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Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.1.3

Almagesti minor


‘(ed. Zepeda) [preface] Omnium recte philosophantium verisimilibus coniecturis et credibilibus argumentis et firmissimis rationibus non solum verisimilibus et credibilibus argumentis sed et firmissimis rationibus deprehensum est formam celi spericam — Que cum ita sint superest ut propositum aggrediamur. [book i] Data circuli diametro latera decagoni, pentagoni, exagoni, tetragoni, atque trianguli omnium ab eodem circulo — et ab orizonte recte spere transierit. [book ii] Orizon declivis est cui polus elevatur. Spera declivis est vel obliqua — aspectus Lune sine cuius notitia solares eclipses sciri est impossibile. [book iii] Communia quedam premittenda sunt quia hic modus demonstrationi est aptior — in tempore considerationis tardier vel celerior diversitas. Explicit liber tertius continens universam de motu Solis doctrinam. [book iv] Incipit quartus de motu Lune. Terram ad Lune distantiam sensibilem quantitatem habere — et erit motus iste contra ordinem signorum. Explicit liber quartus. [book v] Incipit quintus. Locus stelle secundum longitudinem est punctum circuli signorum — quam propter solares eclipses querimus. [book vi] Superlatio Lune ad datum tempus est id quod relinquitur cum diversus motus — Et inclinationes quidem tenebrarum sic se habent. Explicit hic sextus liber et sexti glosa textus.’


A summary of the first six books of the Almagest, whose author reorganised the material after the model of Euclid’s Elements and added proofs and further material from Albategni [al-Battānī] and others. The source-text for the Almagest was the translation of Gerard of Cremona (A.1.2).


The Almagesti minor, also known as Almagestum parvum, was composed at an unknown date between c. 1150 and 1220. In the manuscripts, the text is anonymous or variously attributed to Albategni [al-Battānī], Geber [Jābir ibn Aflāḥ], Campanus of Novara, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Zepeda (The First latin Treatise, 11-18) rejects all these ascriptions and argues that a better candidate is Walter of Lille (possibly identical with Walter of Châtillon), to whom Richard of Fournival attributes the text in his Biblionomia written c. 1250 (‘Galterus de Insulla’).


Venice, BNM, lat. XIV.291 contains a work with the same incipit, but this is an alchemical work by Ficino.


F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 164 (no. 2); A. Birkenmajer, ‘La bibliothèque de Richard de Fournival, poète et érudit français du début du XIIIe siècle, et son sort ultérieur’, in A. Birkenmajer, Etudes d’histoire des sciences et de la philosophie du Moyen Age, Wroclaw, 1970, 117-210: 142-147; M. Pereira, ‘Campano da Novara autore dell’Almagestum parvum’, Studi Medievali 19 (1978), 769-776; R. Lorch, ‘Some Remarks on the Almagestum parvum’, in Amphora. Festschrift für Hans Wussing zu seinem 65. Geburtstag, eds S. S. Demidov, M. Folkerts et al., Basel-Boston-Berlin, 1992, 407-438; H. Zepeda, The Medieval Latin Transmission of the Menelaus Theorem, PhD Dissertation, University of Oklahoma at Norman, 2013, 166-183; H. Zepeda, ‘Euclidization in the Almagestum parvum’, Early Science and Medicine 20 (2015), 48-76; H. Zepeda, The First Latin Treatise on Ptolemy’s Astronomy: The Almagesti minor (c. 1200), Turnhout, 2018.


Critical edition, translation and commentary by Zepeda, The First Latin Treatise.


London, BL, Harley 625

, s. XIV, f. 85r-123r and 132r-136v

Latin commentaries