Original release: October 10, 2022

Latest revision: November 16, 2022


The present untitled epitome of 29 chapters, called Antiochus’s “Epitome IV” by David Pingree and “Rhetorius C” by Wolfgang Hübner, was excerpted from “Rhetorius’s” Explanation and Interpretation of All Astrology and revised by an anonymous Byzantine scholar working in Constantinople in 884 or 887.1 It survives in a single recension, which I call Recension B after its best manuscript. Its Chapters 1–11 and 24–28 corresponding to Chapters 53, 57–62, 64–83, 97, 99–102, and 104–105 of the main epitome of Explanation, not only does it often identify or supplement the sources missing from the latter but also adds sections from Valens and Dorotheus2 or revises its original throughly.3 Nevertheless, Chapters 12–23 and 28a preserve material originally belonging to Explanation but now lost from the main epitome.

Unfortunately, the epitome appears to be incomplete: in 19 §9, it refers to “Chapter 4,” which should deal with nonviable births, and in 16 §8, to “Chapter 28,” in which the periods of life and the subject of premature death should be discussed, but neither chapter is extant; nor is the chapter promised in 22 §17 concerning the indications of contacts and effluences. Also, whenever the surviving chapters are referenced by their numbers, this numbering never corresponds to the chapter numbers of any of the manuscripts.4 Since the original numbering cannot be restored, the chapter numbering of the most comprehensive manuscript, B, is used in the translation.

Note (October 13, 2022). For the time being, Chapters 16–23 are translated below. The remaining chapters will be added later.


Like the main epitome, this epitome deals only with natal astrology: the indications of the twelve places (Ch. 1), the 30 bright fixed stars (Ch. 2), the Moon’s configurations and the twelfth-parts (Ch. 3), topics related to bodily and mental issues (Chs. 4–7), the circumstances of death and the issue of flourishing (Chs. 8–11), the calculation of the degree-wise places with Ptolemy’s Handy Tables (Ch. 12), issues and calculations concerning the length of life (Ch. 13–20), predictive methods (Ch. 21), a template for analyzing births (Ch. 22), the topic of conception (Ch. 23), the subjects of parents (Chs. 24–25), siblings (Ch. 26), and activity (Ch. 27), and the spear-bearers to the Sun (Ch. 28). The epitome concludes with the horoscope of the unnamed son of the emperor Leo I (457–474), who was born on April 25, 463. Apart from this, two more birth horoscopes are cited in Chapters 12 and 19; these are dated to September 8, 428, and March 21, 482, respectively. It is very likely that all these three horoscopes belonged to the collection of Zeno’s Anonymous.

Manuscripts, editions, and previous translations

The epitome is preserved in three primary manuscripts: in mss Paris, BNF, gr. 2506 (B, Chs. 1–28a on ff. 1r–24v) and Paris, BNF, gr. 2424 (Z, Chs. 0–28 of Book I on ff. 5v–33v) as well as in ms Venice, BNM, gr. Z. 335 (H, Chs. A95–A119 on ff. 100r–115r). The chapters of the epitome are listed in the table of contents of ms Berlin, SB, gr. 173 (D) in the same fashion as in B, but only Chapter 1 is actually copied (ff. 48r–49v), where it is ascribed to Hermes Trismegistus. The chapter with the same ascription is found in H (Ch. A13 on ff. 28r–40r) and ms Erlangen, UB, A 4 (E, ff. 159–175).

No definitive edition of the epitome exists. Chapters 23–28 were edited from BH by Alessandro Olivieri in CCAG 2, 186–192, and Chapter 2 and the second part of Chapter 4 from the same manuscripts by Franz Cumont in CCAG 5.1, 219–226. Cumont edited Chapter 28a from B, its unique witness, in CCAG 8.4, 224–225 and Chapters 12–22 from BH (the text of both Recension B and B’) in CCAG 8.1, 220–248. For the rest, Chapters 1, 3, the entirety of 4, and 5–11, one may rely on Cumont’s edition of Chapters 57, 59–62, and 64–81 of the main epitome in CCAG 8.4, 126–174 and 183–207, which conflates the readings of BHZ with those of the main epitome.

