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The Hermetic Lots
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been sick lately and so I haven't been able to follow up on this discussion yet, although I wanted to point out that I think Gabe's comments were in response to me rather than you Steven. I will try to post something soon.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I drafted this a few days ago. I guess I'll just post it now.)


Hi Steven,

Thanks for your comments.


steven wrote:
In Al Biruni's treatise, "On Transits", he makes an interesting comment that Abu Ma'shar got all his "principles of astrology" from Valens Anthology. Although he refers us to the Persian commentary rather than the actual Anthology. Now whether this was his own conjecture or knowledge, I don't know, but studying very carefully I do note a lot of Valens techniques and subtleties in Abu Ma'shar's works. He even refers the student to Valens lot of Marriage which was with Mars instead of the Sun.



Since it is in Abu Ma'shar that we see the combination of Valens and Paul's lots, perhaps it was Abu Ma'shar's reverence for Valens that led him to use Valens' calculations for Eros and Necessity rather than Paul's?


steven wrote:
I am wondering if perhaps these very different parts (than the hermetic one in Paulus) could be a Persian influence since both Dorotheus and Valens works were best known to medieval arabic astrologers in the Persian commentaries that were written rather than the original manuscripts which were also translated into Pahlavi. That's just a thought of mine anyway. It is something both Dorotheus and Valens have in common. Very Happy Could the copyist of the Valens manuscript we have today, been aware of the Persian commentaries and the formulae that was therein and added them to the text to fill in an obvious blank in the original manuscript?

I find it very difficult to believe that Valens, who quotes from Nechepso and his book , was not connected to the hermetic tradition. Something in all of this does not add up for me. Of all the material we have now, no one used the lots as extensively as Valens did nor had as much to say about them. Valens focus was on practical usage for the astrologer and there is so much in many chapters. So on one hand I do understand Pingree questioning these formula and saying they are out of place. In many ways they are.



I don't think that it is an issue of Valens not being connected with the Hermetic tradition, as there is plenty of evidence that he was, but it is more of an issue of whether we should conceptualize that tradition as something that was singular and unchanging, or if grew and developed.

Current scholarship does not view the philosophical Hermetica and the treatises of the Corpus Hermeticum in particular as all having been written at the same time in the same place by the same person. Instead what we have there is a corpus of texts that were produced by a specific school over the course of a few centuries, united by a similar underlying philosophy. Not every philosophical treatise attributed to Hermes was written by the same man though, and the individual treatises were composed over a period of time between the first and the third centuries.

In the same way, not every astrological doctrine or technique attributed to Hermes was necessarily developed by the same person, or introduced during the same time period. Even if Schmidt's hypothetical founder of Hellenistic astrology who wrote under the name Hermes existed, that doesn't mean that other later astrologers didn't attempt to attribute texts to that author as well.

Paul's Hermetic lots are one of those instances where we have to admit that from our vantage point there is no evidence of their existence prior to his work in the late 4th century. That being the case, we have to admit the possibility that they may have been introduced later on in the Hellenistic tradition, and they may not represent the earliest set of lots. If they did, then we would expect to see them in Valens and Dorotheus and other authors. The fact that we do not should raise some sort of red flag.

One of the reasons why I accept the calculations that Pingree omitted is that there are a few places in the Anthology where Valens seems to treat Necessity in a more positive manner than one would expect based on the delineations given by Paul. So, the realization that he may not have been using the same calculation made sense to me from that perspective, as he may not have conceptualized it as being as negative as Paul seems to have with his version.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:
There are countless lots that have different names but the same formulae, so what difference does that make? It only says that Dorotheus likely got the same lot from a different source than Paul, and one that knew what reversal meant in that instance. Since it reduces to exactly the same version as in Dorotheus in Schmidt's way, why is this not evidence?

What difference does it make that Dorotheus also knew the other version of the Lot of Eros? The issue is what reversal means in the case of the version of the Lot of Eros found in Paul, and whether the Lot of Marriage in Dorotheus is derived from such a formula.

My initial question was not what "tradition" did it come from, but how could such a lot as that in Dorotheus come about in the first place. Schmidt argues that three planet lots can be understood to derive from a lot taken from a two planet lot and some other planet. This implies that the Lots, at least initially in astrology, are constructed logically, though they are obscured by priestly formalism.

Gabe




Its not evidence in it of itself because there is nothing in Paul's text which indicates that the Lots should be calculated in the way that you describe. Paul and Olympiodorus both clearly thought that the Lots were supposed to be reversed. If you want to argue that the original lost text by Hermes must have calculated the lots differently then that is fine, but the issue then is that the only evidence that you guys have for that is your argument that it doesn't make sense to you that some lots move fast. I mean, that is really the basis of the entire argument.

Now if Dorotheus had given that calculation and said that it was for the Lot of Eros then you would have some tangible evidence that someone may have interpreted the Hermetic lots differently than they are outlined in Paul. There would be some sort of external confirmation or evidence for what is only sort of a weak theoretical speculation on your part about the lots moving too fast in Paul.

But the fact that he uses a different calculation for the Lot of Eros sort of removes Dorotheus from the equation altogether because it seems to indicate that he wasn't dealing with the same Hermetic lots as Paul. That is to say, he wasn't drawing on the same text. If he had gotten that lot from the same text, as you say, then he would have used it for the Lot of Eros. That being the case, then the fact that he uses some weird lot of marriage is irrelevant, because there is no demonstrable connection between that and the set of Hermetic Lots in Paul.

