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

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

_ (the underscore) is the placeholder for exactly one character.
% (the percent sign) is the placeholder for no, one or more than one character.
%% (two percent signs) is the placeholder for no, one or more than one character, but not for blank space (so that a search ends at word boundaries).

At the beginning and at the end, these placeholders are superfluous.

Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, C 86

[Inspected on 10 April 2019; black and white microfilm scans of the body text.]

Collection of six works: Arabic. Date:

Part I (1r-147v): Friday, 23 Rabīʿ I 1071/26 November 1660 Gregorian (144r); part II (149r­-171v): c. 1200/1785 (Griffini, Lista, p. 127).


Part I: Arabic peninsula (Ḥijāz?); part II: Yemen (cf. Griffini, Lista, p. 127).


Part I: at least five reading and ownership statements including the dates 1114/1702-3 and 1243/1827-8 (1r); a statement by Sharf al-Dīn b. Salāḥ b. al-Qāsim dated Rabīʿ II 1120/June-July 1708 and possibly referring to another on the same page as having been written by al-shaykh al-raʾīs ʿAlī <b.> Aḥmad al-Kāmil (146v); a statement by Yaḥyā b. Salāḥ b. al-Qāsim (Sharf al-Dīn’s brother?), who inspected the manuscript in Maḥrūs Madīnat al-Nabī, i.e. Medina, on 8 Jumādā II 1123/24 July 1711, a statement dated 1126/1714-5 mentioning al-Ḥūṭa near Riyadh and Minā near Mecca and giving information about several borrowings of the manuscript, and two further statements (147v); a marginal note by the above-mentioned Yaḥyā likewise dated Jumādā II 1123/24 July 1711 and mentioning Maḥrūs al-Madīna (114v); a paper slip with an incomplete horoscope and an unreadable blind stamp (bound between ff. 101-102). Part II: no reading or ownership statements with the possible exception of an unreadable smudge of ink (171v). The manuscript belongs to the “nuovo fondo” acquired by Eugenio Griffini and others from Giuseppe Caprotti, an Italian merchant active in Yemen between 1880 and 1909, and later donated to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Griffini, p. vii).


Part I: white paper deteriorated to brown; part II: slightly brighter paper; I+171+Ia ff. (foliated with Arabic-European numerals, catchwords, quire numbers in the top left margin of the first folio of some quires of part I). Hands, part I: a single clear naskh in black; thick black thuluth titles; subtitles either in red or in black overlined with red; in some instances, overlining in brown by a later hand (e.g. 68v, 69r, 100v); mostly dotted ductus with incidental vowels, incidental shaddas, occasional textual dividers, some quick ligatures. At least six different naskh hands adding glosses, computations, astronomical as well as non-astronomical sketches, and an additional chapter on 146v. Various chapter numberings in the margins in blue-violet pencil, probably by E. Griffini (cf. similar notes in other Ambrosiana manuscripts). Part II: a single small and slightly inconsistent black naskh hand; a few formulaic expressions in bold to highlight the beginning of a new section; subtitles in red and formulaic expressions in black overlined in red; mostly undotted ductus, no vowels, high density of text. Marginalia by at least four different hands, one of which apparently in common with part I. Diagrams, part I: horoscopes mostly in black and carelessly drawn; sketches for the curves on a quadrant in black and brown (144v and 145v); a decorative sketch in red and brown (147v). Part II: horoscopes carefully drawn in black and red with a ruler; a circular table in black and red (167v); somewhat sloppy tables in black and red with thick framing (168v-171v). Numbers written either in full or in abjad notation; in part II, also Hindu-Arabic in red. Some pages detached from the original binding; some moisture stains never hindering the reading; several holes in the margin caused by intentional scratching. Dimensions: part I: 209×158 mm; written area: 150×85 mm and 21 lines per page on 1v-39v; 178×101 mm and 25 lines per page on 40r-143v; part II: slightly smaller paper size; written area: from 136×100 mm up to 198×121 mm, with 29 up to 39 lines per page. Recent black and blue leather cover over paper pasteboards (“Rilegato in Marzo 1961” on the inside of the back cover); additional protective folios (I + Ia) attached to the cover. Type III binding.


