CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

9. Of Children that are not Reared.

As the account of children that are not reared is still lacking in the discussion of matters related to the birth itself, it is fitting to see that in one way this procedure. is connected with the inquiry concerning length of life, for the question in each case is of the same kind; but in another way they are distinct, because there is a certain difference in the actual meaning of the inquiry. For the question of length of life considers those who in general endure for perceptible lengths of time, that is, not less than one circuit of the sun, and such a space is properly understood to be a year; but potentially also lesser periods than this, months and days and hours, are perceptible lengths of time. But the inquiry concerning children that are not reared refers to those who do not attain at all to "time" thus defined, but perish in something less than "time" through excess of the evil influence. For this reason the investigation of the former question is more complex; but this is simpler. For it is merely the case that if one of the luminaries is angular and one of the maleficent planets is in conjunetion with it, or in opposition, both in degrees and with equality of distance, while no beneficent planet bears any aspect, and if the lord of the luminaries is found in the places of the maleficent planets, the child that is born will not be reared, but will at once come to its end. But if this comes about without the equality of distance, but the shafts of the maleficent planets succeed closely upon the places of the luminaries, and there are two maleficent planets, and if they afflict either one or both of the luminaries either by succeeding them or by opposition, or if one afflicts one luminary and the other the other in turn, or if one afflicts by opposition and the other by succeeding the luminary, in this way too children are born that do not live; for the number of afflictions dispels all that is favourable to length of life because of the distance of the maleficent planet through its succession. Mars especially afflicts the sun by succeeding it, and Saturn the moon; but conversely in opposition or in superior position Saturn afflicts the sun and Mars the moon, most of all if they occupy as rulers the places of the luminaries or of the horoscope. But if there chance to be two oppositions, when the luminaries are at the angles and the maleficent planets are in an isosceles configuration, then the infants are born dead or half-dead. And in such circumstances, if the luminaries should chance to be removing from conjunction with one of the beneficent planets, or are in some other aspect to them, but nevertheless east their rays in the parts that precede them, the child that is born will live a number of months or days, or even hours, equal to the number of degrees between the prorogator and the nearest rays of the maleficent planets, in proportion to the greatness of the affliction and the power of the planets ruling the cause. But if the rays of the malefieent planets fall before the luminaries, and those of the beneficent behind them, the child that has been exposed will be taken up and will live. And again, if the maleficent planets overcome the beneficent ones that bear an aspect upon the geniture, they will live to affliction and subjection; but if the beneficent planets overcome, they will live but as supposititious children of other parents; and if one of the beneficent planets should either be rising or applying to the moon, while one of the maleficent planets is setting, they will be reared by their own parents. And the same methods of judgement are to be used also in cases of multiple births. But if one of the planets that two by two or in larger groups bear an aspect to the geniture is at setting, the child will be born half-dead, or a mere lump of flesh, and imperfect. But if the maleficent planets overcome them, the infant born subject to this influence will not be reared or will not survive.




Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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