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(V.) HISTORY - Pervasive Planets

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Author Topic: (V.) HISTORY - Pervasive Planets  (Read 416 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 11, 2007, 02:09:16 pm »










Hadrian drew up his own horoscope and consulted it regularly; he is said to have written down on the first of January each year the major events of his life for the following twelve months, and to have predicted the time of his death to the hour. He was intensely superstitious, and interested in all forms of divination. His empress, Sabina, had rather a chill time of it, childless and rejected by her husband in favour of such beautiful young men as Antinous, who he even took with him on his last great ceremonial tour to Athens, on through Asia Minor to Egypt, and back to Italy through Syria and Athens again. Sabina was comforted on that tour by the presence of her lady-in-waiting and friend Julia Balbilla, a considerable poet, and none other than the great-granddaughter of Thrasyllus, who being the descendant of a king and a Roman knight was on easy terms with her mistress.

We do not know whether Julia had an interest in astrology greater than the normal; nor do we know whether Hadrian or any of his consultant astrologers foretold the central event of the tour - the death of Antinous by drowning in the Nile. There is a dark hint in Cassius Dio that Antinous may have sacrificed himself, or even perhaps have been sacrificed, because an astrologer had foretold the Emperor's own death unless someone of importance elected to die for him (remember, Balbillus had told Nero in 64 that only by killing some of Rome's noblemen could he escape death). Certainly his astrologers tried to console Hadrian by pointing to the convenient new star as the soul of his favourite, now shining in heaven. Astronomers still refer to Antinoos.

When Hadrian fell mortally ill in 136, interest in the succession focused on two men: Lucius Ceionius Commodus who, as Aelius Verus, he proclaimed his official successor, and Pedanius Fuscus, who at his birth had been stamped by astrologers as a coming emperor. At the time when Aelius Verus was proclaimed, he was already too ill to make a speech of thanks to the senate, and it seems that Hadrian was relying on a horoscope (drawn up either by himself or someone else) which had promised him a long life. When an astrologer suggested to the Emperor that there was some mistake - the wrong birth time had been used, perhaps - Hadrian answered: 'It is easier for you to say that when you are looking for an heir to your property, rather than to the empire.' Anyway, Aelius Verus died before Hadrian, who was left with the necessity of making another choice.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2007, 10:48:02 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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


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