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The series also looks at the practical way in which the Greeks handled the physical, natural world, which the theory of their sciences speculated about. Can we find science in the ancient world? Why is the title of this series Sciences of Antiquity and not the more straightforward Science in the Ancient World? For many years seeing science in the ancient world was unproblematic.

But it is no longer enough to think that science is adequately characterised in this way nor that it is a simple unveiling of the truth of nature. Science is a human enterprise and so also a human construction. It is only in this sense that science existed before scientists.

But so familiar are we with the apparently timeless validity of scientific truths that we give them in their timelessness, a past, a history for them to unfold themselves in. But man in the ancient world was doing something else, and did not have a duty to recognise our truths. What he was doing was some kind of philosophy, most often natural philosophy.

A brief, ordinary characterisation of science would surely include most of the following: i It is objective. The scientist puts his passions aside and relies on reason, ii It is non-religious. No longer does an instinct veneration for a creator structure the search into nature. In being objective, passionless, creatorless, it alone produces tangible truth, which in modern society is given privileged status and which science often consciously opposes to faith , iii It is experimental in its verification of its theories, iv Science and the research that continues to build it are in practice directed to the practical business of manipulating nature.

No one in antiquity strove through philosophy to manipulate nature except perhaps the Magi and the doctors and it is very questionable whether they were using philosophy. Control of the human mind achieving ataraxia, freedom from fear was a much more common goal; and ataraxia was a subjective state, quite different from the objective goals of science. Nor does science seek to enforce a moral or religious code of behaviour in its practitioners, as much ancient philosophy did.

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Natural philosophy had understanding nature as one of its goals, but since this aim did not include manipulation, it did not use technology. Often natural philosophy denied the power of the gods to intervene in human affairs, but that did not prevent philosophy being a manifestly religious affair. It was not experimental. It is clear that ancient philosophers did not always expect their subject to progress and certain that none of them were aiming at modern science. Others have extended the argument and asserted that some activties of the Greeks were scientific in a limited way, and that for example doctors and root-cutters were gaining scientific knowledge of plants, while others were working on geometry or explaining how thunderstorms happen.

That science is a unitary thing is recognised by all of its practitioners whatever their own branch of it may be. Certainly what the Greeks thought about plants, geometry and thunderstorms may have prompted later people to think about them too, or even to adopt Greek explanations; but even when such a process extended down to the age of science it does not mean that the Greeks were practising science.

At most they were writing what came to be used as resources for people who did come to practise science. Perhaps you want to build a garage. It has to be a certain shape in order to house your car, which is its function, and the thing that identifies it as a garage. You may take the bricks from a derelict Victorian stable, which was another shape for a related reason. But your use of the bricks does not make the stable an early garage, in an age without cars. Fragments of world-views like bricks may certainly look scientific when presented in isolation.

So much has been said about myth, magic, superstition and rationality,8 objectivity and science, largely by scientific historians, that the terms are largely debased currency. They called it philosophy and strove rather to stress the unity of knowledge than the separateness of its parts. Part of it was concerned with the natural world, but this part was not marked off from the others by any strict boundaries. They were often practical people, using their philosophy to bring about a certain state of mind and way of life which are not goals of modern philosophy.

Sometimes they are more visible as capitalists and engineers. As educators they had to be careful what they taught if they wished to retain their schools or their lives: intellectual, certainly, but not always free. Then we must offer an alternative. If we pause for a moment and look at the history of history- ofscience we see that it has two characteristics that help to solve the problem. First, history of science is often tied to philosophy of science, a circumstance that reflects the beliefs of the founders of the subject— that is, that science, being so important and successful, must have some special method.

Second, it attracted the attention of specialists in various departments of science, who seemed by their speciality to be well equipped. Like the philosophers, whom we have just mentioned, the scientist-as-historian who looks at the past of his subject naturally sees it as developing to the maturity that represented it in his own time. This is close to the practice of the Whig historians who notoriously saw old political constitutions as stages in the development of the Whig constitution rather than answers to old political problems. In this, ideas or other contributions are represented as passing down through the ages like genes or seeds, becoming fertile or dying according to the ground on which they fell and on their innate viability.

