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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.2.23

Giuliano Ristori
Lectures on the Quadripartitum


‘(Modena, BEU, Campori 1635) Lectura super Ptolomei Quadripartito reverendi ac exemii magistri Iuliani Ristorii Pratensi per me presbiterum Petrum Bertachium Camporeggianensem, dum ipse publice legeret in almo Pisarum gimnasio currenti calamo collecta anno 1547. (1r-80r) [book i] Lectio prima. Cum in omni scientia plura preponuntur atque, ut Aver<roes> testis est — et sic habetis quae dici potuerunt in hac re. Et haec de primo libro isto dicta sint. (80r-136r) [book ii] Liber secundus Quadripartiti Ptholomei. Lectio XXXIIII. <H>actenus quidem percurrimus. Iste est secundus liber Pt<holome>i in quo cum in primo libro declaravit — et regulae certissimae et comprobatae. Et haec quo ad istum librum secundum dicta satis sint. Finis secundi libri Quadripartiti. (137r-224v) [book iii] Lectura super Ptolomei Quadripartitum reverendi ac eximii magistri Iuliani Ristorii Pratensis per Petrum Bertacham Camporegianensem currenti calamo collecta. Incipit liber tertius. Lectio LXII. <H>uc usque accidentia generalia: Ista est secunda pars principalis huius voluminis in qua Pt<olome>us pertractat — ut patuit in genitura Martini Luteri. Et haec de lectione. (224v-258v) [book iv] In quartum Apotelesma Pt<olome>i librum reverendi magistri Iuliani Ristorii Pratensis lectiones. Lectio LXXXXVIIa. Rerum igitur in quibus: Iste est quartus liber Apotelesmatum Pto<lome>i in quo libro cum declaravit — pro temporis paucitate vobis autem gratias refero quamplures et valete. Finis totius operis Quadripartiti, 19 Iunii 1548.’


113 lectures on the complete text of Ptolemy’s Quadripartitum on the basis of Camerarius’s translation (with Books III-IV from Plato of Tivoli’s translation, as published by Camerarius). Book I includes Lectures 1-33, Book II Lectures 34-61, Book III Lectures 62-96 and Book IV Lectures 97-113. All MSS have essentially the same text, at least judging from a few passages, from the incipit and explicit of each book and from the number and distribution of the lectures. Rutkin (‘The Use and Abuse…’, 141; ‘Teaching Astrology…’, 364 and 365) wrongly states that the text contains 118 lectures and that it is based on the Camerarius-Gogava translation.


Lectures given by the Carmelite monk Giuliano Ristori (d. 1556) at the University of Pisa in the academic year 1547-1548. Ristori is known to have taught mathematics at the University of Pisa from 1543 to 1550, but the evidence clearly points to 1547-1548. First, this is the date given in MS Modena, BEU, Campori 1635, i.e. 1547 in the title f. 1r and 19 June 1548 for the last lecture f. 258v. Second, in the course of Lecture 20, the current date is given ‘quia est dies 29 Novembris 1547’. The fact that all MSS bear this very same date (Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479-I, f. 104v; Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478, f. 73v; Florence, BR, 157, f. 87v; Modena, BEU, Campori 1635, f. 47r) suggests that Ristori lectured on the Quadripartitum in 1547-1548 for the first time (and, possibly, for the last time as well). The date given in the explicit of MS Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478, ‘Die 19 Iunii Pisis 1547’, is obviously a mistake for 1548. Third, Francesco Giuntini (C.2.34), by his own account, attended Ristori’s lectures on the Quadripartitum in Pisa in 1548 (see L. Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, V, New York, 1941, 326; Bezza/De Meis, 55 n. 5; Rutkin, ‘Teaching Astrology…’, 357 and n. 23).


