A Note on the Indian Planetary Exaltations and their Greek-Language Sources





Mīnarāja, Sphujidhvaja, Vṛddhayavanajātaka, Yavanajātaka, exaltations, horoscopic astrology


A close examination of the lists of planetary exaltations given by two of the earliest known Sanskrit authors on horoscopic astrology – Mīnarāja and Sphujidhvaja – solves the confusion surrounding Mīnarāja’s idiosyncratic assignment of degrees and suggests that both authors, and indeed all later Indian astrological literature, depended for this doctrine on a single, Greek-language source.


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Author Biography

Martin Gansten, Lund University

My research, which is philological in orientation, concerns two main areas: first, the indigenous religions of India – in particular, classical and contemporary Hinduism – and second, astrology and related forms of divination from Hellenistic Egypt to fin-de-siècle Britain, with a focus on South Asia. I have engaged primarily with previously untranslated or wholly unstudied texts, mostly within largely unexplored fields of study. My current research interests concern Hindu and Jaina reception of medieval astral knowledge systems from the Perso-Arabic cultural area.

My primary classical language is Sanskrit, and I have published direct Sanskrit-to-Swedish translations of the Bhagavadgītā and the early Upaniṣads. I have taught History of Religions at Lund University since 1998, designing a number of courses on various aspects of Indic religions and the history of astrology, and Indology with Sanskrit at the University of Copenhagen since 2005.

Planetary exaltations (Meredith Garstin, CC BY-SA 3.0)



2020-08-28 — Updated on 2021-09-06


How to Cite

Gansten, Martin. (2020) 2021. “A Note on the Indian Planetary Exaltations and Their Greek-Language Sources”. History of Science in South Asia 8 (September). Edmonton, Canada:77-82. https://doi.org/10.18732/hssa66.