BIBLIOTHECA ASTROLOGICA LATINA
Notices by David Juste & Charles Burnett

Abraham Avenezra, Liber de nativitatibus

Author: Abraham Ibn Ezra (fl. ca. 1140-1160, mainly in Italy and France). 
Original title: the Liber de nativitatibus, which can be dated to 1154 on the basis of internal evidence, appears to have been originally composed in Latin, most probably by Abraham Ibn Ezra himself or under his supervision (see Smithuis). It is therefore not likely to be a translation of a lost Hebrew version of Abraham’s Sefer ha-Moladot (‘Book of Nativities’, 1148) made by Henri Bate of Malines, as was suggested by Sela. The Sefer ha-Moladot was translated twice into Latin, by Peter of Abano around the end of the 13th century (as Liber nativitatum et revolutionum earum) and by Ludovicus de Angulo in 1448 (as Tractatus de nativitatibus).
Significance: the Liber de nativitatibus is extant in at least four manuscripts and one printed edition. 
Contents: this work explains how to interpret a nativity (birth horoscope) in twelve chapters corresponding to the twelve houses. Several authorities are quoted, including Hermes, Ptolemy, Andruzagar, Messahallah, Zael, and Albumasar.

Reproduction: Venice, Erhardus Ratdolt, 1484 [Warburg FAH 875], sig. a2r-c4v. This volume also includes Henri Bate of Malines’s Compositio astrolabii (sig. c5r-d6r), which has been retained in the present online edition.  
TitleIncipit liber Abraham Iudei de nativitatibus
Inc.: ‘Dixit quoque Abraham Iudeus : Optimum instrumentorum ad inveniendum gradum orientem in nativitatibus…’[TK, 1015].
Expl.: ‘... et pecudibus iudicat singuli secundum proprium. Explicit feliciter liber Abraham Iudei utilissimus in ea parte astrologie que de nativitatibus tractat, cum figuris exemplaribus singulis domibus antepositis’.

Bibliography: L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translations of the Astrological Tracts of Abraham Avenezra’, Isis, 35, 1944, pp. 293-302 (pp. 297-298); S. Sela, Abraham Ibn Ezra and the Rise of Medieval Hebrew Science, Leiden-Boston, 2003, pp. 62-64; R. Smithuis, ‘Science in Normandy and England under the Angevins: The Creation of Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Latin Works on Astronomy and Astrology’, in Hebrew to Latin, Latin to Hebrew: The Mirroring of Two Cultures in the Age of Humanism. Colloquium held at the Warburg Institute, London, October 18-19, 2004, ed. G. Busi, Berlin-Torino, 2006, pp. 23-59 (esp. pp. 34-46); R. Smithuis, ‘Abraham Ibn Ezra’s Astrological Works in Hebrew and Latin: New Discoveries and Exhaustive Listing’, Aleph, 6, 2006, pp. 239-338 (pp. 251-252). (D.J.)

Albubater, De nativitatibus

Author: Abū Bakr al-Hasan ibn al-Khasīb, active in the first half of the ninth century.  
Original titleKitāb al-Mawālīd (‘Book of Nativities’).
Translation: the text was translated by Salio of Padua in or around 1218.
Significance: the work is extant in a least seven manuscripts and four early printed editions from 1492 to 1540.  
Contents: a treatise in 206 chapters on nativities (birth horoscopes) providing answers to a wide number of questions pertaining to the twelve houses. 

Reproduction: Nürnberg, Iohannes Petreius, 1540 [Warburg, FAH 900]. 
Title:Albubater magni Alchasili filius de nativitatibus.
Inc.: ‘Quid scire oporteat eum, qui nativitatum iudicia constituere vult. Primum quod facere oportet in nativitate, est ut accipiamus gradum ascendentis…’. 
Expl.: ‘… et coram eo humiliabuntur, si Deus voluerit. Explicit liber Albubatris nativitatum magni Alchasili filii.’

Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 136-137 (nr. 1); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, p. 123 (nr. 1.3). (D.J.).

 

Albumasar, Flores

Author: Abû Ma‘shar (787-886). 

