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Equal House System in Dorotheus - Really?
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
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Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TT wrote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Levente Laszlo wrote:
Hi Michael,

Michael Sternbach wrote:
The only unambiguous reference to the extent of a house that I could find so far is in ch. 1.7 on p. 68 f., where I read: "And if you found 15 degrees between a planet and the Ascendant, even if it was in the second sign from the Ascendant, then take its power into account as though its placement is in the Ascendant. But if it should increase beyond that, then it does not have power in the Ascendant ..."


Levente Laszlo wrote:

This is the reference I alluded to here (link). It is certainly not the so-called "Equal" system, and I believe one would be too hasty to conclude that it constitutes a house division proper.


Dorotheus is saying here that a planet within a 15 degrees orb from the Ascendent (understood as an angle) should be counted to it even if it is in an adjacent sign. So, in effect, he goes on to use 'Ascendent' in the other sense the ancients sometimes apply that term, i.e., synonymously with the first place/house. Which in this case indeed extends in both directions from the angle, covering 30 degrees in total.

That he emphasizes how such a planet can be in another sign suggests that he wants to make clear how the method he is describing here differs from WSH which he knew to be commonly used by the Astrologers of his day.

Quote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
So no Equal Houses in Dorotheus after all? Not even by implication?


Levente Laszlo wrote:

No, as far as I know. There is at least one genuinely Dorothean example horoscope (Arabic Dorotheus 1.23.15 Dykes = Rhetorius 5.108.1) that uses whole-sign houses, and there are quite a few passages (e.g., Ar. Dor. 1.23.8 Dykes = Rhet. 5.106.1) where the word "sign" (Greek zōidion = Arabic burj) is used for "place" (= house). I think this is sufficient to confirm that Dorotheus used whole-sign houses.


Only if we assume Dorotheus to be consistent in his approach to houses. However, as we see in others (e.g., Valens), it is not uncommon for an author of that period to refer to more than one house system in one and the same work.

Moreover, it seems to me that WSH was more of a rough-and-ready method in a time when accurate calculations weren't available at the the push of a button. Especially since nowhere do we see WSH laid out as a well founded method in its own right.

Quote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Are there any variant readings known?


Levente Laszlo wrote:

No, as far as I know. What is more, the second passage (Ar. Dor. 1.28.3) is actually confirmed by a reference in the horoscope of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (8.4) and a paraphrasis in Book of Aristotle (3.2.2.47, p. 82 Dykes).


As I don't have those sources at hand, I would appreciate if you could provide some quotes.

Quote:
TT wrote:
This has become a trend with these translators. Their translations are full of footnotes saying that the author was using whole signs. It´s a kind of brainwashing.


Levente Laszlo wrote:

Oh well. Then can you inform us about ancient authors not using whole signs apart from the ones already mentioned and discussed in the thread I linked above? Just to substantiate your, erm, conspiracy theory.


Once again, to all it concerns: If you want to explore this topic here in my thread, keep it linked to Dorotheus please.

In what page and book of the Carmen doe Dorotheus says those things?


I gave all the relevant references I found when I leafed through the book in the OP. If somebody is aware of others, I'd appreciate if they would post them. Even though, right now, I doubt there are any.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Only if we assume Dorotheus to be consistent in his approach to houses. However, as we see in others (e.g., Valens), it is not uncommon for an author of that period to refer to more than one house system in one and the same work.


What Dorotheus did was write a didactic poem, and if we believe the Arabic paraphrase preserves his genuine preface (Ar. Dor. 1.pr.5, p. 61 Dykes = p. 161 Pingree; also 5.1.4, p. 230 Dykes = p. 262 Pingree) - and it is fairly poetic indeed -, he extracted his instructions from a variety of sources. So if we read his instructions (or rather, what are reported to be his instructions, as the original is lost), we cannot simply infer that he is referring to his actual practice. In this respect, he is indeed similar to others such as Valens.