Two MSS appear to be those of students, Amerigo Roncioni (Florence, BR, 157, continued in Florence, BNC, Magliabech XI.103) and Petrus Bertachius (or Bertacha), priest of Camporeggiano (Modena, BEU, Campori 1635). In Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478 (possibly in Ristori’s hand), Ristori’s name has been corrected into Filippo Fantoni, while in Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479, his name has been replaced by Filippo Fantoni. Fantoni taught mathematics at Pisa from 1560 to 1566 and from 1582 to 1589. This shows that Fantoni reused Ristori’s lectures without significant changes. MS Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479 includes corrections and additions in the same hand that added the title with Fantoni’s name, but these corrections and additions do not extend beyond Lecture 12. There is evidence that MS Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478 was used also in teaching from early November 1558 to 26 January 1559. This is too early for Fantoni and would better fit Francesco Ottonaio, the immediate successor of Ristori as professor of mathematics at Pisa [in his autobiography, Giuliano de’ Ricci says that he attended lectures on Ptolemy’s Quadripartitum in Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence in 1558 (see Bezza/De Meis, 55 n. 3). Since Fantoni came from Florence, there remains the possibility that he was responsible for those lectures on Ptolemy]. Then, presumably, the same MS was used again for teaching by Fantoni, either between 1560 and 1566 or between 1582 and 1589. The relationship between the four MSS would require a detailed study, but it is interesting to note the variations in the incipit from ‘Cum in omni scientia…’ (Florence, BR, 157 and Modena, BEU, Campori 1635) to ‘Cum in omni scientia…’ (Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478) to ‘In omni scientia…’ (Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479). This seems to indicate that MS Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478 was the MS used in teaching from Ristori (to Ottonaio) to Fantoni, while Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479 would be a later copy of the former, presumably under Fantoni’s supervision. The fact that this MS was copied by four alternating hands makes it unlikely to be a student’s copy. If these assumptions are correct, then the corrections to Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. B.VII.479 are probably in Fantoni’s hand (and Fantoni might also be responsible for correcting the title and colophon of Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. F.IX.478). All this seems to suggest that Fantoni appropriated Ristori’s lectures for himself.


C. B. Schmitt, ‘Filipo Fantoni, Galileo Galilei’s Predecessor as Mathematics Lecturer at Pisa’, in Science and History. Studies in Honor of Edward Rosen, eds E. Hilftein, P. Czartoryski, F. D. Grande, Wrocław-Warszawa, 1978, 53-62: 59; C. B. Schmitt, ‘The Faculty of Arts at Pisa at the Time of Galileo’, Physics 14 (1972) (reprinted in C. B. Schmitt, Studies in Renaissance Philosophy and Science, London, 1981), 243-272: 259 and n. 82; R. Castagnola, ‘Un oroscopo per Cosimo I’, Rinascimento 29 (1989), 125-189: 131 n. 11; H. D. Rutkin, ‘The Use and Abuse of Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos in Renaissance and Early Modern Europe: Two Case Studies (Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Filippo Fantoni)’, in Ptolemy in Perspective. Use and Criticism of His Work from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century, ed. A. Jones, Dordrecht-Heidelberg-London-New York, 2010, 135-149: 141-145 and 146 n. 3; G. Bezza, S. De Meis, ‘The Chapter on Comets in the Commentary to Quadripartitum by Giuliano Ristori’, MHNH 13 (2013), 53-76; H. D. Rutkin, ‘Teaching Astrology in the 16th Century: Giuliano Ristori and Filippo Fantoni on Pseudo-Prophets and Other Effects of Great Conjunctions’, in From Māshā’allāh to Kepler: Theory and Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Astrology, eds C. Burnett, D. G. Greenbaum, Ceredigion, 2015, 353-406: 363-365. On Ristori, see also H. D. Rutkin, ‘Astrology, Politics and Power in 16th-Century Florence: Giuliano Ristori’s Extensive Judgment on Cosimo I’s Nativity (1537)’, in Astrologers and Their Clients in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, eds W. Deimann, D. Juste, Köln-Weimar-Wien, 2015, 139-150.


None, except for Lecture 57 on comets, ed. Bezza/De Meis, 59-63, from MS Florence, BR, 157, f. 229r-232v.