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date: 03 October 2023

Manilius, Marcuslocked

, Roman poet

Manilius, Marcuslocked

, Roman poet
  • Anna M. Wilson
  •  and Katharina Volk


Marcus Manilius, Roman poet, author of the Astronomica, a didactic astrological poem in five books written in the second decade of the 1st cent. ce. The exact date is controversial and must be reconstructed from statements in the poem itself: 1. 898-900 mentions P. *Quinctilius Varus' defeat in ce 9; references in 1 and 2 point to Augustus being alive; passages in 4 have often been taken to refer to Tiberius as the emperor but may in fact be better understood as indicating an Augustan date for this book as well. Whatever its exact time of composition, the work is indicative of the ideological significance astrology achieved in the principate and presents the empero (s) as closely bound up with the workings of divine fate.The technical content is as follows. Book 1: an introductory description of the universe and the *constellations influenced by *Aratus(1); book 2: characteristics, conjunctions, and twelvefold divisions (dodecatemoria) of the zodiacal signs, the system of twelve places (dodecatropos) and its effects on different areas of human life; book 3: a different circular system of twelve lots (sortes), the calculation of the ascendant, methods of determining the length of life, tropic signs; book 4: zodiacal influences at birth, the division of the signs into decans, individual zodiacal degrees and their influence, the partition of the world and its nations among the signs, ecliptic signs; book 5: the influence of extra-zodiacal constellations at their rising (paranatellonta), a lacuna (after 709), stellar magnitudes.


  • Latin Literature

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