CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

7. Of the Class of those Affected.

The third heading is that of generic classification, whereby One must determine what classes the event will affect. This is ascertained from the special nature and form of the zodiacal signs in which happen to be the places of the eclipses and in which are the heavenly bodies, planets and fixed stars alike, that govern both the sign of the eclipse and that of the angle preceding the eclipse. In the case of the planets we discover the rulership of these regions thus: The One which has the greatest number of relationships to both the regions aforesaid, that of the eclipse and that of the angle which follows it, both by virtue of the nearest visible applications or recessions, and by those of the aspects which bear a relation, and furthermore by rulership of the houses, triangles, exaltations, and terms, that planet alone will hold the dominance. However, if the same planet is not found to be both lord of the eclipse and of the angle, we must take together the two which have the greatest number of familiarities, as aforesaid, to either one of the regions, giving preference to the lord of the eclipse. And if several rivals be found on either count, we shall prefer for the domination the One which is closest to an angle, or is more significant, or is more closely allied by sect. In the case of the fixed stars, we shall take the first one of the brilliant stars which signifies upon the preceding angle at the actual time of the eclipse, according to the nine kinds of visible aspects defined in our first compilation, and the star which of the group visible at the time of the eclipse has either risen or reached meridian with the angle following the place of the eclipse.
When we have thus reckoned the stars that share in causing the event, let us also consider the farms of the signs of the zodiac in which the eclipse and the dominating stars as well happened to be, since from their character the quality of the classes affected is generally discerned. Constellations of human form, both in the zodiac and among the fixed stars, cause the event to concern the human race. Of the other terrestrial signs, the four footed are concerned with the four-footed dumb animals, and the signs formed like creeping things with serpents and the like. Again, the animal signs have significance for the wild animals and those which injure the human race; the tame signs concern the usefull and domesticated animals, and those which help to gain prosperity, in consistency with their several forms; for example, horses, oxen, sheep, and the like. Again, of the terrestrial signs, the northern tend to signify sudden earthquakes and the southern unexpected rains from the sky. Yet again, those dominant regions that are in the form of winged creatures, such as Virgo, Sagittarius, Cygnus, Aquila, and the like, exercise an effect upon winged creatures, particularly those which are used for human food, and if they are in the form of swimming things, upon water animals and fish. And of these, in the constellations pertaining to the sea, such as Cancer, Capricorn, and the Dolphin, they influence the creatures of the sea and the sailing of fleets. In the constellations pertaining to rivers, such as Aquarius and Pisces. they concern the creatures of rivers and springs, and in Argo they affect both classes alike. Likewise stars in the solstitial or equinoctial signs have significance in general for the conditions of the air and the seasons related to each of these signs, and in particular they concern the spring and things which grow from the earth. For when they are at the spring equinox they affect the new shoots of the arboreal crops, such as grapes and figs, and whatever matures with them; at the summer solstice, the gathering and storing of the crops, and in Egypt, peculiarly, the rising of the Nile; at the autumn solstice they concern the sowing, the hay crops, and such; and at the winter equinox the vegetables and the kinds of birds and fish most common at this season. Further, the equinoetial signs have significance for sacred rites and the worship of the gods; the solstitial signs, for changes in the air and in political customs; the solid signs, for foundations and the construction of houses; the bicorporeal, for men and kings. Similarly, those which are closer to the orient at the time of the eclipse signify what is to be concerning the crops, youth, and foundations; those near the mid-heaven above the earth, concerning sacred rites, kings, and middle age; and those near the occident, concerning change of customs, old age, and those who have passed away.
To the question, how large a portion of the class involved will the event affect, the answer is supplied by the extent of the obscuration of the eclipses, and by the positions relative to the place of the eclipse held by the stars which furnish the cause. For when they are occidental to solar eclipses, or oriental to lunar, they usually affect a minority; in opposition, a half; and the majority, if they are oriental to solar eclipses or occidental to lunar.




Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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