Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 14738

s. XII2 (probably between c. 1165 and c. 1176 acc. Georges).


the MS is generally believed to have originated in France, either southern France (Marie-Thérèse d’Alverny, as reported by Kunitzsch, Der Sternkatalog) or northern France (Marie-Thérèse Gousset and Patricia Stirnemann, as reported by Jacquart, ‘Les manuscrits’, 216 n. 30), but Georges convincingly argued that it was copied and decorated for Henry II at Winchester.


St Victor of Paris since 1319 according to a note f. Ir: ‘Iste liber depositus est in Sancto Victore … [a dozen of erased words] anno MºCCCºXIXº die Veneris ante Penthecostem’ (other St Victor ex-libris f. 1r). On f. 211v,  a late 13th- or early 14th-c hand wrote ‘Istam litteram scripsit Iofridus de Forpahc [Forbach, Moselle]’ next to the added ch. III.4 (see below).

Parchment, II+211 f., a single neat hand, decorated initials.

Ptolemaica (single text). F. Ir and IIv contain scattered notes, including the ex-libris of St Victor and the title and contents of the MS. Blank: Iv, IIr (except for a series of numbers f. IIr).


L. Delisle, Inventaire des manuscrits de l’Abbaye de Saint-Victor conservés à la Bibliothèque Impériale, sous les numéros 14232-15175 du fonds latin, Paris, 1869, 45; C. Samaran, R. Marichal, Catalogue des manuscrits en écriture latine portant des indications de date, de lieu ou de copiste, III: Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds latin (Nos 8001 à 18613), Paris, 1974, 738; P. Kunitzsch, Der Almagest – Die Syntaxis Mathematica des Claudius Ptolemäus in arabisch-lateinischer Überlieferung, Wiesbaden, 1974, 91-93; P. O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum, III, London-Leiden, 1983, 258; P. Kunitzsch, Der Sternkatalog des Almagest. Die arabisch-mittelalterliche Tradition, II, Wiesbaden, 1990, 12; G. Ouy, Les manuscrits de l’abbaye de Saint-Victor. Catalogue établi sur base du répertoire de Claude de Grandrue (1514), Turnhout, 1999, II, 484; D. Jacquart, ‘Les manuscrits des traductions de Gérard de Crémone: quelques caractéristiques formelles’, in Les traducteurs au travail. Leurs manuscrits et leurs méthodes, ed. J. Hamesse, Turnhout, 2001, 207-220: 216-219; D. Jacquart, ‘Les sciences dans la bibliothèque de Saint-Victor’, in L’école de Saint-Victor de Paris. Influence et rayonnement du Moyen Âge à l’Époque moderne, ed. D. Poirel, Turnhout, 2010, 197-225: 205-206; S. Georges, Glosses as Source for the History of Science. The Case of Gerard of Cremona’s Translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest (forthcoming).



‘Quidam princeps nomine Albuguafe in libro suo quem scientiarum elect… [ending erased] et verborum nominavit… (1v) Bonum scire fuit quod sapientibus non deviantibus visum est — (211r) abbreviationem, arrogantiam et collaudationem, tunc iam sequitur et honestum est ut ponamus hic finem libro. Expleta est dictio XIIIa libri Ptholomei et cum ea completur liber Almagesti de disciplinalibus. Laus Deo. Amen. [211va, added by a 13th-c. hand] Ad hec autem ut demonstremus contra (!) secundum modis (!) orbis revolutionis per numeros quod quantitates ille sint une cum proportiones — illud est quod oportuit nos declarare.’

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Gerard of Cremona) (A.1.2), Class A. Preface, 1r-1v; I, 1v-17r; II, 17r-41r; III, 41r-55v; IV, 55v-75r; V, 75r-93v; VI, 93v-112r; VII, 112r-127r; VIII, 127v-140v; IX, 140v-157v; X, 157v-168r; XI, 168r-184r; XII, 184r-197r; XIII, 197r-211r. The text is followed (211va) by the final paragraph of c. III.4, missing in loco (51r), where an added note reads: ‘Hic deficit unum capitulum parvum et quere in fine libri’. Very short glosses by two later hands, f. 20v, 21v, 42v-43r, 44r, 45v-46r, 54v, 70v-71r, 74r-74v, 79r, 88r, 93r, 99v, 102v, 109v, 110v, 114r, 132r, 139v, 153v-154r, 155r, 163v, 169v, 172r-173v, 193v. The gloss on f. 46r has calculations for the year 1246 (‘… quod fuit in anno domini 1246 incompleto’).