astrology. — Index: Hermes Trismegistus, Miftāḥ ʿarḍ asrār al-nujūm (1r-100r); an excursus on geographical astrology (100v-101v); Ṭirāz al-dahr fī asrār al-khalq wa-l-amr fī l-aḥkām al-Jāmās⟨p⟩iyya ʿalā l-qirānāt al-ʿulwiyya wa-mā yadullu ʿalayhi min al-nabawāt wa-l-milal (101v-117v); Ptolemaica (117v-144r); sketches for the curves on a quadrant with some calculations (144v-145v); a short note on a pilgrimage (146v); a decorative sketch (147v); an astrological compilation drawing on the K. Miftāḥ al-qaḍāʾ by Abū ʿAlī Yaḥyā al-Khayyāṭ (cf. Löfgren-Traini, p. 166) (149r-157r); astrological fawāʾid by the otherwise unknown ʿIzz al-Dīn b. Aybak al-Amjadī (undotted) (157r-163v); tables extracted from al-Zīj al-Ṣābiʾ by al-Battānī together with planetary computations based on them (for Sanʿa and the year 841/1437-8, cf. Griffini, Lista, p. 123) (164r-167r); a note on zodiacal signs and ascendants (171v).Blank: 145r, 147r, 148r.


Eugenio Griffini, Catalogo dei manoscritti arabi di nuovo fondo della Biblioteca Ambrosiana di Milano, Vol. I: Codici 1-475, Roma, 1910–1919, pp. 110-127; Oscar Löfgren and Renato Traini, Catalogue of the Arabic Manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, 4 vols, Vicenza: Neri Pozza Editore, 1975–2011, vol. II, pp. 166-167; Franco Martorello and Giuseppe Bezza, Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn al-Dāya. Commento al Centiloquio Tolemaico, Milano / Udine: Mimesis, 2013, pp. 34, 40-41.


\118r\ ⟨…⟩ قال بطليموس الحكيم قد قدّمنا لك يا سوري كتابًا في ماثرة الكواكب في عالم التركيب كثيرة المنفعة في تقدّم المعرفة بعلمها وهذا الكتاب ممّن اشتملت عليه تلك [[الكواكب]] الكتاب وقد جعلناه مائة كلمة موجرة على الحصر والتجريد منها وعرف وليس يميل إلى معرفة من لم ينمع النظر في جميع ما قدّمنا قبله من العلوم في علوم اخر من علوم الرياضة فكان سعدًا. — \143v\ ⟨…⟩ فهذا ما حضرني أيدك الله من تفسير كلمات بطلميوس وأرجوا أن يكون مطابقًا لمعانيه مستوفيًا لشرحه والصواب لك أن يمنعه مما يؤثّر منه إلّا الكتب بملكه ويروي حصوله تمّ الكتاب الثمرة المسمّى اقطرطسطا ومعناه المياه كلمة اختصرها بطلميوس في كتبه وكتب سائر الحكماء وقرّبها من فهم المرتاضين لهذه الصناعة الجليلة والعلم النفيس الدالّ على توحيد الله وجلاله وجبروته وعظمته لا مبدل لكبمات الله ولا رادّ لحكمه وهو السميع العليم.

= Abū Jaʿfar Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ibn Ibrāhīm ibn al-Dāya, Tafsīr Kitāb al-Thamara (C.3.0930), version with 100 verba. — Title: Kitāb al-Thamara li-Baṭlīmūs al-mālik al-ḥakīm ilā mālik al-yawnāniyya Sūray Tafsīr Aḥmad bin Yūsuf al-miṣrī al-munajjim wa-hiya miʾat kalima mulakhkhaṣa (sic, title page, 117v). — Additional titles: al-Kitāb al-Thamara al-musammā ā-q-ṭ-r-ṭ-s-ṭ-ā (colophon, 143v). — Authorial colophon and dated scribal colophon (144r). Marginal cross-references to the verba as numbered in the version with verba sorted by Ibn al-Kammād (black, Hindu-Arabic numerals); marginal numbering of the first twenty verba in Roman numerals (black, probably by Griffini); computations in Hindu-Arabic and abjad numerals by a later hand (124v); very few corrections by the main copyist (a marginal restoration of text initially left out on 127v and two corrections indicated by ṣḥ on 126v and 135r); an otherwise unattested horoscope based on verbum 73 (137v); no glosses. The scribe omitted the text of verbum 61, thus numbering the following verba 62-63 as 61-62 but restoring the right numbering from 64 onwards (Martorello-Bezza, p. 34). Ptolemy’s text in verbum 98 replaced by the first part of Aḥmad ibn Yūsuf ’s commentary (ibid., p. 41).