Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#142
Huck wrote:
mikeh wrote: Is the attribution of the 7 planets really invented by him? Or were there somebody earlier with it?

In Gates of Light Gikatilla does indeed talk about planets. He says there are 12 of them, 3 for each of the 4 seasons, named the lamb, the bull, the twins, the crab, the lion, the virgin, the scales, the scorpion, the archer, the goat, the bucket, and the fish. Otherwise I can find no mention of planets, or of the particular planets by name, in Gates of Light (Sha'are Orah).

These are not 7 planets, but the zodiac signs. Actually I meant the attribution of planets to Sephiroth. The planets are already in the SY with the double letters.



Yes the Hebrew term has obviously been mistranslated, should be constellations or signs. Perhaps the term used can be used for either is the same but understood by context. For example I think the word for Mercury can also mean star or stars, depending upon the context. That translated as Lamb is the Ram, Aries, and as 'bucket' Aquarius (the water-bearer - hence the 'bucket').

The planets are associated with the Sephiroth in the Zohar. The association can be inferred from the SY via association/similarity of the concentric circle model of the SY and the cosmograph, which results in the order PM, Fixed Stars, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Elements/Earth.

In the SY the primal elements are Fire, Air, Water. Earth as 'snow' is a manifestation of the primal element water. The permutations of YHV and of YHVH in the constellations shows a link between the concepts of the primary elements with the astroogical qualities of Cardinal, Fixed & Mutable in the name YHV and with fire, water (he), air, and earth (snow, water, he) in the Name YHVH.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#143
Yes. A good example, how easy translations may go wrong.
Albert Van Helden has suggested that from about 1250 until the 17th century, virtually all educated Europeans were familiar with the Ptolemaic model of "nesting spheres and the cosmic dimensions derived from it".[6] Even following the adoption of Copernicus's heliocentric model of the universe, new versions of the celestial sphere model were introduced, with the planetary spheres following this sequence from the central Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth-Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres

Well, if this was so the case, then it's a question, what was the state before 1250?

Around 1250 and later Alfonso the wise caused the import/translation of a lot of astronomical material to Spain. Around that time there was still a lot of nobility, which still couldn't read. It's a question, if the spheres model was known in the west ... and to which degree. Whereby Jews in Provence and Spain might have had better information than other persons at other locations.
Scholem mentions, that the Bahir came from the East and went likely first to Germany, before it reached Provence.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#144
Huck wrote:
Around 1250 and later Alfonso the wise caused the import/translation of a lot of astronomical material to Spain. Around that time there was still a lot of nobility, which still couldn't read. It's a question, if the spheres model was known in the west ... and to which degree. Whereby Jews in Provence and Spain might have had better information than other persons at other locations.

Scholem mentions, that the Bahir came from the East and went likely first to Germany, before it reached Provence.

The days of the week are based on Chaldean order. Septagrams of the Chaldean order which link in with the days of the week have been discovered from at least Roman times and are thought to go back much earlier.

The order was well known in the west from early times - and is incorporated into the names of the days of the week in most western European countries. In fact the change was not even affected by the change of calendar -- the Eurupeon names of the days of the week go into pre-recorded history but possibly greco-roman, hellenistic hebrew or even to Babylonian times (which I think quite probable).

To what extent was the astronomical/astrological basis of such known in the west? Well recent historical discoveres suggest that the 'dark ages' were not so dark as we may have been taught -- but I don't see how it is relevant to the SY anyway, no one as far as I am aware have ever suggested it was western European (albeit, on the other hand, it may have hellenistic influences - but such extended to India. Hellenistic/Jewish confluence suggests Alexandria as a possibility. But so world-wide was the hellenistic influence it could have been anywhere, but the SY suggests somewhere where Jewish and Hellenistic ideas mixed. Probably post-temple destruction.)

To what extent was such order known in the west? Well it was the common viewpoint, the geocentric viewpoint was established even if say it's technical and hisotorical basis was unknown to but a few in the 'dark ages', but translations of aristotle, plato, ptolomy etc from the 12th century on (e.g., almagest 1160) re-introduced the arguments for such.