The only thing that Dorotheus' lot of marriage does is it opens up the possibility that three planet lots existed in some form in the Hellenistic tradition. There is still no motivation in Paul's text for saying that those lots should all be calculated that way though. All you have is the notion that it doesn't make sense that some of them move quickly. That isn't evidence of anything though. Its just a sort of questionable aesthetic argument, which can be invalidated if it can be shown that there was some sort of theoretical motivation for the differing speeds of the lots.
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GR



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Posted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steven and Chris,

Let me see if I have this right. You both seem to be putting for the idea that there are differing philosophical concepts coming into the rationale for the Hermetic Lots, though your individual methods of resolving them are not the same, and perhaps antithetical to each other. You both also seem to agree that these differing formulations all share the same precise meanings, and thus there must be a choosing from amongst the variant definitions. Is this correct?

Steven, your argument boils down to, on the one hand, the relative 'purity' of the Paulus/Olympiodorus text, and on the the other hand, what is essentially the "It Works For Me"(TM) argument, which I sure you grasp is ultimately subjective and is accompanied by its own concerns.

Chris, part of the argument Schmidt proposes is that a reading of the Paulus text does allow for calculating the Lots as Schmidt recommends, but we haven't gotten into that here. Also, it isn't merely that some of the Lots under the 'conventional' manner are fast, it is that they are faster then anything in the astrological apparatus, even the primary motion. This behavior demands a clear explication, and the recourse to the Lights that you put forth doesn't quite do it, because it implies that one way the Lot should move like the Sun, the other way the Moon as to the Sun, and the other way is probably about 1.5 to twice as fast as that, much too fast to support your proposition. This is a problem of 'sticking to the text'; it still requires interpretation, and language, especially complicated and 'dead' languages like Greek are not often expressed in simple and uncomplicated manners.

Hell, you both seem to think that I said that Paulus and Dorotheus are getting Eros from the same text, when I never said such at all. If such a misreading can come from readers of the same living language, how much more often do you think that can happen with these dead languages with complicated grammars?

Also Chris, you're coming to this from the angle of keeping to the texts in a formalistic manner. This has problems of it own, even with relatively clean texts like Paulus. How many multiple Lots of Injury, for example, are there in Paulus, like 4? Do they all have the same meaning, and are we required to pick one and chuck the rest? Or do they have varying significations, coming from the same conceptual theme, and we are then forced to decipher these significations without recourse to the text?
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Clelia Romano



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Posted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Cris, Mark, Astrojin. Steven, Steve, Yazuru and many others :

I apologize for being so late: I´m embarrassed because I did not answer the posts addressed to me.
When Mark began this thread I was not aware it would be on Parts or Lots. I imagined it would be about stars in a different way we were discussing, so I do not found the thread;-)
Besides this I was very busy and I only had condition to browse the Forum today.
I´m sorry for that: I would like very much to explain my position. Now it is too late, since many of you said all I would like to say ( with little differences), especially Astrojin, Levante and Deb ( I also feel the lack of emotion, thanks for saying that, Deb!).
In few words I think that besides the Fortune, Spirit, place of Acquisition and sometimes the lot of Exaltation, the other lots are controversial and we have other tools to use with much more confidence. They demand not only to be calculated but to be delineated, a hard job when you don´t trust them.

Chris, you said:


Quote:
For those who don't have the Greek text but do have Schmidt's translation, the calculation for Eros is tacked on to the very end of the paragraph on profections from Eros in chapter 25 of book 4:

"Take the Lot of Eros by day from the Lot of Fortune to the Lot of Spirit and the same (distance) from the ascendant, but by night the reverse."


Thank you dor the explanation, and a really important one!

I would like to point out and discuss what Valens says , in his Book 2, Project Hindsight Edition, page 6, after several considerations about the happiness or bad fortune in marriage and relationships. He says that the Lot of Marriage for Men is calculated by adding the interval between Sun and Venus to the Ascendant. For women, it is the distance between Moon and Mars, which is added to the Ascendant.
The reason for that Lot is insightful and even philosophical. And for the first time, and perhaps the only time in traditional writings, Mars is referred to women’s marriage.
In the so-called modern astrology Mars is usually taken into consideration for women, and when I was a modern astrologer myself, I noticed that effectively aspects of Mars were part of the picture when predicting women's marriages.
Valens was very perceptive using Mars and Venus to construct a Lot signifying marriage for women and I wrote an article about that!
The reason why he picked up Venus and Mars was because both rule destructive placesl to the luminaries. The Sun exalts in Aries and has his fall in Libra, sign of Venus. The Moon, on the other hand, exalts in Taurus and has its fall in Scorpio, sign ruled by Mars.
We see that Mars and Venus form an opposition to both luminaries, namely the day´s light, the Sun, and the night's light, the Moon, and the opposition is the trademark of the seventh house, the house of marriage ( and death Confused .
For men he uses Venus, which opposes the Sun from a male sign, Libra, and for women he uses Mars who has domicile in Scorpio, opposed to Taurus, the Moon's exaltation.
So, to judge the legality and happiness of a marriage he says that we must atempt if this lot is well configured to the Lot of the Spirit (which is solar) for men, and with the Lot of Fortune (which is lunar) for women.

