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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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

s. XIII1 (probably before 1231 for part I; parts II and III seem older; the MS is dated to the 14th c. by Koehler/Milchsack, Haskins and Kunitzsch, and to the 13th c. by Carmassi).


France (Carmassi).


‘Hunc librum posuit hic reverendus pater frater Andreas de Vogelsanc penitentiarius domini pape, quamdiu sibi placet’ (f. 1bisv, 15th-c. hand); Marquard Gude (d. 1689), who annotated the MS.

Parchment, 196 f., MS made of three parts, each copied by one main hand: I: f. 1bis-2+195-196; II: f. 3-161, painted initial at the beginning of Book V (f. 51ra), reserved initials at the beginning of each other book; III: f. 162-194, decorated initials. F. 1bis-2 and 195-196 are two bifolia which served in all likelihood as cover for the MS. F. 1 was certainly added last.

Ptolemaica (2ra-2vb, 3ra-161vb and 162r-194r). Blank: 194v. F. 1bis-2 and 195-196 contain the fragment of a historical (?) text from the 12th or the early 13th c. (1bisr-1bisv and 195r-196v) and added material, including: notes on calendar conversion for the year 1231 (‘anno domini M°CC°XXX° perfecto’), which must be posterior to the text on f. 2r-2v (1bisv); the owner note and further notes by Gude (1bisv); astronomical notes on arcs and chords (195r-196r), where the year 1337 is mentioned (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).


‘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. Translator’s preface (section), 3ra; chapter I.1 in al-Ḥajjāj’s version, 3ra-3vb; translator’s 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), including passages from the alternative translation of Isḥāq’s version. Glosses by at least two other hands, one of which wrote ‘Annis Christi 1329 completis sunt anni Nabug. 2077’ (66v). Numbers are given in Arabic numerals.


‘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.2.2). 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).