Project icon: lavishly furnished initial letter with a painting of Ptolemy using an astrolab.

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Work B.10

Liber figure

An astrological text dealing with the interpretation of a peculiar interrogation horoscope called ‘figura artificialis’. The unique manuscript was copied in northern France (Paris?) in the second half of the thirteenth century, at least partly in or around 1266. The text is attributed to Ptolemy in the explicit and quotes, in the last sentence, an otherwise unknown Liber planetarum by Anaxagoras.


‘(Vatican, BAV, Pal. lat. 1414) Cum omnibus directe intuentibus constet esse necessarium aliquid in astronomia arte prevalere, ut tanti operis sine magno labore fructum posse assequi quatinus insudendum sit recte cognoscetur. Est autem non minima pars tante artis cum ad plenum figura In omnibus vero domibus prout queque habet prosperitatis sive adversitatis et sicut planete se habent pie aut impie, itaque diudicentur. Si autem aliquis alicui deesse quod sibi minus videatur, in libro planetarum requiratur secundum hoc quod Anaxagoras ibi disposuit. Finitus est liber figure Ptholomei.’


F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, 20 (no. 23).