Here the identity resides within the gene, which may perhaps—in genetic history—be seen as genuinely scientific or having been recognised in a scientific spirit. But ideas are not genetic, do not happen on their own without some world-system, nor outside people. The historical dynamism is not with the transmission of ideas but with the efforts of successions of people trying make sense and order of their world. Phrenologists in the nineteenth century went back to Plato as confidently as psychologists in the twentieth to show that though the subject was new, yet its principles were known, unnamed, to the greatest of the ancients.

If like the Frenchman Riolan in the seventeenth century, you thought you had worked out how the blood moved in the body, it strengthened your case by showing that Hippocrates had known it, but had not built it up into a system. When the great Dutch teacher Boerhaave had become convinced of Newtonian mechanism, he wanted to show that Hippocrates too had been a mechanist. We would not in these cases allow that there was any real history of phrenology, psychology or mechanism. Aristotle often set out to strengthen his own arguments by destroying those of people he chose to regard as his predecessors.

He represented them as engaged in the same task as himself, whereby it became easier to show how they had failed and he had won. For example, there is almost no evidence save for that from Aristotle that Thales ever indulged in natural philosophy. Part of the power of history to legitimate a discipline19 is derived from its frequent use in teaching the discipline. So history of science has been pedagogic and legitimating. All are self-serving and the historian of history-of-science sees too many parallels in the past to accept such devices at face value.

He sees that the professional job of the historian of science is to find science in the past, who often measures his success by how much he finds. Because we see most clearly in the past what is of most interest to us as moderns, we are being selective. There is a strong sense in which we are constructing history in our own image; and doing so moreover partly from fragments of similar constructions of our predecessors. This of course appears to confirm our interpretation, in that some scholar in the past thought so too; and the scholar becomes more famous for agreeing with us.

Part and parcel of this is that far from natural philosophy and science being an effect of a classical cause, or a growth or a rebirth from a classical seed, or some more general self-executive bequest of the Greeks, it was the other way round. Just as Aristotle had chosen his opponents and thus made them into his ancestors, the men of the Middle Ages and then the Renaissance sought out and so reconstituted ancient philosophy.

They did so for their own purposes and so were selective. The early church chose Plato when it needed intellectualism to defend itself and attack opponents. It chose Aristotle in the early thirteenth century for similar reasons. The men of the Renaissance too chose to see their intellectual parentage in ancient Greece. Before—say—the Council of Florence the language of Greece was not widely known in the West.

Greece was distant geographically and culturally. Indeed the Latins were traditionally hostile to the Greeks, having defeated them with a diverted crusade in the early thirteenth century and having set up a brief Latin Empire over Byzantium. The Greeks thought of the Latins as barbarians, and became even more Greek in reaction.

After the collapse of Constantinople Greece ceased to exist. Greek refugees from the Turks brought with them new and exciting philosophies and political ambitions. From then on the desire to restore, recreate and relive the classical Greek cultural experience expanded hugely. They wanted to see some continuity between themselves and the Greeks. The ancientness of European thought, conceived in this way, offered some form of stability at a time of change as great as that of the collapse of Constantinople.

There was also, then, a new urgency to explain and understand science, which included its history. It seemed natural that scientists were best qualified to do this. That is why science has never existed except among peoples who came under the influence of Greece. It implies a power stretching over the ages, energised by some innate quality, perhaps intellectual virtuosity, truth or beauty.

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Or perhaps what is meant is that influence is influential because of transmitted ideas. The same arguments can be used against influence, as a sort of active miasma into which people wander, as against ballistic ideas. Influence starts with the person who is influenced. He sees it in what he reads or is taught if a number of other conditions are appropriate.

First, whether actively or passively, both religions filtered out texts that could not be accommodated to the prevailing religious system. Second, both systems needed self-justifying histories in which everything had to have a place in a scheme of things that led to an ultimate enlightenment. The church needed philosophy only to defend itself from or win over people to whom philosophy was important.

