Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.2.2

Haly Abenrudian
Glosa super Quadripartito Tholomei

ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān’s Tafsīr al-Maqālāt al-arbaʿ fī l-qaḍāʾ bi-l-nujūm ʿalā l-ḥawādith (‘Commentary on the Four Treatises on the Judgement of Events by the Stars’), translated by Egidius de Tebaldis of Parma at the court of King Alfonso X in Toledo after 1257 (Alfonso X is called ‘King of the Romans’ in Egidius’s preface), and perhaps between 1271 and 1275 (Procter, 26). The Tafsīr consists of an extensive lemmatic commentary on the Tetrabiblos which includes Ptolemy’s original text in full. ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān kept Ptolemy’s original book and chapter division while introducing at the same time his own division of each of the four books (here called partes) into three treatises (tractatus), something which caused some confusion in the general organisation of the work. Six manuscripts (Cracow, BJ, 593; Cracow, BJ, 1862; Cracow, BJ, 1967; Klagenfurt, ADG-BM, XXXI b 10; Nürnberg, SB, Solg. Ms. 31.4º; and Wolfenbüttel, HAB, 78.2 Aug. 8º (3778)) preserve Ptolemy’s text only and omit the commentary. Egidius’s translation is the source text of commentaries C.2.6, C.2.7, C.2.8, C.2.9, C.2.10 and C.2.13, and was also used in commentaries C.2.18 and C.2.21. Independently of Egidius’s translation, ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān’s commentary was known to Gerard of Cremona (C.2.1) and Alvaro de Oviedo (C.2.3).

Note 1

The text closes with Haly Abenrudian’s appendix on examples of interpretation of three nativities, including his own (inc. ‘Volo in hoc loco dare tibi exemplum trium nativitatum…’). This appendix occurs on its own in five manuscripts (Cracow, BJ, 3224; Oxford, BL, Ashmole 369; Vatican, BAV, Barb. lat. 172; Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1445; and Vienna, ÖNB, 3105), which have been counted in the list below. On the other hand, the horoscope of Haly’s nativity occurs sometimes alone, for instance in MS Paris, BnF, fr. 1083, s. XV, f. 216r (with the mention ‘Figura nativitatis Hali que deberet esse in Quadripartiti fine’), in Girolamo Cardano’s Liber de exemplis geniturarum (ed. Nürnberg, Johannes Petreius, 1547, sig. 118v) and in Francesco Giuntini’s Speculum astrologiae (ed. Lyon, Philippus Tinghus, 1581 and 1583, sig. 443, see C.2.34). These witnesses have been ignored in the list below. The three horoscopes given in Haly’s appendix have been analysed by J. D. North, Horoscopes and History, London, 1986, 84-88.

Note 2

In MS Oxford, NC, 282, Haly’s appendix (Note 1 above) is followed by an ‘additional note’ (inc. ‘Volui iudicare utrum actor iste iudicaret…’) by an astronomer who recalculated the planetary positions of Haly’s nativity horoscope. The same note, albeit in a much shorter version, occurs in 13 other manuscripts (Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7 (2022); Chicago, NL, Ayer Collection 744 (Boncompagni 307); Florence, BNC, Magliabech. XX.22; Klagenfurt, ADG-BM, XXXI b 10; Leipzig, UB, 1474; Paris, BS, 593; Venice, BNM, lat. VIII.16 (3382); Vienna, ÖNB, 2271; Vienna, ÖNB, 2311; Vienna, ÖNB, 3105; Wroclaw, BU, R 44; and the two main manuscripts of Conrad Heingarter’s Commentum Quadripartiti Ptholomei (C.2.10): Paris, BnF, lat. 7305 and Paris, BnF, lat. 7432) and in the two early printed editions. The earliest of these manuscripts is Vienna, ÖNB, 2311, a copy glossed by William of Saint-Cloud (fl. 1285-1292 in Paris), who is also likely to be the author of the additional note. See C. Steel, S. Vanden Broecke, D. Juste, S. Sela, The Astrological Autobiography of a Medieval Philosopher. Henry Bate’s Nativitas (1280-81), Leuven, 2018, 78-79 (with edition, 78 n. 230); and C. P. E. Nothaft, ‘Henry Bate’s Tabule Machlinenses. The Earliest Astronomical Tables by a Latin Author’, Annals of Science 75 (2018), 275-303: 286-287.

