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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.8

De occultis


‘(Parma, BP, 718-720) Dixit Pthol<omeu>s: Si aspexerit significator ascendens erit genus rei occulte — sapientes astrologorum a ceteris minus doctis in hac arte.’


A chapter on determining the nature of hidden things by astrology.


This text first appears in Latin as the seventh and last chapter of Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum, a popular text on interrogations, translated by John of Seville in the first half of the twelfth century (the Arabic original is lost). The text also occurs, without changes, as chapter 11 of Messahallah’s Liber de intentionibus secretorum astronomie, a probable Latin re-elaboration of the former. Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum is extant in over 50 manuscripts (these are not recorded here), but the chapter concerned is found separately in the manuscripts listed below. Whether part of Messahallah’s works or isolated, this text is consistently attributed to Ptolemy.


On Messahallah’s texts, see L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translations of Astrological Works by Messahalla’, Osiris 12 (1956), 49-72: 54-62.