Chapter One | Contents | Chapter Three

Astrology and Judaism in Late Antiquity

Chapter Two
Hellenistic Scientific Astrology

Our goal in this chapter is to demonstrate how astrology in its various forms came to pervade the Hellenistic world, including Judaea. We will concentrate on horoscopy. Our account may seem very detailed, but it will serve to demonstrate the all-encompassing nature of astrology, potentially touching every aspect of life. We will emphasize, too, that astrology worked because the planet- gods made it work. We do not claim that everyone believed in the doctrines of horoscopy or worshipped the planet-gods. What we do hope to demonstrate is that when ordinary people throughout the Hellenized Near East looked into the sky, they thought they saw living creatures, who caused the changes in the seasons and the changes in their lives./1/ We hope, too, that the reader will see the beauty of the system, as elegant in its proportions and intricate in its details as a Doric temple. This, too, was part of the appeal of astrology.

Adoption Of Astrology

In chapter one we saw how horoscopy grew up as an adjunct to Mesopotamian religion. By 410 BC, when Socrates was an old man, and Plato a young one,/2/ a Mesopotamian could find out what the gods planned for him by calculating the future positions of the planet-gods.

Astrology continued to be associated with the "Chaldaeans," but it was the version of horoscopy developed by the Greeks which conquered the world. By far the majority of the horoscopes surviving from antiquity are in Greek, as well as almost all the treatises on how actually to cast a horoscope./3/ Some of this, of course, is due to the accidents of preservation. Also, cuneiform is much harder to learn than Greek, and far fewer cuneiform tablets have been published than Greek manuscripts. But there is a more important reason. Cuneiform literature is the relic of a completely dead civilization, without any direct descendant continuing to read its writings, nearly indestructible though they are. Greek civilization went through great changes, but the Greek language has not died out, and the literature of the Hellenistic astrologers and other writers was copied and used by their Byzantine descendants. Most of the Hellenistic astrological treatises come to us in medieval copies, and the astrology used in our own society is a direct descendant of the astrology created in the Hellenistic era.

Greek astrology is a product of the Hellenistic era, although there is some slight evidence that a few Greeks knew that horoscopy existed before that. Eudoxus of Knidos, for example, a contemporary of Plato and Aristotle, is quoted by Cicero as saying that one should not believe the claim of the "Chaldaeans" that they could predict a person's future from their birthdate./4/ But how the Greeks learned of this practice and how they turned it into a Greek science, the practical branch of astronomy,/5/ we know only in faint outline./6/

The Hellenistic era began when Alexander conquered the Persian Empire. Politically, it did not last very long. The kingdoms founded by Alexander's generals were quickly supplanted by the Roman and Parthian Empires. By contrast, Greek culture dominated the Near East for nearly a thousand years, until the Arab conquests. This was partly due to the large number of Greek colonies which Alexander and his successors founded throughout their realms. There had been Greek colonies before, of course, but the Hellenistic era saw a different sort of colony. They were not independent communities founded by a city-state, as Miletus or Syracuse had been. The Hellenistic colonies had local autonomy, but not true independence or freedom. They were meant to provide security and local government for the Macedonian kings. Thus, they were founded wherever Alexander or one of his successors ruled, from Egypt to India. The colonies also helped spread, more widely than before, the Greek language and the Greek way of life, which proved very attractive to non-Greeks as well. Greek was not only the language of administration, but of business and high culture as well. Any writer or thinker who wanted to address an international audience, be he Josephus the Jew, or Asoka Maurya in India, had to do so in Greek, no matter what his vernacular was./7/

Horoscopy was "Hellenized" in this society, although just how and where remain puzzling. We know that there were Greek colonies in Mesopotamia, the home of astrology. Indeed, one of the two capitals of the Seleucid kingdom was Seleucia on the Tigris, some 90 miles north of Babylon. When it was founded, many of Babylon's inhabitants were deported to the new city. Babylon itself also had a Greek settlement. Remains of Greek-style houses, a theater, a gymnasium, and Greek inscriptions were found there by the excavators./8/ The same was true of many other cities, and even those which did not receive colonists were still partly hellenized./9/ Cuneiform tablets with Greek superscriptions are known, and native Mesopotamians sometimes took Greek names as well./10/ Likewise, we know that Greek astronomers had access to data collected by their Mesopotamian colleagues./11/ Ptolemy, for example, explicitly says that he had access to records of eclipses from seventh century BCE Mesopotamia. He also tells us that his greatest predecessor, Hipparchus, was using Mesopotamian values for the periods of the planets in the second century BCE./12/ We know from other sources that Hipparchus was interested in astrology; the first remark Pliny makes in his _Natural History_ is to say that Hipparchus had done more to prove humanity's connection with the stars than any other man. Mesopotamian and Greek astronomy both reached their heights during the Hellenistic period, and there was ample opportunity for Greeks to learn of horoscopy as they learned the contents of the ephemerides. But of how they actually did work together, we know virtually nothing. It is probably a safe speculation that Greek-speaking Mesopotamians played the major role;/13/ it was almost unknown for a Greek to learn a "barbarian" language./14/ Both Oppenheim and Pingree have speculated that at least some of the cuneiform scholarly literature was translated into the Aramaic language and script, which was the vernacular of Mesopotamia from Assyrian times. They believe that it was this Aramaic Mesopotamian literature which was transmitted to neighboring civilizations. But until some of these hypothetical documents are discovered, the theory remains only an intriguing possibility./15/

We do know of one Mesopotamian scholar, Berossos, a priest of Bel, who moved to Greece, settling on the island of Kos in the mid-third century BCE. Berossos wrote an introduction to Mesopotamian culture about 281 BCE,/16/ called the _Babyloniaca_, which brought astrology to Greece proper./17/ Like much written in the Hellenistic era, it survives only in fragments quoted by later writers./18/ In its own day, however, it was so popular that the Athenians voted Berossos an honorary statue with a golden tongue--a very unusual honor for a "barbarian" whose Greek was not very elegant./19/

Berossos was probably not the only Mesopotamian astrologer to tell Greeks about his art. We do know of others who worked as professional diviners at Hellenistic courts, such as Sudines at Pergamon in the generation after Berossos./20/ But despite horoscopy's Mesopotamian origins, the distinctively Hellenistic version of horoscopy seems to have been formulated, not in Mesopotamia, but in Hellenistic Egypt. Alexandria, the capital of the Ptolemaic dynasty ruling Egypt, was the greatest economic and intellectual center of the Hellenistic world, and the Ptolemies promoted scientific research. Astronomy, in particular, made spectacular advances during this time,/21/ and it was probably as a part of research into Mesopotamian astronomy that horoscopy came to Egypt. Certainly there is no hint of any horoscopy in Pharaonic Egypt, which had only the simplest astronomical knowledge./22/ There are some examples of the sort of omens found in _Enuma Anu Enlil_ from Achaemenian period Egypt when both Egypt and Mesopotamia shared the same rulers./23/ Egyptian priests of the Hellenistic period definitely added astrology to their stock of traditional learning, and even claimed that astrology was invented in Egypt, by their god Thoth./24/

In any case, it was a work written in Egypt by some unknown person and falsely ascribed to "Nechepso/25/ and Petosiris"/26/ which popularized horoscopy for the Hellenistic world. Like so many other Hellenistic writings, "Nechepso and Petosiris" survive only in quotes in later writers./27/ But the way later astrologers love to cite "the Egyptians" or "the Ancients" as authorities for their favorite practices is a witness to Nechepso's prestige, while it also makes it hard to recognize the genuine fragments./28/ It was this formulation of horoscopy which spread across the known world, even back to Mesopotamia, and which is with us today./29/

A number of factors in Greek life and thought prepared the way for horoscopy. Greek religion was basically similar to that of Mesopotamia. It was polytheistic, and the heavenly bodies were thought to be divine, although they were not major deities. Few Greek cities had cults of the sun and moon, let alone the lesser planets. Divination was definitely an important institution, just as in Mesopotamia./30/