Holden, Rhetorius used these editions to translate the second part of Chapter 24 as “Chapters 99–101,” Chapter 25 as “chapter 102,” the first part of Chapter 26 in footnote 2 for “Chapter 104,” Chapter 28a as “Chapter [118],” and Chapters 12 and 13 as Appendices IV and V, respectively. Also, Chapters 57–83 of this volume often contain passages or sections that are in fact from this epitome, not from the main epitome, which is a more comprehensive version of Explanation.

The present translation

For the translation below, I relied on the abovementioned editions but collated the disregarded manuscripts and examined the entirety of the witnesses in the critical passages. Chapters 22–23 are extant in further recensions, one of which, Recension X, is closer to the original Explanation than the recension of the present epitome. To enable the study of these variants, a synoptic translation is also provided to Chapters 22–23.

1 In Chapter 2, the positions of the fixed stars are given to year 600 Diocletian, which corresponds to 884 CE, but both in Chapter 2 and 21 §5, the constant 7;30 is added to the Ptolemaic longitudes, which is appropriate for 887 CE. In 26 §1, the editor also reveals that he is from Constantinople.
2 See 24 §1 and the end of Chapter 28 for additamenta from Valens and Dorotheus, respectively.
3 See, for example, Chapter 26, which is a heavily revised version of Chapters 104–105 of the main epitome.
4 See 22 §§17–18, which refer to Chapter 1 as “Chapter 5;” 22 §1, which refers to Chapter 12 as “Chapter 14;” and 21 §1 and 3 §3, which refer to Chapter 14 as “Chapter 16.”



16. On the times of life

A slightly revised version of this chapter, which I call Recension B’, reappears as Chapter 229 in B (f. 79rv) and as Chapter 154 in Book II of Z (f. 89r), where it is titled “How to investigate the times of life.” The differences between the two recensions are mostly negligible, however.

(1) (He1 says) that the one investigating the matters concerning the times of life must use all the methods of Ptolemy, Valens, and the Egyptians, but in particular, these must also be supplemented with (the investigation of) the year-ruler of the year that is leaving off and the (stars) regarding this (year-ruler), the transmissions and acquisitions of this year, the adherences that are formed, and the degree-wise revolutions of the stars as Valens taught in Chapter 2 of his Book VI, as well as the complete ascensions, revolutions, and returns of the signs and the stars, [and] their co-returns according to the half, one-third, and two-third as Valens said in Chapters 4, 5, and 6 of his Book VII; for he spoke about the times of life on the basis of the revolutions of the stars and the ascensions of the signs with examples. (2) Also, investigate the distribution of Fortune and Fate; for if you examine all these consistently and in a logical order, you will not be able to utterly fail in reckoning about the times of life.

(3) Phnaës the Egyptian2 and Valens in Chapter 53 of his Book III say that one needs to investigate how the domicile-master of the birth is situated concerning his appearance [and] place: (4) if he is pivotal, he allots his complete years, but if he is under the beams or declining, he allots his least years, months, days, or hours; (5) but if he is together with the Lot of Fortune, investigate by how many hours he is remote from the pivot and multiply his complete or least years, months, days, or hours by twelve, subtracting one-twelfth for each hour, and say that (the native) will live as long time as the remainder is. (6) In this manner, if the domicile-master is between the Hour-Marker and the Midheaven or the ninth or eighth place, do the release of the hours from the Hour-Marker to the domicile-master. (7) However, if the domicile-master is between the setting (pivot) and the fourth or third or second place, do the release from the setting (pivot) to the domicile-master.

(8) I will lay out all these subjects in what follows, that is, in Chapter 284 concerning certain births (of people that) died prematurely;5 for it must be pointed out that (even though you use) many methods, the (investigation) concerning the times of life arrives at the same conclusion, (no matter you make this investigation) according to (the method of) Ptolemy or Valens or anyone else.

(9) Also, examine the matters about Valens’s number of a crisis6 as (it is read) in Chapter 8 of his Book III.

