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The Astrology Podcast

Ep. 388 Transcript: Celebrating the Birthday of Vettius Valens

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 388, titled:

Celebrating the Birthday of Vettius Valens

With Chris Brennan and guest Jenn Zahrt

Episode originally released on February 11, 2023


Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: theastrologypodcast@gmail.com

Transcribed by Andrea Johnson

Transcription released February 17, 2023

Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode is a recording of an hour-long webinar that I did last Wednesday where we celebrated the life and work of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens. So Valens is one of our most important surviving sources for the study of ancient astrology because his nine-book text that was written in Greek in the middle of the 2nd century survived into modern day and has been translated recently so that we can study and recover and learn some of his techniques. And some of those techniques have been revived over the past 30 years together with the techniques of other astrologers through other translations. So this webinar was hosted by Jenn Zahrt of the CAELi Institute, which is an astrological research library that’s available to the public in Olympia, Washington.

So last year, Jenn helped me to publish a print translation of The Anthology of Vettius Valens by a scholar named Mark Riley, and this was the first time that the entire anthology has appeared in print in the English language. So during the course of the episode we talk about Valens’ life and work, and then we also answer some questions from a live audience who were attending the webinar that day. I think it was like 50, maybe 100 people tops was our max. Since this episode was recorded right in the middle of this past week, where there were a lot of discussions about Vettius Valens in connection with some debates about house division and how house division was done in ancient times, that was addressed at one point in the webinar as well. See the previous episodes 386 and 387 of The Astrology Podcast for more context about that debate. So I wanted to release the recording of this webinar because it represents part of the discussions that have been swirling around this week and it may help to contribute some pieces to people’s understanding of the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens, who recently has become one of the major focal points of this discussion.

So sadly, this week, another major thing that happened in connection in some ways with Vettius Valens was that there was a huge earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria. And one of the towns that was devastated was the birthplace of Vettius Valens, which is a city named Antakya in Turkey, which is the ancient city of Antioch, and in the manuscripts of The Anthology Vettius Valens is called ‘Vettius Valens of Antioch’. So there are a number of charities that have been set up in order to help fund the earthquake relief efforts, and I’ve already made a donation, and I encourage all of my viewers and listeners to find a charity and donate some funds for the relief efforts if you can. So I’m gonna put a link in the description below this video on YouTube, as well as on the podcast website for this episode to link to some resources for reputable organizations that you can donate to in order to help the people of Turkey and Syria recover from this tragedy. All right, I think that’s it for this introduction. So let’s get started with the video.

[end of introduction]

JENN ZAHRT: Welcome to the 1903rd—how would you say that—1,903rd birthday of Vettius Valens. A very prominent astrologer in the Hellenistic tradition who was the source of I think all the horoscopes that we have, except for, as Nick Campion points, a pile of 68 that were found in a trash heap somewhere in Egypt. So he really is like an important guy to celebrate today. And when I was preparing for doing this with Chris and all of you, it really broke my heart to see that there’s a massive earthquake near his birth city. And I was already feeling for the people in Turkey and the astrologers that I know who are active there, and lo and behold, it was pretty much where Valens was born. So I was thinking, “How am I gonna share geography and let people know where Valens was born?” And it’s like, well, now you have to notice it—it’s the news. It’s literally in the news two days before his birthday.

And also, because it’s a party, there’s another ‘white elephant’ in the room around the astrological earthquake that has happened in the last four days surrounding Valens’ use of houses and all of that. So that will be addressed at some point today, but I also want to keep the focus a little bit on the time of that era of 2nd century Hellenistic culture and the amazing mixture of philosophies that were going on around Valens and really to situate ourselves in the life world that he was experiencing and acknowledge that he was a practicing astrologer who relied upon astrology for his work. So when we read The Anthology, which Chris has amazingly brought into print form—so thank you, Chris—we are seeing something that is very much practitioner-to-student, not philosopher-to-theoretician or academic, right? So we’re seeing ‘boots-on-the-ground’ kind of astrology and things that were actually used, actually taught. And Riley has tried to create a comprehensive translation of that, which Chris can speak more to. So I’m wondering, Chris, do you want to speak a little bit about your recent experience working with Riley on bringing his book into print form?

CB: Sure. For many years I’d been using Riley’s translation of Valens and taking excerpts from it. And Riley’s translation was a translation that wasn’t complete. He didn’t create the diagrams that were necessary in order to visualize Valens’ chart examples every time Valens introduced a chart example. And so, I had always created little excerpts for my students over the years to show the chart right next to when Valens would start talking about it. And it was talking to you in 2020 where I was saying I wanted to maybe put something like that out there, and you actually suggested that I talk to Riley and just ask him if it would be okay to do that and to publish his translation. And I approached him and had a discussion and he was surprisingly open to it.

So we set about, the past two years now—before we eventually got it into print—editing the translation and cleaning it up and fixing it for typos, but also creating these diagrams and being very careful to make sure that we created the diagram to depict the chart exactly as Valens described in the text. Because what will happen is at different points in The Anthology he will introduce a chart, but sometimes he’ll only introduce pieces of the chart that are relevant for what he’s talking about. So for example, sometimes when he’s talking about rectification or trying to find the degree of the Ascendant or the Lot of Fortune, he’ll only mention the Ascendant and the Sun and the Moon and he won’t integrate other things that are not necessary for that example. So for that reason we were very careful to go through the text and make diagrams exactly matching what Valens said in the text. Otherwise if we started inserting stuff that we thought should be there, or if we recalculated the chart based on where we know the planets are now then it might be different than what Valens was actually trying to convey.

JZ: Mm-hmm.

CB: So something we were very conscious about was not altering the text just based on what we thought should be there or might be there in the chart.

JZ: Yeah, and it’s definitely clear when he does that. And then you see the diagram next to it, it strips away the information that doesn’t pertain, and so you can really begin to do the technique in your head. For example, when he’s talking about calculating the conception chart—that’s something I’ve never thought of. But going back through, it’s like, yeah, there’s only three factors in that chart right there, in the diagram, because that’s what you’re supposed to focus on. It’s not about reading every single thing or even importing factors that hadn’t been calculated or discovered since or at his time.

CB: Yeah. ‘Cause one of the things he’ll do is he’ll use the same example chart at different times in The Anthology, and he’ll add or subtract different points in the chart based on what he’s trying to teach you in that passage. So that’s one of the reasons why even if you see a chart in chapter one, and then later you see the same chart in Book 3 that has more information from it, you’re not supposed to take that later chart and impose it earlier in the text because then you kind of miss the point of Valens’ first example.