Several important philosophers and scientists did promote the divinity of the planets, notably Plato and Aristotle. In his _Timaeus_, Plato offers a remarkable creation story, unlike any other in Greek literture before his time. The spherical universe was created by a Creator, or _Demiurge_ (divine Workman),/31/ who gave it an intelligent Soul, concentrated in the celestial equator and the ecliptic. The ecliptic is subdivided into seven paths for the planets, the "visible gods," who run the universe for the Demiurge./32/ Subordinate to the planets are four kinds of living creatures, one for each of the four elements. The farther from the celestial sphere and the closer to the earth they were, the less divine they were. The fiery animals lived closest to the planet-gods, the aerial animals in a zone within the fiery ones, next the watery creatures, and finally the earthy ones, who were not divine at all. The gods of mythology were fit in somewhere between the airy and the earthy creatures./33/

Human beings were earthy creatures and human bodies were filled from the stars with souls, who return to the sky if they have behaved justly./34/ The human head was made an imitation of the spherical heavens surrounding the earth, and just as the intelligent Soul of the universe inhabits the sky, so the human soul inhabits the head./35/ This is an early example of the idea of the macrocosm and the microcosm, the idea that the human being is a miniature copy of the universe, which played an important role in the scientific and philosophical justification of horoscopy. The picture given in _Timaeus_ provided a sort of theology for astral religion, connecting the technique of horoscopy with the belief that the planets were personal gods. In _Laws_ and _Epinomis_, Plato went farther, even calling for the formal worship of the planet-gods./36/

By Plato's time, it had become customary to name the planets for the Olympian gods, and, generally speaking, the Greek names corresponded to their Mesopotamian equivalents./37/ The planet Mercury, for example, named for Nabu in Mesopotamia, was called #eg g f , _ho astr tou Hermou_, "the star of Hermes," in Greek. Eventually, the circumlocution "the star of--" was abandoned, and the planet Mercury was just Hermes. The change in name does imply a certain change in thinking: from being one of the god's possessions, the planet became the god himself. We use the Latin equivalents of the Greek divine names./38/

There was also a set of descriptive, scientific, names for the planets, which lacked the religious implications of the divine names. Mercury was g , _Stilbn_, Venus was h e[ , _Phospros_, Mars, n , _Pyroeis_, Jupiter, h#n , _Phaethn_, and Saturn, h# , _Phainn_. These names were most popular among Alexandrian scientists, but were not used exclusively even by them. By the time of the Antonine emperors, the descriptive names were forgotten, save by scholars of earlier literature./39/

The development of astronomy in Greece also played a role. As in Mesopotamia, the stimulus for astronomy was the calendar. The earliest references to simple astronomy are in Hesiod's _Works and Days_ (ca. 700 BCE), where seasonal chores and seasonal changes in the weather are dated by means of heliacal risings of, e.g., the Pleiades./40/ Many later astronomers also wrote calendars, called _parapegmata_, correlating seasonal shifts in the weather with the rising and setting of prominent stars./41/ This helped promote the assumption that the stars _caused_ the changes in weather, which in turn made astrology's assumptions about the planets more believable.

The first Greek mathematical astronomers we know of were Meton and Euctemon, who offered the Athenians an intercalation system much like the Mesopotamian one during the early fifth century BCE./42/ Eudoxus of Knidos, in the fourth century BCE, was the first Greek to attempt to analyze the intricacies of the planets' movements, using a set of imaginary spheres, concentric, but rotating around different axes./43/ Eventually, this was replaced by the epicyclic model which is usually associated with Claudius Ptolemy,/44/ but which was usually ignored by astrologers. Eudoxus also invented the system of celestial coordinates and compiled the standard map of the constellations and star used throughout antiquity. This map of the heavens became the major source of one of the most popular books of antiquity, Aratus' _Phainomena_, composed in the fourth century BCE./45/

But Greek astronomers were not only interested in describing the celestial phenomena mathematically. Unlike the Mesopotamians, they also tried to analyze the size and shape of the universe, and how it worked. In _Timaeus_, as we have seen, Plato assumed that the whole universe, including the earth, was a giant sphere. This remained the standard belief throughout antiquity, assumed by every astrologer.

Aristotle, like Plato, believed that the heavenly bodies were divine./46/ He also accepted Eudoxus' concentric sphere hypothesis to explain the planetary motions, although he changed them from mathematical fictions to actual, physical, spheres pushing each other around./47/ But it was his formulation of physics which proved most important to astrology, because it became the standard view in antiquity./48/ Aristotle said that all that we see around us on earth is compounded from the four elements, earth, air, fire, and water./49/ The elements themselves are made of _hyl_, or primal matter, plus two of the four qualities, heat, coldness, moisture, dryness. If the amount of a quality changed in an element, it changed into another element. This and the intermingling of the elements caused physical and chemical changes on earth./50/ Each element had its natural place in the universe, to which it tried to move in a straight line./51/ Earth was at the center, water around it, then air, and finally a sphere of fire before one came to the heavens./52/ The movements of the heavenly bodies made the changes in the elements occur, but the heavens themselves never changed. They were made of a fifth element, ether, which had an eternal circular motion./53/ Astrologers, such as Ptolemy, assumed that the planets' influences changed the qualities in earthly beings.

Zeno the Stoic was a contemporary of Berossos, and, like him, was honored with a statue by the Athenians./54/ It is therefore not surprising that his philosophy, Stoicism, was especially congenial to astrology. Stoicism was as much a system of psychotherapy as a philosophy in the modern sense. Its goal was to teach people how to live without anxiety by living in accordance with Nature. Therefore a physical model of the universe was an important part of Stoicism. The Stoics took for granted the spherical universe and four element physics, but they rejected Aristotle's theory that the stars and planets were made of a fifth, extraterrestrial, element. The same rules of physics held true everywhere. All things were pervaded and connected by _pneuma_ or spirit, a material substance primarily of elementary fire. This phenomenon of connection was called cosmic "sympathy," or "feeling together." _Pneuma_ connected the planets and earth, and was the medium carrying the planets' influences to the earth./55/ Likewise, moisture from the earth rose and nourished the heavenly bodies./56/

An important consequence of Stoic philosophy and physics was determinism. _Pneuma_ was the substance of the human mind and soul. Just as each of us is intelligent because of our _pneuma_, so the _pneuma_ pervading the universe was a giant mind, which was the Stoic God. This God decided everything which happened. All events were the result of previous causes, going back the creation of the universe. Likewise, anything that happened was destined by the Stoic God from Creation. And because everything was planned for a good outcome by a just God, the individual could adjust to the "slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune," knowing that it was for the best./57/ The effects of the planets were among the more obvious parts of this chain of destiny, or n f# fn , _heimarmen_, and Stoic philosophers, especially Posidonios, defended astrology as an illustration of their world-view in action./58/


Now that we have discussed how and why the Greeks adopted horoscopy and made it their own, it is appropriate to discuss the system itself. First of all, one must always remember that Hellenistic astrology was both a religion and a science. The planets were gods, who ruled the universe according to scientific law. Astrologers might emphasize the religious or the scientific aspects as it suited them, but both were always present. Even Ptolemy, who tried hard to explain everything in terms of four element physics, says that ultimately the planets move as they do because of "divine, unchangeable destiny,"/59/ and a famous poem attributed to him in the _Greek Anthology_ says:

I know that I am the creature of a day; but when I search into the multitudinous revolving spirals of the stars my feet no longer rest on the earth, but, standing by Zeus himself, I take my fill of ambrosia, the food of the gods./60/

Likewise, one must remember that attitudes towards astrology were not uniform. At one end of the spectrum was strict determinism, associated with Stoicism. Manilius illustrates this attitude when he says (in Goold's translation):

Fate rules the world, all things stand fixed by its immutable laws, and the long ages are assigned a predestined course of events. At birth our death is sealed, and our end is consequent on our beginning. Fate is the source of riches and kingdoms, and the more frequent poverty; by fate are men at birth given their skills and characters, their merits and defects, their losses and gains. None can renounce what is bestowed or denied; no man by prayer may seize fortune if it demur, or escape if it draw nigh./61/

At the other extreme, one might reject astrology completely. This position is associated particularly with Carneades, the leader of the skeptical phase of the Academy, and with the Epicurean school in general. But it was also the view of most of the Church Fathers./62/ Even some Stoics, such as Panaitios, rejected astrology./63/ In between were probably the majority of astrologers, then and now, who believed that the stars left room for free will, and that with foreknowledge one might avoid a bad fate./64/ Finally, we must remember that astrology, like philosophy, appealed to people from every background, not only the wealthy and well-educated. There was not a great deal of social mobility in Greco-Roman society, which meant that the lower orders included many individuals with intellectual interests, while chronic unemployment gave such people time to think. The best known example is Socrates, a professional stone mason. Zeno the Stoic was a seaman. Gregory Nazianzus is a witness that the christological controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries CE interested many humble people./65/