The church legitimated its use of philosophy by giving it a history, accepting it as limited knowledge that had pointed in the right direction and which had given some understanding to people who had lived before Christ. In short a history was constructed which emphasised continuity and development towards a final enlightenment.

The texts that survived naturally seemed to reinforce this. Natural philosophy had religious purposes for most of its history, in the absence of science. Only when science did find itself in opposition to the doctrine of Creation after Darwin was there a conflict. Defenders of science began to strengthen their case by showing that the conflict had a history.

Suddenly parts of the past were luminous with a new significance and the mantle of the scientist, at odds with religion, passed backwards to Galileo, Vesalius and beyond. But it does help us to decide what history means for a topic so difficult to define as science. Rather than of transmission, influence and so on, we can tell a story of how ancient writings came to be used as resources by later writers. The contributors each examine their subject areas as ancient practices undertaken for ancient reasons: like later generations the ancients used what resources they knew about and could understand, if those resources were relevant and interesting.

Necessarily they selected, out of context, the fragments of the resource that had these qualities, and put them to different uses in another context, that of their own philosophy, religion, politics and so on. It is in this way that the sciences of antiquity reflect the society out of which they grew. This emphasis on the reinterpretation by each generation—indeed by each person—of the resources of the past should not obscure the fact that some of our subject areas were the concern of groups of people who had much in common.

Indeed, it was argued above that the subject areas of this series were recognisable in the ancient world, which means that each was practised by more than a single man. The doctors could see medicine as a discipline that would grow on the basis of accumulated experience, and so to an extent were consciously laying the foundations for the development of an autonomous discipline. Aristotle too recognised that natural philosophy was an exercise that might by further observations in the future resolve problems obscure to him.

But they were not laying the foundations of our disciplines. Just as both Aristotle and the doctors constructed histories to legitimate their own activity and to mark it off from others, so by the same token when they looked to the future they saw an extended Aristotelian natural philosophy and a future let us say Asclepiad medicine. Nothing else would count as the real thing. We might also be tempted to argue that a number of people close in time and space might have beliefs enough in common to constitute an autonomous discipline that might have a history.

Institutions have their social history, of course, and it can be said more realistically of them than of ideas that they preserve their integrity over successive generations of people who constitute them. But there is a parallel historical danger of giving institutions like ideas a chronological momentum of their own: for an institution to survive, it must offer some advantages to its members. Moreover, simple community of belief would be largely invisible in historical terms: it is only change that gets noticed historically, and change is initiated by people.

While science is an enterprise that becomes unrecognisable when dismembered as we go back in time, so the pans of it that some people see in the past are actually parts of other enterprises, in the context of which alone they can be understood. What has survived has done so precisely because someone else picked things they were interested in out of the original; so that the process of selection and survival tells us something about the selectors but not enough about the original enterprise for us to reconstruct it.

To return to Thales, the traditional father of science, he is actually better known for his politics, for diverting a river and cornering the market in olive presses. The Pythagorean concern with mathematics was a religious and ethical enterprise rather than a philosophical. Stahl, Roman Science. For many of the ancients astronomy was simply the mathematics needed to practise astrology.

What is implied by such an exclusion is that astronomy became scientific precisely by throwing off what was unscientific. The scholarship of Geoffrey Lloyd in particular has been of immense value and the change of emphasis that I suggest here should not be taken as an attack on it. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science.

Lindberg gives a list similar to the one given here, where each item is an alternative view of science, held by different groups. It meant originally the prayers of Roman parents that their child should survive them, that is, be a superstes. The nature or manner of their prayer attracted the derision of others, whose pejorative views have prevailed. Stahl opens his Roman Science refreshingly with doubts about whether his subject is either Roman or science; but nevertheless he builds up a balanced and useful picture of the Roman sources of medieval knowledge. But this is a valuable book, and the reader should also consult David C.

Lindberg and Robert S. Westman, Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, Cambridge, , especially for the historiographical reorientation discussed in both books. Strictly, natural philosophy in the West was part of school Aristotelianism from the thirteenth century to the Enlightenment, and can be readily extended to cover the expressly dissenting views of those who reacted against it.

