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FORM 109 

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J- F- J- 
G. L. H. 

F. J. T. 


The history of European science in the Middle Ages is twofold. 
On the one hand it is concerned with the recovery and assimila- 
tion of the science of antiquity, little known at first and only 
gradually brought into the West, to some extent as enlarged by 
the Arabs, in the course of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; 
while on the other hand, it has to take account of the advance of 
knowledge by the processes of observation and experiment in 
western Europe. The first phase deals primarily with translation 
from the Arabic and the Greek, in Spain, Sicily, North Africa, 
and the East, as a preliminary to the full assimilation of these 
successive increments of ancient learning and the Arabic addi- 
tions thereto. The second, more obscure, has to trace the exten- 
sion of knowledge by such means as the observation of plants and 
animals, especially dogs, hawks, and horses, the actual treatment 
of disease, geographical exploration, and the growth of the ex- 
perimental habit. On both these sides a consecutive and com- 
prehensive history still remains to be written, while at many 
points monographic investigation is entirely lacking. 

Toward the materials for such a history the present volume is 
meant to offer a contribution. It is limited to the twelfth and 
early thirteenth centuries, the period of scientific revival, and to 
certain specific topics worked out primarily from the manuscript 
sources. After a survey of the place of Spain in the introduction 
of Arabic science into Europe, the pioneers of the new learning are 
studied in the person of Adelard of Bath, tutor of King Henry II, 
that extraordinary traveller in distant lands and student and 
translator of the mathematics^ astronomy, astrology, and philos- 
ophy of his time, and in his immediate and little known succes- 




sors, Hermann of Carinthia and Hugh of Santalla. The as- 
tronomy of the computists and of the Platonists of Chartres is 
then noted as the background for the reception of the Aristotelian 
physics and the Ptolemaic astronomy in the course of the twelfth 
century, and the coming of the new astronomy and mathematics 
is illustrated in detail by the series of scholars who brought them 
to England. Some account is given of the modest part of Syria in 
the transmission of Arabic knowledge. The Greek phase of the 
mediaeval renaissance is then examined, and illustrated in detail 
by a study of the Sicilian translators which brings into fresh reHef 
the significance of Sicily as a centre of diffusion for Greek mathe- 
matics, astronomy, and philosophy. A parallel movement is 
traced in northern Italy in the person of Latins resident at Con- 
stantinople, who brought to the West something of the stored up 
knowledge and superstition of the Byzantine capital. Then the 
court of the Emperor Frederick II is presented on its scientific 
side as the meeting-point of these Greek and Arabic currents, and 
as a fruitful centre of inquiry and experiment, as seen particularly 
in the writings of the emperor's adviser, Michael Scot, and in 
Frederick's own treatise on falcons, a highly characteristic 
product of this extraordinary mind. Other studies deal with 
the introduction of the abacus into the English exchequer, with 
Syrian astronomy and western falconry, and with a list of text- 
books which sums up the curriculum of the close of the twelfth 
century. Of the ancient authors upon whom mediaeval learning 
depended, special attention is given to Aristotle, Ptolemy, and 
their influence, without neglecting Plato, Euclid, and the Greek 

This series of studies was planned and in large measure written 
before the appearance of Lynn Thorndike's History of Magic and 
Experimental Science (New York, 1923), largely even before the 
publication of Pierre Duhem's Le systeme du monde de Platon d 



Copernique (Paris, 1913-17); but much use has been made of 
both. While the present volume traverses portions of the larger 
field covered by each of these more ambitious works, its point of 
view remains distinct. Thorndike's chief interest is in magic 
taken in the broadest sense ; Duhem is primarily concerned with 
tracing cosmological ideas; whereas the present volume ap- 
proaches mediaeval science from the point of view of the general 
history of culture in the Middle Ages, and thus touches other 
phases of science as well as philosophy, classical learning, and 
even institutions in their relations to science. It is designed in 
the first instance as a contribution to the history of the mediaeval 
renaissance and the influence of eastern culture upon the West. 

While the effort is to advance knowledge at critical points 
rather than to tell a continuous story, the chapters have been 
grouped so as to bring out the general connection, while three 
general chapters (I, VIII, XII) sum up the present state of our 
information on the Spanish translators from the Arabic, on Greek 
studies, and on the court of Frederick II. Certain of these chap- 
ters are new, I, II (largely), III, V, VII, X (largely) ; others which 
have appeared in various journals in the course of the past fifteen 
years have been carefully revised and in most instances extended 
as the result of further investigation. Each chapter is based, in 
part at least, upon unprinted sources and brings to light a certain 
amount of material not previously known. Most of this research 
has been performed on the spot, but it has been greatly facilitated 
by photographic reproductions. These photographs of manu- 
scripts were made possible by grants from the Woodbury Lowery 
fund of Harvard University; they are available for the use of other 
investigators in the Harvard Library. 

The list would be long of the many scholars who have aided my 
researches, but for special help in relation to manuscripts I must 
mention particularly His Eminence Cardinal Ehrle and Mon- 


signori G. Mercati and A. Pelzer at the Vatican; Mgr. L. Gra- 
matica at the Ambrosian; Comm. I. Giorgi of the Biblioteca 
Casanatense; the late Professor Eduardo de Hinojosa of Madrid; 
Senor E. Hurtebise of the Archives of the Crown of Aragon at 
Barcelona; MM. Henri Omont and Lucien Auvray at the Bib- 
liotheque Nationale; Mr. J. A. Herbert at the British Museum; 
Dr. H. H. E. Craster at the Bodleian; Mr. R. Livingstone of 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford; the Provost of Eton; Professor 
J. S. Reid at Cambridge; and Professor Clemens Baeumker of 
Munich; besides many other librarians and scholars from Lisbon 
to Vienna and from Edinburgh to Palermo. For other forms of 
suggestion and assistance I am especially indebted to my master, 
M. Charles- V. Langlois, who was good enough to review certain 
chapters in the Journal des savants in 191 9; Dr. Reginald Lane 
Poole, to whom no student of the twelfth century ever turns in 
vain; Mr. C. C. J. Webb, and Dr. Charles Singer; Dr. A. Birken- 
majer, of Cracow; Dr. F. Liebermann, of Berlin; Professor J. L. 
Heiberg of Copenhagen; the late Professor H. Suter of Zurich; 
Professor R. Sabbadini of Milan; Professors D. E. Smith of Col- 
umbia, D. P. Lockwood of Haverford, L. C. Karpinski of Mich- 
igan, and Lynn Thorndike of Western Reserve; and to my 
colleagues Messrs. Maurice De Wulf, E. K. Rand, George Sarton, 
E. C. Streeter, and H. A. Wolfson. Mr. George W. Robinson, 
Secretary of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Harvard 
University, has rendered invaluable assistance in correcting the 
proofs and has prepared the index of proper names. 

This book is dedicated to three friends who in my early years, 
one as teacher, two as fellow-students and colleagues, con- 
tributed most to the formation of my ideals of scholarship. 

Cambridge, April, 1924. 




I. Translators from the Arabic in Spain 3-19 

Place of Spain in the history of science 4 

Arabic science in Spain 6 

Gerbert . 8 

The translators of the twelfth century 9 

The translators of the thirteenth century 16 

II. Adelard or Bath 20-42 

List of writings 20 

Biography 33 

Adelard 's place in intellectual history 35 

III. Hermann of Carinthia 43-66 

Life and writings 43 

The De essentiis 56 

IV. The Translations of Hugo Sanctallensis .... 67-81 

A hitherto unknown centre of study in Aragon ..... 67 
Hugo's versions of works on astrology and divination . . 72 

V. Some Twelfth-Century Writers ON Astronomy . 82-112 

Computists 83 

The school of Chartres 88 

Treatises on the elements 92 

The Marseilles tables 96 

A critic of Macrobius 98 

Translations of Ptolemy 103 

VI. The Introduction of Arabic Science into Eng- 

land 113-129 

Walcher of Malvern and Petrus Alphonsi 113 

Robert of Chester 120 

Roger of Hereford 123 

Daniel of Morley 126 

Alfred of 'Sereshel' 128 

VII. Translators in Syria during the Crusades . . . 130-140 

Stephen of An tioch 131 

'Bernard Silvester' 135 

Philip of Tripoli 137 





VIII. The Greek Element in the Renaissance of the 

Twelfth Century 141-154 

IX. The Sicilian Translators of the Twelfth Cen- 
tury 155-193 

Many-tongu€d Sicily 155 

The first version of Ptolemy's Almagest 157 

Aristippus 165 

Robert of Cricklade 168 

Eugene of Palermo 171 

Versions of Euclid, Hero, and Proclus 178 

Other possible translations in Sicily 183 

Sicily and the North 185 

Preface to the Sicilian Almagest 191 

X. North-Italian Translators of the Twelfth 

Century 194-222 

Italy and Byzantium in the twelfth century 194 

Moses of Bergamo 197 

Burgundio the Pisan 206 

An emissary of Frederick I ca. 1179 209 

Hugo Eterianus and Leo Tuscus 213 

Paschal the Roman 218 

Astrology and the occult 221 

XI. Versions of Aristotle's Posterior Analytics . . 223-241 

The New Logic 223 

James of Venice and Boethius 226 

The version of the Toledo manuscript 228 

Other versions 236 


XII. Science at the Court of the Emperor Frederick 

II 242-271 

Frederick's background 243 

The scientists of Frederick's court 245 

His relations with Jews and Mohammedans 251 

Principal subjects of interest 254 

The emperor as a scientific inquirer , 262 

King Manfred . 269 

XIII. Michael Scot 272-298 

Fact and legend 272 

List of writings 277 

Astrological works 285 

Questions addressed to Michael by Frederick II 292 


XIV. The De Arte Venandi cum Avibus of Frederick 

II 299-326 

Manuscripts and composition 300 

The sources 313 

Frederick as a student of birds 320 


XV. The Abacus and the Exchequer 327-335 

XVI. NiMROD THE Astronomer 336-345 

XVII. Some Early Treatises on Falconry 346-355 

XVIII. A List of Text-Books from the Close of the 

Twelfth Century 356-376 

Date and authorship; Garland and Neckam 357 

Place in mediaeval learning 366 

Text 372 

Index of Manuscripts and Libraries 379-385 

Subject Index 387-390 

Index of Proper Names 391-411 


B. E.C Bibliotheque de VEcole des Charles. Paris, 1839- • 

B.M Bihliotheca Mathematica. Stockholm, 1884- . 

(Third series unless otherwise noted.) 

B.N Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. 

B. Z Byzantinische Zeitschrift. Leipzig, 1892- . 

Beitrage Beitrdge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, ed. 

CI. Baeumker and others. Miinster, 1891- . 
Bullettino Bulletiino della hihliografia e della storia delle scienze mathemor 

tiche efisiche, ed. B. Boncompagni. Rome, 1868-87. 
Cantor Moritz Cantor, Vorlesungen iiher Geschichte der Mathematik. 

Leipzig, i (third edition), 1907, ii (second edition), 1900. 
Duhem Pierre Duhem, Le systeme du monde de Platon d Copernic. 

Paris, 1913-17. 

E.H.R English Historical Review. London, 1886- . 

Jourdain A. Jourdain, Recherches critiques sur Vdge et Vorigine des tra- 
ductions latines d'Aristote. Second edition, Paris, 1843. 

Krumbacher . . . , Karl Krumbacher, Geschichte der hyzantinischen Litter atur. 
Second edition, Munich, 1897. 

M.G.H Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Hanover, etc., 1826- . 

Steinschneider, E. U. Moritz Steinschneider, Die europdischen Uebersetzungen aus 
dem Arabischen, in Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, 
phil.-hist. Kl., cxlix, no. 4, cli, no. i (1904-05). 

Steinschneider, H. U. Moritz Steinschneider, Die hebrdischen Uebersetzungen des 

Mittelalters. Berlin, 1893. 
Suter H. Suter, Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber und 

ihre Werke (= Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der mathema- 

tischen Wissenschaften, x, xiv, 1900, 1902). 
Thorndike .... Lynn Thorndike, A History of Magic and Experimental 

Science. New York, 1922. 
Wiistenfeld . . . . F. Wiistenfeld, Die Uebersetzungen arabischer Werke in das 

Lateinische, in Abhandlungen of the Gottingen Academy, 

xxii (1877). 

Z.M.Ph Zeitschrift fur Mathematik und Physik. Leipzig, 1856- . 







The recovery of ancient science and philosophy in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries marks an epoch in the history of European 
intelligence. The introduction of Arabic texts into the studies of 
the West," says Renan, 'divides the history of science and philos- 
ophy in the Middle Ages into two perfectly distinct periods. In 
the first the human mind has, to satisfy its curiosity, only the 
meagre fragments of the Roman schools heaped together in the 
compilations of Martianus Capella, Bede, Isidore, and certain 
technical treatises whose wide circulation saved them from obliv- 
ion. In the second period ancient science comes back once more 
to the West, but this time more fully, in the Arabic commentaries 
or the original works of Greek science for which the Romans had 
substituted compends " ^ — Hippocrates and Galen, the entire 
body of Aristotle's writings, the mathematics and astronomy of 
the Arabs. The full recovery of this ancient learning, supple- 
mented by what the Arabs had gained from the Orient and from 
their own observation, constitutes the scientific renaissance of the 
Middle Ages. 

1 Read before the American Philosophical Society, 19 April 1923, but not hereto- 
fore published. 

2 Renan, Averroes (Paris, 1869), p. 200. The standard accounts of the transla- 
tions from the Arabic are: F. Wiistenfeld, "Die Uebersetzungen arabischer Werke 
in das Lateinische," in Ahhandlungen of the Gottingen Academy, xxii (1877); M. 
Steinschneider, Die hehraischen Uebersetzungen des Mittelalters (Berlin, 1893); idem, 
Die arabischen Uebersetzungen aus dem Griechischen (Leipzig, 1897) — a factitious 
collection from Centralblatt fiir Bibliothekswesen, Beihefte v and xii; Virchow's Ar- 
chiv, cxxiv; Zeitschrift fiir Mathematik und Physik, xxxi; and Zeitschrift der deutschen 
morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, 1; idem, "Die europaischen Ubersetzungen aus dem 
Arabischen," in Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, phil.-hist. Klasse, cxlix, cli 
( 1 904-1 905). See also his Introduction to the Arabic Literature of the Jews (London, 
1901); and his many special articles. 




The most important channel by which the new learning reached 
western Europe ran through the Spanish peninsula. "Spain," 
says W. P. Ker,^ "from the Rock in the South, which is a pillar of 
Hercules, to the Pass in the North, which is Roncesvalles, is full 
of the visions of stories." It has its romance of commerce, from 
the * corded bales' of theTyrian trader to the silver fleets of the 
Indies; of discovery and conquest, as personified in Columbus and 
the conquistadores; of crusading and knight errantry in the Cid 
and Don Quixote. It has also its romance of scholarship, of ad- 
venture in new paths of learning and even in forbidden bypaths. 
In consequence of the Saracen conquest, the Peninsula became 
for the greater portion of the Middle Ages a part of the Moham- 
medan East, heir to its learning and its science, to its magic and 
astrology, and the principal means of their introduction into 
western Europe. When, in the twelfth century, the Latin world 
began to absorb this oriental lore, the pioneers of the new learning 
turned chiefly to Spain, where one after another sought the key 
to knowledge in the mathematics and astronomy, the astrology 
and medicine and philosophy which were there stored up; and 
throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries Spain remained 
the land of mystery, of the unknown yet knowable, for inquiring 
minds beyond the Pyrenees. The great adventure of the Euro- 
pean scholar lay in the Peninsula. 

Spain, of course, was not the only route by which Arabic science 
reached the West. Already in the eleventh century Constantine 
the African was at work in Africa or the East at his more or less 
trustworthy paraphrases of medical writers, and one of these 
versions, the Regalis dispositio of Ali-ben-Abbas, was subse- 
quently improved and completed by Stephen of Pisa at Antioch.^ 
Adelard of Bath can be followed in Syria more surely than in 

' Two Essays (Glasgow, 1918), p. 23. 

4 Infra, Chapter VII. On Constantine, cf. Thorndike, i, c. 32. Constantine's 
biographer, Petrus Diaconus, tells us (Migne, clxxiii. 1050) that he himself trans- 
lated the lapidary of *Evax rex Arabum'; but Petrus is a shaky authority (cf. E. 
Caspar, Petrus Diaconus und die Monte Cassineser Fdlschungen, Berlin, 1909), and 
the problem of the origin of the Latin lapidaries is highly complicated. See Stein- 
schneider, H.U., pp. 956 f. and his references; J. Ruska, Das Steinhuch des Aris- 
toteles (Heidelberg, 191 2); Thorndike, i, c. 34; Caspar, pp. 28 f. 


Spain. ^ North Africa was apparently the source of the new arith- 
metic of Leonard of Pisa.® Some Arabic material, like Achmet's 
Dream-book, came via the Byzantine Empire.^ A more important 
intermediary was Sicily, where the Arabs had ruled from 902 to 
109 1, and where the Mohammedan population remained a con- 
siderable element after the Norman conquest. Here about the 
middle of the twelfth century Edrisi wrote his great compendium 
of Arabic geography, and Eugene of Palermo translated the Optics 
of Ptolemy from the Arabic. In the next century the hospitality 
of Frederick II to Arab learning is well known. Michael Scot's 
later years were spent at his court, and Jewish translations of 
Averroes were dedicated to him. While these examples show the 
influence of Spain^ the emperor's relations extended to many other 
parts of Islam. ^ On the side of astronomy and astrology transla- 
tion from the Arabic went on under Frederick's son and successor, 
Manfred, and still later under Charles of Anjou. Moreover, there 
is a considerable amount of material from the Arabic of unknown 
origin, some of which, Hke the alchemical treatises, was modified 
and enlarged before it reached its current Latin form, and in all 
this it is impossible to fix the relative part played by Spain and by 
other countries. There was also, as we shall see,^ a large body of 
science and philosophy derived directly from the Greek. Never- 
theless, the broad fact remains that the Arabs of Spain were the 
principal source of the new learning for western Europe. 

The science of mediaeval Spain was, of course, an importation 
from the Mohammedan East. It was not specifically Arab, save 
for the Arab power of absorbing rapidly the older culture of the 
Byzantine Empire, Egypt, Syria, and the lands beyond. Funda- 
mentally it was chiefly Greek, either by way of direct translation 
or through the intermediary of Syriac and perhaps Hebrew ver- 
sions of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, Hippocrates, and the rest, but 
developed in many fruitful ways by elements from the farther 
East and by a certain amount of specific observation and dis- 

5 Infra, Chapter II. 

^ Cantor, ii, c. 41 ; S. Giinther, Geschichte der Mathematik (Leipzig, 1908), i, c. 15. 
' Infra, Chapter X, n. 137. 

8 Infra, Chapter XII. s Infra, Chapters VIII-XI. 



CO very under the caliphs. The men of science were from all parts 
of Islam, few indeed being Arabs, but they shared the speech and 
culture which gave the several caliphates their common civiliza- 

The Spanish element in this Saracen culture awaits clearer defi- 
nition. The current books are likely either to reproduce the highly 
colored reports of Moorish writers, such as the conventional ac- 
count of Cordova with its 600 mosques and its library of 600,000 
volumes, or to deal with generalities concerning Saracen learning 
and science which have little that is distinctively Spanish. 
Spain clearly participated, but what did she contribute? Nothing 
significant in the way of translation into Arabic from the older 
literature which was the source of Arabic science, for this was to 
be found only in the East, and reached Spain only in the Arabic 
versions. Something, undoubtedly, in the discussion and elabora- 
tion of this material on Spanish soil. Yet when we examine the 
lists of Arabic writers on medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and 
cognate subjects, the number of those who wrote in Spain is not 
large, and most of these are known to us only from the general 
phrases of the Arabic cataloguers.^^ The list includes the philoso- 

i** A critical account of the libraries of Mohammedan Spain is lacking. J. Ribera, 
Biblidfilos y hihliotecas en la Espana musulmana (Saragossa, 1896), is a sketch with- 
out references. 

11 The only exception I know is the MS. of Dioscorides said to have been brought 
from Constantinople in the tenth century as a present from the emperor. See Stein- 
schneider's citations, in Virchow's Archiv, cxxiv. 482. 

12 F. Wiistenfeld, Geschichte arabischer Aerzte und Naturforscher (Gottingen, 
1840) ; L. Leclerc, Histoire de la medicine arabe (Paris, 1876); Suter, particularly nos. 
84-87, 90-92, 100, 107, 109-111, 128, 134-136, 159-161, 163, 168-170, 176, 179, 
182, 188-190, 194-197, 200-202, 208-213, 219-227, 234-247, 249, 252, 255-259, 
264 f., 267, 269, 272, 274 f., 277, 279-282, 284-286, 289 f., 294-296, 301-304, 308, 
311 f., 315, 321-323, 325-327, 329-332, 334 f-, 339, 342, 350, 355, 373, 379, 384, 3^8, 
390 f ., 402, 407-410, 420, 444; Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur 
(Weimar, 1898), i; and the Encyclopaedia of Islam, passim. The best sketch of 
Arabic astronomy and astrology is that of Nallino, in Hastings' Cyclopaedia of 
Religion and Ethics, xii, pp. 88-101 (1922). No help can be gained from Spanish 
works such as Eduardo Garcia del Real, Historia de la medicina en Espana (Madrid, 
1921); or Norbert Font y Sague, Historia de les ciencies naturals a Catalunya (Barce- 
lona, 1908). A. Bonilla y San Martin, Historia de la filosofia espanola, i (Madrid, 
191 1) is useful, as is the brief account, with bibliography, in A. Ballesteros y Beretta, 
Historia de Espana, ii (Barcelona, 1920). See also J. A. Sanchez Perez, Biograftas de 



phers Avempace of Saragossa/^ Abubacer (ibn Tofail), and Aver- 
roes; the astronomers al-Bitrogi and ibn Aflah, who joined them 
in criticising, apparently on the basis of Greek sources, Ptolemy's 
theory of planetary motion; their predecessor Maslama, who in- 
troduced the astronomy of the East into Spain and adapted the 
tables of al-Khwarizmi to the meridian of Cordova; and al- 
Zarkali (Arzachel), observer and designer of instruments, who 
determined more accurately the angle of the ecliptic, discussed the 
precession of the equinoxes, and composed the canons which ac- 
companied the standard tables of Toledo.^^ To these should be 
added some physicians of note, like the family of Avenzoar and 
the surgeon Abul-Kasim, one or two writers on agriculture, and an 
occasional geographer like al-Bekri, ibn Jubair, and Benjamin of 
Tudela. Benjamin suggests the Jewish element, which prospered 
greatly under the western caliphs and held an important position 
in the intellectual life of the age. Spain produced Avicebron (ibn 
Gabirol) and the most eminent among mediaeval Jewish philoso- 
phers, Maimonides, who, however, removed early in life to the 
East; and Spanish Jews cooperated with Moslem scientists so 
that the share of each cannot easily be distinguished.^^ Among 
the Moslems the outstanding mind would seem to have been Aver- 
roes, yet it has been remarked of him that his influence was far 
less in Islam than in western Christendom. At the same time, 
Spain seems to have possessed the principal writers of the Mo- 
hammedan East and versions of the Greek works from which they 
drew, and it was in transmitting to western Europe the fulness of 

matemdticos drabes que florecieron en Espana (Madrid, 1921); and his edition of the 
Algebra of Abenbeder (Madrid, 1916) ; as well as the sketch of David Eugene Smith, 
History of Mathematics (Boston, 1923), i. 205-211. M. Menendez y Pelayo, "Inven- 
tario bibliografico de la ciencia espanola," in his Ciencia espanola (Madrid, 1888), 
iii, 127-445, is useful mainly for the later period. 

^3 I have not seen the articles of Asin, in the Revista de Aragdn, 1900-01. 

H. Suter, Die astronomischen Tafeln des Muhammed ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi in 
der Bearbeitung des Maslama ibn Ahmed al-Madjriti, published by the Royal Danish 
Academy, Copenhagen, 1914. See Chapter II, no. 3. 

Steinschneider, ''Etudes sur Zarkali," in Bullettino, xiv, xvi-xviii, xx (1881- 
87); and, for the astronomers in general, Suter, and Duhem, ii. 

G. Colin, Avenzoar (Paris, 191 1). 
" See below, n. 57. 



eastern learning that the Peninsula seems chiefly to have served 
the advancement of knowledge. 

Down to the twelfth century the share of Christian Spain in the 
diffusion of Saracen learning seems to have been small ; indeed the 
oldest catalogues of its monastic and cathedral libraries are con- 
fined to the Latin tradition of the earlier Middle Ages, and with 
the exception of one noteworthy manuscript they show no trace of 
Mohammedan science until far into the twelfth century.^^ Never- 
theless, it is important to note that the most learned man of the 
tenth century, Gerbert of Aurillac, the future Silvester II, cer- 
tainly visited the county of Barcelona in his youth and studied 
mathematics there under Atto, bishop of Vich. There is no cer- 
tain evidence that he penetrated farther into the Peninsula; but 
later, in 984, we find him sending to Miro Bonusfilius, bishop of 
Gerona, for the treatise of a certain Joseph the Wise on multipli- 
cation and division, and asking Lupitus of Barcelona, likewise 
unknown to us, for a liber de astrologia which Lupitus has trans- 
lated.^^ This latter work, at least, was obviously translated from 

^8 For early Spanish libraries, see in general R. Beer, Handschriftenschatze 
Spaniens (Vienna, 1894); and, for MSS. in the Visigothic hand, the list in C. U. 
Clark, Collectanea Hispanica (Paris, 1920). Further references are in R. Foulche- 
Delbosc and L. Barrau-Dihigo, Manuel de Vhispanisant, i (New York, 1920). The 
best study of a particular library is that of Beer, "Die Handschriften des Klosters 
Santa Maria de RipoU," in Vienna Sitzungsherichte, civ, 3, clviii, 2 (1907, 1908). 
See also Delisle, "MSS. de I'abbaye de Sillos," in his Melanges de paleographie, 
pp. 53-116 (cf. Ferotin, Histoire de I'abbaye de Sillos, Paris, 1897); Denifle's cata- 
logue of the Tortosa MSS., Revue des bibliotheques, vi. 1-61 (1896) ; and the scattered 
notices in Villanueva, Viage lUerario. The uncatalogued MSS. of the provincial 
library of Tarragona I examined on the spot in 1913. 

The only clear example of Arabic influence yet pointed out is MS. Ripoll 225, of 
the tenth century, to which we shall return below (note 21). Two interesting man- 
uals of technology edited by J. M. Burnam, who suggests their derivation from 
Ripoll, show no Arabic influence. See his "Recipes from Codex Matritensis A16 
(ahora 19)," in University of Cincinnati Studies, viii, i (191 2); A Classical Technol- 
ogy (Boston, 1920); and cf. Bulletin Hispanique, xxii. 229-233 (1920). So a Ripoll 
MS. of 1056 now in the Vatican (Reg. Lat. 123) contains only the older Latin 
astronomy. See Pijoan, in Trabajos of the Escuela espanola de arqueologta e historia 
en Roma, i. i-io (1912); Saxl, in Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, 1915, no. 5, pp. 45-59. 

Richer, Historiae, iii, ch. 43; Lettres de Gerbert, ed. Havet, nos. 17, 24, 25. Cf. 
M. M. Biidinger, Ueber Gerberts wissenschajtliche und politische Stellung (Marburg, 
1851), pp. 7-25; Beer, in Vienna Sitzungsberichte, civ, 3, pp. 46-59; Manitius, Ge- 
schichte der lateinischen Litteratur des Mittelalters, ii. 729-742 (1923). For Joseph the 
Wise, cf. Suter, no. 182. 



the Arabic; it has been conjecturally identified with a treatise on 
the astrolabe, very possibly with the source of a treatise on this 
subject which Bubnov ascribed hesitatingly and on no very con- 
clusive grounds to Gerbert himself.^^ Whoever the author, he 
worked from Arabic sources, as is seen by the Arabic terms which 
he takes over, and it so happens that a fragment of his work which 
was unknown to Bubnov still exists in a codex of the tenth cen- 
tury among the manuscripts of Santa Maria de Ripoll at Barce- 
lona.^^ Apart, however, from this doubtful work, it seems now 
agreed that there is no direct influence of Arabian mathematics 
visible in Gerbert's writings.^^ Throughout the eleventh century 
Arabic influence is limited to the technical terms of the astrolabe 
and the names of stars, with the possible addition of the astrology 
of Alchandrinus.^^ 

In general, the lure of Spain began to act only in the twelfth 
century, and the active impulse toward the spread of Arabic learn- 
ing came from beyond the Pyrenees and from men of diverse 
origins. The chief names are Adelard of Bath, Plato of Tivoli, 
Robert of Chester, Hermann of Carinthia, with his pupil Rudolf 
of Bruges, and Gerard of Cremona, while in Spain itself we have 
Dominicus Gondisalvi, Hugh of Santalla, and a group of Jewish 

20 Gerberti Opera Mathematica (Berlin, 1899), pp. 109 ff. The discovery of evi- 
dence from the tenth century (see the following note and Thorndike, i, ch. 30) re- 
quires a reopening of the question, 

21 Archives of the Crown of Aragon, MS. Ripoll 225, 105 folios; cf. Beer, loc. cit., 
pp. 57-59. The MS., which I examined in 1913, is in some confusion and needs to be 
collated with the several early treatises on the astrolabe (cf. Bubnov, pp. cv-cviii). 
It begins in the middle of the work ascribed to Gerbert: [super]ponitur tabule . . . 
(Bubnov, p. 123, 1. 5). Then, f. i v, 'De mensura astrolabii. Philosophi quorum 
sagaci studio . . .' F. 7 v, 'De mensura volvelli.' F. 9 v-io, table of stars with 
Arabic names. F. 24 v, 'Incipit astrolabii sen ten tie. Quicumque vult scire certas 
horas noctium et dierum . . .' F. 25 v, 'Explicit prologus. Incipit de nominibus 
laborum laboratorum in ipsa tabula. In primis Almucantarat . . .' F. 30 v, 'In- 
cipiunt capitula orologii regis Ptolomei. Quomodo scias altitudinem solis . . . 
F. 35, 'Incipiunt regule de quarta parte astrolabii . . . .' F. 39, a new treatise; cf. 
Beer, p. 59. 

^ Bubnov, Gerberti Opera Mathematical Cantor, Vorlesungen, i. ch. 39. 

23 Bubnov, pp. 124 £f., 370-375; Thorndike, i, ch. 30. An Arabic-Latin glossary 
of the eleventh century has been edited by C. F. Seybold (Tubingen, 1900); cf. 
E. Bohmer, in Romanische Studien, i. 221-230 (1871); Gotz, Corpus glossariorum 
Latinorum, i. 188 f. 


scholars, Petrus Alphonsi, John of Seville, Savasorda, and Abra- 
ham ben Ezra. Much in their biography and relations with one 
another is still obscure. Their work was at first confined to no 
single place, but translation was carried on at Barcelona, Tara- 
zona, Segovia, Leon, Pamplona, as well as beyond the Pyrenees 
at Toulouse, Beziers, Narbonne, and Marseilles. Later, however, 
the chief centre became Toledo. An exact date for this new move- 
ment cannot be fixed, now that criticism has removed the year 
1116 from an early title of Plato of Tivoli,^^ but the astronomical 
tables of Adelard are dated 11 26, and this whole group of transla- 
tors, save Gerard of Cremona, can be placed within the second 
quarter of the twelfth century. They owed much to ecclesiastical 
patronage, especially to Raymond, archbishop of Toledo, and his 
contemporary Michael, bishop of Tarazona. Besides a large 
amount of astrology, inevitable in an age which regarded astrol- 
ogy as merely applied astronomy and a study of great practical 
utility, their attention was given mainly to astronomy and mathe- 

Adelard of Bath, to begin with the earliest of this group, can be 
connected with Spain by indirect evidence only. He was a trans- 
lator of mathematical and astronomical works from the Arabic, 
but, as he speaks specifically of sojourns in Syria and southern 
Italy, his knowledge of both the learning and the language of the 
Saracens may well have been gained outside of the Peninsula. 
Nevertheless the astronomical tables which he turned into Latin 
in 1 1 26 were, in this form, the work of the Spanish astronomer, 
Maslama, and based upon the meridian of Cordova, and it is quite 
unHkely that Adelard found these elsewhere than in Spain. Where 
his other versions, such as the translation of Euclid's Elements, 
were made, it is impossible to say, but it is clear that he must be 
viewed in a European rather than a Spanish perspective.^^ He is 
also interesting as the first of a long line of Englishmen who played 
an important part in this whole movement and whose writings 
serve as an index of the absorption of the new learning in the 

24 See below, n. 29. 26 gee Chapter VI. 

25 See the following chapter. 


Plato of Tivoli, whose biography is known only from his trans- 
lations,^^ was until recently supposed to have made a mathemati- 
cal translation as early as 1116, his Liher embadorum of Savasorda 
being dated 15 Safar in year 510 of the Hegira.^^ I showed, how- 
ever, in 191 1 2^ that this date did not correspond with the position 
of the sun and planets as therein described, which requires an 
emendation of the text to 540 (DXL from which the L has been 
lost), thus bringing us down to 13 August 1145. The Liher em- 
badorum, interesting for the introduction of Arabic trigonometry 
and mensuration into the West, and for its apparent influence on 
the geometry of Leonard of Pisa, is hence the latest of Plato's 
versions. The others, mostly dated at Barcelona between 1134 
and 1 138, include the astronomy of al-Battani, which Plato pre- 
ferred to the longer Almagest of Ptolemy and a certain number 
of miscellaneous astrological treatises, among them Ptolemy's 
own Quadripartitum (1138). He had the help of the Jew Sava- 
sorda (Abraham ben Chija) and was also in relations with John 
David, to whom we shall come later. 

Hermann of Carinthia and Robert of Chester constitute a sort 
of literary partnership working at various places in northern 
Spain and southern France. Hermann appears first, translating 
a work of Arabic astrology in 1138, and by 1141 the two are to- 
gether in the region of the Ebro, where Peter of Cluny found them 
and engaged them, along with Master Peter of Toledo and his 

27 B. Boncompagni, "Delle versioni fatte da Platone Tiburtino traduttore del 
secolo duodecimo," in Atti delV Accademia Pontificia dei Lincei, iv. 249-286 (185 1); 
Wiistenfeld, pp. 39-44; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 98; Thorndike, ii. 119. 

28 M. Curtze, Der ''Liber embadorum'^ des Savasorda in der Uebersetzung des Plato 
von Tivoli (Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der mathematischen Wissenschaften, xii), 
Leipzig, 1902. 

2^ Romanic Review, ii. 2;E. H. R., xxvi. 491. The astronomical facts were verified 
by my colleague, the late Professor R. W. Willson. 

3" To the evidence for the year 1134 as the date of the version of Hali, De elec- 
iionibus, should be added MS. 10063 of the Biblioteca Nacional, f . 32; and MS. 5-5- 
14 of the Biblioteca Colombina at Seville. 

C. A. Nallino, Al-Battani sive Albatenii Opus astronomicum, in Pubblicazioni del 
R. Osservatorio di Brera in Milano, xl (1904). To the Latin MSS. there enumerated 
(p. li) should be added MS. 5-1-21 of the Biblioteca Colombina, ca. 1200. 

32 For a critical study of Hermann and his writings, see Chapter III, below; for 
Robert, Chapter VI. 



own secretary, on a Latin version of the Koran. From the 
next few years we have a number of works in the name of Her- 
mann or Robert, with frequent dedications by one to the other, 
which together cover a wide range of mathematical, astronomical, 
astrological, and philosophical studies. Of outstanding impor- 
tance among them are Hermann's version of Ptolemy's Plani- 
sphere, otherwise unknown, and his De essentiis, as well as lost 
mathematical works ; and Robert's astronomical tables, his ver- 
sion of the alchemy of Morienus, one of the earliest of such works 
to reach the West, and his highly significant translation of the 
Algebra of al-Khwarizmi for the Latin world. An astronomical 
treatise of Hermann's pupil, Rudolf of Bruges, belongs to the 
same group. 

Hugh of Santalla is likewise connected with the north of Spain, 
of which he was apparently a native.^^ His patron was Michael, 
bishop of Tarazona in Aragon from 1119 to 1151, and his work 
was probably done there or in the neighborhood, as we find him 
mentioning a library at Roda or Rueda. His numerous transla- 
tions have to do with astrology, geomancy, and various forms of 
divination, including the Centiloquium and several Arabic authors. 

While it thus appears that the work of translation was early 
active at several places in northern Spain, Toledo soon became 
the most important centre. Reconquered by the Christians in 
1085, the seat of the primate and soon the residence of the king of 
Castile, the historic city on the Tagus was the natural place of 
exchange for Christian and Saracen learning. *'At this ancient 
centre of scientific teaching were to be found a wealth of Arabic 
books and a number of masters of the two tongues, and with the 
help of these Mozarabs and resident Jews there arose a regular 
school for the translation of Arabic-Latin science which drew 
from all lands those who thirsted for knowledge, and left the sig- 
nature of Toledo on many of the most famous versions of Arabic 
learning." Of a formal school the sources tell us very little, but 
the succession of translators is clear for more than a century, be- 
ginning about 1 135 and continuing until the time of Alfonso X 

33 See Chapter IV, below. 

^ V. Rose, "Ptolemaus und die Schule von Toledo," in Hermes, viii, 327 (1874). 


(1252-84). The first initiative seems to have been due to Arch- 
bishop Raymond, 11 25 to 1151,^^ as seen in the dedications of the 
two Toletan translators of this period, Dominicus Gondisalvi, or 
Gundissalinus, and a converted Jew named John. So far as we 
can judge from these, the archbishop's interests were chiefly phil- 
osophical. Gundissalinus, archdeacon of Segovia, is the author of 
several translations and adaptations of Arabic and Jewish philos- 
ophy: the Metaphysics and other works of Avicenna, the Fons 
vitae of Avicebron (ibn Gabirol), the classification of the sciences 
of al-Farabi, the philosophy of Algazel (al-Gazzali).^^ At least at 
the outset his ignorance of Arabic put him in close dependence on 
John, who gave him the Spanish word which the archdeacon then 
turned into Latin so that there is little evidence of direct trans- 
lation by Gondisalvi.^^ John son of David (Avendehut) is an enig- 
matical personage who still needs investigation. He is usually 
identified with a John of Spain, of Seville, or of Luna, who meets 
us between 113 5 and 11 53 as a voluminous translator and com- 
piler from the Arabic.^^ The score of works ascribed to him are 

3» B. Gams, Kirchengeschichte von Spanien, iii, i, pp. 20-23, 375 Jaffe-Lowenfeld, 
Regesta, no. 7231. 

36 Jourdain, pp. 107-113; Wiistenfeld, pp. 38 f.; Bonilla, Filosofia espanola, i. 
316-359; Ueberweg-Baumgartner, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie ^° (Berlin, 
1915), ii. 405 f., 412, 414-416, 153*; Correns, Dominicus Gundisalvi de Unitate, in 
Beitrdge, i, no. i (1891); Baeumker, Avencehrolis Fons Vitae, ibid., i, nos. 2-4 (1892); 
Billow, Des Dominicus Gundissalinus Schrift Von der Unsterhlichkeit der Seek, ibid., 
ii, no. 3 (1897); Baur, Gundissalinus De divisione philosophiae, ibid., iv, nos. 2-3 
(1903); Baeumker, Alfarabi, Ueber den Ursprung der Wissenschaften, ibid., xix, no. 3 
(1916); Furiani, Des Dominicus Gundissalinus Abhandlung de anima, ibid., xxiv, 
nos. 2-4 (in press); Thorndike, ii. 78-82. 

3^ Preface to version of Avicenna 's De anima in Jourdain, p. 449; Correns, pp. 
32 f.; and Bonilla, i. 447. I have verified the text from MS. Bodley 463, f. 139. 

^ Steinschneider, E, U., no. 49. 

39 The best list is in Steinschneider, E. U., no. 68. See also Wiistenfeld, pp. 25- 
38; Bonilla, i. 319-323; B. M., vi. 114 (1905), ix. 2; Thorndike, ii. 73-78, including 
his appendix on "Some Mediaeval Johns," pp. 94-98. Thorndike calls attention to 
a brief tract at St. John's College, Oxford, MS. 188, f. 99 v, which has the following 
reference: 'Scire oportet vos, karissimi lectores, quod debetis aliquos annos scire 
super quod cursus planetarum valeatis ordinare vel per quos possitis ordinatos cursus 
in libro quem ego Johannis Yspalensis interpres existens rogatu et ope duorum Angli- 
genarum, Gauconis scilicet et Willelmi, de arabico in latinum transtuli.' In MS. 
10053 of the Biblioteca Nacional, which contains several of John's treatises, we have 
however (f . 86 v) : * Scire debes, karissime lector, quia oportebit te aliquos annos 



chiefly astrological — Albumasar, Omar, Thebit, Messahala, Hali, 
as well as the Centiloquium attributed to Ptolemy — in the forms 
which became widely current in western Europe; but to these 
should be added the astronomical manual of al-Fargani,^^ an in- 
teresting treatise of al-Khwarizmi on arithmetic, and a popular 
version of the medical portion of the Secretum secretorum.'^^ He 
was also in relations with the translators who worked outside ol 
Toledo, for translations are dedicated to him by Plato of Tivoli 
and Rudolf of Bruges.*^ 

The latter half of the twelfth century saw the most industrious 
and prolific of all these translators from the Arabic, Gerard of 
Cremona. Fortunately we have a brief biographical note and 
list of his works, drawn up by his pupils in imitation of the cata- 
logue of Galen's writings and affixed to Gerard's version of Galen's 
Tegni, lest the translator's light be hidden under a bushel and 
others receive credit for work which he left anonymous. From 
this we learn that, a scholar from his youth and master of the 
content of Latin learning, he was drawn to Toledo by love of 

scire super quos cursus planetarum valeas ordinare vel per quos possis ordinatos 
cursus in libro quern ego Johannes Ispanus interpres existens de arabico in latinum 

*° Nallino, Al-Battani, p. Ivii, dates the version of al-Fargani ii March 1135, and 
the Centiloquium 17 March 1136. 

4^ With a dedication to 'T., queen of Spain.' See Foerster, De Aristotelis quae 
feruntur Secretis secretdrum (Kiel, 1888); R. Steele's edition of Roger Bacon's Secre- 
tum secretorum, pp. xvi-xviii; Thorndike, ii. 269 f. 

*2 Steinschneider, E. U., nos. 98 i, 104 b. 

*3 The standard monograph is Boncompagni, ''Delia vita e delle opere di Ghe- 
rardo cremonese," in Atti delV Accademia pontificia del Lincei, iv. 387-493 (1851). 
The contemporary list of his translations here first edited will also be found in Wiis- 
tenfeld, p. 57; it is edited with special reference to the medical works by Sudhoff, in 
Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Medizin, viii. 73-82 (1914). Cf. Thorndike, ii. 87 ff.; 
B. M., vi. 239-248 (1905). The best critical list of his translations is in Stein- 
schneider, E. U., no. 46. I have noted the following further manuscripts (numbers 
of Gerard's treatises as in Steinschneider): 10 (34) St. Mark's, vi, 37, "secundum 
translationem Gerardi"; 21 (45), Madrid, 1407, f. 69 v; 22 (46), Biblioteca Colom- 
bina 5-5-21; 33 (27), Vatican, Vat. lat. 3096, dated Toledo 1140 or 1143 (?); 39 (5), 
Madrid, looio, f. i v-13; 42 (24), Madrid, 10006; 44 (11), Madrid, looio, f. 69; 46 
(62), Madrid, 1193, Escorial i. f. 8; 57 (18), Colombina 7-6-2, f. 141 v; 74 (20), 
Madrid looio, ff. 84 v-86 v; 75 (28), Escorial, ii. O. 10. f. 84 V; 76 (29), Madrid, 
10053, f. I (fragment); 84(68), University of Bologna, Lat. 449 (760), inc. 'Si quis 
partem,' and in an Italian version at Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, II. i. 372. 


Ptolemy's Almagest, which he could not find among the Latins. 
There he discovered a multitude of Arabic books in every field/ 
and, pitying the poverty of the Latins, learned Arabic in order to 
translate them. His version of the Almagest bears the date of 
1175.^^ Before his death, which came at Toledo in 1187 at the age 
of seventy- three, he had turned into Latin the seventy-one Arabic 
works of this catalogue, beside perhaps a score of others. Three 
of these are logical, the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle with the 
commentaries of Themistius and al-Farabi; several are mathe- 
matical, including Euclid's Elements, the Spherics of Theodosius, 
a tract of Archimedes, and various treatises on geometry, algebra^ 
and optics. The catalogue of works on astronomy and astrology 
is considerable, as is also the list of the scientific writings of Aris- 
totle, but the longest list of all is medical, Galen and Hippocrates 
and the rest, who were chiefly known in these versions through- 
out the later Middle Ages.^^ Indeed, more of Arabic science in 
general passed into western Europe at the hands of Gerard of 
Cremona than in any other way. Where Gerard's versions have 
been tested, they have been found closely literal and reasonably 
accurate; but we are told that he had the assistance of a Mozarab 
named Galippus, so that we cannot say how far the versions were 
his own. Both Gerard and Galippus lectured on astronomy in the 
hearing of Daniel of Morley, an Englishman who had left Paris 
in disgust to hear the wiser philosophers of the world at Toledo, 
whence he returned home with a store of precious manuscripts.^^ 
After Gerard of Cremona, Roger Bacon lists Alfred the Eng- 
lishman, Michael Scot, and Hermann the German as the principal 
translators from the Arabic, all of whom worked in Spain in the 
earlier thirteenth century. Alfred was a philosopher, concerned 
especially with expounding the natural philosophy of Aristotle^ 
although he was also known for his version of two pseudo-Aris- 

^ Infra, Chapter V, n. 139. infra, Chapter XI. 

The medical translations of Mark, canon of Toledo, belong apparently to the 
same period. See Rose, in Hermes, viii, 338, who gives one of his prefaces; and Stein- 
Schneider, £. U., no. 81; Diels, in Berlin Abhandlungen, 1905, pp. 86 f. Alfonso of 
Toledo, translator of a tract of Averroes (Steinschneider, E. U., no. 12) has not been 

Infra, Chapter VI, n. 39. Opus tertium, ed. Brewer, p. 91. 


totelian treatises.'*^ Michael Scot first appears at Toledo in 1217 
as the translator of al-Bitrogi On the Sphere, and by 1220 he had 
made the standard Latin version of Aristotle On Animals , not to 
mention his share in the transmission of the commentaries of 
Averroes on Aristotle and his own important works on astrology .^^ 
Hermann the German, toward the middle of the century, was 
likewise concerned with Aristotle and Averroes, particularly the 
Ethics, Poetics, and Rhetoric and the commentaries thereon.^^ 
Lesser writers of the same period concerned themselves with as- 
trology and medicine. 

The thirteenth century is an age of royal patrons of learning,^ 
and it is fitting that the culmination of the Christian science of 
Spain should come in the reign of Alfonso the Wise, king of Cas- 
tile from 1252 to 1284. This is no place to discuss the many-sided 
intellectual activity of this prince, a glory of which Spanish 
historians are justly proud. On the side of science he shone in 
astronomy and astrology, as seen in the Alfonsine tables, in a 
collection of treatises on astronomical instruments, and in a group 
of works on astrology. These were not original, save for a certain 
amount of specific observation, but were based on well known 
Arabic works, some of them already translated into Latin in the 

«9 Infra, Chapter VI, n. 47. infra, Chapter XIII. 

51 The versions are dated 1240-44, one perhaps in 1256: Jourdain, pp. 135 ff.; 
Steinschneider, t/., no. 51; Luquet, in Revue de Vhistoire des religions, xliv. 407- 
422 (1901); C. Marchesi, Uetica Nicomachea nella tradizione latina medievale (Mes- 
sina, 1904); Bonilla, Filosofia espanola, i. 368-371; Grabmann, Aristotelesueber- 
setzungen (Beitrdge, xvii, no, 5), especially pp. 208 ff.; A. Pelzer, in Revue neo- 
scolastique, xxiii. 323 ff. (1921). Hermann's Summa Alexandrinorum is also at 
Seville, MS. Colombina 7-4-22. 

^2 E. g., Salio (Steinschneider, E. U., no. 107; Thorndike, ii. 221); and Stephen of 
Saragossa {E. U., no. 113). Rufinus of Alessandria {ibid., no. 105; Rose, in Hermes^ 
viii. 337) belongs to this period and not to 1168 if his master in Arabic was a Domini- 
can; indeed his ophthalmological version is specifically dated at Murcia in 1271 in 
MS. Bern 216, f. 42 v. 

^3 Cf. what is said of Frederick II in Chapter XII, infra. 

^* On Alfonso's astronomical work, see A. Wegener, "Die astronomischen Werke 
Alfons X," in B. M., vi. 129-185 (1905); Dreyer, in Monthly Notices of the Royal 
Astronomical Society, Ixxx. 243-267 (1920); on his translators, Steinschneider, E. U 
nos. 4, 9, 40, 55, 60, 61, 69, 87, 93, 97, 108; on his influence, Duhem, ii. 259-266, 
and passim. For the reign in general, see the forthcoming book of A. Ballesteros y 
Beretta; and cf. his Sevilla en el siglo XIII (Madrid, 1913), ch. 11. Wegener dates 
the Instruments 1256 ff.; the Tables ca. 1270; the astrological collection 1276-79. 


preceding century. These were, however, elaborated, reconciled, 
systematized, regrouped, and often rewritten at Alfonso's com- 
mand. The account of an astronomical congress at his court has 
been shown to be a legend, as was probably also his so-called as- 
tronomical college. He had the aid of two Jewish scholars, Isaac 
ibn Sid and Jehuda ben Moses Cohen, as well as of certain Chris- 
tian translators like Egidio of Parma. Of the results of their labor 
the Alfonsine Tables are the most famous, although the current 
texts do not represent their original form of ca. 1270. Seventy- 
five mediaeval manuscripts and thirteen early editions are known. 
The Lihros de saber, describing the various instruments of astron- 
omy, on the other hand, seem to have lain neglected until the 
Castilian text was printed in five volumes by the Spanish Acad- 
emy in 1863 and following years.^^ The unpublished astrological 
collection has still to be specially studied, as also the magical book 
of the enigmatical Picatrix which is assigned to this reign.^^ 

Jews, both orthodox and converted, play a large part in the 
work of translation in Spain and southern France. Sometimes 

Lihros del saber de astronomta del Rey D. Alfonso X de Castilla, ed. Manuel 
Rico y Sinobas, Madrid, 1863-67. On the MSS., cf. Tallgren, in Neuphilologiscke 
Mitteilungen, 1908, p. no. 

5^ On Picatrix, see Thorndike, ii, ch. 66; H. Ritter, in Bibliothek Warburg 
(Leipzig, 1923), pp. 94-124. See also the Lapidario del Rey D. Alfonso X, ed. J. F. 
Montana in facsimile (Madrid, 1881); and cf. Steinschneider, in Zeitschrift der 
deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, xlix. 266-270 (1895); F. Boll, Sphdra 
(Leipzig, 1903), pp. 430-434. 

" See, in general, J. Amador de los Rios, Historia de los Judios de Espana (Mad- 
rid, 1875-76), i. cc. 3, 5, 7; and the check-list of Spanish- Jewish writers, with refer- 
ences and bibliography, in Joseph Jacobs, An Inquiry into the Sources of the History 
of the Jews in Spain (New York, 1894); Graetz, Geschichte der Juden, v, vi; Stein- 
schneider, H. U., passim; "The Arabic Literature of the Jews," in Jewish Quarterly 
Review, ix-xiii, and separately (London, 1901); and for mathematics the Spanish 
section of his articles on "Die Mathematik bei den Juden," in B. M., 2, ix. 47-50, 
97-104, X. 33-42, 77-83, 109-114, xi. 13-18 (1895-97). Steinschneider also has 
special articles on Savasorda and Abraham ibn Ezra in Z. M. Ph., xii. 1-44 (1867), 
and in Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathematik, iii. 57-128 (1880). On the 
diffusion of Abraham ibn Ezra among the Latins, see A. Birkenmajer, Bibljoteka 
Ryszarda de Fournival (Cracow, 1922), pp. 35-42, 50 f.; D. E. Smith and J. Gins- 
burg, "Rabbi ben Ezra and the Hindu-Arabic Problem," in American Mathematical 
Monthly, xxv. 99-108 (191 8). On the methods of these translators, see Renan, 
Averrces, pp. 202-204; Nallino, al-Battani, pp. xxx f.; and for John of Seville, see 
also Dyroff, in Boll, Sphdra, p. 484; for Gerard of Cremona, O. Bardenhewer, Die 
pseudo-aristotelische Schrift Ueber das reine Gute (Freiburg, 1882), pp. 148 f., 192 ff. 



they are themselves the authors or translators, as in the case of 
Petrus Alphonsi, John of Seville, Abraham ibn Ezra, and the as- 
tronomers of Alfonso X just mentioned. Sometimes they act as 
interpreters for Christian translators who receive the chief credit, 
as, for example, Savasorda for Plato of Tivoli and a certain An- 
drew or Abuteus for Michael Scot. Apparently such interpreting 
frequently took the form of translating from Arabic into the cur- 
rent Spanish idiom, which the Christian translator then turned 
into Latin. This fact helps to explain the inaccuracies of many of 
the versions, although in general they are slavishly literal, even to 
carrying over the Arabic article. We must also bear in mind that 
there was a large amount, of translation from Arabic into Hebrew 
and then later into Latin, as any one can verify by turning to 
Steinschneider's great volume on Hebrew translations. 

In this process of translation and transmission accident and 
convenience played a large part. No general survey of the mate- 
rial was made, and the early translators groped somewhat blindly 
in the mass of works suddenly disclosed to them. Brief works 
were often taken first because they were brief and the funda- 
mental treatises were long and difiicult; commentators were often 
preferred to the subject of the commentary. Moreover, the trans- 
lators worked in different places, so that they might easily dupli- 
cate one another's work, and the earliest or most accurate version 
was not always the most popular. Much was translated to which 
the modern world is indifferent, something was lost which we 
should willingly recover, yet the sum total is highly significant. 
From Spain came the Metaphysics and natural science of Aris- 
totle and his Arabic commentators in the form which was to trans- 
form European thought in the thirteenth century. The Spanish 
translators made most of the current versions of Galen and Hip- 
pocrates and of the Arab physicians like Avicenna. Out of Spain 
came the new Euclid, the new algebra, and treatises on perspec- 
tive and optics. Spain was the home of astronomical tables and 
astronomical observation from the days of Maslama and Zarkali 
to those of Alfonso the Wise, and the meridian of Toledo was long 
the standard of computation for the West, while we must also note 
the current compends of astronomy, like al-Fargani, as well as the 


generally received version of Ptolemy's Almagest, for the love of 
which Gerard of Cremona made the long journey to Toledo. The 
great body of eastern astrology came through Spain, as did some- 
thing of eastern alchemy. 

By the close of the thirteenth century Arabic science had been 
transmitted to western Europe and absorbed, and Spain's work 
as an intermediary was done. Meanwhile the Peninsula had 
gained a European reputation as the centre of the black art, and 
the familiar associations of Toledo, Cordova, Seville, and Sala- 
manca were now with demons and necromancers.^^ Spain be- 
came the scene of visions and prophecies, of mystifications like 
Virgil of Cordova, of legends like the university of demonology at 
Toledo connected with the magic cave of Hercules. Association 
with Spain was enough to condemn even a learned Pope like Ger- 
bert to the role of a magician who had sold his soul to the devil, 
and to make of poor Michael Scot 

A wizard, of such dreaded fame, 
That when, in Salamanca's cave, 
Him listed his magic wand to wave, 
The bells would ring in Notre-Dame! 

In the mediaeval mind the science of magic lay close to the magic 
of science. 

On Spain as the home of magic see particularly Rose, in Hermes, viii. 343 f . ; 
H. Grauert, "Meister Johann von Toledo," in Munich Sitzungsherichte, phil.-hist. 
Classe, 1901, pp. 111-325; J. Wood Brown, Michael Scot, chs. 9, 10; F, Picavet, 
Gerbert, ch. 6; Thorndike, passim; S. M. Waxman, "Chapters on Magic in Spanish 
Literature," in Revue hispanique, xxxviii. 325-463 (1916). 



Adelard of Bath, the pioneer student of Arabic science and 
philosophy in the twelfth century, and "the greatest name in 
English science before Robert Grossetete and Roger Bacon," ^ 
still remains in many ways a dim and shadowy figure in the his- 
tory of European learning. The older writers upon literary his- 
tory give lists of works attributed to him, but they tell us nothing 
of his life beyond the fact that he lived under Henry I and trav- 
elled in various distant lands; ^ and while more recent studies have 
made clearer his place in the history of mediaeval philosophy,^ his 
work as a whole has yet to be examined, and many fundamental 
facts in his biography still elude us.^ Except for a bare mention in 
the Pipe Roll of 1130 Adelard is known only from his own writ- 
ings, which consist in part of translations and in part of inde- 
pendent treatises, and a list of these is the necessary point of 
departure for any further study. 

I, De eodem et diver so. Edited, with commentary, from the unique 
MS., B. N., Lat. 2389, by Willner, in Beitrage, iv, no. i.^ Besides the 
evidence of the dedicatory letter and the title, Adelard's authorship is 
established by the following passage in his Astrolabe: 

1 Wright, Biographia Britannica literaria (London, 1846), ii. 94. 

2 Tanner, Bihliotheca Britannico-Hibernica (London, 1748), p. 55, reproduces 
Leland's account, with notes drawn from Bale, Pits, Oudin, and his own reading. 

3 Jourdain, pp. 97-99, 258-277, 452 ff.; Haureau, Histoire de la philosophie sco- 
lastique, i, 348-361; Willner, Des Adelard von Bath Traktat De eodem et diverse, in 
Beitrage, iv, no. i (Miinster, 1903); De Wulf, Histoire de la philosophie medievale 
(Louvain, 1912), pp. 217-219; Ueberweg-Baumgartner, Grundriss^^ (Berlin, 1915), 
ii. 310-317. 

* The best of the earlier accounts is that of Wright (ii. 94-101), supplemented 
by Boncompagni in Bullettino, xiv. 1-90 (1881). I took up the problem first in 191 1, 
with results here revised and supplemented {E. H. R., xxvi. 491-498; xxviii. 515 f.; 
xxxvii. 398 f.). Thorndike has a good but by no means a final chapter (ii, ch. 36), 
The notice in the Dictionary of National Biography is superficial; that of Dom Ber- 
liere in Baudrillart's Dictionnaire, i. 522 f., is useful. 

^ Extracts in Jourdain, pp. 260-273, 452-454. 




Sunt et alig metiendi corpora demonstrationes, sed quoniam in eo libro 
quern de eodem et diverso scripsimus dictg sunt magisque geometric^ quam 
astrolabic§ did possunt, eas preterimus.^ 

The De eodem, of which the scene is laid near Tours while the author is 
still iuvenis, is one of Adelard's earliest works. He has already travelled 
widely and feels called to explain his wandering life to his nephew; but 
there is no intimation that he has gone farther than southern Italy and 
Sicily/ and he shows the influence of Greek rather than of Arabic 
learning. There are a few Greek but no Arabic words. More definite 
evidence respecting the date is afforded by the dedication to William, 
bishop of Syracuse, who is last found in 1115 and whose successor is in 
office in the following year.^ The date of his accession is more difficult 
to determine, in the scarcity of Syracusan documents from this period: 
he is first mentioned as bishop at the Lateran Council of March, 1112,^ 
but as he there represented the whole body of Sicilian prelates, he had 
doubtless been in office for some time, perhaps since 1104, when Pirro 
places the death of his predecessor. Furthermore, Adelard speaks of 
having played the cithara before the queen in the course "of his musical 
studies in France the preceding year,^° and as there was no queen of 
France between the death of Philip I in 11 08 and the marriage of Louis 
VI in 1115/^ the treatise, unless the bishop of Syracuse was still alive in 
1 1 16, would not be later than 1109. It is possible, but not probable, 

* McClean MS. 165, f. 84; Arundel MS. 377, f. 70. The demonstrations will be 
found on pp. 29-31 of the edition of the De eodem. 

' P. 33 : ' Et ego certe, cum a Salerno veniens in Grecia maiore quendam philoso- 
phum grecum, qui pre ceteris artem medicine naturasque rerum disserebat, senten- 
tiis pretemptarem.' Cf. p. 32: 'Quod enim gallica studia nesciunt, transalpina reser- 
abunt; quod apud Latinos non addisces, Grecia facunda docebit.' There is nothing 
here to justify the usual interpretation (Jourdain, p. 97; Wright, p. 95) that Adelard 
visited Greece. Much for his purposes was to be found in southern Italy and Sicily; 
see Chapter IX, below. 

8 Pirro, Sicilia sacra (1733), i. 620, ii. 799; Garufi, / documenti inediti dell' epoca 
normanna, pp. 10, 14; Caspar, Roger II, pp. 488, 491, nos. 25, 33; Chalandon, His- 
toire de la domination normande, i. 364. 

^ 'Wilihelmus Siracusanus legatus pro omnibus Siculis': Constitutiones et Acta 
Puhlica {M. G. i. 572. 

1° P. 25: 'Cum preterito anno in eadem musica gallicis studiis totus sudares 
[Philosophy is addressing Adelard] adessetque in serotino tempore magister artis 
una cum discipulis, cum eorum regineque rogatu citharam tangeres.' 

It is possible, but not likely, that the title may have been here given to Ber- 
trada after Philip's death; nor, between 1108 and 11 15, could either of Philip's 
daughters have been meant. 



that the reference is to the queen of England/^ but Matilda is not 
found on the French side of the Channel after iicg.^^ 

2. Regule abaci, dedicated ' H. suo.' Edited by Boncompagni in 
Btdlettino, xiv. 1-134. This evidently belongs to the earher part of 
Adelard's Hfe, for its authorities are Boethius and Gerbert/^ and it 
shows no trace of Arabic influence. 

3 . Ezich Elkauresmi per A thelardum bathoniensem ex arabico sumptus, 
a translation of the important astronomical tables of Mohammed ben 
Musa al-Khwarizmi, as revised by Maslama at Cordova.^^ Bodleian, 
MS. Auct. F. I. 9 (Bernard, no. 4137), ff. 99 v-159 v, a fine manuscript 
of the twelfth century; Chartres, MvS. 214, ff. 41-102, likewise of the 
twelfth century; Bibliotheque Mazarine, MS. 3642, ff. 82-87, incom- 
plete; Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS. 10016, f. 8, as revised by 
Robert of Chester; Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS. 283, ff. 
1 13-144, incomplete, with tables as far as p. 167 in Suter's edition, 
mixed in with some material of Petrus Alphonsi.^^ Trigonometrical 
portions were edited by A. .A. Bjornbo from the first two MSS. in the 
Festskrift til H. G. Zeuthen (Copenhagen, 1909), pp. 1-17; the whole is 
published, with commentary, from Bjornbo's papers with the use of 
the first four MSS., by H. Suter, Die astronomischen Tafeln des Mu- 
hammed ihn Musd al~Khwdrizmi in der Bearbeitung des Maslama ibn 
Ahmed al-Madjriti und der latein. Uebersetzung des Athelhard von Bath, 
in the Selsk. Skrifter of the Copenhagen Academy, 1914. In the Corpus 

12 This is Thorndike's theory (ii. 44 f.); the suggestion was made to me by R. L- 
Poole in a letter of 1910, coupled with the possibility that the ' Gallica studia ' were 
not necessarily in France (see, however, the usage in notes 7 and 37), but I have 
not been convinced by it, nor would it apparently affect the date. 

13 Haskins, Norman Institutions, p. 310; W. Farrer, Itinerary of King Henry I 

1* See, however, .Bubnov, Opera Gerberti, p. 215 n. 

1^ The Mazarine MS. has 'Liber ezich iafaris elkauresmy,' which led Wiistenfeld 
(p. 21) to ascribe the tables to abu Ma'ashar Ja'afar. See, however, Steinschnei- 
der, H. U., pp. 568-570; Nallino, "Al-Huwarizmi," in Atti dei Lincei, fifth series, 
ii. II. That Maslama's edition was used by Adelard is seen from the mention of 
Cordova in the tables and the use of the era of the Hegira in place of that of 
Yezdegerd. The mention of the Spanish era is also noteworthy. The treatise 
begins: 'Liber iste septem planetarum atque draconis statum continet. . . 

1^ On this MS.; which I discovered in 1909 and studied in 1913, see infra. Chapter 
VI, n. 32. 

1^ This MS., of the twelfth century, unknown to Bjornbo and Suter, I found in 
1914 but have studied only from photographs. See infra, Chapter VI, n. 11. The 
Latin months are used in the tables, which differ in some other respects from those 
in Suter. 



MS. (f . 142 v) Petrus Anfulsus calls himself ' translator huius libri/ but 
his description (ff. 142 v-144) follows Adelard's and relates only to the 
concordance of calendars (ff. 11 3-1 14), so that we may have merely the 
confusion of two treatises by a copyist. In these calendars, one of 
which coincides with that in the Liber ysagogarum (no. 4 below), the 
basal year is 11 15. Adelard formally asserts his own authorship in 
his Astrolabe: 

Qualis autem sit examinatio carta in eo libro qui ezic intitulatur quem ex 
arabico in latinum convertimus sermonem reperies.^^ 

The date of Adelard's introduction appears as 11 26 in the Bodleian 

Anno ab incarnatione domini .M^C^XX'^VI". die ianuarii .xx^i. prima 
fuit dies Almuharran et feria tertia, annus autem arabicus .D°^'XX. 

In the Corpus MS.^° this is followed by a concordance for the eclipse of 
2 August 1 133: 

- Anno ab incarnatione Domini .M.C.XXVI. die ianuarii xxVi* prima fuit 
dies Almuharram et feria tercia ali, annus arabicus .DX. planus .X. Anno 
igitur ab incarnatione Domini .M°.C°. XXXIII°. eclipsis solis ii° die augusti 
mensis feria .iiii^. ciclo .xix. x°iii°. luna vigesima vii^., .ii. kal. novembris 
primus dies Elmuharram feria .iii^., annus arabicus adiunctus .DX. XVIII. 
planus. In anno sequenti .xii. kal. novembris i^. feria. 

18 McClean MS. 165, f. 83 v; Arundel MS. 377, f. 69. So f. 84 v, differing 
slightly from the Arundel text, which has, f. 70 v: 'Adhuc de umbris habeo que 
dicerem, sed quoniam in ezic [ed. Suter, pp. 21 f.] sufficienter diserta sunt labellum 
comprimam.' See also Arundel MS.,ff. 71, 72V. 

1^ F. 159; Suter, pp. 5, 37, where the suggestion of 26 January as the date of com- 
position is too precise, since this day ( = i Almuharram) is given merely as a con- 
venient starting point for reckoning. In the present form of the Bodleian MS., f. 
159 follows the explicit on f. 158 v, but close examination shows that it was mis- 
placed and in binding inserted at the end, whereas the text proves that it belongs 
after f. 99. The reference to the year 11 26 is omitted in the Chartres and Mazarine 
MSS., which, however, announce in the second chapter a table 'per quam ab eo 
anno quo hie liber in nostrum sermonem translatus est usque in tempora infinita ex 
annis quotlibet romanis et mensibus cum diebus annorum et mensium et dierum 
arabicorum equalitas sumi queat.' The astronomical tables generally run to A. h. 
570, but several of those in Corpus MS. (e. g., f. 121 = Suter, p. 128) stop in the 
original hand at A. h. 510 (= a.d. 1116), showing that they are not later than 

20 F. 141. Cf. the similar concordance for 1138 in the chronicle of John of Wor- 
cester (ed. Weaver, p. 53), who shows his acquaintance in this year with Adelard's 
version of the tables from the Ezich of 'Elkauresmus.' On the use of the Persian 
word zig for astronomical tables, see Nallino, al-Battani, p. xxxi; Suter, p. 32. 


4 (?). Liber ysagogarum Alchorismi in artem astronomicam a ma- 
gistro A. compositus. Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 16208, ff. 67- 
71 (saec. xii); Milan, Ambrosian Library, MS. A. 3 sup., ff. 1-20 (saec. 
xii); Munich, Staatsbibliothek, Cod. Lat. 1302 1, ff. 27-68 v. Cod. Lat. 
18927, ff. 31 £f.; Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, MS. 275, f. 27 (frag- 
ment) .^^ This consists of an introduction, in five books, explaining the 
principles of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy, hence in the 
Ambrosian MS. it is entitled Liher ysagogarum Alchoarismi ad totum 
quadrivium. The first three books of the introduction, which are in- 
teresting for the history of arithmetic, have been pubhshed by M. 
Curtze, in Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathematik, viii. 1-27; the 
fifth shows plainly acquaintance with Hebrew chronology as well as 
with Arabic astronomy. As one of the Munich MSS. is of the middle of 
the twelfth century and the table of eras in book v is of the year in 5, 
this work belongs to Adelard's generation, and he is the only man bear- 
ing his initial who is known to have been at that time occupied with 
such translations. Moreover this same table of eras for 11 15 recurs 
with a set of Adelard's Khorasmian tables in MS. 283 of Corpus 
Christi College, Oxford, f. 113, where at least part of the treatise claims 
Petrus Alphonsi as its author .^^ If Adelard is the author, Tannery ^ 
has suggested that the small knowledge of geometry shown in the in- 
troduction points to the period in his life when, although already fa- 
miliar with al-Khwarizmi, he had not yet mastered the Arabic text of 

5. The translation of EucHd's Elements. Numerous manuscripts,^^ 
showing considerable differences in text and arrangement. The preface 
(Bodleian, Digby MS. 174, f. 99), which contains an occasional Arabic 
word, treats chiefly of the place of geometry among the sciences and of 
its method and units of reckoning, and has little general interest. In 

21 This page, with its early forms of Arabic numerals, is pubhshed in facsimile by 
Nagl, Zeitschrift fiir Mathematik und Physik, xxxiv, sup., p. 129. 

