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(III.) HISTORY - Through The Doors of Greece

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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 02:46:04 pm »






Some astrologers, who like to view the subject mystically rather than practically, have found Ptolemy somewhat dry and uninspiring. Yet he could be intoxicated, like so many of the astronomers of his time, by the sheer romance of the universe:

'Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day; but when I follow the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth; I ascend to Zeus himself to feast me on ambrosia, the food of the gods.'
                  

Ptolemy's sheer enthusiasm no less than his certainty has always been infectious to generations that followed him; but it is also true that many passages of the Tetrabiblos read today with a peculiarly modern air, in view of the most recent discoveries of previously unsuspected cosmic rays and gravitational effects between the planets. Its errors of fact are no

more (indeed, no less) than those of any scientific treaties of its time; and it is a model of the best of its kind. We have only to compare it with other astrological books of roughly the same period to see its superiority. Take, for instance, the existing fragment of the Salmeschnaiko, another influential textbook, full of generalizations:

... This period makes many find their livelihood as advocates, others as wizards, many as singers of gods and kings, and many as translators of languages ... Many, however, also consume the substance of others. [The Lord of Flame] makes many passive homosexuals, and many cohabiting with their aunts and stepmothers so as to debauch them.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 07:06:33 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2007, 02:47:24 pm »








It is not easy to discover just how far astrology was used by the Greeks at a personal level. Eudoxos, in the 4th century BC, condemned horoscopes used for personal predictions, and Theophrastus, a little later, was surprised to hear from the Chaldeans that they claimed to be able to predict events in the lives of individuals as well as making weather forecasts. Ennius (239-169 BC) is the first Latin writer to mention the people who

write down the signs of heaven

Noting the Goats or Scorpions of great Jove

And other monstrous names of horrid shapes

Climbing the Zodiac ...

and Cato, who died in 149 BC, warned the manager of his farm not to consult travelling Chaldeans. Stoicism, when it became the fashion in Rome, must have been responsible for an early interest in astrology, too. It is perhaps fair to guess that the forecasts made for Romans during the early centuries after Christ were of much the same sort as those devised for the Greeks in the centuries before: it is simply that more of the former have survived.

These Roman examples are extremely various, as Jack Lindsay points out in his exhaustive Origins of Astrology (1971). Few of them, however, attempt to predict the future. Presumably this was done, if at all, in conversation with clients, and on the basis of lengthy files of notes kept by astrologers, showing the positions of the planets at birth and the subsequent career of the subject, as well as of physical characteristics. A man born on 14 December became a deputy-governor but annoyed his superior and ended up working in a quarry with prisoners. Another, born on 23 April 104, had short arms. Yet another was ill and had a close escape at sea, but was saved thanks to the benevolent position of Saturn.
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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2007, 02:48:35 pm »



Most astrologers have kept notes of that sort, building up dossiers relating the positions of the planets at the birth of an individual to subsequent events or to physical characteristics. Someone born on 10 November 114 had in his forty-second year 'quarrels and confusion and notoriety through a woman', and two years later 'the violent death of a slave and crisis of his father, and accusation of ignoble descent and ****. But he received help and gifts from friends ... ' Someone else, born on 21 January 116, was effeminate and 'had unmentionable vices, for Capricorn is lascivious and its ruler [Saturn] was in the Bull, the sign [which would indicate the kind of] weakness, and the Scorpion indicates the kind of lewdery.' Not unsurprisingly, he seems to have been drummed out of his high position in the army after some undefined incident.

By AD 188 Vettius Valens of Antioch, the well-known astrologer, had amassed a fine library of horoscopes, and sets out over a hundred of them in his Anthologiae, illustrating the interpretation of birth charts, and stressing that it is as a result of the detailed examination of how the planets have worked in the life of his clients that he has become so practised and accurate an astrologer. His life is the first we have that can be compared to the lives of other professional astrologers throughout the following ages: he continually recorded his findings, occasionally wrote textbooks (his Teacher's Manual is, alas, lost), and had continually to defend himself against attacks both from other astrologers and from lay antagonists.