JZ: Yeah, yeah. And also, just as the typesetter, placing all those charts was seriously intense work. So we must love him. What are—go ahead, sorry. You were gonna say something.

CB: So one of the things that’s really funny about Valens—when you go through his chart examples and you read through his text—is he keeps using this one chart like over and over again.

JZ: Was that lazy? He was just being lazy?

CB: Would you mind if I shared the screen?

JZ: Yeah, let me try to see if I can get that up.

CB: So he just got done telling this long story in Book 4—which is the book where he introduces the different time-lord techniques—and he talks about what we call zodiacal releasing and annual profections, as well as a couple of other time-lord techniques. And he tells this whole story about traveling to Egypt and finding a teacher and then eventually he introduces this technique. And it’s a pretty simple technique ‘cause it’s the technique that we know today as profections. Although Valens has an advanced method of profections where he profects from all of the different planets in the chart, it’s kind of advanced. But he says that you just start with the rising sign and you count one sign per year for each year of the native’s life. So what’s interesting is he uses this chart example that has Virgo rising and Mars in Virgo, Jupiter in Libra in the 2nd whole sign house, the Moon in Scorpio in the 3rd, Venus in Capricorn in the 5th, the Sun and Mercury in Aquarius in the 6th, and Saturn in Cancer in the 11th, and that’s basically his first time introducing profections using this example. And over and over again, this same exact chart keeps coming up. Do you happen to have the list of the numbers, Jenn?

JZ: So if we go to page 88, we’ll find it. I’m assuming a lot of the people here today have this book. And if not, then when you listen to the recording, you can flip along. So on page 88, he’s sharing an example of whether or not the father or mother will die first.

CB: Yeah, so he introduces this example. Again, it’s the same example chart, and he happens to know that this person’s mother died before their father. Then what’s another one, Jenn? There it is. See, here’s an example in the context of trying to determine when the conception chart occurred. He gives this example again and this time he only includes three points, but he says this person had Virgo rising, the Moon in Scorpio, and the Sun in Aquarius. And it’s like he’s just showing those three points ‘cause that’s all that’s relevant in order to calculate this specific technique. But it’s weirdly the same thing again and he demonstrates it in order to determine when the conception chart of this person was. So he also knows when they were conceived essentially. Anyway, he keeps doing that.

JZ: 161—that was the annual profections one you just said. And 208, 212, and 274.

CB: Oh, yeah. So this is when he introduces a new modification of an even more advanced or complicated version of doing his already advanced technique to profections. So again, he introduces a new technique and then this mysterious chart just shows up again as the first example, which has Virgo rising, Mars in Virgo, Saturn in Cancer, etc. So we don’t have to go through the rest, but the point is just Valens never says explicitly that this is his chart. However, David Pingree—who was the last major academic scholar who took the manuscripts of Valens in Greek and then tried to reconstruct what he thought the original manuscript looked like—speculated that it was a pretty good chance that this was actually Valens’ own birth chart, and I think as you read through The Anthology you see the amount of information that he knows about this person’s life. At one point, Jenn and I were looking at a profections example where he talks about how the native worked in a foreign country for somebody and he got in trouble. He got a major injury that year and he also had relationship…

JZ: Mortal danger for women, sorry.

CB: He had some relationship problems. He was probably over-the-top about it, a little salty, but that was when he was in his 34th year; so he was only 33-years-old. And he gives this famous set of examples in Book 7 where, in this chapter, there were eight different people that were all in a shipwreck on the same boat, and he had birth charts for all of these people. And we went through, during the course of this chapter, and showed how each of their charts indicated being in this major catastrophe in the same year. And that one chart shows up there again as well and it’s probably his birth chart from sometime when he was in his mid-30s.

So Valens is basically like my age right now, or me and Jenn’s age, doing the same thing that any normal astrologer would do, which is always when you learn techniques you apply them to your own chart first to see if they work. And then you also document your life using astrology, using the events in your life as your primary case study, as well as the events in the lives of the people around you. So Valens is a really good example of that, and it really personalizes that this really was some astrologer, just like you or me, who just happened to live 2,000 years ago in Egypt and who spoke Greek. But there’s something very personal about him where we can relate to some of the things that he was doing ‘cause they’re things that we still do today.

JZ: If that’s true, that’s really cool that that kind of behavior goes all the way back to him. Because when I was looking at some astrology that was published in German in the early 20th century, so many astrologers started off by saying study your own chart. Study yourself, and then your friends, and the next person. So it’s Pingree’s hypothesis that it’s Valens’ chart. That’s just so awesome to think that we’ve been doing this for 2,000. 1903 years.

CB: Yeah, there’s no doubt that it’s Valens’ chart, and also it’s not unique because we have two other examples of this happening. Hephaistio of Thebes in the 4th century also used his birth chart as an example and he explicitly says it’s his birth chart when he’s showing the technique for conception. And then the author Manetho, in the 1st century, also uses his birth chart as an example at one point in his text. So it seems like it’s a pretty common thing that runs throughout the tradition.

JZ: Yeah, very cool. ‘Anonymous’ of Valens has been ‘un-anonymized’.

CB: All right, so this is Valens’ chart recalculated using more contemporary methods and layout and everything else. Roughly speaking, it was actually probably earlier Virgo rising with the Midheaven in late Taurus based on one of the examples he gives at one point, and this is using the tropical zodiac. So one of the things that we noticed that was really interesting is when we published his book, The Anthology, in October, this was the first time that the entirety of The Anthology had been put together and published in English in print form in modern times. There was an earlier German translation, an academic one, but it didn’t contain all the chart examples. So what was really interesting is there was a solar eclipse in Scorpio right around that time, which was very close to Valens’ Moon in Scorpio in his 3rd house of communication. And I thought there was something really striking about that, that our charts actually continue to work and reverberate even thousands of years after we’re gone. And I know that’s something you’ve focused on a lot too, right, Jenn?

JZ: Yeah, and I have seen it have some profound effects.

CB: Yeah, I think it is weird because we published this book in October, around the time of that eclipse and there’s just been an increase in activity of Valens very recently, especially in the past week, focusing on his text and different interpretations and different debates about some of the ambiguous passages in Valens’ text and some of his examples. And you and I scheduled this. I think we agreed on this like a month or ago or something like that…

JZ: Totally, yeah.