22 Infra, Chapter VI, n, 11. 

23 B. M., V. 416 (= Memoir es scientifiques, v. 344). The inclusion of the era of 
Spain (1153 = 1 1 15) in the table points to the Spanish derivation of the treatise. 

2< There follows in the Munich MS. an astronomical treatise which Curtze con- 
nected with this introduction but which turns out to be the version of Zarkali by 
Gerard of Cremona (Steinschneider, in Butlettino, xx. 5 ff.) It begins and ends: 
'Quoniam cuiusque actionis quantitatem temporis spacium metitur, celestium 
motuum doctrinam querentibus eius primum ratio occurrit investiganda. . . . 
Divide quoque arcum diei per 12 et quod fuerit erunt partes horarum eius, si Deus 
inveniri consenserit.' 

26 Several are indicated in Bullettino, xiv. 83. 



working from the Arabic Adelard would seem to have made some use of 
an earlier version from the Greek, but his relations to this and to later 
versions require investigation, nor is it clear, pending a comparison of 
the manuscripts, whether in its original form his own work was an 
abridgment, a close translation, or a commentary .^^ It is, however, 
important to note what he himself says in the Astrolabe: 

Et omnium quidem supradictorum simpliciter expositorum siquis ra- 
tionem postulaverit, intelligat cam apud Euclidem a quindecim libris artis 
geometrice quos ex arabico in latinum convertimus sermonem esse conni' 

Accordingly, whatever the manuscripts may show, Adelard translated 
the fifteen books in some form from the Arabic. Did he also write a 
commentary? The word is used loosely in mediaeval catalogues and 
does not necessarily mean a commentary in our sense. Roger Bacon, 
however, cites on axioms a passage from the Editio specialis super Ele- 
menta Euclidis of 'Alardus Batoniensis,' a work which Professor 
David Eugene Smith informs me he has not found mentioned else- 
where. The author can hardly be other than Adelard, although an- 
other writer of this name is indicated by the occurrence in a MS. of 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, of a fragment of Jordanus De ponderi- 
bus, composed in the early thirteenth century, with marginal figures in 
the name of ' Alardus.' Adelard of Bath was known as Alardus (e. g., 
Dresden, MS. Db. Sy; Clare CoUege, MS. 15, f. 185) or Aelardus (MS. 
lat. 18081, f. 196), as well as Adelardus or Athelardus, the last being 
doubtless the original form.^^ 

28 Weissenborn, in Z. M. Ph., xxv, sup., pp. 141 -166; Heiberg, ibid., xxix, lit. 
sup., p. 21, XXXV, lit. sup., pp. 48-58, 81-86, and in the introduction to the Teubner 
edition of Euclid, v, pp. c-ci; Curtze, in Philologische Rundschau, i. 943-950, and 
in Bursian's Jahresbericht, xl. 19-21; Bjornbo, in B. M., vi. 239-248; Bubnov, 
Gerherti opera mathematica, p. 175, n. 

27 MS. Arundel 377, f. 71; MS, McClean 165, f. 84 v, with some differences. 

28 E. g., Delisle, Cabinet des MSS., ii. 526. 

29 In the unpublished De communibus mathematice, cited from his forthcoming 
edition by David Eugene Smith in Roger Bacon Essays (Oxford, 1914), pp. 175 f. 
Cf. Thorndike, ii. 22, n.; Bridges, The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, i. 6,n.; B. M.y 
xii. 98. 

30 MS. 251, ff. 10-13. 

31 We should not take too seriously the statement of a fragment on chiromancy 
in B.N., MS. lat. n. a. 693, f. 97: 'Sciendum est quod quedam ars reperta est 
naturalis a quodam philosopho Edmundo qui antea fuerat Saracenus et vocabatur 
Maneanus sed transtulit hanc artem magister Adulwardus de greco in latinum.' 



6. Questiones naturales. A dialogue with his nephew in seventy-six 
chapters, purporting to explain what Adelard has learned from the 
Arabs. Twenty MSS.^^ and three early editions are known.^^ The 
Hebrew adaptation of the thirteenth century by Berachya under the 
title Uncle and Nephew has recently been edited by H. GoUancz, with a 
careless English version of the Questiones appended.^ The printed text 
is poor; a critical edition would be useful. 

The treatise is dedicated to Richard, bishop of Bayeux, in an intro- 
ductory letter which speaks of Adelard's recent return to England in 
the reign of Henry, son of William. The nephew is reminded that the 
author left him and other pupils at Laon seven years before, in order to 
devote himself to the study of Arabic learning.^^ Since then Adelard 
has sojourned in the East, visiting specifically Tarsus and Antioch.^^ 
Now there were in this period two bishops of Bayeux named Richard, 
Richard Fitz-Samson, 1107-33, his successor, Richard of Kent, 
1135-42.^^ We should at first gight choose the former, as Adelard had 
begun to travel before 11 16 and was at work on the Khorasmian tables 

32 B. N., MSS. lat. 2389, 6286, 6385, 6415, 6628, 6739, 14700, f. 273, 18081, ff. 
196-210 v; Laurentian, MS. Gadd. Rel. 74, ff. 4-34; Escorial, MS. O. iii, 2, f. 72; 
Montpellier, Ecole de Medecine, MS. 145; Rheims, MSS. 872, 877; Prague, MS. 
1650, ff. 54-68 V, with cc. 72 and 73 added on f. 69; British Museum, MS. Cotton 
Galba E. iv, ff. 214-228; Bodleian, MS. 2596, ff. 108-127 (formerly also in MS. 
3538); MS. Digby 11, ff. 97-102 v (incomplete); Oxford, Corpus Christi, MS. 86, f. 
163; Oriel, MS. 7, f. 189 (extract); Eton, MS. 161, lacking about a page at the end. 
Contrary to the statement of an early librarian, there is no reason for thinking the 
Eton MS. to be Adelard's autograph; indeed its incorrect readings (e.g. 'con- 
stantiam' for ' inconstantiam ' in the first sentence to the nephew) point to an 
opposite conclusion. Bale, Index, ed. Poole and Bateson, p. 9, cites an unknown 
text with introductory verses. 

33 Louvain, without date, but probably 1480, 1484, 1490 (Hain-Copinger, i, no. 
85, ii, no. 26; Proctor, nos. 9219, 9260; Pellechet, no. 48). 

34 Dodi Ve-Nechdi (London, 1920); Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 463 ff. 

35 Cf. Soury in B. E. C, lix. 417; I have followed chiefly MS. lat. 6415 (saec. xii). 

36 Published by Martene and Durand, Thesaurus anecdotorum, i. 291. 

37 ' Meministi nepos quod septennio iam transacto cum te in gallicis studiis pene 
puerum iuxta Laudisdunum una cum cunctis auditoribus meis dimiserim, id inter 
nos convenisse ut Arabum studia ego pro posse meo scrutarer, tu vero gallicarum 
sententiarum inconstantiam non minus acquireres.' 

3^ C. 32: 'Cum enim nuper a parte orientali venires qua causa studii diutissime 
steteras.' C. 16: * Audivi enim quendam senem apud Tharsum Cilicig.' C. 51 : ' Cum 
semel in partibus Antiochenis pontem civitatis Manistrg transires, ipsum pontem 
simul gtiam totam ipsam regionem terrg motu contremuisse.* 

3^ A copy of ' Adelermus Batensis' was in the library of the bishop in 11 64: Cata- 
logue des MSS. des departements, ii. 398, no. 112. 



by 1 1 26, if not by 1 1 1 5, while he was certainly back in England in 1 130. 
Richard of Kent, however, was a son of Robert, earl of Gloucester, and 
thus connected with the royal family, and Adelard's Astrolabe now 
shows him at work as late as ca. 1142. 

The reference to Henry I is puzzling, since the king would naturally 
be taken for granted unless Adelard had left before his accession or 
returned after his death. In the former case the seven years' absence 
would place the treatise not later than 1107, while on account of the 
bishop's date it could not be earlier; in the latter case it would fall 
shortly after 1135, but, by reason of the seven-year period, at least as 
late as 1137. The first alternative would tend to place the Questions 
as early as the De eodem, whereas they show Arabic influences quite 
foreign to the De eodem and imply a longer period and wider range of 
travel.^^ On the other hand they show no Arabic words, such as are 
common in the Liber ezic, and no trace of Arabian mathematics or 
astronomy ,^1 so that on internal grounds one would place them early, 
much earHer than a dedication to Richard of Kent would imply. The 
Questions quotes no earHer work, nor does Adelard refer to it, save in 
the undated treatise on falconry below. 

7 (?). A treatise on the elements or on origins. The Questiones 
naturales concludes as follows: 

In hac enim difficultate tractandi de Deo, de noy, de yle, de simplicibus 
formis, de puris elementis disserendum est, qu§ sicut propriam naturam 
compositorum excesserunt ita et de eis disputatio alias omnes dissertiones et 
intellectus subtilitate et sermonis difficultate precellit. Nos igitur quoniam 
qugdam de compositis diximus, vespere iam somno suadente quiete natu- 
rafi mentes reficiamus. Mane autem, si tibi idem sedet, conveniamus ut de 
inicio vel de iniciis disputemus. Nepos. Michi vero nichil magis sedet. De 
Deo etenim mentem instruere quoniam patrem omnium fatemur honestissi- 
mum de eodem etiam argute dicere, quoniam auctoritatem non recipio, difii- 
cillimum est. De his vero qu§ id ipsum comitantur discutere, quoniam multi 
multa inde turbaverunt, utillimum est. Quietis ergo refectionem libens 
accipio ut ad tractatum novum novi veniamus. 

Such a sequel on primary and fundamental things would naturally 
follow a treatise devoted to compound substances and things; and the 
passage can hardly be put aside as a mere Uterary device to avoid these 
difficult problems.^2 At least one sequel to the Questiones has been 
found in the treatise on falconry, but no De initiis or similar work has 

Thorndike (ii. 44-49) discusses the order of the two works, tending to the same 

« Infra, p. 38. As by Thorndike, ii. 28. 


yet been identified. It is, of course, possible that the treatise was never 
written, but its obvious importance for Adelard's philosophical ideas 
justifies further search in the cosmological writings of the twelfth 
century, where it may lurk anonymous or without a title, even as did 
until recently the treatise on falconry. 

8. On falcons. Anonymous in Vienna, MS. 2504, ff. 49-51; incom- 
plete in Clare College, Cambridge, MS. 15, f. 186-186 v.^ See below, 
Chapter XVII; and E.H.R.^ xxxvii. 398-400. That this treatise fol- 
lows soon after the discussion of cause rerum in the Questiones appears 
from the opening sentence: 

Quoniam in causis disserendis rerum animus noster admodum fatigatus 
sit, ad eiusdem relevationem id magis delectabile quam grave interponendum 

This is the earliest Latin treatise on falconry so far known. It shows no 
trace of Arabic influence, but mentions EngKsh usage and English 
simples which suggest the Anglo-Saxon leechdoms. The citation of 
' libri Haroldi regis ' is further indication of Adelard's connection with 
the English royal court. 

9. On the Astrolabe. Cambridge, FitzwilHam Museum, McClean 
MS. 165, ff. 81-88;^ incomplete at the beginning in British Museum, 
Arundel MS. 377, ff. 69-74. Apparently written at Bath, which is 
taken as the meridian for purposes of illustration.^^ The preface, 
found only in the McClean MS., reads as follows: 

Incipit libellus magistri Alardi bathoniensis de opere astrolapsus 

Quod regalis generis nobilitas artium liberalium studio se applicat valde 
assentio, quod rerum gubernandarum occupatio ab eodem animum non dis- 
trait non minus ammiror. Intelligo iam te, Heynrice, cum sis regis nepos, a 
philosophia id plena percepisse nota. Ait enim beatas esse res pu[b]licas si a 
philosophis regende tradantur aut earum rectores philosophie adhibeantur. 
Huius rationis odore ut infantia tua semel inbuta est in longum servat,*' 

^3 Perhaps the De educatione accipitrum ascribed by Tanner (p. 38) to Aluredus 

^'^ Saec. xii, formerly in the possession of Prince Boncompagni (see Narducci, 
Catalogo, no. 360). The portion corresponding to the Arundel MS. begins in the 
middle of f . 83 ; there are four finely drawn figures at the close, ff . 87-88 v. 

*5 * Verbi gratia ad natale solum: Quia enim Bathonia lii"« gradibus ab equinoc- 
tiali circulo et terra Ari distare cognoscitur, ideo et latitudo climatis eius totidem 
graduum esse perhibetur.' F. 82 v; cf. ff. 84 v, 85. 
MS, senilis. 
47 Cf. Horace, EpisL, i, 2, 69 f.: 

'Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem 
Testa diu.' 



quantoque gravius exterioribus oneratur, tanto ab eisdem diligentius se sub- 
trahit. Inde fit ut non solum ea que Latinorum scriptis continentur intelli- 
gendo perlegas, sed et Arabum sententias super spera et circulis stellarumque 
motibus intelligere velle presumas. Dicis enim ut in domo habitans quilibet, 
si materiam eius et compositionem quantitatem et qualitatem sive distric- 
tionem ignoret, tali hospicio dignus non est, ita si qui in aula mundi natus 
atque educatus est tammirande pulcritudinis rationem scire negligat, post dis- 
cretionis annos indignus atque si fieri posset eiciendus est. His a te frequenter 
ammonitus, licet meis non confidam viribus, tamen, ut nobilitati philoso- 
phiam uno nostre etatis exemplo coniungam, postulationi tue pro posse meo 
dabo operam. De mundo igitur eiusque districtione quod arabice didici 
latine subscribam, hoc prescripto nodo ut cum mundus nec quadratus nec 
longilaterus nec alterius figure quam spericus sit, quicquid de spera dixero de 
mundo dici intelligatur. Spera igitur globosum et rotundum corpus . . . 

The treatise is accordingly dedicated to a young Henry, grandson 
(or nephew) of a king. In the earlier part of the twelfth century this 
can mean only Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester, or Henry Fitz- 
Empress. The allusions to secular government would have no point in 
the case of Henry of Blois, who early became a Cluniac monk, and he is 
also excluded by chronological considerations, for by 11 26, the earliest 
possible date for a treatise which cites the Liher ezic, he has become 
abbot of Glastonbury and passed well beyond infantia.^^ To Henry 
Plantagenet, on the other hand, early imbued with letters and receiv- 
ing, perhaps, before the age of seventeen a collection of ethical maxims 
compiled for his benefit by William of Conches,^^ the introduction is 
entirely appropriate: he is a king's grandson, he is to become a ruler, he 
divides his time between books and practical affairs. As he is still 
infans and has not reached discretionis annos, this was doubtless 
written before 1149, when he was knighted, and 11 50, when he became 
duke. If, as seems probable, the treatise was composed in England, it 
would then fall between 1142 and 1146, while Henry, between the ages 
of nine and thirteen, was living in his uncle's household at Bristol under 
the tutorship of Master Matthew. Adelard has not been elsewhere 
found after 1130, but as he was then hardly more than fifty or there- 
abouts, he may well have lived far into Stephen's reign. The Astrolabe 
is one of Adelard's latest works. It cites the De eodem, the Tables, and 
the Euclid, and thus serves to bind his work together. 

^ Adam of Domerham, pp. 304-315; John of Glastonbury, p. 165. 

Haskins, Norman Institutions, p. 131. Haureau's argument to this effect I 
now find less convincing. 

Gervase of Canterbury, i. 125. Cf. Miss Norgate, Angevin Kings, i. 334, 375; 
Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 405-408. 



to. Ysagoga minor lapharis matematici in astronomiam per Adhe- 
lardum hathoniensem ex arahico sumpta. Bodleian, Digby MS. 68, ff. 
1 1 6-1 24; anonymous in British Museum, Sloane MS. 2030, ff. 83-86 v; 
formerly in Avranches MS. 235.^^ An astrological treatise,^^ evidently 
of abu Ma'ashar Ja'afar. Reference is made to the fuller treatment 
in the Ysagoga maior,^^ but it is not said that this has been translated.^* 

II. Liber prestigiorum Thebidis {Elbidis) secundum Ptolomeum et 
Eermetem per Adhelardum baihoniensem translatus, a treatise on astro- 
logical images and horoscopes by Thabit ben Korra. Lyons, MS. 328, 
ff. 70-74; formerly in MS. Avranches 235.^^ 

12 (?). Mappe clavicula, dealing with the preparation of pigments 
and other chemical products. This work, which goes back to Greek 
sources and is of great interest for the history of technical processes, is 
printed in Archaeologia, xxxii. 183-244, from a manuscript of the 
twelfth century then in the possession of Sir Thomas Phillipps. The 
attribution to Adelard rests on the thirteenth-century table of con- 
tents {Liber magistri Adelardi bathoniensis qui dicitur mappe clavicula) 
in Royal MS. 15. C. iv of the British Museum; the treatise itself was 
missing from the manuscript as early as Tanner's time. Berthelot 
has shown that Adelard cannot have been the author of the Mappe 
clavicula in its original form, for a version, free from Arabic elements, 
is found in a manuscript of Schlettstadt which goes back at least to the 
tenth century; but it is quite possible that Adelard is responsible for 

^1 Catalogue des MSS. des departements, x. 114. 

^2 'Quicunque philosophic scientiam altiorem studio constanti inquirens. . . . 
Hec igitur sunt loca excessuum cum quibus finem institucionis faciemus.' 

^3 'Horum autem singula in ysagoga maiore dicta sunt, nunc autem compendiose 
introducendis propius dicetur.' 

^ On the translations of the Ysagoga maior ascribed to John of Seville and 
Hermann the Dalmatian, see Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 568 f.; infra, Chapter III, 
no. 3. 

'Quicunque geometria atque philosophia peritus astronomie expers fuerit 
ociosus est. Est enim astronomia omnium artium et re excellentissima et presti- 
giorum effectu commodissima, . . . Hec quidem omnia ceceraque circa principium 
enumerata in ysagogis exposita studiosa mente firmanda sunt, ut prestigiorum 
facultate artifex non decidat.' This translation is not mentioned in the list of 
Thabit's works given by Steinschneider {Zeitschrijt fiir Mathematik, xviii. 331-338), 
nor identified in his discussion of the Speculum of Albertus Magnus {ihid., xvi. 371), 
who cites it as a work of Hermes (Catalogus codicum astrologorum Graecorum, v. 100). 
Thorndike (i. 664) was the first to identify it. 

La chimie au moyen age, i. 26-30; Adalard de Bath et la Mappae clavicula," 
Journal des savants, 1906, pp. 61-66; and reprinted in his Archeologie et science 
(1908), pp. 172-177. Cf. Thorndike, i. 468, 765 ff., ii. 22 f. 



the expanded form of the text, in certain chapters of which Arabic and 
Enghsh words occur. 

13 (?). Commentary on the Spherica of Theodosius. The Biblio- 
nomia of Richard de Fournival mentions 'Dicti Theodosii liber de 
speris, ex commentario Adelardi.' No such treatise has yet been 

14 (?). Miscellaneous notes. In Warner and Gilson's Catalogue of 
Western MSS, in the Old Royal and King^s Collections we read under 
MS. 7 D. XXV (saec. xii) : 

Chronological, philosophical, astronomical, medical, and other collections, 
in Latin: evidently the book, or more probably copies from the book, of a 
man of unusual learning. It seems worth suggesting that this scholar may be 
Adelard of Bath. . . . who studied at Laon, was something of a Platonist, 
travelled in the East, and in other respects coincides with the indications of 
the volume. 

This interesting suggestion cannot be positively estabHshed from 
the contents of the manuscript, which, however, clearly represents 
Adelard's generation and circle of interests. The lunar cycle, as the 
catalogue points out, is that of 1136-54. A series of notes on ff. 53 
and 54, giving various Platonic doctrines on the universe, cites Plato, 
Chalcidius, Macrobius, and Censorinus. One (f. 53 v) gives the three 
divisions of the brain as in c. 18 of the Questiones; another (f. 54) 
reminds us of the Platonic theme of the De eodem: 

Animam composuit Deus ex substantia et ex eodem et diverso, id est ex 
individuitate et vegetatione, ex mutabihtate et immutabilitate, anima ergo 
tercium genus nature est ex mutabihtate et immutabilitate mixtum. 

The most curious passage is the following (f. 66), which occurs in the 
midst of a set of astronomical notes which have scattered Greek words: 

Mons Amor reorum est locus medius mundi, ubi apposui mensuras et 
probavi per multa loca et posui lignum rea [sic] rotundum habens .xii. cubi- 
tos longitudinis et grossitudo illi cubitus unus et suspendi ilium per funem et 
tantum commutavi eum de loco in locum in medio eius .vii. kal. iulii donee 

" Cc. 190, 191, 195-200. Cf. also the Saracen recipe in c. 289. The Mappe 
clavicula is also found, anonymous, in the Bodleian, MS. Digby, 162, ff. 11 v-21 v. 
A metrical version, made from the Arabic, is ascribed to Robertus Retinensis: 
Steinschneider, E. U., no. 102 d; infra, Chapter VI, p. 122. 

Delisle, Cabinet des MSS., ii. 526, no. 42; Birkenmajer, Bihljoteka Ryszarda de 
Fournival (Cracow, 1922), p. 53; infra. Chapter III, n. 42. 

Infra, n. 93; Chapter V, n. 59. The preceding passage suggests the Questions^ 
c. 19, and there are other traces of the doctrines of Salerno. 
*° Read xi? In the last line we should read exuperarer. 



suspendi illud in loco medii diei et residit suum cum splendor solis ex omni- 
bus partibus et facta est umbra ipsius subtus cum rotunda sicut rotunditas 
ipsius ligni quod suspenderam; et de ipsa mensura cognovi quod medius 
mundus est in monte Amor reorum. Et tempore quo mensuravi hoc est 
annus .xxxviiii. et vinum non bibi, oculi mei somno satiati non fuerunt, ne 
exuperaveram in eo quod inquirebam. 

In this corrupt Latin we have apparently the record of an observation 
about the time of the summer solstice undertaken to determine the 
place where the sun was directly overhead. The mount of Amor ap- 
parently means Mount Moriah ; at least it was in Palestine, mediaeval 
tradition placing the umbilicus terre at Jerusalem. Of course a vertical 
position of the sun could not really have been observed north of the 
tropics, but Palestine was the southernmost point in Christendom, 
and an observation in latitude 31° 45' might approximate the desired 
result. In any case the painstaking character of the experiment is in- 
teresting, and it falls in with Adelard's habit of mind and his known 
travels in Syria. One cannot argue too closely from the cycle of 1136™ 
54, which is in another hand and another portion of the manuscript; 
this would give 1115 as the latest date of the observation made thirty- 
nine years before. In any event, if Adelard is speaking, his visit to the 
East would fall in his youth. 

It is not clear that the older bibliographers had other works of 
Adelard at their disposal. Tanner pointed out that the De causis and 
the Prohlemata are only other names for the Questiones naturaleSj and 
the incipit of the De sic et non indicates that it is pirobably a variant of 
the same treatise. Similarly the De septem arlibus liberalibus appar- 
ently has the incipit of the De eodem et diverse. The Computus astro- 

On the belief that Jerusalem was the navel and centre of the earth see W. H. 
Roscher, "Omphalos," in Ahhandlungen of the Leipzig Academy, phil.-hist. Kl., 
xxix, no. 9, pp. 24-28 (1913); "Neue Omphalosstudien," ihid., xxxi, no. i, pp. 15- 
18, 73 f. (1915); A. J. Wensinck, "The ideas of the western Semites concerning 
the navel of the earth," in Verhandelingen of the Amsterdam Academy, xvii, no. i 
(191 7). Different places were identified with the umbilicus, such as Bethel, Mount 
Moriah (infra, p. 339), and Garizim. Roscher, 1913, pp. 27 f., cites a passage of 
Gervase of Tilbury (ed. Leibnitz, p. 892; ed. Liebrecht, p. i) to the effect that the 
well where Jesus conversed v/ith the woman of Samaria was the centre of the earth 
since the sun at the solstice casts no shadow in it, a phenomenon which philosophers 
say occurs also at Syene (ca. lat. 24°). For Syene, see Macrobius, ed. Eyssenhardt, 
p. 600. In Adelard's Khorasmian tables (p. i) the 'medius locus terre' is Arin. 

^2 Or a continuation, as is suggested by the incipit given by Bale (1557, p. 184) 
and Pits: 'Meministi ex quo incepimus.' Without this incipit one would accept the 
suggestion of Poole and Bateson, in their edition of Bale's Index (1902), p. 8, that 
this is the well known work of Abaelard. 



nomicus mentioned by Tanner is probably the Khorasmian tables; the 
Compotus Adelardi, formerly in the library of Christ Church, Canter- 
bury,^ may be either this work or, more probably, the Liber abaci. A 
treatise which follows the Questiones in a manuscript of the Lauren tian 
library, which Bandini thought might have emanated from Adelard, 
belongs to the fourteenth century.^ Jourdain conjectured that Adelard 
was the translator of the Liber imbrium of Ja'afar, but this is now 
known to be the work of Hugo Sanctallensis,®^ and the attribution to 
him of the translation of Euclid's Optics and Catoptrics is equally un- 
founded.^^ The cosmological treatise ascribed to Adelard in Cotton 
MS. Titus D. iv and analyzed by Thorndike (ii. 41-43) is the De 
essentiis of Hermann of Carinthia.®^ An interesting suggestion, made 
by Chasles and still awaiting confirmation, is that Adelard, as the 
translator of the KJiorasmian tables, is also the author of the trans- 
lation of a treatise of al-Khwarizmi on Indian arithmetic, preserved in 
a unique manuscript at Cambridge, which has an important bearing 
on the transmission of the Arabic system of reckoning to the West. 

What can be gleaned from all this for Adelard's biography is 
disappointingly meagre. He was born in Bath, which he calls 
natale solum, and styles himself English; but he early went to 
France, where he studied at Tours and taught at Laon. In this 
period of his life he found opportunity for travel, penetrating as 
far as Magna Graecia and, it would seem, Sicily before 11 16 and 
probably before 1 109. After leaving Laon he spent seven years in 
study and travel, and can be traced in Cilicia and Syria and pos- 

^3 James, Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, p. 49. Contrary to Dr. 
James's conjecture (p. 508) this manuscript can hardly be Cotton MS. Caligula A. 
XV, part 2. 

MS. Gadd. rel., no. 74, f. 38 v: 'Anno gratie 1303 quo ego Petrus Paduanensis 
hunc librum construxi.' 

Infra, Chapter IV, n. 41. 

Infra, Chapter IX, n. 102. Dr. Dee also (James, List, no. 165) suggested 
Adelard as the author of the De differentia spiritus et anime of Costa ben Luca. 

®^ Infra, Chapter III, n. 17. 

And, probably, of no. 4, above, p. 24. 

®® University Library, MS. Ii. vi. 5, f. 102, published by Boncompagni, Trattati 
d'aritmetica, i (Rome, 1857). See Comptes rendus de VAcademie des Sciences, xlviii. 
1059 (1859); Z. M. Ph., xxxiv, sup., p. 132; Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathe- 
matik, X. 11; Cantor, i. 713, 906. 

"^^ E. H. R., xxxvii. 398; supra, n. 45; infra. Chapter XVII. He also calls Eng- 
land his 'patria' in the dedication of the Questiones. 


sibly, by 1 1 15, in Palestine. By 11 26 he is back in the West, oc- 
cupied with making the astronomy and geometry of the Arabs 
available to the Latin worldJ^ Bath again becomes his residence, 
and in 1130 as 'Adelardus de Bada' he receives 45. 6d. from the 
sheriff of WiltshireJ^ His relations with the court, as well as his 
account of his life as a student and his green cloak are quite 
inconsistent with the common assertion that he was a monk; I can 
find no contemporary authority for this statement, which doubt- 
less owes its origin to a confusion with the monk Adelard of Blan- 
dinium, who, a century earlier, wrote a life of St. Dunstan.^^ The 
name 'Goth,' which is applied to Adelard in certain manuscripts 
of the translation of Euclid,^^ I cannot pretend to explain; it may 
be a mere corruption of Bath, or it may possibly refer to a sojourn 
in northern Spain. It seems probable that Adelard visited Spain, 
not only because this was the nearest abode of Saracen learning, 
but because he used a Spanish edition of al-Khwarizmi, yet it is 
always possible that he received this text indirectly. The date 
of his death is unknown, though the discovery of his relations 
with the future Henry II prolongs his activity at least as far 
as 1 142, later than has commonly been supposed. Here, as so 
often, we have to lament the loss of the Pipe Rolls between 1130 
and 1155. 

Three bits of evidence connect Adelard with the Anglo-Nor- 
man court. First of all, the pardon of a murder fine of 45. 6d. in 
Wiltshire in the Pipe Roll of 1130 is not only made by royal writ, 
but, as Poole has pointed out,^^ is the kind of favor customarily 
granted to those in the employment of the court. Next, the dedi- 
cation of the Astrolabe to the young Henry, his pupil; and, in the 
third place, the mention of 'King Harold's books' in the treatise 

''^ *Nos vero latihorum studemus utilitati': MS. Chartres 214, f, 41; MS. Maza- 
rine 3642, f. 83. 

72 Pipe Roll, 31 Henry I, p. 22. 

73 Questiones, c. 2. 

7* Stubbs, Memorials of St. Dunstan, p. xxx; cf. Tanner, p. 55. 

7^ Bodleian MS., Selden Arch. B. 13; Zeitschrift fur Mathematik, xxv, sup., 
p. 144; Philologische Rundschau, i. 946; Centralblatt fur Bibliothekswesen, xvi. 262; 
Hanel, Catalogus Lihrorum MSS., col. 786. 

76 The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 191 2), pp. 56 f. Cf. also the 
suggestion respecting the queen in n. 12, supra. 




on falconry, itself a royal sport. Adelard may well, as Poole sug- 
gests, have been an officer of the Exchequer, where his arithmet- 
ical talent would have proved useful, but I see no reason for 
going on to associate him with the introduction of the abacus 
there, which seems to me of earlier origin 7^ 

Of Adelard's other relations we know but little. One of his 
works is dedicated to the bishop of Syracuse, one to the bishop of 
Bayeux, another to a certain H. In three of them an unidentified 
nephew appears, though not necessarily the same person in each 
instance. The only reference to Adelard on the part of a con- 
temporary is that of an enigmatical Ocreatus, possibly named 
John, who dedicates to Adelard the translation of an Arabic 
treatise on arithmetic which he has produced iussus ah amico 
immo a domino et magistroP No other of Adelard's pupils is 
known, saving always Henry II. What we should most like to 
know is the extent and nature of Adelard's connections with the 
other translators and scholars of his age, but here we have little 
more than possibilities. His version of the Khorasmian tables 
seems in some way connected with Petrus Alphonsi, while it was 
in turn revised by Robert of Chester.^^ So his commentary on 
the Spherica of Theodosius recalls the citation of this work by 
Hermann of Carinthia.^^ 

The range and variety of Adelard's interests can be judged 
from his writings, extending, as they do, from trigonometry to 
astrology and from Platonic philosophy to falconry, perhaps even 
to applied chemistry. He had a style of his own, easily recogniza- 
ble by his readers, and a certain gift of apt illustration, while the 
treatise on falconry shows that he had none of the philosopher's 
disdain for the ordinary and the practical. Of the originality and 

Infra, Chapter XV. 

Prologus N. Ocreaii in Helceph ad Adelardum hatensem magistrum suum, edited 
by Henry in Zeitschrift fur Mathematik, xxv, sup., pp. 129-139. Cf. Steinschnei- 
der, E. U., no. 70; Cantor, i. 906, where the confusion with Bayeux rests upon an 
incorrect reading of the manuscript. Bernard, Catalogi, no, 8639, ascribes a version 
of Euclid to 'loannes Ocreatus,' but the first leaf of this MS. is now gone and the 
remainder bears no such indication. See Warner and Gilson's Catalogue of the Royal 
MSS. under 15 A. xxvii. 

'9 Infra, Chapter VI, n. 31, 

80 Infra, Chapter III, n. 42. 


profundity of his knowledge it is less easy to speak until his math- 
ematical work has been more thoroughly sifted by specialists and 
its relations to his predecessors have been fixed. We now know 
him most fully as a philosopher, but his philosophical writings 
belong to his earlier years, and it is by no means clear that we 
here have him at his best. 

In the De eodem et diverso Adelard speaks as a disciple of Plato, 
princeps philosophorum, from whose Timaeus he derived the 
theme of unity and diversity.^- His Platonism is in general that 
of Chartres, and shows here no influence of Aristotle's science or 
of Arabic learning. In form the treatise reflects Martianus Ca- 
pella and the De consolatione oi Boethius. In the allegory which 
passes before Adelard 's vision permanence is represented by Phi- 
losophy, surrounded by the seven liberal arts; change and decay 
by 'Philocosmia,' the love of this world, with appropriate com- 
panions. Philosophy, having won the debate, proceeds to explain 
briefly the nature of the seven arts in traditional fashion, though 
the more concrete temper of the author reveals itself at the end in 
an explanation of the geometrical determination of the height of 
a tower and in an account of a debate with a Greek philosopher 
of southern Italy on topics of natural philosophy. Adelard shows 
the influence of the atomic theory of Democritus. On the ques- 
tion of universals he seeks to reconcile Plato and Aristotle in the 
so-called theory of non- difference. 

The Questiones naturales is written professedly to explain the 
new knowledge which Adelard has acquired from 'his Arabs,' 
under whose name it presents, as Thorndike has pointed out,^^ 
theories for which be does not care to assume personal responsi- 
bility. Although the Questiones is in no sense a systematic trea- 
tise, the seventy-six problems are taken up in a regular order. 
The first six chapters deal with plants : why they grow from earth 
where there are no seeds; how plants of opposite natures spring 
from the same soil; why the other three elements do not produce 
plants, and whether each of the four brings forth its appropriate 

81 See Willner's analysis, Beitrage, iv, no. i ; and cf. Ueberweg-Baumgartner^'', ii. 
244, 311 f. Thorndike (ii. 48) is in error in seeking the source in Aristotle. 

82 ii. 25 f. 



products; why fruit follows the graft rather than the trunk. The 
explanations are based upon the four elements and the four quali- 
ties of the Greeks as formulated by Galen, the so-called elements 
of our apprehension being in reality compounds, in which, how- 
ever, the real element in each case preponderates. Then come 
chapters on animals (7-14), where the questions concern diges- 
tion, in ruminants and birds, and its products; the better sight of 
certain animals in the dark, explained by the humors of the eye; 
and the question whether animals have souls, a matter of current 
debate which Adelard decides in the affirmative, on the ground 
that they possess not only bodily sensation but the judgment 
which is a property of the soul. With chapter 15 we reach man, 
at first with the scarcely profitable question why mankind lacks 
horns or other bodily means of defence, and then with a brief note 
on the object of the network of muscles and veins. The following 
problems (cc. 17-32) are chiefly psychological: the relation of 
memory to mental ability, the parts of the brain allotted to mem- 
ory, imagination, and reason; hearing and sight and the other 
senses — with interspersed speculation as to the position of the 
nose above the mouth and the nature of baldness. Chapters 33 to 
47 deal with the human body: breathing, the inequalities of the 
fingers, erectness in walking, food, the different temperaments of 
the sexes, and dead bodies. The remainder of the treatise (cc. 48- 
76) treats of meteorology and astronomy. How is the globe sup- 
ported in the air? If the earth were perforated, how far would a 
body fall in the perforation, the author concluding correctly that 
it would stop at the centre. What is the cause of earthquakes and 
tides, of the saltness and constant volume of the sea, of the fresh- 
ness of springs and rivers, of thunder and lightning and the course 
of the winds? Thunder is occasioned by the noise of hail and ice; 
the tides come, not from the moon, but from the flux and reflux 
occasioned by the meeting of waters from the several arms of the 
sea, a passage in which Adelard repudiates the influence of the 
moon and gives currency to the error introduced into the West by 
Macrobius.^3 j^g^ xQ2ic]i the upper world with the 

^3 C. 52. Cf. Duhem, iii. 116 f. The text is not entirely clear, MS. lat. 6415 does 
not mention the moon but refers to the inundations of the Nile. The printed text 


darkness and shadows of the moon, the course of the planets and 
the outer all-containing aplanos, and the life of the stars. The 
stars are alive, and so is the aplanos^ though in one sense the 
aplanos may be called God. The nature of God, however, along 
with all questions of simple forms and pure elements, is, in con- 
clusion, put off till another day. 

In all this there is not much that comes from the Arabic, nor is 
any Arabic authority or phrase specifically quoted. Not only is 
the theory of innate ideas entirely Platonic, but Plato is fre- 
quently cited, in one case in a long extract from the Timaeus}^ 
We have references to the Topica, Musica, and De consolatione of 
Boethius.^^ Other Latins are Statins, Terence, Horace, and the 
Saturnalia of Macrobius.^^ So far we are within the same range of 
reading as in the De eodem. Now as to Aristotle : Adelard quotes 
inter Aristotelicas sententias the principle that, when anything is 
added to anything, the whole becomes greater; he cites as Aris- 
totle's a passage on motion which goes back ultimately to the 
Physics; and he gives as authority for the localization of the 
three faculties in the brain Aristotiles in Physicis et alii in tracta- 
tibus suis.^^ Still more striking is the reminiscence of the Physics 
in a passage on motion where no authority is given.^^ In this 
sense he might be claimed as the first Latin writer of the Middle 
Ages to cite the Aristotelian physics,^^ but such scanty fragments 

has 'Caribdis' in place of the Nile. Gollancz by an extraordinary slip renders this 
* Caribbean ' ! 

I cite chapters after the edition, folios in MS. lat. 6415. Thorndike gives an in- 
teresting summary (ii. 23-41). 

8^ C. 28. See Haureau, Philosophie scolastique (1872), i. 355. 

*^ Cc. 23 ( = Timaeus, cc. 45 f.), 24, 27, 28, 29. 

86 Cc. 20-23, 46. ^ Cc. 35, 49, 53, 55- 

88 C. 34. Cf. in c. 10 the ascription to Aristotle of the theory of two entrances to 
the stomach. 

89 'De actione itaque earum et notandum in quo non meam set Aristotilis accipe 
sententiam, immo quia ipsius ideo meam : quidquid enim movetur, ait, aut vi aut 
natura aut voluntate moveri convenit.' C. 74, f. 38 v; cf. De physico auditu, 8, 4, i. 

90 C. 18. 

91 C. 60; cf. De physico auditu, 8, 5; and pp. 109 f. of the essay of Baumgartner 
cited below. 

92 Duhem, "Du temps o^ la scolastique latine a connu la Physique d'Aristote," 
in Revue de philosophie, xv. 163 (1909) (cf. Systeme, iii. 188-193), gives Thierry of 
Chartres as the first, by way of Macrobius. 



hardly indicate a first-hand acquaintance. Indeed the only- 
specific citation, that concerning the localization of the faculties, 
seems to come, not from Aristotle, but from Galen, from whom it 
and certain theories of the elements apparently reached Adelard 
and the later twelfth century via Constantine the African.*' 
What, then, is most clearly of Arabic origin is the physiological 
part of the Questiones, and the sources for this were available to 
Adelard in southern Italy. There is no evidence that Adelard 
as yet knows Arabic or has assimilated the Arabic mathematics 
and astronomy for which he was later distinguished, and there 
are none of the Arabic words which appear freely in his astro- 
nomical works. From internal evidence, the Questiones belongs 
to Adelard's earlier rather than his later years, and there is 
nothing in it which he could not have found in Italy. 

Adelard would probably have said that what he acquired from 
the Arabs on subjects of physics was not so much facts or theories 
as a rationalistic habit of mind and a secular philosophy. The 
recourse to observation and experiment, already evident in the 
De eodem, appears likewise in the Questiones , in spite of its reliance 
for the most part on a priori reasoning. The author knows that a 
distant blow is seen before it is heard; he has stood on a bridge 
in Syria during an earthquake; and he has watched the work- 
ings of a vessel in which water is held up by pressure of the air.*® 
Indeed, in explaining the last phenomenon, he first enunciates 
the theory of the continuity of universal nature, as Thorndike has 
shown. He also asserts the indestructibility of matter, but on 
the authority of an unnamed philosopher.*^ 

®3 Werner, " Wilhelm von Conches," in Vienna SUzungsherichte, Ixxv. 387 (1873); 
Baumgartner, Die Philosophie des Alanus de Insults (Beitrage, ii, no. 4), pp. 19, 94; 
Soury, in B. E. C, lix. 417; infra, Chapter V, n. 60. On Constantine's influence on 
the medicine of the twelfth century, see Sudhoff, in Archivfur Geschichte der Medizin, 
ix. 348-356 (1916). 

9< C. 68. 95 c. 50; supra, n. 38. 9« C. 58. 

^ ii. 37-40; and in Nature, xciv. 616 f. (1915). Thorndike raises the question 
whether Adelard may have been acquainted with the Pneumatica of Hero. This was 
known in Sicily by 1156: infra, Chapter IX, n. 115. 

®^ 'Unde phylosophus de mundo loquens ait, Nec quicquam ex eo recessit nee est 
addendi facultas, cunctis in se cohercitis, sed corruptela partium senescentium intra 
se vicem quandam obtinet cibatus. Et meo certe iuditio nichil sensibili mundo 



"It is hard to discuss with you," Adelard tells his nephew, "for 
I have learned one thing from the Arabs under the guidance of 
reason; you follow another halter, caught by the appearance of 
authority, for what is authority but a halter?" Say what you 
please, for you will always find hearers who will demand no reason 
for an opinion but will accept anything on the weight of an an- 
cient name. " If reason is not to be the universal judge, it is given 
to each to no purpose." Those who are considered authorities 
first reached that position by virtue of the exercise of their reason. 
Use reason first, then add authority, for authority alone cannot 
brin^ conviction to a philosopher.^^ Later he says: "I call myself 
a man of Bath, not a Stoic, wherefore I teach my own opinions, 
not the errors of the Stoics." In like manner God is not to be 
used as a blanket explanation of things accessible to human un- 
derstanding. At the outset Adelard reminds the interlocutor that, 
while plants spring from the earth by God's will, this does not act 
without a reason.^^^ Human science must first be listened to, he 
says a little later, and "only when it fails utterly should there be 

moritur nec minor est hodie quam cum creatus est, si qua enim pars ab una coniunc- 
tione solvitur non perit sed ad aliam societatem transit.' C. 4, f. 25. 

53 *De animalibus difl&cilis est mea tecum dissertio. Ego enim aliud a magistris 
arabicis didici ratione duce, tu vero aliud auctoritatis pictura capistrum captus 
sequeris. Quid enim aliud auctoritas est dicenda quam capistrum? Ut bruta quippe 
animalia capistro quolibet ducuntur nec quo vel quare ducantur discernunt restem- 
que quo tenentur solum secuntur, sic nec paucos vestrum bestiali credulitate captos 
ligatosque auctoritas scriptorum in periculum ducit. Unde et quidam nomen sibi 
auctoritatis usurpantes nimia scribendi licentia usi sunt, adeo ut pro veris falsa bes- 
tialibus viris insinuare non dubitaverint. Cur enim cartas non impleas? Cur et a 
tergo non scribas, cum tales fere huius temporis auditores habeas qui nullam iudicii 
rationem exigant, tituli nomine tantum vetusti confidant? Non enim intelligunt ideo 
rationem singulis esse datam ut intra verum et falsum ea prima iudice discernant. 
Nisi enim ratio universalis index esse deberet, frustra singulis data esset. Sufi&ceret 
enim preceptorum scriptori datam esse, uni dico vel pluribus, ceteri eorum institutis 
et auctoritatibus essent con ten ti. Amplius : ipsi qui auctores vocantur non aliunde 
primam fidem apud minores adepti sunt, nisi [MS. non] quia rationem secuti sunt 
quam quicunque nesciunt vel negligunt merito ceci habendi sunt.' C. 6, f. 25 v. 
The passage 'Quid . . . ducit' is quoted with approval by Roger Bacon (ed. 
Bridges, i. 5 f.), who had, much in common with Adelard. 
C. 28, f. 30. 

* Voluntas quidem Creatoris est ut a terra herbg nascantur, sed eadem sine 
ratione non est.' C. i, f. 24. 



recourse to God" as an explanation. Proximate, not ultimate, 
causes are Adelard's theme, and his theories of God, mind, and 
matter are reserved for the De initiis. 

The popularity of the Questiones naturales in the Middle Ages 
is attested by the twenty surviving copies, in which it frequently 
accompanies the Naturales quaestiones of Seneca. It was prob- 
ably used by Alexander Neckam and Thomas of Cantimpre.^^^ It 
is quoted by Vincent of Beauvais and Roger Bacon in the thir- 
teenth century,^^^ and by Pico della Mirandola in the fifteenth.^^^ 
Three editions appeared before 1500. It was the basis of the 
Hebrew dialogue Uncle and Nephew (Dodi Ve-Nechdi)}^'^ 

In significant contrast to the speculative and discursive char- 
acter of the Questiones stands the Astrolabe, which was written in 
the later years of Adelard's life. Once more he explains ^ the opin- 
ions of the Arabs' to an eager listener, this time concerning the 
sphere and the stars, though we must not take too seriously and 
literally the precocious interest of the young Henry or the author's 
references to philosophers as kings. Succinct, clear, and sharp, the 
treatise presents in systematic form the preliminary astronomical 
facts and the various applications of the astrolabe. Arabic terms 
are freely used, and for fuller discussion the reader is referred to 
Adelard's other works, the De eodem, Euclid, and especially the 
Khorasmian tables. Virgil, Horace, and Cicero are each quoted 
once, but without digression, and Ptolemy replaces Plato. We 
have once more the Adelard of the Liber ezic. 

* Deo non detraho, quicquid enim est ab ipso et per ipsum est. Id ipsum tamen 
non confuse et absque discretione non [sic] est, qug quantum scientia humana 
procedat audienda est, in quo vero universaliter deficit ad Deum referenda est. 
Nos itaque quia nondum [non Deum?] in scientia pollemus ad rationem redeamus.* 
C. 4, f. 25. 

MSS. lat. 6286, 6385, 6628; and with other fragments of Seneca in MS. Reims 
872 and MS. Prague 1650. See also MS. O. iii. 2 of the Escorial, whose contents 
should be compared with a volume given to Bee in 11 64 {Catalogue des MSS. des 
deparkments, ii, 398, no. 112). 

Thorndike, ii. 196, 379. 

E. g., Speculum naturale, v, cc. 13, 31, vi, cc. 6, 7; Opus maius, ed. Bridges, i. 


Duhem, iii. ii6f. 

Ed. Hermann Gollancz (London, 1920). 


Adelard occupies a position of peculiar importance in the intel- 
lectual history of the Middle Ages. Standing at the point where 
the traditional knowledge of the cathedral schools meets the new 
learning of southern Italy and the Mohanunedan East, his atti- 
tude was one of personal inquiry and not mere blind receptivity. 
The first, so far as we know, to assimilate Arabic science in the 
revival of the twelfth century, to him we owe the introduction of 
the new Euclid and the new astronomy into the West. Moreover 
he was a pioneer in more than a chronological sense. He went out 
to seek knowledge for himself by travel and exploration, pene- 
trating as far as Sicily and Syria and, probably, Spain; and he 
showed a spirit of independent inquiry and experiment quite his 
own. Fragmentary as our information is, it reveals something of 
the originality and many-sidedness of the man; and if further 
research should lead to new discoveries concerning his life or 
writings, it will throw light on one of the most interesting and 
significant figures in mediaeval science. 



Among the scholars who in the twelfth century brought the 
science and philosophy of the Arabic world to western Europe, 
not the least important was Hermann of Carinthia, variously 
known as the Dalmatian, the Slav, or, to distinguish him from the 
earlier Hermannus Contractus, the Second. Somewhat younger 
than Adelard of Bath and less important than Gerard of Cre- 
mona, he must still be reckoned among the notable pioneers in the 
field of Saracen learning. A cutissimi et literati ingenii scholasticus,^ 
he contributed to mathematics and philosophy as well as to as- 
trology and astronomy, and in the case of one work of ancient 
science, the Planisphere of Ptolemy, his translation constitutes 
the sole intermediary through which this classical treatise has sur- 
vived to later times. Moreover, while the origins of most of the 
other translators of this period remain unknown, Hermann's rela- 
tions with the school of Chartres bring him into connection with 
the cathedral schools of the earlier twelfth century and link him 
with their Platonism as well as with the Aristotelianism of the 
Arabs. His real work, also, was long eclipsed by confusion with 
two others of the same name who wrote on similar themes, Her- 
mannus Contractus, monk of Reichenau in the eleventh century, 
and Hermannus Alemannus, a translator of philosophical works 
from the Arabic in the thirteenth century ;2 and it is only in recent 
years that he has been disentangled, in part at least, from these 
and placed in his proper setting, while still more recently his 
authorship of the version of the Planisphere has been vindicated 
against his pupil Rudolf of Bruges. His work, however, has not 

1 Peter the Venerable, in Migne, Patrologia, clxxxix. 650. 

2 On Hermannus Contractus, see below. On Hermannus Alemannus, see the 
references in Chapter I, n. 51. Jourdain, Recherches, is still useful in distinguishing 




heretofore been studied as a whole Let us begin with a list of his 

1. Zaelis Fatidica, or Pronostica, also known as Liber sextus astrono- 
mie. A translation of the De revoluHonibus of the Jewish astrologer 
Saul ben Bischr (see Steinschneider in Z. M. Ph., xvi. 388-390; E. U., 
pp. 603-607; E. U., no. 51): 'Secundus post conditorem orbis . . . 
minus fiunt efficaces.' Vatican, MS. Pal. lat. 1407, ff. 18-38; Metz, 
MS. 287, ff. 333-350 (saec. xv); University of Cambridge, MS. Kk. iv. 
7, f. 102; Caius College, MS. no, f. 295 (James, Catalogue, i. 115, ii. 
542); Pembroke College, MS. 227, f. 133 (James, p. 205); Bodleian, 
MS. Digby 114, ff. 176-199. In all of these the translator is given as 
Hermann. For other possible MSS. see Thorndike, ii. 391. The date 
appears in the Metz and Digby MSS., the latter of which has, 'Ex- 
phcit fedidica Zael Banbinxeir Caldei translatio Herman! 6^ astronomie 
libri. Anno domini 1138. 3°. kal. octobris translatus est' (where by 
misreading *6^' as 'G^' Macray attributed the translation to Gerard 
of Cremona; and by misreading 'Hermani' as 'hec mam' Thorndike, 
ii. 84, makes matters worse). The phrase ^ sixth book' apparently 
refers to some Arabic collection ; it can hardly already be Hermann's 
sixth book. This is the earliest dated work of Hermann; the place is 
not indicated, and there is no accompanying preface. 

2. (?) Translation of the Khorasmian tables. In Hermann's ver- 
sion of Albumasar we read: 

in sectionibus formis tardis 
Quorum plus fialcurdaget azerea secundum fialcurdaget albatia 
tractatur, que in translatione nostra zigerz Alchuarismi sufficienter 
exposuimus.' ^ So a note to his Planisphere speaks of 'Albatene et 
Alchoarismus quorum hunc quidem opera nostra Latium habet.' ^ 
As we already know of a version made by Adelard of Bath in 11 26 
and revised by Robert of Chester,^ these statements do not simpUfy 
the problem, nor has any MS. been found with Hermann's name. 

The principal modern accounts are those of Wiistenfeld, pp. 48-50; Stein- 
schneider, H. U., pp. 534 f., 568 f., and E. U., no. 51; Clerval, ''Hermann le Dal- 
mate," in proceedings of the Congres international des catholiques of 1891 (also 
separately, Paris, 1891), and Les ecoles de Chartres (Paris, 1895), pp. 188-191; 
Bjornbo, in B.M., iv. 130-133 (1903); Thorndike, ii. 84 f. Bosmans, in Revue 
des questions scientijiques, Ivi. 669-672 (1904), I have not seen. 

* Naples, MS. C. viii. 50, f. 43. Cf. Steinschneider, H. U., p. 568. 

* Ed. Heiberg, p. clxxxvii. Cf. Suter, al-Khwarizmi, p. xiii. Thorndike's pro- 
posal (ii. 85) to translate 'hunc' as 'the former' disregards Latin idiom without 
clarifying the situation. 

* Supra, Chapter II, n. 16; infra, Chapter VI, n. 32. 



3. Translation, in eight books, of the Mains introductorium to as- 
trology of abu Ma'ashar Ja'afar al-Balki (Albumasar) ; a less slavish 
version than the contemporary one by John of Seville. See Stein- 
schneider, in Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, 
xviii. 170-172; H. U., pp. 567 ff; E. U., no. 51; and especially Dyroff, 
in Boll, Sphdra, pp. 484 f . There is a copy of the twelfth century in 
the Biblioteca Nazionale at Naples, MS. C. VIII. 50, ff. 1-56 v^; also 
in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. 95, f. 60; Bodleian, MS. Laud 
594, ff. 144-153 (incomplete); Erfurt, MS. Ampl. Q. 363, f. 38; Flor- 
ence, Conventi soppressi, J. II. 10, ff. 1-54 v {B, M., xii. 195); Vatican, 
MS. Vat. lat. 4603 ; Parma, MS. 720, f . i ; Manchester, Rylands Library, 
MS. 67, f. 170; also formerly among the MSS. of Petau, Montfaucon, 
Bibliotheca Manuscriptorum, p. 87 b. Apparently the "Albumasar 
minor Hermanni" of the Sorbonne catalogue (Delisle, Cabinet des 
MSS., iii. 68). Printed at Venice, in 1489, 1495, 1506; see Stein- 
schneider, H, U.,p. 568. Cited under Hermann's name by Roger 
Bacon, Opus tertium, ed. Brewer, p. 49. This translation is probably 
of 1140^ and in any case anterior to 1143, being cited in the introduc- 
tion to the De essentiis ^ and probably in the Planisphere}^ The in- 
troduction,^^ addressed to Robertus Ketenensis, reads as follows: 

Liber introductorius in astrologiam Albumazar Albalachi 

Apud Latinos artium principiis quedam ars extrinseca prescribi solet. 
Librum autem iniciis non scripto uUo autentico quidem ego in ea lingua in- 
venerim, set doctorum sua cuiusque sententia aditus paratur. Apud Arabes 
contra. Duorum siquidem primum nec advertisse videntur umquam, ta- 

^ The subscription which Bjornbo declared illegible {B. M., iv. 133) reads: 
CHKONAT. GPANCAAGTfi. ^HATKTeHR. 6 is of course T. The small 
X is confused by the scribe with a. I have rendered by F the peculiar form for 
Roman H, an F without the upper stroke. 

8 So the printed text as cited in Duhem, iii. 175 f. The Naples MS. (f. 32) omits 
the current year. 

^ *Quas Abumaixar in annalibus suis usque ad .iii. milia numerat, quem nu- 
merum nec nos in eiusdem libri translatione pretermisimus.' MS. Naples, C. viii. 
50, f. 70; MS. Corpus Christi 243, f. 105; MS. Titus D. iv, f. 112 v. Albumasar is 
frequently cited in this work: MS. Naples, £f. 61, 63, 65, 67, 70, 74, 74 v, 75 v; MS. 
Corpus, jff. 94 V, 97, 99, loi, 104 V, 108 V, 109, III V. 

'Ad imitationem alterius translationem nostre.' Heiberg, p. clxxxiii, line 8. 
Cf. the mention of Albumasar as amplifying the Quadripartitum on p. clxxxv. 

" Steinschneider, H. U., p. 568, cites various remarks of Hermann inserted in 
the text, which Dyroff calls a 'Bearbeitung' rather than a mere translation. 

^2 Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. 95, f. 60, with some variants from 
Naples, MS. C. viii. 50, f. i. 


metsi particulatim nonumquam ac sparsim assumant, nostro tamen iudicio 
non parum necessarium. Secundum vero commenticium quidem illis nec 
scripto dignum visum est tanquam egregium aliquod inventum scripture 
commendatum. Ab hoc igitur secundo genere huius operis auctor incipiens, 
.vii., inquit, sunt omnis tractatus inicia: auctoris intentio, operis utilitas, 
nomen auctoris, nomen libri, locus in ordine discipline, species inter theori- 
cam et practicam, partitiones libri. Quod apud nos quinquipertito sufficeret, 
operis videlicet titulo, auctoris intencione, finali causa,^^ modo tractandi, et 
ordine, que omnis fere tam tractatus quam orationis exordio et necessaria 
et sufficere videntur, suam tamen singulis reddit causam. Que cum ego, pro- 
lixitatis exosus et quasi minus attinencia cum et hunc morem Latinis cognos- 
cerem preterire volens, ab ipso potius tractatu exordiri pararem, tu mihi 
studiorum omnium specialis atque inseparabilis comes rerumque et actuum 
per omnia consors unice, mi Rodberte, si memor es, obviasti dicens: *'Quam- 
quam equidem nec tibi pro more tuo, mi Hermanne, nec uUi consulto aliene 
lingue interpreti in rerum translationibus a Boecii sentencia quadam uUa- 
tenus divertendum sit, ita tamen alienum intersequendum videtur nec pre- 
curatur presertim ne qui librum hunc in arabica lingua legerit si in latina 
non ab exordio suo qua[m] primum legentis intuitus incident inceptum 
videat, non industriam set ignoranciam putans et operis forsan integritatem 
detrimenti et nos devie digressionis arguat." Parui quidem, cum ipsum 
etiam laborem tuo potissknum instinctu aggressus sim, ut siquid ex hoc 
nostro studio latine copie adiciatur, non mihi maius quam tibi meritum 
rependatur, cum tu quidem et laboris causa et operis index et utriusque 
testis certissimus existas. Expertus quippe tu nichilominus quam grave sit 
ex tam fluxo loquendi genere quod apud Arabes est latine orationi congruum 
ahquod commutari atque in hiis maxime que tam artam rerum imitationem 
postulant. Hiis habitis, ne longius differatur, ab ipsius verbi tractatus 
inicium sumamus. Intentionis, inquit, exposicio rei summam breviter et 
absolute proponens discentis animum attentum parat et docilem utiHtatis 
promissio laborem allevians internum animi quendam affectum adaptat. 
Auctoris nomen duabus de causis necessarium est, turn ut opus autenticum 
reddat tum ne alii dum vagum et incerti sit nominis immerito ascriptum 
iniustam parat gloriam. Libri nomen intentionis testimonio accedit, locus 
in ordine discendi animum discentis, quo lectio quid legendum sit instruens 
ad disciplinarum intellectum non inconsulte dirigit. Scientie genus partitio- 
numque numerus et expositio attentum item reddunt et docilem. Quoniam 
igitur inter omnes huius artis scriptores nuUus hactenus inventus est qui con- 
tradicentibus responderet vel approbantibus argumentum daret, ad hec nec 
ullus qui plenarie totam scriberet artem, nostra quidem in hoc opere inten- 
cio et illis resistere et hiis firmamentum dare et integram divino auxilio artem 
tradere, unde non minimam hanc utilitatem consequi manifestum sit, ne qui 
deinceps operam huic artificio dederint, quia diversa ex diversis operibus 

" finali causa inserted from Naples MS, MS. tum. 

15 Not oUm, as in the printed text. 

" So Naples MS. The Corpus MS. has precurratuf presertim nec. For the 
method of Boethius see Chapter XI, n. 37. 


adminicula necessaria sint, vel desistant vel deficiant. Tantum igitur opus 
certis et auctoris et libri nominibus confirmari necessarium duximus, quern 
titulum prescribentes dicimus introductorium in astrologiam Albumasar 
Albalachi, qua de causa etiam post astronomiam in astrologiam primo loco 
legendus sit, in theoricam scilicet huius artis partem principaliter atque gen- 
eraliter editus, .viii. partitionum numero discretus, queque suis differentiis 
subdivisa. Partitionis prime capitula .v. : primum de invencione astrologie, 
secundum de siderei motus effectu, tertium de effectus qualitate, quartum 
de confirmatione astrologie, quintum de utilitate astrologie. 

4. Two polemical treatises against Mohammedanism: 'De genera- 
tione Mahumet et nutritura eius quam transtulit Hermannus Sclavus 
scolasticus sub tills ingeniosus apud Legionem Hispanic civitatem'; 
'Doctrina Mahumet que apud Saracenos magna auctoritatis est ab 
eodem Hermanno translata cum esset peritissimus utriusque lingua 
latine scilicet et arabice.' Bodleian, MS. Selden supra 31, ff. 16-32; 
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS. 335, f. 57. Printed in Bib- 
liander's edition of the Latin Koran (Basel, 1543), i. 189-212. Cf. 
Steinschneider, Polemische und apologetische Liter atur in arahischer 
Sprache (Leipzig, 1877), pp. 227-234; id., E. U., no. 51, where the 
Chronica mendosa Saracenorum should, on the authority of the MSS. 
just cited and others, be transferred to Robertus Ketanensis. These 
versions were doubtless prepared in conjunction with the Latin trans- 
lation of the Koran for which Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, 
engaged the services of Robertus Ketenensis and Hermann in 1141 
and which was completed, with an accompanying letter in Robert's 
name, in 1143. See Migne, Patrologia, clxxxxix. 650-674, 1073-76; 
Steinschneider, E. U., no. 102. 

5. Translation of Ptolemy's Planisphere, completed at Toulouse 
I June 1 143 and dedicated to Thierry of Chartres. This version, of 
which nine MSS. and three early editions are known, is based on the 
Arabic text of Maslama and is the only medium through which Ptol- 
emy's treatise has come down to us. Critical edition by Heiberg, 
Ptolomaei opera astronomica minora (Leipzig, 1907), pp. xii f., clxxx- 
clxxxix, 225-259; the preface is on pp. clxxxiii-vi. Formerly attributed 
to Hermann's pupil, RudoK of Bruges, this has been restored to Her- 
mann by Clerval, Les ecoles de Chartres, p. 190; Steinschneider, E. U., 
pp. 534, 569; and especially Bjornbo, in B. M., iv. 130-132 (1903). See 
below, n. 68. The identification of the Tolosa of the MSS. with Tou- 
louse, rather than with the unimportant Tolosa proposed by Stein- 
schneider and Bjornbo, is strengthened by the fact that the De essentiis 
was written in the same year at Beziers. 



6. De essentiis, a philosophical treatise discussed below. Three 
MSS. are known: one of the twelfth century (N) in the BibHoteca 
Nazionale at Naples, MS. C. viii. 50, ff. 58-80; one of the fifteenth 
century (C) in Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. 243, ff. 91-115 v; 
and a third (L), incomplete at beginning and end, in Cotton MS. Titus 
D. iv, £F. 75-138 V, of the British Museum (saec. xiv), attributed by a 
modern hand to Adelard of Bath.^^ Planned, but evidently not com- 
pleted, when the preface to the Planisphere was written, i June 1143 
(Heiberg, p. clxxxv, 1. 10); finished at Beziers later in the same year: 

De essenciis Hermanni Secundi liber explicit anno domini millesimo 
centesimo quadragesimo tercio Byterri (MS. N Biternis) perfectus. 

It was dedicated to Robert de Ketene, as appears from the following 

Athlantidum his diebus me crebro murmure concitum gravis et insuper 
agit admiracio. Quisnam casus queve novitas inmotum te hactenus nunc 
demum tibi ipsi subduxerit, ut relicto videlicet altero te a communi munere 
omnis vite nostre nova qualibet occasione 20 secesseris? An quemadmodum 
Hercule substitute Athlas terrena rigavit, tu quoque^i similiter tocius 
muneris onere 22 mihi relicto quasi respirandum tibi interim censueris,^^ 
fortasse quia securus secretorum ociis vaces dum ego publicis gimnasiis ex- 
positus insidiosos coUuctantium impetus sustineam? Queruntur dee pariter 
iniuriarum agentes meque tanquam pignore obligate coUegam inpacienter 
requirunt. Excuse, respensa differe, cupiens potius redditum defendere 
quam reddendum excusare. Nunc queniam ipsa divina manus te vote meo 
reddidit, presentiam dearum ne dubites. Nec enim valde metue quidquid 
cause fuerit dum te ipsum habeant, nisi forte malis me tanquam advocatum 
premittere quam ipse excusandus prodire. Censulte agendum censes, ep- 
time Redberte, eamque mihi semper apud te gratiam sentie, seu qued pru- 
denti anime cuncta circumspicis et provides seu qued individua nobis vita 
mens eadem atque emnine una anima. Ego itaque si recte memini causam 
ordine expenam. Meministi, epiner, dum nes ex aditis nestris in publicam 
Minerve pempam predeuntes circumflua multitude inhianter miraretur, nen 
tanti personas pensans quantum cultus et ornatus spectans quos ex intimis 
Arabum thesauris diutine nobis vigilie laberque gravissimus acquisierat, 
subiit me gravis admedum pietas super his qui hec ferinseca tanti habebant, 
quanti pensarent si interulas ipsas centueri liceret. Que cum nobis necte iam 
cubili receptis me minime sineret valde ex adverse obstante Numenii metu 
criminis, ecce cuncta semne tenente desuper adveniens 2* altissima dea ver- 

1' Under whom it is discussed, with some hesitation, by Thorndike, ii. 41-43. 
18 Robert is also mentioned in the body of the work: see below, pp. 60 f. 
" Om. C. 22 N, honore. 

2° C, aclione. 23 consueris. 

21 N, tuque 0. 24 advenientis. 



ticem meum dextra tetigit, cuius visione tanquam subito irradiante sole cum 
primum vehementer attonitus deinde paulatim assuefierem, Expergisce, 
inquid, et respice. Quam cum 25 cognovissem provolutus pedibus dive, 
Innue, inquam, o numinum omnium regina, quicquid alumpno possibile 
videas. Surge, inquid, et sequere me. Cui cum nisi previo te nichil mihi 
licere pretenderem, ilia quidem, Unum, inquit, hominem mihi ex utroque 
vestri factum ab initio putavi, nec putes vel sine illo munus hoc institu- 
tum cum nichil inter vos divisum vel sine suprema illius manu tibi possibile 
quem ipsa rerum omnium et actuum auctorem tibi prestitui. Quippe in quo 
mihi 27 complacuit quem ipsa mihi inter universas delitias meas archane con- 
scientie delectum singulari cura summoque studio educavi demumque nec 
difiiteor certe nequaquam 28 repugnantem livida furia tocius viris et consilii 
mei privilegio dato et tibi universe familie mee certissimum ducem presig- 
navi. Et verum est, inquam. Impera, obtempero. Evolat igitur in summum 
maiestatis sue solium, quo 29 cum in angustissimo receptaculo consedisset, 
preposita 2° in medio universa substantie sue materia pariter et huius- 
modi instrumentis appositis,^^ primo loco calcuHs et radio deinde equilibri 
dipondio postremo lucifera quadam lampade cuncta penetrante, Hec, in- 
quid, suscipe, hoc muneris iniungo nec particulatim, ut hi qui miseros audi- 
torum animos vario diripientes tante tibi pietatis causa sunt, datumque 
iarga manu distribue nichil dubitans; opes enim nostre largitate crescunt 
nec 32 indigno animo ullo modo possibiles. Suscepi tandem et ecce munus 
ipsum 33 offero rude quidem ac tuo ipsius antequam in publicum prodeat ex- 
amine castigandum, quod ubi perspexeris non me dearum ministerio defuisse 

At hoc unum opinor, mi anime, quod non solum excusationi verum 
maxime approbationi sufficiat quod tam necessaria de causa tamque 
honesta occasione institutum est.^^ Magnum quippe nec a primo seculo de 
quoquam mortalium auditum.^^ Fac ergo ne differas atque ab ea potissi- 
mum materia exorsus sacre institutionis legem prosequere, ego, ut equi cog- 
nitoris est, orationis seriem attente et cum summa benivolentia amplectar. 

7. Liber ymbrium quem edidit Hermannus. Clare College, Cam- 
bridge, MS. 15, f. 1-2 (of. James, Catalogue, p. 29); Dijon, MS. 1045, 
f. 187; Vienna, MS. 2436, f. 134 v; anonymous, in Corpus Christi Col- 
lege, Oxford, MS. 233, f. 122; St. Mark's, CI. xi, 107, f. 53 (Valentinelli, 
iv. 285); MS. Boncompagni 4, f. 63 (Narducci, Catalogo, p. 5). Inc. 
*Cum multa et varia de imbrium . . . .' The various treatises on 
meteorological predictions current under this and similar titles have 

25 N, quantum. 3i prepositis. 

26 N, ullo. 32 nunc. 

27 C, pristinum. Quippe in quo nichil. 33 q qj^ 

28 N, nec quicquam. 29 jy^^ ^^^^ 34 etiam. 

3^ C, preposui. 35 necessaria opinione. Magnum. 
36 N, auditur. C then has Fac igitur. In this paragraph the speaker is obviously 


not yet been clearly separated; see Steinschneider, E. U., nos. 36, 51, 
54, 68 4; infra, Chapter IV, n. 41. 

8. Commentary on Euclid. In the Biblionomia of Richard of Four- 
nival we find at the head of the mathematical section, ' Euclidis geo- 
metria arithmetica et stereometria ex commentario Hermanni secundi.* 
Birkenmajer^ has shown reasons for identifying this MS., in part, 
with MS. LVI. 48 of the old catalogue of the Sorbonne, now MS. Lat. 
16646 of the BibUotheque Nationale.^^ This consists of the first twelve 
books of Euclid's Geometry, in a Latin version different both from that 
of Adelard of Bath and from that ascribed by Bjornbo to Gerard of 
Cremona.*° Its abbreviated character indicates closer affinities with 
that of Adelard. It begins : 

Septem sunt omnis discipline fundamenta in quibus omnium rerum ad 
mathematice studia pertinentium firma essentia conceptio certusque veritatis 
intellectus in quadam quasi materia et causa fundata existunt. Sunt autem 
hec: Preceptum, exemplum, alteratio, coUatio, divisio, argumentum, et 
finis. . . . 

It would be interesting to have the whole of this version, and still 
more interesting if Hermann's preface could be recovered. The ap- 
pearance of essentia here and in the text suggests the preface to the 
Planisphere and still more the De essentiis. 

