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Early Horoscopes of Jesus
by James H. Holden

Abstract: A survey of the early attempts to cast a speculative horoscope for Jesus, with special reference to and excerpts from the new book "Gli oroscopi di Cristo" by Ornella Pompeo Faracovi. [This paper appeared in the A.F.A. 'Journal of Research', vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 2001]

      In general, the classical astrologers were not Christians, and the early Christians were not astrologers, [1]  so there was no speculation about the horoscope of Jesus in classical times. Or if there was, no notice of it has come down to us.

      It was left to the Arabs to begin the speculation. And at first they mainly dealt with the year in which Jesus was born. Perhaps the earliest estimate was made by the famous astrologer Mâshâ'allâh (c.740-c.815), more commonly known in the West as Messahala. He became interested in the application of astrology to cycles of history and wrote a book entitled On Conjunctions, Religions, and Peoples, which is unfortunately lost. However, a portion of a summary of it by the ninth century Christian astrologer Ibn Hibintâ has been preserved in an Arabic MS in Munich, and is now available in an English translation. [2]

      Mâshâ' allâh's treatise is based upon earlier Sassania theories that cycles in world history are due to the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn. As is well known, these occur at intervals of about 20 years, each time occurring about 242 1/2 degrees farther along in the zodiac, so that they recur in the same triplicity of signs for roughly 240 years, after which they begin to occur in the next triplicity. This shift from one triplicity to the next is technically called a mutation. And after four such mutations, roughly 960 years, they begin to occur in the original triplicity. This latter shift is technically called a grand mutation.

    The old Persian religion spoke of millennial cycles in history, and the near coincidence of the 960-year grand mutation cycle with a thousand-year period perhaps sparked the interest of Sassanian astrologers in the application of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions to world history.

      The usual procedure was to construct a table of the dates and zodiacal positions of the conjunctions in mean longitude and then erect an Aries Ingress chart for the year in which the mean conjunction occurred. By judging that chart and applying profections to it and to the place of the conjunction, it was possible to conjecture the mundane consequences of the conjunction. In particular, the mutation and grand mutation conjunctions were carefully studied, since they were thought to indicate major shifts in government and religion.

      Unfortunately, Ibn Hibintâ's summary gives two different years for Jesus's birth: the year -12 in December; and the year -2. From the ninth conjunction of the fire mutation, which he calculated to have occurred in 11 Leo 20, at a time corresponding to 9 June -25, he deduced that the birth of Jesus would take place at the end of the 13th year after that conjunction. But in another part of the summary, he gives some dates from the beginning of Mâshâ' allâh's epoch [3]  that indicate that Jesus was born in a year that was 572 years 2 months and 26 days before the year of the conjunction [4]  indicating the birth of Muhammad; hence, according to those figures, Jesus was born in the year -2. The discrepancy in the year seems to be due to some errors Mâshâ' allâh made in calculating the intervals. Neither the exact day of Jesus's birth nor the time of day is given in either case.

      Next after Mâshâ' allâh comes the great astrologer Abû Ma'shar The Great Conjunctions. In it he sets forth a theory of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions and their relations to mundane history that is very similar to that of Mâshâ' allâh, but the planetary motions that he uses are slightly different, which affect both the positions of the conjunctions in the zodiac and the timing of the conjunctions. His principal contribution to the horoscope of Jesus was to say that His ASC must have been Virgo. In his book The Great Introduction to Astrology, Book 6, Chapter 1, he says of the sign Virgo:

     "in its first decan there arises a girl, whom Teucer calls Isis; she is a beautiful, pure young woman with long hair and nice to behold; she has two ears of wheat in her hand, and she sits on a throne on which cushions lie; she cares for a little boy and gives him broth to eat in a place that is called the atrium; some people call this child Îsû, i.e. Jesus. . . . "

      Albumasar's books were translated into Latin in the twelfth century and were very popular with late medieval astrologers and scholars. Albertus Magnus (c.1193-1280) took note of Albumasar's assignment of Jesus's ASC to the first decan of Virgo in his book Speculum astronomiae 'Mirror of Astrology'. The English scholar Roger Bacon (c.1214-1294) also mentioned it in his writings.