What has this to do with the SY? Not a product of western European dark ages?

But yes, I imagine translators of Jewish, Greek & Arabic texts of the period were in a far better position to understand the basis behind such common and established viewpoints to such than most.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#145
Thanks for the explanation of the zodiacal globe, Steve. That enlarges my picture of the situation, as I will explain.

First some general observations. God doesn't construct the universe only in terms of octohedrons or cubes, but in terms of spheres. The sefiroth are on the 9th sphere. If one straightened the curved lines connecting their vertices, one would get an octohedron. If the sefirot are made the midpoints of planes, one gets a cube. But most naturally, it is an octohedron. The fixed stars, where 3 dimensional space actually begins, are on the 8th sphere. Imaginary lines crossing the 8th sphere from the sefirot to the center would make six more points, which most naturally form a smaller octohedron. This is from the point of view of the center. But we are not at the center. We are standing on the first sphere. If we are in the temperate zone of the earth, we are tilted 45 degrees, plus or minus 15 degrees or so. If we are in the northern temperate zone, we see the north star around 45 degrees up. There won't be an east star and a west star per se, because the sphere of stars is revolving. But at any given moment at any given point in the temperate zone, there will be an east star, or at least constellation, and west star or constellation, although we won't be able to see one of them. There are also up and down stars or constellations. These, too, will be tilted. The result is a tilted cube or tilted octohedron.

Image


On the zodiacal globe, if I follow Steve's directions, we have Aries in the east (as seen from the other side), Cancer at the nadir (down), Libra in the west (on the right, as seen from the other side), and Capricorn in midheaven (on the other side). So we are looking from below, where the sun doesn't shine. If so, the middle of four of the faces of the cube are at the solstices and equinoxes. At a point half way through Taurus, part of Pisces, all of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and part of Cancer will be clearly visible in the night sky. That point is the center of one of the faces of the cube. The zodiacal constellations are progressing gradually northward on that face. It extends from the beginning of Aries until the end of Gemini. Since the sphere continues past the boundaries of the cube, we can see more than this. Then part of Gemini, all of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo, and part of Libra will be clearly visible. The constellations are now going southward. Then part of Virgo, all of Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius, and part of Capricorn will be clearly visible. That's another face, still going southward. Finally part of Sagittarius, all of Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, and part of Aries will be clearly visible. The constellations are progressing northward on that face. Two of the faces, north and south, aren't involved with the zodiac at all, as the zodiac constellations don't get that far.

Now if we want to draw in 2 dimensions a figure faithful to the sides of that cube, we can do it by means of two squares, lines all diagonals, with 2 diagonal lines poking out of them, all diagonals (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-k0UiLX-LojY/V ... quare9.JPG). We can then place the zodiacal constellations on those diagonals. Then, to get a figure that bends back on itself, in the way the zodiac does, we rearrange the half-squares to form three squares with the bottom vertices of two of them merging with the top vertices of two. The result is the Gra diagram, but with the letters placed differently. The zodiac progresses within groups by paired opposites and between groups as a figure 8.

Left (North)_____________________Right (South)
UE = Z = Gemini__________________SE = Taurus
NE = H = Aries____________________LE = Cancer

UN = T = Leo_____________________US = Aquarius
LN = Y = Virgo____________________LS = Pisces


NW = Scorpio____________________UW = Sagittarius
LW = Capricorn___________________SW = Libra

In contrast, the Gra goes:
Left_____________________________Right
NE = Taurus___________________Aries = UE.
Cancer = US__________________Gemini = LE

Virgo = LS ____________________Leo = SE
Scorpio = SW__________________Libra = UW

Capricorn = UN _______________Sagittarius = LW
Pisces = LN__________________ Aquarius = NW

I don't see any geometric basis for the Gra assignments, even if a majority do correspond to the circular model. It is purely right-left and up-down, i.e. sui generis.

