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Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.1.2

Pseudo-Ptolemy
Centiloquium (tr. Plato of Tivoli)

Text

‘(ed. Lemay/Boudet) [title] Incipit liber centum verborum Ptholomei. [preface] Dixit Ptolomeus: Iam scripsi tibi, Iesure, libros de hoc quod operantur stelle in hoc seculo et sunt libri multe utilitatis illis qui volunt prescire future. Et hic est fructus illorum librorum omnium et qui probatus est multociens. Qui etiam non diligetur nisi ab eis qui in aliis libris laboraverunt et multas alias scientias cognoverunt. Accipe igitur cum bono omine. [1] Verbum primum. Scientia stellarum ex te et illis est. Astrologus autem non debet dicere rem specialiter sed universaliter… [comm.] Expositio. Quod dixit Ptolomeus, ‘ex te et illis’, significat quod qui res futuras scire desiderat… [2] Verbum secundum. Quando elegit elector melius non erit differentia inter eum et ipsum qui habet hoc ex nature. [comm.] Expositio. Multi homines putaverunt quod Ptolomeus loqueretur hic de electionibus… [3] Verbum tercium. Ille qui facit aliquod opus ex natura inveniet in nativitate sua planetam fortem ex natura illius operis. [comm.] Expositio. Docebit te Ptolomeus in libro isto, capitulo 86, quod tales sunt stelle et fortitudines ex eis manantes… [4] Verbum quartum. Anima que ex natura dat iudicia iudicabit super secundas stellarum eritque eius iudicium verius quam illius qui iudicabit per ipsas stellas. [comm.] Expositio. Iam docui te Ptolomeus quomodo hoc habet anima ex natura… [5] Verbum quintum. Astrologus optimus multum malum prohibere poterit quod secundum stellas venturum… [comm.] Expositio. Videmus enim quod idem opus non est equale suscipientibus… [6] Verbum sextum. Tunc electiones proficiunt cum fortitudo temporis electionis… [comm.] Expositio. Significatio nativitatis et fortitudo temporis electionis cum in significatione boni convenerint… [7] Verbum septimum. Non poterit dare iudicia secundum stellarum complexionem nisi homo qui vim anime… [comm.] Expositio. Complexio stellarum est hoc quod operantur earum nature in coniunctionibus et aspectibus… [8] Verbum octavum. Anima sapiens ita adiuvabit opus stellarum quemadmodum seminator fortitudines naturales. [comm.] Expositio. Sapiens est illa anima que scit id quod diximus de fortitudine celi, et eius adiutorium… [9] Verbum nonum. Vultus huius seculi sunt subiecti vultibus celestibus… [comm.] Expositio. In hoc capitulo Ptholomeus vult multa imaginum secreta patefacere… [10] Verbum 10. Uti oportet infortunis in electionibus sicut periti medici utuntur venenosis [comm.] Imperiti astrologi ponunt significatores in omnibus suis electionibus… [51] Verbum 51. Locus Lune in nativitate est ipse gradus ascendens de circulo hora casus spermatis, et locus Lune hora casus spermatis est gradus ascendens hora nativitatis. [comm.] Expositio. In hoc concordati sunt phisici quod more natorum in uteris matrum sunt diverse… [60] Verbum 60. Albacharan cretice1, et certe sunt hore quibus declarantur mutationes morborum ad bonum vel malum velociter… [comm.] Expositio. Ptolomeus in hoc verbo docuit nos causam dierum determinabilium, et qui sunt, et quot determinantur de bono seu de malo… [99] Verbum 99. Alnaezic et habentes comas sunt de secundis stellarum et non sunt de illis. [comm.] Expositio. Iam patefecimus in premissis quod secundaria stellarum sunt res que contingunt a stellis in aere, et alnaezic sunt ex eis que fiunt in aere. Et vocant eas Arabes assuhub et alnaezic, et sunt iacula, eo quod assimilentur illis in velocitate motus, et certum est quod sint de secundariis et non de illis. [100] Verbum 100. Alnaezic significant siccos vapores. Cum ergo fuerint in una parte, significabunt ventos accidentes in eadem parte — si vero fuerit immobiles, erit proditor ex aliqua civitatum eiusdem climatis. [comm.] Expositio. Iam patefecit Aristoteles in libro De operibus altis quod vapores aridi, quociens perveniunt ad ethera — Intravit filius Alchalig post hoc brevi tempore et prefuit Egypto et eius partibus, acciditque tunc in Egipto quicquid dixit Ptolomeus. [finis] Hoc ergo est quod ego malui exponere in hoc libro, et credo quod idoneum sit suis rationibus et quod perfecta sit eius expositio. Dico tibi etiam hoc, dignum esse ut committas eum illi quem doceat, et removeas eum ab illo cuius intentio est solummodo ut eum habeat, et qui putat eum scire cordetenus si in theca sua positus fuerit. Difficile est enim illi laborare ut addiscat eum. Quapropter removendus est ab hoc libro et ab huic simili. Maximus namque error foret si traderetur illi. Et ego Deum precor ut te dirigat. Perfecta est huius libri translatio 17 die mensis Marcii, 12 die mensis Gumedi secundi, anno Arabum 530. Explicit Centiloquium cum commento Hali.’