CB:…and scheduled it to happen on this day, on his birthday, to celebrate Valens’ birthday. And then there’s been so much discussion about him this week. But yeah, in the manuscripts, the name that’s given to him is ‘Vettius Valens of Antioch’, and Antioch is a city that’s in modern-day Turkey that’s called Antakya, in Turkey. And Valens does say that he learned astrology, but then he wanted to find more powerful and more advanced timing techniques for studying smaller increments of time, so he says that he traveled to Egypt. He probably went to Alexandria, Egypt, which was one of the biggest, most metropolitan cities in the world at the time, and was also probably the birthplace of Hellenistic astrology. And he went there and he found a teacher and settled down and set up a school for astrology in Egypt. But it is really notable that, yeah, there was that major earthquake there recently and just a lot of weird things going on seemingly with this author and his work and everything surrounding it suddenly becoming very relevant again recently. I assume there’s something connected astrologically to some of that.

JZ: Yeah, it’s amazing. Sometimes I think also about that other level of prediction. Like the shipwreck example, sometimes there are things higher than one’s individual chart that happen in terms of your fate unfolding, and there can be simultaneous correspondence as well on the microscopic level of each individual person, but there are certain mundane events that happen. His contemporary, Ptolemy, talks about that in terms of can you change your fate. And it’s like, well, sometimes there’s something that’s at work a little bit higher than you, like the chart of a nation or a certain kind of other political entity that can determine the conditions of your existence, and then you’re operating underneath that. And so, your own chart has to adjust to those parameters.

CB: Yeah. And there’s just something about what the natal chart is that speaks to the moment in time in which we’re born and the moment that we occupy in our lives being marked by that and being represented by the birth chart. But then that moment on, and sometimes even after we physically die, there can be things about our impact and our legacy in the world that continues to be relevant and continues to come up sometimes for many years in the case of Valens or Ptolemy. I thought about that when I was writing my book in 2017, when I published it, which was hard because I’m used to reading Valens’ texts and Ptolemy’s texts. So I’m used to knowing what it looks like when you write something that you’re not quite clear on, or you write an ambiguous sentence, and then 2,000 years later there’s somebody scratching their head trying to understand what you were trying to say because your work ended up surviving and was very important. And that was always in the back of my mind when I was writing my book, just this idea of legacy and what we pass on to future generations of astrologers, doing the best we can to be clear in what we’re trying to say in expressing ourselves.

And this is relevant, especially in this context, since we’re doing this under the auspices of your amazing research library of astrological books and history. But yeah, prior to the Renaissance, all books were copied over by hand by scribes, and if you wanted to get a copy of a book, somebody had to literally sit down with a copy of the book and then copy it over into another book by hand. So it’s not that only one copy of Valens survived, we actually had a bunch of different copies and a bunch of different parts of Valens that survived that were copied by different scribes. And then the challenge in modern times was for scholars to compare some of these different copies that did have variations and different errors or different changes in them and then try to figure out what the original was based on what the majority of the manuscripts said. And an interesting piece of astrological history when it comes to trying to debate is here’s this whole other element of textual analysis that you have to take into account.

JZ: Right.

CB: The version of The Anthology that we have, one of the manuscript traditions, has an appendix of some additional chapters that had been added to it in the 5th century. So Valens lived in the 2nd century, but then somebody got a hold of a copy of his book, took some of his techniques, and basically wrote some notes. They were summarizing some of his chapters on annual profections, but they also decided to apply it to their own chart and they wrote down a chart example from the year 400-something; and then that chart, in that chapter, got passed off as part of the manuscript tradition of Valens. But it’s somewhat easy for scholars to look at that and see that this must be a later addition because it has this chart that we can actually date using modern astronomical software to the 5th century. We know that Valens lived in the 2nd century ‘cause most of his chart examples are from the 150s or so.

JZ: Yeah, that was the horoscope of Emperor Valentinian III who was assassinated at the age of 36, on the 16th of March 455. That’s a really important thing and I’m glad that you’ve created a paper copy of this instead of the PDF that existed. You’ll see at the end here Holden says, “Mark Riley has made an English translation available online and it’s expected to be printed in 2012,” but it took another 11 years. Having a place that’s not subjected to digital loss is important, I think. That tactileness of being around a book and seeing, for example, or other things—like just walking across the room and having Greek Horoscopes from Otto Neugebauer—I’ve never taken upon the research project of looking through this to compare. But when you look at something like this, that has the same horoscope data that you’ve put into Riley’s translation, it’s like your mind does these interesting connections, and you start to see things in almost like a stereoscopic way. And all the little citations—it’s like they’re speaking to each other. But then the things are actually in front of you, they’re not on this screen and not subjected to this fatigue of digital life that I think we’re all kind of suffering from because here we are meeting in a digital space and we could just be present together in the same room.

CB: Yeah, I think there’s something really important about physical books. Aside from just enjoying or preferring to read a physical book if I’m reading something that’s really long, ebooks and online discussion are super valuable and interesting and useful to engage in as well just in terms of the preservation and the passing down of the tradition and making sure that things survive us. Especially in this digital age, I think print books are so important, and that was why it was important for me to put Valens in print in order to ensure the survival of that book into the future, just in case of an EMP wave or the Sun send out a solar flare and knocks out all of the digital PDFs of Riley’s translation, at least we’ll have this print book. And we have older books, like William Lilly’s texts, which there are still copies floating around from the 17th century because it’s in print form and there’s just something so durable about that format.

JZ: Yeah. I mean, we also have experienced most recently the transition of Twitter from being a public company to a private company and a lot of conversations have been—I don’t know. How will these really potent and really live communications between us now get preserved for perpetuity if this company is so unstable that it just suddenly disappears one day? I think a lot of valuable conversations have been put under threat immediately and have emphasized this idea of the longevity of the written word as a technology.

CB: Yeah, ‘cause stuff does disappear sometimes. I mean, we saw that with MySpace. There were a lot of great discussions that existed on this social network in the mid-2000s, and then it was just gone and many of those can’t be recovered. Or you see it commonly when an older astrologer passes away, their website eventually stops being maintained and goes offline. And while sometimes that stuff is ‘snapshotted’ on the Wayback Machine in the Internet Archive, it’s not always a surefire thing that that’s preserved.

