Stars rising with portions of ecliptic, the so-called paranatellonta, have a central place in traditional astrology.

Ancient texts give a lot of room to this subject, Manilius dedicated to paranatellonta the whole fifth  book of his Astronomica, Firmicus lists them in two of the eight books of Mathesis, and the list of 30 stars given by the Anonymous  379 was a standard list in astrological literature of MiddleAges and Renaissance, even if with the necessary update in stars’ position.

Paranatellonta were so important because ancients believed that the fate of the native derived from the Ascendant. Proclus in his comment to Plato writes for example:

Degrees  rising  with  the  horoscope  contain  all  the  virtue  of  generation,  so  for example they produce some births proper to the priesthood and others that are without any honour.

The most famous and in the same time enigmatic astrologer who wrote about paranatellonta was Teucer of Babylon: his text is  arrived to us in fragments or in  the abridged version quoted by Rhetorius, but it was the source for  one of the most influential work of the astrological art,  Liber VI of Albumasar Introductorium Maius.

The images described by Albumasar were then mentioned in IbnEzra’s Beginning of Wisdom and used as source by Pietro d’Abano for his Astrolabium Planum, published at the end of 1400 by Johannes Angelus.

My experience with Albumasar starts from the end: i.e. from the lecture given in Rome together with Anton Grigoryev about the frescoes of Villa Farnesina I arrived to the Renaissance representation of paranatellonta,  a year later I had the luck to  have betwen my hands an original copy of Angelus’ Astrolabium Planum and from that book  I arrived to Albumasar text. It was a very difficult and hard  road….

My English translation of Albumasar pages  about paranatellonta- I believe it’s the only one since the German translation made by Dyroff in 1903-  comes from the Latin version of John of Seville.

The booklet has 64 pages  (Albumasar text from page 5 to 42, notes, pictures and bibliography). This is a sample.

The cost is 20 euro (25 dollars) payable through PAYPAL. I will send a link for download as soon the money is credited. Please don’t forget to write your @ address.

Inquiries  and orders through bookshop page.


  1. Buon giorno, Margherita

    Would you be so kind and tell me did you find “paranatellonta” interesting or useful?
    Virgo`s calling!

    Have a nice day!


  2. Well, they were so influential that the Virgin with the Child of the first facie of Virgo from the hellenistic astrologer Teucer arrived till Renaissance. Who could cast Jesus horoscope without the Virgo Ascendant? When Cardano tried, he almost finished burned!

    Do they work? I believe so. According Hellenist astrologers qualities of signs derived from the stars rising with the same portion of ecliptic. It’s an alternative vision to Ptolemy, but not rare in Greek astrological literature.
    Anyway I’m very interested in iconography, I’ve Venus in mutual reception with Mercury 🙂

  3. Dear Margharita

    Can you send you email address and instructions for ordering your translation of Abu Mashar? The contact/order link is broken.

    Thank you
    Demetra George

  4. Hi Margherita,

    The order/payment link to Abu’Mashar’s english translation seems to have expired, could you please send me the link?

    Best regards,

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