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Firdaria
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astroart



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Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that I found the root text for fardarīya who used all later authors like al-Andarzaghar, Masha'allah, Abu Mashar and others.The book is in Arabic and the name of the book is "Kitab al-Fardārāt".According to the manuscript the author of the book is Hermes(Harmis in arabic).The book is partly preserved in only 4 pages and is kept in Teheran.According to the Italian orientalist Carlo Alfonso Nallino this book is about " the cycles of the years in the human life which are under the influence of one or another planet"(Nallino, EI, I, 516).

Unfortunately the Arabic astrological Hermetica is very poorly investigated.
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

astroart wrote:
Quote:
I think that I found the root text for fardarīya who used all later authors like al-Andarzaghar, Masha'allah, Abu Mashar and others.The book is in Arabic and the name of the book is "Kitab al-Fardārāt".According to the manuscript the author of the book is Hermes(Harmis in arabic).The book is partly preserved in only 4 pages and is kept in Teheran. According to the Italian orientalist Carlo Alfonso Nallino this book is about " the cycles of the years in the human life which are under the influence of one or another planet"(Nallino, EI, I, 516).


Thanks thats very interesting. When is this text thought to be dated from?

Mark
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margherita



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Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dimitar

quote="astroart"]The book is partly preserved in only 4 pages and is kept in Teheran.According to the Italian orientalist Carlo Alfonso Nallino this book is about " the cycles of the years in the human life which are under the influence of one or another planet"(Nallino, EI, I, 516).
[/quote]

It seems to remember I read that Nallino was interested in astrology, anyway I could be wrong, I should search where I read, and if I remember well.
Which is the reference for Nallino? What is EI?

Anyway thanks for the update, I'm going to save it.


margherita
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astroart



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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks thats very interesting. When is this text thought to be dated from?


This manuscript who is kept in Teheran is a copy made in X Century from older manuscipt.When exactly this book was written is a disputable theme.But I will quote Kevin van Bladel, expert of Arabic Hermetica:

"Nallino, Kunitzsch, and Pingree have already proved that a number of scientific books were translated from Greek into Middle Persian in the Sasanian Persian Empire and then were later translated from Middle Persian into Arabic in the early Abbāsid period (second half of the eighth century to the early ninth century). All the Middle Persian versions of these texts have been lost, along with most of the literature of that language, but some survive in Arabic translation."(Kevin van Bladel, Arabic Hermes, Oxford, 2009, p.27)

Quote:
Which is the reference for Nallino? What is EI?


EI means Encyclopaedia of Islam- volume I.


Quote:
It seems to remember I read that Nallino was interested in astrology, anyway I could be wrong, I should search where I read, and if I remember well.


One Italian source:
essay from C.A. Nallino,"La Colcodea d'Avicenna e T.Campanella" in Giornale Crittico della Filosofia Italiana, No6, 1925, pp.84-91

"Colcodea" means al-Kadkudah(arab.) or Alcocoden(latin).
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astroart



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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thanks thats very interesting. When is this text thought to be dated from?


Because I think that this is a very important question I will continue with citations from Kevin van Bladel:

"Ibn Nawbaht was a member of the second generation of Abbāsid court astrologers, and he is explicitly described as a translator of books from Persian into Arabic. His father (Nawbaht) was one of the same group of astrologers mentioned in the previous section: Umar ibn al-Farrukhān, Māšā'allāh, al-Fazārī, and Theophilus. The son took his father’s place before the end of al-Manṣur’s reign in 775, and he continued in the service of the caliph ar-Rašīd (r. 786–809), working in ar-Rašīd’s library.
Ibn Nawbaht offers the most important testimony about exactly when works of Hermes were translated from Greek into Middle Persian. According to him, this happened already in the third century, by the order of the Sasanian emperor Šāpur I (r. ca 240–271). The specific claim, made in a passage also constituting the earliest known history of science in Arabic, deserves careful investigation. The history appeared in Ibn Nawbaht’s now lost Kitāb an-Nhmṭ'n, surviving excerpts of which, reported in the Fihrist of an-Nadīm (wr. 987), are summarized briefly here. Ibn Nawbaht’s history is based almost entirely on older Iranian traditions."

