The Week (Hebdomad)

Excerpts from the translation of John Lydus, On the Months by Mischa Hooker, slightly adapted.

2.4 The [followers] of Zoroaster and Hystaspes, the Chaldaeans and Egyptians, gathered together the days in a group of seven, from the number of the planets. […]

2.6 The first, in terms of perceptible [reality], has been dedicated to Helios [i.e., the sun], the dispenser of all perceptible light, by virtue of which it warms and at the same time gently dries [physical] bodies—[it is] one of the planets according to the Greeks, even though Zoroaster would classify it before the fixed [stars].

2.7 The second day is clearly recorded by the natural [philosophers] as belonging to Selene [i.e., the moon], which moistens and at the same time moderately warms [things]—that is to say, it is the overseer of matter.

2.8 The third day they dedicated to the [planet] Pyroeis (‘Fiery One’)—who would be Ares, according to the Greeks; that is, to the aerial and fertile fire, which sets ablaze the nature of the perceptible universe and does not allow it to lie inert—it dries and at the same time heats [things] in a rushing manner.

2.9 The fourth day they dedicated to the [planet] Stilbôn (‘Gleaming One’), one of the planets which is designated thus by the Egyptians; on an equal basis it sometimes moistens, sometimes dries, being infused with pneuma by its quick movement around the Sun. THe Greeks consider this to be Hermes.

2.10 The fifth [day] they dedicated to the [planet] Phaethôn (‘Radiant One’), the most temperate of all planets. The Greeks mythologically call it Zeus, producer of life.

2.11 They dedicate the sixth [day] to the [planet] Phôsphoros (‘Light-Bringer’), which heats and at the same time moistens in a generative manner. And this would be the [tar] of APhrodite, also called Hesperus, as it pleases the Greeks [to name it]. One might call the nature of the entire perceptible [realm] Aphrodite.

2.12 The seventh day is attributed by the Egyptians and Chaldaeans to the [planet] Phainôn (‘Shining One’), the loftiest star of all so designated by them, which cools in the highest degree and dries immediately—but the Greeks customarily call it Kronos in terms of mythology.