Nor were intellectuals the only people who found astrology interesting and useful. Divination of all sorts had flourished in Greece before the Hellenistic era. The destruction of Athens' expedition in Sicily because of a lunar eclipse is only one dramatic example of the importance of divination. Once introduced, "lay astrology" replaced almost all the earlier methods./66/ Works listing the hours favorable for various activities are among the most common astrological texts to come down to us. Juvenal and Ammianus Marcellinus both speak of people who did nothing without first checking their lists of favorable hours./67/ Astrological medicine and magic were also popular. Likewise, astral religion became widespread, particularly in Syria, which had a long history of Mesopotamian influence before the Hellenistic era. Works of lay astrology, astrological medicine, and astrological magic show the religious assumptions of horoscopy more clearly than do the more "scientific" texts./68/

The basic principle in a Greek horoscope is that the planets each radiate individual "influences," which are modified by their positions relative to each other, to the signs of the zodiac, and to the time and place of the individual in question. We on earth respond because of cosmic "sympathy."/69/ In general, the signs of the zodiac were most important early in the development of astrology, and decreased over time, while the planets became more important./70/ Manilius, for example, who lived in the first century CE, but used early sources, all but ignores the planets and exalts the zodiac./71/ Ptolemy, active in the second century CE, and a more competent, up-to-date, scientist by far, emphasizes the planets almost exclusivel/72/

While the planets were identified with the Olympian gods, their mythology was not usually transferred to the sky. However, the powers assigned to the planets often were derived from mythology and the personalities it portrayed. The appearance of the planet also played a role./73/

The planets were usually listed according to the times each took to go through the zodiac once (their sidereal periods) on the correct assumption that this corresponded to their distance from the earth./74/ Plato's _Timaeus_ gives the earliest example, where the planets, from outside in, are: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Moon. This was later called the "Egyptian order."/75/ By at least the second century BCE another order, known as the "Chaldaean," became standard: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon./76/ The difference is that Mercury and Sun have traded places./77/ It makes no difference mathematically, because Sun, Mercury, and Venus all have the same sidereal period. But putting the Sun in the middle position was used to explain the different influences of the planets. The upper planets, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, are farther from the sun and the earth, thus were cooler and drier, and hence male. Venus and the Moon are closer to the Sun and the earth, were warmer and moister, and female./78/ Mercury the hermaphrodite is left unexplained. The "Chaldaean" order also emphasized the Sun as the leader of the planets./79/

The "Chaldaean" order of the planets is also the source for our seven day week, which was in general use by the time of Augustus./80/ According to one doctrine, each planet ruled over certain hours of the day. Each period sunrise to sunrise was divided into twenty-four hours, either seasonal or equinoctial. The first hour of the first day was Saturn's, the second was Jupiter's and so on in order through the twenty-four. The first hour of the second day would then be ruled by the Sun, the first hour of the third day was the Moon's, and so on. Tuesday belonged to Mars, Wednesday to Mercury, Thursday to Jupiter, and Friday to Venus. Even now, our weekdays are named for the planet-gods, although this is more noticeable in a Romance language such as French. Wednesday, for example, is Mercredi, from Mercurii dies, the day of Mercury. Our English names are from the Germanic gods who corresponded to the Roman ones. Tuesday is the day of Tiuw, the Germanic equivalent of Mars, Wednesday is named for Wodin, the Germanic Mercury, Thursday is Thor's day, who corresponds to Jupiter, and Friday is for Freya, the German Venus. Saturn had no Germanic equivalent, and the days of the Sun and Moon need no explanation./81/

Saturn, who was Ninurta in Mesopotamia, became Kronos for the Greeks. Kronos was a sinister figure in mythology, who overthrew his father Ouranos (which means sky) and castrated him with a sickle. He devoured his own children to keep from being overthrown in turn, but was eventually exiled to the underworld by his son Zeus. Astrologers pictured him as an old man, slow, shrewd and hostile, often holding a sickle. A pun associated him with _Chronos_, or Time. Our own artistic motif of Time as an old man with a scythe probably comes from this image. His influences were very cold and dry, making Saturn the most dangerous of the planets./82/

Jupiter was Marduk, the king of the gods, in Mesopotamia, who naturally became Zeus, the king of the gods, among the Greeks. He was pictured as a king, often with his eagle, the bird of Zeus, or his thunderbolt, since Zeus was also the rain god. His influences were moderately warm and moist, making him the most favorable of the planets./83/

Mars, identified with Nergal, the Mesopotamian war god, became the Greek war god, Ares, or sometimes Herakles. The red color and the sudden movements of the planet helped create the image of a capricious, violent tyrant. He was usually shown bearing arms. Mars's influences were quite hot and dry, making him the second worst planet./84/

The Sun was one of the two great luminaries, but was not important in Greek mythology. In Homer he was Helios, a Titan, and without much authority. When Odysseus' men killed his cattle, he could only complain to Zeus, rather than take independent action as Poseidon did when he was offended. In the Classical period, he was identified with Apollo. In astrological art, he is usually shown wearing a crown of rays, driving a four-horse chariot. His influences were hot and somewhat dry. He was generally favorable, but dangerous in excess./85/

Venus, or Ishtar in Mesopotamia, was Aphrodite. Aphrodite grew from the severed genitals of Ouranos and was the patron of sexuality and reproduction. She was usually portrayed as an attractive woman, often holding a mirror. Her influences were moderately warm and quite moist, which promoted growth in plants and animals. Venus was the second most favorable of the planets. The morning and evening star were identified with Aurora and Cephalos or Astraeus, lovers of Aphrodite./86/

Mercury was Nabu, the son of Marduk and scribe of the gods in Mesopotamia. The Greeks identified him with Hermes, or occasionally with Apollo. Hermes was the son of Zeus in mythology. He was associated with cleverness and success in business. He was also the messenger of the gods, which fit in well with the speed of the planet's movements. Mercury guided the souls of the dead to the underworld, as well, which helped give him an ambiguous image. In Egypt, he was identified with Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing, and scholarship, and especially magic. Many astrological and other works are ascribed to this syncretized "Hermes Trismegistos." Hermes was usually shown in his role as messenger, wearing a winged cap and winged sandals, and holding a staff entwined with snakes. The planet Hermes was hermaphroditic, male or female, depending on relationships with other planets. His influences were likewise ambiguous, changing quickly from dry to moist and back again./87/

The Moon had almost no mythology. In earlier times, she was Selen or Men, the sister Helios, while later she was Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis was a major Greek deity, but her role as moon-goddess was far from her most important one. In art, the Moon is usually shown driving a chariot, like her brother, and wearing a crescent. Her influences were moist and somewhat warm. Generally, she was a favorable planet, but too much lunar influence did cause mental illness, which gives us our word "lunatic."/88/

Besides their individual characteristics, the planets were grouped together in a bewildering variety of ways. They "saw" one another, they were friendly or unfriendly, they each had houses for the daytime and houses for the night in certain signs of the zodiac. The groupings were often quite anthropomorphic, and all affected the planets' influences./89/

Influences particularly modified each other according to the angular relationships, or "aspects" between the planets. The planetary aspects were probably derived from the aspects between the signs./90/ The Greeks wrote of them as polygons inscribed within the zodiacal ring./91/ There were four major aspects: _opposition_, when a diameter of the zodiac connected the planets; _trine_, when the planets were at the points of an equilateral triangle; _quartile_, the points of a square; and _sextile_, the points of a hexagon; sometimes _conjunction_, when two planets crossed paths, was also counted as an aspect (see figures 1-4). Trine and sextile were favorable aspects, with trine somewhat the stronger. Quartile and opposition were unfavorable, with quartile the stronger. The nature of a conjunction depended on the nature of the planets./92/

There was disagreement on just how the aspects worked. Ptolemy (1.13) tried to derive the aspects from the mathematics of musical intervals. Porphyry, the fourth century CE Neoplatonist, believed that the planets emitted their influences in seven beams, which left the planets at precise angles, and formed the aspects when the beams from different planets met. Pseudo-Manetho the astrologer, who also wrote in the fourth century, simply said that was how the gods wanted to do it./93/

In the previous chapter we saw that the zodiac began as a celestial yardstick, useful for calculating a planet's position. The signs were named for constellations which they contained. The Greeks took over the Mesopotamian zodiac and used it in the same way. Even the names and the iconography of the zodiacal signs and constellations were nearly the same./94/ The correspondences between the Mesopotamian and the Greek signs, in tabular form, are:/95/
One change in the iconography was that the Greeks usually showed the zodiac as a ring (figures 5-6). Mesopotamian art often showed pictures of the constellations, but never in a ring, perhaps because they did not think of the universe as a sphere, as the Greeks did. Eventually the ring motif even spread back into Mesopotamia.

