Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.3.2

Pseudo-Ptolemy and Balaam
كتاب طوالع البروج
Kitāb Ṭawāliʿ al-burūj

A text describing the features of the natives based on their ascendant, divided into twelve chapters (one for each sign) for male and twelve for female natives. In each chapter, a general description is followed by more detailed ones based on the ascending decan and the houses.

The text’s ultimate origin remains unknown and there is no evidence that it is identical with the unidentified Kitāb al-Mawālīd ascribed to Ptolemy by Ibn al-Nadīm. Its structure, however, is reminiscent of that of other texts associated with Ptolemy and describing the natives of the signs, such as the Kitab Ṭāliʿ al-mawlūd mukhtaṣar li-l-rijāl wa-l-nisāʾ (B.3.3), the Kitāb Mawālid al-rijāl wa-l-nisāʾ ʿalā raʾy Hirmis wa-Baṭlamyūs (Istanbul, Süleymaniye Library, Ayasofya 2704, ff. 27r–60v) and the Liber de nativitatibus hominum (Latin B.11). In spite of their structural similarities, these texts have been considered as independent works as their contents vary greatly and can even contradict each other. For instance, the Kitāb Ṭawāliʿ al-burūj is generally much fuller than the other texts and adds extensive sections on magic and medicine.

Text: [Istanbul, Süleymaniye, Murat Buhari 234]

[Nativities of Men] (1v–57v) 〈…〉 نبتدئ بعون الله تعالى نكتب طوالع البروج وهو شرح بطليموس الحكيم وبلعام العرّاف ابن قاغوز (كذا) الفلكيّ ومن هذا نعرف مزاج الإنسان من الحارّ (كذا) والهوائيّ والمائيّ والترابيّ — وزحل ترابيّ دلو وزحل هوائيّ حوت والمشتريّ مائيّ تمّت البروج الاثنا عشر.

[Nativities of Women] (57v–100v) 〈…〉 نبتدئ بعون الله تعالى نكتب طوالع النساء وجميع ما يحدث عليهنّ من الأمراض والأعراض والتوابع والقرناء والأسحار وغير ذلك لأنّ الأعراض الداخلة على النساء أكثر من الرجال — والله أعلم ولا بدّ تسحر فإن حملت هذا الحجاب تسلم من ذلك وهو هذا بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم.

(followed by a sequence of Hindu-Arabic numerals)

Bibl.: Ibn al-Nadīm, Fihrist (ed. FlügelGustav Flügel, Kitâb al-Fihrist, 2 vols, Leipzig: Vogel, 1871–1872, vol. I, p. 268, line 7; tr. DodgeBayard Dodge, The Fihrist of al-Nadīm. A Tenth-Century Survey of Muslim Culture, 2 vols, New York / London: Columbia University Press, 1970, vol. I, p. 640, line 7).

Ed.: None.