Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Avranches, Bibliothèque Municipale, 235

s. XIImed (between c. 1145 and 1155).


Normandy, in a scriptorium related to Chartres, perhaps the abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.


abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel.

Parchment, I+79 f., a single hand, except for f. 5r-16r (see Holtz, 29). 14 f. are missing between current f. 77 and 78.

Scientific texts, mainly astronomical: table of contents, 13th c. (Iv); Ptolemaica (1r-26r); geometrical diagram, with verses ‘Ista rotunda triangula forma Iohannis…’ (26r); compilation on the astrolabe, mainly based on Sententie astrolabii ‘Incipit de nominibus laborum laboratorum in astrolapsu. In primis almuncantarat, id sunt circuli et arcus…’ (26v-39v); Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae, VIII.814-887 (40r-46v); table for computing the zodiacal position of the Moon (47r); measurement of the altitude of the Sun in Coutances at the spring equinox (47r); compilation of excerpts dealing with various subjects, including alchemy, organ pipes, colours, winds, abacus and metrology ‘De mensura caerae et metallorum fusilis operis. In fundentis operibus cuiusque ponderis…’ (47v-53v); Hermann of Reichenau, De mensura astrolabii (54r-58r); De utilitatibus astrolabii attr. Ptolemy: ‘Capitula Ptolomei de astrolabio. I. De utilitatibus astrolabii… Regulae Ptolomei super astrolabium…’ (58r-66r); chapters from Sententie astrolabii ‘Ianus et Apollo dum sibi invicem pariter…’ (66r-68r); ‘Incipit compositio astrolapsus secundum Ptolomaeum. Iubet rex Ptolomaeus bene…’ (68r-69v); De mensura astrolabii ‘Item alia compositio. Phylosophi quorum sagaci studio visibilium perceptio…’ (69v-71v); Ascelinus Teutonicus, Compositio astrolabii (71v-73v); Berengarius, De horologio viatorum (73v-75v); Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Mercurii et Philologiae, VIII.837 and 844-845 (75v-76r); Odo of Tournai, Rithmomachia (76v-77v); Albumasar, Ysagoga minor, last page only (78r); two excerpts on alchemy and organ pipes, related to f. 47v-53v (78v); comm. on psalms (79r-79v, added folio 12th-13th c.). According to the 13th-c. table of contents (Iv), Albumasar’s Ysagoga minor (78r) was preceded by Thebit Bencora’s Liber prestigiorum, cf. ‘Astronomicorum prestigiorum Thebidis secundum Ptolomeum et Hermetem per Adelardum Bathoniensem ex Arabico translatus’.

Bibl. Catalogue général des manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France. Départements, X, Paris, 1889, 112-114; N. Bubnov, Gerberti postea Silvestri II papae opera mathematica (972-1003), Berlin, 1899, xix; C. Leonardi, ‘I codici di Marziano Capella’, Aevum 34 (1960), 1-99: 3-4 (no. 4); W. Bergmann, Innovationen im Quadrivium des 10. und 11. Jahrhunderts. Studien zur Einführung von Astrolab und Abakus im lateinischen Mittelalter, Stuttgart, 1985, 228-231; A. Borst, Das mittelalterliche Zahlenkampfspiel, Heidelberg, 1986, 287-288; C. Burnett, ‘Catalogue. The Writings of Adelard of Bath and Closely Associated Works, Together with the Manuscripts in which they Occur’, in Adelard of Bath. An English Scientist and Arabist of the Early Twelfth Century, ed. C. Burnett, London, 1987, 163-196: 179 (no. 36); C. Jeudy, Y.-F. Riou, Les manuscrits classiques latins des bibliothèques publiques de France. I: Agen-Evreux, Paris, 1989, 231-241; D. Pingree, Preceptum canonis Ptolomei, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1997, 9-10; L. Holtz, ‘Ms. Avranches, B.M. 235: étude codicologique’, in Science antique, science médiévale (Autour d’Avranches 235). Actes du colloque international (Mont-Saint-Michel, 4-7 septembre 1998), eds L. Callebat, O. Desbordes, Hildesheim-Zürich-New York, 2000, 17-61 (all articles in this volume deal with various aspects of the content of the MS).


‘Incipit preceptum canonis Ptolomei. Intellectus clymatum polis epissime requires si inveneris platos civitatis — (16r) requires superiorem et inferiorem et addes aut deduces’ (followed by the tables f. 17r-26r).

= Ptolemy, Preceptum canonis Ptolomei (tr. before c. 1000) (A.7.1)

. Occasional short marginal notes by the scribe. F. 16v is blank.