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Equal House System in Renaissance Astrology?
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Martin Gansten
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Joined: 05 Jul 2008
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Location: Malm, Sweden

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
I'd call Ptolemy's scheme outlined in Apot. 3.11.3 a "house system" if it were used for topical investigation consistently throughout the work.

Thanks for articulating your definition of the term, Levente. As you predict, I personally do find it too narrow. I agree that it would be nice to have plentiful and unambiguous evidence, but to insist on it is another matter. It's good to have a methodical approach, but if the method leads one to ignore numerous 'anomalies', then I think it probably needs to be adjusted, or one is in risk of simply fitting the evidence to one's assumptions. Still, to each his own.

To me it seems clear that Ptolemy had fairly little use for houses, but that when he did use them (which he does not only in his length-of-life procedure, but also in discussions of illness and injuries and of children, as I recall), he did so pretty much in a standard fashion.

I also question the assumption that only the whole-sign system is used in extant horoscopes. I think there are many instances where equal or whole-sign houses may have been intended, and that, at the present state of our knowledge, it would be best to keep an open mind. Indeed, if there really was an

Quote:
opinion of the Egyptians [...] that one must take the 15 pre-ascending [and] (the 15) post-ascending degrees

-- then that opens the field up even more. (Thanks for that; I wasn't aware of it, but of course it resonates both with the 15-degree rule of Dorotheus and with Indian practice. Do you have a CCAG reference for it?)

Quote:
I think perhaps we can agree on the following: although the astrologers mostly seemed to be happy with sign-based considerations (positions of stars, the ascendant, aspects, lots), there was also a tendency to fine-tune the system to degrees, which resulted in dilemmas.

I have some reservations about the 'mostly', but otherwise, yes.
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Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 206
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
It's good to have a methodical approach, but if the method leads one to ignore numerous 'anomalies', then I think it probably needs to be adjusted, or one is in risk of simply fitting the evidence to one's assumptions.


Do you think my approach to "house systems" is such?

Martin Gansten wrote:
I also question the assumption that only the whole-sign system is used in extant horoscopes. I think there are many instances where equal or whole-sign houses may have been intended [...]


Could you give some examples? I really want to keep an open mind and, honestly, try to be as unbiased as possible.

Martin Gansten wrote:
Do you have a CCAG reference for it?


It's in In Claudii Ptolemaei Quadripartitum enarrator ignoti nominis (freely downloadable on many sites), p. 109, from the fourth to the second line from the bottom. The emendation is in Bouché-Leclercq, p. 270, fn. 1, but it's wholly confirmed by some better mss I've just looked at. The right text is οὐ γὰρ ἕπεται τῇ τῶν Αἰγυπτίων δόξῃ, ὅτι χρὴ ιε μοίρας καὶ προανενεχθείσας καὶ ἐπαναφερομένας λαβεῖν.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posts: 206
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

sorry for the late reply; I understand you've pulled back from the conversation for a while, but I don't want to leave your post unaddressed.

Paul wrote:
What I was saying here is that my suggestion is less complicated (answering the charge that it was complex) than other suggestions out there, and offering this as an example of something that I think is more complex. This isn't my claim therefore, I'm giving an overview of a point I actually disagree with.


Yes, you're right, I was reading not very carefully. Sorry about that. Now as I see your claim is "houses were like aspects, you can do it by sign or by degree," isn't it? Because then I can agree with you, at least as long as it remains such a broad statement.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
The rest, when any evidence is available, use the "whole-sign" method exclusively, and so do early Arabic astrologers, having adopted Hellenistic methods.
They don't though. I've already provided an example from Valens.


The example you offered, and the one or more further occurrences in Valens, are evidence that in some cases, Valens wanted the meridian-MC to be somehow incorporated into the interpretation. (And, of course, it's mirrored for the meridian-IMC.) These cases, however, don't necessarily imply he had a fully developed "house system" in mind.

Paul wrote:
I just wondered what Riley's survey had to offer to the arguments about whole sign houses and you haven't actually provided much in the way of that argument.


It was all about the arguments grounded in some (for me, untenable) assumptions about the structure and intention of Valens' work, like taking chapter 2 of book III as a sort of culmination.

What I actually say is that we cannot make simple cross-inferences (like, for example, that Valens uses a "house system" in 3.2, so the examples in 5.6 and 7.6 represent this system) since it seems (1) the various parts of the work were originally composed separately, (2) the rationale of the present edition isn't entirely obvious, and (3) there are also lost passages and possible writings never incorporated into this corpus.

Paul wrote:
But it would be nice to at least get to a point where we disagree having both looked at the evidence without assumption that one person hasn't.


I don't think so. While I always try to look at all the available evidence, it often occurs that I overlook something, and I like to be corrected or informed on these things. That's why I come here to discuss, dispute and argue instead of writing blog posts and making authoritative claims without substantial feedback.

The only problem I perceive is when such disputes make a personal twist that results in quarrels. Still, these are not personal matters and shouldn't be treated as such. I admit that arguments can be sometimes annoying, but this is their nature, and nobody is obliged to take part if they don't want to be challenged.
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 141

Posted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it the 'house system' part that you find doubtful, or the 'introducing' part? Because if it is the former, I don't see how there could be any reasonable doubt that Ptolemy is referring to the standard dodecatropos, using what we today would call an equal-house system. If it quacks like a duck...


I've tried to research this, but it seems like you are the first person who figured out it is a duck. I do not think there is any reasonable doubt that Ptolemy, here and elsewhere (like in ''eastern'' and ''western'' quadrants or his regional explanation of the twelfth place) used an ''equal-house'' system that begins five degrees before the Ascendant. It does, however, support my assertion that the ''nonagesimal'' was often deliberately employed as ''Midheaven'', as Ptolemy had all the necessary skill to compute quadrants (although he does mention the meridian too as midheaven in 3.2).
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