Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, lat. VIII.10 (3266)

s. XIII1 (f. 1-188r, probably between 1225 and 1240 acc. Georges) and XIIImed (f. IIv and 188v-189r), with 14th-c. additions on f. Iv-IIr and 190r-190v.


probably Oxford for f. 1-188; the glossator of f. 1-188, who also copied f. IIv (the first Ptolemaic section) and 188v-189r, seems to be of English background acc. Georges, who notes that he also glossed Geber’s Liber super Almagesti in MS Philadelphia, UP-KC, Ms. Codex 826 (olim Lat. 3).


the MS was glossed c. 1311 by a southern hand that signs ‘Iohannes Amelii’ (see below), perhaps the Johannes Amelii (or Joan Amell) attested as physician to King James II of Aragon from 1306 onwards or the Johannes de Amelio (or Jean d’Amiel) who held various ecclesiastical positions in southern France and Italy from 1317 onwards and was bishop of Spoleto from 1349 to his death c. 1370. The MS was apparently in Padua c. 1399 (Georges) and definitely in Venice in the beginning of the 16th c., for it was one of the models used by Petrus Liechtenstein for his edition of the Almagest in 1515.

Parchment, II+190 f. The original core of the MS was copied by two hands (f. 1r-108r and 108r-188r) and includes decorated initials. The rest was added by the English (?) glossator of the Almagest (f. IIv and 188v-189r), by Johannes Amelii (f. Iv-IIr) and by another 14th-c. hand (f. 190r-190v).

Astronomy: added notes of geometry (Iv-IIr); Ptolemaica (IIv and 1r-188r); added astronomical notes (188v-189r); added notes on the lunar mansions (190r); added astronomical diagrams (190v). Blank: Ir, 189v.


J. Valentinelli, Bibliotheca manuscripta ad S. Marci Venetiarum. Codices MSS. Latini, IV, Venezia, 1871, 248-249 (XI.62); P. Kunitzsch, Der Sternkatalog des Almagest. Die arabisch-mittelalterliche Tradition, II, Wiesbaden, 1990, 20-21; S. Georges, Glosses as Source for the History of Science. The Case of Gerard of Cremona’s Translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest (forthcoming).


‘Valde bene qui proprie philosophati sunt, o Sire, videntur mihi sequestrasse theoricum philosophie a practico — hec pro facultate pertractantes.’

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Sicily c. 1150) (A.1.1), I.1. No glosses.


‘Liber iste precepto Maimonis regis Arabum, qui regnavit in Baldach… Bonum quod fecerunt in eo quod video illi qui perscrutati sunt… (1v) Bonum, domine, fuit quod sapientibus non deviantibus visum est — (132r) et abbreviationum, tunc iam sequitur et honestum est ut ponamus hic finem libri. <Q>uidam princeps nomine Albuguafe in libro suo quem scientiarum electionem et verborum nominavit — (132v) considerantibus picturas, que cum a longe videntur placent, propinque vero non dulcescunt’ (followed by tables, 133r-188r).

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Gerard of Cremona) (A.1.2), Classes A and B mixed. Preface (end only), 1r; I, 1r-10r; II, 10r-21v; III, 21v-31r; IV, 31r-41v; V, 41v-56v; VI, 56v-69r; VII, 69r-74v; VIII, 74v-79v; IX, 79v-87v; X, 87v-96v; XI, 96v-106v; XII, 106v-118v; XIII, 118v-132r; preface (in full), 132r-132v; tables (missing in the text) have been added at the end, 133r-188r. Chapter I.1 is given in both Iṣhāq’s and al-Ḥajjāj’s versions. Substantial glosses by the scribe who copied f. IIv and 188v-189r. Glosses by Johannes Amelii, one of which reports an astronomical observation made by him in 1311 (f. 166v: ‘Inveni ego Iohannes Amelii per sensibilem observationem cum Luna Cor Leonis esse in 19o gradu et 10 minutis Leonis anno Christi 1311o imperfecto, octava die mensis Octobris in aurora et transiverant tunc a tempore observationis Ptholomei 1172 anni Egiptii et 10 dies fere’).