9. Arithmetical works. Other mathematical treatises appear in 
Richard's Biblionomia'. 'Item liber de invenienda radice, et alius Her- 
manni secundi de opere numeri et operis materia.' The MS. has not 
been identified, nor have other copies been found. 

10. Liber de cir cutis. In a passage in his Planisphere Hermann says 
(Heiberg, p. clxxxvii): 'Nos discutiendi veri in libro nostro de circulis 

37 Delisle, Cabinet des MSS., ii, 526, no. 37. 

38 Bibljoteka Ryszarda de Fournival, in Rozprawy of the Cracow Academy, Ix, no. 
4, pp. 49-52 (1922); cf. Isis, V. 215. 

39 Delisle, Cabinet, iii, 68, no. 48; 108 folios, 13th century. 

B. M., vi. 242-248 (1905). In the parallel passages here cited MS. 16646 
agrees in 2, i more nearly with Gerard, in 5, i, and 10, i, more nearly with Adelard, 
but in no instance exactly. It has a few Arabic words, e. g., 'alalem' = vexillum 
(2, I, f. 13 v); 'mut kefia, id est mutue . . . anint ale chelkatu wa tahtit, id est in 
elevatione et hneatione' (6, 19, f. 39 v). At the end of Book ix we read (f. 64) : 

'Perfectus siquidem numerus cunctis partibus suis equalis individua natus ori- 
gine eadem proportione compactus nichil extraneum assumens nichil sui relinquens 
gemina proprie essentie plenitudine integer ad omnem rerum perfectionem aptissi- 
mus est. W.'a delitah^ine aradene enne beienne W.' hed horatu.* 

■^^ Delisle, Cabinet, ii. 526, no. 45; identified by Birkenmajer with Sorbonne LVI. 
32 {ibid., iii. 68). 


rationem damus.' This treatise, which has not been identified, would 
seem distinct from his versions of Euclid and Theodosius. 

11 (?). The Spherica of Theodosius. Two Latin versions seem to 
have been current in the Middle Ages, and are ascribed respectively to 
Plato of Tivoli and Gerard of Cremona.'^ It appears, however, that 
Hermann and Robert had something to do with this treatise, for Her- 
mann cites it in his De essentiis,^^ while Robert speaks of the Cosmomet- 
ria of Theodosius as one of the treatises on which he hopes to work.^ 
If either of them produced a Latin version, it has not yet been identi- 

12 (?). MS. Dijon 1045, ff. 148-172 V, contains ''Hermannus de 
ocultis," beginning, 'Astronomic judiciorum omnium bipertita est 
via' ... 

The Astronomia and Astrologia cited in the De essentiis may refer 
merely to the translations of al-Khwarizmi and Albumasar. 

Two other works have been ascribed to Hermann which require 
some consideration: 

a. On the astrolabe. The name of Hermann is associated with three 
treatises on this subject preserved in numerous MSS. and printed by 
Pez, Thesaurus, iii, 2, pp. 94-139, whence they are reprinted by Migne, 
cxhii. 379-412. The second of these (Migne, coll. 389-404) has been 
separated from the others by Bubnov and ascribed conjecturally to 
Gerbert. The third (Migne, coll. 405-412) is probably by Hermann, 

*2 Bpncompagni, Platone, pp. 251 ff.; Steinschneider, E. U., nos. 46 (39), 98 
a; Bjornbo, in B. M., iii. 67, xii. 210; supra, Chapter II, n. 58. 

*3 ' Sic enim et Theodosius in Sperica : Super hunc, inquit, movetur to turn, ipse 
vero immotus. Quo facto educit ex eodem centre in utramque partem lineam rec- 
tam usque in intrinsecam planiciem spere acutis hinc inde angulis ut secundum 
Eratostenem Ptolomeus describit ad quadrantem ferme recti anguli' : MS. C, f. 97 v; 
MS. N, f. 63 v; MS. L, f. 88. 
Infra, p. 121. 

In MS, Avignon 1022, f. 209, the ' Centiloquium Ptolomei cum expositione 
Her[emani]' is evidently an emendation for 'Her [metis].' 

*® MS. C, f. 100; *Tum fere circa centrum a, ut in astronomia firmavimus, de- 
scribetur epiciclus Veneris circulus,' where firmavimus may mean merely that he has 
verified the statement. F. 108 v: 'Quod quale sit de sole in aeris temperie de luna 
in aquarum motu in astrologia plane exposuimus.' F. 114: 'Quippe cum generales 
quidem diversitates vulgares scribant girographi, speciales vero nos ipsi in astrolo- 
gicis satis exposuimus.' 

For the MSS. of the several treatises, see Bubnov, Opera Gerherti, pp. 109- 



though it bears no name.^^ The first (Migne, coll. 381-390) is ad- 
dressed: 'Hermannus Christi pauperum peripsima et philosophie ti- 
ronum asello, immo limace, tardior assecla, B. suo jugem in Domino 
salutem.' No date or other indication of authorship is given in the 
text, so that the treatise has been claimed both for Hermann Contrac- 
tus, the lame monk of Reichenau (1013-1054),'*^ and for Hermann of 
Carinthia. Both were interested in astronomy, and no copy has been 
found clearly anterior to the time of Hermann of Carinthia. In his 
favor have been argued, not only the silence of the biographer of the 
Reichenau monk, but also the numerous Arabic terms which appear in 
the treatise, words which would be familiar to him and quite unfamiliar 
to a German monk of the eleventh century, cut off from travel by his 
infirmity. If we read in the preface 'Turonum' with one MS. (Ma- 
zarine 3642, f. 55) or 'Tyronum' with certain others (Vatican, Ott. lat. 
309, f. 152; B. N.,Lat. 16208, f. 84; Avranches, 235; British Museum, 
Royal 15 B. ix, f. 51; Caius College, 413, f. 9), the B. or Ber.^^ Qf 
dedication becomes Bernard of Tours, with which school Hermann 
is ranged by his preface to the Planisphere, addressed to Thierry of 
Tours and Chartres. 

Tempting as is the identification, the temptation must, I believe, be 
resisted. The style of the preface is quite foreign to Hermann of Ca- 
rinthia, whereas its extreme monastic humility reappears in a tract on 
lunar months ('H. pauperum Christi abortivum vile') in which the 
references to Bede and Notker of St. Gall plainly indicate Hermannus 
Contractus.^^ We now know from Bubnov that Arabic words in con- 
junction with the astrolabe were current by the eleventh century,^^ so 

The main reason for the identification is (Cantor, i. 886 f ,) the coincidence of 
ch. 3 with a letter addressed to Hermann by Meinzo, scolasticus of Constance: Neues 
Archiv, v. 202-206. 

On Hermannus Contractus, see particularly Bubnov, pp. 109-114, 124-126; 
Wattenbach, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter,^ ii. 41-47; Cantor, i. 
885-889; and now Manitius, Lateinische Litteratur, ii. 'JS^~177- 

»° To any one familiar with the difficulty in distinguishing MSS, of this period 
it is not surprising that MS. Royal 15 B. ix, dated 'saec. xi' by Bubnov, should be 
placed at the end of saec. xii by Warner and Gilson's Catalogue. 

This ascription is favored by Clerval, Les ecoles de Chartres, pp. 169, 190, 239; 
Langlois, in B. E. C, liv. 248-250; and B. Lefebvre, Notes d'histoire des mathemati- 
ques (Louvain, i92o),p. 146. 

^2 MS. Ott. lat. 309, f. 152, has 'Ber.' MS. Selden supra 25 of the Bodleian has 
*Be.' MS. Arundel 377, f. 35 v, has * B'.' 

^3 Bubnov, p. Ixx; ed. in G. Meier, Die siehen freien Kiinste (Einsiedeln, 1887). ii. 
34-36 (Manitius, ii. 767). 

^4 Supra, Chapter I, nn. 20, 21; Thorndike. ch. 30. 



that a Latin work containing them might then have reached Reiche- 
nau. Moreover a gloss in the Bodleian (MS. Digby 174, f. 210 v; 
Macray, p. 186; Bubnov, p. 113) states that Hermann wrote the tract 
to supplement Gerbert at the request of a certain Berengarius. In that 
case it would fall in line with the Gerbertian tradition, which Hermann 
of Reichenau, in the generation succeeding Gerbert, upholds with his 
Abacus and Rithmomachia, as well as with his Compotus and Prognos- 
tica.^^ Eximius doctor , his Astrolabe is found in more than thirty 
MSS.,^® and he is even portrayed, astrolabe in hand, in a position of 
equal honor with EucHd." 

b. Translation of Ptolemy's Almagest. The Louvain MS. of the 
Astrolabe has at the head of the treatise, in a hand of the thirteenth 
century, the following note: 'Hermann us iste astrologus fuit natus 
de Karinthia, non Contractus de Suevia, et trans tulit Almag.' This is 
confirmed by one of the four MSS. of the version of the Almagest made 
from the Greek in Sicily MS. Vat. Pal. 1371, where we read in a hand 
of the fifteenth century: 'Translatus in urbe Panormi tempore regis 
Roggerii per Hermannum de greco in latinum.' Like the author of the 
Astrolabe and Adelard of Bath, the author of the preface to this work 
calls himself philosophic tardus assecla and implies that he has written 
other things. 

It does not, however, seem possible to reconcile this version of the 
Almagest with the known facts of Hermann's career. The Sicilian trans- 
lator tells us that he was pursuing the study of medicine at Salerno 
when he heard that the copy of the Almagest had been brought from 
Constantinople to Sicily by Aristippus, an envoy of the Sicilian king, 
whereupon he sought out Aristippus, and after long study of the 
advanced works of Euclid, his mind, scientie siderum expers, was 
brought to the point of turning Ptolemy's work into Latin. Now ob- 
viously Hermann, who in 1143 translated the Planisphere and wrote 

Bubnov, pp. cix f. The Compotus is also in Arundel MS. 356, f. 28. 

°^ To the twenty-six cited by Bubnov, Opera Gerberti, pp. 109-112, should be 
added MS. Bodley 625 (Bernard, 2180); MS. 413 (630) of Caius College; MS. Vat. 
Ott. lat. 309, f. 152; MS. Chigi, F. iv. 48; and the MSS. in Manitius, ii. 765. 

" Ashmolean MS. 304, f. 2 v. The Experimentarius which follows does not, how- 
ever, indicate his connection with Bernard of Chartres and Tours (Langlois, in 
B. E. C, liv. 248-250), but is subsequent to 1164. See Chapter VII, infra. 

See the facsimile of this page in Reusens, Elements de paleographie (Louvain, 
1899), P" 236. The MS., no. 217, formerly no. 51, is attributed by Bubnov (p. xxxix) 
to the twelfth century. 

^» See below. Chapter IX. 

®^ See the preface in full, infra, Chapter IX, end. 



the De essentiis, could not then speak of himself as ignorant of astron- 
omy, and there was no such royal embassy to Constantinople before the 
negotiations of 1143-44. Moreover, even if we could assume that the 
MS. arrived earlier, we cannot place such a translation before 11 43. In 
the preface to the Planisphere Hermann says: 'Quorum almagesti 
quidem Albeteni commodissime restringit,' so that he evidently then 
knew the Almagest only in the compend of al-Battani, and it is in the 
Ught of this statement that v/e must regard the citations of the Alma- 
gest in the De essentiis. These all refer to a single portion of the Al- 
magest (5, 16-18) in connection with the relative size of earth and sun 
and the parallaxes of the moon at Ptolemy's four terms, and there is 
nothing in them which involves a direct use of that treatise, whose 
contents were then known through various Arabic intermediaries. 
Moreover, neither here nor elsewhere does Hermann show a knowledge 
of Greek, and the style of the Sicilian preface is not his. Its author 
apparently wrote after 11 58. 

Very likely the attribution of the version of the Almagest to Her- 
mann of Carinthia arose simply out of a confusion with the Planisphere. 
It is at the same time entirely possible that the author of the Sicilian 
translation should have been named Hermann. 

For Hermann's biography, the evidence accordingly consists of 
these titles and prefaces to his works, the preface of Robert of 
Chester to al-Kindi, to be printed later, and the letter of Peter 
the Venerable. 

A native of Carinthia and, if we may trust the names generally 

SI MS. C, f. 100: ' Quemadmodum in Almagesti probamus, in primo quidem ter- 
mino Ixiiii, in secundo lix, in tercio xliiii, in quarto xxxix, quarum singule equales 
semidiametro globi terreni.' F. 100 v: 'Quemadmodum in Almagesti geometrica 
demonstratio constituit solem terra centies et septuagies fere maiorem.' F. loi: 
'Primum quidem in Almagesti ex diversitate videndi lunam quaterna eius dis- 
tancia per quatuor terminos reperitur.' Cf. f. loi v. 'Sortiatur secundum diligen- 
tissimam Ptolomei observationem puncta tantum xxxiii de diametro circuli per polos 
circuli lunaris ipsiusque globi centrum transeuntis, diametro (LN, diametros) vero 
umbre nisi (LN, ubi) minima partem unam puncta xxiiii de cxx partibus eiusdem 

62 Chapter VI. 

63 In the version of Albumasar (MS. Naples C. viii. 50, f. 38 v), he says: 'Istrie 
.iii., maritima et montana, in medio patria nostra Kaunthia.' So the Louvain MS. 
cited above under b has 'natus de Karinthia; cf. MS. Dijon 1045, ff. 187, 191: 'de 
Kan to'? He is called 'Sclavus' in the heading of one of the anti-Mohammedan 
tracts. The name Dalmatian is twice applied to him by Peter the Venerable (Migne, 
dxxxix, coll. 650, 671). 



applied to him, of Slavic descent, Hermann early came under the 
teaching of Thierry of Chartres, whether at Chartres or Paris we 
cannot say; and it may well have been the influence of this power- 
ful personality, fundamentally Platonist but quick to assimilate 
the new Aristotle and whatever of new knowledge came its way, 
that turned Hermann toward the Arabic sources of philosophical 
and scientific learning. How early Hermann reached Spain is 
not known, but by 29 September 1138 he was already sufficiently 
familiar with Arabic to produce his translation of Zael, and in 
1 141 he was still engaged in astrological studies when Peter the 
Venerable found him and his companion Robert in the region of 
the Ebro, *'both skilled in the two languages." To these years 
should doubtless be assigned the translations of al-Khwarizmi 
and Albumasar (1140), while the Planisphere and the De essentiis 
were completed by 1143. In or about 1142 he was in Leon, as we 
learn from the tract against the Saracens. By i June 1 143 he is at 
Toulouse, and later in the same year at Beziers. Doubtless he 
also visited Toledo, which he uses for geographical illustration,^^ 
but we know nothing of his relations with the school of Arabic 
studies which flourished there, nor can we follow him or his writ- 
ings subsequently , to the De essentiis. 

Of the literary partnership and close friendship with Robertus 
Ketenensis there is, however, abundant evidence. Peter the Ven- 
erable found them together in 1141 and engaged them in a joint 
labor of translation, Hermann receives the dedication of Robert's 
translation of the Indicia of al-Kindi; to Robert, unicus atque 
illustris socius studiorum omnium, specialis atque inseparabilis 
comes rerumque et actuum per omnia consors unice, Hermann dedi- 
cates the version of Albumasar and the De essentiis. It appears 
from the preface of the last-named work that their studies in the 
inner treasures of Arabic learning were at first carried on in secret 

Hermann addressed Thierry in the preface to the Planisphere as a second Plato 
and 'Latini studii patrem.' On Thierry see Haureau, in Memoir es de VAcademie des 
Inscriptions, xxxi. 2, pp. 77-104; Clerval, U enseignement des arts liberaux d^apres 
I'Heptateuchon de Thierry de Chartres (Paris, 1889); id., Les ecoles de Chartres, pp. 
169-172, 188 ff.; Hofmeister, "Studien zu Otto von Freising," in Neiies Archiv, 
xxxvii. 135 (191 2); Poole, in E. H. R., xxxv. 338 f. (1920). 

®^ Infra, n. 203. On Robert see Chapter VI, infra. 



and only brought before the world after long vigils and severe 
labor. It also appears that Robert had recently withdrawn for a 
time from the common task to a life of quiet leisure, perhaps on 
the occasion of his appointment as archdeacon of Pamplona, 
while Hermann kept up the struggle in publicis gimnasis and by 
his teaching doubtless earned the title of scolasticus which is given 
him by Peter the Venerable.^^ Any list of Hermann's writings 
must take account of Robert's collaboration, and vice versa. 

No disciple of Hermann's is known save Rudolf of Bruges, 
whom we know only from the description of an astronomical in- 
strument of Maslama which as Hermanni secundi discipulus he 
dedicates to John of Seville : 

Cum celestium sperarum diversam positionem stellarum diversos ortus 
diversosque occasus mundo inferiori ministrare manifestum sit huiusque 
varietatis descriptio ut in piano representetur sit possibile, prout Ptholomeo 
eiusque sequaci Mezlem qui dictus est Aloukakechita visum est, pro posse 
suo huius instrumenti formulam dilectissimo suo lohanni David Rodulfus 
Brugensis Hermanni secundi discipulus describit. 

Prirnum igitur huius instrumenti est postica . . . formulam tenaci 
memorie commendet. Explicit.^" 

As the De essentiis is the only independent work of Hermann 
which has so far been identified, we must depend mainly upon it 
for light on his philosophic and scientific ideas. It belongs, as we 
have seen, to 1143, when he has already translated Zael and Al- 
bumasar and has just completed his version of the Planisphere, as 
well as a primus liber on astronomical topics which may be al- 
Khwarizmi. Its subject is the five essences — cause, motion, 
place, time, habitudo — which have a permanent, unchanged 
existence. There is no connection apparent with the much briefer 
De quinque essentiis of al-Kindi, later translated into Latin by 

67 Migne, clxxxix. 650. The word in the title of the De generacione Mahumet 
(supra, no. 4) may be copied from Peter. 

^8 Bubnov, Opera Gerherti, pp. 114 f.; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 104, where MS. 
Naples C. viii. 50 should be added to the MSS. By confusion with this treatise 
Hermann's translation of the Planisphere was formerly attributed to Rudolf; Stein- 
schneider's conjecture of Hermann was confirmed by Bjornbo, B. M., iv. 130-133, 
and by Heiberg, preface to Planisphere, p. clxxxvii. Cf. Jourdain, pp. 100, 104; 
Bosmanns, in Biographic Nationale de Belgique. 

Maslama's name was ben Ahmed el-Magriti Abul-Quasim: Suter, no. 176. 

70 Naples, MS. C. viii. 50, f. 80. 


Gerard of Cremona, whose essences do not coincide and are more 
clearly Aristotelian, namely, hyle, forma, motus, locus, tempus?^ 
Its approach may be seen from the opening pages, where we find a 
curious mixture of the Platonism of Chartres, the Aristotelian 
physics, and the Neo-Platonism of Hermes Trismegistus : 

Esse quidem ea dicimus que simplici substantia eademque materia ^2 im- 
mota nichil alienum nichil alterum unquam paciuntur. Diversum quippe in 
motu ilia que in eodem semper sunt nature sue statu prorsus ignorant. Ea 
vero sunt que in subiectis sibi rebus mobilibus consistencia subiecti quidem 
inconstancia quodammodo agitantur, nuUam tamen proprie et naturalis con- 
stancie sue iniuriam paciencia. Nec enim est simpliciter quod est et non est, 
proprie vero ea que semper sunt. Hec igitur cum huiusmodi sint proprio 
nomine essencie nuncupantur, que cum per species quidem innumera 
sint, quinque principaliter " generibus comprehendi posse videntur. Sunt 
autem hec: causa, motus, locus, tempus,^^ habitudo. Hec^*' etenim huius- 
modi sunt plane ut proprie nimirum essencie dicantur nec extra hec aliquid 
quod eo nomine recte designari queat. Quippe que in substantia sua per- 
fecta naturaque absoluta genituram quidem omnem ^2 ad esse conducunt, 
ut nec sine horum aliquo ulla constet^^ geniture integritas nec preter hoc 
extraneum ahquod necessarium sit adminiculum, unde necesse sit ipsa in se 
eiusdem esse nature perfecteque integritatis sine ulla alteritatis contagione, 
cum omnis diversitatis inter inequaHtatis et dissimilitudinis species radix sint 
et origo nec ex imperfectis prorsus ulla sit perfectionis absolutio. Tria sunt 
enim,83 philosophis placet, omnis geniture principia. Primum est causa 
efficiens; secundum est id ex quo aliquid fit; tercium in quo totidemque 
adminicula ad omnem rerum effectum usu quodam communi quadam 
ratione cuncta continente. Atque id quod in quo vel de quo fit, quoniam 
tanquam matris pacientis vice supervenienti virtuti ad omnes motus patet, 
recte rerum materia nominatur, forma vero id ex quo, quoniam informem 
illam 88 necessitatem agentis virtutis motibus in varios effingit eventus. Sic 
enim apud Hermetem Persam, Forma quidem ornatus est materie, materia 

'1 Die philosophischen Ahhandlungen des Ja'qub ben Ishaq al-Kindi, ed. Nagy 
{Beitrage, ii, no. 5, 1897). 

'2 N, natura. The extracts printed from the De essentiis reproduce the text of 
C except where one of the other MSS. seems to have preserved the best reading, 
but I must leave the emendation of obscure passages to philosophical experts, with 
such aid as they may get from the variants. 

N, quam ilia. 

^3 C, immotum. 

74 Om. N. 

75 Om. N. 

76 N, innumera quidem. 

77 C, specialiter. 

78 Om. N. 

79 Om. C. 

80 N, Nec. 

8^ C, quia dissoluta. 

82 C, omne. 

83 Om. N. 

84 N, prima. 

85 N, uno. 

86 Om. N. 

87 C, superveniente. 

88 N, illam informem. 


vero forme necessitas. In omni siquidem rerum constructione sustinens in 
primis est necessarium, postremus est operis eventus et perfectio. Dat 
quidem materia massam ipsam informem et inordinatam que nisi^^ presto sit 
nec habet ubi assit forma, que cum supervenit propositum ordinata quadam 
explanacione absolvit. Horum igitur principalis motus rerum omnium est 
generacio. Est enim is motus moderata quedam forme cum materia coe- 
untis habitudo, ita quidem ut in ipsa movendi ratione vis et causa movens 
recte demum cognoscatur,^i in qua, quoniam omnis motus ratio constat ut ea 
que proposita sunt ex integro constituantur, tractatus ordo abhinc insti- 
tuendus videtur. Sic enim, opinor, decet ut quid de essenciis instituitur ab 
ea si qua est que cunctis aliis origo procedat et in ea tamquam rursus in 
girum expleto cursu tandem terminetur. 

Constat plane nichil genitum sine causa genitrice naturaque vetitum ne 
quid sibi ipsi geniture sit origo seque ipsum efficiat. Sic igitur in omni genera- 
cione auctorem generantem causamque moventem intelligi necesse est, prout 
omne posterius id infert quod prius est. Sic contentum continens species ®* 
genus individuum genus et speciem, unum autem plane omnium principium 
intelligi necesse est. Duobus namque prius est unum, nisi enim precedat 
unum nichil est quod duo constituat.^* Atque ubi duo unum est necessario, 
non vero convertitur ut si unum est et duo fore necesse sit. Duo itaque prin- 
cipia qui vel existimari possint dum utrumque prius esse laborans neutri 
principalem sedem relinqueret. Nisi enim alterutrum altero prius esset, 
nequaquam primum omnium existeret, dum vel unum complendo omnium 
numero deesset. Quemadmodum igitur omnis geniture effectus principaliter 
bipertitus est, prout loco suo explicabitur, sic causa gignens et efficiens 
primo loco bimembri differentia dividitur, in primam scilicet et secundariam. 
Prima quidem una et simplex que ipsa quippe immota cunctis aliis causa 
movendi est et ratio stabilisque manens dat cuncta moveri. Ita siquidem 
habet ratio ut omne motum id quod immotum est antiquitate precedat omni 
quoque genito causa genitrix antiquior. Sic igitur quod cuncta alia movet 
id primam omnium et efficientem esse causam necesse est, quam, ut Thi- 
maeus aitj^^o tam in venire difficile est quam inventam digne profari im- 

The author has something to say about the Incarnation and 
the Trinity, against the Mohammedans/^^ quoting certain Arabic 
words and citing Hermes and Astalius as well as his own transla- 
tion of Albumasar, but on all these questions he refers to the 

89 C, non. ^5 N, duo et: 
^'^ N, his; C, motiis moius moderata. Om. C. 

9^ N, cognoscant. N, suo loco. 

92 Om. C. N, movendi causa. 

93 N, speciem. 99 jsj-^ ^ ad. 

94 C, constituunt. Timaeus, c. 28. 

Cf. his polemic activity, supra, no. 4. He later cites the Koran in one passage: 
* Quod et ipse auctor eorum in lege sua fatetur dicens se missum in gladio ad fidem 
suam ferri virtute et argument© persuadendum.' C, f. 105; N, f. 70 v; L, f. 113. 



Fathers for fuller treatment. He then returns to the main theme 
as follows: 

Deinde videndum utrum ne idem ipse auctor ille universitatis est facta 
sunt utpote que moventur. Omnis vero motus undecumque inceperit ali- 
quando necesse est, incepisse vero temporis est nec tempus eternum cum et 
ipsum in motu. Est autem omnis motus aut localis aut alteritatis aut trans- 
lacionis. Locus quidem extra sensibile non est, consistit enim et ipse in 
subiectis quo res insensibiles Boetius prohibet. Omne vero sensibile composi- 
tum, nam quod tangitur ex materia est, quod videtur ex forma, per se quidem 
nichil huiusmodi prestantibus cum nisi in subiectis non consistunt,^^^ sed licet 
in communem habitudinem unitis in proprie tamen nature partem familiarius 
accedentibus.^^^ Alteritas autem in augmento est aut detrimento aut per- 
mutacione, quorum priores duos motus a certa semper quantitate incipere 
necesse est, permutacio vero in ^'^^ alterutrum semper consequitur. Cum 
enim ex calido fit frigidum ex alterius detrimento alterius augmentum ^^"^ 
procedit, que nullatenus accidunt nisi in compositis. Quidquid enim com- 
positum est sine parcium proporcione stare non posset, dum nullum videlicet 
interesset medium societatis vinculum, proporcio vero nisi inter maius et 
minus nulla est. Infert itaque diversitas sedicionem quam quandoque al- 
terius partis incrementum alterius detrimentum consequi necesse est. 

Translacionis autem motus nec existimari quidem potest nisi circa ea que 
fiunt. Amplius: nam hec ipsa quidem alterius sumi possunt, ab ipsa 
videlicet conditoris differentia et eorum que condita dicimus. Conditor 
etenim siquidem eternus ideoque a seipso est, quidquid in se habet idem ipse 
est, sic sapientiam bonitatem beatitudinem ut idem ipsa sapientia bonitas 
beatitudo. In hiis longe aliter. Inest enim mundo pulcritudo rotunditas 
motus, que cum illi per accidens insunt nec aliquid eorum ipse mundus est. 
Hec igitur et huiusmodi cum in eis que condita dicimus ex diverse composita 
videamus, omnis vero composicio actio quam auctorem suum habere necesse 
est. Si quidem huius modi ab eterno fuisse credantur, fingat qui potest quis 
hec tam diversa coniunxerit. 

Quoniam ergo facta sunt auctoritas facti ei necessario relinquitur qui 
solus preerat, omnis autem operis modus et finis in arbitrio auctoris. Licet 
igitur ex omnibus concludere quod unus ipse primus et novissimus unus 
omnipotens unus tocius universitatis auctor, omnis quidem in essencie sue 
integritate motus extraneus, omnis namque motus eius in opere eius, quem- 
admodum virtus quidem in auctore semper eadem et componens et re- 
solvens. In subiecto tamen alia composicio alia resolucio nec simul eiusdem. 
Amplius: semper quidem creator non vero semper creata, in illo quidem 
eadem potencia semper eadem semper voluntas creatrix. Circa hec autem 

c, f. 92 v; N,f. 59 v; L, f. 75. 

N, nec. 
C, alcius. 
110 N, qui. 

N, tii. 
1** N, consistant. 
N, accidentihus. 

m N, auctoris. 

io« Om. N. 

N, -oel alterius augmento. 

112 Om. C. 
"3 Om. N. 



opposita, nunc scilicet creari nunc minime, legem quippe imponit 
opifex operi non opus opifici. 

Duo sunt igitur cause primordialis omnium motuum genera, creacio et 
generacio, cetera secundarie ministre obsequentis arbitrio prime. 
Creacio quidem a primordio principiorum ex nichilo, generacio autem rerum 
ex antedatis principiis usque nunc, neque enim preerat materia de qua 
fierent cum solus omnium sit principium nec de seipso quorum tanta ab 
ipso differentia sed a seipso. Quod enim ex ipso vel de ipso est idem Deus 
est ideoque non factum a Deo sed genitum vel procedens. Omne vero opus 
gemina auctoritate constituitur, artificis videlicet et instrumenti, at ^20 crea- 
cioni quidem idem extitit artifex et instrumentum. In generacione vero, 
quoniam secunde dignitatis est, aliud sibi aptavit ^21 artifex instrumen- 
tum. Quod ipsum et secundariam causam si quis in eodem pariter intelligat, 
eum recte existimare opinor. Ita quidem ut per se ipsum prima effecerit, 
secunda vero sicque per ordinem tertia et quarta ministre sue cause secun- 
darie moderacione et instituto suo exequenda commiserit. Hec est igitur 
bipertita ilia divisio cause in primam et secundariam. Prima namque et effi- 
ciens causa universitatis est ipse prudentissimus artifex et auctor omnium 
Deus, secundaria vero instrumentum eius de ipsis eiusdem operibus sed prime 
sedis prelateque auctoritatis. Hec sunt que eius quod de essenciis institui- 
tur integritatem absolvant, si quis recta via nemo quidem ad plenum sed 
quantum homini fas est assequatur.125 Quippe que in se quidem absoluta 
rerum omnium effectum constituunt, videtur autem omnino necessarium ut 
inter inicia ipsius tanquam thematis fiat ordinata particio,i27 facile 
amplectamur animo quid quo loco expectandum sit neque id passim atque 
lege incerta ^28 verum ipsa naturali consequencie serie. Cum enim de prima 
et movente causa quantum locus exigebat expeditum sit, a motu qui proxi- 
mus ceterisque prior et generalior est consequenter inchoandum videtur ac 
potissimum ab eo qui primus eorum que ceteris principia sunt, id est forme et 
materie, postquam de ceterorum habitudine locique ^29 receptaculo temporis- 
que spacio, ut undique propositis ex quo et in quo ubi et quando qua demum 
lege quidque fiat, postremo ipsa instrumenti ratio subiuncta in ipso prout 
institutum est universitatis opifice facto demum reditu consistat. 

Hec que dicta sunt hercle sine Deo dici possent nec de eis que restant des- 
pero quin quemadmodum ex ordinacione tractatus intelligi datur miran- 
dum altissimi numinis munus debita opera exequaris. lUud vero consulte 
nec sine summa industria f actum. Videtur quidem a vera divinitatis fide 
primordium operis sumis quippe que omnium bonorum inicium ne quemad- 

N, nichil, 124 j^j-^ planteque. 

"5 N, non. 125 assequitur. 

11® N, ceteri. 126 Here L begins. 

N, secimdario. ■ 127 paratio. 

NJaceret. 128 C, certa. 

11^ Vel de ipso om. N. 12^ N, loci quoque. 

120 C, a; N, ac. N, ordine. 

121 N, adaptavit. i3i LJacere. 

122 N, opifex. 123 Om. C. 1^2 L, qui antea. 



modum temerariis hominibus visum est sed plane intelligatur extra veram 
divinitatis fidem locum sapientie nullum esse. Fac ergo quem arreptum 
tenes ne moreris.^^ 

After this paragraph, evidently a dialogue between Hermann 
and Robert, there begins what in the Naples manuscript is en- 
titled the second book, although no trace of division into books 
appears elsewhere : 

Optimus auctor omnium Deus summeque beatus nequaquam invidit 
quin aliquid sibi gracie sue tanteque glorie consors efficeret. Scimus 
enim nichil invitum fecisse cum nulla necessitas cogeret, consors autem eius 
qui posset esse quicquam mortale quod numquam desiturum esset. Sane 
mortale quidem omne id quod non ex integris perfectisque principiis firmis- 
simo demum nexu vinculisque perpetuis atque indissolubili nodo com- 
pactum constaret. Firmus vero societatis nexus neque intus penitus 
eadem neque intus prorsus diversa, primum igitur necessaria fuit huius- 
modi fabrice eiusdem diversique proposicio, diversum porro nichil primum. 
lecit itaque semina commiscendi potencia virtutisque generative que per 
se quidem eiusdem nature ac substantie individue coUata vero adinvicem 
diverse nec umquam commixtione sui quietem eiusdem essencie admit- 
tencia. . . . 

The necessity of actio and passio in generation then comes in. 
The four elements are mentioned as a subject of dispute among 
philosophers, then the four modes ''to which Aristotle added a 
fifth," the whole bringing us now into line with the De generatione 
et corruptione. Before long, however, we are back with Albuma- 
sar and ''the most weighty authority of Hermes." The dis- 
agreements of Plato and Aristotle are emphasized later: 

Multa quidem veteris prudencie studia, mi Rodberte, in hiis que agimus 
consumpta nec ulli ad integritatis evidenciam consecuta videmus. Sic Plato 
proposita generacione primaria tandem ad extremum enisus partem 
dedit pro toto, Aristotiles vero totum item amplexus extremitates demum 
sine mediorum contextu terminavit. Michi autem nulla ratione universitatis 
constructio absoluta videatur si minus sit quod solum in omni composicione 
compaginis retinaculum est. . . . Recte quidem quale Plato difl&nit 

C, etiam. 

L, in commixtionem. 
i« C, f. 97; N, f. 63; L, f. 87. 

c, ff. 102 V, 106; N, ff. 68 V, 71 v; 
L, ff. 105 V, 117 V. 

145 tandem ad extremum om. C. 

146 est inserted by N. 

147 C, totus. 148 Om. C. 

133 N, nullum locum sapientie. 

134 N, ne moveris. C adds etc. 

135 L, N, omnium auctor. 

136 L, aliud. 

137 Om. C. 
Om. N. 

139 L, N, inter. 

140 L, N, ergo. 



Aristotiles describit. Plato quidem in Cadonei^^^ Anima est, inquit, incor- 
porea substantia corpus movens. Aristotiles vero in libro de anima sic: 
Anima est, ait, perfectio corporis naturalis instrumentali potencia agentis.^^' 
Et alibi: Anima est perfectio corporis agentis et viventis potencia.^^^ 

There is a fair amount of astronomical and geometrical illus- 
tration, with four astronomical figures/^^ and references to his 
own treatise on such matters.^^^ The most noteworthy geo- 
graphical passage is the following, where we find brought to- 
gether the classical names of geography, Arin, and the North: 

Triplex est universa dimensio,^^^ in longum, latum, et altum. Quoniam 
igitur omnis corporis sedes in fundamento suo terra vero tocius mundi funda- 
mentum, multo pocius mundane prolis ex substantia coUecte sedem ter- 
ram esse necesse est. Eius pars quedam a terra in altum crescit, alia vero 
super terram in altum elevatur tocius fomentum hie spiritus terreni vaporis 
pinguedine crassus,!^^ sine quo nulla huius geniture vita per aliquot ho- 
rarum spacium possibilis.^^^ Hie autem vapor, ut per altitudinem Olimpi 
concipit Aristotiles,^^2 ^ terre superficie non plus quam .16. stadiis exalta- 
tur.^^^ Hie ergo terminus yidetur in altum omnis nostre habitabilis. Videtur 
fortasse huius altitudinis mensura sumi posse vel per arcum yris que 
secundum Ipparci^^^ descriptionem ab ipsis nubibus usque in superficiem^^* 
terre perveniat. Sed quoniam nec ipsa descriptio constans nec ipsius arcus 
ad semicirculum habitudo, propterea nos id cuilibet probandum relinquimus. 

Latitudo vero terrarum est ab equinoctiali circulo in alterutrum polum 
distantia ac nostra quidem in borealem qui, cum ab eo circulo per .90.1'^ 

De senedute, c. 21. Chalcidius (c. 226) corresponds more closely to this defi- 
nition. L. has 'substantia incorporea.' 
N, L, viventis. 

De anima, 2, i, 6, 7 (p. 412). So just before this passage he promises to sum- 
marize 'quod Aristotiles vix tribus integris libris explicavit.' 
N, £f. 66, 67 V, 68 V, 78; L, ff. 98, loi v, 104. 

153 Supra, n. 46. 

154 C, f. ii2;N, f. 76 v; L, f. 136. 

155 N, diver sio. 15^ Om. L. 
157 L, substantie. Om, L. 
153 C, grassus; N, cssus; L, cursus. 

1®° L, geniture huius. i®i L, spacia possibile. 

1^2 L, N, Aristotiles per altitudinem. 

i«3 On the contrary Aristotle omits Olympus from his list of the highest moun- 
tains {Meteorology, i, 13). The usual figures for the highest mountains vary in 
Greek writers from ten to fifteen stadesi See W. Capelle, Berges- und Wolkenhohe 
bei griechischen Physikern, in Boll's Sroix^a, v (Beriin, 1916), especially pp. 13, 34. 

1^* L, summi. 1®^ C, superficie. 

1^5 Om. L. 1®' C, equali, L, equabili. 

166 ]sj-^ Parci. 1^° L, nostram. 

167 N, his. "1 C, 20. 



gradus distet, in principio Arietis illic oriri solem in principio Libre occum- 
bere necesse est, secundum quod in primo libro diximus orizontem illic esse 
ipsum circulum equinoctialem, sicque ab eo polo in austrum perpetuo gelu 
inhabitabiles fere .30. gradus relinquuntur usque prope montes Ripheos 
silvasque Rubeas atque paludes Meotidas.^^^ Nec enim longe plus .12. 
gradibus ultra terminos septimi climatis, unde et Scitie fines ei termino ^" 
contiguos Scitica lingua Ysland nominat, quod latine sonat terra gla- 
cialis. At vero circa equabilem circulum non parum item intoUerabili estu 
intractabile pariter et abinde cum arenis siccitate sterilibus ut Libice et 
inter quas Nilus occultatur.^^^ Insulas tamen habitatas sub ipso eodem cir- 
culo Tamprobanem,^^2 Arin, et .vi.^^^ Fortunatas girographi tradunt satis 
possibiliter. Duplici namque ratione probat Ptolomeus eas terrarum partes 
aptissimas habitacioni : nec enim, ait, vel estum eis exasperari patitur 
velox illic solis in latum transitus nec validum admittit frigus haut longinqua 
ab eo circulo solis remotio. Unde si prosequatur dubitacio cur ergo non 
pateat transitus vel usque in alteram temperatam, dicimus quia Sagit- 
tarius impedit. Unde totius habitabilis nostre latitudo fere .60. graduum 

Longitudo vero quanta a principio Indie usque in finem Libie inventa est 
graduum fere .clxxx. lUinc per occeani insulas sub ipso equinoctiali .15. fere 
gradibus usque ultra Meroen insulam Niliacam sub Tauro et Leone 
sitam haut procul a superiori Egypto. Hinc vero per Amphitritis sinus ab 
Athlante Libico Strixisque influxu per littora Gaditana per confinia Thiles 
prope Temxiscirios campos e vicino portibus Caspiis usque ad Cauca- 
son et Ethiopici Gangis effluxus. Sic enim astronomia demonstrat 
circa meridiem Arin solem simul prim is Indie partibus occidere atque 
ultimis Libie finibus oriri, que ratio utriusque termini populos antipodas 
adinvicem constituit utpote Integra fere terreni orbis diametro interposita. 

C, gere. "3 proprie montes Rumpheos. 

N, L, Reheas. On the silvae Rubeae cf. Pliny, N. H., 4, 13, 27. 

L. Meoridas. N, vi. insulas. 

L, ex. Om. C; L, eius. 

^"^ N, terminos. ^^s esperari. 

N, Islanil] L, Island. ^^e aliam. 

"9 Om. C. Om. N. 

180 N, in. '88 Om. C N. 

181 N, L, occulatur. i89 L, Merorem. 

182 C, Tampropebanen; 1^° N, oceani magni. 
N, Tamprofanem; 1^1 L, inflexu. 

L, Tamprobamen. 

1^ L, proprie. On the 'Amphitritis sinus' as the ocean encircling the globe, cf. 
Grosseteste, De sphaera, ed. Baur (Beitrdge, ix), pp. 24 f. 'Strixis' is puzzling; can 
it be a deformation of Septa, which appears in many corrupt forms for the Straits of 
Gibraltar (Nallino, al-Battani, p. 18, n. 7)? Themiscyra is unusual in this connec- 

1^3 L, campiis. i^^ N, Gangisque. 

1^* L, Ciucason. 1^^ N, in astronomia. 1^ Om. C. 



Cum ergo dimidium per .vi. partem multiplicatum tocius duodecimam 
conficiat, tota demum terreni globi porcio, ut Albeteni visum est, universe 
nostre habitacioni relicta est. 

Here the first paragraph harks back ultimately to Greek me- 
teorology, through channels which require investigation. The 
two following paragraphs correspond in general to the doctrine of 
the Arab astronomers, particularly al-Battani, whom Robert of 
Chester translated.^^^ The doctrine of the habitability of the 
equatorial regions seems to have come into Europe in the twelfth 
century from Arabic sources.^^^ The land of ice, called in the 
Scythian speech Ysland," is evidently as little known to Hermann 
as Arin or the Blessed Isles to the west. In another instance, 
however, he seems to make use of his more direct knowledge of 
the Iberian peninsula to elucidate a point in geography, though 
he ends with ^Amphitrite' and the terrestrial paradise. The es- 
sence of the argument is clear, even without the accompanying 
diagram. If the distance from Toledo west to the ocean at Lisbon 
is 4° or eight days' journey, then the remaining 22° or forty- 
four days' journey represents the distance thence to the western 
prime meridian or one-half the width of the surrounding ocean 
stream of Amphi trite : 

Cuius demonstrationi describimus exempli gratia Toleti circulum paralel- 
lum ysemerino meridianum in supraposita figura secantem ad punctum y 
gradibus fere 40 a puncto e versus c in punctis quidem a sinistris q a dextris z 
transeuntem per primo descriptum orizontem. In quo designamus punctum 

0 loco Toleti metropolis Hyspanie gradibus a puncto y occidentem versus 62. 
Tum ubi circulus qyz secat circulum nrk signamus nota i loco civitatis 
Ulixispone que sita est qua Tagus a Toleto descendens occidentali oceano 
influit eadem distantia ab ysemerino, a puncto vero y gradibus 66. Cum 
igitur 0 distet ab i gradibus quatuor i vero a puncto z gradibus 22, sitque 

01 linea recto tramite itineris dierum fere viii, procedit spatium inter i et 2 

L, sex partes. N, multiplicant. 

See Nallino, al-Battani, pp. 15 ff., and the editor's notes. 
For information on these matters I am indebted to my former pupil, Dr. J. K. 
Wright of the American Geographical Society, who discusses them in his forth- 
coming Geographical Lore of the Time of the Crusades. 

2'^ Why not 24°, since Toledo is 62° west of Arin? On mediaeval reckonings of 
latitude and longitude, see J. K. Wright, in Isis, v. 75-98 (1923). 
C, f. 113 v; N, f. 78 v; L breaks off just before this. 
204 The figure appears only in N, f. 78; C has a space for its insertion on f. 113. 
203 N, Tu. 206 notam. 2ot Om. N. 


dierum 44 que secundum quod ratio tribuit est dimidia latitudo Amphitritis, 
tota videlicet itineris terrestris equabilis dierum fere 88. Tantum ergo 
spatii vel etiam aliquanto plus que ratio hucusque transnatari prohibuit 
nondum audivimus nisi forte ilia quam exposuimus. In ea tamen parte 
non modica est opinio eam esse regionem quam paradisum vocant, cuius 
indicio 210 sunt signa tam ab oriente quam ab occidente. 

The De essentiis concludes thusr^n 

Recepto siquidem semente statim ad retinendum accedit virtus Saturnia, 
retentum digestione salubri lupiter nutrit, demum Mars consolidat, post 
hunc Sol informat, informato Venus reliquias temperate expellit, expulsioni 
Mercurius moderate obvians necessaria retinet,2i2 postremo Lucina succe- 
dens gemina virtute partum maturum absolvit. Que ipsa continuo tenerum 
fetum suscipiens eo usque tuetur quoad cessante materie nutrimentique 
lunaris illuvie utpote in corporis augmentum diffusa ac digesta excitato pau- 
latim sensu animeque semitis adaptis Mercurius in racionabilem institu- 
cionem succedens usque in Veneream adolescentiam provehat; hinc tempe- 
rata iam voluptuosa levitate in Phebeam iuventutis plenitudinem conscendit 
qui usque in Martie virtutis statum provehit, hie virili animo roborato lo- 
vialis auctoritas succedit. Postremo est etas Saturnia nature orbe expleto 
finem origini continuans, cui quod ab ipso cepit reddito quod ultra ipsum est 
minime legibus hiis subditum ideoque cognacionis sue racionem superstes per 
alterutrum Pitagorici bivii tramitem, aut tanquam devium et aberrans usque 
in posterum nichil descendere, aut naturali circuitu servato ad summi^i^ 
triumphi coronam originalem videlicet patrieque sedis arcem demum con- 
scendere necesse est, qua beati evo sempiterno fruuntur in gloriam regis 
altissimi cui virtus honor et potestas in infinita secula. 

De essenciis Hermanni Secundi liber explicit anno Domini millesimo 
centesimo quadragesimo tercio Byterri perfectus.^'^ 

Hermann's sources in the De essentiis give an idea of the range 
of his education. Of the Latins he cites Cicero and Boethius, 
Pliny, in one instance Seneca, Macrobius, Apuleius, Aratus, Vi- 
truvius, verses of Hesiod in a Latin version Augustine and the 
annals of St. Jerome each appear once. He shows the Platonism 
of the school of Chartres in his citations of the Timaeus and ' Plato 

N, iotam. 211 c, ff. 115-115 v; N, ff. 79 v-80. 

209 N, que. 212 Qm. C. 

210 N, indicia. 213 js]"^ simam. 

21* N has: 'De essenths liber Hermanni Secundi explicit. Anno Domini. M". 
C. xF. iii". Biternis perfectus.' 

2^5 C, f. 108 v; N, f. 73 v; L, f. 124 v: 'Sic enim et Esiodo revelatum ferunt et ab 
ipso conscriptum hiis versibus in libro de etatibus animalium, 
Ter binos deciesque novem superextit in annos ' 


in Catone,' but he is largely Aristotelian. He seems to know the 
Logic only through Boethius, and the only Aristotelian work 
cited directly is the De anima,^^^ but he is familiar with the sub- 
ject matter of the De generatione et corruptione and the Meteoro- 
logy, if not that of the Physics. Euclid he quotes, and the Spherica 
of Theodosius; Ptolemy is cited frequently but not necessarily at 
first hand; the references to Eratosthenes, Archimedes, and Hip- 
parchus are of course borrowed. Al-Battani, thrice cited, Her- 
mann would know, as he was translated by Robertus Ketenensis. 
Albumasar, whom Hermann himself translated, is cited most fre- 
quently of all. The other astrologers mentioned are Hermes 
Trismegistus, Apollonius, Messehalla, Druvius, 'lorma Babi- 
lonicus,' and *Tuz lonicus.' The bare references to Galen and 
Hippocrates are unimportant. 

The total impression is rather confusing, a conglomerate rather 
than a fused whole, but we must remember that Hermann stands 
at the meeting-point of diverse currents of thought and tradition, 
where only a distinctly superior mind could achieve consistency. 
He clearly lacks the originality and experimental habit of Ade- 
lard of Bath, but he has mastered a considerable portion of the 
new mathematics and astronomy, and has a respectable place 
among the transmitters of the twelfth century. The list of his 
works is impressive, and it is to be hoped that others may yet be 

See note 151. 

On Hermann's astrology, see Thorndike, ii. 41-43. 



In the history of culture in the Romance countries of mediaeval 
Europe an important place must be given to the movement which 
it is becoming common to call the renaissance of the twelfth cen- 
tury. This revival of learning had many aspects, according as we 
consider it from the point of view of classical literature, of law, of 
natural science, or of philosophy and theology; but on its philo- 
sophical and scientific sides it owed its significance to the influx 
of a great body of new knowledge, coming in some measure from 
direct contact with Greek writers in the Norman kingdom of Sicily 
and elsewhere,^ but derived for the most part through the interme- 
diary of Arabic and Jewish sources as these were made accessible 
in central and northern Spain. Here the chief centre was Toledo, 
where a large amount of Arabic literature survived the Christian 
conquest of 1085 and whence in the course of the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries an active school of translators spread over 
western Europe the Latin versions of Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, 
Galen, Hippocrates, and their Arabic expositors and commenta- 
tors which constituted the basis of study and teaching in the medi- 
aeval universities. The impulse to this movement may have come 
in the first instance from Raymond, archbishop of Toledo from 
ii26toii5i;^ but it would be a mistake to regard it as confined 
to Toledo. The Toletan translators were in relations, how close we 
do not know, with a group of scholars from other lands, including 
Plato of Tivoli, Robert of Chester, Hermann of Carinthia and his 
pupil Rudolf of Bruges, who worked, mainly on astronomical sub- 
jects, in various cities of northern Spain and, probably, southern 
France. Plato, who is found in Spain as early as 1134, is con- 

^ Revised from The Romanic Review, ii. 1-15 (191 1). 
2 Infra, Chapters VIII-X. 

' On the Toletan and other Spanish translators see Chapter I and the works there 




nected particularly with Barcelona; Hermann and Robert first 
appear in 1141 as students of astrology on the banks of the Ebro, 
and one or both of them can be traced at Segovia, Leon, Tou- 
louse, Beziers, and Pamplona, where Robert became archdeacon. 
It is the purpose of this chapter to call attention to an active and 
hitherto unknown centre of such studies at Tarazona, in Aragon, 
and to examine the work of a contemporary translator, Hugo 
Sanctallensis, of whom exceedingly little has hitherto been known. 

In the course of this movement more than one version of the 
same work might be made, whether from the Arabic or from the 
Greek, and it was not always the earliest or the most accurate 
which secured the widest circulation.* Thus in the case of Pto- 
lemy, his Planisphere was translated from the Arabic by Her- 
mann of Carinthia in 1143;^ the Latin version of the Optics, 
which has survived the loss of both the Greek and the Arabic 
texts, was made from the Arabic in Sicily about the middle of 
the century; while his great work, the Almagest, became known 
at first only through the translated compend of al-Fargani^ and 
passed into general use, not in the first and more faithful version 
made from the Greek in Sicily about 11 60, but in the translation 
from the Arabic which Gerard of Cremona completed at Toledo in 
1175.^ On the other hand, Ptolemy's astrological treatise, the 
Quadripartitum, was the first of his works to be translated into 
Latin, in the version produced by Plato of Tivoli in 1138,^ and 
the abridgment of this, the Fructus or Centiloquium, which was 
ascribed to Ptolemy throughout the Middle Ages, was translated 
somewhat earlier. The Latin rendering of the Centiloquium bears 
in most of the manuscripts the date of 1136, and while it was 
formerly ascribed to Plato of Tivoli, it is now, on the authority of 

^ Bjornbo, ''Die mittelalterlichen lateinischen Uebersetzungen aus dem Griech- 
ischen auf dem Gebiete der mathematischen Wissenschaften/' in Archiv fiir die 
Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, i. 387 ( = Festschrift Moritz Cantor anldsslich 
seines achtzigen Geburtstages, Leipzig, 1909, p. 95), suggests that the first translation 
made after the revival of the eleventh and twelfth centuries was the one which held 
the field; but the opposite was true in the case of the Almagest, as appears below. 

^ Supra, Chapter III, no. 5. 

^ On which see Steinschneider, H. U., p. 554; E. U., no. 68 h] infra, p. 369. 
7 Infra, Chapters V and IX. 
^ Steinschneider, E. U., no. 98. 


an Erfurt manuscript, generally assigned to John of Seville.^ 
Whether this attribution is correct and how many versions of the 
Centiloquium were made, only a comparison of the numerous 
copies can determine, but in any event there is extant in the 
Biblioteca Nazionale at Naples and at Madrid a translation 
prepared by Hugo Sanctallensis for the bishop of Tarazona, as 
appears from the following preface: 

Incipiunt fructus Ptolomei, liber scilicet quern Grecorum quidam centum 
verba appellant, Hugonis Sanctelliensis translatus. Prologus eiusdem ad 
Michaelem Tirassonem [sic] antistitem. 

De hiis que ad iudiciorum veritatem actinent, cum in illis totus astronomic 
consistat effectus secundum arabice secte verissima[m] inquisicionem et tarn 
Grecorum quam Arabum qui huius artis habiti sunt profexores famosissimi 
auctoritatem, volumina decem in hiis de tam multimoda auctorum copia 
eligendis diucius obversatus, ne tante expectacionis fructus minor tantique 
laboris merces in aliquo deficere videretur, de arabico in latinum translatavi 
sermonem. His enim quot suf&ciunt ut decent preiacentibus, tota huius artis 
structura atque series dignissimo gaudebit effectu. Ut enim Aristotiles in 
libro de signis superioribus asseruit, Siquis prudentissimus faber sive archi- 
tectus in construenda cuiuslibet hedificii machina congruis et quot sufficiant 
careat instrumentis, totam fabricam vacillare aut aliquit minus perfectum 
inveniri necesse est. Quod si nec desit huiusmodi sufficiencia cum opificis 
industria, non aliud postulat examen, unde et quasi sese comitancia sunt et 
aliud alio indigere videtur. Nec ab huius ordinis serie declinat quod in pro- 
logo Rethorice dicitur sapiencia sine eloquencia parum prodesse civitatibus, 
eloquencia sine sapiencia prodesse nunquam, obesse plerumque. Quia ergo 
Ptholomeus inter ceteros astronomic professores precipuus habetur interpres 
et auctor post Almagesti et Quadripartitum hunc solum de iudiciis astrorum 
reliquid tractatum, ut tue, mi domine Tirassoniensis antistes, satisfiat iub- 
sioni, eius translacionis fructum ego Sanctelliensis adporto, hac videlicet 
occasione compulsus ne dum in portu iudiciorum navigas in cimba locatus 
vasa saxosa formides et ne de tanti preceptoris operibus quippiam abesse 
queratis. Hie enim, si quelibet hucusque circa huiusmodi negocium fuerat 
ambiguitas, poterit aboleri, si quelibet disgressionis circuicio, poterit breviari^ 

^ Leclerc, Histoire de la medecine arabe (Paris, 1876), ii. 374; Steinschneider, 
H. U., pp. 527-529; id., E. U., no. 68 a; Nallino, Alhatenii opus astronomicum 
(Milan, 1903), i, p. Ivii; Pelzer, in Archivuni Franciscanum historicum, xii. 59 f. 

" MS. D. viii. 4, copied at Naples in the fifteenth century. The text proper 
begins: 'Verbum primum. Astrorum sciencia de te et de illis. Hoc in sermone de 
te et de illis videtur velle Ptholomeus duplicem esse astrorum scienciam. , . .' Still 
another version of the Centiloquium was used by Albertus Magnus: Catalogus 
codicum asirologorum Grecorum, v. 97; Steinschneider, in Z. M. Ph., xvi. 383. 

" Biblioteca Nacional, MS. 10009, ff. 85-105 v, which lacks the heading but 
olSfers a better text. 



quidquid tandem hians vel minus perfectum hiis centum verbis poterit re- 
parari. Unde ex ipsius auctoris edicto tuam non incongruum video exortari 
diligentiam ne tante sapiencie archana cuilibet indigno tractanda commic- 
tas et ne quemlibet participem adhibeas qui pocius gaudet librorum numero 
quam eonim delectetur artificio. 

The dedication to Bishop Michael establishes an approximate 
date. Of unknown origin, this prelate was placed over the see of 
Tarazona in 1119, immediately after the recovery of that region 
from the Moors by Alfonso VII and seven years before Raymond 
became archbishop of Toledo, and he continued in office until 
1 151. His labors for the establishment of his authority and the 
restoration of the ecclesiastical organization throughout his dio- 
cese are attested by a number of contemporary documents, but 
he has not hitherto been known as a patron of learning. From the 
preface just quoted we see that the translation of the Centiloquium 
was made by his command, to serve as a guide to the voluminous 
body of astrological literature which had already been placed at 
his disposal; and, while we must make due allowance for the high- 
sounding praise of his learning and wisdom in the prefaces printed 
below, the mere list of the translations made at his orders shows 
that the insaciabilis filosophandi aviditas ascribed to him is no 
empty phrase. If he likes compendious treatises, he wishes them 
to be correct,^^ nor does he desire mere rule-of-thumb manuals 
which do not explain their reasons.^^ He cannot have been very 
familiar with Arabic, else there would have been no need of Latin 
versions for his use, yet he searches for Arabic manuscripts on his 
own accountjone of the texts translated having been found by him 
in Rotensi armario et inter secretiora hihliotece penetralia}^ Rotensis 

^ Lafuente, in Espana sagrada, xlix. 125-142, 330-368; Moret, Annales de 
Navarra (Pamplona, 1766), ii. 285-446; Arigita y Lasa, Coleccidn de documentos 
ineditos para la historia de Navarra (Pamplona, 1900), i, 75, 259, 264; Villanueva, 
Viage literario, xv. 369-378; Bruel, Charles de Cluni, v. 397, 454. The necrology of 
Monte Aragon (Neues Archiv, vi. 280) fixes his death 16 February era 1188, which 
must be interpreted as 1151 since he attests a charter of 23 August 1150 (Ferotin, 
Charles de Vahhaye de Silos, no. 51); cf. Espana sagrada, xlix. 368. He was not a 
monk of S. Juan de la Pena: ibid., p. 125. 
1' Infra, p. 73. 

See the preface to the Liber imbrium, infra, p. 77. 

P. 73. P. 73. 



at first sight suggests Roda, in Aragon, then seat of the bishop of 
Lerida/^ but, as these were Arabic manuscripts, there is some- 
thing to be said for the Moorish stronghold of Rota, now Rueda 
Jalon, between Tarazona and Saragossa, to which the Moors re- 
treated for a time after the fall of Saragossa in 11 18. 

The author of this preface, Hugo Sanctallensis, though not 
previously connected with the Centiloquium by bibliographers, 
has been known as the translator of certain other astrological 
works, but his time and place have not before been determined. 
The principal authorities on the occidental translations from the 
Arabic, Wiistenfeld and Steinschneider,^*^ make Michael a 
French bishop and are inclined to place Hugo in the latter part of 
the Middle Ages, and while the late Paul Tannery would seem to 
have reached correct conclusions on these matters, he died before 
presenting any evidence in support of them.^^ As at least two 
manuscripts of Hugo's translations are of the twelfth century 
he cannot be put later, and the mention of Bishop Michael in the 
prefaces fixes him definitely in the second quarter of this century 
and in Aragon. His surname appears in various forms — Sanc- 
telliensis, Sanctellensis, Sanctallensis, Sanctaliensis, Sandaliensis, 
Satiliensis, Strellensis, and, in Provencal, de Satalia — without 
any indication of the country. None of these forms suggests 
France or Italy, while they all point to Santalla, a place-name 

" On Roda see Espana sagrada, xlvi; Villanueva, Viage literario, xv. 131 ff.; 
Beer, Handschriftenschatze Spaniens, no. 392. 
^8 Pp. 22, 120. 

H. U., pp. 566-567, 574; E. U., no. 54. Steinschneider's list of Hugo's 
writings, which is so far the most complete, enumerates al-Fargani, the Pseudo- 
Aristotle, the Liber imhrium, the Geomantia, and the De spatula. 

20 The materials for this chapter were collected in 19 10 and the conclusions 
drawn before I discovered that Tannery, shortly before his death, had placed Hugo 
between 11 20 and 11 50 {B. M., ii, 41). An earlier note of the same author, while 
assigning him to Aragon, gave as his date the first half of the eleventh century, an 
obvious impossibility (Comptes-rendus de VAcademie des inscriptions, xxv. 529, 
1897). His posthumous memoir, primarily concerned with geomancy, will be 
found in his Memoir es scientifiques, iv. 295-411 (1920), For Hugh's date see pp. 
334 f.; no new works are indicated. 

21 MS. Selden Arch. B. 34, in the Bodleian, containing the translation of al- 
Fargani; B.N., MS. Lat. 13951, containing Apollonius. 

22 For the Provencal form see Paul Meyer, in Romania, xxvi. 247. 



common in the northwest of Spain, especially in Galicia.^^ A ref- 
erence to the Gauls in one of his prefaces — Gallorum posteritas 
tua henignitas largiatur — suggests that Bishop Michael, and 
perhaps Hugo, had some connection with France. Michael may 
well have been of French origin, one of the French ecclesiastics 
brought into Spain in the course of the reconquista;^^ and in any 
case it is very likely that copies of these translations were sent 
beyond the Pyrenees in the same way as those of the Toledo 
school. Nothing is known of Hugo's relations with the other 
translators of his age, nor have we any external evidence for his 
biography; the most that we can do is to examine the treatises 
upon which he worked, and in these, it is plain, he was closely 
under the orders of his patron bishop. 

So far as the preface to the Centiloquium throws light on Hugo's 
literary labors, it shows him as a student of astrology and divina- 
tion. From books dealing with these subjects, which he regards 
as the real justification for the study of astronomy, he has selected 
and turned into Latin ten volumes which exhibit the principles 
and applications of the art in all its aspects. The titles of these 
treatises are not given, but an examination of the numerous trans- 
lations preserved under his name enables us to identify eight 
extant versions of astrological and similar works, besides the Cen- 
tiloquium, while in these reference is made to at least five others. 
From an astronomical point of view, the most important of these 
is a treatise with the following introduction : 

^ According to Madoz e Ibanez, Diccionario geogrdfico-estadistico-historico de 
Espana (Madrid, 1846-50) there are twenty places of this name in the province of 
Lugo, one in the province of Coruna, and one, the largest, in the province of Leon. 
There is also a Santalle in the province of Oviedo and a Santalha in Traz os Montes. 

24 Infra, p. 77. This is the passage that misled Wiistenfeld and Steinschneider 
into thinking Michael a Gallic bishop. 

2^ Note that French crusaders were established in Tudela, over which Bishop 
Michael claimed jurisdiction, and that he confirmed the neighboring church of Santa 
Cruz to the abbey of S.-Martin of Seez: Ordericus Vitalis, v. 1-18; Gallia Chris- 
tiana, xi. 720; Espana sagrada, 1. 399 (Jaffe-Lowenfeld, Regesta, no. 8803); B. N., 
MS. Fr. 18953, pp. 38, 220, 259. 

2^ Bodleian Library, MS. Selden Arch. B. 34, £f. 11-62 v, of the twelfth century. 
Also in MS. Savile 15, f. 205, saec. xv; and in Caius College, Cambridge, MS. 456, 
saec. xiii (James, Catalogue, p. 531). 


Incipit tractatus Alfragani de motibus planetarum commentatus ab 
Hugoni Sanctaliensis [sic]. 

Quia nonnuUos nec inmerito te conturbat quod priscorum astrologorum 
intentio multas et varias in suis voluminibus, in his precipue que de stella- 
rum coUocatione et situ descripta Arabes azig appellant, videtur protulisse 
sententias, nuUam tamen quare potius sic aut sic agere eorum suaderet tra- 
dicio protulere rationem, unde huiusmodi minus plena perfectaque volumina 
pro auctoris defectu lectoris sensum et intelligentiam corrumpunt. Que cum 
ita se habeant, nichil obstare videtur artis istius emulos, hos de quibus loqui- 
mur, gemino urgere incommode, ut videlicet ex ignorantia aut ex invidia hoc 
factum fuisse coniectent. Nam inter multiplices antiquorum tractatus, de 
quorum videlicet prudentia ac discretione nulla est hesitatio, nonnulla legi- 
mus ea ratione fuisse descripta que tamen ut preceptori sic et lectori inutilia 
totius posteritatis clamat assertio. In libro autem Alhoarizmi quoniam 
huiusmodi diversitates te repperire confiteris, eum ex invidia ut supradixi- 
mus aut ex ignorantia suspectum esse palam est, sed etiam quendam Alfar- 
gani librum de rationibus azig Alhoarizmi imperfectum nec sufficientem te 
asseris repperiri, ubi videlicet que facilia sunt expediens que intricata et 
difficilia ad intelligendum fuerant pretermisit. Quia ergo, mi domine Tyras- 
sonensis antistes, ego Sanctelliensis tue peticioni ex me ipso satisfacere non 
possum, huius commenti translationem, quod super eiusdem auctoris opus 
edictum in Rotensi armario et inter secretiora bibliotece penetralia tua in- 
saciabilis filosophandi aviditas meruit repperiri, tue dignitati offerre pre- 
sumo. Habet enim ex tantis astronomic secretis ut placeat et ut ad omnium 
ex eadem materia voluminum expositionem ex sui integritate sufficiat. 
Quamvis tamen Alfargani edicione[m] minus plenam perfectamque cognos- 
cam, cum ex aliis suis operibus perfectus et sapiens comprobetur, hec quam 
subscribam mihi videtur fuisse occasio. Potuit enim fieri ut morte preventus 
talem relinqueret, aut si perfectum atque emendatum eadem intercessit 
occasio ne id divulgaret, unde aliquid inde corrumpi aut ab invidorum mani- 
bus ut eius auctoritati quicquam derogarent abici satis liquido constat argu- 
mento, vel forsitan hie idem Alfargani, quod prudencioris cautele est, tante 
subtilitatis archana aggredi formidans diflficillima pretermittens cetera re- 
seravit. Nemo enim ad huius exposicionis intelligentiam accedere potest nisi 
geometric institutis et universo mensurandi genere quasi ad manum plenis- 
sime instruatur. Ne itaque antiquorum vestigiis penitus insistens a modernis 
prorsus videar dissentire, non per dialogum, ut apud Arabes habetur, verum 
more solito atque usitato hoc opus subiciam, ac deinceps non solum Quad- 
ripertiti atque Almaiezti ab Alkindio datam expositionem sed etiam quoddam 
Aristotilis super totam artem sufficiens et generale commentum, si vita 
superstes fuerit et facultas detur, te iubente aggrediar. 

Ad ingressum cuiuslibet arabici mensis, ut ait Alhoarizmi . . . 

As here given from the Selden manuscript, the title of this work 
is misleading and should be corrected from the other copies to 
Hamis Benhamie Machumeti f rater de geometria mohilis quantitatis 
et azig, hoc est canonis stellarum rationibus. What we have is not 


al-Fargani's explanation — this indeed the bishop has found in- 
sufficient — of the astronomical tables of al-Khwarizmi, which 
go back apparently to the Indian astronomers, but a commentary 
on al-Fargani written, with the aid of the tables and geometrical 
methods of Ptolemy, by a later astronomer who has recently been 
identified with Mohammed ben Ahmed el-Biruni.^^ A Hebrew 
translation of this commentary, preserving the questions and 
answers of the original, was made by Abraham ibn Ezra at Nar- 
bonne about ii6o,^^ with an introduction which shows certain 
parallelisms with that of Hugo, but no Latin version has hitherto 
been identified.^^ The discovery of such a version, by facilitating 
a comparison with the translation of the Khorasmian tables made 
by Adelard of Bath in 1126,^^ may be expected to throw some 
light on the relations between Greek, Indian, and Arabian as- 
tronomy. It would be interesting to know in what form the 
bishop, whose knowledge of Arabic must have been inadequate 
for the free use of the works which he had Hugo translate, used 
the Khorasmian tables and the explanation of al-Fargani. 

Of the two other works which Hugo has here promised to trans- 
late, the commentary of al-Kindi seems to have been lost,^^ but 
the generate commentum of Aristotle is doubtless contained in two 
manuscripts of the Bodleian under the high-sounding title: 
Liher Aristotilis de .255. Indorum voluminihus universalium ques- 
tionum tarn generalium quam circularium summam continens. The 
attribution to Aristotle will deceive no one,^^ but the account of 

27 Suter, "Der Verfasser des Buches * Griinde der Tafeln des Chowarezmi,' " in 
B. M., iv. 127-129, where the utility of a comparative study is suggested. 

2^ Steinschneider, in Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, xxiv. 
339-359, XXV. 421; H. U., pp. 572-574- 

29 Steinschneider, H. U., I. c.\ Suter, in Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der mathe- 
matischen Wissenschaften, xiv. 158. 

30 Supra, Chapter II. 

3^ A commentary on the Almagest appears in the Arabic catalogue of his works 
(Fliigel, in Abhandlungen fiir Kunde des Morgenlandes, i, 2, p. 27, no. 123) but has 
not been identified among those extant (Suter, in Abh. Gesch. Math., x, 25). 

