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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Andrea L. Gehrz: An entirely new Valens
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
The Oxford Classical Dictionary entry on slavery refers to Aristotle's doctrine of "natural slavery", and notes that "...Greek life and thought were inextricably bound up with the ideology and practice of human servitude." They had categories of servitude that don't exist today. Chattel slavery was also common in the Roman empire, where scholars have estimated two million slaves in Italy at the end of the Republic; with a slave: free ratio of 1:3.


And we have categories of slavery that they never thought of..., we just don't call it that. Corporate indentured servitude with credit scores, etc, is just a cleverly disguised form of modern feudalism. As king Solomon said "There is nothing new under the Sun". The heart of man is as vile as it has always been and the technology has only made it worse.

But this has little to do with the discussion at hand.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR and Curtis, howbeit you start a new thread on the extent to which Hellenistic astrologers' interpretations and predictions can or cannot be applied to modern westerners? I think some interesting discussion could result. I'd be curious to learn, for example, whether you think there are any portions of Dorotheus, Valens, Ptolemy, Firmicus Maternus, et al. that really cannot translate successfully to 2012.

As it is, your latest posts confirm my concern, in my own mind, at least. You've both come up with some modern comparables dealing with corporations, credit scores, technology, computer-hacking, organized crime, immigration, and drug addiction. But these are not chattel slavery.

Slavery in antiquity had some serious differences with slavery today; not the least of which is the sheer high percentage of the populace who were enslaved; and how integrated these slaves were into daily life. For sure foreign prisoners of war were typically enslaved, but home-grown people became slaves through many other means, such as being born to slave parents on a political leader's estate. The closest comparable to this example would be something like George Washington's slave-holding on his plantation in the antebellum South; or being a serf on a European feudal estate, minus the land rights.

A real difference with ancient chattel slavery was that it was legally approved: indeed woven into the very fabric of society. As weak and unenforced as current laws are today about enforced labour, in most places forced unpaid labour is not legally sanctioned, and perpetrators can be prosecuted. Having immigrant parents today in the West is nothing like the social class structure of the Roman empire. Non-chattel slavery has the prospect of ending, for one thing; when children get too old to be considered serviceable for the nefarious purposes for which they are trafficked.

But again, if you have ever had to deal with actual chattel slavery in a Hellenistic chart interpretation for a client or poster on an Internet forum, I would enjoy learning about it.

One concern is with delineations (like in Dorotheus) that indicate how to tell if someone's mother was a slave. The statistical odds of that being correct today for someone with this horoscope signature are remote. So would you just ignore it, in light of modern times?

See you on a new thread?
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epurdue



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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

But Mithra6, if you're still here, could you comment further on the word "house" for our word "sign" in antiquity? I was intrigued in reading Francesca Rochberg's work on Babylonian astrology to learn that their word for our "sign" was "bit" (sorry, minus the accent mark) which sounds like a cognate of the Hebrew word "bet" (beth) for house. "Bet" brings up all sorts of associations and our modern word "domicile" doesn't quite touch it. (cf. "house of the Lord" or "house of David.")


It depends. Sometimes it's called a "house", sometimes a "sign". There aren't many Latin "Hellenistic" astrologers, but the few that are there, seem to use "house" and "sign" interchangeably. When you get to the medieval period, it becomes confusing. Ben Dykes talked about this in his Bonatti introduction.

Agrippa often calls signs "houses", but from the context you can see he's talking about a sign (i.e. Leo is the house of the Sun), but then he'll talk about the "9th house", which I assume means what we would call a house. According to Thorndyke, Agrippa used Regiomontanus, but so far I haven't actually seen Agrippa say that. Agrippa surely would have used a quadrant system, but then again he's 16th century.
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GR



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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:

One concern is with delineations (like in Dorotheus) that indicate how to tell if someone's mother was a slave. The statistical odds of that being correct today for someone with this horoscope signature are remote. So would you just ignore it, in light of modern times?


What are these "statistical odds"? I've already shown that slavery & servitude clearly still exist in the modern world, even if our insular First World lifestyles have made it seem invisible and I don't see the need to belabor the point here or in another thread.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
As it is, your latest posts confirm my concern, in my own mind, at least. You've both come up with some modern comparables dealing with corporations, credit scores, technology, computer-hacking, organized crime, immigration, and drug addiction. But these are not chattel slavery.

Slavery in antiquity had some serious differences with slavery today; not the least of which is the sheer high percentage of the populace who were enslaved; and how integrated these slaves were into daily life.

Indeed... not only that but they called them "jobs" such that we worship the "job creator" so that we are now in favor of being enslaved for "our benefit". (I think it's being called the 99% by those who have woken up to see their masters snickering and laughing all the way to the bank while their homes are being foreclosed and their credit is falling...)

waybread wrote:
A real difference with ancient chattel slavery was that it was legally approved: indeed woven into the very fabric of society. As weak and unenforced as current laws are today about enforced labour, in most places forced unpaid labour is not legally sanctioned, and perpetrators can be prosecuted.

