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profections from the Lots
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Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 192
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin Gansten wrote:
I think that may be overstating the difference between Ptolemy and the others, as he unambiguously uses the conventional terminology of the places (the 11th is the Good Daemon, the 9th is the God) (...)

I still don't think he's introducing a topical system, at least not for this chapter on length of life calculations. Yet it's true that the traditional place names are being used by him, which is basically the same approach as Firmicus's, as our Petosiris has pointed out.

petosiris wrote:
Valens also uses the same terminology for Porphyry houses in Book III and for equal houses in Book IX as he does for whole signs.

I reckon you mean the "Egyptian" terminology like "Good Daemon", "God" etc., but then your statement isn't wholly correct. Valens 3.2.16 associates the 2nd "Porphyry house" with the succedent of the ascendant and Goddess (which is the diameter of God), whereas the power of the 11th "Porphyry house" is rightly associated with Good Daemon. Unfortunately, there's only one extant manuscript of this passage, which is also rather corrupt in some places, so I don't think we can know at the moment if the passage is genuine or there's some muddling here.

petosiris wrote:
There is something very strange about Nechepso and Petosiris. They constantly talk and emphasize places and configurations by sign, but despite that they are the originators of ray-casting length of life, which obviously requires degrees. Why are they working with degrees, but not using or emphasizing them in this case is probably in favor of the theory that the Lots were originally places.

I warmly welcome the recognition of this strange phenomenon, which is exactly what I've been considering for a while. To add more flavor: συναφή and ἀπόρροια, two obviously degree-based concepts, also go back to Nechepso-Petosiris. But even if one perceives a sort of contradiction here, it's easily explained by the fact that the various passages or concepts attributed to this legendary duo weren't necessarily developed by the very same authors, as any kind of eponymous attributions might have occurred.

petosiris wrote:
And Valens does mention calculating the Lots by degrees while talking about Nechepso.

Could you give which passage you mean?
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petosiris



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Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
I reckon you mean the "Egyptian" terminology like "Good Daemon", "God" etc., but then your statement isn't wholly correct. Valens 3.2.16 associates the 2nd "Porphyry house" with the succedent of the ascendant and Goddess (which is the diameter of God), whereas the power of the 11th "Porphyry house" is rightly associated with Good Daemon. Unfortunately, there's only one extant manuscript of this passage, which is also rather corrupt in some places, so I don't think we can know at the moment if the passage is genuine or there's some muddling here.


I just noticed, yeah that looks out of place.

Levente Laszlo wrote:
I warmly welcome the recognition of this strange phenomenon, which is exactly what I've been considering for a while. To add more flavor: συναφή and ἀπόρροια, two obviously degree-based concepts, also go back to Nechepso-Petosiris. But even if one perceives a sort of contradiction here, it's easily explained by the fact that the various passages or concepts attributed to this legendary duo weren't necessarily developed by the very same authors, as any kind of eponymous attributions might have occurred.


I agree, there are all sorts of Petosiris people.

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Could you give which passage you mean?


That would be Book 2.36 when he is speaking of the angular places after the melothesia he gives. I do not work with manuscripts, but it is in the Kroll Edition. It could be related to whatever work of Lot melothesia he is using, but I though it is strange and somewhat suggestive that he mentions this immediately after quoting Nechepso.

Thank you for everything you do.
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
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Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
I reckon you mean the "Egyptian" terminology like "Good Daemon", "God" etc., but then your statement isn't wholly correct. Valens 3.2.16 associates the 2nd "Porphyry house" with the succedent of the ascendant and Goddess (which is the diameter of God), whereas the power of the 11th "Porphyry house" is rightly associated with Good Daemon. Unfortunately, there's only one extant manuscript of this passage, which is also rather corrupt in some places, so I don't think we can know at the moment if the passage is genuine or there's some muddling here.


It is a bit off-topic, but I am curious what are your thoughts on the problem of chrematistikos. Maybe the scribe got confused by Valens' wonderful and positive delineations of the Goddess III place compared to the dark and negative delineations of the II place in Book II and that is why he made an error.

In my opinion Valens tries to follow two different and opposite approaches - one is the Hermes who treats the configured places as positive and the second one by Nechepso and Petosiris, where the declining places are most negative, because they are inoperative. When he outlines quadrants he most likely means that the third place is crisis producing. How can that statement or his use angularity with Trigon Rulers be reconciled with the delineations of the twelve places?

