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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Chigi F.IV.48

s. XIII (f. 35-89).


Athanasius Kircher, who addressed the whole MS to Pope Alexander VII in 1662.

Parchment, 89 f. (new printed foliation in lower right corner), 170x115mm. MS made of three parts, each copied by a single neat hand. The third part (f. 35-89, late medieval foliation 23-77, initials roughly painted in red and green, titles in red, 30-31 lines) contains the Ptolemaic section only. The second part (f. 14-34, 12th c., late medieval foliation 1-21) contains Hermann of Reichenau’s texts on the astrolabe (De mensura astrolabii, De utilitatibus astrolabii and De horologio viatorum) and a few chapters from the old corpus on the astrolabe. The first part (f. 1-13) is Athanasius Kircher’s presentation of these two old MSS to Alexander VII (cf. f. 2r: ‘Duo tractatus in hoc presenti codice B. P. continentur, quorum prior est de compositione astrolabii, alter Quadripartitum Ptolomaei de iudiciis astrorum in 4 libros divisus…’). The third part, made of seven signed quires of eight folia each plus one bifolium at the end, lacks one folio at the beginning and one bifolium between f. 83 and 84 (thus the quires are as follows: f. 35-41, 42-49, 50-57, 58-65, 66-73, 74-81, 82-85 and 86-89). The single late medieval foliation of f. 14-89 shows that the two parts were already bound together at an early date, by which the bifolium between f. 83 and 84 had already been lost.

Ptolemaica (single text) (f. 35-89). Blank: 89.


G. Baronci, Manoscritti Chigi. Inventario (handwritten catalogue), II, 120v.


‘III. Quanta sit utilitas ex futurorum preno<ticatione>. IIII. De natura VII stellarum mobilium… [chapter index of Book I, missing the beginning]. Incipit primus Ptholomei liber. Capitulum primum de his comuniter que ad totum <pertinent>. (35v) Quadripartitum Ptho<lomei> [title added in upper margin by another hand]. I<uxta providam philosophorum> assertionem quos videlicet in prescientia futurorum astris signa prebentibus — adhibeatur intentio liquidius aperire sufficiet. Explicit liber Ptolomei.’

= Ptolemy, Quadripartitum (tr. before c. 1250) (A.2.4). I, 35r-57r; II, 57r-72r; III, 72r-83v; IV, 84r-88v. The text has two lacunae: (1) the beginning of the chapter index (and work title?), due to the missing folio before f. 35; (2) the section III.14-IV.7, due to the missing bifolium between f. 83 and 84 (‘… contra naturam sunt committent, mollos, effeminati, licita transgredi… /84r/ … in nativitate itidem si hoc ab ascendente prodite videantur…’). A few short marginal notes by a late medieval hand.