Unlike the planets, the constellations were closely connected with Greek mythology. _Catasterism_, or becoming a constellation, was a popular motif in Hellenistic poetry. Manilius identifies Aries with the ram of the Golden Fleece, Taurus with the bull that carried Europa to Europe, Leo with the Nemean lion, and so on. Other writers made other identifications. Taurus was also the Apis bull of Egypt, Pasiphae's bull, or Io to different writers. Gemini, which Manilius forgot to mention, was variously identified with Castor and Pollux, Apollo and Herakles, Apollo and Bacchus, and Theseus and Herakles, among others./96/ This variety arose because the zodiacal constellations were late additions to Greek mythology.

Connected with their myths and their iconography, the signs each had natures which modified the influences of the planets. Aries people, for example, were hot-tempered but timid, as a ram is. They also tended to go into the textile business, because of the sheep's wool./97/

Like the planets, the signs were grouped and divided in a great variety of ways, many based on the constellations' appearance in art. Manilius groups signs according to posture, disfigurement, fertility, single or double, human or animal, day or night, male or female, among other categories./98/ Other astrologers use similar categories, if rarely so many./99/ Perhaps the most important grouping was aspect./100/ Zodiacal aspect is probably older than the aspects among the planets. The triangular aspect, at least, has been traced back to Mesopotamia, but the Greek astrologers elaborated the principle, perhaps stimulated by Pythagorean ideas./101/ The zodiacal aspects have the same powers as the planetary ones, and are likewise pictured as polygons within a circle./102/ The triangle and the hexagon were favorable aspects, with the triangle the stronger. The square aspect was unfavorable, while astrologers disagreed as to whether the diameter was good or bad./103/ The signs connected were supposed to share certain qualities in common. For example, the signs connected by the triangular aspects (called _triplicities_) were "sympathetic" with the four elements. The first triplicity, Aries-Leo-Sagittarius, was the fiery triplicity, and was ruled by the Sun (see figure 2)./104/ A fiery planet in a fiery sign would have a stronger influence. The same principle holds true for all other groups and divisions of the signs: they serve to weaken or strengthen somehow the influences of the planets.

Particular signs or parts of signs were assigned to particular planets according to three different systems, the "houses," the "terms," and the "exaltations."/105/ The houses were just what they sound like: the homes of the planet-gods, where they were particularly strong (figures 7- 8)./106/ There are several different systems for assigning the planets to houses. Firmicus Maternus, writing in the fourth century CE, uses an "Egyptian" system, which says the planets are at home in the signs they occupied when the Demiurge created the world./107/ (This is the so- called "Thema Mundi," or horoscope of the world, first found in "Nechepso and Petosiris.")/108/ This order was used in astrological medicine, but left five signs unclaimed./109/ Other astrologers, such as Manilius and Ptolemy, preferred to assign each lesser planet one house for the night and another for the daytime. Again, there were several conflicting methods. Manilius gives three alternatives, while Ptolemy uses only one./110/

The "terms"/111/ are segments within each sign assigned to the five lesser planets. The "terms" have different sizes for each planet with in the sign. Nor does any given planet have the same size "term" in all the signs. There were two major competing systems for assigning the terms, the "Egyptian," the most widely used, and the Chaldaean. Ptolemy discusses both, then offers his own improvement on the Egyptian terms, which he claims he found in an ancient manuscript./112/

The "exaltation" of a planet is the degree at which it is most powerful. Opposite it in the zodiac is its "dejection," its weakest point./113/ The exaltations may have a Mesopotamian origin (see figure 8)./114/

In the previous chapter, we discussed the Mesopotamian origin of the _dodekatemoria_, the practice of dividing each sign into a "microzodiac." Ptolemy mentions the practice only to reject it as "illogical."/115/ Manilius, however, discusses the dodekatemoria in detail (see figures 9- 10)./116/ The first dodekatemorion is allotted to the sign holding it, the second dodekatemorion belongs to the next sign, the third dodekatemorion to the third sign, and so on. Thus, the first dodekatemorion in the sign Aries is Aries, the second is Taurus, the third, Gemini, and so on. (Other writers use other systems.)/117/ The dodekatemoria serve to increase the possible strong points for a planet within a sign, which in turn helps to explain the varied characters of people with similar horoscopes./118/ Manilius even subdivides each dodekatemorion into five subsections, one for each of the five lesser planets (see figure 10)!/119/

There was also another set of subdivisions, which was really a sort of alternate zodiac, the decans./120/ In Hellenistic astrology, each sign was divided into three decans of ten degrees, but the decans began as a set of constellations used to tell time at night in Pharaonic Egypt. There were thirty-six decans because there were thirty-six "weeks" (each ten days long) in the Egyptian calendar. A new constellation was chosen as the time-teller for each "week."/121/ The decans were also definite personalities, divine lords of time, in Egyptian thought and remained so in the astrology of Hellenistic Egypt./122/ Reliefs of the zodiac with the decans are found at several temples in Egypt, most notably at Denderah./123/ The decans had individual names/124/ and in the Hermetica they are even called rulers of the universe. They also played an important role in medical astrology and in magic./125/ Manilius assigns the natures of the signs to the decans, in the order of the signs. That is, the first decan, in the first sign, Aries, is also Aries. The second decan is Taurus, the third is Gemini, and so on. The sequence repeats three times (see figure 11)./126/ Most writers, however, assign the natures of the planets to the decans, and use aspects and planetary lords to analyze their influences, as with the signs (see figure 12)./127/ The third major factor in casting a horoscope is the division of the zodiac into _mundane houses_ (figure 13). The planets may radiate influences, the signs of the zodiac modify them, but the mundane houses relate the influences to a particular time and place, which usually means to a particular individual (called the _native_). This practice was probably invented by Greeks, since it assumes a spherical earth.

This is done by extending the planes of the individual's horizon and meridian until they cut the zodiac, dividing it into four sections. Since the horizon changes when the individual moves, these planes will divide the zodiac differently at different longitudes and latitudes. Likewise, since the zodiac is constantly rotating with the rest of the sky, the planes will cut a different part of the zodiac each moment that passes. Thus, for any given position at any specific moment, there is a unique division of the zodiac by the horizon and the meridian./128/

The four points where the planes cut the zodiac were called the n g #, _kentra_ (centers) or _cardines_ (hinges). Each had a name. The center on the eastern horizon was the most important and was called the ascendant or e # , _horoskopos_./129/ Opposite, on the western horizon, was the descendant, or k e , _dusis_. The center overhead, cut by the meridian, was the midheaven, or fne # f#, _mesouranma_, while opposite, invisible below the earth was the lower midheaven, or # n , _hupogeion_./130/ The angles between these four centers were split into three to form twelve divisions on the zodiac. These are the mundane houses proper, called _loci_ or g # , _topoi_./131/ Together the twelve houses form a sort of a framework against which the zodiac and the planets rotate, as a clock face does for the hands (see figure 13)./132/

To construct the houses for a nativity, an astrologer had to be able to calculate what points of the zodiac were rising over the horizon and crossing the meridian at a given time and latitude./133/ To do this properly took a good command of mathematics, and few could do it accurately before Ptolemy introduced tables based on spherical trigonometry./134/ Most Greek astrologers used systems of linear progressions derived from Mesopotamian methods of calculating the rising times of stars. Sometimes they did not use even these systems correctly. A common mistake was to take formulae which were correct for Alexandria or Babylon and assume they were correct everywhere./135/ Manilius first rejects, then mistakenly accepts, a scheme which assumes a new sign rises every two hours./136/ This could work only if the zodiac were the equator, instead of being angled to it. In fact, the different signs rise at very different speeds, and the exact speed depends on the latitude. The result is that the four centers do not divide the zodiac into four equal sized segments, and the twelve houses are unequal too./137/