1 Presumably, the original author of Explanation.
2 An unknown author, whose only other testimony is found in Chapter 15 of the main epitome of Explanation, where he is mentioned together with Antigonus of Nicaea.
3 In fact, in Chapter 3, where Valens specifically mentions a certain “man of old,” who should be, therefore, Phnaës.
4 This chapter is not extant in this epitome, and it has not been identified elsewhere.
5 For this sentence, Recension B’ writes, “You will find several examples for this subject in another book (authored) by some people.”
6 Following Cumont’s conjecture, κλιμακτῆρος, for the manuscripts’ κλήρου, “lot.”


17. On [the] domicile-master

(1) (He says) that the domicile-master must be a bound-ruler and a domicile-steward of the Sun and the Moon, and he must also witness them and the Hour-Marker. (2) If the domicile-master is marking the Hour, is in the Midheaven, or is setting in an own sign and in some of his own degrees while he is related to rising and adding, he grants his complete years. (3) But if he is under the beams or declining, he does not grant his complete but his lesser years. (4) And if he is under the beams and subtracting, not even his lesser years but months, days, or hours.

(5) When the domicile-master is subtracting, he is making his course toward the leading (signs), receding until the degree in which he is about to become adding after stationing, (6) so make sure that he should not adhere to any of the destroyers during1 the time of his recession.—(7) By “destroyers,” he means2 Kronos, Ares, and the Sun.

(8) Valens also makes mention of this subject.3

1 Reading with BH for “after” of Z.
2 Reading with BZ; H writes “I mean.”
3 In Chapter 3 of his Book III.


18. On [the] destroyer

(1) Regarding destroyers, Valens does not only mention these (stars)1 but also [the intervals]2 of the Hour-Marker from the Moon and [the intervals] of the Moon from the Hour-Marker—this is found in Chapter 103 of his Book VI.

(2) After the domicile-master reaches the degree in which he is about to become adding after stationing, he makes his course again toward the following (signs). (3) If he meets none of the malefics by ray, hour-reckoning must be used.

(4) The lights will master the domicile only when they are pivotal and beheld by their own domicile-masters and bound-rulers well and in good placement.

1 That is, Kronos, Ares, and the Sun mentioned in 17 §7.
2 Here and in what follows, inserting διαστάσεων with Valens 6.8.7.
3 In fact, in Chapter 8.


19. On births lacking a domicile-master according to Valens

(1) One must take the domicile-stewards and the bound-rulers of the lights and of the Hour-Marker as domicile-masters, but if they are under the beams or declining, or they are about to make a setting appearance within seven1 days, the birth will lack a domicile-master. (2) If the lights are declining, the bound-ruler of the Hour-Marker will be the domicile-master. (3) But if he also falls aside or is under the beams, the birth will again lack a domicile-master.

(4) It often happens that although the bound-ruler or the domicile-steward of the light of the governing party is well-situated, another star will master the domicile: he who is found to have more say in the birth while he is well-situated as regards his appearance, placement, and figure.

(5) For example,2 the Sun is at 29;43 of the Fishes in the bounds of Kronos, the Moon at 6 of the Balance in the bounds of Kronos, Kronos at 25 of the Balance in the bounds of Aphrodite, Zeus at 28 of the Ram in the bounds of Kronos, Ares at 29 of the Fishes in the bounds of Kronos, Aphrodite at 15 of the Bull in the bounds of Zeus, Hermes at 20 of the Fishes in the bounds of Ares, the Hour-Marker at 6 of the Maiden in the bounds of Hermes, the Midheaven at 2 of the Twins in the bounds of Hermes, and the Lot of Fortune at 12 of the Fishes in the bounds of Aphrodite.

