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Title: The Daimon in Hellenistic astrology : Origins and influence
Author: Greenbaum, Dorian Gieseler
ISNI:       0000 0004 2701 9983
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This dissertation explores the concept of the daimon within Hellenistic astrological theory and practice. It investigates how the daimon, as a cultural, philosophical and religious phenomenon, shaped the theory and practice of Hellenistic astrology; and, in turn, how Hellenistic astrology further developed, as well as mirrored and reinforced, concepts of the daimon in the Greco-Roman era and Late Antiquity. The concept of the daimon is complex and of multivalent significance: there are good daimons, bad daimons and even a personal guiding daimon popularised by Plato. This multivalency is also expressed within the theory and practice of astrology. Places in the astrological chart signify what is provided by good and bad daimons. The daimon's connection with fate is expressed in astrology through predictions of life expectancy, prosperity, happiness (in Greek, eudaimonia, 'having a good daimon') and character. The daimon, mostly via Plato, but with other influences as well, has an important link to lots and allotment; we find this link mirrored in astrological practice through the technique of lots, especially the Lots of Fortune and Daimon. The Neo-Platonist polymath Porphyry tries to find a personal daimon represented in the chart. The outline of the dissertation is as follows. Chapter 1 studies Plutarch's daimons compared with the personal daimon of a second-century CE astrologer, Vettius Valens. Chapters 2 and 3 investigate the good and bad daimon places within the chart, while exploring good and bad daimons in various Mediterranean cultures. Chapter 4 is a study of Porphyry's search for a personal daimon in the astrological birthchart. Chapters 5, 6 and 7 explore lots both from the view of Greek culture (especially Plato's conception) and their place within astrological practice. The last two chapters are detailed studies of four astrological lots: Fortune, Daemon, Eros and Necessity, their astrological links and their cultural connections.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available