In general, this is a very important topic, because many of the houses significations used even today are influenced by the Hermes joy scheme. How can the Moon rejoice in the III place, but that he is never Predominator there according to Antigonus, Valens and Porphyry (most likely all following Petosiris)?
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Levente Laszlo



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Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Petosiris,

Thank you for the kind words. Sorry that I haven't replied so far; I'm still working on a response to your previous message.
petosiris wrote:
It is a bit off-topic, but I am curious what are your thoughts on the problem of chrematistikos. [...] In my opinion Valens tries to follow two different and opposite approaches - one is the Hermes who treats the configured places as positive and the second one by Nechepso and Petosiris, where the declining places are most negative because they are inoperative.

There's a fairly exhaustive treatment of the sources from a scholarly perspective in Stephan Heilen's Hadriani genitura, pp. 792-798, which I mostly agree with, though he doesn't attempt to explain how Nechepso's "efficiency" or "activity" differs from Timaeus's. The text of Dorotheus (Ar. 1.5 compared to Hephaestio 1.12), who was obviously influenced by the Timaeus scheme, suggests a "favorable" vs. "unfavorable" dichotomy (in Dorotheus, it's actually a "good", "bad", and "very bad" trichotomy), whereas Nechepso's system seems to be a threefold division based on efficiency ("efficient", "mildly efficient", "inefficient").

However, to put the game with words aside, the real question is how efficiency is interpreted in the actual example cases. As far as I can recall, the examples for prosperity in Dorotheus and Valens consider only the Nechepso version, and they suggest efficiency is understood as allowing the planets lingering in the respective places to execute their agenda. The absence of the Timaeus version in these examples raises the question what it is precisely for. Perhaps this scheme is only to enrich the meanings of the places (referring to good, indifferent, and ill domains of human life) but this is just a conjecture. (A final word: I disagree with Schmidt on the assertion that the Timaeus scheme goes back to Hermes; the Antiochus text merely hints that according to Timaeus, the system of pivots, succedents, and declines is Hermes's.)

To return to Valens's text, personally, I don't think that this is a scribal error. It looks to me as though Valens is trying to convert Orion's radical reading of Nechepso (a stark dichotomy) into a more acceptable interpretation (a threefold gradation) and reconcile it with the tradition of planetary joys, which is, in turn, yet another approach. (The 3rd place isn't good in the Timaeus scheme, which, to my knowledge, isn't even attested in Valens, so I don't believe it plays a role here.)

petosiris wrote:
In general, this is a very important topic, because many of the houses significations used even today are influenced by the Hermes joy scheme. How can the Moon rejoice in the III place, but that he is never Predominator there according to Antigonus, Valens and Porphyry (most likely all following Petosiris)?

Honestly, I don't know what practical value the joy scheme has. Perhaps these traditions aren't meant to be reconciled.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Levente,

Quote:
A final word: I disagree with Schmidt on the assertion that the Timaeus scheme goes back to Hermes; the Antiochus text merely hints that according to Timaeus, the system of pivots, succedents, and declines is Hermes's.


I never thought about that, but I think you may be right. From the summary of Thrasyllus, we have travel and living abroad as significations of the IX and life and livehood for the VIII. Considering that travel was highly unwanted in ancient times (declining places indicating travel, the Lot of Being Away related to malefics, also chronocratorship of Mars indicating travel according to Petosiris, quoted in Valens) and having life and livelihood actually makes me thing that Hermes may have had some different scheme. Do you think this argument can be applied to mean that Hermes thought differently?

Quote:
As far as I can recall, the examples for prosperity in Dorotheus and Valens consider only the Nechepso version, and they suggest efficiency is understood as allowing the planets lingering in the respective places to execute their agenda.


Yes, which I find contrary to his description of the places. As you note later, he even seems to treat the 3rd way better than the 2nd.

Quote:
To return to Valens's text, personally, I don't think that this is a scribal error. It looks to me as though Valens is trying to convert Orion's radical reading of Nechepso (a stark dichotomy) into a more acceptable interpretation (a threefold gradation) and reconcile it with the tradition of planetary joys, which is, in turn, yet another approach. (The 3rd place isn't good in the Timaeus scheme, which, to my knowledge, isn't even attested in Valens, so I don't believe it plays a role here.)