Also, in the Arabic paraphrase there are a handful of practical examples. One of them, dated to 29 CE, is also cited by "Rhetorius", and therefore indubitably genuine. Eight more examples, none of which are cited by Hellenistic authors, are also dated for the same era, which suggests they are also genuine. Now, it is usually assumed that these examples constitute Dorotheus' own cases (which is not beyond doubt), and if this assumption is accepted, they are the only reasonably reliable indicators for what Dorotheus actually did in practice. (If one were to reject the examples as Dorotheus' own cases, then they would basically reject that Dorotheus ever used astrology in actual practice.) In the examples the whole-sign house system is exclusively used, and consequently, this is the system that he used in practice (once again: provided he did use astrology in practice, not just versified it), no matter what other system(s) he might be referring to. In this respect too he is similar to others like Valens.

Let me reiterate: I strongly believe that only actual examples can reveal what an astrologer should actually have been doing; the works on astrology are otherwise full of instructions mainly of theoretical force nonetheless. That is why I consider assertions like "astrological author A used technique T" only valid when inferred from actual case examples, but otherwise misleadingly oversimplifying.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Moreover, it seems to me that WSH was more of a rough-and-ready method in a time when accurate calculations weren't available at the the push of a button. Especially since nowhere do we see WSH laid out as a well founded method in its own right.


This claim may be right, yet it is still a fact that all the extant charts before ca. 500 that provide any insight into the issue are analyzed as though whole signs are being used, even if the astrological authors could have invested some time into further calculations before publication. They did not do so, which suggests they did not feel compelled to do so.

Speaking of the apparent lack of clarification, there are many other cases of unspecified concepts and techniques. For example, "ascendant" was meant as a specific sign, a specific degree, or a specific house (to name the most obvious cases), depending on context but never formally defined. Furthermore, if there were no other "house systems" (the "equal system" being only a specifically degree-based subset of the whole-sign system), then why should one have bothered with definitions?

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Dorotheus is saying here that a planet within a 15 degrees orb from the Ascendent (understood as an angle) should be counted to it even if it is in an adjacent sign. So, in effect, he goes on to use 'Ascendent' in the other sense the ancients sometimes apply that term, i.e., synonymously with the first place/house. Which in this case indeed extends in both directions from the angle, covering 30 degrees in total.


I am sorry to say, but I think your interpretation is wrong and so are the implications you assume. But let me revisit the relevant passage (Ar. Dor. 1.7.7, pp. 68-69 Dykes = p. 165 Pingree). It is found in a chapter devoted to the question of upbringing, and the places (houses) promising successful upbringing are listed. One of these places is the ascendant (the first house), and here you find a specific instruction:

"And if you found 15° between a planet and the Ascendant, even if it was in the second sign from the Ascendant, then take its power into account just as though its placement is in the Ascendant (emphasis mine)." (Dykes translation)
"If you find a planet [such that there are] fifteen degrees between it and the ascendent, then, even if it is in the second sign from the ascendent, reckon its power as if it were in the ascendent (emphasis mine)." (Pingree translation)

The highlighted clause in the Arabic (p. 8.13 Pingree) reads as fa-ḥsib quwwatahu ka-makānatihi fi ṭ-ṭāliʿi, which, quite aptly translated by Dykes, clearly means something like "take its (i.e., of the planet being in the second house but within 15 degrees from the ascendant) power (i.e., for upbringing) into account (in the same way) as if it is positioned in the ascendant." In other words, a specific rule is introduced here, but the text by no means says that a planet located in this fashion belongs to the ascendant (the first house), and to assume that the same fifteen-degree interval should be measured clockwise from the ascendant to yield a 30-degree "house" in no way follows from the text.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Levente Laszlo wrote:
No, as far as I know. What is more, the second passage (Ar. Dor. 1.28.3) is actually confirmed by a reference in the horoscope of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (8.4) and a paraphrasis in Book of Aristotle (3.2.2.47, p. 82 Dykes).
As I don't have those sources at hand, I would appreciate if you could provide some quotes.