SteveM wrote,
I do not consider that the SY is describing a 2d projection, but 3d space, in which all 12 lines of the octohedron are diagonal, and in which none of the edges of a cube are.
As I said, the observer in Chapter 5 is tilted. The distinction between God and humanity is basic to the SY. Instead of God at the center of the universe, Chapter One, we have humanity on the surface of the first sphere looking up into the night star, Chapter Five. For anyone not on the equator or the poles, all the lines will be diagonal.

SteveM wrote, of the sefirot
They are connected as 10 of the 32 paths of Wisdom, 10 sephirah and 22 letters
That's only "connected" in the sense of being grouped together as "paths". But this is in a broad sense of "path", because we usually think of a path as a line, broad or narrow or without width, connecting points, not as including spheres as "paths" in their own right. I don't see why the sefirot have to be connected geometrically with the letters. Beginning, end, good and evil are not geometric entities. I don't see why "depth of above" etc should be either; they only produce the geometric categories. It's an energetic connection.

However as analogues to points outside the circle in which the cube is inscribed, yes, they can be compared to the vertices of an octohedron (perhaps shown as dotted lines, for example), which can be projected onto the sphere in the way that Huck indicated with the sphere marked off in 90 degree increments and at the equator (http://www.polaris.iastate.edu/NorthSta ... Sphere.jpg)
They can also transmit energy in other ways. Shifting from God's point of view to ours, North, South, and other points tilt an average of 45 degrees in all directions. And from the point of view of the cube inside the sphere, the sefirot energetically connect with all four of the lines in the square below them.

What makes the two pictures, cube and octohedron, pictures of the same zodiacal/sefirotic configuration are the sphere between them and the two points of view, on earth (for the cube and the zodiac) and the center (for the octohedron and the sefirot).

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#146
SteveM wrote: The days of the week are based on Chaldean order. Septagrams of the Chaldean order which link in with the days of the week have been discovered from at least Roman times and are thought to go back much earlier.

The order was well known in the west from early times - and is incorporated into the names of the days of the week in most western European countries. In fact the change was not even affected by the change of calendar -- the Erupeon names of the days of the week go into pre-recorded history but possibly greco-roman, hellenistic hebrew or even to Babylonian times (which I think quite probable).

To what extent was the astronomical/astrological basis of such known in the west? Well recent historical discoveres suggest that the 'dark ages' were not so dark as we may have been taught -- but I don't see how it is relevant to the SY anyway, no one as far as I am aware have ever suggested it was western European (albeit, on the other hand, it may have hellenistic influences - but such extended to India. Hellenistic/Jewish confluence suggests Alexandria as a possibility. But so world-wide was the hellenistic influence it could have been anywhere, but the SY suggests somewhere where Jewish and Hellenistic ideas mixed. Probably post-temple destruction.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_spheres
In his Almagest, the astronomer Ptolemy (fl. ca. 150 AD) developed geometrical predictive models of the motions of the stars and planets and extended them to a unified physical model of the cosmos in his Planetary hypotheses.[21][22][23][24] By using eccentrics and epicycles, his geometrical model achieved greater mathematical detail and predictive accuracy than had been exhibited by earlier concentric spherical models of the cosmos.[25] In Ptolemy's physical model, each planet is contained in two or more spheres,[26] but in Book 2 of his Planetary Hypotheses Ptolemy depicted thick circular slices rather than spheres as in its Book 1. One sphere/slice is the deferent, with a centre offset somewhat from the Earth; the other sphere/slice is an epicycle embedded in the deferent, with the planet embedded in the epicyclical sphere/slice.[27] Ptolemy's model of nesting spheres provided the general dimensions of the cosmos, the greatest distance of Saturn being 19,865 times the radius of the Earth and the distance of the fixed stars being at least 20,000 Earth radii.[26]

The planetary spheres were arranged outwards from the spherical, stationary Earth at the centre of the universe in this order: the spheres of the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In more detailed models the seven planetary spheres contained other secondary spheres within them.
There are doubts, if Charlemain could read and write, living 700 years later. How Ptolemy and his Almagest was transmitted? Pope Nicolaus (1447-1455) ordered a translation of the Almagest and the project excited the contemporary intellectuals.