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Deb
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi astroart,

It’s interesting to me that you mention Ibn Nawbaht’s son, as I’ve recently been researching the influence of Ibn Nawbaht, and his connections with Masha’allah and Sahl. The ‘history of science’ text that Kevin van Bladel refers to is almost certainly the Fihrist of Al-Nadim a 10th century Arabian text. If you are able to locate a copy I strongly recommend Bayard Dodge’s translation (alas, out of print, 1970), because it is loaded with interesting snippets of information about the lives and works of the names that are starting to become familiar to us again. Unfortunately, the interesting facts take some mining as the text is large and covers many topics. I’ve noticed that some very interesting ‘facts’ from this text are dismissed because they present a picture that we are not used to seeing – for example, the report that Valens was known as the author of several works, including a text on horary astrology – what are we to make of that? If Bladel gave a page reference I can probably locate the passage to check what is covered there.

It might be relevant to your post that (although there are misleading reports that Masha’allah came from Basra) all of these early astrologers and translators were natives of Khorasan in Persia. They were brought to Baghdad to help develop the city and its House of Wisdom, after the empire came under the rule of the Abysid caliphs – which happened *because* of the military support of the Persians in Khorasan. Sahl, for example, is reported as having first served ‘al-Husayn the one-eyed’, the general who led the siege of Baghdad for Al-Mamun. So we need to be wary that the Persian influence was driving what we refer to as ‘Arabic astrology’ from the start.

Again, relevant to your point, the capital of Khorasan lay on a trade route from Alexandria, and is known to have acted as an outpost for Hellenism in the centuries beforehand. We probably shouldn’t forget that much of the knowledge that was taken to Alexandria came from regions like this in the first place. There is a moving report on p.574 of the Fihrist of Al-Nadim where the astrologer I think you are referring to here (Abu Sahl al-Fadl ibn Nawbakht) tells how Alexander, following his conquest over Darius, destroyed the Persian texts to leave that area bereft of its scientific records - but only after copying the material he wanted to keep for the Greeks, which was obviously then sent to Alexandria!

Because of these kinds of reports I doubt that the history of astrology is anywhere near as ‘linear’ as it is often made out to be, but probably involved cycles of emphasis returning to certain prominent regions. Khorasan, and especially its capital Mawr (now known as Merv or Mary - 37° 42' N / 61° 54' E - in modern Turkmenistan), the birth place of Masha’allah and Salh, seems to have been a particularly important location over several periods of history, although its influence is largely ignored at the moment. I got side-tracked into all this after chasing a simple fact for a footnote in a paper on aspects. The footnote took on a life of its own and became almost as big as the original paper ! (I now realise that, interesting as I find it to be, none of this background history is actually relevant to the point I was making Smile.)

I also suspect that there is something ‘in the air’ at the moment, which is moving our astrological attention towards the Persians through the work of various individuals, such as Ben Dykes and others who are publishing the Persian texts.

Good luck in your explorations, and sorry I can't offer anything specific on the matter of Firdaria
Deb
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
If you are able to locate a copy I strongly recommend Bayard Dodge’s translation (alas, out of print, 1970)

There seems to be a 1998 edition still available.

Quote:
Valens was known as the author of several works, including a text on horary astrology – what are we to make of that?

Considering all the spurious texts which are routinely attributed to Ptolemy, perhaps we should be careful not to make too much of it. Wink

Quote:
Because of these kinds of reports I doubt that the history of astrology is anywhere near as ‘linear’ as it is often made out to be, but probably involved cycles of emphasis returning to certain prominent regions.

This reminded me of a statement by Pingree which I read the other week: 'In fact, what is wrong about Abū Maʿshar's history [of astrology] is that it is too simple, representing the transmission as being linear when in fact the celestial sciences were constantly being transmitted in appropriate circles, revolving back and forth between the peoples whom he mentions.' Appropriate indeed!
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Quote:
Valens was known as the author of several works, including a text on horary astrology – what are we to make of that?


Martin wrote:
Quote:
Considering all the spurious texts which are routinely attributed to Ptolemy, perhaps we should be careful not to make too much of it.


Yes but if this was true it would overturn the predominant view epoused by people like Robert Schmidt and Chris Brennan that horary did not exist in hellenistic astrology. That would be something very significant indeed. Does this text still exist? Or are we relying on references from other sources? In which case this is a bit of a dead end. There is a point that the interpolations of later Byzantine scholars does seem a problem. For example in his translation of Porphyrys Introduction to the Tetrabiblos James Holden identifies sections which clearly come from Sahl. I know Levente has previously argued here that several commonly accepted texts have suffered similar treatment or even outright forgery by some later Byzantine collaters.Still, if the text is still existent couldn't a comparison of the writing style be carried out with The Anthology?

