Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.5

Dixerunt Ptolemeus et Hermes quod locus Lune...

A brief text on the rectification of nativities based on the idea that the position of the ascendant at the time of birth is identical with the position of the Moon at the time of conception, i.e. the so-called ‘Trutina Hermetis’. This chapter is one of the two additional chapters (with B.4) often found together with Abuiafar Hamet filius Joseph’s commentary on the Centiloquium in Plato of Tivoli’s translation (C.3.1.1) and in the ‘Mundanorum’ version (C.3.1.3), either at the beginning or at the end. It is related to v. 51 of the Centiloquium, which deals with the rectification of nativities, but its origin and exact relationship to the Centiloquium remain to be investigated. ‘Abraam Bendeur’ (or ‘Isbendeut’ among other spellings), quoted in the last paragraph, is perhaps Abraham Ibn Ezra (Sela). Dixerunt Ptholomeus et Hermes quod locus Lune… was commented upon by John Holbroke (C.4.8) and is part of commentaries C.3.5, C.3.9 (see MS Cracow, BJ, 1857, p. 128) and C.3.10.

Note 1 In several manuscripts, the text appears as a marginal gloss to v. 51 (Avignon, BM, 1022 (341); Cambridge, UL, Kk 4.7 (2022); Vatican, BAV, Reg. lat. 1692) or as a chapter inserted into the body of the text after v. 51 (Dijon, BM, 1045 (116); Ghent, UB, 5 (416); Paris, BnF, lat. 16204).

Note 2 For further uses of this text, see MSS Erfurt, UFB, Dep. Erf. CA 4º 363, f. 92rb, and Paris, BnF, n.a.l. 1893, f. 125rb.

Text ‘(Paris, BnF, lat. 7307) Dixerunt Ptholomeus et Hermes quod locus Lune in hora que infunditur sperma est gradus ascendentis nativitatis, et in loco qui erat gradus ascendentis in hora infusionis spermatis erit Luna in nativitate — et cum eo remanserit equa Lunam et ubi inveneris erit ascendens nativitatis. Dixit magister Abraamis Bendeur: Gradus infusionis spermatis non erit ex toto Lune locus in nativitate vel ipse erit oppositus. Et similiter erit de ascendente nati, id est non erit locus Lune in spermatis infusione vel ipse erit aut ei oppositus ex hoc expertus fuit multotiens.’

Bibl. F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 16-17 (no. 3d); L. Thorndike, ‘Notes upon Some Medieval Latin Astronomical, Astrological and Mathematical Manuscripts at the Vatican’, Isis 47 (1956), 391-404: 394-397; L. Thorndike, ‘Notes on Some Astronomical, Astrological and Mathematical Manuscripts of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 20 (1957), 112-172: 128-129; R. Lemay, ‘Origin and Success of the Kitāb Thamara of Abū Jaʿfar 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: 102; R. Lemay, Abū Maʿšar al-Balḫī [Albumasar]: Liber introductorii maioris ad scientiam judiciorum astrorum, Napoli, 1995-1996, IV, 144; R. Lemay, ‘Acquis de la tradition scientifique grecque confrontés aux réalités des civilisations médiévales. Cas particulier de l’astrologie-cosmologie’, in Perspectives arabes et médiévales sur la tradition scientifique et philosophique grecque. Actes du colloque de la SIHSPAI (Société internationale d’histoire des sciences et de la philosophie arabes et islamiques), Paris, 31 mars – 3 avril 1993, eds A. Hasnawi, A. Elamrani-Jamal, M. Aouad, Leuven-Paris, 1997, 137-171: 155-157; R. Lemay, Le Kitāb aṯ-Ṯamara (Liber fructus, Centiloquium) d’Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf [Ps.-Ptolémée], 1999 [unpublished], I, 421-423; 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: 173-177; S. Sela, ‘Calculating Birth: Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Role in the Creation and Diffusion of the Trutina Hermetis’, in Pregnancy and Childbirth in the Premodern World. European and Middle Eastern Cultures, from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance, eds C. Gislon Dopfel, A. Foscati, C. Burnett, Turnhout, 2019, 79-106: 94-95.

Modern ed. Thorndike, ‘Notes on Some Astronomical’, 129 (from MS Paris, BnF, lat. 7307); Boudet, 174-175 (from four MSS).