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Ancient Jewish Astrology: An Attempt to Interpret 4QCryptic (4Q186)<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

Francis Schmidt

École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris

[Please note: Figures 1-3 are not available on the web publication]

The two great disciplines of astrology -- on the one hand, the theory of "opportunities" or </span>katarxai/, which teaches the opportune moment to undertake an action, and, on the other hand, genethlialogy, which predicts the destiny of individuals on the basis of their horoscopes -- are both represented in Qumran. The first, by the document known as Brontologion (4Q318), and the second, by a text of zodiacal physiognomy (4Q186), to mention only the published texts.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

I would offer an interpretation of the 4Q186 fragments as they were published by J. M. Allegro in 1968.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> We are dealing with a document in Hebrew which is also entitled 4QCryptic. For it is written in cryptic fashion: the text is written not from right to left but from left to right; moreover, letters of the paleo-Hebraic or Greek alphabet are sometimes substituted for square Hebrew letters. Paleographic analysis permits the dating of this document to the older or mid-Herodian period (Strugnell 1970: 274).

Despite its fragmentary state, the repetitive and systematic character of this text of zodiacal physiognomy (a particular portrait corresponds to each division of the zodiac) allows the reconstruction of the general organization of the different constituent units:

1. First, the physical description of individuals<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>;

2. Then the indication of the "column" (dwm() to which it belongs;

3. Then the spiritual description indicating in what proportions the spirit (xwr) of the individual partakes of light and of darkness. The extant passages present a consecutive text that envisages the case of three individual types (A, B, and C respectively). A, the first, consists of six parts of light and three of darkness (fragment 1,II,7-8); B, the second, whose physical traits are particularly coarse, has only one part of light as against eight parts of darkness (fragment 1,III,5-6); while the third, C, whose qualities approach perfection, benefits, by contrast, from eight parts of light as against only one part of darkness (fragment 2,I,7). These proportions indicate that nine parts of light or darkness are attributed to every individual, and the proportion varies depending on their horoscopes.

4. Indeed each indication ought to have concluded with an indication of the horoscope, that is to say, an indication of the sign of the zodiac that appeared on the eastern horizon at the moment of the "birth" (a point that will be discussed) of every individual whose physical and spiritual portrait is presented. In the case of A, regarding which we are the best informed, most commentators agree upon the following translation:

"Thus is the birth (dlwmh)where he was born (dwly): in the foot of Taurus (rw#h lgrb).<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> [...] This is his animal, Taurus
rw# wtmhb hzw).

In this interpretation, A is thus born under the sign of Taurus, to be precise, at the moment when the foot of Taurus appears on the eastern horizon. I shall return to the translation of this passage below.

5. Perhaps a fifth category should be added: after the prediction of the physical and spiritual characteristics, that which concerns the exterior events or the social condition of the subject.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> See fragment 1,II,9: "he will be poor." In any event, this indication is attested only regarding A.

If it is conceded that these fragments of 4QCryptic are the remains of a text of zodiacal physiognomy, of which each unit is composed of the various categories indicated above, then it becomes possible, at least theoretically, to reconstruct some of the missing units, as has been done by J. C. Greenfield and M. Sokoloff (1995) for the Brontologion.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

I shall begin by a brief review of the interpretations of these fragments that have been offered. Then I shall try to adduce the theoretical principles that underlie this presentation and permit us to understand its functioning. Finally I shall make several proposals for the reconstruction of the missing units.

I. The First Readings of 4QCryptic

1. In two places (Fragment 1, column II, line 6; Fragment 2, column 2, line 7) it states that the individuals described, A and C respectively, belong to the "second vault" (Allegro) or the "seconde colonne" (Carmignac, Dupont-Sommer) (yn#h dwm(h Nm). Carmignac, reproduced with several nuances by Dupont-Sommer (1966:242) and Delcor (1966:525), relying upon the relative unity of the portrait of A, posited equivalence between the sign, Taurus, which is the second sign of the zodiac (beginning the year at the vernal equinox, with the sign of Aries), and the "second column," which would thus be another way of indicating the sign Taurus.