JZ: Yeah. And when we were getting close to The Anthology being published, again, it was like a meta-moment for me because I love zodiacal releasing. I remember that one weekend that Kent Bye and you and I were like, “Okay, we’re gonna make an app for this online,” so we did this other visualization app. And then I asked Kent to make it a lot longer, so he made it to be a research tool that could cover 200 years; and that’s what I was looking at for posthumous astrology to see if someone born in 1880 was still relevant in 2013. And as we were getting this book ready, I’m like, “Wait, so this is the book that taught me how to calculate that. And now I wonder whether or not he’s in a peak period.” And that brought up then one technical problem of, well, is it an Egyptian year of 360 days, or is it acknowledging that the solar year is 365.25 days? And when you have someone who’s turning 1903, that adds up, that fractional margin. And I don’t have the bandwidth to do the research to see whether or not that would pertain to this moment, but I’m setting that out to the group here if you wanted to see comparatively, using Valens as his own example, what is his zodiacal releasing from the Part of Spirit in tandem with this book coming into print.

CB: Right. Yeah, for sure.

JZ: It must be actually because of Riley. This must have been a loosening of the bond because of Riley having something and then 11 years later this comes out. But he was doing the translating before he got his stuff online, right? So this would have been maybe that—what do you call it? The culmination?

CB: Yeah, potentially. I mean, that is an interesting point. It’s interesting that Holden mentioned that in that book, that Riley’s translation was gonna come out in 2012. I forgot, before us, there was another astrologer who was gonna publish Riley’s translation, Dave Roell. He ran AstroAmerica where he had reprinted a bunch of translations of older astrological works, like Dorotheus of Sidon and Firmicus Maternus. And he was gonna print this book, but then he sadly passed away of a heart attack as he was putting it together, so that never came to fruition and it was just not happening by anybody for most of the past decade. So that was part of why we picked up the project and decided to bring it completion.

JZ: Yeah, Dave’s passing was really sad because of the way that his astrology classic series brought back into wide circulation so many traditional texts. And in the forward to Dave’s edition of Blagrave, a medical astrologer from the Medieval period, he actually says, “I’m probably gonna die of a heart attack,” according to this book.

CB: Wow.

JZ: Yeah.

CB: Okay.

JZ: I wouldn’t print that myself, but he was kind of a feisty guy in his own way.

CB: Yeah, yeah, for sure.

JZ: So there’s a comment here. Milo says, “There was an interesting conversation with a student of Sam Reynolds at last year’s NORWAC. She was talking about creating a digital archive project which could preserve influential astrology research that’s only been published on ephemeral platforms and social media.” That would be amazing. It would also be amazing to get it in ink, various things in ink. I was thinking even before, as I did my academic studies, we’re reading the Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, and it was like, “Are we gonna be reading the tweets of so-and-so?” How do we preserve those ways of communicating? We don’t have a postcard or a letter to send to someone. We have these sort of bite-sized, literally byte-sized, things that are vanishing in thin air.

CB: Yeah, it’ll be really interesting to see in the long term ‘cause it’s so early in the internet age. We’re 20-30 years into it at this point. Will astrologers keep publishing physical books? Or will some astrologers really focus more on their digital creations through their YouTube channels, their podcasts, their TikTok accounts or other content platforms where you can generate content and teach people astrology and pass on the tradition, whether some of those are more ephemeral, or if some of that’s passed on in different forms, or what things will look like over the course of this century.

JZ: Yeah, I’m definitely trying to get people to publish books, as you can tell.

CB: Right. I can see one or two behind you.

JZ: Oh, that one. Oh, look at that! Wow.

CB: Yeah.

JZ: This is what I use to build forts for my daughter.

CB: Oh, okay. I didn’t actually see that, but that’s actually funny.

JZ: And then I brought this out too, for show-and-tell. I just want to emphasize how long this table is. It’s kind of a nice table. This is the elusive Project Hindsight, out-of-print, Valens translation, all five of them, which is what most people had for the longest time, right?

CB: Yeah, that’s what I started with because those were the first English translations. Starting in 1993, they started making these preliminary translations of Valens, translating the text from Greek into English the first time. And they were discovering new things, like new time-lord techniques. Valens has the most chart examples of any ancient author. He has over a hundred different chart examples. So it wasn’t just talking about the theory of the technique, but you were seeing how he applied it practice. And sometimes how people apply things in practice is different than the theory and it’s important sometimes to look at that disconnect. Just in the same way, in the later tradition, William Lilly—once his work was revived there were debates about his use of the void-of-course Moon once they noticed a discrepancy between how people thought he defined it vs. what he actually did in the example charts. So that’s an important thing about Valens and that’s why he’s our most important surviving source, aside from being one of the longest; it’s because he contains so many example charts.

JZ: Yeah. And he was a practitioner and Ptolemy was not; he was a compiler. And in Holden’s description of the relationship between the two people who lived at the same time, there’s nowhere in The Anthology that it mentions Ptolemy at all, not even in the later bits. And Holden has a theory that Ptolemy basically had a patron who wanted to create a really cool compilation of astronomical data at the time. So he was private and not as popular as we all think he was in a way. The creation of the Tetrabiblos and Almagest was a private enterprise.

CB: Yeah. I mean, Holden is a little bit harder on Ptolemy than I am sometimes just because I don’t know if Ptolemy was a practicing astrologer or not. I mean, he was clearly a polymath in that he was like this genius that wrote these incredibly high-level works in several different areas of science including astronomy, geography, harmonics, and also astrology. So clearly he was very widely-learned in a bunch of different fields, but it’s true that he doesn’t have any example charts. And so, his presentation of astrology is different in a way than Valens. But it is cool having two of the most significant ancient astrologers whose works survived, knowing they were alive roughly in the same time period, and that they probably lived and worked in the same city, in Alexandria, Egypt. So who knows, they could have crossed paths. We really have no way of knowing. Valens probably would have been a slightly younger contemporary of Ptolemy.

I sort of think about the new generation of astrologers that’s coming up right now just 10 years behind me—that are in their early-to-mid-20s or late 20s, and they’re 10 years younger than me, in my late 30s now—and how I relate to that generation or how they relate to me. Who knows if there were similar dynamics when Ptolemy and Valens lived.