I do not know about this kind of thinking. Although you first said it a trichotomy and now a stark dichotomy, if I understand you correctly, you mean that Nechepso and Petosiris had them divided into operative and inoperative (stark dichotomy), but they actually had three grades in practice, which I find to be the case.

25 years for the Moon at an angle, 25 months for succedent and only 25 days for declining. This kind of thinking is also found in strange quote by Dorotheus, but he thinks feminine angles also make for 25 months. Valens quotes a passage where Nechepso says that he covered deductions for stars not at angles in his book ''The Length of Life''.

Although Valens seems to imply that the III is positive and good (setting aside his trigon rulers examples), the II place seems to be more positive fit in a quadrant scheme, considering that angularity is likely the reasoning of Nechepso (which I personally think used whole sign houses).

Quote:
Honestly, I don't know what practical value the joy scheme has. Perhaps these traditions aren't meant to be reconciled.


I don't think they are meant or even capable of reconciliation.
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Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
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Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
That [i.e., a passage in Valens that mentions calculating the Lots by degrees] would be Book 2.36 when he is speaking of the angular places after the melothesia he gives.


Presumably, you mean Valens 2.37.20-21 (p. 105.35-106.4 Pingree) but I haven't found a reference to degree-based calculation there. However, another passage in Book IX may be instructive, and although it's not attributed to Petosiris or Nechepso, a reference to them closely follows, and its cryptic nature makes likely that it comes from their books.

I'll also quote the Greek text (Valens 9.2.5, p. 319.7-10 Pingree) because it's really tricky:

πρὸς δὲ τοὺς τῆς ζωῆς χρόνους συγκρινόμενοι οἱ δύο κλῆροι, πρός τε τὸν Ἥλιον καὶ τὴν Σελήνην καὶ τὴν μοιρικὴν αὐτῶν ἀπόρροιαν, πρός τε τὸν ὡροσκόπον καὶ τὸν πλανητικὸν σκοπὸν καὶ τὴν μοῖραν προδηλώσουσι καὶ τοὺς βιωσίμους χρόνους ἐκ τοῦ διαστήματος.

Mark Riley translated it in this way:

Quote:
"With reference to lifespans: the two Lots, when calculated with reference to the sun and moon and to their distance <from> in degrees, and with reference to the Ascendant, the planet under consideration, and its degree-position, will make clear the span of life."


Riley translates πλανητικὸς σκοπός as "the planet under consideration", which is rather puzzling, and omits some phrases to make the text more understandable. Stephan Heilen also translated the passage (Hadriani genitura, p. 1174), to German:

Quote:
"Wenn man die zwei Lose bezüglich der Lebenszeiten (von Nativen) miteinander kombiniert, sowohl bezüglich der Sonne als auch des Mondes und ihrer gradgenauen Distanz, bezüglich des Aszendenten als auch des Ziels ihrer (der Luminare) Wanderung (d.h. des Deszendenten), werden sie sowohl das (individuelle) Schicksal als auch die Lebenszeiten aus dem Abstand offenbaren."


Here this enigmatic πλανητικὸς σκοπός is translated as the destination of the wandering, possibly of the lights, which he interprets as the descendant. I disagree and would use a different interpunction of the text to make it wholly comprehensible. (Note that the interpunction is the privilege of the editor; the manuscripts aren't reliable in this respect.)

πρὸς δὲ τοὺς τῆς ζωῆς χρόνους, συγκρινόμενοι οἱ δύο κλῆροι πρός τε τὸν Ἥλιον καὶ τὴν Σελήνην καὶ τὴν μοιρικὴν αὐτῶν ἀπόρροιαν, πρός τε τὸν ὡροσκόπον, καὶ τὸν πλανητικὸν σκοπὸν καὶ τὴν μοῖραν προδηλώσουσι καὶ τοὺς βιωσίμους χρόνους ἐκ τοῦ διαστήματος.

My translation (which is necessarily imperfect, though tries to grasp the important details) is this:

"Regarding the length of life, the two lots, as they combine in reference to the sun and the moon and their distance by portion as well as in reference to the hour-watcher, will reveal from their distance the end of the (native's) wandering and the destiny and the time of living."