Note 3

Most manuscripts and the two early printed editions have a lacuna of over 4,000 words in chapter II.3, which resulted in the loss of the description of the first three quarters of the earth, together with their triplicity and regions. The missing section was meant to occur between two of Ptolemy’s lemmas as follows: ‘que est circa medium concordet cum Mercurio. <missing section.> Trigono qui est inter meridiem et occidens, et est trigonus Cancri, Scorpionis et Piscis…’ (Paris, BnF, lat. 16653, f. 49v), which corresponds to pp. 132-146 of the Greek text in Robbins’s edition and to pp. 98-113 in Hübner’s edition. The origin of the lacuna remains to be investigated, but the gap was filled in several copies, either with the corresponding section borrowed from Plato of Tivoli’s translation ‘Necesse est igitur secundum hunc ordinem ut partes que sunt inter septentrionem et occidentem — boneque societatis atque mercationis liberalitatis etiam fidelitatis’ (MSS Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7 (2022), in the margin; Florence, BNC, Magliabech. XX.22; Paris, BS, 593; Venice, BNM, lat. VIII.16 (3382); Vienna, ÖNB, 2311, in the margin; Wroclaw, BU, R 44; as well as the copy of commentary C.2.13 in Cracow, BJ, 1963) or with a new translation, whose incipit and explicit read ‘Ptholomeus. Oportet ergo propter hanc ordinationem quod primum quartum quod est partes, que sunt inter septentrionem et occidens habitationis terre — iste sunt provincie Antiochie et Lodia et Quillia et Macollia ipse partes de Cartoz et sui termini’ (MSS Chicago, NL, Ayer Collection 744 (Boncompagni 307), f. 71ra-76vb, and Limoges, BM, 9 (28), f. 183r-186r; as well as Conrad Heingarter’s commentary (C.2.10) in MSS Paris, BnF, lat. 7305, f. 109v-118v, with Plato of Tivoli’s translation, and Paris, BnF, lat. 7432, f. 38r-42r). This new translation was prepared by Alfonsus Dyonisii of Lisbon (Afonso de Dinis, d. 1352) on the basis of his own Spanish exemplar, as we learn from a long addition by him, which occurs at the end of the text (after the ‘additional note’ discussed in Note 2 above) in two manuscripts: Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7 (2022), f. 88rb-91ra; and Chicago, NL, Ayer Collection 744 (Boncompagni 307), f. 227ra-234va (‘Quia secundum Ptholomeum in secunda parte Quadripartiti, capitulis primo et quinto…’). In this addition, Alfonsus gives biographical information about Haly Abenrudian (whom he credits with a commentary on the Almagest), criticises Egidius de Tebaldis for his ignorance of the Spanish language due to his Italian background and for his numerous translation mistakes – which Alfonsus says he corrected in the margins of his own copy –, and proceeds with his translation of the missing section, which is given in full (thus the new translation occurs twice in the Chicago MS). Alfonsus presents himself as physician and clericus to King Alfonso IV of Portugal (reigned 1325-1357) and as a student of Roberto de’ Bardi, master of theology and chancellor of the University of Paris. Since Roberto de’ Bardi was chancellor from 1336 to his death in 1349, Alfonsus of Lisbon must have worked on his translation sometime in those years and more precisely, in all likelihood, between 1342 and 1345, when he is attested in Paris as a student in theology. The MS glossed by Alfonsus has not been found, but at least two of his glosses occur in the margins of MS Paris, BnF, lat. 16653 (f. 49v and 80v), a manuscript that had been kept in the library of Sorbonne since 1306 (from Peter of Limoges’s bequest), which confirms at the same time that Alfonsus worked on the text in Paris. The second gloss (f. 80v) explains indeed the meaning of a misunderstood Spanish expression. In the first gloss (f. 49v), found at the place of the missing section, the author (‘ego Alfonsus de Portugalia’) says that six folia of paper are missing here and that he supplied his translation from the Spanish in the right place in his own copy. The same gloss, with variants, reappears in four manuscripts: Nürnberg, SB, Cent. VI 22, f. 47ra; Oxford, BL, Digby 179, f. 52v, in the margin; Oxford, NC, 282, f. 62v; and Paris, BnF, lat. 7304, f. 41v-42r. The situation regarding c. II.3 has been checked in all manuscripts, except London, BL, Royal 12.F.VII and Paris, BnF, lat. 7303, of which we do not have reproductions. Alfonsus’s addition is also briefly discussed by D. Pingree, ‘Between the Ghaya and Picatrix I: The Spanish Version’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 44 (1981), 27-56: 38 and n. 22; and J. F. Meirinhos, ‘Afonso de Dinis de Lisboa: percurso de um filósofo, médico, teólogo, tradutor e eclesiástico do século XIV’, Península: Revista de Estudos Ibéricos 4 (2007), 47-64: 54 (no. 2) and 57.

