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Student of Astrology
Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
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Originally Posted by RohanMenon View Post
There are long sections full of calculations. Unfortunately these use strange names and terminology, none of which I could follow


"Hadrian year 4, Mechir 13 (in the Alexandrian calendar), the
first hour of the night. The full years of the Augustan era are 148, the leap
years are 36, and from Thoth 1 to Mechir 13 are 163 days. The total is 347. I
divide by 7 for a result of 49, remainder 4. Starting from the Sun’s day, the
count (4) comes to Mercury’s day. The first hour of that day belongs to

So I skipped all of this.

This is one of the areas where I really need more study but as I understand it the Calendar used takes the year number from the reign of the Emperor. So as Hadrian came to power in August 117 CE, his fourth year would begin in August 120 (though I'd like some corroborative proof from the time). The Egyptian year was divided into 12 months of 30 days, with 5 added intercalery days. Originally there was no correction for the 6 hours additional time for the Sun to complete it's revolution. The new year began with the helical rising of Sirius, the first month of the civil year being 1 Thoth. However the lack of allowance for the 6 hours meant that over time the Seasonal year and the civil year drifted apart. I took 1460 years for the rising of Sirius to return to 1 Thoth.

That ended under the Roman occupation when the Julian Calendar, known at the time as the Alexandrian Calendar was introduced, at least to the extent of having 366 days every 4 years This more or less stabilised the rising of Sirius on the first of Thoth. (more or less because the Julian Calendar was still not wholly accurate). That would have put the Helical rising of Sirius in early July about the time Valens was writing.

Mechir is the sixth month of the year and still survives in the Coptic Calendar as Meshir. So from 1 Thoth to Mechir 13 is 5 x 30 (for the months completed) plus the 13 days of Mechir = 163 days. That would put the date to some time in mid January 121 CE by my guess.

Unfortunately they didn't use 24 equal hours. The length of time between Sunrise and Sunset was divided into 12 equal hours of the day, and the length of time between Sunset and Sunrise was divided into 12 equal hours of the night. Consequently sometime in January, the hours of the night are longer than the hours of the day. So this person was born just after Sunset but not knowing the exact day of the month, I can't translate that into a time span.

This system still survived into Lilly's time, and of course is shown by planetary hours in his charts. As clocks became more universal there was a move towards the idea of a standard hour as 1 twenty-fourth of a day.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon

Sections 21 and 22 detail the effects of dual and triple combinations of the planets (I take this to mean these effects potentially manifest when two planets are present in the same sign/house.

Some combinations are missing (at least in my copy) e.g: Mars + Sun, Mars +Moon
There are bits of the Anthology that are missing. Whilst it's the most complete ancient work we have, it's not available in it's entirety.

Originally Posted by RohanMenon
For flavor

"Mars + Venus = at odds. Make men unsteady and weak of mind. Cause rivalry and murder, cause men to have many friends, but to be blameworthy, shameless, fickle, and equally prone to intercourse with men or women, to be maliciouus and plotters of murderers by poison. Cause men neither to be good or bad, to be slandered and reviled because of their friendships, to be spendthrift, be flitting from one occupation to the other, to be eager for many things, to be wronged by women and because of them to suffer, crises, upsets, debts,
and a three planet combination

Saturn, Venus, and the Moon bring vicissitudes and instability of life, especially with respect to wife, mother, and children. They impose bad manners,ingratitude, as well as jealousy and quarrels, divorces, censure, public
exposure, unnatural vices. But in business these men are not without resource, sharp, full of accomplishment, profiting from legacies. They do not however retain this wealth, since they are plotted against by many, and are themselves accomplices in crime and murder by poison, as well as seducers of women.
Again, not sure what to do with all this yet. I suppose the practical thing to do is to refer to these descriptions when encountering such combinations in natal horoscopes and see if these drastic possibilities actually manifest.

For now moving on. The next two sections have more incomprehensible calculations. Skipped. End of Book 1.

Book 2, on a quick skim seems to be more about analysis of nativities, with example horoscopes. Should be more tractable. We'll see.
Hellenistic examples tend to be of the form that you've quoted, giving very specific cases, rather than general principles. It's one area where being specific can not be all that helpful. I still find difficulty with it and for the moment tend either to skip it or attempt to extract a general meaning.

Book 2 begins to outline the basics of reading a chart, which introduces the Ascendant and the Places (now referred to as the houses). Note that Valens does not line up with a modern view of the meaning of the houses. Astrology was still in its infancy when Valens wrote, and his work took him over ten years to complete, so you'll find differences between the start and end of it (at one point Valens clearly and explicitly recommends the Equal House System, beginning with the Ascendant. in his later books.

Book 2 also contains the first real consideration of Time Lords and the first length of life calculation. You will find Valens discusses different versions of both through the rest of his work.
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