32 MS. Digby 159; MS. Savile 15, f. 185. 

33 With Thorndike (ii. 256 f.), I find no other mention of this compilation. For 
other pseudo- Aristotelian works on astrology, magic, and divination, see Catalogus 
codicum astrologorum Graecorum, i. 82 f., v. 92, 96, 102; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 
141; Centralblattfiir Bibliothekswesen, Beiheft xii. 87-91; and especially Thorndike, 
in Journal of English and Germatiic Philology, xxi. 229-258 (1922). 


the books upon which the compilation is based may contain some- 
thing of interest for students of ancient astrology. The prologue, 
being chiefly devoted to an account of the two hundred and fifty 
volumes from which the work is compiled, yields no new informa- 
tion for the translator's biography. The opening and closing 
portions are: 

Ex multiplici questionum genere et ex intimis philosophic secretis, quibus 
frequenter mee parvitatis aures pulsare non desinis, subtilissime tue inquisi- 
tionis archanum et Celebris memorie intrinsecam vim et purissime discre- 
tionis intelligentiam, ad quam videlicet nostri temporis quispiam aspirare 
frustra nititur, manifestius licet attendere. Quare quod ex libris antiquorum 
percepi aut experimento didici aut existimatione sola credidi aut exercitio 
comparavi, et assidua scribere cogit exortatio et imperitie veretur formido. 
Ad graviora transcendere subtiliora penetrare novis etiam affluere tanta 
preceptoris daret auctoritas, si congrua ociandi daretur facultas. Nam hu- 
mani generis error, ut qui inscientie crapula sui oblitus edormit stulticie nu- 
bibus soporata iudicio philosophantium sectam estimans lacivienti verbo- 
rum petulantia, sicut huius temporis sapere negligit, sapientes et honestos 
inconstantie ascribit, veritatis concives imperitos diiudicat, verecundos at- 
que patientes stolidos reputat. Ego tamen, quoniam auctoritate Tullii ad 
amicum libera est iactancia,'^ amore discipline cui semper pro ingenii viribus 
vigilanter institi Arabes ingressus, si voto potiri minime contigisset, Indos 
autem Egiptum pariter adire, si facultas unde libet subveniat insaciata 
philosophandi aviditas omni metu abiecto nullatenus formidaret, ut saltem, 
dum ipsius philosophic vernulas arroganti supercilio negligunt, scientie ta- 
men quantulamcumque portionem vix tandem adeptam minime depravari 
contingat sed potius ab eius amicis et secretariis venerari. Nunc autem, mi 
domine antistes Michael, sub te tanto scientiarum principe me militari posse 
triumpho, quem tocius honestatis fama et amor discipline insaciatus ultra 
modemos vel coequevos sic extoUunt ut nemo huius temporis recte sapiens 
philosophi nomen et tante dignitatis vocabulum te meruisse invideat. Unde 
fit ut hoc duplici munere beatus, dum hinc amor hinc honestas tercium quod 
est amor honestus constituant, non modicum probitatis habes solacium. 
Ego itaque Sanctellensis Hugo tue sublimitatis servus ^ ac indignus minister, 
ut animo sic et corpore labori et ocio expositus dum et mentis corporis tor- 
porem excitando pulsas oblivionis delens incommodum, quoniam id assidua 
vult exortatio quod a nuUo modernorum plenissime valet explicari, ne plus 
videar sapere quam oportet sapere, quodque a meipso haberi scientie negat 
viduitas ab aliis mutuari priscorum multiplex suadet auctoritas, hunc librum 
ex arabice lingue opulentia in latinum transformavi sermonem. Sed quo- 
niam, ut ait quidam sapiens, tam secretis misticisque rebus vivaciter pertrac- 

Doubtful; iactantia is not Ciceronian. 
35 The Savile MS. has 'unde hbri.' 

Dr. Craster of the Bodleian and Professor Thorndike (ii. 85 f.) have corrected 
my earlier reading of *serus' in the first printing of this text. 



tandis multimoda sunt auctoritatum perquirenda suffragia, istius auctor 
operis ex .cel. philosophorum voluminibus qui de astronomia conscripserunt 
hoc excultum esse asseruit, a quorum nominibus serio conterendis propria 
narrationis duxit exordium. . . . 

Hunc ergo, mi domine, ex tot ac tantis philosophorum voluminibus et 
quasi ex intimis astronomic visceribus ab eodem, ut iam dictum est, excepi, 
tamen et si mea de arabico in latinum mutuavit devocio supprema, tamen 
tue tam honeste ammonicionis optatos portus dabit correptio. ExpHcit pro- 
logus. Incipit Aristotilis comentum in astrologiam. Primo quidem omnium 
id recte atque convenienter preponi videtur . . . 

Among more special works on astrology, we learn that Hugo 
translated four treatises on nativities, one of these, from the Arabic 
of Mashallah, beginning as follows: 

Liber Messehale de nativitatibus .14. distinctus capitulis Hugonis Sanc- 
talliensis translacio. Prologus eiusdem ad Michaelem Tirassone antistitem. 

Libellum hunc Messehale de nativitatibus, etsi apud nos Albumazar et 
Alheacib Alcufi ex eodem negocio et nostre translacionis studio plenissime 
habeantur, ob hoc placuit transferri ut quemadmodum ex eius secretis et 
iudiciorum via et ceteris astronomic institutis tua, mi domine antistes Mi- 
chael, pollet sciencia tuumque pre ceteris studium nec inmerito gloriatur, sic 
et in genezia, nativitatum dico, speculatione tanti preceptoris certa imitando 
vestigia copiosius triumphet. Hoc igitur ego Sanctelliensis, non tam meo 
labore faciente quam auctoris testimonio confisus, ut placeam mitto com- 
pendium, quendam alium librum de eadem materia a quodam Messehale 
discipulo Abualy Alhuat nomine editum deinceps tractaturus, ut et supra 
nominatis voluminibus hoc attestante maior insit auctoritas et tanquam 
variis diversarum opum ferculis tua in hoc negocio sacietur aviditas. . . . 
Ut alio sicut idem asserit Messehala nuUatenus videatur indigere. Explicit 
prologus. Incipit textus. Quamvis librum istum ex ordine a libro secretorum 
assumpto per .14. capitula dividendum proposuerim . . . 

Of the authors of the two versions which are here mentioned 
as already completed, Albumazar is, of course, abu Ma'ashar 
Ja'afar, author of a number of works on astronomy and astrology, 
including one on nativities which has not yet been specially 
studied; Alheacib Alcufi I have not identified, unless the name 
be a corruption of el-Chasib.^^ Various manuscripts of abu Ali's 
work on the same subject exist, all of them anonymous except 

3^ Bodleian, MS. Savile 15, f. 177 v. This translation is unknown to the bibli- 

38 On his writings secSteinschneider, H. U., pp. 566 £F., and E. U., no. 165; Suter, 
no. 53; Houtsma, Encyclopaedia of Islam, i. 100. 

2^ Suter, no. 62, Professor Suter suggested this identification to me in a letter 
of 16 May 1911. 


one in the Bodleian which ascribes the translation to John of 

Hugo's translation of another work of Albumazar dealing espe- 
cially with meteorological predictions is found in a score of manu- 
scripts and two early editions. The preface reads : 

Incipit liber ymbrium ab antique Indorum astrologo nomine lafar editus 
deinde vero a Cillenio Mercuric abbreviatus. Superioris discipline inconcus- 
sam veritatem . . . Quia ergo, mi domine antistes Michael, non solum 
compendiosa sed etiam certa et ad unguem correcta te semper optare cog- 
novi, hunc de pluviis libellum ab antiquo Indorum astrologo lafar nomine 
editum, deinceps a Cillenio Mercurio sub brevitatis ordine correctum, tue 
offero dignitati, ut quod potissimum sibi deesse moderni deflent astrologi 
Gallorum posteritati tua benignitas largiatur. Incipit series libri. Universa 
astronomic indicia ^2 . . . 

Hugo is not mentioned in the text but is found in the margin 
of one of the manuscripts."^^ Two similar treatises, ascribed to 
Mashallah and al-Kindi, appear as having been translated by a 
Master Drogo or Azogo, which has been conjectured to be a cor- 
ruption of Hugo; but as these are not accompanied by prefaces, 
the question must for the present remain open. 

Those who look for signs in the heavens are likely also to look 
for^them on the earth, and we are not surprised to find that Hugo 
was the author of an elaborate treatise on geomancy, based upon 
the work of an unknown Tripolitan (Alatrabulucus) and suffi- 
cient to give him a certain reputation among vernacular writers 

*° MS. Laud 594. See Steinschneider, E. U., no. 68 w; and in B. M., 1890, pp. 
69 f. 

Besides those mentioned by Steinschneider, H. U., p. 566, see MS. Bodl. 463, 
f. 20 (= Bernard, No. 2456); MS. Savile 15; Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. 
233; Clare College, Cambridge, MS. 15; Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 7329, 
f. 66 V, MS. Lat. 7316, f. 167 (extract only); Leyden, Scaliger MS. 46, f. 36; 
Madrid, MS. 10063, f. 43; Vatican, MS. Reg. 1452, f. 29; MS. Borghese 312, f. 43; 
Venice, CI. xi. 107, f. 53 (Valentinelli, iv. 285). Printed at Venice in 1507 with 
al-Kindi, De pluviis; also at Paris, 1540, from which edition is copied MS. 529 of 
the University of Coimbra. On Jafar cf. Tannery, pp. 337 f. 

^2 Bodleian, MS. Savile 15, f. 175 v. 

^ Steinschneider, /. c. 

Leclerc, Histoire de la medecine arabe, ii. 476 (where MS. Lat. 7439 should be 
7440, and 10251 is incorrect); Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 564, 600; E. U., nos. 36, 
54 d; Suter, no. 8. 



as an authority on this art,"*^ which he seems to have introduced 
into Latin Europe.*^ The copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale 

Incipit prologus super artem geomantie secundum magistrum Ugonem 
Sanctelliensem interpretem qui earn de arabico in latinum transtulit. 

Renim opifex Deus qui sine exemplo nova condidit universa, ante ipsam 
generationem de illorum future statu mente diiudicans, hec quidem etiam 
que de sue universitatis thesauro rationali creature largiri dignatur singulis 
prout ipse vult distribuit. Unde universa creatura tam rationalis quam irra- 
tionalis vel inanimata eidem exibet obedientiam ac, licet in vita ad secu^ 
larium ordinem dilapsa, eum saltern ex sola unitate veneratur. Imaginarie 
priusquam fierent cuncta habens eorundem noticiam archano cordium quasi 
suspectam et intellectualem infudit. Habite tandem creature hie modus 
consistit ut summitates atque venerandos scriptorum institutores atque 
huiusmodi computationis industria quasi quadam compagine sociaret, ut 
ablata tocius alterationis rixa rationale alias positiva iusticia nexu equabili 
federaret adinvicem. Cum igitur universos stolidos videlicet tanquam sapi- 
entes ad philosophandum pronos fore contigisset, eruditior prudentium 
secta ad computandi artem et astronomic secreta rimanda mentis oculum 
revocans, astrorum loca cursus directos retrogradationes ortus occasus sub- 
limationes depressiones et que sunt in his alterationes atque admiranda 
prodigia attendens, astrologorum minus prudentium multiplicem cognovit 
errorem. Hac igitur ratione cogente compendium hoc certissimum ex his 
omnibus prudens adinvenit antiquitas. Denique aput universos philosophic 
professores ratum arbitror et constans quicquid in hoc mundo conditum 
subsistendi vice sortitum est haut dissimile exemplar in superiori circulo pos- 
sidere, quicquid etiam hie inferius motu quolibet agitatur superioris regionis 
motus sibi congruos imitari. Sicque manifestum est quia huiusmodi figure 
quas hie prosequi volumus signorum pariter et lunarium mansionum formas 
omnino sequuntur . . . Quia huiusmodi artificium antiquissimum fore et 
apud sapientum quamplurimos dignos et indignos in usu fuisse philoso- 
phorum antiquitas refert, ego Sanccelliensis geomantie inscriptionem 
aggredior et tibi, mi domine Tirasonensis antistes, ex priscorum opulentia 
huiusmodi munusculum adporto, aeremantia et piromantia quas audivi sed 

*^ Paul Meyer, " Traites en vers provengaux sur I'astrologie et la geomancie," 
in Romania, xxvi. 247-250, 275. Cf. Steinschneider, E. U., no. 54 c. On geo- 
mancy in general, see Thorndike, ii. no ff. 
Tannery, iv. 329. 

MS, Lat. 7354, written in the thirteenth century, apparently in Spain or south- 
ern France. Also in Vatican, MS. Pal. Lat. 1457; Bodleian, MS. Digby 50, f. i; 
MS. Bodley 625, f. 54; Cambridge, Magdalene College, MS. 27; Vienna, MSS. 
5327, 5508 (the last three I owe to Thorndike, ii. 86), The treatise of Hugo on 
geomancy preserved in the Laurentian and studied by Meyer has a different 
incipit and may be another work. See Tannery, pp. 324-328, 339-344, 373-411. 
^ Vat. Pal. Lat. 1457 has 'Hugo Sanctalliensis.' 


minime contingit reperiri postpositis, deinceps idromantiam tractaturus 
. . . Que quidem disciplina sub quadam existimatione potissimum manat 
ab antiquorum peritissimis, ut iam dictum est, qua ipsi noverint ratione 
certis experimentis usitata. Explicit prologus. 

Arenam limpidissimam a nemine conculcatam et de profundo ante solis 
ortum assumptam ... 

Whether Hugo ever wrote on hydromancy or succeeded in in- 
forming himself on aeromancy or pyromancy, we cannot say; but 
while searching the heavens above and the earth beneath and the 
waters under the earth, he did not disdain the humbler form of 
divination which draws its inferences from the shoulder-blades of 
animals, and we have under his name two short treatises on spa- 
tulamancy. The first, which claims to go back ultimately to 
Greek sources, begins: 

Refert Ablaudius babilonicus inter antiquissima Grecorum volumina 
cartam vetustissimam in qua de spatule agnitione nonnulla continebantur 
precepta apud Athena[s] se invenisse. . . . Hunc igitur librum, cuius auctor 
apud Caldeos Anunbarhis (?) apud Grecos Hermes fuisse legitur, et tante 
antiquitatis arkana et latinum aggrediar sermonem. . . . Quia igitur, mi 
domine antistes Michael, tuo munere tuaque munificentia ut me ipsum 
habeo, sic et philosophantium vestigii desidia et ignorantia gravatus insisto, 
ne ceteris compensatis istius expers inveniaris discipline, hoc tibi de spatula 
mitto preludium. . . . 

In medio itaque cartilaginis foramen ultra eminens repertum pecoris 
domino pacem nunciat . . . 

This is followed by a similar Liber Ahdalaheni Zolemani de 
spatula Hugonis translatio}^ 

Another translation of Hugo Sanctallensis, not mentioned in 
his prefaces or by modern writers, appears in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale in a manuscript of the close of the twelfth century for- 
merly at St.-Germain-des-Pres, where it received the title in a 
modern hand, Her metis Trimegesti Liber de secretis naturae et 

Bodleian, Ashmolean MS. 342, f. 38, headed "Tractatus de spatula" and re- 
ferred to in the margin as "Hugonis translatio"; B. N., MS. lat. 1461, f. 68. The 
tract in MS. Canon. Misc. 396, ff. 106-110, mentioned by Steinschneider (£. U., no. 
54 is different, beginning, 'Incipiam adiutorio Dei.' Steinschneider curiously 
fails to understand the meaning of spatula. 

Ashmolean MS. 342, f. 40 v; MS. lat. 1461, f. 71 v. Cf. Tannery, Menwires, 
iv. 340. The references to MS. lat. 1461 I owe to the kindness of Dr. Birken- 


occuUis rerum causis ah Apollonio translatus. It begins and 

Incipit liber ApoUonii de principalibus rerum causis et primo de celestibus 
corporibus et stellis et planetis et etiam de mineriis et animantibus, tandem 
de homine. 

In huius voluminis serie eam principaliter tractatus sum disciplinam ex 
qua philosophorum antiquissimi suscepte narrationis protulerunt exordium, 
ut m§§ intentionis agnita prudentia et ad vestram aspirare valeat intelligen- 
tiam et intimam pulsare discretionis naturam. Cuiuscumque ergo naturalis 
intentio huius sermonis capax extiterit eam accidentalis vel quasi extranee 
soUicitudinis incursu liberam velud a sompno excitari palam est. . . . Quod 
videlicet Hermes philosophus triplicem sapientiam vel triplicem scientiam 
appellat. Explicit liber Apollonii de secretis nature et ocultis rerum causis, 
Hugonis Sanctelliensis translatio .vi. particionibus discretus. 

As a result of this investigation we now have, as against the 
five previously known, nine extant translations by Hugo, not 
counting those ascribed to Drogo and Azogo, besides two others 
which have been lost or are still to be identified and three which 
he promises but may not have completed. None of these are 
dated, but the Centiloquium is one of his later efforts, since ten 
have been produced before it, while the Khorasmian comment- 
ary is evidently early, being anterior to the Pseudo-Aristotle. It 
would seem that both translator and patron gave chief attention 
first to astronomy and later to astrology, but to draw a sharp 
line between these subjects would be contrary to the spirit of 
mediaeval, if not of Greek, learning, to which they were simply 
the pure and the applied aspects of the same subject. There 
is no evidence on Hugo's part of initiative or power of adapta- 
tion, indeed he expressly disclaims the ability to elucidate these 
problems from his own knowledge; he was a translator, rather 
than a compiler or popularizer. There is, at the same time, no 
indication of any connection with the other translators of his age, 

" MS. lat. 13951, ff. 1-3I' This translation is analyzed by F. Nau, in Revue 
de VOrient chretien, xii. 99-106 (1907). On Apollonius see also Thorndike, i. 267, 
ii. 282 f. 

52 The De nativitatihus of Albumazar and of Alheacib Alcufi. Tannery has shown 
that there is no reason for assigning to our Hugo the Practica Hugonis, a geometrical 
treatise of the twelfth century: B. M., ii. 41; Memoires scientifiques, iv. 331-333- 

" Abu Ali, De nativitatihus; al-Kindi, Expositio Quadripertiti atque Almaiestii 



and the fact that certain of the treatises at which he labored were 
also translated by John of Seville indicates that they worked in- 
dependently. That Hugo's versions nevertheless obtained a cer- 
tain currency is shown by the number and wide distribution of the 
existing manuscripts, and the range and quantity of his work 
entitle him to a respectable place among the Spanish translators 
of the twelfth century. 



The growth of astronomical knowledge in western Europe in the 
twelfth century constitutes an interesting chapter of intellectual 
history. The century opens with the traditional learning of the 
older encyclopedists and the standard manuals of computus. Then 
comes a definite revival of the Platonic cosmology, chiefly in con- 
junction with the school of Chartres, so that Platonic influences 
are clearly marked in the first exponents of Arabic astronomy in 
the second quarter of the century, as illustrated by the Questiones 
of Adelard of Bath and the De essentiis of Hermann of Carinthia. 
These, however, are accompanied and followed by translations of 
the tables of al-Khwarizmi and al-Zarkali, and the treatises of 
al-Fargani and al-Battani, as well as by a mass of astrological 
literature. The translation of Ptolemy's Almagest from the Greek 
ca. 1 1 60 and from the Arabic in 1175 made possible the full re- 
ception of ancient astronomy. Meanwhile the Aristotelian 
physics had begun to filter in through Arabic writers, and the 
conflict of this with Plato and Ptolemy sorely puzzled an age 
which desired at all costs to reconcile its standard authorities. 
The new knowledge, the new controversies, and the more exact 
observations long occupied some of the best minds of the age, 
whose activity is reflected in a fairly abundant body of literature, 
both anonymous and ascribed to known authors; and the sharp 
contrast between the astronomical writings of the beginning and 
end of the century helps us to measure the intellectual progress 
of the intervening years. 

The history of this phase of European thought has still to be 
written. The late Pierre Duhem made an admirable beginning 
as a part of his comprehensive survey of cosmological theories in 
antiquity and the Middle Ages ; ^ but, valuable as is his analysis 
on the scientific sid^, it rests, for the twelfth century, on a quite 

^ Le systime du monde de Platon d Copernic (Paris, 1913-17). 

twelfth-<:entury writers on astronomy 83 

inadequate examination of the material. For some unexplained 
reason he never saw the Questiones naturales of Adelard, though it 
is available in three editions as well as a score of MSS.; he ex- 
plored but little the large number of unpublished treatises ; and 
he left untouched many problems of date and authorship. Thorn- 
dike's new material^ is chiefly concerned with magic and as- 
trology; the relevant volumes in Baeumker's Beitrdge are pri- 
marily philosophical in content. As a contribution to the general 
history of astronomy, it may be worth while to describe certain 
unpublished treatises which I have come upon, illustrating as 
they do the various ways in which the new learning made itself 


One of the clearest indications of intellectual revival in the early 
twelfth century is the large number of manuscripts of that period 
or shortly before which deal with the elements of arithmetical and 
astronomical reckoning. On the side of arithmetic these take the 
form chiefly of treatises on the abacus, carrying on the tradition 
of Gerbert and the Lotharingian abacists of the eleventh century 
and elaborating this in its practical aspects.^ On the side of as- 
tronomy activity is seen partly in copies and excerpts from the 
older manuals of Bede and Heiric of Auxerre,^ occasionally with 
extracts from Isidore and Hyginus and, in the more ambitious 
works, with illustrations; ^ partly in new compilations. A good 
example of the learning of this period is contained in a manuscript 
of St. John's College, Oxford, made up of material copied in the 

2 History of Magic and Experimental Science (New York, 1923). 

^ See Chapter XV, below; Bubnov, Opera Gerberti, app. vi.; Cantor, i. ch. 40. 

* See the list of MSS. in the admirable study of Traube, "Compotus Helperici," 
Neues Archiv, xv'm. 73-105, 724 f. Duhem (iii. 71 f.) unfortunately overlooked 
Traube's work. Helperic's treatise will be found in Migne, cxxxvii. 15; Bede's, ibid., 
xc. 293. For other examples of collections of excerpts, cf. Arsenal, MS. 371, ff. 75 v- 
87; Evreux, MS. 60 (from Lire); Dijon, MS. 448. Cf. the extracts from Bede {De 
natura rerum, c. 45) and the Geotnetry of Gerbert at Tortosa, MS. 80 {Revue des 
bibliotheques, vi. 16). 

' Cf. Saxl, in Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, 1915, no. 6-7. A good example is the 
Ripoll MS. of 1056: Saxl, pp. 45-59; supra, Chapter I, n. 18. There are some good 
figures of constellations in early English MSS., e. g., Cotton MS. Tiberius, C. i, ff. 
21-32 v; Harleian MS. 647, ff. 2 v-13. 



later eleventh and early twelfth centuries.® Besides Bede and 
Heiric of Auxerre, with a preface by Brithferth, monk of Ramsey, 
it contains astronomical tables and excerpts, extracts from the 
arithmetic of Boethius, treatises on the abacus as late as that of 
Gerland,^ and some scattered medical and grammatical notes. 
*The present time' is given as mo on f. 3 v; the lunar tables on 
f. 29 begin with 1083 and contain marginal entries from 1085 to 
nil which show that in these years this part of the manuscript 
was in possession of Thorney Abbey. Other examples of this age, 
which we shall examine in other connections,^ are the writings of 
Thurkil the computist and the Comput of Philip de Thaon (11 19). 

The ecclesiastical preoccupations of the close of the eleventh 
century are illustrated in the discussions of the basis of the Chris- 
tian era. Marianus Scotus the chronicler, who died at Mainz in 
1082, made a determined effort to supplant the current Diony- 
sian era as twenty- two years too late, and the argument was de- 
veloped in England by a 'learned Lorrainer,' Robert, bishop of 
Hereford from 1079 to 1095; but the new system found few ad- 
herents.^ A similar theory appears in an anonymous Liber decen- 
nalis in modum dialogi compositus preserved in the Biblioteca 
Angelica at Rome,^° where the author, arguing from the astronom- 
ical cycles, finds a discrepancy of twenty-one years in the Diony- 
sian era, so that the current year of 1092 is corrected to 1113.^^ 

® MS. 17. See the detailed description in Coxe's Catalogus, and Bubnov, pp. 
Hi f.; and cf. Singer, "Byrhtferd's Diagram," in the Bodleian Quarterly Record, ii, 
no. 14 (1917); and in Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, x. 118-160 (1917); 
R. L. Poole, The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century, p. 47, note. 

Ff. 50-52, not identified by Bubnov, printed in Bullettino, x. 597-607. 

8 Infra, Chapters XV, XVI. 

^ See Robert's treatise in the Bodleian, MSS. Auct. F. 3. 14 and Auct. F. 5. 19 
(2148), f. i; and cf. W. H. Stevenson in E. H. R., xxii. 72 ff. 

MS. 1413, ff. 1-24 (saec. xii): 'Cum temporum scriptores diversi quamvis 
diverse . . 

'Presens autem annus secundum veraciorem evangelio congruentem numerum 
est ab incarnatione Domini annus millesimus centesimus tercius decimus habens 
concurrentes iiii^*" cum bissexto, epactas .viiii., terminum paschalem versum 'Bene 
kalende titulant ternos,' diem dominicum .v''. kal. aprilis, indictionem xv. Secun- 
dum Dionysium autem est annus ab Adam quinque millesimus quadragesimus ter- 
cius, ab incarnatione vero Domini millesimus nonagesimus secundus, distans annis 
xxi** ab ea consequentia paschalis compoti quam superius posui et que presenti anno 
competit' (f. 21). 


Another critic of Dionysius in this period was Gerland in his 
Computus, who works out an era seven years earlier than the 
Dionysian. Author Ukewise of treatises on the abacus and on 
ecclesiastical matters, Gerland has usually been identified with a 
canon of Besangon who appears in documents of 1132-48, in 
which latter year he and Thierry of Chartres, duos fama et gloria 
doctores, accompanied the archbishop of Trier down the Rhine.^^ 
It would seem, however, that this is a different person from the 
computist, who specifically gives the year of his treatise as 1081,^^ 
whose 'floruit' is given as 1084 at Besangon by Albericus,^^ and 
who is cited as early as 1102.^^ His Computus, in twenty-seven 
chapters, while criticizing Dionysius and Helperic, purports to 
follow closely Bede," who is cited by chapter. The author adds 

^2 Published in Bullettino, x. 595-607. "Gerlandus ex libro magistri Franconis 
Legiensis" in MS. 107 of the University of Edinburgh, ff. 62 v-68, turns out to be 
neither mathematical nor astronomical, but is evidently the same as the "De ligno 
crucis" at Trinity College, Dublin, MS. 517. 

1' See Boncompagni, ihid., pp. 648-656; Cantor, i. 898; Histoire litteraire, xii. 
275-279; T. Wright, Biographia liter aria, ii. 16; and in Transactions of Royal 
Society of Literature, ii, 72-75 (1847); U. Robert, in Analecta juris pontijicii, xii. 
596-614 (1873). 

" ' Ab incarnatione domini modo sunt .1. Ixxxi"^. annus'; B. N., MS. lat. 11 260, 
f. 15 V. This occurs in what may be supplementary to the treatise proper, which 
differs considerably in the different MSS., and in some (e. g., MS. lat. 151 18, f. 39) 
has what purports to be a second book. The tables of the earlier part, however, 
clearly belong to the close of the eleventh century. Thus in MS. lat. 151 18 they 
begin at 1082 (f. 37), mention the eclipse of 23 September 1093 (f. 50), and have 
notes on eclipses added after 1102 (ff. 31 v, 32); cf. the reference to 1094 on f. 33. 
In MS. Rawlinson C. 749 of the Bodleian, f. 11 v, we have eclipses, 'nostris tempori- 
bus,' of 1085-95, i. e., 1093-1103 by the ordinary reckoning, including the eclipse of 
23 September 1093, the difference of era being here reckoned as eight years. 
Scriptores, xxiii. 800. 

i« Infra, Chapter XV, n. 37. 

" *Sepe volumina domini Bedg de scientia computandi replicans et in eis que- 
dam aliter quam tradicio doctorum ostenderet presentium repperiens, Dei fretus 
auxilio Deum invocans preesse meo operi que visa fuerunt mihi utilissima inde pro 
captu ingenioli mei defloravi et deflorata cum quibusdam aliunde conquisitis in 
unum congessi. Qugso itaque, si unquam hec compositionis fimbria, hec stili aridi- 
tas, huius scientig gutta ad alicuius intuitum pervenerit, ne statim in morsum livoris 
dentes exacuat nec antequam perlegat preiudicet, ne si quid in toto notandum in- 
venerit pro partg totum, ut nonnulli solent, vituperet, quandoquidem, ut ait non 
insipientium quidam, nichil ex omni partg beatum. Non equidem me latet quosdam 
qui Helpericum legerunt et tabulam Dionisii viderunt aliter in quibusdam sentire 


quotations from the Fathers, Pliny, Virgil, and 'Cingius,' and 
works out various lunar calculations by the awkward methods of 
Roman fractions and the subdivision of the hour into points, 
moments, and atoms. To Gerland the computus is based partly on 
nature and partly on authority,^^ but in the long run authority 
proved too strong for him. Various copies of his treatise survive, 
and he is often cited with respect, but most writers of the twelfth 
century look askance at him as contravening the settled usage of 
the church. 

In the later twelfth century writings on the computus conserve 
much the same character. Examples are the treatises of 1 1 59 and 
1 161 just cited in connection with Gerland; the Summa magistri 
Wilelmi de compoto of 11 63; a treatise of 1169; and the Com- 
potus Petri of 1171.^^ The treatise of Michael, monk of Dover, 
now in Glasgow, is undated,^^ as is also an anonymous set of 

quam ego. Sed si quis Bedam perlegerit et naturalem compotum tenere voluerit, 
hie ut arbitror partim auctoritati partim artis naturg acquiescens non indigne feret 
hie quedam esse posita que obviare videntur Dionisio, quedam que Helperico. Nec 
tamen eos censeo redarguendos per omnia si in aliquam partem somnus obrepserit, 
quia [ubi] spiritus vult spirat, aliquando autem ut ardentius queratur subterfugit.' 
B. N., MS. lat. 1 1 260, f. I V. Cf. f. 11 v: 'Venerabilis Beda cuius fere verba per 
totum hoc opusculum dispersimus.' 

1* 'Cingius' or 'Zingius' appears in Philip de Thaon, Li cumpoz, 1. 744; and the 
computus of 1102 in MS. Vat. lat. 3123, f. 47 v; and B. N., MS. lat. 11260, f. 25 v. 
The reference is to the Fasti of L. Cincius as quoted by Macrobius, Saturnalia, i, 
12, 12. 

19 MS. lat. 1 1 260, f. 7 V. 

E. g., 'Gerlandus vero Lotherencus in extremis omnes alios correxit et scripta 
vilissima cum tabula abiecit': anonymous treatise in Cotton MS. Titus D. vii, f. 
14 ('Quid in compoto doceatur . . .') Cf. Philip de Thaon, infra, Chapter XV, 

21 'Liber Gerlanni non legitur quia longo usui et doctissimorum auctoritati ob- 
viavit': B. N., MS. lat. 2020, f. 198, a treatise of 1171. See further the passages 
cited by T. Wright , in Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, ii. 74 f . 

22 MS. Cotton Vitellius A. xii, ff. 101-103 v, 105-106. See note 30. 

23 B. N., MS. lat. 10358, ff. 273 v-283 v; described in B. E. C, xvii. 403. In 
MS. Digby 56, ff. 202-219 v, the treatise is dated 1164 (f. 219). Inc. 'Annorum duo 
sunt genera . . .' 

2* Laon, MS. 71, which I know only from the catalogue. 

25 Bibliotheque Mazarine, MS. 3642, ff. 13-49 v, incomplete at the beginning 
(the date occurs on f. 44). Apparently the same as a computus in MS. lat. 2020, f. 
198, also dated 1171, and beginning 'Sunt in aliis artibus . . 

26 Hunterian Museum, MS. 467, where three treatises are attributed to him, 
though the first looks like a copy of Helperic. The printed catalogue gives this 


eighty-five Regule de compoto in Brussels.^ Three copies of a 
Computus constahularii were formerly at Canterbury .^^ 

In such conservative circles it was natural that Arabic astron- 
omy should penetrate slowly, and we are not surprised that Roger 
of Hereford should inveigh against the ignorance of the compu- 
tists as late as 1176.^^ An early example of the introduction of 
Arabic influence into such works is seen in an anonymous treatise 
of thirty-nine chapters composed in 1175, apparently in Eng- 
land.^° The author is an admirer of Gerland, whom he imitates 
in the opening sentence and whom he proposes to follow except 
where ecclesiastical usage would be contravened : 

Sepe auctorum volumina qui de compoto vel principaliter vel incidenter 
egerunt studiose revolvi, inter quos invenio quosdam iuniores in arte calcula- 
toria non mediocriter eruditos longo usui ecclesie rationibus vehementer, ut 
videtur, acutis obviare. His quidam nostrorum modernorum applaudentes 
nuper ausi sunt cartulis pascalibus suas novitates inscribere et sanctorum 
patrum vestigia preterire. Sunt enim quidam novitatis venatores et anti- 
quitatis improbi calumpniatores qui etiam in doctrina Christiana locum ab 
auctoritate tanquam inartificiosum superciliose repudiant et de suo confi- 
dentes ingenio aliter quam tota ecclesia soli sentire volunt ut soli scire videan- 
tur. Sed, quod deterius est, vidi equidem doluique videre scripto quoque 
commendatum quedam aliter se habere secundum ecclesiam, aliter secundum 
veritatem. Te quoque, dilectissime, timor Domini et reverentia fidei catho- 
lice vehementer abhorrere fecerunt veritatem et ecclesiam in aUquo posse 
reperiri contrarias. Quoniam igitur rationes illorum nobis vise sunt posse 
non irrationabiliter infirmari, quod proprio consilio non audebam, tuo pro- 
pulsus instinctu ilHs respondere aggressus sum. . . . Ceterum propter in- 
structionem ahorum et precipue G. mei quem in omni scientia et virtute 
proficere cupio, universum apposui percurrere compotum quatenus singula 
que mihi dubitabilia visa sunt explanarem. Noveris etiam preter ceteros 
auctores Geralandum quoque imitatum et etiam imitandum in omnibus ex- 
ceptis hiis in quibus obviat usui ecclesie, nam ubi bene dicit nemo melius. . . . 

portion of the MS. as saec. xii, but the algorism (no. 3) there ascribed to Michael 
is not earlier than the thirteenth century, to judge by its contents. I have a photo- 
graph of no. 3 only. Cf. the musical writer, Tenred of Dover: E. H. R., xxx. 658- 

27 Bibliotheque Royale, 2194, ff. 8 v-48 v (saec. xii): *Si invenire volueris per 
quam feriam . . 

2* M. R. James, Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, p. 49. 
29 Digby MS. 40, ff. 21-21 v. 

^° Cotton MS. Vitellius A. xii, ff. 87-97 v, with tables appended: 'Sepe aucto- 
njm volumina . . . .' The date appears from ff. 90 v, 93, 94. The reference to 
England is on f . 96 ; ' Quando est luna distans a sole paulo minus quam xxix gradibus 
in Anglia non apparebit maxime circa equinoctium autumpnale.' 



The author has a broader education than most computists, as he 
cites, with references, passages from Hippocrates, Solinus, Pliny, 
and the Digest. The astronomers, cited in the later chapters 
chiefly respecting the date of the vernal equinox, are Ptolemy, 
Hipparchus, Thabit, al-Battani, al-Zarkali, and al-Fargani. 

The School of Chartres 

The persistent influence of Plato is one of the curious facts in 
the intellectual history of the Middle Ages. If we accept Schle- 
gePs dictum that every one is either Platonist or Aristotelian, 
then the Middle Ages were clearly Aristotelian, but with lapses 
into Platonism and resultant efforts to reconcile the two systems. 
Until the translation of the Meno and Phaedo, ca. 1156,^1 the only 
work of Plato directly known to the western Europe of the Middle 
Ages was the Timaeus, or rather the first fifty-three chapters as 
translated and commented upon by Chalcidius in the fourth cen- 
tury .^^ This in itself is a curious fact, for ''of all the writings of 
Plato," says Jowett,^^ " the Timaeus is the most obscure and re- 
pulsive to the modem reader, and has nevertheless had the great- 
est influence over the ancient and mediaeval world." Accord- 
ingly, mediaeval Platonism was largely concerned with the vague 
and mystic cosmogony of this dialogue. The other principal 
source of Platonism was the fifth-century commentary of Macro- 
bius on the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero. Revived in the tenth 
century, this contained a considerable amount of ancient astron- 
omy and geography; and it served as the vehicle for transmitting 
an important fragment of non-Platonic astronomy, the hypothesis 
respecting the movement of Venus and Mercury about the sun 
which is commonly ascribed to Heraclides of Pontus. Neo- 
Platonism concerns us less at this point, as its influence becomes 

31 Infra, Chapter IX. 

32 Ed. Wrobel, Leipzig, 1876; the commentary is examined by Switalski, Bei- 
trage, iii, no. 6 (1908). 

33 Dialogues of Plato, ii. 455. 

3^ Duhem, iii. 47 ff.; M. Schedler, Die Philosophie des Macrohius und ihr EiiP' 
fluss {Beitrdge, xiii, no. i, 1916); and, for the hypothesis of Heraclides, J. L. E. 
Dreyer, History of the Planetary Systems (Cambridge, 1906), ch. 6. 


important only with the thirteenth century .^^ There are also bits 
of Platonism in the astronomical part of Martianus Capella, from 
which an extract beginning 'Mundus igitur ex quatuor demen- 
tis . . .' is sometimes found in manuscripts of the period.^^ 

How Martianus was copied and conflated in this period is illus- 
trated by a treatise which masquerades under the title of Liher 
Iparci,^"^ but has no direct relation to Hipparchus, whose influ- 
ence, under the form Abrachis, must be sought rather among 
translators from the Arabic. Beginning with a rearrangement of 
extracts from Bede's De naturis rerum, the author soon picks 
up the eighth book of Martianus, which he follows through the 
climates, inserting a bit on climates from the sixth book of Pliny 
and the discussion of tides in Bede's De temporum ratione (c. 29). 
Closer search might reveal scattered passages from other sources.^^ 

In the twelfth century there was a definite revival of Platonism 
in the school of Chartres.^^ Its chief exponents were William of 
Conches, Bernard Silvester, and Thierry of Chartres, with whom 
may be grouped such writers as Adelard of Bath and Hermann of 
Carinthia, the latter a pupil of Thierry. Thus much has been 
made clear by Haureau and others,^^ while the general course of 

3^ Note, however, the Hermetic citations in Hermann of Carinthia (supra, 
Chapter HI, pp. 57-66); and the question of the first traces of the Liher de causis: 
Duhem, iii. 168; Bardenhewer, Die pseudo-aristotelische Schrift iiher Das reine Gute. 

36 E. g., Montpellier MS. 145, £f. 94-102 (= pp. 302-331 of Eyssenhardt's edi- 
tion), following the Questiones of Adelard of Bath. 

" Bodleian, Rawlinson MS. G. 40, £f. 1-30, of the late twelfth century: 'Terra 
fundata est super stabilitatem suam . . . aut in latitudine declinare aut retro- 
gradiari facit. Explicit.' Dr. Craster, to whom I am indebted for suggestions re- 
specting the contents of this MS., calls my attention to a fragment of the treatise 
in Bodleian MS. Auct. F. i. 9 (another MS. of English origin, on which see below, 
Chapter VI, n. 6), £f. 160-162, entitled 'Liber Yparci de cursu siderum' and begin- 
ning at f. 22 V of the Rawlinson MS. Another copy is at Cambridge, McClean 
MS. 165, ff. 1-16 V. Curiously, the two mentions of Hipparchus in this portion 
of Martianus (ed. Eyssenhardt, pp. 304, 322) are omitted in the conflated text 
(Rawlinson MS., ff. 6, 18 v). 

38 Rawlinson MS., f. 5: 'Mundus igitur ex quatuor . . Cf. note 36 above. 

38 On f. 24, the lettering of an omitted figure shows traces of Greek influence: 
a, b, r, d. 

*° A. Clerval, Les ecoles de Chartres (Paris, 1895), book iii; R. L. Poole, "The 
Masters of the Schools of Paris and Chartres in John of Salisbury's Time," in 
E. H. R., XXXV. 321-342 (1920), 

*^ Haureau, Histoire de la philosophie scolastique (1872), i, chs. 16-18; idem, in 



the movement has been sketched by Baeumker.^^ Nevertheless 
we still lack a detailed study of the range and depth of Platonic 
influences in this period, as measured in the lesser writers and as 
manifested in the various anonymous treatises which have not yet 
been collected or explored;'*^ nor do we know, apart from the 
general fact of the school's efforts to harmonize Plato and Aris- 
totle, what reactions the newer knowledge produced upon the 
older habits of thought.'^^ 

The decline of this Platonic cosmogony came with the reception 
of the Ptolemaic astronomy and the Aristotelian physics, as 
transmitted by the Arabs of Spain. For this it is not easy to give 
precise dates. Thus at Chartres a manuscript of the cathedral 
preserves a treatise on astrology containing Arabic words which 
dates from 1135, with notes added from 1137 to 1141; and an- 
other manuscript of the twelfth century contains Adelard's ver- 
sion of the Khorasmian tables.^^ Hermann of Carinthia's version 
of the Planisphere was, as we have seen, dedicated to Thierry of 
Chartres in 1143.^^ Yet Thierry's De sex dierum operibus is a 
daring piece of Platonism,^^ and the trace of Aristotelian physics 
found therein carries us no farther than Macrobius.^^ Some time 
before his death ca. 1155 Thierry drew up in his Eptatheuchon a 
summary of the seven liberal arts composed of extracts from 

Notices et extrdits des MSS., xxxii, 2, pp. 169-186; R. L. Poole, Illustrations of the 
History of Mediaeval Thought (London, 1920), ch. iv; Duhem, iii. 87 ff., 184 ff.; 
M. Grahkmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode, ii, 407-476; M. De Wulf, 
Philosophie medievale (1912), pp. 210-217; Ueberweg-Baumgartner^", ii. 306-327 
(1915); A. Schneider, in Beitrdge, xvii, no. 4, pp. 3-10. 

*2 Der Platonismus im Mittelalter (Munich, 1916), and its numerous references. 

*3 For one example, the Pseudo-Bede, see Duhem, iii. 76 ff. So a treatise of this 
period on semitones, perhaps by Ralph of Laon, begins 'Quoniam et Macrobii et 
Platonis auctoritate' (B. N., MS. lat. 15 1 20, f. 41). 

4* Some one with easy access to the manuscripts ought to attack this problem. 

45 Chartres MS. 213, ff. 63-141. F. 116 has: 'In hoc anno quando erant anni a 
nativitate Christi M.C.XXXV. in kal. iulii fuit Venus incensa in Cancro.' 

4® Chapter II, no. 3. 

<7 Chapter III, no. 5. 

^ Haureau, in Notices et extraits des MSS., xxxii, 2, pp. 167 ff.; Duhem, iii. 
184 ff. 

Duhem, iii. 188-193; ^.nd in Revue de philosophie, 1909, pp. 163-178. 
'^o Clerval is much too positive in placing it ca. 11 41 on the ground that Thierry 
ceased to teach about that year. 


forty-five authorities, the original, in two large volumes, being 
still preserved at Chartres.^^ Yet the mathematics and as- 
tronomy of the Eptatheuchon show no certain trace of the new 
learning. ^2 The geometry is that of the agrimensores, Gerbert, 
and the Pseudo-Boethius; arithmetic is represented by Boethius 
and the abacus of Gerland and others, astronomy by the fables of 
Hyginus and the canons of Ptolemy, followed, it is true, by a set 
of tables which require closer examination.^^ The tone through- 
out is that of the earlier Middle Ages; even the Posterior Analyt- 
ics is as yet unknown.^^ The main peculiarity of the school of 
Chartres lay in its ''reverent dependence on the ancients"; it 
stressed the trivium rather than the quadrivium, and with the 
decline of humanism in the second half of the twelfth century its 
fall was rapid, so that Chartres never became a centre of the new 

A survival of the school of Chartres may be seen in the Micro- 
cosmographia which a certain William dedicates to William, arch- 
bishop of Rheims from 11 76 to 1202, and previously (11 64-1 168) 
bishop of Chartres. Preceded in the manuscript by an astro- 

MS. Chartres 497-498, which I examined in 1919. See the detailed account by 
Chasles, Catalogue des MSS. de la ville de Chartres (Chartres, 1840), pp. 30-36; the 
Catalogue general, xi. 211-214; Bubnov, Opera Gerberti, p. xxvi. Cf. Clerval, Ecoles, 
pp. 221 ff.; and his detailed analysis in U enseignement des arts liber aux a Chartres 
et d Paris d^apres I'Heptateuchon de Thierry de Chartres, read before the Congres 
scientifique des Catholiques in 1888, and separately, Paris, 1889. What these 
writers say of the introduction of Arabic numerals needs to be read in the light of 
more recent discussion; cf. D. E. Smith and L. C. Karpinski, The Hindu-Arabic 
System of Numerals (Boston, 191 1). 

^2 F, 141-141 V, which was once considered a fragment of Adelard's version of 
Hypsikles, is identified by Bubnov (pp. xxvi f.) as a part of the geometry of the 

There is no basis for Clerval's assumption {V enseignement, pp. 21 f.) that the 
Canons were translated from the Arabic by Hermann of Carinthia; indeed the 
numerous Greek words in the Chartres text (ff. 174-184) would point to a quite 
different conclusion. The Canons are also in MS. Chartres 214, f. i, likewise trans- 
lated from the Greek (Bjornbo, in Archiv fur die Geschichte der N aturwissenschaften, 
i- 393) ; the date and author of this version have yet to be determined. 

^ Infra, Chapter XI, nn. 11, 34. 

^® Poole, Illustrations, p. 102. 

Preface and contents in Martene, Veterum scriptorum amplissima collectio, i. 
946, from a MS. which is now no. 1041 (1267), ff. 3-43, of the Stadtbibliothek at 
Trier. I have collated the preface by means of photographs, but have not been able 



logical table for 1178, the treatise may well have been written in 
1 177 . It is not, as we might expect it to be, a work of astronomy 
or cosmology, but a comparison of human and animal nature, 
discussing intelligence, free will, and the senses, and based upon a 
collection of the opiniones antiquorum, among whom Plato duly 

Treatises on the Elements 

Respecting the arrival of the Aristotelian physics the chronolog- 
ical evidence is less definite than in the case of astronomy. The 
De physico atiditu makes its appearance as a whole, in versions 
from both Greek and Arabic, toward the year 1 200.^^ Yet Duhem 
has shown one of its doctrines, derived through Macrobius, in the 
De operibus sex dierum of Thierry of Chartres,^^ and we have seen 
other traces of its teaching still earlier in Adelard of Bath, who 
seems to have got them through Galen and Constantine the 
African. Certainly this was the source for William of Conches, 
who seeks to reconcile with Plato Constantine's definitions of the 
elements, and who cites from Constantine the same passage on 
the place of the faculties in the brain which Adelard cites from 
Aristotle. His further references to Johannitius and Theophilus 
confirm the conclusion that the school of Chartres was acquainted 
with the early translations of medical writings from the Arabic. 
To what extent and through what channels the ideas of the Phys- 
ics affected the writers of the latter half of the twelfth century is 
a problem which awaits investigation. One body of writings may 
be indicated as a field of inquiry, namely the various treatises on 

to secure a rotograph of the whole treatise, which would evidently repay examina- 
tion. The author cannot be William of S. Thierry (Clerval, Ecoles de Chartres, p. 
275), who died long before 1176. The Histoire litteraire (ix. 70, 191) makes the 
author William of Soissons. As the archbishop is called legate and not cardinal, the 
dedication cannot be later than 11 79. 

Infra, Chapter XI, n. 4; Chapter XVIII, n. 55; Grabmann, AristotelesUbersetz- 
ungen, pp. 170-174. 

^ iii. 188-193; and in Revue de philosophie, 1909, pp. 163-178. 

Supra, Chapter II, n. 93. 

Migne, clxxii. 48-55; cf. Baumgartner, in Beitrdge, ii, no, 4, p. 50. Cf. also 
Adelard on the elements: Questiones, cc. 1-4. 
Migne, clxxii. 95. 
62 Ibid., coll. 50, 93; Duhem, iii. 88 f. 


the universe and the elements to be found in the manuscripts of 
this period. 

Let us take as an illustration a group of such works in Cotton 
MS. Galba E. iv of the British Museum, written in different 
hands of about the year 1200.^^ First comes the earlier part of an 
anonymous work on natural philosophy, beginning 'Sciendum 
est quid sit philosophia,' but coming shortly to the four elements 
as the main topic, with applications to meteorology. The author, 
who knows a few Greek words and seems to live in southern 
Europe,^^ quotes Seneca, Macrobius, and the Latin poets. He 
accepts the Platonic doctrine of ideas eternally in the mind of the 
Creator, and quotes the Timaeus on motion as the origin of the 
elements; but his definitions of phisis and the three species of 
fire, as well as the dictum of the earth's immobility, are cited 
specifically from Aristotle's Physics. The treatise breaks off 
abruptly after six pages of the manuscript. 

The lacuna in the codex is likewise responsible for the loss of 
the beginning of the next treatise, a dialogue in two books be- 
tween master and pupil, entitled Liher Marii?^ The first book 

^ Ff. 187-204 V. Formerly at Bury St. Edmunds (M. R, James, On the Abbey of 
S. Edmund, Cambridge, 1895, P- 66, no. 154; id., List of MSS. formerly owned by 
Dr. John Dee, Oxford, 1921, p. 29, no. 144). As an indication of date, note that the 
e with cedilla appears throughout these treatises, which are followed by the so- 
called Prenon phisicon (i. e., Nemesius, infra, Chapter VIII, n. 5) and the Ques- 
tiones of Adelard of Bath. 

^ Ff. 187-189 V. 

®^ 'Qug en noian dicuntur, id est in mente' (f. 187). 'Anastronica, id est sine 
stellis' (f. 189 v). 

On f. 189 he argues that clouds come from the west and south because the 
ocean is nearer in that direction. 
«^ F. 187. 

^ *Ut dicit Plato in fine nostri translationis inducens similitudinem pistorii in- 
strumenti': f. 187 v; cf. Timaeus, c. 52 E. 

*Ut dicit Aristotiles in phisica (ph'ica) sua, Phisis est naturalis motus alicuius 
elementi ex se' (f. 187). 'Dicit Aristotiles in phisica sua ignis esse tres species' (f. 
188). 'Quod legitur in phi.. Terra est immobilis' (f. 188). Cf. De physico auditu, 3, 
I, i; 8, 3, 3; 3, 5, 17. The reference on the three species of fire should be to the 
Topica, 5, 5, II. A more exact quotation of the Physics (3, i, i) is found on f. 187 v, 
but without citation of source: 'Phisis proprie est principium motus ex se.' 

Ff. 190-200. Inc. of first page 'aque que est.' F. 194 v: 'et ego subtilius 
potero respondere. Explicit liber primus. Incipit secundus. D. lam igitur mihi 
vellem dari argumenta quod animalia atque virentia et ea qug vocant Sarraceni con- 



considers the four elements and their qualities, the second treats 
of their compounds in the form of "animals, plants, and those 
things which the Saracens call congelata, such as quicksilver, 
sulphur, and all metals." The compounds include odors and 
complexions as well as the six metals compounded of quicksilver 
and sulphur, an interesting early example of the standard al- 
chemical doctrineJ^ The author has travelled widely; he has 
written a Liber de humano proficuo and promises a succeeding one 
on the five sensesJ^ He cites * ancient books ' and other philos- 
ophers/^ Plato,^^ and especially the pseudo-Aristotelian De ele- 
mentis, which seems to have been first translated by Gerard of 
Cremona 7^ 

The next treatise, a brief one, is entitled simply Liber de ele- 
mentis?'^ It cites the opinions of various Greek philosophers, 
mentions especially Aristotle's fifth element, the ether, and relies 
on the dictum of Hippocrates that man cannot consist of a single 
element. The series closes with a Liber de aere et aquis, a piece of 
humoral speculation on climatic conditions, designed especially 
for physicians,'^ for whom astronomy is also indicated as useful. 
The author, evidently a dweller near the Mediterranean in the 
twelfth century, contrasts particularly the inhabitants of Europe 
and Asia, with most detail concerning the Turks.'^^ 

gelata sicut vivum argentum, sulphur, et metalla cuncta . . . ideoque a philosophis 
minor mundus nuncupatus est. Qui ipsum super huius seculi uni versa composita 
sullimavit sit benedictus in secula seculorum amen ' (f . 200) . 

F. 198, Cf. the Liber de congelatis translated by Alfred of Sareshel: infra, 
Chapter VI, n. 47; Thorndike, ii. 250; Pelzer, in Archivum Franciscanum his- 
toricum, xii. 49 f. (1919). On flavors cf. the fragment ''De saporibus" edited by 
F. Hartmann, Die . Literatiir von Friih- und Hoch-Salerno (Leipzig diss., 1919), 
P- 55- 

^2 F. 199. ^3 p 200. 

'Legi quoque in antiquis voluminibus de dementis' (f. 190 v). Cf. ff. 192, 


Ff. 190 V, 199. 

Ff. 192 V, 193 V, On the translations of this work see Steinschneider, H. U.y 
pp. 232 f. 

" Ff. 200 V-201 v: 'Elementum in mundo tocius est corporis minima pars . . . 
alterum ab altero nasci videbis. Explicit.' 

Ff. 201 v-204 v: 'Quisquis ad medicing studium accedere curat . . . et non 
errabis a veritate. Explicit liber.' 

7» F. 204. 


The occurrence of these treatises in the same manuscript does 
not, of course, show any inherent connection, but the internal 
evidence refers them to the same general age and milieu. An- 
terior to ca. 1200, they belong to the epoch when Aristotelian 
science was coming in through Arabic channels but had not yet 
been fully absorbed. The authors are more interested in physics 
than in astronomy, at least one of them also cares for medicine, 
and there are traces of Greek as well as Arabic learning. All this 
points to southern Italy and Sicily rather than any other part of 
Latin Europe. 

More specifically astronomical is an anonymous treatise of 
which the first twenty-five chapters are preserved in MS. Lat. 
1 5015 of the Bibliotheque Nationale.^^ According to the table of 
contents its forty chapters covered the four elements and their 
motion, earthquakes and tides and other matters of meteorology, 
and the motions of the planets. There are many diagrams, but 
there is nothing very striking in the text.^^ The author quotes 
authorities sparingly, as in one instance, 'philosophi in libro de 
rerum natura ' ; if he does not specifically cite Aristotle's Me- 
teorology, he refers to Ptolemy 'in codice de sperarum composi- 
tione ' on the size of the sun, and thus brings us to the close of 
the twelfth century. 

A similar transition to the science of the thirteenth century is 
seen in a brief tract in the Biblioteca Casanatense at Rome,^^ per- 
haps also referable to southern Italy because of its allusions to 

Ff. 200-223 V, of the early thirteenth century: 'Gratia Deo primo sine prin- 
cipio . . . [chapter headings]. Postquam capitula singulatim computavimus, ad 
unumquodque explanandum ordine accedamus. Primum quod firmamentum est 
creatum et gubernatum . . 

F. 203: 'In toto enim mundo non est locus vacuus.' Cf. supra, Chapter II, 
n. 97. 

82 F. 206 V. 

^ F. 214 V. See Almagest, 5, 16. The Introduction of Geminus, translated by 
Gerard of Cremona, seems to have been current under a similar title (Stein- 
schneider, E. U., no. 46(37); Manitius, Gemini Elementa, 1898, pp. xviii f.), but I 
do not find this passage in the edition. 

^ MS. 2052, ff. 17-18 b (of the early thirteenth century) : ' Videndum etiam quid 
sit philosophia, que eius partes, que sunt partium partes, deinde partium et sub- 
par tium executiones . . . ille tamen transeundo per terre venas colantur et sic 
dulces eunt.' 



hot baths and sulphurous flames. After a classification of the 
sciences, the author takes up the elements, their qualities, and 
their passiones. Dionysius the Areopagite is cited, as well as 
Lucan, Macrobius, and Seneca's Quaestiones naturales. Aris- 
totle is cited once via Macrobius,^^ once specifically in the 

The Marseilles Tables 

In the diffusion of Arabic learning north of the Pyrenees an 
important part was taken by the cities of southern France. We 
have already seen Hermann of Carinthia at Beziers and Tou- 
lous^,^^ while Jewish scholars like Abraham ibn Ezra at Narbonne 
prepared the way for the numerous translations from Arabic into 
Hebrew made for the Jewish communities of Provence and Lan- 
guedoc.^^ Montpellier was a well known centre of astronomy by 
the thirteenth century, while Marseilles appears at the very out- 
set of the new movement. 

One of the earliest attempts to adapt the astronomy of Spain 
to places north of the Pyrenees is found in the planetary tables 
drawn up by a certain Raymond of Marseilles in 1140: Liber 
cursuum planetarum capitisque draconis a Raymundo Massiliensi 
super M as siliam f actus P The introduction to this work, it is 

*Huiusmodi questiones [salt and fresh waters] Macrobius de sntialibus [sic] 
movet et solvit secundum Aristotilem' (f. 18). Cf. Macrobius, Saturnalia, 7, 13, 19 
(ed. Eyssenhardt, p. 448), where the reference is apparently to the ProUemata. 

*De actionibus elementorum de quibus Aristotiles in metaphisicis egit nunc 
inspiciendum est ' (f. 17 v). 

Supra, Chapter III. 

^ Renan, in Histoire Utter aire, xxvii. 571-623; Steinschneider, H. V passim; 
id., in Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathematik, iii. 57-128; Duhem, iii. 298 ff. 

89 This is the title in MS. 243 of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, ff. 53-62 (saec. 
xv), which lacks the tables and begins with 166 verses: 

O qui stelligeri cursus moderaris Olimpi 
Sideribus septem contra labentibus orbem 

Ergo lectorem prius hoc novisse iubemus 
In media quod principium sit nocte diei 
Atque quod in simili sit finis parte sequentis, 
Et domini nostri Ihesu Christi super annos 
Massiliamque super nos hunc componere librum 


true, bears the date iiii, or 1106, but that this is a scribe's error 
for 1 140 (MCXI for MCXL) appears in a specific reference to a 
debate of 27 October 1139 as well as in the content of the tables 
themselves. Their purpose is to adjust the tables of Toledo to 
the use of Latins in general and the author's own Marseilles in 
particular: ^2 

Cum multos Indorum seu Caldeorum atque Arabum quos in astronomia 
plurimum valuisse cognovimus cursuum planetarum libros aut super 
Arin civitatem, que in medio mundi rectissime fore constructa memoratur, 
aut super Meseram et super annos mundi seu Grecorum aut Gezdaheirt 
edidisse vidissemus, novissime autem quendam Toletanum hac in arte 
perspicuum, qui a quibusdam Azarhel vel Albatheni nuncupatur, super annos 
Arabum et super Toletum, que a nostra civitate, id est Massilia, per horam 
et alterius partem decimam distat, cursuum similiter libmm fecisse com- 
perissemus; non indignum esse credidimus super annos domini Ihesu et 
super prefatam civitatem nostram librum constituere, et quoniam nos 
primi Latinorum fuimus ad quos post Arabum translationem hec scientia 
pervenerat et aliquid utilitatis ex nostro labore cunctis Latinis adminis- 
trare hand absurdum videbatur, opus presens aggressi sumus [atque predic- 
tum Toletanum in eo immitati sumus]. Constituimus ergo in eo radices 
.vii. planetis capiti atque caude draconis super mediam noctem quam 

Senciat; est illic que nostra gentis origo. 
Natalemque locum nostro de numero clarum 

Carminibus finem facio; laus omnipotenti 
Sit Domino nostro qui regnat trinus et vivus. 


Anonymous and without title and preliminary verses in B. N., MS. Lat. 14704, ff. 
1 10-135 v; fragment at Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, McClean MS. 165, ff. 
44-47, a MS. anterior to 11 75, in which this treatise is entitled "Liber cursuum 
planetarum .vii. super Massiliam." See Duhem, iii. 201-216; and, for astrology, 
Thorndike, ii. 91 f. The fulness of Duhem's discussion makes detail unnecessary, 
but he knew only the anonymous B. N. MS. 

Corpus MS. 243, f. 56; MS. Lat. 14704, f. iii; Duhem, iii. 207. The Corpus 
MS. (f. 55) has a further corruption in the principal date: 'M'». C°. VI°.' 

Duhem, iii. 203 f. 

^ MS. McClean 165, f. 44, which begins here; MS. Lat. 14704, f. 116; Duhem, 
iii. 211 f. The Corpus MS. stops just before this passage. 

MS. Lat. cognovissemus. MS. Lat. inserts quia. 

^ MS. Lat. om. »8 mS. LslL fueramus. 

96 MS. Lat. docirina. MS. Lat. om. 

9« MS. Lat. om. 

MS. McClean omits the words in brackets. 

MS. McClean radicem. MS. Lat. atque capiti draconis. 



sequebatur vii« f eria kalendanim ianuarii qua ingressus est annus Latinorum 
in quo Dominus incarnatus est, et super Mas&iliam que ab Arin, cuius tam 
latitude quam longitude nulla est, trium horarum spatio distat. 

The author, whose piety is evident, is at some pains to justify 
the study of the stars and their influence on human affairs by 
reference to the Bible and by copious quotations from Lucan. He 
quotes the Fathers — Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory — Hip- 
pocrates and Galen, Ovid, Priscian, and Boethius, giving evidence 
of a considerable Latin culture in the astronomical portion as well 
as in the mythology and geography of the introductory verses. If 
he does not cite by name Plato and Macrobius, he discusses 
briefly the world-soul. Besides al-Zarkali and al-Battani, his 
Arabic authorities are the astrologers Albumasar, Alcabitius, and 
Messehalla, from whom he promises extracts not found in our 
MSS. He inveighs against certain incorrect planetary tables and 
apocryphal works ascribed to Ptolemy, and he has himself written 
a treatise on the astrolabe to which he makes frequent reference. 
His own attainments are respectable. '*He is," says Duhem/^* 
"an astronomer not only because he is abreast of the most deli- 
cate and most recent discoveries, such as al-Zarkali's discovery of 
the proper movement of the sun's apogee, but he also shows him- 
self an astronomer by his sound ideas concerning the methods of 
observation and the corrections which they require." 

Raymond declares himself the first of the Latins to acquire the 
science of the Arabs, in evident ignorance of the work of Adelard 
of Bath and Plato of Tivoli. Moreover he describes his debate of 
1 139 with two masters who possessed incorrect tables,^°^ but he 
does not say that these were Latins or where the debate took 
place.^^^ In 11 94 Maimonides addresses his treatise on astrology 
to certain Jews of Marseilles. 

A Critic of Macrobius 

The decline of the older astronomy can be seen from another 
angle in a treatise on the planetary spheres contained in a manu- 

iii. 208. MS. Lat. 14704, f. iii; MS. Corpus 243, f. 56. 

For later astronomers at Marseilles see Steinschneider, in Bullettino, xvii. 
775 f., XX. 575-579; P. Tannery, in Notices et extraits des MSS.y xxxv, 2, pp. 561- 
640; Duhem, iii. 287-291; Thorndike, ii. 92 f., 206, 211, 485-487. 


script of Cambrai.^^^ This codex, of the later twelfth century, 
begins as follows, as if it were a translation of Maimonides: 

Incipit liber Mamonis in astronomia a Stephano philosopho translatus 

Quoniam in canonem astronomi§ quas proposueramus regularum exsequto 
tractatu promissum exsolvimus, secundum hoc opus licet arduum et sub- 
tilissimo ac multiplici natur§ celatum archano non inconsulta aut impu- 
denti temeritate sed frequenti et animi et utilitatis ammonitione aggredior. 
Sic enim licet magnorum super his gravissimorumque disputatio philoso- 
phorum, tamen mediocres persepe maxima quemadmodum maiores curant 
minora. lUud quoque attendendum est plurimum quod, cum omnis a Deo 
fit sapientia, ea autem verior et sine scrupulo fallacig concessa sit nemo no- 
verit. Unde et qui graves habentur philosophi sepe extra se maximis in rebus 
eorundemque verius et perspicacius alios qui nec philosophiam adepti essent 
nec ad eam aliquando posse pertingere existimaverent [sic] de divini mu- 
neris larga benignitate hausisse noticiam comperimur. Testes sunt Plato et 
Aristo tiles quos omnium liberalium artium fere magistros habemus. Quorum 
Plato in multis a veritate dissonat, Aristotilis mundum non esse a Deo con- 
ditum de nichilo sed cum eo sicut nunc est tamquam cum corpore umbram 
processisse et condidit et argumentis fallacibus conatur asserere, eo nimirum 
in loco intellectus et animi et oculorum privatus officio qui fidelium simplici- 
tati divina nascitur misericordia. Idem ipse in hac de qua proposita est dis- 
putatio questione cum de celestibus speris dissereret, octo positis de nona 
non, ut quidam arbitrantur, consulto tacuit sed se ad eius noticiam nequa- 
quam pervenisse manifestum nobis reliquit testimonium. Quod nuUatenus 
arroganter dictum cuipiam videri velim et quod tant§ gravitatis et scientig 
et ex eisdem auctoritatis adepte philosophus ignorasse dicitur me non latuit. 
Nam etsi inter maximos locum non obtineam, ad eosdem tamen aspirans 
mediocrium invasi disciplinam. Habet enim ille sua quibus plurima con- 
sumpta opera perpetuitatis dum philosophantes vixerint nomen adeptus est 
quorum tamen pluraque a maioribus omnia autem a Deo preter obfuscata 
falsitatis errore accepit. Quare nobis quoque, qui nichil aliis derogamus, si 
quidem idem omnium ditissimus Deus annuat invideri dedecet, cum ab eo 
accepta alios docere quam ignavie silenti§ tegere malumus. Hgc autem ideo 
quia nisi tanta foret obtrectantium multitudo ferociores habuisset latinitas 
auctores fertiliorque apud nos philosophig seges puUuiaret. Cum etenim plu- 
rimi essent exercitus detrahentium pauci qui benigne susciperent, pauciores 
certe artium scriptores magis exterrebantur multitudinis immanitate quam 
adunarentur aliquorum benigno studio. Unde factum est ut que fere pleni- 
tudinem posset habere artium nunc ceteris gentibus Europa videatur humi- 
lior, quippe que quos educat contra fontem scienti§ sepius oblatrantes sentit 
sibi ipsis rebelles nunc h§c nunc ilia nunquam consona ruminantes. Qu§ res 

MS. 930 (829), 49 folios, formerly belonging to the cathedral. It breaks off 
before the end of the treatise, but evidently not long before. On the fly-leaf a hand 
of the fifteenth century has written. * Quidam tractatus de astronomia .xxii.' 


tantum attulit litteralis scientig odium ut a quibus summe venerari debuerat 
rerum rectoribus summe odiretur. ... 

(f . 2 v) Quoniam autem in canonis regulis multa tetigimus que in hoc 
opere explicari desiderant, promissum preterire consilium non fuit, ut quod 
illic dubietatis scrupulus fastidium generaverit hoc operis beneficio so- 
piatur. Atque hec est ratio que me maxime ad hoc opus coegit ne autem 
anxium lectorem a studio repulsum iri paterer nostratumque utilitati 
quoad posse consulerem neve quod poUicitus f ueram aut ignorasse aut inertia 
neglexisse arguerer. Placet igitur celestium sperarum circulos numerum 
ordinem quo verius potero quantumque humana patitur ratio aperire, ut qui 
a Ptholomeo in sua sinthasi disponuntur circuli in speris etiam quo modo 
possint inveniri laborantibus in hac arte via teratur. In quo nichil enim per- 
fectum mihi vel cuiquam ad explicandum concessum arbitror, siquid pre- 
termissum superflueve positum fuerit sapientium arbitrio corrigendum 

Mundus nomen est ad placitum per quod omnia fere que condita sunt 
designantur, forma eius rotunda atque speralis . . . 

Starting from the solid sphere of the earth as the centre of the 
spherical universe, the author explains that the earth is immov- 
able and the heavens revolve about it. He knows nothing of the 
surrounding sea but argues briefly concerning the source of the 
Nile; whence he passes quickly to the nine heavens which con- 
stitute his main theme. The greater heat of the sun in summer is 
due to its nearness, not, as the Aristotelians think, to the angle of 
its rays.^^^ He has himself tested the effect of the full moon on the 
weather.^^^ Throughout the first book, as for example, on the 
zodiac, there is a running criticism of Macrpbius, concerning 
whom he thus expresses himself in the preface to book ii: 

In astronomic mihi suscepta disputatione laboranti, de qua pauca certe 
habet latinitas eorumque pleraque erroris obfuscata caligine, obici fortassis 
animus doctis poterit arrogans in invidia quod in Macrobium inter philo- 
sophantes non mediocrem tociens acrius invehar, eoque amplius quod usque 
ad hec tempora omni caruerit obtrectationis livore. Quibus vellem satis 

p apparently erased after rerum. h' for huius? MS. anexium. 

*Et de mari quidem quod quo ambitus quibusve locis terrain circumfluat 
incertum habeo prater id quod septentrionales norunt habitatores, de quibus quo- 
niam apud illos sepe dictum est taceamus' (f. 5). 

'Nam et hos qui more solis super terram causam imponunt plurimum errasse 
et Aristotelicos qui motui radii tantum a veritate deviasse videmus' (f. 10 v). 

"2 ' Nam in estate, quod ego id compertum habeo, plenilunialem noctem humi- 
diorem esse et frigidiorem^ sinodalem vero diem minus calidum et siccum' (f. 12 v). 
r;h Ff. 15-15 V. On the influence of Macrobius prior to the reception of Arabic 
astronomy, see Duhem, iii, ch. 3. 


esset mea cognita voluntas intelligantque me latine tradere facultati nos- 
tratum incognita auribus archana, que cum frequentibus vigiliis diuturnis 
cogitationum recessibus exquisita comparaverim quorum Macrobium aut 
inscium fuisse video aut intellfecta perversa depravasse exponere.ii'^ Horum 
alterum cum ad filium suum, quem sapientia sua sapientiorem fieri vellet, 
scriberet fuisse dicendum non est, nemo enim dilectum sciens perverse in- 
struit. Non igitur intellecta veraciter depravasse sed non intellexisse potius 
et ignorasse iudicandum est. Quam ob rem non mihi in huius artis peritia 
philosopho sed cum inscio contencio est, ... In Macrobium igitur nostra 
idcirca maior est animadversio quoniam apud nostratum opinionem ceteris 
ipsum copiosiorem in astronomia et sentio et relatum per quam plurimos est. 

In the second book we find the usual division into climates, and 
the common view that the habitable globe lies between fixed 
parallels.^^^ The third book takes us further into the subject by 
discussing the spheres of moon and sun and their eclipses; the 
fourth, 'De retrogradacione/ considers the spheres of the planets 
as well as the eighth sphere of the fixed stars and the ninth which 
he calls aplanos. Naturally the author does not accept the 
Macrobian theory of the rotation of Venus and Mercury about 
the sun. He loves geometry, especially geometrical proofs 'un- 
known to the Latin world,' and these are accompanied by 
good diagrams.^^^ Ptolemy is always cited with respect,^^^ the 
Almagest specifically as the Sintaxis}^^ The author calls himself 
a Peripatetic, but disagrees frequently with the Aristotelians.^^^ 
The other authorities are not cited by name,^^^ save the much 
criticized Macrobius, but the author's indebtedness to an unnamed 
Arab writer is mentioned in the preface to the fourth book: 

Probably for 'expositione.' Ff. 5 v, 22, 31 v. 