The trickiness of the passages comes from the frequent usage of ambiguous expressions. The most annoying one is certainly this πλανητικὸς σκοπός, which is a combination an adjective originating from the noun πλανήτης (literally: "wanderer", but also meaning "wandering star", that is, "planet") and a noun, which, originating from the verb σκοπέω "inspect" or "watch", may mean the person, the act and the aim of watching both literally and metaphorically.

For our subject, however, the phrase μοιρικὴ ἀπόρροια (distance by portion) matters: this consists of the adjective μοιρικός, which, stemming from μοῖρα, meaning both "fate" and "degree", could also mean "fatal", and the noun ἀπόρροια, whose literal meaning is "emanation" or "effluence", but astrologically "separation" is meant in general. Now, even if Nechepso, Petosiris, or whoever of poetical inclination composed this text, allowed it to be understood as referring to a degree-based calculation, no matter it could also be translated as "their distance decreed by fate".


Last edited by Levente Laszlo on Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
From the summary of Thrasyllus, we have travel and living abroad as significations of the IX and life and livehood for the VIII. Considering that travel was highly unwanted in ancient times (declining places indicating travel, the Lot of Being Away related to malefics, also chronocratorship of Mars indicating travel according to Petosiris, quoted in Valens) and having life and livelihood actually makes me thing that Hermes may have had some different scheme. Do you think this argument can be applied to mean that Hermes thought differently?


It seems clear to me the Hermes scheme (at least in Thrasyllus's presentation) of the dodecatropos gives positive connotations to the eighth and negative to the ninth. Things are, however, mixed in Antiochus's version. Whatever is the truth, the sources should be scrutinized to see the different layers.

petosiris wrote:
Yes, which I find contrary to his [i.e., Valens's] description of the places. As you note later, he even seems to treat the 3rd way better than the 2nd.


Valens can't be blamed for his consistency. Smile

petosiris wrote:
Although you first said it a trichotomy and now a stark dichotomy, if I understand you correctly, you mean that Nechepso and Petosiris had them divided into operative and inoperative (stark dichotomy), but they actually had three grades in practice, which I find to be the case.


What I said is that Nechepso and Petosiris appear to have had a trichotomy; it was only Orion's interpretation to convert it into a distinction between operative and inoperative.

petosiris wrote:
25 years for the Moon at an angle, 25 months for succedent and only 25 days for declining.
(...)
Valens quotes a passage where Nechepso says that he covered deductions for stars not at angles in his book ''The Length of Life''


Could you give the sources and references, please?

petosiris wrote:
This kind of thinking is also found in strange quote by Dorotheus, but he thinks feminine angles also make for 25 months.


The chapter you refer to (Ar. 1.23 Pingree = 1.25 Dykes) is easily an interpolation since, to my knowledge, no Greek equivalent is found. And the passage says the moon in the masculine signs (al-burūj al-dhukūra) makes for 25 months, which sounds logical in the light of the moon's femininity.

I'd love to see Greek passages where different time units are assigned to angles, succedents, and declines, anyways.
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petosiris



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Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
petosiris wrote:
That [i.e., a passage in Valens that mentions calculating the Lots by degrees] would be Book 2.36 when he is speaking of the angular places after the melothesia he gives.


Presumably, you mean Valens 2.37.20-21 (p. 105.35-106.4 Pingree) but I haven't found a reference to degree-based calculation there. However, another passage in Book IX may be instructive, and although it's not attributed to Petosiris or Nechepso, a reference to them closely follows, and its cryptic nature makes likely that it comes from their books.


No, I meant 2.36, which is really not tricky at all - https://imgur.com/uwtxzJD

''It is necessary to scrutinize accurately the degree-position of the Lots, because often a rough calculation puts the Lot in one sign, but an exact calculation puts it in another. This frequently happens as a result of the positions of the luminaries or of the Ascendant, if they are found either at the beginning or the end of a sign.'' - Mark Riley translation

Quote:
Could you give the sources and references, please?


''The Old Astrologer reminds us of this when he says: “Each star, when at an angle, allows the full amount of its times. When not at an angle, it grants its allotment after some deduction from its own numbers.”'' - Valens 3.14 Riley

Whoever, the originators of the triplicity rulers technique are, they evidently used Nechepso's angularity scheme and his chronocratorship. It makes sense, they go together.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
No, I meant 2.36, which is really not tricky at all


Nice find! Well, either I should have read the whole chapter again, or my memory should have served better, but it's undoubtedly a clear passage. (It's 2.37.40 Pingree, as the chapter numbering differs between the Kroll and Pingree editions.)

