Tom Schmidt is still excerpting material from ancient sources on this mysterious “birth of the sun” on 25 Dec. And he’s translating some untranslated material himself! He’s got a bit from Hephaistio of Thebes on Antiochus of Athens. Read it here.
28. From the leading foot to the middle of the belt of Orion is absent from the sky : weather change.
λʹ. Κύων κρύπτεται · ἐπισημασία.
30. Sirius is absent from the sky : weather change.
1. Boll’s note indicates that the sun would be high in some constellation — in Aries, in this case. He adds: “Since the equinox is given on 22nd March, the hupsoma takes place 20 days later, on the 10th April. This addition is found in none of the other calendars.”
2. The word is found in no lexicon, so Boll tells us, but seems to be a month in some calendar, as it ends on the entry for 25 May, 33 days later. Possibly it relates to Pharmuthi?
I’ve been looking at the portion of the calendar of Antiochus of Athens which I posted earlier, and trying to work out what the meanings of the words are. I can feel the jargon behind some otherwise innocuous phrases, and Mark Riley’s glossary of terms confirms that at least one of them does have a specialised meaning in ancient astrological circles.
To start with, I need to be sure what two very common words mean, namely: Περὶ ἀστέων ἀνατελλόντων καὶ δυνότων — concerning the rising and setting of the stars. That is, I think it is “rising” and “setting”, but I want to be sure.
I thought I’d do a google search on ἀνατελλόντων and δυνότων and see what I got. After a few Greek pages, I got an ancient work, Geminus Rhodius, Introduction to the Phaenomena. Apparently this is a work of the 1st century B.C. The HTML is here. The Wikipedia article for Geminus Rhodius tells me that an English translation does exist, but, made recently as it was, it’s offline and so inaccessible to anyone. But this site has a PDF of a Greek/German text. I’m OCR’ing this at the moment, and it may help. Chapter 2, in which the text is used, is about the 12 parts of the zodiac.
and the German is (chapter II, nearly at the end, on p.35):
Am deutlichsten zeigt sich die irrtumliche Annahme bei dem Paarscheine des Widders. Den Widder nehmen sie namlich als mit der Wage im Paarschein stehend an, da diese Zeichen angeblich aus demselben Orte auf- und in denselben Ort untergehen. Allein der Widder geht nördlich auf und unter, weil er nördlich vom Äquator liegt, wahrend die Wage sildlich aufgeht und untergeht, weil sie südlich vom Äquator liegt. Wie kann also der Widder mit der Wage in Paarschein stehen? Gehen sie ja doch aus verschiedenen Orten auf und auch entsprechend unter. Es können also diese Zeichen nicht von denselben Parallelkreisen eingeschlossen werden.
Again we have rising and setting.
Next I try a search for dunei. I get a parallel Greek-English Septuagint from Ecclesiastes 1:5, here.
The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hurries to its place where it rises.
OK, that fits with my understanding also.
I then found an article online which not merely uses the word, but references the calendar of Euctemon — one of the other three calendars published by Boll together with that of Antiochus! — Pritchett (etc), Thucididean time-reckoning and Euctemon’s seasonal calendar, Bulletin de correspondance hellénique , vol 85 (1961) pp. 17-52. It starts here. I learn from it, indeed, that Euctemon’s calendar actually is appended to the manuscripts of Geminus Rhodius! And Pritchett actually translates a portion of Euctemon, from which we may see some of the terminology in use:
And indeed there are several more pages of translation.
I had already worked out that Kwon — so frequent in Antiochus — must be Sirius, the dog-star, but it is nice to get confirmation of it. epitellei = rises and holos epitellei = completely rises are likewise useful. Delphis, it seems, is the “Dolphin”. Pritchett renders hesperios as “vespertinal” (what?!), i.e. “in the west”.
So this has been productive. I now have some ideas about the language being used by Antiochus.
I’ve transcribed the Greek into unicode. Who knows, it might even display correctly here! The first three lines are the heading, in each of three different manuscripts.
Περὶ ἀστέων ἀνατελλόντων καὶ δυνότων ἐν τοῖς ιβʹ μησὶ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ σὺν τῷ ἡλίῳ. Ἀντιόχου Ο περὶ ἀστέρων ἀνατελλόντων καὶ δυνόν των ἐν τοῖς ιβʹ μησὶ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ. (Concerning the rising and setting of the stars in the 12 months of the year, with the sun).
Ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κατὰ τοὺς μῆνας τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἀνατέλλοντες καὶ δύνοντες οὗτοι (But also the risings and settings in the months of the year)
Εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ τὰ ἀνατέλλοντα ἄστρα σὺν τῷ ἡλίῳ ἐν ἑκάστῳ μηνὶ ταῦτα. (This is also the star risings with the sun in each of the months).