Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.2.19

John Robyns
Epitome in Apotelesmata Ptolomaei

An epitome of the Quadripartitum I.1-3 accompanied by a very detailed commentary by John Robyns (d. 1558), fellow of All Souls College (Oxford) since 1520 and chaplain to Henry VIII (d. 1547), to whom he addressed at least two astrological works, a De cometis commentaria (MS London, BL, Royal 12.B.XV, s. XVI, f. 1r-52v) and a Libellus de accidentibus futuris (MS Oxford, BL, Ashmole 186, s. XVI, f. 1r-14v). These works and the present text are undated, but, in his Observationes astrologiae (MS London, BL, Sloane 1743, s. XVI, f. 1r-93r), Robyns reports astrometeorological observations throughout the year 1534. The unique manuscript of the Epitome is Robyns’s autograph copy and breaks off abruptly after the title of Quadripartitum I.4 (‘Caput quartum’). It is unclear what the source text is, but the word ‘apotelesmata’ in the title might indicate that the Greek text was used.

Text ‘(London, BL, Sloane 1773) Epitome in Apotelesmata Ptolomaei. Caput primum. Duo principia sunt et maxima (sus.: candissime (?) et intime meorum amicorum mi Sire (corr. ex. Messori)) que ad accidentium futurorum cognitione exiguntur. Declaratio textus. Iste Sirus (corr. ex Messorius) erat quidam medicus Ptolomeo familiaris, cui hunc librum apotelesmaticum dedicavit. Hec duo maiora et nobiliora quorum hic facit mentionem Ptolomeus sunt astrologia quadrivialis et scientia apostelesmatica, est ea astrologie pars que de iudiciis et astrorum effectibus tractat — hactenus de prefationis expositione in his tribus capitulis dicta sufficiunt. Caput quartum.’

Bibl. A. Wood, Athenae Oxonienses. An Exact History of all the Writers and Bishops who Have Had Their Education in the University of Oxford (Third Edition), I, Oxford, 1813, 262; L. Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental Science, V, New York, 1941, 320 and n. 44.

Modern ed. ---