Semn astrologic leo
Symbols of the Signs and Planets. Some while ago, my dear Mavortiusl, I promised to dedicate this book to you; but for a long time recurrent periods of anxiety and self-doubt interfered with my writing. I was afraid that my slight talent would not be able to produce anything worthy of your ears. When we first met, you had just been put in charge of the Province of Campania—a post you richly deserved —and I was completely worn out from a tedious journey through winter snows. With the ministrations of a true friend you made every effort to restore my enfeebled body.
After I was brought back to my former state of health by your soothing care, we spent much time in conversation, discussing our early lives and exchanging literary references. After we had talked over our experiences and our successes, you began to ask me all kinds of questions about the geography of Sicily where I was born and where I make my home. You wanted to know the true explanation of the ancient fables: what really are Scylla and Charybdis, and what is the cause of the tremendous clashing of waters when at fixed times the two seas rush together in the strait.
You were curious about the composition of the fires of Aetna: their origin and how they manage to erupt in flames without damage to the mountain. Also you asked about the nature of the lake called Palicus2 near the Symethus River, which is foul and black from discolored matter but has pale- colored foam and gives out a high-pitched hissing sound. In discussing these and other questions, you also asked me about the wonders of Sicily which you had learned in childhood from the Greek and Roman writers.
Finally you shifted the conversation to the globe of Archimedes' and showed me the wide range of your knowledge. You described the uses of the nine spheres4 and the five zones,5 each with their different coloring. We went on to the explanation of the Milky Way and the eclipses of the Sun and Moon; why the rotation of the heavens never carries the Dipper to the West or brings it back to the East; which part of the Earth is subject to the North Wind and which to the South; the reason why the Earth itself is in the center and hangs in balance, and how Oceanus, which some call the Atlantic Sea, flows around and embraces the land like an island 6.
You explained all those problems to me, my most illustrious Mavortius, most clearly and simply. That was the point at which I dared to make the rash, impromptu offer to write out for you what the Egyptian sages' and Babylonian priests, who are so knowledgeable about the force of the stars, have handed down to us in their teaching about astrology. But now your encouraging words have strengthened me against my fears and have forced me to carry on the work I so often abandoned in despair.
When you were appointed Governor of the entire East by the wise and respected judgment of our Lord and Emperor Constantine Augus- tus, you lost no time in demanding what I had unthinkingly promised to do for you. Thus to you, Proconsul and designated consul ordinariutf, we fulfill our promise. We ask pardon if in the light of your great learning and knowledge of literature you expect to find in this book either polished rhetoric, superb organization, or unassailable logic.
We have only a small talent and little eloquence and, it must be admitted, a very modest knowledge of astrology. Although troubled by these shortcomings, nevertheless we have undertaken the task of writing this book, my dear Lollianus, in order not to fail you in living up to our exacting commitment. At the very beginning of this work it is imperative before we do anything else to answer those writers9 who are trying to destroy the whole theory of astrology by many different kinds of arguments. These men are carried away by their faith in rhetoric and think they can shatter the whole of celestial science with mere arguments.
Liber Primus 13 I am convinced, and the facts bear me out, that these men are not motivated by their theory, weak and false though it is, but merely by the desire to be in opposition. Arguing with aggressive presumption, they take a position against obvious and clearly-defined facts, facts which we not only discern with our reason, but perceive with our senses and our very eyes. By using far-fetched and extremely theoretical arguments, drawn in the first place from the professional responses of astrologers, these men are trying to creep in, as it were, through an underground passage to undermine and topple the edifice of our science.
But the more aggres- sively they attack, the more various the ways in which they seek to convince us, the more strongly they bolster our faith in astrology. The essential truth of our doctrine is demonstrated by the fact that they struggle against it with such force of argument. This is not surprising since we know how much difference of opinion there is among them about the nature of the gods, and with how many different theories they are trying to destroy the whole force of astrological divination. Some say there are no gods; others say there are, but describe them as not concerned about the world; some say that they exist and also that they undertake the care and management of all our affairs.
All these thinkers are involved in such a variety of opinions that we should digress too much if we were to list all their views, especially now that we are about to take up another kind of work. Some arbitrarily give the gods physical shape and physical space; they assign them dwelling places and tell many stories about their deeds and lives; they say that all things which are done or planned are governed by the judgment of the gods. Others say that the gods plan nothing, take care of nothing, and have no desire to govern. All these opinions have a certain plausibility which may sway the minds of the credulous.
As to ideas about the immortality of the soul, the words of the divine Plato and keen-witted Aristotle are in violent disagreement; their ideas about good and evil are opposed to each other and inconsistent in themselves. Here I think I should leave any discussion of these matters, for we are not concerned with this kind of argument. As a matter of fact, we have not made up our own mind as to what to believe. We have, however, given a brief summary of these disagreements so that the contradictory opin- ions of those who oppose astrology will become clear to all.