I would offer two objections to this interpretation. First, it seems dubious to me that a text such as this, which demands great precision in vocabulary, would designate the same astrological reality with two different technical terms. Moreover, it appears very unlikely to me that subject C, who, like A, also derives from this "second column" (fragment 2,I,7), would also be placed under the sign of Taurus, for, judging by their physical and spiritual portrait, A and C are quite different from each other.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> The difference in their physical suggests that A and C do not share the same zodiacal sign.

2. Fragment 1,II,7-8; III,5-6: Following Allegro (1964), most commentators have related the opposition between the "House of Light" (tw)h tyb) and the "House of Darkness" (K#wxh tyb) [or the "Pit of Darkness" (K#wxh rwb)] to the dualism of Light versus Darkness, which is one of the characteristics of Essenian doctrine.<orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> "Such a conception," writes André Dupont-Sommer regarding the passages in question from 4QCryptic, "is entirely in keeping with the doctrine of the Two Spirits," of which the Community Rule (III,13-IV,26) gives the canonical formulation.10 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

This interpretation, otherwise very suggestive, dates from a research period in which the general tendency was systematically to attribute all non-Biblical texts discovered at Qumran to the Essene community. Since then the criteria permitting us to identify texts as properly belonging to the community have been refined. Now the specialists distinguish three groups of texts: Biblical texts, non-communitary texts, and the communitary texts (Dimant 1995: 23-36), and dualism is precisely one of the criteria retained to establish that classification.11 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> Is the opposition between the "House of Light" and the "House of Darkness" here an expression of a dualistic doctrine? If so, is it sufficient to classify 4QCryptic among the communitary texts? Other scholars, notably those who have had access to still unpublished astrological fragments, are better qualified than I to answer these questions. Be that as it may, it seems necessary to me to began to account for this opposition by an explanation of an astrological nature, one that takes note of the internal logic of the text and is coherent with the overall structure of the zodiacal physiognomy employed here.

It is known that ancient astrologers elaborated a typology of the zodiacal signs. They classified them notably as human or animal, whole or mutilated, masculine or feminine, diurnal or nocturnal. The Alexandrians in particular conceived of various systems that arranged half of the signs of the zodiac in the diurnal "party" (ai3resij, or secta) of the sun, and the other part in the nocturnal "party" of the moon (Bouché-Leclercq 1899: 155-157).12 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> Of these systems, the most popular and the one which appears to be most in conformity with the rhythm of the seasons, consisted in declaring the signs from Aries to Virgo (that is, those corresponding to the spring and summer) as diurnal, and those from Libra to Pisces (that is, those corresponding to the autumn and winter) as nocturnal.13 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> Arbitrary though it may be, this system did not lack a certain logic: the day began to grow longer during Aries, culminating in the summer solstice during the passage between Gemini and Cancer, then diminishing until the duration of the night and day are equal at the autumnal equinox. Conversely, from the beginning of Libra through Pisces, night predominates, reaching its maximum at the winter solstice during the passage between Sagittarius and Capricorn.

3. However, before verifying that this is indeed the classification at the basis of the zodiacal physiognomy of Qumran, we must attempt to resolve another enigma of this document for which no explanation has yet been proposed. In analysing the spiritual dispositions of each of the subjects portrayed, the exegetes have brought out the importance of the number nine. The spiritual essence of each one, as A. Dupont-Sommer comments (1966:244) "is curiously found to be defined by a precise proportion, expressed mathematically (...). The spirit of each individual comprises a total of nine parts." The commentators have rightly sensed that this was an instance of "astrological mathematics".14 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> The difficulty here resides in the fact that whereas twelve (the twelve signs of the zodiac) and seven (the five planets and the two luminaries) are the preeminent astrological numbers, nine is foreign to this numerology, unless one wishes to entertain scabrous arithmological speculations. To resolve this difficulty, in my opinion one should take two facts into consideration which, in complementary fashion, introduce the number nine into the functioning of this arrangement: on the one hand the subdivision of the signs of the zodiac into decans; and, on the other hand, the determination of horoscopes not by birth but by conception.

