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From Epicurus to EpictetusStudies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy$
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A. A. Long

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279128.001.0001

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Astrology: Arguments Pro and Contra

Astrology: Arguments Pro and Contra

(p.128) 7 Astrology: Arguments Pro and Contra
From Epicurus to Epictetus

A. A. Long (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Arguments for and against the main principles of astrology have a continuous history from the second century bc up to the time of Augustine. This chapter focuses on three stages of a complex debate, which began with Stoics and Academics and continued into Neoplatonism and Christianity. Following some historical preliminaries, ‘the controversy according to Cicero’, which establishes the chief foundations of later argument, is analyzed. Ptolemy's defences of astrology, and his success in meeting sceptical criticism as represented by Cicero, Favorinus, and Sextus Empiricus are considered, glancing for comparison at Manilius. Some later developments are sketched: the positive arguments of Firmicus Maternus, the qualified criticisms of Plotinus, and the attacks of Augustine.

Keywords:   Stoics, Cicero, Ptolemy, Firmicus Maternus, Plotinus, Augustine

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