Top 400 greatest dead western astrologers

Last week it was drawn to my attention on one of his strands that my astrologer friend Chris Brennan had a couple of years ago drawn up a list of the ten ‘most famous or influential’ deceased astrologers of all time. The comments section below attracted a lot of differences of opinion and suggestions of alternative entries, leaving me with a clear sense that it was ultimately a somewhat subjective exercise. Chris’s suggestions were all very well thought-through and reasoned, but it was clear that other respondents placed different value weighting on different criteria for importance, or were simply unaware of a great many earlier names, hence their different feelings about who was important.

I decided to compare Chris’s Top 10 with the one that might be presumed of James Herschel Holden based on the number of pages devoted to different astrologers in the 1996 first edition of his ‘A History of Horoscopic Astrology’, which gave the following:

1. Firmicus Maternus: 12
2. Abu Ma’Shar: 10½
3. Dorotheus: 9
4. Vettius Valens: 8
5. Ptolemy: 6
6. Bonatti: 5
7. Antigonus: 4½
8. Rhetorius: 4
9. Morin de Villefranche: 4
10= Manilius: 3½
10= William Lilly: 3½
10= Eudes Picard: 3½
13= Paul of Alexandria: 3
13= Theophilus of Odessa: 3
13= Simon de Phares: 3
16= Thrasyllus: 2½
16= Babillus: 2½
16= Masha’Allah: 2½
16= Michel and Francoise Gauquelin: 2½
20= Abu Ali: 2
20= Abraham Ibn Ezra: 2
20= L. D. Broughton: 2

Now obviously Eudes Picard doesn’t deserve to be above Masha’Allah; and the top position of Firmicus Maternus no doubt reflects the fact that Holden had been working onhis translation and was enthused by the material. But this exercise using Holden’s book nonetheless has picked out a good lot of important names in the history of astrology.

Common to Holden’s implicit top 10 and the explicit one of Chris are:

Dorotheus;
Vettius Valens;
Ptolemy;
William Lilly (just).

Beyond this, their selections part ways, Chris’s also including:

Berossus
Alan Leo
Nostradamus
Dane Rudhyar
Nechepso / Petosiris
Masha’Allah.

Then I decided to work on my own ranking order, which ended up being extended first to 50 and then ultimately to 400 in order to contextualise as many as the entries as possible on the other two lists among others I felt to be ‘up there’ in importance, as well as to accommodate suggestions by other astrologers given as feedback. My own criteria had less to do with fame, however, and were more to do with the combination of influence and importance in terms of the quality of the work produced.

I disquailifed Nechepso / Petosiris because there are only small fragments indirectly attributed to them surviving, and so the true nature and scale of their influence is unclear. I also disqualified Nostradamus because he left too little in the way of purely astrological work and a lot that was too visionary in its origin to qualify as purely astrological, and Berossus because he left none at all.

This leads to a rather different-looking ranking from that of Chris for some names in particular, though with many simliarities too. I’ve also omitted a few of the ancient astrologers noted by Holden (and one noted by Margherita!) since I’m entirely unfamiliar with their work. If you spot any mistakes, serious omissions or duplications, please don’t hesitate to notify me. Thank you!

PS: I also disqualified broad-based occultists like Paul Christian, Ficino and Agrippa for whom astrology was but a small part of what they did rather than a true speciality reflected in dedicated writings.

Papus, however, is now included on account of his having written two dedicated works on astrology (in combination with his editing of a general occult journal including astrological content, and his wide influence upon the late 19th and early 20th century astrological revival in France). Paracelsus is also now included, but his placement limited to the merit and influence of his astrological work, which accounts for but a small part of his total output for which he is famed.