(6) We find Kronos receiving the Sun in his bounds only, the Moon in his bounds, trigon, and exaltation, [and the Hour-Marker in no ways while (we find) Aphrodite receiving in her domicile only the Moon, in her trigon and exaltation] the Sun, Ares, and Hermes, and in her trigon the Hour-Marker.3 (7) Therefore, Kronos and Aphrodite will be the domicile-masters—that is, Kronos mastering the domicile while Aphrodite co-mastering the domicile.4—(8) And both of these two effected death according to the hour-reckoning at the same time; (9) this is found in Chapter 4 on the non-reared.5

1 Undoing the faulty resolution of the numeral ζ as ζῳδίου, “of a sign,” already present in the manuscripts.
2 This birth is dated to March 21, 482, and it was cast for about 4 pm local apparent time in zone 5 (Hellespont).
3 Supplementing the lacuna partly following Dorian Greenbaum’s emendations (Fate, 433) but observing the requirement that Kronos and Aphrodite must have equal say as a result. It is possible only if domicile-mastership is considered over the lights and the Hour-Marker exclusively, just as it is hinted in 19 §1. Consequently, Kronos and Aphrodite will have 4 counters each.
4 A potential explanation of this hierarchy is that Kronos is the bound-ruler of both lights, but Aphrodite is only the domicile-steward of the Moon.
5 This referenced chapter is not extant in the present epitome nor has been identified elsewhere. Note (October 20, 2022). The results of hour-reckoning will be calculated and added later.


20. On the predominator

(1) If the Sun and the Moon are the predominators of the years (of life) while the birth lacks a domicile-master, look at the domicile-masters and the bound-rulers of the (predominating) light. (2) If they witness the predominator while he is well-situated in a releasing place, they will make him more influential and stronger. (3) However, if the domicile-master or the bound-ruler of the predominator [do not witness him, the predominator will not have]1 strength for release even if he is situated in good placement. (4) But then you must do the release from the Hour-Marker or with the other methods.2 (5) This is what Dorotheus is referring to when he says, “you must observe the witnessing of every releaser” and what follows.3

1 Filling the obvious lacuna with οὐ μαρτυρήσουσιν αὐτῷ, ὁ ἐπικρατήτωρ οὐ.
2 This must be an allusion to the use of the Lot of Fortune or the union preceding the birth in the release, as Dorotheus’s instructions preserved in Hephaestio 2.26 suggest.
3 This entire chapter is related to what is preserved in the Arabic Dorotheus paraphrase 3.2.4–6 Dykes = 3.2.5–7 Pingree. By fortunate coincidence, Dorotheus’s original line, which is paraphrased here, is quoted in Hephaestio 2.26.29; it reads, “so a releaser must be their witness at all events.”


21. On the divisions of [the] times

(1) You must do the divisions of the times as follows: before all, investigate the courses of the Sun, the Moon, the Hour-Marker, the Midheaven, and the Lot of Fortune—which is always cast from the Sun to the Moon according to Ptolemy’s rule—and not only according to the sign-wise—that is, the place-wise—trigonal, tetragonal, and hexagonal side but also according to the degree-wise one, as you learned in Chapter 16.1 (2) Then you must also do the courses of the stars not only according to Ptolemy’s methods but according to the ascensions of the signs in the way each sign ascends according to the proper zone, as the Egyptians teach.

(3) For the very year, investigate the degree of each releaser—in the bounds of which star they are—and to which stars they are making their adherences, but not only of the wandering but also the fixed ones that are of the first and second magnitude and have the same wind. (4) For example, let the Sun and the Hour-Marker be together at the 22nd degree of the Ram in zone 4. (5) The fixed star Gorgo is at 7;10 of the Bull in the present era.2 (6) We say, therefore, that Gorgo will adhere to the Sun and the Hour-Marker in 10 years and 4 months,3 and this time will be active to both the father and the child in the same manner as it occurs in the case of the adherence of the Sun and the Hour-Marker to Zeus and Kronos. (It will be active) to the father because of the Sun whereas to the child because of the Hour-Marker, (7) for the men of old say that if a birth has not been supported by times, the effects will be active to the parents—as it is the case for most children.

(8) After these, investigate the ascensions and the revolutions of the signs and the stars according to their complete, mean, and least years, but even so according to the half, the two-thirds and one-third, not only taken as years but also as months, days, and hours as Valens expounded it in Chapter 6 of his Book VII.

