Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work A.4

Phaseis (Greek)

The Phaseis or Phases of the Fixed Stars (Greek: Φάσεις ἀπλανῶν ἀστέρων καὶ συναγωγὴ ἐπισημασιῶν, ‘Appearances of the Fixed Stars and Collection of Prognostics’) consists of two books dealing with the heliacal risings and settings of the fixed stars and their influence on the weather. Only Book II (a parapegma arranged according to the twelve months, from September to August, preceded by an introduction) survives in Greek and it is from this defective Greek version that the two sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Latin translations were made. Traces of both books survive in Arabic.

Bibl. J.-B.-J. Delambre, Histoire de l’astronomie ancienne, Paris, 1817, I, 212-213; L. Ideler, ‘Ueber den Kalender des Ptolemäus’, in Abhandlungen der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin aus den Jahren 1816-1817. Historisch-philologische Klasse, Berlin, 1819, 163-214; N. Halma, Chronologie de Ptolémée, Paris, 1819, II, third part, 1-54 [where the introduction, pp. 3-11, is a French translation of Ideler’s introduction, pp. 163-173]; A. Boeck, Über die vierjährigen Sonnenkreise der Alten, vorzüglich den Eudoxischen. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Zeitrechnung und des Kalenderwesens der Ägypter, Griechen und Römer, Berlin, 1863, 226-253; G. F. Unger, ‘Zu Ptolemäus Φάσεις ἀπλανῶν’, Philologus 28 (1869), 11-38; C. Wachsmuth, Iohanni Laurentii Lydi Liber de ostentis et calendaria Graeca omnia, Leipzig, 1897 (first ed. Leipzig, 1863), lii-lviii; J. L. Heiberg, Claudii Ptolemaei opera quae exstant omnia, II: Opera astronomica minora, Leipzig, 1907, iii-v and cl-clxv; G. Hellmann, ‘Über die ägytischen Witterungangaben im Kalender von Claudius Ptolemaeus’, Sitzungsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1916), 332-341; H. Vogt, Der Kalender des Claudius Ptolemäus, Heidelberg, 1920; O. Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy, Berlin-New York, 1975, II, 926-931; G. Graßhoff, ‘The Babylonian Tradition of Celestial Phenomena and Ptolemy’s Fixed Star Calendar’, in Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens, ed. H. D. Galter, Graz, 1993, 97-137; M. T. Riley, ‘Ptolemy’s Use of His Predecessors’ Data’, Transactions of the American Philological Association 125 (1995), 221-250: 242-245; D. Lehoux, Astronomy, Weather, and Calendars in the Ancient World. Parapegmata and Related Texts in Classical and Near-Eastern Societies, Cambridge, 2007, 161; M. G. Nickiforov, ‘Analysis of the Calendar C. Ptolemy “Phases of the Fixed Stars”’, Bulgarian Astronomical Journal 20 (2014), 68-85; L. Bellizia, Φάσεις ἀπλανῶν ἀστέρων καὶ συναγωγὴ ἐπισημασιῶν. Apparizioni delle stelle inerranti e raccolta di indicazioni sui mutamenti del tempo, Savona, 2017. In Arabic: O. Neugebauer, ‘An Arabic Version of Ptolemy’s Parapegma from the “Phaseis”’, Journal of the American Oriental Society 91 (1971), 506; J. Samsό, B. Rodríguez, ‘La Pháseis de Ptolomeo y el Kitāb al-Anwāʾ de Sinān b. Ṯābit’, Al-Andalus 41 (1976), 15-48 (reprinted in J. Samsό, Astrometeorologίa y astrologίa medievales, Barcelona, 2008, II); J. Samsό, ‘De nuevo sobre la traducciόn árabe de las Pháseis de Ptolomeo y la influencia clásica en los Kutub al-Anwāʾ’, Al-Andalus 41 (1976), 471-479 (reprinted in J. Samsό, Astrometeorologίa y astrologίa medievales, Barcelona, 2008, III); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII: Astrologie – Meteorologie und Verwandtes, Leiden, 1979, 311 (no. 1); R. Morelon, ‘Fragment arabe du premier livre du Phaseis’, Journal for the History of Arabic Science 5 (1981), 3-14.

Modern ed. The Greek text (Book II) was first published by Denis Petau in Paris in 1630 (see A.4.2) and received critical editions by Wachsmuth, 189-260 (with reconstructed table of appearances, 277-285) and Heiberg, 3-67 (with reconstructed table of appearances, clx-clxv). The same Book II had been previously published by Johann Albert Fabricius, Bibliotheca Graeca, IV, Hamburg, 1717, 423-448 (not complete); Ideler, ‘Ueber den Kalender’, 173-193; and Halma, 13-54 (with a French translation). For the intricate history of these previous editions, see Wachsmuth, lii-liv. Heiberg’s edition is reproduced, together with an English translation, by Lehoux, 261-309. Italian translation by Bellizia. The Arabic fragment of Book I has been edited, together with a French translation, by Morelon, ‘Fragment’.