      It appears that the first complete horoscope of Jesus was cast by the French scholar and ecclesiastic Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420). His work is thoroughly discussed in a new book by the Italian scholar Ornella Pompeo Faracovi, Gli oroscopi di Cristo (Venice: Marsilio Editori, 1999). This book is a scholarly discussion of the medieval and renaissance speculations on the astrological circumstances of the birth of Jesus. The author mentions the general statements of Albumasar [Abû Ma'shar]. So far as I am aware, there is as yet no English translation available, but those astrologers who read Italian will find this to be an interesting and informative review of the early history of the attempts to establish a speculative horoscope of Jesus. The back cover of the book contains the following statement of the subject that it addresses:

"For centuries astrologers, philosophers and theologians have competed with possible layouts of the horoscope of Christ, convinced that its reading could confirm the extraordinary character of a unique event.

The exceptionality of that horoscope was brought back to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction - which, repeating itself every 960, years marked the turning points of history, the advent of prophets, the birth of new religions - and to the astral figure that, with the image of a virgin with her child, furnished the celestial testimony of a supernatural conception.

The debate that sprang from this constitutes an important page in the history of astrology and an unusual chapter in the history of ideas."

      To continue our survey of the early history of the attempts to establish a horoscope for Jesus, it will be useful to cite some additional excerpts from Faracovi's book. Here is how it begins:

Preliminary Statement

      "Is it possible, permissible, or meaningful, to erect the horoscope of Christ? To all these three questions, no few Christian scholars, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, answered in the affirmative. It was not irreligiosity, unbelief, or irreverence that drove them; on the contrary, it was the conviction that the horoscope could really furnish the deepest and most illuminating example of the confirmations that from astrology they could also arrive at truth and the Christian faith. The conclusions that sprang [from it] allowed implications that were not irrelevant, such as investing the conception of truth, the scanning, and the hierarchy of the different levels of knowing; the way of understanding astrology, philosophy, theology; the individualization of the respective spheres of competence; and the investigation of their mutual relationships.

    Nor was the succession of the different attempts to trace, and to interpret, that natal chart deprived of changes and internal discontinuity, and also of a desire to modify it and to displace it from the internal reports in the encyclopedia of knowledge, at a crucial moment of time in European intellectual history. In the medieval versions, to that horoscope it tool a look at the conception of history, connected to a particular development of the theory of the great conjunctions; to depart, therefore, from an unusual form of convergence among the proper motives of the astrological art and a general and total conception of the universe and of the world. In those of the Renaissance, it was rather connected to natal astrology, rediscovered in the guise of a technique of analysis of the individuality, of personal consciousness. Its history thus became a locus emblematic of the different ways of understanding and practicing astrology, and of the tendencies underlying the different intellectual environments.

      To whoever tackles this history, there is, nevertheless, a preliminary matter. Whoever knows at least a little bit about horoscopic astrology, namely that it allows us to compile a nativity for each individual, knows very well that the indispensible condition for research is the precise knowledge of the spacio-temporal coordinates of birth. To reconstruct the complex of planetary positions in terrestrial perspective; to reproduce, so to speak, the state of the sky at the exact moment of birth and with regard to the place of the individual birth, means that the astrologer must equip himself with a framework that is very particular, but extremely articulated and complex, for deciphering the individual personality. However they may interpret the validity and the meaning of it, the whole operation is put in contact with a conditio sine qua non, viz. the most exact determination possible of the spacio-temporal coordinates in which that birth took place. Now, really this condition irremediably fails in the case that interests us here. As is well known, the Gospel story puts the birth of Jesus in a precise place, Bethlehem.

    But as for the moment, only an indirect indication is furnished: the event is announced by the angel to the shepherds, while they are intent on watching over their flocks out in the open. The traditional determination of the day of birth -- midnight of 24 December of the year zero -- is, evidently, only a conventional one. How, then, to compile a horoscope, without having unequivocal indications with respect to the year, month, day, and time? From this arduous enterprise, which cannot come to [anything] other than to the formulation of hypothetical nativities, all equally probable and equally improbable, there have been many who did not want to escape. With the astrological considerations technically in a knot, imposing worries and aspirations of order, importance, and diverse meaning; the history of an unattainable horoscope has perhaps been stretched out over a not inconsiderable span of centuries. The present work is devoted to rendering enjoyable the essential elements of this unusual page in the history of ideas, so little known, particularly in its innermost workings: the appendix of texts furnishes the fundamental writings devoted to this matter; and the introductory essay reconstructs and discusses nativities and problems, placing them in the most general context of a great intellectual debate."


