CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY:

TETRABIBLOS

OR THE QUADRIPARTITE MATHEMATICAL TREATISE

20. Of the Disposition of Terms.

With regard to the terms two systems are most in circulation; the first is the Egyptian, which is chiefly based on the government of the houses, and the second the Chaldaean, resting upon the government of the triplicities. Now the Egyptian system of the commonly accepted terms does not at all preserve the consistency either of order or of individual quantity. For in the first place, in the matter of order, they have sometimes assigned the first place to the lords of the houses and again to those of the triplicities, and sometimes also to the lords of the exaltations. For example, if it is true that they have followed the houses, why have they assigned precedence to Saturn, say, in Libra, and not to Venus, and why to Jupiter in Aries and not to Mars? And if they follow the triplicities, why have they given Mercury, and not Venus, first place in Capricorn? Or if it be exaltations, why give Mars, and not Jupiter, precedence in Cancer; and if they have regard for the planets that have the greatest number of these qualifications, why have they given first place in Aquarius to Mercury, who has only his triplicity there, and not to Saturn, for it is both the house and the triplicity of Saturn? Or why have they given Mercury first place in Capricorn at all, since he has no relation of government to the sign ? One would find the same kind of thing in the rest of the system.
Secondly, the number of the terms manifestly has no consistency; for the number derived for each planet from the addition of its terms in all the signs, in accordance with which they say the planets assign years of life, furnishes no suitable or acceptable argument. But even if we rely upon the number derived from this summation, in accordance with the downright claim of the Egyptians, the sum would be found the same, even though the amounts, sign by sign, be frequently changed in various ways. And as for the specious and sophistic assertion about them that same attempt to make, namely that the times assigned to each single planet by the schedule of ascensions in all the climes add up to this same sum, it is false. For, in the first place, they follow the common method, based upon evenly progressing increases in the ascensions, which is not even close to the truth. By this scheme they would have each of the signs Virgo and Libra, on the parallel which passes through lower Egypt, ascend in 38 1/3 times, and Leo and Scorpio each in 35, although it is shown by the tables that these latter ascend in more than 35 times and Virgo and Libra in less. Furthermore, those who have endeavoured to establish this theory even so do not seem to follow the usually accepted number of terms, and are compelled to make many false statements, and they have even made use of fractional parts of fractions in the effort to save their hypothesis, which, as we said, is itself not a true one.
However, the terms most generally accepted on the authority of ancient tradition are given in the following fashion:

Terms according to the Egyptians.

Aries: Jupiter = 6; Venus = 6; Merkur = 8; Mars = 5; Saturn = 5;

Taurus: Venus = 8; Merkur = 6; Jupiter = 8; Saturn = 5; Mars = 3;

Gemini: Merkur = 6; Jupiter = 6; Venus =5; Mars = 7; Saturn = 6;

Cancer: Mars = 7; Venus = 6; Merkur = 6; Jupiter = 7; Saturn = 4;

Leo: Jupiter = 6; Venus = 5; Saturn = 7; Merkur = 6; Mars = 6;

Virgo: Merkur = 7; Venus = 10; Jupiter = 4; Mars = 7; Saturn = 2;

Libra: Saturn = 6; Merkur =8; Jupiter = 7; Venus = 7; Mars = 2;

Scorpio: Mars = 7; Venus = 4; Merkur = 8; Jupiter = 5; Saturn = 6;

Sagittarius : Jupiter = 12; Venus = 5; Merkur = 4; Saturn = 5; Mars = 4;

Capricornus : Merkur = 7; Jupiter = 7; Venus = 8; Saturn = 4; Mars = 4;

Aquarius : Merkur = 7; Venus = 6; Jupiter = 7; Mars = 5; Saturn = 5;

Pisces : Venus = 12; Jupiter = 4; Merkur = 3; Mars = 9; Saturn = 2;




Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

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