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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Fermo, Biblioteca Comunale, 85

s. XIII2 (after 1264, date of the treatise of Guillaume des Moustiers, f. 110r-113v, and probably before 1293).


probably Paris (cf. f. 95ra-95va; the attribution of the De utilitatibus astrolabii to Gilebertus, f. 79va, otherwise occurs uniquely in one of Richard of Fournival’s MSS, Paris, BnF, lat. 16652, f. 14v; the MS clearly belongs to a university milieu).


the MS belonged to an astrologer active between 1293 and 1310, one of whose clients was a countess Johanna (cf. added notes and horoscopes f. 108r-108v, 109v and 132va).

Parchment, 135 f., at least two hands, one of which copied f. 1-113 (except added notes f. 108r-108v, 109v, 132va), painted initial f. 1r, decorated initials. One or several folia appear to be missing between f. 94 and 95 and after f. 135.

Astrology and astronomy: Albumasar, De magnis coniunctionibus (1ra-56rb); ‘Tabula dignitatum planetarum in signis’ (56rb); canons of Toledan tables (56va-72va); Thebit Bencora, De recta imaginatione spere et circulorum eius diversorum (72va-73vb); ‘In faciendo almanak sunt primo extrahendi medii cursus…’ (73vb-76vb); Hermann of Reichenau, De mensura astrolabii (76vb-79va); De utilitatibus astrolabii, attr. ‘Gilebertus’ (79va-84vb); Berengarius, De horologio viatorum (85ra-87rb); excerpts from Sententie astrolabii and De utilitatibus astrolabii ‘Amucantharath id est progressionarii Solis circuli videlicet illi qui…’ (87rb-87vb); Ibn al-Ṣaffār, De opere astrolabii, anonymous tr., end gone (87vb-94vb); end of a text on the quadrant for the latitude of Paris (95ra-95va); ‘Compositio scioteri. Sume tibi ligniolum cuiuslibet generis…’ (95va-95vb); Ptolemaica (95vb-99ra); ‘Tractatus in compositione astrolabii. Cum volueris facere astrolabium accipe auricalcum…’ (99rb-106rb); Pseudo-Thebit Bencora, De motu octave spere (106va-109r); added horoscopes and notes, including a judgement of interrogation dated 11 June 1293 concerning a stolen good in the house of a countess Johanna (108r-108v), and nativities of four people born in 1266, 1293, 1306 and 1310 (109v); Guillaume des Moustiers (bishop of Laon, 1261-1269), ‘Incipit tractatus in compositione et opere armillarum ad inveniendum loca planetarum et aliarum stellarum. Querantur due armille orbiculares convenientis mensure…’ (110r-113v); Alcabitius, Introductorius (114ra-132va); added horoscope for a native of 1303 in Rostock (132va); Hermes, Centiloquium (132vb-134rb); Gergis, De significatione septem planetarum in domibus, end gone (134rb-135vb).


Guillaume des Moustiers’s text (f. 110r-113v) has the same incipit as the collection of excerpts from the Almagesti minor (C.1.3) found in several MSS, but it really is a distinct text, even though it draws heavily on Almagesti minor, V.1 (see H. Zepeda, The First Latin Treatise on Ptolemy’s Astronomy: The Almagesti minor (c. 1200), Turnhout, 2018, 84-85).


N. Bubnov, Gerberti postea Silvestri II papae opera mathematica (972-1003), Berlin, 1899, xxxi-xxxii; S. Prete, I codici della Biblioteca Comunale di Fermo. Catalogo, Firenze, 1960, 118-121; F. S. Pedersen, The Toledan Tables. A Review of the Manuscripts and the Textual Versions with an Edition, København, 2002, I, 115.


‘Translatio Roberti Cestrensis [title added above the line by another hand]. Incipit in nomine Dei pii et misericordis liber [added above the line: Tolomei] de compositione universalis astrolabii. Ptolomeus igitur Mercurii incedens vestigiis in libro suo qui vocatur Almagesti de motu sic ait: Ait enim omnis motus aut de puncto aut ad punctum — cum una eademque utrique conveniat ad plenum dicetur. Explicit liber Ptolomei de compositione astrolabii quem scilicet Robertus Cestrensis in civitate Londonie ex Arabico in Latinum transtulit, era millesima centesima LXXXVa.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, Liber de compositione universalis astrolabii (B.13). No glosses.