Maybe it is not a Lot, but an indiccator of marriage? Anyway, what is the difference? And why he changes th calculation in book 4? Sometimes Valens forgets what he wrote some time earlier. Laughing

regards

Clélia
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When Mark began this thread I was not aware it would be on Parts or Lots. I imagined it would be about stars in a different way we were discussing, so I do not found the thread;-)


Hello Clelia,

Just to recap this thread was a spill over from the On Stars thread began by you. It was never intended to focus on fixed stars. As you might recalll we were getting into discussion of lots on the On Stars thread and Deb made the suggestion of creating that topic into a separate thread. I therefore created this thread so the two issues could be split up. The fixed stars thread you started is still there. Its been a long time coming but I hope to post a detailed reply to Levente at the weekend!

Here is the thread I think you are looking for:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5500

Mark
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Clelia Romano



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Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mark:

[quote="Mark"]
Quote:
When Mark began this thread I was not aware it would be on Parts or Lots. I imagined it would be about stars in a different way we were discussing, so I do not found the thread;-)


Quote:
Hello Clelia,

Just to recap this thread was a spill over from the On Stars thread began by you. It was never intended to focus on fixed stars. As you might recalll we were getting into discussion of lots on the On Stars thread and Deb made the suggestion of creating that topic into a separate thread. I therefore created this thread so the two issues could be split up. The fixed stars thread you started is still there. Its been a long time coming but I hope to post a detailed reply to Levente at the weekend! Here is the thread I think you are looking for:


O, it was a misunderstanding. It is not a big deal!

I have something to post on stars and I´ll do it now!

regards

Clelia
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:

Let me see if I have this right. You both seem to be putting for the idea that there are differing philosophical concepts coming into the rationale for the Hermetic Lots, though your individual methods of resolving them are not the same, and perhaps antithetical to each other. You both also seem to agree that these differing formulations all share the same precise meanings, and thus there must be a choosing from amongst the variant definitions. Is this correct?



I'm not sure that I follow. Steven and I were talking about the issue of whether Valens used the same calculations as Paul for the Lots of Eros and Necessity. Steven expressed reservations about the sentences that Pingree bracketed that indicate that he used a different set of calculations than Paul for those two lots.

I wouldn't agree with the statement that the delineation of, say, the Lot of Eros would be the same for Valens and Paul, because they have different calculations, and probably different rationales for those lots as well. This is one of the reasons why I accept the calculations in Valens that Pingree bracketed, because his treatment of the Lot of Necessity seems different than what you would expect based on the delineations in Paul.

I'm not sure if this answers the question that you were asking properly, so just let me know if it doesn't.



Quote:
Chris, part of the argument Schmidt proposes is that a reading of the Paulus text does allow for calculating the Lots as Schmidt recommends, but we haven't gotten into that here.



I'm familiar with Schmidt's proposed reading of the text. His relatively recent emphasis on variants in the manuscript tradition doesn't really support his argument though. There is no uniformity in the variations, for one, and for two, the variants still amount to the same thing that the other manuscripts say, not the radically different interpretation that he is proposing. If these variations did support Schmidt's argument then this would be an open and shut case, because he could claim textual support, and no one could argue with that. The fact that almost the entire argument relies on this questionable assumption about whether or not it makes "sense" for some lots to move faster than the others proves that this isn't ultimately about what the manuscripts say though. This is fundamentally a conceptual issue.


GR wrote:

Also, it isn't merely that some of the Lots under the 'conventional' manner are fast, it is that they are faster then anything in the astrological apparatus, even the primary motion. This behavior demands a clear explication, and the recourse to the Lights that you put forth doesn't quite do it, because it implies that one way the Lot should move like the Sun, the other way the Moon as to the Sun, and the other way is probably about 1.5 to twice as fast as that, much too fast to support your proposition. This is a problem of 'sticking to the text'; it still requires interpretation, and language, especially complicated and 'dead' languages like Greek are not often expressed in simple and uncomplicated manners.



I'm sorry, but I simply don't agree. The association between the Sun and the slower lots and the Moon and the faster lots is just that, and association. There doesn't have to be a one to one correspondence between their relative speeds. It is sufficient to point out that this association seems to be implicit in the rationale if we take the text at face value.

And no, it doesn't require interpretation. While I respect Schmidt's studies of the meaning underlying specific words and phrases in the texts, and I think that he has produced some profound insights into the tradition as a result of that, I think that that is being used as an excuse here for a lack of evidence for what is essentially a conceptual argument. While it is possible that Paul's text or Paul's source was part of a mystery tradition that wrote subtly and cryptically, forcing the reader to look beyond just the surface of the text in order to understand the true meaning, it is also possible that Paul was just writing in the very straight forward and succinct manner that characterizes technical manuals, and Schmidt is trying to force an argument that doesn't fit. You have to concede that as a possibility - that there may not be anything particularly strange about the text, and Paul may mean exactly what he says.



Quote:
Hell, you both seem to think that I said that Paulus and Dorotheus are getting Eros from the same text, when I never said such at all. If such a misreading can come from readers of the same living language, how much more often do you think that can happen with these dead languages with complicated grammars?



That is because of this statement that you made earlier in the thread when you pointed out that Paul's diurnal Lot of Eros is the same as Dorotheus' marriage lot:


Quote:
This parallels with Dorotheus perfectly, and I think it asks the question "Where could such a Lot come from, if not from the Hermetic Lot of Eros?" And if we are arguing about upholding tradtion, consider that Dorotheus wrote considerably earlier than Paul and was closer to the original sources of the tradition.




So, I don't think that that was a misinterpretation on our part, as you certainly did seem to be implying that Dorotheus' Lot of Marriage was derived from the same text as Paul's Hermetic Lot of Eros. What I said in response to that was simply that if they were drawing on the same text, then they both would have used the same Lot of Eros.




