Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, Ahmet III 3464

[Colour scanned images of the textblock and covers.]
Collection of 17 works: Arabic. Date:

Ptolemaic work (treatise 14) finished on 7 Dhū l-ḥijja 615/24 February 1219 (222v); treatises 6, 10 and 11 (in the same hand as treatises 1–4) finished in Ramaḍān and Shawwāl 625/August-September 1228 (115v, 170r, 188r); treatise 8 finished towards the end of Rajab 630/mid May 1233 (151v); treatise 17 finished on 20 Dhū l-ḥijja 689/24 December 1290 in Sivas (267r).


unknown; treatises 1–4, 6, 10 and 11 copied by Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr b. Muḥammad b. Abī Naṣr (188r; Martin’s (p. xii) identification of him with the Yemenite scholar al-Fārisī (d. c. 1278-9) is highly unlikely); the Ptolemaic work (treatise 14) was copied by Ibn al-Najāshī Muḥammad (222v), and treatise 15 by Suhrāb b. Amīr al-Ḥājj al-Qayṣarī (242v), who was associated with Quṭb al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī and also copied Oxford, BL, Thurston 3 (Lorch, p. 23).


a partially erased ownership statement by a certain Ḥasan Ḥalabī (IIr); ownership statement by Junayd b. Jalāl b. Shirwān b. al-Dawrakī dated 796/1393-4 in Sivas (267r); a poem on the Khaṭīrī mosque on the banks of the river Nile just outside Cairo by Musāfir b. ʿUthmān b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Yūsuf (267v). Pointed oval seal of Bāyazīd II (1r, 267r). Round seal of endowment of Ahmet III (1r) and a signature commonly found in manuscripts of his collection (IIr). Old shelfmarks: ‘handasa 16’, ‘Y 267, ‘ḥikmat’ (Ir).

Cod.: paper, II+267+Ia ff. (foliated in pencil, ‘56’ repeated; traces of several earlier foliations up to f. 222, often cut off; quire number al-sādis written out in red at the left top of f. 54r; catch-words only in the later additions on ff. 223–242 and 264–267). Main hand (treatises 1–4, 6, 10 and 11): a black naskh, partially dotted, without shaddas, hamzas or vowel marks; titles and keywords in larger and bolder red (generally rubbing off on the opposite page) and sometimes centred; text divisions by three red dots arranged in a triangle; red overlined proposition numbers in the margins. Hand of the Ptolemaic work (treatise 14): somewhat unevenly written black naskh, partially dotted, no shaddas or hamzas, occasional vowel marks; keywords overlined, partially accentuated in red, or entirely in red; headings faṣl and shakl larger and bolder; text divided both by oversized letters hāʾ (for intihāʾ) filled with red and by three red points arranged in triangular form. A variety of further naskh hands in the remaining treatises. Geometrical diagrams in most of the treatises with red (on two occasions: black) lines and black lettering; some reserved spaces for diagrams. Tables in treatises 9, 11, 12 and 13. Numerous corrections and glosses in the margins of most of the treatises in a variety of hands; some of the glosses quote Ibn al-Ṣalāḥ b. al-Sārī (10v, 16v, 98r). The earlier foliations as well as the differences between the two tables of contents and the current contents point to rebindings of the works in this codex. Dimensions: 27×16.5 cm, written area 17.5×11 cm; mostly 23 lines (ff. 150–151: 21 lines, f. 191: 25 lines, treatises 15 and 17: 29 lines, treatise 16: 31 lines). Codex in good condition; corrosion of the ink in treatise 13; red border around f. 267v, probably rubbed off from an earlier cover. Brown leather covers (probably from the 13th or 14th century) with fore-edge and envelope flap, decorated with frames and corner pieces, as well as a blind-tooled central lobed medallion (filled with interlace) on the front and back covers and the flap. Flap inside ornamented with arabesque design; spine restored. Type II binding.

Cont.: astronomy, mathematics, optics, botanics. A version of the Kitāb al-Mutawassiṭāt (the Middle Books that were supposed to be read between Euclid’s Elements and Ptolemy’s Almagest) from before the time of al-Ṭūsī’s recensions, with several additions. The treatises 9 and 12 were written on empty pages between works copied earlier on; treatises 15–17 were not part of the original compilation, while the Tabṣira fī l-hayʾa by al-Kharaqī, Fī l-Maṭāliʿ by Hypsikles, and Fī Jirmay al-shams wa-l-qamar by Aristarchus once belonged to it but are now missing. — Index: Table of contents headed Fī-hi mutawassiṭāt al-Majisṭī (IIr, 14 items); later table of contents in tabular form (IIv, 16 items); 1) Euclid, Kitāb al-Muʿṭayāt (1r–19v, acephalous); 2) Theodosius, Kitāb fī l-Ukar (20v–53v, followed by a proposition); 3) Autolycus (tr. Isḥāq ibn Ḥunayn), Kitāb fī l-Kura al-mutaḥarraka (54v–58v); 4) Euclid, Kitāb fī l-Ikhtilāf al-manāẓir wa-l-shuʿāʿāt (59v–74r); 5) Menelaus (ed. al-Harawī), Kitāb fī l-Ashkāl al-kurriyya (74v–103r); 6) Euclid, Kitāb fī l-Ẓāhirāt min al-falak (104v–115v); 7) Theodosius (tr. Qusṭā b. Lūqā), Kitāb fī l-Masākin (116v–123v); 8) Theodosius (tr. Qusṭā b. Lūqā), Kitāb fī l-Ayyām wa-l-layālī (124v–151v); 9) Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, Risāla fī l-Asṭurlāb al-khaṭṭī (151v–154r, later addition); 10) Autolycus (ed. Thābit b. Qurra), Kitāb fī l-Ṭulūʿāt wa-l-ghurūbāt (154v–170r); 11) Thābit b. Qurra, Kitāb ilā l-Mutaʿallimīn fī l-nisba al-muʾallafa (171v–188r); 12) anonymous, Fī Wafq al-arbaʿa fī l-arbaʿa (188v–189r, on magic squares, with a table in the same hand on f. 188r); 13) Thābit b. Qurra, Risāla fī l-Shakl al-qaṭṭāʿ (189v–198v); 14) Ptolemaica (199v–222v); 15) unidentified botanical lexicon (223v–242v); 16) al-Karajī, al-Kāfī fī l-ḥisāb (243v–263v, end missing); 17) anonymous, Uṣūl fī ḥisāb al-jabr wa-l-muqābala kāfiya min al-mashhūr min aʿmāli-hi (264v–267r, in 14 faṣls); masʾala on algebra (267r, bottom half). Blank: Iv, 20r, 54r, 59r, 103v–104r, 116r, 124r, 170v–171r, 199r, 223r, 243r, 264r, Iar–v.

