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Traditional Astrology For discussions on Traditional Astrology only. (Note: Typically, traditional astrology is defined as using techniques developed prior to 1700 by astrologers from the Hellenistic, Persian, Hebrew, and Renaissance eras. Specifically it relies on Ptolemaic aspects (sextile, trine, square, opposition and conjunction) and excludes modern planets (Neptune, Uranus and Pluto,) non-Ptolemaic aspects, as well as any asteroids. The focus is less on what would be considered modern psychological chart interpretation and more on prediction. Members who wish to explore a combination of traditional and modern ideas should feel free to start a new thread in an appropriate forum for further discussion.)


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  #26  
Unread 12-19-2011, 01:22 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Actually, Mark T. Riley is a retired professor of Latin in the foreign languages department at Sacramento State University. www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt

Does anyone know what is Robert Schmidt's actual educational background? University degrees? He doesn't write like someone with an academic background in history.

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Unread 12-19-2011, 02:05 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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Actually, Mark T. Riley is a retired professor of Latin in the foreign languages department at Sacramento State University. www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt
Those are not mutually exclusive! Mark T Riley is a mathematician and linguist

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Does anyone know what is Robert Schmidt's actual educational background? University degrees? He doesn't write like someone with an academic background in history.
someone at skyscript would have the answer - there is a thread discussing Hellenistic astrology there at the moment http://www.skyscript.co.uk/forums/vi...=6433&start=90
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Unread 12-19-2011, 02:41 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

As you know, I have been participating on that thread regularly.

Maybe it depends how you define "mathematician." I've never met Riley but I see that he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Tertullian in the Department of Classics at Stanford, and taught Latin, at least prior to his retirement. Scholars in one field will oftentimes cross boundaries into another, but usually their doctoral work and university appointments define their disciplinary identities.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 02:45 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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As you know, I have been participating on that thread regularly.

Maybe it depends how you define "mathematician." I've never met Riley but I see that he wrote his doctoral dissertation on Tertullian in the Department of Classics at Stanford, and taught Latin, at least prior to his retirement. Scholars in one field will oftentimes cross boundaries into another, but usually their doctoral work and university appointments define their disciplinary identities.
Nevertheless, as you are participating on that thread then its a good opportunity to ask the experts also participating on that thread. You'll find that Mark T. Riley is a linguist and mathematician
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Unread 12-19-2011, 02:59 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

..and I am just a homeopath! No degree in linguistics or methematics or history. So what? Until astrology is accepted by academia in its own right (which AINT ever gonna happen!), exploration in this field is open to anyone who takes the time and makes the effort to explore: what they say should be subject to informed scrutiny, and it should be WHAT they say that is looked at and examined, NOT the conventional, mainstream "level" of education the person saying so might have (obviously this does NOT apply to those doing translations, here their credentials relative to languages must be an important factor; but until we have academic degrees in astrology from mainstream universities, there are no academic credentials to "certify" one's capacities and knowledge and insights in astrology, or alchemy, or hermeticism, or divination, or in any other of these metaphysical fields of endeavor)

(Note: apparaently Schmidt has degrees from St. John's College)

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Unread 12-19-2011, 03:29 AM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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Originally Posted by dr. farr View Post
..and I am just a homeopath! No degree in linguistics or methematics or history. So what? Until astrology is accepted by academia in its own right (which AINT ever gonna happen!), exploration in this field is open to anyone who takes the time and makes the effort to explore: what they say should be subject to informed scrutiny, and it should be WHAT they say that is looked at and examined, NOT the conventional, mainstream "level" of education the person saying so might have (obviously this does NOT apply to those doing translations, here their credentials relative to languages must be an important factor; but until we have academic degrees in astrology from mainstream universities, there are no academic credentials to "certify" one's capacities and knowledge and insights in astrology, or alchemy, or hermeticism, or divination, or in any other of these metaphysical fields of endeavor)

(Note: apparaently Schmidt has degrees from St. John's College)
for waybread, academia is more important. The experts at skyscript shall have chapter and verse regarding Schmidt's qualifications.
Reading the link http://www.csus.edu/fl/latin/Mark_%20Riley.htm we find the reasons Mark T Riley made these papers freely available in .pdf format

QUOTE: The following papers were written for publication in Temporini and Haase, eds., Aufstieg und Niedergang der Romischen Welt II 36.7 (DeGruyer, Berlin). This series seems defunct. Therefore I am making these papers available in .pdf format:

"A Survey of Vettius Valens" - Vettius Valens' Anthologiae is the longest extant astrological work from antiquity.It is unique in several respects: the author was a practicing astrologer; the work includes more than 100 authentic horoscopes of Valens' clients or associates, including his own, which is used as an example many times throughout the work;the work also includes tables and the description of algorithms used by astrologers and mathematicians. My paper was finished in 1996 and does not take account of scholarship since that time ENDQUOTE

Clearly, Mark T Riley is of the opinion that Valens is unique in being a practicing astrologer whose work is the longest extant astrological work from antiquity




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  #32  
Unread 12-19-2011, 04:56 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Look, JupiterAsc, just because I cook dinner for my husband and me doesn't make me a professional chef.