(9) Furthermore, investigate the adherences of the stars according to their revolutions by degree and sign, then the distributions of Fortune and Fate as Valens expounded it in Chapter [25] of his Book IV. Also, investigate the transmissions and acquisitions as he teaches in his Books IV and V. (10) Moreover, investigate the year-ruler and the Hour-Marker of the year as Dorotheus says, how he is situated regarding his appearance and placement, by which (stars) he is being beheld, and how he was situated in the birth.4 (11) Then do the distribution of the year, and after these, examine the entrances of the stars for the year as Antigonus expounded it in Chapter 4 of his Book IV.5

(12) If you are about to investigate the particularities, do the following: regarding the father, cast the years from the Lot of the Father, and for the mother, from the Lot of the Mother. (13) Cast the years from the Sun, the Moon, the Hour-Marker, the Midheaven, and the Lot of Fortune according to what investigation you have decided to do, but if you do it in the right way, (you will also cast the years) from every lot.

(14) And you must also know the following: if the Sun is found to be the releaser, and the Moon is marking the Hour, and they are adhering to each other, they effect a lethal crisis not only according to encounter but also according to a tetragon or diameter, and similarly in their own tetragons and diameters. (15) Therefore, you must observe when the Moon is being released to the Hour-Marker, the prenatal union, or her two halves, and to the Sun since these adherences produce lethal crises.

1 It is now Chapter 14 above. The scribe of H also notes this on the margin, writing “find this not in (Chapter) number 17 (!) but where he writes about the course.”
2 It is the fixed star Algol, having the mixture of Zeus and Kronos, and this “present era” is a reference to the composition of the epitome. By calculating with Ptolemy’s values, the year should be 887.
3 Using Ptolemy’s Handy Tables, the oblique ascension in zone 4 for 7;10 Bull is 24;13 (by linear interpolation), and for 22 Ram, it is 13;53. The difference is 10;20, exactly corresponding to 10 years and 4 months.
4 This is related to the Arabic Dorotheus paraphrase 4.1.1–6 Dykes = 4.1.1–7 Pingree. Dorotheus’s instructions are also summarized in Hephaestio 2.27.1–2 briefly.
5 Antigonus’s book is now lost.


22. Instructions concerning how to interpret nativities

The present chapter is extant in three recensions. An extensive revision of Recension B, which I call Recension B’, reappears as Chapter 218 in B (ff. 73v–74r), as Chapter 143 in Book II of Z (ff. 82v–83r), and as Chapter A229 of H (f. 170rv) under the title “On what one must investigate (in births).” On the other hand, a recension of Chapters 22–23 closer to the original Explanation is found in mss Vatican City, BAV, Vat. gr. 191 (X, ff. 240v–242v) and Paris, BNF, gr. 2507 (P, ff. 103r–104r). The readings of this recension, which I call Recension X, are occasionally appended by the second scribe of Z to Recension B as interlinear or marginal notes and are even used to fill a lacuna; these readings are marked Z’. Below, only Recension B is translated with emendations from the other recensions. Click here for a synoptic translation of the three recensions.

(1) After you have ascertained the positions of the stars down to their degrees, the natures1 of their signs, their bounds according to the Egyptians and Ptolemy, their trigons and the participations,2 their exaltations and dejections, the decans and the faces of these, the individual degrees, the bright degrees, the twelfth-parts, the latitudes of the winds, the steps, the obliquities,3 the appearances, the stations, and those degree-wise co-risings of the fixed stars that are close to them together with their mixtures, then come to the Hour-Marker, the Midheaven, and the degree-wise pivots of the twelve places as you learned in Chapter 15,4 then to the seven lots, and the Moon’s appearances—that is, to the prenatal Concourse or Full Moon—and her third-day, seventh-day, and fortieth-day, and her contact and effluence by longitude and latitude.