Origin

1. This translation, made from Arabic and including the commentary of Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Dāya, was completed on 18 March 1136 (cf. colophon). The translator is generally believed to be Plato of Tivoli, in particular since Lemay in 1978 (‘Origin and Success’, 101 n. 27; see also Steinschneider). The translation is indeed ascribed to Plato of Tivoli in the title of MS Vatican, BAV, Vat. lat. 6766 (‘Centiloquium Ptolomei cum expositione Aly translatum a Platone Tiburtino de Arabico in Latinum’). Also, the date 1136 falls nicely within Plato’s translating activity and the colophon – including the formula ‘Perfecta est huius libri translatio’ and the date given fully in both the Christian and the Islamic calendars – is characteristic of Plato’s translations, as witnessed, inter alia, by his translation of Ptolemy’s Quadripartitum in 1138 (see A.2.1). At the same time, the identity of the translator should perhaps not be taken for granted, at least for two reasons. First, only the above-mentioned Vatican MS names Plato as the translator. In the other (over 100!) copies, the translation is anonymous, except in two of them, where it is ascribed to ‘magister Iohannes Toletanus’ (Erfurt, UFB, Amplon. Q. 361: ‘Incipit liber fructuum arboris Ptolomei a magistro Iohanne Tol<etano> translatus ab Arabico in Latinum’) and to ‘magister Iohannes Yspanus’ (Salamanca, BU, 189: ‘Explicit liber centum verborum Ptolomei translatus a magistro Iohanne Yspano’). Second, among the 15 stylistic fingerprints of Plato of Tivoli identified by Hasse (‘Stylistic Evidence’, 27), only two (‘in maiori parte’ and ‘veluti si’) occur in the present translation. 2. The name of the Arabic commentator (Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Dāya) is also problematic. Three manuscripts give his name, quite correctly, as ‘Abuiafar Hamet filii Ioseph (filii) Abrahe scriptoris’ (MSS Boulogne-sur-Mer, BM, 198; Venice, MCC, cod. Cic. 617; and Vienna, ÖNB, 5209), which became ‘Abugafarus’ in the ‘Iam premisi’ version (B.1.5). But, for reasons which are not clear (see Lemay, ‘Origin and Success’, 103-104), the commentator became known as ‘Haly’ or ‘Ali’, a name which appears in at least 20 manuscripts of both Plato’s translation and the ‘Mundanorum’ version (B.1.4), as well as and in the three early printed editions listed below, typically in the title ‘Centiloquium Ptolomei cum commento Haly’. 3. This version (as well as the ‘Mundanorum’ version) is often accompanied, at the beginning or at the end, by two additional chapters, which also occur independently under Ptolemy’s name: Dixerunt Ptolomeus et Hermes quod locus Lune… (B.10) and De cometis (B.4). 4. Several manuscripts give a ‘threefold version’ (which Lemay calls the ‘version agglomérée’), which consists, for each verbum, of the propositions in three versions (Plato’s, ‘Mundanorum 1’ and Adelard of Bath’s, or B.1.2, B.1.4 and B.1.1), together with the commentary in Plato’s translation. The text also includes the preface from Plato. The manuscripts in question are Bergamo, BCAM, MA 571; Cambridge, UL, Ii 1.13; Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7; Cambridge, UL, Mm 4.43; Erfurt, UFB, Amplon. F. 383; Erfurt, UFB, Amplon. F. 395; Erfurt, UFB, Amplon. Q. 361; Limoges, BM, 9; London, BL, Harley 13; Milan, BA, H. 44 inf.; Oxford, BL, Digby 228 (for v. 1-15, the rest being in the ‘Mundanorum’ version); Oxford, BL, Selden supra 78; Paris, BnF, n.a.l. 1893; Paris, BnF, n.a.l. 3091; Seville, BCC, 7-6-2; Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1811; Vatican, BAV, Reg. lat. 1452; Vatican, BAV, Vat. lat. 6766 (v. 1-15 added in the margin, the rest being in the ‘Mundanorum’ version). MSS Cracow, BJ, 601, and New Haven, YU–BRBML, Mellon 25, and the three early printed editions also give the threefold version, but only for v. 1.

