Firmicus Maternus

2 December 2010

An astrological chart redrawn from Firmicus II.29.10

A work in progress, but enough of it to report here: Firmicus Maternus’ Mathesis — his textbook on astrology. As noted on my orientation page, the same edition is already online, as flat photostatic copies, divided between two places, so rekeying all that Latin may be looked at as totally superfluous or useful, depending on one’s point of view. In progress, because of the 8 Books only five are available right now, of which only two are fully proofread.

No English, but the Latin is very easy, especially if you’re conversant with astrology; and why else would anyone read this stuff?

A couple of hours after posting, on second thought: Actually, since the delineations cover everything that could come to mind to a 4c Roman as possibly happening to a human being, attentive reading — such as required in proofreading — brings out a full picture of life in those times: certain diseases rather than others, a lot about frittering away or losing one’s inheritance, a lot about violent death, an undercurrent of fearing the rulers (not made any better by the pointed instruction to avoid so much as looking at the horoscope of the emperor, with the specious intellectual rationale given that He Isn’t Subject To The Law Of The Heavens, Since He’s Above Them And Is A Very God).

The chart I show here by the way is a rare thing in the work, Firmicus doesn’t give many, maybe only this one: but he needed to spell it all out in order to show how someone with such a good chart on the surface can in fact have a much worse destiny, because hey you gotta look at the antiscia too. It is in fact an example of “fudging” by piling on complexities, so that indications of just about anything can be found in a chart if you only look hard enough: something that astrologers still do today.