But if many astrologers, through the latter centuries BC in Greece and in the early years of the Roman empire, practised relatively quietly with lay men and women who had only the lowest rank in society, we find for the first time in Rome detailed accounts of the part they played in influencing the politics of a country through high-placed clients. For the next eighteen hundred years astrology was to be part of the personal and political lives of most rulers and of their people.


http://www.meta-religion.com/Esoterism/Astrology/through_the_doors_of_greece.htm
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 01:32:45 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2007, 08:03:57 pm »






AN OUT-OF-PLACE COMPUTER FROM ANTIKYTHERA




A few days before Easter Sunday in 1900, Greek sponge divers off the small island of Antikythera discovered the remains of an ancient ship filled with bronze and marble statues and assorted artifacts later dated between 85 and 50 B.C.

Among the finds was a small formless lump of corroded bronze and rotted wood, which was sent along with the other artifacts to the National Museum in Athens for further study. Soon, as the wood
fragments dried and shrank from exposure to air, the lump split open revealing inside the outlines of a series of gear wheels like a modern clock.

In 1958 Dr. Derek J. de Solla Price successfully reconstructed the machine's appearance and use. The gearing system calculated the annual movements of the sun and moon. The arrangement shows that the gears could be moved forward and backward with ease at any speed. The device was thus not a clock but more like a calculator that could show the positions of the heavens past, present and future.

It is highly possible that the device may have origins ages long before the Greeks, and in a land far removed, now unknown.

ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM
 
Approximately 100 BC- 65 BC: A ship equipped with a most unusual and remarkably advanced mechanical navigation computer sinks near the Greek isle of Antikythera.
The complex assemblage of gears (including epicyclic/differential systems), dials, and inscriptions for operating instructions and construction/maintenance-- strongly resembling the quality of an 18th century european clock-- will come to be called the "Antikythera mechanism" by discoverers almost 2000 years later.

Based on other objects found in the wreck, the ship may have been traveling from the isles of Rhodes and Cos towards Rome when disaster struck. The device showed signs of use and occasional repairs/maintenance.

_An Ancient Greek Computer_ by Derek J. de Solla Price From June 1959
Scientific American p.60-7, URL: http://www.giant.net.au/users/rupert/kythear/kythera3.htm ]

_Gears from the Ancient Greeks_, E. Christopher Zeeman, K.B., F.R.S. UT San
Antonio, February 20, 1998 / Trinity University, February 23, 1998]
 

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SEE COMPLETE STORY:

http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,1258.0.html
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 08:11:45 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2007, 08:15:03 pm »






                               A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM





Dated to ca 80 BC

In the year 1900 the bronze remains of a mechanical device were retrieved from a shipwreck off Antikythera, near Crete.

 

It was not clear initially what the device was, except that it was clearly a sophisticated mechanism. X-ray analysis was subsequently used to probe the inner structure of the device, the details of the gears. Finally in 1974, a full analysis was published by Professor D. De Solla Price. While some of the original gearing was missing, there was enough to work out that the device was intended to show the motion of the Moon, Sun, and most likely the Planets through the years, when the handle was turned. A few years ago, John Gleave, an orrery maker based in the United Kingdom, decided to construct a working replica of the original mechanism.

                                       

A full scale reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism:

Height 12.25 inches

The front dial - showing the annual progress of the sun & moon through the zodiac, against the Egyptian calendar, rendered in Greek on the outer annulus.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 08:19:34 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2007, 08:21:26 pm »






                             

                                                          The back dials

The upper back dial displays a four year period and has five concentric inscribed rings, most probably each with 47 divisions giving the Metonic Cycle of 235 synodic months, which equals 19 solar years. The lower back dial gives the cycle of a single synodic month, and the subsidiary dial the Lunar year of 12 synodic months.

The original gearing was cut from bronze, and the 60 degree triangular teeth were finished using a file. In the reconstruction, the gearing is made from brass, set between perspex plates, with perspex dials in place of the original bronze, so that the mechanism is visible.

The instrument indicates that the technology of the time, of which this is the only surviving example, was by any measure sophisticated.

John Gleave can be reached at:-
Tel & Fax 01422 844837
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 07:42:27 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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