The nine books of the Anthology constitute the most comprehensive astrological compendium surviving from the Hellenistic era. Valens' usual practice is to present the doctrines of the "ancients," report how these doctrines had been interpreted by his predecessors, and then give a critical assessment of these doctrines based on his own experience. The doctrines examined by Valens are richly exemplified with the nativities of real persons. The Anthology is also notable for its uncharacteristically personal style and frequent rhetorical musings on the nature of fate.
Book I contains an elaborate list of significations for the planets, characteristics of the signs accompanied by brief natal delineations of the behavior of the native as dependent on the position of the ruler of the rising sign, delineations of the 60 sets of bounds ("terms") when the bound lord itself is present there, a variety of rectification methods, masculine & feminine degrees, calculations for the 3rd, 7th & 40th days of the Moon, and delineations of pairs and trios of planets when they are in the same sign. There is a fair amount of astronomical material interspersed throughout the book, consisting of rough devices for calculating the position of the Midheaven, Moon, and planets, as well as a detailed discussion of the ascensional times of the signs.
Book II begins with a lengthy discussion of the astrological conditions that generally support the native's eminence and his overall success and happiness in life. For this purpose, Valens examines the trigon lords of the sect light, planets in the twelve topical places or "houses" (especially when they rule the Ascendant or the Lot of Fortune), favorable and unfavorable natal aspects, the Lot of Fortune and its ruler according to its angularity and planetary testimony, the Lot of Exaltation, the Lot of Spirit and its ruler according to its angularity and its relation to the Lot of Fortune, the place of acquisition (the llth sign from the Lot of Fortune), spear-bearers to the lights, the prenatal lunation and its lord if they are in the 1st or 10th place, various reciprocal relations between the lots of Fortune and Spirit and Basis, the lots of Debt and Theft and Treachery and their lords in relation to the lots of Fortune and Spirit and the place of acquisition and their own lords. This is followed by a brief excursion into the direct timing of favorable and unfavorable times by means of the ascensional times of the places considered above or the planetary periods of their lords. Valens also remarks that the ascensional times of the various topical places (whole-sign "houses") and the planetary periods of their lords or planets present therein can be used for the direct timing of the more specialized topics corresponding to these places.
The remainder of Book II contains most of Valens' investigations into natal topics, primarily by means of planetary significators and special lots. He treats of foreign travel; parents, with special investigations into the conditions of the predeceasing of one of the parents, orphanhood, divorce of the parents; free versus servile births by a consideration of the lord of the lunar phase (followed by natal delineations of the lunar phases themselves); injuries from the sign of the Lot of Fortune and that of its lord, and ailments from the sign of the Lot of Spirit and that of its lord; marriage; children; siblings; violent death, from the lord of the prenatal lunation, from malefics in the 6th or 7th places, from malefics in the sign of the 40th day of the Moon, but especially from a consideration of the 8th place relative to the Ascendant and the 8th place relative to the Lot of Fortune, and harsh aspects between planets one of whose domiciles is in the 8th sign relative to the domicile of the other. Altogether, this long book of the Anthology contains 41 example charts.
Book III, one of the shorter books in the Anthology, is largely devoted to the subject of life expectancy, which Valens examines according to a hierarchy of considerations distributed throughout the book. First, he examines the bound lord of the light that predominates according to its sect and placement, listing a number of special cases of predomination; length of life is determined either by directing from the predominator, or from the major years of the bound lord itself, provided that the bound lord itself qualifies as the ruler of length of life. But if it does not qualify, we are told to examine the bound lord of a special lot constructed from the Moon and the prenatal lunation. But if this bound lord does not qualify as ruler either, we default to a procedure based on taking the interval between the prenatal lunation and the lunar nodes, and extending this interval from the Ascendant degree, and converting this arc to ascensional times. In addition to this hierarchical procedure, Valens also advises examining the sign of the Lot of Fortune, its ruler and sign, and the ruler of this ruler; by adding up the ascensional times of the signs and/or the planetary periods of the rulers in various ways, he computes the length of life.
It is in the course of his discussion of length of life that Valens introduces the system of zodiacal division later attributed to Porphyry. He also discusses the winds and steps of a planet relative to its own exaltation degree, a concept that is analogous to the ecliptic latitude of a planet, and that he considers to be quite important in the context of certain time-lord procedures. He also presents a novel system of bounds, notable for the fact that it allows the Sun and Moon to be bound lords There is also a chapter that determines years of crisis by a complicated numerological algorithm based on the numbers 7 and 9; another chapter determines crisis years when the annual profection from the Lot of Fortune comes to a sign configured with the sign of the Lot itself, and again in accordance with the minor period of one of the trigon lords of the sign of the domicile lord of the Lot of Fortune. Altogether, this book has 8 example charts.