Note 4

At the end of Book II, Haly added a series of 35 astrological aphorisms said to derive from a Liber de accidentibus attributed to Hermes: ‘Ego autem cognovi pro bono addere in hoc tractatu verba Hermetis, qui dixit in libro suo de accidentibus res de quibus iuvare nos possumus in pronosticationibus universalibus. Dixit Hermes: Ordina significatores primo fortiorem — festinabuntur lites et non prolongabuntur. Hic enim adiunximus multa de dictis Hermetis, de quibus proficies si Deus voluerit’. This addition was later excerpted and circulated independently from the rest of the work under the name of Hermes in seven fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscripts (these manuscripts have not been taken into account here). On this addition, see the study and critical edition by Lucentini, ‘Il Liber de accidentibus’. The excerpted Liber de accidentibus has also received a critical edition by P. Lucentini, ‘Liber de accidentibus’, in Hermetis Trimegisti Astrologia et Divinatoria, Turnhout, 2001, 139-173.


‘(Paris, BnF, lat. 16653) (1r-1v) [translator’s preface] Dixit Egideus de Tebaldis Lonbardus de civitate Parmen<si>: Scire et intelligere gloriosum est quia omnis sapientia est a Deo, eius igitur est anima gloriosa que intelligit et discernit et Deus illum vere diligit et elegit in quo posuit superioris scientie intellectum — tua fama vigebit cunctis temporibus immortalis. (1v-3r) [haly’s preface] Tractatus primus glose Aly Abenrudiani super prima parte libri Quadripartiti Tholomei Pheludiani. Dixit Aly: Verba que dixit sapientissimus Ptholomeus in arte iudiciorum astronomie super hiis que accidunt glosare volentes dicimus quod iudicum stellarum est ars a principiis certis — et glosam nostram ab alia ita quod liber bene divisus sit. (3r-42v) [book i] Capitulum primum primi tractatus libri 4 partium Tholomei. [text] Res, Misori, quibus perficiuntur pronosticationes accepte de astronomia maiores et nobiliores sunt due. [comm.] Ptholomeus inspexit in omnibus maneriebus prognosticacionum et illas phisicorum defectivas invenit — [text] … et quando non fuerint in aliquibus horum statuum sunt debiles et virtutem non habent. [comm.] … tu autem inspicias partem quam habet quilibet in virtute et misceas ac iudices secundum illud. Hic perficitur prima pars libri Tholomei cum tertio tractatu glose Aly Abenrudiani. (42v-80v) [book ii] Tractatus primus glose Aly super secundo tractatu secundi libri Quadripartiti Tholomei. [haly’s introduction] Dixit Aly: In primis tractatibus nostris monstravimus per dicta Tholomei quod rationabiliter convenit ut hoc in hac arte confidat… (43r) [text] Capitulum primum de divisione universali huius artis. Dixit Tholomeus: Bene sufficit nobis id quod universaliter locuti sumus super his in quibus debet inspicere in modo propositi generalis pro particularibus… [comm.] Vult dicere quod ea que dixit in prima parte sunt generalia omnibus partivus huius artis — (79r) [text] … prognosticationes que erunt in nativitatibus hominum secundum quod huic ordinationi convenit. (80v) [comm.] … hic enim adiunximus multa de dictis Hermetis de quibus proficies si Deus voluerit. Et expedit ut bene inspicias et intelligas ea que tibi distinximus in istis duabus partibus, et si intellexeris ea bene scies id quod accidet in mundo de pauco vel multo cum auxilio summi Dei. Hic perficit glosa Haly Abenrudiani super secunda parte Quadripartiti Tholomei. (80v-128r) [book iii] Incipit primus tractatus glose Aly Abenrudian super tertia parte Quadripartiti Tholomei et est septimus tractatus tractatuum glose. [haly’s introduction] Dixit Aly: Iam glosavimus primam partem et secundam 6 (?) tractatuum et demonstravimus in eis rationes verborum Tholomei… (81r) [text] Tholomeus: Postquam narravimus ante et inspeximus in accidentibus generalibus quia est res conveniencior ut proponatur ostendere modo… [comm.] Aly: Accidentia generalia sunt (81v) que accidunt unigenti vel pluribus in aliquo tempore sicut terremotus — (128r) [text] … ad magnum usum et ad magnum augmentum de illis. [comm.] … Similiter si fuerint infortune potenciores fortunis. Et postquam hic completur tertia pars Quadripartiti Tholomei, completur hic similiter nonus tractatus glose Aly Abenrrudiani (!) physici super hoc eodem Quadripartito. (128r-159r) [book iv] Hic incipit 10 tractatus glose Aly Abenrudiani et est primum glose super quartam partem Quadripartiti Tholomei. [haly’s introduction] Dixit Haly: Tres partes huius libri glosavimus in 9 tractatibus glose monstrando et declarando quam brevius potuimus… (128v) [text] Tholomeus. Dixit Tholomeus: In rebus hominis potest iudicari de hiis que sunt ante nativitatem et eadem hora nativitatis et res accidentes post nativitatem… [comm.] Aly: Res de quibus potest homo iudicare existentes ante nativitatem sunt iudicare de patribus et fratribus — (159r) [text] Tholomeus: Et postquam in modo universali perfecimus iudicium nativitatum finem in hoc loco huic libro imponere conveniens extimamus. [comm.] Haly: Quod dixit in modo universali vult dicere quod quicquid posuit in hoc libro sunt regule et radices quibus ars ista componitur. Explicit. Benedictus sit Deus gloriosus et sublimis et Deus illum dirigat qui scripsit. Amen. (159r-163v) [haly’s appendix] Volo in hoc loco dare tibi exemplum trium nativitatum ut melius intendas quicquid locuti sumus in eis, et prima est nativitas mea — hec sunt que tibi glosavi in quibus studium et mentem opponas et Deus te dirigat in viam rectam.’


