Manilius and his Intellectual Background by Katharina Volk

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By Katharina Volk

This is often the 1st English-language monograph on Marcus Manilius, a Roman poet of the 1st century advert, whose Astronomica is our earliest extant entire remedy of astrology. Katharina Volk brings Manilius and his global alive for contemporary readers by way of exploring the manifold highbrow traditions that experience long past into shaping the Astronomica: historical astronomy and cosmology, the heritage and perform of astrology, the ancient and political scenario on the poem's composition, the poetic and primary conventions that tell it, and the philosophical underpinnings of Manilius' world-view. What emerges is a panoroma of the cultural mind's eye of the Early Empire, a desirable photograph of the ways that informed Greeks and Romans have been conversant in imagine and discuss the cosmos and man's position in it.

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On Manilius’ possible use of Eratosthenes, see Romano 1979a: 30–3 and Salemme 2000: 86–90. 52 Like Aratus, Manilius discusses the axis and poles, enumerates northern and southern constellations, and treats the various celestial circles. However, there are marked diVerences. 256–74), which his Greek predecessor discusses as a distinct phenomenon only in the section on the celestial circles, having described the individual signs, without singling them out, among the other constellations. 54 Also unlike Aratus but in agreement with other sources, the poet begins his enumeration of the signs of the zodiac with Aries, the sign of the spring equinox (263–4), rather than with Cancer, the sign of the summer solstice (Arat.

The connections among these words are controversial. One likely scenario is that the Wrst two are related to each other, which is semantically plausible, and that the third and fourth are in fact the same word, with the assumption being that the original meaning is something like ‘cavity’, which could 13 On the diVerent uses of kosmos in Greek philosophy, see Gatzemeier 1976; cf. also Wright 1995: 3–6. , all that there is, including heaven and earth) and ‘heaven’ (understood as either everything above the earth or speciWcally the outer sphere of Wxed stars), using the same words—Greek Œüóìïò and ïPæÆíüò, Latin mundus and caelum—for both (for ïPæÆíüò, cf.

513–23) It is tedious to count the ages or how often the Wery Sun returning has traversed the sky in its varied course. All things created according to mortal law are changing, and with the years turning, the lands do not know that they take oV and put on new appearances through the ages. But heaven remains unchanged and preserves all its characteristics; long time does not increase it and age not diminish it, and its movement aVects it in no way, nor does its course wear it out. It will always be the same because it always was the same.

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