Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 16657

s. XIII¹.


English hands and decoration for f. 2-132 (Georges); French hand and decoration for f. 133-146 (Patterson).


the three parts of the MS belonged to Richard of Fournival (for whom they were probably copied acc. Rouse) and are recorded in his Biblionomia composed c. 1250 (see Note below); Gerard of Abbeville (c. 1261); college of Sorbonne (1272).

Parchment, 146 f., MS made of three parts (f. 2-81, 82-132 and 133-146), each copied by a single neat hand, painted initials at the beginning of each section, numerous decorated initials. A section is missing after f. 81.

Astronomy: Albategni, De scientia astrorum, end gone due to missing folia (2r-81v); Ptolemaica (82v-132r); two diagrams and a note on retrogradation ‘Nota: P est centrum terre, O centrum excentrici deferentis — a primo argumento ad hoc quod diximus’ (132r-132v); Ptolemaica (133r-146v). Blank: 1 (except for the ex-libris of the college of Sorbonne f. 1v) and 82r (except for the ex-libris of the college of Sorbonne).

Note The three parts of the MS correspond to entries nos 54 and 55 in Richard of Fournival’s Biblionomia (ed. Birkenmajer, 169). No. 54: ‘Liber extractionis elementorum astrologie ex libro Almagesti Ptolomei per Galterum de Insulla usque ad finem sexti libri ex eo [= f. 82v-132r]. Item tabule stellarum fixarum ex eodem assumpte. Item descriptio quadraginta octo ymaginum Ptolomei cum numero et dispositione stellarum in eis’ [= f. 133r-146v]. No. 55: ‘Machometi Albateigny ben Iebyreinem… Acharram liber in numeris stellarum et locis motuum earum experimenti ratione conceptarum [= f. 2r-81v]’. The second item of no. 54 (‘Item tabule…’) is no longer in the MS, unless it is the same as the third item.

Bibl. L. Delisle, Inventaire des manuscrits de la Sorbonne conservés à la Bibliothèque Impériale sous les numéros 15176-16718 du fonds latin, Paris, 1870, 73; L. Delisle, Le cabinet des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale, II, Paris, 1874, 148 and III, Paris, 1881, 62; 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 (work originally presented at the Polish Academy of Science in 1919), 117-210: 142 and 169-170; R. H. Rouse, ‘Manuscripts Belonging to Richard de Fournival’, Revue d’Histoire des Textes 3 (1973), 253-269: 262; S. Patterson, ‘Minor Initial Decoration Used to Date the Propertius Fragment (MS. Leiden Voss. lat. O. 38)’, Scriptorium 28 (1974), 235-247: 241, 243 and passim; L. Miolo, Le fonds scientifique d’un collège de théologie: le cas de la bibliothèque de Sorbonne 1257-1500, PhD dissertation, Université Lumières Lyon 2, 2017, II, 160-168; H. Zepeda, The First Latin Treatise on Ptolemy’s Astronomy: The Almagesti minor (c. 1200), Turnhout, 2018, 55-56; S. Georges, Glosses as a Source for the History of Science. The Case of Gerard of Cremona’s Translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest (forthcoming).


‘Minor Almagesti [title in the upper margin, perhaps by another hand]. <O>mnium recte phylosophantium non solum verisimilibus et credibilibus argumentis… (83r) Data circuli dyametro latera decagoni — nam visus locus Lune tunc ipse locus Solis. Et inclinationes quidem tenebrarum sic se habent. Explicit hic sextus liber et sexti glosa textus.’

= Almagesti minor (C.1.4)

. A few marginal notes by the scribe and, possibly, by another hand. One longer gloss by a later hand f. 87r. The introduction (82v) was added at a later stage and by another hand, as confirmed by the fact that the initial on that page was not executed, while initials on the following pages were.


‘Tabula stellarum fixarum secundum quod semper sunt in ymaginibus signorum. Stellatio Urse Minoris. Tabula stellarum fixarum. Illa que est super extremitatem caude: (longitudo) 2s 7° 15′ – (latitudo) 66° 0′ – (magnitudo) 3. Illa que est post istam super caudam: 2s 9° 35′ – 70° 0′ – 4 — thaugebe dicuntur comete.’

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Gerard of Cremona) (A.1.2)

, VII.5-VIII.1, star catalogue, with longitudes adjusted +7°05′ (same in Florence, BML, Conv. Soppr. 414). No glosses.