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'Female nativities' in Greek/Arabic sources?

 
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: 'Female nativities' in Greek/Arabic sources? Reply with quote

In traditional Indian astrology, 'female nativities' (strījātaka) is often considered a separate branch (or at least twig!). But are there any special chapters dealing with the nativities of women as a topic of its own in Greek or Arabic traditional texts?
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Valens makes a brief statement at the end of a few of his chapters where he outlines how to delineate specific topics where he basically just says something to the effect of "and the rules are basically the same for women as well." I seem to recall seeing this in at least one other author as well, maybe Dorotheus or Firmicus. I get the sense that except for some specific topics where the symbolism required interpretive differences based on gender that they basically used the same approach, rather than treating the rules for women as a completely different area or branch of astrology that necessitated separate chapters.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The main statement that I had in mind was the one that Valens makes at the end of IV, 25 where he gives hundreds of delineations for different profections when activated in a given year:

"These result have been determined for the nativities and chronocratorships of men; they will also apply to nativities of women when the configurations of the transmissions are appropriate and the results described can happen <to>."

After doing a quick search through Riley's translation again I see that he makes a somewhat similar statement elsewhere once or twice, although the number of instances where he briefly mentions different delineations for women is a bit higher than I remembered, especially in matters that have to do with relationships.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Chris. No chapters or similar especially dedicated to the nativities of women, though?
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Kenneth Johnson



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Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have wondered about that too, Martin, especially in regards to the standard chapter on Stri Jataka or "Women's Horoscopy" in the Brhat Jataka, which seems to be derived largely from the much more extensive (and thus far untranslated) material in Minaraja. I have seen every Greek text thus far translated, and no, there are no separate chapters re: women. If they exist, they must be in some part of the Greek astrological corpus which still awaits translation.

This leaves us with the question: Since Minaraja entitles his book "Vrddha Yavana Jataka" (Ancient Greek Astrology), where did he get his material? His delineations are based largely on the indigenous naksatra tradition, as well as the trimsamsa methods (a Sanskrit adaptation of the Greek terms or bounds) which carries over into Varaha Mihira. Unless someone eventually comes across Greek material which delineates women's horoscopes by way of the bounds, we may have to regard Minaraja as an innovator.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've always considered this a typically Indian phenomenon. But I'm working on Samarasiṃha's Karmaprakāśa (known under several titles -- perhaps the only Tājika work exclusively on nativities?) at the moment, and he has a chapter on strījātaka specifically citing 'Yavana' sources and using things like the lot (sahama, from Arabic sahm) of the husband. He says that the Yavanas laid down five topics peculiar to women: the husband's position; affection (presumably of the husband for the wife); children; virtue; and happiness. In other respects (such as longevity), the same rules apply for the nativities of men and women. So I'm looking for Arabic (and, possibly, ultimately Greek) sources for this statement.
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