And so I would like to evaluate what is said and has been said about theMathesis,10 but very briefly; we should no longer digress on irrelevant problems.
Importance of Houses in Astrology & Significance for Life
First, then, they agree on the following remarks about the charac- ters and complexions of mankind: "If the characters and complexions of mankind are due to the combinations of the planets, and the motions of the planets make up men's traits, as if in painting: that is, if the Moon makes people fair-skinned, Mars red, Saturn black, why is the whole population of Ethiopia black, of Germany blond, of Thrace red-haired, as though the Moon and Mars had no strength in Ethiopia, and Saturn could not produce dark coloring in Germany or Thrace?
As for character, they add, "If Saturn makes men careful, serious, dull, miserly, and silent; Jupiter, mature, kindly, generous, temperate; Mars, cruel, treacherous, and fierce; the Sun, upright, high-minded, and proud; Venus, pleasure-loving, charming, handsome; Mercury, shrewd, clever, excitable, changeable; the Moon, intelligent, distinguished, well- mannered, capable of dazzling people with brilliance, why do certain human groups appear to produce largely one type? Saturn does not impose gravity on the frivolity of the Greeks; Asian lust is not, moderated by the sobriety of Jupiter; nor Sicilian cleverness by Saturn's chill.
The greed of the Syrians is not lessened by the wanton influence of Venus, and beneficent Jupiter does not restrain the spiteful talk and deceitfulness of the Africans. The sluggish light of Saturn does not dampen Spanish boasting, nor all-wise Mercury sharpen Gallic stupidity. But their most powerful argument againSt us is the one in which they say that our art removes all acts of virtue from human control if moderation, courage, wisdom, and justice are ascribed to the planets and not to our will.
Whenever anyone breaks the ties of family or community, disregards human laws, gives himself over to cruelty and treachery, he may ascribe his crimes and perverse urges to thejudgments of the planets. Why do we strengthen our hearts to learn courage, why do we fortify our minds to superhuman steadfastness, why do we, trained in divine doctrine, despise pain and death when we meet the bitter accidents of fate, if praise and rewards come from the Sun in favorable association with Jupiter? They even approach individuals with words of this kind: "It is in vain, my good fellow, that you try to choose good and escape evil.
Why do you try to fortify yourself with virtuous foresight and conscientious choices if this whole matter depends not on you but on Saturn or Jupiter? Your furrow is made straight without the guidance of your god. You who plant rows of olives in upland plains, you devote young shoots to Liber in vain. Your crops are given or denied by the courses of the planets without the care of any god. According to the astrologers it was Mercury who made this man a profaner of sacraments, Venus who made that one an adulterer.
Mars armed one for the slaughter of men, another to forge documents, still another to mix poisons. Mercury forces still another to wake with magic formulas the souls of those safely at rest, already purged of memory by Lethe's river.
So much evil we attribute to Mars or Venus. Another is sentenced by the praetor. If he were forced to sin by the baleful influence of the planets, not by his own desire, you, magistrates, have no cause for punishment. You know we are always forced to commit such crimes by the evil fires of the planets.
These and similar arguments they bring together. They ask whether we believe the planets are animate or inanimate. They do that to confuse us, to force us to give an ambiguous solution. Whatever reply we give they turn it to the opposite with their clever rhetoric, twisting our words so that we seem to agree with them. In all these discussions we admire their cleverness, but we deny their basic premise. Astrology has proven its claims to us by the clear evidence of its forecasts.
There are some of these opponents who say that they agree with us to a certain extent. In order to throw the whole doctrine into doubt and despair they say our teaching has great force. Thus they try to subvert the entire essence of our science by their apparent plausibility. But as for us, though our talent is slight and our words almost ineffectual because of our lack of rhetorical skill, still we must reply. We must refute what they say with the truth of this science, uphold the unchanging nature of the astrological responses, and confirm the teach- ings of this god-given skill. We ask your pardon, renowned Lollianus, for the fact that what is needed in refuting these arguments is confidence in the truth, not the glitter of rhetoric.
First of all I would like to ask this violent opponent of the astrologers whether he has any first-hand knowledge of the science. When he asked for a forecast did he never receive true responses? Or did he scorn to listen, in his narrow-minded and violent attitude? Did he expect his ears to be polluted by the responses? Did he throw into confusion with over-excited speech the basic tenets of the whole doctrine?
If, when he asked for a forecast, the responses were true and later so proven, why does he criticize what he should wonder at? Why does he falsely attack the divine art? But if, on the other hand, a practitioner who claimed to know the science of astrology gave an arbitrary forecast and was not able to prove his statements, the astrologer's presumption and ignorance must be blamed, and the fraudulence of his forecast.