While those now just coming out with student loans cannot discharge them through hardship and will even have their pensions garnished in old age. It has progressed to eliminate the apparent stigma and slap a "smiley face" on the fascism. So whether its called slavery (6th house) or employment (6th house) or being owned as a slave (2nd house) or being owned by your credit score (2nd house) what of the eidos of this issue has changed? Do we now need to invent new houses for "chattel slavery"? How about Ophiuchus, anyone?

Otherwise this is just a derailment to the real issue at question...
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather than just accept the views being put out here I prefer to read some solid scholarship on the topic of slavery in classical times.

I found this article:

http://www.moyak.com/papers/roman-slavery-war.html

Also this suggested bibliography:

Slavery in the Roman Empre by RH Barrow (Barnes & Noble, 1998)

Suetonius' Life of Nero: An Historical Commentary edited by KR Bradley (Collection Latomus, Brussels, 1978)

Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control by KR Bradley (Oxford University Press, 1987)

Slavery and Rebellion in the Roman World, 140 BC - 70 BC by KR Bradley (Batsford, 1989; reprint 1998)

Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology by MI Finley (Chatto and Windus, 1980)

Slavery and Society at Rome by KR Bradley (Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Suetonius edited and translated by JC Rolfe; revised edition with a new introduction by KR Bradley (Harvard University Press, 1998)

Conquerors and Slaves by K Hopkins (Cambridge, 1978)

Spartacus and the Slave Wars by BD Shaw (Boston, 2001)


Failing that there is always the topic of this thread........

Mark
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"The Moon brings the experience of pronoia, which could be described as the sensation of using one's intuition and harkening to the messages of foreknowledge that occur around us. The Sun's beams bring the quality of brightness to life, making things and people seem to shine and gleam. Saturn rules (...Greek terms here...), meaning experiences of fate and destiny which we could not have foreseen coming, as they are intended to bring wisdom through austerity. "


I don't read Greek, but this is too much for me given how Schmidt and Riley translated the same passage. Changing foresight into "intuition" is modern astrology at its worst. The words don't mean the same thing in English, so someone is off base.

Then there is the pagination. 64 pages becomes 241? Unless that is due to heavy annotation, I'd say there is as much imagination as translation going on here.
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As someone who has read the Greek text, I'd prefer the Gehrz translation to be called a paraphrase, especially a paraphrase of personal favours. It obviously inserts innumerable textual and astrological interpretations into the transmitted text, which undeniably makes it much more reader-friendly but, at the same time, it reflect the translator's views which can be debated and which can easily regarded as biased interpretations. I'll give three examples; the conclusion is up to you.

At the end of the very first chapter of Valens, the author (or the editor, given the fact that Anthologies seems to have been reworked at least twice) summarizes the rulerships of planets, connecting pronoia to the Moon. The first meaning of this term is 'foresight' (or rather, 'foreknowledge') indeed, but transferring the first entry from a dictionary is not the way how a quite special term should be translated, neither Gehrz's solution is helpful which barely circumscribes the word with a composition of personal choice. To fully interpret in order to find the exact meaning, I think we'd better examine the occurrences in the astrological literature in general and in Valens in particular. Anyway, I've checked the occurrences of pronoia in Valens' Books IV, VII and IX where the most suitable translation is 'providence' that may apply for this passage too, at least this is how Schmidt also interprets it. If all that's right, Gehrz's additions are not really well addressed.

Further in this book, the first paragraph in chapter 19 is given in translation and compared by David Roell (see Astraea's link above) where there are two major bits of disagreement. First, homose huparchontes is interpreted by Gehrz as 'being of the same sect' while both Riley and Schmidt gives 'being together' (it's not clear whether bodily or in aspect, though). The Greek original, roughly, translates 'being under the same condition' which is in fact open to any astrological interpretation. The topic of this chapter is the sumparousia ('being together', either in one company or helping each other as friends) and sugkrasis ('commixture'), however, and the former term is regularly used besides marturia ('testimony', which refers to an aspect-like relationship) in Valens, thus it must refer to bodily conjunction.

Second, in the same place there is the meaning of this Saturn-Jupiter conjunction which affects the native. The operating verb here is apotelein which roughly translates as 'give an outcome as' (yes, this is where apotelesmatics come from), and while Riley and Schmidt chose a verb faithful to the original meaning ('bring about/cause' and 'produce'), Gehrz gives 'can bring/can make the native inclined' which is clearly a stance of a modern astrologer, not Valens'. On the top of all these, Gehrz translates phorologos as if they are someone involved in paying monthly (LOL!) bills, despite the fact that it means only 'tax-gatherer' (or if you like, 'tax-ologist' Smile).
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waybread



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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suffice it to say that your contemporary "examples" precisely support the point of modernizing Hellenistic astrology to meet today's concerns!!! These examples aren't anything like the kind of chattel slavery that existed in ancient times.