As I indicated above, academics oftentimes apply their field of extertise to other topics, in a cross-fertilization and even cross-disciplinary kind of way. Then most fields are internally varied. Classical studies is a huge field, so we find its scholars writing about Greek and Roman philosophy, poetry, governance, religion, trade, and what have you. This doesn't mean classicists are ticketed philosophers, poets, theologians, economists, and so on. Then linguistics is its own field, oftentimes taught in anthropology departments. So for a classics professor to write about mathematics in antiquity doesn't make him a mathematician, unless s/he also practices mathematics or has an advanced degree in mathematics.

I wouldn't think any of this matters, except that if a given author has a graduate degree or two in a particular field, let alone if s/he has taught it as a tenured professor at a research university, it does indicate a certain level of expertise in research methods that the average astrologer cannot match.

I don't think the average person is aware of how high the bar is for the permanent university faculty in research institutions. In the US and Canadian systems, a Ph. D. is the minimum admission pass to employment, which occurs at the untenured assistant professor level. Ever hear of "publish or perish"? Faculty at research universities are indeed expected to publish their research. In order to get published in academic journals and most academic book publishers, there is a double-blind peer review process and the most prestigious journals and book publishers have high rejection rates. The academics' work may be further criticized in the literature and professional society conferences by other experts in their field.

In most fields today, faculty are also expected to write grant proposals and have a decent success rate in attracting external funding in order to fund their research and their grad student advisees. (And in some fields, post-docs.) Some of these grants are also highly competitive.

Then faculty undergo annual merit reviews, and the newer faculty face a brutal tenure process around year 6 of their appointments, with additional external experts scrutinizing the quality and quantity of their research and with three in-house panels of peers reviewing their files. Some of the assistant professors don't make the cut, and then they have to look for another job, whether within or outside of academia.

If these faculty members do get tenure, they get job security and a promotion to associate professor rank, but the research and writing process continues, with their colleagues heaping scorn upon any Professor Deadwood who fails to keep up this regimen. In mid-career many faculty undergo yet another round of serious internal and external evaluation of their body of research if they seek promotion to full professor status.

All of this research work occurs on top of teaching classes, individual student advising, committee work, and oftentimes administrative appointments.

So while the average professor normally wouldn't know as much about astrology as a professional astrologer would, the scholar would normally know a heck of a lot more about research methodologies and his/her own field of relevant expertise, be it Latin or mathematics. S/he would probably have rigorous standards for presenting facts, simply because s/he is so used to constant critical feedback from experts in the specialized research sub-field. [The one exception here is the scientists' uninformed lampoons of astrology, but I don't think you will find this in the humanities. We also have to distinguish between scientsts writing popular pieces vs. advanced physics or chemistry for their peers.]

Moreover, the astrology basics are not that difficult to learn. Translators of ancient texts will often seek feedback from other experts prior to publication, in any event, to develop the best possible translation.

This is why I get annoyed sometimes if I read an astrologer's post or article and find him assuming things about the past that are simply incorrect, or making blanket assumptions based upon the slenderest kind of evidence. Normally I don't hold astrologers to academic standards, but occasionally they develop a whole belief set about the past that really needs some kind of scrutiny.

I also find it fascinating that some older, well-established astrologers decided to return to accredited universities to earn their doctorates: astrologers like Robert Hand, Liz Greene, and Nicholas Campion. I think they figured out that there is a bigger league out there than the closed-in xenophobic, "they won't understand us anyway" world inhabited by some astrologers.

Do I make mistakes in interpreting astrology's history? For sure. Hopefully we are all here to learn and correct any misconceptions. This is exactly how the give-and-take of dialogue furthers the advance of knowledge.
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  #33  
Unread 12-19-2011, 05:13 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. farr View Post
..and I am just a homeopath! No degree in linguistics or methematics or history. So what? Until astrology is accepted by academia in its own right (which AINT ever gonna happen!), exploration in this field is open to anyone who takes the time and makes the effort to explore: what they say should be subject to informed scrutiny, and it should be WHAT they say that is looked at and examined, NOT the conventional, mainstream "level" of education the person saying so might have (obviously this does NOT apply to those doing translations, here their credentials relative to languages must be an important factor; but until we have academic degrees in astrology from mainstream universities, there are no academic credentials to "certify" one's capacities and knowledge and insights in astrology, or alchemy, or hermeticism, or divination, or in any other of these metaphysical fields of endeavor)

(Note: apparaently Schmidt has degrees from St. John's College)
Thanks, Dr. Farr.

With regard to my previous post, hopefully you can see the problem. Astrology isn't going to be accepted by the academy until astrology raises its bar. Nor should it be accepted. You are well aware of all of the pop-schlock astrology out there. University English departments teach great literature, not Harlequin romances or the syntax of the average text message.

The humanities departments do seem to be opening the door to astrological topics. Generally the focus is not on astrology applied, but on astrology in literature or in history. Ditto for alchemy and hermeticism. The academic research doesn't seem to be on how one practices them, but on what they meant to particular authors or societies.

There is some social science research on people who believe in astrology, as well.

I wish some of the astrologers doing translations had more background in history. I think the contextual background for their work would be very helpful.

