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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work A.4



Two books on the heliacal risings and settings of the fixed stars and their meaning in meteorology.


Greek (Φάσεις ἀπλανῶν ἀστέρων καὶ συναγωγὴ ἐπισημασιῶν, ‘Appearances of Fixed Stars and Collection of Prognostics’). Book II only is extant in Greek. Fragments of both books survive in Arabic (see Neugebauer, Samsό/Rodríguez, Samsό, Morelon). Book II was translated from Greek into Latin in the 16th and 17th c.


L. Ideler, ‘Ueber den Kalender des Ptolemäus’, in Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin aus den Jahren 1816-1817. Historisch-philologische Klasse, Berlin, 1819, 163-214; N. Halma, Chronologie de Ptolémée, Paris, 1819, II, third part, 1-54 [where the introduction, pp. 3-11, is a French translation of Ideler’s introduction, pp. 163-173]; G. F. Unger, ‘Zu Ptolemäus Φάσεις απλανών’, Philologus 28 (1869), 11-38; C. Wachsmuth, Iohanni Laurentii Lydi Liber de ostentis et calendaria Graeca omnia, Leipzig, 1897 (first ed. Leipzig, 1863), lii-lviii; J. L. Heiberg, Claudii Ptolemaei opera quae exstant omnia, II: Opera astronomica minora, Leipzig, 1907, iii-v and cl-clxv; H. Vogt, Der Kalender des Claudius Ptolemäus, Heidelberg, 1920; O. Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, Berlin-New York, 1975, II, 926-931; G. Graßhoff, ‘The Babylonian Tradition of Celestial Phenomena and Ptolemy’s Fixed Star Calendar’, in Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens, ed. H. D. Galter, Graz, 1991, 97-137; M. T. Riley, ‘Ptolemy’s Use of His Predecessors’ Data’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 125 (1995), 221-250: 242-245; D. Lehoux, Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World. Parapegmata and Related Texts in Classical and Near-Eastern Societies, Cambridge, 2007, 161; M. G. Nickiforov, ‘Analysis of the Calendar C. Ptolemy “Phases of the Fixed Stars”’, Bulgarian Astronomical Journal 20 (2014), 68-85. In Arabic: O. Neugebauer, ‘An Arabic Version of Ptolemy’s Parapegma from the “Phaseis”’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 91 (1971), 506; J. Samsό, B. Rodríguez, ‘La Pháseis de Ptolomeo y el Kitāb al-Anwā’ de Sinān b. Ṯābit’, Al-Andalus 41 (1976), 15-48 (reprinted in J. Samsό, Astrometeorologίa y astrologίa medievales, Barcelona, 2008, II); J. Samsό, ‘De nuevo sobre la traducciόn árabe de las Pháseis de Ptolomeo y la influencia clásica en los Kutub al-Anwā’’, Al-Andalus 41 (1976), 471-479 (reprinted in J. Samsό, Astrometeorologίa y astrologίa medievales, Barcelona, 2008, III); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII: Astrologie-Meteorologie und Verwandtes, Leiden, 1979, 311 (no. 1); R. Morelon, ‘Fragment arabe du premier livre du Phaseis’, Journal for the History of Arabic Science 5 (1981), 3-14.


The Greek text (Book II) was first published by Denis Petau in Paris in 1630 (see A.4.2). Critical editions by Wachsmuth, 189-260 (with reconstructed table of appearances, 277-285); and Heiberg, 3-67 (with reconstructed table of appearances, clx-clxv). Previous editions by Johann Albert Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, IV, Hamburg, 1717, 423-448 (not complete); Ideler, 173-193; and Halma, 13-54 (with a French translation). For the intricate history of these previous editions, see Wachsmuth, lii-liv. Heiberg’s edition is reproduced, together with an English translation, by Lehoux, 261-309.

Arabic translations

Latin translations