Project icon: lavishly furnished initial letter with a painting of Ptolemy using an astrolab.


Arabus et Latinus

Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ σ ς τ υ φ χ ψ ω
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Work B.13

Libellus de compositione imaginum ad operationem mirabilium effectum


‘(St Petersburg, BAN, Q. 537) Incipit libellus Ptolemaei, inter magos expertissimi, de compositione imaginum ad operationem mirabilium effectum. Ars imaginum est multiplex de qua multi multa scripserunt et varios modos tradiderunt faciendi et operandi in eis. Orientales autem et Indi, qui in magicis prae omnibus aliis sunt expertissimi … Imago ad ariendum furem sive latronem a domo tua — quod saepius probavi. Adest finis libelli imaginum quem ego non Ptolomaei sed potius Budasari viri in magicis doctis crediderim ad Ptolemaeum quempiam ita enim in vetustissimo exemplari legere me memini.’


A text on astral magic, dealing with the making of 42 talismans for various purposes according to the ascending decan.


Unknown. The author (or the scribe of the common exemplar) casts doubt about the attribution to Ptolemy and says that it would rather be a text addressed by ‘Budasarus, a learned man in magical things’ to a certain Ptolemy, as he claims to have read in an very old manuscript. This ‘Budasarus’ or ‘Budasari’ is otherwise unknown. The text is listed in Trithemius’s Antipalus maleficiorum (1508), I.3, no. 58: ‘Et est liber Ptholomaei de imaginibus, per quas vana praestigia et vaticinia pollicetur, incipit: Ars imaginum est multiplex’ (ed. J.-P. Boudet, Entre science et nigromance. Astrologie, divination et magie dans l’Occident médiéval (XIIe-XVe siècle), Paris, 2006, 550).


C. Burnett, ‘The Conte de Sarzana Magical Manuscript’, in C. Burnett, Magic and Divination in the Middle Ages. Texts and Techniques in the Islamic and Christian Worlds, Aldershot, 1996, IX, 3-4.