In case you haven't heard it yet, Hellenistic astrology is on the rise. Having lain in concealment for many centuries, it is the bright new star on the astrological horizon.
You can experience firsthand the re-emergence of the original astrology of the West step by step by subscribing now to our new series of Hellenistic astrological texts in English translation: The Astrological Record of the Early Sages (TARES).
No matter what your astrological orientation or level of expertise, your understanding of astrological practice will be vastly improved by reconnecting with the roots of the Western tradition. You will gain an unparalleled clarity of concept, unerring judgment in the selection and application of techniques, sureness in delineation, an appreciation for the original systematic integrity of astrology, and confidence that astrological practice can be fully informed and motivated by a timeless metaphysical theory.
The goal of TARES is nothing short of the translation and publication of virtually the entire corpus of astrological texts surviving from the Hellenistic era. This monumental set of reference books belongs in the library of every serious astrologer.
Translator Robert Schmidt has also designed the series as a source-based course of study for learning the theory and practice of Hellenistic astrology. To this end, the texts themselves will be carefully sequenced and organized to optimize their instructional value and bring out all the details of the original Hellenistic system in their best order. And each volume will be lavishly decked out with annotations and commentary by the translator.
Any translations that were previously published during the research phase of the project are being fully revised and re-annotated in light of our improved understanding of these texts. Each volume will average about 300 pages and will be professionally printed, available either in paperback or hardback editions. One volume will be issued every 4-6 weeks. We anticipate that the entire series will comprise 30 volumes: 28 volumes of translations book-ended with a "Handy Companion" and a series index. You can receive a substantial discount on these translations by enrolling in our subscription plan.
TARES is centered around four astrological treatises: the Anthology of Vettius Valens, the Mathesis of Firmicus Maternus, the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy, and the Apotelesmatics of Hephaistio of Thebes. These are the most substantial and coherent of the Hellenistic treatises that have survived relatively intact in their original languages.
Each of these four can be considered a different “take” on Hellenistic astrology. They vary in their selection of material, the emphasis they give to different parts of the original system, and their logic of exposition. Each treatise contains a fair amount of material on natal astrology not represented in the others. The first two are almost entirely devoted to natal astrology. Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos also treats of mundane or universal astrology in the second book. The third book of Hephaistio contains an extensive exposition of electional astrology.
Our translations of these four treatises will be issued in the order listed above. The separate sections of each treatise will be published in their consecutive order to preserve the integrity of the author's exposition. However, translations of shorter, fragmentary, or epitomized texts of other authors will often be interpolated between sections of the principal treatises as appropriate, when they contain material that is related to the preceding section of the principal treatise by way of supplementation, elaboration, or summation. In this way nearly all the surviving texts from the Hellenistic era will find their most logical and appropriate placement in the series.
Among the most important of these other authors are Hermes himself, Nechepso & Petosiris, Critodemus, Serapio, Teucer, Dorotheus, Anubio, Thrasyllus, Balbillus, Paulus, Pseudo-Manetho, Antiochus, Rhetorius, Porphyry, as well as a host of anonymous or eponymous authors.
Many of the Hellenistic astrological treatises can be challenging to read, even when there are not textual problems with the manuscripts that have come down to us. None of them is written in a “chatty” style. We would be the first to say that they often take much for granted on the part of the reader. Occasionally, they even deliberately conceal more than they reveal out of the authors' fears that the full astrological doctrine might fall into the wrong hands. Nevertheless, we believe that it is extremely important that a large number of modern astrologers have exposure to the sources of the Western astrological tradition in its original form.
To compensate for some of the inherent difficulties of these texts, translator Robert H. Schmidt will supply interpretive and analytical commentary to facilitate their study and bring out the original system underlying them. We believe that with these scholarly aids nearly every serious student will be able to master the essentials of the Hellenistic system firsthand. Technical details regarding manuscript variations and textual emendations requiring a knowledge of greek grammar will be dealt with in footnotes.
Our new subscription plan will be available soon. For information, write to