The Subdivision of the Signs of the Zodiac into Decans

According to certain astrologers of the Hellenistic period, each sign should be divided into three (or thirty) decans, that is, a division of 3 x 12 = 36 (or 360) decans in the entire zodiacal circle.15 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> This division, of Egyptian origin, permitted them to diversify their prognostications. Henceforth every season, between equinox and solstice, corresponded to three signs, or 3 x 3 = 9 decans.

The Determination of Horoscopes by Conception

The establishment of the horoscope implied knowledge of the moment when the signs and planets placed their seal on the destiny of the subject. But when should that fateful moment be situated? At the moment of birth or at that of conception? Many astrologers were convinced by physicians and maintained that the horoscope should be calculated in relation to the theme of conception and not that of birth. In practice one can only determine the moment of conception a posteriori, calculating backward from the moment of birth. One of the principal difficulties here obviously stems from the extremely variable duration of intra-uterine life. One solution consisted in arbitrarily setting the average duration of a pregnancy at nine months and determining the astrological place of conception by moving backward nine signs, starting from the date of birth.

One theory, which the ancients attributed to Zoroaster or to the Egyptian school of Nechepso and Petosiris, permits us to understand how the sun, moving from sign to sign and from decan to decan, contributes to the maturity of the foetus during the entire nine months of gestation. This theory is reported by Censorinus, a Roman grammarian of the first half of the third century.16 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> At the moment of conception, he explains, the sun is necessarily found in a sign of the zodiac, or, more precisely, in one of the decans which divide that sign. The place where the sun is found at conception is called, the place of conception. Then, as the sun passes from one sign to another, and from one decan to another, it "regards" that place of conception under different aspects: either under an oblique and "powerless" aspect, or, on the contrary, under an effective aspect that thus contributes to the development of the foetus. Having reached the ninth sign, that is, the ninth month of pregnancy, "the sun regards the degree of conception in a trigonal aspect," which is one of great effectiveness: the foetus then reaches maturity. Thus, Censorinus concludes, "the e)nnea&mhnoi, that is, children born at nine months, are born in a trigonal aspect".17 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

In this theory, the action of the sun is thus exercised throughout pregnancy and contributes, one might say, to making the foetus "ripen." But from conception to birth, this action is exerted with more or less intensity, depending on the position of the sun in one or another decan with respect to the place of conception.

Translation of Fragments 1,II, 8 and 2,I,8

Most commentators have taken the word dlwmh (fragment 1,II,8; fragment 2,I,8) as a noun (dlfwOm@ha) meaning "birth, the time of birth".18 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> In an astrological context, this term would have the technical meaning of "theme of geniture" (cf. Greek: ge&nesij; Latin: genitura). According to this interpretation, it would refer tothe theme of geniture characteristic of the individual portrayed. Further along, the past participle "qal" dw%lyf would confirm that the moment of birth is indeed the moment when the horoscope is determined. Carmignac (1965:203) thus proposes the following literal translation: "telle est la 'naissance' sur laquelle (= au moment de laquelle) il (= l'individu portraituré) est enfanté" (such is the "birth" upon which [=at the moment of which] he [= the person portrayed] was born).

Nevertheless the word dlwmh, if vocalized dlfw%m@ha can be read as the past participle "hofal" used as a noun and meaning "the engendered".19 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> It is well known that dly, in the "hifil", when the father is the subject of the verb, frequently has the meaning of "to engender".20 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html> Henceforth the two forms of dlayf would refer respectively to two different moments: the past participle "hofal" dlfw%m refers to conception (literally: "having been made to be born," that is, "the engendered", or "the conceived"), whereas the past participle "qal" dw%lyf refers to birth (having been born).

In this interpretation, the preposition l(a may express proximity or cause, making explicit the relation between "the engendered" (or "the conceived") and the born. As for mention of "in the foot of Taurus," it specifies the zodiacal position of conception and not of birth.

I thus propose the following literal translation: "and this is the engendered because of which he [that is, the individual portrayed] is born: in the foot of Taurus."

Similarly, in fragment 2,I,8 wOdlaw%m refers to the conception of the portrayed individual, whereas dw%lyf refers to the birth of that individual at the full term of pregnancy. Following the reconstruction by Strugnell (1970:275), I propose translating it as: "And thus is] the engendered of the latter (that is, the individual portrayed) [because of which] he (that is, that individual) is born: (9) [... and such] is his animal: ..."

