The Plague of Athens


οὐ μέντοι τοσοῦτός γε λοιμὸς οὐδὲ φθορὰ οὕτως ἀνθρώπων οὐδαμοῦ ἐμνημονεύετο γενέσθαι. οὔτε γὰρ ἰατροὶ ἤρκουν τὸ πρῶτον θεραπεύοντες ἀγνοίᾳ, ἀλλ’ αὐτοὶ μάλιστα ἔθνῃσκον ὅσῳ καὶ μάλιστα προσῇσαν, οὔτε ἄλλη ἀνθρωπεία τέχνη οὐδεμία· ὅσα τε πρὸς ἱεροῖς ἱκέτευσαν ἢ μαντείοις καὶ τοῖς τοιούτοις ἐχρήσαντο, πάντα ἀνωφελῆ ἦν, τελευτῶντές τε αὐτῶν ἀπέστησαν ὑπὸ τοῦ κακοῦ νικώμενοι.

No tradition has any memory, anywhere, of such a savage evil and such a vast harvest of dead. The doctors could do nothing to deal with this unknown disease, which they were trying to cure for the first time. On the contrary, they were the most frequent victims, since they were more easily exposed to contact with the sick. Any other science or human art could not fight against contagion. The supplications addressed to the altars, the recourse to oracles and other similar remedies proved completely ineffective: they finally desisted from all attempts and lay, overwhelmed by evil. Thucydides Peloponnesian War

The Plague of Athens struck the city-state of Athens during the second year of the Peloponnesian War. In the summer of 430, shortly after the resumption of the Spartan invasion of Attica, a contagion spread in the crowded city of Athens that no doctor could understand or cure and that soon filled houses and streets with dead. In overcrowded Athens, the disease killed one third to two thirds of the population. The leader Pericles, who was to lead Athens to war against the Spartans, also died, destroying the hopes of an Athenian hegemony. It is believed to have entered Athens through Piraeus, the city’s port and the only source of food and supplies. Much of the eastern Mediterranean was hit by the outbreak of the disease, and the epidemic returned twice more, in 429 BC. and in the winter of 427/426 BC.

The eclipse

Two years before the Plague a sun eclipse was visible from Athens. It occurred on the 30th of March 432. The eclipse lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes.


Since the lenght of eclipse was 2 hours and 40 its effects lasted for 2 years and 8 months. The eclipse maximum occurred between the midday and the sunset and so the beginning of the effects started 8 months after the phenomenon therefore the effects showed up between January 431 and August 429. The peak of the effects was around September 430.

The Luminaries are in Aries ruled by Mars by domicile and by Jupiter by triplicity and terms.  Only  Saturn and Venus are visible because the other planets, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars are too close to the Sun.  The Moon is defluxing from Saturn and applying to Mercury and Mars. Let’s note that Saturn in opposition to the syzygy. Jupiter can’t be the ruler of the syzygy since it’s combust and the Moon si moving away from it. The preciding angle, the occident, in Aquarius is ruled by  Saturn and conjuncted to Venus. The following angle, the MC, which is closer to the syzyg, is in Taurus and therefore is ruled by Venus. Saturn and Venus are in mutual reception since Venus is in Aquarius and Saturn is in exaltation in Libra and in trine in mundo. I think that Mars and Saturn and Venus are the ruler of the eclipse.
Ptolemy says:

Mars, when he assumes the rulership alone, is in general the cause of destruction through dryness and in particular, when the event concerns men, brings about wars, civil faction, capture, enslavement, uprisings, the wrath of leaders, and sudden deaths arising from such causes; moreover, fevers, tertian agues, raising of blood, swift and violent deaths, especially in the prime of life; similarly, violence, assaults, lawlessness, arson and murder, robbery and piracy. With regard to the condition of the air he causes hot weather, warm, pestilential, and withering winds, the loosing of lightning and hurricanes, and drought.


Saturn[..] With regard to weather, he causes fearful cold, freezing, misty, and pestilential; corruption of the air, clouds, and gloom

Thucydides thus tells of the disease:

Without any visible reason, all of a sudden, people were suffering from hot flashes in the head, redness and burning in the eyes. The throat and tongue immediately took on a blood color, and emitted a strange, fetid odor. After these symptoms came sneezing and hoarseness, and after a short time the pain went down to the chest with a strong cough; and when it reached the stomach it caused spasms, emptying of bile and severe pain. In most cases, hiccups with straining vomiting that generated violent convulsions also occurred. The body was reddish, bruised, scattered with pustules and ulcers.

That report shows us a disease of martian nature.

The plague

The epidemic broke in early May 430 BC. Let’s look at the syzygy of 5 May 430 BC.


All the planets except Saturn are in conjunction with the Sun and the Moon in Gemini. Therefore all planets except Saturn are combust. Mars is in corde solis though and the syzygy and Mars are in a partile sextile with the luminaries at the eclipse.


Moreover the star Sirius is with the cluster of planets.

Early July 430 Saturn made the second station and at the end of July Mars made the heliacal rising in Cancer squaring the place of luminaries in the eclipse.

When the second wave hit Athens during the summer 429 the influx of eclipse were still effective, since it lasted till the end of August 429. At the end of June 429 Mars made a second station at 24° of Scorpio.

A second eclipse

During the first wave a new solar eclipse was again visible from Athens on the 3th of August 430 BC.


The eclipse lasted for 2 hours and 42 minutes. Since the eclipse occurred close to the occidental horizon, the effects started 10 months later. So the effects showed between June 429 and February 426 BC. The intensification since September 427 BC till February 426 BC. This is exactly the time of the third wave. The ruler of the eclipse are Mars and Jupiter. Jupiter rules the luminaries in Leo by triplicity and terms and does a mundane parallel with them. But Mars is angular, close to the occidental horizon and doing a heliacal rising therefore is very strong. Mars and Saturn are square and they exchange their debilities. Let’s note that the luminaries in this second eclipse are in trine to the luminaries of the first eclipse.

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