

Martin,

You're right, prof.Neugebauer and prof.Van Hoesen have been mistaken. But all step by step:

This horoscope ( No. L-42 ) from the book "Greek horoscopes" of prof.Neugebauer and prof.Van Hoesen is published in the CCAG- Volume 8, Chapter 4, p.236.

From the p.235 we understand that this horoscope is a part of a manuscript named:

"The Ballbilus's method of determination the life longevity from apheta to anaireta"

Ballbilus ( d.c.81) was court astrologer to the Imperiors such as Claudius, Nero and Vespasian. He is a author of astrological treatise Astrologumena preserved in synopsis in so called Parisian Epitome. From a chapter of Babillus's book which dealt with the length of life two example horoscopes are preserved in the 81st Chapter of the late 14th century Byzantine astrological compendium Apotelesmatike biblos by Palchus ( CCAG, VIII.4 )

But the question still remains: how had Ballbilus calculated the distance between the apheta and anaireta- as ecliptic's degrees ( symbolic directions ) or as equator's degrees ( primary directions)?

In his book " Die Entwicklung der Horoscop Technik vom Alterum bis zur Gegenwart " Wilhelm Knappich, Wien 1966, p.89 writes the following, repeating the opinion of Neugebauer and Van Hoesen:

"Der noch erhaltene Traktat des Balbilus "Methode zur Bestimmung der Lebensdauer vom Apheten bis zum Anaireten" wurde in der Sammlung griechischer Astrologenhandschriften(CCAG, VIII 4) veroeffentlicht und von prof.O.Neugebauer kommentiert(in seiner Ausgabe der "Greek Horoscopes").Darnach hat Balbillus noch nach der aeltesten Hausermethode, die Zeichen gleich Haus setzt, gearbeitet und die Distanz zwischen Aphet und Anairet in einfacher Laenge , d.h. auf die Ekliptik gemessen."

But it's not true!Why?

Porphyry ( III c.) in his Intruductio in Tetrabiblum Ptolemaei (CCAG, V.4) explains the Ballbilus's system of determination the life longevity from apheta to anaireta. There Porphyry says that Ballbilus has used in his method the rising times of signs. And you know that where there are rising times of signs there are the primary directions. At the moment the Porphyry's book can be found only in latin and old greek, but by the end of 2009 this book is expected to be released in English translation by J.H. Holden.

Best regards,
Dimitar
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Ballbilus Reply with quote

astroart wrote:
Porphyry ( III c.) in his Intruductio in Tetrabiblum Ptolemaei (CCAG, V.4) explains the Ballbilus's system of determination the life longevity from apheta to anaireta. There Porphyry says that Ballbilus has used in his method the rising times of signs.

Thanks, Dimitar. Smile Do you have the page number for this reference? It would save me quite a bit of time!
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Eddy



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Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I haven't read the books of either Neugebauer or Valens, I can't accept it that easily that Neugebauer was mistaken. He was not oonly a historian but also a mathematician and certainly would have noticed the difference between calculations of rotating the ecliptic or the equator.

Jim Tester in "A History of Western Astrology" p. 170,
http://books.google.nl/books?id=L0HSvH96alIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=jim+tester&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Degree&f=false

writes that Ptolemy rejects the risings of each degree of the ecliptic as too simplistic. Perhaps not only the crude method based upon the rising times of each sign was used in pre Ptolemy days but also the rising of each degree, or was the one in use before this. Spherical trigonometry was just getting started to be used commonly and still on a small scale short before Ptolemy's days.

Mark Riley in "Ptolemy and his colleagues" p. 243/245,
http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:6V3espDRuhYJ:www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/PDF_folder/theoretical.pdf+%22ptolemy+and+his+colleagues%22+riley&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nl

discribes the arithmetical methods of Valens as opposed to the mathematical/trigonometrical methods of Ptolemy and notes
"This interpretation of a horoscope is typical of dozens in Valens. Periods areadded to periods, rising times to rising times, periods to rising times: any-thing necessary to derive significant numbers." (p.245)

So I assume that if there is any confusion about the used method, then this would originate from Valens.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy wrote:
Although I haven't read the books of either Neugebauer or Valens, I can't accept it that easily that Neugebauer was mistaken.

Yet he was, on a number of points of astrological procedure, and I very strongly suspect that this is yet another. What I have read of Valens certainly doesn't agree with Neugebauer's description.