The houses are both numbered and named. The first house is that of the ascendant, the second house the next to rise, and so on. If they are pictured like the numbers on a clock, the first house is at nine o'clock, the second at eight o'clock, the third at seven, and so on, counter- clockwise./138/ The names vary from author to author, but names like # k# f , _kakou daimn_, bad luck, # # k# f , _agathou daimn_, good luck, n#, _thea_, goddess and # , _poin_, work, are common./139/ Each house represented an area of life: the first house represented the native's life, the second, finances, the seventh house, marriage, and so on. A planet's presence in or aspects with a house told how that planet's influences would effect that area of life./140/ Together they "provide a spectrum of human experience against which the zodiac with its ever- varying planetary pattern can form a kaleidoscope reflecting the infinite variety of man."/141/

The last technical feature we must discuss was the lots or , _klroi_. These are moving points on the zodiac, like invisible planets. Like houses, they represent different aspects of life./142/ The most important was the lot of Fortune, but usually there are seven, one for each planet, lots of _Daimn_, of Necessity, of Eros, and so on. More than twelve names are known from several systems./143/ A lot's position was calculated as being as far from the ascendant as one planet was from another. For example, the lot of Fortune was as far from the Moon as the ascendant was from the Sun. The lot of _Daimn_ was as far right of the ascendant as the lot of Fortune was left (see figures 14-15)./144/ The lot of Fortune was also sometimes called the ascendant of the moon, and Manilius does give a sort of alternative system of mundane houses, which he called the _athla_ (see figure 16). These may have been used in katarchic or medical astrology./145/

Horoscopes were used in a variety of ways. Predicting an individual's future from the horoscope of his birth, called _genethlialogy_, goes back to Mesopotamia./146/ But horoscopes might also be cast for collective enterprises, such as cities, armies, even whole nations. This is _universal_ or _judicial_ astrology./147/ A variant of this was astrological geography, which used astrological sympathies to explain cultural differences and to make political predictions about foreign countries./148/ A horoscope could also be used to chose the moment which the planets favored most for some activity. This practice was called _katarchic_ astrology, from #g# # , _katarchai_, beginnings./149/ Katarchic astrology was somewhat less fatalistic than genethlialogy, since it assumed that with foreknowledge one could avoid what the planets had in store. It also had connections with medicine and magic. The procedure involved casting a chart for a proposed event, and comparing it to the clients nativity. The aspects of the ascendant and the moon were given particular attention, while the mundane houses were also important./150/ It may not be too fanciful to say that katarchic astrologers played a social and political role in the Roman empire like that of pollsters and economists today.

One of the most important writers on katarchic astrology was Dorotheus of Sidon./151/ He wrote in the first century CE, but survives only in an Arabic translation made ca. 800 CE./152/ A sample of a katarchic warning from his book reads, in Pingree's translation:

""If a man wants to make a will, let him commence this when the "ascendant or the Moon is in a tropical sign/153/ as it "indicates that the will and the legacy will be changed. Let him "make his will when the Moon is increasing [in latitude], "decreasing in computation and increasing in light, and its "motion is from the middle of the ecliptic ascending towards the "seas [the North], and conjoining with a star in its station, and "not under the [Sun's] rays. If it is under the [Sun's] rays "[but] not in this sign but in another sign and emerging from "under the rays, then it does not indicate immediate death. Avoid "making your will in the hour in which Mars is with the Moon or "in the ascendant as if one makes his will at this hour it "indicates that the will will not be changed, and the patient "will die from this illness of his, and the will will not be "executed after his death, but someone after him will refute him "in his will and write in the will or steal the will./154/

Medical astrology, or _iatromathematics_,/155/ is based on the _melothesia_, the idea that the planets and the signs of the zodiac each rule over specific parts of the body. The usual version assigns one part of the body to one sign: Aries rules the head, Taurus rules the neck, Pisces rules the feet, and so on./156/ This is the origin of the picture of the "zodiac man" still seen in modern almanacs (see figure 17). There are also versions which assign parts of the body to the decans, to the planets, and even to the dodekatemoria./157/ The principle is the same in each case. A bad planet or an unfavorable aspect with one of the signs causes a problem in the corresponding body part./158/ The idea of the melothesia probably comes from Egypt, where parts of the body were long identified with different spirits./159/ Also the Egyptians pictured the sky as a giant woman, Nut, from Pharaonic times. The Hellenistic melothesia combines the "cosmic woman" with the spirits of the decans or the signs./160/ There are indeed, a number of Hellenistic reliefs that show Nut with the signs and the decans superimposed on her body (see figure 18)./161/ The system seems to have been popularized by "Petosiris and Nechepso."/162/ Perhaps the Greek idea of the macrocosm and the microcosm reinforced the concept of the melothesia, as well./163/

Astrological healing was based on similar thinking. Plants, animals, stones and minerals were also "sympathetic" with the signs and planets./164/ If one were ill with a headache, for example, the physician would prescribe medicine made from substances which increased favorable influences, probably substances sympathetic with Aries. Health could be maintained by wearing amulets which attracted favorable influences./165/ Clearly the assumption that one could change physical reality by manipulating the influences from the planets has connections with magic./166/ And as in Mesopotamia, magic was not sharply distinguished from religion. Preparing an astrological prescription often included an invocation to the appropriate planet or decan./167/ One prescription, from a Hermetic work,/168/ reads thus, in Festugiere's translation: ""5. Be'lier: 1er d can. Il a nom Chenchlori, et il a la forme "ici represent [sic]: son visage et d'un petit enfant, ses mains "sont dress s vers le haut, il tient un sceptre qu'il eleve sur "un pierre de Babylone poreuse, place en dessous la plante "_isophryn_, fixe dans un anneau de fer et porte. Garde-toi de "manger la tte d'un verrat. C'est ainsi que tu gagnera la "bienveillance de chaque d can en le gravant sur sa pierre et "avec son nom./169/

The origins of this astrological pharmacy are obscure. Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia all had old medical traditions which included herbal medicine. The astrological connection has definite precursors in Mesopotamia, where plants were picked at certain phases of the moon and compounded medicines exposed to the stars./170/ Sudines is credited with a book on the properties of stones./171/ Egypt had a long tradition of animal-gods, and may have contributed the sympathies with animals./172/ It is probably best to say that Hellenistic Egypt produced a synthesis of elements from a variety of traditions--a remark which describes Hellenistic astrology overall.


Sixteen cuneiform horoscopes survive: the six discussed in the previous chapter and others not yet published./173/ Nine Egyptian horoscopes are extant, written in Demotic./174/ In contrast, nearly 180 Greek horoscopes survive, dating from the first five centuries of our era./175/ They are found in a variety of sources: technical handbooks on astrology, such as Vettius Valens' work, reliefs, graffiti, ostraca, papyri. All known examples have been collected and translated by Neugebauer and van Hoesen./176/ The oldest known example is a relief from the monumental tomb of Antiochus I of Commagene, at Nimrud Dagh in the foothills of the Taurus mountains (see figure 19). It shows Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars in Leo in pictorial form, and was cast for 7 July 61 BCE, probably the date Antiochus was reconfirmed king as a Roman vassal./177/

Most of the surviving horoscopes are not in pictures, but in words. Diagrams are not common before the Middle Ages./178/ The oldest reasonably complete papyrus horoscope reads (figure 20):/179/

""1. Year 27 of Caesar (Augustus)| "2. Phaophi 5 according to the Augustan calendar| "3. about the 3rd hour of the day.| "4. sun in Libra| "5. moon in Pisces| "6. Saturn in Libra| "7. Jupiter in Cancer| "8. Mars in Virgo| "9. [Venus in Scorpio]| "10. [Mercury in Virgo]| "11. [Scorpio is rising]| "12. [Leo is at Midheaven| "13. [Taurus is the] setting.| "14. Lower Midheaven Aquarius| "15. There are dangers.| "16. Take care for 40 days| "17. because of Mars./180/

| Most of the ancient horoscopes are as simple as this one. Many do not even give a warning. As Neugebauer and van Hoesen remark, one would never guess that the horoscopes were supposed to tell the future if there were no technical treatises surviving./181/ Presumably the astrologers gave their customers oral explanations along with the simple list of positions. For example, Mars was dangerous when the horoscope was cast because it was in the ninth house, _agathos daimn_, in sextile with the ascendant, and in trine with the descendant, but one would not know this from the text./182/

Chapter One | Contents | Chapter Three


/1/ Garth Fowden, _The Egyptian Hermes_; _A Historical Approach to the Late Pagan Mind_ [_Hermes_] (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), pp. 91-94.

