Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek, 147 Gud. Lat. 4º (4451)

s. XIIex-XIIIin (f. 3-161) and XIII1 (f. 2, probably c. 1231; and f. 162-194, probably before c. 1231); the MS as a whole is dated to the 14th c. by Koehler/Milchsack and Kunitzsch.


Oxford (Georges; France acc. Carmassi).


Andreas de Vogelsanc, a penitentiary of the pope attested in Avignon from 1351 to 1353, who left the MS in some unnamed place (cf. f. 1bisv: ‘Hunc librum posuit hic reverendus pater frater Andreas de Vogelsanc penitentiarius domini pape, quamdiu sibi placet’), which must be the monastery of Soest in Westphalia acc. Georges; Marquard Gude (d. 1689), who annotated the MS.

Parchment, 196 f., composite MS made of three parts: I, f. 1bis-2+195-196 (a single hand for the Ptolemaic section); II, f. 3-161 (a sigle hand, painted initial at the beginning of Book V on f. 51ra, reserved initials at the beginning of each other book); III, f. 162-194 (a single hand, decorated initials). The first part (f. 1bis-2 and 195-196) consists of two bifolia from another MS reused as cover for f. 3-194. F. 1 was added last.

Ptolemaica (2ra-2vb, 3ra-161vb and 162r-194r). Blank: 194v. F. 1bis-2 and 195-196 contain fragments of decretals, which were erased on f. 2r-2v to make room for the first Ptolemaic section, and around which scattered notes were added at various times, including a set of notes on calendar conversion for the year 1231 (‘anno domini MoCCoXXXo perfecto’) and owners’ notes (1bisv), and further astronomical notes on arcs and chords (195r-196r), where the year 1337 is mentioned on f. 195v. F. 1 contains a table of contents by Gude (1r) and a fragment of a late medieval text mentioning the archbishop of Cologne (1v).


Die Handschriften der Herzoglichen Bibliothek zu Wolfenbüttel, IX: F. Koehler, G. Milchsack, Die Gudischen Handschriften: Codices Guelferbytani Gudiani graeci und Gudiani latini, Frankfurt/Main, 1966, 163-164 (originally published 1913); C. H. Haskins, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science, Cambridge, 1927 (2nd ed.), 106-108; P. Kunitzsch, Der Almagest – Die Syntaxis Mathematica des Claudius Ptolemäus in arabisch-lateinischer Überlieferung, Wiesbaden, 1974, 94-95; P. Kunitzsch, Der Sternkatalog des Almagest. Die arabisch-mittelalterliche Tradition, II, Wiesbaden, 1990, 19; P. Carmassi, ‘Book Material, Production, and Use from the Point of View of the Paratext’, in Inscribing Knowledge in the Medieval Book. The Power of Paratexts, eds R. Brown-Grant, P. Carmassi, G. Drossbach, A. D. Hedeman, V. Turner, I. Ventura, Berlin-Boston, 2019, 304-330: 307 and 313 (with colour reprod. of f. 51r, 65r, 15r, 34r, 36r, 33r and 101v on pp. 310-312 and 323-326 respectively); S. Georges, Glosses as Source for the History of Science. The Case of Gerard of Cremona’s Translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest (forthcoming).


‘Eam pingendi Gratias antiqui feruntur habuisse consuetudinem, ut unam quidem vultum aversam, due quibus illa manum porrigeret aspectarent. Cuius misterii non ignarus dudum — ad huius operis lectionem dignos admittas, indignos abigas. Suam quippe rebus dignis adimet dignitatem, si quis eas communicaverit indignis.’

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Sicily c. 1150) (A.1.1), translator’s preface only. No glosses. The text is followed (2vb) by a note on the names of the months in Latin, Hebrew, ‘Egyptian’ and Greek: ‘Menses Latinorum: Ianuarius…’. Gude added a title on f. 2ra: ‘Claudii Ptolemaei Magnae constructionis, vulgo Almagestum vocant, libri XIII latine conversi’.


‘Conveniens est intelligenti provecundari est ea que ipsi non sunt grata cognat. Intelligens est qui linguam suam — non dulcescunt. Alia translatio primi capituli. Bonum domine fuit qui sapientibus perfectis visum est … (3vb) Quidam princeps nomine Albuguafe in libro suo quem scientiarum electionem et verborum nominavit… (4ra) <B>onum quidem fecerunt illi qui perscrutati sunt scientiam philosophie — et abbreviationem, tunc iam sequitur et honestum est ut ponamus hoc finem libri. Finit liber Ptolomei Pheludensis, qui grece Megasiti, arabice Almagesti, latine Maior perfectus appellatur.’

= Ptolemy, Almagesti (tr. Gerard of Cremona) (A.1.2), Class B. Preface (section), 3ra; chapter I.1 in al-Ḥajjāj’s version, 3ra-3vb; preface (section), 3vb; Book I (with first chapter in Iṣhāq’s version), 4ra-13va; II, 13va-28vb; III, 28vb-38rb; IV, 38rb-50vb; V, 50vb-65ra; VI, 65ra-78vb; VII, 78va-89rb; VIII, 89rb-98va; IX, 98va-111rb; X, 111va-120vb; XI, 120vb-134vb; XII, 134vb-145va; XIII, 145va-161vb. Numerous glosses by the scribe (sometimes substantial, e.g. f. 98v-108r). Glosses by at least two other hands, one of which wrote ‘Annis Christi 1329 completis sunt anni Nabug. 2077’ (66v).


‘Prolixitatis exosa Latinitas artium principia prescriptione quadam insignire sollicita est… (162v) Ex stellarum habitudine prescientie perfectio consecuta, Iezuri, tamquam partes maiores — qualitatem inveniet. Quoniam ergo iuxta propositum nostrum in astrorum iudicia viam universalem tradidimus, congruum est ut huic tractatui nostro finem imponamus. Perfecta est huius libri translatio 29 die Augusti anno domini 1206 et 23 die Alnuharam anno Arabum 603, et Deus melius novit. Explicit Quadripartitum Pthol<ome>i in iudicia astrorum secundum accidentia editum.’

= Ptolemy, Quadripartitum (tr. 1206) (A.2.3). Translator’s preface, 162r; I, 162v-171v; II, 171v-179r; III, 179r-188v, IV, 188v-194r. No glosses. On f. 162r, Gude added a title (‘Cl. Ptolemaei Quadripartitum’) and a longer note (ed. Carmassi, 328 n. 19).