I suspect that some accredited universities would permit an undergraduate interdisciplinary Independent Studies major in astrology if the student took a good sampling of history, astronomy, and psychology classes; plus tutorials with an astrologer who could meet the university's standards for adjunct faculty (normally at least a Master's degree.)

University education is not a perfect system. There are no perfect systems. However, it does offer some level of rigour that would benefit serious astrologers.
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  #34  
Unread 12-19-2011, 05:22 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

jup asc - thanks for the link to rileys site.. the pdf file "A Survey of Vettius Valens" is a good read..

i agree with waybread over the concerns they express and do think these are worth considering.. it doesn't mean i agree that anyone who does astrology needs to have a phd for me to want to read or learn from them, but i think it is helpful background info that will give me a better perspective on where they are coming from.. one could say it is an elitist attitude to think only those works that have been written or interpreted by scholars are worthy of attention and yet there is some merit in this position. maybe robert schmidt got in a time machine and travelled back in time for all i know, but it is interesting there is no available information on his background.. i also find it interesting how he was one of a few people that started a book publishing company and latched onto focusing on ancient astrology exclusively.. why was this? i also find it interesting that schmidt, hand and zoeller who had started the project hindsight didn't stay together for very long.. why was that? i think there are enough questions that raise more and i think it is fair to want more info on schmidt..

waybread, i just wanted to mention regarding the books you are reading and working thru that the joseph crane book is more of a compilation of ideas that might be useful for someone wanting to apply the methods.. i don't know if it will help enlighten your search for the historical roots of house systems for example.. i note on the link to the page up above on rileys 'a survey of valens' on the bottom of page 10 a comment that you have probably read, but you might want to go over it for another take on the ongoing question of how the houses came about...

i also note on the skyscript thread which i continue to follow how there is an angst towards the question of which direction the houses are going - clockwise or counter-clockwise.. it would seem some folks would prefer not to consider these 2 different directions as a background reason for some of the nature of the houses and yet, these same folks will use the 2 directions as rationale for how they arrive at their conclusions.. the example of 2nd house the gate of hades, verses 8th house of death and the sun setting was a good example of this and i liked the fact you questioned this and asked why it would apply to the 8th and not the 7th.. the quick rationale for it not applying to the 7th is that the 7th is an angular house, but this type of logic seems very circular to me.. this means this, but this other house 'can't mean that because of this' rule or what have you..

my impression is that most astrologers don't give these issues that much consideration, but generally accept the doctrines handed down to them and try applying them in there work.. hopefully i am wrong on this, but i am not sure that i am! it is only when someone comes along with a radically different idea such as for example - only 8 houses, not 12 and going clockwise not counter clockwise that astrologers are pushed into taking a closer look at the basis of house systems.. i can't remember who it was - fagen or? who suggested house systems from antiquity went clockwise, but this was before all the literature was made available thru project hindsight and etc..

i have not read valens, but joseph crane has and goes into explaining some of his techniques, some of them very obscure and some more quickly usable... the link above seems to articulate that valens was a compiler of many other astrologers and astrology authors.. i don't know if i had read that before, but i can't recall reading it anywhere either unless you had mentioned it.. it is almost like valens is this larger then life astrologer when in fact it seems according to riley he was also a compiler like ptolemy, but of a different sort!
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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:28 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

James, thanks for your thoughtful post!

For sure, just because someone with a Ph. D. says "x=y" doesn't make it so. We might even call it a fallacy ad hominem or the fallacy of an appeal to authority. But learning about someone's background in most circumstances is helpful in understanding where they are coming from, because it so often influences how and what they write. There is text and then there is sub-text. Both are informative.

Thanks for the info. on the Crane book. Actually I read something by him on the Internet where he took a well-known Hellenistic astrologer to task for not footnoting his work. Sounds like my kind of guy!

Ironically, this same Hellenistic astrologer elsewhere (in an astrology magazine) criticized another traditional astrolger for essentially plagiarizing his work! This is where minimal academic standards could really further the project of any kind of astrology. I like footnotes because if I want to pursue a topic further, or understand more about how an author reached a conclusion, I can see where to look. At a base level, footnotes acknowledge another author's contribution by way of preventing plagiarism.

Casual posts on an Internet forum don't need a high level of polish because they are more like letter-writing or a conversation. But even this forum has plagiarism rules. Hopefully an article posted on a blog or something in print can be held to a higher standard.
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Unread 12-19-2011, 06:47 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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jup asc - thanks for the link to rileys site.. the pdf file "A Survey of Vettius Valens" is a good read..............

...............i have not read valens, but joseph crane has and goes into explaining some of his techniques, some of them very obscure and some more quickly usable... the link above seems to articulate that valens was a compiler of many other astrologers and astrology authors.. i don't know if i had read that before, but i can't recall reading it anywhere either unless you had mentioned it.. it is almost like valens is this larger then life astrologer when in fact it seems according to riley he was also a compiler like ptolemy, but of a different sort!
sandstone IMO there is a crucial difference between Ptolemy and Valens: i.e. (in the words of well known prestigious academic Professor Mark T Riley), "Vettius Valens' Anthologiae is the longest extant astrological work from antiquity.It is unique in several respects: the author was a practicing astrologer; the work includes more than 100 authentic horoscopes of Valens' clients or associates, including his own, which is used as an example many times throughout the work.