(2) Then investigate the domicile-master of the birth and then examine the conceptive birth5 based on the (writings) of Valens6 as we will teach you after these (instructions).7 (3) Then examine the degree-wise trigonal, [tetragonal,] and hexagonal sides as you learned them in Chapter 16,8 both the right-hand and left-hand ones. (4) Keep these after noting them down separately in order that when, during the interpretation of the courses of the stars, you are making the adherences, you should take not only the sign-wise and place-wise sides but also the degree-wise ones; for they are more compelling, especially in the signs of short and long ascension. (5) Then investigate the matters concerning the times of life based on the (writings) of Ptolemy and Valens;9 (6) in the courses of the stars10, the adherences of the stars, of the Hour-Marker, of the Midheaven, and of the lots occurring with the fixed stars have great influence in accordance with their mixtures as long as they have the same latitude.

(7) Kronos’s course signifies destructions of things, injuries, ailments, misfortune, grandfathers or fathers, older brothers, gains or losses from inheritances, and dangers related to water. (8) Zeus’s (course) signifies honors, gains,11 acquaintance with people of high rank, patronages, and beneficial acquisitions. (9) Ares’s (course signifies) military services, public affairs, temerity, punishments, confusions, unexpected conflicts, ardent affections, and wounds caused by iron or falling. (10) Aphrodite’s (course signifies) marriage, friendships, erotic love, intercourses, prosperity, gains or losses from women, mothers, and younger sisters.12 (11) And Hermes’s (course) signifies [younger] brothers, communication, education, commerce, servants, and freedmen. (12) Regarding the courses of the Sun, the Moon, the Hour-Marker, the Midheaven, and the Lot of Fortune, what each of them signifies was exposed by Ptolemy.13

(13) You must judge each of the stars according to their adherences to both the wandering and the fixed stars and to the Ascending [and Descending] Node and according to the influences of the bounds, and so must you foretell the future. (14) You must take the ascensions of the signs for Ptolemy’s methods according to the Handy Table, for the methods of the Egyptians according to the Egyptian (table), and for Valens’s methods according to Valens’s (table).14

(15) Then investigate (the subject of) parents following the methods of Ptolemy, [Valens,]15 and Dorotheus16 and, following other ancients, from the lots of the parents; then (investigate the subject of) siblings [following Ptolemy]17 and from the third place and the lots of siblings; (16) then (investigate the subjects of bodily) form and the quality of the soul following Ptolemy, (the subjects of) injuries and ailments following Ptolemy and the others as we have expounded,18 (the subject of) fortune related to honors following Ptolemy and the others,19 and then (investigate the subjects of) marriage, children, and being abroad. (17) Then investigate the effects (recorded) on the table of the twelve-turning as it was written in Chapter 5,20 then the effects of the contacts and effluences in the manner I will teach after these (instructions),21 and the decanic indications of the Hour-Marker, of the Sun, of the Moon, of the five stars, of and the lots following Teucer of Babylon. (18) Then (investigate) the effects of the trigons, tetragons, diameters, hexagons[, and concourses]22 of the stars following Dorotheus23 and the others, the local differences of the stars and their bounds,24 then the effects of the Ascending and the Descending Node as (you learned) in Chapter 5,25 then the quality of the death following Ptolemy, Dorotheus, and Valens,26 and finally the division of the times.

(19) Before all, therefore, investigate the year-ruler and his placement and all his witnessing, and whether he sees his domicile, and how he was situated in the birth. (20) Then investigate the Hour-Marker of the year based on the degree of the Sun’s return—that is, from the exact hour of the birth-substitute—the (stars) regarding the Hour-Marker, and its lord. (21) Then do the distributions of Fortune and Fate in the manner of Valens, the transmissions and acquisitions of the stars as Valens does,27 and then do the decennials as the Egyptians do; and after these, do the distribution of the year.

