Happy Valentin’s Day! Will the real Valentin Naboth please stand up?

The last post got me thinking about Valentin Naboth (13 February 1523 OS – 3 March 1593 NS?, aka Valentinus Naiboda, or Naibod), the brilliant German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer.  In the early 1640s William Lilly studied Naibod’s commentary on Alcabitius and found Naibod to be the “profoundest author” he had ever read.  There are various dates given in the literature for Naiboth’s birth and death.  The dates cited above are the most common.

There are also two charts for Naiboth’s birth.  AstroDataBank cites Fagan who quotes data given in a 1744 ephemeris and apparently used the wrong city of birth.   Most sources say Naibod was born in Calau, Germany (not Erfurt as Astrodatabank reports).  An older source ( Kenelm Digby in 1640) gives the same date as Fagan but a slightly different time.  Modern reproductions of the two charts are given below:

Competing birth charts for Valentin Naboth (Naibod)

There is a famous story about Naibod’s death.  Most sources say he was murdered in his home by knife-wielding burglars on 3 March 1593.  He had just recently turned 70.   AstroDataBank, however, has him being murdered at home 2 July 1574 NS at age 51.

Naboth moved to Italy in 1564 and settled in Padua.  Whether the following story is true or was concocted after Naibod’s death, it is often repeated that:

“He was living in Padua, Italy, when he deduced from his own horoscope that he was about to enter a period of personal danger, so he stockpiled an adequate supply of food and drink, closed his blinds, and locked his doors and windows, intending to stay in hiding until the period of danger had passed.  Unfortunately, some thiefs, seeing the house closed and the blinds drawn, decided that the resident was absent.  They therefore broke into what they thought was an empty house, and, finding Naboth there, murdered him to conceal their identities.  Thus he did not escape the fate predicted by his own astrological calculations: ‘Ducunt volentem fata, nolentem trahunt’.” Source: http://dictionary.sensagent.com/valentin+naboth/en-en/)

Wikipedia says that Naibod’s death was recorded as follows:

Abraham Sandeck recorded in the Acts of the German Artistennation 1593 the following event: “On the third of March, there happened a tragic incident involving Valentin Naboth of Silesia, sixty years old, a famous mathematician: he was found dead in his study, some ways away from frequently travelled areas, wounded by five wounds: one in the breast under the left nipple, another on his left side, the third in the right abdomen, the fourth under his navel, and the fifth in the left hand.”

Of the two charts, I favor the one with Aquarius rising.  This chart was published in 1640, much closer to Naibod’s death than the 1744 chart cited by Fagan.  The fact that Fagan found the chart data in an ephemeris makes me think that some astrologer was trying to rectify Naibod’s birth chart using the data from his death.  The fact that his 1593 Solar Return using the 1744 data has its ASC exactly on his natal Saturn when cast for Padua, Italy, makes me suspect it was part of a rectification.  It’s just too neat and too exact to be true.

In the Aquarius rising chart, Venus rules the 8th house of death.  Venus lies in the first, which Morin would interpret as some action of the native leading directly to his death.  In this case, his decision to stay home bound in early 1593 was directly related to his murder.  Venus is disposed by a retrograde Mars in the 7th house, which signifies burglars and murderers who are inimical to him.  Mars, in turn, is disposed by Mercury in the unfortunate 12th of secret enemies.  Mercury also rules his 4th house of the end of life.

If the story about Naibod seeing ill fortune in his chart and thus shutting himself in for protection is true, then I suspect he was looking at his Regiomontanus primary directions using the Naibod time measure (mean solar rate = one year of life).  His primary directions in early 1593 included:

9 Jan 1593:   ASC  ->  sinister square of Saturn (which rules his 12th of secret enemies by domicile and his 8th house of death by exaltation, and is a natural signifier of death).

12 Feb 1593:  sinister square of Mars  ->  ASC  (Mars rules stabbings and open enemies and burglars in the 7th).

13 Feb 1593:  Mercury  ->  sinister square of Mars (Mercury rules his 12th and disposes murderous Mars in the 7th).

(If he were born at 6:49:23 AM — 16 seconds earlier than the time used in the above chart — the ASC SQ Saturn direction would have occurred exactly on 3 March 1593, the date of his murder.)

If anyone has reliable accurate data on Naibod’s birth and death, please post it here with references.


Actually, the Aquarius rising chart by Digby has the last degree of Taurus on the 3rd house cusp.   By modern calculations, then, the chart must have been cast for 6:49:16 a.m. LMT or earlier.  This would give a birth time 20 seconds earlier than the one I used in the above chart.  If Naibod were born at 6:49:16 LMT, then the primary directions in effect in early 1593 would have been:  Mars SQ ASC on 12 Jan, Mercury SQ Mars on 12 Feb, and ASC SQ Saturn on 01 April.   All three of these aspects would have given Naibod concern about death in the period January through April, 1593.   Below are the actual chart from Digby in 1640 and a modern approximation:

Digby's 1640 chart for Naibod's birth

Modern rendering of Digby's 1640 chart for Valentin Naboth's birth


About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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One Response to Happy Valentin’s Day! Will the real Valentin Naboth please stand up?

  1. Jan den Hollander says:

    According to Maurizio di Fieschi: ‘observavit ex directione ascendentis ad hostilem Martis aspectum, periculum vitae sibi imminere’ (1665), ( http://www.bsb-muenchen-digital.de/~web/web1000/bsb10008160/images/index.html?digID=bsb10008160&pimage=00082&v=100&md=0&nav=0&l=en ) ; see also Eberhard Werner Happel, (1687), ( http://www.bsb-muenchen-digital.de/~web/web1035/bsb10358891/images/index.html?digID=bsb10358891&pimage=00092&v=100&md=0&nav=0&l=en )
    The line ‘observavit ex directione ascendentis ad hostilem Martis aspectum, periculum vitae sibi imminere’ translates roughly as follows : ‘… observed from the
    hostile aspect of Mars of the ascendent direction , that his life was in imminent danger’
    It appears that Di Fieschi thought that Mars was of particular significance for Naboth’s prognosis of his own demise; but I have no idea why that is. But since he is a contemporary of Naboth (give or take 70 years 🙂 or so ) his view may be relevant for understanding what Naboth was afraid of

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