Ptolemy did not only compile, in fact, while Ptolemy 'compiled', Ptolemy altered techniques according to personal prejudice/whim: and Ptolemy, mathematician/astronomer and not a practicing astrologer had a different rationale/perspective to that of Valens.

Ptolemy built on the work of Apollonius of Perga who (approximately four centuries earlier than Ptolemy) developed a form of geometric particular methods within the geometrical practice, that are to do with circular motion - as well as motions of circles moving on circles and so on - that Ptolemy then applied to discovering the much sought-after geometrical rationale thought to be underlying appearances Thus Ptolemy described a rationale that 'explained' retrograde motion - but incorrectly - (because the planets do not move with uniform circular motion in circles link to webpage illustrating Ptolemy's incorrect, yet mathematically appealing, idea of the universe http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/l...aristotle.html )

Valens perspective being that of a practicing astrologer meant that Valens was eager to preserve everything he possibly could intact for the benefit of future astrologers. Valens simply compiled without altering what he compiled.

Certainly Valens commented on the various astrological techniques but crucially, did not alter any. That fact taken in tandem with Valen's work being 'the longest extant astrological work from antiquity' understandably obviously makes Valens an important figure. Crucially, Valens utilised not only his own horoscope but also those of more than a 100 authentic horoscopes of his own clients.

Ptolemy doesn't talk very much about people of his own time, instead he talks about observations made centuries earlier by Hipparchus, another great astronomer - Observations used by Ptolemy are largely Babylonian via Hipparchus

And it was Hipparchus who, a century after Apollonius, began applying the Apollonian geometry in the first attempt to describe the movements of the heavenly spheres geometrically.

Hipparchus took the first steps in attempting to make the Apollonian geometry fit the appearances of the heavens - particularly in relation to the moon and the sun - by developing those moving circles as a technique for dealing with the confusing appearances of the heavens

Ptolemy then expanded on the original ideas of both his predecessors, Apollonius and Hipparchus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Perga

http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum...reply&p=337188

Albert Timashev while writing an article entitled "Reconstruction of The Major Egyptian Years" has this to say of Ptolemy:

"Today it is well known that Greek scientist Claudius Ptolemy was not a representative of a traditional Greek astrological school and, most likely, he was never a practicing astrologer at all. Ptolemy's work Tetrabiblos reflects his personal and sometimes disputable opinions on many questions." http://www.astrologer.ru/article/mey.html.en

Unlike Ptolemy, Valens was a practicing astrologer who provided evidence of well over a hundred of his own clients horoscopes.

Ptolemy was a mathematical theorist.
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  #37  
Unread 12-19-2011, 07:59 PM
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Just to correct (yet again) some of JA's thoughts on Ptolemy.

1. It is important to consider Ptolemy's body of work as a whole. Today we might call him a Renaissance man. In antiquity, our modern divisions of the sciences didn't exist. Ptolemy wrote on optics, harmonics, astronomy, and geography. He was influenced by the "natural philosophy" or "science" of his day. His objective in writing Tetrabiblos was to build a case for astrology that a rational person could believe in, ca. 150 AD. His work included natural cause-and-effect (vs. capricious gods,) the 4 elements of antiquity, and simple geometric relationships.

So it just misses the whole context of ancient science in general and Ptolemy's work in particular to say, "Ptolemy did not only compile, in fact, while Ptolemy 'compiled', Ptolemy altered techniques according to personal prejudice/whim: and Ptolemy, mathematician/astronomer and not a practicing astrologer had a different rationale/perspective to that of Valens".

Let's unpack this assertion.

1. Are you suggesting that the science of Aristotle was nothing more than "personal prejudice/whim"? What about the stoic philosophy that underlies so much ancient astrology of both Valens and Ptolemy? "Personal prejudice/whim"?

I highly recommend chapters 9-14 in Nicholas Campion's The Dawn of Astrology and M. R. Wright's book Ancient Cosmology in Antiquity. These demonstrate to my satisfaction that Ptolemy was far more plugged into the leading intellectual currents of his day than were astrologers who claimed authority through reference back to what were effectively disappearing religious traditions of ancient Egypt and Babylon.

2. In areas where Ptolemy and Valens and/or other practicing astrologers of antiquity agree, would these other astrologers' work then equally be based upon "personal preduce/whim"? Or would you grant Ptolemy some credit where his work and Valens agree?

3. Do you argue that none of the following branches of astrology, today and in antiquity, are real astrology: mundane, elective, meteorological, and geographical? Is the only real astrology genethliacal? Would you discard modern astrologers as legitimate astrologers if they do not include horoscopes in their books?

Much of Ptolemy's work dealt with non-genethliacal branches of astrology.

Francesca Rochberg, who wrote extensively on Babylonian astrology (for example, The Heavenly Writing), noted that hardly any of the genethliacal materials discovered by archaeologists included any interpretation of the planetary positions given. They were merely written lists of placements, not charts. So would these "horoscopes" be in or out of your personal definition of the real astrology? Do you see the "slippery slope"?