1. Ptolemy
2. Guido Bonatti
3. Abu Ma’Shar
4. Vettius Valens
5. Julius Firmicus Maternus
6. Dorotheus of Sidon
7. Marcus Manilius
8. Placido de Titus
9. Girolamo Cardano
10. William Lilly
11. Morin de Villefranche
12. Masha’Allah
13. Haly Abenragel
14. Al-Kindi
15. Johannes Kepler
16. Paulus Alexandrinus
17. Johannes Schöner
18. Al-Biruni
19. Abraham Ibn Ezra
20. Andrea Argoli
21. Francesco Giuntini
22. Michel and Françoise Gauquelin
23. Nicholas Culpeper
24. Antiochus of Athens
25. Porphyry
26. Hephaistio of Thebes
27. Sahl
28. Alchabitius
29. Magini
30. Heinrich Rantzau
31. Albertus Magnus
32. Abu Ali (Albohali)
33. Johannes Hispalensis (John of Seville)
34. Hermes Latinus
35. Omar of Tiberias
36. Ibn Hibinta
37. Albubater
38. Pietro D’Abano
39. Musa Ibn Nawbajt
40. Claude Dariot
41. John Gadbury
42. Tomasso Campanella
43. William Ramesey
44. John Partridge
45. Reinhold Ebertin
46. Zandanfarrukh al-Andarzaghar
47. El Rey Alfonso X
48. Luca Gaurico
49. Rhetorius
50. Palchus (Eleutherius Eleus)
51. Henry Coley
52. Alfred Pearce
53. Alexandre Volguine
54. Valentin Nabod
55. Richard Saunders
56. David Origanus
57. Johan Gartze (Garcaeus)
58. Sepharial (Walter Gornold)
59. Leopold of Austria
60. William Salmon
61. Cypriano von Leowitz
62. Ebeneezer Sibly
63. Alan Leo
64. Llewellyn George
65. Raymond Lull
66. Yves de Paris (Allaeus)
67. Regiomontanus
68. Firmin de Beauval
69. John Goad
70. Marc Edmund Jones
71. Dane Rudhyar
72. Manetho
73. Antonio de Montulmo
74. Zadkiel (Richard Morrison)
75. Paul Choisnard
76. Karl-Ernst Krafft
77. Raphael I (Robert Cross Smith)
78. Evangeline Adams
79. L. D. Broughton
80. Christophe Pezel
81. Grant Lewi
82. W. J. Simmonite
83. C. E. O. Carter
84. Gustave-Lambert Brahy
85. John Hazelrigg
86. Frederick White
87. Alfred Witte
88. Thomas Ring
89. John Worsdale
90. Bellantius
91. Henri de Boulainvillers
92. Simon de Phares
93. Henri Selva
94. Antonio de Bonattiis
95. Vivian Robson
96. Christopher Heydon
97. Dr. Robert Fludd
98. Bartomeu de Tresbens
99. Joseph Blagrave
100. Kusyar Ibn Labban
101. James Wilson
102. Manly P. Hall
103. Alfred Max Grimm
104. W. J. Tucker
105. Dr. Hubert Korsch
106. Dom Néroman
107. Paul Clancy
108. Hans Baumgartner
109. John Addey
110. Karl Brandler-Pracht
111. Howard Leslie Cornell
112. Cyril Fagan
113. Auger Ferrier
114. Johannes Indagine
115. Antonio Tattoni
116. Zoe Wassilko-Serecki
117. Elbert Benjamine (C. C. Zain)
118. Thomas Oxley
119. H. Freiherr von Klöckler
120. Francis Rolt-Wheeler
121. Max and Augusta Foss Heindel
122. Charles Jayne
123. Enrique de Villena
124. Ernst Tiede
125. Johannes Eschuid
126. Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson
127. Marcellus Palingenius
128. Ron Davison
129. Henry J. Gordon
130. Brigadier Roy Firebrace
131. Wolfgang Döbereiner
132. Claude Salmasius
133. Johannes Vehlow
134. Le Vicomte Charles de Herbais de Thun
135. Nicolaus de Paganica
136. E. H. Bailey
137. Janduz (Jeanne Duz)
138. Walter Koch
139. Papus
140. Johannes Virdung
141. A. Frank Glahn
142. Erich Karl Kühr
143. Robert Carl Jansky
144. W. H. Chaney
145. Maurice Wemyss (Duncan MacNaughton)
146. Abraam Bar Hiia
147. Jérôme Torrella
148. Richard Kirby and John Bishop
