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Question about Mathesis (Holden translation)

 
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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Posted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:29 am    Post subject: Question about Mathesis (Holden translation) Reply with quote

Does anyone have the book Mathesis by Firmicus Maternus, James Holden's translation?

I have Jean Rhys Bram's translation and there is something I have been dying to check out. Anyone who has Holden's version, can you quote Book Two, Chapter 19, from the beginning of that chapter until the part before he talks about the third house?
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're asking for roughly 300 words, not an enormous amount to copy, but for a poor typist (a lot of us), it's quite a bit. I don't think we would be violating any copyright laws if someone who has this translation (I don't have it) could copy it here the way we copy charts. Failing that, why not ask your question?

I notice Brahms makes two statements in his translation that need clarification. In the footnotes he says the ASC or First House is the house of Mercury and the third is the House of the Moon. These of course are the joys of Mercury and the Moon. Usually when an astrology text uses the phrase "House of ...," it means domicile or sign ruled by that planet. Strictly speaking the passage refers to the mundane houses and Brahms is correct, but using "joy" is more precise.
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Larxene



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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Tom.

I want to know how the first house was determined by Maternus in Holden's version.

I will quote Bram's translation, and if anyone is lucky enough to have Holden's copy, we can then compare (otherwise I shall have to purchase it myself in the future):

"The first house is the place in which the ascendant is located. In this house is to be found the life and vital spirit of men...This house, from the point of the chart in which the ascendant is, radiates its influence through the following thirty degrees."

This indicates an Equal House system.



Yes, "house" was not the only term that was overused. "Rejoice" was also used for three different situations.



Note: I don't want to get into arguments about what the right house system is, I just want to know what Maternus used according to the translations available to us.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that's all you want to know, we don't have to copy out the whole thing. Smile Bram's translation is often more of a paraphrase, and sometimes wrong, but not this time. Holden, whose numbering places this passage in chapter 21, translates: 'This house begins with that degree in which the ASC [was placed] and extends its powers through the remaining 30 degrees.' (The Latin text as found in the 1499 Wolfenbüttel edition, where it belongs to chapter 22, runs: Hic locus, ab ea parte, in qua fuerit horos. vires suas, presiduas p. 30. extendit). There are similar statements for the other houses, too.

Incidentally, Tom, Jean Rhys Bram (that's the spelling) is, or perhaps was, a woman.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Martin. I've been home recuperating from surgery and listening to a lot of classical music, hence Brahms, Wink. Thanks for the heads up. I never paid any attention to the first name, therefore my gender error. I have this copy, but I've never read it.

I took (Bram translation) the paragraph to indicate whole sign houses. To me it meant that the ASC, i.e. the degree of the sign on the horizon, is located in a sign and the sign is 30 degrees, and so on. Holden's translation is a much stronger indication of Equal houses.

Also there is a chart diagram on page 54 (The chart of Albinus) that indicates whole signs. Holden's translation more clearly indicates equal signs. I suppose I'd have to read the book to be certain, but for now, I'd go with Holden.
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james_m



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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

holden was the astrologer/researcher that first made everyone aware of whole sign houses as i understand it. as tom points out - house meant sign back then. that is how i understand it.. i doubt it was equal house so much as the sign = house and that is 30 degrees, but maybe holden revised his view on whole sign houses being the original idea behind ''' houses'''.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
holden was the astrologer/researcher that first made everyone aware of whole sign houses as i understand it. as tom points out - house meant sign back then. that is how i understand it.. i doubt it was equal house so much as the sign = house and that is 30 degrees, but maybe holden revised his view on whole sign houses being the original idea behind ''' houses'''.

What Firmicus taught in the Mathesis is one thing, what Holden considered to be the oldest system is another. Here is what Holden himself wrote in a footnote to the chapter under discussion:

Quote:
In this chapter, Firmicus will explain what is now called the Equal House system of house division, in which the houses are laid off at 30-degree intervals from the ASC degree. This was the second system devised by the classical Greek astrologers (the first being the Sign-House system), but it was seldom used.

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james_m



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Posted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for sharing that martin,
that is on point. i have jean's translation and don't recall getting that from reading it a year or 2 ago. i don't have holdens translation.
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Larxene



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Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Martin.


Well then, there seems to be a strong indication of an Equal House system if we read the translations literally. The only way to see that it refers to a Whole Sign House system is by interpreting the "degree in which the Ascendant is" as the 0th degree of the sign the Ascendant is in.

There are some potentially contradicting statements in some places in the book however. I will have to sort them out when reading the book for the second time.

Then comes the time to test the techniques.



As for the chart, Tom, it may be that Albinus had an Ascendant in the early degrees of a sign, so that the planetary positions were almost the same as when a WSH system is used. Besides, the chart was mostly to demonstrate the antiscion, which is based on the relationship between the signs, not houses.






EDIT:

I checked the Astro-Databank for Albinus's chart, and it seems the Ascendant is in 21 degrees.

I compared Maternus's description of the chart and Astro's chart and found some discrepancies:

- Jupiter is not in the same degree as the Sun in Astro's chart, they are two degrees apart.
- Mars and Mercury are not in the same degree in Astro's chart, they are about 15 degrees apart!

This makes it hard to tell how Maternus's chart looked like. Some possibilities:

1) The birth-times used were different. (Astro ranks this chart as B.)
2) Maternus miscalculated the position of the planets. (It is unlikely for Astro's software to miscalculate.)
3) There was some difference(s) in how the planetary positions were computed.


In any case, if we assume that the details in Astro's chart are similar to what Maternus saw in his chart (with an error of a few degrees), then there are strong indicators that the Whole Sign House system was used in interpreting Albinus's chart. If anyone is interested to know why I say this, you can request for the information.

Still, due to the second discrepancy (Mars-Mercury degree differences), I am not inclined to believe this is the case, and so I can conclude nothing from the information that we currently have about Albinus's chart.
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Larxene



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Posted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:57 pm    Post subject: Discrepancy in the decans and terms Reply with quote

Decanates:

"Of Leo, the first to Saturn, the second to Jupiter, and the third to Venus." (Matheseos Libri VIII, Liber Secundus, Chapter 4, page 36)

All other decans are the same as the Chaldean decans.

Can someone check Holden's translation to see if the same discrepancy occurs?



Terms:

I compared the Egyptian terms from this page (http://www.skyscript.co.uk/dig3.html) and the Traditional Morinus software's Egyptian terms, and they are identical. Then I compared the table provided by Bram in the last pages with her translation of the terms (Liber Secundus, Chapter 6, page 36), and they are also identical.

Finally I compared Bram's terms with Morinus's terms, and there exist four discrepancies (left=Bram, right=Morinus):

1) Gemini 3rd Term: Venus 13-18 vs Venus 13-17
2) Cancer 4th Term: Jupiter 21-27 vs Jupiter 21-26
3) Saggitarius 3rd Term: Mercury 18-23 vs Mercury 18-21
4) Saggitarius 4th Term: Saturn 24-27 vs Saturn 22-26

Would someone please check Holden's translation of the terms?
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