Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1368

s. XV1 (1426 for the Ptolemaic section – see colophon f. 45ra – and probably for f. 34-68, all in the same hand), XV2 (f. 11-33) and XVI1 (f. 1-10, in or after 1522).


f. 34-68 were copied by Conrad of Dyffenbach (cf. colophon f. 45ra), probably in Worms or thereabouts, as suggested by the presence of several works, some unique to this MS, by Johannes de Wachenheim (f. 38r-41r, 49v-50r, 51r-56v and 57v-58v), the deacon of the church St Cyriacus in Worms-Neuhausen, who copied, in 1413, Geber’s Liber super Almagesti in what is now MS Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 2º 382 (see).


Heidelberg, Bibliotheca Palatina; Vatican library in 1623.

Paper (except f. 1-10, on parchment), 68 f., composite MS made of three parts, each copied by a single hand: I, f. 1-10; II, f. 11-33; III, f. 34-68. Part III is undoubtedly copied in a single hand (Conradus de Dyffenbach) and not in two hands, as stated by E. Poulle, Les instruments de la théorie des planètes selon Ptolémée: équatoires et horlogerie planétaire du XIIIe au XVIe siècle, Paris, 1980, 93, who sees a new hand starting on f. 46r and dates f. 46-68 to c. 1460-1480 due to the positions of the apogees in the equatorium f. 59-62.

Astrology and astronomy: Sebastian Münster, Instrumentum planetarum (1v-10v); canons ‘Ad inveniendum veras auges planetarum…’ (11r-11v) and planetary tables (12r-33r); ‘Incipit tractatus de significationibus 12 signorum. Quando fuerit ascendentia in revolutionibus annorum cuiuslibet per se. Ascendens anni omni anno secundum quod sors revolutionis…’ (34r-34v); Capitula Almansoris (35r-36r); Hermes, Centiloquium (36ra-37ra); Zael, Quinquaginta precepta (37ra-38ra); ‘Sequuntur 150 considerationes Guidonis Bonatti de Forlivo abbreviate per magistrum Iohannem de Wachenheym decani ecclesie Sancti Cyriaci in Nuhusa prope Wormaciam anno Christi 1411. Tres sunt motus ad movendum homines ad interrogandum…’ (38ra-41rb); Guillelmus Anglicus, De urina non visa, c. 3-9 (42ra-42va); Gergis, De significatione septem planetarum in domibus, attr. ‘Lupoldus’ and probably excerpted from Leopold of Austria’s De astrorum scientia (42vb-43va); Ptolemaica (43vb-45ra); geographical coordinates of cities (46r); plotting of cities on a graduated map (46v-47v); star list adapted from Ptolemy’s Almagest ‘Secundum Ptholomeum septimo Almagesti, capitulo primo, in una linea sunt stelle subscripte ut sequitur…’ (48ra-48rb); table of houses for Worms, lat. 49°35′ (49r); table: points of essential dignities of each planet in each of the 360° ‘Tabule fortitudinum seu dignitatum septem planetarum in omnibus gradibus 12 signorum zodyaci cum locis stellarum complexionatarum in eisdem 12 signis ad annum domini 1420 et tertii verificatarum, quod est tempus magistri Iohannis de Wachenheim decani Nuhusen compositoris huius etc.’ (49v-50r); table: 12 signs and their mundane correspondances, incompletely filled (50v); star catalogue verified ‘per magistrum Iohannem decanum Nuhusen ad annum 1420’ (51ra-56va); star table arranged according to the planetary nature of the stars (56vb-57va); star table arranged according to the 12 signs ‘… et sic est finis stellarum magis authenticarum fixarum in celo in gradibus 12 signorum verificatarum per magistrum Iohannem de Wachenheim, decanum Nuhusem ad tempus 1400’ (57vb-58vb); representations of an equatorium (59r-62v); graduated celestial maps (63r-64v); plotting of cities on a graduated map (65v-66r). Blank: 1r, 33v-33bisv, 41v, 45v, 48v, 65r, 66v-68v (except for a horoscope added f. 67r).

Bibl. Inventarium manuscriptorum Latinorum Bibliothecae Palatinae (handwritten catalogue), 488; F. Saxl, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierte Handschriften des Mittelalters, I: In römischen Bibliotheken, Heidelberg, 1915, 10-15; D. B. Durand, The Vienna-Klosterneuburg Map Corpus of the Fifteenth Century, Leiden, 1952, 114-119; P. O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum, II, London-Leiden, 1977, 393; L. Schuba, Die Quadriviums-Handschriften der Codices Palatini Latini in der Vatikanischen Bibliothek, Wiesbaden, 1992, 63-66; R. Lemay, Le Kitāb aṯ-Ṯamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], 1999 [unpublished], I, 386; E. Dekker, Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, Oxford, 2012, 357-367 and 408-410; D. Blume, M. Haffner, W. Metzger, Sternbilder des Mittelalters und der Renaissance. Der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie, II: 1200-1500, Berlin, 2016, 2 vols, II.1: Text und Katalog der Handschriften, 512-519.


‘Sequitur Centiloquium Ptho<lome>i continens 100 verba. Scientia stellarum ex te et illis est. Astrologus non debet dicere rem specialiter sed universaliter… <D>ixit Ptolo<meus>: Iam scripsi tibi, Iesure, id est domine, libros tractantes de hoc quod operantur stelle in hoc seculo… Quod dixit Ptolo<meus>, ex te et illis, significat quod qui res futuras desiderat prescire — si autem e contrario erit hostis de regno, pro quo gloriose Virgini sit honor, laus et gloria per infinata seculorum secula. Amen. Et sic finitur Centiloquium Ptho<lome>i, scriptum per me Conradum de Dyffenbach anno domini 1426 festo Epiphanie domini etc.’