Quadripartitum (tr. 1206)
This translation is dated 29 August 1206 in the colophon and the translator speaks of Great Britain as his homeland in a gloss inserted into the text of c. II.3: ‘Insule etiam boreales cum suis habitaculis ut Scotia, Ybernia, Maior Britannia, in qua patria nostra excestrici…’ (ed. Lemay, Abu Ma‘shar and Latin Aristotelianism, 20 n. 4). Because the translation reproduces several passages of Hermann of Carinthia’s translation of Albumasar’s Introductorium maius (1140), Lemay attributes it to Hermann’s colleague Robert of Chester (meaning Robert of Ketton) and interprets the date 1206 as 1168 following the Spanish era. However, as Burnett notes, the Hijri date ‘23 die Almuharam anno Arabum 603’, also given in the colophon, does correspond to 29 August 1206, which rules out Robert’s (or Hermann’s) authorship. As to the translator’s use of Hermann’s translation of the Introductorium maius, Burnett writes: ‘An alternative explanation is that the author of the translation deliberately modelled his preface and style of signature on Hermann’s translation of the Introductorium which seems to have been associated with this translation in the MS. tradition from an early date’ (the Florence and Parma MSS include Hermann’s Introductorium maius). Georges pointed out that the last word in the above quotation is not ‘excestrici’, but ‘Excestria’, i.e. Exeter, and convincingly argues that the translator was probably Adam of Exeter (or Adam Rufus), a student of Robert Grosseteste who is attested as a master at the University of Oxford in the 1220s and who was familiar with Hermann of Carinthia’s translation of Albumasar’s Introductorium maius, which he used in his De accessu et recessu maris.
‘(Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. J.II.10) Incipit Quadripartitum Tholomei. (91r) [
A. A. Björnbo, ‘Die mittelalterlichen lateinischen Übersetzungen aus dem Griechischen auf dem Gebiete der mathematischen Wissenschaften’, in Festschrift Moritz Cantor anläßlich seines achtzigsten Geburtstages gewidnet von Freuden und Verehrern, Leipzig, 1909, 93-102: 99-100 (no. 17); C. H. Haskins, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science, Cambridge, 1927 (2nd ed.), 110-111; F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 18 (no. 10b); R. Lemay, Abu Ma‘shar and Latin Aristotelianism in the Twelfth Century. The Recovery of Aristotle’s Natural Philosophy through Arabic Astrology, Beirut, 1962, 19-20 n. 4; C. Burnett, ‘Arabic into Latin in Twelfth Century Spain: The Works of Hermann of Carinthia’, Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 13 (1978), 100-134: 130-132; R. Lemay, Abū Maʿšar al-Balḫī [Albumasar]: Liber introductorii maioris ad scientiam judiciorum astrorum, Napoli, 1995-1996, VII, 34-37 and 107-109; R. Lemay, Le Kitāb aṯ-Ṯamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], 1999 [unpublished], I, 378-380; S. Georges, Glosses as Source for the History of Science. The Case of Gerard of Cremona’s Translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest (forthcoming).
Florence, BNC, Conv. Soppr. J.II.10 (San Marco 200), s. XIII-XIV, f. 91r-118v Images
Parma, BP, 718-720, s. XIII, f. 311r-343v
Wolfenbüttel, HAB, 147 Gud. Lat. 4º (4451), s. XIII, f. 162r-194r