M. Steinschneider, Die europäischen Übersetzungen aus dem Arabischen bis Mitte des 17. Jahrhunderts, Wien, 1904, 3 (no. 9b); A. A. Björnbo, ‘Die mittelalterlichen lateinischen Übersetzungen aus dem Griechischen auf dem Gebiete der mathematischen Wissenschaften’, in Festschrift Moritz Cantor anläßlich seines achtzigsten Geburtstages gewidnet von Freuden und Verehrern, Leipzig, 1909, 93-102: 99 (no. 17); C. H. Haskins, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science, Cambridge, 1927 (2nd ed.), 110; E. S. Procter, ‘The Scientific Works at the Court of Alfonso X of Castille: The King and his Collaborators’, The Modern Language Review 40 (1945), 12-29: 21-22 and 24-26; J. Muñoz Sendino, La Escala de Mahoma. Traduccion del árabe al castellano, Latin y francés, ordenada por Alfonso X el Sabio, Madrid, 1949, 92-96; F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 18 (no. 10f) and 21 (no. 41 = Haly’s appendix); P. Lucentini, ‘Il Liber de accidentibus ermetico e il commento di Haly Abenrudianus al Tetrabiblos di Tolomeo’, in Ob rogatum meorum sociorum. Studi in memoria di Lorenzo Pozzi, eds S. Caroti, R. Pinzani, Milano, 2000, 93-122; J.-P. Boudet, ‘Ptolémée dans l’Occident medieval: roi, savant et philosophe’, Micrologus 21 (2013), 193-217: 200-204; G. Bezza, Claudio Tolemeo: Il secondo libro del Quadripartitum con il commento di ‘Alī ibn Riḍwān. Introduzione, traduzione e note, Lugano, 2014. On ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān and his commentary, see also F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII: Astrologie-Meteorologie und Verwandtes, Leiden, 1979, 44 (no. 1g); F. Rosenthal, The Classical Heritage in Islam, London, 1992 (first ed. 1965), 243-246; J. A. Seymore, The Life of Ibn Riḍwān and His Commentary on Ptolemy’s ‘Tetrabiblos’, PhD dissertation, Columbia University, 2001.

Modern ed.

