Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.2.25

Introduction to the Tetrabiblos (Greek)

Εἰσαγωγὴ εἰς τὴν Ἀποτελεσματικὴν τοῦ Πτολεμαίου (‘Introduction to Ptolemy’s Apotelesmata’) consistently attributed to Porphyry (late third century A.D.) in the c. 30 extant Greek manuscripts and in the two Latin translations. The attribution to Porphyry has generally been accepted in the modern literature, but László demonstrated that most of the text, if not the whole text, cannot be by him. The text consists of a general introduction to astrology that goes beyond the Tetrabiblos. The work was translated into Latin twice, by Hieronymus Wolf (C.2.25.1) and by Vincenzo Riccardi (C.2.25.2).

Bibl. F. Boll, ‘Studien über Claudius Ptolemäus. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie und Astrologie’, Jahrbücher für Classische Philologie, Suppl. 21 (1894), 49-244: 112-118; C.-E. Ruelle, ‘Texte astrologique attribué à Démophile et rendu à Porphyre: historique de la question’, Revue des Etudes Grecques 24 (1911), 334-336; F. Cumont, ‘Antiochos d’Athènes et Porphyre’, Annuaire de l’Institut de Philologie et d’Histoire Orientale 2 (1934), 135-156; W. Gundel, H. G. Gundel, Astrologumena. Die astrologische Literatur in der Antike und ihre Geschichte, Wiesbaden, 1966, 213-215; D. Pingree, ‘Antiochus and Rhetorius’, Classical Philology 72 (1977), 203-223; D. Pingree, The Yavanajātaka of Sphujidhvaja, Cambridge (Mass.)-London, 1978, II, 438; D. Pingree, ‘From Alexandria to Baghdād to Byzantium. The Transmission of Astrology’, International Journal of the Classical Tradition 8 (2001), 3-37: 7-8; S. Heilen, Hadriani genitura – Die astrologischen Fragmente des Antigonos von Nikaia, Berlin-Boston, 2015, I, 24-27; D. Greenbaum, The Daimon in Hellenistic Astrology. Origins and Influence, Leiden, 2016, 266-275; L. László, ‘Revisiting the Authenticity of Porphyry’s Introduction to Ptolemy’s Apotelesmatics’, Classical Philology 116 (2021), 392-411.

Modern ed. The editio princeps of the Greek text was published by Hieronymus Wolf in Basel in 1559, together with his Latin translation (see C.2.25.1). Critical edition by E. Boer, S. Weinstock, ‘Porphyrii philosophi Introductio in Tetrabiblum Ptolemaei’, in Catalogus Codicum Astrologorum Graecorum, V.4, Brussels, 1940, 185-228. This critical edition has been translated into English by J. Holden, Porphyry the Philosopher: Introduction to Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos and Serapio of Alexandria: Astrological Definitions, Tempe (Ar), 2009, and into Italian by G. Bezza, ‘Porfirio. Introduzione all Tetrabiblos di Tolomeo’, in Studi sull’arte dei decreti delle stelle in memoria di Guiseppe Bezza, ed. F. Martorello, Sarzana-Lugano, 2022, 143-175.