Of course, if one starts out by regarding astrology as a 'wretched subject' and inherently nonsensical, he is not likely to invest the necessary time and effort in getting the finer points right. See my forthcoming article 'Balbillus and the method of aphesis' (but don't hold your breath!). Wink

(PS: Oh, and: however confused Valens may have been, since Neugebauer claims to follow his method, that method should be present in Valens' text! I don't think Neugebauer approved of 'channeling'...)
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Eddy



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Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin,

I don't know what position of Neugebauer was towards astrology, but I can imagine that if one doesn't like the subject then one easily finds the wrong things. The reverse is also true. Staying neutral is one of the most difficult things in any kind of research I believe. It's therefore good to outhweigh different opinions of different authors.

However it's indeed quite strange that the technique isn't found in Valen's texts. I wonder by the way if after Ptolemy the use of the rising times of the signs were used as basis for the primary directions, or if some of today's traditional astrologers use them. I hope to find more historical matter in your new book, I'm expecting it in a couple of weeks.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy wrote:
However it's indeed quite strange that the technique isn't found in Valen's texts.

Well, the simple solution is that Neugebauer was mistaken.

Quote:
I wonder by the way if after Ptolemy the use of the rising times of the signs were used as basis for the primary directions, or if some of today's traditional astrologers use them.

Some of the 'Hellenistic' crowd do. Directions by rising times (oblique ascension) continued to be used alongside proportional semi-arcs until the early Middle Ages, but gradually fell into disuse. Bonatti was still aware that Umar had used them, and tried (unsuccessfully) to reconcile the two methods.
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astroart



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Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:16 pm    Post subject: Thrasyllus Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks, Dimitar. Do you have the page number for this reference? It would save me quite a bit of time!


Hi Martin!

Here is the reference:
Porphyry's 'Introduction to Ptolemy', CCAG (volume 5 part 4, page 203 )
In the chapter titled "Περι αχτινοβολιασ"(Peri aktinobolias- Concerning the aspects) Porphyry describes the Thrasyllus's method for determination of anairetic points.

Thrasyllus(42 B.C.-37 A.D.) was an emperor's Tiberius court astrologer and he wrote a treatise called "Pinax"(Table) that was known to later astrologes such as Porphyry and Hephastion of Thebes.

Balbillus was a son of Thrasyllus by a daugther of King Antiochus III of Comagene.

In the preserved synopsys of Balbillus's book "Astrologumena"(CCAG, VIII.3, pp.103-104) he described so called "method of intervals" where he used rising times of signs.

My personal opinion is that the method of primary directions(περιπατοζ-circumambulation) has his roots up to Hermes. And the interesting point here is that we have written evidence-Vettlius Valens, The Anthology, book 4, chapter 29, p.66:
"If you wish to perform a circumambulation, I make use of the seasonal time , such as either the solar year, or the month from the transiting Sun to the natal Moon and an equal amount from the Horoscopos of the year, or so I have observed the Hermetic [teachings].And it is necessary to make the circumambulation from every star to every star, in accordance with ascensions of the zoidia and the zones."

Otto Neugebauer is really wrong! Smile

P.S. Sorry for my previous post, where I've written that Porphyry explained the teaching of Balbillus, I quoted by memory and I was wrong Sad
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Thrasyllus Reply with quote

Thanks again. I'll read those passages carefully. And I am still very interested in any evidence of Valens measuring the length of life along the ecliptic (although I doubt there is any)!
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Eddy



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Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
Some of the 'Hellenistic' crowd do. Directions by rising times (oblique ascension) continued to be used alongside proportional semi-arcs until the early Middle Ages, but gradually fell into disuse. Bonatti was still aware that Umar had used them, and tried (unsuccessfully) to reconcile the two methods.

I once read about a method called 'Bonatti directions', taking 0°59'8.33" for one year (resembling Naibod but here) measured along the ecliptic. Is this what this reconciliation contained?

I'm also experimenting with several methods, keys, reference frames. This can make me confused and it may be annoying that I sometimes express my doubts in several threads but I'd like to remark that I don't have negative intentions towards primary directions but it's rather an expression of my struggle with them. Quite a few times I've torn to little pieces piles of paper with endless calculations, only to pick up the pocket calculator shortly after and starting all over again. Somewhere Tom wrote "Primary directions are at least based on visual astrology, but you can go nuts trying to come up with a system.". Nothing could be more true Confused .

astroart wrote:
My personal opinion is that the method of primary directions(περιπατοζ-circumambulation) has his roots up to Hermes. And the interesting point here is that we have written evidence-Vettlius Valens, The Anthology, book 4, chapter 29, p.66:
"If you wish to perform a circumambulation, I make use of the seasonal time , such as either the solar year, or the month from the transiting Sun to the natal Moon and an equal amount from the Horoscopos of the year, or so I have observed the Hermetic [teachings].And it is necessary to make the circumambulation from every star to every star, in accordance with ascensions of the zoidia and the zones."(

When do you think the method of primary directions first started? In Michael Baigent's "From the Omens of Babylon", I read that the first mention of the ascendant dates from the year 4 BC. I'd say it wouldn't be before the ascendant could be calculated, but what is the earliest source that mentions them?