Here you are:

Book of Aristotle (Dykes translation): "And so, the Lord of the triplicity [being found] from the first degree of the sign up to the fifteenth, wholly with the degrees of the arisings of the Sun, and it (sic!) in a pivot, blesses the one who is born with luckiness, furnishes with dignities, adds attendants, even underofficials and scribes, nor will he ever happen to be deprived of dominion or power."

Horoscope of Constantine VII (my translation): "And Dorotheus adds the following (factors to consider): since the first trigonal lord of the Sun, which is Venus, is found pivotal in the hour-watcher, on her own throne, within 15 portions from the hour-watcher, the native will have greatness of fortune, especially in the first age of his life."
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Only if we assume Dorotheus to be consistent in his approach to houses. However, as we see in others (e.g., Valens), it is not uncommon for an author of that period to refer to more than one house system in one and the same work.


What Dorotheus did was write a didactic poem, and if we believe the Arabic paraphrase preserves his genuine preface (Ar. Dor. 1.pr.5, p. 61 Dykes = p. 161 Pingree; also 5.1.4, p. 230 Dykes = p. 262 Pingree) - and it is fairly poetic indeed -, he extracted his instructions from a variety of sources. So if we read his instructions (or rather, what are reported to be his instructions, as the original is lost), we cannot simply infer that he is referring to his actual practice. In this respect, he is indeed similar to others such as Valens.


Yes, compiling manuals from earlier sources was a common practice in those days. And knowing this might help explain certain inconsistencies encountered in some of those books.

Quote:
Also, in the Arabic paraphrase there are a handful of practical examples. One of them, dated to 29 CE, is also cited by "Rhetorius", and therefore indubitably genuine. Eight more examples, none of which are cited by Hellenistic authors, are also dated for the same era, which suggests they are also genuine. Now, it is usually assumed that these examples constitute Dorotheus' own cases (which is not beyond doubt), and if this assumption is accepted, they are the only reasonably reliable indicators for what Dorotheus actually did in practice. (If one were to reject the examples as Dorotheus' own cases, then they would basically reject that Dorotheus ever used astrology in actual practice.) In the examples the whole-sign house system is exclusively used, and consequently, this is the system that he used in practice (once again: provided he did use astrology in practice, not just versified it), no matter what other system(s) he might be referring to. In this respect too he is similar to others like Valens.

Let me reiterate: I strongly believe that only actual examples can reveal what an astrologer should actually have been doing; the works on astrology are otherwise full of instructions mainly of theoretical force nonetheless. That is why I consider assertions like "astrological author A used technique T" only valid when inferred from actual case examples, but otherwise misleadingly oversimplifying.


What I am personally most interested in when it comes to the ancient Astrologers is exactly the concepts they set forth. As my research also primarily concerns the theory that is underlying the art. Practice can be quite a different animal, to be sure - both now and then.

Quote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Moreover, it seems to me that WSH was more of a rough-and-ready method in a time when accurate calculations weren't available at the the push of a button. Especially since nowhere do we see WSH laid out as a well founded method in its own right.


This claim may be right, yet it is still a fact that all the extant charts before ca. 500 that provide any insight into the issue are analyzed as though whole signs are being used, even if the astrological authors could have invested some time into further calculations before publication. They did not do so, which suggests they did not feel compelled to do so.

Speaking of the apparent lack of clarification, there are many other cases of unspecified concepts and techniques. For example, "ascendant" was meant as a specific sign, a specific degree, or a specific house (to name the most obvious cases), depending on context but never formally defined. Furthermore, if there were no other "house systems" (the "equal system" being only a specifically degree-based subset of the whole-sign system), then why should one have bothered with definitions?


I feel they were just not into clear cut definitions so much in those days. Nowadays (especially in Western culture) we generally like to draw lines and take more of an analytical approach, whereas those folks were prone to connecting related concepts to each other. Their very writing style suggests to me that their brain was working differently.

Quote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Dorotheus is saying here that a planet within a 15 degrees orb from the Ascendent (understood as an angle) should be counted to it even if it is in an adjacent sign. So, in effect, he goes on to use 'Ascendent' in the other sense the ancients sometimes apply that term, i.e., synonymously with the first place/house. Which in this case indeed extends in both directions from the angle, covering 30 degrees in total.