In Book IV, Valens commences his discussion of the division of the times into favorable and unfavorable periods, and the various procedures for the establishment of time-lords (chronocrators) that govern these time periods. Valens concentrates on three basic procedures in this book, although he alludes to several others in passing. The first employs quarters of the minor periods of the planets beginning from the planet immediately following the prenatal lunation; Valens provides no instructions regarding when to employ this procedure or how to interpret it. The second procedure begins from the signs of the lots of Fortune and Spirit, and establishes time-lords by taking the domicile lords of the signs in zodiacal order. Valens goes into considerable detail concerning when to use this procedure and how to interpret it in the context of a given nativity. The second half of this book is mainly an exposition of Valens' preferred time-lord procedure, which establishes annual time-lords for all the planets, the four angles, and four lots, by means of annual "protections" from their natal signs (although profections from the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant are most important). He lavishes a great deal of attention on this procedure, providing numerous keys to their interpretation, explaining how planets making solar phases or ingresses affect these time-lords; since the topical place of the time-lord is a principal device in specifying them to a given nativity, Valens also includes a chapter listing the basic significations of the twelve places. Finally, he records specific delineations of the various planets as they become time-lords relative to each of the 15 starting points. Valens next alludes to a time-lord procedure based on the degree ruler of the natal Moon (attributed to Critodemus). Then he moves to a discussion of some algorithms for determining the sign of the year by profections from the lord of Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or Lot of Fortune, depending on which is more qualified for this role, a procedure attributed to one Hermeias. Appended to this are related algorithms for determining the sign of the monthly and daily protections, with some additional instructions to perform directions from every planet to every planet. Valens concludes with some brief algorithms for subdividing the year. There are three example charts in this book.
Book V begins with a discussion of a specially noxious lot called the Lot of Accusation, but primarily continues the discussion of time-lords in the form of "keys" useful for the more detailed interpretation of the procedure of annual profections discussed in Book IV. First he studies various crisis times that occur when the sign of the profection from the Ascendant comes to the prenatal lunation or the lunar nodes, in which context he digresses and addresses the importance of not starting any venture when the Moon is in the quadruplicity of the nodes. This is followed by an ancient way of determining the ascending degree of the solar return. He then gives a very interesting algorithm for finding the sign of the month and day by profections that derives from Nechepso and uses a kind of transiting Lot of Fortune. Then there is some arcane lore dealing with a concept called the "noddings of the Moon," which becomes important in the context of interpreting daily profections. He then explains why even though the cycle of profections repeats after every twelve years, the events that come about in different cycles are different, by employing a variant procedure that involves taking the multiplicative factors of the year in question, and profecting at these intervals as well as that of the year in question. He concludes by citing another such numerological variant, which like the first evidently comes from Critodemus. The book is fully exemplified with 18 charts.
Book VI, another relatively short book, presents a time-lord procedure based on releasing every planet and timing its encounter with another planet by converting the ecliptic interval between the two to years in accordance with the minor period of that planet. After two digressions into the subject of why the ancients typified the planets with colors, and why the malefics always seem to be more active in a chart than the benefics, Valens has a short chapter on transits and ingresses. He then gives his own exposition of the time-lord procedure called "decennials." He concludes with a life expectancy calculation based on the Lord of the Full Moon and the Ascendant, and a way of determining the Moon and the Ascendant of the conception chart. There is one sample chart in this book.
Book VII mostly concerns the subject of the direct timing of events. The book commences with an exposition of a time-lord procedure based on the four angles of the chart, and then turns to timing by means of planetary periods and the ascensional times of signs, something that Valens only touched upon in the earlier books. This treatment is very detailed and is richly exemplified by 30 or so sample charts. Valens also considers halves and thirds of the planetary periods and ascensional times. The book also contains an interesting digression into a life expectancy calculation based on the Lot of Fortune, employing planetary periods or ascensional times for the lord of the lot, the lord of the lord, and the lord of the lord of the lord.
Book VIII is entirely devoted to a strange life expectancy procedure that derives from Critodemus, based on a six-fold bound-like division of each sign, times being associated with each. Valens also has his own variation on this.
Book IX seems to be a miscellaneous collection of after-thoughts. It contains more exposition of the procedure in Book VIII, some general remarks on the method of zodiacal releasing from Fortune & Spirit treated in Book IV, scattered life expectancy calculations, another ancient time-lord procedure based on a nine-year cycle with Valens own variation on it, and a number of devices for chart rectification. TOP