149. Thomas Hague
150. Thomas White
151. Johan Wilhelm Pfaff
152. Ernest and Catherine Grant
153. Donald Bradley
154. Eudes Picard
155. Catharine H. Thompson
156. Maurice Privat
157. G. E. Sutcliffe
158. M. Vijaya Raghavulu
159. Raphael VI(I?) (Robert Thomas Cross)
160. Anonymous of 379
161. Fomalhaut
162. Leon Lasson
163. L. Edward Johndro
164. Doris Chase Doane
165. Heinrich Daath
166. F. Charles Barlet
167. Otto Pöllner
168. Albert Kniepf
169. Hugo Vollrath
170. Georges Antarès
171. Wynn (Sidney Bennett)
172. George Wilde
173. John Middleton
174. Christopher Cooke
175. Margaret Hone
176. Dr. William M. Davidson
177. Suzel Fuzeau-Braesch
178. André Boudineau
179. Gustav Schwickert
180. Alexander Ruperti
181. Carl Payne Tobey
182. Ely Star
183. Friedrich Schwickert and Adolf Weiss (wrote together)
184. Campanus of Novara
185. Abel Haatan
186. Adolphe Ferrière
187. Oskar Adler
188. Jean Hiéroz
189. Louis-Marie Raclet
190. Alvidas (Henry Clay Hodges)
191. Alfred Barley
192. Edward A. Wagner
193. Howard Herndon
194. P. J. Harwood
195. Jean Mavéric
196. Manoah Sibly
197. Alec Stuart
198. Haly Abenrudian (Ali Ibn Ridwan)
199. James Herschel Holden
200. Richard Ball
201. George J. McCormack
202. Censorinus
203. Ludwig Rudolph
204. P. Powley
205. Paracelsus
206. Alexander Marr
207. Edmund Herbert Troinski
208. Alexander Bethor
209. Boris Paque
210. Al Morrison
211. Henri Gouchon
212. Maude Houghton Champion
213. Julevno
214. Georges Muchery
215. Thomas Burgoyne
216. Howard Sasportas
217. Frances Sakoian
218. Friedrich Feerhov
219. Elsbeth Ebertin
220. Werner Hirsig
221. Jeff Mayo
222. Joan McEvers
223. Michael Roscher
224. George Parker
225. Eleanor Jennings
226. Nicholas Devore
227. Dr. M. Duz
228. Zipporah Dobyns
229. Jean Reverchon
230. Robert Deluce
231. Charles Harvey
232. Marion D. March
233. Louis De Wohl
234. Robert Ambelain
235. Claire Santagostini
236. Heinrich Christian Meier-Parm
237. Conrad Moricand
238. C. Heydon Jr.
239. Dr. George Washington Carey
240. L. H. Weston
241. William Thrasher
242. Ebn Shemaya
243. Herbert T. Waite
244. Edward W. Whitman
245. Casael
246. R. H. Naylor
247. K. T. Boehrer
248. George Wharton
249. Alfred Fankhauser
250. Jim Lewis
251. John Filbey
252. Sophia Mason
253. Tinia Faery
254. Sandor Belcsak
255. Nicola Sementovsky-Kurilo
256. Ellen Mc.Caffery
257. Coulson Turnbull
258. Joachim Camerarius
259. William Eland
260. Thyrza Escobar
261. Joseph C. Dalton
262. Fakir Chandra Dutt
263. John Varley
264. Rupertus Stella
265. James Donnell Keifer
266. T. Patrick Davis
267. Germaine Holley
268. Paul Chacornac
269. Ada Muir
270. Bruno Huber
271. Armand Barbault
272. Alexander von Pronay
273. Samuel Penseyre
274. Marcia Moore
275. Ann E. Parker
276. Johannes Lang
277. Charubel
278. Lois Rodden
279. Richard Idemon
280. Zuriel
281. Rudolf von Sebottendorf
282. Edward Vaughan Williams
283. M. Senard
284. Robert Dax
285. Charles Henry Webber (‘Prof Henry’)
286. Ellen H. Bennett
287. Isabel Hickey
288. George Bayer
289. James Mars Langham
290. L. Furze-Morrish
291. Heinz Fidelsberger
292. Eleanor Kirk
293. Hiram E. Butler
294. Linda Goodman
295. Elizabeth Aldrich
296. Ernest S. Green
