Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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London, British Library, Harley 13

s. XIIIex-XIVin (the predictions of eclipses for 1293-1311, f. 140r-140v, are not unique to this MS).


English and northern French hands, except f. 3-16, copied by a southern hand acc. d’Alverny/Hudry; Saint-Quentin mentioned in the predictions of eclipses 1293-1311 (140rb: ‘apud Sanctum Quintinum’), which must be somehow related to William of Saint-Cloud’s Almanach planetarum 1293-1311.


John of London, monk of St Augustine of Canterbury (fl. c. 1290-1330); St Agustine of Canterbury; John Dee; Sir Simonds d’Ewes (d. 1650); Robert Harley (d. 1724).

Parchment, 242 f., several neat hands (I: f. 3-16, II: f. 17-25 and 117ra-124vb, III: f. 26-117ra [tables possibly by another hand; first lines of f. 117ra, then continued by hand II], IV: f. 124vb-198r (similar to hand III); V: f. 199-241), painted initials at the beginning of each text, numerous decorated initials. The decoration is homogeneous throughout.

Astrology and astronomy: table of contents added by John Dee (2r); Theorica planetarum Gerardi (3ra-8vb); canons of Toledan tables (8vb-30rb), including a table with canon by Campanus of Novara (30ra-30rb); Toledan tables (30va-116r); Pseudo-Thebit Bencora, De motu octave spere (117ra-119va); Ptolemaica (119va-122rb); Thebit Bencora, De recta imaginatione spere et circulorum eius diversorum (122rb-123rb); Thebit Bencora (?), De quantitate stellarum et planetarum et proportione terre (123va-124vb); Jordanus de Nemore, De plana spera (124vb-128vb); Euclid, De speculis (129ra-133va); Jordanus de Nemore, De ratione ponderis (133va-140rb); predictions of eclipses for 1293-1311 (140rb-140vb); Ptolemaica (141ra-164vb); Alkindi, De radiis (165ra-173ra); Messahallah, De cogitatione (173ra-173vb); Messahallah, Liber interpretationum (173vb-175rb); Campanus of Novara, reworking of Theodosius’s Spherica (175va-194vb); Menelaus, Spherica (195ra-198ra); Alcabitius, Introductorius (199ra-217vb); notes on the lunar nodes ‘Geusahar Saturni sunt tria signa…’ (217vb-218va); Messahallah, Liber receptionis (218va-228vb); Ptolemaica (229ra-230rb); Messahallah, De orbe, short version (231ra-241vb); astronomical notes, 16th c. (242r). Blank: 1, 2v, 116v, 198v, 230v, 242v.

Bibl. A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1808-1812, 4 vols, I, 2-3; A. G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds d’Ewes, London, 1966, 136 (A280); C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani. A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1972, 370; M.-T. d’Alverny, F. Hudry, ‘Al-Kindi: De radiis’, Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Age 41 (1974), 139-260: 188-190; J. Roberts, A. G. Watson, John Dee’s Library Catalogue, London, 1990, 164 (DM42); R. Lemay, Le Kitāb aṯ-Ṯamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], 1999 [unpublished], I, 311-313; F. S. Pedersen, The Toledan Tables. A Review of the Manuscripts and the Textual Versions with an Edition, København, 2002, I, 127-128; B. C. Barker-Benfield, St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, London, 2008, II, 1190-1195 (BA I.1166).


‘Incipit liber Thebith ben Chorath de his que indigent expositione antequam legatur Almagesti. Equatuor (!) diei est circulus maior qui describitur — propinqui oppositi erunt tunc retrogradi. Expletus est liber Thebith filii Core de his que indigent expositione antequam legatur Almagesti.’


‘Liber centum verborum Ptholomei, id est Centilog<ium>. Scientia stellarum ex te ex illis est. Astronomus non debet dicere rem specialiter sed universaliter… (141rb) Mundanorum … [blank] mutatio ad hoc et ad illud corporum supercelestium… Doctrina stellarum ex te ex illis est. Nec est doctrina in ea ut proheret (!) formam… Dixit Ptolomeus: Iam scripsi tibi, Iesure, domine libros de hoc quod operantur stelle in hoc seculo… (141va) Quod dixit Ptolomeus, ex te et illis, significat quod qui res futuras scire desiderat — Et ego tamen deprecor ut te diligat 4. Et perfecta huius libri translatio 17 d<i>e mensis Marcii, 15 die mensis in medio (!) secundi anne (!) Arabum 530. Explicit Centhilogium (!).’

= Abuiafar Hamet filii Joseph, 〈Commentum in Centiloquium〉 (tr. Plato of Tivoli) (C.3.1.1)

, with the propositions also given in the ‘Mundanorum’ version (C.3.1.3) and in Adelard of Bath’s translation (B.1.1) (=‘threefold’ version). The preface occurs between the three propositions and the commentary of v. 1. Occasional short marginal notes by another hand, f. 142v-144r.


‘Incipit glosa Hispalensis super 60 propositionem Centilogii Ptholomei que incipit sic: Albaharan etc. In oppositione ista Ptholomeus tria tangit. Primum est de occasione dierum creticorum — et acuta ut de magna causa et brevi.’