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By the first century BC two varieties of astrology were in existence: one that required the reading of horoscopes in order to learn accurate details about the past, present and future, while the other focused to the soul's ascent to the stars and the search for human meaning in the sky. In other words, the Greeks attempted to understand general and individual human behavior through the influence of planets and other celestial objects, while some used astrology as a form of dialogue with the divine.

Horoscopic astrology first appeared in Hellenistic Egypt. The earliest extant Greek text using the Babylonian division of the zodiac into twelve signs of thirty equal degrees each is the Anaphoricus of Hypsicles of Alexandria in BC. The Dendera zodiac as displayed at the Louvre.

Ptolemaic Aspectarium (Astrology Device)

Public Domain. A very significant role in the development of Western horoscopic astrology was played by Greek mathematician, astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy, whose work Tetrabiblos laid the foundations of the Western astrological tradition.

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Ptolemy lived in the 2nd century AD, three centuries after the discovery of the precession of the equinoxes by Hipparchus around BC. Moreover, Ptolemy decisively explained the theoretical basis of the western zodiac as being a tropical coordinate system, by which the zodiac is aligned to the equinoxes and solstices, rather than the visible constellations that bear the same names as the zodiac signs. Depiction of Ptolemy employing a quadrant, from Giordano Ziletti's Principles of astrology and geography according to Ptolemy, Two very significant astrologers that with their works contributed in the evolution of Western astrology are undoubtedly Antiochus of Athens and Dorotheus of Sidon.

Dorotheus was a first century AD Greek astrologer who lived and worked in Alexandria just like Ptolemy. The Pentateuch, which was a textbook on Hellenistic astrology, has come down to us mainly from an Arabic translation dating from around AD carried out by Omar Tiberiades. The text, fragmentary at times, is therefore not entirely reliable, and is further corrupted by interpolations by the later Persian translators.

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Nevertheless, it remains one of our best sources for the practice of Hellenistic astrology, and it was a work of great influence on later Christian, Persian, Arab and medieval astrologers. Antiochus of Athens is another significant Greek astrologer from the same Hellenistic Period.

He made one of the earliest references to astrological reception, and discussed the twelves houses of the astrological chart, heliacal risings and settings, and the Lots. Despite the fact that most of his writings are now lost, some very important fragments and extracts of his work have survived. His immense impact can be traced to many writers that followed him, such as the Neoplatonist Porphyry who heavily relies on Antiochus for definitions of technical terms used by Ptolemy in Tetrabiblos, and Rhetorius of Egypt, while there is also a later Byzantine epitome of his work.

Theodoros Karasavvas, J. When called upon to do Read More. Ancient Origins has been quoted by:. By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us.

Ptolemy - BillionQuotes

We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. Skip to main content. The Greeks are Introduced to Astrology The Babylonians were the first people to systematically apply myths to constellations and astrology and describe the twelve signs of the zodiac.

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  6. Login or Register in order to comment. Related Articles on Ancient-Origins. Archaeologists studying a group of five unique stone tablets dating to the first millennium in Babylonia and Assyria have announced that they reveal a hitherto unknown level of astronomical The outset of each version is identical: Jesus directs his apostles to row to the other Mankind has always looked up to the sky and wondered at its beauty and secrets. Human beings are also incredibly good at spotting patterns, so it is no wonder that we noticed the changing appearance Archaeological investigators from India claim their in-depth research of historical night sky charts backs a theory that ancient rock art that depicts an astronomical event.

    Experts suggest the find Contrary to popular belief, Jesus of the New Testament is a mythic figure, not a historic one. His achievement was to rationalize astrology and Tetrabiblos laid the basis for western astrological tradition.

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    To quote Elbert Benjamine:. A few of the rules for calculating directions were not made entirely plain by Ptolemy, who leaned strongly to the Egyptian Method, which was further developed by Placidus de Titus, a monk of later times. However the fact remains From this completeness and astrological knowledge we may safely infer that Ptolemy had access to information not generally accessible even in his day. Tetrabiblos gets an update.

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    Ptolemy gave the rulership of the father to the Sun and Saturn and the mother to the Moon and Venus and modern statistical research has confirmed that house 4 in your birth chart rules your father and house 10 rules your mother. During the Age of Pisces some astrologers ignored his advice and argued that greater precision was possible.

    All it required was technical know-how — the diligent practice of astrological principles — and a little bit of extrasensory perception. According to Ptolemy. The reproach brought upon the science wholly unmerited; for it would be equally just to condemn all other branches of philosophy because each numbers among its professors some mischievous pretenders. But when I see the stars circling in their orbits, my feet no longer touch the ground.