Original titleKitâb tahâwîl sini al-‘âlam (‘Book of Revolutions of the World-Years’).
TranslationFlores. Translator and date of translation uncertain, perhaps John of Seville in the first half of the twelfth century.
Significance: Abû Ma‘shar, the great astrologer of Baghdad, was the most influential authority on astrology in medieval and Renaissance Europe. He wrote about forty treatises, several of which were translated into Latin from the twelfth century onwards. The Flores, extant in over forty manuscripts and six printed editions from 1488 to 1506, was among the most popular works of Abû Ma‘shar in Latin, together with the Introductorium maius and the De magnis coniunctionibus.
Contents: The Flores consist in a short treatise of about thirty chapters giving various rules for the interpretation of the horoscope of the revolution of the year, i.e. the horoscope for the entry of the Sun into the first degree of Aries. Introduction (sig. a2); predictions according to the planetary lord of the year, in detail for Saturn (sig. a2v-b1) and briefly for the other planets (sig. b1v-b2v); nature and attributes of the planets (sig. b3r-c2r); review of some of the standard topics: harvest (sig. c2v), rains, wars, plagues (sig. c3r) and earthquakes (sig. c3r-c4r); position and nature of prominent fixed stars (sig. c4r); effect of the fixed stars on the lord of the year (sig. c4v-d2r); interpretation of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Head/Tail of the Dragon in each of the twelve signs of the zodiac (sig. d2v-e3v).

Reproduction
: Venice, Johannes Baptista Sessa, 1488 or 1506 (the date is missing), 18 fols [Warburg FAH 820].
Title: Incipit tractatus Albumasaris florum astrologie.
Inc.: ‘Dixit Albumasar: Oportet te primum scire dominum anni. Et scientia huius rei scitur hora introitus Solis in primum minutum signis Arietis…’ [TK, 1013].
Expl.: ‘… sicut natura eventus qui tibi aparuerit fuerit in eodem anno. Hoc est ex secretis astronomie quod occultari opere precium est. Finis.’

Bibliography
 : F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 92-94 (nr. 3) ; D. Pingree, ‘Abû Ma‘shar al-Balkhî Ja‘far ibn Muhammad’, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, I, New York, 1970, pp. 36-37 (nr. 9); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, pp. 142-143 (nr. 3); K. Yamamoto and C. Burnett, Abû Ma‘sar on Historical Astrology. The Book of religions and Dynasties (On the Great Conjunctions), Leiden-Boston-Köln, 2000, 2 vols., I, pp. xvi-xviii. (D. J.)

Capitula Almansoris

Author and origin: unknown. 
Translation: Plato of Tivoli with the help of Abraham Bar Hiyya, 1136.
Significance: the Capitula (or Iudicia) Almansoris are preserved in over forty manuscripts and a dozen printed editions from 1481 to 1674.
Contents: C ollection of 150 astrological aphorisms of the same kind as the Centiloquium of pseudo-Ptolemy and Hermes. 

Reproduction
: Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533, second part, pp. 93-110 (pp. 99-108 are missing due to a wrong pagination, but this does not affect the text) [Warburg FAH 750]. 
Title : Almansoris astrologi propositiones, ad Saracenorum regem.
Inc.: ‘Aphorismorum compendiolum mi rex petiisti, ut tuis satisfaciam votis, laborem nequaquam subire recusavi. Scripsi aequo animo accipias quaeso. I. Signorum dispositionum, ut dicam, ab Ariete…’ [TK, 113].
Expl.: ‘… dabit fortitudinem, et regnum in quo nulla fiet iniustitia.’

Bibliography
: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 132-134 (nr. 1); J.-C. Vadet, ‘Les aphorismes latins d’Almansor. Essai d’interprétation’, Annales Islamologiques, 5, 1963, pp. 31-130. (D. J.)

Bethen, Centiloquium, de horis planetarum

Bethen, Centiloquium

Author and origin: unknown. The tract is apparently identical with the De consuetudinibus of Abraham ibn Ezra (ca. 1090-1167) and often occurs in manuscripts together with other astrological texts of Abraham ibn Ezra translated from a French version by Peter of Abano (1257-ca. 1315). 
Significance: over twenty extant manuscripts and seven printed editions from 1484 to 1641. 
Contents: collection of 100 astrological aphorisms.

Reproduction:
 Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533, second part, pp. 89-93 [Warburg FAH 750]. 
Title: Centiloquium Bethem.
Inc.: ‘Hunc [read: Nunc] inchoabo librum de consuetudinibus in iudiciis stellarum. [1] Scias quod quando planetae retrogradi sunt…’ [TK, 965].
Expl.: ‘… aut domo exaltationis suae salvus ab infortuna.’ 

Bibliography
: L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translations of the Astrological Tracts of Abraham Avenezra’, Isis, 35, 1944, pp. 293-302 (p. 299); F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 74-75 (nr. 1). (D. J.) 

Bethen, De horis planetarum

Author and origin: unknown. 
Significance: two extant manuscripts and five printed editions from 1493 to 1551, where the work follows Bethen’s Centiloquium (see description of that text). 
Contents: twelve short chapters dealing with ‘elections’ according to the seven planetary hours (1-7), to the rising triplicity (8-11) and to the hour of Saturn when a sign ruled by Saturn is rising (12). 

