Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, E 179

[Black-and-white microfilm scans of the textblock; inspected in April 2019.]
Collection: Arabic. Date:

part I around 1225/1810-1 (dates of horoscopes).


unknown; unknown copyist.


‘161’ in Hindu-Arabic notation (1r) . The manuscript belongs to the ‘nuovo fondo’ acquired by Eugenio Griffini and others from Giuseppe Caprotti, an Italian merchant active in Yemen between 1880 and 1909, and gifted the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Griffini).

Cod.: different kinds of yellowish paper, 50 ff. (foliated with European-Arabic numerals on the top left of rectos, sometimes twice on the same page; quire numbers (‘6’ to ‘8’) in part III only, ff. 2 and 49 bound upside down; catchwords). Four hands for four parts and types of paper. Part I (ff. 1–2, 49–50): thick, fast naskh, mostly undotted and very irregular, at times illegible. Part II (ff. 3–10): clear regular naskh, partially dotted, with red textual dividers. Part III (ff. 11–38, Ptolemaic): small naskh, mostly undotted, with red for formulaic expressions and chapter numbers in the margin. Part IV (ff. 39–48, Ptolemaic): big black regular naskh, partially dotted, with red for formulaic expressions and chapter numbers in the text. A long astrological addition by a fifth hand (1r). Diagrams: four horoscopes in black, drawn without a ruler, in part I. Hindu-Arabic numerals; also abjad in parts I and III. Dimensions: various sizes and numbers of lines per page. Part III (Ptolemaic): 133×227 mm, text framed, 43 to 50 lines. Part IV (Ptolemaic): 130×215 mm, text framed, 35–37 lines. Moisture stains, damage by insects, smudges of ink; restored binding, holes and margins (upper and lower lines of the text often lost). Recent brown leather cover pasted over paperboards. Type II binding.

Cont.: astrology. — Index: an astrological note (1r); text on great conjunctions with three horoscopes (1v–2v, 49r–50r); abridgements and extracts from various works by Sahl b. Bishr (3r–10v; cf. Löfgren-Traini); Ptolemaica (11r–48v). Blank: none.

Bibl.: Eugenio Griffini, I manoscritti sudarabici della Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano, Roma: Casa Editrice Italiana, 1910, p. III; Oscar Löfgren and Renato Traini, Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 4 vols, Vicenza: Neri Pozza Editore, 1975–2011, vol. III, pp. 81–82.


\11r\ النطفة إمّا بالاتّفاق وإمّا بالتفقّد والرصد إذا طلبوا معرفة الأحوال التي تخصّ البدن والنفس أن يجعلوا فحصهم عن ذلك بما يفعله شكل الكواكب في هذا الوقت خاصّة أعني وقت سقوط النطفة — \48v\ في الهيلاج الذي يؤخذ من وسط السماء فسنين عددها مساو لعدد أزمان الممرّ في وسط السماء والأمر في الهيلاجات التي تؤخذ من الأشياء الباقية تجري حسن هذا القياس ...

= ʿAlī ibn Riḍwān, Tafsīr al-Maqālāt al-arbaʿ (C.2.3)

. — Title: none. — Index: Book III, 11r–32v; Book IV, 32v–48r. No colophons or introductions; a few corrections by the copyists; no glosses. Both the beginning of Book III and the end of Book IV are missing.