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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.1.18

George of Trebizond (?)
22 Criticisms of the Almagest by Geber in Averroes’s Rendering


‘(Torino, BNU, G II 36) Averois: Volo ponere in quibus reprehendit Geber Hispalen<sis> Ptolemeum in Magna Compositione et correxit, sicut putavit, demonstrationibus suis. Primum in libro primo — ponit eius super Solem.’


A list of 22 corrections to the Almagest by Geber [Jābir ibn Aflaḥ] attributed to Averroes.


 The only known witness of this text was copied by George of Trebizond in his personal notebook, which also contains the first draft of his commentary on the Almagest (C.1.19). Averroes criticised Ptolemy in several of his works, in particular in his Epitome of the Almagest (Mukhtaṣar al-Majistī, 1159-1162), which survives only in a Hebrew translation made by Jacob Anatoli in Naples in 1231 and of which eleven MSS are known. The list of 22 criticisms is not found in Averroes’s Epitome, but Lay suggests that George of Trebizond may have derived this list from the commentary on the Epitome by Efodi (Profiat Duran, c. 1340-1415), extant in MS Paris, BnF, hébreu 1021, f. 29r-31r, immediately after the text of the Epitome (Lay, 30 and 33).


J. Monfasani, Collectanea Trapezuntiana: Texts, Documents, and Bibliographies of George of Trebizond, Binghamton (NY), 1984, 677-678. On Averroes’s Epitome of the Almagest, see M. Steinschneider, Die hebraeischen Uebersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher, Berlin, 1893, II, 546-549; R. Lorch, ‘The Astronomy of Jābir b. Aflāḥ’, Centaurus 19 (1975), 85-107: 99-100 (reprinted in R. Lorch, Arabic Mathematical Science. Instruments, Texts, Transmission, Farnham-Burlington, 1995, VI); J. Lay, ‘L’abrégé de l’Almageste. Un inédit d’Averroès en version hébraïque’, Arabic Sciences and Philosophy 6 (1996), 23-61; D. N. Hasse, ‘Averroes’ Critique of Ptolemy and Its Reception by John of Jandun and Agostino Nifo’, in Averroes’ Natural Philosophy and Its Reception in the Latin West, ed. J. J. M. Bakker, Leuven, 2015, 69-88: 72-73.