So at least some greater parts weren't common knowledge then. The article gives some names active in the transmission, but most names come from external sources, Muslims and Arabic.
The first Western name is Campanus of Novara ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campanus_of_Novara
... writing Theorica planetarum 1261–1264 and Tractats de sphera after 1268, around the time, when Alfonso persecuted his astronomical interests, and Kabbalists prepared their models.
Generally the fall of Constantinople 1204 might have opened some sources. Which likely didn't come immediately, but in the run of longer processes.
I personally think, that I don't know enough about this period to answer this humble question.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#147
hi Mike,

I think, the SY is not a text with very high-ranked astronomy. It's too short for this, at least in its astrological parts. Just my humble opinion.

We have contradictions with three authentic variants (Bahir, Long-Gra, Short). We've a 4th suggestion on the base of the similarities between SY and I-Ching caused by the binary scheme.

In my view only the 4th suggestion can be "right", cause otherwise the whole consideration about the similarities between I-Ching and SY would drop down ... but this solution for the whole is very probable, and it would be an act against probability, if one would assume, that it is wrong.

Nonetheless the 3 other versions can have had own considerations, likely made on the base, that the relevant authors weren't informed about the 32 pairs = 64 hexagrams system.

Steve's observation about 3 common astrological groups of zodiac signs (fixed, cardinal and mutable) is good enough to explain the existence and logic of the Gra/Long version. That is too good to be accidental, simply judged. It looks chosen with intention, though it doesn't meet the point as a "correct solution" (imho).

For the other two versions there should be also plausible reasons, why they exist. Well, it isn't impossible, that they are simple transmission errors.

Image


There was a 5th suggestion once made by Steve. Is this dropped meanwhile?

Any other complaints against this overview, for instance against my proposal to accept the hexagram-zodiac sequence? Steve, do you agree with it?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#148
Well my suggestion also divides into cardinal, fixed and mutable, and has other advantages too. But as the Long version also has its logic with the Octogram (hexagram/hexagon) model, it is simpler to go with an attested version of the SY than another variant. Plus it shows a correlation between cardinal, fixed and mutable with fire, air and water.

The cosmographic model suggests planetary correspondences with the celestial spheres - of which the chaldean order was the standard. The chaldean order may also be inferred from the attributions to the double letters. The earliest extent manuscripts of all three of the oldest redactions (short, long, saadia) all give them in the Chaldean order (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon). The variations come later.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#149
I looked for the short version arrangement:

As Steve was successful with cardinal, fix and mutable signs, I looked for this category.

Image


In the Gra/Long version the pair Upper = cardinal and Lower = mutable dominated, leaving the fixed signs completely for East-West and North-South.

Here exists another dominance, Upper/Lower get the mutable axis, East-West take the cardinal line and South-North dominates the fixed group. However, the dominance is mixed, not as strong as that of Upper/Lower in the Gra/Long version (it much more easily might be just accidental).

Image


East and West govern each 4 signs in a row, splitting the zodiac in a 4-2-4-2 rhythm, which lets one think of ...

4 EAST = spring
2 = hottest months
4 WEST = autumn
2 = coldest months

I feel remembered on the research of the Pope-donkey lot book system, which contained material to a zodiac with 13 signs (lunisolar calendar). In 7 of 19 years a month was added, If one interprets the zodiac according this system, it's floating (jumping and going forth according the added moons) and not fixed as nowadays (21st of march for 0 degree Aries etc). The Jews had a special favor for this calendar and it still runs even nowadays for religious reasons.

The begin of this calendar in the year had been mostly after Virgo, so after the "hottest months" (in Greece it changed to spring once, as far I remember).

Weather and climate in Bagdad:
http://www.weather-and-climate.com/aver ... agdad,Iraq
The months March, April and November have a nice average temperature.
Hot season / summer is in April, May, June, July, August, September and October.
Bagdad has dry periods in January, February, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December.
On average, the warmest month is July.
On average, the coolest month is January.
March is the wettest month.