/2/ Frederick H. Cramer, _Astrology in Roman Law and Politics_ [_Law_] (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1954), p. 5.

/3/ Otto Neugebauer and H. B. van Hoesen, _Greek Horoscopes_ [_Horoscopes_] (Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1959), p. 161.

/4/ Cicero, _De Divinatione_, 2.87, trans. William Armistead Falconer (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. 468-71.

/5/ Claudius Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.1, ed. and trans. by F. E. Robbins (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. 2-5.

/6/ See W. Capelle, "lteste Spuren der Astrologie der Griechen," _Hermes_ 60 (1925): pp. 373-95 for a survey of the evidence.

/7/ For a survey of cultural and political developments during the Hellenistic period, see F. E. Peters, _Harvest of Hellenism_; _A History of the Near East from Alexander the Great to the Triumph of Christianity_ [_Hellenism_] (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970); W. W. Tarn, _Hellenistic Civilisation_ (3rd ed. rev. by G. T. Griffiths; London: E. Arnold, 1952); and Michael Avi-Yonah, _Hellenism and the East_: _Contacts and Interrelations from Alexander to the Roman Conquest_ (Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1978).

/8/ Erich Schmidt, "Die Griechen in Babylon und das Weiterleben ihrer Kultur," _Jahrbuch des deutschen archologischen Instituts_, Beiblatt Archologischer Anzeiger 56 (1941): pp. 786-844; H. Klengel, "Babylon zur Zeit der Perser, Griechen und Parther," _Forschungen und Berichte_, _Staatliche Museen zu Berlin_ 5 (1962): pp. 46- 51.

/9/ For the history of Hellenistic Mesopotamia, see Gilbert J. McEwan, _Priest and Temple in Hellenistic Babylonia_ (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1981); Svend E. Pallis, "The History of Babylon, 538-93 B. C.," _Orientalia_ I, _Studia Ioanni Petersen_ (Copenhagen: Einer Munksgaard, 1953), pp. 175-94; and Godefroid Goossens, "Au declin de la civilisation babylonienne, Ourouk sous les Seleucides," _Academie royale de Belgique_, _Bulletin de la classe des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques_, 5th serier (Medaelingen) 27 (1941): pp. 222-44.

/10/ See Joachim Oelsner, "Zur Bedeutung der `Graeco- babyloniaca,' f r die berlieferung des Sumerischen und Akkadischen," _Institut f r Orientforschung_, _Mitteilungen_ 17 (1972): pp. 356-64, and J. A. Black and S. M. Sherwin- White, "A Clay Tablet with Greek Letters in the Ashmolean Museum and the `Graeco-Babyloniaca' Texts," _Iraq_ 46 (1984): pp. 131-40 for examples and discussions.

/11/ Otto Neugebauer, "The Survival of Babylonian Methods in Ancient and Medieval Astronomy," _Astronomy and History_; _Selected Essays_, New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983, pp. 157- 64; Otto Neugebauer, "The History of Ancient Astronomy: Problems and Methods," _Astronomy and History_; _Selected Essays_ (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983), p. 118; George Huxley, "Aristarchus of Samos and Greco-babylonian Astronomy," _Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies_ 5 (1964): pp. 123-31.

/12/ Claudius Ptolemy, _Ptolemy's Almagest_ [_Almagest_], 3.7.2, 4.2, 4.11, trans. and annot. G. J. Toomer (New York: Springer Verlag, 1984), pp. 166, 174-75, 211-12.

/13/ Franz Cumont, "La patrie de S leucus de S leucie," _Syria_ 8 (1927): pp. 83-84 discusses one Greek scientist from Mesopotamia.

/14/ Arnaldo Momigliano, "The Fault of the Greeks," _Daedalus_ 104 (1975): pp. 9-19.

/15/ A. Leo Oppenheim, _Letters from Mesopotamia_; _Official, Business, and Private Letters on Clay from Two Millenia_ (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1967), pp. 43-53, esp. pp. 51-53; David Pingree, "Mesopotamian Astronomy and Astral Omens in Other Civilizations," Hans-Jrd Nissen and Johannes Renger, eds., _Mesopotamien und seine Nachbarn_ (Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1982), pp. 613-31. But see now J. C. Greenfield and M. Sokoloff, "Astrological and Related Omen Texts in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic," _JNES_ 48 (1989): pp. 201-14.

/16/ Stanley M. Burstein, _The Babyloniaca of Berossus _ [_Berossos_] (Malibu, CA: Undena Publications, 1978), pp. 4- 5.

/17/ Such introductions were one of the new phenomena of the era. Josephus' works are the best known example, and the only ones which survive intact. See Arnaldo Momigliano, _Alien Wisdom_; _The Limits of Hellenism_ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975).

/18/ See Burstein, _Berossos_, for an introduction and a translation. Schnabel, _Berossos und die babylonisch- hellenistische Literatur_ (Leipzig and Berlin: Teubner, 1928; repr. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuch-handlung, 1968) gives a Greek text along with an extensive discussion.

/19/ Vitruvius, _de Architectura_, 9.2.1, 9.6.2, 9.8.1, trans. Frank Granger (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1934), pp. 226-27, 246-47, 254-55; Burstein, _Berossos_, p. 9.

/20/ Auguste Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie grecque_ [_L'astrologie_] (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1899; repr. Aalen: Scientia Verlag, 1979), p. 550, n.3.

/21/ Sir Thomas Heath, _Aristarchus of Samos_; _The Ancient Copernicus_ [_Aristarchus_] (New York: Dover, 1981), pp. 299-351; J. L. E. Dreyer, _History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler_ (2nd ed., revised, with a foreword by W. H. Stahl; New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1953), p. 109-90.

/22/ Otto Neugebauer, _The Exact Sciences in Antiquity_ [_Sciences_] (2nd ed.; Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1957), pp. 71-96.

/23/ See R. A. Parker, _A Vienna Demotic Papyrus on Eclipse- and Lunar-Omina_ (Providence, RI: Brown University Press, 1959), and P. Derchain, "Essai de classement chronologique des influences babyloniennes et hellenistiques sur l'astrologie gyptiennes des documents d motiques," in J. Nougayrol, et al., _La divination en Mesopotamie ancienne et dans les regions voisines_ (Paris: Presses Universitaires de Frances, 1966), pp. 147-58.

/24/ Fowden, _Hermes_, pp. 91-94; See Otto Neugebauer, "Demotic Horoscopes," _JAOS_ 63 (1943): pp. 115-27 for detailed information on Egyptian astrology.

/25/ Pseudepigraphy, or falsely ascribing one's own writings to some more famous person to get it a more favorable hearing, was a common phenomenon in the Hellenistic era.

/26/ Petosiris was a genuine priest of the fourth century BC, while Nechepso was the second king of the twenty-sixth dynasty; See David Pingree, "Petosiris," in _Dictionary of Scientific Biography_, ed. Charles Coulson Gillespie (NY: Scribner's, 1970), pp. 547-49, and Manetho, _Aegyptiaca_, trans. by W. G. Waddell (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. 169, 171, 173.

/27/ The earliest surviving treatise, from the first century CE, is Manilius' _Astronomica_. S. J. Tester, _A History of Western Astrology_ [_History_] (Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK: Boydell Press, 1987), p. 12.

/28/ The fragments of Nechepso and Petosiris have been collected in _Nechepso et Petosiridis fragmenta magica_, E. Riess, ed. (Gttingen, 1892-93), pp. 327-88. See also _De Nechepsonis-Petosiridis Isagoge quaestiones selectae_, C. Darmstadt, ed. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1916).

/29/ For the spread of Greek astrology and its influence in Rome, see Cramer, _Law_, 1954; For Mesopotamia, see Otto Neugebauer, "Hatra Zodiac," _Sumer_ 10 (1954): p. 91 and fig. 1.

/39/ Fowden, _Hermes_, pp. 12-13.

/31/ Plato, _Timaeus_, trans. R. G. Bury (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann, Ltd.; NY: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1929), 30C, 33B, pp. 54-57, 60-63.

/32/ Ibid., 34C-38E = Bury, VII, pp. 64-81.

/33/ Ibid., 40A-41A = Bury, VII, 82-89.

