Valens used the system of King Nechepso.
I will explain why I think this to be so. I laughed very hard noticing how Valens plays games and make jokes with us (the readers) in the beginning of his Book III. People around me thought I’m watching some comedy movie and I was reading Valens instead!
Yes, the ancients were a jokers, like the one in Batmen. They were so cryptic in their writings which is sometimes very funny and very frustrating in the same time, knowing that some other laugh is waiting you around the corner after many nights spent in frustrating effort to understand some particular text.
Antiochus rapports to us that according to the King (Nechepso), the four angles and their post-ascensions are places conducive to business (chrematizo).
Riley translates this (chrematistikos) as “Operative” Place in his translation of Valens’ Anthology.
But it seems out that Antiochus follows certain Timaeus (which seems to be Dorotheus’ usage of Operative Places too) and use the four angles, 5th, 11th and 9th as operative.
Rhetorius follows Timaeus too, but Serapio follows the King.
It is logical. Valens speaks about certain Timaeus (if he is the same) with not so beautiful words:
Timaeus, Asclation, and many others have said the same. These men were carried away by the beauty of words and by reports of marvels, and
they did not produce works which fulfilled their promise, nor were these works completeand lucid, but rather they left their readers in the lurch many times and at all times were warped, begrudging, withdrawn, and deceptive. They never travelled oneroad, but they piled scheme on scheme and wrote
books which could be prosecuted because they are proofs of fraud, not of truth.
(Vettius Valens – Anthologies, Book IX, p.151, Riley trans.)
But he credited Nechepso with great honors calling him “divine” (same page 151).
Now we append the topic of propitious and impropitious times, about which the King and Petosiris spoke in riddles. (p.130)
But aren’t you the same, Mr. Valens – one of my favorite astrologers, speaking in riddles to us???
Was it so hard to tell us straight and clear which are those “operative places” of which King Nechepso speaks, just in the same way as Antiochus and Serapio wrote in their treatises?!
OK, let me explain you why I think that Valens uses the Nechepso’s system of places conducive to business (I’m not speaking in riddles, I just use ‘places conducive to business’ and ‘operative places’ as synonyms).
In book III, Valens will introduce a technique for calculating length of life, very similar to what we today call “primary directions in zodiaco”. But in the first chapter of book III he explains the aphetas and aphetic places, i.e. where the apheta (Sun or Moon) would be operative and where is not operative so we would be advised to use the other light, or horoskopos and midheaven if both are non-operative.
He advises us to use the light of the sect, but then he gives us a list of comparations of the lights in certain positions, and which light should we use as a “predominator”, or “apheta” (releaser).
The list in short goes on like this:
Sun in 1st / Moon in 12th = Sun wins
Sun in 11th / Moon in 10th = Sun wins
Sun in 7th / Moon in 8th = Sun wins
Sun in 8th / Moon in 7th = Sun wins (aha!)
Moon in 1st / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 2nd / Sun in 9th = Moon wins (aha!)
Moon in 10th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 11th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Sun in 4th / Moon in 9th = Sun wins
Sun in 5th / Moon in 9th = Sun wins
Moon in 5th / Sun in 9th = Moon wins
Moon in 9th / Sun in 9th = Horoskopos predominate.
But Valens, just say it: 9th is non-operative according to the system you use!
As we can see, Valens would use the Sun as apheta in 8th.
No big deal. He would also use the 2nd. No big deal.
Nechepso and Serapio used it. Maybe Antiochus too, since he clearly says that he knows about it.
So, no need to be cryptic uncle Valens, no need 🙂
Vettius Valens – Anthologies, translated by Mark T. Riley.
Vettius Valens – Anthology, book III, translated by Robert Schmidt (The Golden Hind Press, 1994).
The image is from the site sicb.info