      "In European culture, both in the Medieval period and in the Renaissance, there circulated a remarkable nativity -- that of the horoscope of Christ. The best known one of its versions was made public in 1554 by the great philosopher, mathematician, physician, and astrologer, Jerome Cardan, and was the object of many accusations of impiety. A century later, it had the misfortune of being taken up by the anonymous author of the clandestine Theophrastus redivivus [Theophrastus Revived] for a demonstration of the presumed agreement of astrologers with the denial of the divinity of Christ. [5]  However, the history of this horoscope does not derive from a chapter of irreligion and disbelief; in particular, it does not have any visible relationship to a theory of religious fraud, or, to an image of Jesus represented as a crafty deceiver like the other founders of religion, such as Moses and Muhammad, that was circulating in some free-thinking circles of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Rather, this horoscope springs from a preoccupation, and it expresses an aspiration, of a diametrically opposite nature; namely, to draw from astrology further confirmations of the truth of Christianity and of its superiority to every other form of religion..."

      Faracovi continues with a discussion of astrology itself and its place in the history of ideas, mentioning the opinions of the most prominent academic scholars. She then reviews the history of astrology from Ptolemy's time through the Middle Ages and the beginning of its revival in the West in the 12th century.

      In the second and third chapters of her book, she discusses the frequent equation of the zodiacal sign Virgo with Jesus, springing from the doctrine of His virgin birth. And the third chapter ends with an account of an early 15th century horoscope.

Pierre d'Ailly's Horoscope of Christ

      Pierre d'Ailly (1350-1420), Cardinal of Cambrai, was a learned scholar. He wrote a number of important books, from which Faracovi extracts the following chart; it is set for 24 December 1 B.C. at about 10:12 P.M. LMT, with 8 Virgo rising. Here is his chart:

Chart of Jesus, Petrus Alliacus

[from Cardinal d'Ailly's chart in the old square format reproduced in facsimile on p. 104 of Gli oroscopi di Cristo]

The planetary positions are as follows:
Text Position Calculated Position [6]
Sun 1° Capricorn 2° 06' Capricorn
Moon 4° Taurus 26° 50' Aries
Mercury 27° Capricorn 2° 05' Capricorn
Venus 19° Aquarius 17° 10' Aquarius
Mars 10° Aries 7° 24' Aries
Jupiter 9° Libra 8° 29' Libra
Saturn 15° Gemini 11° 49' Gemini Rx

      [We may note that the longitude of the Moon in d'Ailly's chart is given incorrectly. The Moon was actually in Aries rather than Taurus. Perhaps d'Ailly simply calculated the planetary positions for noon on the 25th of December, at which time the Moon would have been around 3 or 4 Taurus. However, this will not account for the gross error in Mercury's longitude. The house cusps are also discordant. They are evidently intended to be Alchabitius cups, and if we assume that the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cusps are approximately correct, then the 10th, 11th, and 12th are in error. However, the chart shown above reproduces the numbers in d'Ailly's chart.]

D'Ailly says:

      "In a word, it is said that Christ, our law-giver, received from his own nativity an optimum natural character. It is, therefore, not in opposition to faith, and it is in accord with natural reason that he should be born under a good celestial arrangement of his constellation, from which the goodness of his character can naturally derive." [7]

      Faracovi observes: "And on the basis of this tranquilizing premise, which is also confirmed in d'Ailly's Apologeticadefensio astronomicae veritatis (1414), where the anti-astrological objections of Oresme and Langenstein are discussed point-by-point; that in his Elucidarium the cardinal sets forth the natal chart of Christ, inserting in it that ASC Virgo, to which the function of astral witness of its divinity is submitted, according to the tradition which the author had already accepted many years earlier. He says:

      'But also, six years and a few days and hours before the birth of that child, namely Christ, a maximum conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter was verified around the zero point of Aries, a conjunction over which presided Mercury, the ruler of Virgo. Through all of this it was clearly indicated that of a virgin there would be born a child, who would be the greatest of the prophets.'"