/34/ Ibid., 41E-42D = Bury, VII, pp. 90-93.

/35/ Ibid., 44D-45A = Bury, VII, pp. 98-101.

/36/ _Laws_ 821C-822C; _Epinomis_ 981E-987D, especially 985D-E = Bury, VIII, pp. 2-73, esp. pp. 464-65. There has long been a debate as to whether Plato himself or a disciple wrote _Epinomis_. See D. R. Dicks, _Early Greek Astronomy to Aristotle_ [_Astronomy_] (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1970), pp. 141-42 and 241-45 for a discussion. For our purposes it is enough that _Epinomis_ was a product of Plato's school.

/37/ Franz Cumont, "Les noms des plantes et l'astrolatrie chez les Grecs," ["Noms"] _L'antiquit classique_ 4 (1935): p. 35; Tester, _History_, pp. 95-96.

/38/ Cramer, _Law_, p. 4.

/39/ Cumont "Noms," pp. 32-33.

/40/ Hesiod, _Works and Days_, 383-93, 414-24, 479-82, 564- 72, 609-19, trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1929), pp. 28-32, 32-35, 38, 44, 48; Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 34-38; Heath, _Aristarchus_, 1981, pp. 10-11.

/41/ Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 87-88; Heath, _Aristarchus_, pp. 293-94; Albert Abt, _Parapegma Studien_ (Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophische- historische Abteilungen, NF 19, 1941) is the classical study.

/42/ Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 87-88; See also B. Z. Wacholder and D. B. Weisberg, "Visibility of the New Moon in Cuneiform and Rabbinic Sources," _HUCA_ 42 (1971): pp. 227-41 for a discussion of similarities and possible connections.

/43/ Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 175-88; Heath, _Aristarchus_, pp. 193-211; Samuel Sambursky, _The Physical World of the Greeks_ [_World_], trans. from the Hebrew by Merton Dagut (New York: Macmillan, 1956), p. 60.

/44/ Sambursky, _World_, pp. 62-64; Ptolemy, _Almagest_, 9 = Toomer, pp. 419-67.

/45/ Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 153-54.

/46/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 115.

/47/ Aristotle, _Metaphysics_, 12.8.11-12.8.14, ed. W. Jaeger (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1957), pp. 281-86; Dicks, _Astronomy_, pp. 200-203; Sambursky, _World_, pp. 61-62.

/48/ Sambursky, _World_, pp. 80.

/49/ Aristotle, _de Generatione et Corruptione_ [_de Gen_.], 1.4, trans. E. S Forster (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978), pp. 200-05.

/50/ Aristotle, _de Gen_. 2.2-2.4 = Forster, pp. 268-75.

/51/ Aristotle, _de Caelo_, 3.2, trans. W. K. C. Guthrie (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971), pp. 268-83.

/52/ Sambursky, _World_, pp. 86-87.

/43/ Aristotle, _de Caelo_, 1.2, 2.7 = Guthrie, pp. 8-17, 178-81; Sambursky, _World_, p. 88.

/54/ Peters, _Hellenism_, pp. 129-30.

/55/ Sambursky, _World_, pp. 133-5, 141.

/56/ Ibid., p. 188.

/57/ Ibid., p. 169.

/58/ Peters, _Hellenism_, pp. 129-50.

/59/ # ' n f# fn n # , _kath' heimarmenn theian_, Claudius Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.3.11, trans. by F. E. Robbins (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), p. 23.

/60/ _Greek Anthology_, no. 577, trans. by W. R. Paton (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1929), XI, pp. 320 and 321.

/61/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, trans. G. P. Goold (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1977), 223-25. But note that Fate, as Fortuna, or _Tyche_, was an important goddess.

/62/ See Augustine, _De civitate dei libri XX_ [_City of God_], 5.1-5.8, Corpus Christianorum, Series latina XLVIII, 2 Vols. (Turnholtii: Typographi Brepols, 1955), I, pp. 128- 33, for typical arguments.

/63/ See D. Amand, _Fatalisme et libert dans l'antiquit grecque_; _Recherches sur la survivance de l'argumentation anti-fataliste de Carn ade chez les philosophes et les th ologiens Chr tiens des quatre premier si Ph.D. dissertation, 1945), for a thorough account.66

/64/ Tester, _History_, pp. 2-3.

/65/ Timothy Gregory, _Vox Populi_: _Popular Opinion and Violence in the Religious Controversies in the Fifth Century A.D._ (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1979), p. 3.

/66/ For a discussion of "lay astrology" see Franz Boll, Carl Bezold and Wilhelm Gundel, _Sternglaube und Sterndeutung_; _Die Geschichte und das Wesen der Astrologie_ [_Sterndeutung_] (f nfte, durchgesehene Auflage mit einem bibliographischen Anhang von Hans Georg Gundel, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1966), pp. 173-83, and Sven Eriksson, _Wochentagsgtter, Mond und Tierkreis_: _Laienastrologie in der rmischen Kaiserzeit_ (Stockholm: Almquist and Wiksell, 1956).

/67/ Gundel, et al., _Sterndeutung_, pp. 173, 178; Ammianus Marcellinus, _Res Gestae_ [_Histories_], 28.4.24, 3 Vols., trans. John C. Rolfe (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1935-39; revised edition, 1950-52) = Rolfe, II, pp. 152-53; Juvenal, _Satires_, 6.565-81, in _Juvenal and Persius_, trans. G. G. Ramsay (Loeb Classical Library, Revised ed.; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), pp. 128-31.

/68/ Gundel, et al., p. 182.

/69/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 87, 123, 309.

/70/ Ibid., p. 179.

/71/ G. P. Goold, "Introduction," in Manilius, _Astronomica_, trans. G. P. Goold (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1977), pp. xii-xiv, and passim through pp. cv.

/72/ F. E. Robbins, "Introduction," in Claudius Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, ed. and trans. F. E. Robbins (Loeb Classical Library; London: William Heinemann; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1964), pp. v-vi, viii-x.

/73/ Cumont, "Noms," p. 33; Andr Marie Jean Festugi revelation d'Hermes Trism giste_ [_Hermes_] (4 Vols., Paris: Lecoffre, 1949-1954), I, p. 96.

/74/ Tester, _History_, p. 4.

/75/ Plato, _Timaeus_, 38C = Bury, VII, pp. 78-79; Ptolemy, _Almagest_, 9.1 = Toomer, p. 419; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 105-06, 107, 110.

/76/ The planets also each have a symbol. Their origins are unknown, and they were not used in antiquity, but since they are commonly used by modern writers, it seems best to list them here. In the Chaldaean order, they are: , , , , , , .

/77/ Tester, _History_, pp. 18-19, 97. Neither order has any genuine connection with Egypt or Mesopotamia.

/78/ Festugi

/79/ Franz Cumont, _Astrology and Religion among the Greek and Romans_ (New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912), p. 128.

/80/ Cumont, _Astrology_, p. 165.

/81/ Tester, _History_, p. 4; Cumont, _Astrology_, pp. 164- 66.

/82/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 94; Festugi _Hermes_, p. 96; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/83/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 97; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/84/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 96; Festugi _Hermes_, p. 96; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/85/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 100; Festugi _Hermes_, p. 97; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/86/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 91-92; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/87/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 100; Festugi _Hermes_, p. 97; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39; Fowden, _Hermes_, pp. 22-31.

/88/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 91-92; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_,1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/89/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 91-91; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.4, 1.5 = Robbins, pp. 34-39.

/90/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 178-79; Tester, _History_, pp. 33-34.

/91/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 80.

/92/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 80; Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, pp. 2-3; Ptolemy, _Tertrabiblos_, 1.13 = Goold, pp. 72-75.

/93/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 81.

/94/ David Pingree, _The Yavanajataka of Sphudjidhvaja_ [_Yavanajataka_], 2 Vols. (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 1978), pp. 195-96.

/95/ B. L. van der Waerden, _Science Awakening_, II, _The Birth of Astronomy_ [_Birth_], with contributions by Peter Huber (Leyden: Noordhoff International Publishing; New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), pp. 281-82.

/96/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 131, 133, 135-36.

/97/ Ibid., pp. 130, 132, 139.

/98/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.150-643, = Goold, pp. 94- 133.

/99/ See Ptolemly, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.11-1.16 = Robbins, pp. 65-79.

/100/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 158, 165.

/101/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 172-73.

/102/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.270-2.431 = Goold, pp. 104- 17.