August is the driest month.

Bagdad isn't far from the old Babylon, and Babylon had been of high cultural importance for Jews in a longer period, when the SY was written (the Babylonian Talmud was written then and there). As far I remember, the SY was (likely ?) written in Aramaic (from a private communication with somebody, who should have known this), the oldest manuscripts don't reach this time (as far I know).

Image


It's strange, that North is used for the hottest months, and South for the coldest-rainy months, in contrast to all other versions.
However, in a nomadic culture this makes sense. In summer go to North (it's not so hot there), in winter
go to South (it's not so cold there). Many birds learnt this trick. However, for a slow-motion human this is difficult. But if you're breeding animals, which anyway can't stay too long at a specific location cause of limited resources, it's the common rule to wander.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Jewish-Christian interactions in Italy before 1500

#150
SteveM wrote: The cosmographic model suggests planetary correspondences with the celestial spheres - of which the chaldean order was the standard. The chaldean order may also be inferred from the attributions to the double letters. The earliest extent manuscripts of all three of the oldest redactions (short, long, saadia) all give them in the Chaldean order (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon). The variations come later.
My idea, that planet spheres weren't present till a specific not known time arrived with that some posts earlier ...
Wiki states ...
Gikatilla at times criticizes the Sefer Yeẓirah and the Pirḳe Hekalot. The seven heavens (Ḥag. 12a) are identified by him with the seven planets. He holds Maimonides in great esteem even when he opposes him, and quotes him very often. Other authorities quoted by him are Ibn Gabirol, Samuel ibn Naghrela, and Abraham ibn Ezra. Isaac ben Samuel of Acre in his Me'irat 'Enayyim severely criticizes Gikatilla for too free usage of the Holy Name.
Is the attribution of the 7 planets really invented by him? Or were there somebody earlier with it?
The SY notes the 10 Sephiroth without planets. That's easy to control. Planets appear in the letter descriptions, but not as spheres. So, whose the first with Sephiroth with spheres?

Jewish culture had the idea of "7 heavens, 7 earths" in pre-christian times. But these were not spheres. Ptelomy had spheres, but who knew Ptolemy?

The Chaldean order - true - is given with SY. I looked through the "Origin of kabbala" by Scholem .... he works till the kabbalists of Gerona. I didn't find a note about spheres.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... 2-almagest
ALMAGEST:

The Arabic title of the astronomical work of Claudius Ptolemy (flourished 150), entitled by him μαθηματική σύνταξις, in order to distinguish it from another σύνταξις of Ptolemy's, devoted to astrology. The Almagest contains a full account of the Ptolemaic theory of astronomy, by which the retrograde movement of the inner planets was explained by a system of cycles and epicycles. It also gives, in the eighth and ninth books, a list of the fixed stars, with their positions, still of use to the astronomer. It continued to be the classical text-book of astronomy up to the time of Copernicus, and even of Newton, and was the foundation of the astronomical knowledge of the Jews (who became acquainted with it through Arabic translations) in the Middle Ages. One of the earliest Arabic translations is said to have been by an Oriental Jew, Sahl Al-Tabari (about 800), but no trace of it can be found. From Ptolemy, too, were derived the conceptions of the spheres and the primum mobile, which had so much influence upon the Cabala. The Almagest was translated into Hebrew from the Arabic, with both Averroes' and Al-Fergani's compendiums of it, by Jacob Anatoli about 1230, the latter from the Latin version of Johannes Hispalensis. Commentaries on parts of it were written by David ibn Naḥmias of Toledo, Elijah Mizraḥi, and Samuel ben Judah of Marseilles (1331); only the latter's commentary is extant. From the Almagest the Jews received their conception of the number of the fixed stars as 1,022; the comparison of the universe to an onion with its successive skins, corresponding to the spheres; and their idea of the size of the earth—24,000 miles in circumference—which indirectly led to the search for the New World, by inducing Columbus to think that the way westward to India was not so far as to be beyond his reach.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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