Reproduction
: Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533, second part, pp. 110-112 [Warburg FAH 750]. 
Title: Bethem de horis planetarum.
Inc.: ‘De hora Saturni. Cum fuerit hora Saturni, bonum est emere res gravis naturae, ut ferrum, stannum, plumbum…’ [TK, 299].
Expl.: ‘… et quod diximus de Saturno, sic intellige de omnibus aliis planetis.’

Bibliography: 
F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, p. 75 (nr. 2). 
(D. J.)

Gaurico (Luca), Tractatus astrologicus

Author: Luca Gaurico or Lucas Gauricus (Italy, 1476-1558).  
Date: 1552.
Significance: The most famous work of Gaurico.  
Contents: collection of over 200 commented horoscopes, arranged in six tractatus dealing respectively with the foundation of cities and churches (I, fols 1r-14r); popes and cardinals (II, fols 15r-37v); emperors, kings and princes (III, f. 38r-56v); philosophers and artists (IV, fols 57r-86v); people who died a violent death (V, fols 87r-115v); deformed people (VI, fols 116r-121v).   

Reproduction: Venice, Bartholomaeus Caesanus, 1552 [Warburg FAH 1940], 122 fols.
TitleLucae Gaurici Geophonensis episcopi civitatensis tractatus astrologicus, in quo agitur de praeteritis multorum hominum accidentibus per proprias eorum genituras ad unguem examinatis, quorum exemplis consimilibus unusquisque de medio genethliacus vaticinari poterit de futuris, quippe qui per varios casus artem experientia fecit, exemplo monstrante viam. 

Bibliography: J.-P. Boudet, ‘Manipuler le ciel : note sur les horoscopes d’Alexandre VI et de Jules II établis par Luca Gaurico’, in La fortuna dei Borgia. Atti del convegno (Bologna, 29-31 ottobre 2000), eds. O. Capitani, M. Chiabò, M.C. De Matteis, and A.M. Oliva, Roma, 2005, pp. 225-234. On Gaurico, see also P. Zambelli, ‘Da Giulio II a Paolo III. Como l’astrologo provocatore Luca Gaurico divenne vescovo’, in La città dei segreti. Magia, astrologia e cultura esoterica a Roma (XV-XVIII), ed. F. Troncarelli, Milano, 1985, pp. 229-323; P. Zambelli, ‘Many Ends of the World. Luca Gaurico Instigator of the Debate in Italy and in Germany’, in ‘Astrologi hallucinati’. Stars and the End of the World in Luther’s Time, ed. P. Zambelli, Berlin-New York, 1986, pp. 239-263. (D.J.)

Haly Abenragel, De iudiciis astrorum

Author: Abu l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Abi l-Rijal (died after 1037, Kayrawan).
Original title: Kitab al-bari‘ fi akham an-nujum.
Translation: the Latin text was translated from the Old Castilian version made by Yehuda ben Moshe for Alfonso X in 1254. 
Significance: one of the most extensive astrological compilation of the Middle Ages. At least 25 extant manuscripts and 7 printed editions from 1485 to 1571. 
Contents: eight books, covering all branches of astrology: Books I-III (pp. 1-114) deal with interrogations; Books IV-VI (pp. 144-296) with nativities; Book VII (pp. 296-351) with elections; and Book VIII (pp. 352-410) with revolutions and general astrology. Book I opens with some general considerations on the zodiac signs, terms, decans, planets, etc. The work is preceded by a table of contents (sig. b2-b5).
Reproduction: Basel, Henrichus Petrus, 1551 [Warburg FAH 890], 410 pp. 
Title: Albohazen Haly filii Abenragel libri de iudiciis astrorum.
Inc.: ‘Prooemium interpretum. Hic est liber magnus et completus, quem Haly Abenragel filius, summus astrologus composuit de iudiciis astrorum… Prooemium autoris. Iste est liber, in quo multos sensus adiunxi de scientia stellarum… Albohazen Haly filii Abenragel libri de iudiciis astrorum prima pars, quae in sexaginta capita dividitur, quorum primum de signis agit, etc. Cap. I: de signis. Duodecim sunt signa in coelo similia membris corporis…’

Expl.: ‘… et quod futurum est, melius novit Deus. Finis.’

Bibliography: V. Stegemann, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Astrologie. I. Der griechische Astrologe Dorotheos von Sidon und der arabische Astrologe Abu’L-Hasan Ali ibn abi’r-Rigal genannt Albohazen, Heidelberg, 1935; V. Stegemann, ‘Astrologische Zarathustra-Fragmente bei dem arabischen Astrologen Abû l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn abi r-Rigal (11. Jhdt.)’, in Orientalia, 6, 1937, pp. 317-336 F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 150-152 (nr. 1); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, p. 187 (nr. 1); D. Pingree, ‘Ibn Abi ’l-Ridjal’, in Encyclopaedia of Islam. New Edition, III, Leiden-London, 1971, p. 688. (D. J.)