      Chapter 4 of Faracovi's book is entitled "The Star of the Magi." It discusses the argument that the very mention of the miraculous star implies that a consideration of the astrological circumstances of Jesus's birth is theologically permissible. Those scholars and theologians who took positions on both sides of this matter are mentioned.

      Finally, in Chapter 5, Faracovi passes to the horoscope of Jesus published by Jerome Cardan. Since Cardan was a famous person, well-known to all European scholars and theologians, the publication of the chart stirred up a lively controversy that outlived Cardan and lasted for decades.

Jérome Cardan's Chart of Christ

      Jérome Cardan (1501-1576) was one of those Renaissance scholars who was good at everything. He was a famous mathematician, physician, astrologer, and writer. In his De iudiciisastrorum 'On the Judgments of the Stars', Opera omnia, vol. 5, p. 221, he gives the Nativity of the Savior with an extensive commentary. Here is his chart:

Chart of Jesus, Gerolamo Cardano

[from Cardan's chart in the old square format reproduced in facsimile on p. 130 of Gli oroscopi di Cristo]

      The chart is set for 25 December 1 B.C. at 0:07 A.M. LMT with 2§ 43' Libra rising. Note that in accordance with his usual custom Cardan uses Equal House cusps. (It looks as if he intended the chart to be set for midnight LAT. The minor discrepancy between the 10th/4th cusps on the one hand and the 1st/7th cusps may be a typographical error.) The planetary positions are as follows:
Text Position Calculated Position
Sun 2° 53' Capricorn 2° 10' Capricorn
Moon 28° 05' Aries 27° 57' Aries
Mercury 6° 38' Capricorn 2° 13' Capricorn
Venus 18° 36' Aquarius 17° 16' Aquarius
Mars 9° 56 Aries 7° 26' Aries
Jupiter 8° 03' Libra 8° 30' Libra
Saturn 14° 17' Gemini 11° 49' Gemini Rx
Uranus 26° 06' Pisces
Neptune 19° 28' Scorpio
Pluto 27° 28' Virgo

      [I have shown the calculated positions of the three outer planets for the benefit of the reader who may wonder where they were at that time. They are of course not shown in Cardan's chart, since they had not yet been discovered.]

      Faracovi remarks: "Together with that of Pierre d'Ailly, but out of different motives, Cardan's redaction of the horoscope of Christ is the one most noted, cited, and discussed. That it was treated to a variable fortune is already evinced by the vicissitudes of the text's publication. Drawn over twenty years earlier, but never divulged, it was finally published in the margin of the second Book of Cardan's Commentary on Ptolemy's Quadripartite, published at Basel in 1554; it was present in the Lyonnaise edition the following year; it was expunged from the new Basel edition that was issued posthumously in 1578, only to be rather fortunately included in the fifth volume of Cardan's Opera Omnia, issued at Lyons under the editorship of C. Spon in 1663. [8]  Cardan was, therefore, aware from the beginning of the difficulty of the matter and of the criticisms to which the enterprise would have exposed him; the decision to make known his text is therefore much more indicative of his vision of astrology and of its philosophic and religious significance, since in an interim phase of his work he seemed to attribute to the practice of the art a hermeneutic tool capable of making to emerge, at least in part, the preordination hidden beneath the events. [In fact, he says:]

'I have drawn it out, trusting that the divine mind desires, for some reason, that such an important nativity should be divulged (I, who having erected it twenty and more years ago, have not [hitherto] found the courage to publish it, because of religious scruples).' [9]

And the insertion of the horoscope into the commentary on Ptolemy is also significant, since with it Cardan seems to put there an extraordinary nativity for the support and completion of the refoundation of astrology, for which a craftsman was wanted in accordance with appeals for the reform of the art in the culture of the 16th century."

