Text ‘(Paris, BnF, lat. 16657) [preface] Omnium recte phylosophantium non solum verisimilibus et credibilibus argumentis sed et firmissimis rationibus deprehensum… (83r) [text] Data circuli dyametro latera decagoni, pentagoni, exagoni — tenebrarum sic se habent. Explicit hic sextus liber et sexti glosa textus.’
Content ‘A compendium of the first six books of the Almagest with additional material from al-Battānī and others’ (Lorch, 407). Lorch distinguishes between four groups of manuscripts: A, B, C and ‘irregular texts, commentaries, influence’ (= D below).
Origin The Almagesti minor (also known as Almagestum parvum) was composed at an unknown date before c. 1250, since it is quoted in the Speculum astronomie and in Richard of Fournival’s Biblionomia, which both date from the middle of the thirteenth century. The text is variously attributed to Albategni, Campanus, Geber, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas in the manuscripts, and to ‘Galterus de Insullis’ in Richard of Fournival’s Biblionomia. The date and authorship are as yet unclear. Lorch, 434, writes: ‘it is tentatively suggested here that the preface, most of the earlier part of the book (where the proofs are short), the enunciations and perhaps the introductions to book II-VI were the work of a scholar in the Hermann-Robert [i.e. Hermann of Carinthia and Robert of Ketton] circle in the mid-twelfth century and that the treatise was filled out later on the basis of a form of Gerard’s [Gerard of Cremona] translation of the Almagest. The whole was finished by about 1200.’
Note Venice, BNM, lat. XIV.291 contains a work with the same incipit, but this is an alchemical work by Ficino (private communication, Henry Zepeda, 24 July 2014).
Bibl. 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.
Ed. None, except Books I-II in Zepeda, The Medieval Latin…, 444-492.
London, BL, Harley 625, s. XIV, f. 85r-123r and 132r-136v