2.91. At ii nec totidem annos vixerunt; anno enim Procli vita brevior fuit, multumque is fratri rerum gestarum gloria praestitit. At ego id ipsum, quod vir optumus, Diogenes, Chaldaeis quasi quadam praevaricatione concedit, nego posse intellegi. Etenim cum, ut ipsi dicunt, ortus nascentium luna moderetur, eaque animadvertant et notent sidera natalicia Chaldaei, quaecumque lunae iuncta videantur, oculorum fallacissimo sensu iudicant ea, quae ratione atque animo videre debebant. Docet enim ratio mathematicorum, quam istis notam esse oportebat, quanta humilitate luna feratur terram paene contingens, quantum absit a proxuma Mercurii stella, multo autem longius a Veneris, deinde alio intervallo distet a sole, cuius lumine conlustrari putatur; reliqua vero tria intervalla infinita et inmensa, a sole ad Martis, inde ad Iovis, ab eo ad Saturni stellam, inde ad caelum ipsum, quod extremum atque ultumum mundi est. 2.92. Quae potest igitur contagio ex infinito paene intervallo pertinere ad lunam vel potius ad terram? Quid? cum dicunt, id quod iis dicere necesse est, omnis omnium ortus, quicumque gigtur in omni terra, quae incolatur, eosdem esse, eademque omnibus, qui eodem statu caeli et stellarum nati sint, accidere necesse esse, nonne eius modi sunt, ut ne caeli quidem naturam interpretes istos caeli nosse appareat? Cum enim illi orbes, qui caelum quasi medium dividunt et aspectum nostrum definiunt, qui a Graecis o(ri/zontes nomitur, a nobis finientes rectissume nominari possunt, varietatem maxumam habeant aliique in aliis locis sint, necesse est ortus occasusque siderum non fieri eodem tempore apud omnis. 2.93. Quodsi eorum vi caelum modo hoc, modo illo modo temperatur, qui potest eadem vis esse nascentium, cum caeli tanta sit dissimilitudo? In his locis, quae nos incolimus, post solstitium Canicula exoritur, et quidem aliquot diebus, at apud Troglodytas, ut scribitur, ante solstitium, ut, si iam concedamus aliquid vim caelestem ad eos, qui in terra gignuntur, pertinere, confitendum sit illis eos, qui nascuntur eodem tempore, posse in dissimilis incidere naturas propter caeli dissimilitudinem; quod minime illis placet; volunt enim illi omnis eodem tempore ortos, qui ubique sint nati, eadem condicione nasci.
2.95. Quid? quod uno et eodem temporis puncto nati dissimilis et naturas et vitas et casus habent, parumne declarat nihil ad agendam vitam nascendi tempus pertinere? nisi forte putamus neminem eodem tempore ipso et conceptum et natum, quo Africanum. Num quis igitur talis fuit? 2.96. Quid? illudne dubium est, quin multi, cum ita nati essent, ut quaedam contra naturam depravata haberent, restituerentur et corrigerentur ab natura, cum se ipsa revocasset, aut arte atque medicina? ut, quorum linguae sic inhaererent, ut loqui non possent, eae scalpello resectae liberarentur. Multi etiam naturae vitium meditatione atque exercitatione sustulerunt, ut Demosthenem scribit Phalereus, cum rho dicere nequiret, exercitatione fecisse, ut planissume diceret. Quodsi haec astro ingenerata et tradita essent, nulla res ea mutare posset. Quid? dissimilitudo locorum nonne dissimilis hominum procreationes habet? quas quidem percurrere oratione facile est, quid inter Indos et Persas, Aethiopas et Syros differat corporibus, animis, ut incredibilis varietas dissimilitudoque sit. 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.''. None
|2.91. But they did not live the same number of years, for the life of Procles was shorter by a year than that of his brother and his deeds were far more glorious. But for my part I say that even this concession which our excellent friend Diogenes makes to the Chaldeans in a sort of collusive way, is in itself unintelligible. For the Chaldeans, according to their own statements, believe that a persons destiny is affected by the condition of the moon at the time of his birth, and hence they make and record their observations of the stars which anything in conjunction with the moon on his birthday. As a result, in forming their judgements, they depend on the sense of sight, which is the least trustworthy of the senses, whereas they should employ reason and intelligence. For the science of mathematics which the Chaldeans ought to know, teaches us how close the moon comes to the earth, which indeed it almost touches; how far it is from Mercury, the nearest star; how much further yet it is from Venus; and what a great interval separates it from the sun, which is supposed to give it light. The three remaining distances are beyond computation: from the Sun to Mars, from Mars to Jupiter, from Jupiter to Saturn. Then there is the distance from Saturn to the limits of heaven — the ultimate bounds of space. 2.92. In view, therefore, of these almost limitless distances, what influence can the planets exercise upon the moon, or rather, upon the earth?44 Again, when the Chaldeans say, as they are bound to do, that all persons born anywhere in the habitable earth under the same horoscope, are alike and must have the same fate, is it not evident that these would‑be interpreters of the sky are of a class who are utterly ignorant of the nature of the sky? For the earth is, as it were, divided in half and our view limited by those circles which the Greeks call ὁρίζοντες, and which we may in all accuracy term finientes or horizons. Now these horizons vary without limit according to the position of the spectator. Hence, of necessity, the rising and setting of the stars will not occur at the same time for all persons. 2.93. But if this stellar force affects the heavens now in one way and now in another, how is it possible for this force to operate alike on all persons who are born at the same time, in view of the fact that they are born under vastly different skies? In those places in which we live the Dog-star rises after the solstice, in fact, several days later. But among the Troglodytes, we read, it sets before the solstice. Hence if we should now admit that some stellar influence affects persons who are born upon the earth, then it must be conceded that all persons born at the same time may have different natures owing to the differences in their horoscopes. This is a conclusion by no means agreeable to the astrologers; for they insist that all persons born at the same time, regardless of the place of birth, are born to the same fate. 45 |
2.95. And, again, the fact that men who were born at the very same instant, are unlike in character, career, and in destiny, makes it very clear that the time of birth has nothing to do in determining mans course in life. That is, unless perchance we are to believe that nobody else was conceived and born at the very same time that Africanus was. For was there ever anyone like him? 46 2.96. Furthermore, is it not a well-known and undoubted fact that many persons who were born with certain natural defects have been restored completely by Nature herself, after she had resumed her sway, or by surgery or by medicine? For example, some, who were so tongue-tied that they could not speak, have had their tongues set free by a cut from the surgeons knife. Many more have corrected a natural defect by intelligent exertion. Demosthenes is an instance: according to the account given by Phalereus, he was unable to pronounce the Greek letter rho, but by repeated effort learned to articulate it perfectly. But if such defects had been engendered and implanted by a star nothing could have changed them. Do not unlike places produce unlike men? It would be an easy matter to sketch rapidly in passing the differences in mind and body which distinguish the Indians from the Persians and the Ethiopians from the Syrians — differences so striking and so pronounced as to be incredible. 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.''. None