Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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London, British Library, Harley 80

s. XIV1.


England, f. 75-84 probably copied by Michael de Northgate (fl. 1295-1340), cf. Barker-Benfield, 1291.


perhaps St Agustine of Canterbury; William Dussing, vicar of Fordingbridge, first half of the 16th c. (f. 106v); John Dee in 1556; Sir Simonds d’Ewes (d. 1650); Robert Harley (d. 1724).

Parchment (except f. 85-98 on paper), 106 f. Composite MS made of five roughly contemporary parts (f. 1-57, 58-74, 75-84, 85-98 and 99-106). The third part (f. 75-84) is copied by a single hand. Several folia are missing at the beginning.

Scientific texts (optics, astronomy, geometry, astrology, astral magic, natural philosophy): Roger Bacon, De perspectiva (1r-33r); Richard of Wallingford, Tractatus albionis (34r-54r); Richard of Wallingford, Tractatus rectanguli (54v-57r); Zael, De interrogationibus (58r-68r); Zael, De electionibus (68v-74r); astrological notes (74v); Thebit Bencora, De imaginibus (75r-76r, beginning missing); Ptolemaica (76r-77v); Hermes/Belenus, Liber imaginum Lunae (77v-78v); Hermes/Belenus, De viginti quattuor horis (78v-79r); Hermes/Belenus, De imaginibus diei et noctis (79r-80v); Hermes/Belenus, De quattuor imaginibus magnis (80v-81r); Hermes/Belenus, De discretione operis differencia ex iudiciis Hermetis (81r); Hermes, Liber de quindecim stellis (81r-84v); John of Ligneres, Canones (85r-93r); Prophatius Judaeus, Quadrans novus (94r-97r); astronomical notes (98r and 98v); Marbode of Rennes, De lapidibus (99ra-101vb); short texts and notes on stones (102v-105r); Thetel, Liber sigillorum (105va-106ra). Blank: 33v, 57v, 93v, 97v, 102r, 106v.


A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1808-1812, 4 vols, I, 21; A. G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds d’Ewes, London, 1966, 135 (A279); C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani. A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1972, 371; J. Roberts, A. G. Watson, John Dee’s Library Catalogue, London, 1990, 118 (M72); B. C. Barker-Benfield, St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, London, 2008, II, 1289-1291 (BA I.1276p-r); 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, 86-87.


‘Opus ymagarum (!) secundum consilium Ftolomeum (!) et est omnibus modis proprior et veracior in probatione quoniam eius effectus super facies signorum duodecim. Dixit Alburabeth Benfeliz quod omnes orientales operantur per has ymagines — ut a vento moveatur et videbis mirabilia si Deus voluerit. Explicit opus ymagarum (!) secundum consilium Ftolomeum (!). Deo gracias.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, De imaginibus super facies signorum (B.14). Glosses by another hand, possibly contemporary with the copy.