{(22) (Investigate) the particularities as follows. For the birth, cast the years from the Hour-Marker, the Midheaven, the Sun, the Moon, and Fortune; concerning the father [and the mother], from the Lot of the Father or the Mother †or from each place or from the lot of the year or from Hermes†.}28

1 Reading φύσεις with Recension X and Z’ for φάσεις, “appearances,” of BHZ.
2 This should be a reference to the three trigon-rulers.
3 This “obliquity” (loxōsis) is probably a reference to the star’s position relative to the horizon and the meridian; see Pancharius’s commentary on Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 3.11.18–19 preserved in Hephaestio 2.11.83–86.
4 It is now Chapter 12 above. The scribe of H also notes the difference, noting on the margin, erroneously, “find this not in Chapter 15 but where he writes about how to find the six hours by which the Hour-Marker is distant.”
5 Evidently, the conceptive chart is meant.
6 Find Valens’s treatments in 1.21–22 and 3.10.
7 A reference to the following Chapter 23, which is not based on Valens’s account, though.
8 It is now Chapter 14 above.
9 See Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 3.11 and most of Valens’s Book III.
10 Reading ἀστέρων with Recensions XB’ for ζῳδίων, “signs,” of BHZ.
11 Reading ὠφελείας with Recension X for φιλίας, “friendships,” of BHZ.
12 Reading καὶ μητέρας καὶ μικροτέρας ἀδελφὰς with Recension X for καὶ μητρὸς καὶ ἀπὸ θηλειῶν ἀδελφῶν, “(gains or losses from women,) also those of the mother, and from female siblings” of BHZ.
13 See Tetrabiblos 4.10.14.
14 See Valens 1.6.
15 Adding with Recension B’.
16 See Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 3.5, Valens 2.32, and the Arabic Dorotheus 1.13–18 Dykes = 1.12.15–16 Pingree with the related fragments.
17 Adding with Recension B’. This subject is treated in Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 3.6.
18 In Chapter 4 above, which corresponds to Chapters 61–62 of the main epitome.
19 All these subjects are treated in Tetrabiblos 3.12–15 and 4.3.
20 Now Chapter 1 above, corresponding to Chapter 57 of the main epitome.
21 This chapter is now lost, but perhaps a chapter preserved as Chapter 138 of “Balchus,” possibly authored by the Anonymous of 379, served as its source.
22 Adding with Recension B’.
23 Arabic Dorotheus 2.14–23 Dykes = 2.14–19 Pingree and the related fragments.
24 The “local differences” (topikai diakriseis) are the descriptions of what the seven stars in each other’s domiciles and bounds indicate.
25 See the note to reference to the same chapter in 22 §17 above.
26 See Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos 4.9, the Arabic Dorotheus 4.3 Dykes = 4.1.143–184 Pingree with the related fragments, and Valens 2.41.
27 These both are treated in Valens’s Book IV.
28 The section, which looks out of place here, is a rearranged and partly unintelligible version of 21 §§12–13, so I secluded it.


23. On conception—from the (writings) of Rhetorius

As it was indicated above, another version of this chapter is preserved in Recension X. Compared to it, the present text appears to be an abridgment, corresponding only to §§1–3 of the longer version of Recension X. Note (October 25, 2022). The translation of Recension X will be uploaded soon.

(1) As the zodiacal circle is divided into 360 degrees and has its beginning at the Hour-Marking degree, a right triangle is erected toward the leading (signs). Its first side is above the earth, and it is the hypotenuse from the beginning, consisting of 150 degrees; the third side is below the earth from the degree of the Hour-Marker—(which is) a beginning or foundation—consisting of 90 degrees; and the second side is the leg around the western part, consisting of 120 degrees. (The subject of conception) is discerned on the basis of their places, (the places) of both the Concourse preceding the expulsion and of the Hour-Marker of this very Concourse.

If this Concourse falls on the (side) above the earth—that is, in the 150 degrees from the Hour-Marker, forming the hypotenuse of the right (triangle)—the child will be born in the ninth month; also similarly, if the place of the one falls on the first side while that of the other one is on the second side. But if both fall on the second side or one of them is on the second side while the other one is on the third, (the child will be born) in the seventh month. And if the places (of) both fall on the third side or one of them is on the first side while the other one is on the third, (the child born) will be a monster, a beast, or something bizarre. (2) As by these (places), we determine the seven-month and nine-month expulsions, we must next investigate the day and the hour of the conception.