Quote:
Also Chris, you're coming to this from the angle of keeping to the texts in a formalistic manner. This has problems of it own, even with relatively clean texts like Paulus. How many multiple Lots of Injury, for example, are there in Paulus, like 4? Do they all have the same meaning, and are we required to pick one and chuck the rest? Or do they have varying significations, coming from the same conceptual theme, and we are then forced to decipher these significations without recourse to the text?




I'm not sure where you are going with this. I will say though, that this is one of the reasons why I don't find any arguments about which Lot of Eros works better in practice to be relevant to this argument about the calculations. I think that what 'works' best is a separate issue from what the texts say. I'm not tied to the notion that what the texts say has to be true. If Schmidt or you want to argue that his corrected Hermetic lots work better in practice and make more sense conceptually then I have no problem with that. I only have a problem at the point where I feel like a conceptual argument is entirely what is motivating a radical re-reading of the text. I'm very sincere in saying that. There are a number of other areas where I will totally take Schmidt's side when it comes to certain historical arguments, because I think that he has very good reasons for taking those positions based on the evidence. This one seems like a serious stretch to me though, at best, and I can't get behind that.
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Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris Brennan wrote:


I'm familiar with Schmidt's proposed reading of the text. His relatively recent emphasis on variants in the manuscript tradition doesn't really support his argument though. There is no uniformity in the variations, for one, and for two, the variants still amount to the same thing that the other manuscripts say, not the radically different interpretation that he is proposing.


Perhaps a demonstration of how Schmidt's interpretation is radically different is in order here to really convince us. Why can't the subject of the reversal be ambiguous based upon a cross referencing of the texts (both including and excluding the variants)?
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GR



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Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Chris, you've agreed that totally different algorithms have different meanings that are reflected in different delineations, even if these lots bear the same name. I agree, though we can't properly call these alternatives, which imply that one is somehow more correct than another; better to say that they are species of the same genus.

This point, however, means that the fact that Dorotheus used another version of the Lot of Eros than the one found in Paul says nothing about the evidential value of the three-planet lot found in Dorotheus (which is exactly the same as Schmidt’s) for Schmidt’s claim. It only says that he was aware of two different algorithms that had two different meanings.

Also, from glancing over the Olympiodorus list of lots there are also many Lots which have different names but exactly the same formula, which implies that they are different names for the same underlying notion or concept. Consequently, the fact that Dorotheus calls a lot that has exactly the same reduced formula as Schmidt’s the Lot of Wedding instead of the Lot of Eros does nothing to invalidate its evidential value for Schmidt’s claim; it only suggests that Dorotheus may have picked up the algorithm from a different source than Paul did, and one that understood what the reversal meant in that case. It doesn't have to be the same exact text, which I have not asserted is the case.

The central point is that this lot in Dorotheus must have come from somewhere. You have said that its absence in Valens should raise a red flag and suggest that it may have been of later invention. However, it may not be true that we only know of the Hermetic lots from the text of Paulus. Schmidt has also pointed out that two, and possibly three of them, are found in the critical apparatus of Firmicus Maternus, who wrote before Paul. The manuscript tradition that records these Hermetic lots appears to have just as much authority as that favored by the text editor in this case. A citation for the referentially minded, I don't have handy at the moment, so please forgive me.

I'm waiting on Schmidt to provide some textual interpretation on Paulus regarding these Lots, so I hope to have that for the forum soon.

Gabe
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GR



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Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

Bob Schmidt has asked me to post this textual analysis on Paulus here.

Chris Brennan wrote:
If these variations did support Schmidt's argument then this would be an open and shut case, because he could claim textual support, and no one could argue with that.


Robert Schmidt wrote:

Hi Gabriel,
Here are some of my textual analyses of the Paul text on the Hermetic lots. They are taken from notes to my revised edition of Paul, which will be accompanied by my new translation of the Olympiodorus commentary. The translations themselves will not be out for a while yet. I hope that they are helpful in clarifying some points in your discussion of the lot algorithms on Skyscript.

I am sending you alternative translations of the algorithms for the Lot of Courage and the Lot of Necessity. They have a direct bearing on the question of reversal in the algorithms. There are a number of other points that I have made about the entire Paul text, but this should suffice for your purposes. The notes have not undergone any kind of final edit as yet, and are far from perfected, so there may be some slips here and there, but on the whole I believe they are accurate.
Robert Schmidt

There is some question about the placement of the algorithm for the Lot of Necessity in Paul. The critical edition has it between Eros and Courage, evidently patterned after the placement of Necessity in the following delineation text. However, one group of principal manuscripts (Y) has it after Courage and before Victory in the text; the other has it after Nemesis in the margin (Z). Following the text variants, I will first give a translation of the Y manuscripts, then the Z, and finally a translation of the passage in the critical edition.
I will first look at the algorithm for the Lot of Courage.

[Y] The Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: in the case of those born by day, now [kai] an equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but [de] for those born by night, the reverse.

[Z] The Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: of a nativity by day, now [kai] in like manner [homoiōs] from the Hour-marker, but [de] of a nativity by night the reverse.

[Critical Edition] Fifth is the Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: for those born by day [men], now [kai] an equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but [de] for those born by night, the reverse.

The text editor has taken men from β, which often is in accord with Z. The scribe of β clearly wanted to bring out the clause contrasted with the final de clause more strongly.

Analysis

The placement of the men/de construction in all three versions (explicit in the critical edition, implicit in Y & Z) outside of the calculation of the interval between Arēs and the Lot of Fortune clearly indicates that the reversal is at least one of direction of projection from the Hour-marker, I have emphasized this somewhat by a colon.

