Hellenistic Astrology Q&A
These articles represent questions either posed to me directly, or through various forums and represent some of my writings since software development took up most of my time. As a student of Robert Schmidt's since 1994, most of my explanations are about his material and it will be apparent that I place heavy importance on Schmidt's works. For those who aren't familiar with Robert Schmidt, he was given the National Science Foundation award at age 16, is an expert in mathematics and science and knows at least five languages and has translated many texts. But most importantly he was trained in Philosophy by Jacob Klein, PhD, and in particular on the Classical period from which the Hellenistic material was forged. Dr. Klein is the main reason why any modern person has any idea of what to do with Plato's dialogs. He then went on to recover French mathematician Francois Viette's writings founding the Golden Hind Press before starting Project Hindsight.
Some of you being more familiar with Schmidt's more recent works may wonder why I'm using the term "Hellenistic" instead of using Schmidt's more recent "Greek" adjective to "astrology" on this page. The reason is fairly simple; I'm restricting myself to issues that have come up in the past about what Bob calls the "System of Hermes" that date back several years before his most recent discovery about Eudoxus of Knidos. He still uses the phrase "System of Hermes" to describe what Eudoxus did, but this is material that predates his most recent discovery and focuses primarily on the state of Schmidt's thinking circa 2000 - 2007. Eudoxus was not the only thing of importance happening during the Hellenistic period and there were lots of other opinions and astrologers from that era. You should go directly to Robert Schmidt to ask about his recent discovery on Eudoxus of Knidos.
There seems to be a pair of contradicting ideas floating around; that just because something is old, that it must be valid or conversely, that because it was old and didn't survive unbroken, that it didn't work. Neither is the case. Everything that came into being was at one time "made up", and Schmidt has been charged with "making things up" that didn't exist in the original texts. The reason why so many scholars "stick to the texts" is because they couldn't see the larger picture peeking between the lines, which would have revealed itself to them had they not lacked training in Philosophy or had taken more seriously the issue that there were different composition styles during that era. The fact that Valens was complaining that some authors wrote "mystically" should have been a hint that not all from that era wrote as plainly as Valens did. In the end, what really matters is the integrity of the thinking on the subject. But the most important reason why I'm preserving what I wrote about Schmidt's works is because they have been persistently marginalized by the astrological community since the late 90's. Robert Schmidt wrote a great deal on the ACT Forum run by his friend Michael Erlewine at Matrix Software, but since Cosmic Patterns merged with Matrix, the Forum has vanished. This strange aversion that the astrological community has to this material is the reason why I named this site "The Lost Horoscope X-Files" so many years ago.
I am among a small group of people who've received direct tutoring from Robert Schmidt over the years. A few others who I've known personally and have been long time students are Ellen Black, Demetra George, Bill Johnston, Dale Nelson, Alan White (deceased), Robert Gross (deceased), Slaven Slobodnjak, Keith McWilliams, David Stricker, and Charles Bucek. Chris Brennan was also in Cumberland for a couple of years (2005-2007) before he left and is currently active on the lecture circuit. Robert Hand left the project early on after having participated in it's founding. Robert Zoller was also a founding member of Project Hindsight and returned to Cumberland in spring 2007 and stayed until after I left in Oct 2007. He stayed in the room just down the hall from me on the west side of Ellen's mansion.
Unfortunately most of the best material is hard to find on the web because it's buried in forums or blogs whose page indexes go too deep which may cause the material to rank lower due to the linear link structure (if it's found at all). This is far from a complete account of my writings, but I've preserved some of the best of what I've written here. Keep in mind that these are epistolary in style. I haven't preserved the exact questions for the most part because most of them are too long for article titles and might in some cases violate the questioner's copyright or confidentiality. So I just shortened them to the main subject matter as you see below which is somewhat similar to how Valens presented his topics in the Anthology. The dates show when I answered the question or made a post which should help others to see an historical account.