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Chapter VIII.—Prodigies of the Astrologers; System of the Astronomers; Chaldean Doctrine of Circles; Distances of the Heavenly Bodies.

I reckon it then sufficient to declare the
prodigies^{185}^{185} As
regards astrological predictions, see Origen’s *Comment. on
Gen*.; Diodorus of Tarsus, *De Fato*; Photii *Biblioth*.,
cod. ccxxiii.; and Bardesanis, *De Legibus Nationum*, in
Cureton’s *Spicilegium Syriacum*. detailed by these
men. Wherefore, employing condensed accounts of what they affirm,
I shall turn my attention to the other points (that remain to be
considered). Now they make the following statements.^{186}^{186}
See Plato’s *Timæus*. The Creator communicated
pre-eminent power to the orbital motion of the identical and similar
(circle), for He permitted the revolution of it to be one and
indivisible; but after dividing this internally into six parts, (and
thus having formed) seven unequal circles, according to each interval
of a twofold and threefold dimension, He commanded, since there were
three of each, that the circles should travel in orbits contrary to one
another, three indeed (out of the aggregate of seven) being whirled
along with equal velocity, and four of them with a speed dissimilar to
each other and to the remaining three, yet (all) according to a
definite principle. For he affirms that the mastery was
communicated to the orbital motion of the same (circle), not only since
it embraces the motion of the other, that, is, the erratic stars, but
because also it possesses so great mastery, that is, so great power,
that even it leads round, along with itself, by a peculiar strength of
its own, those heavenly bodies—that is, the erratic
stars—that are whirled along in contrary directions from west to
east, and, in like manner, from east to west.

And he asserts that this motion was allowed to be one
and indivisible, in the first place, inasmuch as the revolutions of all
the fixed stars were accomplished in equal periods of time, and were
not distinguished according to greater or less portions of
duration. In the next place, they all present the same phase as
that which belongs to the outermost motion; whereas the erratic stars
have been distributed into greater and varying periods for the
accomplishment of their movements, and into unequal distances from
earth. And he asserts that the motion in six parts of the other
has been distributed probably into seven circles. For as many as
are sections of each (circle)—I allude to monads of the
sections^{187}^{187}
Schneidewin, on Roeper’s suggestion, amends the passage thus,
though I am not sure that I exactly render his almost unintelligible
Latin version: “For as many sections as there are of each,
there are educible from the monad more segments than sections; for
example, if,” etc. The Abbe Cruice would seemingly adopt
the following version: “For whatsoever are sections of
each, now there are more segments than sections of a monad, will
become; for example, if,” etc.—become
segments; for example, if the division be by one section, there will be
two segments; if by two, three segments; and so, if anything be cut
into six parts, there will be seven segments. And he says that
the distances of these are alternately arranged both in double and
triple order, there being three of each,—a principle which, he
has attempted to prove, holds good of the composition of the soul
likewise, as depending upon the seven numbers. For among them
there are from the monad three double (numbers), viz., 2, 4, 8, and
three triple ones, viz., 3, 9, 27. But the diameter of Earth is
80,108 stadii; and the perimeter of Earth, 250,543 stadii;
and the distance also from the surface of the Earth to the lunar
circle, Aristarchus the Samian computes at 8,000,178 stadii, but
Apollonius 5,000,000, whereas Archimedes computes^{188}^{188}
Schneidewin, on mathematical authority, discredits the numerical
calculations ascribed to Archimedes. it at 5,544,130. And from the
lunar to solar circle, (according to the last authority,) are
50,262,065 stadii; and from this to the circle of Venus,
20,272,065 stadii; and from this to the circle of Mercury, 50,817,165
stadii; and from this to the circle of Mars, 40,541,108 stadii; and
from this to the circle of Jupiter, 20,275,065 29stadii; and from this to the circle of Saturn,
40,372,065 stadii; and from this to the Zodiac and the furthest
periphery, 20,082,005 stadii.^{189}^{189} This is
manifestly erroneous; the total could only be “four
myriads!”

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