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Favorinus, In Aulus Gellius Noctes Atticae, 14.1.17

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1. Cicero, On Divination, 1.2, 1.36, 2.97 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.2. Gentem quidem nullam video neque tam humanam atque doctam neque tam inmanem tamque barbaram, quae non significari futura et a quibusdam intellegi praedicique posse censeat. Principio Assyrii, ut ab ultumis auctoritatem repetam, propter planitiam magnitudinemque regionum, quas incolebant, cum caelum ex omni parte patens atque apertum intuerentur, traiectiones motusque stellarum observitaverunt, quibus notatis, quid cuique significaretur, memoriae prodiderunt. Qua in natione Chaldaei non ex artis, sed ex gentis vocabulo nominati diuturna observatione siderum scientiam putantur effecisse, ut praedici posset, quid cuique eventurum et quo quisque fato natus esset. Eandem artem etiam Aegyptii longinquitate temporum innumerabilibus paene saeculis consecuti putantur. Cilicum autem et Pisidarum gens et his finituma Pamphylia, quibus nationibus praefuimus ipsi, volatibus avium cantibusque ut certissimis signis declarari res futuras putant. 1.36. Quid? qui inridetur, partus hic mulae nonne, quia fetus extitit in sterilitate naturae, praedictus est ab haruspicibus incredibilis partus malorum? Quid? Ti. Gracchus P. F., qui bis consul et censor fuit, idemque et summus augur et vir sapiens civisque praestans, nonne, ut C. Gracchus, filius eius, scriptum reliquit, duobus anguibus domi conprehensis haruspices convocavit? qui cum respondissent, si marem emisisset, uxori brevi tempore esse moriendum, si feminam, ipsi, aequius esse censuit se maturam oppetere mortem quam P. Africani filiam adulescentem; feminam emisit, ipse paucis post diebus est mortuus. Inrideamus haruspices, vanos, futtiles esse dicamus, quorumque disciplinam et sapientissimus vir et eventus ac res conprobavit, contemnamus, condemnemus etiam Babylonem et eos, qui e Caucaso caeli signa servantes numeris et modis stellarum cursus persequuntur, condemnemus, inquam, hos aut stultitiae aut vanitatis aut inpudentiae, qui quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum, ut ipsi dicunt, monumentis conprehensa continent, et mentiri iudicemus nec, saeculorum reliquorum iudicium quod de ipsis futurum sit, pertimescere. 2.97. Ex quo intellegitur plus terrarum situs quam lunae tactus ad nascendum valere. Nam quod aiunt quadringenta septuaginta milia annorum in periclitandis experiundisque pueris, quicumque essent nati, Babylonios posuisse, fallunt; si enim esset factitatum, non esset desitum; neminem autem habemus auctorem, qui id aut fieri dicat aut factum sciat. Videsne me non ea dicere, quae Carneades, sed ea, quae princeps Stoicorum Panaetius dixerit? Ego autem etiam haec requiro: omnesne, qui Cannensi pugna ceciderint, uno astro fuerint; exitus quidem omnium unus et idem fuit. Quid? qui ingenio atque animo singulares, num astro quoque uno? quod enim tempus, quo non innumerabiles nascantur? at certe similis nemo Homeri. 1.2. Now I am aware of no people, however refined and learned or however savage and ignorant, which does not think that signs are given of future events, and that certain persons can recognize those signs and foretell events before they occur. First of all — to seek authority from the most distant sources — the Assyrians, on account of the vast plains inhabited by them, and because of the open and unobstructed view of the heavens presented to them on every side, took observations of the paths and movements of the stars, and, having made note of them, transmitted to posterity what significance they had for each person. And in that same nation the Chaldeans — a name which they derived not from their art but their race — have, it is thought, by means of long-continued observation of the constellations, perfected a science which enables them to foretell what any mans lot will be and for what fate he was born.The same art is believed to have been acquired also by the Egyptians through a remote past extending over almost countless ages. Moreover, the Cilicians, Pisidians, and their neighbours, the Pamphylians — nations which I once governed — think that the future is declared by the songs and flights of birds, which they regard as most infallible signs. 1.2. Here was the Martian beast, the nurse of Roman dominion,Suckling with life-giving dew, that issued from udders distended,Children divinely begotten, who sprang from the loins of the War God;Stricken by lightning she toppled to earth, bearing with her the children;Torn from her station, she left the prints of her feet in descending.Then what diviner, in turning the records and tomes of the augurs,Failed to relate the mournful forecasts the Etruscans had written?Seers all advised to beware the monstrous destruction and slaughter,Plotted by Romans who traced their descent from a noble ancestry;Or they proclaimed the laws overthrow with voices insistent,Bidding rescue the city from flames, and the deities temples;Fearful they bade us become of horrible chaos and carnage;These, by a rigorous Fate, would be certainly fixed and determined,Were not a sacred statue of Jove, one comely of figure,High on a column erected beforehand, with eyes to the eastward;Then would the people and venerable senate be able to fathomHidden designs, when that statue — its face to the sun at its rising —Should behold from its station the seats of the people and Senate. 1.36. Why, then, when here recently a mule (which is an animal ordinarily sterile by nature) brought forth a foal, need anyone have scoffed because the soothsayers from that occurrence prophesied a progeny of countless evils to the state?What, pray, do you say of that well-known incident of Tiberius Gracchus, the son of Publius? He was censor and consul twice; beside that he was a most competent augur, a wise man and a pre-eminent citizen. Yet he, according to the account left us by his son Gaius, having caught two snakes in his home, called in the soothsayers to consult them. They advised him that if he let the male snake go his wife must die in a short time; and if he released the female snake his own death must soon occur. Thinking it more fitting that a speedy death should overtake him rather than his young wife, who was the daughter of Publius Africanus, he released the female snake and died within a few days.[19] Let us laugh at the soothsayers, brand them as frauds and impostors and scorn their calling, even though a very wise man, Tiberius Gracchus, and the results and circumstances of his death have given proof of its trustworthiness; let us scorn the Babylonians, too, and those astrologers who, from the top of Mount Caucasus, observe the celestial signs and with the aid of mathematics follow the courses of the stars; let us, I say, convict of folly, falsehood, and shamelessness the men whose records, as they themselves assert, cover a period of four hundred and seventy thousand years; and let us pronounce them liars, utterly indifferent to the opinion of succeeding generations. 2.97. Hence it is evident that ones birth is more affected by local environment than by the condition of the moon. of course, the statement quoted by you that the Babylonians for 470, years had taken the horoscope of every child and had tested it by the results, is untrue; for if this had been their habit they would not have abandoned it. Moreover we find no writer who says that the practice exists or who knows that it ever did exist.[47] You observe that I am not repeating the arguments of Carneades, but those of Panaetius, the head of the Stoic school. But now on my own initiative I put the following questions: Did all the Romans who fell at Cannae have the same horoscope? Yet all had one and the same end. Were all the men eminent for intellect and genius born under the same star? Was there ever a day when countless numbers were not born? And yet there never was another Homer.
2. Cicero, On Fate, 12-16, 8, 11 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Sextus, Against The Mathematicians, 5.4-5.5 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4. Origen, Against Celsus, 6.64 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