Note This manuscript has been the basis for the edition or study of a number of important texts. In addition to Martin, Lorch, Rashed & Papadopoulos, and Nikfahm-Khubravan & Eshera, see: Elaheh Kheirandish, The Arabic Version of Euclid’s Optics, 2 vols, New York: Springer, 1999, esp. p. xxvi; Sajjad Nikfahm-Khubravan, ‘The Gnomonic Application of Sharaf al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’s Linear Astrolabe’, Tarikh-e Elm 17 (2020), pp. 7–73; Paul Kunitzsch and Richard P. Lorch, Theodosius, Sphaerica. Arabic and Medieval Latin Translations, Stuttgart: Steiner, 2010; Paul Kunitzsch and Richard Lorch, ‘Theodosius, De diebus et noctibus’, Suhayl 10 (2011), pp. 9–46; Paul Kunitzsch and Richard Lorch, Theodosius, De habitationibus. Arabic and Medieval Latin Traditions, Munich: Beck, 2011; and Nathan Sidoli and Yoichi Isahaya, Thābit ibn Qurra’s Restoration of Euclid’s Data. Text, Translation, Commentary, Cham: Springer, 2018.

Bibl.: KrauseMax Krause, ‘Stambuler Handschriften islamischer Mathematiker’, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung B: Studien 3 (1936), pp. 437–532, pp. 440, 441, 443–444, 454–455, 457, 466, 473, 479, 490, and 521; Thomas J. Martin, The Arabic Translation of Theodosius’s Sphaerica, PhD dissertation, University of St. Andrews, 1975, esp. pp. x–xv; Richard P. Lorch, Thābit ibn Qurra. On the Sector-Figure and Related Texts, Frankfurt am Main: Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften, 2001, esp. pp. 22–23; Roshdi Rashed and Athanase Papadopoulos, Menelaus’ Spherics. Early Translation and al-Māhānī / al-Harawī's Version, Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter, 2017, pp. 489 and 493–496; Sajjad Nikfahm-Khubravan and Osama Eshera, ‘The Five Arabic Revisions of Autolycus’ On the Moving Sphere (Proposition VII)’, Tarikh-e Elm 16 (2019), pp. 7–70, here p. 38. Not included in the catalogue by Karatay & RešerFehmi Edhem Karatay and O. Rešer, Topkapı Saraı Müzesi Kütüphanesi. Arapça yazmalar kataloğu, 4 vols, İstanbul: Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi, 1962–1969.


\199v\ الحمد لله المبدئ المعيد الفعّال لما يريد خالق الأفلاك الدائرة والنجوم السائرة العالم بسرائر الأمور وما يخفي الصدور وصلواته على النبيّ محمّد وآله وعترته. قال الأستاذ الأجلّ السيّد المختصّ أبو الحسن علي بن أحمد النسويّ رحمة الله عليه إنّ الفلاسفة قد اتّفقوا عمومًا وأصحاب العلم الرياضيّ منهم خصوصًا على أنّ الغرض الأقصى من العلوم الرياضيّات هو معرفة العلم بما في كتاب التعاليم لبطلميوس المعروف بالمجسطي — \222v\ ومن بعد أن وفينا بما وعدنا في صدر المقالة من الفصول نختم الفصل الثالث بهذا الموضع والمقالة بهذا الفصل. والحمد لله أوّلًا وآخرًا وظاهرًا وباطنًا والصلوة على نبيّه محمّد المصطفى وعلى آله وأصحابه وأزواجه أجمعين.

= Abū l-Ḥasan al-Nasawī, al-Ishbāʿ fī sharḥ al-shakl al-qaṭṭāʿ (C.1.12)

. — Title: al-Ishbāʿ fī sharḥ al-shakl al-qaṭṭāʿ (200r:8). — Alternative titles: al-Ishbāʿ fī sharḥ al-shakl al-qaṭṭāʿ li-Abī l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Aḥmad al-Nasawī (IIr), 〈Kitāb al-ustādh al-mukhtaṣṣ ʿAlī b. Aḥmad al-Nasawī al-mawsūm bi-l-Ishbāʿ fī l-shakl al-qaṭṭāʿ (IIv). — Index: preface, 199v–200r; faṣl 1, 200r–211r; faṣl 2, 211r–217r; faṣl 3, 217r–222v. Scribal colophon with name of copyist and date. Some collation marks in a different naskh hand (e.g., 208v, 215v). Only very few marginal corrections in black ink. A single gloss and multiple insertions of ‘ḍiʿf’ in the expression ‘watar qaws’ on f. 221r.