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(IV.) HISTORY - The Imperial Planets

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Author Topic: (IV.) HISTORY - The Imperial Planets  (Read 974 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2007, 03:32:59 pm »

Galba, who succeeded Nero, had been told by Tiberius on the evidence of his horoscope that he would one day be Emperor, but he does not seem to have been uncommonly impressed by astrology. Otho is said by Tacitus to have plotted against Galba with the support of astrologers who 'urged him to action, predicting from their observation of the heavens, revolutions and a year of glory'. Ptolemy Seleucus positively ordered Otho to seize the propitious moment, and was proved right: Galba was successfully killed, and Otho ascended the throne.

However, the Roman legions in Germany had proclaimed Vitellius Emperor, in the face of whose determined assault Otho crumpled, and killed himself.
Vitellius was not a follower of the planets, perhaps because the horoscope cast for him revealed that although he would become Emperor after a civil war, his reign would be brief. He continually said he did not believe this; and indeed it was a remarkable prediction to make, for there seemed little chance of its coming true. However, he did become Emperor (in 69), and although he expelled all astrologers by an edict passed a few days afterwards, and executed a number of them, he reigned only for three months.

During that short reign, Ptolemy Seleucus, who had got safely out of Rome, threw in his lot with Vespasian, plotting an uprising against Vitellius. Despite the fact that a comet appeared and two eclipses took place (to say nothing of the fact that several people saw two suns in the sky at the same time) Vespasian succeeded in becoming Emperor.

This was a good time for Balbillus to return from self-imposed exile, for he and Vespasian had been on good terms since they met at Nero's court (where Vespasian endeared himself to posterity by falling asleep during one of Nero's recitations, a comment that happily escaped the Emperor's notice).

Vespasian was as devoted to astrology as some of his predecessors. On the evidence of Cassius Dio, he 'consulted all the best of them', and not only showed special interest in what Balbillus had to say, but allowed games to be held at Ephesus in the astrologer's honour - the Great Balbillean Games were held until well into the 3rd century. He trusted Balbillus, and indeed Ptolemy Seleucus, so implicitly that when it was discovered that Mettius Pompusianus, an ambitious Roman, had been putting it about that he was destined to be Emperor, Vespasian actually had him appointed to the consulate, so sure was he that his own astrologers were right when they said that Mettius had been wrongly advised.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2007, 10:09:43 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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