"® Infra, p. 102. 'Deprehensum est enim aquodam soUertissimo et astronomia 
scientie peritissimo philosopho geometricali argumentatione ' (f. 37 v). 'Id ita esse 
ut aiunt verissimis ostenditur in libro geometrie rationibus' (f. 7 v). 

Ff. 4 v, 26 v, 27 v, 30 v, 31 V, 32, 35, 36, 38 v, 43 V, 45 V, 47 v, 48. 

' Tholomeus in astronomia magnificus . . . hec in libro quem de habitatione 
dixit scripta sunt. Michi vero tametsi difficillimum videatur, credendum tamen 
estimo eius philosophice traditioni quam et multarum constat rerum experientiam 
habuisse et antiquorum scriptis et sui temporis hominum relatione multa que nobis 
incognita sunt certo cognovisse' (f. 22 v). See also ff. 27 v, 29 v, 30, 49 v. 

Ff. 29 V, 49 v; cf. the preface above. 
120 'Neque enim Epicurum aliquando dogma audivimus sed peripatetice potius 
accedimus claritati' (26 v). On the Aristotelians see f. 10, 10 v. 

Cf. n. 116 and the preface to book iv, below. 
122 F. 38-38 v. 


Quartus hie laboris nostri decursus de .e. planetarum speris et circulis et 
octava denique nona spera disserens transcurso maris alto funere anchore 
portus tranquillo attinget. Verum cum in aliis Arabem quendam plurimum 
secuti sumus, in hoc quoque per multum sequimur, licet quedam de sperarum 
numero et rotunditatum invenerimus et de circulis quidem et inclinationibus 
planetarum vera perstrinxit a quibus sperarum numerus dissonat. Hoc 
autem suis in locis aperte monstrabitur. . . . Non enim parva apud Latinos 
diutius inquievit questio quonam modo erraticorum .e. globi quorum natura 
indictus cursus in orientem est fiant retrogradi et ab oriente relabantur in 
occiduas partes. Et hec quidem, ut verum fateamur, questio digna est et 
proponi et solvi sed a nemine tamen eorum absoluta. Nec hoc mirum duci- 
mus, cum occulta sit res et geometricalibus exquisita et aprobata argumentis 
quorum latinitas inscia indivulgato diu multumque volutatur errore. . . . 

There are, however, no Arabic terms of any sort, while words like 
extasis,'^^^ sintaxis, and panselinus point to some use of Greek 
sources or works derived therefrom. Diagrams are lettered 
abcdef, not ahgdez as in the case of mechanical transfers from the 
Greek, but there is a curious system of numerals by which the 
letters of the Roman alphabet are given a numerical value in suc- 
cession like the Greek.^^^ Thus in the extract printed above e is 
used for the five planets, and we likewise find g for the seven 
climates and Id for twenty-four hours. The higher numbers 
have caused some confusion to the copjdst, but the following may 
serve as an example, in which ^ = lo, / = 20, / = 100, u = 200, 

Que spatia cuius sint proportionis ita videbimus: Inter terram et lunam . a 
gradus esse concedamus. Duplum a terra usque solem, id est ,6. Triplum 
huius a terra ad Venerem, id est ./. Quadruplum autem huius ad Mercurium, 
id est .Id. Novies .l.d. usque Martem que sunt u.k.f. Octies autem ducenta 
k.j. usque lovem, scilicet mille septingenti .l.h. Qui vicesies septies multipli- 
cati spatium a terra usque Saturnum reddunt qcy.y.g.^"^^ et de quibus sublatis 
t.u.p.a. scilicet spatio a terra usque lovem remanet a love usque Saturnum 

^3 F. 3. ' Paranselinio (sic) quod nos plenilunium dicimus' (f. 34). 

I have not found this system elsewhere, unless it is the one found by Friedlein 
in MS. Erfurt 11 27: Die Zahlzeichen und das elementare Rechnen der Griechen und 
Romer (Erlangen, 1869), p. 20. 

126 F. 22 v. 127 Y. 23. 

128 Ff. 27 v-28. So (ff. 8, 17) .xp. is used for the 360° of a circle, half of which is 
.tr. For the distances in the passage here printed of. Macrobius, In Somnium 
Scipionis, 2, 3, 13 (ed. Eyssenhardt, p. 584). 

129 What I have represented by y resembles rather the early western form of 5, 
and the et may also be a numeral. The numbers from this point up I must leave to 
some one else to interpret. As far as 1728 the system is clear. 


q*.q'.q.p.a. Sublato de spatio lovis spatium Martis restat a Mante i. g.ip 
usque lovem, sic de reliquis. Cum igitur spatium a luna usque solem .a. 
gradus, a sole ad Venerem .d., ad Mercurium k.h., a Mercuric ad Martem 
t.s.b., a Marte ad lovem i.g.i. p., a love ad Satumum q'.q'.q.p.a., cui reliquis 
omnibus spatiis iunctis prior surgit numerus. Que spatiorum assignatio mul- 
tis rationibus improbatur. Si enim est ut idem dicit una eademque omnium 
celeritas, duplo temporis sol suum peragraret circulum quo luna suum cir- 
cuit, duorum et enim circulorum si alterius diametrum duplum sit diametro 
alterius et circuli sic se habent. Peragraret igitur, si vere essent assignata 
spatia eademque citatio, sol b mensibus totum zodiacum, Venus ./., Mer- 
curius .Ld., Mars .u.k.f., lupiter t.n.d. annis, Saturnus .xp .a.a.d. annis et .6. 
mensibus. Que cum ita sint, aut falsa est sperarum assignatio aut celeritas 
non erit eadem."" 

1 1 is by this time plain that what we have is no translation of 
Maimonides or any one else, but an independent work using au- 
thorities but following consistently its own line of argument. The 
author has already written Regule canonis. His present purpose 
is to introduce a more correct astronomy into the Latin world, 
which is still in fog and darkness. He is plainly a Latin, citing 
Lucan and Cicero,^^^ with bits of classical lore like the story of 
Solon's travels,^^^ mentions of Caesar and Cons tan tine, and 
references to the Epicureans and Peripatetics.^^^ As his doctrines 
are thought new and Macrobius is his chief enemy, he still be- 
longs to the period of the first reception of the new astronomy, 
when Platonism is still in the ascendant and Arabic learning is 
just arriving. Whether the name Stephen in the title has any 
more value than the reference to Maimonides, must remain an 
open question. The combination of Greek and Arabic influences 

points toward Sicily, though Stephen of Antioch is also a possi- 

Translations of Ptolemy 

With the translation of Ptolemy's Almagest into Latin the ful- 
ness of Greek astronomy reached western Europe. The Ma^T/jua- 
TLKTi Suj/rafts of Ptolemy was for all subsequent times the most 

On f. 48 V we have: 'Completur enim Saturni lati motus in .l.i, annis, .e.d. 
diebus, .k.e. horis, horarum sex. .l.d.; lovis autem annis .k.a., x.k.e diebus, horis 
.k.d., horarum sex .l.i.; Martis vero anno uno, diebus .x.l.b., horis .l.d.; ac Veneris 
et Mercurii anno uno, horis .e., seX. horarum .n.i.' 

Ff. 5 V, 13 V, 27. Y. 27. Infra, Chapter VIl. 

^^^F. I5V. 134 26 V. 


important work of ancient astronomy, summing up, as it did, the 
labors of Ptolemy and his Alexandrine predecessors in systematic 
and comprehensive form, and in the Middle Ages it possessed 
supreme authority as the source of all higher astronomical knowl- 
edge. In 827 it was translated into Arabic, and among the Sara- 
cens it passed as a divine and preeminent book, about which 
there grew up a large body of explanatory literature.^^^ Indeed 
the name by which it was generally known, Almagest, has been 
explained as a superlative title, al fxeylaTrj, though recent writers 
are inclined to make it a corruption of fxeyaXri avvra^Ls}^'^ In the 
Latin Europe of the twelfth century Ptolemy's results became 
known at first indirectly, in the compends of al-Fargani and al- 
Battani; and even after his great work was translated, an 
abridgment, the so-called Almagestum parvum of ca. 11 75-1 250, 
replaced it for many readers. 

The first Latin version of the Almagest itself has commonly 
been placed in 11 75, the date attached to the translation from the 
Arabic made in Toledo by Gerard of Cremona.^^^ It is now 
known, however, that a rendering was made from the Greek in 

On the place of the Almagest in the history of astronomy and mathematics, 
see R. Wolf, Geschichte der Astronomie (Munich, 1877), pp. 60-63; Cantor, i. 414- 
422; P. Tannery, Recherches sur Vhistoire de V astronomie ancienne (Paris, 1893); 
Steinschneidef, "Die arabischen Bearbeiter des Almagest," in B. M., 1892, pp. 53- 
62; and in Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft,\- 199-207 (1896); 
Manitius, introduction to his German translation (Leipzig, 191 2); Duhem, i. 466 ff. 

Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), i. 203. 

On the date of the Almagestum parvum, see Nallino, al-Battani, p. xxviii; 
Birkenmajer, Bibljoteka Ryszarda de Fournival (Cracow, 1922), pp. 29-34. For 
citations from the Almagest in 1 143 by Hermann of Carinthia, see Chapter III, n. 61. 
The extract in MS. Chartres 214 is in a later hand: Suter, al-Khwarizmi, p. 16. 

On Gerard see Chapter I, supra. The evidence for this date is found on the 
last folio of a thirteenth-century MS. of Gerard's translation in the Laurentian 
(MS. Ixxxix. sup. 45; cf. Bandini, Catalogus, iii, col. 312): 'Finit liber Ptholomaei 
Pheludensis qui grece megaziti, arabice almagesti, latine vocatur vigil, cura magistri 
Thadei Ungari anno domini millesimo .c.lxxv°. Toleti consummatis [sic], anno 
autem Arabum quingentessimo .lxx°. [then a blank of about the space of six letters] 
mensis octavi .xi°. die translatus a magistro Girardo Cremonensi de arabico in 
latinum.' The two computations agree, and the date has been generally accepted 
(Wiistenfeld, p. 64; Rose, in Hermes, viii. 334; Cantor, i. 907; Steinschneider, H. U., 
p. 522), but Steinschneider in his latest reference to it inserts an interrogation 
point (E. U., no. 46 (36)). 


Sicily about 11 60; first discovered in 1909, this is described at 
some length in a later chapter.^^^ Moreover, while the version of 
Gerard of Cremona was the one to pass into general circulation, 
other translations, or partial translations, of the Almagest were 
made, although in each case the date and author are unknown.^^^ 
For purposes of comparison let us begin with Gerard's rendering. 
First comes certain prefatory matter peculiar to the Arabic text: 
the biography and maxims of Ptolemy Quidam princeps 
...'), and the account of the translation into Arabic under al- 
Mamun. Then the first book begins : 

Capitulum primum. In quo huius scientig ad alias excellentiam et finem 

eius utilitatis dicam. 
Capitulum secundum. De ordinibus modorum huius scienti§. 
Capitulum iii. Quomodo scitur quod motus celi sit spericus. 
Capitulum iiii. De eo quod indicat quod etiam terra sit sperica. 
Capitulum v. De eo quod indicat quod terra sit in medio cgli. 
Capitulum vi. De eo quod indicat quod terra sit sicut punctum apud celum. 
Capitulum vii. Quod terra localem motum non habeat. 
Capitulum viii. Quod primi motus qui sunt in celo sunt duo primi motus. 
Capitulum ix. De scientia partium cordarum circuli. 
Capitulum x. De modo quo tabule arcuum circuli et cordarum eius fiunt. 
Capitulum xi. De positione arcuum et cordarum eorum in tabulis. 
Capitulum xii. De arte instrumenti quo scitur quantitas arcus qui est inter 

duos tropicos. 

Capitulum xiii. De scientia quantitatis arcuum qui sunt inter orbem equa- 
tionis diei et inter orbem medii signorum qui est declinatio. 

Capitulum xiiii. De scientia quantitatis arcuum equationis diei qui elevatur 
in spera directa cum arcubus orbis signorum datis. 

Ecce ubi initium primi capituli prime distinctionis dedit : 

Bonum, Scire, fuit quod sapientibus non deviantibus visum est cum 
partem speculationis a parte operationis diviserunt, que sunt dug sapientig 
partes. Licet enim contingat ut operatione sit speculatio prius, inter eas 
tamen non parva existit differentia, non solum, et si quorundam morum 
honestatem possibile sit pluribus hominum inesse absque doctrina, tamen 
non tocius scientiam absque doctrina comprehendere est possibile, verum 
etiam quia plurimum utilitatis consistit aut in opere propter plurimam per- 
severantiam agendi in rebus aut in scientia propter augmentum in scientia. 

"0 Infra, Chapter IX. 

Manitius, pp. xii ff., is unsatisfactory on the mediaeval versions. 

See Boncompagni, Gherardo, p. 400; cf. the description of MS. Vat. lat. 
2057 in the printed catalogue. 

MS. lat. 14738, f. I. For the version of the preface from the Greek, see below, 
p. 163. 


Qua propter nobis visum est expedire nobis ut sciamus metiri operationem 
cum doctrina principiorum eius que reperiuntur in imaginatione et intellectu, 
ne quid desit ex inquisicione tocius pulchre rei decentis forme secundum 
mensurationis bonitatem neque in minimis rebus neque in vilibus, et ut ex- 
pendamus plurimum nostri ocii et plurimum nostri studii in disciplina 
scientig magne et excels? et precipue que nominatur scientia. O quam bonum 
fuit quod Aristotiles divisit theoricam, cum eam in tria prima genera distri- 
buit, in naturale, doctrinale, theologicum! Generatio namque omnis gen- 
erati ex materia est et forma et motu, neque est possibile ut in aliquo note 
horum trium solum per se singillatim stans absque alio videatur, possibile 
tamen est ut unum absque alio intelligatur. Quod siquis scire querit que sit 
prima causa primi motus, afiirmabitur ei cum illud secundum ordines suos 
fuerit declaratum quod est Deus invisibilis et immobilis. Species autem 
theorice qua inquiritur perscrutatio qua scitur quod est in suprema altitudine 
ordinum mundi nominatur theologica, et hoc quidem intelligitur separatum 
esse a substantiis sensibilibus. ... 

The most interesting body of evidence respecting other ver- 
sions is found in a manuscript in the Landesbibliothek at Wolfen- 
biittel, MS. Gud. lat. 147.^^^ This codex, of the thirteenth century, 
contains first, after the fly-leaf, without heading (f. 2) the pref- 
ace to the Sicilian version of the Almagest from the Greek. On 
f . 3 we have the Ptolemaic maxims (' Conveniens est intelligenti 
. . .') which ordinarily accompany the biographical material 
CQuidam princeps . . .') in the version of Gerard of Cremona, 
followed by Gerard's version of Ptolemy's preface, headed 'Alia 
translatio primi capituli.' On f. 3 v comes the biography as 
translated by Gerard and his rendering of the chapter headings of 
the first book. Then on f . 4 begins a quite different version of the 
preface from the Arabic as follows : 

Bonum quidem fecerunt illi qui perscrutati sunt scientiam philosophie, 
lekirie,^*^ in hoc quod partiti sunt partem philosophie speculativam ab 
activa. Sed, quamvis activa antequam sit activa est speculativa, tamen 
quod inter eas de diversitate reperitur est magnum. Non propterea quod 
quasdam bonas virtutes animates possibile est esse in multis hominum sine 
doctrina, sed ad scientiam omnium rerum speculativarum non est possibile 
aliquem pervenire absque doctrina,^"*^ sed tantum proptere aquod perducens 

1^ The description in the printed catalogues is too meagre to be of service: F. A. 
Ebert, Bihliothecae Guelferbytanae codices Graeci et Latini classici (Leipzig, 1827), no. 
733; O. von Heinemann, Die Hss. der herzdglichen Bihliothek zu Wolfenbiittel (Wolf- 
enbiittel, 1913), ix. 163. I have examined the codex by specimen photographs. 
'Id est, O domine Frire' above the line. 
MS. propterea" quod. MS. doctrina" tantum. 


ad finem quesitam in parte quidem activa est multitudo assiduationis super 
operationem et in parte quidem speculativa additio speculationis. Et propter 
illud vidimus quod oportet ut sit rectificatio operationis illud quod credimus 
per mentes nostras ut non recedamus nec in pauco ex rebus a consideratione 
perducente ad dispositionem pulchram ordinatam et ponamus plurimum 
nostre occupationis in inquisitione sci^ntie rerum speculativarum propter 
multitudinem earum et superfluam bonitatem ipsarum et proprie in rebus 
quibus proprium est ut nominentur doctrinales. O quam bonum quod divisit 
Aristotiles partem speculativam cum divisit eam in tria prima genera, na- 
turale, disciplinale, et divinum ! Quoniam essentia omnium rerum ex materia 
est et forma et motu, et non est possibile ut sit una rerum trium secundum 
singularitatem inventa actu, et est iam possibile ut intelligatur unaqueque 
earum absque alia. Causa igitur prima motui totali primo quando cogi- 
tamus motum simplicem videmus quod est Deus qui non videtur neque 
movetur, et nominabimus banc speciem inquisitionem de Deo nostro. Et 
banc quidem intelligentiam intelligimus in altiore altitudine rerum tantum 
seiunctam penitus a substantiis sensatis . . . quod primi non comprehen- 
derunt nec consecuti sunt ex eius comprehensione quod oportet. 

Then with the second chapter this version is abandoned for 
Gerard's, which seems to be used thereafter. The beginning of 
book iv, which I have compared, has the ordinary text of Gerard, 
and the manuscript closes on f. i6i with Gerard's version (13, 

Quia igitur iam consummavimus has intentiones et perfecimus omnia ad 
quorum scientiam necessarium est invenire in hoc libro, secundum quantita- 
tem status nostre scientie et summe nostri consilii preter extranea eorum, 
secundum quantitatem qua adiuvit nos tempus quod pervenit ad nos ad 
inveniendum id cuius est inventio necessaria ex illo et premittendum id cuius 
est necessaria premissio et verificatio eius ex eo, et secundum quod sit quod 
scripsiiiius inde conferens in hac scientia preter quod inquiramus per ipsum 
prolongationem et abbreviationem, tunc iam sequitur et honestum est ut 
ponamus hoc finem libri. 

Finit liber Ptolomei Pheludensis qui grece megasin. arabice almagesti 
latine maior perfectus appellatur. 

This, however, is not the whole story, for there are frequent mar- 
ginal notes containing extracts from a version, or paraphrase, out 
of the Arabic which is not that of Gerard. Thus at the beginning 
of book iv the text has: 

Iam narravimus et demonstravimus in dictione que est ante banc totum 
quod contingit in motu solis, et postquam illud incipere volumus secundum 

Cf. Boncompagni, Gherardo, p. 401. 
1" F. 38 V ( = MS. lat. 14738, f. 55). For the Sicilian version, see Chapter IX, 
n. 9; for the Greek rendering of the Dresden MS., Hermes, xlvi. 216. 


quod sequitur loqui de motu lune videmus quod primum per quod oportet 
nos illud inquirere est ex considerationibus 

This is Gerard's version, but the margin reads: 

Quia in tractatu qui est ante hunc pervenimus super omnia que inveniun- 
tur comitari in motu solis, assumpsimus in hoc tractatu in eis que sequuntur 
illud et coniunguntur illi ex sermone in luna primum ergo quod videmus 
oportere ut ab eo inciperemus loqui in hoc. . . . 

We thus see that the scribe of the Wolfenbiittel manuscript had 
before him in the thirteenth century not only Gerard's version 
and the preface at least of the Sicilian version, but a third version 
of at least the prefatory chapter and, apparently, of the passages 
which he inserts in the margin. This third form of the preface is 
also found in a manuscript of Gerard's version at Madrid ; and 
as this codex is of the early thirteenth century and comes from 
the cathedral library of Toledo, we can infer that the third version 
is anterior to this date and probably of Spanish origin. The pref- 
ace also occurs at the close of a copy of Gerard's version in the 
Vatican, MS. Vat. lat. 2057, also of the thirteenth century. 
There is as yet no clue to the translator. The statement that this 
version was made from the Arabic under Frederick II seems to 
have arisen from a combination of the misunderstood Sicilian 
preface with certain notes of the year 1230 in another hand on 
the fly-leaf of the Wolfenbiittel manuscript. No translation 
under Frederick II is known save that into Hebrew by Jacob 

If we thus have a second version from the Arabic, there is also 

Biblioteca Nacional, MS. 10113 (Hh. 89), where we have, after the 'Quidam 
princeps,' the Wolfenbiittel preface (f. i v: 'Bonum quidem') followed by Gerard's 
preface and version complete and ascribed to him. Cf . Octavio de Toledo, Catdlogo 
de la lihreria del cabildo Toledano (Madrid, 1903), no. 335 (469). The 'Bonum 
quidem ' preface also appears on the last folio of the Nolule almagesti in the library 
of the Academia de la Historia, Est. 11 gr. i^, MS. 22 (saec. xiii). 

See Nogara's printed catalogue. 

Manitius, i, pp. xii f., 459, citing a note of von Zach in 1813 which I have not 
seen. Birkenmajer, Vermischte Untersuchungen (Beitrdge, xx, no. 5), p. 21, saw that 
this MS. contained the Sicilian version but did not know that this was confined to 
the preface. 

Steinschneider, H. U., p. 523. The statement that a version was made under 
Frederick II is found as early as 1741 (Boncompagni, Gherardo, p. 402) and became 
widely current (Steinschneider, E. U., no. 177). 


evidence of a second version from the Greek/^^ for a manuscript 
of ca. 1300 in Dresden, formerly the property of the Dominicans 
of Cologne, contains a quite different rendering of the first four 
books of the Almagest. That it was based ultimately upon the 
Greek appears from the general character of the text, as well as 
from the carrying over of specific words and the appearance of 
the Greek form Hipparchus instead of the corruption Abrachis, as 
in the versions from the Arabic. It is, however, not a close ren- 
dering like the Sicilian, and contains none of the tables so care- 
fully preserved by the other translators, while the numbers are 
often inaccurate.^^^ No other copy has been found, nor did this 
form of the text deserve a wide circulation. The title 'Phylo- 
phonia Wuttoniensis (or Wintoniensis) Ebdelmessie,' which ap- 
pears at the close of each book, is obviously a corruption, but I 
cannot guess of what, nor is there any evidence of date other than 
the age of the manuscript, which begins: 

De prologo. 

De ordine eorum que sunt in hoc libro. 

Quia celum est sperale et suus motus speralis motus. 

Quia figura est terre etiam speralis. 

Quia terra est in medio celi. 

Quia terra ad celum est quasi punctus. 

Quia terra non habet motum. 

Quia primi motus qui sunt celi sunt duo. 

De mensuris cordarum et arcuum qui cadunt in circulo. 

De faciendis tabulis arcuum circulorum et suarum cordarum. 

De posicione tabularum arcuum et suarum cordarum. 

De scienda inclinacione. 

De proposicione racionum speralis sciencie. 

Preclare fecerunt qui corrigentes scienciam philosophic, O Syre, diviserunt 
theoricam partem philosophic a practica. Nam si pars practice antequam sit 
praxis est theorica, sed diversitas inter eas est magna, non propter hoc quod 
aretius morum anime possit esse in pluribus sine doctrina, omnis autem 
rei theorice non potest aliquis habere sine doctrina scienciam, sed propter 
hoc qui ducit ad utilitatem que est acquisicio in parte praxis usus facti et in 
parte theorice crementum sciencie. Ideo igitur perscrutantes speculati 

MS. Db. 87, ff. 1-71. I know this from specimen photographs secured in 1910 
and from Heiberg's description, Hermes, xlvi. 215 f. It was first indicated by 
Bjornbo, in Archivjiir die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, i. 392 (1909). 

There is also a confusing form of numerals: b = /3 = 2, etc. Cf. supra, n. 128. 

Gk. aperoop. 


sumus qui debet esse emendacionem nostram in praxis pro sua speculacione 
ad nostram ymaginacionem, propter hoc enim non mutabimus re parva spe- 
culacionis que nos ducit ad ordinacionem pulcri operis, igitur ponemus maius 
de nostro labore in inquirendis theoricis scienciis, nam multe sunt et pul- 
criores sunt et maxime in rebus que nominantur mathematice. O quam 
pulcra est particio Aristotilis de theorica parte in tria prima genera, phisialoi- 
cam, mathematicam, theoloycam! Nam esse omnium rerum ex materia est 
et forma et motu, nec potest inveniri unum illorum trium tantum in actu, 
potest tamen quique eorum subintelligi unum sine alio. Prima ergo causa 
primi motus universi cum ymaginati f uerimus motum per se intelligemus esse 
Deum qui nec movetur nec videtur. Nominavimus autem locucionem de 
eo theologicam et illud facere intelligemus in alta altitudine mundi tantum 
et divisum ab omni sensibili substantia. . . . 

The copy closes with the fourth book as follows: 

Igitur est manifesta ex hoc quod diximus causa illius discordie est et con- 
firmata fides nostra ex hoc quod ostendimus de conputacione discordie que 
erit in tempore pansilini et synodi et invenimus illas eclipses quas commemo- 
ravimus Concordes fundamenti. 

Phylophonia Wuttoniensis Ebdelmessie. 

Explicit quartus liber sermo libri mathematice Ptholomei qui prenomi- 
natur megalixintaxis sive astronomic translacione dictaminis. 

What the Almagest of Ptolemy was for ancient astronomy, his 
TetraUhlos or Quadripartitum was for astrology .^^^ Its authentic- 
ity, which was long doubted because of modem unwillingness to 
believe that Ptolemy was an astrologer, has been established by 
Franz Boll,^^^ from whom a critical edition is expected. Early 
translated into Arabic, it was widely popular among the Saracens 
and was soon the subject of commentary by Ali ibn Ridhwan and 
others. Naturally it was one of the earliest works to be turned 
into Latin, the version of Plato of Tivoli being dated 1138. An- 
other version was made for Alfonso X by Egidius de Thebaldis of 
Parma.^^^ Midway between these two in point of time is a third 
version from the Arabic dated 29 August 1206 and preserved in 
the manuscript of Wolfenbiittel which we have just been examin- 

Liber cancelled. 

1^ For the translation of Ptolemy's Planisphere in 1143, see Chapter III, no. 5; 
for the Optics, see infra, Chapter IX, n. 70; for the pseudo-Ptolemaic Centiloquium, 
see Chapter IV, n. 10; and for the Canons ascribed to Ptolemy, cf. the present 
chapter, n. 53. 

Boll, Studien iiber Claudius Ptolemdus (Leipzig, 1894), pp. 111-188. 
"0 Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 525 f.; E. U., nos. 9, 98 h. 


ing, as well as at Parma.^^^ No author is indicated in the text, 
which begins and ends as follows: 

Prolixitatis exosa latinitas artium principia prescriptione quadam insig- 
nire soUicita est ut sequens negotium gratiosius elucescat. In huius igitur 
initio iuxta expositionem .7. sunt que consideranda premittuntur: auctoris 
intentio, operis utilitas, titulus libri, nomen auctoris, ordo librorum in dis- 
ciplina, cui parti scientie tractatus innitatur, et operis partitio. Intentio 
quidem est suscepti operis dilucida consummatio, et utilitas est diligentius 
intuentis compubescens instructio. . . . 

Ex stellarum habitudine prescientie perfectio consecuta, lezuri, tamquam 
partes maiores et sublimiores in duo consistit distributa: pars quidem prima 
in ordine et fortitudine est scientia figurarum solis et lune planetarumque .5. 
consecutiva, que figure median tibus motibus stellis eisdem accidunt coUatione 
eorum adinvicem et ad terram observata; pars vero secunda alterationes et 
operationes investigat que a figuris revolutioni stellarum propriarum et 
naturalium in rebus quas continent accidunt et perficiuntur. . . . 

Quoniam ergo iuxta propositum nostrum in astrorum indicia viam uni- 
versalem tradidimus, congruum est ut huic tractatui nostro finem impona- 
mus. Perfecta est huius libri translatio .29. die augusti anno Domini .1206. 
et 23 die almuharam anno Arabum 603. Et Deus melius novit. Explicit 
Quadripertitum Ptholomei in iudicia astrorum secundum accidentia editum. 

Two other versions of the Quadripartitum were discovered by 
B jornbo at Oxford but have not been specially studied : one, 
ascribed to the Englishman Simon de Bredon ca. 1305 and pre- 
served in marginal extracts, the other made directly from the 
Greek. The latter, which seems to be cited by Henri Bate in 
1 281, begins as follows,^^^ after the chapter headings of the first 

Hiis qui instituunt per astronomiam pronosticum finem, O Sire, cum duo 
insint maxima et principalissima, unum quidem quod et primum est ordine 

MS. Gud. lat. 147, ff. 162-194; Parma, Biblioteca Palatina, MS. 719, ff. 311- 
343 V (saec. xiii). Also at Florence (S. Marco 200 = J. II. 10): B. M., xii. 197. 
MS. Parma 719, f. 343 v has almihatan. 

Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, i. 391 f. Another incipit 
appears in B.N., MS. lat. 7432, ff. 5-125 v: 'Res, O Mizor, quibus pronosticationes 
accepte de astronomia maiores et nobiliores due sunt . . . finem in hoc loco huic 
libro conveniens existimamus' (with commentary of Conrad Heingarter dedi- 
cated to John, duke of Bourbon and Auvergne). What may be still another version 
of the Quadripartitum is found at Madrid, MS. 10053, fi- 89-110: 'Iuxta providam 
philosophorum assertionem . . See also MS. Chigi, F. iv. 48,. f. 23. 

MS. Digby 179, ff. 171-208 v. On Henri Bate see now Birkenmajer, "Henri 
Bate de Malines," in La Pologne au Congres international de Bruxelles, and sepa- 
rately (Cracow, 1923). 



[et] virtute per quod motuum solis et lune et astrorum factas semper adinvi- 
cem figuraciones comprehendimus, secundum autem per quod per naturalem 
proprietatem figuracionum ipsorum inclitas permutaciones contentorum 
consideramus. Primum quidem propriam et propter se eligibilem habens 
theoriam, etiam si finis qui est ex connexione si non concludatur, in propria 
compilacione ut maxime inerat demonstrative tibi traditum est. . . . 

The treatise ends: 

Consummata iam geneatici sermonis opinione summatim, unde utique 
habebit huic tractatui convenientem inponere finem. Explicit liber 
Ptho[lemei]. Que sequuntur in greco exemplari subiniuncta reperi quo mense 
morietur quis in omni nativitate . . . 

There is no indication of date or translator, but the extreme 
literalness is characteristic of the versions made in Italy in the 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

We have now reached and passed beyond the close of the 
twelfth century in our examination of the anonymous writers 
and translators who exemplify its tendencies in the field of as- 
tronomy. In the next chapter we shall traverse the same period 
in a series of datable works by known authors in a single country, 

i«5 MS. ope. 

167 ^^j, = quidem. 

MS. tempore cancelled before finem. 
bk = autem. av = utique. 



In the diffusion of the science of the Saracens throughout western 
Europe in the twelfth century England occupies a position of 
considerable importance. An English scholar, Adelard of Bath, 
seems to have been the chief pioneer in this movement of study 
and translation,^ while the existence of a certain number of dated 
treatises of his contemporaries and successors makes it possible 
to follow the spread of the new learning in England with greater 
definiteness than has so far been attempted elsewhere. At the 
beginning of the century we have a group of abacists and com- 
putists who have in nowise been affected by Arabic influence : the 
abacists, such as Thurkil and Adelard in his Regule abaci, follow 
the schools of Lorraine and Laon,^ while in astronomy the older 
Latin tradition is found in full vigor as late as 1119, when 
Philip de Thaon wrote his Cumpoz with the help of Bede, Hel- 
peric, Gerland, a lost treatise of Thurkil on this subject, and the 
work of the so-called Nimrod, which in its present form probably 
dates from the CaroHngian period.^ In the following year, how- 
ever, the new movement begins to make itself felt in Walcher, 
prior of Malvern, who had possessed one element of the Arabic 
astronomy, the astrolabe, as early as 1092, and who now begins to 
utilize the teaching of a converted Spanish Jew, Petrus Alphonsi. 

1 Revised from E. H. R., xxx. 56-69 (1915). ^ Supra, Chapter II. 

^ Poole, The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century, pp. 47 ff.; infra, Chapter XV. 

* Mall, Li Cumpoz Philipe de ThaUn mit einer Einleitung (Strassburg, 1873); 
T. Wright, Popular Treatises on Science (London, 1841), pp. 20-73; P- Meyer, 
Fragment du Comput de Philippe de Thaon," in Romania, xl. 70-76. Cf. Lang- 
lois, La connaissance de la nature et du monde au moyen dge (Paris, 1911), pp. 2, 3, 
11; Hamilton, in i?owam'ci?mew, iii. 314, who suggests the identity of Turkilsand 
Turchillus compotista, but overlooks the fact that the treatise in three books cited by 
Philip cannot be the Reguncule super abacum, which contains nothing on the sub- 
jects treated in the Cumpoz. I have discussed Philip's sources in Chapter XVI, and 
the computists in Chapter V. 




Of Lotharingian origin, Walcher had come to England by 
1091, and at his death, in 1135, had acquired a reputation as 
mathematician and astronomer ^ which is confirmed by two 
treatises preserved in the Bodleian MS. Auct. F. i. 9 (ff. 86-99), 
a manuscript of the twelfth century in which they precede the 
IQiorasmian tables of Adelard of Bath.® The first of these, 
anonymous in the manuscript, was written between 1108 and 
1112,^ and consists of a set of lunar tables, with explanations, 
which comprise a cycle of seventy-six years ending in 11 12 and 
are calculated from an eclipse observed in 1092. In 1091, while 
travelling in Italy, the author saw the eclipse of 30 October but 
had no means of determining the exact time, save to note that it 
differed considerably from the hour reported on his return to 
England by a brother monk, whence he comments on the con- 
siderable difference in time between the two countries. In the 
following year, however, he had the good fortune to observe the 
eclipse of 18 October and fix it accurately by means of the as- 
trolabe, which he mentions with the Arabic names of three of its 
points as something well known to his readers.^ His account 
reads (f . 90) : 

De experientia scriptoris 

Quod vero ipse expertus sum quodque de his et de ceteris supradictis in- 
quirere et colligere potui non silere curavi, ut his quibus defectus solis et lun^ 
non est visus aut querendi modo supradicto facultas vel otium vel diligentia 
non famulantur certior faciliorque ad naturalem cuiusque lunationis origi- 
nem pateat aditus. Anno ab incarnatione domini iuxta Dionisium m°xc°i° 
contigit me esse in Italia in parte orientali ab urbe Romona (sic) itinere diei 
et dimidii ubi defectum lune .x^iiii®. vidi .iii. kal. novembris ad occidentalem 
plagam ante aurorg exortum, sed nec horologium tunc habui quo plenilunii 
horam deprehenderem nec ipsa luna conspicue densis obstantibus nebulis 

^ See his epitaph in Monasticon, iii. 442; and of. WiUiam of Malmesbury, Gesta 
regum, ii. 346. The visit to Italy is known only from the text printed below. 

^ Tanner (Bibliotheca, p. 745) gives Walcher a bare mention on the basis of this 
manuscript ( = Bernard, no. 4137). Walcher's authorship of the first treatise is not 
only an inference from its contents and its occurrence with the second, but is con- 
firmed by cross references, e. g., f. 97 v to f. 94 v. 

^ It refers (f. 95 v) to the eclipses of 11 January and 31 December 1107, and is 
obviously anterior to the close of the lunar cycle in 11 12. 

' F. 90, col. 2: 'Quia de astrolabio scientibus loquor, primam partem Tauri eidem 
altitudini superposui in parte Almagrip . . . notato loco quern designabat Almeri, 
reduxi gradum solis usque ad ultimum Almucantaraz.* 


apparebat. Memini me vidisse earn corniculatam in modum .V. sed quando 
deficere incepit vel quando rursus plenitudinem sui luminis recuperavit ve- 
hementius densatis nebulis videre non potui. Reversus itaque in Angliam 
cum quesissem a quibusdam siquis eo tempore vidisset eclypsin, narravit 
mihi frater quidam ea die tota qu§ noctem illam precesserat diurno tractand§ 
caus§ negotio se occupatum plurima iam noctis parte transacta domum 
venisse, postea cenasse, post cenam parumper sedisse, et quendam de familia 
egressum attonitum regredi dicentem horribile prodigium in luna monstrari, 
quod ipse dum exisset vidit et agnovit diu ante mediam noctem, multum 
enim adhuc a plaga meridiana distabat quam semper luna plena nocte tenet 
media. lamque inter Italiam et banc nostram Angli§ insulam non modicam 
horarum animadvertebam distantiam, cum illic paulo ante auroram defecerit 
iam vergens ad occasum, hie vero diu ante mediam noctem adhuc ab ortu 
ascendens. Sed cum nil certum haberem neque de ilia neque de hac terra 
unde quod in voluntate habebam cyclum texere inciperem, grave ferebam et 
in instantia querendi permanebam. Et ecce anno sequenti eiusdem mensis 
lunatio tanquam meis occurrens studiis ut me reficeret iterum defecit et .xv. 
kal. novembris obscurata me illuminavit, quia ignoranti§ meg tenebras ipsa 
lumine privata depuHt. Mox enim ego apprehenso astrolapsu horam qua 
totam nigredo caliginosa lunam absorbuerat diligenter inspexi, et .xi^. noctis 
agebatur hora .iii. puncto peracto. . . . Modum autem huius inquisitionis 
si alios non piget legere, me non piget scribere, et credo quia omnino non 
deerunt quibus placeat. . . . 

This clear bit of evidence is of some importance as confirming 
specifically, what we know in general from the treatises on the 
astrolabe commonly ascribed to Gerbert and Hermannus Con- 
tractus and containing numerous Arabic words, ^ that an acquaint- 
ance with this instrument had in some unknown way passed 
into Latin Europe in the course of the eleventh century, thus 
preceding considerably the arrival of the Arabian astronomy as 
a whole. The tables of Walcher's first treatise are worked out 
by the clumsy methods of Roman fractions, but in the second, 
written in 1120, he uses the degrees, minutes, and seconds, and 
the more exact observations which he has learned, evidently in 
England, from Petrus Anfusi (f . 96) : 

* Bubnov, Gerherti opera mathematica, pp. 109-147; Migne, Patrologia Latina, 
cxliii, 379-412; supra, Chapter I, nn. 20, 21. 

1" Professor Thorndike has called my attention to a copy at Erfurt, MS. Q. 351, 
£F. 17 v-23: ' Alfoncius de dracone.' 


Sententia Petri Ebrei cognomento Anphus de dracone quam dominus 
Walcerus prior Malvernensis ^cclesi§ in latinam transtulit linguam 

Inter .vii«". plaiietas per zodiacum circumeuntes discurrit etiam draco 
sed contrario motu . . . Ecce vides si de eclypsi aliquid volumus prescire 
quam sit necessarium scire in quibus signis vel signorum gradibus inveniri 
vel sibi opponi debeant sol et luna caput et Cauda draconis omni tempore. 
Ad quod investigandum prius videnda est via per quam discurrunt, qug est 
in zodiaco circulo sed non iuxta usum nostrum priorem. Nos enim, quia 
traditum a prioribus tenebamus auctoribus unum esse gradum spatium illud 
quod sol in zodiaco in una die et nocte peragit, ipsum zodiacum in computa- 
tionibus nostris per .ccc°^.lxv®. gradus et quadrantem dividere soliti sumus 
propter totidem anni dies et .vi«^. horas, ut unusquisque dies suum habeat 
gradum et .vi**^. hor§, qu§ sunt diei unius quadrans, unius gradus quadran- 
tem. In tali divisione unumquodque signum plusquam .xxx**. gradus habet 
quia solem .xxx**. diebus et .x"'^"'. horis cum dimidia retinet. In present! 
autem negotio magister noster hac divisione non utebatur sed ilia qu§ unum- 
quodque signum in .xxx***. gradus equaliter dividit et totum zodiacum .ccc*»^ 
.Ix**. gradibus claudit secundum quam sol in die unum gradum non perficit. 
Unde cum de solis inter ipsos gradus progressione queritur cum dijSicultate 
.ccc*°^lx**. gradus per .ccc*''^lx**v^. dies et quadrantem quibus sol totum 
perficit zodiacum dividuntur, quia minorem numerum per maiorem dividi 
natura non patitur. Oportet itaque hanc divisionem per minutias fieri, sed 
magister noster minutiarum quibus utuntur Latini usum non habens tali 
utebatur divisione: Zodiacum totum sicut et nos in .xii"'™. signa unumquod- 
que signum in .xxx^. gradus unumquenque gradum in .Ix**. punctos unum- 
quenque punctum in .Ix**. minutias unamquamque minutiam in .Ix**. minu- 
tias minutiarum dividebat, et per harum particularum coUectiones ubi sol 
vel luna vel caput seu cauda draconis inveniri possent quacunque die vellet 
vel hora diei vel hor§ particula investigabat. Et ad h^c investiganda tale 
nobis posuit fundamentum: 

Anno ab incarnatione domini .M^"«^i'"'>. C'^.XX". kal. aprilis feria V**. 
hora diei Vl^.plena fecerat sol in Ariete Vll^^.gradus et XVIIIP^.punctos 
et LVII*'™. minutias; luna vero in eodem signo XXt'III^^ gradus et XXX. 
punctos et LI. minutias; caput draconis erat in primo gradu Scorpionis in 
primo puncto in prima minutia. Nimirum miraris sicut et nos mirati sumus 
quod solem kal. aprilis in .VII«. gradu Arietis esse dixerit, cum omnium 
Latinorum, non dico modo aliorum, auctoritas habeat ipsum solem ipsa die 
XV""™. gradum eiusdem signi tcnere. Unde et interrogatus a nobis respon- 
dit dicens, Tunc quod dixi de die et sole et gradu signi verum esse scietis cum 
per hoc eclypsim futuram inveneritis. . . . Nos autem tantummodo videa- 
mus ubi ponat initia vel fines signorum et in hac supputatione in qua ipsum 
magistrum habemus sic eius institutionem teneamus ut nostram in aliis non 

Questioned respecting the diurnal motion of the sun and the 
moon, the master says (f. 96 v), after giving the median motion 
of the moon: 


Habet et ipsa motum maiorem et minorem quorum diversitatem ad 
purum in promptu se non habere dicebat et codices suos in quibus de his et 
de aliis pluribus omnia certa habebat se trans mare tunc temporis reliquisse. 
. . . Ecce totum quod dixit nobis de investigatione futurg eclypsis. Unam 
siquidem id est soHs in convenientia ipsius sohs et lung et capitis sive caudg 
draconis fieri dixit, alteram id est lung in oppositione ipsorum ut dictum est. 
Indicavit etiam loca diem et horam unde initium investigandi debeamus 
assumere et cursum siderum per quem ad finem inquisitionis debeamus 
pervenire. Quod amplius est prudentig calculatoris relinquitur. 

Peter explains the discrepancies in tables by the retardation of 
the sun in the zodiac. Walcher then works out the motion of sun, 
moon, and nodes for groups of days and months, in the course of 
which he says (f . 97 v) : 

De luna vero, quia accensionem eius et plenilunium sequitur solis eclypsis 
et lung, nil melius ad presens dicere possumus quam supra dictum est ubi de 
naturali accensione eius tractavimus, quanvis ad certam illius horam propter 
diversos eius motus pervenire non valeamus. Quam diversitatem et nos in 
ipso tractatu deprehendimus et testimonio Petri Anfusi confirmatum est 
dicentis eam habere .iii^^. motus ut supradiximus. 

The statement that Walcher ' translated ' Petrus must plainly 
be taken in the general sense of a paraphrase rather than as mean- 
ing a version which would require knowledge of Arabic on 
Walcher's part. 

Further evidence of the astronomical labours of Petrus Anfusi 
is contained in a treatise preserved in MS. 283 of Corpus Christi 
College, Oxford.^^ Here we have first a set of chronological tables 
of the sort usual in treatises based on the Arabic, including a con- 
cordance of eras for the year 1115/^ then a series of tables for the 
various planets, and finally an explanation of the use of the chron- 
ological tables covering four pages and beginning as follows: 

Dixit Petrus Anfulsus servus Ihesu Christi translatorque huius libri: 
Gratias Deo omnipotenti et domino nostro qui creavit mundum sua sa- 
piencia et disposuit suo intellectu omnia. . . . Hec autem trina cognitio 

" Ff. 1 13-144, saec. xii. exeuntis. Cf. Coxe, Catalogus, p. 122; supra, Chapter 
II, n. 17. 

^2 F. 113: 'Tabula ad cognoscendum quantum temporis secundum omnes sub- 
scrip tos terminos restat usque ad principium huius operis.' This table is also found 
for the same year in the Liher ysagogarum Alchoarismi ad totum quadriviiim (Am- 
brosian MS. A. 3 sup., f. 18; B.N., MS. lat. 16208, f. 70), so that there may be some 
relation between the two treatises. 

13 F. 142 V. Cf. Steinschneider, H. U., p. 985. 


vocatur stellarum scientia que in tres partes dividitur in cogitacione mira- 
biles et in rerum significatione notabiles et in experimento approbabiles. 
Quarum prima est scientia qualitatis et quantitatis circulorum firmamenti 
cum his que in eo sunt, ad quam vivacitas humani ingenii pervenit geome- 
trali figura numero et mensura; secunda est scientia motuum firmamenti 
circulorum et stellarum que per numerum sciri potest; tercia vero est 
scientia nature circulorum et stellarum et significationes eorum in rebus ter- 
renis que contingunt eorum ex nature virtute et suorum motuum diversitate 
que experimento cognoscuntur. Fuit etiam ex animi mei sententia ut inde 
librum ederem et ut per ipsius noticiam eiusdem utilitas cognosceretur, scili- 
cet numerus et motus circulorum et stellarum pertinentibusque cum ipsis 
annis videlicet et mensibus diebus horis ipsarumque punctis, itaque primum 
necessarium est quota feria annus vel mensis incipiat nosse. Hoc autem 
opus magno labore desudatum et summo studio ab Arabicis Persicis Egipcia- 
cis translatum Latinis benigne impertiri volui, et quia volo ut hie liber pre- 
dictis omnibus clareat, ideo sub eorumdem numero intitulavi et prout in 
ordine in eorum lingua repperi sic seriatim in latinam linguam digessi. 

Evidently we have not this pretentious work in its original and 
full form, for the chronological tables seem out of place with 
reference to the explanation of them, while the planetary tables 
are notable, so far as they extend, for their close agreement with 
the Khorasmian tables as translated by Adelard of Bath, in the 
earlier form of his text preserved in the Bodleian.^"^ There can be 
no question of two independent versions, for in the explanatory 
portions the verbal coincidence is exact. As there is no specific 
reference to the planetary tables in Peter's preface, their insertion 
here may be due to a copyist, but their occurrence raises interest- 
ing questions respecting the relations of the two contemporaries 
and their work. Conceivably Adelard may have used Peter as 
an interpreter, after the fashion of the later translators from the 
Arabic; his own authorship of the Liber ezic is positively asserted 
by Adelard, but we find others engaged on the Khorasmian tables 
in some form.^^ 

The only known Petrus Anfusi, or Alphonsi, is the author of 
the Disciplina clericalis and the Dialogi cum ludeo, who was bap- 
tized at Huesca in i io6 with the name of his godfather, Alfonso 
I of Aragon. Nothing is known of his biography save that he was 
then in his forty-fourth year, the common assertion that he died 

1^ Tables, ff. 113-140 v = (in most respects) Suter, pp. 111-167; text, ff. 141 v- 
142 V = Suter, pp. 7-14. See Chapter II, no. 3. 

Below, n. 31; supra, Chapters II, no. 3; and III, no. 2. 


in mo being based apparently upon a misunderstanding of 
Oudin.^^ There is no reason why he may not have journeyed to 
England, leaving his books trans mare, and as a matter of fact we 
find in a Cambridge manuscript of the Disciplina clericalis this 
heading, in language exactly parallel to the passage in the as- 
tronomical treatise: Dixit Petrus Amphulsus servus Christi Ihesu 
Henrici primi regis Anglorum medicus compositor huius libri}^ 
The statement that Peter was Henry I's physician I have not 
found corroborated, but it fits in chronologically with the dates in 
the astronomical writings, and while there is no necessary con- 
nection between their author and the author of the Disciplina 
clericalis, it is more natural to assume identity than to suppose 
that there were at the same time two converted Spanish Jews of 
this name, both occupied with translation from the Arabic. In 
any case it is to a Petrus Alphonsi that we must ascribe a certain 
share in the introduction of the Arabic astronomy into England 
before 11 20. 

Whatever further investigation may discover in the way of 
predecessors or collaborators, the work of Adelard of Bath re- 
mains comprehensive and fundamental, alike with reference to 
mathematics, astronomy, astrology, philosophy, and his advo- 
cacy of the experimental method, but it yields few specific dates. 
We know that his version of the Khorasmian tables dates from 
1 1 26 and that he was in England in 1130 and probably well on 
into the reign of Stephen; but his earlier life was spent chiefly 
on the Continent and in the East, and we cannot say when the 
results of his labours first reached England or affected English 
learning. John of Worcester knew the translation of the tables 
probably for the first time in 1138.^^ 

Antonio, Bibliotheca His pana vttus,u. 10 f,; Oxidin, De scriptoribus ecclesiae, 
ii. 992; Migne, clvii. 527-706. Oudin says merely, 'Claruit circa annum mo.' 

" University of Cambridge, MS. Ii. vi. 11, f. 95. Cf. Catalogue of MSS., iii. 508; 
Bernard, Catalogi, ii. 390, no. 65 (Moore MSS.); Tanner, Bibliotheca, p. 40, The 
latest editors of the Disciplina c/mca/i^, Hilka and Soderhjelm, in Acta Societatis 
Fennicae (1911), xxxviii, no. 4, pp. xi, xix, who are unacquainted with the astro- 
nomical evidence, consider the statement due to a confusion with some one else. 
For another astronomical treatise of Petrus, see Thorndike, ii. 70 f . 

^8 Ed. Weaver, p. 53. 



Adelard's younger contemporary, variously known as Robert 
of Ketene, Robertus Retinensis, and Robert of Chester/^ is like- 
wise of interest for the history of Arabic learning in England. In 
his case the connection with Spain clearly appears. An English- 
man by birth, Robert's life is unknown to us until 1141, when, 
already familiar with Arabic and engaged in the pursuit of as- 
trology, he and his associate, Hermann of Carinthia, were dis- 
covered in the region of the Ebro by Peter the Venerable, abbot 
of Cluny, who engaged them upon a translation of the Koran and 
upon various controversial pamphlets directed against Moham- 
medanism. For these facts we have both Peter's correspondence 
and Robert's prefaces. The version of the Koran was completed 
in 1 1 43, when Peter tells us that Robert had become archdeacon 
of Pamplona,^ ^ and when the dedication of Hermann's De essentiis 
celebrates the reunion of the two friends; but the assumption 
of the older bibliographers that Robert spent the rest of his life in 
Navarre disappears if we admit the probability of his identity 
with Robert of Chester, who is found at Segovia in 1145 and in 
London in 1147 and 11 50. The preface to the Koran tells us,^^ 

19 On Robert, see Steinschneider, E. Z7., nos. loi, 102, whose results have been 
employed, with some use of English manuscripts, by Archer, in the Dictionary of 
National Biography, xlviii. 362-364; and Karpinski's edition of the Algebra. The 
form 'Retinensis,' which has led some writers to surmise a connection with Reading, 
is not sufficiently supported by the manuscripts, 'Ketenensis' being found in most 
of the copies of the translation of the Koran and in the preface of Hermann of Ca- 
rinthia to his translation of the Planisphere (Heiberg, Ptolemaei Opera astronomica 
?ninora, p. clxxxvi), while the Cotton MS. of the Indicia has 'de Ketene.' The place 
is probably to be identified with Ketton (in Rutland), which appears as Ketene in 
charters of the twelfth century: Round, Calendar of Documents in France, nos. 530, 
532 ; Index of Charters and Rolls in the British Museum, i, s. v. The later works (nos. 
2-6) have regularly 'Robertus Cestrensis,' who has sometimes been treated as a 
different person. The coincidence, however, of time, subjects, English birth, and 
residence in Spain, tells strongly against the assumption of two distinct Roberts, 
although the connection with Chester still remains to be explained, unless there is a 
scribe's confusion of ' Kestrensis ' and 'Ketenensis' (Langlois, in Journal des savants j 
1919, p. 70). 

2" Migne, clxxxix. 650; supra, Chapter III, no. 4. 

21 Dated at Beziers 1143 and subsequent to i June, the date of the Planisphere, 
which refers to it as unfinished. See Chapter III, nos. 3, 6, where it appears that 
the dedication of Albumasar to Robert may be of 11 40. 

22 Migne, clxxxix. 659. 


what we also learn from his other works and from the prefaces of 
Hermann of Carinthia,^^ that Robert's real interest lay in the 
study of geometry and astronomy, which he had interrupted for 
this undertaking, and that his chief ambition was to produce a 
comprehensive treatise on astronomy. In the field of mathe- 
matics and natural science he has left the following works: 

I. A translation of the Indicia of al-Kindi. See Steinschneider, 
E. U., no. loi; and for other manuscripts, Nagy, in Rendiconti dei 
Lincei, 5th series, iv. 160 f.; and Thorndike, i. 648. This has been 
attributed to another Robert, because of the date 1272 which has 
slipped into certain manuscripts, probably from the date of a copy, 
but the authorship of Robert is formally asserted in the Cotton MS. 
App. VI, and is clear from the preface which is there addressed to 
Hermann: 2* 

Incipiunt indicia Alkindi astrologi Rodberti de Ketene translatio 

Quamquam post Euclidem Theodosii cosmometrie libroque propor- 
tionum 26 libencius insudarem, unde commodior ad Almaiesti quo precipuum 
nostrum aspirat studium pateret accessus, tamen ne per meam segniciem 
nostra surdesceret amicicia, vestris nutibus nil preter equum postulantibus, 
mi Hermanne, nuUi Latinorum huius nostri temporis astronomico sedere 
penitus parare paratus, eum quem commodissimum et veracissimum inter 
astrologos indicem vestra quam sepe notavit diligentia voto vestro serviens 
transtuli, non minus amicicie quam pericie facultatibus innisus. In quo tum 
vobis tum ceteris huius scientie studiosis placere plurimum studens, enodato 
verborum vultu rerum seriem et effectum atque summam stellarium effec- 
tuum pronosticationisque quorumlibet eventuum latine brevitati diligenter 
inclusi. Cuius examen vestram manum postremo postulans non indigne 
vobis laudis meritum, si quod assit, communiter autem fructus pariat mihi- 

23 Preface to the De essentiis, supra, Chapter III; preface to the Introductorium 
of abu Ma'aschar, ihid.\ preface to translation of the Planisphere, in Heiberg, 
Ptolemaei opera astronomica minora, pp. clxxxvi f . 

24 F. 109 (156). 

26 The heading is from the Cotton MS. App. vi, f. 109 (156), which contains 
a corrupt form of the text, here printed from Ashmole MS. 369, f. 85. The Diction- 
ary of National Biography, under * Robert the Englishman,' is in error in inferring 
from the tract of abu Ali, which follows in the Cotton MS., a connection between 
Robert and Plato of Tivoli. 

26 On the basis of this passage Steinschneider, no. loi, assigns to Robert, whom 
he makes a distinct Robertus Anglicus, an anonymous Liher proportionum found in 
several manuscripts. 

2' sedem? 


que non segne res arduas aggrediendi calcar adhibeat, si nostri laboris munus 
amplexu favoris elucescat. Sed ne proemium lectori tedium lectionique 
moram faciat vel afferat, illius prolixitate supersedendo rem propositam 
secundum nature tramitem a toto generalique natis exordiis texamus, prius 
tamen libri tocius capitulis enumeratis ad rerum evidenciam suorumque 
locorum repertum facilem. 

2. A translation of Morienus, De compositione alchemic, completed 
II February 1144 (era 1182). This is "one of the earliest treatises of 
alchemy translated from Arabic into Latin." See Steinschneider, 
E. U., no. 102 c) Thorndike, ii. 83, 215-217. The Basel edition of 
1559 contains the preface; there is an English version in the British 
Museum, Sloane MS. 3697. Robert may also have had something 
to do with a version of the Mappe clavicula: Steinschneider, E. £/"., 
no. 102 d; di Marzo, / MSS. della BihUoteca comunale di Palermo, 
iii. 239. 

3. A translation of the Algebra of al-Khwarizmi, dated Segovia, 
1145 (era 1183). The first Latin version of this fundamental treatise, 
through which the name as well as the processes of algebra first pene- 
trated to Latin Europe. See now Karpinski, Robert of Chester^ s Latin 
Translation of the Algebra of al-Khowarizmi (New York, 19 15), in the 
University of Michigan Studies', and, for the Arabic work, J. Ruska, in 
YitideVoexg Sitzungsberichte, phil-hist. Kl., 1917, no. 2. 

4. A treatise on the astrolabe, dated London 1147 (era 1185). See 
Steinschneider, E. U., no. 102 /.; and in Z. M. Ph., xvi. 393. There 
are differences in the various manuscripts (e. g., Digby MS. 40, which 
has the date and place, but a different incipit, and no mention of 
Robert), and there was evidently a revision after 11 50, as the tables 
of that year are cited (see the next paragraph) .^^ 

5. A set of astronomical tables for the meridian of London in 1149- 
50, based upon the tables of al-Zarkali and al-Battani and probably 
adapted from a translation of the Opus astronomicum of the latter 
by Robert, to which Hermann of Carinthia refers in 1143 in the preface 
to his Planisphere but which is otherwise unknown. See Steinschnei- 
der, E. U., no. 102 b; Nallino, al-Battdni, pp. xxxiv f., xHx f. The 
London tables formed the second part of a work of which the first part 

28 The Ambrosian MS. H. 109 sup., to which reference has heretofore been made 
on the authority of Muratori, has (f. 11) clearly 'Robertum Cestrensem'; the trea- 
tise is followed on f. 17 v by an anonymous Canon super chilindrum, beginning, 
'Accepturus horas.' 


was calculated for the year 1149 and the meridian of Toledo. Both 
are cited in Robert's treatise on the astrolabe: 

De ratione coequationis .xii. domorum in libro canonum quem super 
Toletum et civitatem Londoniarum edidimus, prout tractatus exposcebat 
ratio, tractavimus. 

6. A revision, likewise for the meridian of London, of Adelard's 
version of the tables of al-Khwarizmi. Madrid, BibHoteca Nacional, 
MS. 10016, f. 8: 'Incipit Hber Ezeig id est chanonum Alghoarizmi per 
Adelardum Bathoniensem ex arabico sumptus et per Rodbertum Ces- 
trensem ordine digestus.' F. 14: 'He autem adiectiones omnes iuxta 
civitatem Londonie in hoc libro computantur et mediis cursibus plane- 
tarum adiciuntur.' There are numerous differences from Adelard's 
version of 11 26 as preserved in the Bodleian MS. Auct. F. 1.9, where 
the tables are based upon Cordova, and where various Arabic words 
are retained which the later text omits or turns into Latin. The word 
' sine ' first appears here. The text of the Madrid MS. corresponds in 
general with that of the Chartres MS. 214 and of the extracts in MS. 
3642 of the Bibliotheque Mazarine. See Suter's edition, pp. xi-xiii, 69. 

How far Robert's labours were carried in the works of Euclid, 
Theodosius, and Ptolemy, we cannot say, for we have only his 
statement in the preface to al-Kindi, but in his work upon the 
tables of al-Battani and al-Khwarizmi he continued worthily the 
tradition of Adelard of Bath, and in the fields of algebra and al- 
chemy he broke new ground for Latin Europe. 

The Madrid manuscript which preserves Robert's revision of 
the Khorasmian tables also contains various tables for the meri- 

2' Not 1 169, as is generally stated on the basis of Ashmole MS. 361, f. 24 (Black, 
Catalogue, col. 277). The correct statement is found in Savile MS. 21, f. 88 v: *Ea 
namque eius pars que ad meridiem civitatis Toleti constituitur a .1149. anno domini 
incipit et ab eodem termino annos domini per .28. colligens lineas annorum collec- 
torum in mediis planetarum cursibus in tempus futurum extendit, altera vero eius 
pars cuius videlicet ratio ad meridiem urbis Londoniarum contexitur ab anno 
domini .1150. sumpsit exordium.' 

3° Canonici MS. Misc. 61, f. 22 v. 

On this manuscript, which is of English origin, see the following note and cf. 
Chapter II, n. 15. 

32 The manuscript, no. 100 16, containing 85 leaves, is of the early thirteenth 
century. It belonged originally to an English Cluniac monastery, as appears from 
the calendar on ff. 5-7 v in the same hand as certain of the tables, but had reached 
Spain, perhaps via Italy (Suter, p. xi), by 1439, when a Spanish notary, Juan de 



dian of Hereford, which are obviously the work of another English 
astronomer of the twelfth century, Roger of Hereford.^^ We 
have from him the following: 

I. Compotus, in five books, comprising in all twenty-six chapters: 
Digby MS. 40, ff. 21-50 v; cf. Macray, Catalogue, col. 37. The author 
criticizes the errors of Gerland and the Latin computists generally, and 
compares their reckoning with that of the Hebrews and Chaldeans. In 
the preface, the beginning of which is printed by Wright, Biographia 
literaria, ii. 90 f., he says that although still 'iuvenis' he has given 
many years to the 'regimen scholarum.' The date of the work is 
exactly given as 9 September 11 76 (f. 48): 'Ut exempli gratia circa 
tempus huius compositionis huius tractatus anno scilicet Domini 
.m.° cicli decemnovenalis .xviii. que in vulgari compoto dicitur 
accensa .v». feria anni illius nona die septembris.'^* The author is not 
specifically named in the body of the treatise, but appears in the acros- 
tic of the table of chapters, gilleberto rogerus salutes h[ic?] 
d[icit?], where Gilbert is probably Gilbert Folio t, who had been bishop 
of Hereford till 11 63, and one of whose documents is attested in 1173- 
74 by Rogerus de Herefordia.^^ The heading in the manuscript reads, 
'Prefatio magistri Rogeri Infantis in compotum,' whence the treatise 
has been assigned to an otherwise unknown Roger Infans, or, as Le- 

Ornos, began to use the margins for family memoranda; until 1869 it was in the 
cathedral library at Toledo. Ff , i v-2 contain astronomical diagrams with astrolog- 
ical notes. F. 2 v, explanation of calculation of eclipses, F. 3, spera de morte vel 
vita. F. 4, tabula eclipsis tam solis quam lune. F. 4 v, Easter cycle, beginning 
1063. Ff. 5-7 V, calendar. Ff. 8-72 v, Liber Ezeig. Fi. 73-83 v, with heading 
'Herefordie,' tabule medii motus solis super mediam noctem Herefordie secundum 
annos domini, the cycles beginning 11 20, 1148, 11 76, etc., followed by tables for the 
moon and planets. F. 84, scienciam latitudinum quinque planetarum erraticorum. 
F. 85, in same hand as f. 4, ortus signorum super Hereford' iatitudo .li. gr. et .xxx. 
minutorum, longitude .xxiiii. grad. F. 85 v, letter of Petosiris to Nechepso (cf. 
Philologus, suppl. vi. 382; Wickersheimer, in Seventeenth International Congress of 
Medicine, section xxiii, pp. 315-318; Spiegelberg, in Heidelberg Sitzungsherichte, 
1922, no. 3). 

^ Roger has been a source of confusion to bibliographers, who have made of him 
two or even three distinct persons: see Bale's Index, ed. Poole and Bateson, pp. 
401 f.; Tanner, pp. 641, 788; Wright, Biographia literaria, ii. 89-91, 218 f.; Dic- 
tionary of National Biography^ xlix. 106 f. Cf. Thorndike, ii. 181-187, to whom I owe 
two minor corrections. 

^ Cf . f . 49 V, printed by Macray, who, however, misreads mclxxvi as mclxxvii 
by mistaking the final punctuation for a unit. 

" Epistolae, no. 210 (Migne, cxc. 913). 


land called him, Yonge, to whom Wright, followed by the Dictionary 
of National Biography , gave the date 1 1 24, which is found on f . 50 and 
indicated in a marginal gloss as the date of the work. This year, how- 
ever, is used only in the course of a calculation of discrepancies, and 
the date 11 76 appears clearly in two other passages. Inasmuch as the 
astronomical tables of Roger of Hereford belong to 11 78 and no other 
contemporary astronomer of the name is known, we are justified in 
assigning the Compotus to him. The 'Infantis' of the title may be a 
corruption of 'h'efort,' or an inference from the 'iuvenis' of the pref- 
ace; the gloss on Alfred de Sereshel (see below) calls him 'Rogerus 

2. Astronomical tables for the meridian of Hereford in 1178, based 
upon tables for Toledo and Marseilles: Madrid, MS. 10016, ff. 4, 73-83 
V, 85; British Museum, Arundel MS. 377, ff. 86 v-87: 'Anni collecti 
omnium planetarum compositi a magistro Rogero super annos domini 
ad mediam noctem Herefordie anno ab incarnatione domini .m°.c°. 
lxx°.viii°. post eclipsim que contigit Hereford eodem anno' (13 Sep- 
tember). There is only one page of tables under Roger's name in the 
Arundel MS., but he is probably the author of those which precede 
(ff. 77-85), and which are calculated for the meridian of Toledo and 
the year 1176. 

3. (?) Theorica planetarum. An explanation in thirty- two chapters 
of the use of astronomical tables: 'Diversi (al. Universi) astrologi 
secundum diversos annos tabulas et computaciones faciunt . . . per 
modum foraminis rotundi.' Bodley MS. 300 (Bernard, no. 2474), 
ff. i-iQv; Digby MS. 168, ff. 69V-83 v; Savile MS. 21, f. 42 (37), 
where it is attributed to Robert of Northampton. The treatise refers 
to 'tabulas ad Londonias factas.' There was a copy at Peterhouse in 
141 8 (James, Catalogue, p. 15), and according to Bale and Leland one 
at Clare College (James, Catalogue, pp. vii, viii). Other MSS. are cited 
by Duhem, iii. 499-523, who urges that the ascription to Roger of 
Hereford is the error of a copyist, since this treatise cites the London 
tables of 1232; Duhem conjectures that the treatise may be by Roger 
Bacon. There were, however, London tables in the twelfth century .^^ 

4. Tractatus de ortu et occasione signorum. 'Orizon rectus est cir- 
culus magnus . . . maiora erit ut poterit apparere.' Bodley MS. 300, 
ff. 84-90. According to Bale's Index, p. 402, there was formerly a copy 
at Clare College. 

A. Thomas, in Bulletin hispaniquey vl. 25. 

Supra, p. 123. Note also the meridian of Angers and Winchester in Arundel 
MS. 377, f. 56 V. 



5. One or more astrological works: * Liber de quatuor partibus 
itdiciorum astronomie. Quoniam circa tria sit omnis astronomica con- 
sideratio ... si non respiciens tertia.' Bibliotheque Nationale, 
MS. Lat. 7434, ff. 76-79; Limoges, MS. 9, ff. 124V-128V; Dijon, 
MS. 1045, ff. 172 V-180. A treatise beginning, * Quoniam regulas 
astronomie,' seems to be part of the same work: Digby MS. 149, f. 189 
(cf. Macray, Catalogue, col. 149); Selden MS. supra 76, f. 3 (Bernard, 
no. 3464); MS. e Musaeo 181 (Bernard, no. 3556); University of 
Cambridge, MS. Gg. vi. 3, f. 139, MS. li. i. i, ff. 40-59; Trinity 
College, Dublin, MS. 369; Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, MS. 964 (Rose, 
Verzeichnis, ii. 1210); Erfurt, MS. O. 84, ff. 39-52. Brief extracts 
in Digby MS. 57, f. 145; Ashmole MS. 369, f. 32; Laud MS. Misc. 
594, f . 136. The Indicia Herefordensis in Ashmole MS. 192 and Royal 
MS. 12 F. 17 of the British Museum consist probably of extracts from 
this work (cf. also James, Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover, 
p. 322, no. 1 135). There is also an astrology in four books in MS. 
1 02 7 1 of the Bibliotheque Nationale, ff. 179-201 v: Liber de divisione 
astronomie atque de eius ' quatuor partibus compositus per dominum 
(MS. datum) Rogerium Her fort astrologum, beginning, 'Quoniam 
principium huic arti dignum duximus.' 

6. De rebus metallicis. Seen by Leland at Peterhouse (Tanner, 
p. 641), but not since identified; Expositiones Alphidii are also cited 
by Tanner. 

Roger of Hereford, accordingly, was a teacher and writer on 
astronomical and astrological subjects, who was still a young 
man in 11 76, and who, two years later, adapted astronomical 
tables of Arabic origin to the use of Hereford. How much longer 
his activity continued we cannot say, unless he is the Roger, 
clerk of Hereford, who acted as itinerant justice with Walter Map 
in 1185,^^ nor do we know whether he travelled in Spain or what 
were his relations with Robert of Chester. 

In the case of Roger's contemporary, Daniel of Morley, the 
dependence upon the schools of Spain is clearly indicated.^^ 

^ Pipe Roll, 31 Henry II, p. 146. Master Roger of Hereford attests a York 
charter of 1154-63: Farrer, Yorkshire Charters (Edinburgh, 1914), no. 158. A 
Roger, vice-dean of Hereford, was the owner of three manuscripts of the twelfth 
century (MSS. 66, 105, 106) in the library of Jesus College, Oxford: Coxe, Cata- 
logus, pp. 23, 35. 

