Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Escorial, Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo, ár. 922

[Colour scanned images of the body text; inspected by Nadine Löhr in June 2019.]

Collection of three works: Arabic. Date:

ff. 1v–83r completed on Thursday night, 28 Jumādā l-ūlā 904/10 January 1499; ff. 83v–104v completed on Friday night, 6 Jumādā l-ākhira 904/18 January 1499; ff. 105r–107r copied not much later (the copyist was active in the late 10th/15th c.).


ff. 105r–107r copied by Aḥmad b. Aḥmad b. Timurbāy al-Ḥanafī in Cairo from al-Jamālī Yūsuf b. Qurqumās al-Ḥamzāwī’s autograph extant in Istanbul, Topkapı Sarayı, Ahmet III 2485/6 (De Block, pp. 172–173). Aḥmad also added the table of contents on ff. Iv-IIv and glossed ff. 1v–104v in a quick writing style. He is known to have mastered a more elegant writing style too (cf. Patna, Khuda Bakhsh Library, HL 2520, f. 11v, reproduced in King), but the main text on ff. 1v–104v seems to be in a hand different from his.


an ownership statement by Aḥmad b. Aḥmad b. Timurbāy al-Ḥanafī dated 904/1499 (1r) (he also left a reading statement in Tunis, Dār al-kutub al-waṭaniyya, 7116); an ownership statement, dated 959/1551-2, by Abū Bakr b. Yaḥyā b. Yūsuf b. Qurqumās al-Ḥamzāwī al-Ḥanafī, grandson of al-Jamālī Yūsuf b. Qurqumās al-Ḥamzāwī (see below) (1r); an ownership statement by Muḥyī l-Dīn b. Muḥammad b. Shaykh al-Baḥr (?) al-Ḥalabī (1r); an ownership statement by Abū Fāris b. Amīr al-Muʾminīn b. Amīr al-Muʾminīn b. Amīr al-Muʾminīn al-Ḥasaniyyīn, i.e. the Saʿdī ruler Abū Fāris ʿAbd Allāh al-Wāthiq bi-llāh (d. 1020/1611-2) (1r); an erased statement of ownership (Ir). Old shelfmarks: V.Θ.7, M.I.11, num. 28 (Ir), Cod. 882 (107v), Casiri 917.


oriental paper, III+107 ff. (foliated with Arabic-European numerals in pencil at the top left of recto folios; quire numbers in Hindu-Arabic numerals; catchwords). Two black naskh hands; first hand (1v-104v) neat and clear; second hand (105r-107r) smaller and quicker, tending to nastaʿlīq; chapter beginnings, formulaic expressions and Pseudo-Ptolemy’s verba in red (instructions for rubrication sometimes visible, e.g. 65r); fully dotted ductus with a few hamzas and vowels. A windrose with an incomplete sketch next to it (25v), neat tables (73r, 107r), a neat horoscope (104v), all in red; reserved spaces for horoscopes (40v, 41r, 41v, 42r). Both Hindu-Arabic and abjad numerals (the latter among others for the numbering of Pseudo-Ptolemy’s verba, in red with black overlining). Codex in excellent condition. Dimensions: 287×187 mm, written area: 175×123 mm (Löhr); 27 lines per page (western misṭara imprints). Rebound in a reddish leather cover, with an upside-down seal of the Escorial library (Löhr).


astrology and divination. — Index: table of contents of the first work by Aḥmad b. Aḥmad b. Timurbāy al-Ḥanafī (Iv-IIv); title page mentioning the first two works (1r); ʿUmar b. al-Farrukhān al-Ṭabarī, Kitāb al-Masāʾil, here called Kitāb al-Uṣūl (1v-83r); Ptolemaica (83v-104v); al-Jamālī Yūsuf b. Qurqumās al-Ḥamzāwī, al-Durr al-maṭlūb fī sirr al-ghālib wa-l-maghlūb (105r-107r). Blank: IIIr-v.


Miguel Casiri, Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis sive Librorum omnium Mss. quos Arabicè ab auctoribus magnam partem Arabo-Hispanis compositos Bibliotheca Coenobii Escurialensis complectitur, recensio & explanatio, 2 vols, Madrid: Antonius Perez de Soto, 1760–1770, vol. I, p. 362; Hartwig Derenbourg and H.-P.-J. Renaud, Les manuscrits arabes de l’Escurial. Tome II. — fascicule 3: Sciences exactes et sciences occultes, Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1941, pp. 29–30; David A. King, ‘Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Some Examples of Transmission to Europe’, in Emilia Calvo, Mercè Comes, Roser Puig and Mònica Ruis (eds), A Shared Legacy. Islamic Science East and West. Homage to Professor J. M. Millàs Vallicrosa, Barcelona: Publicacions i Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona, 2008, pp. 321–361, here p. 329; Fien De Block, (Re)drawing the Lines. The Science of the Stars in the late Fifteenth Century Sultanate of Cairo, Ghent: Ghent University, 2019–2020, pp. 172–173.


\83v\ 〈…〉 يقول مولانا المعظّم وسيّدنا الأعظم الصاحب المكرّم علّامة العرب والعجم سلطان المحقّقين أفضل المتأخّرين نصير الحقّ والدين برهان الإسلام والمسلمين محمّد ابن محمّد الطوسي — \104v\ 〈…〉 وإن لم يسر فإنّ الخارجيّ من حظيرة الإقليم يعني من وسط الإقليم فهذه تمام كلمات كتاب الثمرة وتفسيرها.

= Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, Tafsīr Kitāb al-Thamara (Arabic–Arabic version, tr. Rukn al-Dīn al-Jurjānī) (C.3.1327). — Title: Shajarat Sharḥ al-Thamara li-Baṭlamyūs al-ḥakīm fī ʿilm al-nujūm (title page, 1r). — Additional Title: Sharḥ Kitāb al-Thamara (author’s preface, 83v); Kalimāt Kitāb al-Thamara wa-tafsīruhā (explicit, 104v). — Index: author’s preface, 83v; Pseudo-Ptolemy’s preface, 83v; 102 verba intertwined with al-Ṭūsī’s commentary, 83v-104v. — Statements of collation (partially trimmed, 87v, 97v, 104v) and some marginal corrections, apparently by Aḥmad ibn Aḥmad ibn Timurbāy. A gloss on al-Ṭūsī’s life (83v); a long gloss, apparently taken from ʿAlī ibn Abī l-Rijāl’s Kitāb al-Bāriʿ (94r); a long gloss with a horoscope for 892/1486-7, mentioned in connection with events of the Ottoman-Mamluk war and said to have been taken from a manuscript written by al-Jamālī Yūsuf ibn Qurqumās al-Ḥamzāwī (104v).