I am sorry to say, but I think your interpretation is wrong and so are the implications you assume. But let me revisit the relevant passage (Ar. Dor. 1.7.7, pp. 68-69 Dykes = p. 165 Pingree). It is found in a chapter devoted to the question of upbringing, and the places (houses) promising successful upbringing are listed. One of these places is the ascendant (the first house), and here you find a specific instruction:

"And if you found 15° between a planet and the Ascendant, even if it was in the second sign from the Ascendant, then take its power into account just as though its placement is in the Ascendant (emphasis mine)." (Dykes translation)
"If you find a planet [such that there are] fifteen degrees between it and the ascendent, then, even if it is in the second sign from the ascendent, reckon its power as if it were in the ascendent (emphasis mine)." (Pingree translation)

The highlighted clause in the Arabic (p. 8.13 Pingree) reads as fa-ḥsib quwwatahu ka-makānatihi fi ṭ-ṭāliʿi, which, quite aptly translated by Dykes, clearly means something like "take its (i.e., of the planet being in the second house but within 15 degrees from the ascendant) power (i.e., for upbringing) into account (in the same way) as if it is positioned in the ascendant."


But the Carmen Astrologicum says "second sign", not "second house". Moreover, it doesn't specify in what direction we are supposed to count. Yes, counting them counter-clockwise would be the more immediate thought. But if Dorotheus allowed for both directions, can we be positive he would have expressly said so?

Quote:
In other words, a specific rule is introduced here, but the text by no means says that a planet located in this fashion belongs to the ascendant (the first house), and to assume that the same fifteen-degree interval should be measured clockwise from the ascendant to yield a 30-degree "house" in no way follows from the text.


Well, I am kind of extrapolating and filling in the blanks. Alright, I may be making certain assumptions. Then again, the author may well have assumed his readers to make assumptions. Laughing

To put it differently, applying rigorous analysis to a text that just does not lend itself to it may not lead to adequate understanding.

Quote:
Michael Sternbach wrote:
Levente Laszlo wrote:
No, as far as I know. What is more, the second passage (Ar. Dor. 1.28.3) is actually confirmed by a reference in the horoscope of Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (8.4) and a paraphrasis in Book of Aristotle (3.2.2.47, p. 82 Dykes).
As I don't have those sources at hand, I would appreciate if you could provide some quotes.


Here you are:

Book of Aristotle (Dykes translation): "And so, the Lord of the triplicity [being found] from the first degree of the sign up to the fifteenth, wholly with the degrees of the arisings of the Sun, and it (sic!) in a pivot, blesses the one who is born with luckiness, furnishes with dignities, adds attendants, even underofficials and scribes, nor will he ever happen to be deprived of dominion or power."


I find the highlighted part rather intriguing. I wonder if it actually hints at a subdivision of the signs into 15 degrees segments, such as we see in Valens' 'steps'.

Quote:
Horoscope of Constantine VII (my translation): "And Dorotheus adds the following (factors to consider): since the first trigonal lord of the Sun, which is Venus, is found pivotal in the hour-watcher, on her own throne, within 15 portions from the hour-watcher, the native will have greatness of fortune, especially in the first age of his life."


Thank you for the quotes. Looks like I need to augment my astrological library with yet more books sometime. Smile

BTW, would you tell me where Dykes' translations of the Arabic paraphrase of Dorotheus and the Book of Aristotle can be found, please?
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Quote:
BTW, would you tell me where Dykes' translations of the Arabic paraphrase of Dorotheus and the Book of Aristotle can be found, please?

Book of Aristotle: Persian Nativities, Volume 1: Masha'allah and Abu'Ali.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Michael wrote:
Quote:
BTW, would you tell me where Dykes' translations of the Arabic paraphrase of Dorotheus and the Book of Aristotle can be found, please?

Book of Aristotle: Persian Nativities, Volume 1: Masha'allah and Abu'Ali.