I don't understand this part of the Valens quote
Quote:
such as either the solar year, or the month from the transiting Sun to the natal Moon
Does this mean that he used different keys, year/month? In Riley's article which I mentioned in the part on Valens I read this:
Quote:
Horoscopes for children exist in which the periods are interpreted as months, not years
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddy wrote:
I once read about a method called 'Bonatti directions', taking 0°59'8.33" for one year (resembling Naibod but here) measured along the ecliptic. Is this what this reconciliation contained?

No, he doesn't even say how he thinks the two methods could be reconciled; he just states:

Quote:
Indeed ʿUmar said that Ptolemy worked by another method [than the method ascribed to Dorotheus], but, however, it was not contrary to this, even though it seemed different from it. Perhaps it seemed more difficult to some.

(tr. Dykes, p. 1145) -- which tells us nothing except that Bonatti wished ʿUmar hadn't disagreed with Ptolemy! Wink
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astroart



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Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't understand this part of the Valens :
such as either the solar year, or the month from the transiting Sun to the natal Moon


The same passage from Valens's book but in German translation(Vettius Valens, Bluetenstrausse, translation by prof.Eberhard Knobloch, 2004,p.198):

"Wenn du das Voranschreiten im Tierkreis vornimmst, gebrauche die Abschintte, [etwa 8,7, 6, 5, 4,] wenn du entweder das Jahr von der Sonne an oder den Monat von der Sonne im Vorbeigehen an bis zum Mond gemaes der Nativitaet und dasselbe vom Studenschauer des Jahres an vornimmst....oder wie ich, Hermeias, beobachtet habe.Man muss aber das Voranschreiten von allen Sternen hin entspechend den Aufgaengen der Tierkreiszeichen und den Zonen vornehmen."


As you can see, there is a difference in the both translations. To translate astrological text from old greek into a modern language is a bit of a nightmare. Robert Schmidt has said many times that his early translations from old greek were not quite correct. But as you can see the same could be said about the translation of the german professor. As far as I am concern, I think that in this text Valens describes the method of the acients for calculation of the lunar return ( monthly revolution). In Valens's Anthology-volume 5, Chapter 3, p.10- you can see how Valens calculates solar return. His method is totally different from the modern one.

Quote:
When do you think the method of primary directions first started?


As far as the primary directions are concern, I already mentioned my opinion that the first one who invented this technique is Hermes. Some arabic authors ( who still are not translated in modern languages ) when they explain the method of the primary directions ( tasyr) they say: "according to Hermes"(see Ibn al Zarqalluh in Montse Diaz Fajardo"Tasyir y proyeccion de rayos en textos astrologicos magrebies", doctoral dissertation, Barcelona, 2008, p.282).
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Eddy



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Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroart wrote:
gebrauche die Abschintte, [etwa 8,7, 6, 5, 4,]
When I see those numbers it looks like the terms are meant here.
It seems indeed a terrible task to translate these texts, it resembles interpretations of the Bible.

astroart wrote:
the first one who invented this technique is Hermes. Some arabic authors ( who still are not translated in modern languages ) when they explain the method of the primary directions ( tasyr) they say: "according to Hermes"
Unfortunately little is known about Hermes. I'm afraid a lot is mixed with myths and no year is given. Somewhere in an article I read that when in Hellenistic times writers referred to 'the ancients' these were not as far back in time as most believe but about a century or so before them.[/quote]
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astroart



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Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks, Dimitar. Do you have the page number for this reference? It would save me quite a bit of time!


Hi Martin!
Here is the translation of a passage from Porphyry where he talks about the method of primary directions according to Thrasyllus(R.Schmidt's translation):

"Thrasyllus, on the other hand, says that striking with a ray is destruction, and that those present in tetragonal or diametrical figures destroy, while the testimony of trigonal figures in the interval of the hour-marking portion is not taken for destruction.But he says that it does not matter whence they bring their ray to bear(epipherousi ten aktina), whether from figures in the right or from those on the wellnamed side, onto the post-ascension of the Hour-Maker or of the star having the lordship of Selene , whence the releasing(aphesis) will be; but he says that if Selene chances to have the domicile master with itself or diametrical to itself, we will make the realising from the domicile master.For example , if Selene were in the Archer with Zeus, or Zeus were in the Twins with Selene itself being in the Archer, we will release from Zeus."
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroart wrote:
Here is the translation of a passage from Porphyry where he talks about the method of primary directions according to Thrasyllus(R.Schmidt's translation):

Thanks. I'm convinced I would find it more intelligible in the original, though. Wink
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