Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.7

De occultatis

A short text on interpreting a horoscope of interrogation for finding hidden objects. This text is in fact identical to the seventh and last chapter of Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum, a popular text on interrogations which existed in Latin by the middle of the twelfth century (cf. Oxford, BL, Digby 51, f. 134rb-136ra). The text also occurs, without changes, as chapter 11 of Messahallah’s Liber de intentionibus secretorum astronomie, a probable re-elaboration of the former. Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum is extant in over 50 manuscripts (these are not recorded here) and the chapter under consideration is found separately in the three manuscripts listed below. Whether part of Messahallah’s works or isolated, this text is consistently attributed to Ptolemy (‘Dixit Ptolomeus …’).

Text ‘(Parma, BP, 718-720) Dixit Pthol<omeu>s: Si aspexerit significator ascendens erit genus rei occulte — sapientes astrologorum a ceteris minus doctis in hac arte.’

Bibl. On Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum, see D. Juste, ‘The Impact of Arabic Sources on European Astrology: Some Facts and Numbers’, Micrologus 24 (2016), 173-194: 190 (no. 26).

Modern ed. No modern edition. Messahallah’s Liber interpretationum has been translated into English by B. N. Dykes, Works of Sahl and Māshāʾallāh, Minneapolis, 2008 (reprinted 2010), 425-436.