Thanks, Therese. Smile

I only have Persian Nativities, Volume 2 so far.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Yes, compiling manuals from earlier sources was a common practice in those days. And knowing this might help explain certain inconsistencies encountered in some of those books.


I agree, but I also feel necessary to add that faulty transmissions of texts may also be responsible for the inconsistencies. In fact, all ancient astrological texts were demonstrably subject to alterations (omissions, additions, paraphrasing, rearrangements) in the course of the centuries, so we need to be extremely careful when articulating our opinions regarding ancient theory and practice.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
What I am personally most interested in when it comes to the ancient Astrologers is exactly the concepts they set forth. As my research also primarily concerns the theory that is underlying the art. Practice can be quite a different animal, to be sure - both now and then.


That is fine, I just wanted to highlight some important issues. First, we cannot consider all astrological authors to have also been astrologers automatically. Second, there is a stark discrepancy between the occasional subtility of astrological theory and the somewhat rudimentary nature of astrological practice, and therefore we need to differentiate between discussions about theoretical concepts and assertions related to actual practice.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
I feel they were just not into clear cut definitions so much in those days. Nowadays (especially in Western culture) we generally like to draw lines and take more of an analytical approach, whereas those folks were prone to connecting related concepts to each other. Their very writing style suggests to me that their brain was working differently.


It is basically a matter of stylistic conventions of a certain age. A didactic poem, for instance, was primarily aimed at entertaining and making instructions easier to retain. Other texts served for other purposes.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
But the Carmen Astrologicum says "second sign", not "second house". Moreover, it doesn't specify in what direction we are supposed to count. Yes, counting them counter-clockwise would be the more immediate thought. But if Dorotheus allowed for both directions, can we be positive he would have expressly said so?


That would not be illogical to assume, but writing "Nth sign" for "Nth place (house)" is rather common for Dorotheus (and, for that matter, virtually every Hellenistic author). All the other instances given by Dorotheus are absolutely clear in this respect, which makes you assumption implausible.

Michael Sternbach wrote:
I find the highlighted part rather intriguing. I wonder if it actually hints at a subdivision of the signs into 15 degrees segments, such as we see in Valens' 'steps'.


The "steps" (bathmoi) are actually related to lunar and planetary latitude and solar declination, and I believe it is only a coincidence that they look like subdivisions of signs. However, there is a remnant of Hellenistic subdivision of signs into halves surviving in the Indian concept of horā, directly derived from Greek hōra, 'hour'. Despite their existence, I don't think they are related to this 15-degree rule. What I believe is relevant I alluded to in the other thread linked above; I'll repeat it here for convenience:

Levente Laszlo wrote:
Besides the well-known "equal system" that begins with the ascendant, there are traces of another "equal" one that has the ascendant in its middle (15th degree). (The soul of Johannes Vehlow must be rejoicing now.) Besides the known passages of Dorotheus and Antiochus (referring to Timaeus, who in turn referred to Hermes), the position of the ascendant to Cancer 15 in the thema mundi may confirm its existence, but the most immediate description is given in the "anonymous commentary" to Ptolemy (3.11.3): "he (i.e., Ptolemy) doesn't follow the opinion of the Egyptians, that is, that one must take the 15 pre-ascending [and] (the 15) post-ascending degrees." However, even if this "Vehlowish" system existed, there is simply not enough evidence to call it another "house system".


Michael Sternbach wrote:
BTW, would you tell me where Dykes' translations of the Arabic paraphrase of Dorotheus and the Book of Aristotle can be found, please?


The Arabic paraphrase is the text commonly known as Carmen astrologicum. When in 1976 David Pingree published the Arabic paraphrase of Dorotheus's lost poem of unknown title, its English translation, and the related Latin and Greek passages he felt worthy of inclusion, he followed the convention of the Teubner series by using scholarly Latin for his contributions. To give a title for the book, he wrote Dorothei Sidonii carmen astrologicum, that is, "Dorotheus of Sidon's astrological poem". Although it was not its real title, when the English translation of the Arabic paraphrase got published separately, it would become known under this title. Also, it is wrongly but widely assumed that Dorotheus's work equals this text.

