Those Happy People

Arabia Felix and the astrological oikoumenē of Claudius Ptolemaeus

Authored by: Joanna Komorowska

The Routledge Handbook of Identity and the Environment in the Classical and Medieval Worlds

Print publication date:  December  2015
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415738057
eBook ISBN: 9781315686622
Adobe ISBN: 9781317415701

10.4324/9781315686622.ch20

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Abstract

Ptolemy’s exposition of astrologia mundana, the Apotelesmatica (also known as the Tetrabiblos), stands in contrast with those known from Manilius, Dorotheus or, indeed, his near-contemporary Vettius Valens. His system of sunoikeioseis linking different regions of the known oikoumenē to existing Zodiacal constellations, borders on geometrical. In keeping with the overall character of his work, the distribution of terrestrial regions, ruled by four astrological triplicities (trigōonoi) reveals a relatively simple underlying order. Effectively, the system links every triplicity with a geographic direction. 1 The associations are outlined in Apotelesmatica 2.3 (Table 20.1). Table 20.1 Ptolemy’s triplicities with their connections to geography and ordinal directions

Aries-Leo-Sagittarius

North-West

Jupiter

North

Mars

West

T aurus-Virgo-Capricorn

South-East

Venus

South

Saturn

East

Gemini-Libra-Aquarius

North-East

Saturn

East

Jupiter

North

Cancer-Scorpio-Pisces

South-West

Mars

West

Venus

South

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