See L. Graham, W. Lepenies and P. Lloyd, Methods and Problems, pp. Down to Parmenides there is no evidence that the pre-Socratics recognised themselves as belonging to any group of philosophers or enquirers into nature. I had my supervisor to blame for that, and I had my revenge by casting his horoscope in the ancient style for the paper. Nevertheless, in retrospect, I have Keith Hopkins to thank for pushing me in the direction which eventually led to this book. Thanks is also due to my long-suffering main supervisor Geoffrey Lloyd, and to Newnham College, which gave me a Research Fellowship; without them, I could never have begun the book.

The Wingate Foundation generously funded me throughout the period of writing, for which I am very grateful. There are a few other debts to acknowledge; the Classics Faculty Library in Cambridge kindly allowed me to continue borrowing even though I was based in London, Paul Taylor of the Photographic Collection at the Warburg Institute was extremely helpful with finding illustrations; I am grateful to Paul Cartledge for starting my collection of newspaper cuttings on contemporary astrology and to Tim Screech for his last-minute assistance in printing out.

Thanks are also due to the series editor, Roger French, to the desk editor, Sue Bilton, with her expertise in modern astrology, to the copy editor, Lionel Hope Jones, and to the judges of the Routledge Ancient History Prize for the useful comments and queries they all made. This book is meant to be for the non-specialist, but it is not meant to fob them off with an account which does not engage with the sources of evidence. My ideal is that there is just enough for the reader to understand the bases on which one could make a decision about how to interpret the evidence.

Indeed for those who want to make up their own minds I have tried to provide a user-friendly indication of where to find the original sources, or the secondary accounts of them, in the notes. In the Introduction, I explain the special difficulties attending the sorts of evidence we have for the history of astrology.

As a result of these difficulties, especially in the first three chapters—the chronological history—the reader has to suffer what could be tedious accounts of the uncertainties, conflicts and difficulties in the evidence. This much is necessary for anyone who wants a history rather than a coffee-table book. But I have tried to avoid getting embroiled in the details of scholarly debates, or bogging down the text with endless notes.

This has the unfortunate consequence that I have not been able to give as much credit to my secondary sources in the body of the book as I would like. Incidentally, where Greek is transliterated I have used the forms which make the relation to modern languages clearest, although it is unpleasing to a classicist. Furthermore, I have not been able in every case to ascertain if there is a copyright-holder of the material in the illustrations. Similarly, I do not cover Arabic, Indian or Chinese astrology, which had their own lines of development.

He was apparently writing the history of a dead superstition. The first publication of a newspaper horoscope in the world apparently appeared in the Sunday Express, for the birth of Princess Margaret in My horoscope for this week, interpreted by the doyen of newspaper astrologers, Patric Walker, says: The sun in the highly sensitive and emotional sign of Cancer only urges you to take a closer look at relationships, conditions or situations that have deteriorated over the past six months, and then to discard ruthlessly anything you feel to be a hindrance or of no further value.

There are bound to be days when the odds still seem to be stacked against you. However, with a little flair, confidence and the will to succeed, you can surmount any obstacles. It is not only that the prominence of the Sunsign, abstracted from its context, is a modern phenomenon, but that the whole style of the piece would have been quite alien to ancient astrologers.

The tone is one of the counsellor, concerned for the emotional well-being of the reader. The most successful consultant astrologers today set themselves up as counsellors, combining their astrology with a background in therapy or psychology. If we take extracts from the advice of a modern astrologer and compare it with those of an ancient one, a number of differences become obvious: The proficient astrologer may sometimes be called upon to help those of his fellow human-beings who have difficult personal problems to solve. In such circumstances he should recognize that his position is a privileged one and that the possession of astrological knowledge is a trust not to be regarded lightly.

He should refrain from giving advice unless it is asked for and then he should always try to suggest to those seeking help how they can best help themselves, by dwelling upon the strengths and not the weaknesses of the horoscope … Never delineate or predict in too much detail, for to do so requires a most unusual degree of inspiration.