Let us recapitulate:

1. Let us adopt the most common representation of the zodiacal circle, that which appears in Greek horoscopic papyri in the clockwise direction21 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>, and, in the opposite direction, in certain zodiacal mosaics of Galilean synagogues (See Fig. 1).

2. Let us divide this circle into four quadrants corresponding to the four seasons, which I shall call respectively Quadrants 1,2,3, and 4, beginning with the sign of Capricorn which marks the winter solstice. Let us posit that on this zodiacal circle the signs are divided into two groups or two "parties" (ai4resij): the signs that follow the sun, or the diurnal signs, and those that follow the moon, or the nocturnal signs. The sun and the diurnal signs are predominant in the spring and summer; the moon and the nocturnal signs are predominant in the autumn and winter.

3. Let us then subdivide each zodiacal sign into three decans. Henceforth the sun, in its annual cycle, traverses twelve signs or 3 x 12 = 36 decans. These 36 decans are themselves divided into 18 diurnal decans and 18 nocturnal decans.

4. The horoscope will be determined by the decan in which conception is situated. From the place of conception to that of birth we count 9 x 3 = 27 decans.

II. The Theoretical Considerations Underlying This Arrangement

We are now in a position to analyse further the logic belonging to this zodiacal arrangement.

Noting that there are six diurnal signs, and, since the length of time separating conception from birth is nine signs, an individual who has benefited from the maximum number of diurnal signs (six) will necessarily be associated with three nocturnal signs. If this is the case for the most diurnal (or luminous) individual, then it stands to reason that any less well endowed individual must have a minimum of three nocturnal signs. Or, to explain myself in terms of decans: every individual necessarily has at least 3 x 3 = 9 nocturnal decans (Fig. 2.1).

Now let us take the opposite case of an individual who would have traversed the maximum number of nocturnal signs during his intrauterine life, that is, six nocturnal signs. Of the nine signs which successively appeared in the eastern sky during his gestation, he would nevertheless have benefited from three diurnal signs. Thus one may conclude that if such is the case for the most nocturnal (or the darkest) individuals, any better endowed individual must benefit from at least three diurnal signs. Or, in terms of decans, 3 x 3 = 9 diurnal decans (Fig. 3.2).

Thus, all individuals, no matter what was the date of their conception (and, consequently, during whatever period of the year the foetus develops), necessarily have what I shall call a "common fund," irreducible, of at least nine diurnal decans plus another nine nocturnal decans, making a total of eighteen decans which cannot be altered. To these invariable eighteen decans, in order to come to the full term of twenty-seven decans of a pregnancy, there must be added another nine decans (corresponding to three signs), which are variable. The question is how to divide these nine variable decans into diurnal and nocturnal decans and to localize them on the horoscope (Fig. 2.3).

Let us now examine our horoscope (Fig. 3.)

Let us first see what is the theoretical position of individuals who, at conception, are promised a maximum of light (that is, as we have seen, six signs, corresponding to eighteen diurnal decans) as against three signs, that is, nine nocturnal decans. It seems that all individuals conceived in the first quadrant (or winter), that is, between the first decan of Capricorn and the third decan of Pisces, have the same division of diurnal and nocturnal decans, in the proportion of eighteen to nine.

Conversely, let us examine the theoretical position of individuals who are promised the maximum of darkness from their conception, that is six signs or eighteen nocturnal decans, as opposed to three signs, that is, nine diurnal decans. This time it seems that all individuals conceived in the third quadrant (summer), that is, between the first decan of Cancer and the third decan of Virgo, have the same division between diurnal and nocturnal decans, in a proportion of nine to eighteen.

Thus the examination of this arrangement shows that conceptions situated in the first quadrant are in a symmetrically inverse relation to those situated in the third quadrant. The individuals conceived in the first quadrant are diurnal in a proportion of six signs to three (or of eighteen decans to nine). Whereas individuals conceived in the third quadrant are nocturnal in an inverse proportion of three to six signs (or of nine to eighteen decans).

