About omen in the sky and tailed stars

Ptolemeus de stellis cum caudis- BN-Paris 7432

Ptolemy says that tailed stars are nine. First veru, second tenaculum, third pertica, quarta miles, fifth dominus Aschone, sixth matuta seu aurora, seventh argentum, eighth rosa, ninth nera.

Among these the first four are similar to stars and all of them signify wars, panic and dramatic events in the world. From their color we have knowledge of future evil and from which sign they appear when this evil will happen: soon if they are in the East, late if they appear in the West.

Miles is Venusian in temperament, it is large as the Moon. It has many hair and shed backwards its rays, crossing the twelve signs. And when it shines, it is malefic for kings and powerful men, and it brings men who desire chance ancient laws and establish new governments and the main meaning of its action is near its tail.

Dominus Aschone has a Mercurian temperament and it is small and cerulean: its tail is very long and it means the death of the king and war in the places where it shines.

Matula is red, has a long tail but not so long as Dominus Aschone,  and it has the same temperament as Mars. When it appears in the East, its head upside down, brings dryness and famine and fires and wars in the land of Babylon and Arabs and  Phoenicians and Egypt, until it reaches the West.

Argentum has a bright and white tail as pure silver and the eye cannot stare at it longtime,  and it brings in the place where it appears, fertile years especially if Jupiter is in a water sign.

The one called Nigra has a Saturnian temperament, but its color is more light blue than black and when it appears it brings death for many men and beheading.

The one called Rosa, it’s large and round, it has an human face and its color is similar to silver mixed with gold. When it appears it signifies death for kings and rich men, and condition of the world change for the  better.

The one called Veru looks dreadful: it’s always near the Sun and brings the alteration of fruit trees and  products of the land and death for kings and rich men.

The one called Pertica has a great tail and brings drought and famine. If it is with a planet its meaning will be different: with Venus a great flood, with Mercury young people and scholars will die, with the Moon common people, with Saturn its effects will be worse, if with Mars several wars and death by sword, if it is with Jupiter, whatever its meaning, something about kings and rich men.

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2 thoughts on “About omen in the sky and tailed stars

  1. Hi Margherita,

    The text above mentions 9 types of comet only goes on to give details about 8. What about the second type of comet referred at the start called ‘Tenacum’?

    Also is ‘Nera’ referred to at the beginning the same as ‘Nigra’?



  2. Yes, nera is nigra.
    And ooops I was wrong: the missing comet is called tenaculum (I will change in the text too).
    Dykes in his translations of Bonatti call it coenaculum and translates as bowl, and the same I have in a comment to Grosseteste but I have another text (the original in Italian) and it is called Tongs.
    Anyway this is from Dykes translation:
    “is similar to the color of Mars and has beneath it a ray like the smoke under ashes; but not in an excessive way. It does not signify famine, but battles in which religious people engage themself beyond the degree to which they are competent. ”
    In the Italian text (1500):
    “The comet called Tongs means death of mean people, and old and religious ones, who are dressed in black: severity and coldness, and loss of grace and damage in kingdoms and laws. “

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