Anyone responsible for casting a shadow on this great art with lying responses deserves every kind of evil fate. But the man who does not want to consult an astrologer, nor hear his responses, who will not adjust his ears to the truth of the forecast, fears the truth will make him change his mind. He is acting unjustly if he criticizes what he cannot grasp with his blunted faculties. Judges are always unjust if they pronounce sentence on cases in which they are ignorant of the facts.
No one has a right to be a judge who is influenced in his decision by prejudice or ignorance; also one who does not pass sentence after having examined the case. Therefore, if the accuser is one who had listened to a really well-trained astrologer, and had his responses proven right, then it is through ill-will and love of quarreling that he took up the opposition. But if an ignorant practitioner gave him false responses, then it is not the science which is to be blamed but the deceit and lack of knowledge of the man involved.
As for the one who refuses either to hear or to judge, he has no right to make any statement. He is not qualified to criticize what he is not willing to see submitted to test. Certain people would like to dampen our zeal by describing the difficulties of our science. It is true that we deal with knotty problems not easily grasped by a mind which is weighed down and trapped in earthly pollution even though it is formed of immortal fire.
For the divine nature, which is maintained by eternal movement when enclosed in the earthly body, suffers a temporary loss of divinity. Its force is blunted by its association with the body and by the constant threat of death. That is why all knowledge which has to do with divine skills is handed down to us in a form hard to understand. We willingly agree with this point of view and are prepared to show how divine matters are discovered only after laborious research.
My opponent must admit that the immortal spirit, when separated from the lusts and vices of the body, retains an awareness of its seed and origin. It recognizes its sovereignty and easily reaches with its godlike searching mind all the things which are supposed difficult. Who in the sky sees the path of the sea? Who, by rubbing stones, strikes from them the sparks of hidden fire? Who has learned the power of herbs? To whom does the nature of entire divinity reveal itself but to the Mind which sets forth from the heavenly fire and is sent down to rule the frailty of Earth?
It is this divine Mind which has handed down to us the theory and technique of this science. It has shown us the courses, retrogressions, stations, conjunctions, waxings, risings, settings, of the Sun, Moon, and other stars which we call the "wanderers" but which the Greeks call planets. This Mind settles into the frail earthly body and, thanks to its fleeting memory of sovereign soul, recognizes what is taught and hands down to us all knowledge. This is how we can recognize in what sign the planet Saturn is exalted and see how his cold is warmed by another's heat.
We can follow his motion every day and every hour. We even predict when he will retrograde and when return to his former station; when the. We know how long it will be before he returns to the same degree from which he set out. In the same way this motion can be discovered in the case of the planet of Jupiter as well. Although in a shorter space of time he passes through the twelve signs in a similar motion. Mars, too, blood-colored, fearful with menacing flashes of light, when he approaches Saturn, has his fires moderated by the alien cold. Although his courses are swifter they can be studied in the same way.
The daily rounds of Venus and Mercury, too, have been shown to us. We know when they will appear in the evening, when in the morning, when they are hidden by the orb of the Sun and when, freed from his glow, they shine forth again. How does the course of the Moon appear to you? How wonderful that we can foretell the moment when her light increases and when it wanes.
For when she draws near the Sun, either waxing or waning, she lowers her rays as if worshipping the Sun. Then she is born again clothed in her brother's fires and shines with renewed light. Now we learn about a more awesome phenomenon which always strikes ignorant men with fear: when the Sun at midday is impeded by the Moon, as if by some obstacle, and denies his brightness to all mortals. This, to speak of recent occurrences, was predicte'd by astrologers for the consulship of Optatus and Paulinus.
Or again the Moon, shadowed by Earth, fails in the same way—a thing we have often seen in the stillness of a bright night. Astrologers have traced all these phenomena and with their mathematical skill have taught us the secrets. Thus I would like to ask you, whoever you are: which do you believe is more difficult, to discover the movements of the stars, as I have just explained they have been discovered —which ones move only on high; which toward the horizon; which travel submerged; which join themselves to the winds and regions of the East, which to the North; how they sometimes retreat, now are hidden, sometimes in direct motion, sometimes retrograde, sometimes sluggish they always confuse the researcher by the variety of their courses ; or is it more difficult afterwards to describe the influence throughout the Earth of these combinations and variations.
If you follow this reasoning you must admit that once the course of the stars has been found by mathematical observation, it is easy to see their powers and their spheres of influence. It is always hard to understand those subjects we approach in doubt and fear. We cannot grasp easily with the mind's eye anything for which we are not prepared by earlier training. At first we dislike learning our letters. Set on an unknown road we almost fail at the first step. You see how children learning to do their first sums bend their fingers awkwardly.