The problem thus arises of how to state precisely the way this arrangement permits one to pass from the most luminous individuals, all conceived in the first quadrant, to the darkest individuals, those conceived in the third quadrant. In other words, among the three variable signs or nine variable decans, how is the passage effected from the maximum of light to the maximum of darkness (Fig. 2). Theoretically, the intermediate positions between the lightest and the darkest are situated in the second quadrant, in contrast to the intermediate positions between the darkest and the lightest, which are situated in the fourth quadrant.

This is precisely the question which 4QCryptic sets about resolving for the "second column," which corresponds to what I have here called the second quadrant.

III. Proposals for Reconstituting the Missing Units

Let us return to the data of 4QCryptic and begin with the most explicit case, that which establishes the physical and spiritual portrait of subject A. His place or theme of conception is situated "in the foot of Taurus"
rw#h lgrb) (fragment 1,II,9). The foot of Taurus is the first part of the constellation Taurus to appear in the eastern sky22 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>, or the first decan of Taurus. Let us situated this place of conception on the zodiacal circle. Assuming the typical duration of gestation to be nine months, developing over nine signs or 9 x 3 = 27 decans, birth in this instance will be situated in the third decan of Capricorn.

Of these twenty-seven decans, we already know that A, like all individuals born nine months after conception, possesses what I have called a common, irreducible fund of nine diurnal decans and nine nocturnal decans; or, to use the terms of our document, of nine parts of light and nine parts of darkness. As for the parts that vary between one individual and another within the second quadrant, or "second column," it is precisely these which are denominated in the extant fragments of 4QCryptic.

In the case of A (Fragment 1, column II, lines 7-8), these variable parts are divided in the following way: six parts of light (or six diurnal decans) and three parts of darkness (or three nocturnal decans). The table below (Fig. 4) indicates the total of parts of light and darkness characterizing individuals of the A type: that is to say, fifteen parts of light and twelve parts of darkness.

A (frag. 1, II, 7-8 Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Total Common Parts 9 9 18 Variable Parts 6 3 9 Total 15 12 27 Fig. 4

In the case of B (Fragment 1,III,5-6), we know that he is accorded one part of light and eight parts of darkness. An identical train of reasoning leads to the following result (Fig. 5):

B (frag. 1, III, 5-6) Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Total Common Parts 9 9 18 Variable Parts 1 8 9 Total 10 17 27 Fig. 5

Finally, in the case of C (Fragment 2,I,7), we know that he is accorded eight parts of light and one part of darkness, from which the following table follows (Fig. 6):

C (frag. 2, II, 7) Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Total Common Parts 9 9 18 Variable Parts 1 8 9 Total 17 10 27 Fig. 6

Although mention of the signs of the zodiac in which B and C were conceived has disappeared, nevertheless it is possible to situate B and C in the second quadrant (or "second column") of our horoscope in the scale of decans, taking the position of A as a reference point (Fig. 4).

C, having only one part of darkness, is situated two decans upstream from A. C's place of conception is thus situated in the second decan of Aries, and his place of birth is in the first decan of Capricorn.

As for B, having eight parts of darkness, he is situated five decans downstream from A. B's place of conception is thus situated in the third decan of Gemini23 <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>, and his place of birth is in the second decan of Pisces.

Now we are in a position to propose the reconstitution of part of the text of zodiacal physiognomy of which 4QCryptic preserves only fragments. This part, corresponding to the "second column," successively traces the physical and spiritual portrait of individuals conceived in the three decans of the signs of Aries, Taurus, and Gemini, a total of nine portraits (Fig. 7 and 3).

Sign of the Zodiac 4Q186 Decan Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Aries first 9 0 C second 8 1 third 7 2 Taurus A first 6 3 second 5 4 third 4 5 Gemini first 3 6 second 2 7 B third 1 8 Fig. 7

In bold: the portraits attested in the fragments of 4Q186

As for reconstruction of the first, third, and fourth quadrants, so as not to prolong this presentation, it is sufficient here to refer to Fig. 3.


