The colour of fixed stars

The following text was written by Franz Boll in 1917 and has been translated from Italian from a collection of chosen essays.  (( Franz Boll, Astronomia e astrologia nel mondo antico, Nino Aragno Editore 2008 )). The original version is published in the Neue Jahrbucher, XXXIX, 1917, page 19 et ff, as Astronomische Beobachtungen im Altertum.

It is especially dedicated to lovers of fixed stars, of which Boll is surely the unsurpassed reference.

Continue reading The colour of fixed stars

About the four humours and temperaments, and what we can conjecture from them

One of the most interesting chapters in astrology is the assessment of temperament. Unfortunately there are no so many original texts at disposal of students of our Art, so I decided to translate – I don’t know for the rest, maybe in the future-  some pages from “La fisonomia dell’homo e la celeste”, The physiognomy of the man, and the celestial one”, published in Naples in 1610 by Giovanbattista Della Porta , one of the most important Italian thinkers of Renaissance and a member of the first Accademia dei Lincei .
I also added  some case study chosen by me, one for temperament-  of  natives that for chart and temperament and life can be a good example of what we were talking about.

Continue reading About the four humours and temperaments, and what we can conjecture from them

A Medieval astrologer about Halley Comet in 1301

In the moment everybody is looking in the sky for the Comet Lulin, I believe of some interest reading what a Medieval astrologer wrote about the famous Halley comet in 1301.

This passage was so famous that many scholars believe that the Italian painter Giotto painted Halley comet in his  painting for the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.

Is it really like that? Searching a little in the Internet sea I found an interesting thread about another possibility, which could have some truth in my opinion.

Giotto is well known  because he painted the original frescos of  Palazzo della Ragione in the same city of Padua, which were inspired to the astrological work of Pietro Abano about images rising with 360 degrees of Zodiac. Giotto’s frescos were destroyed in a fire, and then reproduced again, the Medieval version of Astrolabium Planum which tourists can admire in their visit to the city.

Continue reading A Medieval astrologer about Halley Comet in 1301


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.

Will the king of Naples die?

The following is the translation from Latin of an horary question  asked to the prophet- astrologer Annius of Viterbo. The querent is Galeazzo Sforza, duke of Milan, who was inquiring about the health of his enemy Don Ferrante of Aragon, King of Naples, who was sick in his bed.

Planetary positions as given in the Latin  text are:

Sun 11 Sagittarius, Moon 24 Libra, Mercury 11 Sagittarius, Venus 29 Scorpio, Mars 9 Virgo, Jupiter 9 Aquarius, Saturn 9 Leo Rt., Dragon Head 2 Libra.

The question is if the King is dead, he is going to die or if he will recover.

In the beginning I was in doubt if this is a radical chart, but after checking carefully the chart where Mars ruler of the Ascendant, and   ruler of MC by exaltation, and ruler of the Sun by exaltation is in the sixth house, I judged it radical enough. It means You are worried with the illness of the King, and because  it’s the ruler of  both the Ascendant and the eighth house the question is about his death or recovery.

So I will cast this chart  and  say my true conclusions.

Continue reading Will the king of Naples die?