JZ: Right. Yeah. And from the academic side of things, I was always trained to use my knowledge of astrology. I began learning in high school when I was 15. So I always challenged any of my professors, grasping for the astrological text in some fashion. So I was in the history of science class, history of astronomy, and I’m like, “I want to do an independent study about the history of astrology.” And so, this almost retired professor was like, “Okay, go get Ptolemy and start from there.” And so, that becomes the academic history of science, the official ‘okay’ version of the history of astrology. No mention of Valens at all. No awareness or even inclusion because it was probably seen as not academic enough. Even though there was a translation into Project Hindsight that might not have even been on the radar of anybody at a university system.

CB: Yeah, I think just the lack of translations of Valens until recently made him less accessible even to academics. Even if you have Greek language skills, it takes a lot to sit down and read a text in ancient Greek, especially if it’s a complicated mathematical text like some of Valens’ techniques are. So initially that’s why it was so important when Project Hindsight started translating the text, and between 1993 and 2001, they translated the first seven books of Valens. But those were supposed to be preliminary translations that were just published in little stapled booklets that were stapled together on the spine. And it was a really cool, kind of upstart and really interesting way of doing that where they got the astrological community to help crowdfund the translation of all these ancient texts by subscribing to them. And what would happen is every month or two, you would just, as a subscriber, get a new translation of this ancient text in the mail, and it was this amazing community effort in order to revive the ancient traditions.

But Schmidt always planned to do a final translation series once they understood everything because the preliminary translations, if you follow them, have a bunch of commentary and footnotes in the prefaces from both Schmidt, the translator, as well as Rob Hand, who was the editor. And you can see the evolution of their thinking at the time where they proposed different theories about the text, or there are some things where they state they’re not clear about the translation, or there’s some translation conventions that are provisional that they go back later and revise at different points. It was very much a work in progress of reviving ancient astrology in stages by translating the texts, reading them, and then continuing to grow and develop everyone’s understanding based on that.

Schmidt finally started publishing the final translation series in 2009, and he published a final translation of Antiochus of Athens, which is one of the earliest preliminary translations; it was published in 1993. But sadly, Schmidt passed away and got sick back in 2018, so he wasn’t able to bring that project to completion. So that was the other thing, that the preliminary translations by Project Hindsight went out of print over a decade ago. So what I realized was that there was a generation of astrologers that weren’t reading Valens and weren’t really fully understanding Valens because they didn’t have a final completed translation that contained the chart examples, and that was what we needed to fix by bringing this book out last year.

JZ: And when something’s out of print, I don’t think there’s anywhere you can buy them. These Project Hindsight pamphlets are fairly inaccessible unless you have a library source or access to somebody who was getting the subscriptions in the ‘90s, or was bequeathed that person’s library, right? So I actually have Maggie Nalbandian’s copies of Project Hindsight pamphlets that Laura gave me, so that to me is a treasure.

CB: Wow. Yeah, the founder of Kepler College.

JZ: Yeah, yeah. In the context of something like Patreon now, what Project Hindsight was doing was like a proto-Patreon in a way.

CB: Yeah.

JZ: And so, it’s neat to see that lineage and this kind of DIY, self-published, self-translated discovery. And also, the willingness to have something imperfect go out there because it’s a beginning. Just try it. Just put it out, we’ll finalize it later. Okay, so obviously he’s not the one to finalize it, but the community can work on it and see is this how we are going to understand that now that people who are practitioners are able to engage with the material and not scholars who sometimes translate things funny because they don’t understand the underlying techniques or philosophies of what that astrological text is actually aiming for.

CB: Yeah, for sure. That’s a really good point ‘cause it’s also interesting and worth reflecting on part of a broader point, which is no one astrologer ever figures everything out about astrology in their one lifetime because it’s too big and it’s too massive of a topic. And so, each of us always pushes the field forward as far as we can within our lifetimes, but then eventually we hand that off to the next generation of astrologers and they carry the baton forward from there, and that’s been a constant process for thousands of years now.

JZ: Yeah. And I think when I first met astrology from the curriculum designer of Kepler, Gary Lorentzen—I was 15, like I said—he was my high school teacher, and he was sharing all of this amazing stuff about astrology with me. And I’m glad he caught me when I was that young because I was able to go to a university and irritate all my professors about, “Why don’t you know about this entire domain of human experience? I’m gonna challenge you to widen this class curriculum to include it,” because I couldn’t go to Kepler. So I just pretended to take Kepler with me wherever I was. And lots of interesting things precipitated from that. But also, this desire to create a culture going forward where we can hopefully reach people who are pre-college, so that when they do go to universities they can begin to ask these questions as a group and say, “Why don’t we have this as a part of our curriculum? Why is this excluded still?”

CB: Right. Yeah.

JZ: Very cool. I mean, we’ve got about 10 minutes, if anyone has any burning questions for Chris. This is a casual vibe. We want to keep things chill ‘cause it’s a birthday party situation, but if you want, raise your hand and ask a question.

JULIAN VENABLES: Can I ask a question of Chris, Jenn?

JZ: Yeah.

JV: Hi.

JZ: Hi.

JV: I’m wondering, Chris, can you tell me anything about Valens’ synkrasis? S-Y-N-K-R-A-S-I-S. I haven’t bought the new edition yet of The Anthology, so I’m reading from a PDF called Vettius Valens Entire that I downloaded off the internet. And I’ve been doing basic research ‘cause I’m writing a book about midpoints. So I’m writing a book about modern midpoints, but I want to see what traditional astrology I can bring into that book. And in this Vettius Valens Entire, it’s 21k, 19p in Book 1—I don’t know if that means anything to you for the reference. It’s called “The Combinations of the Stars,” and in it, he refers to a thing called synkrasis. S-Y-N-K-R-A-S-I-S. And it would appear that synkrasis is combinations of planets, which he then goes into describing in quite really interesting detail. And I’m just wondering, do you think he is hinting at midpoints without actually calling them midpoints?

CB: Yeah, I mean, that’s Valens’ chapter that’s at the end of Book 1. He has a couple of very long chapters where, first, he gives delineations of conjunctions of the planets either by degree or by sign, when two planets are together. And then in the next chapter, he gives combinations of when there’s three planets together in the same sign or degree. So yeah, I mean, it’s originally meant for conjunctions, but I’m sure that you could extend some of the same logic to midpoints since it seems like midpoint logic is very similar.

JV: Yeah, super. Yeah, thank you.

JZ: Does anyone else have a question or a comment or insight? Nothing? Don’t be shy.