/103/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 167-72, passim; Tester, _History_, p. 34.

/104/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 199, 201-3; Tester, _History_, pp. 34, 47; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.18 = Robbins, pp. 83-87.

/105/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 182.

/106/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 182; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.18 = Robbins, pp. 83-87.

/107/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 185-6.

/108/ Cramer, _Law_, p. 25; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 187, figure 23.

/109/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 155-7, 187-88.

/110/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.203-223 = Goold, pp. 99- 101; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.17 = Robbins, pp. 78-83; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 156, figure 6.

/111/ The word "term" comes from the Latin _termini_, which translates the Greek #, _horia_, or boundaries. See Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 206-15.

/112/ Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.20-1.21 = Robbins, pp. 90- 107; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 207, 210-11, tables I-III.

/113/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 192-99.

/114/ E. F. Weidner, "Gestirn-Darstellungen auf babylonischen Tontafeln," ["Gestirn-Darstellungen"] _sterreichischen Akademie des Wissenschaft_, _Phil.-Hist. Klasse_,_Sitzungsberichte_ 254, Bd. 2, _Abhandlungen_ (Vienna: 1967), pp. 8-10.

/115/ Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 1.22 = Robbins, pp. 108-11.

/116/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.713-2.721 = Goold, pp. 137- 39.

/117/ Goold, "Introduction," in Manilius, _Astronomica_, 1977, pp. li-lii; Tester, _History_, pp. 27-28.

/118/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.701-2.714 = Goold, pp. 138- 39; Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 6.

/119/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.738-2.748 = Goold, pp. 141; Tester, _History_, p. 40.

/120/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 215-16.; Otto Neugebauer and Richard A. Parker, _Egyptian Astronomical Texts_ III. _Decans, Planets, Constellations and Zodiacs_ [_Decans_] (Providence, RI: Brown University Press; London: Lund Humphries, 1969), pp. 1-4.

/121/ Neugebauer, _Sciences_, pp. 83-90; Neugebauer and Parker, _Decans_, pp. 1-3.

/122/ Neugebauer and Parker, _Decans_, pp. 2-3.

/123/ See Neugebauer and Parker, _Decans_, for illustrations of the reliefs.

/124/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 229, 232-33.

/125/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 222-23, 229-30, 237; Tester, _History_, pp. 24, 128.

/126/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 4.294-4.407 = Goold, pp. 245- 55; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 219; Tester, _History_, p. 40.

/127/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 224; Tester, _History_, p. 40. The classical work on the decans is Wilhelm Gundel, _Dekane und Dekansternbilder_ (Gl ckstadt und Hamburg: J. J. Augustin, 1936).

/128/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 256-57, 259.

/129/ This is the origin our English word horoscope. Astrologers call the chart a _nativity_ or a _geniture_.

/130/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 257-59; Tester, _History_, p. 25.

/131/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 269, 280; Tester, _History_, pp. 26, 29.

/132/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 257; Tester, _History_, p. 27.

/133/ Ancient geographers and astrologers used a system of zones, or _klimata_, instead of terrestrial latitude. The _oikoumen_, or known world, which roughly corresponded to the north temperate zone, was divided into seven zones, based either on Babylon or Alexandria. See Tester, _History_, p. 43; Neugebauer, _Sciences_, pp. 183-85. Ptolemy divides the entire northern hemisphere into eleven _klimata_ and gives tables of the rising times for each sign in each _klima_. Ptolemy, _Almagest_, 2.13 = Toomer, pp. 122-30.

/134/ Tester, _History_, pp. 39-40. Ptolemy does not give details on calculating rising times in _Tetrabiblos_, but rather in _Almagest_, 2.10-2.12 = Toomer, pp. 105-30.

/135/ Tester, _History_, p. 36.

/136/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 3.218-3.246, 3.483-3.509 = Goold, pp. 179-81, 201-05.

/137/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 259, 262-64; Tester, _History_, p. 36, 39.

/138/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 280-88; Goold, "Introduction," in Manilius, _Astronomica_, pp. lvii-lviii.

/139/ Tester, _History_, p. 93; See Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.856-2.967 = Goold, pp. 151-59, Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 3.10 = Robbins, pp. 271-307, and Sextus Empiricus, _Against the Professors_, 5.12-5.22, in Sextus Empiricus, _Complete Works_, 4 Vols., trans. R. G. Bury (Loeb Classical Library; Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, 1945), p. 6.

/140/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 2.958-2.967 = Robbins, p. 159; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, p. 281; Tester, _History_, p. 25.

/141/ Goold, "Introduction," in Manilius, _Astronomica_, 1977, pp. lxii-lxiii.

/142/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 181, 305, 288; Tester, _History_, p. 27.

/143/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 305-06; Tester, _History_, pp. 29, 39.

/144/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 289, 293-96; Neugebauer and van Hoesen, p. 89, give the formulas.

/145/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 3.43-3.159 = Goold, pp. 167- 75; Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 288, 297; Goold, "Introduction," in Manilius, _Astronomica_, pp. lxiv-lxv.

/146/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 83-84, 86; see also ch. XII, pp. 372-457; Festugi

/147/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 368-71; Cramer, _Law_, p. 11.

/148/ Manilius, _Astronomica_, 4.585-4.818 = Goold, pp. 268- 89; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 2.2-2.3 = Robbins, pp. 120-61.

/149/ Festugi Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 7.

/150/ Tester, _History_, pp. 89-90.

/151/ Ibid., pp. 80, 88.

/152/ Actually, Dorotheus was translated from Greek into Pahlavi (Middle Persian) in the third century AD, and the Arabic version was made from this Pahlavi translation. See Dorotheus Sidonius, _Carmen Astrologicum_ [_Carmen_], interpretationem Arabicum in lingvam Anglicam versam vna cvm Dorothei fragmentis et Graecis et Latinis, edidit D. Pingree (Leipzig: Teubner, 1976), pp. XI-XIV.

/153/ The tropical signs are Cancer and Capricorn, which contain the summer and winter solstices, respectively. Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 152-53.

/154/ Dorotheus, _Carmen_, 5.42.1-4, p. 321.

/155/ Tester, _History_, p. 23.

/156/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 312, 318-20; Tester, _History_, p. 23.

/157/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 320, 321-22; Otto Neugebauer, "Melothesia and Dodekatemoria," in _Astronomy and History_; _Selected Essays_ (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1983), pp. 352-57; Ptolemy, _Tetrabiblos_, 3.12 = Robbins, pp. 316-33.

/158/ Festugi p. 23.

/159/ Festugi p. 199.

/160/ There may be further implications: the _Thema Mundi_ is probably the horoscope of Nut, who may also be the prototype of the "Cosmic Man" of the Gnostic systems and Manichaeism. Pingree, _Yavanajataka_, pp. 199-200.

/161/ Neugebauer and Parker, _Decans_, Plates.

/166666662/ Festugi

/163/ Festugi p. 23; Pingree, _Yavanajataka_, p. 199.

/164/ Bouch -Leclercq, _L'astrologie_, pp. 315-16; Tester, _History_, pp. 24-25.

/165/ Festugi

/166/ Tester, _History_, p. 24.

/167/ Festugi

/168/ Such works on astrological medicine and pharmacy are very common. Often the same work, with only a few variations, was ascribed to a variety of false authors. See Festugi

/169/ _D'Hermes Askl pios_: _le livre dit sacr _, paragraph 5, quoted and translated in Festugi p. 141.

/170/ Erica Reiner, "The Uses of Astrology," _JAOS_ 105 (1985): pp. 589-95.

/171/ Cramer, _Law_, p. 14 and p. 14, n. 89.

/172/ Tester, _History_, p. 25.

/173/ Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 161; See Francesca Rochberg-Halton, "TCL 6 13: Mixed Traditions in Late Babylonian Astrology," _ZA_ (1987): pp. 207-28 for an edition of the remaining cuneiform horoscopes.

/174/ Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 161; See Neugebauer, "Demotic Horoscopes," pp. 115-127, for the texts with translations.

/175/ Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 161.

/176/ Ibid., p. vii.

/177/ Ibid., pp. 14-16.

/178/ Ibid., p. 163.

/179/ Ibid., Pl. 1, no. -3.

/180/ Ibid., p. 17. Phaophi is one of the Egyptian months.

/181/ Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 162; Tester, _History_, pp. 45-46.

/182/ Neugebauer and van Hoesen, _Horoscopes_, p. 17.