3^ Until recently the fundamental study on Daniel was that of Rose, " Ptolemaus 


Finding Paris dominated by law and pretentious ignorance, he 
hastened, he tells us, to Toledo, as the most famous centre of 
Arabic science, in order to hear the wiser philosophers of the 
world. One of his masters there was Gerard of Cremona, the 
indefatigable translator of the later twelfth century, who had 
been drawn to Spain by the love of that which he could not find 
among the Latins, Ptolemy's Almagest; and it is likely that the 
preiiosa muUitudo lihrorum with which Daniel returned to England 
included certain of the mathematical and astronomical treatises 
which Gerard had turned into Latin. Certainly the Philosophia, 
or Liber de naturis inferiorum et superiorum, our sole source of 
information respecting Daniel, was written to explain the teach- 
ing of Toledo to Bishop John of Norwich (117 5-1 200); its astro- 
nomical chapters are based upon al-Fargani and other Arabic 
authorities, although its philosophy is still tinged by the Timaeus 
and its astrology by Firmicus Maternus. 

Could we but follow them, there were doubtless other English- 
men who frequented the schools of Spain in this period, and other 
learned Jews who visited England. Thus John of Seville com- 
poses a treatise on the conversion of Arabic years into Roman at 
the request of two Englishmen, Gauco and William.^^ Anglo- 
Norman horoscopes of ca. 11 50 have been preserved. We find 
a William Stafford, archdeacon of Madrid, attesting a Toledo 
charter of 1154,^^ and the much- travelled mathematician and 
astrologer, Abraham ibn Ezra, a native of Toledo, spending some 

und die Schule von Toledo," in Hermes, viii. 327-349 (1874), who prints the intro- 
duction and conclusion of his Philosophia, with a brief analysis, from Arundel MS. 
377. Briefer extracts were given by Wright, Biographia literaria, ii. 227-230; and 
by Holland, in Oxford Hist. Soc, Collectanea, ii. 171 f. The best account is now 
Thorndike, ii. 171-181; cf. E.H. R., xxxvii. 540-544 (1922); and the general 
article of Charles Singer, Isis, iii. 263-269. The Philosophia has now been edited 
in full by Sudhoff, in Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, viii. 1-40; 
see Birkenmajer, ibid., ix. 45-51. 

*° On Gerard's translations see supra, Chapter I, n. 43. 

*^ Save for an entry in the pipe rolls under Norfolk and Suffolk for the years 
1184-1187; see the index to the printed rolls for 31-33 Henry n. 

^ Oxford, St. John's College, MS. 188, f. 99 v. See supra, Chapter I, n. 39. 

« Royal MS. App. 85. 

Printed by Fita, in Bolettn de la Academia de la Historia, viii. 63 (1886); cf. 
Bonilla y San Martin, Historia de lafilosofia, i. 367. 


time in London in 1158-59.'^^ The diffusion of the Arabic as- 
trology is well illustrated by the predictions for the year 1186, 
which occupy considerable space in the English chroniclers, 
William the astrologer, clerk of the constable of Chester, being 
specifically named as one of the authors.^^ 

The natural philosophy and metaphysics of Aristotle, cited in 
part but little utilized by Alexander Neckam, first appear to come 
to their own in England in the writings of Alfred of 'SeresheP or 
Alfred the Englishman, a contemporary of Roger of Hereford, to 
whom he dedicates his version of the Pseudo- Aristotelian treatise 
De vegetabilibus^'^ In the accompanying commentary he cites the 
De anima, the De generatione et corruptione, and a Liber de conge- 
latis which he had translated from the Arabic as an appendix of 
three chapters to the Meteorology. A still wider acquaintance 
with Aristotle appears in a subsequent work, the De motu cordis, 
where he refers to the Physics, Metaphysics, and Nicomachean 
Ethics -j^^ in a commentary on the Meteorology used by Roger 
Bacon; and in a lost commentary on the Parva naturalia}^ 

Steinschneider, in Z. M. Ph., xxv, sup., pp. 57-128; Jacobs, Jews of Angevin 
England, pp. 29-38. 

^® Roger of Hoveden, ii. 290-298; Benedict of Peterborough, i. 324-328, 

Jourdain, pp. 106, 430. A copy in the library of the University of Barcelona 
(MS. 7~2-6) reads: 'Incipit liber de plantis quern Alveredus de arabico transtulit in 
latinum mittens ipsum magistro Rogero de Herfodia.' 

^ Baeumker, Die Stellung des Alfred von Sareshel (Alfredus AngUcus) uttd seiner 
Schrift De motu cordis in der Wissenschaft des heginnenden XIII. Jahrhunderts, in 
Munich Sitzungsberichte, 1913, no. 9, especially pp. 33-48; and his recently pub- 
lished edition of the De motu cordis in Beitrdge, xxiii, nos. 1-2 (1923). Extracts 
from the De motu cordis were published by Barach (Innsbruck, 1878), and it is dis- 
cussed by Haureau in Memoires de P Academic des Inscriptions, xxviii, 2, pp. 317- 

A. Pelzer, Une source inconnue de Roger Bacon," in Archivum Franciscanum 
historicum, xii. 44-67 (1919). 

The library of Beauvais cathedral possessed in the seventeenth century 
'Alfredus Anglicus in Aristotelem de mundo et celo, de generatione et corruptione, 
de anima, de somno et vigilantia, de morte et vita, de colore cell'; Omont, "Re- 
cherches sur la bibliotheque de I'eglise cathedrale de Beauvais," in Memoires de 
V Academic des Inscriptions, xl (Paris, 1914), p. 48, no. 143. Other treatises attrib- 
uted to Alfred by the older bibliographers (Tanner, pp. 37 f.) have not been con- 
firmed by recent studies. Steinschneider, E. U., nos. 13, 23, does not identify the 
translator of the appendix to the Meteorologica, whom he calls, after certain manu- 
scripts, Aurelius. 


Being dedicated to Neckam, the De motu cordis cannot be later 
than his death in 1217, and as Neckam himself seems to have 
been acquainted several years earlier with the Metaphysics, De 
anima, and De generatione et corruptione,^^ it may go back to the 
beginning of the century. Even if we assign the latest possible 
limit to the treatise, it shows a wealth of Aristotelian citation such 
as we cannot find in any other Latin author of its time,^^ and its 
philosophy, based partly upon western Platonism and partly upon 
the older Arabic tradition, is singularly free from theological pre- 
possessions. While Alfred's knovv^ledge of Aristotle was derived 
in part from versions made from the Greek, we know from Roger 
Bacon and from internal evidence that he visited Spain,^^ and he 
must be placed in the series of intermediaries between Arabic and 
western learning. With him, however, the movement passes from 
its mathematical and astronomical phase to that which occupied 
itself primarily with natural philosophy and metaphysics, and we 
are thus brought into the philosophical currents of the thirteenth 

61 Infra, Chapter XVIII. Baeumker, Die Stellung, p. 33. 

^ Ibid., pp. 36-41. 

" Opus majus, ed. Bridges, i. 67; Compendium studii, ed. Brewer, p. 471; 
Baeumker, op. cit., p. 23; Bulletin hispanique, vi. 25. 



The influence of the Crusades upon the intellectual life of Europe 
has been variously judged. Once considered the great channel 
for the westward flow of Arabic culture, the estimate of their im- 
portance has greatly diminished with the clearer apprehension of 
the manifold contacts established with the East through Spain, 
Africa, Sicily, and the Byzantine Empire. It has even been 
denied that the Crusades had any direct effect upon the diffusion 
of Arabic learning, and it is certainly surprising that even in so 
practical a field as geography the writers of the thirteenth century 
should continue to draw upon the classical Latin authors rather 
than upon the fresher and more direct knowledge of Arabian 
explorers.^ Plainly the Crusaders were men of action rather than 
men of learning, and there was little occasion for western scholars 
to seek by long journeys to Syria that which they could find nearer 
home in Spain. Nevertheless, intellectual relations with the 
Arabs of Syria were not wholly lacking. Early in the twelfth 
century Adelard of Bath is known to have visited Antioch and 
Tarsus, though it is not clear to what extent his acquaintance 
with Arabic science was gained there ; ^ while toward the close of 
the Crusading epoch Frederick II included the East in the dis- 
tribution of his questionnaires, and when in Syria came into di- 
rect relations with Mohammedan philosophers and scientists, 
while his 'philosopher' Theodore hailed from Antioch.^ In the 
intervening hundred years or more our information is but frag- 
mentary, yet it includes, in the twelfth century, translations of 
the great medical work of Ali-ben-Abbas and a treatise on divina- 

* On the slow diffusion of Arabic geography, see J. K. Wright, Geographical 
Lore oj the Time of the Crusades (New York, 1924). 
2 Supra, Chapter II. 

' Infra, Chapter XII. On an alleged translation of the so-called Theology of 
Aristotle at Damascus by a Jew of Cyprus, Moses Arovas, see Steinschneider, 
H. U., p. 244; E. U.J nos. 85, 92. 



tion, and in the following century the transmission of one of the 
most famous of mediaeval books, the Secretum secretorum as- 
cribed to Aristotle. 

Stephen of Antioch 

Of these translators who are definitely known to have worked 
in the East the first is a Pisan, Stephen, trained apparently in the 
schools of Salerno and Sicily, who followed his countrymen to 
Antioch, where he appears in 11 27 as translating the medical 
writings of Ali-ben- Abbas and planning further versions from the 
Arabic. Moreover, his work makes clearer the significance of the 
Pisan contribution to the learning of the twelfth century, already 
attested by a medical translation from the Arabic in 1 1 14 ^ and by 
the versions from the Greek made at Constantinople half a cen- 
tury later by the Pisan scholars Leo Tuscus, Hugo Eterianus, and 
especially Burgundio.^ 

Ali-ben-Abbas, one of the outstanding Arabic writers of the 
tenth century, planned his al-Malaki, or Regalis dispositio, as a 
comprehensive treatise on medicine intermediate between the 
enormous Continens of Rhazes and the concise Liher medicinalis 
of the same writer, and succeeded in formulating clearly therein 
the best medical knowledge of his time.^ Stephen's translation of 
the Liher regalis is found in numerous manuscripts and in two 
early editions printed at Venice in 1492 ^ and at Lyons in 1523. 
The editions and two of the manuscripts comprise two parts, each 
in ten books, the Theorica, of which I know only these manu- 
scripts,^ and the Practica, much more common.^ The printed 

* See below. 

^ See Chapter X. Note also the astronomical tables of Abraham ben Ezra for 
the meridian of Pisa: B.M., vi. 232; Birkenmajer, Ryszarda de Fournival, pp. 
35-42; cf. Arundel MS. 377, ff. 56 v-68 v. 

^ Neuburger, Geschichte der Medizin (Stuttgart, 191 1), ii, i, pp. 176, 210. 

' Hain 8350*. I have used the copy in the Surgeon General's Library and the 
copy belonging to Dr. E. C. Streeter of Boston. For the edition of 1523 I have used 
the copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale. 

8 Vatican, MS. Urb. lat. 234; MS. Vat. lat. 2429. These MSS. include the 
Practica as well. 

9 Berlin, Cod. elect. 898; Erfurt, MS. F. 250; Basel, MS. D. ii. 18; Cesena, 
Plut. xxvi, Cod. iv; Worcester Cathedral, MS. F. 40; Cambrai, MS. 911 (incom- 


text lacks at the close a glossary of the technical terms of Dios- 
corides, first noted by Valentin Rose in his description of the 
Berlin manuscript, where the essential facts regarding Stephen's 
translation are first brought together. The Theorica had pre- 
viously been translated into Latin under the title Pantegni by 
Cons tan tine the African, who likewise translated the beginning 
and the first half of the ninth particula of the Fractica, also found 
separately as De chirurgia}^ The second half of this particula 
was turned into Latin by Constan tine's pupil John the Saracen, 
or Johannes Afilacius,^^ and a Pisan physician named Rusticus at 
the time of the great expedition against Majorca in 1114.^^ Ste- 
phen, according to his preface, having come upon All's book in 
Arabic, found there was no complete Latin version, while what 
had been translated suffered from omissions and transpositions. 
He accordingly decided to prepare an entirely new version, which 
appears upon collation to be quite different, every book being 
signed by the translator to emphasize his work.^"^ 

At the close of the Regalis dispositio Stephen adds a glossary of 
the technical terms in Dioscorides, Medicaminum omnium bre- 
viarium, which in more or less complete form appears in the manu- 
scripts and is cited as Stephen's Synonyms by later writers. In 
its full form this is an alphabetical list, Greek, Arabic, and Latin 
in three parallel columns. Readers who have difficulty with the 
Latin terms can thus consult experts, for in Sicily and at Salerno, 

plete); University of Leipzig, MS. 1131, dated 1179 (Arndt-TangI, Schrifttafeln* 
no. 23) ; Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. lat. 6914. See also Delisle, Cabinet des MSS., 
ii- 534> §§ i49> I5i> ^S^- "Aly Stephanon Phlebotomia," in MS. Vienna 1634, ff. 
94 v-97 V, is probably an extract. I have used the Basel and Paris MSS. and ex- 
tracts from the Roman. 

1° Cod. elect. 898, Verzeichniss der lateinischen Hss. der k'oniglichen Bihliothek, ii. 
1059-1065 (1905). Steinschneider (Virchow's Archiv, xxxvii. 356 ff., xxxix. 333- 
335, lii. 479; E. U., no. in) had seen only the incomplete printed text. 

" Ed. by Pagel, in Archiv fiir klinische Chirurgie, Ixxxi, i, pp. 735-786 (1906); 
cf. Sudhoff, Die Chirurgie im Mitlelalter (Leipzig, 1914-16), ii. 95. 

^ This point is overlooked by Friedrich Hartmann, Die Litter atur von Friih- und 
Hoch-Salerno (Leipzig diss., 1919), p. 20. 

^ On the presence of Pisan physicians with this expedition, cf . Liher Maiolichi- 
nus, ed. Calisse (Rome, 1904), lines 2375 ff. 

" Cf. Steinschneider, in Virchow's Archiv, xxxix. 333 f.; Rose, 1. c. 


where students of such matters are chiefly to be found, there are 
both Greeks and men familiar with Arabic." 

That Antioch was the place of Stephen's work admits of no 
doubt, for the explicit has scriptusque eius manu Antiochie. Stein- 
schneider once suggested as more probable a small place of this 
name in Spain ; but Stephen speaks definitely of the East and in 
his concluding paragraph of Syria.^^ There are indications of 
date at the end of certain of the books, as follows : 

I. 5. Finitur sermo quintus prime partis libri completi artis medicine 
que dicitur regalis dispositio Hali filii Abbas discipuli Abimeher Moysi 
filii Seyar translatio Stephani phylosophie discipuli de arabico in 
latinum, et Deo sicut est dignus laus et gloria. Scriptus novembris 
die vicesima octava feria secunda anno a passione Salvatoris mille- 
simo .0. vicesimo septimo Alduini manu, expletus manu Panci vi° 
diebus existente mense aprilis .m°.c°. xxvn.^^ 

I. 10. Translatio Stephani de arabico in latinum die octubris septima feria 

tercia anno a passione Domini millesimo centesimo vicesimo vii°, 
Deo gratias, Alduini manu.^^ 

II. 3. Scriptus vicesimo septimo et centesimo m. anno.^o 

II. 7. Finitur sermo septimus . . . translatio Stephani phylosophie dis- 
cipuli de arabico in latinum scripsitque ipse et complevit anno a pas- 
sione Domini millesimo centesimo vicesimo .vii. mense novembris die 
.iii. feria septima apud Antiochiam. Deo gratias rerum principio et 

Incipit sermo .viii. . . . scripsitque ipse et complevit anno a pas- 
sione Domini M°.c,xxvn°. mense novembris die tertio feria .vi. apud 
Antiochiam. 21 

See the preface in Rose, p. 1063, and cf. Sterna jolo. Codices Urbinates Latini, 
i. 227. The Basel MS. omits the synonyms; the Paris codex has, £f. 147-156, a 
different Hst of Arabic and Latin terms only, without the concluding paragraph. 
The Close magistri Stephani of this period noted byTraube (Wolfflin's Archiv, vi. 
265) appear to be different. On medico-botanical glossaries see Anecdota Oxon- 
iensia, i (1882-1887); and Gotz in Corpus glossariorum Latinorum, i. 227-236; 
and for the related material in prescriptions, H. E. Sigerist, Studien und Texte zur 
friihmittelaUerlichen Rezeptliteratur (Leipzig, 1923). 

Virchow's Archiv, xxxix. 333; Serapeum, xxxi. 292. 
" Rose, p. 1063. 

^8 MS. Vat, lat. 2429, f. 41 v; MS. Urb. lat. 234, f. 78 v, which gives the final 
date as * vii. diebus ext mense aprilis M<'.C*'C°. xxxvii.** ' 

" MS. Vat. lat. 2429, f. 86 v; MS. Urb. lat. 234, f. 162; Venice edition, f. 78 v; 
Lyons edition, f. 134 v. 

20 Berlin, 898, f. 116 v. 

21 MS. Vat. lat. 2429, f. 168 v; MS. Urb. lat. 234, f. 307, omitting the incipit of 
book viii; the Venice edition reads 'sunt vi' for 'feria vi.' 



II. lo. Scriptusque eius manu Antiochie a passione Domini millesimo 
centesimo vicesimo septimo mense ianuario vicesimo septimo die feria 

These dates are hopelessly inconsistent with one another, and 
most of them are also inconsistent with 1127, and no simple 
emendation or adjustment of chronological styles will harmonise 
them all. The one element in all is the year 11 27, with which the 
explicit of i. 5 also agrees, while Rose brings the concluding date 
(ii, 10) into harmony by emending January 26, with the Venice 
edition, because of possible confusion with the twenty-seven of 
the year. In that case the translation of the Practica would ante- 
date that of the Theorica. In any event we may conclude that 
some part of Stephen's version was made in 11 27, the exact dates 
having been confused by errors of copyists or by the attempt to 
reduce all dates to this single year. 

Of the translator Stephen the preface and epilogue tell us but 
little. He is a Latin, who quotes Boethius and follows the advice 
of Solomon to get wisdom. He has studied Arabic in order to 
mount to the fountain head of learning, and he has evidently 
some knowledge of Greek. He knows, probably from personal 
acquaintance, of the scholars of Salerno and Sicily. Matthew of 
Ferrara adds that Stephen was a Pisan, who went to Saracen 
lands, learned Arabic, and made a complete translation of Ali, 
later called Practica pantegni et StephanonisP As Stephanonus 
he is cited by Platearius.^^ That Stephen should be a Pisan is not 
surprising, for the Pisans had had a special quarter in Antioch 
since 1 108,^^ and Pisan activity in medical translation has already 
been noted. 

Stephen's interest in Arabic literature was not limited to medi- 
cine. He expressly tells us that the version of the Regalis dis- 

22 MS. lat. 6914, f. 147; MS. Basel D. ii. 18, f. 255 v; and the Lyons edition. 
The Berlin and Cesena MSS. have 1107. The Venice edition has a paraphrase: 
'Ipsum autem ex arabico in latinum ornatissime traduxit sermonem Stephanus phil- 
osophie discipulus in Anthiochia. Anno dominice passionis .M'^.C". xxvii. xxvi. 
ianuarii feria quarta.' 

23 Gloss printed by Rose, p. 1060. Ganszyniec, in Archiv jiir Geschichte der 
Medizin, xiv. no, claims Stephen as the author of a De modo medendi. 

24 Rose, p. 1059. 

25 Rohricht, Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani (Innsbruck, 1893), no. 53. 


positio was his first work, but he hopes to translate something out 
of "all the secrets of philosophy which lie hidden in the Arabic 
tongue," passing thus from those things which concern the body 
to the far higher things of the mind.^^ This obviously suggests 
philosophy, and a search among the treatises of the period may 
show traces of his work in this field. In any such inquiry the 
name * Stephen the philosopher' is a source of confusion, denoting, 
as it also may, Stephen of Alexandria in the seventh century; a 
Greek writer on astrology in the following century; and the 
alleged translator of an astronomical treatise of Maimonides from 
the late twelfth century ;29 not to mention the Stephen of Provins 
who was commissioned by Gregory IX in 1231 to revise the 
natural philosophy of Aristotle, and who was in scientific relations 
with Michael Scot.^^ The supposed treatise of Maimonides turns 
out not to be his, but the work of a Latin writer of the twelfth 
century who had some knowledge of Greek terms and of Arabic 
astronomy; if the name 'Stephen the philosopher' does not fall 
with the ascription of the tract to Maimonides, it is conceivable, 
though hardly probable from internal evidence, that the author 
was Stephen of Antioch. 

'Bernard Silvester' 

Associated in certain manuscripts with the Experimentarius of 
Bernard Silvester is a brief bit of oriental divination whose origin 
is narrated as follows: 

2* 'His igitur in libris nostri primum consumere laboris proposuimus operam, 
tametsi alia his preclariora lingua habeat apud se arabica, recondita omnia scilicet 
philosophic archana, quibus deinceps si divina dederit benignitas exercitatum dabi- 
mus transferendis ingenium; leviora enim hec preferimus ut ad difficilia via nobis 
sit et que corporibus necessaria sunt tempore preponimus, ut his sanitate preposita 
arte medicine que ad animi attinent excellentiam longe altiora subsequantur.' 
Edition of 1522, f. 5. 

Usener, De Stephana Alexandrino (Bonn, 1880); Krumbacher, p. 621. 

^ Cumont, in Catalogus codicum astrologicorum Graecorum, ii. 181 ff. 

Cambrai, MS. 930. See above, Chapter V, where it is shown that the treatise 
which appears with this title is not a translation but an original Latin work. 

*° On the various men who bore the name fitienne de Provins in the first half of 
the thirteenth century, see my paper "Two Roman Formularies in Philadelphia," 
to appear in 1924 in the Miscellanea Franz Ehrle. 

Bodleian, Digby MS. 46, f. 3-3 v; Savile MS. 21. f. 182. 


Quidam invictissimi ac benignissimi regis Amalrici medicus hoc opus .xx. 
et .viii. questionum super fata secundum .xx. et .viii. mansiones in quibus 
sol in toto anno moratur naturam et potestatem .vii. planetarum considerans 
instituit. Hoc autem ad regis laudem et gestorum eius memoriam et maxime 
triumphi nuper domiti Syraconis, qui dux Persarum, Turcorum, Turco- 
manorum, Cordiorum, Agarenorum, et Arabum et multarum diversarum 
gentium cum omnibus viribus suis totam Egyptum violenter invaserat pre- 
ter quandam municionem quam Cassarum vocant ; dominus ^2 Egipciorum et 
cum eo inclusi ad regem miserunt et auxilium postulantes ab eo impetrave- 
runt. Rex autem Amalricus cum paucis per deserta transiens in civitatem 
quandam munitissimam Siraconem perteritum fugavit suique multitudinem 
exercitus intrare coegit ibique eum diucius expugnando, quod omnibus 
mirum fuit, divina adiutus potentia cum marte potenter domuit ac de toto 
Egipto expulit et facti sunt Egipcii Amalrico regi tributarii in eternum. Post 
quod gestum prefatus regis medicus predictum opus secundum planetarum 
ordinem [sicut] infra in serie apparet. ordinavit et regi domino Francorum 
.v.*° in Jerusalem feliciter Deo protegente regnanti. 

The reference is either to the events of 1164, when Shirko drove 
the Egyptians into Cairo and was in turn defeated by Amaury I, 
king of Jerusalem, and shut up in Bilbais, or, more probably 
because of the mention of permanent tribute, to the Egyptian 
campaign against Shirko in 1167.^^ The date of the translation 
is not given, but Amaury (tii73) is apparently thought of as still 
alive, and in any case the writer knows nothing of the second king 
of that name who came to the throne in 1197.^^ Amaury 's physi- 
cian, the original compiler, is not named, but the treatise some- 
times appears as part of the Experimentarius of Bemardus, or 
Bernardinus, Silvester, who is in one manuscript called a transla- 
tor from the Arabic.^^ There is, however, no reason for ascribing 
any knowledge of Arabic to Bernard Silvester of Tours, a well 
known figure in the literary history of the twelfth century, nor 
can he be traced beyond the middle of the century .^^ More prob- 

^ MS. dominum. ^ MS. adintus. 

^ Rehricht, Geschichte des Konigreichs Jerusalem (Innsbruck, 1898), pp. 314- 

35 William of Tyre says ini 184 that he wrote a history of events in the East from 
Arabic materials furnished by King Amaury: Steinschneider, E. U., no. 123. 

2^ 'Titulus talis est, Experimentarius Berilardini Silvestris, non quia inventor 
fuit sed fidelis ab arabico in latinum interpres': MS. Ashmole 304, f. 2; of. MS. 
Digby 46, f. I. 

3' On Bernard, see particularly Cousin, Fragments philosophiques (1840), pp. 
336 ff.; Haureau, Philosophie scholastique (1872), i, ch. 16; id., in Mimoires de 


ably, as Thorndike suggests,^^ the similarity of subject-matter led 
to the early association of such treatises on divination, whence it 
is but a step to the ascription of a common oriental origin. 

Philip of Tripoli 

Directly connected with Syria is the transmission to Europe of 
the Secret of Secrets ascribed to Aristotle, one of the most widely 
popular books in the whole of the later Middle Ages and the six- 
teenth century, more than two hundred manuscripts being known 
of the Latin version, besides early imprints and translations into 
most of the European languages. Purporting to have been 
written by Aristotle for the guidance of Alexander the Great, it 
seemed to contain the distilled essence of practical wisdom and 
occult science for every reader, as well as the secret maxims of 
government for the use of princes. There had been a translation 
of the medical portion by John of Seville in the first half of the 
twelfth century, but the first and the standard version of the 
whole was due to a certain Philip, clerk of Tripoli, and dedicated 
to Guido de Vere of Valence, or Valencia, who appears in different 
manuscripts as bishop of Tripoli, or as archbishop of an unnamed 
see or of Naples."*^ The original had been found when Philip and 
this prelate were at Antioch, and it is by the patron's command 
that it was turned into Latin, ''sometimes literally and sometimes 
according to the sense, for the Arabs have one idiom and the 
Latins another." A philosophic pearl of such great price, dealing 

VAcademie des Inscriptions, xxxi, 2, pp. 77 ff.; id., in Histoire Utteraire, xxix. 569 f.; 
Langlois, "Maitre Bernard," in B. E. C, liv. 225-250; Clerval, Les ecoles de 
Chartres, pp. 158-163; Duhem, iii. 68, 117; R. L. Poole, "The Masters of the Schools 
at Paris and at Chartres in John of Salisbury's Time,'' in E. H. R., xxxv. 326-331 
(1920); Thorndike, ii, ch. 39. 

38 ii. 115. 

39 Of the vast literature on the Secretum secretorum, see particularly R. Forster, 
De Aristotelis quae feruntur Secretis secretorum commentatio (Kiel, 1888); and 
"Handschriften und Ausgaben des pseudo-aristotelischen Secretum Secretorum," 
in Centralblatt fiir Bibliothekswesen, vi. 1-22, 57-76, 218 (1889); Steinschneider, 
H. U., pp. 249 ff.; R. Steele, introduction to Roger Bacon's edition, Opera hactenus 
inedita,v (Oxford, 1920, with an English version from the Arabic); Thorndike, 
ii. 267-278; and in Journal of English and Germanic Philology, xxi. 248-258 (1922). 

'Tripolis,' 'metropolis,' 'Napolis.' 


with every kind of knowledge, was deemed a worthy gift to a 
prelate so learned in letters, law, and theology. 

As to date, Philip's translation is subsequent to the version of 
John of Seville, which it utilizes, and anterior to the commentary 
of Roger Bacon, written between 1243 and 1254, probably about 
1247. If, which seems to me doubtful, this translation rather 
than the Arabic original was used in Michael Scot's Physiognomy, 
it was anterior to 1236 and probably to 1228.^^ No manuscripts 
have been noted earlier than the thirteenth century. Guido de 
Vere of Valence, or Valencia, is unknown in the East or as arch- 
bishop of Naples; but there are many gaps in our lists of this 
period, and many unconfirmed elections. There are, for example, 
gaps in Tripoli between 1145 and 11 70 and between 1209 and 121 7 
or later There was a Philip, chanter of Tripoli, in 1126.'^^ In 
1 1 77 Alexander III uses a certain Philip, his own physician, as an 
intermediary with Prester John,^ but, in spite of recent assump- 
tions, there seems nothing to connect him specifically with 
Tripoli. A Master Philip of Tripoli appears in a fictitious attri- 
bution of 1212." More probable, and much better known, is 
Philip, canon of Tripoli, who meets us in the papal registers from 
i227 toi25i. 17 May 1227, as Master Philip, clerk of Foligno, 
he received from Gregory IX a canonry at Tripoli in recognition 
of his services to the patriarch and church of Antioch and his loss 
of property in such service, but in the face of opposition from the 
bishop and chapter .^^ This opposition appears to have been for a 
time successful, for he received a reappointment at the beginning 

« Infra, Chapter XIII. 

^ See Rbhricht, "Syria sacra," in Zeitschrijt des deutschen Paldsiina-Vereins, x. 
1-48 (1887); Regesta, no. 800. Some connection of Valence with Tripoli appears in 
John of Valentia, canon of St. Michael of Tripoli in 1244: Berger, Registres, no. 737. 
Cf. also Gerald, bishop of Valence, who became patriarch of Jerusalem in 1226. 

^' Rohricht, Regesta, nos. 117, 1274. 

Ihid., no. 544; Jaffe-Lowenfeld, no. 12942; Thorndike, ii. 244. 
Brown, Michael Scot, p. 20; Steinschneider, H. U., p. 793; Thorndike (ii. 271) 
vainly attempts to save this date by assuming the Spanish era. 

^•^ Auvray, Registres de Gregoire IX, nos. 118, 119. 'Philippus subdiaconus 
noster nepos bone memorie R. Antiocheni patriarche canonicus Antiochenus,' who 
appears in a bull of Honorius III, 25 September 1225 (Pressutti, Regesta, no. 5660), 
would seem to be a different person. 


of the next pontificate,"^^ when, as canon of Byblos, he also com- 
plains to the Pope of his bishop's ignorance of Donatus and Cato, 
in the course of a controversy between them which had begun 
before 1236.^^ 11 September 1245 he witnesses an act at Genoa."^^ 
In 1247, as plain Philip of Tripoli, he is at Lyons with the Pope, 
representing the patriarch of Jerusalem, who is ordered to give 
him an additional ecclesiastical appointment in that province 
because of his qualities of character and his knowledge of letters.^^ 
In 1248, chaplain of Hugh, cardinal priest of St. Sabina, he re- 
signs his prebend at Byblos in favor of his nephew, and is con- 
firmed by the Pope in his prebend at Tripoli, conferred upon him 
by Innocent IV five years before but a subject of protracted litiga- 
tion with the bishop. Canon of Tyre in the same year,^^ he de- 
clines a disputed election to the see of Tyre in 1250 and succeeds 
the archbishop elect as chanter of Tripoli, meanwhile retaining 
his cathedral prebends in Tyre and Sidon.^^ In 1251 he is also 
chaplain of the Pope.^"^ At this point Philip disappears from the 
printed papal registers, but local documents show him as chanter 
of Tripoli in 1 25 7 and 1 2 59.^^ In all this history of pluralities and 
controversy and steady support from Rome there is no word of 
Philip's literary labors save the Pope's special mention of his 
scientia litter arum in 1247, but there is ample evidence of his so- 
journ in the East and his journeys westward. Moreover the 
chronological difficulty which appeared to exist when he had not 
been traced back of 1243 vanishes with the discovery of the docu- 
ments of 1227 which show him to have been already at Antioch. 
There is every reason to believe that this canon is the Philip of 

Berger, Registres d' Innocent /F, no. 4394. 
^ Ihid., nos. 57, 2403. 

Document cited by A. Ferretto, in Giornale storico delta Liguria, i. 362, n. 
(1900). I know of no foundation for this author's assertion that Phih'p was a Flor- 

Berger, no. 3138. 
51 Ibid., nos. 4354 f., 4394. 

Ibid., no. 4355. 
^ Ibid., nos. 5048, 5390. 
^ Ibid., no. 5178. 

Rohricht, Regesta, nos. 1258 b, 1274a; Delaville Le Roulx, Cartulaire de S. 
Jean de Jerusalem, nos. 2875, 2921. 


Tripoli who made the translation of the Secretum secretorum some 
time in the first half of the thirteenth century. 

Philip's version went through a revising and standardizing 
process which may explain the Gallicisms that have been found 
in the text.^^ The translation has been pronounced remarkably 
close and accurate. 

" Forster, p. 28. 



The renaissance of the twelfth century consisted in part of a 
revival of the Latin classics and the Roman law, whence the 
movement has sometimes been called a 'Roman renaissance,' in 
part of a rapid widening of the field of knowledge by the introduc- 
tion of the science and philosophy of the ancient Greeks into west- 
ern Europe. This Greek learning came in large measure through 
Arabic intermediaries, with some additions in the process, so that 
the influence of the Saracen scholars of Spain and the East is well 
understood.^ It is not always sufficiently realized that there was 
also a notable amount of direct contact with Greek sources, both 
in Italy and in the East, and that translations made directly from 
Greek originals were an important, as well as a more direct and 
faithful, vehicle for the transmission of ancient learning. Less 
considerable in the aggregate than what came through the Arabs, 
the Greek element was nevertheless significant for the later 
Middle Ages, while it is further interesting as a direct antecedent 
of the Greek revival of the Quattrocento. No general study has 
yet been made of this movement, but detailed investigation has 
advanced sufficiently to permit of a brief survey of the present 
state of our knowledge. 

The most important meeting-point of Greek and Latin culture 
in the twelfth century was the Norman kingdom of southern Italy 
and Sicily.^ Long a part of the Byzantine Empire, this region 
still retained Greek traditions and a numerous Greek-speaking 
population, and it had not lost contact with the East. In the 
eleventh century the merchants of Amalfi maintained an active 
commerce with Constantinople and Syria; Byzantine craftsmen 

- Revised from the American Historical Review, xxv. 603-615 (1920). Cf. IsiSf 
iv. 582. 

2 Supra, Chapter I. ^ See Chapters IX, XII. 



wrought great bronze doors for the churches and palaces of the 
south,^ and travelling monks brought back fragments of Greek 
legend and theology to be turned into Latin. ^ Libraries of Greek 
origin, chiefly of Biblical and theological writings, were gathered 
into the Basilian monasteries,® and more comprehensive collec- 
tions were formed at the Norman capital. Only in the Norman 
kingdom did Greek, Latin, and Arabic civilization live side by 
side in peace and toleration. These three languages were in cur- 
rent use in the royal charters and registers, as well as in many- 
tongued Palermo, so that knowledge of more than one of them 
was a necessity for the officials of the royal court, to which men of 
distinction from every land were welcomed. The production of 
translations was inevitable in such a cosmopolitan atmosphere, 
and it was directly encouraged by the Sicilian kings, from Roger 
to Frederick II and Manfred, as part of their efforts to foster 
learning. While Roger commanded a history of the five patri- 
archates from a Greek monk, Nilus Doxopatres, and a compre- 
hensive Arabic treatise on geography from the Saracen Edrisi, 
translation appears to have been more actively furthered during 
the brief reign of his successor. Under William I a Latin render- 
ing of Gregory Nazianzen was undertaken by the king's orders, 
and a version of Diogenes Laertius was requested by his chief 
minister Maio. Indeed the two principal translators were mem- 
bers of the royal administration, Henricus Aristippus and Eugene 
the Emir, both of whom have left eulogies of the king which cele- 

^ A. Schaube, Handelsgeschichte der romanischen Vdlker (Munich, 1906), pp. 34- 
37; F. Novati, Le origini, in the cooperative Storia letteraria d' Italia, pp. 312 ff. 

^ The principal examples are Nemesius, De natura hominis, translated by Alfano, 
bishop of Salerno (ed. Burkhardt, Leipzig, 191 7); and a collection of miracles put 
into Latin by the monk John of Amalfi. On Alfano, see particularly C. Baeumker, 
in Wochenschrift fiir klassische Philologie, xiii. 1095-1102 (1896); and G. Falco, in 
Archivio delta Societd romana di storia patria, xxxv. 439-481 (191 2); and in Bullet- 
tino deir Istituto storico italiano, no. 32, pp. i-6 (191 2); Neues Archiv, xxxviii. 
667; Manitius, Lateinische Litteratur, ii. 618-637. On John, M. Huber, lohannes 
Monachus, Liber de Miraculis (Heidelberg, 1913) ; Hofmeister, in Munchner Museum, 
iv. 129-153 (1923); Manitius, ii. 422-424. 

^ F. Lo Parco, " Scolario-Saba," in Atti delta R. Accademia di Archeologia di 
Napoli, n. s., i, pt. ii, pp. 207-286 (1910), with Heiberg's criticism in B. Z., xxii. 


brate his philosophic mind and wide-ranging tastes and the 
attractions of his court for scholars/ 

Archdeacon of Catania in 11 56, when he worked at his Plato in 
the army before Benevento, Aristippus was the principal officer of 
the Sicilian curia from 1 160 to 11 62, when his dismissal was soon 
followed by his death. Besides the versions of Gregory Nazianzen 
and Diogenes, which, if completed, have not reached us, Aris- 
tippus was the first translator of the Meno and Phaedo of Plato 
and of the fourth book of Aristotle's Meteorology, and his Latin 
rendering remained in current use during the Middle Ages and 
the early Renaissance. An observer of natural phenomena on his 
own account, he was also instrumental in bringing manuscripts to 
Sicily from the library of the Emperor Manuel at Constanti- 
nople. One of these possesses special importance, a beautiful 
codex of Ptolemy's Almagest, from which the first Latin version 
was made by a visiting scholar about 11 60. The translator tells 
us that he was much aided by Eugene the Emir, ''a man most 
learned in Greek and Arabic and not ignorant of Latin," who like- 
wise translated Ptolemy's Optics from the Arabic. The scientific 
and mathematical bent of the Sicilian school is seen in still other 
works which were probably first turned into Latin here : the Data, 
Optica, and Catoptrica of Euclid, the De motu of Proclus, and the 
Pneumatica of Hero of Alexandria. A poet of some importance 
in his native Greek, Eugene is likewise associated with the trans- 
mission to the West of two curious bits of Oriental literature, the 
prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl and the Sanskrit fable of Kalila 
and Dimna. If it be added that the new versions of Aristotle's 
Logic were in circulation at the court of William I, and that an 
important group of New Testament manuscripts can be traced to 
the scribes of King Roger's court, we get some further measure 
of the intellectual interests of twelfth-century Sicily, while the 
medical school of Salerno must not be forgotten as a centre of 
attraction and diffusion for scientific knowledge. 

Italy had no other royal court to serve as a centre of the new 
learning, and no other region where East and West met in such 
constant and fruitful intercourse. In other parts of the peninsula 
' Hermes J i. 388; B. Z., xi. 451. 


we must look less for resident Greeks than for Latins who learned 
their Greek at Constantinople, as travellers, as diplomats, or as 
members of the not inconsiderable Latin colony made up chiefly 
from the great commercial republics of Venice and Pisa.^ 

Among the various theological disputations held at Constanti- 
nople in the course of the twelfth century, Anselm of Havelberg 
has left us an account of one before John Comnenus in 1136, at 
which 'Hhere were present not a few Latins, among them three 
wise men skilled in the two languages and most learned in letters, 
namely James a Venetian, Burgundio a Pisan, and the third, most 
famous among Greeks and Latins above all others for his knowl- 
edge of both literatures, Moses by name, an Italian from the city 
of Bergamo, and he was chosen by all to be a faithful interpreter 
for both sides." ^ Each of these Italian scholars is known to us 
from other sources, and they stand out as the principal trans- 
lators of the age, beyond the limits of the Sicilian kingdom. 

Under the year 11 28 we read in the chronicle of Robert of 
Torigni, abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel, and well informed respect- 
ing literary matters in Italy, that ''James, a clerk of Venice, 
translated from Greek into Latin certain books of Aristotle and 
commented on them, namely the Topics, the Prior and Posterior 
Analytics, and the Elenchi, although there was an older version of 
these books." Long the subject of doubt and discussion, this 
passage has recently been confirmed from an independent source,^^ 
so that James can be singled out as the first scholar of the twelfth 
century who brought the New Logic of Aristotle afresh to the 
attention of Latin Europe. What part his version had in the 
Aristotelian revival, and what its fate was as compared with 

* On the north-Italian translators, see below, Chapter X; and in general, G. 
Gradenigo, Lettera intorno agli Italiani che seppero di greco (Venice, 1743). Sandys, 
History of Classical Scholarship,^ i. 557 ff., touches the matter very briefly. 

^ L. d'Achery, Spicilegium (Paris, 1723), i. 172; Migne, clxxxviii. 11 63; infra, 
p. 197. 

1° Robert of Torigni, Chronique, ed. Delisle, i. 177; M. G. H., Scriptores, vi. 489. 
In the eleventh century, St. Anastasius, a Venetian monk of Mont-Saint-Michel, is 
said to have known Greek: Acta Sanctorum, October, vii. 11 25-1 140; Paul Four- 
nier, in Baudrillart, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de geographic, ii. 1469. 

" Infra, Chapter XI. 


the traditional rendering of Boethius, are questions which for 
our present purpose it is unnecessary to examine. 

Moses of Bergamo evidently found his eastern connections by 
way of Venice. He is the author of an important metrical de- 
scription of Bergamo, and kept up relations with his native city 
through letters to his brother and through benefactions to various 
churches, but his messengers pass through Venice, and he lives in 
the Venetian quarter at Constantinople. Here he is found in the 
emperor's service in 1130, when he has lost by fire a precious col- 
lection of Greek manuscripts, brought together by long effort at 
the price of three pounds of gold. He tells us that he learned 
Greek for the special purpose of turning into Latin works not 
previously known in the West, but the only specimen which has 
been identified is a translation of an uninteresting theological 
compilation. He has also left grammatical opuscula, including a 
commentary on the Greek words in St. Jerome's prefaces, which 
attest his familiarity with the language and with the writings of 
the Greek grammarians. Apparently what we have left are only 
the fragmentary remains of a many-sided activity, as grammarian, 
translator, poet, and collector of manuscripts,^^ which justifies us 
in considering him a prototype of the men who settled hoH's 
business" in the fifteenth century. 

Burgundio the Pisan is a well known figure in the public life 
of his native city who made several visits to Constantinople. 
Although translation from the Greek seems to have been the 
occupation of his leisure moments only, his output was the most 
considerable of that of any of his Latin contemporaries. Much of 
it was theology, including works of Basil and Chrysostom and 
John of Damascus which exerted a distinct influence on Latin 
thought. Philosophy was represented by Nemesius, law by the 
Greek quotations in the Digest, agriculture by an extract from 
the Geoponica. He was perhaps best known as the author of the 
current translations of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates and ten 
works of that Galen whom another Pisan, Stephen of Antioch, 
helped bring in from the Arabic. His epitaph celebrates the 
universal learning of this optimus inter pres: 

^ Infra, pp, 197-206. " See below, Chapter X. " Supra, Chapter VII. 


Omne quod est natum terris sub sole locatum 
Hie plene scivit scibile quicquid erat. 

Less noteworthy than Burgundio, two other members of the 
Pisan colony should also be mentioned, Hugo Eterianus and his 
brother Leo, generally known as Leo Tuscus.^^ Hugo, though 
master of both tongues, was not so much a translator as an active 
advocate of Latin doctrine in controversy with Greek theologians, 
a polemic career which was crowned with a cardinal's hat by 
Lucius III. Leo, an interpreter in the emperor's household, trans- 
lated the mass of St. Chrysostom and a dream-book (Oneirocriti- 
con) of Ahmed ben Sirin. The interest in signs and wonders 
which prevailed at Manuel's court is further illustrated by one 
Paschal the Roman, who compiled another dream-book at Con- 
stantinople in 1 165 and is probably the author of the version of 
Kiranides made there in 11 69; as well as by other occult works 
which found their way westward about this time, perhaps in part 
from the imperial library. Indeed the relations, formal and in- 
formal, between the Greek empire on the one hand, and the 
Papacy and the Western empire on the other, offered many 
occasions for literary intercourse ; and while we hear most of the 
resultant disputes between Greek and Latin theologians, it is 
altogether likely that other materials came west in ways which 
have so far escaped detection. 

North of the Alps there is little to record in the way of trans- 
lation, although it is probable that certain of the anonymous 
translators who worked in Italy came from other lands. In Ger- 
many we have the Dialogi with the Greeks written down by 
Anselm of Havelberg about 1 1 50, and the De diversitate persone 
et nature which another emissary of the Western Empire brought 
back in 11 79. Before the middle of the century a monk in Hun- 
gary, Cerbanus, translated the Ekatontades of Maximus the Con- 
fessor and perhaps also a treatise of John of Damascus.^^ In 1 167 
a certain William the Physician, originally from Gap in Provence, 

^6 See Chapter X. 

See below, Chapter X; and for Cerbanus, Ghellinck in B. Z., xxi. 453-457 
(1913). On ignorance of Greek in mediaeval Germany, see Pendzig, in Neiie Jahr- 
biicher, xlii. 213-227 (1018). 


brought back Greek manuscripts from Constantinople to the 
monastery of Saint-Denis at Paris/^ where he later became abbot 
(1172-86). Sent out originally by Abbot Odo, he was evidently 
specially charged with securing the works attributed to Dionysius 
the Areopagite, who was confused with the patron saint of the 
monastery and of France, and a volume of these which he brought 
back is still preserved among the Greek codices of the Bibliothe- 
que Nationale.^^ He also brought with him and translated the 
text of the Vita Secundi, a philosophical text of the second cen- 
tury/^ and summaries {hypotheses) of the Pauline epistles, while 
still other manuscripts may have been included in the opes atticas 
et orientates mentioned by one of his fellow-monks. This monk, 
also named William and sometimes confused with the physician, 
translated the eulogy of Dionysius by Michael Syncellus, but the 
writings which occupy the remainder of the Dionysian volume — 
De caelesti hierarchia, De ecclesiastica hierarchia, De divinis nomini- 
bus, De mystica theotogia, and ten epistles — were rendered into 
Latin by John Sarrazin.^^ This John had himself visited the 
Greek East, where he had sought in vain the Symbolica theotogia 
of Dionysius, as we learn from one of his prefaces.^^ In spite of 
the crudeness of his translations, his learning was valued by John 
of Salisbury, who turns to him on a point of Greek which Latin 
masters cannot explain, and who even expresses a desire to sit at 
Sarrazin's feet.^^ 

The material relating to William the Physician is conveniently given by De- 
lisle, in Journal des savants, 1900, pp. 725-739. 
18 MS. Gr. 933. 

1' Delisle, in Journal des savants, p. 728. The version is critically edited, and its 
use by French writers traced, by A. Hilka in 88. J ahreshericht der schlesischen Ge- 
sellschaft fiir vaterldndische Cultur (Breslau, 1910), iv. Abt., c. i. See further F. 
Pfister, in Wochenschriftfur klassische Philologie, 191 1, coll. 539-548. On the popu- 
larity of the Latin version, see Manitius, Geschichte der lateinischen IJtteratur 
im Mittelalter, i. 285; Thorndike, ii. 487. 

2" Delisle, pp. 726 ff.; Histoire litteraire de la France, xiv. 191-193. MSS. of these 
translations, with the prefaces, are common, e. g., Bibliotheque de I'Arsenal, MS. 
529; Chartres, MS. 131; Vatican, MS. Vat. Lat. 175; Madrid, Biblioteca Na- 
cional, MS. 523 (A. 90); Munich, MSS. 380, 435. On the influence of Sarrazin, 
who also wrote a commentary on the Celestial Hierarchy, see now Grabmann, in 
Festgabe Albert Ehrhard (Bonn, 1922), pp. 180-199; and G. Thery, in Reme des 
sciences philosophiques et theologiques, xi. 72-81 (1922). 

21 Delisle, p. 727. 22 Epistolae, no. 169; cf. also nos. 147, 149, 223, 229, 230. 


The dependence of the leading classicist of the age upon a man 
like Sarrazin shows the general ignorance of Greek. *'The most 
learned man of his time/' John of Salisbury made no less than ten 
journeys to Italy, in the course of which he visited Benevento and 
made the acquaintance of the Sicilian chancellor; he knew Bur- 
gundio, whom he cites on a point in the history of philosophy; ^ 
he studied with a Greek interpreter of Santa Severina, to whom he 
may have owed his early familiarity with the New Logic; yet his 
culture remained essentially Latin.^^ "He never quotes from any 
Greek author unless that author exists in a Latin translation." 
So the theologian whom John considers his most learned con- 
temporary, Gilbert de la Porree, though he knows something of 
the Greek Fathers, is quite ignorant of that language .^^ Greek 
could be learned only in southern Italy or the East, and few 
there were who learned it, as one can see from the sorry list of 
Greek references which have been culled from the whole seventy 
volumes of the Latin Patrologia for the twelfth century. The 
Hellenism of the Middle Ages was a Hellenism of translations 
— and so, in large measure, was the Hellenism of the Italian 

Finally there remain to be mentioned the anonymous transla- 
tions, made for the most part doubtless in Italy. Where we are 
fortunate enough to have the prefaces, these works can be dated 
approximately and some facts can be determined with respect to 
their authors, as in the case of the first Latin version of the Al- 

2^ MetalogicMS, bk. iv., c. 7. 

24 Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresheriensis (Leipzig, 1862); Poole, in Dictionary 
oj National Biography; C. C. J. Webb, loannis Saresheriensis Policraticus, i, introd. 

2^ Sandys, History of Classical Scholarship ^, i. 540. 

^ M, G. H., Scriptores, xx. 522; infra, Chapter X, p. 213. 

2^ How sorry this list is, the Abbe A. Tougard does not seem to realize when he 
has drawn it up: L'hellenisme dans les ecrivains du moyen age (Paris, 1886), ch. v. 
On the reserve necessary in using such citations, cf. Traube, O Roma Nobilis 
(Munich, 1891), p. 65. For a list of theological MSS. of the twelfth century not in 
the Patrologia, see Noyon, in Revue des bibliotheques , 191 2, pp. 277-333; 1913, pp. 
297-319, 385-418. On Greek in the twelfth century, see Sandys, pp. 555-558. Miss 
Louise R. Loomis, Medieval Hellenism (Columbia thesis, 1906), adds nothing on this 

2^ Loomis, "The Greek Renaissance in Italy," in American Historical Review^ 
xiii. 246-258 (1908). 


magest, made in Sicily about 1160, and a version of Aristotle's 
Posterior Analytics (1128-59) preserved in a manuscript of the 
cathedral of Toledo.^^ In the majority of cases no such evidence 
has been handed down, and we have no guide beyond the dates 
of codices and the citations of texts in a form directly derived 
from the Greek. Until investigation has proceeded considerably 
further than at present, the work of the twelfth century in many 
instances cannot clearly be separated from that of the earlier 
Middle Ages on the one hand, and on the other from that of the 
translators of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries who follow 
in unbroken succession. Often we know only that a particular 
work had been translated from the Greek before the time of the 
humanists. The most important body of material with which 
the twelfth century may have occupied itself anonymously is the 
writings of Aristotle .^^ The Physics, Metaphysics, and briefer 
works on natural history reach western Europe about 1200; the 
Politics, Ethics, Rhetoric, and Economics only in the course of the 
next two generations. In nearly every instance translations are 
found both from the Greek and from the Arabic, and nearly all 
are undated. At present about all that can be said is that by the 
turn of the century traces are found of versions from the Greek 
in the case of the Physics, De caelo, De anima, and the Parva 
naturalia, and perhaps of the Metaphysics. 

On the personal side these Hellenists of the twelfth century 
have left little of themselves. James of Venice is only a name; 
the translator of the Almagest is not even that. Moses of Bergamo 
we know slightly through the accident which has preserved one of 
his letters; others survive almost wholly through their prefaces. 
Characteristic traits or incidents are few — Moses lamenting the 
loss of his Creek library, and the three pounds of gold it had cost 
him; the Pisan secretary of Manuel Comnenus trailing after the 
emperor on the tortuous marches of his Turkish campaigns; Bur- 
gundio redeeming his son's soul from purgatory by translating 
Chrysostom in the leisure moments of his diplomatic journeys; a 
Salerno student of medicine braving the terrors of Scylla and 
Charybdis in order to see an astronomical manuscript just ar- 
" Infra, Chapters IX, XI. infra. Chapters XI, XVIII. 


rived from Constantinople, and remaining in Sicily until he had 
mastered its contents and made them available to the Latin 
world; Aristippus working over Plato in camp and investigating 
the phenomena of Etna's eruptions in the spirit of the elder Pliny; 
Eugene the Emir, in prison at the close of his public career, writ- 
ing Greek verse in praise of solitude and books. Little enough all 
this, but sufhcient to show the kinship of these men with ''the 
ancient and universal company of scholars." 

So far as we know, these Hellenists produced no grammars like 
Roger Bacon's or the Erotemata of Chrysoloras, though Moses of 
Bergamo turned into Latin the substance of two chapters of the 
grammar of Theodosius of Alexandria .^^ Nor was their knowl- 
edge of Greek reflected in Greek dictionaries or in any permanent 
improvement in lexicography; indeed the Greek of the etymolo- 
gists grows worse rather than better as the Middle Ages wear on. 
When, about 1200, the learned Pisan canonist Hugutio, professor 
at Bologna and bishop of Ferrara, compiles his Derivationes, he 
takes his Greek etymologies chiefly from his predecessors, the 
Lombard Papias (1053) and the Englishman Osbern, both like- 
wise ignorant of Greek; yet Hugutio was the standard lexicog- 
rapher of the later Middle Ages and was by Petrarch bracketed 
with Priscian as the chief of grammarians.^^ The Grecismus of 
Evrard de Bethune (12 12), a favorite grammar in its time, is 
notable chiefly for its ignorance of Greek.^^ Some acquaintance 
with the language was claimed by William of Corbeil, who in the 
early twelfth century dedicated his Differ entie to Gilbert de la 

In all its translations the twelfth century was closely, even 
painfully literal, in a way that is apt to suggest the stumbling and 
conscientious school-boy. Every Greek word had to be repre- 

'1 Infra, Chapter X, n. 64. 

32 On Hugutio see particularly G. Gotz, in Leipzig Sitzungsberichte, Iv. 1 21-154 
(1903); id., in Corpus glossariorum Latinorum, i. ch. 17, who cites 106 MSS. and 
prints the pompous preface. On Osbern's writings see Miss Bateson, in the Diction- 
ary of National Biography. Besides the MSS. there cited (Royal 6 D ix of the 
British Museum; and 654 of Rouen), I have used the dialogues in MS. 301 at 
Tours, £f. 76-110. 

33 Ed. Wrobel (Berlin, 1887); cf. Sandys3, i. 667. 34 jnfra, Chapter X, n. 119. 


sented by a Latin equivalent, even to nev and 8i. Sarrazin la- 
ments that he cannot render phrases introduced by the article, 
and even attempts to imitate Greek compounds by running Latin 
words together.^^ The versions were so slavish that they are use- 
ful for establishing the Greek text, particularly where they repre- 
sent a tradition older than the extant manuscripts. This method, 
de verho ad verbum, was, however, followed not from ignorance but 
of set purpose, as Burgundio, for example, is at pains to explain 
in one of his prefaces.^^ The texts which these scholars rendered 

2^ John of Salisbury, Epistolae, nos. 149, 230; cf. William the Physician, in 
Journal des savants, 1900, p. 738. 

^® ' Verens igitur ego Burgundio ne, si sentenciam huius sancti patris commenta- 
cionis assumens meo earn more dictarem, in aliquo alterutrorum horum duorum 
sapientissimorum virorum sentenciis profundam mentem mutarem et in tam magna 
re, cum sint verba fidei, periculum lapsus alicuius alteritatis incurrerem, difficilius 
iter arripiens, et verba et significationem eandem et stilum et ordinem eundem qui 
apud Grecos est in hac mea translatione servare disposui. Sed et veteres tam Gre- 
corum quam et Latinorum interpretes hec eadem continue egisse perhibentur,' the 
Septuagiijt being an example, though St. Jerome made a new version of Isaiah. 
'Sanctus vero Basilius predictum Ysaiam prophetam exponens Ixx duorum inter- 
pretum editione[m] mirabiliter ad litteram commentatur, eiusque commentacionem 
ego Burgundio index domino tercio Eugenio beate memorie pape de verbo ad ver- 
bum transferens ex predicta Ixx duorum interpretum editione facta [m?] antiquam 
nostram translationem in omnibus fere sum prosequtus, cum Sancti leronimi novam 
suam editionem nuUatenus ibi expositam invenirem nec eam sequi ullo modo in ea 
commentacione possem. Psalterium quoque de verbo ad verbum de greco in lati- 
num translatum est sermonem, et diverse ille quoque eius proferuntur apud Latinos 
edictipnes romana < > ex equivocacione grecarum dictionum ortas esse perpendo, 
interpretibus modo hanc modo illam in eis assumentibus significacionem.' He then 
passes in review the other literal translations previously made from the Greek — the 
Twelve Tables, the Corpus Juris Civilis, the Dialogues of Gregory the Great, Chal- 
cidius's version of the Timaeus, Priscian, Boethius, the Aphorisms of Hippocrates 
and the Tegni of Galen, John the Scot's version of Dionysius the Areopagite, and the 
De urinis of Theophilus — and concludes : * Si enim alienam materiam tuam tuique 
iuris vis esse putari, non verbo verbum, ut ait Oratius, curabis reddere ut fidus in- 
terpres, ymo eius materiel sentenciam sumens tui eam dictaminis compagine expli- 
cabis, et ita non interpres eris sed ex te tua propria composuisse videberis. Quod et 
TuUius et Terentius se fecisse testantur. . . . Cum igitur hec mea translatio scrip- 
tura sancta sit et in hoc meo labore non gloriam sed peccatorum meorum et filii mei 
veniam Domini expectavi, merito huic sancto patri nostro lohanni Crisostomo sui 
operis gloriam et apud Latinos conservans, verbum ex verbo statui transferendum, 
deficienciam quidem dictionum intervenientem duabus vel etiam tribus dictionibus 
adiectis replens, idyoma vero quod barbarismo vel metaplasmo vel scemate vel 
tropo fit recta et propria sermocinacione retorquens.' Preface to translation of 


were authorities in a sense that the modern world has lost, and 
their words were not to be trifled with. Who was Aristippus that 
he should omit any of the sacred words of Plato? Better carry 
over a word like didascalia than run any chance of altering the 
meaning of Aristotle.^^ Burgundio might even be in danger of 
heresy if he put anything of his own instead of the very words of 
Chrysostom. It was natural in the fifteenth century to pour con- 
tempt on such translating, even as the humanists satirized the 
Latin of the monks, but the men of the Renaissance did not 
scruple to make free use of these older versions, to an extent which 
we are just beginning to realize. Instead of striking out boldly 
for themselves, the translators of the Quattrocento were apt to 
take an older version where they could, touching it up to suit 
current taste. As examples may be cited the humanistic editions 
of Aristotle's Logic, of Chrysostom and John of Damascus, and 
even of Plato.^^ It has always been easier to ridicule Dryasdust 
than to dispense with him! 

Apart from such unacknowledged use during the Renaissance, 
the translators of the twelfth century made a solid contribution 
to the culture of the later Middle Ages. Where they came into 
competition with translations from the Arabic, it was soon recog- 
nized that they were more faithful and trustworthy. At their 
best the Arabic versions were one remove further from the origi- 
nal and had passed through the refracting medium of a wholly 
different kind of language,^^ while at their worst they were made 
in haste and with the aid of ignorant interpreters working through 
the Spanish vernacular.^^ In large measure the two sets of trans- 

Chrysostom's St. John, Vatican, MS. Ottoboni Lat. 227, ff. i v-2, a corrupt text 
respecting which I owe much to the aid of Monsignore Giovanni Mercati. For 
specimens of Burgundio's method, see Dausend, in Wiener Studien, xxxv, 353-369; 
and cf. the parallel versions studied by Hocedez, in Musee beige, xvii. 109-123 

3^ Even to the point of rendering re Kal by que et. Rassegna bibliografica della 
letteratura italiana, xiii. 12. Infra, pp. 234 f. 

3^ Infra, pp. 167, 208, 240 f.;- W ochenschrift fiir klassische Philologie, 1896, col. 
1097; Minges, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxix. 250-263 (1916). 

^° Eugene of Palermo remarks on the difference of Arabic idiom. G. Govi, 
VOttica di Claudio Tolomeo (Turin, 1885), P- 35 infra, p. 172. 
Cf. Rose in Hermes, viii. 335 ff. 


lators utilized the same material. Both were interested in philos- 
ophy, mathematics, medicine, and natural science; and as most 
of the Greek works in these fields had been turned into Arabic, 
any one of these might reach the West by either route. If Plato 
could be found only in the Greek, Aristotle was available also in 
Arabic, and for most of his works there exist two or more parallel 
Latin versions. Theology, liturgy, and hagiography, as well as 
grammar, naturally came from the Greek alone, while astrology 
was chiefly Arabic. Nevertheless in the realm of the occult and 
legendary we have Kiranides and the dream-books, Kalila and 
Dimna and the Sibyl, some alchemy perhaps, and the Quadripar- 
titum of Ptolemy and other bits of astrology .^^ In many in- 
stances it was more or less a matter of accident whether the 
version from the Greek or that from the Arabic should pass into 
general circulation; thus the Sicilian translation of the Almagest , 
though earlier, is known in but four copies, while that made in 
Spain is found everywhere. The list of works known only through 
the Greek of the twelfth century is, however, considerable. It 
comprises the Meno and Phaedo of Plato, the only other dialogue 
known to the Middle Ages being the Timaeus, in an older version; 
the advanced works of Euclid; Proclus and Hero; numerous 
treatises of Galen; Chrysostom, Basil, Nemesius, John of Damas- 
cus, and the Pseudo-Dionysius ; and a certain amount of scattered 
material, theological, legendary, liturgical, and occult.^^ 

The absence of the classical works of literature and history 
from the list of translations from the Greek is as significant as it is 
in the curriculum of the mediaeval universities. We are in the 
twelfth century, not the fifteenth, and the interest in medicine, 
mathematics, philosophy, and theology reflects the practical and 
ecclesiastical preoccupations of the age rather than the wider in- 
terests of the humanists. The mediaeval translations ''were not 
regarded as belles lettres. They were a means to an end." It is 

42 Chapter V, end; Chapter X, end. 

^ Sabbadini, Le scoperte dei codici: nuove ricerche, pp. 262-265, gives a list of 
mediaeval versions from which Euclid, Hero, the Geoponica, Nemesius and others 
are absent. 

*4 D. P. Lock wood, in Proceedings of the American Philological Association, xlix. 
125 (1918). 


well, however, to remember that these same authors continue to 
be read in the Quattrocento, in translations new or old; they are 
merely crowded into the background by the newer learning. In 
this sense there is continuity between the two periods. There is 
also a certain amount of continuity in the materials of scholar- 
ship — individual manuscripts of the earlier period gathered into 
libraries at Venice or Paris, the library of the Sicilian kings prob- 
ably forming the nucleus of the Greek collections of the Vatican."^^ 
To what extent there was a continuous influence of Hellenism is a 
more difficult problem, in view of our fragmentary knowledge of 
conditions of the south. The Sicilian translators of the twelfth 
century are followed directly by those at the courts of Frederick 
II and Manfred, while in the fourteenth century we have to re- 
member the sojourn of Petrarch at the court of Robert of Naples, 
and the Calabrian Greek who taught Boccaccio. The gap is 
short, but it cannot yet be bridged. 

See the studies of Heiberg, Ehrle, and Birkenmajer cited in Chapter IX, n. 
35. Bjornbo, "Die mittelalterlichen lateinischen Uebersetzungen aus dem Griech- 
ischen," in Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, i. 385-394 (1909), 
should be consulted for later versions of mathematical works. See also the more 
general pages of Heiberg, "Les sciences grecques et leur transmission," in Scientia, 
xxxi. i-io, 97-104 (1922). 



The Norman kingdom of southern Italy and Sicily occupies a 
position of peculiar importance in the history of mediaeval cul- 
ture.2 Uniting under their strong rule the Saracens of Sicily, the 
Greeks of Calabria and Apulia, and the Lombards of the south- 
Italian principalities, the Norman sovereigns were still far- 
sighted and tolerant enough to allow each people to keep its own 
language, religion, and customs, while from each they took the 
men and the institutions that seemed best adapted for the organi- 
zation and conduct of their own government. Greek, Arabic, and 
Latin were in constant use among the people of the capital and in 
the royal documents;^ Saracen emirs, Byzantine logothetes, and 

1 Based upon Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, xxi. 75-102 (1910), xxiii. 155- 
166 (191 2), the first being a joint article with Professor Dean Putnam Lockwood 
which he kindly permits me to incorporate here. His discovery of MS. Vat. 2056 
was the starting-point of the essay. For discussion, see, particularly, Heiberg, "Noch 
einmal die mittelalterliche Ptolemaios-Uebersetzung," in Hermes, xlvi. 207-216; Paul 
Marc, in B. Z., xix. 568, 569; Bresslau, in Neues Archiv, xxxvi. 304, xxxix. 253; and 
the description of MS. 2056 in the new catalogue of Codices Vaticani Lalini. 

2 On the culture of southern Italy and Sicily in the twelfth century, see M. 
Amari, Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia (Florence, 1854-72), iii. 441-464, 6555.; 
V. Rose, "Die Liicke im Diogenes Laertius und der alte Uebersetzer," in Hermes 
(1866), i. 367-397; E. A. Freeman, The Normans at Palermo, in his Historical Essays, 
third series, pp. 437-476; G. B. Siragusa, II regno di Guglielmo I in Sicilia (Palermo, 
1885-86), i. 139-148, ii. 101-144; O. Hartwig, "Die Uebersetzungsliteratur Un- 
teritaliens in der normannisch-staufischen Epoche," in Centralblatt fiir Bibliotheks- 
wesen (1886), iii. 161-190, 223-225, 505 f.; E. Caspar, Roger II und die Griindung 
der normannisch-sicilischen Monarchic (Innsbruck, 1904), pp. 435-472; F, Chalan- 
don, Histoire de la domination normande en Italic et en Sicile (Paris, 1907), ii. 708- 
742, where the literary side of the subject is treated much too briefly; Haskins, The 
Normans in European History (Boston, 1915), chs. 7, 8. On the Greek element in 
the South, see also F. Lenormant, La grande Grece (Paris, 1881-84); P. Batiffol, 
L'abbaye de Rossano (Paris, 1891); and the studies on Casule in Rivista storica cala- 
brese, vi. 

^ K. A. Kehr, Die Urkunden der normannisch-sicilischen Konige (Innsbruck, 
1902), pp. 239-243. 



Norman justiciars worked side by side in the royal curia; and it 
has been a matter of dispute among scholars whether so funda- 
mental a department of the Sicilian state as finance was derived 
from the diwan of the caliphs, the fiscus of the Roman emperors, 
or the exchequer of the Anglo-Norman kings> King Roger, like 
his grandson Frederick II, drew to his court men of talent from 
every land, regardless of speech or faith: an Englishman, Robert 
of Selby, stood at the head of his chancery, and others from be- 
yond the Alps found employment in his government; ^ a Greek 
monk, Nilus Doxopatres, wrote at his command the history of 
the five patriarchates which was directed at the supremacy of the 
Roman see; a Saracen, Edrisi, prepared under his direction the 
comprehensive treatise on geography which became celebrated as 
'King Roger's Book.' A court where so many different types of 
culture met and mingled inevitably became a place for the inter- 
change and diffusion of ideas, and particularly for the transmis- 
sion of eastern learning to the West. Easy of access, the Sicilian 
capital stood at the centre of Mediterranean civilization, and 
while the student of Arabic science and philosophy could in many 
respects find more for his purpose in the schools of Toledo, Pa- 
lermo had the advantage of direct relations with the Greek East 
and direct knowledge of works of Greek science and philosophy 
which were known in Spain only through Arabic translations or 
com.pends. Especially was a cosmopolitan court Uke the Sicilian 
favorable to the production of translations. Knowledge of more 
than one language was almost a necessity for the higher officials as 
well as for the scholars of Sicily, and Latin versions of Greek and 

^ R. Pauli, in Nachrichten of the Gottingen Academy, 1878, pp. 523-540; Hart- 
wig and Amari, in Memorie dei Lincei, third series, ii. 409-438; C. A. Gamfi, in 
Archivio storico italiano, fifth series, xxvii. 225-263; O. von Heckel, in Archiv fiir 
Urkundenforschung (1908), i. 371 ff.; my article on "England and Sicily in the 
Twelfth Century," in E. H. R.^ xxvi. 433-447, 641-665 (1911). 

^ Hugo Falcandus, Liber de regno Sicilie, ed. Siragusa, p. 6: 'Quoscumque viros 
aut consiliis utiles aut bello claros compererati, cumulatis eos ad virtutem beneficiis 
invitabat. Transalpinos maxime, cum ab Normannis originem duceret sciretque 
Francorum gentem belli gloria ceteris omnibus anteferri, plurimum diligendos ele- 
gerat et propensius honorandos.' Cf. Romualdus of Salerno, in M. G. //., Scrip- 
tores, xix. 426; John of Salisbury, ihid., xx. 538; John of Hexham, ibid., xxvii. 15; 
ibn-al-Atir, in Amari, BiUioteca Arabo-Sicula, i. 450. 


Arabic works were sure to be valued by the northern visitors of 
scholarly tastes who came in considerable numbers to the South 
and wished to carry back some specimen of that eastern learning 
whose fame was fast spreading in the lands beyond the Alps. 

The achievements of the Sicilian scholars of the twelfth century 
are in part known, thanks particularly to the studies of Amari and 
Valentin Rose, but the sources of information are of a very scanty 
sort, and new material is greatly needed. We can now add 
Ptolemy's Almagest to the list of works known to have been 
turned into Latin in Sicily, and, with that as our starting-point, 
bring out additional facts concerning the Sicilian translators and 
their work. 

