Historical Reprints Science Quadripartite Mathematical Treatise : Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

Quadripartite Mathematical Treatise : Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

Quadripartite Mathematical Treatise : Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos
Catalog # SKU1264
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 2.00 lbs
Author Name Claudius Ptolemy


The Quadripartite
Mathematical Treatise
Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos

Two Complete Translations in One Volume

Being Four Books
of the
Influence Of The Stars

Claudius Ptolemy

Frank Egleston Robbins
J. M. Ashmand

Two Translations of Ptolemy's Treatise on Astrology, Astronomy, Cause and Effect. This is a must read for any student or researcher of Astrology.


Of the means of prediction through astronomy, O Syrus, two are the most important and valid. One, which is first both in order and in effectiveness, is that whereby we apprehend the aspects of the movements of sun, moon, and stars in relation to each other and to the earth, as they occur from time to time; the second is that in which by means of the natural character of these aspects themselves we investigate the changes which they bring about in that which they surround.

The first of these, which has its own science, desirable in itself even though it does not attain the result given by its combination with the second, has been expounded to you as best we could in its own treatise by the method of demonstration.

We shall now give an account of the second and less self-sufficient method in a properly physical way, so that one whose aim is the truth might never compare its perceptions with the sureness of the first, unvarying science, for he ascribes to it the weakness and unpredictability of material qualities found in individual things, nor yet refrain from such investigation as is within the bounds of possibility, when it is so evident that most events of a general nature draw their causes from the enveloping heavens.

But since everything that is hard to attain is easily assailed by the generality of men, and in the case of the two before-mentioned disciplines the allegations against the first could be made only by the blind, while there are specious grounds for those levelled at the second - for its difficulty in parts has made them think it completely incomprehensible, or the difficulty of escaping what is known has disparaged even its object as useless - we shall try to examine briefly the measure of both the possibility and the usefulness of such prognostication before offering detailed instruction on the subject. First as to its possibility.

A very few considerations would make it apparent to all that a certain power emanating from the eternal ethereal substance is dispersed through and permeates the whole region about the earth, which throughout is subject to change, since, of the primary sublunar elements, fire and air are encompassed and changed by the motions in the ether, and in turn encompass and change all else, earth and water and the plants and animals therein.

For the sun, together with the ambient, is always in some way affecting everything on the earth, not only by the changes that accompany the seasons of the year to bring about the generation of animals, the productiveness of plants, the flowing of waters, and the changes of bodies, but also by its daily revolutions furnishing heat, moisture, dryness, and cold in regular order and in correspondence with its positions relative to the zenith. The moon, too, as the heavenly body nearest the earth, bestows her effluence most abundantly upon mundane things, for most of them, animate or inanimate, are sympathetic to her and change in company with her; the rivers increase and diminish their streams with her light, the seas turn their own tides with her rising and setting, and plants and animals in whole or in some part wax and wane with her.

Moreover, the passages of the fixed stars and the planets through the sky often signify hot, windy, and snowy conditions of the air, and mundane things are affected accordingly. Then, too, their aspects to one another, by the meeting and mingling of their dispensations, bring about many complicated changes.

For though the sun's power prevails in the general ordering of quality, the other heavenly bodies aid or oppose it in particular details, the moon more obviously and continuously, as for example when it is new, at quarter, or full, and the stars at greater intervals and more obscurely, as in their appearances, occultations, and approaches. If these matters be so regarded, all would judge it to follow that not only must things already compounded be affected in some way by the motion of these heavenly bodies, but likewise the germination and fruition of the seed must be moulded and conformed to the quality proper to the heavens at the time.

The more observant farmers and herdsmen, indeed, conjecture, from the winds prevailing at the time of impregnation and of the sowing of the seed, the quality of what will result; and in general we see that the more important consequences signified by the more obvious configurations of sun, moon, and stars are usually known beforehand, even by those who inquire, not by scientific means, but only by observation. Those which are consequent upon greater forces and simpler natural orders, such as the annual variations of the seasons and the winds, are comprehended by very ignorant men, nay even by some dumb animals; for the sun is in general responsible for these phenomena.

600 pages - 8 x 5 inches SoftCover


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