has anybody translated Porphyry's commentary (the one you referenced- on Ptolemy) into english? ...
Well, I do not think so.
If Schmidt did not translate it then no-one would.
In the next volume 2 of my 'GREEK and ARAB ASTROLOGY' I plan to translate the section by Porphyry which is on the Epikratetor, Oikodespotes and Kurios.
This is an eye-openning!
Actually Porphyry as a whole is an eye-openning author!
He seemed to have been a very sincere seeker possessing high degree of mystical knowledge.
He has made the connection between Astrology and the Spiritual Mystical Teachings of the day.
SOmething that either no-one else has ever made (after Enmeduranki) or if yes, then never written a single gloss !
Porphyry actually described the system of Thrasyllus for calculatig the 'killig' direction.
In the sign of the ascendant Thrasyllus said that only rays-throwing squares and oppositions can kill (right aspects).
In the next sign, both, right and left squares and oppositions can kill.
(Squares and oppositions of whom ? He does not say. Probably of Mars and Saturn.)
Then he said that if the Moon is found in the sign where she happens to be together with the ruler of that sign or this ruler is in opposition to her, then the directions (aphesis) should be done through that ruler.
He gives example with the Moon in Saggitarius and Jupiter also there or in Gemini.
Then the aphesis should be done through Jupiter!
He does not say more, but
what he said implies that if this was not the case then the aphesis should be done through the Moon.
The circumambulation is, of course, nothing but Primary Directions of the ASC through the terms (bounds).
Alghebutar among the Arabs.