6.64. Celsus, again, brings together a number of statements, which he gives as admissions on our part, but which no intelligent Christian would allow. For not one of us asserts that God partakes of form or color. Nor does He even partake of motion, because He stands firm, and His nature is permanent, and He invites the righteous man also to do the same, saying: But as for you, stand here by Me. And if certain expressions indicate a kind of motion, as it were, on His part, such as this, They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, we must understand them in this way, that it is by sinners that God is understood as moving, or as we understand the sleep of God, which is taken in a figurative sense, or His anger, or any other similar attribute. But God does not partake even of substance. For He is partaken of (by others) rather than that Himself partakes of them, and He is partaken of by those who have the Spirit of God. Our Saviour, also, does not partake of righteousness; but being Himself righteousness, He is partaken of by the righteous. A discussion about substance would be protracted and difficult, and especially if it were a question whether that which is permanent and immaterial be substance properly so called, so that it would be found that God is beyond substance, communicating of His substance, by means of office and power, to those to whom He communicates Himself by His Word, as He does to the Word Himself; or even if He is substance, yet He is said be in His nature invisible, in these words respecting our Saviour, who is said to be the image of the invisible God, while from the term invisible it is indicated that He is immaterial. It is also a question for investigation, whether the only-begotten and first-born of every creature is to be called substance of substances, and idea of ideas, and the principle of all things, while above all there is His Father and God.
5. Augustine, The City of God, 5.5 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

