Astrology in Roman Law and Politics by Frederick H. Cramer

By Frederick H. Cramer

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The more he tended towards Epicurean or neo-Academic views, the more sceptical would his outlook become. Stoicism itself had undergone a pro­ found change in its attitude towards divination in gen­ eral, and astrology in particular since the days of Diogenes the Babylonian and his even more sceptical Stoic disciple, Panaetius. It had returned to the origi­ nal Stoic views of Zeno and his immediate successors, largely through the efforts of Panaetius’ pupil Posi­ donius of Apamea (ca. 131-51 B .

63. Strabo, 14, 5. 16 (f. 676). lt’ Index stoic. : c. 68. 118 Index stoic. Hercul. : 51. ,l’ Cicero, de dhnn. 1, 3, 6; de officiis 3, 12, 51; Index stoic. : 60. T H E C O N V E R SIO N O F R E P U B L IC A N RO M E TO A STRO LO G Y between his studies at Athens and travels to his native town 1=0 or other places. C . dwelt proudly on their Roman triumphs. If not before, Panaetius must then have received the impression of a Roman aris­ tocracy, in which a number of young and middle-aged noblemen professed an enthusiasm for philosophy, simi­ lar to that which had brought to Athens the young patrician from Lindus himself.

The followers of Eunus killed each other rather than fall into Roman hands. Eunus with four servants, however, surrendered. uy It seems that even the Roman victors were to some extent impressed with the reputation of the Syrian miracleworking diviner. Astrology, at least according to our scanty sources, can at best have played a minor role in the repertoire of Eunus. H is successor. 150 the leader of the second Sicilian slave rebellion, however, was actuallv an astrologer of sorts. ” 151 Apparently he used his reputation as a star­ gazer to persuade his fellow slaves of “ inevitable ” success if they rebelled.

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