Dorotheus of Sidon: A New Translation by Ben Dykes

Dorotheus of Sidon: A New Translation by Ben Dykes

In episode 107 of the podcast astrologer Benjamin Dykes joins the show to talk about his new translation of the work of the 1st century astrologer Dorotheus of Sidon.

Dorotheus was a highly influential astrologer who lived in the Mediterranean region during the time of the Roman Empire, and he wrote one of the earliest surviving works on natal astrology and electional astrology.

Although Dorotheus’ text was originally written in Greek, the majority of it only survives in an Arabic translation that was produced in the 8th century, of which only two manuscripts survive. Ben recently translated this text from the Arabic, and has published it along with some useful commentary and fragments of Dorotheus’ work.

The book is now officially available for purchase from Ben’s website:

Dorotheus of Sidon, Carmen Astrologicum

Below you will find the show notes, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast.

Sponsors and Giveaways for May

At the top of this episode I briefly talk about the giveaway prizes for May, which are:

  1. A copy of the popular desktop astrology software program Solar Fire 9.
  2. A copy of the mobile astrology app called Astro Gold.

Right now listeners of the podcast can get a 15% discount on Solar Fire when they use the promo code AP15 when purchasing the program through the Astrolabe website.

For more information about the giveaway and how to enter see the May description page.

Episode Outline

Here are some of the topics we touched on during the course of the episode:

  • Who was Dorotheus of Sidon?
  • Why is his work significant?
  • Why the need for a new translation?
  • English translation of an Arabic translation of a Persian translation of the original Greek.
  • This is the Umar al-Tabari translation, which is an Arabic version from the late 8th century.
  • The structure of the work: books 1-4 on natal astrology, book 5 on electional.
  • The dating of Dorotheus based on the charts.
  • The fifth book, and whether it deals with inceptions or questions.
  • Dorotheus’ use of triplicity lords.
  • Dorotheus’ use of Lots or Arabic Parts.
  • Different timing techniques used in Dorotheus.
  • Other projects and translations that Ben is working on, including Theophilus of Edessa.

Listen to This Episode

You can either play this episode of the podcast directly from the website or download it as an MP3 to your computer by using the buttons below:

Comments

  1. Great interview Chris,
    Ben brilliant work, what enthusiasm, & thanks for your passion for restoration, which brings us these revised works in readable edition.

  2. I’ve been wondering how Dr. Dykes was coming along on his Complete Sahl ibn Bishr, because I’m really looking forward to that after his spectacular book on Sahl & Masha’Allah. However, I have the Pingree translation of Dorotheus and it was certainly frustrating in parts, so a new Dorotheus is fantastic. I’ve found Lots to be compelling (understatement) and there’s some concepts in Valens & Masha’Allah on Lots that aren’t fully explained or conceptually laid out (Ben 1:08:00) even when you compare it to Paulus. Same with advanced concepts on Triplicity Lords, so I’m really excited to read more about those because I’d like to hear the counterpoint to Valens’ techniques on that. I have most of Ben’s books & I’m also really looking forward to his class after having taken Chris’s.
    Complete Valens & Firmicus!!!!

    • Ben Dykes says:

      Hi Jeff, you’ll be glad to know that I am already working on a translation of Firmicus, and Eduardo Gramaglia and I have agreed to do a complete Valens! Both will take more time, but I’m thinking Firmicus will come in 2018, and Valens probably 2019.

  3. This is a very informative interview. I really love Mr. Dykes’ work and I can’t wait to buy this book!

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