The man learning to swim fails at first through fear, but after a little while he gains confidence and slips through the waves with easy motion. In all we study—reading, arithmetic, music, and others —eventually we learn with ease, after the path has been made smooth by habit. It is obvious that it is more difficult to understand the movements of the stars than to define their effects. There is no doubt about these movements which we demonstrate to students, first through calculation, then by the evidence of their own senses.
Why, then, do you attack the whole Science, when you agree to its basic elements and its subdivisions? When we have refuted the whole basis of this tricky question, we can approach the awesome secrets of the science itself. It is clear that we must fight back with a full reply to overcome the shrewd and tricky statements of false rhetoric. We have restrained our tendency to oratory and rely on truth alone, for we do not wish to capture the ears of our judges by long speeches and the flow of language.
First, then, in this community in which we are now living, do all men have the same appearance, though they obviously have the same general shape? I am sure I shall be told that all citizens are quite different, created with a great variety of appearances. If anyone doubts this—which is not likely—let him look around him when the whole population is gathered in one place, as at the theater or political meetings. Let him show me, if he can, any two who seem to have been created with the same limbs or features. Let fathers, brothers, children step forth; although blood relatives, they are seen to be physically different.
None can be found so like another that he does not differ in some respect. By this it is shown that our essential nature and the general shape of the naked body are formed from a mixture of the four elements by the skill of the far-sighted Creator. But our individual complexions and our shapes, our character, and our personalities are given us by none other than the constant motion of the planets. For the planets have their own faculties and divine wisdom. Animated by pure reason they tirelessly obey that highest divinity, the ruling God who has organized all things under the rule of law to protect the eternal pattern of creation.
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No one is so driven by rash impiety as to say that true wisdom exists on Earth where all things are mortal; or to claim that wisdom, reason, and predetermined order do not exist there, where everything is immortal forever. Who doubts that by the same law divine Mind is transfused into earthly bodies, that descent is allotted through the Sun, ascent prepared through the Moon?
For the divine Mind is diffused throughout the whole body of the universe as in a circle, now outside, now inside, and rules and orders all things.
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Conceived by self-begetting it is preserved by everlasting fiery motion for the procreation and preservation of all things. It never lays down this duty through weariness but maintains itself and the world and everything that is in the world with its everlasting motion. Out of this Soul the everlasting fires of the stars accomplish the swift completion of their orbits, quickened by the power of the living Mind. They bring part of this Soul to earthly bodies and in turn take it back to the perpetual fires of the great Soul.
In this way Immortal Soul endows the frail earthly body with confidence in its power. The individual soul corresponds in every way to its author and source which is diffused through all living things born on Earth and quickens them by divine fire. Therefore, since we are kin to the planets, we should not deprive them of their powers by impious argu- ments, since we are shaped and created by their daily courses.
You also claim that we in our profane fury dissuade men from religion and from worshipping the gods. We say that all our behavior is governed by the divine motion of the stars. You are in error; you are contrary to the truth. For we make men fear and worship the gods; we point out the will and majesty of the gods, since we maintain that all our acts are ruled by their divine motion.
Let us therefore worship the gods, whose origin has linked itself to us through the stars. Let the human race regard the power of the stars with the constant veneration of a suppliant. Let us call upon the gods in supplication and piously fulfill our vows to them so that we may be reassured of the divine nature of our own minds and may resist in some part the hostile decrees of the stars. Socrates, the man of divine wisdom, taught us we should do this. For when a certain man had pointed out Socrates' habits and desires he replied, "They are as you describe. I recognize them, I confess.
He continued, " All these I have overcome by the power of wisdom and virtue.
Whatever vice my body has inherited from its base earthly constitution my divine soul has moderated. It is clear that all we experience comes from the planets that goad us with fiery stings. Even what we struggle against comes from the divine Soul. But as for human laws which punish the sins of mankind, the wise men of old ordained them rightly. They bring aid to the suffering spirit to help the force of the divine Mind cleanse the destructive vices of the body.
We have partially discussed the bases of this question and we shall now show that the laws serve the power of the Fates and always do what the Fates decree. We must bring up a further example. Consider the youth at the height of his physical development—rich, innocent, modest. Driven by no private crime, by no anxiety, he has hanged himself. In the case of another, some enemy cut the noose while he was still breathing; he had intended to commit suicide because of the disgrace of his life; but once the noose was untied he was freed for the sentence of the judges.
What brought the result of these two cases if not the power of Fate? Another man the judges should have found guilty, a man crushed by weight of evil deeds and convicted by his own conscience, but they freed him from imminent death. Another man, known to everyone as innocent, fell on a drawn sword.
One man—upright, sober, modest, whose way of life was always admired —threw himself over a cliff. A just man maintains his life as a wretched beggar while another, stained by well-known crimes, accumu- lates the highest honors. See how a pirate after the murder of untold innocents gathers his happy children into his bloody embrace.