Bibl.

F. Wüstenfeld, Die Übersetzungen Arabischer Werke in das Lateinische seit dem XI. Jahrhundert, Göttingen, 1877, 27-28 (no. 3); M. Steinschneider, Die hebraeischen Uebersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Doltmetscher. Ein Beitrag zur Literaturgeschichte des Mittelalters, Berlin, 1893, II, 529; C. H. Haskins, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Science, Cambridge, 1927 (2nd ed.), 68-69; F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 16 (no. 3b); R. Lemay, ‘Origin and Success of the Kitāb Thamara of Abū Ja’far Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm from the Tenth to the Seventeenth Century in the World of Islam and the Latin West’, in Proceedings of the First International Symposium for the History of Arabic Science (Aleppo, April 5-12, 1976), Aleppo, 1978, II, 91-107: 101-104; E. R. McCarthy, ‘A Lexical Comparison of Four Twelfth Century Versions of Ptolemy’s Centiloquium from the Arabic’, in Actas del V Congreso Internacional de Filosofía Medieval, II, Madrid, 1979, 991-997; R. Lemay, Abū Ma‘šar al-Balḫī [Albumasar]: Liber introductorii maioris ad scientiam judiciorum astrorum, Napoli, 1995-1996, I, 240; G. Dell’Anna, Dies critici. La teoria della ciclicità delle patologie nel XIV secolo, Galatina, 1999, 2 vols, I, 83-90 (on verbum 60); R. Lemay, Le Kitāb at-Tamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Ja’far Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], New York, 1999, I, 231-283 (and 283-325 for the ‘threefold version’); J.-P. Boudet, ‘Astrology Between Rational Science and Divine Inspiration. The Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Centiloquium’, in Dialogues among Books in Medieval Western Magic and Divination, eds S. Rapisarda, E. Niblaeus, Firenze, 2014, 47-73: 51-52; J.-P. Boudet, ‘Nature et contre-nature dans l’astrologie médiévale. Le cas du Centiloquium du Pseudo-Ptolémée’, in La nature comme source de la morale au Moyen Âge, ed. M. van der Lugt, Firenze, 2014 (Micrologus’ Library 58), 383-410: 386-387; D. N. Hasse, ‘Stylistic Evidence for Identifying John of Seville with the Translator of Some Twelfth-Century Astrological and Astronomical Texts from Arabic into Latin on the Iberian Peninsula’, in Ex Oriente Lux. Translating Words, Scripts and Styles in Medieval Mediterranean Society, eds C. Burnett, P. Mantas-España, Córdoba-London, 2016, 19-43: 28-30; J.-P. Boudet, ‘Causalité et signification dans le Centiloquium du pseudo-Ptolémée’, in Orbis disciplinae. Liber amicorum Patrick Gautier Dalché, eds N. Bouloux, A. Dan, G. Tolias, Turnhout, 2017, 607-624: 608; J.-P. Boudet, ‘Naissance et conception: autour de la proposition 51 du Centiloquium attribué à Ptolémée’, in De l’homme, de la nature et du monde. Mélanges d’histoire des sciences médiévales offerts à Danielle Jacquart, Genève, 2019, 165-178: 167-169; J.-P. Boudet, ‘The Medieval Latin Versions of Pseudo-Ptolemy’s Centiloquium: A Survey’, in Ptolemy’s Science of the Stars in the Middle Ages, eds D. Juste, B. van Dalen, D. N. Hasse, C. Burnett, Turnhout, 2020, 283-304: 284 and passim.

Ed.

Lemay/Boudet (in preparation). Samples have been edited by Dell’Anna, II, 7-9 (v. 60, together with commentary C.3.3, from MS Cambridge, PC, 204); and, from a selection of manuscripts, by Boudet, ‘Naissance et conception’, 168 (v. 51), and ‘The Medieval Latin Versions’, 287-288 (v. 8) and 294-295 (v. 51).

EDS

MSS

Cracow, BJ, 1859

, s. XV, f. 185v-205v

Cracow, BJ, 1963

, s. XVI, f. 125v-153r

Latin commentaries