HermesCentiloquium

Author and origin: the work was compiled from Arabic sources by Stephen of Messina and addressed to Manfred, king of Sicily from 1258 to 1266, perhaps in 1262. 
Significance: the most popular Hermetic treatise in the Middle Ages after the Asclepius (over 80 extant manuscripts and two printed editions of 1484 and 1533). 
Contents: collection of 100 astrological aphorisms.

Reproduction
: Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533, second part, pp. 85-89 [Warburg FAH 750]. 
Title: Hermetis centum aphorismorum liber.
Inc.: ‘[1] Sol et Luna post Deum, omnium viventium vita sunt. Multorum quidem nativitates non habent hyleg…’ [TK, 1513].
Expl.: ‘… cui luminare ipsum coniungitur, et dominum eius. His et aliis, quae tibi tradidi clarissime, utere, et cum sobrietate utendo nunquam errabis, cum Dei auxilio.’

Bibliography
: F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 53-55 (nr. 3); P. Lucentini and V. Perrone Compagni, I testi e i codici di Ermete nel Medioevo, Firenze, 2001, pp. 27-32. (D. J.)

Liber novem iudicum

Authors: Various 
Date: mid-twelfth century 
Significance: The text has survived in some 20 manuscripts and was translated into French in the fourteenth century. The versions that were printed by Peter Liechtenstein in Venice in 1509, and by Henricus Petrina in Basel in 1571, lack the long introduction and the compilers’ preface. 
Contents: The Liber novem iudicum (‘The Book of the Nine Judges’) is a collection of astrological judgements arranged according to the topics of the twelve astrological ‘places’ (respectively life, possession, brothers, parents, children, illnesses, marriage, death, religion and travel, honours, friends, and enemies), taken from seven astrological authorities, al-Kindī, ‘Umar ibn al-Farrukhān al-Ṭabarī, Sahl ibn Bishr, ‘Aristotle’, Abū ‘Alī al-Khayyāṭ, Jirjis, and Dorotheus. To these were added a comprehensive introduction concerning the terms and doctrines of astrology taken from four authorities, al-Kindī, Sahl ibn Bishr, Māshā’allāh and Abū Ma’shar--two of these being the same as those for the ‘places’—making nine ‘judges’ in all. The texts from which the work has been compiled were all translations from Arabic into Latin made in the mid-twelfth century and the project was probably supervised by the translators Hermann of Carinthia and Hugo of Santalla.

Reproduction:  Venice, Peter Liechtenstein, 1509. 
Title: Liber novem iudicum in iudiciis astrorum. 
Incipit: ‘Rerum omnium que sub lunari circulo esse habent…’. [TK, 1350] 
Explicit: ‘…vires reprimit elatorum superbiam conculcat’.  

Bibliography: F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 103-112; C. Burnett, ‘A Hermetic Programme of Astrology and Divination in mid-Twelfth-Century Aragon: The Hidden Preface in the Liber novem iudicum’, Magic and the Classical Tradition, eds C. Burnett and W. F. Ryan, London and Turin, 2006, pp. 99-118. (C.B.)

Messahallah, De cogitatione, Epistola in rebus eclipsis, De revolutionibus annorum mundi, De significationibus planetarum in nativitate, Liber receptionis

Messahallah, De cogitatione

Author
: Māshā’allāh (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762-815). 
Original title: Arabic original lost, but it is perhaps related to the Kitāb al-ma‘rūf bi’l-sābi‘ wa’l-‘ishrīn (‘The Book Known as the Twenty-Seventh’) according to Pingree.
Translation: translator unknown. The Latin version, which already existed in the twelfth century, circulated under various titles, including De interpretatione cogitationisDe intentione, and De cogitationibus ab intentione.
Significance: extant in at least 26 manuscripts and two printed editions of 1493 and 1549. 
Contents: this short work in three paragraphs provides a general introduction to the interpretation of interrogations, i.e. horoscopes drawn for the time a question is asked to the astrologer.  

Reproduction: ed. Joachimus Hellerus, Nürnberg, Johannes Montanus & Ulricus Neuberus, 1549 [Warburg FAH 765], sig. LIIr-[LIIIv].
TitleDe cogitationibus secundum Messahalam.
Inc.: ‘De cogitationibus ab intentione refertur, et praecipit Messahala ut constituas ascendens per gradum suum…’.
Expl.: ‘... quomodo misceas significationes planetarum.’ The following paragraph (sig. [LIIIv]: ‘De interpraetationibus secundum Messahalam. Scito quod astrologus potest errare... quia si feceris, raro rationem invenies’) corresponds to the beginning of another work on interrogations by Messahallah, the Liber interpretationum.

Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 28-29 (nr. 5); L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translation of Astrological Works by Messahala’, Osiris, 12, 1956, pp. 53-54 ;D. Pingree, ‘Māshā’allāh’, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, IX, New York, 1974, pp. 159-162 (p. 161, nr. 9a). (D.J.)


Messahallah
, Epistola in rebus eclipsis Text (1533) - 
Text (1549)

Author: Māshā’allāh (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762-815). 
Original title: Arabic original lost. 
Translation: the text was translated by John of Seville in the first half of the twelfth century. In the manuscripts, various titles are given, including Epistola Messahallah in rebus eclipsis Lune (et in coniunctionibus planetarum et de revolutione annorum)Epistola de rebus eclipsium and Liber Messehalla in radicibus revolutionum. The work also survives in a Hebrew version. 
Significance: one of the authoritative works on great conjunctions in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The Latin translation is extant in over 60 manuscripts and five printed editions from 1493 to 1551. 
Contents: 12 short chapters on the influence of the planets on the weather and on terrestrial events of general nature, such as plagues, wars, rise of kings and prophets, etc. Particular attention is paid to the conjunctions of the outer planets (Saturn, Jupiter and Mars) in the four triplicities.

Reproduction 1: Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533 [Warburg FAH 750], second part, pp. 115-118.
TitleMessahallach de ratione circuli et stellarum, et qualiter operantur in hoc seculo.
Inc.: ‘Quia dominus altissimus fecit terram ad similitudinem sphaerae et fecit circulum altiorem in circuitu eiusdem volubilem…’ [TK, 1217].
Expl.: ‘… Hoc est ultimum eorum quae protulimus in hoc libro, et est ex secretis scientiae astrorum.’
Reproduction 2: ed. Joachimus Hellerus, Nürnberg, Johannes Montanus & Ulricus Neuberus, 1549 [Warburg FAH 765], sig. FIIIr-[GIIIv].
TitleIncipit epistola Messahalae de rebus eclipsium, et de coniunctionibus annorum mundi, breviter elucidata, et sunt in ea capitula duodecim.
Inc.: ‘Primum caput est de ratione circuli et stellarum… [table of contents]. Caput I. De ratione circuli, et stellarum et qualiter operantur in hoc seculo. Scito quod dominus altissimus fecit terram ad similitudinem sphaerae…’.
Expl.: ‘… est enim ex secretis scientiae astrorum. Perfectus est liber Messahalae, translatus a Ioanne Hispalensi in Limina, ex Arabico in Latinum sub laude Dei et eius auxilio.’


Messahallah, De revolutionibus annorum mundi


Author: Māshā’allāh (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762-815).
Original title: Arabic original not found in manuscripts, but it probably corresponds to the Kitāb Tahāwīl sini l-‘ālammentioned in some Arabic sources (see Sezgin).
Translation: translator unknown, the translation already existed in the twelfth century.

Significance: one of the most popular works on the revolutions of the years of the world, together with Albumasar’sFlores (see this text). It is extant in at least 16 manuscripts and four printed editions from 1484 to 1549.  
Contents: this treatise in 46 chapters provides directions for the interpretation of the horoscope of the revolution of the year, i.e. the horoscope for the entry of the Sun into the first degree of Aries. The text focuses on political issues, especially in relation to the king and the kingdom.

 Reproduction: ed. Joachimus Hellerus, Nürnberg, Johannes Montanus & Ulricus Neuberus, 1549 [Warburg FAH 765], sig. A5r-A6r (table of contents) and BIr-[FIIv] (the work proper).
TitleIncipit liber Messahalae de revolutione annorum mundi.
Inc.: ‘Custodiat te Deus et augeat tibi vitam...’.
Expl.: ‘... minuet dictas gravedines. Finis libri Messahalae de revolutionibus annorum mundi.’ 

Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 25-26 (nr. 2); L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translation of Astrological Works by Messahala’, Osiris, 12, 1956, pp. 66-67 ; D. Pingree, ‘Māshā’allāh’, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, IX, New York, 1974, pp. 159-162 (p. 161, nr. 20); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, p. 105 (nr. 7). (D.J.)


Messahallah, De significationibus planetarum in nativitate


Author
: Māshā’allāh (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762-815).
Original title: Arabic original unknown.
Translation: translator unknown. No Latin manuscripts seem to be prior to the 15th century.