Another, innocent of all crime, is separated from his family by hostility. To what do we attribute all this? Who allows these things to happen? Who has been allowed to have so much power over us? Give us your hand for a little while and hold back from arguments. Soon you may agree that all that stumbling and weak mortality must bear are decided by the chance movements of the planets.
What can we say about the honors of the wicked and the flight and exile of the good? See that man, stained by marks of slavery, who covers the filth and disgrace of his family by the consular fasces. Meanwhile one of noble blood is deprived of the honors which are his due. One with no evidence of merit at an early age goes along at headlong speed to every office. Another worn out with old age after an outstanding life is only now starting on a political career.
For what reason was the old man held back; what drove the young man to such a lucky career? What but the force which we say belongs to Fate, brought into play by the motions of the stars. What can I say at this point about the condemnation of wicked sins? A while ago you were saying, "Often by general consent we see penalties inflicted on innocent people. A famous man, most wise of the Athenians, who by his life and virtue received the title of "the Wise," was driven into exile by the throw of an unlucky sherd. A divine witness attested his wisdom, and his behavior was shaped by the holy teachings of god and man.
In the end, overwhelmed by false charges, betrayed, he succumbed to the harsh power of his judges. How many times did Fortune make Alcibiades a general? What can we say of such a fate? Alcibiades was trained by the divine teaching of Socrates and suffered those things for the sake of the nonmilitary power. Although he always led his army successfully, he could not turn aside the hostility of Fortune. But some say he was a captive of depraved desires and it was his arrogant presumption that led him astray. Let us forget him in order not to weaken our argument.
Let us offer instead another example which will force you to agree. Fate sold out even Plato. It handed over the learning of that godlike mind to the tyrannical power of Dionysius. But if this were not enough let us turn to the disasters of Pythagoras. What kind of a man he was everyone knows. Both men and gods have approved his virtue, know- ledge, and wisdom. He taught all subjects, even the most abstract.
To finish his training he learned foreign doctrines and penetrated all the secrets of wisdom. He was the first or rather the only one while still inhabiting the frail earthly body to discover the nature and origin of All-Seeing Will and divine Power. This he did through his wonderful powers of concentration. He followed that All-Seeing Will all the days of his life. Though his mind was purged of all dross, though predisposed to virtue in life, yet the harshest possible decrees of his fellow citizens sent him forth an exile and outcast.
Fleeing his fatherland and all Greece he first crossed into foreign regions. As an exile he lived in Sybaris and Croton. Fortune did not keep him there for long. He wandered as a fugitive through Locri, Tarentum, almost every shore of Italy. In the end, together with a crowd of poor wretches, he was surrounded with raging fire and destroyed. What can you say to that? Do you still deny the power of Fate and despise the force of the stars?
Do you not see the bad end of the good, the successful acts of the wicked, the destruction of the innocent, the safety of the guilty? To what do you attribute all this? By whose decrees do you thing all this happened? When Fate determines all this for us, we are unjust if we still maintain our opposition. Finally you must answer as all these examples urge you: the guilty one has sinned because Fate forced him, and the innocent who is condemned is driven by Fatal Necessity.
Let us now turn to an exceptional thinker, Plotinus,12 in order to strengthen our case with a recent example. What branches of philosophy did he not explore? His love of learning brought him distinction, and he demonstrated his teaching by his own example, not that of others. Inspired thought came from his mouth as if from a shrine. He was just, brave, far-sighted, moderate; destined for all the rewards of virtue; trained for every kind of research into the divine order of the universe. And he believed he could overcome the attacks of Fortune by reason and foresight.
There he thought he would be free of Fortune's ill will and open only to the reward of the divine teaching. Thus he expected that uncorrupted virtue would protect him against all threats of Fortune. Confidently he settled himself in a pure and healthful region and gave himself over to the care and training of his body with the idea that he would leave no point unprotected where savage Fortune might attack.
He is said to have chosen the pleasant soil of Campania where the tranquil climate supports the inhabitant with healthful crops. There the temperate climate is in balance between the extremes of winter rigor and summer's burning sun; and all kinds of illnesses are refreshed by the boiling waters of huge springs. Settled there Plotinus despised the outward show of worldly position, thinking the only true honors those of wisdom. The desire for wealth had no hold over him.
He thought riches useful only as a means for the trained mind to discover the Author of its origin. You may note that in certain sections of his writing he appears to be lacking in caution and forethought when he attacks the power of Fatal Necessity. He severely reproves men who fear the decrees of Fortune when he claims that the control of our lives is entirely within our own power.
He attributes nothing to the force of the stars, nothing to the necessities of Fate, but says everything is in our power. It would be long to list his ideas on every point, the logic he used against the power of Fate and the very force of the stars. But while he was writing these things he was healthy and unhurt. He never gave a thought to the death of Socrates or Plato. While admiring their mental accomplishments he attributed, one may suspect, their ends to their errors.