The mediaeval versions of the Almagest we have discussed in 
another connection.^ The earliest of those made from the Arabic, 
that of Gerard of Cremona, was completed in 11 75, and three 
others are known before George Trapezuntius made his version 
directly from the Greek in 145 1.' Of these the most interesting is 
what appears to be the earliest Latin version of all, made in 
Sicily about 11 60 and based directly upon the original Greek. 
Four manuscripts are known : 

A. MS. Vat. Lat. 2056, belonging to the fourteenth or possibly to 
the very end of the thirteenth century, a well-written parchment codex 
formerly in the possession of Coluccio Salutati.^ The translation of the 
Almagest occupies the ninety-four numbered folios,^ and there are four 

* Chapter V, end. 

' Voigt, Die W iederhelehung des classischen Alterihums^, ii. 141. 

8 F. 88 v: 'Liber Colucii.' F. 94 v: 'Liber Colucii Pyeri de Salutatis.' 

' The incipit and explicit of each book are given for identification of other possi- 
ble copies: F. i-i v, preface, as printed below, pp. 191-193. Ff. i v-9, book i: 
*Valde bene qui proprie philosophati sunt, o Sire, videntur michi sequestrasse theo- 
reticum philosophic a practice . . . atque inde manifestum est quoniam et reli- 
quorum taetartimoriorum ordinatio contingit eadem omnibus in unoquoque eisdem 
contingentibus propter rectam speram, id est equinoctialem, sine declinatione ad 
orizontem subiacet.' Ff. 9 v-26, book ii: * Pertranseuntes in primo sintaxeos de 
totorum positione capitulatim debentia prelibari . . . minutione vero quando 
occidentalior subiacens.' Ff. 26-33, book iii: 'Assignatas a nobis in ante hoc coor- 
dinatis et universaliter debentibus de celo et terra mathematice prelibari . . . pis- 
cium gradus .vi .xlv., anomalie vero .iii*. g[radus] et .viii. ad proximum sexagesima 
piscium.' Ff. 33-41, book iv: *In eo quod ante hoc coordinantes quecunque utique 
quis videat contingentia circa solis motum ... in coniugationibus lune et ipsis 



fly-leaves, partly in blank and partly covered with astronomical notes 
and symbols in a hand different from the text. The text averages fifty 
lines to a page, and the written page measures ca. 14.7 by 25.5 centi- 
metres. There are no illustrations in the text, but the outer margins 
have many geometrical figures, beautifully drawn and often of great 
intricacy, and lettered in a hand which seems to be that of the original 
scribe. The text and the titles of chapters which appear at the head of 
each book are written in a single hand, but the hands of several cor- 
rectors and annotators appear both in the text and in the tables. This, 
the only complete MS. so far known of the SiciHan version, was dis- 
covered by Professor Lockwood in the spring of 1909 and described in 
Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (xxi. 78 f.) in 1910. See now the 
new catalogue of the Vatican MSS. (191 2); and Heiberg in Hermes, 
xlvi. 207 ff. (191 1). 

B. Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, Conventi Soppressi, MS. A. 5. 
2654. Written in a southern hand of ca. 1300. Lacks preface and the 
first twelve chapters of book i. Discovered by Bjornbo and indicated 
in Archiv fur die Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, i. 392 (1909); de- 
scribed by Heiberg, ^'Eine mittelalterUche Uebersetzung der Syn taxis 

eclipsibus consonius maxime nostris ypothesibus inventis.' Ff. 41-47 v, book v: 
'Causa vero earum que ad solem sinzugiarum et sinodicarum vel panselinicarum 
. . . periferiam maiorem esse ea que est .zb. habuimus et .aiz. angulum g[radus] 
.XXXV. et d[imidium], quod propositum erat demonstrando.' Ff. 47 v-55 v, book vi: 
'Deinceps ergo contingente eo quod circa eclipticas sinzugias solis et lune negotio 
. . . universalius recipientes lunarium partes primas et extremas eclipsium et com- 
pletionum significationes.' Ff. 56-61 v, book vii: ' Pertranseuntes in ante hoc co- 
ordinatis, o Sire, et circa rectam et circa inclinatam speram contingentia . . .' 
[table]. Ff. 62-66 v, book viii: [Table]'. . . spatia sumptis ad solem significa- 
tionibus et in ipsis in parte lune acclinationibus.' Ff. 66 v-72 v, book ix: 'Igitur 
quecunque quidem quis et de fixis stellis velut in capitulis commemorat secundum 
quantum usque nunc apparentia processum conceptionis . . . tantis vero .i. et .vi. 
superant chelarum g[radus] qui secundum observationem.' Ff. 72 v-76 v, book x: 
'Igitur stelle quidem mercurii ypo theses et quantitates anomaliarum, . . . optine- 
bit manifestum quoniam et secundum expositum epochis temporis cancri g[radus] 
.xvi. .xL' Ff. 76 v-83 V, book xi: 'Demonstratis circa martis stellam periodicis 
motibus et anomaliis et epochis . . . et collectum g[raduum] numerum dementes 
ab eo quod tunc apoguio stelle, in apparentem ipsius progressionem incuremus.' 
Ff. 83 v-88 V, book xii: 'His demonstratis consequens utique erit et secundum 
unamquamque quinque erraticarum factas precessiones . . . tertio vero hesperias et 
rursum quarto eoas et quinto esp)erias, et est canon huiusmodi:' [table]. Ff. 88 v- 
94 V, book xiii: 'Delictis autem in eam que de quinque erraticis coordinationem 
adhuc duobus his et secundum latitudinem . . . et que ad commoditatem solam 
contemplationis sed non ad ostentationem commemoratio suggerebat, proprium 
utique nobis hie et commensurabilem recipiat finem presens negotium.' 


des Ptolemaios," in Hermes, xlv. 57-66 (1910). Neither of these 
scholars then knew of the existence of A. 

C. Vatican, MS. Pal. lat. 1371, ff. 41-97 v; thirteenth century. 
Complete only as far as 6, 10, including the preface, but offering a text 
superior to A in accuracy and in the mechanical execution of the illu- 
minations, though omitting some of the tables. The scribe seems to 
have tried to improve the text, especially in the order of words. Oppo- 
site the title an ItaHan hand of the fourteenth century has written in 
the margin 'Translatus in urbe Panormi tempore regis Roggerii per 
Hermannum de greco in latinum.' ^° Discovered by me in June, 191 1, 
and described in Harvard Studies, xxiii. 155-166 (191 2). Since noted 
by Monsignore A. Pelzer, in Archivum Franciscanum hisioricum, xii. 
60 (1919), who dates it '12*^-13^ siecle,' and the marginal note '13® 

D. Wolfenbiittel, MS. Gud. lat. 147, f. 2. Preface only; see above, 
Chapter V, pp. 106-108. 

In the preface, printed at the close of the present chapter, the 
translator, writing to the teacher of mathematics to whom he 
dedicates his work, says (lines 23-37) that, as he was laboring 
over the study of medicine at Salerno, he learned that a copy of 
Ptolemy's great treatise had been brought from Constantinople 
to Palermo, as a present from the Greek emperor, by an ambassa- 
dor of the Sicilian king. This emissary, by name Aristippus, he 
set out to seek, and braving the terrors of Scylla and Charybdis 
and the fiery streams of Etna — this last doubtless on the way to 
Catania, where we know Aristippus was archdeacon — he found 
him at Pergusa,^^ near the fount, engaged, not without danger, in 
investigating the marvels of Etna. Our Salernitan scholar's as- 
tronomical knowledge was not, however, sufficient to permit his 
attempting at once the translation of the book which he had 

See above, Chapter III, no. b. 
" This name gives rise to a difficulty, for the lake of Pergusa, the fabled scene of 
the rape of Proserpine (Ovid, Metam. 5, 386; Claudian, De raptu Proserpinae, 2, 
112), lies in the vicinity of Castrogiovanni, the ancient Enna, at so considerable a 
distance from Etna that there would be no possible danger to an observer. Cf. 
Hermes, xlvi. 208, n. The phrase ethnea miracula would seem too definite to be in- 
terpreted as volcanic phenomena which might occur in the region of Pergusa at a 
time of disturbance of Etna. Very possibly the author meant some fount in the 
neighborhood of Etna otherwise unknown to us. 


sought, even if there had been no other obstacles in the way, and, 
already familiar with Greek (preinstructus) , he applied himself 
diligently to the prelimiiiary study of the Data, Optica, and 
Catoptrica of Euclid and the De motu of Proclus. When ready to 
attack the Almagest he had the good fortune to find a friendly 
expositor in Eugene, a man most skilled in Greek and Arabic and 
not unfamiliar with Latin, and succeeded, contrary to the desire 
of an ill-tempered man,^^ in turning the work into Latin. 

The date of these events can be fixed with some definiteness 
owing to the mention of Aristippus, who was an important per- 
sonage in Sicilian history in the reign of William 1. Made arch- 
deacon of Catania in 1 156, in which year he is found with the king 
at the siege of Benevento, Henricus Aristippus was in November, 
1 1 60, after the murder of the emir of emirs, Maio, advanced to 
the position of royal familiaris and placed in charge of the whole 
administration of the kingdom; but in the spring of 1162, while 
on the way to Apulia, he was suddenly seized by the king's order 
and sent to Palermo to prison, where he shortly afterward died.^^ 
The meeting at the fount of Pergusa was thus anterior, not only to 
the events of 1162, but probably also to the promotion of 11 60, 
after which the necessity of constant presence at the curia left no 
time for scientific pursuits. If we follow the diplomatic history of 
Sicily back to the assumption of the royal title in 1 130, we find 
only three embassies to Constantinople, and the relations of the 
Greek emperor and the Sicilian king were such during this period 
that it is quite unlikely that there were others. The first series of 

^2 ' Contra viri discoli voluntatem.' This may be connected with the unexplained 
obstacle ('cum occulte quidem alia . . . prohiberent') referred to above, but if the 
opposition of an unnamed person is meant, we should expect cuiusdam, while the 
mention of Eugene's assistance makes one hesitate to apply the reference to him, 
as does Heiberg (Hermes, xlvi. 209, no. i). I give Heiberg's interpretation of prein- 
structus, though one would expect iam instructus if the knowledge of Greek had been 
previously acquired. 

13 Except for his prologues to the Meno and Phaedo of Plato {Hermes, i. 386-389) 
and for the text which we print, below, the facts concerning the life of Aristippus are 
known only from the chronicle of Hugo Falcandus, ed. Siragusa, pp. 44, 55, 69, 81. 
See Siragusa, // regno di Guglielmo I, i. 144-145; ii. 18, 51-52, 107-112; Kehr, Die 
Urkunden der normannisch-sicilischen Konige, pp. 80 (on the date of the death of 
Aschettinus, predecessor of Aristippus as archdeacon), 82-83; Chalandon, Domina- 
tion normande, ii. 174, 272, 273, 276, 277, 282, 289. 


negotiations falls in 1143 and 1144, when a mission sent to ar- 
range a marriage alliance failed of its purpose because of the death 
of the Emperor John Comnenus and when a second set of ambas- 
sadors was put in prison by his son Manuel. In neither of these 
instances is it at all probable that the emperor presented a valua- 
ble manuscript to King Roger, nor would Aristippus have been a 
man of sufficient importance to be employed in so responsible a 
position. For similar reasons he can hardly have been one of the 
emissaries despatched by William I on his accession in 1 1 54, for 
these were all bishops and were not well received.^^ By 11 58, on 
the other hand, when peaceful relations were resumed between 
the two sovereigns, Aristippus occupied a higher position, and the 
Emperor Manuel, who had not been successful in the preceding 
campaigns, had every reason to deal generously with the envoys 
who concluded the peace of that year.^^ If, accordingly, the man- 
uscript of the Almagest was brought to Sicily at this time,^^ the 
meeting with Aristippus can hardly have been much earlier than 
1 160, and it certainly was not more than two years later. Some 
time must be allowed for the studies described and for the actual 
labor of translation, but three or four years would suffice for all 
this, and we can with reasonable certainty conclude that the trans- 
lation was completed at least ten years before Gerard of Cremona 
produced his version in 11 75. 

Of the name and nationality of the author of this translation 
nothing is revealed beyond the fact that he is a stranger to south- 
ern Italy and Sicily. The statement of the gloss that his name 
was Hermann we have already had occasion to examine and re- 
ject.^^ He calls himself a tardy follower of philosophy {philoso- 

Caspar, Roger II, pp. 362-364; Chalandon, 0. c, ii. 127-129. 
1^ Cinnamus, 3, 12 (ed. Bonn, p. 119): vkov ovv avSpes kiria-KOTrov c/cao-ros irept- 
Kdiitvos apxW' Cf . Chalandon, Domination normande, ii. 188 f. Nor does Aristippus 
in 1 156 {Hermes, i. 388) mention the Almagest in his enumeration of notable books 
available in Sicily. 

1^ Siragusa, // regno di Guglielmo /, i. pp. 74-76; Chalandon, 0. c, i. 253 f. 
Beyond the fact that there was an eruption before 1162, the chronology of 
Mount Etna's eruptions in the period preceding 11 69 is not known with suflficient 
fulness and exactness to be of assistance in dating the reference in our text. Cf. 
Sartorius von Waltershausen, Der Aetna (Leipzig, 1880), i. 210-21 1; Amari, Biblio- 
teca Arabo-Sicula, i. 134-135. ^ Supra, Chapter III, p. 53. 


phie tardus assecla) in almost the same words used by Hermannus 
Contractus and Adelard of Bath/^ and seeks to defend the divine 
science against the attacks of the profane; but his main interest 
is plainly in the studies of the quadrivium, in which he has been 
instructed by the master to whom his version of the Almagest is 
dedicated, and which he defends at some length from the criticism 
of the religious.^^ He must have been familiar with Euclid's Ele- 
ments before his arrival in Sicily, for he is able to take up the more 
advanced applications of geometry contained in Euclid's other 
works, and he has made at least a beginning in medicine. He has 
picked up an Arab proverb, and can quote Boethius and Remi- 
gius of Auxerre, as well as Ovid. He also quotes, though perhaps 
not at first hand, Aristotle's De caelo from a Greek source,^^ and 
his own knowledge of Greek is respectable.^^ 

How fully our translator succeeded in mastering the difficult 
subject-matter of Ptolemy's treatise is a question that must be 
left to specialists in ancient astronomy. Granted, however, that 
his work was done with reasonable intelligence, it has an impor- 
tance for the study of the Greek text far superior to the version of 
Gerard of Cremona, who worked from the Arabic with the aid of 
a Spanish interpreter.^^ Not only did the author of the Sicilian 
translation draw directly from the original Greek, but, like other 
mediaeval translators from this language, he rnade a word-for- 
word rendering which, while not so painfully awkward and school- 
boyish as the translations of Aristippus,^^ is still very close and 
literal.^^ For purposes of textual criticism a translation of this 

Migne, cxliii. 381; Bullettino, xiv. 91. 

20 Cf. Heiberg, in Hermes, xlvi. 210-213. 

21 Lines: 'eammquas Aristo tiles acrivestatasvocatartiumdoctrina.' The refer- 
ence is evidently to the De caelo, 3, 7: juAxea^at rats aKpi^iaraTais eirta-Tr] fiats, i. e., 
ai nadijuaTiKaL. No other mention of the De caelo has been found in the West before 
the translation which Gerard of Cremona is said to have made from the Arabic. Cf. 
Wiistenfeld, p. 67; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 46 (11); id., Centralblatt fiir Bib- 
liothekswesen, Beiheft xii. 55-57 (1893). 22 Heiberg, in Hermes, xlvi. 210. 

23 On Gerard's method see above, Chapter I, n. 57. Yet it has been proposed 
(Manitius, in Deutsche Litter aturzeitung, 1899, col. 578) to use his translation as an 
aid to the establishment of the Greek text. 

2* See the specimen printed below, n. 42. 

25 Generally the number and order of the words in the Latin corresponds exactly 
with the Greek, although a genitive absolute in the Greek may be rendered by a 


sort is not much inferior to a copy of the Greek text, and as there 
are but three existing manuscripts of the Ma^ry/xart/ci) Suj/ra^ts 
anterior to the twelfth century, such a translation would deserve 
careful collation and study. Heiberg, however, has shown that 
ours is based upon his MS. C, now no. 313 at St. Mark's, ap- 
parently the very codex of Aristippus, but through a lost copy 
which had probably been emended by Eugene. 

However great its merits as a faithful reproduction of the origi- 
nal, it is clear that our translation exerted far less influence than 
that of Gerard of Cremona upon the study of mathematical as- 
tronomy. Gerard himself was plainly unaware of its existence 
when he started for Toledo, although when he came to translate 
Aristotle's Meteorologica he knew of Aristippus' rendering of a 
portion of that work,^^ and the evidence of citations and numerous 
surviving copies shows that Gerard's was the version in current 
use from the close of the twelfth century to the second half of the 

cww-clause in the Latin, or the optative with av be represented by utique with the 
future indicative or subjunctive; 6ri regularly becomes quoniam. A characteristic 
practice is the use of id quod when a modifier, other than a simple adjective, stands 
in the attributive position in the Greek; e. g., 17 tcoj/ oKiav deoopia = ea que univer- 
sorum speculatio. This Grecism occurs in the translator's own composition; see the 
preface, 1. 18: ad eam que astrorum, which would equal eis r-qv tw acrpuiv. In the 
handling of technical terms the Greek words are often merely transliterated (for an 
example see the beginning of book v, printed above, n. 9), but this is not done with 
any consistency (e. g., av^vyia is rendered by both sinzugia and coniugatio, and 
abvTa^is may appear as sintaxis or as coordinatio) . The following passage from the 
opening chapter of the first book may serve as a more connected specimen of the 

"W" "TAlde bene qui proprie philosophati sunt, o Sire, videntur michi sequestrasse 

theoreticum philosophie a practico. Et enim si accidit (MS. accit) et prac- 

tico prius hoc ipsum theoreticum esse, nichilominus utique quis inveniet 
magnam existentem in ipsis differentiam; non solum quod moralium quidem virtu- 
tum quedam multis et sine disciplina inesse possuEt, eam vero que universorum 
specculationem absque doctrina consequi inpossibile, sed et eo quod ibi quidem ex 
ea que in ipsis rebus est continua operatione, hie autem ex eo qui in theorematibus 
processu, plurima utilitas fiat. Inde nobis ipsis duximus competere actus quidem in 
ipsarum imaginationum investigation ibus ordinare, ut nec in minimis eius que ad 
bonum et bene dispositum statum considerationis obliviscamur. Scole vero dare 
plurimum in theorematum multorum et bonorum existentium doctrinam, precipue 
vero in eam que eorum que proprie mathematica nominantur. . . 
26 Hermes, xlv. 60-66, xlvi. 213-215. 
^ See below, n. 48. 



fifteenth.2^ On the other hand, while only four manuscripts of the 
earlier translation have been found, this was not wholly forgotten. 
These manuscripts are copies, considerably posterior to the date 
of translation, and as one of them formed part of the library of 
Coluccio Salutati, the influence of this version can be followed 
into the period of the early Renaissance. Salutati's correspond- 
ence makes no mention of this manuscript, or indeed of the 
Almagest, '^^ but it is altogether likely that this was one of the 
sources of his acquaintance with the opinions of famous astrono- 
mers,^^ including Ptolemy. 

Of the incidental information furnished by the preface, special 
interest attaches to the fact that the manuscript of the Almagest, 
probably the very codex now in Venice, was brought to Sicily as 
a present from the Greek emperor. We know that Manuel Com- 
nenus took a special interest in astronomical and astrological 
studies,^^ and it is characteristic of the culture of the court of 
Palermo, as well as of the emperor's own tastes, that the great 
work of Ptolemy should be thought an appropriate gift to the 
Sicilian envoys. There is reason for thinking that other manu- 
scripts went at this time from Constantinople to enrich ItaHan 
Ubraries. Certain early treatises on alchemy mention the Em- 
peror Manuel in a way that suggests his reign as the period when 

28 Thus the Bibliotheque Nationale has ten copies of Gerard's translation (MSS. 
Lat. 7254-60, 14738, 16200, 17864), one of which (MS. Lat. 14738) is of the close of 
the twelfth century. The use of a version from the Arabic by Roger Bacon can be 
shown by the appearance in his citation {Opus majus, ed. Bridges, i. 231) of the form 
Abrachis, the Arabic corruption of Hipparchus in Almagest, 5, 14. Albertus Mag- 
nus uses Gerard's version (Pelzer, in Revue neo-scolastiqtie, 1922, pp. 344, 479 f.), as 
does the Speculum astronomic commonly ascribed to him. As late as 151 2 a copy of 
Gerard's version was made at Salamanca: Madrid, Biblioteca del Palacio, MS. 2. 
L.I 2. Another version from the Arabic was also current in Spain : see Chapter V, 
n. 150. Thomas Aquinas, however, knew a translation from the Greek: Jourdain, 
PP- 397 f. 

29 On the likelihood of its use, see Novati, Epistolario di Coluccio Salutati, iv, i, 
p. 90, n, I, who however supposes that Gerard's translation was employed. 

30 Epp., 4, 11; 7, 22; 14, 4, 12, 24 (ed. Novati, i. 280, ii. 348, iv, i, pp. 12, 86, 
226). Cf. Voigt, Wiederbelebung des classischen Alterthums^, i. 204. A copy of the 
Sicilian translation (not MS. A) was at Bologna in 1451: Sorbelli, La biblioteca 
capitolare di Bologna nel secolo xv, p. 93, no. 36. 

31 Heiberg, in Hermes, xlvi. 213. 

32 Chapter X, n. 174. 


they were brought to the West,^^ and, as we shall see below, the 
Latin text of the prophecy of the so-called Erythraean Sibyl ex- 
pressly states that it was translated from a copy brought from the 
treasury of the Emperor Manuel {de aerario Manuelis imperatoris 
eductum). Plainly manuscripts from the imperial library must 
be taken into account, as well as ecclesiastical and conmiercial 
influences, in tracing the intellectual connections between the 
Greek Empire and the West in the century preceding the Fourth 

It is significant in relation to Latin learning, not only that the 
Sicilian court brought together an important library of Greek 
manuscripts, but that this collection probably passed, in part, 
from Manfred's library to that of the Popes, and thus became the 
nucleus of the Greek collections of the Vatican. This suggestion, 
first made by Heiberg, has been confirmed by Ehrle and Birken- 
majer,^^ and opens up interesting possibilities of further inquiry. 

In mentioning the envoy Aristippus and the expositor Eugene 
our text introduces us to the two leading figures among the Sicilian 
translators of this period. That King William's minister Aristip- 
pus was a man of learning in Greek and Latin literature had long 
been known from the chronicle of one of his associates in the royal 
administration,^® but it was reserved for Valentin Rose to discover 
and publish in 1866 the prologues to the translation of the Meno 

33 J. Wood Brown, Michael Scot (Edinburgh, 1897), pp. 83-85. Brown conjec- 
tures that alchemical MSS. were brought to Sicily as a result of the Greek cam- 
paigns of George of Antioch, but even if the MSS. with which this admiral enriched 
the church of the Martorana were thus secured, they could not have been obtained 
from the imperial library, and it is hard to explain the mention of the emperor's 
name on any other ground than that the treatises had been in his possession. 
See the following chapter. 

3^ Heiberg, Les premiers MSS. grecs de la bibliotheque papale, in Oversigt of the 
Danish Academy, 1891, pp. 315-318; id., in Hermes, xlv. 66, xlvi. 215; Ehrle, 
Nachtrdge zur Geschichte der drei dltesten pdpstlichen BibliothekeHy in Festgabe Anton 
de Waal (Rome and Freiburg, 1913), pp. 348-351; Birkenmajer, Vermischte Unter- 
suchungen {Beitrdge, xx, no. 5, 1922), pp. 20-22. The Sicilian library appears also 
to have suffered losses before Parma in 1248: infra, Chapter XIV, n. 38. 

2^ Hugo Falcandus, ed. Siragusa, p. 44: * mansuetissimi virum ingenii et tam 
latinis quam grecis litteris eruditum.' That the author of this chronicle was a mem- 
ber of the Sicilian curia, very possibly a notary, is shown by Besta, "II 'Liber de 
Regno Siciliae' e la storia del diritto siculo," in Miscellanea di archeologia di storia e 
difilologia dedicata al Prof. A. Salinas (Palermo, 1907), pp. 283-306. 


and Phaedo of Plato which give us an idea of the range of his 
scholarship and constitute our chief source of information re- 
specting the intellectual life of the Sicilian court. 

Dedicating his version of the Phaedo to a favorite of fortune 
(roborato fortune who is returning to his home in England, 
Aristippus pleads with him to remain in Sicily, where he has at his 
disposal not only the wisdom of the Latins but a Greek library and 
the aid of that master of Greek literature, Theoridus of Brindisi,^^ 
and of Aristippus himself, useful as a whetstone if not as a blade. 
In Sicily he will have access to the Mechanics of Hero, the Optics 
of Euclid, the Posterior Analytics of Aristotle, and other philo- 
sophical works. Best of all he will have a king whose equal can- 
not be found — cuius curia schola comitatus, cuius singula verba 
philosophica apofthegmata, cuius questiones inextricabiles, cuius 
solutiones nihil indiscussum, cuius studium nil relinquit intemp- 
tatum. It is, we learn from the prologue to the Meno, at the 
king's order that the archdeacon has begun a translation of Greg- 
ory Nazianzen, and at the instance of his chief minister, Maio, 
and the archbishop of Palermo that he has undertaken to render 
Diogenes Laertius into Latin. Neither of these, if ever com- 
pleted, has reached us,^^ but the translations of the Phaedo"^^ and 

Hermes, L 386-389. The prologues are reprinted by Hartwig, Archivio storico 
per le province napoletane, viii. 461-464, 
See below. 

Otherwise unknown; he is not the 'Teuredus noster grammaticus ' of John of 
Salisbury (Rose, 0. c, p. 380; Webb in E. H. R., xxx. 658-660). He may possibly 
have been the lepea KoXdv Trjs BpevSvaov with whom Eugene the admiral exchanged 
verses: B. Z., xi. 437-439. In any case this priest should be added to the list of 
west-Greek poets of the twelfth century. 

Unless, as Rose suggests, this translation be the source of the passages which 
John of Salisbury and others cite from the portion of Diogenes Laertius now lost. 
Cf. Webb, loannes Saresheriensis Policraticus (Oxford, 1909), i, pp. xxviii, 223, note. 
Mr. Webb suggests to me that the citations of Gregory Nazianzen in the Policraticus 
(ii. 91, 167, 170) may be derived from the version of Aristippus. 

The Phaedo is found at Erfurt, MS. O. 7, ff. 1-18 v (Schum, Verzeichniss der 
Amplonianischen Handschriften-Sammlung, p. 673); at Cues, Spitalbibliothek, MS. 
177, ff. 58-89; in the Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 6567 A, ff. 6-35, and MS. 
16581, ff. 95-162 V (formerly MS. Sorbonne 1771; see Cousin, Fragments — philo- 
sophic scholastique, Paris, 1840, p. 406); in the Vatican, MS. Vat. lat. 2063, ff. 69- 
115; at Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, MS. Palatino 639 (/ codici Palatini della R. 
BiUioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, ii. 207); Venice, St. Mark's, CI. X, MS. 


Meno ^2 are preserved in several manuscripts and constituted the 
only medium through which these dialogues were known to Latin 
Europe until the new translations of the fifteenth century ."^^ Men 
like Petrarch and Salutati were dependent upon a Latin version 
of the Phaedo which was doubtless that of Aristippus,^^ and the 
author of the translation which ultimately superseded his, Leo- 
nardo Bruni Aretino, seems, like more than one humanistic trans- 

138 (Valentinelli, Bihliotheca Ms. ad S. Marci Venetiarum, iv. 88); University of 
Leyden, MS. 64 (Rashdall, Universities of the Middle Ages, ii. 745); Oxford, Corpus 
Christi College, MS. 243, ff. 115 v-135 v. For a specimen of the translation see 
Cousin, /. c. (also in his Oeuvres, 1847, third series, ii. 325). A marginal note in the 
Corpus Christi MS. (f. 135 v) comments: 'Hie liber omnium librorum Platonis est 
agrestissimus, vel quia Socrates in die mortis inornate locutus est et simpliciter, vel 
quia Plato interitum magistri commemorans pre dolore stilum non ornavit, vel quia 
etiam Plato quasi fidem et quod omni modo credi voluit hie predicans non obscure 
verborum ornatu sed simplici relacione exequtus est.' 

^ The Meno is found at Erfurt, in Amplonian MS. O. 7 and MS. Q. 61 of the Uni- 
versity; at Cues, Spitalbibliothek, MS. 177, ff, 89 v-ioo v; and in Corpus Christi 
College, MS. 243, ff. 184 v-193 v (Rose, 0. c, p. 385). The beginning and end of 
the text of the Corpus MS. may serve as a specimen of the translation: 

'Menon, Habes mihi dicere, o Socrate, utrum docile virtus, seu non docibile 
verum usu et conversacione comparabile, sive neque usu et conversacione compara- 
ble ceterum natura inest hominibus, sive alio aliquo modo. Socrates. O Meno, 
hactenus quidem Tessali laudabiles erant inter Grecos et ammirandi effecti sunt in 
re equestri (MS. sequestri) et diviciis, nunc autem, ut mihi videtur, etiam in sa- 
pientia et non nullatenus tui amatoris Aristippi cives Larissei. Huius rei utique 
vobis causa est Gorgias. . . . Nunc autem mihi utique hora aliquo ire. Tu autem 
hec que ipse persuasus es persuade eciam peregrinum istum Anitum uti micior fiat, 
quia si persuaseris hunc est est [sic] quoniam et Atheniensibus proderis etc. Finit 
Menon Platonis scriptus per Fredericum Naghel de Trajecto anno domini .mcccc. 
xxiii. dominica infra octavas ascensionis in alma universitate Oxoniensi.' 

It would not be strange if the selection of these particular dialogues of Plato 
was influenced by the fact that they are the only ones which name an Aristippus. 
On mentions of the Phaedo in the Middle Ages see Rose, 0. c, p. 374; Delisle, Cabi- 
net des Mss., ii. 530, iii. 87; Roger Bacon, Opus majus, ed. Bridges, ii. 274; L. Gaul, 
Alberts des Grossen Verhaltnis zu Plato {Beitrdge, xii, no. i, 191 3), pp. 22-25. Al- 
though no other direct source of these citations is known, they are usually not 
sufl5ciently specific to enable us to recognize Aristippus' version; but a copy of 
this was in the library of the Sorbonne at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
(Dehsle, 0. c, iii. 87) and is doubtless to be identified with the MS. given to this 
library by Geroud d'Abbeville which is now MS. Lat. 16581 of the Bibliotheque 
Nationale (Delisle, ii. 148). Cf. Birkenmajer, Ryszarda de Fournival, pp. 70, 73. 

Nolhac, Petrarque et Vhumanisme^, ii. 140, 141, 241; Novati, Epistolario di 
Coluccio Salutati, ii. 444, 449, iii. 515. MS. Lat. 6567 A belonged (f. 35 v) to *M. 
lacobi Finucii de Castro Aretin.' See also the conjectures of F. Lo Parco, Petrarca 
e Barlaam (Reggio, 1905). 


lator, to have had at hand a copy of the mediaeval rendering.^^ 
Both dialogues were copied at Oxford as late as 1423,^^ and both 
are found in a collection of Latin translations of Plato which was 
used by Nicholas of Cusa in his Platonic studies.^^ Aristippus was 
also the author of the standard translation of the fourth book of 
Aristotle's Meteorologica, which passed into circulation so quickly 
that Gerard of Cremona did not find it necessary to include this 
book in his version; and the prologue to the Phaedo indicates 
still further literary activity .^^ 

To the list of Aristippus's translations our text makes no addi- 
tions, but it shows him under a new aspect as the intermediary in 
bringing the Almagest and, doubtless, other manuscripts from 
Constantinople to Sicily. Even more noteworthy is the glimpse 
it affords of his observations of Mount Etna, for the actual exami- 
nation of such natural phenomena was a rare thing in mediaeval 
learning, and the willingness of the translator of the Meteorologica 
to go beyond his authorities, even at some personal risk, reveals a 
spirit which reminds us less of the schoolmen than of the death of 
the elder Pliny. 

The translation of the Phaedo by Aristippus was, as we learn 
from the prologue, begun at the siege of Benevento, in the spring 
of 1 1 56, and finished after the author's return to Palermo. It 
is dedicated to a certain Roboratus, or Roboratus fortune, who is 
about to return from Sicily to his home in England, where Aris- 
tippus reminds him he will not have at his disposal the scientific 
and philosophical writings of the Greeks nor the stimulus of the 

Luiso, " Commento a una lettera di L. Brum'," in RaccoUa di sttidii critici dedi- 
cata ad Alessandro d'Ancona (Florence, 1901), p. 88. The humanistic version of the 
Meno was the work of Marsiglio Ficino, 

^ Supra, n. 42. Cf. Coxe, Catalogus, on this MS. 

Kraus, "Die Handschriften-Sammlung des Cardinals Nicolaus v. Cusa," in 
Serapeum, xxvi. 74 (1865), codex K i; Marx, Verzeichnis der Handschriften-Samm- 
lung des Hospitals zu Cues (Trier, 1905), p. 165, MS. 177. 

^8 Rose, 0. c, p. 385. See now F. H. Fobes, Medieval Versions of Aristotle's 
Meteorology," in Classical Philology, x. 297-314 (1915); and his edition of the 
Greek text, Cambridge, 1919; and cf. C. Marchesi, "Di alcuni volgarizzamenti 
toscani," in Studi Romanzi^ v. 123-157 (1907). Hammer- Jensen argues that the 
fourth book is not Aristotelian: Hermes, 1. 113-136 (1915). 

*^ Rose, p. 388: 'atqui theologica,, mathematica, meteorologica tibi propono 


literary circle which had gathered around King William I. Rob- 
oratus, as Rose long since pointed out,^^ is probably a play upon 
Robertus, but the further identification with Robert of Selby has 
been generally rejected, since King Roger's chancellor was not a 
scholar and is not heard of after he leaves office in 1 154.^^ I ven- 
ture to suggest another Englishman who is known to have been in 
Sicily at this time, Robert of Cricklade, prior of St. Frideswide's 
at Oxford from before 1141 until after 1171,^^ and author, not 
only of a biography of Becket and various theological commen- 
taries, but also of a Defloratio, in nine books, of Pliny's Natural 
History, which he dedicates to King Henry 11.^^ Contributing in 
1 1 71 or early in 11 72 to the collection of St. Thomas' miracles 
which was already in process of formation, he narrates his own 
miraculous recovery from a disease of the leg which he had con- 
tracted while journeying from Catania to Syracuse in the midst of 
a sirocco more than twelve years before. The visit to Sicily, 
whose occasion he does not care to set forth, and from which he 
returned to England by way of Rome, can be placed even more 
definitely in 11 58, when he secured, 26 February, from Adrian IV 
at the Lateran a detailed confirmation of the possessions of his 

^° Hermes, i. 376. 

Cf, Hartwig, in Archivio storico napoletano, viii, 433; Siragusa, Guglielmo /, 
ii, iii; K. A. Kehr, Urkunden, p. 77, n. 6. Rose's identification of Aristippus with 
the grecus interpres of John of Salisbury (cf. Policr aliens, ed. Webb, i, pp. xxv f.) is 
also highly conjectural. 

^2 He is addressed in a bull of Innocent II of 8 January 1141 {Cartulary of the 
Monastery of St, Frideswide, ed. Wigram, Oxford Historical Society, 1895, i. 20, no. 
15), and in a bull of Alexander III which from the Pope's itinerary may belong to 
1171, 1172, or 1181 {ibid., ii. 95, no. 792). 

^3 Tanner, Bihliotheca Britannico-Hihernica (London, 1748), p. 151; Hardy, 
Descriptive Catalogue (Rolls Series), ii. 291; Oxford Collectanea, ii. 160-165; Dic- 
tionary of National Biography, xlviii. 368, 369; Wright, Biographia Britannica lite- 
raria, ii. 186, 187; Riick, ''Das Excerpt der Naturalis Historia des Plinius von 
Robert von Cricklade," in Munich Sitzungsberichte, phil.-hist. Kl., 1902, pp. 195- 

" 'Preteritis iam ferme duodecim annis aut eo amplius cum essem in Sicilia et 
vellem transire a civitate Catinia usque ad Syracusam, ambulabam secus mare 
Adriaticum; sic enim se protendebat via.' Materials for the History of Thomas Becket 
(Rolls Series), ii. 97, 98; M. G. H., Scriptores, xxvii. 34. Also, somewhat more fully, 
in Thomas Saga Erkihyskups (Rolls Series), ii. 94-97, 284; see the introduction, ii, 
pp. Ixxiv, xcii-xciv. 

Thomas Saga, ii. 94. 


priory. Indeed, as the Italian sojourn would seem to have been 
a long one,^^ he may also have been present at Benevento, 13 
March 11 56, when the Pope issued an order in his behalf to the 
bishop of Lincoln.^^ The coincidence of date, the visit to Catania, 
where Aristippus was archdeacon, and to Syracuse, whose library 
Aristippus especially mentions, Robert's reported knowledge of 
Hebrew,^^ and his interest in natural science,^^ all combine to 
render it highly probable that he is the translator's English friend. 
If this be the case, another link is found in the intellectual con- 
nections between England and Sicily in the reign of Henry 11.^^ 
Very likely Robert's associations with the South began still earlier 
than 1 1 56, for personal visits to Rome were probably necessary to 
secure the confirmation of the monastery's possessions in 1141 ®^ 
and to prosecute its claims against the monks of Oseney ten years 
later. The prior's interest in secular learning seems to have been 
a thing of his earlier years;^^ while his theological writings, one of 
which is posterior to 1170,^^ fall rather in the later period of his 

Cartulary of St. Frideswide^s, i. 27, no, 23. The bull of 27 February sine anno 
{ibid., ii. 327, no. 11 25) was doubtless issued at the same time. 

The priory lost the island of Medley during his absence. Ibid., i. 33, no. 30. 
^ Ibid., i. 29, no. 24, The year is clear from the Pope's itinerary. 

'Habes in Sicilia Siracusanam et Argolicam bibliothecam.' Hermes, i. 388. 
Lo Parco, Scolario-Saba, in Atti delta R. Accademia di Archeologia di Napoli (1910), 
new series, i. 241, seeks to identify the Argolica bibliotheca with that collected by 
Scolario-Saba at Bordonaro, near Messina; but see Heiberg, in B. Z., xxii. 160. 

Giraldus Cambrensis, Opera (Rolls Series), viii. 65. 

Cf. his description of the Ionian Sea in Thomas Saga, ii. 96. The marginal 
notes which he tells us (Riick, pp. 213, 266) he added to his excerpts from Pliny 
might have proved of interest in connection with his Sicilian sojourn, but an exami- 
nation of the copies at Eton (MS. 134) and in the British Museum (Royal MS. 15. 
C, xiv) shows that very few of these survive. In one of these (Eton MS., bk. ii, c. 
49; Royal MS., bk. ii, c. 51) he shows some spirit of observation when he says, with 
reference to eels, 'quod et ego expertus sum.' 

62 The eulogy of King William by Aristippus may contain an implied comparison 
with Henry II: * verum cum omnia dederis, regemne dabis Willelmum,' etc. Peter 
of Blois makes an explicit comparison of Henry II and William II: Migne, ccvii. 

^3 Cartulary of St. Fridesivide^ s , i. 20, no. 15. 

" 'Eodem anno [1151] perrexit abbas Wigodus Romam provocatus a Roberto 
priore Sancte Frideswide': Annates Monastici (Rolls Series), iv. 27; M.G.H.f 
Scriptores, xxvii. 487. 

6* See the preface to his De conubio lacobi in Oxford Collectanea, ii. 161. 

6« The preface to his Speculum fidei in the library of Corpus Christi College, 


life, and the veil which he draws over the occasion of his presence 
in Sicily may well cover an outgrown interest in things at which 
religious men then looked askance. 

If the interest of Aristippus centred in the philosophical writ- 
ings of the Greeks, Eugene of Palermo was primarily a student of 
their mathematics. Of noble birth and nephew of the admiral 
Basil,^^ he had himself risen to the dignity of admiral, or more 
accurately emir,^^ in the royal administration, while his intellec- 
tual attainments won him also the title of 'the philosopher.' We 
are indebted to him for a Latin version, made from the Arabic, 
of a work which would otherwise have been lost, the Optica of 
Ptolemy, the translation having been preserved in a score of 
manuscripts and having been printed; and it is not surprising 
to learn that he had at hand the Greek text of Euclid's Data, 
Optica, and Catoptrica, as well as the treatise of Proclus on me- 
chanics, and was sufficiently familiar with them to give instruction 
in the difficult matter of the Almagest. All of this implies a knowl- 

Cambridge, MS. 380 (James, Catalogue, p. 228), mentions a bull of Alexander III of 
28 May 1 1 70 (Jajffe-Lowenfeld, Regesta, no. 11 806). 

See the reference to the lihellus ludicris plenus in Oxford Collectanea, ii. 161; 
and cf. the remarks of the translator of the Almagest, preface, lines 47 ff.; and Hei- 
berg, in Hermes, xlvi. 210-212. 

B. Z,, xi. 449: Srixot Euyej'iou 4>L\oar6<f)ov, av&j/iov BacriXeioy tou afioipa. Ibid., 
p. 408: TOP TavevyevearaTOP apxovra Kvpov Euyeviov. Infra, p. 175: Eivyevris 'Evykvios, 

On the significance of this title at the Sicilian court see Caspar, Roger II, p. 
301; Chalandon, Histoire de la domination normande, ii. 637. The admiral Eugene 
who appears under Roger I in documents of 1093 and following (Caspar, 0. c., n. 7) 
must have been another person, but the translator was probably the father of 
'lojawqs, vi6% tov hSo^oTarov apxovTos KvpLov Evyeviov aixijpados, who sells a garden 
in Palermo in 1201 (Cusa, / diplomi greet ed arabi di Sicilia, p. 89; cf. p. 23). Cf. 
Hartwig, in Centralblatt fiir Bibliothekswesen, iii. 173. 

Described by Boncompagni, ''Intorno ad una traduzione latina dell' ottica di 
Tolomeo," in Bullettino, iv. 470-492, vi. 159-170; and edited by Govi, Uottica di 
Claudio Tolomeo da Eugenia ammiraglio di Sicilia ridotta in latino (Turin, 1885). To 
the MSS. there enumerated should be added MS. 569 of the University of Cracow 
(Narducci, mB.M., 1888, p. 98) and Suppl. grec 263 of the Biblioth^que Nationale; 
see also those indicated by Bjornbo, in Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der Mathematik, 
xxvi. 124, 141 f., 145. On the loss of both the Greek original and the Arabic trans- 
lation, see Steinschneider, in Zeiischrift der deutschen morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, 
1. 216. There is no evidence for Amari's assumption (Storia dei Musulmani, iii. 660) 
that Eugene's translation was made under Roger, nor for Steinschneider's (£. U., 
no. 37), that it belongs to 11 54. 


edge of languages, as well as no mean attainment in applied math- 
ematics, and fully justifies the characterization of our preface, 
virum tarn grece quam arabice lingue peritissimum, latine quoque 
non ignarum?'^ His native tongue was evidently Greek, and he 
had sufficient mastery of it to produce fourteen hundred lines of 
verse which entitle him to an important place among the west- 
Greek writers of the Middle Ages/^ Of the twenty-four short 
poems which make up this collection, the greater number are epi- 
grams on various virtues and vices. A few deal with religious 
subjects, such as the Crucifixion or the ascetic life. Three are 
addressed to a poet-priest of Brindisi; one celebrates the seclusion 
of a monastic cemetery, probably that of S. Salvatore of Messina; 
another describes a plant in the poet's garden at Palermo. 
Another writer of the time appears in Roger of Otranto, who 
addresses certain lines to him. One of Eugene's poems is an extrav- 
agant eulogy of King William {irpbs rbv epdo^oraTOV Tpoiraiovxov 
prjya TovXUXjjLov) ; another, written in prison, seems to mark the 
close of his public career, from which he turns to solitude and 
books. We are tempted to seek here some connection with the 
imprisonment of Aristippus, in which case the King William of 
the poem would be William I, to whom for other reasons it seems 
better suited than to William 11.^^ Indeed, while our prologue 

This is also borne out by Eugene's own statement (Optica, ed. Govi, p. 3): 
' Arabicam in grecam aut latinam transferre volenti tanto difficilius est quanto maior 
diversitas inter illas tarn in verbis et nominibus quam in litterali compositione re- 
peri tur.' 

^2 These poems are contained in a MS. of the Laurentian described by Bandini, 
Catalogus Codicum MSS. Bihliothecae Mediceae Laurentianae, i. 23-30; cf. Krum- 
bacher, pp. 768 ff. They have been published by Sternbach, 5. Z., xi. 406-451 
(emendations to the text, ibid., xiv. 468-478, xvi. 454-459, xvii. 430-431). That 
the poet and the translator were the same person, which Sternbach considers uncer- 
tain, is rendered highly probable by our text, which shows that the mathematician 
was a Greek and lived in the period to which the poems belong. Cf. B. Z., xix. 
569, XX. 373-383. 

'3 Krumbacher leaves the question open as among the three WiUiams but says, 
"Manches spricht fiir Wilhelm 11." Sternbach (p. 409) decides for William II. 
Chronological considerations, as well as the weakness of the royal power, would seem 
to rule out William III, but it is not easy in the case of a eulogy of this kind to dis- 
tinguish with much certainty between the other two kings of this name. On the 
whole, however, it does not seem that such verses, if, as seems likely, they were 
written at the beginning of a reign, could with much propriety or purpose have been 
addressed to the thirteen-year old William II, who remained under the tutelage of 


places Eugene's mathematical studies in the time of William I, we 
cannot be certain that he was alive or, if alive, engaged in secular 
pursuits under WilHam 117^ 

Eugene the admiral is likewise associated with the transmission 
to the West of two curious bits of Oriental literature. One is the 
prophecy which became widely current in the later Middle Ages 
under the name of the Erythraean Sibyl, an oracular forecast of 
the doings of kings and emperors which purports to have been 

his mother for five years after his accession, while there is nothing which is inappU- 
cable to William I. Stembach indeed argues that lines 29-35 could not relate to 
William I as the successor of the first king of the Norman dynasty; but one king is 
enough to start a royal line (^a<n\LKr}v r-qv pi^av) , and the reference to the achieve- 
ments of his fathers (rd xarepajv /SeXrio-ra) does not necessarily imply that they were 
all kings, for Roger I was glorious enough as duke to deserve inclusion in any such 
comparison. Indeed the passage has more point in the case of William I, as the son 
of the first SiciHan king: he will enlarge his authority even more than did his father 
who began as duke and ended as king (neya tl \a^d)v Kpelrrov avrnrapex^ts) . On 
resemblances between this poem and one of George of Gallipoli, addressed to 
Frederick IT, see Horna, in B. Z., xvi. 458; and cf. Sola, ibid., xvii. 430. 

One of his poems, it is true (no. xiv, ed. Stembach, p. 434), mentions an abbot 
Onofrius, who is probably to be identified with the archimandrite of San Salvatore 
di Messina who appears in documents of 1175-78 (Pirro, Sicilia sacra, edition of 
1733, ii. 979, 980; Cusa, / diplomi greet ed arahi, p. 371; Garufi, / documenti inediti 
dell' epoca normanna in Sicilia, p. 168). We do not, however, know in what year he 
became archimandrite, for the current statement (e. g., Batiffol, in Revue des ques- 
tions historiques, xlii. 555) that he entered upon this office in 11 75 has no support 
beyond an erroneous assertion of Pirro (p. 979) that his predecessor Lucas died in 
that year. Pirro says that this date is proved from the records of the monastery, but 
his handling of the matter does not create confidence in his citation. He quotes an 
obituary notice in Latin which places the death of Lucas on Saturday the third of 
the kalends of March in the year 6688 of the Byzantine era (= a.d. 1180), and 
plausibly explains the obvious impossibihty of this date by a misunderstanding of 
the Greek computation; but he does not notice that in both 11 75, the date he pro- 
poses, and in 11 80 the third of the kalends of March fell, not on Saturday, but on 
Thursday. In order to find this coincidence before the bull of October, 11 75, which 
mentions Onofrius, we must go back to 1 1 71 or 1 165. Now an extract from a charter 
of William II refers to the grant of certain lands ' in Agro ' made by him and his 
mother (her regency ended in 11 71) to Onofrius, meaning doubtless a charter of 1168 
for San Salvatore (Pirro, p. 979; on the date see Chalandon, Domination normande, 
ii. 336) in which the abbot is not named. If, accordingly, Onofrius was in office in 
1 168 and if we can trust the obituary for the day, his predecessor, who is not men- 
tioned in the documents subsequent to 1149, must have died at least as early as 11 65, 
so that a poem might have been addressed to Onofrius in the reign of William I. 

Published by Alexandre, Oracula Sihyllina, ii. 291-294 (Paris, 1856); and more 
fully by Holder-Egger, " Italienische Prophetieen des 13. Jahrhunderts," Neues 
Archiv, xv. 155-173, xxx. 323-335 (cf. xxxiii. 97, loi, 102). 


translated from the Chaldean by Doxopater and kept in the treas- 
ury of the Emperor Manuel, whence it passed westward and was 
translated by 'Eugene, admiral of the kingdom of Sicily.' By 
Doxopater is probably meant a contemporary of Eugene, Nilus 
Doxopatres, a Greek ecclesiastic who sojourned at Palermo and 
afterward appears as imperial nomophylax at Constantinople, and 
who wrote in 1143, at the instigation of Roger II, a history of the 
five patriarchates 7^ In its present form, however, the Sibylline 
text plainly belongs to the middle of the thirteenth century and 
shows the influence of the Joachite friars and the movements of 
Frederick II's reign,^^ so that it has been usual to dismiss the attri- 
bution to Doxopater and Eugene as an attempt to support the 
prophetic character of the oracle by a further bit of mystifica- 
tion.^^ The matter cannot, however, be so lightly set aside. 
While it is plain that the current version of this text belongs to 
Italy and the thirteenth century, it is equally clear that these 
oracles are of eastern origin. Both Greeks and Saracens had such 
Sibylline books,^^ and we find mention of their preservation in the 
imperial library under Leo the Armenian and again toward the 
close of the eleventh century .^^ The connection with the West 

Neither of the editors gives a good text of this title. The MS. of St. Mark's, CI. 
X, 158, reads as follows (Valentinelli, Bibliotheca, iv. 108): 'Extractum de libro 
vasilographia in imperiali scriptura quern Sybilla erythrea babilonica ad peticionem 
Graecorum regis Priami edidit, quern caldaeo sermone Doxopz^ter peritissimus trans- 
tulit, tandem de aerario Manuelis unperatoris eductum Eugenius regni Siciliae ad- 
miratus de graeco transtulit in latinum.' 

^ See Krumbacher, p. 41$] Caspar, Roger II, pp. 346-354; Harris, Further 
Researches into the History of the Ferrar-Group (London, 1900), pp. 52 ff. 

Holder-Egger, q. c, xv. 150, dates it 1251-54, but Kampers, Kaiser prophetieen 
und Kaisersagen im Mittelalter (Heigel and Grauert's Historische Abhandlungen, 
viii), p. 252, has shown reason for placing it a few years earlier. 

See the doubts expressed by Amari, Storia dei Musulmani, iii. 460, 660-662; 
Hartwig, in Centralblatt fiir Bibliothekswesen, iii. 174-176; Harris, Further Re- 
searches, p. 70; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 37; Caspar, Roger II, p. 462, n. 4. The 
difl&culty is not discussed by Holder-Egger or Kampers. 

Liutprand, Legatio, ed. Diimmler (Hanover, 1877), pp. 152-153: 'Habent 
Graeci et Saraceni libros quos opaaets, sive visiones, Danielis vocant, ego autem 
Sibyllanos; in quibus scriptum reperitur, quot annis imperator quisque vivat; quae 
sint futura, eo imperitante, tempora; pax, an simultas; secundae Saracenorum res, 
an adversae.' 

81 Cont. Theophanis, i. 22, ed. Bonn, p. 36; Georgius Cedrenus, ed. Bonn, ii, 
63. Cf. Alexandre, o. c, ii. 287-311; Krumbacher, pp. 627 ff. 


must be made at some point, and the statement that the text was 
brought from Manuel's treasury and was translated by Eugene is 
in entire accord with what we have already seen of the transmis- 
sion of manuscripts and of the activity of the admiral as a trans- 
lator. Even in its present form the text shows traces of Sicihan 
origin and of earlier elements, and a comparison of all the manu- 
scripts and a genetic study of the whole may succeed in restoring 
the nucleus and explaining its development.^^ 

The other oriental work to which the name of the Sicilian ad- 
miral has become attached is the Sanskrit fable of Kalila and 
Dimna, first turned into Greek by Simeon Seth toward the close 
of the eleventh century under the title of llTe(f>avLTrjs Kal 'Ix^^V' 
XttTT/s and widely popular in various western versions as a treat- 
ment of the relations of princes to their subjects.^^ In one group 
of manuscripts of the Greek version the translator is described in 
the following lines : 

fivdiKT] /StjSXos 'IvBLKrjs (70(f)ias, 
irpocrevexdeiaa irpos UepaLKriv Tratddav, 
aiviyfiaTcodoos CFwreivovaa rds Trpa^ets, 
Trpos ^LCOTLKriv avvreivovcra ras xpd^ets* 
17 fieTa^\7)6ei<7a irpos yXooacrav rdv 'EXXi7>'wi' 

'kpa^LKOV Kal ^ap^apcodovs WKov 
irapa rod (To<f)ov, kvdo^ov /cat /xeyaXov 
Tov Kal 'ApLTjpd, Kal piyos St/ceXtas 
KaXa/3ptas re irpivKLTros 'IraXias- 
ovdirep evpLK03s, cos yvoiGTiKovs rots iracnv 
TOVTO bkboiKe irpos rj/ids to ^l^XLov, 
oiairep bccpriyLa, bibaaKakias irXkov, 
^vyevris ^vykvios, 6 Trjs liavop/jLOV. 

^ See Neues Archiv, xv. 163, 167, 168, 171, 172, 173. 

^ So Kampers arrives at the same view from a study of the thirteenth-century 
version: 'Mutmasslich gab es eine eryth. Sibylle, die kein Ereignis iiber das Jahr 
1200 hinaus behandelte,' 0. c, p. 253. 

^ See in general Krumbacher, pp. 895-897. The Greek text is edited by Pun- 
toni, HiTe^tavir-qs Kal 'Ix^rikaTTis (Florence, 1889), as the second volume of the 
PuhUicazioni della Societd Asiatica Italiana. 

^5 Bodleian, Cod. misc. gr. 272. See Coxe, Catdogus Codicum MSS. BiUioihecae 
Bodleianae, i, c. 814; Puntoni, 0. c, p. vi. Puntoni entirely ignores the problem 
raised by these lines. 



Here, while Eugene is mentioned by name only as the donor of the 
book, there can be no doubt that he is the 'wise and glorious ad- 
miral' to whom the translation is attributed; but, although the 
attribution is thus seen to be contemporary, it can hardly be cor- 
rect. The divergences from the other groups of manuscripts do 
not appear sufficient to establish an independent translation, and 
when the preface goes on to explain that the Greek version was 
made with the assistance of ' certain men well acquainted with the 
Arabic tongue,' ^® we may feel reasonably sure that these are the 
words of Simeon Seth rather than of the learned admiral, whose 
familiarity with Arabic is attested by his rendering of the Optica 
as well as by the preface printed below. It would seem probable 
that what we have is a revision of Seth's translation at Eugene's 
hands, no great achievement in itself, but interesting to us as a 
further illustration of the range of the admiral's labors and in- 

The popularity of the Sre^aj^tr?;? /cat *lxvri\ar7)s in Byzantine 
circles in the twelfth century is also seen from the following 
verses, which are found at the close of the copy of the fable in 
MS. Gr. 2231 of the Bibliotheque Nationale: 

Ceramet Georgii versus iambici super precedenti libro 
ToO Kepafxeov yecopyLov (ttLxol kirl Tfj8e^,Trj jStjSXcjj 

Etxr/s *\lXLv av ri)V irapovaav irvKriba, 
*dvvvvLa irai^ovaLV €k dvfi7]8Las - 
Trep<j(jivviiiK7]v ainbuiv KKijcnv 0tXos, 
Kal rrjv kv avrfj roov \6yoiv kolvtiv <j>pa(nv 
5 5t'®^ iridrjKes /cat \e6vTCt)V ra KpaTrj- 
Tcbv k\e<f>avTO)v /cat KopciKOiv ra yevrj 

8^ Puntoni, 0. C, p. vii: eiri Toirrojv Kai riaiv avdpaai xP»7<''«M€''ot, avTLXafiffavoixkvois 
irpodvfjiiq., €v eiSoras rrjs tusv apa^oov yXwctctt/s. 

^ On the MS. see Catalogus Codicum MSS. Bibliothecae Regiae, ii. 466; and 
Omont, Inventaire sommaire des MSS. grecs, ii. 218. Rystenko's edition, published 
at Odessa in 1909 (cf. B. Z., xviii. 621, xix. 569), I have not seen. 

^ Iota subscript omitted throughout in MS. 

«3 In these unintelligible words there may lurk a corruption of Kalila and Dimna. 

Marginal gloss rijv appafiiK-nv. 
^1 Marginal gloss 7pd[0€Tat] kv fj. 


Tavpojv x^^^'^^^ ^aTpax<^v Kal dopKaSoov 
VTjTTcbv fjLVUJv r€ Kal TTepiaTepcov a/xa 


lO /cat tG)V (TKo\i,(hv epiretccp rj KaKia, 

(TVPTvyxo-^ovo-LV oXairep omkaTt Xoyos- 

ei d' ovv XoyLKCL to. TrpocrcoTrd /jlol Kpivus, 

Kal Trjv h avTois avv^aLV Kar'ds, 

evpxis airavTOiv a(jo4>povk(TTaTov l3iov 
15 <f>evy(ji)V a<l)opfjLas rihv KaKiarcov KoKaKcav 


<f)i\ovs a<f>L\ovs uvyKplvoiv dtaKpLvcav 
Kal wavra irparTCOv evfxapoos Kal KoafxLw 
cos yovv KoXvKa irepLcfypovpovaav p68ov, 
20 cos 6(TTpeov fxapyapov kpL4>kpov ixkyav. 


KL^coTLOV ^v\ivov cbs 7rXr)pes \ido)v, 

iacTTeojv re \vxvLTOiV k^avOpaKOiv, 

extoj' TO irapov K\eLve IlaXaLoKoye, 
25 ay\ao(i>avh irayKXeearaTe /cXdSe, 

Tov TpL<jp,eylaTOV Kal ^piapov 8€(tt6tov, 

'Av8p6vLK€ KaWiffre ^vtov x^p'^'^^^j 

^L^XLov €v eyKVirre rots eyKeLjievoLS' 

Kal (TvveTL^ov Kal (f>povr](TeL ae/jLVVvov 
30 Kal iravra Tparre Kadawepel (7Vfi4>€pov, 

cos VTTodprjaTrjp rdv fxeyaXcov dvaKTcav, 

d6^T]s raxi-voJTaTOS kv lois irpaKTeoLs- 

cos rots irpoaeyyL^ovai aoL Kard^^ yevos, 

(}>avels d^Layaarros h irdci, \byois- 
35 riixiv d' oKiTpols ot/cerats aots dOXLoLs, 

jieya iraprjyoptjfjLa Kal dvfX7}8La. 

The Andronicus to whom these lines are addressed cannot be 
the fifteenth-century humanist Andronicus Callistus,^^ for the 
MS. is of the thirteenth century. He is, moreover, a man of royal 
descent who holds a high place in the service of the emperor, and 
should doubtless be identified with the Andronicus Palaeologus 
who led a division of the imperial army in the war with the Nor- 

^ MS. irpoaeyyL^ovcn aoi Kara. 

^ Besides, the humanist was not a Palaeologus. See Legrand, Bibliographie heU 
Unique, i, pp. 1-lvii. KaWiare in our text is thus an adjective, not a proper name* 


mans in 1185 ®^ and is addressed in one of the letters of Glycas.®*^ 
Georgius Cerameus has a couple of lines given him in Fabricius on 
the basis of the mention of these verses in the Paris catalogue,^® 
but nothing further is known of him unless he is the same as the 
distinguished preacher of the middle of the twelfth century, whom 
recent investigation makes archbishop of Rossano.^^ His ser- 
mons bear the name of Cerameus and most commonly of Theo- 
phanes Cerameus, but five or six other Christian names, among 
them George, are given in different manuscripts. Nothing can be 
definitely affirmed until the problem of the authorship of the ser- 
mons is straightened out, but if it should appear that Georgius 
Cerameus was a Calabrian archbishop, or a western Greek of any 
sort, another connection will thereby be established between 
Constantinople and the West in the twelfth century. 

The mention of Euclid's Data, Optica, and Catoptrica helps to 
connect the Latin translations of these works likewise with the 
Sicilian school, if not with the translator of the Almagest himself. 
These treatises formed part of a group of texts, corresponding 
roughly to the 'intermediate books' of the Saracens, which formed 
the basis of mathematical studies in the stage between the Ele- 
ments of Euclid and the Almagest. Besides an unidentified ver- 
sion of the Data made from the Arabic by Gerard of Cremona, 

^ Nicetas Acominatus [Choniata], ed. Bonn, p. 412; Eustathius, ed. Bonn, 
p. 430. 

Migne, Patrologia Graeca, clviii, coll. xxxv, 933; Krumbacher, in Munich 
Sitzungsherichte, 1894, pp. 422, 425. On the claim of the Palaeologus family to 
imperial descent, see Otto of Freising, Gesia Frederici, ed. Waitz, p. 116; Hase, in 
Notices et extraits des MSS., ix, 2, pp. 153 £f. 

Bihliotheca Graeca (1790-1809), xi. 327, xii. 43. He is overlooked by Krum- 

Lancia di Brolo, Storia delta chiesa in Sicilia (Palermo, 1884), ii. 459-492; 
Krumbacher, pp. 172-174; Caspar, Roger II, pp. 459 ff. 

^ See Steinschneider, in Z. M. Ph., x. 456-498, xxxi. 100-102; Menge, Euclidis 
Data (Teubner, 1896), p. liv; Heiberg, Euclidis Optica (Teubner, 1895), pp. xxxii, 
1; Cantor, Vorlesungen, i. 447, 705. In the fourteenth century Theodore Metochita 
tells us, in a passage cited by Menge and by Heiberg, that he found he could not 
understand the Almagest without the same preliminary course in the Data, Optica^ 
and Catoptrica which was taken by our Sicilian translator. 

Wiistenfeld, p. 62; Steinschneider, H. U., p. 510; Hultsch, in Pauly-Wissowa, 
xi. 1043. 


the extant translations of the Data, Optica, and Catoptrica can be 
traced back to the beginning of the thirteenth century, and were 
probably made in the twelfth.^^" They were evidently made 
directly from the Greek, indeed the Catoptrica does not seem to 
have been known to the Arabs,^^^ and the discovery that Greek 
texts of the three works existed in Sicily in the twelfth century 
points clearly to this region as the source of the Latin interpre- 
tatio}^'^ The translator of the Almagest does not make quite clear 
the nature of his preliminary labors in the works of Euclid, but 
the more natural interpretation would seem to be that he not only 
studied them but tried his hand (prelusi) at turning them into 

The same argument applies to the other treatise mentioned 
with the works of Euclid, the De motu of Proclus, Srotxetcoo-ts 
<f)V(nKr) rj irepl KLvrjcrecos, generally known in Latin as the Ele- 
mentaiio philosophica or Elementatio physica. An incomplete 
Latin version is extant in MS. F. iv. 31 at Basel,^^^ MS. Q. 290 of 
the Stadtbibliothek at Erfurt, and MS. Lat. 6287 of the Bib- 
liotheque Nationale ; the Basel manuscript is clearly of the 
fourteenth century, while the Erfurt manuscript is of northern 
origin and not later than ca. 1400, so that the translation which 

"° Heiberg, Optica, pp. xxxii, li; Steinschneider, H. U., p. 512; Bjornbo, in 
Archiv fur die Geschichie der Naiurwis sens chaf ten, i. 390. 

Heiberg, Studien iiher Euklid (Leipzig, 1882), p. 152. 

The existence of the Greek text of the Optica in Sicily was already known from 
the prologue of Aristippus published by Rose (Hermes, i. 388, cf. p. 381), and the 
conclusion that the Latin version was of Sicilian origin was drawn therefrom by 
Heiberg, Optica, p. xxxii; Hermes, xlvi. 209. John Dee described one of the MSB. 
in his library as containing 'Euclidis Elementa Geometrica, Optica et Catoptrica, 
ex Arabico translata per Adellardum' (Diary, ed. Halliwell, Camden Society, p. 67; 
M. R. James, List of MSS. formerly owned by Dr. John Dee, Oxford, 1921, p. 16, no. 
13); but there is no other reason for attributing the translation of the Optica and 
Catoptrica to Adelard of Bath, and the translator's name is not found with the ver- 
sions of these treatises in MS. 251 of Corpus Christi College, which belonged to Dee 
(James, p. 30, no. 151). See ante. Chapter H, n. 66. 

The Basel MS. (ff. 82 v-84) which I found in 1922, has been collated by the 
kindness of the Oberbibliothekar, Professor G. Binz. 

Ff. 83 v-86. Cf. Schum, Verzeichniss der Amplonianischen Handschriften- 
Sammlung, p. 530. 

Ff. 21-22 V, of the fifteenth century. The three MSS. are based on the same 
Greek text, which is defective at the close of book i, and breaks off with ii, 4. 



they contain must be anterior to the Renaissance. That this 
was made directly from the Greek is evident from the transfer of 
such words as omogenes and from the lettering of the demonstra- 
tions, where ahgdez represent a^ybe^, as well as from the closeness 
with which the Greek text is followed. The verbal literalness 
characteristic of mediaeval renderings from the Greek may be 
seen from the following specimen: 

Incipit Elementacio PFiLosopmcA Procli 

Continua sunt quorum termini unum. Contingentia sunt quorum ter- 
mini simul. Deinceps sunt quorum nihil medium omogenes, id est congna- 
tum. Primum est tempus mocionis, quod nec plus nec minus mocione. 
Primus est locus, qui nec maior contento corpore nec minor. Quiescens est 
prius sicut posterius in eodem loco existens et totum et partes. 

(1) Duo individua non contingunt se invicem. Si enim possibile, sint duo 
individua ab, contingant se invicem. Contingentia vero erant quorum 
termini in eodem; duo ergo partium termini erunt, hoc autem impossi- 
ble. Non ergo erant a et b. 

(2) Duo individua continuum nihil faciunf. Si enim possibile, sint duo 
individua a et b et faciant continuum quod est ex ambobus^Sed omnia 
continua contingunt se prius adinvicem, ergo se contingunt ab individua 
existentia, quod est impossibile. Aliter: si est continuum ex ab individuis, 
vel totum totum contingit, vei totum partem, vel partes partem. Sed si 
totum partem vel partes partem, non erunt individua ab. Si vero totum 
totum contingit, non erunt individua sed supponetur tantum. Si ergo non 
erit a continuum, nec vero b et a erunt continuum totum totum contin- 

The MSS. have 'ph'ica' here, but the Erfurt MS. has 'philosophica' in the 

Erfurt: contingunt. 

Based doubtless upon a text which had iikpu)v instead of an^pQiv. 
109 Paris: faciunt: 

As the printed text of the De motu (Paris, 1542) is not well known, I give for 
convenience of comparison the opening portion of the treatise from the text of Har- 
leian MS. 5685 of the British Museum (saec. xii): (f. 133) Xwexv ^(mv to. 
irkpara 'iv airToixeva kariv u)v to. irkpara ap-a' k(}>e^r}s k(TTiv Siv pr]8ev fxera^v 6p.oyivks. 
irpcoTOs k<TTt xpovos KLvrjaeccs, 6 nrjre TrXeicoj' pijre kXarTcav ttjs Kivrjaecos. irpuTos kcTi 
rdiros, 6 p,riTe pti^oiv tov irepiexopevov auiparos prire kXarroiv. ijpepovv kuTi to irpo- 
T€pov Kai varepov ev r<3 aurw totvc^ op /cat avro Kai to. ptpt). 

(1) Auo apeprj ovx ai^erat aXXrjXcov, et yap bwarov, 8vo Aneprj to. av aTrreadoxrav 
&Wr]\(t}P' aiTTopeva 8e fjv cov to. irepara kv tCo avrQ, tup bho apa ap,epC}p Trepara eorat. 
o^K apa rjp ap.epfj tol dv. 

(2) Avo apeprj avpex^s ovbkv iroirjaet. et yap SvpaTOP, 'iaTco 8vo ap.epij to. av Kai 
iroieiTCi} avpex^s to apifyolp. dXXa waPTa to, avpexv airTeTai irpoTepop, to. apa av 
aiTTeTai aWrjXiop apeprj oPTa, oirep abvpaTOP. {jaWois — marginal] et eerrt (Tvpex^s '&c 


If it be objected that a work of this sort could scarcely be trans- 
lated otherwise, the freer style of the Renaissance may be seen in 
the version of Spiritus Martinus Cuneas, printed at Paris in 


Continua sunt quorum termini sunt unum. Contigua sunt quorum ter- 
miai sunt simul. Deinceps sunt inter que nihil est eiusdem generis. Pri- 
mum motus tempus est quod neque longius est eo neque brevius. Primus 
locus est qui neque maior neque minor est contento corpore. Quiescens est 
quod primo et postremo tam ipsum quam partes in eodem loco est. 


I. Duo indivisibilia non tangunt se invicem. Nam (si fieri potest) duo 
indivisibilia ab tangant se invicem, at cum contigua sunt quorum termini 
sunt in eodem, duo indivisibilia terminos habebunt. Non igitur indivisi- 
bilia ab. 

