Marcus Manilius

(723 words)
  • Katharina Volk (Columbia University)

Nothing is known about the life of Marcus Manilius, the author of a Latin didactic poem in five books entitled Astronomica. Datable on internal grounds to the second decade of the first century AD, the Astronomica first describes the shape of the universe and the constellations (Book 1), moves on to a discussion of the signs of the zodiac and the various ways in which these can be made astrologically meaningful (Books 2-3), and finally explains the influence on human beings exerted both by the signs (Book 4) and by the rising of extrazodiacal constellations (Book 5). Since earlier Hellenistic treatises survive only in fragments, Manilius’ work is our first extant comprehensive treatment of astrology from antiquity.…

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Citation:
Volk, Katharina. "Marcus Manilius". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12732, accessed 26 July 2014.]