Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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London, British Library, Harley 5402

s. XII, probably before 1160 (for f. 1-69) and XIV (f. 71-104).


Italy, perhaps Lucca (f. 1-69).


Nicolaus Cusanus in 1421 (f. 1r); Nathaniel Noel (d. c. 1753); Edward Harley in 1724; Robert Harley. The date and place of origin of f. 1-69 are inferred from a set of notes (f. 69r-69v) in a mixture of Latin and Italian, added by an early owner, where the year 1160 and Lucca are mentioned: ‘Anni domini MCLX correbas ciclum Lune XIX annos… Ego Deus qui aparui Abraam, Yzaac et Iacop in Deo patre omnipotente et nomen meus Adonai non abscondi eius. La rasione dele littere Iulii inperator dicoti come vuoli fare… (69v) Sciatis quod tabule iste facte sunt super civitas Luce…’ (these notes have been analysed and edited in Burnett, ‘Latin Alphanumerical Notation…’, 78-79).

Parchment, 104 f. Composite MS made of two parts (f. 1-70 and 71-104), each copied by a single hand, except for additions on f. 15-16 and 69-70.

Astrology: Ptolemaica (1r-15r); two astrological-astronomical tables with notes, added (15v-16r); Zael, Liber iudiciorum (17r-68v); three short chapters ‘In domino ascendentis revolutionis anni debemus considerare dominum ascendentis… Cum interrogatus fuerit de aliquo, prospice planetas… Quando Luna comburitur…’ (68v-69r); added notes (69r-69v, see above); excerpts of religious texts, added (70r-70v); ‘De operatione planetarum in mundo. Videamus operationem planetarum in omnibus rebus…’ (71r-80v); Messahallah, Liber receptionis (81r-98v); Gergis, De significatione septem planetarum in domibus (99r-103v); three short chapters ‘De horis bonis et malis. Hora Saturni bona est ad emendum ferrum… Item, de horis bonis et malis. Iterum hora Solis mala est… De amicitia et inimicitia planetarum. Sol et Mercurius se diligunt…’ (103v-104v). Blank: 16v.


A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1808-1812, 4 vols, III, 265; E. Zinner, ‘Aus alten Handschriften’, Naturforschende Gesellschaft Bamberg 38 (1962), 8-57: 41; R. Danzer, A. Krchňák, R. Haubst, ‘Kritisches Verzeichnis der Londoner Handschriften aus dem Besitz des Nikolaus von Kues’, Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft 3 (1963), 16-100: 81-84; A. Krchňák, ‘Die Herkunft der astronomischen Handschriften und Instrumente des Nikolaus von Kues’, Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft 3 (1963), 109-181: 176-177; C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani. A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum, London, 1972, 456; P. O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum, IV, London-Leiden, 1989, 151; C. Burnett, ‘Latin Alphanumerical Notation, and Annotation in Italian, in the Twelfth Century: MS London, British Library, Harley 5402’, in Sic itur ad astra. Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften. Festschrift für den Arabisten Paul Kunitzsch zum 70. Geburtstag, eds M. Folkerts, R. Lorch, Wiesbaden, 2000, 76-90.



‘Alkanderinus [added in upper margin by a later hand]. Incipit… [title in red, faded]. Signorum alia sunt masculini generis, alia feminini, feminini ut Taurus, Cancer, Virgo… (14v) De mutatione temporis. Ut autem de mutatione temporum partulariter nosse — scias te ipsam numquam habiturum. Explicit.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, Iudicia (B.3). The text includes Pseudo-Ptolemy’s De temporum mutatione (B.12) on f. 14v (see below). A couple of short marginal notes by a later hand, f. 5r and 6r.


‘De mutatione temporis. Ut autem de mutatione temporum partulariter nosse verum desideras, regule que iam dicentur ab animo tuo non labantur. Prima die mensis Septembris, Ycarus, custos plaustri, apparet cum Solis ortu — id est Eridanus apparet XXIa die Ipos, id est Equus.’

= Pseudo-Ptolemy, De temporum mutatione (B.12), incomplete, as part of the previous text. No glosses.