CB: One of the questions was, “I’m curious what the drama this week on Valens was about?” And I did want to mention briefly there’s been debates for a long time about the different systems of house division in Valens because he uses three different systems or outlines three different systems of house division at different points in The Anthology. So at one point, in Book 9, he outlines equal houses. And then at one point in Book 3, he outlines quadrant houses using what’s now called the Porphyry house division, but then in the vast majority of his example charts he uses just whole sign houses. And most of the time he only lists the rising sign without a degree, as well as the signs that the planets are located in without degrees. So they can only be calculated as whole sign charts because you can’t calculate equal houses or Porphyry houses if you don’t have an Ascendant degree. So some of the controversy this week is there’s been an accusation that Valens didn’t use whole sign houses and that whole sign houses is somehow a modern invention. So a lot of people have been talking about that this week because it’s kind of a wild and essentially absurd claim for anybody that’s actually read Valens.

JZ: Yeah.

CB: There was still an accurate astronomy that Valens was using, and he did calculate the planets to the degree sometimes, and there are some charts in which he did that. So he was perfectly capable of and did show an example of using quadrant houses, so that’s not necessarily the issue. There’s always been an acknowledgment that Valens had the ability to and seemed to have the intent and wanted to at times to integrate some of the degree-based forms of house division, like Porphyry or equal houses on top of whole sign houses. But the point is that even though he had the ability to calculate some of those more complicated systems of house division, he often clearly seemed to have a preference for whole sign houses in his chart examples. Let me actually show a few just to demonstrate this.

So where is this? This is Book 5. He’s talking about profections, and he just goes on this tear and he starts introducing just a ton of different chart examples, and he’s connecting the placements of the planets in certain houses with certain events that happened in the people’s lives. But when I say that Valens used whole sign houses in the majority of his examples, this is what I mean by that. Over on the left, we have Valens introducing the example, and he tells you the placements that he’s outlining in the text itself. So he says, “Sun, Mercury, Venus in Libra, Saturn in Aquarius, Jupiter [and] Ascendant in Sagittarius, Mars in Virgo, [and the] Moon in Leo.” So what he wants you to do is cast a chart or create a chart that has those placements, which is what we’ve done when we illustrated the diagram on the right.

One of the things that’s really important when you look at this diagram—and that the student is supposed to understand—is he’s only given you the sign of the Ascendant. So he said the Ascendant is Sagittarius, but he doesn’t specify what degree, which means, we, as the student, reading his text, we don’t know what degree this chart was supposed to have because it’s not relevant. Once the sign of the Ascendant is established in whole sign houses, that entire sign becomes the 1st house, and then the sign after that becomes the 2nd house, the sign after that becomes the 3rd house, and so on and so forth. He also doesn’t give the degrees for the different planets, but instead, he just tells you what sign and what whole sign house they’re placed in.

So as a result of that, in this example, because we don’t know the degree of the Ascendant, we cannot calculate equal houses or quadrant houses like Placidus or Porphyry in this example chart. Literally, the only system of house division that we can calculate is whole sign houses in this example chart. So that’s part of the point in terms of Valens using whole sign houses. Often people try to overlook or try to downplay to not get people to notice the point that most of the example charts don’t have a degree of the Ascendant, they just tell you the sign. But it’s not just this one example chart, 95% of the example charts in Valens are exactly like this, and they only list the rising sign, as well as, for that matter, the sign position of the planets. So basically throughout the text, Valens was just using whole sign houses for the most part, and he never demonstrates a chart example where he uses equal houses, and he only has one or two examples where he explicitly outlines quadrant houses.

So we have to conclude from this—not just from the use in the example charts themselves, but also because he’s doing delineations where he’s talking about the planets being in specific houses that match the whole sign house placements—he’s giving specific delineations of events that actually happened in the lives of these natives, saying that it actually works; that the whole sign house placement actually matches an event that occurred in this person’s life. So that also means by extension that he wouldn’t be doing that if he didn’t think that the whole sign house placement worked on some level or had some fundamental meaning that was actually useful. So it’s not just being used as an abstract example, but he’s matching the whole sign placement with real-life events, so that’s the other thing. So that does not mean that whole sign houses was the only house system that he used necessarily, but it does mean that it’s used in Valens and that it seems to be the primary system that he appeared to prefer.

JZ: Man, I had not actually ever truly heard you in that way until now. Just knowing if the degree of the Ascendant isn’t there then you have to use whole sign houses for these examples. Because there’s no math. There’s no other math. And his delineations are based upon those sign placements.

CB: So it’s like part of what’s happening is there’s a bit of anachronism going on where some astrologers in the later traditions want the later approaches that were adopted in the Renaissance or the modern astrological traditions that tended to prefer quadrant houses—they want to project that backwards into the ancient sources in order to validate their own approach. But it’s really not necessary because we know that all these different approaches were being used by different astrologers. So all of the approaches are already validated that way, and it’s not necessary to hijack Valens’ text in order to validate your own approach in that way and turn Valens’ text into doing or saying something that it’s not. It starts getting really sketchy at that point when it happens.

Yeah, that’s one of the things that’s happening right now, and it’s weird all of this is coming up at the same time. We just happened to schedule this and publish this book and everything else. But Valens has really become the focal point—through the analysis of these charts—of a lot of discussions in the astrological community today that have real importance in our community. And I guess I would just encourage everybody to sit down with the text and read the example charts yourself and come to conclusions about those example charts after reading them and what Valens did and practiced. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it in terms of what Valens said. Sit down with the text yourself and read through it and develop your own understanding and come to your own conclusions. And even if your conclusions were different than mine about the text in some areas, I think you’ll be in a much better position to be able to answer questions about what Valens thought or what happened in the astrological tradition if you sort of take things into your own hands and rad through the text in that way.

JZ: Yeah. Yeah, I think we have to be aware of multiplicity, allowing for research, right? We have to read ourselves and look into it. And yeah, I admit now that I was not aware of that one number missing for the Ascendant degree. It actually means a lot in practice.

CB: Yeah, it’s like the entire argument hinges on that, but there’s attempts to sort of deceptively say that Valens did include the Ascendant degree in all the charts. But if you look through it, it’s obvious that that’s not true, and therefore, it’s not possible to calculate equal or quadrant houses in all of Valens’ example charts.

JZ: Yeah. And I’ve always been a proponent of something I’m calling the ‘open house’ system, which is use the house system that’s appropriate for the historical period of astrology that you’re practicing. We don’t need to pick just one because it’s like saying, “I’m gonna build an entire house with one tool.” Different interpretations need different lenses.