None, except for the translator’s preface, ed. Lucentini, 99-100, and for Haly’s addition at the end of Book II (Hermes’s Liber de accidentibus, see Note 4 above), ed. Lucentini, 104-109 (from 16 MSS and ed. Venice 1493). The second book has been translated into Italian and commented upon by Bezza (on the basis of ed. Venice 1493, which also includes Ptolemy’s lemmas in Plato of Tivoli’s translation). English translation of the Arabic text of Haly’s preface, c. I.1 and Haly’s appendix by Seymore, 204-243.


Venice, Bonetus Locatellus, 1493, sig. 2r-106v

Venice, Octavianus Scotus, 1519, sig. [aa4]r-96v


Aberdeen, UL, 364, s. XV, f. 2ra-148vb

Berlin, SBPK, Hdschr. 95, s. XV, f. 147v

Berlin, SBPK, lat. fol. 55 (961), s. XIV, f. 1ra-211va

Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7 (2022), s. XIV, f. 4ra-91rb

Chicago, NL, Ayer Collection 744 (Boncompagni 307), s. XV, f. 1ra-234va

Cracow, BJ, 587, s. XV, f. 1ra-156vb

Cracow, BJ, 593, s. XV, f. 1r-66v and 73r-145v

Cracow, BJ, 1862, s. XV, pp. 1-75

Cracow, BJ, 1967, s. XV-XVI, f. 1r-60v

Cracow, BJ, 3224, s. XVI, pp. 239-266

Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 2º 299, s. XIII-XIV, f. 1ra-93vb

Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 2º 379, s. XIV, f. 1ra-92va

Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 2º 394, s. XIV, f. 2ra-57vb

Escorial, RBMSL, e.III.4, s. XIV, f. 5ra-130rb

Florence, BNC, Magliabech. XX.22, s. XIV, f. 21ra-204vb

Klagenfurt, ADG-BM, XXXI b 10, s. XV, f. 1r-73v

Leipzig, UB, 1474, s. XV, f. 1ra-138va

Limoges, BM, 9 (28), s. XV, f. 144r-269r

London, BL, Additional 10362, s. XIV, f. 36r-37r

London, BL, Royal 12.F.VII, s. XIV, f. 1ra-218vb

Nürnberg, SB, Cent. VI 22, s. XIV, f. 13ra-155vb

Nürnberg, SB, Solg. Ms. 31.4º, s. XV, f. 47r-131r

Oxford, BL, Ashmole 369, s. XV, f. 17v-20v

Oxford, BL, Bodley 597, s. XV, f. 1r-102v

Oxford, BL, Digby 114, s. XIV, f. 108r-164v

Oxford, BL, Digby 179, s. XIV, f. 1ra-170vb

Oxford, CCC, 101, s. XV, f. 1ra-172vb

Oxford, NC, 282, s. XV, f. 1r-198r

Paris, BnF, lat. 7302, s. XV, f. 133v-144v

Paris, BnF, lat. 7303, s. XV, f. 4va-103va

Paris, BnF, lat. 7304, s. XV, f. 1r-119v

Paris, BnF, lat. 7306, s. XV, f. 15r-16r

Paris, BnF, lat. 16653, s. XIII-XIV, f. 1r-163vImages

Paris, BnF, lat. 16659, s. XV, f. 1v-2v

Paris, BS, 593, s. XV, f. 2ra-187vb

St Petersburg, RNB, lat. Q.XVIII.116, s. XV, f. 2r-72v

Vatican, BAV, Barb. lat. 172, s. XIV, f. 187vb-189vb

Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1390, s. XIV, f. (42r-73r)

Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1419, s. XV, f. 1ra-112rb

Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1445, s. XV, f. 4r-9r

Venice, BNM, lat. VIII.16 (3382), s. XV, f. 1ra-104rb

Venice, MCC, Correr 1035, s. XV, f. 147r-302v

Vienna, ÖNB, 2271, s. XIV, f. 1ra-422va

Vienna, ÖNB, 2311, s. XIII, f. 1ra-95rb

Vienna, ÖNB, 3105, s. XV, f. 33vb-36vb

Vienna, ÖNB, 3124, s. XV, f. 83r-84r

Vienna, ÖNB, 5288, s. XV, f. 1ra-280rb

Wolfenbüttel, HAB, 78.2 Aug. 8º (3778), s. XV, f. 69r-101r

Wroclaw, BU, IV.F.22, s. XIV-XV, f. 1ra-162vb

Wroclaw, BU, R 44, s. XV, f. 1ra-133rb