The isolation of this construction is obscured a bit by the placement of kai, which at first might be understood to simply be a copulative conjunction linking the counting to the projection in one men clause. However, because the jussive futures used for the operative verb in all the versions of this algorithm have the force of imperatives, we are directed to take kai as issuing a new command that instead is linked with the upcoming final de clause. This is why I have translated kai as “now” rather than “and”. But we must be open to the possibility that kai is intended to serve both purposes here: reversal of order of counting and reversal of order of projection, or at the very least raise the question of the order of counting in nocturnal nativities.

The Z manuscripts bring this issue of reversal out even more clearly by using homoiōs ‘similarly’ where the Y group uses ta isa ‘an equal amount’. Because of the common contrast between these two words in phrases such as “in equal measure and similarly”, homoiōs can hardly be taken as a synonym for ta isa.

However, it still seems as if the projection from the Hour-marker is forward in agreement with the order of counting diurnally, and backwards nocturnally. This would obviate the problem of asymmetry to which I have frequently alluded, because in both diurnal and nocturnal charts we would have a lot which was dependent on the Hour-marker, and this may indeed be what the original text intended.

However, look what happens in the algorithm for the Lot of Necessity..

[Y] The Lot of Necessity, it you will now [kai] calculate, for those born by day [men], from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. An equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but for those born by night [de], the reverse.

[Z] The Lot of Necessity, which itself you will calculate, of a nativity by day, from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. In like manner backwards [palin homoiōs] from the Hour-marker, but of a nativity by night the reverse.

[Critical Edition] Fourth is the Lot of Necessity, which itself you will now [kai] calculate, for those born by day [men], from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. And now [kai] an equal amount from the Hour-marker, but for those born by night [de], the reverse.

Analysis

Of the two instances of kai in the critical edition, the first is absent in Z, and the second is absent in both Y & Z. The first must go with the jussive future of the verb, as was the case with such instances in the algorithm for the Lot of Courage. The second has been added by the text editor without textual support, evidently to compensate for the abruptness of the full stop after the word Fortune. This full stop does serve to segregate the last two clauses from the calculation of the interval between the planet and Fortune, in much the same manner as the devices used in the algorithm for the Lot of Courage, and again indicates that the reversal must at least be one of the direction of projection.

The big surprise here is the use of the expression palin homoiōs in the Z version. The use of homoiōs ‘in like manner’ is consistent with the Z version of the Lot of Courage algorithm, But even though palin can have the temporal sense of ‘again’, the context almost forces us to take it in the local sense of ‘backwards’. This would mean that in the diurnal calculation of this lot, the projection from the Hour-marker is backwards. Then that the Hour-marker would drop out in the calculation, and this algorithm would reduce to a three-planet lot both by day and by night.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:
OK Chris, you've agreed that totally different algorithms have different meanings that are reflected in different delineations, even if these lots bear the same name. I agree, though we can't properly call these alternatives, which imply that one is somehow more correct than another; better to say that they are species of the same genus.

This point, however, means that the fact that Dorotheus used another version of the Lot of Eros than the one found in Paul says nothing about the evidential value of the three-planet lot found in Dorotheus (which is exactly the same as Schmidt’s) for Schmidt’s claim. It only says that he was aware of two different algorithms that had two different meanings.

Also, from glancing over the Olympiodorus list of lots there are also many Lots which have different names but exactly the same formula, which implies that they are different names for the same underlying notion or concept. Consequently, the fact that Dorotheus calls a lot that has exactly the same reduced formula as Schmidt’s the Lot of Wedding instead of the Lot of Eros does nothing to invalidate its evidential value for Schmidt’s claim; it only suggests that Dorotheus may have picked up the algorithm from a different source than Paul did, and one that understood what the reversal meant in that case. It doesn't have to be the same exact text, which I have not asserted is the case.



It doesn't invalidate it, but it doesn't confirm it either. What it says is that you have no proof of any connection between Dorotheus' marriage lot and Paul's Lot of Eros. You want to take the similar algorithms to mean that Dorotheus' source interpreted the Lot of Eros according to Schmidt's correction (which amounts to only using the day formula for Eros), except that it is just as possible that Dorotheus' marriage lot had nothing to do with the Lot of Eros that Paul outlines. Similar algorithms doesn't mean that there is any connection between those lots, especially when the calculation of one of the algorithms is speculative and contested to begin with. If, hypothetically, Schmidt were wrong, and Paul's text said that you calculate Eros from Spirit to Venus by day and Venus to Spirit by night, then there would be no connection between that Lot and Dorotheus' marriage lot, except that Dorotheus' would involve a portion of Paul's diurnal calculation.



Quote:
The central point is that this lot in Dorotheus must have come from somewhere. You have said that its absence in Valens should raise a red flag and suggest that it may have been of later invention. However, it may not be true that we only know of the Hermetic lots from the text of Paulus. Schmidt has also pointed out that two, and possibly three of them, are found in the critical apparatus of Firmicus Maternus, who wrote before Paul. The manuscript tradition that records these Hermetic lots appears to have just as much authority as that favored by the text editor in this case. A citation for the referentially minded, I don't have handy at the moment, so please forgive me.



Paul wrote in 378. Firmicus wrote his Mathesis around the middle of the 4th century (Holden and Thorndike think that he wrote it after 355, although I think that it was probably a bit earlier). The two were almost contemporaries, one writing in Rome and the other in Alexandria, probably within each other's lifetimes. So, if Firmicus possessed the same calculations as Paul then it would hardly invalidate my point that there is no evidence of these lots prior to the 4th century, and they don't necessarily go back to the beginning of the Hellenistic tradition. This is important because this is part of the unspoken assumption that you and Schmidt are proceeding on, that these lots were introduced by the founder of Hellenistic astrology, and so they have to make perfect sense to you conceptually, otherwise the calculations must be wrong.