CB: Yeah. Well, one thing that was interesting is towards the end of the Hellenistic tradition, we can already see authors like Valens in the 2nd century heading in this direction. But certainly by the time of the 5th or 6th century with Rhetorius of Egypt, at the very end of the Greek tradition, he has this example chart—I think it’s Chapter 1.11—and he says, “It’s the nativity of a grammarian.” And what he does with the chart is he will tell you the whole sign house placement, and he’ll also tell you the quadrant house placement, and in the delineation he keeps jumping back and forth between the two placements interpreting what they would mean from the different perspectives.

So really what was happening is that the astrologers of the Hellenistic tradition were trying to synthesize the different approaches to find a way to use them at the same time, and they passed that off to the early Medieval astrologers. Through recent translations of Arabic by people like Benjamin Dykes, he’s demonstrated that people like Sahl ibn Bishr or Masha’allah or Abu Ma’shar were following a similar approach where they were trying to synthesize the whole sign and the quadrant house placements. And recently I’ve even found a passage from Morinus—from Book 18 of Anthony Louis’ translation of Morinus—where he has this chart example where he gives a delineation, and he shows both the whole sign house placement, as well as the quadrant house placement. And it was like, “The Sun is in the 8th house by one, but it’s in the 9th house by the other.” And the delineation he gives, he says, “This is why the native ended up dying while they traveled in a foreign country,” because there was a blend between the 8th house and the 9th house using quadrant and whole sign houses.

I mean, ideally, I feel like we should be focusing on that and trying to pick up where some of the ancient astrologers left off—now that whole sign houses has been rediscovered—and synthesizing it with some of the prevailing house systems that are used today, finding a way for all of those to work together and make sense and figure out how to do that in practical terms. That’s what I wish the discussion could be about or was focused on at this point instead of needing to defend that whole sign houses existed in Valens when he has like over a hundred example charts of it, for example.

JZ: Yeah. And also, to push it a little further, I love that concept of going back to see how prior astrologers were doing it, and then to also kind of hold all of those approaches in the air as we practice to say, “Well, I’m gonna read this chart like Sahl would,” or “I’m gonna read this chart like Morinus would,” and “I’m gonna read this chart like Valens would,” and somehow come to a mixture of approaches. They’re running the ball down the court in their way, which plays a certain kind of game. And eventually as you get further into your practice—I guess I’ve been doing this now for a quarter century—you kind of come up with your own version that distills the ‘Jenn’ version and the ‘Chris’ version and “I’m gonna read a chart like Chris does,” “I’m gonna read a chart like Jenn does.”

But I think to know our ancestors and to do the reading and see, okay, whole sign was being layered together with the quadrant-based system in Morinus this way, he’s kind of the pinnacle of the Renaissance tradition. The Germans saw him, in the modern 20th century, as this sort of ‘last stand’. “If you could do Morinus then you could pick up where we left off,” right? And Sahl’s at the beginning, in a way, of that Medieval tradition. So it’s like how does that transform through the ages? And then name the lineage. Cite your source. Learn how they did it and allow the different nuances of how they did to be okay.

Morinus changed essential dignity. He came up with a whole other proposition of what things are affiliated with. Whatever, this isn’t a birthday party for him. Anyway, if you go into Bonatti, and you’re really steeped in that version of classical astrology, and you read what Morinus tried to propose, it’s like, what? And yet, I’m sure if you got deep into it, it works. Anyway, we’re a little over time now and there are questions, and I’m not sure if people want to stick around or if we need to wrap. But I’m game to extend this just a little bit ‘cause it’s really fun. Chris, can you stay for a minute, or do we have to go?

CB: Yeah, I can stay. I have an interview at six, but that’s an hour or two from now.

JZ: Okay.

CB: I just want to mention in connection with this, and to tie it back into Valens and what we were talking about, he has this beautiful passage at one point. Actually he makes this analogy at one point in The Anthology about different techniques and how there’s all these different techniques in astrology. In many ways, Valens’ himself introduces a number of different techniques throughout his nine books, but he uses this analogy of a path, and he says that there’s many different paths that you can take, like different paths on a mountain, that all sometimes eventually lead—even if in a roundabout away—to the same spot, and in some ways can end up taking you to the same destination even if it seems to be taking you by a very different route.

And I think that’s a great metaphor when it comes to not just house division, but a lot of the other complexities and a lot of the different diversities that we find in the astrological community. On the one hand, while some of that can be frustrating especially early on as a student—you have all these different approaches and all these different methods, how do you settle on something to study—eventually once you get a handle on it, you can come to see the many different traditions and techniques and takes on astrology as different paths to the same truth. And once you get to that point, instead of it being frustrating and overwhelming, it eventually can be kind of beautiful and elegant in a way, seeing that diversity as something good to embrace rather than something to reject or something to rail against.

JZ: Yeah. I mean, as you said, no one astrologer can discover the entire mountain in a lifetime.

CB: Right. So there is a passage—I don’t know where it cuts off—but I could share part of it, if you like.

JZ: Sure.

CB: Um…

JZ: You just want to read it?

CB: Yeah, I’ll just read part of it. It’s in our edition, it’s in Book 9, page 346, at the top of it. He says, “I believe I’ve compiled the powers of the proceeding methods in sufficient and even generous fashion. With this being done, there is something I wish to leave to scholars for their investigation and reflection. I’m not speaking now to the uninitiated, but to those who are keen about these matters so that they too can become aware of this multifarious and complex art, which reaches its peak by means of its many paths, its ins and outs. In doing so, they may seem to associate with the gods.” Yeah, so he just keeps going on with this complex metaphor, but it’s a metaphor that he brings up again in Book 7, and he just keeps talking about the many different paths in astrology eventually intersecting at some point to reach the same or similar conclusions.

JZ: Mm-hmm.

CB: All right, were there other questions?

JZ: We have some questions on the date of Valens’ birthday. I said something about calendars and this made Gustavo curious about the process of calculating the chart that you showed. And someone else asked you to show that chart again. So I will put you as host one more time and we can pick up the modern reconstruction of Valens’ chart for us. And then while you’re doing that, Cameron’s asking what the personal favorite chapters of Valens are, if you have any.