4. What is your evidence that the horoscopes in Valens were even his own clients? Or is this an important point for you? Otto Neugebauer dated all of Valens's horoscopes, and noted that some of them were sufficiently older than Valens (who apparently did not take up the study of astrology till around age 40) that they were suspect as his own clients. One can hardly imagine that all of Valen's illustrious horoscopes of anonymous "governors" were from his own client base, given the territorial divisions of the Roman empire.

5. "Mathematician" or even "physicist" was a common description for astrologers in antiquity. The reason is simple to fathom. One had to know a fair bit of math in order to calculate a horoscope. Look at Valens. His work is replete with arithmetic calculations. There is far more arithmetic in Valens's Anthologies than there is in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos.

In the Bible the word for "astrologer" is "Chaldean." Does this mean that everone from this district of modern-day Iraq was a practicing astrologer? Not hardly. Rather, we have to understand word-usage in the context of period and place.

6. Valens must have been a considerable compiler. This seems evident from the different techniques he gives to determine the same question from the horoscope. I haven't worked them through, but I wonder if they even give the same result.

7. So much of the sensationalistic material in Valens is precisely the reason why I cannot take the ancient astrologers literally as models for astrological practice today. If Valens is someone's astrological hero, I would love to know what she makes of all of Valens's sensationalistic material about what rotten people various astrological placements engender, or all of the unusual ways to die.

8. And once more (with feeling,) scholars do build unpon one another's work. They did so in antiquity. This is what the whole edifice of knowledge is based upon! So giving sources for Ptolemy's work essentially says that he did some homework. One wishes that the authors of antiquity were more forthcoming about their sources, but plagiarism standards in the past were very different than they are today.

If I seem like a proponent of more university education for astrologers, these are some of the reasons why. Nevermind the specifics. Let's look at the bigger contexts of knowledge creation and transmission.

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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Just to correct anyone who thinks academic arguments are unassailable. I have a point of view with which many agree and many disagree. My point of view is:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
IMO there is a crucial difference between Ptolemy and Valens: i.e. (in the words of well known prestigious academic Professor Mark T Riley), "Vettius Valens' Anthologiae is the longest extant astrological work from antiquity.It is unique in several respects: the author was a practicing astrologer; the work includes more than 100 authentic horoscopes of Valens' clients or associates, including his own, which is used as an example many times throughout the work.

Ptolemy did not only compile, in fact, while Ptolemy 'compiled', Ptolemy altered techniques according to personal prejudice/whim: and Ptolemy, mathematician/astronomer and not a practicing astrologer had a different rationale/perspective to that of Valens.

Ptolemy built on the work of Apollonius of Perga who (approximately four centuries earlier than Ptolemy) developed a form of geometric particular methods within the geometrical practice, that are to do with circular motion - as well as motions of circles moving on circles and so on - that Ptolemy then applied to discovering the much sought-after geometrical rationale thought to be underlying appearances Thus Ptolemy described a rationale that 'explained' retrograde motion - but incorrectly - (because the planets do not move with uniform circular motion in circles link to webpage illustrating Ptolemy's incorrect, yet mathematically appealing, idea of the universe http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/l...aristotle.html )

Valens perspective being that of a practicing astrologer meant that Valens was eager to preserve everything he possibly could intact for the benefit of future astrologers. Valens simply compiled without altering what he compiled.

Certainly Valens commented on the various astrological techniques but crucially, did not alter any. That fact taken in tandem with Valen's work being 'the longest extant astrological work from antiquity' understandably obviously makes Valens an important figure. Crucially, Valens utilised not only his own horoscope but also those of more than a 100 authentic horoscopes of his own clients.

Ptolemy doesn't talk very much about people of his own time, instead he talks about observations made centuries earlier by Hipparchus, another great astronomer - Observations used by Ptolemy are largely Babylonian via Hipparchus

And it was Hipparchus who, a century after Apollonius, began applying the Apollonian geometry in the first attempt to describe the movements of the heavenly spheres geometrically.

Hipparchus took the first steps in attempting to make the Apollonian geometry fit the appearances of the heavens - particularly in relation to the moon and the sun - by developing those moving circles as a technique for dealing with the confusing appearances of the heavens

Ptolemy then expanded on the original ideas of both his predecessors, Apollonius and Hipparchus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollonius_of_Perga

http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum...reply&p=337188

Albert Timashev while writing an article entitled "Reconstruction of The Major Egyptian Years" has this to say of Ptolemy:

"Today it is well known that Greek scientist Claudius Ptolemy was not a representative of a traditional Greek astrological school and, most likely, he was never a practicing astrologer at all. Ptolemy's work Tetrabiblos reflects his personal and sometimes disputable opinions on many questions." http://www.astrologer.ru/article/mey.html.en

Unlike Ptolemy, Valens was a practicing astrologer who provided evidence of well over a hundred of his own clients horoscopes.

Ptolemy was a mathematical theorist.
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Additionally, to quote Curtis Manwaring of the Lost Horoscope X-files

"Well over 90% of everything that was ever written on the subject is lost, so debating what Greek astrologers did is probably an exercise in futility.