Above all, never suggest the time when death is likely to take place as this must inevitably cause an unfavourable psychological reaction. Beware of replying to anyone about the condition of the State or the life of the Roman emperor. For it is not right, nor is it permitted, that from wicked curiosity we learn anything about the condition of the State… Have a wife, a home, many sincere friends; be constantly available to the public…avoid plots… In drawing up a chart, do not show up the bad things about men too clearly, but whenever you come to such a point, delay your responses with a certain reticence, in case you seem not only to explain but also to approve what the evil course of the stars decrees for the man.

It fitted in with ancient cosmology, it drew on the data of astronomy, it offered an extra dimension to medicine, it shared the convictions of philosophers, and it fitted in with much religious understanding of the divine. Not everyone believed in astrologers, but hardly anyone was willing to deny the stars some effect on human life. Naturally, the high intellectual profile of the subject did not weigh with everyone. If astrology offered answers to the pressing issues of everyday life, like love and money, as today, its credentials did not have to be scrutinised too closely.

There are some constants in astrological enquiries. A group called the Gambling and Spiritual Workshop meet each month in Holborn to predict the results of the main horse-racing meetings of the day by astrology, and sell their tips by telephone. Under the Roman Empire and its Byzantine successor there were also specialists in racing: astrologers used the stars to find out which team of chariot-drivers would win in the hippodrome: I look at the methods in Chapter 6. A man from Halifax wrote to Russell Grant, the television astrologer who also does the stars for the national newspapers, to find out whether his wife would come back to him.

You can find a discussion of how to answer the same question in the work of Dorotheus of Sidon, of the first century CE, from which I quote in Chapter 6. In fact, Grant put the man in touch with a marriage guidance clinic; we do not learn whether he proffered astrological advice as well. The high status of astrology explains the difference between the use of astrology in high places today and in the ancient world. It is true there were superficial resemblances to the Roman Empire in the story which emerged in May about President Reagan. Just like the emperors, he was supposedly converted to astrology by a dramatically successful prediction.

The San Francisco astrologer Joan Quigley warned that late March would be dangerous, and there was an assassination attempt which wounded the president on 30 March. Just as the emperors would get advice on the best moment for a particular enterprise, Reagan was supposed to have selected the hour for the signing of the treaty with the Soviet Union after Quigley studied the relevant horoscopes.

Reagan is not alone in being a head of state in an economically developed Western country this century who was believed to have made decisions with the help of astrologers—the British intelligence sevices seem to have taken seriously the idea that Hitler was being advised by astrologers during the war,7 and it was reported in The Economist on 27 April that Papandreou had chosen the date for the elections in Greece with astrological guidance. But such situations are different from the Roman one in a most important respect.

Neither Reagan, nor Hitler, nor Papandreou published their horoscopes in order to show that they were destined to rule, or had coins stamped with their birth sign, as Augustus did Chapter 2. Astrology today simply cannot command that kind of respect. Indeed even those who have less serious reputations to keep up, like Princess Diana, play down their consultations with astrologers.

Academics, if they do find themselves in the field, tend to concentrate on safer areas, such as the history of mathematics and astronomy revealed in astrological texts, or confine themselves to the manuscript tradition, so that they are not at risk of being perceived as moving outside the borders of acceptable scholarship. To be fair, it is not an easy field to enter, since it is technically demanding and there are many problems with the sources, as we shall see.

Scorpio Weekly Astrology Horoscope 23rd September 2019

Though one of the most eminent scholars in the field has said that no general history of astrology should be written until more monographs and critical editions of texts are published, in particular on the oriental material which preserves the Greek,9 it is in fact long past time for a provisional history of the topic for the general reader. It may surprise, and even enrage, some readers that there is a volume on astrology in a series dedicated to the history of science.

But this recategorisation of the subject is necessary to jolt us out of our preconceptions. For some time now this has been a live issue in the history of ideas in the Early Modern period. Most famously, Frances Yates led the attack against a history of science which carried back categories from the modern world to the ancient one, seeing the same clear division between science and pseudo-science as is generally accepted now. The debate continues, with her opponents still arguing that what was science then is science now, and the same goes for pseudoscience.