Following an extended discussion of Cardan's place in the astrology of his time, Faracovi backs up a few decades and displays the work of an earlier writer:

Tiberio Russiliano Sesto's Three Charts

Faracovi remarks: "The horoscope of Christ [could be viewed] as a further confirmation of the validity of the art: just this seems to have been the sense of the pages devoted to the matter by Tiberio Russiliano Sesto, [10]  who was so precise in setting quite close together three charts secundum tres rationabiles differentium doctorum opiniones ['according to three reasonable opinions of learned men'], respectively with the ASC at 8° of Virgo, at 3° of Libra, and at 10° of Libra, [11]  but by doing so evincing a little worry about the implications that the passage from the first one to the other two could have on the matter of the relationship between astrology and theology."

      The first two of these charts, which are reproduced as a group of three in facsimile on one page of Faracovi's text, are hard to read, and I may have transcribed some of the numbers incorrectly. Faracovi says that they appear in Sesto's book, Apologeticus adversus cucullatos 'A Defense Against the Monks', which was published at Venice in 1504 and 1519 and at Strasburg in 1528, thus antedating Cardan's publication of his own chart of Jesus in 1554. Whether Cardan had seen the charts in Russiliano's book and was influenced by them in making his own chart is uncertain.

Charts of Jesus, Tiberio Russiliano Sesto

[reproduced from the facsimile charts on p. 168 of Gli oroscopi di Cristo]

      The first chart is set for about 0:21 A.M. LMT 25 December 1 B.C. with 5° 44' Libra rising. Despite the fact that Regiomontanus's house tables had been published in 1490, this and the other charts appear to have Alchabitus cusps. The planetary positions are as follows:
Text Position Calculated Position
Sun 2° 52' Capricorn 2° 11' Capricorn
Moon 2° 44' Taurus 28° 05' Aries
Mercury 7° 05' Capricorn 2° 14' Capricorn
Venus 18° 03' Aquarius 17° 16' Aquarius
Mars 5° 44' Aries 7° 27' Aries
Jupiter 8° 16' Libra 8° 30' Libra
Saturn 14° 07' Gemini Rx 11° 49' Gemini Rx

      The second chart is set for about 0:30 A.M. LMT 25 December 1 B.C., with 8° Libra rising. The planetary positions are as follows:
Text Position Calculated Position
Sun 2° 52' Capricorn 2° 11' Capricorn
Moon 2° 44' Taurus 28° 10' Aries
Mercury 7° 05' Capricorn 2° 15' Capricorn
Venus 18° 03' Aquarius 17° 17' Aquarius
Mars 5° 44' Aries 7° 27' Aries
Jupiter 8° 16' Libra 8° 30' Libra
Saturn 14° 07' Gemini Rx 11° 49' Gemini Rx

      The third chart is a copy of Pierre d'Ailly's chart (already shown previously). As stated above, it is set for 24 December 1 B.C. at about 10:12 P.M. LMT, with 8° Virgo rising. The planetary positions are as follows:
Text Position Calculated Position
Sun 1° Capricorn 2° 06' Capricorn
Moon 4° Taurus 26° 50' Aries
Mercury 27° Capricorn 2° 05' Capricorn
Venus 19° Aquarius 17° 10' Aquarius
Mars 10° Aries 7° 24' Aries
Jupiter 9° Libra 8° 29' Libra
Saturn 15° Gemini 11° 49' Gemini Rx

      On pp. 167-182 Faracovi translates the Latin text of Russiliano's comments on these three horoscopes. We may cite the first part of the text:

     "...This nativity occurred according to Eusebius 4210 years after the creation of the world, or rather. after Adam, while according to Orosius it occurred 5199 years afterward; [but] according to the calculation of Alphonso, it was 5345 years and 315 days afterward. We shall have much to say about this in our essay "The Eternity of the World." From Noah's Flood 2957 years will have passed, and from the birth of Abraham, 2015 years; 1075 years from the beginning of the Prophets; 1166 years from the destruction of Troy; 774 years from the beginning of the Olympiads; according to some, 18 years after the birth of the Virgin; while it was the 24th year of the rule of Caesar Augustus, the 25th of the month of December, from the time of the 14th hour of the night to the following mid-day, at Jerusalem, at 32 degrees of latitude, while the arc of day above Jerusalem or Bethlehem, at the 10th hour and zero minutes 44 seconds, i.e. 150 degrees and 11 minutes, while the motion of the eighth sphere was 7 degrees and 27 minutes..."