It is important to realize that Valens is probably 300+ years removed from the founders he is fond of quoting
At this point though I have more faith in someone who knows Greek hashing out the texts than those who don't. That would be James Holden and Robert Schmidt"
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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Someone quoted Holden's book and I am having a look now and then. What do you mean there, JupiterASC?

The book: http://books.google.es/books/about/A...UC&redir_esc=y
Hello Haizea, that was Curtis Manwaring who said Holden is trustworthy along with Schmidt - is that your question? Btw tell me why you like Manilius especially
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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But I still don't know what it is that he says that you can trust (in contrast to what others say?).[Edit: Oh sorry, I got it now: you don't trust him; Manwaring does.]

My hero is Manilius because he is an old example of an astrologer, one who is different, does whatever he wants....and writes a poem about it! It seems he has had to wait thousands of years to be admired. Well, I admire him.
Curtis Manwaring writes the software for Robert Schmidt at Project Hindsight and has been involved with the revival of Hellenistic astrology since approximately fifteen-plus years ago http://www.astrology-x-files.com/

Robert Schmidt, Robert Zoller and Robert Hand are all Classics scholars. Robert Zoller http://www.new-library.com/ is a Latin scholar and graduate, Bachelor of Arts (BA) in medieval studies from the Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at City College New York. He is a leading Astrologer and practitioner of occult philosophy. Many of his translations and other works are now seminal works on Astrology and the related Arts. His Tools and Techniques is a main text used by Predictive Astrologers. He is the principal of the Academy of Medieval and Predictive Astrology and offers some of the most advanced and well-presented courses on these subjects.

Robert Schmidt is a Classics scholar proficient in ancient Greek and Robert Hand is a Latin scholar also.

The three Roberts got together, formed Project Hindsight http://www.projecthindsight.com/geninfo/about.html and began translating ancient texts from the Hellenistic period into English. Two of the Roberts dropped out - Robert Hand is currently a very successful astrologer and Robert Zoller is acknowledged as one of the greatest living masters of Traditional astrological techniques. Robert Schmidt continued working on Project Hindsight

Curtis Manwaring is saying that he trusts Robert Schmidt because Robert Schmidt translates from the original Greek, but others criticisinf Robert Schmidt have not even read the works they are criticising (in any language)
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

JupiterAsc, I recommend that you reflect upon your "point of view" in light of the considerable evidence to the contrary. This really is the issue, not some kind of applause-o-meter.

Who says the academic point of view is unassailable? Not me, as per my previous response to sandstone. But I think views that are demonstrably incorrect or so out-of-context as to confuse matters are assailable.

Speaking of academic views, James Holden worked for most of his life as a telephone engineer. He studied Latin in high school and in college, and got his MA degree in English literature with a thesis on Lilly. He taught himself ancient Greek. (When I have a moment, I can look up my source for this information, upon request.) I put some faith on the older generations of academics (like Neugebauer, who trained as a mathematician) because oftentimes they had to learn Latin and Greek as students in order to get their degrees.

I tend to agree with Manwaring (aka "zoidsoft") about the problems of saying much of anything definitively on Hellenistic astrology. But historians and classical studies scholars today proceed with far more caution than the average astrologer-blogger.

And with all due respect to someone with a BA, this is the first step towards a research career. Not a qualification. But it beats some very self-assured astrologers who settled for a high school diploma, and maybe some additional college/university-level classes.

Robert Hand and the others, to the extent that we could call them "classics scholars" (which I don't accept) appear to be self-taught. From what I gather, Robert Hand got a BA (or BS) many years ago at Brandeis University, and is only now pursuing a Ph. D. in medieval studies. Some people can do very well learning new material independently, but most of them make mistakes in writing history that you wouldn't find most academics making, because the latter group have had too much informed critical feedback during their careers.

Robert Schmidt would be such an example of someone who commits methodological oversights. I don't mind saying why when I have a moment, if this topic interests anybody.

Haizea, Manilius comes from an older Greek and Roman tradition of star-lore and writing about the heavens, where he describes the constellations in the context of Graeco-Roman mythology. As an independent source, he has a lot to offer in terms of understanding the diversity of ancient traditions. You might also enjoy reading Aratus, Phaenomena.
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

it would seem to me one will take from these authors and those who translate there work for us, all that one can in any beneficial manner.. no one has to pick either valens or ptolemy for example.. to waste so much time - it is how i see it - getting caught up in what i consider very peripheral concerns about either authors work seems foolish..

after reading the link "A Survey of Vettius Valens" i come away with the sense that valens primary concern was the length of life (chronocrators) and critical time periods in a persons life.. how many astrologers are looking for the length of life when looking at an astrology chart today?

i would like to quote a passage from the above link page 36 that i found similar to some comments here at this forum expressed by dr. farr and myself.. - valens prided himself on his eclecticism: " every method when combined and critically compared with every other, brings forth the scientific precise system."
that is an interesting overview!!! i wonder how that would go over today with fellow astrologers?

i think it is best to take everything that is written a long time ago, and subject to translation and everything else that can happen over the course of eons of time WITH A GRAIN OF SALT..............

jup asc - do you try these methods valens suggests, or is it another case of "it has to be either valens or ptolemy but it can't be both" type of thinking which seems to be the basis for you attitude about modern verses traditional too? you seem very keen to dismiss ptolemy on a regular basis, so i ask these questions.. the irony to this for me is after having read joseph cranes book who has read all of the works of valens and ptolemy the high regard that crane has for ptolemy!!! this is from someone who is considered a knowledgeable source on hellenistic astrology..
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

perhaps a link from robert schmidt himself pointing out a key difference between valens and ptolemy might be cause for pause jupiter asc..
http://www.projecthindsight.com/articles/astronomy.html
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

I agree, sandstone. No doubt as we read further into past astrologies, we will find authors who appeal to us and some who don't. But this isn't a sound basis for understanding what these men wrote and how it fit into their time and place.