Sorry that my point about "odds" seemed so opaque. Consider that if you have a society where one out of every four or five individuals is a slave (as pertained in some places and times in antiquity;) that has to read very differently than in a western society today where a much smaller percentage of the populace is trafficked or paying off student loans (!! Confused ), as we have today. So if an astrologer like Dorotheus gives a horoscopic placement that indicates one's mother is a slave, and we determine that millions of people should have this placement even though the incident of maternal slavery is very small, we might want to think through the implications of that.

Mark, thank you for posting those references!

I also have to say that many of the issues raised by today's Hellenistic astrology are beyond the simple acquisition of ancient Greek or Latin at a B.A. level. Some of the interpretive work has to be done at the level of philology.

Levente Laszlo, thank you for sharing your insights! Perhaps Gehrz would have done better putting her glosses into footnotes.
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Levente, Thumbs up

Your impressive knowledge and insights always help to raise the bar here on Skyscript.

Glad to hear from you again.

Mark
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GR



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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Thank you Levente, Thumbs up

Your impressive knowledge and insights always help to raise the bar here on Skyscript.

Glad to hear from you again.

Mark


Agreed on all 3 counts! Also, when are you getting around to putting out a book? Wink
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

In any case Robert Schmidt's translation was only itself presented as provisional. What happened to the TARES new version we were promised as Project Hindsight subscribers?

Mark


This discussion generated from the Gehrz translation has been very interesting. But, Mark, in reply to your question about TARES, all has been silent from the Schmidt arena for some time. I know Ellen and Robert were having serious financial problems, and Robert had been ill a while back. Perhaps someone who was closer to Robert and Ellen might be able to enlighten us.

Out of the 30 volumes promised to TARES subscribers, we've seen only one, Volume 2 in 2009. I see no possibility that we're going to be presented with 30 TARES volumes. In the meantime, other translators are stepping forward interpreting texts that Robert Schmidt planned for TARES.

Therese
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Nixx



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Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a somewhat 'religious' YouTube video about this project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns41c4m9cvw&feature=related

(Towards the end there is some background as to ‘academic’ qualifications, if of interest).

The conversation here reminds me of a comment Ed made recently suggesting it may be a good idea for someone to put ME Jones writing into ''Modern English''.

If this happened would Jones ideas become more utilised today? Hard to say. A ‘translation’, or paraphrase, would have a detrimental effect in relation to the reader’s capacity to think about the constructs co-creative cultural and cognitive basis.

If it was me I would keep the Valens text as authentic as possible and put footnotes in to enable the averagely interested reader to more easily enter, if not empathise, with his culture and cognition. For example, a slave can be imagined as someone who works for the minimum wage at Mc Donald’s.


It would be interesting to find out more about the authors motivations with this project.
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese wrote:
Quote:
Out of the 30 volumes promised to TARES subscribers, we've seen only one, Volume 2 in 2009. I see no possibility that we're going to be presented with 30 TARES volumes. In the meantime, other translators are stepping forward interpreting texts that Robert Schmidt planned for TARES


The PH site now seems to be promoting a 12 part CD course on natal astrology. This was originally supposed to be a book. I am very disappointed Robert Schmidt seems to favouring this medium. I am sure it will be very interesting but it is quite different from something that can be properly analysed and reviewed like a book. I think information in written form is much easier to assimilate and absorb.

As for TARES I am as sceptical as you about this project ever being finished. At the current rate of progress ie one book in 2 1/2 years it would take 75 years for the project to be completed! Moreover, as you point out other people are bringing out their own translations. Rather than promise the earth ie the entire corpus of hellenistic astrology I think it would be more practical to just focus on one text at a time.

In particular, it would be good to have a properly published editions of the Anthology and/or Tetrabiblos by Schmidt.

In the case of Valens in particular it seems rather odd that we are still relying on provisional translations produced nearly 15 years ago. The PH booklets that comprise the Anthology are now too expensive for the vast majority of people to purchase together. We are talking $400 even before p&p. So a new edition of the Anthology in book form seems crucial and somewhat urgent. The Riley edition while very welcome is clearly never going to be definitive. And some problems with the Gehrz translation have already been highlighted here. Similarly, Schmidt should also offer a complete translation of Tetrabiblos in book form. The other big gap in the corpus currently available is Hephaistio of Thebes and especially book III on Katarchic astrology.

Well that is my wish list. Smile Whether it coincides with PH translation plans is another issue. I will contact PH to see what is happening.

Mark
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Levente Laszlo



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Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark and Gabe,

I have been quite impolite as I haven't said thanks for your warm words. Sad Anyway, I don't think it would be a good idea to write a book about astrological bits that interest rather few people. I'm thinking about launching a blog where I could serve the common good but I must postpone it until some project has been finished.

Levente
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