      "With regard to Christ's hour of birth, we find most astrologers in disagreement; but all of them agree that when Christ was born, He had the 3rd or the 5th or the 8th or the 10th degree of Libra ascending, or the 8th degree of Virgo indicating his horoscope..."

    Thereafter, Russiliano continues the discussion of his predecessors' opinions with special reference to Albumasar's conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn.

      Finally, on pp. 147-166 and 183-190, Faracovi has given more extensive Italian translations of selected passages from the works of Albertus Magnus, Pseudo-Ovid, Roger Bacon, Pierre d'Ailly, Pico della Mirandola, Tiberio Russiliano Sesto, and Jerome Cardan.


      As Faracovi notes in the Preliminary Statement, the casting of a horoscope requires precise information on the year, month, day, and time of birth, as well as the exact location, but none of this information is available for Jesus. Therefore, a horoscope of Jesus can never be anything more than a speculative one. The matter is not discussed further in Gli oroscopi di Cristo, but modern scholarship has demonstrated that the two gospels containing the birth narratives were written not earlier than 80 A.D. and were based upon three sources: (1) the Gospel According to Mark, which contains no birth narrative; (2) a lost document called Q that contained sayings of Jesus but no historical information; and (3) some oral tradition that was available to the writers (who were not the apostles to whom the gospels are attributed).

      It is plain that no real information about Jesus's early life or His birth was available to the writers of the gospels (significantly, they did not even know what He looked like). Even the explicit statement that His birth took place "in the days of Herod the King" is suspect. It might be based upon an oral tradition, but it is included in a birth narrative that parallels the birth narrative of Moses; hence, it required a king to be the villain, and Herod the Great had a bad reputation among first century Jews. Thus, the reference to Herod may simply be the equivalent of "once upon a time." Lacking any definite information, the gospel writers were free to construct whatever birth narratives seemed theologically appropriate to them.

      The birthday commonly accepted in the West, December 25th, was derived from the traditional date of Jesus's crucifixion, March 25th, on the assumption that since He was a perfect man, He must have lived an integer number of years from the time of His conception to the time of His death; hence, He must have been born 9 months after March 25th. The date December 25th, thus established, was a convenient one because it was the date of a feast for the god Mithra, and was also an established Roman holiday celebrating the winter solstice.

      In short, based on the contradictory information offerred by the two Gospels, Jesus may have been born in any year between about 5 B.C. (if He was born during Herod's reign) and 6 or 7 A.D. (the actual date of the Census of Quirinius mentioned in the Gospel According to Luke), and at any time during the year. Even His birthplace is uncertain. The early Christian tradition seemed to have been that He was born at Nazareth, in Galilee, although the distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem would not be very significant astrologically.

      Nevertheless, the idea of casting a horoscope for Him was attractive to astrologers. And from time to time, even in the 20th century, new horoscopes for Jesus have been proposed. But it is interesting to see how it all got started many centuries ago. And we may also note that the early astrologers selected the year 1 B.C. for His birth rather than the more common modern notion that He was born in 1 A.D.

      In the book Gli oroscopi di Cristo, Faracovi has assembled some interesting horoscopes and texts from the middle ages and the 15th and 16th centuries and provided an enlightening discussion of them. Thus, the book is a valuable contribution to the history of astrology.


     Ornella Pompeo Faracovi, Gli oroscopi di Cristo 'The Horoscopes of Christ' (Venice: Marsilio Editori, 1999).

     Abû Ma'shar, De magnis coniunctionibus annorum revolutionibus ac eorum profectionibus 'The Great Conjunctions, Revolutions of Years, and their Profections' trans. by John of Seville ed. by Johannes Angelus (Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 1489. 4to), in Latin. There is a modern edition and English translation by Keiji Yamamoto and Charles Burnett, On historical astrology... (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2000. 2 vols)

     Abû Ma'shar, Introductorium in astronomiam albumasaris 'Albumasar's [Great] Introduction to Astrology' trans. by Hermann of Carinthia (Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 1489. 4to), in Latin; bound with the preceding title in a volume of Abû Ma'shar.