BTW, the biographical info on James H. Holden is from an interview with him at http://gryphonastrology.com/blog/2008/09/ He also mentioned that he isn't a practicing astrologer.

Would that discredit what he writes, JupiterAsc?

Thanks for the tip on Robert Schmidt, Dr. Farr. According to Noel Tyl's website, www.noeltyl.com/techniques/051230.html Robert H. Schmidt "was educated at" St. Johns College in Maryland. Sometimes "was educated at" means the individual completed a degree there, sometimes not; but a site called Lead411 says he obtained "a degree" there. I checked the St. Johns website. It appears to be an alternative, though accredited college, but their website is not organized according to traditional subjects and departments, which didn't make it easy to determine how much Greek one could learn there (today.) It might have been rigorous. According to Wikipedia, St. Johns students today study ancient Greek during their first two years. I don't know how much material that involves.
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

Quote:
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it would seem to me one will take from these authors and those who translate there work for us, all that one can in any beneficial manner.. no one has to pick either valens or ptolemy for example.. to waste so much time - it is how i see it - getting caught up in what i consider very peripheral concerns about either authors work seems foolish..
I would entirely concur sandstone - as would Curtis Manwaring who commented:

"Well over 90% of everything that was ever written on the subject is lost, so debating what Greek astrologers did is probably an exercise in futility.

It is important to realize that Valens is probably 300+ years removed from the founders he is fond of quoting
At this point though I have more faith in someone who knows Greek hashing out the texts than those who don't. That would be James Holden and Robert Schmidt"


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
after reading the link "A Survey of Vettius Valens" i come away with the sense that valens primary concern was the length of life (chronocrators) and critical time periods in a persons life.. how many astrologers are looking for the length of life when looking at an astrology chart today?
Precisely! Well spotted dr. farr has repeatedly pointed this out frequently already

Today those concerns are not such a priority - however, for academics a good argument can always be discovered lurking somewhere in the midst of an ancient tome


Valens as well as the length of life concerns, also faithfully recorded, without alteration the techniques of astrological predecessors from 300+ years before his own birth. Read the whole of Valens and you'll find a treasure trove of astrological techniques. The translation by Mark T Riley has some merit - even though he himself remarks "you are on your own" refusing to take responsibility for any errors contained within it. Unsurprisingly, Schmidt's scholarly material would be more expensive to access
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
i would like to quote a passage from the above link page 36 that i found similar to some comments here at this forum expressed by dr. farr and myself.. - valens prided himself on his eclecticism: " every method when combined and critically compared with every other, brings forth the scientific precise system."
that is an interesting overview!!! i wonder how that would go over today with fellow astrologers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
i think it is best to take everything that is written a long time ago, and subject to translation and everything else that can happen over the course of eons of time WITH A GRAIN OF SALT..............
Say that to an academic

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
jup asc - do you try these methods valens suggests, or is it another case of "it has to be either valens or ptolemy but it can't be both" type of thinking which seems to be the basis for you attitude about modern verses traditional too? you seem very keen to dismiss ptolemy on a regular basis, so i ask these questions
Of course.

Are you or waybread using these methods Valens suggests or is this simply, an academic argument for you plural?


...has waybread read the entirety of Vettius Valens pdf and thoroughly understood it? or even worked with any of the techniques?

Over on skyscript for example Chris Brennan remarked "
The only thing I've seen from waybread in recent posts were lame attempts to deflect criticism by changing the subject when I pointed out that she was making sweeping assertions and generalizations about a field in which she has hardly read any of the primary source material. I'm not interested in continuing to engage someone who is approaching discussions with that type of modus operandi, nor am I obliged to" [COLOR=Black]

Academics argue, someone writes another book and so the merry-go-round continues...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandstone View Post
the irony to this for me is after having read joseph cranes book who has read all of the works of valens and ptolemy the high regard that crane has for ptolemy!!! this is from someone who is considered a knowledgeable source on hellenistic astrology..
That seems rather amusing sandstone - but considered knowledgeable by whom? In any event, it is best to practice the techniques.

Chris Brennan who has apparently committed the cardinal error of not having been awarded a degree, remarked to waybread on skyscript:
"I have no interest in trying to hold a discussion with you at this point. You make these sweeping assertions about the "hard evidence from primary sources" not supporting some argument when it comes to Hellenistic astrology, but all that you have read is one or two primary sources on the subject - Ptolemy and Manilius. How do you know what the primary sources say if you haven't read them?