And yet the power of the Fates took control of him while he was feeling secure in his hostility to them. First his limbs became stiff and his blood became sluggish and congealed. Little by little his eyesight lost its sharpness and his vision failed. Soon after, a malignant infection under his whole skin burst forth. Polluted blood weakened his limbs and his whole body. Every hour and every day small parts of his inner organs were dissolved and carried away by the creeping sickness. A part of his body might be in good condition one moment and the next deformed by the festering disease.
His body came to lose its shape, and in a dying body only the mind survived, so that he might be compelled by his own pains, and convinced by true reason, to recognize the power of Fate. What can be said about the well-known death of this man? Why were his virtues—wisdom, moderation, fortitude, justice—not able to free him from the punishment of Fortune? In the end even Plotinus realized the power of Fate and accepted the fiery judgment of the stars. They were inplicated in scandals of public finance by those very people to whom they had given back liberty. Who stirred up the savage mob against them?
Who inflamed such public ill-will that, forgetting all benefits, they struck down these innocent and vigorous leaders? What was it except the force and necessity of Fate, which always conquers? Let us turn, if we may, to a Roman example. That cowardly man—I mean Sulla13 —stained by every pollution, grew up in the arms of the city scum who make a living by buying and selling shame. With constant success he led his army, was entitled "Felix" lucky , then caused countless catastrophes to the Republic. Remember how often it ran red with the blood of citizens from the mutilated entrails of the fatherland.
Note the countless tablets of pro- scription he set up and how he was enriched from a parricide's share of blood-stained money. Though it is hard to list all his crimes, we shall tell a few so that we may learn from them the force of Fatal Necessity. Seven thousand of our citizens fell to Sulla's punishment in the middle of the Forum. Believe me, only the necessity of the Fates struck down this multitude through Sulla's hands.
What kind of reasonable order is there when a man who never remembered what sex he was, who in old age retained the shameful passions of the body, who was possessed by vices, should govern the Roman Empire? We know that he was indicted in a prefect's petition. Censorinus accused him on well-founded grounds of the spoliation of a province. As an officer in the Cimbric War he deserted the Roman army and his general Marius.
Yet this man, polluted by such scandals, was decorated with the authority of regal power, and set our army to despoil us. Allow me to elaborate Sulla's crimes a little longer. My argument will be credited if the whole necessity of the Fates can be illustrated by many types of misfortunes. By order of Sulla, Sulpicius, Tribune of the Plebs, was struck down in an unspeakable punishment.
Sulla committed all kinds of cruelty immediately, without any hesitation, and sated his lusts day after day with the blood of citizens. Marius the Younger, a man of praetorian rank, by general consent deserved well of the Republic. On Sulla's order first his legs were cut off; then his arms were loosened from the stump of his torso until they fell off; third, his tongue was amputated, leaving his voice in his throat.
In the end, after every part of his body was mutilated, his eyes were torn out. In that small body so many tortures were discovered by the butcher of his father, and his breath was painfully drawn out by many wounds. Perhaps you think only men were attacked by Sulla's fearful atrocity? After other races were Conquered and the world had been explored to the outermost limits of Ocean, after the minds of all were weakened by pitiable terror, the Roman People itself was forced to serve the evil rule of Stith. Between the Porcian and Sempronian laws, amidst the groans of all citizens, he posted the third tablet of proscription.
Not content with this evil, as a private citizen he murdered Lucretius. Although he had laid down his power, his cruelty lived on. Should I mention the Servilian Lake on which the heads of many citizens floated in a display of his enormous crimes? Even amid the banquet of the gods, officiating at public rites, Sulla looked on the wounds of the Republic.
What can be more cruel? He made widows and wretched orphans in the name of public emergency. Against Sulla there was no place for piety, for good faith, for bravery, for foresight. Who now believes that our sins are punished by human or divine law? Sulla feeds on slaughter, he walks amid tyrannical powers, yet there is no divine force to attack his desires. What do you think? What do you decide? Refute what we say! Show us the order of the world! Where are the laws? Where are the judgments? We are forever destitute of judg- ment, both human and divine, because Sulla committed all these crimes with impunity.
Did no whip of angry gods punish his crimes which fed on so many deaths? Those who died through him were deprived even of last rites. Can this be justice? You say the sins of mankind are announced every day to the avenging gods. But in all this Fortune did as she wished. Whatever the Fates had decreed for individuals, these decrees were fulfilled by Sulla's ferocity. And a happy outcome followed him after all these evils. Heaped with distinguished honors he laid down his authority by his own choice. By his order the limbs of the Republic were severed and the blood-stained money was added to the riches of unworthy men; after these evils he enjoyed peaceful security.
