Ptolemy's Digression, Part 1

Ptolemy Ptolemy



[1] See J. Braha, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Astrologer. (1986) Hollywood, Fl.: Hermetician Press. pg. 55

[2] This is according to the translation by F.E. Robbins (1994). This chapter appears as Chapter 14 in the translation by R. Schmidt (1994) The latter combines Chapters 10 and Chapter 11 of the Loeb edition.

[3] Hephaistio, Book I Chapter 16; Tr. Schmidt,(1994) Cumberland, Md. Golden Hind Press. Antiochus, Chapter 20 Tr. Schmidt (1993) Cumberland, Md. Golden Hind Press

[4]Translated by R.D. Hicks. See Aristotle’s De Anima In Focus, Ed. M. Durrant. London, Routledge, 1993.

[5] J. Annas, Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind. (1992) Berkeley, Ca;: California University Press , pg. 72

[6] ibid, pg. 158-159

[7] F. Cornford, Plato’s Cosmology. (Hackett Publishing, 1997) pg. 152

[8] In Tetrabiblos Books III and IV, Ptolemy presents astrological analyses of issues such as soul, profession, and parents. In this context, he also uses conventional terminology for aspects. In Tetrabiblos Book I, which is the more theoretical book that is the main concern of this article, he uses the words schêmatizô and suschêmatizô to refer to the aspects. These words refer to forming a figure or posture, as a group of dancers in an ensemble performance. It appears that instead of the planets looking to and back from each other, Ptolemy alludes to our perceptions when watching the planets in an arrangement with one another.

[‘9] The numbers of the chapters are as they appear in the Robbins, not the Schmidt, translation.

[10] The “species of the octave” preserved the fifth or diapente and fourth or diatessaron in Lydian, Phrgyian, and Hypophrygian modes, although they did not in the others. The Dorian and Hypodorian have a diminished diapente, and the Hypolydian and Mixolydian have a diminished diatessaron. See R.P. Winningham-Ingram, Ancient Greece. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians I., Ed. S. Sadie(1980) London, Macmillan. Pg. 665. Modes appear to have pervaded the practice of music, and theoreticians seem to have tried to make the best of them. Plato, in Republic (Book III, 398 C- 399 D), characterized their effects and banished most of them from an ideal state; Aristotle gave a more tolerant description of their effects. (Politics, Book VIII Chapter 5. 339-1342) If the general principles of harmony can make for the well-proportioned soul, the different musical modes seem to conform to discrete personality styles.

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