This text is thus the presentation of a zodiacal physiognomy, the functioning of which permits one to predict physical appearance as well as the parts of darkness and light characterizing individuals as a function of their date of conception, sign by sign, decan by decan. Let us emphasize that this is not an individualized prediction but a system predicting the category to which the individual types belong as a result of their date of conception.

Illustrious commentators have suggested reading the prediction of exceptional destinies in the extreme margins of this system. They thought they recognized the figure of the messiah in an individual endowed with nine parts of light over and against no parts of darkness. Contrastingly, in an individual endowed with nine parts of darkness as against no parts of light, the figure of Belial would be discernible:

Alone, Belial, the Prince of Darkness, incarnates in some manner the entire Spirit of evil: in him there is no mixture, no participation of the Spirit of goodness ... Contrariwise, it is likely that the Elect of God, the transcendent Messiah, the very antithesis of Belial, should possess the Spirit of goodness in full ... without any mixture of the Spirit of evil. (Dupont-Sommer 1966:246)

In my opinion, this exegesis cannot be sustained. First, because the indication of 9 + 0 or 0 + 9 does not in itself suffice to establish the spiritual portrait of these limiting cases. Indeed, the parts which I have called irreducible or common should be added to these figures. Thus, in addition to the eighteen parts of darkness possessed by the most luminous individual, nine parts of darkness are necessarily present (Fig. 8).

The most luminous Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Total Common Parts 9 9 18 Variable Parts 9 0 9 Total 18 9 27 Fig. 8

Whereas the darkest individual will have eighteen parts of darkness, but he will still have another nine parts of light (Fig. 10):

The darkes Parts of Light Parts of Darkness Total Common Parts 9 9 18 Variable Parts 0 0 9 Total 9 18 27 Fig. 9

With these two individual categories, we are thus in the realm of the relative and not of the absolute.

However, this system does not predict exceptional destinies for a second reason. This regular arrangement is reproduced periodically, year after year, so that every portrait corresponds to a class of people and not to a singular individual. From this point of view as well, we are in neither the order of the individual nor in that of the exceptional case. The opposition presented by this arrangement is thus not one of completely luminous versus completely dark (which would indicate radical dualism), but an opposition between more and less. Thus, if this zodiacal physiognomy has something to do with dualism, it could not be, in my opinion, an absolute dualism such as that found in the Instruction on the Two Spirits, but only a relative dualism.

Translated from French by Jeffrey M. Green, Jerusalem



1 I would like to thank Laure Barthel, Devorah Dimant, and Uriel Rappaport for the criticism they offered after reading an earlier version of this text, and to express my gratitude to the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where I met with an exceptional welcome and working conditions from January to July, 1996. On genethlialogy and the theory of opportunities, see Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 372 ff. and pp. 458 ff. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

2 On as yet unpublished astrological texts from Qumran, see E. Tov 1992, pp. 101-136: 4Q318 (Phases of Moon Crypt; editors Glessmer, Pfann); 4Q335, 336 (Astronomical frgs ?; editors Greenfield, Sokoloff); 4Q561 (Physiognomic/Horoscope, aram.: editor Puech). [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

3 G. J. Brooke has indicated that a revised edition of J. M. Allegro is in preparation. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

4 Within the framework of this presentation, offered at the Symposium organized by the Orion Center at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (May 12-14, 1996), I did not include the interpretation of the sequences relating to physical descriptions. I shall return elsewhere to the commentary on all of the extant fragments. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

5 "In the foot of Taurus" (Carmignac's translation: "dans le pied du Taureau") rather than "on the festival of Taurus" (Allegro's translation). [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

6 On this type of prediction and the "Fate of the Fortune", see Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 436 ff. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

7 See also Wise 1994, pp. 13-50. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

8 Carmignac 1965, Dupont-Sommer 1966 et Delcor 1966 based their interpretations only on fragment 1, at a time when fragment 2 (which again mentions the "second column" in II, 7) was as yet unpublished. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

9 Here I retain the text of Carmignac 1965, p. 203. Allegro 1964 and 1968 proposes a reading: K@wxh rwb (pit of darkness). Strugnell (1970, pp. 274-275) does not decide between the readings of Carmignac and Allegro, both of which he considers "not very plausible". Nevertheless, for the sense, he gives preference to the text proposed by Carmignac. Indeed, the fact that in the case of B (1, III, 5-6) one reads explicitly K#wxh is an argument in favor of the reading "House of Darkness" (K#wxh tyb). [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