5.5. Do not those very persons whom the medical sagacity of Hippocrates led him to suspect to be twins, because their disease was observed by him to develop to its crisis and to subside again in the same time in each of them - do not these, I say, serve as a sufficient refutation of those who wish to attribute to the influence of the stars that which was owing to a similarity of bodily constitution? For wherefore were they both sick of the same disease, and at the same time, and not the one after the other in the order of their birth? (for certainly they could not both be born at the same time.) Or, if the fact of their having been born at different times by no means necessarily implies that they must be sick at different times, why do they contend that the difference in the time of their births was the cause of their difference in other things? Why could they travel in foreign parts at different times, marry at different times, beget children at different times, and do many other things at different times, by reason of their having been born at different times, and yet could not, for the same reason, also be sick at different times? For if a difference in the moment of birth changed the horoscope, and occasioned dissimilarity in all other things, why has that simultaneousness which belonged to their conception remained in their attacks of sickness? Or, if the destinies of health are involved in the time of conception, but those of other things be said to be attached to the time of birth, they ought not to predict anything concerning health from examination of the constellations of birth, when the hour of conception is not also given, that its constellations may be inspected. But if they say that they predict attacks of sickness without examining the horoscope of conception, because these are indicated by the moments of birth, how could they inform either of these twins when he would be sick, from the horoscope of his birth, when the other also, who had not the same horoscope of birth, must of necessity fall sick at the same time? Again, I ask, if the distance of time between the births of twins is so great as to occasion a difference of their constellations on account of the difference of their horoscopes, and therefore of all the cardinal points to which so much influence is attributed, that even from such change there comes a difference of destiny, how is it possible that this should be so, since they cannot have been conceived at different times? Or, if two conceived at the same moment of time could have different destinies with respect to their births, why may not also two born at the same moment of time have different destinies for life and for death? For if the one moment in which both were conceived did not hinder that the one should be born before the other, why, if two are born at the same moment, should anything hinder them from dying at the same moment? If a simultaneous conception allows of twins being differently affected in the womb, why should not simultaneousness of birth allow of any two individuals having different fortunes in the world? And thus would all the fictions of this art, or rather delusion, be swept away. What strange circumstance is this, that two children conceived at the same time, nay, at the same moment, under the same position of the stars, have different fates which bring them to different hours of birth, while two children, born of two different mothers, at the same moment of time, under one and the same position of the stars, cannot have different fates which shall conduct them by necessity to diverse manners of life and of death? Are they at conception as yet without destinies, because they can only have them if they be born? What, therefore, do they mean when they say that, if the hour of the conception be found, many things can be predicted by these astrologers? From which also arose that story which is reiterated by some, that a certain sage chose an hour in which to lie with his wife, in order to secure his begetting an illustrious son. From this opinion also came that answer of Posidonius, the great astrologer and also philosopher, concerning those twins who were attacked with sickness at the same time, namely, That this had happened to them because they were conceived at the same time, and born at the same time. For certainly he added conception, lest it should be said to him that they could not both be born at the same time, knowing that at any rate they must both have been conceived at the same time; wishing thus to show that he did not attribute the fact of their being similarly and simultaneously affected with sickness to the similarity of their bodily constitutions as its proximate cause, but that he held that even in respect of the similarity of their health, they were bound together by a sidereal connection. If, therefore, the time of conception has so much to do with the similarity of destinies, these same destinies ought not to be changed by the circumstances of birth; or, if the destinies of twins be said to be changed because they are born at different times, why should we not rather understand that they had been already changed in order that they might be born at different times? Does not, then, the will of men living in the world change the destinies of birth, when the order of birth can change the destinies they had at conception?
6. Favorinus, In Aulus Gellius Noctes Atticae, 14.1.1-14.1.2, 14.1.4, 14.1.7-14.1.12, 14.1.14-14.1.16, 14.1.18-14.1.19, 14.1.23, 14.1.26

7. Stoic School, Stoicor. Veter. Fragm., 2.625, 2.1174

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
arius didymus Frede and Laks (2001) 269
astrology Frede and Laks (2001) 239, 269; Long (2006) 146
berosus Frede and Laks (2001) 269
causation,cause Long (2006) 146
censorinus Frede and Laks (2001) 269
chaldeans Frede and Laks (2001) 239, 269
chrysippus Frede and Laks (2001) 239
cicero,on astrology Long (2006) 146
cicero Frede and Laks (2001) 239
cosmic sympathy Long (2006) 146
de jato Frede and Laks (2001) 239
eudoxus Long (2006) 146
favorinus Frede and Laks (2001) 239; Long (2006) 146
honourableness,horoscopes Long (2006) 146
nemesius Frede and Laks (2001) 269
origen Frede and Laks (2001) 269
posidonius Long (2006) 146
ptolemy,claudius the astronomer Long (2006) 146
restoration/ apokatastasis Frede and Laks (2001) 269
sextus empiricus Long (2006) 146
stars Long (2006) 146
stoicism,stoics,cosmology of Long (2006) 146
zodiac' Long (2006) 146