So, to give a short answer, the book "Dorotheus of Sidon, Carmen astrologicum", translated and edited by Dykes in 2017, is the Arabic paraphrase, re-translated by Dykes from Pingree's edition.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Levente Laszlo wrote:

Quote:
In the examples the whole-sign house system is exclusively used, and consequently, this is the system that he used in practice (once again: provided he did use astrology in practice, not just versified it), no matter what other system(s) he might be referring to. In this respect too he is similar to others like Valens.


Thank you Levente for your consistently high quality posts which continue to make the Traditional forum essential reading. Your above comment is a useful corrective. For many years the neo-hellenistic astrologers following Robert Schmidt were putting out the view that only whole sign houses were used in most of the ancient world. Criticism of that view revealed much more pluralism than was initially conceded. However, in the last few years there has been a counter-reaction to the early neo-hellenistic position. Its become fashionable amongst certain astrologers with a horary/renaissance astrology background such as Wade Caves, Eve Dembowski and Ema Kurent to suggest that whole sign was never really a stand alone house system and that there were no practical examples to be found in the astrological tradition. These astrologers seem to find it difficult to accept that ancient astrologers could have relied on a non-quadrant system like whole sign houses.

Mark
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to second marks comment.. thanks for the education levente.. it is much appreciated...
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TT



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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have Rhetorius you can see he used both Alchabitius and whole signs,but at least in the case of the dead infant(page 164) ,alchabitius worked better
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, James, thank you! Smile

The different house systems seem to have begun flourishing in the ninth-century Arabic astrology, and I think this must be attributed to their willingness to improve astrology by adopting Ptolemaic views and utilizing more sophisticated mathematics. The partial shift to quadrant-based houses may well have started already in the fifth century, but the sources are too scanty to provide conclusive evidence.

TT wrote:
If you have Rhetorius you can see he used both Alchabitius and whole signs,but at least in the case of the dead infant(page 164) ,alchabitius worked better


What you mean is the book edited and translated by James Holden, titled "Rhetorius the Egyptian, Astrological Compendium". An essential reading for the Rhetorius corpus is David Pingree's paper ("Antiochus and Rhetorius", Classical Philology 72.3 [1977]: 203-223), so I will refer to his naming conventions.

Holden, for whatever reason, chose to translate only the texts that constitute or related to Book V of Epitome III (and also added some appendices for chapters from further texts). As the Rhetorius corpus, including Epitome III, has never been properly edited and published, Holden had to rely on the partial editions and therefore patchworked his translation from the partial editions of Epitomes II, III, and IIIb. I think a more comprehensive translation that reflects the real content and structure of the texts is badly needed.

Another problem is Holden's uncritical attribution of the text to Rhetorius, in which respect he follows Franz Cumont and Pingree, but modern readers had better not take this at face value.

There are five actual case horoscopes in the group of texts related to "Rhetorius". One of them is extant, among others, as Epitome III 6.52; this is Hor. nat. gr. 497.X.28, Eutocius's nativity, edited partially by Alessandro Olivieri in CCAG 1 and by Cumont in CCAG 4, and a partial translation is given in Neugebauer and van Hoesen's Greek Horoscopes under L497. It uses "Porphyrian" houses, but only in the chart, not in the text. This horoscope should also be edited and translated properly.

The second one is a certain stillborn baby's nativity, Hor. nat. gr. 482.III.21, found in Epitome IV 19. It is edited by Cumont in CCAG 8.1, and translated by Neugebauer and van Hoesen as L482. There is no indication of houses whatsoever.

All the rest of the horoscopes are from the unknown astrologer working for the Byzantine emperor Zeno:

(1) Hor. nat. gr. 440.IX.29 (the nativity of Pamprepius of Panopolis, an associate of Zeno's friend-turned-enemy, Illus). It is referenced in Epitome IIIa 89 (edited by Cumont in CCAG 8.3, untranslated) and found in Epitome III 5.113-117, which are edited by Cumont in CCAG 8.4 and translated by Holden as Chapters 113-117. It refers to a quadrant-based calculation, but the text does not reveal which.