The situation with the study of the ancient world is rather different. Little produced in antiquity could be accepted as scientific by modern standards, but there was a form of proto-science which could be seen to lie beneath the edifice of modern science. So, once the highlights, from Democritean atomic theory to the discovery of the Fallopian tubes, had been set out, interest centred on seeing how the rules of enquiry developed the beginnings of a scientific culture.

Astrology has always been a very poor relation in studies of ancient science. Because the same word astronomia, or astrologia, was used until the sixth century more or less indiscriminately, and because the two subjects were closely intertwined at one level, astrology had to be mentioned. Astrological sources had to be used in the study of astronomy, one of the glories of ancient science.

But it was rarely of interest in its own right, except to specialists outside the history of science, and until quite recently it was seen as an embarrassing lapse on the part of astronomers like Ptolemy that he should write on astrology as well, and appear to see the two as part of a single enquiry. Above all it is important to see how the intellectual and social context shaped the rules of enquiry. Crucially, there was no privileged set of disciplines which enjoyed high status because of their special access to the truth, as is the case with the sciences today. It was the poets in the Greek world who were traditionally seen as the privileged purveyors of truth, rather than the scientists, and it was philosophers who tried to take on that mantle, philosophers who might look to us more interested in religion than science.

But it remained true that it was literary studies which represented elite culture more than any other area. Except for medicine, and the astrological part of astronomy, studies which we could see as proto-science were the pursuit of a tiny minority, who were not much celebrated. This is exemplified by the imperial court, which would be filled with literary figures who could add lustre to the imperial household, while the only plausible candidates for scientists would be the doctors and the astrologers.

It is true that the. Ptolemaic court in Alexandria did patronise some scientific activities but even they were outnumbered by their literary equivalents. Moreover, there were significant differences between Romans and Greeks in their attitudes to intellectual pursuits, in particular under the Republic and Early Empire. The Greeks had been conquered by the Romans, and were as often to bring their intellectual talents in the guise of slaves as in the guise of cultural ambassadors in the Republic. Given this background, the cultural stereotype—which had its influence on attitudes—was that elite Romans might be expected to be acquainted with Greek culture, but their real business was to govern.

Though past studies of ancient science which dealt with astrology have given prominence to the question of whether it was the Greeks who contributed the scientific basis to astronomy on which astrology could flourish, in this book there will be no prizes awarded for scientific achievement to any particular person or group, nor censure for those who fail to match up to modern ideals of science.

Indeed, I think that the old tendency to see astrology as a pseudo-science is an anachronistic diversion from the more fruitful enquiry into how astrology functioned in antiquity.

My stars! Can these astrologers be right?

There were technai of a range of subjects which claimed to offer practical instruction, in medicine, rhetoric, architecture and dreaminterpretation, to name a few. These were a literary genre: they were meant to represent the body of knowledge on a particular subject. Ptolemy represented astrology as a stochastic techne, that is an art which had carefully developed rules for conjecture, and said that it was like medicine in this.

Doctors might not always be correct in their diagnosis or prognosis, because of the number of variables they had to deal with, but if they knew their techne, they would have followed the procedure most likely to yield success. Inevitably, however, to make sense of the ancient world, we have to operate in modern categories. In Chapter 4, on the principles of ancient astrology, I consider the scientific and religious background to ideas about astral influences, while making it clear that there was a substantial overlap, which could crudely be subsumed under the ancient category of philosophia, literally, love of wisdom.

Wisdom and truth could be sought in the religious arena as much as in the scientific.

holod34.ru/images/zydakoj/2332-scarica-programma-per.html Indeed there were technai of aspects of religion, in particular, of varieties of divination. Thus, to stress that overlap, in the final chapter, where I consider areas of knowledge related to astrology, I examine Mithraism, other forms of solar cult and magic, as well as medicine, geography and physiognomics, the art of relating character to the physique.

