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Nechepso and Petosiris (c. 1st century BCE - 1st century BC)

Nechepso and Petosiris (also known as Nechepsus and Petosiris) were two early Egyptian priests and astrologers who lived from approximately the 1st century BCE until around the 1st century CE. They are regarded as the founders of ancient Egyptian astrology, and the authors of a treatise on the subject called the Book of Sothis. This work is known from several ancient Greek sources and is thought to have been based on much older Egyptian texts. According to Greek sources, Nechepso and Petosiris taught their astrological system to the Greeks, who then adapted it for their own use. Nechepso and Petosiris’ system of astrology was based on the movements of the stars, the planets, and the moon and their effects on the human condition. They believed that the heavenly bodies had their own destiny and were influenced by the gods. They used this system to make predictions about the future, interpret dreams, and help people make decisions based on the stars.

Critical Editions:

Riess — Nechepsonis et Petosiridis fragmenta magica >>

Stephan Heilen, Some metrical fragments from Nechepsos and Petosiris,” in La poésie astrologique dans l’Antiquité. Textes réunis par Isabelle Boehm et Wolfgang Hübner. Actes du colloque organisé les 7 et 8 décembre 2007 par J.-H. Abry avec la collaboration d’I. Boehm, Paris, 2011 (Collection du Centre d’Études et de Recherches sur l’Occident Romain CEROR. 38), pp. 23-93. >>


Fuentes González, P.P., Néchepso-Pétosiris. In: R. Goulet (ed.), Dictionnaire des Philosophes Antiques, Vol. IV: De Labeo à Ovidius. Paris: CNRS, 2005, pp. 601-615. >>

Ptolemy, Claudius, Tetrabiblos,” ed. Wolfgang Hübner, Claudius Ptolemaeus, Opera quae exstant omnia, vol 3, 1: ΑΠΟΤΕΛΕΣΜΑΤΙΚΑ, Teubner, Stuttgart & Leipzig, 1998.>>

Suidae Lexicon, ed. Ada Adler, Verlag Teubner, Stuttgart, 5 vol., 1928-1938. >>

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