By unanimous decree of the Senate and the Roman People he was rewarded with a title which implied good fortune and continued prosperity. Who would now deny that our lives are governed by the chance motions of the stars? That man who advanced through every kind of cruelty attained all the rewards of high office. But Marius, after his triumph over Jugurtha and others, after he freed the city of Rone from dangers both foreign and domestic, after purple-clad triumphs, was bound with iron chains.
Behold him an exile in the swamps of Minturnae; behold him oppressed in a filthy prison. Observe how as a fugitive he approaches the ruins of Carthage. What god made Marius an exile and Sulla prosperous? The general Aemilius Paullus handed over the supreme command to Marius, who was only a soldier; while Sulla, an officer, deserted the Roman army. Scipio, after many triumphs, after the destruction of Carthage and the fall of Numantia, after the blameless deeds of his dictatorship, was killed inside the walls of his own house by the wicked treachery of his servants who broke his neck with their hands.
What use to Regulus was his good faith when Fate had laid him low after an unspeakable, pitiful captivity in enemy hands? What other force handed over Crassus and the Roman fasces to the dissolute Persian kings? He had been a hard-working leader and he had the Roman army to support his virtues. After the fifth consulate of Pompey, after many triumphs, on the bank of the Nile a eunuch's sword severed his unconquered neck which had so often been arrayed in royal purple. Who armed the hand of Cato to take his own life? Who betrayed Cicero to the corrupt, effeminate desires of Antony?
Those whom Caesar in his clemency had freed from all fear, he afterwards armed for his own destruction. Do you see how everywhere and always Fortune rules? Do you see how various and unstable are the experiences of mankind? The brave are overcome by the cowardly, the inferior bring down the good; justice does not profit the just, foresight always deceives the cautious; the immodest and dissolute are preferred in office to the modest and sober.
The zealous are laid low, the wicked are praised, and whatever is a profit to one man deceives another into dangerous imitation. All these events are caused by the movements of the planets and by these various patterns Fortune destroys us. Therefore, with these exam- ples, let us prove the law of Fatal Necessity, not with the flow of words but with provable facts and correct judgment.
But there are some who agree with us to a certain extent and admit that Fate and Fortune have a certain power, which they call himarmene. Thus they appear to maintain which is possible and not possible at the same time. They claim that this thing which they call himarmene is connected to mankind and all living things by a certain relationship.
We are so created that after a certain time the course of our life is finished. We are brought back to the divine spirit which sustains us after the dissolution of the body. They claim that we are subject to Fate, that is, to Chance, for attaining the end of life. Thus by the law of Fate they claim one end —that is, dissolution—destroys us and all living beings. What we do while we are alive belongs to us; only our death belongs to Chance or Fate. I do not know what this different theory accomplishes. I do not know who could be persuaded by what they say. If everyone admits that his end is subject to Fatal Necessity, he prejudges his own argument in this way.
He diminishes the power of his argument in the lesser points and concedes it in the more important. With this loose way of arguing he spins an absurd argument. He attributes to Fate the option to punish with death but denies that which is less, the power of controlling human destinies. They claim that once we are created, Fate leads us into the light and opens the doors of life to men arriving for their earthly experience.
If the beginning and end of life are set up for us by the law of Fatal Necessity, what else is there which is not in its power, if the beginning and end are decreed by its decrees? See, there is one, his human shape not yet formed, who dies in his mother's womb. In the case of another, although he is formed and already freed from the womb, his vital spirit does not feed on air. Another just wrapped in his first swaddling clothes is deserted by the breath of life when still a wailing infant. One is carried off by weakness when still a child.
Another is removed by accident at the age of puberty when, already educated in the traditional learning, he is approaching the period when, as my opponents say, activities are supposed to be under our control. Still another, after too long a life, lacking almost any sense or will, weakened by declining years and foul old age, unwillingly bears his long, tedious burden. Who is it who brings death to one unborn, to another on the first day of life, to the child a little while after, to the youth, to the old man?
Let something be discovered which may teach us, which may show us, struggling as we are, the path of truth. Surely it is Fate and the necessity of human death which distributes at its own discretion a time of living to all living things born on the Earth, denies a longer span to some, allows it to others. It makes no sense for one to admit the necessity of Fate and afterwards to deny it. It is a very faulty argument which rebuts in the later part of the discussion what it had admitted in the earlier.
What can we say of the various kinds of death? One man, when Fate compels, is hanged in a noose. Another is struck by a sword. Others are drowned in seas or rivers. Another, handed over to savage flames, is turned into cinders. One falls off a cliff, another is crushed in the ruins of a falling house. The soul of one is carried off by deadly poison. One is consumed by burning fever.
