Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 7263

s. XVI2 (c. 1571, date assigned to the work by Vincenzo Viviani in his note added f. 391r).


autograph of Giovanni Battista Teofilo, made in Urbino.


Vincenzo Viviani (1622-1703), mathematician of the Grand Duke of Florence, who offered the MS to Louis XIV in 1686 (see his autograph note f. 391r, also f. IIr, IIIr and XVr). Kristeller dates the MS to the end of the 16th or the 17th c., but the present copy, with its numerous corrections in the body of the text, is without a doubt the translator’s work. This is confirmed by the accompanying documents, which include two original letters addressed to Teofilo (pieces 4-5 below), and by the general title on f. Ir, which corresponds to the title of the copy prepared for Pope Clement XI in 1717, which is said to have been made from the autograph preserved at the Royal Library in Paris (‘ex eius autographo, quod in Bibliotheca Regia Parisiensi servatur’, MS ZZ – Unknown location, Boncompagni, 219, see), that is, the present MS.

Paper, XVI+391 f., a single hand, careless and difficult to read (for f. 1-391), with added pieces by several hands f. I-XVI. Folia 75, 101, 118-121, 130 and 134-135 are missing.

Ptolemaica (single text), except for the added pieces f. I-XVI, which include, among others, (1) the general title ‘Theonis Alexanrini (!) in Cl<audii> Ptolemaei μεγάλην σύνταξιν commentarius latine versus a Io<hanno> Theophilo Urbinate, ex eius autographo, quod in Bibliotheca Regia Parisiensi servatur, accurate descriptus a<nno> d<omini> MDCXVII [sic for 1717]’ (Ir); (2) a letter by Camille Le Tellier de Louvois (1675-1718), librarian of the king, dated 11 July 1717: ‘Monitum. Ut primum nuntiatum est cupere S.D.N. Clementem PP. XI copiam sibi fieri Latinae huius interpretationis commentariorum Theonis in Ptolemaeum, consilium statim fuit Romam mittendi singulare exemplar, quod Vincentius Vivianus ante annos triginta Bibliothecae Regiae donavisset…’ (IIr-IIv); (3) an anonymous letter to Jacomo Tassoni, nephew of Giovanni Battista Teofilo, dated 1595 (IVr-Vr); (4) an autograph letter from Federico Commandino to Giovanni Battista Teofilo, dated Pesaro 30 May 1571 (VIr, ed. Rose, 305); (5) an autograph letter from Federico Commandino to Giovanni Battista Teofilo, dated Urbino 30 July 1574 (VIIIr-IXv, ed. Rose, 306-307); (6) a copy of piece 4 above (XIr); (7) a copy of piece 5 above (XIIIr-XIVv). Blank: Iv, IIIv, VIv-VIIv, X, XII, XVv-XVIv, 391v.

Bibl. Catalogus codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Regiae, IV: Cod. Latini 7226-8822, Paris, 1744, 332; Catalogus translationum et commentariorum, eds P. O. Kristeller et al., II, Washington D.C., 1971, 212; P. O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum, III, London-Leiden, 1983, 221; P. L. Rose, ‘Plusieurs manuscrits autographes de Federico Commandino à la Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris’, Revue d’Histoire des Sciences 24 (1971), 299-307: 300-301.


‘Persaepe ab auditoribus admonitus (sus. Frequentibus auditorum exhortationibus impulsus), mi (?) Epifani fili, ut in (sus. ad) ea quae in Mathematica Ptolemaei constructione obscura est angulus eorundem erit 25. 21. 33.’

= Theon of Alexandria, 〈Commentum in Almagesti〉 (tr. Giovanni Battista Teofilo) (C.1.30.4)

. Theon’s preface, 1r-3r; Book I, 3v-76r; II, 76v-136r; III, 136r-198r; IV, 198r-231v; V, 231v-278v; VI, 278v-355v; VII, 355v-360v, VIII, 360v-370v, IX, 370v-391r; added note by Vincenzo Viviani, 391r. Numerous corrections by the scribe.