Significance: extant in at least four manuscripts and three printed editions from 1493 to 1551.
Contents: a work in 26 chapters dealing with the interpretation of the position of the planets in birth horoscopes (nativities), respectively the position of each planet in the signs (chapters I-VII), the position of the lord of each house in the twelve houses (chapters VIII-XIX), and the position of each planet in the terms (chapters XX-XXVI).

Reproduction: ed. Joachimus Hellerus, Nürnberg, Johannes Montanus & Ulricus Neuberus, 1549 [Warburg FAH 765], sig. GIVr-LIIr.
TitleIncipit Messahala super significationibus planetarum in nativitate quando fuerit in suis domibus vel extraneis.
Inc.: ‘Caput I: De Saturni significatione in suo aut alterius signo. Cum Saturnus fuerit in domo sua, opera eius erunt fortia...’.
Expl.: ‘... operum eius bonus eris, si Deus voluerit. Finis libri Messahalae de significatione planetarum in nativitatibus.’

Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 27-28 (nr. 4); L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translation of Astrological Works by Messahala’, Osiris, 12, 1956, pp. 69-70 ; D. Pingree, ‘Māshā’allāh’, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, IX, New York, 1974, pp. 159-162 (pp. 161-162, nr. 22). (D.J.)
 

Messahallah, Liber receptionis

Author: Māshā’allāh (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762-815).
Original title: Arabic original unknown.
Translation: translated by John of Seville in the first half of the twelfth century, this work circulated under various titles, including Liber coniunctionis et receptionisLiber receptionis et coniunctionisLiber receptionumDe receptione/receptionibus planetarum, and De interrogationibus.

Significance: one of the most influential treatise on interrogations, i.e. horoscopes drawn for the time a question is asked to the astrologer. It is extant in at least 35 manuscripts and four printed editions from 1484 to 1549.
Contents: the work is divided into 12 chapters providing detailed analysis, with examples taken from actual horoscopes, of standard questions concerning the querant’s life, health, possessions, business, etc.   

Reproduction
: ed. Joachimus Hellerus, Nürnberg, Johannes Montanus & Ulricus Neuberus, 1549 [Warburg FAH 765], sig. [LIVr]-[RIIIv].
TitleLiber Messahalae de receptione.
Inc.: ‘Invenit quidam vir ex sapientibus librum ex libris secretorum astrorum…’.
Expl.: ‘... ideoque iungebatur ad hoc levi nutu Dei. Finis libri Messahalae de receptione.’ 

Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 26-27 (nr. 3); L. Thorndike, ‘The Latin Translation of Astrological Works by Messahala’, Osiris, 12, 1956, pp. 50-53 ; D. Pingree, ‘Māshā’allāh’, in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, IX, New York, 1974, pp. 159-162 (p. 162, nr. 24); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, p. 107 (nr. 19). (D.J.)

Omar, De nativitatibus

Author: ‘Umar Ibn al-Farrukhân al-Tabarî (Baghdad, fl. ca. 762). 

Original title: Kitâb al-Mawâlid (‘Book of Nativities’).
Translation: John of Seville in the first half of the twelfth century.
Significance: at least 16 extant manuscripts and five printed editions from 1503 to 1551. 
Contents: a standard treatise on the interpretation of nativities, or birth horoscopes, in three books, quoting Ptolemy, Messahallah and Hermes. Books I (pp. 118-124) and II (pp. 124-131) deal respectively with the determination and interpretation of the hyleg and alcochoden (or significant positions in the horoscope, which enables the astrologer to compute the length of life). Book III (pp. 131-141) explains how to interpret the sectors of the native’s life corresponding to the twelve houses. 

Reproduction
: Basel, Iohannes Hervagius, 1533, second part, pp. 118-141 [Warburg FAH 750].
Title: De nativitatibus secundum Omar.
Inc.: ‘Omar Belnalfargdiani Tiberiadis dixit: Scito quod diffinitiones nativitatum in nutritione sunt quatuor…’ [TK, 1409].
Expl.: ‘… Arietis per ascensiones quas exposui tibi, et quo pervenerit, verte eum in gradus aequales, et ipsum erit ascendens.’
Bibliography: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 38-39 (nr. 1); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, p. 112 (nr. 3). (D. J.)

Pierre d’Ailly, Vigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia, De concordantia astronomie veritatis et narrationis historice, Elucidarium astronomice concordie cum theologica et historica veritate

Pierre d’Ailly, Vigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia

Author
: Pierre d’Ailly or Petrus de Alliaco (1350-1420), bishop of Cambrai and Cardinal. 
Date: completed in Cologne in 1414.
Significance: this treatise, together with the De concordantia astronomie veritatis et narrationis historice and theElucidarium astronomice concordie cum theologica et historica veritate (see), form one of the most important Western work on astrological history, i.e. the writing of history on the basis of the great astronomical cycles, most notably the great conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter. The ultimate aim of the trilogy is to demonstrate the validity and utility of astrology and, as the titles indicate, its concordance with both theology and history.  
Contents: the Vigintiloquium, in 20 chapters (or verba), mainly deals with the calculation of the age of the world (which varied according to the translation of the Old Testament in use) on the basis of astronomical and astrological data, in order to provide the necessary chronological framework to equate historical events with the great conjunctions.