     Albertus Magnus. See Paola Zambelli, The Speculum astronomiae and its enigma (Dordrecht; Boston: Kluwer Academic, c.1992), the Latin text with a parallel English translation and commentary.

     Ailly, Pierre d', Concordantia astronomiae cum theologia. concordantia astronomie cum historica narratione. Et elucidarium duorum precedentium domini Petri de Alliaco Cameracensis 'The Concordance of Astrology with Theology. the Concordance of Astrology with Hitorical Narrative. And the Elucidation of both of these by Dom Pierre d'Ailly, Cardinal of Cambrai' (Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 1490), in Latin.

     Jérome Cardan, Opera Omnia (Lyons: Huguetan & Ravaus, 1663). 10 vols.), vol. 5; in Latin.

     Franz Boll, Sphaera (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1903); in German.

     Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1923-1958. 8 vols.)

     E.S. Kennedy and David Pingree, The Astrological History of Mâshâ' allâh (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971).

[1]  The only notable exception is St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), who was a Manichaean in his youth and also dabbled in astrology; but he eventually gave it up and denounced it. See the detailed discussion by Lynn Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1923-1958. 8 vols.), vol 1, Chapter xxii "Augustine on Magic and Astrology." « Text

[2]  E.S. Kennedy & David Pingree, The Astrological History of Mâshâ' allâh (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1971). This volume contains a facsimile of the Arabic MS, an English translation, and a valuable commentary. « Text

[3]  According to Pingree, Mâshâ' allâh's fundamental epoch was 3 November -5782 or Julian Day -039 0511, on which date he assumed the planets Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction in mean longitude at 7 Taurus 42. « Text

[4]  Which, according to his figures, occurred in 4 Scorpio 02 at a time corresponding to 12 December 570. Subtracting 572 years 2 months and 25 days from that date, we come back to a date in September of the year -2. « Text

[5]  Reviewer's Note. The reference is to a 17th century MS by an unknown scholar that was partially translated into French as Theophrastus redivivus/ Fausseté des miracles des deux Testamens, prouvée par le parallele avec de semblables prodiges opérés dans diverses sects... 'Theophrastus Revived. The falsity of the miracles in the two Testaments, proven by the parallel with similar prodigies set forth among various sects...' ([Amsterdam], 1775. 168 pp. 16 cm.), but first published in its entirety as Theophrastus redivivus (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1981-1982. 2 vols ccxxiii, 997 pp. 24 cm.). « Text

[6]  Reviewer's Note. I have calculated the positions of the planets from modern astronomical tables. « Text

[7]  Reviewer's Note. This is a translation of Faracovi's Italian rendering of the Latin text in d'Ailly's Apologetica defensio astronomicae veritatis 'Apologetic Defense of Astrological Truth' in his Tractatus de imagine mundi 'Treatise on the Figure of the World', ff. gg 6v; De legibus 'On Laws', Chapter vii, f. 5r. « Text

[8]  Reviewer's Note. The chart and comments are on pp. 221-222. « Text

[9]  Reviewer's Note. This is a translation of Faracovi's Italian rendering of Cardan's statement (De Astrorum Iudic. Lib. II, p. 221 col. 2) Hac igitur fiducia, quòd divina mens velit alicuius propositi causa hanc tantam rem cuulgandam [divulgandam] (quam iam viginti annis atque amplius cum struxissem, non ausus sum ob religionem edere) duxi. Literally, 'Therefore, with the faith that the divine mind, because of some purpose, willed it, I have brought forth this very great matter to be made public (which, on account of religion, I did not dare to give out when I had erected [the chart] more than twenty years ago)'. « Text

[10]  Reviewer's Note. A Calabrian philosopher and polemicist who flourished in the first half of the 16th century. See Lynn Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 1923-1958. 8 vols.), vol. 5, p. 78. « Text

[11]  Reviewer's Note. The ASC degrees of the three charts are in fact 5°44' Libra, 8° Libra, and 8° Virgo. « Text

Note P. G.: For a new hypothesis on the horoscope of Jesus, see my text : L'étoile de Bethléem (Un scénario organisé par des astrologues) (abstract in English).

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James H. Holden: Early Horoscopes of Jesus
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