Even if the variant calculations for Eros and Necessity in the critical apparatus of Firmicus are correct, it doesn't support your hypothesis anyways, so I'm not sure why you are invoking them here. The Gamma manuscript family, part of which includes the Alpha prime class that you and Schmidt are going to want to seize upon, clearly outlines the same calculation of Paul, saying that Eros is "by night from Venus to Spirit, and by day the reverse." Necessity is clearly a bit corrupt, but the same manuscript tradition, which as you pointed out is the best manuscript tradition according to the editors, also agrees with Paul in saying that it is calculated "from Mercury to Fortune, and the reverse by night."

Here is a copy of that page of the critical edition with the relevant sentences in the critical apparatus underlined, if anyone wants to check what I'm saying here: http://www.chrisbrennanastrologer.com/img/Firmicus-Eros-Necessity.jpg

Anticipating your response, the Alpha prime manuscripts, which are tied to the first printed edition, don't really support your argument when you look at them either, so don't even go there.

Ultimately without looking at the manuscripts themselves it is hard to say which tradition of Lots Firmicus used for Eros and Necessity anyways. It seems like one of them was an interpolation at some point in the manuscript tradition, perhaps, although its hard to say which one. If the one that is similar to Paul's was the interpolation then it shows that the later scribes of Firmicus' manuscript tradition understood Paul's lots to involve the reversal. On the other hand, if Firmicus did use the same calculations for those lots as Paul, then this shows that Firmicus himself understood the reversal in the same way, just as Olympiodorus did.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comments are interspersed below in quote boxes:



Robert Schmidt wrote:

Hi Gabriel,
Here are some of my textual analyses of the Paul text on the Hermetic lots. They are taken from notes to my revised edition of Paul, which will be accompanied by my new translation of the Olympiodorus commentary. The translations themselves will not be out for a while yet. I hope that they are helpful in clarifying some points in your discussion of the lot algorithms on Skyscript.

I am sending you alternative translations of the algorithms for the Lot of Courage and the Lot of Necessity. They have a direct bearing on the question of reversal in the algorithms. There are a number of other points that I have made about the entire Paul text, but this should suffice for your purposes. The notes have not undergone any kind of final edit as yet, and are far from perfected, so there may be some slips here and there, but on the whole I believe they are accurate.
Robert Schmidt

There is some question about the placement of the algorithm for the Lot of Necessity in Paul. The critical edition has it between Eros and Courage, evidently patterned after the placement of Necessity in the following delineation text. However, one group of principal manuscripts (Y) has it after Courage and before Victory in the text; the other has it after Nemesis in the margin (Z). Following the text variants, I will first give a translation of the Y manuscripts, then the Z, and finally a translation of the passage in the critical edition.
I will first look at the algorithm for the Lot of Courage.

[Y] The Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: in the case of those born by day, now [kai] an equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but [de] for those born by night, the reverse.

[Z] The Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: of a nativity by day, now [kai] in like manner [homoiōs] from the Hour-marker, but [de] of a nativity by night the reverse.

[Critical Edition] Fifth is the Lot of Courage, which you will treat from the portion of Arēs to the Lot of Fortune: for those born by day [men], now [kai] an equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but [de] for those born by night, the reverse.

The text editor has taken men from β, which often is in accord with Z. The scribe of β clearly wanted to bring out the clause contrasted with the final de clause more strongly.

Analysis

The placement of the men/de construction in all three versions (explicit in the critical edition, implicit in Y & Z) outside of the calculation of the interval between Arēs and the Lot of Fortune clearly indicates that the reversal is at least one of direction of projection from the Hour-marker, I have emphasized this somewhat by a colon.


Chris Brennan wrote:
No, it doesn’t. The men/de construction is indicating a contrast between the point counted from and the point counted to, and signaling that this is reversed by day and night, saying “on the one hand” (men) for those born by day, “but on the other hand” (de) for those born by night. The intent of this contrast is set up clearly by Paul in the first few paragraphs, and then he gradually becomes more concise. It is only by looking at this paragraph in isolation that one could make the argument that the men/de construction doesn't refer to the points being counted from and to.


The isolation of this construction is obscured a bit by the placement of kai, which at first might be understood to simply be a copulative conjunction linking the counting to the projection in one men clause. However, because the jussive futures used for the operative verb in all the versions of this algorithm have the force of imperatives, we are directed to take kai as issuing a new command that instead is linked with the upcoming final de clause. This is why I have translated kai as “now” rather than “and”. But we must be open to the possibility that kai is intended to serve both purposes here: reversal of order of counting and reversal of order of projection, or at the very least raise the question of the order of counting in nocturnal nativities.

Chris Brennan wrote:

- Kai could be interpreted as it is normally as a copulative conjunction here ("and"). Translating it as “now” simply seems to obscure the meaning, or only serves to obscure the meaning, which is the contrast between the points being counted from and to.
- It does seem that the purpose of "kai/and" there is to distinguish between the points being counted from and to by day and night, which is the common approach in the Hellenistic and Medieval tradition.


The Z manuscripts bring this issue of reversal out even more clearly by using homoiōs ‘similarly’ where the Y group uses ta isa ‘an equal amount’. Because of the common contrast between these two words in phrases such as “in equal measure and similarly”, homoiōs can hardly be taken as a synonym for ta isa.