Mark
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope that aside doesn't turn the focus of this thread. It's also possible that something got lost in translation into English - my point was mainly to say that there are some interesting references in this text, which are currently unable to be substantiated elsewhere, but it has a lot of value because it is quite contemporary to the material.
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GR



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Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Deb wrote:
Quote:
Valens was known as the author of several works, including a text on horary astrology – what are we to make of that?


But is it Valens or a pseudo-Valens? Is it still extant?

Mark wrote:
Yes but if this was true it would overturn the predominant view epoused by people like Robert Schmidt and Chris Brennan that horary did not exist in hellenistic astrology.


This ultimately comes from Pingree, doesn't it?

As for the Firdaria, I do wonder why exactly the lunar nodes get in there? That's what gives the impression of an Indic origin (or at least modification).
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astroart



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Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I also suspect that there is something ‘in the air’ at the moment, which is moving our astrological attention towards the Persians through the work of various individuals, such as Ben Dykes and others who are publishing the Persian texts.


I want to say some words about the Persian astrology.In this very short exposé when I will say "Persian astrology" or "Persian astrologer" I will understand astrology from Sassanidian Empire(from 224 to 651).
We know the names of only four Persian astrologers:Zaradusht, Jamasb, Buzurjmihr and al-Andarzaghar.The fist two are older than the second two.

1.Zaradusht is the author of the book "Kitab al-Mawalid"-the book is preserved in arabic translation
2.Jamasb is the author of two books, also preserved in arabic translation
3.Buzurjmihr is the author of the book "Bizidaj"based mainly on Valens books with his commentaries
4.al-Andarzaghar is the author of two books:"Kitab al Mawalid"(on Natal astrology) and "Kitab ahkam taḥawil sini"(On the solar revolutions) partly preserved in other arabic authors.

One very interesting fact:
Said al-Andalusi in his "Kitab tabaqat al-umam"( trans. R. Blachere
Paris, 1935) wrote that Valens' "Bizidaj" was concerned with nativities and their revolutions, and had an introduction to these topics.All arabic authors talk about 10 books of Valens, may be the 10-th book is commentaries on the nine books of Valens or is the lost book on the theme of Solar Revolutions of Nativities.
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Last edited by astroart on Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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astroart



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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the same book, " Kitab tabaqat al-umam"(Book of the Categories of Nations) , Said al-Andalusi (1029–1070)made very important statement.According to him Hermes is the author of the doctrine On projection of the rays of the stars and the doctrine On the uniformity of the Houses of the celestial sphere.
Tasyir or Projection of the Rays is the arabic term for profections and primary directions.

This assertion of Said al-Andalusi is supported by Al-Nadim in his "Fihrist", where he wrote that Hermes is the author of the book "Kitab Tasyir al-kawakib".But unfortunately this book probably don't come to us(Fuat Sezgin ,GAS VII, 58 ).
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Last edited by astroart on Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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astroart



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Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I’ve noticed that some very interesting ‘facts’ from this text are dismissed because they present a picture that we are not used to seeing – for example, the report that Valens was known as the author of several works, including a text on horary astrology – what are we to make of that?


Quote:
But is it Valens or a pseudo-Valens? Is it still extant?


I will give here a long quotation from Pingree("Classical and Byzantine Astrology in Sassanian Persia", David Pingree, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 43. (1989), p.231):

"Moreover, a valuable manuscript preserved in the Laleli Mosque in Istanbul, no. 2122, contains a short compilation on interrogations by Masha'allah.In this treatise, untitled in the manuscript, Masha'allah quotes from both Dorotheus and Valens-the latter on the subjects of buying land and of government, which are scarcely topics in our Greek Anthologes, but both of which are dealt with in the Arabic translation of a Pahlavi work on catarchic astrology ascribed to Valens, the Kitab al-asrar, preserved on folios 31v-60 of manuscript no. 2920 of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque in Istanbul.Masha'allah, in his Kitab fi qiyam al khulafa wa marifat qiyam kull malik, says that he has discussed the matter of government in his Bizidajat .So Masha'allah's collection of astrological dicta on catarchic astrology and interrogations in Laleli 2122 may have borne the title that Buzurjmihr gave to his expansion of Vettius Valens' Anthologies."
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