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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Hamilton 557

s. XIIIin (c. 1220 for f. 1-15, see below).


northern Italy (Mantua?, see below).


Nicolaus Augusta de Venetiis (d. 1446), bishop of Tricarico (f. 33r: ‘Istum librum dominus Nicolaus qui fuit prior conventus sanctorum Ihoanis (!) et Pauli, postea provincialis et a provincialatus officio assumtus est ad episcopatum Tricaricensem’); Venice, convent SS Giovanni e Paolo, at least until the 18th c.

Parchment, 33 f. MS made of two parts: f. 1-15, a single hand; f. 16-33, several similar hands.

Astrology: Ptolemaica (1r-14r, 14r-14v and 15r); Albumasar, Flores (16r-29r); tonitruale in verses ‘Accedens quicumque cupis cognoscere verba…’ (29v-30v); ‘Incipit capitulum de seiete. Cum volueris segetis prenosscere (!) eventum in singulis annis…’ (31r-31v); ‘Septimo usque ad Iovem quot interfuerint signa masculina…’ (31v-32v). Blank: 15v, 33r-33v (except for owner’s note f. 33r).


H. Boese, Die lateinischen Handschriften der Sammlung Hamilton zu Berlin, Wiesbaden, 1966, 273-274; R. Lemay, Le Kitāb at-Tamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Ja’far Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], New York, 1999 [unpublished], I, 331-335.


‘Incipit liber qui Centiloquium appellatur. Dixit Tholomeus: Iam scripsi tibi, Iesure, libros de hoc quod operantur stelle in hoc seculo… Scientia stellarum ex te et illis est… Quod dixit Ph<tolome>us, ex te et illis, significat qui priores futuras prenoscere desiderant — (14r) et quanto melius qui vidimus exposuimus.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, Centiloquium (version ‘Mundanorum’) (B.1.4), except for v. 1-9, given in Plato of Tivoli’s translation (B.1.2) only. A few short marginal notes, mainly by the scribe, but also, on f. 3r, by a later hand. The scribe included horoscopes within the text on f. 8r (4), 9v (2), 14r (2) and 14v (1); a table of terms ‘Termini Tholomei’ on f. 14v; and notes on f. 15r, including ‘prima die Ienuar<ii> MCC21…’. The planetary positions show that all horoscopes were cast for various dates in 1220 (the mention ‘anno domini 1202’ above the third horoscope f. 8r is evidently a mistake by someone new to Arabic numerals or suffering from dyslexia). At least some of these horoscopes are interrogations and elections, apparently by or for some ruler, cf. e.g. ‘Interrogatio domine commune’ (horoscope 4, f. 8r) and ‘Eodem die 7 hora comes electus fuit in Pt (?)’ (horoscope 6, f. 9v), and one of these horoscopes mentions Mantua: ‘Die Mercurii 12 hora, extratus (?) fuit carocius causa eundi in servicio Mantue, V die exeunte (?) Madio’. On these horoscopes, see also Lemay and J.-P. Boudet, ‘Les horoscopes princiers dans l’Occident médiéval (XIIe-XVe siècle)’, in I saperi nelle corti. Knowledge at the Courts [Micrologus XVI], Firenze, 2008, 373-395: 378 (article revised in J.-P. Boudet, Astrologie et politique entre Moyen Age et Renaissance, Firenze, 2020, art. I, 9 and n. 15).


‘Ph<tolome>us: stelle cum caudis sunt 9 — in regibus et divitibus apparebit.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, De cometis (B.4). No glosses, but additions as indicated above.


‘Dixit Ph<tolome>us et Hermes quod locus Lune in hora — expertus fuit multiens (!).

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, Dixerunt Ptolemeus et Hermes quod locus Lune in hora... (B.10). No glosses.