Another, suddenly inflamed by burning blood-vessels, is consumed in a violent heat. Another, up to then unhurt, suffers an accident. For another the bite of a poisonous serpent contracts his veins in death. These are the different kinds of death which Fate assigns to us. These are the decrees of the planets we set forth a little before.
From these come the wretched deaths of famous heroes, the prosperous last days of evil men. Thus the lives of men, each on a different course, are completed, each as Fortune decides. From there, it is agreed, comes the beginning and end of our lives, also all our deeds together, our wishes, our desires, and everything that pertains to the experience of humankind. Let us therefore follow the conclusions of correct reasoning, and concede that nothing is placed in our power, but the whole is in the power of Fate.
Whatever we do or suffer, the whole thing happens to us by this same judgment of Fortune. Now that all these things have been explained —all these things which show the force of Fate and the laws of the decreeing planets—let us return to the question we left in the first part, the one about the complexions and characters of men. When we have settled that question completely, Lollianus, we shall be able to set forth for you what we promised.
I shall reply with a short disquisition, because on this point many wise men have expressed opinions. In the whole vault of heaven, which is spherical in shape and embraces the earth and sea and all things between, there are five zones. Some of these are homogeneous and others are made up of a mixture of clima tes. The" one in the middle of the five zones is burned by the light of the Sun and is stained with fiery color.
The two zones which contain the poles of the universe cling to its sides on the far left and right. They are marked by a pale blue color and are always covered by dark storms, congealed by eternal frost and hard-packed snow. Between these two frozen zones and the fiery one are the two remaining, where a climate of mixed cold and hot has formed a gentle moderation.
These are the two zones which produce the whole race of living things on Earth. Through these zones turns the oblique system of the signs the Zodiac , providing for the rising and setting of all signs forever.
Here come and go in regular movement the Sun, Moon, and the five wandering stars which the Greeks call planets. The nature of these five zones has produced men of different races, each with their own coloring; but in such a way that there is an appearance of unity, though the bodies of men vary with the radiation of the stars.
Whatever race of men lies near the zone which burns with eternal fire, takes on fire from the nearness of its neighbor. These men are permanently dark with the look of burned objects. Those parts which lie next to the icy zones and are deserted by the heat of the Sun endow the men born in their vicinity with a shining white appearance. Yet, even in the regions which produce dark men and those which produce light-colored, the power of the stars is very strong.
Each and every man, though his color is uniform, has a different appearance and shape. How would individuals recognize sons, brothers, relatives; how would citizens recognize strangers, neighbors, guests, if the power of the stars did not give separate and different appearances to individuals? Think of the great numbers of the human race. How many wicked crimes could be committed if everyone had the same face! Deceived by the likeness, brother would approach sister as a husband.
One man would lead off another man's legal wife in shameless defilement. Men would fight over a son in mistaken conflict. Others would not know the identity of their former slaves. A man of good family might be mistakenly dragged away as a slave. All this might happen if men did not have different appearances. The stars bring about these differences by their combinations and mixtures of influence. Some blondness has a slight tinge of dark color. The gleam of a little. A number of colors creep into the hair.
The eyes are always colored with different lights. Bodies are sometimes tall, short, slender, broad, heavy, fat. It is the zones which determine who is to be dark and who light. The stars decide the varieties of shape and different mixtures of color.
astrological sign - Wikidata
As to the characters of mankind, discussion is unnecessary. Many Asiatics, in fact, almost all of them, show some evidence of modesty and moderation. The frivolity of the Greeks often takes on a serious dignity. The unbridled fury of the Scythians is sometimes tempered by a certain clemency and humanity. The Gauls are growing in thoughtfulness and wisdom. Signs of honest truthfulness improve the tricky Africans.
Many Spaniards lay aside the fault of boasting. Sudden generosity has changed the Syrian's greed. It is not difficult to find some stupid men among the clever Sicilians, and the Italians often lose their unrestricted power to rule. We do not need to go far afield or to ancient books to bring you examples. I mean, of course, Constantine the Most Great, son of the Deified Constantine the Princeps, of august and revered memory.
He was chosen to free the world from tyrannical government and to crush domestic evils by virtue of his own majesty, so that through him the stain of servitude might be washed away and the rewards of liberty returned to us. For ailments of specific body parts or functions the main responsible planets are listed in the table below.
The 4th house is the main house of education and in the above chart this house is governed by Scorpio sign and its lord Mars. In this chart Mars also rules the 9th house of higher education and in general Mars indicates surgery so the native of this chart had success as a surgeon.
The sign Leo gains importance due to it being the ascendant sign in this chart. Article by: Jyotirvid Pawan Kumar. Related Posts. Daily Weekly. Heart, Stomach, Head, right-eye, Bones, general constitution of the body. Red blood corpuscles, marrow, genitals, rectum, head, veins and vitality.