ISBN 978-9004306202
Hardcover 574 pages
Publisher: Brill; Illustrated edition (13 Nov. 2015)
Product Dimensions 16 x 3.56 x 24.13 cm


In The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology: Origins and Influence, Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum investigates for the first time the concept of the daimon (daemon, demon), normally confined to religion and philosophy, within the theory and practice of ancient western astrology (2nd century BCE – 7th century CE). This multi-disciplinary study covers the daimon within astrology proper as well as the daimon and astrology in wider cultural practices including divination, Gnosticism, Mithraism and Neo-Platonism. It explores relationships between the daimon and fate and Daimon and Tyche (fortune or chance), and the doctrine of lots as exemplified in Plato’s Myth of Er. In finding the impact of Egyptian and Mesopotamian ideas of fate on Hellenistic astrology, it critically examines astrology’s perception as propounding an unalterable destiny.


“…Greenbaum’s The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology will indubitably enthrall those interested in the difference between fatalism and determinism and the solutions provided by astrologers of the past.”
Levente László, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, in: Aestimatio, vol. 13 (2016-2018)

“…the book has achieved a new level of excellence in the subject area.”
~Nicolas Campion, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review (2017)

The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology

Origins and Influence (Ancient Magic and Divination)

Table of Contents

Preliminary Material


1. Kindled Spirits: The Daimon, Plutarch and Vettius Valens

2. Keeping in Good Spirits: The Places of Good Daimon and Fortune in Astrology

3. Twists of Fate: Daimon, Fortune and Astrology in Egypt and the Near East

4. Hie Thee to Hell: The Place of the Bad Daimon

5. Divergent Paths: Daimons and Astrology in Gnosticism and Mithraism

6. Ambivalent Daimons and Astrology

7. Porphyry, the Oikodespotēs and the Personal Daimon

8. Allotment, the Daimon and Astrology

9. Endowment and Chance: The Lots of Fortune and Daimon

10. ‘Parents of Human Civilisation’: The Lots of Love and Necessity




General Index

Selected Citations Index

Selected Word Index

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