Chris Brennan wrote:

- I disagree. It very well may simply be a synonym or an alternate term to express the same thing, which is that you are counting the same/similar distance from the ascendant as you did from the two points involved.



However, it still seems as if the projection from the Hour-marker is forward in agreement with the order of counting diurnally, and backwards nocturnally. This would obviate the problem of asymmetry to which I have frequently alluded, because in both diurnal and nocturnal charts we would have a lot which was dependent on the Hour-marker, and this may indeed be what the original text intended.


Chris Brennan wrote:

- This conclusion can only be reached to by taking this paragraph out of context from the first two paragraphs of this chapter where Paul outlines the calculations of Fortune and Spirit. There he very explicitly outlines that it is not the distance from the ascendant that is being reversed, but it is the planets/points counted from and to. When read within the context of those paragraphs, the other paragraphs are clear.

This sort of compactness was a feature of ancient writing due to how expensive and time consuming writing and publishing was, and they often took shortcuts in order to conserve space. Paul doesn’t spell it out exactly in every following paragraph because he set up the paradigm in the first paragraph, and he doesn’t need to repeat himself at length.


However, look what happens in the algorithm for the Lot of Necessity..

[Y] The Lot of Necessity, it you will now [kai] calculate, for those born by day [men], from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. An equal amount [ta isa] from the Hour-marker, but for those born by night [de], the reverse.

[Z] The Lot of Necessity, which itself you will calculate, of a nativity by day, from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. In like manner backwards [palin homoiōs] from the Hour-marker, but of a nativity by night the reverse.

[Critical Edition] Fourth is the Lot of Necessity, which itself you will now [kai] calculate, for those born by day [men], from the portion of Hermēs to the Lot of Fortune. And now [kai] an equal amount from the Hour-marker, but for those born by night [de], the reverse.

Analysis

Of the two instances of kai in the critical edition, the first is absent in Z, and the second is absent in both Y & Z. The first must go with the jussive future of the verb, as was the case with such instances in the algorithm for the Lot of Courage. The second has been added by the text editor without textual support, evidently to compensate for the abruptness of the full stop after the word Fortune. This full stop does serve to segregate the last two clauses from the calculation of the interval between the planet and Fortune, in much the same manner as the devices used in the algorithm for the Lot of Courage, and again indicates that the reversal must at least be one of the direction of projection.



Chris Brennan wrote:

- The full stop is something that is introduced in the paragraphs gradually in that chapter as Paul writes each one in a more and more succinct manner. When viewed within the context of the preceding paragraphs it becomes clear that the full stop is not segregating the clauses as much as it might seem to be if one takes this paragraph in isolation.



The big surprise here is the use of the expression palin homoiōs in the Z version. The use of homoiōs ‘in like manner’ is consistent with the Z version of the Lot of Courage algorithm, But even though palin can have the temporal sense of ‘again’, the context almost forces us to take it in the local sense of ‘backwards’. This would mean that in the diurnal calculation of this lot, the projection from the Hour-marker is backwards. Then that the Hour-marker would drop out in the calculation, and this algorithm would reduce to a three-planet lot both by day and by night.


Chris Brennan wrote:

- I agree that the appearance of palin here is somewhat of a surprise. As Schmidt points out though, it would not be inconsistent to interpret palin to in a temporal sense. I don’t agree that the context “forces us” to interpret it as “backwards”. Instead, in a temporal sense, it could simply mean “once more,” so palin homoios would mean “similarly once more”. “Similarly once more from the hour-marker, but of a nativity by night the reverse.”







When one reads this entire chapter from Paul in context, it seems like there is little motivation here for interpreting the text in a way puts the emphasis of the reversal on the direction from ascendant rather than the points counted from and to, even with some of these slight variations.

The only strong motivation for using these variations to interpret the text differently is if we think that there is something wrong with what the text is saying in the first place, specifically that doesn’t make sense for some of the lots to move fast. The variations themselves are not the primary motivating factor in this argument though, because on the whole they do not deviate in a radical way from the reconstruction of the editors.

I do not think that the conceptual objections regarding the speed or symmetry of the lots is sufficient to motivate this level of emphasis on variant or alternative readings and interpretations, especially when they are taken out of context.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

to add some background details to Mr Schmidt's textual analysis, which is, as usual, erudite, I must warn that there's something we should be careful about Paul's text: there are more versions, of which now the "original" second edition (that survived in a mutilated form, while the previous one disappeared) and the Rhetorius version is important. As in the case with Antiochus of Athens, Rhetorius made a reworking on Paul and incorporated the whole work in his compendium with some additions from Olympiodorus. If you check how much Rhetorius changes in Antiochus, the same may be expected in the case of Paul.

At the time of the publication of Paul's Introductory matters, in 1958, many questions of textual transmission of astrology weren't yet investigated, moreover, the Rhetorius problem wasn't addressed at all. Therefore Emilie de Boer couldn't talk about it in the preface of her edition. Here the two most important manuscripts are Parisinus graecus 2425 (designated Y) and Parisinus graecus 2506 (with siglum Z) - both happen to be connected to the Rhetorius tradition.

Y is the most reliable Rhetorius manuscript that survived, itself a sole survivor of an epitome, Epitome III, here rendered in two books marked as Book V and VI. Its publication is due to summer 2011 by Stephan Heilen, at least the hundredth announced plan I've seen. Partial editions of Book V exist in various volumes of CCAG, all of which was translated by Holden with supplementary material. Book VI, however, is largely unpublished, and although many of the published passages are translated, the source of them, Rhetorius, is never acknowledged. For example, the Serapio and Balbillus materials translated by Schmidt come from this text, thus actually from Rhetorius. The version of Paul's chapter on the lots here appears as chapter 29 of this book.