Reproduction: Venice, Erhardus Ratdolt, 1490 [Warburg, FAH 1620], sig. a2r-[b6r].
TitleVigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia domini Petri de Aliaco cardinalis Cameracensis viginti continens verba feliciter incipit.
Inc.: ‘Primum secundum philosophum omne verum omni vero consonat…’.
Expl.: ‘... honor et gloria in secula seculorum. Amen. Explicit tractatus de concordantia theologie et astronomie a domino P<etro> cardinali Cameracensis compilatus et completus in civitate Coloniensi anno Christi 1414.’

 Bibliography: L.A. Smoller, History, Prophecy and the Stars. The Christian Astrology of Pierre d’Ailly, 1350-1420, Princeton, 1994. (D.J.)


Pierre d’Ailly, De concordantia astronomie veritatis et narrationis historice

Author: Pierre d’Ailly or Petrus de Alliaco (1350-1420), bishop of Cambrai and Cardinal.
Date: completed in Basel on 10 May 1414.
Significancesee Vigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia.  
Contents: in this treatise in 64 chapters, d’Ailly provides his astrological history of the world from the Creation to the Last Judgment (which he dates to A.D. 1789, see chapter 60), relating the major historical events to the great conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter and other astronomical cycles.
 Reproduction: Venice, Erhardus Ratdolt, 1490 [Warburg, FAH 1620], sig. [b6r]-e1r.
TitlePrologus et divisio operis sequentis.
Inc.: ‘Ad tractatum nostrum de concordantia astronomie et theologie hunc secundum de concordantia astronomice veritatis...’.
Expl.: ‘... qui est benedictus Deus in secula seculorum. Amen. Explicit tractatus de concordantia astronomice veritatis et narrationis historice a domino Petro cardinali Cameracensis, completus in civitate Basiliensis anno Christi 1414 mensis Maii die decima.’

Bibliography: L.A. Smoller, History, Prophecy and the Stars. The Christian Astrology of Pierre d’Ailly, 1350-1420, Princeton, 1994. (D.J.)


Pierre d’Ailly, Elucidarium astronomice concordie cum theologica et historica veritate


Author: Pierre d’Ailly or Petrus de Alliaco (1350-1420), bishop of Cambrai and Cardinal.
Date: completed on 24 September 1414.
Significance: see Vigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia.
Contents: this work in 40 chapters brings additions and corrections to d’Ailly’s two previous treatises, theVigintiloquium de concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia and the De concordantia astronomie veritatis et narrationis historice (see).

Reproduction: Venice, Erhardus Ratdolt, 1490 [Warburg, FAH 1620], sig. e1v-[g8r].
TitleIncipit elucidarium astronomice concordie cum theologica et historica veritate.
Inc.: ‘Mihi diligentius perscrutanti astronomorum dicta clarius innotuit...’.
Expl.: ‘... qui sine fine vivit et regnat in secula seculorum. Amen.’
Bibliography: L.A. Smoller, History, Prophecy and the Stars. The Christian Astrology of Pierre d’Ailly, 1350-1420, Princeton, 1994. (D.J.)

Ptolemy, Quadripartitum

Author
: Claudius Ptolemaeus (c. 90-ca. 168 AD)
Original Title: Tetrabiblos or Apotelesmatika
Translation: The Latin translation of the Arabic version, made by Plato of Tivoli in 1138.
Significance: This is the Classical text on astrology, which seeks to find rational explanations for astrological doctrine. In translations directly from Greek and indirectly from Arabic, and accompanied by an extensive commentary by ʿAlι ibn Riḍwān, translated into Latin in the late thirteenth century, it had wide influence in Europe. Plato’s translation survives in 9 manuscripts and five Renaissance printings.
Contents: As the title indicates, it is divided into four books: the first on the defense of astrology and technical concepts, the second on influences on earth (including astrological geography and weather prediction), and the third and fourth on influences on individuals.
Reproduction: Basel, Johannes Hervagius, 1533 [Warburg FAH 750], p. 1-74.
Title: Cl. Ptolomaei Pheludiensis Alexandrini Quadripartitum.
Inc.: ‘Rerum, Iesure, in quibus est pronosticabilis scientiae…’
Expl.: ‘…hoc in loco huic libro finem imponere non incongruum existimamus.’
Bibliography: Claudius Ptolemaues, Apotelesmatika, ed. W. Hübner, Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1998; L. Minio-Paluello, ‘Plato of Tivoli’, in Dictionary of Scientific
Biography
, ed. C. C. Gillispie, New York, 1975, XI, pp. 31-33. (C. B.)