I feel I need to revise my position. On the one hand, there are the instructions to calculate the lot of fortune (and other lots) by degrees, as well as several early and many late horoscopes. On the other hand, the lots are frequently treated according to their sign-placement or used (implicitly or explicitly) as places. However, the most straightforward explanation voiced by some, including me, that a sign-based calculation predated the more advanced degree-based calculation is apparently untenable: quite a few early authors advise to calculate by degrees, and there is a text perhaps to be attributed to Nechepso, which is fairly clear in this respect, and which can be compared to two further fragments of Nechepso (Valens 2.3.1 and 9.2.8 ), which, although with cryptic wording, seems to allude to the same method.

There still remains a contradiction, sometimes within one work: for example, Valens, who preserves paraphrases from Nechepso and gives his two cents to the calculation by degrees, disregards degrees in his examples and also eagerly employs the lots as places.

Even though looking clumsy by superficial inspection, Firmicus's text provides a deeper insight what might be going on here. In 4.17, he begins with the calculation of the lot of fortune by signs, but he tells he's only appended this schematic description for the sake of completeness. Then he instructs the reader to calculate by degrees, though the resulting degree is mostly disregarded to find "the place of fortune" (locus Fortunae). This method is repeated in 6.32 for many more lots, to find the places of father, mother, etc., which confirms your claim "they [i.e., Nechepso and Valens, but apparently Firmicus too], had the degree of the Lot, yet they likely did not use the degree, but the place" with a refinement that the degree also mattered but not as much as the sign. (Firmicus 4.17.6 refers to the bounds of the lot of fortune, but the sign obviously matters more.)

However, it still doesn't explain why the degrees are totally disregarded in many cases. I think a simple hypothesis might resolve this. And old astrologer must have often faced with the problem of inaccurate times of births: even if the recorded time was more or less precise, the ascendant could be only crudely calculated. Another problem was posed by the inaccuracies of the computational tables: there even existed a type of astronomical tables, called "sign-entry almanacs", which recorded only the signs of the five planets, and other types of almanacs, which were rudimentary ephemerides. So it's likely that an astrologer lacking a precise time of birth and/or not having more elaborate ephemerides counted only the signs, and he might have also done so purely for convenience.
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petosiris



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Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Levente. However, my personal astrological opinion is that there is no contradiction in using the Lots as places, but calculating them by degrees, as I personally have been using them in that way for about half a year (ever since I first read the passages myself).

The difference between the Hour-Marker and the lot degree, and why I think Ptolemy is not correct, is that the Hour-Marker shows a point on the horizon, the culminating point being symbolic as well etc., while the Lot degree does not point anything, but the sign, to which the meaning of the Lot is ''bound''.

Philosophically, I do not think the Hour-Marker and the nonagesimal MC are points and capable of receiving aspects in a manner of Paulus using them, but just spatial symbolism. The only function of the Hour-Marker is to mark the sign, just as the only function of the Lot calculation is to mark the sign. Also if Lots were calculated by signs, then you would have an astrology that changes roughly every two hours and that would make it difficult to explain multiple births, if you use whole sign houses.

Yes, sign entry without degrees tables is my guess for the prevalence of calculation by sign amongst the astrologers. However, I still do not think that Valens is necessary contradicting himself, as that would mean I contradict myself in astrological practice.

I have seen direct oppositions of a lot degree to a malefic, and it just seems to me like a normal sign based opposition, which is different from my experience of a malefic or benefic at the horizon or culminating (I personally use nonagesimal MC to avoid contradictions around angularity, as I strictly follow Nechepso and Petosiris in angularity and theory of the Lot of Fortune).

I do not use bounds and degrees aspects with the Lots. I use Whole Sign Lot Houses/Signs = Houses = Lots. Only space makes those things separable.

The later astrologers started using equal and quadrant house systems, so they would not perceive astrology in the same way as the ancients around Nechepso and Petosiris. The usage of Lots as places in the so called whole sign houses is more intuitive than using the Lots as degrees, like the later and medieval astrologers did.
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