Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Cambridge, University Library, Ee 3.61 (1017)

s. XVex (most of the MS, including the first Ptolemaic section, was probably copied between 1481 and 1484, cf. f. 1r, 12v-15r, 188v and 189v-190r) with 16th-c. additions, including for the second Ptolemaic section.


personal notebook of Lewis Caerleon (d. in or after 1495), who copied most of the MS and left his name (‘Lewys/Lodowycus Kaerlyon/Caerlyon’ or ‘Lewys’) on f. 2v, 14v, 15r, 47r, 74v, 81r, 107r, 142r, 142v, 144r, 145r, 146r, 151r and 189v.


‘William Carge his booke’ (f. Iv).

Paper and parchment, I+192 f. (modern foliation in upper right corner, different from the foliation used in the Catalogue… and by Pedersen), one main hand (Lewis Caerleon), with intervention of several other hands in various places. At least one folio is missing before f. 48r.

Astronomy, mathematics and astrology: Lewis Caerleon, calculations for the solar eclipse of 17 May 1482, with horoscope (1r); table of contents (2v); Lewis Caerleon, ‘Circa compositionem tabularum elevationum signorum in circulo directo …’ (3r-7v); added note ‘Anno Christi currente 1702 erit coniunctio Saturni et Iovis in principio Arietis…’ (7v); Richard of Wallingford, Tractatus rectanguli (8r-12r); Lewis Caerleon, calculations and notes on the solar eclipse of 28 May 1481 (12v-15v); comm. on canons Cb of the Toledan tables ‘Incipit opusculum doctoris subtilis super aliquos canones Arzachelis. Quoniam cuiusque actionis etc.…’ (16r-17v); John of Ligneres, Algorismus de minutiis (26v-29r); algorismus ‘Ars operandi per probas in speciebus algorismi…’ (30r-31r); ‘Incipit prohemium in algorismum magistri Iohannis Kyllyngworth. Oblivioni raro traduntur…’ (31v-42v); Ptolemaica (43r-45r); added notes on astronomical instruments by two different hands (45v-46r and 46v); ascension table for latitude 52° (47r); Alcabitius, Introductorius, I.12-II.40, beginning gone and abrupt end (48r-54v); added notes: Menelaus Theorem ‘Kata coniuncta potest haberi per numerum…’ (54v-55r) and Ptolemaica (55r-55v); John Holbroke, astronomical tables with canons (56r-73v), except added ‘Tabula aequationis Solis inventa in anno Christi 1220…’ (70r-70v); table ‘Trutina Hermetis ostendens moram nati in utero…’ with canon (74r-74v); John of Genoa, Investigatio eclipsis Solis anno Christi 1337 (75r-81r), with notes and calculations by Lewis Caerleon (81r-81v); ‘Canon magistri Iohanni de Lineriis de calculatione eclipsium excerptus de canonibus suis…’ (82r-86v); John of Ligneres, Canones (86v-96r); Simon Bredon, De arithmetica (96v-105v); Lewis Caerleon, ‘Nota canones sequentes pro componendo tabularum angulorum pro eclipsibus’ (106r-106v); Lewis Caerleon, ‘Exemplum componendi tabulam angulorum et diversitatis aspectus ad eclipses per calculationem’ (107r-107v), with table (108r); ‘Incipit prologus in tabulas illustrissimi principis et nobilissimi domini ducis Gloucestrie’, with tables of aspects (108r-120v); tables of squares and cubes (125r-141v); Lewis Caerleon, notes on the size of the Sun and the Moon and on eclipses (142r-142v); Lewis Caerleon, ‘De compositione tabularum diversitatis aspectus sine astrolabio’, with tables for the latitude of Oxford (143r-145v); Lewis Caerleon, ‘Exemplum de compositione tabularum eclipsium secundum canones antepositos…’, with tables (146r-152r); Lewis Caerleon, other canons and tables pertaining to eclipses (152v-158v); judgement on the nativity of Henry VI (159r-175v); ‘Proposito circulo quadratum equale describere…’ (176r-176v); Campanus of Novara, De quadratura circuli, attr. Franco of Liège (176v-177v); canons ‘Quia plures astrologorum diversos libros fecerunt…’ (178r-181r); five added horoscopes for 1658-1659 (183r-184r); unfinished astronomical diagram (188r); Lewis Caerleon, astronomical calculations for 1484 (188v); Lewis Caerleon, astronomical calculations for 1482 (189v-190r); drawings of a navicula (191v-192r). Blank: Ir, 1v-2r, 18r-26r, 29v, 47v, 121r-124v, 181v-182v, 184v-187v, 189r, 190v-191r, 192v.


A Catalogue of the Manuscripts Preserved in the Library of the University of Cambridge, II, Cambridge, 1857, 114-120; P. Kibre, ‘Lewis of Caerleon, Doctor of Medicine, Astronomer, and Mathematician (d. 1494?)’, Isis 43 (1952), 100-108; M. Clagett, Archimedes in the Middles Ages, I, Madison, 1964, xxiii; J. D. North, Richard of Wallingford: An Edition of His Writings with Introduction, English Translation and Commentary, Oxford, 1976, III, 217-220; F. S. Pedersen, The Toledan Tables. A Review of the Manuscripts and the Textual Versions with an Edition, København, 2002, I, 99-100; H. Zepeda, The First Latin Treatise on Ptolemy’s Astronomy: The Almagesti minor (c. 1200), Turnhout, 2018, 78-79. On Lewis Caerleon, see also H. M. Carey, ‘Henry VII’s Book of Astrology and the Tudor Renaissance’, Renaissance Quarterly 65 (2012) 661-710: 694-696.


‘Expositio m<agistri> Symonis super quedam capitula Almagesti Ptholomei. Nunc supersest ostendere quanta sit maxima declinatio ecliptice ab equinoctiali — si in eodem puncto ergo et alie due concurrent…’.

= Simon Bredon, Commentum super Almagesti (C.1.8), excerpt from Book I, ending mid-sentence in the middle of f. 45r. No glosses.


‘Libro 5 parvi Almagesti propositione 18. Elongationem Lune a centro terre cognosces iuxta terminos — et illud quoque rarissime eveniet.’

= Almagesti minor (C.1.4), excerpts from V.19, 21 and 25 (not 18, 20 and 24, as indicated in the text). These excerpts follow a short paraphrase (4 lines) of Almagest, V.17 ‘Almagesti libro 5…’. No glosses.