Zael, Introductorium, Quinquaginta precepta, De electionibus

Zael, Introductorium
Author: Sahl b. Bishr (Baghdad, first half of the ninth century). 
Original title: many different titles in Arabic manuscripts (see Sezgin).
Translation: translator unknown; the work already existed is Latin in the twelfth century.
Significance: in the Latin tradition, the Introductorium is the first of a series of five treatises dealing altogether with the whole science of astrology (I: Introductorium, II: Quinquaginta precepta, III: De interrogationibus, IV: De electionibus, V: Liber temporum). This corpus is extant, at least in part, in over fifty manuscripts and seven printed editions from 1484 to 1551.
Contents: a general introduction to the principles of astrology, including the nature, classifications and subdivisions of the signs of the zodiac, the twelve houses, the aspects, as well as a detailed examination of a number of configurations of the horoscope involving the planets. 

Reproduction
: ???, sig. a1r-[b4r] [Warburg FAH 850]
Title: De principiis iudiciorum astrologie. Introductorium Zahelis Ysmaelite.
Inc.: ‘In nomine Dei pii et misericordis, dixit Zahel Bemhiz Ysmaelita: Scito quod signa sunt 12 et ex eis 6 sunt masculina et 6 feminini…’ [TK, 1411 : ‘Scito quod…’].
Expl.: ‘… et cum fuerit cum feminis gaudet in parte feminina propter diversitatem horum planetarum et eorum domorum.’

Bibliography
: F.J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, p. 41 (nr. 2); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, pp. 125-126 (nr. 1). (D. J.)


Zael, Quinquaginta precepta

Author: Sahl b. Bishr (Baghdad, first half of the ninth century). 
Original title: belongs to Zael’s Introductorium in Arabic manuscripts (see note on Zael’s Introductorium and Sezgin).
Translation: translator unknown; the work already existed is Latin in the twelfth century.
Significance: in the Latin and Arabic traditions, the Quinquaginta precepta form the second part of Zael’s corpus (see description of Zael’s Introductorium).
Contents: collection of 50 astrological rules. 

Reproduction:
 ???, sig. [b4r]-[c4r] [Warburg FAH 850]
Title: Incipiunt precipua iuditia et sunt quindecim.
Inc.: ‘Primum de receptione dispositionis per Lunam. Scito quod significatrix id est Luna cuius circulus est omnium planetarum…’ [TK, 1411: ‘Scito quod…’].
Expl.: ‘… causam de qua interrogat, gravis enim erit illi. Scito hoc totum.’

Bibliography
: F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, pp. 40-41 (nr. 1); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, pp. 125-126 (nr. 1). (D. J.)


Zael, 
De electionibus
Author: Sahl b. Bishr (Baghdad, first half of the ninth century). 
Original title: Kitâb al-Ikhtiyârât ‘alâ ’l-buyût al-ithnai ‘ashar (‘Book of Elections According to the Twelve Houses’).
Translation: translator unknown; the work already existed is Latin in the twelfth century.
Significance: in the Latin tradition, the De electionibus forms the fourth part of Zael’s corpus (see description of Zael’s Introductorium). 
Contents: one of the most popular works on elections (i.e. choice of propitious time to undertake an action) in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. As the Arabic title indicates, subjects are arranged according to the twelve houses. For instance, questions about money and business (including alchemy here) are dealt with under the heading of the second house.

Reproduction:
 Venice, Petrus Liechtenstein, 1509, sig. a2r-[b4r] [Warburg FAH 765]. 
Title: Liber electionum Meseallach et Ptholemei feliciter incipit.
Inc.: ‘Omnes concordati sunt quod electiones sint debiles nisi in divitibus…’ [TK, 985].
Expl.: ‘… Mercurii 22 graduum et dimidii, Lune 6 graduum et tertie unius.’

Bibliography
: F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Latin Translation. A Critical Bibliography, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1956, p. 41 (nr. 4); F. Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, VII, Leiden, 1979, pp. 126-127 (nr. 3). The Arabic and Latin versions have been edited in C.M. Crofts, Kitab al-Iktiyarat ‘ala l-buyut al-itnai ‘asar by Sahl ibn Bisr al-Israi’ili, with Its Latin Translation De electionibus, Thesis, University of Glasgow, 1985. (D. J.

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