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

Ptolemaeus Arabus et Latinus

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Istanbul, Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi, Ayasofya 2671‎

[Colour scans of the entire collection, including front cover and binding.‎]

Collection: Arabic.‎ Date:

Ṣafar 621/February-March 1224 (75r).


unknown; unknown scribe.


ownership statement by Abū Muḥammad […] ʿAbd al-Muḥsin ibn ʿAbd al-Munʿim, dated Ramaḍān 727/July-August 1327 (1r); several only partially legible ownership and reading statements, one dated 727/1326-7 (IIIr); statement of endowment in favour of Sultan Maḥmūd I, received by Aḥmad Shaykh Zāda, inspector of endowments “in the two Holy Shrines”, with his seal (IIr); seal of Bāyazid II (r. 1481-1512; 1r, bottom, and 153v); seal of Sultan Maḥmūd I (r. 1730-1754; 1r, top).


paper, III+153+Ia ff. (foliated with Hindu-Arabic numerals; additionally “I” on f. II and “II” on f. III in Roman numbers and “151b” on f. 151v in European-Arabic numerals; no catchwords). One main naskh hand in black, chapter headings in red, mostly dotted ductus, occasional shaddas and hamzas. Extracts from several other treatises in between the main works by a single different hand. Diagrams with red lines and black letters only drawn in the first work, reserved spaces for diagrams in the rest of the manuscript; tables in red on ff. 12v, 121v, 122r, 148v. Codex in very good condition; last pages slightly worm-eaten; some moisture stains never hindering the reading. Dimensions: 160×240 mm; 17 lines per page. Black leather cover severely damaged. Type II binding.


astronomy. — Index: sketchy notes from different works (IIIr-1r); table of contents (1r); al-Zarqālluh, Fī ʿAmal al-ṣafīḥa al-mansūba ilay-hi (1v-75r); Ptolemaica (76v-97r); Kushyār ibn Labbān, Risāla fī ʿamal al-asṭurlāb (98v-122r); Autolycus, Kitāb fī l-Kura al-muḥarrika, transl. Thābit ibn Qurra (122v-132r); al-Zarqālluh, Risālat al-Asṭurlāb (King), ascribed to Euclid in the table of contents (133v-151v); several short astrological, astronomical and chronological extracts, written between the main texts (75v-76r, 97r-98r, 132r-133r, 151v-153r). Blank: none.


Max Krause, ‘Stambuler Handschriften islamischer Mathematiker’, Quellen und Studien zur Geschichte der Mathematik, Astronomie und Physik, Abteilung B: Studien 3 (1936), pp. 437–532, here p. 443; David A. King, ‘On the Early History of the Universal Astrolabe in Islamic Astronomy and the Origin of the Term “Shakkāzīya” in Medieval Scientific Arabic’, Journal for the History of Arabic Science 3 (1979), pp. 244–257, here p. 253, n. 21; Christopher Anagnostakis, The Arabic Version of Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium, PhD dissertation, Yale University, 1984, pp. 51-52; Paul Kunitzsch, ‘The Second Arabic Manuscript of Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium’, Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften 9 (1994), pp. 83–89, here pp. 83-85; Paul Kunitzsch and Richard P. Lorch, Maslama’s Notes on Ptolemy’s Planisphaerium and Related Texts, München: Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1994, here pp. 5-6; Nathan Sidoli and J. Lennart Berggren, ‘The Arabic Version of Ptolemy’s Planisphere or Flattening the Surface of the Sphere: Text, Translation, Commentary’, SCIAMVS 8 (2007), pp. 37–139, here p. 39.


\76v\ قال إنّه لمّا كان من الممكن باسورا وممّا ينتفع به في أبواب كثيرة أن يوجد في بسيط مسطّح الدوائر التي تقع في الكرة المجسّمة كأنّها مبسوطة. — \97r\ فلا يكون في الأبعاد التي توجد على غير هذا المثال اختلاف.

= Ptolemy, Tasṭīḥ basīṭ al-kura (A.6.1). — Title: Kitāb Baṭlamiyūs min ahl qalāwadhiyya fī tasṭīḥ basīṭ al-kura, 76v. — Index: Undated scribal colophon (97r); no marginal corrections or glosses; numerous reserved spaces for diagrams.