Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 7320

s. XIII2 (after 1262, date of the translation of Albumasar’s De revolutionibus nativitatum, f. 1-24, now placed at the end of the MS).


Paris, the MS was prepared for Peter of Limoges and remained in his possession until his death c. 1306.


college of Sorbonne in 1306; Colbert; library of the kings of France in 1732.

Parchment, 92 f., foliated 37-104 and 1-24 by Peter of Limoges. These two parts, each copied by a single neat hand and glossed by Peter of Limoges throughout, belong to what once was a large astrological compendium of at least 339 folia, to which Peter of Limoges refers in the glosses of several MSS (including this one) under the title ‘Liber magnus iudiciorum’.

Astrology: Capitula Almansoris (37r-40v); Guillelmus Anglicus, De urina non visa (40v-43v); Astronomia Ypocratis (44r-47v); Abraham Avenezra, De terminatione morborum (44r-46r, added by Peter of Limoges in the margins of the preceding text); Messahallah, Liber receptionis (48r-58v); Ptolemaica (61r-104v); Albumasar, De revolutionibus nativitatum (1r-24v). Blank: 59-60.


From Peter of Limoges’s own cross-references given in his various MSS, we learn that this volume also contained at least the following texts: Peter of Limoges, comm. on Richard of Fournival’s Nativitas; Albohali, De nativitatibus; Albumasar, Introductorium maius; Pseudo-John of Seville, Epitome totius astrologie; Albumasar, De magnis coniunctionibus; Albumasar’s De revolutione annorum nativitatum; and what is probably the Glosa super 60 propositionem Centilogii Ptholomei (C.3.2), to which Peter alludes in a gloss on f. 44r: ‘et ponit Ptolomeus in Centiloquio proposicione 60a, ut patet per commentum ibi, ut patet per figuram 8 angulorum, de qua ibi loquitur et de qua ibi notavi, scilicet Libro magno iudiciorum, 339 folio, pagina prima’ (ed. Birkenmajer, 24). Moreover, from the catalogue of the library of Sorbonne compiled in 1338 – which is not always complete and reliable –, Miolo (Le fonds scientifique, I, 407-409) was able to add the following texts: Jafar, De pluviis et ventis; Messahallah, Epistola de rebus eclipsium; Messahallah, De cogitatione (and, possibly, Messahalla, Liber interpretationum, which often follows the De cogitatione); Zael, Liber iudiciorum (at least the Introductorium); a text inc. ‘Signorum qualia sunt masculini generis…’, which can be either Pseudo-Ptolemy, Iudicia (B.3) or Pseudo-Aristotle, Iudicia; one ‘Item experimenta vel signa ad respondendum de infirmis’; Albumasar, De revolutionibus annorum mundi, and, perhaps, Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Centiloquium, tr. Plato of Tivoli (B.1.2/C.3.1.1), which occurs in the 1338 catalogue between Zael and the Iudicia, although without the characteristic shelfmark denoting the present volume. The title given in the catalogue is ‘Liber fructuum arboris Ptolomei’, otherwise found only in MS Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 4º 361.


Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Regiae, IV: Cod. Latini 7226-8822, Paris, 1744, 340; A. Birkenmajer, ‘Pierre de Limoges commentateur de Richard de Fournival’, Isis 40 (1949), 18-31: 23-28 (reprinted in A. Birkenmajer, Etudes d’histoire des sciences et de la philosophie du Moyen Age, Wroclaw, 1970, 222-235); L. Moulinier-Brogi, Guillaume l’Anglais, le frondeur de l’uroscopie médiévale (XIIIe siècle), Genève, 2011, 93 and 229-230; D. Juste, Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Latinorum, II: Les manuscrits astrologiques latins conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale de France à Paris, Paris, 2015, 100-101; L. Miolo, Le fonds scientifique d’un collège de théologie: le cas de la bibliothèque de Sorbonne 1257-1500, PhD dissertation, Université Lumières Lyon 2, I, 404-412 and passim; C. Steel, S. Vanden Broecke, D. Juste, S. Sela, The Astrological Autobiography of a Medieval Philosopher. Henry Bate’s Nativitas (1280-81), Leuven, 2018, 69-70.


‘In nomine domini misericordis et pii. Incipit liber IIII tractatuum Ptolomei Alfaludhi in scientia iudiciorum astrorum a Platone Tiburtino de Arabico in Latinum translatus. Tractatus primus est in quo IX capitula sunt. Capitulum primum in collectione intellectus scientie iudiciorum astrorum. Dixit Ptolomeus: Rerum, Iescuri, in quibus est pronosticabilis scientie stellarum profectio magnas et precipuas duas esse deprehendimus — hoc in loco huic libri finem inponere non incongruum existimamus. Amen.’

= Ptolemy, Quadripartitum (tr. Plato of Tivoli) (A.2.1). I, 61r-71r; II, 71r-81r; III, 81r-96r; IV, 96r-104v. Substantial glosses, mainly by Peter of Limoges, but also, occasionally, by the scribe and by a third hand (e.g. f. 62v-63r). Glosses in Arabic on f. 73r (same in Oxford, BL, Digby 51). These glosses, which are probably contemporary with the copy, appear in the margin and in an added diagram showing the four regions of the world, with their Arabic names, associated with the four triplicities (c. II.3).