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Arabus et Latinus

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London, British Library, Egerton 889

s. XVin (before 1426, except for f. 1-6, which consist of a quire added around the middle of the 15th c.). Or.: University of Cambridge, partly copied by John Holbroke (cf. signatures ‘J. H.’ f. 18r, ‘Quod H.’ f. 110r, 120v and 133r, and ‘Holbrook’ f. 150v). Prov.: John Holbroke bequeathed the MS to the library of Peterhouse in 1426 (see Roger Marchall’s notes f. 6v: ‘Notandum quod magister Iohannes Holbrook quondam alme universitatis Cantebr<igiensis> cancellarius sacre pagine professor in artibus liberalibus, precipuus in astronomia, tamen peritissimus et magister collegii Sancti Petri Cantebr<igiensis> contulit eidem collegio antedicto in festo sancti Valentini a.d. 1426to hunc librum astronomicum etc.’ and f. 7r: ‘Hunc librum magister I. Holbrook contulit anno domini M°CCCCmoXXVIto’); Peterhouse, Cambridge; Thomas Gale (d. 1702); Trinity College, Cambridge; James Orchard Halliwell (1820-1889); Thomas Rodd (1796-1840); acquired by the British Museum in 1841. Roger Marchall (d. 1477) copied the table of contents f. 6v and various notes, but the MS did not belong to him (Voigts).

Parchment, 160 f., several contemporary hands.

Astronomy and astrology: astronomical tables (1r-4v); Messahallah, Liber de intentionibus secretorum astronomie, preface and c. 1-2 (5r); horoscope: nativity of Henry VI, with notes (5r); table of contents of f. 7-160 by Roger Marchall (6v); Theorica planetarum Gerardi (7r-18r); various astronomical tables with canons (19r-160v), including by Simon Bredon, John Maudith, John of Ligneres, John Walter, John of Saxony, William Rede and John Holbroke; Ptolemaica (109r-110r); Richard of Wallingford, Quadripartitum (121r-133r). Blank: 5v-6r, 53r-54v, 78r, 100v, 110v.

Lit.Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years MDCCCXLI-MDCCCXLV, London, 1850, Year 1841, 65; J. D. North, Richard of Wallingford. An Edition of His Writings with Introductions, English Translation and Commentary, Oxford, 1976, 3 vols, II, 37-38; L. E. Voigts, ‘A Doctor and His Books: The Manuscripts of Roger Marchall (d. 1477)’, in New Science out of Old Books: Studies in Manuscripts and Early Printed Books in Honour of A. I. Doyle, eds R. Beadle, A. J. Piper, Aldershot, 1995, 249-314: 278-279; R. M. Thomson, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval Manuscripts in the Library of Peterhouse, Cambridge, Cambridge, 2016, 201-202; C. P. E. Nothaft, ‘John Holbroke, the Tables of Cambridge, and the “True Length of the Year”: a Forgotten Episode in Fifteenth-Century Astronomy’, Archive for History of Exact Sciences 72 (2018), 63-88: 65-66 and passim.



‘Dixerunt Ptholomeus et Hermes quod locus Lune in quo erat Luna in hora in qua infunditur sperma est gradus ascendentis nativitatis — et hoc expertus fuit multociens. Nota: Pro invenienda figura conceptionis nati omnibus aliis pretermissis, si hora coniunctionis vel preventionis fuerint due planete equales in virtute — Lune vero 9, hec sunt secundum Alkabitium. Quod H.’

= John Holbroke, Commentary on Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Dixerunt Ptolomeus et Hermes quod locus Lune… (C.4.5). No glosses. This section, signed ‘H.’, is attributed to John Holbroke in Roger Marchall’s table of contents f. 6v: ‘Ars inveniendi figuram conceptionis nati secundum magistrum Iohannem Holbrook’.