The next major collection of Rhetorius excerpts was Epitome IV, whose main manuscript is Z. There Paul's chapter on lots is chapter 378. This codex contains a vast collection, probably made up by Demophilus, from Greek and Arabic sources like Epitome IV of Rhetorius, excerpts from Theophilus etc. Most of this collection seems to form a handbook for a practicing astrologer who put together chapters from various sources, not necessarily copying the chapter verbatim. I think the fact that the chapters deriving from Paul appear in two different parts of the manuscript, the beginning chapters standing later, while the numbering of the chapters are not confused may make this theory acceptable.

This means apart from these two ones being primary manuscripts, they shouldn't be much trusted in opposition of the other manuscripts, especially Marcianus graecus 335 and Vindobonensis philos. graecus 108, as Y brings the Rhetorius version and Z may be based either on Rhetorius' or on Demophilus' reworking.

Levente

PS 1 In the model I outlined previously the lots are not imaginary points occupying certain portions on the zodiac but markers for images/domiciles such as the hour-marker does with the ascending image. Therefore the disturbing notion of lots "traveling" swiftly or slowly could be wiped out, and, as a result, there would be no need for efforts to explain how the alteration of the description transmitted by Paul and Olympiodorus can be justified. There is simply no contradiction.

PS 2 Personally I don't believe there is any connection between the "Hermetic" lot of love and the three-planet lot found in the Arabic Dorotheus. The originality of this three-planet lot is highly questionable as there is no corresponding passage in any of the parallel Greek sources, though I must admit that most of the marriage treatment is mirrored only in Hephaestio whose only manuscripts for this part is deficient and fragmentary.

PS 3 There are clearly two distinct traditions of the lots of love and necessity, the one based on the lots of fortune and spirit, and the other which is the "Hermetic" one supplemented with lots for the remaining 3 planets. The first tradition which appears in Valens and may be associated to Dorotheus as well must have reached the Arabs via the Persians. The second tradition is presented by Paul, by his commentator, Olympiodorus and Rhetorius (who drew on Paul as you see), thus Paul may be the only one who could really utilize the alleged source, the All-Virtuous, if we accept the Firmicus critical edition. Actually there are two different branches of manuscripts, of which the "Italian" branch (designated Δ) is told to be inferior than the "German" one (with siglum Γ), but in the case of the lots of love and necessity the edition prefers the reading of Δ, whose description gives the earier reason. Now, the "Hermetic" version in Paul, Olympiodorus and Rhetorius always gives the remaining 3 lots, which are missing from Firmicus; the Arabs learnt them from Rhetorius, and later preferred over the earlier tradition, thus replacing the formula, which could be well-known in Europe by the 15th century, the time of the earliest manuscript representing Γ. So I think the Firmicus text was altered in the Middle Ages to resemble the "Hermetic" lots, even if he wrote accordingly to Dorotheus and Valens.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osthanes wrote:


PS 1 In the model I outlined previously the lots are not imaginary points occupying certain portions on the zodiac but markers for images/domiciles such as the hour-marker does with the ascending image. Therefore the disturbing notion of lots "traveling" swiftly or slowly could be wiped out, and, as a result, there would be no need for efforts to explain how the alteration of the description transmitted by Paul and Olympiodorus can be justified. There is simply no contradiction.



Could you expand upon this point? While I think that I understand the approach that you outlined in your previous post, and I think that I'm largely in agreement, I'm not sure how this would erase the issue that is being discussed here. It seems like even if lots are being counted by sign that you would still have an issue with some of the Hermetic lots moving faster from sign to sign than the other Hermetic lots, which is what Schmidt's correction tries to fix.


Osthanes wrote:

PS 3 There are clearly two distinct traditions of the lots of love and necessity, the one based on the lots of fortune and spirit, and the other which is the "Hermetic" one supplemented with lots for the remaining 3 planets. The first tradition which appears in Valens and may be associated to Dorotheus as well must have reached the Arabs via the Persians. The second tradition is presented by Paul, by his commentator, Olympiodorus and Rhetorius (who drew on Paul as you see), thus Paul may be the only one who could really utilize the alleged source, the All-Virtuous, if we accept the Firmicus critical edition. Actually there are two different branches of manuscripts, of which the "Italian" branch (designated Δ) is told to be inferior than the "German" one (with siglum Γ), but in the case of the lots of love and necessity the edition prefers the reading of Δ, whose description gives the earier reason. Now, the "Hermetic" version in Paul, Olympiodorus and Rhetorius always gives the remaining 3 lots, which are missing from Firmicus; the Arabs learnt them from Rhetorius, and later preferred over the earlier tradition, thus replacing the formula, which could be well-known in Europe by the 15th century, the time of the earliest manuscript representing Γ. So I think the Firmicus text was altered in the Middle Ages to resemble the "Hermetic" lots, even if he wrote accordingly to Dorotheus and Valens.



This is what I am leaning towards as well, although one issue that I have is that in the critical edition the Lot of Spirit and Fortune are reversed in the older calculations for Eros and Necessity that don't involve planets. They are the reverse of the ones in Valens and Abu Ma'shar at least. What do you make of that? Did Firmicus make a mistake? Or did some astrologers have opposite calculations from the ones in Valens?
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