10 Dupont-Sommer 1966, p. 244. In the same direction, see Licht 1965, pp. 18-26, Delcor 1966, p. 526, and Philonenko 1985, p. 62. For an early critique of this dualist interpretation see Gordis 1966, pp. 37-38, who prefers, correctly, as it seems to me, an explanation that takes account of the astrological character of the document. For Gordis, the "House of Light" and the "House (or Pit) of Darkness" would refer, respectively, to day and night, which would be the dwelling places of the individuals depicted. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

11 D. Dimant (1995, p. 51) classifies 4QCryptic (4Q186) among the texts without terminology connected to the community. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

12 On the definition of the "parties"of the Sun and the Moon, respectively diurnal and nocturnal, see Bouché-Leclercq 1899, p. 103. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

13 A system attested notably in the era of Augustus by Manilius, Astronomica, II, 218-220. On the Astronomica of Manilius see W. Gundel and H. G. Gundel 1966, pp. 141 ff., and G. P. Goold 1977 (introduction, Latin text, and English translation). [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

14 I take this expression from Delcor 1966, p. 526; Philonenko (1985, p. 62) speaks of "arithmological preoccupations". [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

15 On the theory of decans see Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 215-240. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

16 See Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 377-379. On Censorinus, cf. W. Gundel and H. G. Gundel 1966, p. 293. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

17 Censorinus, De die natali 8: N. Sallmann (ed.), Censorini De die natali Liber, Leipzig, 1983; and see the translation and commentary on this passage by Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 377-378. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

18 For Carmignac (1965, p. 203) and Delcor (1966, p. 528), dlwm would be related to the biblical form, tdlwm, or, in the plural, to the Qumran form Mydlwm attested in the Hymns III, 11; XII, 8. Allegro (1968, p. 89) translates, "and this is the time of birth on which he is brought forth"; Vermes (1995, p. 368) translates: "and this is his birthday on which he (is to be/was ?) born". García Martínez (1994, p. 456) translates: "and this is the sign in which he was born". [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

19 Carmignac (1965, p. 203), while conceding that this reading is gramatically possible, rejects it because it leads to a translation which, in his opinion, is incomprehensible. In contrast, Dupont-Sommer (1966, p. 242) retains the reading of dlwmh, which he translates, "Et tel sera l'enfant qui sera né sur elle [i. e. la seconde Colonne] dans le pied du Taureau" (And such will be the child who will be born on it [i. e. the second column] in the foot of Taurus). However this translation implies that the horoscope was established on the basis of birth and does not take account of the two moments of conception and birth, to which the terms dlwmh and dwly respectively refer. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

20 See "and Adam ... begot a son", Genesis 5, 3 ff. In 4Q534 (formerly 4QMess ar) column I, line 10, the Aramaic form hdlwm has provoked a discussion parallel to that raised by dlwmh in 4QCryptic. Read as moledeh, from molad, the passive participle "afel", this Aramaic form may be translated as "his engendered" (Starcky 1964, pp. 59-60; Dupont-Sommer 1966, pp. 248-250). But understood as a noun, molad, the term is translated as "his birth" (Starcky 1964, pp. 61-62; Carmignac 1965, pp. 214-215; Fitzmyer 1965, pp. 367-368). [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

21 See for example the papyrus Oxy. 235 in Neugebauer and Van Hoesen 1959, p. 18, fig. 9. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

22 On the sign of Taurus, cut in the middle of the body and turned in the opposite direction from Aries, so that the rear hooves of the animal appear before its horns, see Bouché-Leclercq 1899, pp. 132-134. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>

23 As we see in Fragment 1, the text moves from the most luminous (A) to the darkest (B). Of the three portraits (A and B, attested by the first Fragment, and C, attested by the second Fragment) C is the most luminous. Thus, in my opinion, Fragment 2 should be placed before Fragment 1. [Back to text] <orion/symposiums/1st/papers/Schmidt96.html>



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