(2) Hor. nat. gr. 463.IV.25 (the nativity of the son of the emperor Leo I, Zeno's father-in-law). It is possibly one of the imperial nativities referenced in Epitome IIIa 90, but cannot be found in Epitome III, only in Epitome IV 28<bis>. This is the nativity you allude to, but absolutely no reference to quadrant-based calculations is given. It is also very likely that the text is garbled, as most explanations are simply impossible.

(3) Hor. nat. gr. 428.IX.8 (perhaps the nativity of the emperor Zeno himself). It is found nowhere in Epitome III, only in Epitome IV 12, anonymously. It is edited by Cumont in CCAG 8.1, and translated by Holden in Appendix IV. It is a presentation how to calculate the places (houses) according to the "natural method" (phusikos logos), which is the "Alchabitius" method with the Ptolemaic five-degree offset.

This latter example would suggest that Zeno's astrologer used the modified "Alchabitius" method, and at least Pamprepius's horoscope should be understood in this way. There are, however, two pieces of evidence that this idea might be wrong:

(1) Zeno's (?) horoscope is extant in Arabic sources, in Māshāʾallāh's and Abū ʿAlī al-Khayyāṭ's Books of nativities. Māshāʾallāh's work is extant only in Latin, and while Abū ʿAlī al-Khayyāṭ's original Arabic is preserved, it has not been published, and the manuscripts are not available to me; therefore I need to rely on its Latin translation. (Both Latin translations were translated by Ben Dykes, although Māshāʾallāh's work only partially from the defective Paris manuscript.) Since this is the only nativity from Zeno's astrologer appearing in Arabic sources, one may assume it is for a notable person. The interpretations, which only appear in the Arabic, at least do not contradict to Zeno's fate, and therefore it might be his and may belong to the imperial horoscopes referred to in Epitome IIIa 90; it cannot be proven, though.

Now, in both Arabic sources whole-sign houses are used, which suggests they were used in the original version too. But how do we come to the modified "Alchabitius" houses then?

As it appears, Epitome III can be dated to 505 CE the earliest, according to the stellar longitudes in 5.58. However, Epitome IV, which preserves Zeno's (?) horoscope, refers to year 600 Diocletian, that is, 884 CE (Epitome IV 2), which is well within the age when Arabic astrology was flourishing, and therefore Epitome IV 12 (along with a couple of following chapters exhibiting the feats of advanced mathematical calculations) in its present form may well be a Byzantine astrologer's exercise.

In conclusion, while all three horoscopes were cast by Zeno's astrologer, one should be wary to conclude from the Greek version of Zeno's (?) horoscope in Epitome IV that he was using the modified "Alchabitius" method secondarily, and that's that.

(2) Apart from Epitome IV 12, the only alternative house system that appears in the "Rhetorius" corpus is the modified "Porphyry" method in Epitome III 5.46 (and in parallel sources). This chapter would be copied into the "Porphyry" manuscripts from here (appearing as "Porphyry" 52); that's why we invoke his name when referring to this method. (Curiously enough, Holden omitted the passages from his "Rhetorius" translation but not from his "Porphyry".) So it is easily conceivable that the degree-based calculation for the Pamprepius horoscope is modified "Porphyry", not modified "Alchabitius".

To sum up: it is far from granted that what we read as "Rhetorius" is simply Rhetorius as it is, period, and that the author should have used modified "Alchabitius" houses consistently. I am personally inclined to assume that Epitome IV was thoroughly reworked by a ninth-century Byzantine astrologer (just look at the pious formulas at the end of Epitome IV 12, atypical from Zeno's astrologer) and the modified "Alchabitius" calculations were devised by him; which also implies that, at least how I see it, only the modified "Porphyry" method was present in the fifth-century horoscopes, in Eutocius's horoscope and perhaps also in Pamprepius's.
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