297. Richard Svehla
298. G. W. Cunningham
299. Emma Belle Donath
300. Bessie Lispenard
301. Huguette Hirsig
302. Zolar (Bruce King)
303. Dr. Harry Darling
304. G. B. de Surany
305. Betty Lundsted
306. Rupert Gleadow
307. J. Arthur Houghton
308. L. J. Jensen
309. Lia Feerhov
310. Katharine Q. Spencer
311. Isidore Kozminsky
312. Friedrich Asboga
313. Louis Horicks and Henriette Michaux (wrote together)
314. Dr. R. Gaubert Saint-Martial
315. Heinrich Kündig
316. Olivia Barclay
317. A. E. Partridge
318. Maurice McCann
319. Sydney Omarr
320. Isabelle Pagan
321. E. Caslant
322. Hans Niggemann
323. Doris Greaves
324. Louise Johnson
325. A. de Thyane
326. Gabriel Trarieux d’Egmont
327. Alfons Rosenberg
328. Theobald Becher
329. Adriano Carrelli
330. Frank Earl Ormsby
331. Marc Robertson
332. Rose Lineman
333. Cheiro
334. H. M. “Gen” Ishikawa
335. Lyman E. Stowe
336. Louis Gastin
337. Derek Appleby
338. Robert Blaschke
339. Dal Lee
340. W. J. Colville
341. C. Aq. Libra
342. Charles E. Luntz
343. Esther Leinbach
344. Alfred Seward
345. George White
346. Robert A. Hughes
347. Margaret Millard
348. Diana Rosenberg
349. Jeanne Avery
350. Barbara Watters
351. Edith Custer
352. Louise Brightman Brownell
353. Maud Margesson
354. Pierre Heckel
355. Marie-Louise Sondaz
356. Oswald Wirth
357. Franz Hartmann
358. Geraldine Davis
359. L. Ferrand
360. David Williams
361. J. Gerson-Lacroix
362. J. Allen Jones
363. A. M. Ziegler
364. E. Brûlard
365. Gilbert de Chambertrand
366. Wilhelm Becker
367. Edward Lyndoe
368. Carl W. Stahl
369. Laurie Pratt
370. Cyrille Wilczkowski
371. Belle Bart
372. Olive Adele Pryor
373. Joan Negus
374. Sybil Leek
375. Magi Aurelius
376. Marion Meyer Drew
377. H. Beer
378. Moon Moore
379. Neil Michelsen
380. Charles Corthésy
381. Hans J. Andersen
382. Dorothy B. Hughes
383. Bruce Hammerslough
384. ‘Karma’ (author of ‘Astrology of the Ancient Egyptians’)
385. Alice A. Bailey
386. C. G. M. Adam
387. Leigh Hope Milburn
388. Ruth Hale Oliver
389. Lloyd Cope
390. Manamea
391. A. E. Thierens
392. S. R. Parchment
393. Gustave C. Ekstrom
394. Willis F. Whitehead
395. Donald Yott
396. Kaye Shinker
397. Vivia Jayne
398. Nancy Hastings
399. Ted George
400. Wendel Polich

Runners-up: Charles E. Vouga, Carroll Righter, Alan Epstein, Frederic Van Norstrand, Richard Houck, Joan Quigley, Eleanor Bach, Paul Colombet, John Jocelyn, Robert Eisler, Fritz Brunhübner, Udo Rudolph, Lynne Burmyn, Walter Coleman, Robert “Buz” Myers, Martha Taub, Julie Baum, A. G. S. Norris, Teri King, Judith Bennett, ‘Martine’, Edwin Rose, Louise Riotte, Zoltan Mason (no books, teacher only), Sylvia Sherman, Jamie Binder, Jacob Schwartz, Joseph Silveira DeMello.
Vital status unclear: Fleming Lee; Sylvia DeLong
Living greats aged 80+: André Barbault, J.-P. Nicola, Alain Hadès

Philip Graves, 18 February 2014

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2 thoughts on “Top 400 greatest dead western astrologers

  1. tetra

    great list. thanks.
    can it be added as well – Joanna Shannon, phenomenal teacher of astrology in NYC. the NCGR NYC chapter named their library after her. no books.

    Reply

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