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Chapter XV.—Quibbles of the Numerical Theorists; The Art of the Frontispicists (Physiognomy); Connection of This Art with Astrology; Type of Those Born Under Aries.

I think that there has been clearly expounded the mind of arithmeticians, who, by means of numbers and of names, suppose that they interpret life. Now I perceive that these, enjoying leisure, and being trained in calculation, have been desirous that, through the art205205    The word θέλειν occurs in this sentence, but is obviously superfluous. delivered to them from childhood, they, acquiring celebrity, should be styled prophets. And they, measuring the letters up (and) down, have wandered into trifling. For if they fail, they say, in putting forward the difficulty, Perhaps this name was not a family one, but imposed, as also lighting in the instance they argue in the case of (the names) Ulysses and Ajax. Who, taking occasion from this astonishing philosophy, and desirous of being styled “Heresiarch,” will not be extolled?

But since, also, there is another more profound art among the all-wise speculators of the Greeks—to whom heretical individuals boast that they attach themselves as disciples, on account of their employing the opinions of these (ancient philosophers) in reference to the doctrines attempted (to be established) by themselves, as shall a little afterwards be proved; but this is an art of divination, by examination of the forehead206206    In the margin of the ms. is the note, “Opinion of the Metopiscopists.” or rather, I should say, it is madness: yet we shall not be silent as regards this (system). There are some who ascribe to the stars figures that mould the ideas207207    These words are out of place. See next note. and dispositions of men, assigning the reason of this to births (that have taken place) under particular stars; they thus express themselves: Those who208208    There is evidently some displacement of words here. Miller and Schneidewin suggest: “There are some who ascribe to the influence of the stars the natures of men: since, in computing the births of individuals, they thus express themselves as if they were moulding the species of men.” The Abbe Cruice would leave the text as it is, altering only τυποῦντες ἰδέας into τύπων τε ἰδέας. are born under Aries will be of the following kind: long head, red hair, contracted eyebrows, pointed forehead, eyes grey and lively,209209    Literally, “jumping;” others read “blackish,” or “expressive” (literally, “talking”). The vulgar reading, ὑπὸ ἄλλοις, is evidently untenable. drawn cheeks, long-nosed, expanded nostrils, thin lips, tapering chin, wide mouth. These, he says, will partake of the following nature: cautious, subtle, perspicuous,210210    Or “cowardly,” or “cowards at heart;” or some read, χαροποιοὶ, i.e., “causative of gladness.” prudent, indulgent, gentle, over-anxious, persons of secret resolves fitted for every undertaking, prevailing more by prudence than strength, deriders for the time being, scholars, 33trustworthy, contentious, quarrellers in a fray, concupiscent, inflamed with unnatural lust, reflective, estranged211211    Or, “diseased with unnatural lust,” i.e., νοσοῦντες for νοοῦντες. from their own homes, giving dissatisfaction in everything, accusers, like madmen in their cups, scorners, year by year losing something212212    Or, κατ᾽ ἔπος, “verbally rejecting anything.” serviceable in friendship through goodness; they, in the majority of cases, end their days in a foreign land.


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