Although you are aware that you haven't read several texts yet, you don't have a clue how many other major primary sources you are missing at this point (over a dozen), yet you still feel comfortable making these sweeping claims about the entire history of Hellenistic astrology for some reason. I don't really understand why you are doing this exactly, but it comes off as really absurd and intellectually dishonest."

I would really appreciate it if you took more time to develop a greater familiarity with the primary source material under discussion before making arguments about the history of ancient astrology"

Would you like to clarify for us then sandstone, what is the key difference between Ptolemy and Valens as perceived by Robert Schmidt?

[deleted attacking and off-topic remarks - Moderator]
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

JupiterAsc, I've reported your above post to the moderators as an attacking post.

But assuming it stands in whole or part, I hope you will understand that my continued effort in responding to your posts has been to get you to think critically about what you write. If you wish to write something "factual" then let's discuss the facts.

Apparently you have an anti-academic view of knowledge. While that might be regretable, it really isn't the issue.

As I've said repeatedly, if people want to do sidereal, whole signs, or Donald Duck astrology, that's fine with me. My concern is with accuracy. As it is yours, on occasion.

BTW, the thought that my posts got trimmed at Skyscript ignores that several other people's posts got deleted. Chris Brennan attended Kepler College (which lost its accreditation) but apparently did not complete a degree there. This apparently is the sum total of his formal higher education.

Chris Brennan's charges about my reading were simply incorrect. His reactivation was out of line. I said so, by way of pointing out his strategy to discredit what I posted. Moreover I continue to read both primary and secondary sources.

JupiterAsc, have you read Valens and Ptolemy cover-to-cover?

Surely in university you learned the strategies for speed-reading large quantities of material that most students follow.
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

waybread who is attacking whom - sandstone asked questions, I answered those questions honestly

On the contrary astrologers delineate using techniques - are you familiar with the practical use of the techniques of Valens?

Chris Brennan reads, writes and translates Ancient Greek

Also may I respectfully remind you that this is not a university but an online astrological forum. Having said that, I
find it more than understandable that, as a retired academic you are accustomed to 'correcting' what you perceive as 'errors' and the intentions of my posts in response to your comments have always been to draw to your attention that the world of a university is a closed world. Articles are peer reviewed. Few are read by the general public. At a university, only academic qualifications and status are the determinants.

What I have been telling you all along, in my own way, is that this is an astrological forum where academia has an opportunity to prove itself by tackling astrological delineation with varied techniques. Academic arguments about how many life-size planets can orbit the end of a pin without colliding have little if any relevance. The idea is to get some life-size planets, find a 'pin' and check out the theory


[deleted attacking remarks - Moderator]
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

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i think it is best to take everything that is written a long time ago, and subject to translation and everything else that can happen over the course of eons of time WITH A GRAIN OF SALT..............
By "with a grain of salt" do you mean it as the Romans meant it or as someone somewhere later along meant it?
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Re: Problems with Vettius Valens... et al.

jupiter asc, i appreciate the response.. you're right, i am unaware of the history having been here only since mid november.. i don't want to pick sides here either.. in this short amount of time i have observed what i would describe is a hounding of waybread on your part and your response to my questions remained true to this, which was an unfortunate byproduct of my request.. i was aware of the skyscript thread with the quotes from chris b and you might remember i was the one who challenged chris on his derogatory attitude and unnecessary dismissal of waybread.. i could tell you more, but i will leave it at that.. i do think you are being unfair in always bringing up waybread, or what others said of waybread and i find your approach here often counter productive to the conversation, in spite of what seems like an honest intent on your part to be helpful. i wish we could just talk astrology, and i notice that the personal attacks really destabilize our ability to do this.. perhaps you feel that waybread is attacking you, or your attachment to an approach to astrology, but i have read nothing from waybread that seems anywhere near as hostile as the type of data in your last post which really didn't have to involve them..

perhaps you see it differently. i would really like to talk astrology with you, as opposed to this, but again i find myself in agreement with waybreads comments right after yours where he is openly saying he has reported your post for the what is in the content..

now to the comments in your post i would like to comment on.. you state "Valens as well as the length of life concerns, also faithfully recorded, without alteration the techniques of astrological predecessors from 300+ years before his own birth." but i note that he seems to have altered techniques if you re-read what i posted from the link you provided from riley - specifically - " every method when combined and critically compared with every other, brings forth the scientific precise system." to me combining methods is an alteration of a method.. perhaps you interpret this differently..

i am sorry that the history you have had here at this forum has been challenging, and that if you mentioned trad astrology, or removing the outer 3, or using sidereal was met with hostility.. i don't believe i've expressed a negative attitude towards these alternative approaches to astrology at any time either, but i haven't been here as long as dr. farr for example.. i would really like to read more trad astro, or sidereal astro without the outer 3 interpretations on charts from yourself.. that would be quite interesting if you felt inclined to share some of your observations.. i encourage you to do this as spending time doing these back and forths with waybread are probably a good reason dr. farr and others including myself lose interest in following them.. far better would it be to my mind to share in your enthusiasm for an approach you like, then in your hostility towards those people or approaches you don't like! but again, this is just how i see it and you will no doubt see it differently.. cheers james
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