PAL

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work C.1.30

Theon of Alexandria

Commentary on the Almagest (Greek)

A very substantial commentary on the complete Almagest composed in Greek by Theon of Alexandria in the second half of the fourth century. In most Greek manuscripts, Books III, V and XI are missing, but these gaps have been partially filled, for the missing Book III was replaced by the commentary of Nicolaus Cabasilas (fourteenth century) and the missing Book V by the commentary of Pappus of Alexandria (d. 350). This arrangement is found, among others, in the Greek MS Nürnberg, SB, Cent. V App. 8, a manuscripts which belonged to Regiomontanus and which was the exemplar of the editio princeps of 1538, which, in turn, was the source for most (all?) of the nine Latin translations identified here (C.1.30.1, C.1.30.2, C.1.30.3, C.1.30.4, C.1.30.5, C.1.30.6, C.1.30.7, C.1.30.8, C.1.30.9). One of the first Latin users of the Greek text, before it was translated into Latin, appears to be Erasmus Reinhold in 1549 (see A.1.5).

Bibl.

J.-B.-J. Delambre, Histoire de l’astronomie ancienne, Paris, 1817, II, 550-616; A. Rome, ‘Les observations d’équinoxes et de solstices dans le chapitre 1 du livre 3 du commentaire sur l’Almageste par Théon d’Alexandrie (première partie)’, Annales de la Société scientifique de Bruxelles, Série I 57 (1937), 213-236; A. Rome, ‘Les observations d’equinoxes et de solstices dans le chapitre 1 du livre 3 du commentaire sur l’Almageste par Théon d’Alexandrie (deuxième partie)’, Annales de la Société scientifique des Bruxelles, Série I 58 (1938), 6-26; A. Rome, ‘The Calculation of an Eclipse of the Sun according to Theon of Alexandria’, Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians, Providence, 1950, 209-219; A. Rome, ‘Sur l’authenticité du 5e livre du Commentaire de Théon d’Alexandrie sur l’Almageste, Académie royale de Belgique. Bulletin de la Classe des Lettres et des Sciences Morales et Politiques, 5e série 39 (1953), 500-521; A. Tihon, ‘Le Livre V retrouvé du Commentaire à l’Almageste de Théon d’Alexandrie’, L’Antiquité Classique 55 (1987), 201-218; A. Jones, ‘Theon of Alexandria’s Observation of the Solar Eclipse of A.D. 364 June 16’, Journal for the History of Astronomy 43 (2012), 117-118; J. Christianidis, I. Skoura, ‘Solving Problems by Algebra in Late Antiquity: New Evidence from an Unpublished Fragment of Theon’s Commentary on the Almagest’, SCIAMVS 14 (2013), 41-57; J. M. Steele, ‘The Eclipse of Theon and Earth’s Rotation’, in New Insights From Recent Studies in Historical Astronomy: Following in the Footsteps of F. Richard Stephenson, eds W. Orchiston, D. A. Green, R. Strom, Heidelberg-New York, 2015, 47-51; F. Acerbi, ‘Byzantine Recensions of Greek Mathematical and Astronomical Texts: A Survey’, Estudios Bizantinos 4 (2016), 133-213: 175-176; I. Skoura, Τα σχόλια του Θέωνα στη Μαθηματική Σύνταξη του Πτολεμαίου, PhD dissertation, University of Athens, 2016.

Modern ed.

The Greek text was first published by Joachim Camerarius on Johannes Walderus’s press in Basel in 1538, as second part to the editio princeps of the Greek text of Ptolemy’s Almagest, published by Simon Grynaeus. Critical edition of Books I-V (with Book V in Pappus’s version) by A. Rome, Commentaires de Pappus et de Théon d’Alexandrie sur l’Almageste, Vaticano, 1931-1943, 3 vols. An older edition of Books I-II, together with a French translation was made by N. Halma, Commentaire de Théon d’Alexandrie sur le premier livre de la composition mathématique de Ptolémée, Paris, 1821; N. Halma, Commentaire de Théon d’Alexandrie sur le second livre de la composition mathématique de Ptolémée, Paris, 1821. There is no modern edition of Books VI-XIII.