Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library
PTOLEMY, ALMAGEST1. ff. 1-218v: [Prologue:] Quidam princeps nomine albuguafe in libro suo quem scientiarum electionem et verborum nominavit pulchritudinem dixit…; [f. lv:] Incipit distinctio capitulorum primi libri, Liber hic precepto maymonis regis arabum qui regnavit in baldach…; [f. 2, Text:] Capitulum primum, Bonum scire fuit quod sapientibus non deviantibus visum est…[f. 184, colophon at end of Book 11:] Finit dictio undecima almagesti ptolomei pheludiensis. Anno domini millesimo ducentesimo septuagesimo nono A littera dominicali anno cicli solaris undecimo bissextili tercio lunari quarto decemnovenali septimo concurrente quarto epacta 6 scriptus est liber.…et abbreviationem arrogantiam et collaudationem. Item iam sequitur et honestum est ut ponamus hic finem libri. Explicit almagesti.
Southern France, 1279
Ptolemy, Syntaxis Mathematica or Almagest, in the translation of Gerard of Cremona, first printed in Venice by Petrus Liechtenstein, 1515. See AL 379; F. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Translation (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1956) 15; P. Kunitzsch, Der Almagest; Die Syntaxis Mathematica des Claudius Ptolomäus in arabisch-lateinischer Überlieferung (Wiesbaden 1974), this manuscript cited pp. 91, 384. Frequent marginalia in a contemporary hand, possibly that of the scribe; occasional fifteenth century marginalia which may be in the hand of Pier Leoni (e.g. ff. 20, 24, 40, 52v). 2. ff. 219-270v [f. 271r-v, blank]: Twenty astronomical tables connected to the appropriate places in the text by tie marks. A version of the 14th table, ff. 241-258, the “tabula stellarum fixarum,” printed in C. H. F. Peters and E. B. Knobel, Ptolemy’s Catalogue of Stars, A Revision of the Almagest (Washington 1915) 27-50; due to error in Gerard of Cremona’s translation (Peters and Knobel, 14), the latitudes of 60 and odd degrees have been rendered as 300 and odd degrees (here, ff. 242, 243r-v); those on f. 242 have been corrected in a near contemporary hand. Parchment (thin and silky, rubbed from the inside in the Italian manner), ff. i (paper) + i (parchment, a former pastedown) + i (parchment) + 271; 319 × 226 (text: 169 × 97, tables: 200 × 145) mm. 1-1712 1814(through f. 218) 1912 2012(-11 after f. 240, with no loss of text) 21-2212 238(-7, 8). Quires signed in arabic numerals on last verso bottom center and occasionally on the first recto. 34 long lines, ruled in fine lead with wide lower margins. Text written in a small round littera textualis in brown to black ink, often flaking; tables in a spiky book hand (English?), but contemporary to the origin of the book. Opening historiated initial, f. 1, 6-line, depicts the prince Abu ’l-Wafâ’ holding an armillary sphere and discoursing with a scholar; cusped bar border. 5- or 4-line initials, after f. 2 set outside the written space, in white-patterned pink or blue on ground of the other color, infilled with colored trilobe leaves or biting animal heads, with cusped bar border inhabited by drolleries (rabbit and hound; lion; bird). 3-line initials, also set outside the written space, in alternating red or blue with cascade borders the length of the text and with flourishing in both colors. Paragraph marks in alternating red and blue. Running headlines in red with the book number centered on the 2 pages of the opening, while foliation, recommencing with each book, is placed flush left on each verso, and “Alm[agest]” is placed flush right on each recto. Numerous geometrical projections in the margins in red, green, black, and yellow ink. In art. 2, each table outlined in red, with rubrics in red and blue, and text in black ink; running headlines function for each page (not the opening); placing flush left “Liber,” and flush right the ordinal of the book to which the table belongs. Bound, s. XVI (?) in limp parchment, remains of 2 leather fore edge ties; edges stained yellow; title on the spine in a decorative gothic hand, “Almagestum Ptolomaei cum tabulis. Manuscritt.”; endpapers renewed. Same binding on HM 1035. Written in southern France in 1279 according to the date on f. 184. Erased inscriptions at the top of ff. ii, 1. Belonged to Pier Leoni (d. 1492), physician to Lorenzo de’ Medici; n. 111 in the inventory of his books compiled in 1582 and published by L. Dorez, “Recherches sur la bibliothèque de Pier Leoni, médecin de Laurent de Médicis,” Revue des Bibliothèques 7 (1897) 81-106. Identified by J. Ruysschaert, “Nouvelles recherches au sujet de la bibliothèque de Pier Leoni médecin de Laurent le Magnifique,” Bulletin de la classe des lettres et des sciences morales et politiques de l’ Académie royale de Belgique, ser. 5, 46 (1960) 37-65. Probably belonged to the Jesuit College in Rome, some of whose books passed to the Vatican Library in 1912. At the same time approximately 27 of their manuscripts were sold to the bookdealer W. Voynich, including HM 65. Handwritten bookdealer’s notice in French, n. 58, on inside of front cover. Belonged to the Chicago theologian and book collector Rev. Frank W. Gunsaulus (1856-1921); letter addressed to him by Prof. E. J. Goodspeed dated 25 February 1916 in Huntington files. Source and date of acquisition by Henry E. Huntington unknown.
Secundo folio: capitulum 8m de eoBibliography: De Ricci, 49. Aspects of Medieval England, n. 42 open at f. 235.
C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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