Project icon: lavishly furnished initial letter with a painting of Ptolemy using an astrolab.

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, lat. XIV.174 (4606)

s. XIV.


Apostolo Zeno (d. 1750), cf. inner front cover.

Parchment, 190 f. (sporadic foliation in pencil, which differs from the old and irregular foliation, so that, for example, new f. 9-85 correspond to old f. 10-86), a single neat hand, painted initials f. 2r and 49v and reserved initial f. 127r.

Computus, astral magic and miscellanea: table of contents by the scribe (1r); Bonus de Lucca, Computus lunaris (1v-16v); ‘Distinctio septem climatum secundum Arabes. Primi climatis inicium est ex parte orientali…’ (17r-22v); Hermes/Toz Graecus, De stationibus ad cultum Veneris, beginning only (22v); Hermes/Toz Graecus/Germa Babiloniensis, Liber Veneris (23r-24v); Hermes/Toz Graecus/Germa Babiloniensis, De quattuor speculis (24v-25r); Thebit Bencora, De imaginibus (25r-32v); Hermes, De imaginibus et horis (32v-34v); Hermes/Belenus, De imaginibus septem planetarum (34v-37r); Hermes/Belenus, De imaginibus diei et noctis, excerpt (37r-37v); Hermes/Belenus, De quattuor imaginibus magnis, excerpt (37v); Hermes/Belenus, De viginti quattuor horis (37v-39r); Ptolemaica (39r-42r); ‘Planete signa et elimenta (!). Saturnus, Iupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercurius, Luna, unaquaque istarum planetarum in diebus et noctibus proprias habent horas…’ (42r-49r); Gesta Alexandri Magni (49v-126v); Jacobus de Secolis Ordinis Predicatorum, Liber de inventione ludi schachorum (126v-187v); ‘Regule iuris. Beneficium ecclesiasticum non potest licite sine institutione canonica obtineri…’ (187v-190r); Sortes apostolorum, incomplete (190r-190v). F. 17-49 seem to form a single gathering under the title Liber astrorum (cf. explicit f. 49r: ‘Explicit liber astrorum ad honorem Dei altissimi’).


P. Zorzanello, Catalogo dei codici Latini delle Bibliotheca Nazionale Marciana di Venezia (non compresi nel catalogo di G. Valentinelli), III, Trezzano, 1985 (handwritten catalogue), 231-233; Magia, alchimia, scienza dal’400 al’700. L’influsso di Ermete Trismegisto. Magic, Alchemy and Science, 15th-18th Centuries. The Influence of Hermes Trismegistus, eds C. Gilly, C. van Heertum, Firenze, 2002, II, 78-81; G. Bohak, C. Burnett, Thābit ibn Qurra On Talismans and Ps.-Ptolemy On Images 1-9, Together with the Liber prestigiorum Thebidis of Adelard of Bath, Firenze, 2021, 89.


‘<D>ixit Habitra Benferiz quia omnes orientales operantur per has ymagines — et aspiciant rationem signum fortune. Alii vero sint cadentes ab ipso, sitque ascendentis planeta fortunatus.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, De imaginibus super facies signorum (B.14), with significant departure from the standard version. No glosses.