There are a few caveats to issue before launching into the chronological history. In the crucial period during which astrology emerged, the sources are particularly difficult. It is not much more than a century since the cuneiform tablets which provide our information on Mesopotamia were again made intelligible. The difficulties attendant on translation are obvious in the texts which I cite in Chapter 1. In addition, thanks to the buccaneering attitude of the earliest excavators, in the second half of the nineteenth century, collections of tablets were split up and dispersed around the museums of the world to moulder, and opportunities to provide information about the circumstances in which they were found were thrown away.

The great historian of science, Neugebauer, doubts whether as much as one-tenth of all tablets have ever been identified in any sort of catalogue.

Feb. 19: Your daily horoscope

Early work on astronomy and astrology was restricted to a particular archive in the British Museum which had been deciphered and copied by one amazingly diligent scholar, and further work proceeds slowly. Again, manuscripts and papyri are all too often languishing unpublished in libraries round the world. Each of the twelve volumes contains a first section which describes the manuscripts, while the second contains editions of parts of the texts. But these are Byzantine codices written from five hundred to fifteen hundred years after the original versions, and because of the nature of astrology it is often impossible to be sure, especially where there are not large numbers of manuscripts to compare, how much successive copyists have inserted their own material.

Astrological texts might have been Greek translations of Arabic translations of Pahlavi versions of the original Greek, because of the shifts in centres of astrological learning. The Catalogue badly needs a modern commentary. In addition, there is much work to be done on Latin manuscripts.


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Though new studies have been appearing on these works attributed to the god Hermes Trismegistos and his circle, the astrological texts have been largely avoided. But the picture is brighter than it was: new editions of astrological texts have been coming out, and some have even been translated, with commentaries. There is a list of the major editions in the Bibliography. A collection of Greek horoscopes on papyrus, or pottery and stone, which are astronomically dated, along with those embedded in astrological texts, has been available now for thirty years.

All these difficulties have to be taken into account, in a context where ancient evidence is already a threadbare rag from which to weave any historical tapestry, in fact where the historian has to begin by unravelling, because of the biases of the source-material which has survived. But even if it is strung together from fragments, it is a colourful picture which emerges in the following pages.

The astonishing declarations astrologers made are reflected in our sources. In the first century CE, the Elder Pliny, who wrote a great compendium of natural-philosophical scientific matters, mentions that Berossus, who was believed by many to have brought astrology to Greece from Babylon, claimed that observations had been carried out in Chaldaea for , years.

But no one had worse than a three. I may be wrong, but it seems the odds are good that somewhere in the world, someone's house was going to burn down that day, someone's dog was going to be run over by a truck, someone was going to lose everything in the stock market or a casino, someone's spouse was going to expire prematurely and leave mountains of debt. Yet in the rosy world of horoscopy, no one's day would be worse than a three. Linda Black, the astrologer in the Wenatchee World, had an equally sunny prediction that day, except that she uses a point scale.

Among all the billions of people in the world, including those starving to death in poor countries, those dying of SARS, those being blown up by suicide bombers, and those bombed into homelessness by war, she predicted than no one would have worse than a five. She claimed that Sagittarius is the sign of the gambler, but other than a couple of slots in Las Vegas six years ago, I haven't gambled since penny poker in junior high. Jeraldine Saunders in the Seattle Times told me that "well-to-do seniors" would "offer approval. So we have this question: given newspapers' quest for the truth, their commitment to accuracy and dependability, why do they allocate valuable space for this kind of stuff, for material that is so unreliable and therefore so useless?

And I don't need a horoscope to tell me that. And if you have a sufficiently dim view of things, you probably won't even be surprised that our state's Higher Education Coordinating Board approved it. As a fellow skeptic observed, where human affairs are concerned, it seems astrologers have more influence than all those celestial bodies put together. I am 70, my husband is We have eight grandchildren and are active in our church and community.

Everyone thinks our marriage is a happy one. And, of course, since you're naturally curious by now, Oliveira's alleged sex partner was fellow Brazilian Olympian Pedro Goncalves. You can officially stop making fun of Olympic canoeists now; he is no slouch. Pedroso reportedly took her complaint to the Brazilian Olympic Committee. Pedroso and Oliveira have since publicly parted ways. Then I will be able to improve and evolve more.


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