CB: Okay. So here’s the birth chart. The primary thing is just the astronomical placements get reversed-engineered. In the 1950s, there were a couple of scholars named Otto Neugebauer and HB Van Hoesen, and they wrote a book titled Greek Horoscopes. There it is—Jenn has it—a big green book. They had a bunch of these texts that had charts in them basically that listed planetary positions, but you didn’t always know the date of the chart. So what they did is they took astronomical tables and essentially ‘ephemerized’ them at the time, which would have been printed ones, and they projected the positions of the planets back into history. And then they would look through those time periods and try to find a time period where the planetary placements were in the same signs as what was given in the example chart. So when they did that process…

JZ: Yeah, most of these are Valens actually because he had all of the charts in his book.

CB: He had the majority. He’s the single largest source, but there were other charts that were discovered. Dorotheus has eight charts. I think Manetho has one or two charts. And then, like you said, there were others that were discovered after Dorotheus. There was a town in Egypt—and it was buried under sand for 2,000 years—called Oxyrhynchus. And in the early 1900s, some archaeologists discovered it, but the most interesting thing they discovered was actually the trash heap of the town. And in this trash heap they found…

JZ: 68 horoscopes.

CB: In Greek Horoscopes?

JZ: No. Nick Campion says 68 horoscopes in the trash heap.

CB: Okay. Yeah, they found a bunch of horoscopes written usually on little pieces of papyrus, like scrap paper basically that would contain the sign positions of the planets. It would say, “Ascendant in Virgo, Mars in Libra, Sun in Scorpio,” or what have you. And one of the fascinating things that scholars have done over the past century is they’ve looked back using planetary placements to try to find the date that matches those chart placements. And in many instances they were able to find astronomical placements that matched really closely, which then allows us to reconstruct the actual dates that some of these people were born, so Valens is one of those. Did you want me to show the chart again?

JZ: No, no, you showed it. I’m just trying to see whether or not Neugebauer and Van Hoesen actually have that reconstruction somewhere in the beginning of their discussion of Valens here, but I’m not finding that.

CB: Yeah, I mean, in each of the charts they just kind of discuss the different ranges that they’re looking at and the possible placements. Sometimes there can be when a planet’s close to a cusp a little ambiguity, or sometimes the Moon can be in the same sign for a day or two. So there can be an ambiguity where they’ll say, “Well, it could have been March 10 or March 11 that would have fit this placement,” but that means they’ve at least narrowed it down to within a day or so.

JZ: Very cool, very cool, yeah, the very good work they did. I’m grateful for everything that we’re all contributing to uncovering these methods and reconstructing that. I mean, when I saw February 8, I’m like, “How did they know it was then?” And then the next question is, “Do we have to change the day because of that 10-day shift in the Gregorian vs. Julian calendar? Are we meeting on the wrong day?” And yeah, thank you, so we’re kind of wrapping. If there’s not any more questions, thanks for taking the extra time. Oh, yes, the preferred chapter question, we can end on that. What are your favorite chapters of this Anthology, Chris?

CB: What is my favorite chapter?

JZ: Or a few.

CB: Or a few? I’ll tell you a few passages that I always remember, that always stick in my mind. One of them—I think it’s in Book 3, at the end of a chapter, or maybe it’s at the end of Book 3. Valens apologizes that the chapter that he just wrote isn’t more detailed and that some of his teachings can’t be more precise, or that he didn’t go enough in the technique that he just taught. But he says he’s struggling with some issues at the time and that he’s dealing with depression because his favorite student just passed away or just died. And then he kind of ends the book there with that apology that he’s dealing with some stuff.

So I always think about that ‘cause it’s like you realize this is a real-life guy that was going through some stuff, but also that there were teacher-student dynamics back then. He was teaching—from teacher-to-student—individual people and instructing individual people that he wanted to carry on the tradition from him. But in that instance that student passed away, and therefore, maybe Valens would have been worried that his tradition or his approach wasn’t gonna be carried on. There’s other books where somebody named Marcus is addressed, and we don’t know if that perhaps was the name of the student that Valens was writing the books for. But there’s something about that that’s really notable just because I think he would be happy.

There’s always been this tension in Valens. On the one hand, he does have a few passages where he asks the reader to swear an oath to keep his teachings secret because he says that they weren’t meant for the unlearned or the uninitiated because astrology to some extent was part of a mystery tradition at that point. He does mention at one point—I think in Book 7—about how he saw some of his writings circulating without his name on it, so somebody was kind of ripping him off and not giving him proper credit. Which is kind of funny astrologer drama in the 2nd century, but for him it was pretty serious, so he asks you to swear this oath to keep his teachings secret.

So, for me, there’s always been this tension between what would Valens have thought about the promotion of his work and the publication of his book in modern times? Would he have been sad about that or horrified about that if it was supposed to be part of a mystery tradition? Alternatively, what I usually come to is that, no, he was trying to pass this down to students, trying to make it so that the tradition would survive into future generations, and that was really part of his life’s work, which is why he wrote this very elaborate set of textbooks on astrology in the middle of the 2nd century; he wanted to pass down the astrological tradition and he wanted it to survive.

So I’ve always defaulted to thinking more on the side of ultimately he would probably be happy that his work survived and that his techniques have proliferated in recent times and that we’re still talking about his work to this day. Ultimately I think just reading the different texts and the different chapters and getting a sense of his personality, that’s where I tend to fall when it comes to that conclusion. But if I am struck down by a terrible illness or die suddenly at some point, who knows. And I want to clarify I’m joking about that. If I do actually die suddenly, I don’t think Valens cursed me, but we’ll see.

JZ: Your Scorpio’s showing. Yeah, the human side that comes through the technique, that’s a really lovely way to acknowledge that he was a real person who existed. And these techniques didn’t come out of a vacuum. They came out of human relationships. So thank you everybody for extending your day here to acknowledge Valens with us and spend his birthday talking about his life and work, and connecting to CAELi and Chris and me, and I hope to see you again. And thank you so much, Chris, for all of the work that you’ve done to revive Valens and the Hellenistic tradition and pass onto people who are going to be doing this for you in the 1,900 years.

CB: Right. Well, thanks so much for hosting this and for helping me to get the book out because, like I said, you were the one that originally proposed the idea. And also, through your work editing and doing layout, it wouldn’t have been possible without you, so I’m really happy to be able to have everything come together. And I’m excited that you also have your institute now and your library and that people can go there and read books and do serious research. So people should definitely check that out and support what you’re doing.

JZ: Thank you. Yep, it takes a whole village. And I’m excited to meet everybody in person one day. So on that note, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and thank you all.