Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, ar. 955

[Black and white microfilm scans of the body text, without cover or binding.]

Collection of six works with tables and smaller excerpts: Arabic. Date:

ff. 1v–37r completed on nahār al-rubūʿ (i.e. 4?) Shaʿbān 1152/6 November 1739 (37r); ff. 63v–64r copied on Friday, 11 Jumāda al-ākhir 1241/21 January 1826; ff. 129v–209v completed on Friday, 29 〈Dhū〉 l-qaʿda 1152/26 February 1740.


ff. 63v–64r copied by Muḥammad 〈b.〉 Muḥsin 〈b.〉 Aḥmad; ff. 108v–126r copied by al-faqīh Ṭ〈ā〉h〈ā〉 b. ʿAbd Allāh al-Wuṣābī, of probable Yemeni origin (cf. Regourd).


an ownership statement mentioning al-faqīh ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAlī b. Yaḥyā and al-faqīh ʿAlī b. Yaḥyā […], possibly his father (211r; Regourd reads the unclear word as Ḥasan or Ḥusayn). The manuscript was acquired by Giuseppe Caprotti, an Italian merchant active in Yemen between 1880 and 1909; it was brought to Milan in 1909 but the private sponsors who were meant to acquire it for the Biblioteca Ambrosiana eventually donated it to Pope Pius XI in 1922 (Iv-IIr).


paper, III+279 ff. (foliated with stamped Arabic-European numerals at the bottom left of recto folios; catchwords, no quire numbers). Several different naskh hands, generally one per work, ranging from very clear to sketchy; Ptolemaic section (90r-91r): quick but clear, somewhat angular handwriting, apparently using the same ink throughout; formulaic ‘al-kalima’ occasionally oversized; almost fully dotted ductus with several hamzas. A dozen sketchy horoscopes (170r-183v) and two more carefully drawn ones (212r, 216r); tables, with abjad and Hindu-Arabic numerals and greatly varying features (6v, 27v, 31v, 34v, 40r-89v, 92v-93r, 210r, 211v). Framed text on f. 37r (double) and ff. 239r–278v (triple). Codex in good condition; margins often damaged, binding occasionally detached. Dimensions: 32.5×23 cm (Levi della Vida); 31-32 lines per page in the Ptolemaic section.


astronomy, astrology and divination. — Index: endowment statement by Luca Beltrami and others (Iv-IIr); a cosmological diagram (IIIv); ʿAbd Allāh al-Muthannā b. ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad al-Sarḥī al-Qurashī, Ghāyat itqān al-ḥarakāt li-l-sabʿa al-kawākib al-sayyārāt (also known as Zīj al-Muthannā) (1v-37r); two astronomical chapters by the same hand (37v-39r); tables of the Zīj al-Muthannā by a different hand (40r-89v, with statements of collation and many later insertions); Ptolemaica (90r-91r); a sexagesimal multiplication table (91v-92r); a version of the Malḥamat Dānyāl (94v-107v); a work on conjunctions and mundane astrology: Qāla muʾallif al-kitāb iʿlam anna ḥukm iqtirānāt al-kawākib jāra (sic) bihi ḥukmuhā ʿalā l-buldān allatī taḥta falak al-burūj… (108v-126r); five chapters on astrology and divination (two ascribed to Baṭ〈l〉amyūs, on eclipses) (126v-128r, the last chapter is defective); Sahl b. Bishr, Kitāb Taḥāwīl sinī l-ʿālam (129v-209v); a table on exaltations, decans, lord of triplicities and terms (210r); al-Ṣaymarī, Kitāb Aṣl al-uṣūl fī khawāṣṣ al-nujūm wa-aḥkāmihā wa-aḥkām al-mawālīd (211r-278v, end defective); geomancy sketches (279r); fragments of Sūras 87-89 (paper slip). Blank: 39v, 47r (except for a frame), 51r, 62v-63r (except for a religious formula), 65v, 79v (except for a frame), 108r, 129r, 210v and presumably Ir, IIv-IIIr, 51v-52r, 93v-94r and 279v (missing from the scans).


Giorgio Levi della Vida, Elenco dei manoscritti arabi islamici della Biblioteca Vaticana. Vaticana, Barberiniani, Borgiani, Rossiani, Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1935, pp. 97–99; Anne Regourd, ‘Eighteenth-Century Identified Copies of MāšāʾAllāh’s Kitāb Qiyām al-Ḫulafāʾ from Yemen: Text Edition and Contextualization’, Quaderni di Studi Arabi 15 (2020), pp. 270–291, here pp. 275–276.


\90r\ 〈…〉 هذا منقول من كتاب *** تصنيف الحكيم بطليموس في تأثير الكسوف ودلائل الذوائب والنيازك وهي أربع كلمات. قال المفسّر قال بطليموس كسوف النيّرين في أوتاد الطالع للمواليد وتحويلات السنين 〈…〉 — \91r\ 〈…〉 فدخل ابن الحكيم بعده بمدّة يسيرة وسلّط على مصر ونواحيها وحدث لمصر جميع ما ذكره بطليموس.

= Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Dāya, Tafsīr Kitāb al-Thamara (C.3.0930), excerpt from the version with verba sorted by Ibn al-Kammād. — Title: none, but the word thamara may simply be invisible on the microfilm scans (cf. the transcription above). — No colophon, glosses or marginalia. The extract consists of Chapter 5 of the version by Ibn al-Kammād, which includes verba 24, 96, 99, 100 and their commentary by Aḥmad b. Yūsuf.