Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 885

s. XIIIex-XIV1 (Pedersen).


the decoration (initials) points to Paris (information Stefan Georges), at least for f. 109-307 – the rest of the MS has reserved initials.


the MS (or, at least, f. 312-368) may have been in northern Italy by the second half of the 14th c., for the glosses on f. 350v (see) connect the appearance of a comet on 1 April 1368 with the entry of Emperor Charles IV in Padua on 25 April of the same year.

Parchment, 368 f., several hands.

Astronomy, computus, optics and astrology: Robert Grosseteste, De sphera, beginning gone (1ra-7vb); canons of Toledan tables (8ra-30vb); Alfraganus, De scientia astrorum, tr. Gerard of Cremona (32r-53v); Pseudo-Messahallah, De compositione astrolabii, use (53v-57r); empty table meant for geographical coordinates of cities (57v); Campanus of Novara, Theorica planetarum (58r-104r); Pseudo-Messahallah, De compositione astrolabii, construction (104r-107r); added notes and diagrams of geometry, astronomy and astrology (107v-108v), including Jordanus de Nemore (?), ‘Ab eodem puncto quotlibet simul circulariter…’ (107v-108r); Ptolemaica (109r-123v); Ibn Muʿādh, De crepusculis (124r-131v); Euclid, De visu, ed. Witelo (?) (132r-143v); Roger Bacon, De perspectiva (144r-199v); Liber de triangulis Iordani, excerpts (199bisr); Roger Bacon, De speculis comburentibus (200r-212r); Robert Grosseteste, De cometis (213r-214v); ‘Incipit prologus in assignationem errorum kalendarii et eorundem correctionem. Quoniam ex diversitate cursuum Solis et kalendarii scandalorum occasio…’ (215r-217v); calendar (218r-223v); Robert Grosseteste, Compotus (224ra-248rb), with tables (248rb-251r); Campanus of Novara, Compotus maior (252r-307v); calendar (308r-311r); Rabanus Maurus, Liber de computo (312r-346r); dimensions of Noah’s Ark ‘Moyses vir disciplinarum peritus…’ (346r-348v); Rabanus Maurus, Liber de computo, beginning only (349r); Ptolemaica (350v-368v); astrological notes ‘Cum volueris de temperie vel intemperie aeris aliquid scire…’ (367v). Blank: 31, 199bisv, 212v, 250r, 251v, 311v, 349v-350r.


Inventario e stima della Libreria Riccardi. Manoscritti e edizioni del secolo XV, Firenze, 1810, 21; L. Thorndike, ‘Notes upon Some Medieval Astronomical, Astrological and Mathematical Manuscripts at Florence, Milan, Bologna and Venice’, Isis 50 (1959), 33-50: 38-40; F. S. Benjamin, G. J. Toomer, Campanus of Novara and Medieval Planetary Theory, Theorica planetarum, Madison-London, 1971, 90; D. C. Lindberg, Roger Bacon’s Philosophy of Nature. A Critical Edition, with English Translation, Introduction, and Notes of De multiplicatione specierum and De speculis comburentibus, Oxford, 1983, lxxix; M. Clagett, Archimedes in the Middles Ages, V, Philadelphia, 1984, 345; D. C. Lindberg, Roger Bacon and the Origins of Perspectiva in the Middle Ages. A Critical Edition and English Translation of Bacon’s Perspectiva, with Introduction and Notes, Oxford, 1996, ciii; R. Lemay, Le Kitāb aṯ-Ṯamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], 1999 [unpublished], I, 246-247; C. Panti, Moti, virtù e motori celesti nella cosmologia di Roberto Grossatesta. Studio ed edizione dei trattati De sphaera, De cometis, De motu supercelestium, Firenze, 2001, 256-257; F. S. Pedersen, The Toledan Tables. A Review of the Manuscripts and the Textual Versions with an Edition, København, 2002, I, 121; A. Lohr, C. P. E. Nothaft, Robert Grosseteste’s Compotus, Oxford, 2019, 29-30.



‘Almagesti [title in upper margin, perhaps by a later hand]. Omnium recte phantium (!) verisimilibus coniecturis etc. notum per 18am huius secundi A sit…’

= 〈Commentum in Almagesti minorem〉 (C.1.7), abrupt end in II.35 due to missing folia, first paragraph blank. No glosses.


‘Prologus in Centilogium Pto<lome>i Pheludensis. Dixerunt Pto<lomeus> et Hermes quod locus Lune in hora in qua fuit expertus multotiens.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, Dixerunt Ptolemeus et Hermes quod locus Lune... (B.5), considered the ‘prologue’ to the Centiloquium below, but added by a later hand on what was originally a blank page. One short marginal note referring to v. 51 of the Centiloquium.


‘De stellis comatis [added title, perhaps by another hand]. Pto<lomeus> dixit quod stelle cum caudis sunt 9 regibus et divitibus apparebit, morietur populus. Et cum Saturno mortalitas gravior, cum Marte vero guerre erunt quamplures et per gloriam (?) mortalitates, si autem cum Iove fiunt.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, De cometis (B.4), added by the same hand that copied B.5 above. Glosses by what seems to be a later hand on the comet of 1368: ‘A nativitate Christi 1368, die 8 vel circa Martii, apparuit in occidente una prope Martem, g<radu> 10 vel circa et duravit ultra 8 dies… Item circa primum mensis Aprilis… apparuit una alia stella comata maiora… eiusdem mensis XXV die imperator Karolus intravit Paduam… in magna concordia cum pappa Urbano V qui Romam intraverat 16 die Octobris 1367…’.


‘<D>icit Pthol<omeu>s: Iam scripsi tibi, Iesure, de hoc quod operantur stelle in hoc seculo… Verbum primum. Sciencia stellarum ex te et illis… Quod dixit Pthol<omeu>s, ex te et illis, significat quod qui res futuras prenoscere — Et ego Deum deprecor ut te diligat. Perfecta est huius libri translatio 17 die mensis Martii, 12 die mensis Gumedi secundi anno Arabum 520’ [added in the margin by the scribe: ‘Explicit…’, followed by several illegible words].

= Abuiafar Hamet filii Joseph, 〈Commentum in Centiloquium〉 (tr. Plato of Tivoli) (C.3.1.1). The last two bifolia are in disorder and should be read f. 366-365-368-367. F. 351-352 (v. 1-10) consist of a bifolium copied in a neat hand, while f. 353-368 (v. 10-100) are from another MS copied in a different, sloppier hand. A possible scenario is that the scribe of f. 351-352 intended to copy the whole text anew, but stopped in the middle of v. 10 and appended f. 353-368, which may have been his exemplar. The two introductory chapters on f. 350v were added by a later hand (see above). Glosses throughout by what seems to be yet a later hand (including notes on the comet of 1368 on f. 350v, see below).