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

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.2.19

John Robyns
Epitome in Apotelesmata Ptolomaei


‘(London, BL, Sloane 1773) Epitome in Apotelesmata Ptolomaei. Caput primum. Duo principia sunt et maxima (added: candissime (?) et intime meorum amicorum mi sire (corr. ex. Messori)) que ad accidentium futurorum cognitione exiguntur. Declaratio textus. Iste Sirus (corr. ex Messorius) fiat quidam medicus Ptolomeo familiaris, cui hunc librum apotelesmaticum dedicavit. Hec duo mairora et nobiliora quorum hic facit mentionem Ptolomeus sunt astrologia quadrivialis et scientia apostelematica, est ea astrologie pars que de iudiciis et astrorum effectibus tractat — hactenus de prefationis expositione in his tribus capilulis dicta sufficiunt. Caput quartum.’


An epitome of the Quadripartitum accompanied by a very detailed commentary. In the only known MS, the text breaks off at the outset of the fourth chapter of Book I.


The only known MS is the autograph copy of John Robyns (d. 1558), who studied at Oxford, became fellow of All Souls College in 1520, chaplain to Henry VIII before 1532 and canon of Windsor in 1543. He was astrologer to Henry VIII to whom he addressed a De cometis commentaria and a Libellus de accidentibus futuris.


L. Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, V, New York, 1941, 320.