Project icon: lavishly furnished initial letter with a painting of Ptolemy using an astrolab.

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, 1036

s. XIII (after 1231, cf. f. 103r; c. 1270 acc. Gousset).


Bologna (acc. Gousset), probably on the basis of a Sicilian model (cf. f. 103r and 103v-104r).

Parchment, 122 f., one or several similar hands, deluxe MS with numerous colour illustrations (1r-49r) and painted initials.

Astronomy and astrology: al-Ṣūfī, book of constellations, with a note giving the increment for 1210 (1r-49r); star catalogue verified for 1210 (51r-70v); astronomical tables (73r-98v), including tables of ascensions for latitudes 30° to 48° (73r-91r); three star tables (99r-102v); precession table for 1231 ‘anno perfecto’ in Palermo (103r); star table for 1188 in Palermo (103v-104r); Albumasar, De revolutionibus annorum mundi (104va-110vb); six star tables (111r-122r). Blank: 49v-50v, 106v, 122v.


H. Martin, Catalogue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, II, Paris, 1886, 247-248; M.-T. Gousset, ‘Le Liber de locis stellarum fixarum d’al-Sûfi, ms. 1036 de la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal de Paris: une réattribution’, Arte Medievale 2 (1984), 93-108; P. Kunitzsch, ‘The Astronomer Abu ’l-Ḥusayn al-Ṣūfī and His Book on the Constellations’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 3 (1986), 56-81 (reprinted in P. Kunitzsch, The Arabs and the Stars. Texts and Traditions on the Fixed Stars and Their Influence in Medieval Europe, Northampton, 1989, XI): 71-74; D. Blume, M. Haffner, W. Metzger, Sternbilder des Mittelalters und der Renaissance. Der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie, II: 1200-1500, Berlin, 2016, 2 vols, II.1: Text und Katalog der Handschriften, 332-337.


‘De fortitudinibus et naturis stellarum fixarum. Incipiamus narrare naturas stellarum fixarum quas secundum suorum operum proprietatem assummunt — dicitur saturnine complexionis et martialis non obliviscuntur’ (followed by an addition by a later hand: ‘Istas proprietates stellarum fixarum ponit Ptholomeus in prima parte Quadripartiti, capitulo 9’).

= Ptolemy, Quadripartitum (tr. Plato of Tivoli) (A.2.1), I.9. A few short glosses by the scribe or a similar hand.