Not only is the mediaeval rendering closely literal, but it shows 
the turns of expression characteristic of the translator of the Al- 
magest, such as quoniam for ort,^^^ utique for av, quidem . . . vero 
for jLt€V . . . de,^^^ and notably the use of id quod to represent the 
article before an attributive phrase."* These resemblances, when 
taken in connection with the mention of the De motu in the pref- 
ace to the Almagest, make it probable that both translations are 
the work of the same scholar. 

Another work of Greek mathem^atics which is known to have 
been in Sicily in the time of William I is the Pneumatica of Hero of 
Alexandria, which is mentioned by Aristippus in the introduction 
to his translation of the Phaedo}^^ All existing manuscripts are 

Toiv av afiepwv, ij okoy airTerat (f. 133V) to a rod v, rj §\ov fiepovs fj fieprj fikpovs. 
dXX' et fiev o\ov n'epovs ^ p.eprj fxkpovs, ovk tarai afieprj ra dv. ei 8e oXou 6\ov airroiTOy 
oi}K tcrrai avvex^s dXX' k<l>apn6aeL ixovov. ei ovv ovk fjp to a aivex^s, ovSe to v /xerd. rod 
d tcrai crvvex^s 6\ov oXou awTOfxevov. 

Prodi . . . De Motu Lihelli Duo . . . Spiritu Martino Cuneate interprete. 
I have used the copy in the British Museum. 
"2 Heiberg, in Hermes^ xlv. 59. 

"3 Supra, p. 163. These are also the regular equivalents in Boethius, and may 
have been taken from him by subsequent translators. See McKinlay, Harvard 
Studies, xviii. 124-128. 

E. g. (ii, 4), tC3v hv' eWeLas tIs Kivrjaeojp = earum que in directo mocionum. 

' Habes Eronis philosophi mechanica pre manibus, qui tam subtiUter de inani 
disputat quanta eius virtus quantaque per ipsum delationis celeritas': Hermes, i. 
388. This work is not the lost Mechanica, preserved only in an Arabic translation 


of later date, and the known Latin versions, three in number, are 
of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, so that it has been sup- 
posed that the Latin translation which is inferred from the lan- 
guage of Aristippus disappeared with the manuscript on which it 
was based.^^^ There exists, however, in the Bibliotheque Na- 
tionale a translation of the abbreviated text of the Pneu- 
matica which not only differs from the Renaissance versions 
described by Schmidt,^^^ but has the close literalness of a mediae- 
val rendering. Its identity with the lost Sicilian translation can 
only be conjectured, but there would be nothing strange in the 
survival of the mediaeval version in the period of the humanists, 
who did not disdain such helps in making their own translations. 
The Paris text begins as follows: 

Spiritalium Heronis Alexandrini Liber Primus 

Cum spiritale negocium studio dignatum sit a veteribus turn philosophis 
turn mechanicis, illis quidem per rationes vim eius explicantibus, hiis vero et 
per ipsos sensibiles effectus, necessarium esse ducimus et ipsi quae ab anti- 
quis tradita sunt in ordinem redigere et quae nos quoque adinvenimus ad- 
dere; sic enim eos qui post haec in mathematicis versari volunt iuvari con- 
tinget. Consequens autem esse rati aqueorum horoscopiorum habitudini, 
quae nobis in quatuor libris descripta est, banc tractationem esse continuam, 
scribemus et de ea, ut praedictum est. Per complicationem enim aeris et 
ignis et aquae et terrae ac dum tria elementa aut etiam quatuor complican- 
tur, variae affectiones committuntur, quarum aliae usus vitae huic neces- 
sarios praestant, aliae stupendum aliquod miraculum ostendunt, 

and containing nothing concerning the vacuum, but the Pneumatica, which begins 
with a discussion of this subject. See Rose, Hermes, i. 380; Schmidt, Heronis Opera 
(Teubner, 1899), i, suppL, p. 53. 
Schmidt, 0. c, pp. 52, 53. 

MS. Lat. 7226 B, ff. 1-43; written on paper in a French hand of the early six- 
teenth century, with occasional corrections in a contemporary hand and free inter- 
linear and marginal corrections in a somewhat later humanistic hand which seeks to 
improve the rendering and often cites the Greek words of the original. This MS. 
was overlooked by Schmidt, doubtless because it is omitted from the body of the 

"8 On which see Schmidt, 0. c, pp. 14-23. Ibid., pp. 42, 43, 49-53. 

The corrections, which appear with many erasures and alternative renderings, 
are not of suflSicient importance to be reproduced in detail, but the translation of this 
sentence may serve as a specimen: 'Itaque cum veris certisque consecutionibus 
coUigi (or confici) posse arbitremur, hanc commentationem cum horoscopiorum quae 
ex aqua comparantur ratione, quae iam a nobis in quatuor libris descripta est, con- 
iunctam esse atque continuam, scribimus, etc' 


Caeterum ante ea quae dicenda sunt primum de vacuo tractandum est. 
Alii enim aiunt universaliter (f . i v) nullum esse vacuum, alii confertum qui- 
dem secundum naturam nullum esse vacuum sed sparsum per parvas parti- 
culas in acre et humore et igni et caeteris corporibus, quos potissimum sequi 
convenit; ex iis enim quae apparent ac sub sensum cadunt in sequentibus 
ostenditur id contingere. Quamquam vascula quae vulgus putat esse inania 
non sunt ut existimant inania sed plena aere, qui, ut iis placet qui in com- 
mentariis de natura versati sunt, pusillis ac levibus corpusculis constat quae 
nobis ut plurimum immanifesta sunt. Si igitur in vasculum quod videtur 
esse vacuum infundat quis aquam, quantum aquae in vasculum incident, 
tantundem aeris excedet. Poterit autem quis mente complecti id quod 
dicitur experientia tali. 

There was, it is true, a mediaeval version of Hero made by 
William of Moerbeke which has not yet been identified, but the 
existence of an earlier rendering has been shown by Birken- 
majer,^^^ since a set of Latin extracts is cited by Richard of 
Fournival ca. 1 2 50. It is not clear whether this is the version here 
printed or the extracts based on the longer text of Hero which 
Birkenmajer has found at Cracow. 

One of the most obscure and one of the most important ques- 
tions connected with the Greek scholars of southern Italy and 
Sicily is the extent of their acquaintance with Aristotle and their 
relation to the Latin translations of his works. It tempts our 
curiosity to know that the Posterior Analytics was in Sicily in the 
time of Aristippus and that the first northern author to cite it was 
John of Salisbury, who was a frequent visitor to the Norman 
kingdom; that Aristippus himself translated the fourth book of 
the Meteorological and that the Sicilian translator of the Almagest 
was acquainted, at least indirectly, with the Greek text of the De 
caelo. Some of these problems we shall examine more specially in 
another connection.^^^ 

Another subject which might reward further inquiry is the 
Biblical manuscripts of Sicilian origin. An important group of 
New Testament codices, the Ferrar group, has been traced to the 
scribes of King Roger's court,^^^ but the manuscripts of the Sep- 
tuagint and the Arabic translations have still to be examined with 

Vermischte Untersuchungen {Beitrage, xx, no. 5), pp. 22-30. 
122 Infra, Chapters XI, XVIII. 

^ See especially Harris, Further Researches into the History of the Ferrar-group 
(London, 1900). 


reference to possible Sicilian connections. Many-tongued Sicily 
would be a natural centre for polyglot copies, and it is hard to 
conceive of any other country as the source of such a manuscript 
as Harleian 5786 of the British Museum/^^ written before 11 53 
and containing the Psalter in the Vulgate and Septuagint texts 
and an Arabic version. 

Further investigation may very likely reveal still other points 
of contact between Sicily and the East and other lines of influence 
on the intellectual life of northern Europe. Thus while Adelard 
of Bath doubtless got his familiarity with Saracen learning in the 
course of the extensive travels which took him to Syria and per- 
haps to Spain, it should be noted that he studied at Salerno and in 
Magna Graecia, and dedicated his De eodem et diver so to William, 
bishop of Syracuse, whom he credits with much mathematical 
knowledge.^^^ John of Salisbury, who made more than one journey 
into southern Italy, studied with a grecus interpres, a native of 
Santa Severina, who occupied himself with Aristotle; and it was 
probably in this region that the English humanist gained his ac- 
quaintance with the Posterior Analytics. John's pupil, Peter of 
Blois, who, like his master, advocated the cause of the classics 
against the rising tide of logical studies, had likewise been in 
Sicily.^2^ Another friend of John of Salisbury, Burgundio the 
Pisan, the leading north-Italian Greek scholar, also made a visit 
to Sicily. Returning in 11 71 from the last of his three missions 
to Constantinople as an envoy of Pisa, he tells us that he stopped 
at Messina, Naples, and Gaeta, working all the time assiduously 

^ A facsimile of one page is published by the Palaeo graphical Society, i, 2, plate 
132. I am indebted to Professor E. K. Rand for calling my attention to this MS, 

The date appears from the following entry on the last folio : ' [a]nn[o] incarna* 
t[ionis] dominice. M. C. Liii. Ind[ ] m[ensis] ianuarii die octavo die mercurii.' 
There is some error here, as 8 January 11 53 fell on Thursday. 

Supra, Chapter II. 

Schaarschmidt, Johannes Saresheriensis (Leipzig, 1862), pp. 120-122; Rose, 
in Hermes, i. 379-381 ; Poole, in- Dictionary of National Biography, xxix. 444; Webb, 
loannis Saresheriensis Policraticus, i, pp. xxv-xxvii, ii. 259, note. 

Epistolae, nos. 10, 46, 66, 72, 90, 93, 116, 131, in Migne, ccvii. 27, 133, 195, 
221, 281, 291, 345, 386, 397. 

On whom see Chapter X. John of Salisbury mentions him in the MetalogicuSy 
4, 7 {Opera, ed. Giles, v. 163). 


at his translation of Chrj'^sostom's Homilies on the gospel of 

As an illustration of the amount of communication which went 
on in the twelfth century between Sicily and the North, and thus 
of the possibilities of intellectual intercourse, let us examine 
further the relations between Sicily and the Anglo-Norman 
lands.^^^ The southern branches of Norman families did not lose 
all connection with the parent stem when conquest and coloniza- 
tion ceased : readers of Ordericus Vitalis will recall the intermin- 
able comings and goings of the members of the house of Grente- 
maisnil in the eleventh century, and as late as 11 30 one of this 
family gave up his fiefs in the south in order to return to his rela- 
tives in Normandy .^^^ The northern Normans showed pride in 
the achievements of their Italian kinsmen,^^^ and it is characteris- 
tic that the splendor of Rouen and the glory of King Roger form 
the joint theme of a Latin poem.^^^ No list can be attempted of 
the Norman and English students at Salerno or of the pilgrims 

130 'Negociis vero vice civitatis pactis, licenciam redeimdi ab imperatore accipiens, 
Messanam veniens ibique moram faciens, manibus meis scribens librum inibi tras- 
ferre incepi. Et sic per tantam viam Neapoli et Gaete et ubicumque moram facie- 
bam vacationem michi extorquens, iugiter transferebam et contra spem per duos 
continuos annos, Deo actore, totum librum de verbo ad verbum de greco in latinum 
transferens integre consummavi': Vatican, MS. Ottoboni Lat. 227, f. i. Also at 
Merton College, MS. 30 (dated 11 74); Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 1778, ff. 
74-111; Arras, MS. 229; Berlin, Cod. Elect. 332 (cf. Rose, Verzeichnis, ii. 122-124). 
Printed in part from Mabillon's copy in Martene and Durand, Veterum scriptorum 
amplissima collectio, i. 829; other extracts from this preface supra. Chapter VIII, 
n. 36. On the Pisan mission, see Chalandon, Les Comnenes, ii. 575. 

These two paragraphs have been revised from my articles on " England and 
Sicily in the Twelfth Century," E. H. R., xxvi. 435-438 (191 1). The general sub- 
ject of Englishmen in Italy in this period is being investigated by one of my stu- 
dents, Dr. Paul B. Schaeffer. 

Alexander Telese, i, cc. 17, 20-22, in Del Re, Cronisti e scrittori sincroni no* 
poletani (Naples, 1845), i. 97, 99 f.; Ordericus, iii. 455. Note also the de Lucys in 
Sicily: Garufi, in Archivio storico per la Sicilia orientale, x. 160-180 (1913). 

133 Ailred of Rievaulx, in Chronicles of Stephen, iii. 186; Miracula S. Michaelis^ in 
Memoires des Antiquaires de Aormandie, xxix. 864; Ordericus Vitalis, v. 58; Robert 
of Torigni, i. 242; Actus pontificuni Cenomannis, ed. Busson and Ledru, p. 417. 

1^ Printed by Richard, Notice sur Vancienne bibliotheque des echevins de Rouen 
(Rouen, 1845), p. 37; Haskins, Norman Institutions, p. 144. 

Adelard of Bath is an early instance. There are many names under * Anglicus ' 
in the index to the Necrologio di S. Matteo di Salerno (ed. Garufi, Rome, 1922). The 


and crusaders who went or returned by way of Bari or Mes- 
sina, nor can we hope to recover many traces of the commercial 
intercourse which must have existed. It is, however, significant 
that we hear of a merchant of London at Salerno and a merchant 
of Brindisi at the tomb of Becket,^^^ and that the money of Rouen 
was in common use in the region of Aversa at least as late as 
jj^^ 138 'pjjg great monasteries of St. Eufemia, Venosa, and 
Mileto had been founded by monks from St. Evroult, and the 
cantus Uticensis was still sung in them in the days of Orderi- 
cus,^^^ who doubtless derived his full knowledge of south-Italian 
affairs from the intercourse maintained with these daughter- 
abbeys.^^^ The chroniclers of Mont-St.-Michel and Bee were like- 
wise well informed concerning events in the South,^^^ as were 
English historians of the close of the century; and if St. 
Michael and St. Nicholas were popular in Normandy and 
England, St. Thomas of Canterbury was promptly added to the 
Norman saints who had kept a place for themselves in the 
south-Italian calendars.^^^ John, abbot of Telese, had studied at 

supposed dedication of the 'Schola Salerni' to Robert Curthose in iioi must, how- 
ever, be given up as a result of the investigations of Sudhoff, ending in Archivfiir die 
Geschichte der Medizin, xii. 149-180 (1920). On Robert's sojourn in the South, see 
C. W. David, Robert Curthose (Cambridge, 1920), 
Catalogus codicum hagiog. Paris., ii, 422 f. 
157 "Wright, Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, i. 37 ff.; Materials for the History of 
Thomas Becket, i. 452. There was a William Apulus at Norwich, Life of St. William 
of Norivichy p. 31. 

Alexander Telese, iii, c. 8, iv, c. i (Del Re, pp. 133, 146); and, for a specimen 
coin, Sambon, in Gazette numismatique frangaise, iii. 138. 
"9 ii. 89-91. 

See Delisle's introduction, v, p. xxxvii; cf. ii. no. Ordericus (ii. 88) also used 
Geoffrey Malaterra, 

Robert of Torigny, passim; S. Nicolai in Normannia et in Apulia miracula^ 
by a monk of Bee, in Cat. codd. hagiog. Paris., ii. 405-432. 

1^ Roger of Hoveden, i. 223; William of Newburgh, ii. 428-431; Ralph de 
Diceto, ii. 37 f. 
"2 See note 141. 

^'^ For St. Thomas see Materials, i. 165, and the mention of churches dedicated to 
him in 11 79 in De Grossis, Catania sacra, p. 98 f.; and Ughelli-Coleti, Italia sacra^ 
vii. 501. For the older Norman saints, see the calendar of La Trinita di Venosa, now 
MS. 334 of the library of Monte Cassino, printed in Gattola, Accessiones ad historiam 
Cassinensem, ii. 843 ff.; and the so-called Missale Gallicum of the cathedral of Pa- 
lermo (MS. 544), where the entry, in a later hand, of * Jorlandi episcopi' opposite the 


Bee; while Albold of St. Edmund's, Robert of St. Frideswide's, 
and Warin of St. Albans were heads of English religious houses 
who had spent more or less time in southern Italy.^^^ Many men 
of Norman birth received ecclesiastical preferment in Sicily, not 
only in the period of reorganization following the conquest, but 
in the time of Roger II and his immediate successors. William, 
bishop of Syracuse, the friend of Adelard of Bath, would seem to 
have been a Norman,^^^ as likewise, a generation later, the arch- 
bishop of Palermo, Roger Fescan.^^^ We find John of Lincoln and 
Herbert of Braose among the canons of Girgenti in 1127,^^^ and 
Richard of Hereford and William of Caen (?) among those of 
Palermo in 1158.^^^ Under William the Good four prelates of 
English origin are known: Richard Palmer, bishop of Syracuse 
and archbishop of Messina, Walter, archbishop of Palermo, and 
his brother Bartholomew, bishop of Girgenti,^^ and Herbert of 
Middlesex, archbishop of Compsa.^^^ Doubtless, if our sources of 
information were fuller, other names could be added to this list, 
for the presence of Englishmen and Normans in the South was 
due quite as much to royal policy as to other causes. 

*Sancti Laudi Episcopi' of the twelfth-century original (f. 251 v) shows how the St. 
L6 of the Norman calendar has given way to St. Gerland of Girgenti. The use of 
Rouen was employed in Sicily down to the sixteenth century. See La Mantia, 
Ordines judiciorum Dei nel missale gallicano del XII secolo nella cattedrale di Palermo 
(Palermo-Turin, 1892), p. 4; and the MSS. of Norman origin in Madrid described 
by Delisle in Journal des savants , 1908, pp. 43-49; and by Karl Young, in Publica- 
tions of the Modern Language Association of America, xxiv. 325. On. the importation 
of canonistic material from the North, see E. Besta, *'Di una collezione canonistica 
palermitana," in Circolo giuridico, xl (1909); and H. Niese, Die Gesetzgebung der 
normannischen Dynastie im Regnum Siciliae (Halle, 1910), pp. 46-49, 73-76, 80, 
93 f., 113 f., 185 f. "5 Eadmer, p. 96. 

"® Cat. codd. hagiog. Paris., ii. 422; Gesta abbatum S. Albani, i. 194 f.; supra, 
notes 50-67. 

147 pirro, Sicilia sacra (ed, 1733), i. 620; supra, Chapter II, n. 8. 

This seems to me likely, not so much because of Pirro 's statement (i. 86-88) 
but because the name Fescan (Cusa, / diplomi greci ed arabi di Sicilia, i. 17, 27) is 
the contemporary form for Fecamp. 

Palermo, Biblioteca comunale, MS. Qq. H. 6, f. 7, printed incorrectly by 
Gregorio, Considerazioni sopra la storia di Sicilia, bk. i. ch. 3, n. 16. Their bishop 
Walter was also 'francigena' {Archivio storico siciliano, xxviii. 148). 

Documenti per la storia di Sicilia, first series, i. 20. 

On these three consult the index to Chalandon. 

Ralph of Diceto, ii. 37; Ughelli, vi. 811. 


While King Roger's court was cosmopolitan, he showed a 
preference for the French and did not forget the ties which 
bound him to those of Norman blood.^^^ Robert of Selby, chan- 
cellor during the greater part of the reign and in war as in peace 
a trusted agent of the king, was an Englishman by birth and dis- 
pensed a lavish hospitality to his fellow countrymen. St. William 
of York, possibly a kinsman of the king, visited Robert at Pa- 
lermo when exiled from his see, and John of Sahsbury drank the 
chancellor's heavy wines to his undoing.^^^ Among the Sicilian 
prelates whose assiduity at the court scandalized the archbishop 
of Canterbury,^^^ those of English origin were preeminent. 
Richard Palmer, vir litter atissimus et eloquens,^^^ occupied a lead- 
ing position in the curia in the later years of William the Bad, and 
he, with the two other English prelates, Walter Ofifamil and Bar- 
tholomew, were members of the small junto which managed the 
government during the succeeding reign.^^^ In the north the 
archbishop of Rouen and the bishop of Bayeux were relatives of 
William 11,^^^ while Becket corresponded with Queen Margaret 
and the principal officers of the court.^^^ Like John of Salisbury, 
John Belmeis, treasurer of York and bishop of Poitiers, doubt- 
less owed much of his eminence as a linguist to his sojourn in 
Apulia; Simon of Apulia, later dean of York and bishop of 
Exeter, was valde cams et familiaris to Henry II; and if Ger- 
vase of Tilbury passed from the English court to service under 
William 11,^^^ Peter of Blois, ' the intimate friend' of both kings,!^^ 
began his career as tutor of William and sigillarius in his chan- 

Hugo Falcandus, p. 6; Romualdus, in M. G. H., ScriptoreSy xix. 426; ibn-al- 
Atir, in Amari, Biblioteca arabo-sicula, i. 450; supra, n. 5. 

Kehr, Urkunden, pp. 49, 75-77, Sn. 
155 Migne, Patrologia, cc. 1461. 

Hugo Falcandus, p. 63. 
1" Chalandon, ii, passim. 

158 Hugo Falcandus, p. 109; Stubbs, Lectures on Medieval and Modern History^ 
p. 149. 

159 Materials, v. 247; vi. 396; vii. 142 f. 

160 Webb, Joannis Saresheriensis Policraticus, ii. 271. 

161 Giraldus Cambrensis, iv. 383; cf. Epp. Cantuarienses, p. 276. 

162 M. G. H., Scriptores, xxvii. 385; Pauli in Nachrichten of the G6ttingeii 
Academy, 1882, pp. 313-315- 

163 Stubbs, introduction to Roger of Hoveden, ii, p. xcii. 


(,gjy 164 The relations of these sovereigns, always friendly, were 
firmly cemented by the marriage of William to the Princess 
Joanna in 1177, an event which served as the occasion of still 
closer contact between the courts. Florins de Camerata, a justi- 
ciar under three kings, acted as one of the envoys who were sent to 
fetch the princess, while of the bishops and courtiers who pre- 
ceded and accompanied her to Palermo John of Norwich and 
Osbert, clerk of the king's camera, are especially noteworthy as 
officers of the royal administration.^^^ It is plain that both 
William the Good and Henry II had ample opportunity to keep 
informed regarding current conditions in each other's kingdom, 
while with respect to the administrative sy^^tem of King Roger's 
time, Henry had an ever-ready source of information in a Sicilian 
official whom he had called to his side, his almoner and confi- 
dential adviser Master Thomas Brown, who as ^ Kaid Brun ' and 
naarpo dcajjLa rod (Spovpov appears as a royal chaplain in Sicily 
from 1 137 to 1 149, and has an important place at the English 
court from 1158 to 1180.^^^ 

How far such connections affected the world of learning, we can 
only guess. It is, of course, essential not to exaggerate the im- 
portance of the Sicilian movement. In spite of its more imme- 
diate contact with Greek sources, it shows less vitality than the 
contemporary humanism of the North, and its translations were 
less important, both in quantity and in influence, than the great 
body of material which came through the Saracens of Spain. 
Still, these Sicilian scholars have an honorable place in the his- 
tory of European learning. At a time when Latin Europe was 
just advancing from the Boethian and pseudo-Boethian manuals 
to Euclid's Elements, they were familiar with geometrical analysis 
and applied mathematics as presented in the most advanced 
works of Euclid and in Ptolemy's Optics, Proclus, and Hero; and 

1" Epp. 10, 46, 66, 72, 90, 93, 116, 131, in Migne, ccvii. 

Chalandon, ii. 367 f., 376-378; Ramsay, Angevin Empire, p. 193; and the 
sources there cited. Careful copies of the marriage settlement are given by Roger of 
Hoveden, ii. 95; Benedict of Peterborough, i. 169; Gervase of Canterbury, i. 263; 
see also Robert of Torigny, ed. Delisle, ii. 75; and Martene and Durand, Veterum 
seriptorum collectio, i. 902, from MS. Vat. Reg. 980, f. 171. 

For his biography, see my discussion in E. H. R., xxvi. 438-443. 


they had come into possession of the chief work of ancient as- 
tronomy, the Almagest. In philosophy they appear to have ac- 
quired the New Logic of Aristotle somewhat earlier than their 
northern contemporaries, and they had likewise an acquaintance 
with certain dialogues of Plato and with Diogenes Laertius. Theo- 
logy and ecclesiastical history were not neglected, and a group of 
New Testament manuscripts has been traced to Sicilian copyists. 
The school of Salerno was the leading medical school of Europe. 
Libraries existed, and the search for ancient manuscripts was 
carried on. Sicilian scholars could write decent Greek, and — 
when they were not translating — decent Latin, and they could 
venture, not without success, into the field of original verse. 
Within its limits the intellectual movement at the court of King 
Roger and his son had many of the elements of a Renaissance, 
and like the great revival of the fourteenth century, it owed much 
to princely favor. It was at the kings' request that translations 
were undertaken and the works of Nilus and Edrisi were written, 
and it was no accident that two such scholars as Aristippus and 
Eugene of Palermo occupied high places in the royal administra- 
tion. In their patronage of learning, as well as in the enlightened 
and anti-feudal character of their government, the Sicilian sov- 
ereigns, from Roger to Frederick 11,^^^ belong to the age of the new 
statecraft and the humanistic revival. 

1" For Frederick II, see Chapters XII-XIV. 


Preface to the Sicilian version of the Almagest 1 

Earn pingendi Gratias antiqui feruntur habuisse consuetudinem, ut 
unam quidem vultum aversam, due quibus ilia manum porrigeret 
aspectarent. Cuius misterii non ignarus dudum memoriter teneo gra- 
tiam simplam profectam duplam reverti oportere. Tui ergo boni 
5 muneris memor, quo earum quas Aristotiles ^ acrivestatas vocat arcium 
doctrina quasi haustu aque vive animum sicientem liberaliter imbuisti, 
olim quidem anxie queritabam quid tue dignum benivolentie referre 
possem. Nec enim eis que philosophic tardus assecla longo pauperis 
exercitio vene conquisieram purus ingenii torrens fons et domus arcium 
10 pectus penitus indigebat. Opes quoque apud earum contemptorem 
minimum promereri non dubius intelligebam. Angebatur ergo in dies 
magis ac magis animus mens eo molestius sustinens votum quo com- 
plendi voti absolutius facultas negabatur. Verum diutini clamorem 
desiderii superna tandem pietas exaudivit, dignum ut arbitror plene 
15 tribuens remunerationis instrumentum, quod tuum tan to, ut tua pace 
loquar, precedit munus, quanto finis eo quod ad finem laudabilius. Nec 
enim tuum latet acumen quod omni sapienti liquet, numerorum men- 
surarumque scientiam ad eam que astrorum quasi quandam^ introduc- 
tionis prestruere pontem. Huius vero eam partem que siderum motus 
20 speculatur, veterum lima speculum modernorum Claudius Ptolomeus 
astrorum scientie^ peritissimus .xiii. perscripsit libris. Qui a Grecis 
quidem mathematica seu megisti sintaxis, a Sarracenis vero almegesti 
corrupto nomine appellantur. Hos autem cum Salerni ^ medicine in- 
sudassem audiens quendam ex nunciis regis Sicilie quos ipse Constanti- 
25 nopolim miserat agnomine Aristipum largitione susceptos imperatoria 
Panormum transvexisse, rei diu multumque desiderate spe succensus, 
Scilleos latratus non exhorrui, Caribdim permeavi, ignea Ethne fluenta 
circuivi, eum queritans a quo mei finem sperabam desiderii. Quem 
tandem inventum prope Pergusam fontem Ethnea miracula satis cum 
30 periculo perscrutantem, cum occulte quidem alia, manifeste vero mens 
scientie siderum expers prefatum mihi opus transferre prohiberent, 
grecis ego litteris diligentissime preinstructus, primo quidem in Euclidis 
Dedomenis, Opticis, et Catoptricis,^ Phisicaque Procli Elementatione 
prelusi. Dehinc vero prefatum Ptolomei aggressus opus, expositorem 
35 propicium divina mihi gratia providente Eugenium, virum tam grece 
quam arabice lingue peritissimum, latine quoque non ignarum, illud 
contra viri discoli voluntatem latine dedi orationi. In quo nimirum 
mea mens infando pressa labore inceptum sepe destituisset opus, nisi 
superande difiicultatis auctor potentissimus amor tui tuumque munus 
40 animum crebra mutui repetitione^ pulsarent. Neque enim questus spe 

* For the MSS. see above, pp. 157-159. I have here followed MS. D, Wolfen- 
biittel Gud. 147, f. 2, which gives the best text of the preface. For the principal 
variants of A and C, see Harvard Studies, xxi. 99-102, xxiii. 156 f. 

2 De caelo, 3, 7, 306 a. Om. CD. ^ D, Catopticis. 

3 So all the MSS. ^ mS. D, SarelnL ^ MS. D, repetitioni. 


motus aut gloria istum potui laborem substinere, cum liquido constet 
spei locum artifici non relinqui, ubi ars ludibrio et dedecori est. Neque 
enim artificem mirari potest qui artem non miratur. Sensisti vero et tu 
nonnuUos hiis in temporibus cause quam ignorant indices audacissimos, 

45 qui, ne minus scientes videantur, quecunque nesciunt inutilia predicant 
aut prof ana. luxta quod Arabes dicunt: NuUus maior artis inimicus 
quam qui eius expers est. Eoque pertinacius criminandis artibus instant 
quo ab earum laude impericie probrum certius sibi conspiciunt immi- 
nere. Eos omitto qui honestatis zelo honesta quoque studia persecun- 

50 tur. Quos pie peccare recte dixerim dum nocivam curarum putredinem 
recidere contendentes, a sanarum altrice curarum philosophia manum 
minime continent indiscretam, sed et eam ipsius partem graviori crim- 
inatione persecuntur que ingeniis exquisita clarissimis et exculta quo 
defecatior ac purior est, eo sapientie vocabulo dignior, eo gratiori qua- 

55 dam compede speculationis iocundissime animos hominum continet alli- 
gatos. Horum siquidem error sive coloratus honesto malicioso quoque 
predictorum testimonio f retus, apud imperitos quorum maxima est mul- 
titudo in bonarum neglectum arcium efficacissime peroravit, ut iam nu- 
merorum quidem mensurarumque scientia omnino superflua et inutilis, 

60 astrorum vero studium ydolatria estimetur. Ita nimirum sentiebat vir* 
religiosus ac prudens cum dicebat: Hoc est igitur illud quadruvium 
quo his viandum est qui a sensibus procreatis nobiscum ad certiora in- 
telligentie perduci volunt. Eisdem quoque attestatur Remigius ^ dicens : 
Cum omnes artes pessumdate essent, aput Egyptios Abraham eos as- 

65 trologiam docuisse. Sed et sanctum Moysen sanctumque Danielem 
Dominus credo ob astrorum scientiam reprobavit, Stultum quippe 
creatoris opera contemplari, eorumque speculatione ineffabilem ipsius 
potentiam ac sapientiam delectabilius admirari, Nefarium quoque 
penitusque liquet illicitum ad Conditoris cognitionem conditorumque 

70 cognitione animum sublevare, Creatorem insensibilem sensibilium spe- 
culatione sibi quodam modo sensibilem comparare. O mentes cecas 
viamque philosophandi penitus ignorantes! A creatura siquidem mundi 
invisibilia Dei intellecta conspiciuntur,^^ nec satis insensibiliimi verita- 
tem percipere potest mens humana ni ad eam preludio sensibilium sibi 

75 viam facultatemque preexcuderit. Hinc a sapientibus institutus est ac 
diligenter observatus hie studiorum ordo, ut primo quidem ingenite 
ruditatis nebulas diligenti creatorum disquisitione serenarent, omnibus 
quidem sed eis potissimum invigilando disciplinis que ipsam sine omni 
erroris devio sine omni dubitationis scrupulo veritatem contemplantes 

8 Boethius, De institutione arithmetica, i, i (ed. Friedlein, Teubner, 1867, p. 9, 
11. 28 ff.) : 'Hoc igitur illud quadruvium est, quo his viandum sit, quibus excellentior 
animus a nobiscum procreatis sensibus ad intellegentiae certiora perducitur.' 

^ Probably from the unpublished commentary of Remigius on Martianus Ca- 
pella. Ct. De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, S, S12. 

Rom. I, 20: * Invisibilia enim ipsius a creatura mundi per ea quae facta sunt 
intellecta conspiciuntur.' 


80 occulum mentis Boetio teste rursus illuminant, dehinc vero robore hoc 
animati in theologica exercitate mentis aciem fiducialiter intendebant. 
Unde et ab ordine docendi et discendi theologiam metaphisicam nomi- 
nabant. Verum nostri nimirum aquile hoc quasi quodam molimine 
giganteo minime indigent sine omni creaturarum adminiculo radiis 

85 summe lucis oculos infigere potentissimi atque summe secreta veritatis 
efficaciter penetrare. Vix rudimentis a puerilibus celum involant terras- 
que habitare dedignantur. Super nubes eorum conversatio, atque in 
ipso summe sinu sapientie sese requiescere gloriantur. Mundanam 
desipiunt sapientiam, eique vacantium deliramenta subsannant. Tibi 

90 vero, vir mentis serenissime, longe alia mens est. Tu sacras artes et 
propter se appetendas, scientibus dulces, insciis adorandas rectissime 
arbitraris. Nec vero tuum fallit acumen quoniam perfectio beatitudinis 
in plenitudine consistit cognitionis, quo sciendo proficimus, hoc acces- 
sum ad beatitudinem lieri, presertim cum ocio quidem mens corrimipa- 

95 tur, studium vero virtuti sit amicum. Preclarum quoque tibi credo 
videtur, in quo prestat homo ceteris animaHbus hominem homini pre- 
nitere. Hinc insurgendum summisque viribus iudicas incumbendum ut 
omni scientie genere mens illustretur, ad beatitudinem preparetur, suo 
proprio bono decoretur. Tui ergo tuique simiHum gratia presentem 
100 hunc laborem ego suscepi, quibus si placeo intentio quoque mihi mea 
perfecta est. Rideant et insultent artium inimici, ignota iudicent, as- 
trorum studium insaniam predicent. Michi confiteor hec insania dulcis, 
michi dulce clamare cum Nasone : 

Felices anime quibus hec agnoscere primum 
ICS Inque domos superas scandere cura fuit! 

Faveas ergo summisque tibi vigiliis opus elaboratum benignus queso 
suscipias. lUud tamen unum super omnia moneo ac rogo ut ea qua 
et in geometricis usus es edocendis discretione collaudanda ad huius 
operis lectionem dignos admittas, indignos abigas. Suam quippe rebus 
no dignis adimet dignitatem, siquis eas communicaverit indignis. 

" Boethius, De institutione arithmetica, i, i (ed. Friedlein, p. 10, 11. 1-7): 'Sunt 
enim quidam gradus certaeque progressionum dimensiones, quibus ascendi progredi- 
que possit, ut animi ilium oculum . . demersum orbatumque corporeis sensibus 
hae disciplinae rursus inluminent.' 

^ Cf. Sallust, De coniuratione Catilinae, 1,1; Cicero, De inventione, i, 4. 
Ovid, Fasti, i, 297-298. In the text of Merkel-Ehwald (Teubner, 1889): 
'Felices animae, quibus haec cognoscere primis 
Inque domus superas scandere cura fuit! ' 



The history of Greek studies in northern Italy in the twelfth 
century lacks the coherence and definiteness which we have found 
in Sicily. The north had no resident Greek population, no Greek 
monasteries, no university like Salerno, no royal library of Greek 
manuscripts. It had likewise no political unity, and the connec- 
tions of its several regions with the East arose chiefly out of the 
trade of the commercial republics, the contacts of the Crusades, 
the diplomatic negotiations between the two empires, directed 
chiefly against the Sicilian kingdom, and the related negotiations 
of the eastern emperor and the Roman church. Of these the first 
are probably the most significant, creating as they did the Vene- 
tian and Pisan quarters at Constantinople and bringing into resi- 
dence there a number of scholars who learned Greek and trans- 
mitted a certain amount of Greek learning to the West. Some of 
these, we know, were engaged in permanent service in the impe- 
rial household. Besides these more continuous connections, how- 
ever, the various embassies must be noted, not only as giving us 
fleeting glimpses of the Italian colony, but as furnishing occasions 
for the transmission of eastern learning to the West. Especially 
under Manuel Comnenus do we find a steady procession of mis- 
sions to Constantinople, papal, imperial, French, Pisan, and 
other, and a scarcely less continuous succession of Greek em- 
bassies to the West, reminding us of the Greeks in Italy in the 

1 Besides newly discovered material, this chapter utilizes my earlier studies on 
Moses of Bergamo, B. Z., xxiii. 133-142 (1914); Leo Tuscus, E. H. R., xxv. 492- 
496 (1918), and B.Z., xxiv. 43-47 (1923); and Burgundio, American Historical 
Review, xxv. 607-610 (1920). The article on "Leo Tuscus" was sent to the B. Z.'m. 
July, 1914, but the cessation of this journal during the war led me to send a revised 
copy in 1918 to the E. H. R., where it appeared in October. In 1922 the B. Z.y 
without my knowledge, and in evident ignorance of its previous publication, printed 
the original article. 




early fifteenth century .2 It was an opportunity for any scholars 
who were interested in Greek learning, and occasionally there was 
a man like the Pisan Burgundio who made good use of it for some- 
thing besides theology. 

Characteristic of these missions are the occasions they fur- 
nished for theological disputation over the differences between 
the two churches; indeed the reports of such discussions are 
sometimes our best evidence of what was going on in the world of 
learning.^ As early as 11 12 we find the archbishop of Milan, 
Peter Chrysolanus, disputing before the Emperor Alexius with 
Eustratius of Nicaea and others, as recorded in various Greek 
texts and in a fragment of the Latin libellus.^ From 1 136 to 1 155 
the chief figure was Anselm, bishop of Havelberg since 1129, and 
from 1 1 55 to his death in 11 58 archbishop of Ravenna.^ Sent by 
the Emperor Lothair in 1136, he took occasion to thresh out theo- 
logical matters with Nicetas, archbishop of Nicomedia, and 
others.^ He was again in Constantinople in 11 53 and 11 54, and 
on his way back in April, 1155, he debated with Basil of Achrida 
at Thessalonica.^ Henry, archbishop of Benevento, who was in 
Constantinople on behalf of Alexander III in 1161 and again in 

2 See in general Chalandon, Les Comnenes, ii. 161-173, 259-262, 343-361, 555- 
608; and the literature there cited. 

^ See in general Hergenrother, Photius (Regensburg, 1869), iii. 789 ff. 

^ For the speeches of Eustratius and John Phurnes, see Demetracopoulos, Bih- 
liotheca ecclesiastica (Leipzig, 1866), i. 36 ff. (cf. Draseke, in B. Z., v. 328-331); for 
the Greek text of Chrysolanus, Migne, Pairologia Graeca, cxxvii. 91 1-920. The Latin 
fragment of Chrysolanus is at Monte Cassino, MS. 220, f. 149, printed in Bihlio- 
theca Cassinensis, iv. 351-358. Cf. Chalandon, Les Comnenes, i. 263, n; Krum- 
bacher, p. 85; Tiraboschi, Storia della litteratnra italiana (1787), iii. 324-327; Her- 
genrother, Photius, iii. 799-803 ; Hurter, Nomenclator, ii. 1 2 f . 

For similar instances in the eleventh century, see Petrus Diaconus, in Migne, 
P. L., clxxiii. 1027, 1043; and cf. Manitius, Lateinische Litieratur, ii. 384 f. 

^ E. Dombrowski, Anselm von Havelberg (Konigsberg, 1880); J. Draseke, in 
Zeitschrift fiir Kirchengeschichte, xxi. 160-185 (1900). 

^ For Nicholas of Methone in 1136, see Draseke, B. Z., i. 458 ff. 

' For the discussion as to the date of these missions, see especially Kap-Herr, 
Die ahendldndische Politik Kaiser Manuels (Strasburg diss., 1881), pp. 148-151; 
Simonsfeld, Jahrbiicher Kaiser Friedrichs I, i. 200, 231, 300; Chalandon, ii. 344 f. 
For the debate with Basil, see Josef Schmidt, Des Basilius ans Achrida bisher un- 
edierte Dialoge (Munich, 1901); and for Basil in general, Vasihevskii, in Vizantiskii 
Vremmenik, i. 55-132 (1894). 



1 165 and 1 166, seems also to have opposed Basil.^ In 1169-1170 
the patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Anchialou, addressed to 
the Emperor Manuel a dialogue against the Latins, apparently- 
directed at the two cardinals then on a mission in the East,^ and 
Andronicus Kamateros puts a similar dialogue in the mouth of the 
Emperor, who interested himself actively in such debates.^^ At 
some time between 1130 and 1182 Henry, patriarch of Grado, had 
a friendly discussion with Theorianus.^^ Down to about 11 66 
Nicholas of Methone was an outstanding figure in these con- 
troversies with the Latins, first with Anselm and later with a 
resident Pisan, Hugo Eterianus, to whom we shall come below; 
while in the period just preceding 11 79 we shall find Hugo collect- 
ing materials from the Greek Fathers for the benefit of an emis- 
sary of Frederick Barbarossa. As late as the Fourth Crusade an 
anonymous Greek records his earlier contentions with Hugo.^^ 
Many other undated polemics of this period might be listed,^^ 
Greek polemists even appearing at Rome in 11 50 and at the 
Lateran council of 1179.^^ On the Latin side it is obvious that 
northern Italy had a noteworthy share in these theological con- 

Certain of these discussions seem to have been stenographically 
reported,^^ and in any case they are set forth at length in Greek 
manuscripts, many of which have now been, published. The 
discourses of the Latins are less well known, being sometimes 
recorded only in the Greek reports. Still we have the fragment of 

8 Schmidt, pp. 27 f.; Chalandon, ii. 559, 563 f. 

^ Loparev, in Vizantiskii Vremmenik, xiv. 334-357 (1907). 

Migne, Patrologia Graeca, cxli. 395; Hergenrother, Photius, iii. 811-814. 
" Migne, P. G., xciv. 404-409. 

12 Draseke, in Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, ix. 405-431, 565-590 (1888); idem, 
B. Z., i. 438-478 (1892); cf. vi. 412. 

13 Arsenii, as noted inB. Z., iv. 370, n. 

" Hergenrother, iii. 803 f.; Krumbacher, pp. 87-91; Chalandon, ii. 653; dialogues 
of Nicetas of Maronea \n Bess<irione, xvi-xix (1912-15). 

15 Migne, P, L., clxxxviii. 1139; Nectarius of Casule at the Lateran Council, 
Baronius, an. 11 79, nos. x-xii. Cf. Nicholas of Casule at Constantinople ca. 1205: 
Engdahl, Beitrage zur Kenntnis der byzantinischen Liturgie (Berlin, 1908), pp. 85 f., 
and references. 

i« B. Z., XV. 358. 



Chrysolanus/^ the Dialogi of Anselm of Havelberg/^ written out 
at the Pope's request fourteen years after the disputation of 1136, 
and the controversial writings of Hugo Eterianus.^'^ Theology of 
a less contentious sort found its way westward in the translations 
of Burgundio and in an anonymous treatise De diversitate nature 
et persone}^ Interpreters were needed for such debates, as well as 
for the diplomatic negotiations of the missions sometimes they 
accompany the emissaries, and again they are chosen from the 
resident Latins, and it is among these men who knew Greek that 
we can most profitably seek evidence of intellectual connections 
with the West. The best example is found in the account which 
Anselm of Havelberg gives of his public debate with Nicetas, held 
in the Pisan quarter at Constantinople in April, 1136. Among 
the multitude present 

Aderant quoque non pauci Latini, inter quos fuerunt tres viri sapientes 
in utraque lingua periti et litterarum doctissimi, lacobus nomine Veneticus 
natione, Burgundio nomine Pisanus natione, tertius inter alios precipuus 
grecarum et latinarum litterarum doctrina apud utramque gentem clarissi- 
mus Moyses nomine Italus natione ex civitate Pergamo; iste ab imiversis 
electus est, ut utrimque fidus esset interpres. 

Each of these interpreters is otherwise known as a translator. 
Let us begin with the one whom Anselm considered the most 
eminent. Moses of Bergamo, though he has long held a place in 
Italian historiography, is as yet unknown as a grammarian and 
translator, and his position as intermediary between Greek and 
western learning requires further study. The principal source of 
information respecting him is his letter, written probably in 1 130, 
to his brother Peter de Brolo,^^ provost of the church of S. Ales- 
sandro at Bergamo.^^ Moses is then resident at Constantinople 

" Supra, n. 4. See also Masnovo, in Archivio storico lombardo, xlix. i (1922). 
" D'Achery, S picile gium (Psius, 1723), i, 161-207; Migne, clxxxviii. 1139-1248. 

Infra, n. 121. 
20 Infra, n. 108. 

2^ E. g., 'Gibertus interpres imperii' in 1170: M. G. H., Scriptores, xviii. 86. 

^ Also known as Peter di San Matteo; cf. Capasso, in Archivio storico lombardo, 
fourth series, vi. 301. 

23 Lupi and Ronchetti, Codex diplomaticus civitatis et ecclesiae Bergomatis (Ber- 
gamo, 1790-99), ii. 949-962, where the date is discussed. Cf. the analysis given by 
Capasso and Pesenti in the articles cited below. 


and engaged in the emperor's service,^"^ which has recently taken 
him to Thessalonica. He has various relatives and friends in and 
about Bergamo whom he hopes soon to visit; he has not forgotten 
the churches of his native city in distributing funds at his disposal, 
and the cathedral receives four pallia by his gif t.^^ In Venice he is 
in relations with the abbot of S. Niccolo and with Domenico Bas- 
sedelli, index et maximus terre vir, master of the ship which had 
brought the relics of St. Stephen from Constantinople in 11 10,^^ 
either of whom will forward the young relative whom he asks his 
brother to send in place of their deceased nephew. Peter's last 
letters had come at the hands of a certain John the Roman, who 
had been sent on a mission by Milan and whose shabby appear- 
ance and undignified conduct were particularly offensive. At 
Constantinople Moses is a man of some wealth with a position to 
sustain, but in the burning of the Venetian quarter he has re- 
cently lost the greater part of his fortune, to the value of more 
than 500 bezants, including his whole collection of Greek manu- 
scripts, brought together by long effort at the price of three 
pounds of gold.27 

This remarkable zeal for collecting manuscripts entirely ac- 
cords with Anselm's account of Moses' learning and leads the way 
to an inquiry concerning his literary labors. His most important 
work is the so-called Pergaminus, a poem in three hundred and 
seventy-two rhyming hexameters descriptive of the city of Ber- 

2* ' Me principis violentia percinctum laborem subire coegit.' We can only con- 
jecture the nature of his emplojTnent, unless we attach some weight to the note in 
the MS. of the Pergaminus which calls him 'valens et probus homo in scriptura in 
curia imperatoris Cplani.' Moses mentions his influence at the imperial vestiarium. 

'^^ See the "Indiculus de codicibus et ecclesiasticis supellectilibus a Petro pre- 
posito comparatis" in Lupi, ii. 921. 

2^ Translatio S. Stephani, in Cornelius, Ecclesiae Venetae (Venice, 1749), viii. 106. 
Monticolo's forthcoming edition will doubtless identify more fully the numerous 
Venetians mentioned in this narrative, Bassedelli witnesses a Venetian document 
of 1 1 24 in Gloria, Codice diplomatico padovano, no. 162. 

'Combusti sunt igitur omnes libri greci quos multo dudum labore conqui- 
siveram precii trium librarum auri et reliqua universa nisi siquid in auri puri moneta 
fuit, que mihi iactura damni plus D. byzantiis intulit.' The fire is not mentioned 
by the Venetian chroniclers: Heyd, Histoire du commerce du Levant (1885), i. 196 n. 
On the Venetian quarter in this period, see now Horatio F. Brown, in Journal of 
Hellenic Studies, xl. 68-88 (1920). 



gamo and constituting a source of prime importance for the early- 
history of the commune.^^ First published under the name of a 
Moses Muzio or Mozzi with the date of 707 and a dedication to 
Justinian II, it was shorn of these fictitious adornments by the 
criticism of Muratori and can now be placed with reasonable cer- 
tainty in the early years of the twelfth century.^^ In the unique 
manuscript of the fifteenth century the treatise is anonymous, 
but it is cited two hundred years earlier as the work of ' Magister 
Moyses/ and a contemporary gloss in the manuscript calls him 
* Magister Moyses Pergamensis valens et probus homo in scrip- 
tura ... in curia imperatoris Constantinopolitani.' The iden- 
tity with the author of the letter to the provost Peter has been 
further established by the stylistic resemblances between the two 
works and particularly by Grecisms in the text of the Pergaminus, 
For its age the poem gives evidence of some literary skill and a 
respectable Latin culture. 

The editors and critics of the Pergaminus have been acquainted 
with no other literary work of Moses. Tiraboschi, however, long 
ago attributed to him an Expositio of the Greek words in the bib- 
lical prefaces of St. Jerome which four manuscripts mentioned as 
the work of a certain Moses,^^ and this treatise, first described by 
Haureau,^^ was edited by Pitra in 1888^^ and, more critically, by 
Gustafsson in 1897.^^ Oddly enough, none of these scholars 

28 Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, v. 521-536. See especially the studies 
of Capasso, "II 'Pergaminus' e la prima eta cormnunale a Bergamo," in Archivio 
storico lombardo, 4th series, vi. 269-350 (1906); and Pesenti, "II Pergaminus," in 
Bollettino delta civica biblioteca di Bergamo, vi. 121-151, vii. 1-22 (1912-13). The 
suggestion of Giesebrecht (Munich Sitzungsherichte, 1879, ii. 279) that Moses was 
also the author of the poem of 1162-66 now edited by Monaci as Gesta di Federigo I 
in Italia (Rome, 1887) has been refuted by Monaci on chronological and other 

23 Pesenti argues from the mention of Bishop Ambrose without his title that the 
poem is anterior to his consecration in iiii, but the argument does not seem to me 

3° Storia delta letteratura italiana (1787), iii. 351, citing a MS. of the Marciana 
and three from Leipzig and Paris catalogues. Pesenti had a vain search made for 
the lost MS. of the Marciana, but went no further in his efforts and knows nothing 
of the editions. 

Notices et extraits des MSS., xxxiii, i, p. 244; Notices et extraits de quelqii^s 
MSS., i. 122. ^ Analecta sacra, v. 125-134. 

2^ Moysi Expositio, in Acta Socieiatis Fennicae, xxii, no. 3; cf. B. Z., vi. 461. 


thought of identifying the Moses of the title with the Bergamask 
writer of this name, and as 'Magister Moyses de Grecia* he has 
secured a separate entry in bibliographical literature.^^ This 
Moses was otherwise unknown to Haureau ; Pitra attached him 
conjecturally to the school of Scotus Eriugena and the Irish mas- 
ters of the ninth century; Gustafsson inclined to the twelfth 
century because of the copiae litterarum vere largae manifest in the 
work, but could neither identify or place him. No known manu- 
script describes the author more definitely, yet Tiraboschi's iden- 
tification is highly probable. This Moses cannot be later than the 
twelfth century, the date of the earliest manuscripts, and his 
learning and style could not well have been found earlier. He has 
lived in the East long enough to be called grecus and to get an 
acquaintance with Byzantine writers and a very considerable 
knowledge of the language, yet he handles Latin easily and cor- 
rectly and cites Caesar, Lucan, Terence, Horace, and Virgil. All 
this agrees entirely with Moses of Bergamo and, so far as we now 
know, with no one else of the name.^^ Moreover, as we shall see, 
there are parallelisms with another work specifically ascribed to 
the Bergamask author. The treatise does not discuss all the 
Greek words in Jerome's prefaces, but it covers the most obvious 
difficulties and adds various illustrations and amplifications, of 
which the longest, the chapter devoted to Homerocentones, is a 
definite contribution to our information on this subject. The 
author's knowledge of Greek and Latin grammar is rarely at fault 
and amply confirms Anselm's opinion of his attainments in the 
two languages.^^ Probably the Expositio is not the earliest of his 

Gustafsson has made a wider but not a complete use of the MSS. and bases his 
edition upon two at Munich and two at Leipzig. To his Hst should be added the 
lost Venetian codex and the extracts in Add. MS. 35091, ff. 115-116, of the British 

^ E. g,, Chevalier, Bio-biblio graphic^, col. 3271. 

36 xhe German gloss antfriston in c. 13, in spite of Traube's opinion that it was 
probably in the archetype (Gustafsson, p. 9), does not seem to me sufficiently es- 
tablished as part of the original to serve as a basis of inference concerning the 

3^ Gustafsson says (p. 9): 'Aliquantulum . . . inter vulgares magistellorum 
greges eminet et rerum copia et praeceptorum prudentia et sinceritate quadam 


20 1 

literary labors; in any case it had its origin in an inquiry concern- 
ing Homer ocentones made many years before in a letter from a 
British clerk named Paganus,^^ at a time accordingly when Moses 
had already acquired a certain reputation for Greek learning. 

Another evidence of the literary activity of Moses of Bergamo 
is found in a treatise hitherto unknown which is definitely 
ascribed to him in the only manuscript which I have been able 
to discover, MS. 52 of the Bibliotheque de Nimes:^^ 

Moyses Pergameni prologus in presens opusculum quod ipse de greco 


Cum sapientis cuiusdam grece lingue librum necessaria quedam querendo 
percurrerem, contigit hunc quoque me circa finem repperire libellum. Cuius 
titulo mox percurso tanto protinus eum quoque legendi sum desiderio tactus 
ut, iis intermissis quorum mihi fuerat occasione repertus, ad ipsum me tota 
mentis aviditate converterem. Cum vero diligenter eum finetenus perlegis- 
sem, quamvis et frigus ingens velut circa mensis decembris initium foret et 
occupationes alie me plurime circumstarent, nocturnis me vigiliis et trans- 
lationis laboribus tradidi, ne pretiosum repertum thesaurum solus possidens 
invidie vel inertie merito ceu piger et nequam servus arguer, cum presertim 
grecas litteras propter id potissimum didicisse me sim sepe testatus, ut ex eis 
in nostras siquid utile reperirem quod nobis minus ante fuisset debita de- 
votione transverterem. Gratias igitur ago Deo quia, sicut ait apostolus,^^ 
qui dedit velle dedit et perficere pro bona voluntate. Te vero, lector amice, 
devote rogo, quisquis hunc labosculum nostrum transcribere forte digna- 
beris, ne transscriptum cum suo prototypo conferre graveris,^^ nec turbere 
queso si cum titulum materie legeris auctoris nomen suppositimi non in- 
veneris. Quamvis enim conditoris nomen in fronte de more non gerat, nichil 
in eo tamen ^ videri debet apocryphum, cum totum quicquid id est de sacra 
sit pariter canonicaque scriptura coUectum. De me quoque qui transtuli 
proemio supplicando subiungo quatinus ego Moyses videlicet pergamenus 
cum per me tibi tradita legeris orationibus tuis seu vivus seu luci subtractus 

Exceptio compendiosa de divinitus inspirata scriptura sive argumentum 
orthodoxe fidei de Sancta Trinitate quod in tribus est personis deitas et quod ante 
secula Filius et Spiritus et quam divina scriptura quanque quidem de essentia 
natura scilicet nos doceat deitas quanque vero de diversis personis ipsius. De 
Sancta Trinitate Moyses in Genesi:^^ Et dixit Deus, Faciamus hominem ad 
imaginem et similitudinem nostram .... 

^ 'Quidam clericus nomine Paganus Eritannus genera.' To an Italian this can 
hardly mean Breton, as Haureau interprets it. 

^ Saec. xiii ineuntis, £f. 96-126. See Catalogue general des MSS. des departe- 
ments, old series, vii. 557. 

3^ Philippians, ii. 13. *^ MS. gravis. ^ Genesis, i. 26. 

^0 MS. prototyto. *^ MS. tarn. 



What treatise is here translated is a question which I must 
leave to specialists in Greek theology. In itself the work is of 
slight interest, being little more than a catena of passages, largely 
from the Old Testament, dealing with the life of Christ. Gregory 
and Chrysostom are cited, and on two occasions the author com- 
ments on Greek words after the manner of the Expositio. In one 
of these (Sirach, li. 9) he finds it necessary to distinguish between 
Ueaiav and o'UrjaLv, in the other (Habbakuk, iii. 2) he explains the 
difference between fcoi? and t^ov^^ In the preface the writer's 
fondness for ceu and for locutions like me sim sepe testatus can also 
be paralleled in the Expositio,'^^ while the request for the reader's 
prayers is noteworthy in both.'*^ One new fact is here brought out 
besides the explicit mention of the writer's name, the fact that 
Moses was a translator as well as a grammarian, and learned 
Greek for the special purpose of turning into Latin works not 
previously known in the West. Further search may perhaps dis- 
close more significant examples of his work in this field. 

Meanwhile we may with high probability identify another 
specimen of his grammatical exegesis. In MS. 22 of the Biblio- 
theque Nationale at Luxembourg the Expositio is followed in 
the same hand by a brief treatise written in answer to an inquiry 
respecting the accentuation of the oblique cases of character. The 
reply first gives the principal parts of x^P^^<^^ and a list of its 
derivatives with their Latin equivalents, and then accompanies 
the declension of xo-po-Krrjp with a discussion of the inflexion of 
nouns in -rjp which is based directly on the Kavoves of Theodosius 
of Alexandria. The whole treatment is in the manner of the 
Expositio and the glosses in the Nimes manuscript, and there are 

^* Ff. 97 V, 115. Cf. in the Expositio, cc. 10, 20, 30, 39, the accentuation of 
aairis and the distinction between eru/ios and erotiios, trvKri and avKov, alros and 

^5 Ceu nescius, p. 16, 1. 19; ceu puto, p. 17, 1. 22; sim sepe rogatus in the Luxem- 
bourg version of the epilogue (van Werveke, Catalogue des MSS., p. 42). 

^® See the prologue of the Expositio and the more developed conclusion of the 
Luxembourg MS.: 'vovens et petens pariter per orationes eorum iuvari quibus hec 
per me nota profuerunt.' 

Saec. xiii, ff. 179-180; extracts in van Werveke, Catalogue, p. 42. For kind 
assistance in securing photographs I am greatly indebted to the librarian, M. 



parallelisms in phraseology.^^ Unfortunately this folio of the 
manuscript has been injured just where we should expect to find 
the name of the author and a further description of the addressee, 
so that no writer is named. The Item, however, which connects 
this tract with the Expositio creates a strong presumption in favor 
of Moses, which is confirmed by the style and mode of treatment. 
The brother Alexander of the dedication is otherwise unknown, 
but the text is corrupt, and we are justified in suspecting a scribe's 
confusion with the name of the church, S. Alessandro, of which 
Peter de Brolo was provost; we may conjecture that the treatise 
was addressed to Peter, whose literary and theological interests 
are known from the library which he collected.^^ The mention of 
Dacia would seem to point to the Danubian campaigns of John 
Comnenus in 1128,^^ on which Moses may have accompanied him 
in some secretarial position such as he seems to have held at the 
court. The text reads : 

Item ad Alexandrum prepositum ex Datia 

Quesivit a me nuper prudentia tua, Alexander domine mi frater atque 
dig ^1 (f. 179 v) 

nomen per oblicos casus proferri deberet in penultima silliba. Libenter 
ergo tibi Deo donante declarabitur protinus quod quesisti cum prius tamen 
patuerit quale sit hoc nomen vel unde sit tractum. Charasso sive carado, 
nam per .s. geminum solent apud Grecos huius modi verba scribi sive per .t., 
per .s. secundum linguam communem per .t. secundum atticam, ut thalassa 
sive thalatta, hoc est mare, philasso sive philato, hoc est custodio vel servo. 
Sunt huius verbi duo preterita perfecta, primum quidem parakeitnenon id 
est adiacens, quod est kecharacha, secundum vero quod dicitur aoriston id 
est infinitum, id est ekaraxa, sicque duo quoque sunt eius infinita, a para- 
keimeno quidem ^ kekarakene ab infinito vero caraxe vel caraxein communi- 
ter vel caracten attice. Significat autem hoc verbum fodere vel cavare sive 
signare. Derivatur ex hoc carax, id est corona amminiculorum infixorum 
circa vitem per que possit ipsa sustentari ne propria debilitate corruat vel 
canabis vel cuiuslibet talis in campo vel crista fosse circa locum quemvis 
muniminis causa quam nos vallum vocare solemus. Hinc aliud verbale 

^ E. g., the use of protinus (cf. the Nimes prologue), sufficientissime respondisse 
(cf. Expositio, p. 29, 1. 22), and the discussion of irXdaao} (Expositio, p. 18, 1. 7). 

Codex diplomaticus Bergomatis, ii. 919-924. Peter's name is connected with 
.S. Alessandro in both the Indiculus and the letter of Moses, so that the basis of the 
scribe's confusion could easily have existed in the address of the treatise. 

"° See Chalandon, Les Comnenes, ii. 58-62. Cf. the percinctum lahorem and the 
journey to Thessalonica in the letter to his brother. 

" One and a half lines gone. MS. ^eJ que. ^ M*^. quod. 


nomen characoma quod nos recte vallationem seu vallamen possumus dicere. 
Hinc etiam charagma quod simpliciter quodlibet signum significat vel in- 
signitionem ^ rnonete que de hoc equidem verbo femmino quoque genere 
charage grece dicuntur. Hinc parachasimon nomisma dicitur adulterine 
monete. Hinc corrupte latinum verbum dicitur tractum charaxare, quod 
est minutim fleobotomo id est ferro vene cesorio plagas infligere quibus ven- 
tose superponuntur ad eliciendum sanguinem. Ex hoc ergo verbo grece quod 
est charatein sive charassein derivatur verbale nomen charades, id est 
signator, sicut apoen plasso quod est fin go plistes, id est fictor,^ character 
quoque pariter, id est effigies vel effigiatio sive statua, unde est: 
Cuius ad effigiem non tantum meiere fas est.^° 

signum vel in ovibus vel in 
ceteris animalibus cuius impressione dominis suis cercius cognoscantur. Est 
autem nomen hoc apud grecos ixitonon, id est quod acuto circa finem pro- 
fertur accentu, per oblicos vero casus uni versos circumflexo tono profertur 
in penultima sillaba, id est tu caracteros to caracteri ton caractera genitivum 
dativum accusativum singulares, hoi caracteres tus caracteras o caracteres 
nominativum et accusativum et vocativum plurales. Nam genitivus plu- 
ralis ton caracteron acuitur in penultima sillaba eo quod ultima sillaba pro- 
ducitur per co. mega ratione regule que communis est et nobis et Grecis quia 
in polisillabis dictionibus si penultima natura longa est ultima vero brevis, 
penultima circumflectitur, ut in superioribus obliquis id est caracteros carac' 
teri monstratum est. Si vero ambe longe sint, acutus accentus est in pen- 
ultima, ut huius et e et o Muse. Hoc autem nomen id est karacter in nota- 
tione grece per r;eta scribitur que semper longa est quamque nos semper in 
e longam vertimus, ut Ciirjir] Crete Mytylr/nry, et econtrario Greci nostrum 
.e. longum sepe vertunt in eta suum longum similiter, ut rex rr^x reges rryges. 
Ut autem nomen hoc in fine nominativi casus et in penultimis obhquorum 
circumflectitur, talis apud Grecos de ipso vel ceteris similibus regula est. 
Eorum in rji oxitonorum sunt quotquot quidem habent .t. per etam decHnan- 
tur, ut luter luteros, id est vas in quo lavantur, ut in Moysi lege sepe legitur 
quod nos latine labium vel labellum dicimus seu vas significet seu partem 
eris, ex verbo lavo vel luo sicut grece lutrjr ex verbo luein seu luse quod nos 
similiter dicimus lucre; capter^^ capteros, id est flexus sive flexura (f. i8o) 
vel meta circensium ludorum circa quam [reg]imen currus flectitur que 
captos quoque dicitur, sicut nos quoque flexuram omnem vel angulum vocare 
solemus, de verbo capto id est flecto quod nos cambire vel campsare dicere con- 
suevimus; elater elateros id est agitator, de verbo elan id est agitare. Excipi- 

" MS. insigninoih. I. e., Trapaxapa^i/iov. MS. charasseim. 

Sic. Perhaps some reference to irouip iroiTjTris has dropped out. 
Cf. Expositio, p. i8, 1. 7 : ' xXd<ro-co grecum verbum est quod latine proprie fingo 
dicitur. Hinc nomen verbale TrXaaTrjs vel irKaoTrjp id est fictor.' 
MS. meiere. 

*o Juvenal, Sat., i, 131. A space of about ten letters is gone before signum. 
MS. nolo. Hereafter the MS. regularly has?; written above the eta of the 
Latin text. 

I. e., KaHTTTTIp, KaiilTTOS, K&IXTTTO}. 



tur pathr pateros quod per .e. breve nostrum simul ac ipsorum commune 
scribitur in penultima per casus omnes obliquos pateros pateri patera pateron 
pateres acuta penultima sed ^ correpta. Quotquot vero non habent .t. per 
.e. breve scribuntur, ut ether etheros daer daeros, id est frater mariti, aer aeros, 
apud eos acuta penultima cum sit ultima brevis. Excipiuntur spinter spin- 
teroSy id est scintilla, eleuter, id est ventor eleuteros. Et hoc est canon tricesi- 
mus secundus masculinorum nominum apud Grecos indeclinabilibus nomi- 
num de oxitonis in T^r.^^ Tricesimus vero tertius de varotonis in lyr similiter: ®^ 
0 pirjr tu pieros o iber tu iberos.^^ In yjr per eta varitonorum quecunque qui- 
dem longa penultima sunt per .e. tenue breve scilicet declinantur, ut frater 
frateroSf id est frater fratris, pirjr pieros acuta antepenultima per obliquos. 
Quecumque vero brevem habent penultimam per eta id est .e. longum de- 
cHnantur, ut ibrjr iberos similiter acuta antepenultima sed producta scilicet 
propter perpetuo longum, apud nos vero circumflexa cum sit longa ante 
breve secundum superiorem regulam polisemarum dictionum. Lucanus: ^ 

Interea Caesar victis remeabat Iberis. 
Eadem est .t). penultima sive Iber Iberis declines sive Iberus Iberi. Et 

Haut impacatos a tergo horrebis Iberos. 
Panther ke tu theros^^ 

id est fera, quam per mutationem in .e. 

nostrum longum acuitur apud eos in penultima nominativi in obHquis vero 
in antepenultima nisi in genitivo plurali ubi penultima acuitur ton pantheron, 
apud nos vero circumflectitur penultima per omnes obliquos cum ipsa longa 
sit et ultima brevis ratione poHsemarum dictionum per omnes casus singu- 
lares et plurales, ut genitivus panteris dativus panteri accusativus pantera 
nominativus pluralis panteres genitivus pa[n]terum accusativus panteras 
vocativus panteres, quorum omnium brevis est, dativus et ablativus pluralis 
acuitur in antepenultima cum ipsa sit longa due vero sequentes breves. 
Sciendum preterea quod pater et mater et frater ex eta greco sicut in lati- 
num .e. versa rectius producuntur quam brevientur, quamvis ea frequens 
consuetudo breviet, ut Inde toro pater Eneas,^^ et Frater ad alloquium,^^ et 
Mater et Enee.^^ 

Quare hoc quod tibi, dilecte frater, de multis nominibus devote sit obla- 
tum munusculum, quamvis tu de uno solo quesiveris. Ego munus meum non 

63 MS. si. 

^ Theodosii Alexandrini Canones, ed. Hilgard (Leipzig, 1889), p. 23, c. 32: 
'0 \ovTrjp Tov Xovrrjpos, 6 aidrjp rod aideposl rdv els ifp o^VTOvoiv ocra nev exet to f 8ia 
rod 7} KKiverat., Kap-irrripos ekaTrjpos, tTea-TjueLOinevov tov irorcpos aaTkpos' oaa bt fjirj ex^t 
TO f dta TOV i KkiveTai, aiOepos bakpos, aearjixeicoiJikvov tov airtvdrjpos 'EXevdijpos. 

Idem, c. 33: '0 Hirjp tov Uiepos, 6 "Ifirjp tov "Iffrjpos". toiv eis fjp ^apvTbvoiv oaa 
fxkv fiaKpS, TrapaXrjyeTaL Slol tov € K\iveTai, (fypaTepos Uiepos, oaa Se ^paxdq. -jrapaXrjyeTat 
6ia TOV rj KkiveTai, "IjSrjpos kpirjpos' to Se iravdrjp tov oTrXou Trjv K\iaiv eSe^aro. 

6^ MS. inrir ineros. ®^ Georgica, 3, 408. jjalf a line gone. 

^ MS. uiTjr uieros. One line gone. Virgil, Aeneid, 2, 2. 

^ Pharsalia, 5, 237. MS. thuros. 

I have not identified this quotation. 

''^ Ovid, Ars amatoria, i, 60: 'mater in Aeneae.' ^® MS. Q; 


soleo verbis ornare velut quidam cum de in prepositione regulam quesitus 
dixit, "Egregiam vobis scribo regulam," volens ut credo munus suum maius 
his qui quesiverant facere quam ipsi forsitan essent facturi. Fecisti mihi 
nuper et alteram questionem prolixam satis et acute compositam de duobus 
nostre salutis muneribus, sed [cum] per multos magnos sepe et claros 
viros sit diserte soluta tuque circa finem sis tibi visus sufficientissime re- 
spondisse, satius mihi videtur penitus inde tacere quam que per eos habunde 
dicta sunt vel nulla potius redarare. Sit ergo opusculum sicut petisti si nichil 
melius per me forte possit tuo nomini dedicatum. Explicit. 

The literary reputation of Moses and the nature of his writings 
indicate that the works which have thus far come to light are only 
fragmentary remains of a many-sided activity. A Latin poet, a 
translator from the Greek, a grammarian, and a collector of 
Greek manuscripts, he might almost hold his own three hundred 
years later. We cannot call him a humanist, for his culture re- 
flects rather the theological preoccupations of his age, but he was 
at least a Hellenist and is entitled to an honorable place in con- 
junction with the renaissance of the twelfth century. 

Of the two other Latins mentioned by Anselm of Havelberg, 
James of Venice is known only as the translator of Aristotle's New 
Logic, and we shall have occasion to examine his work in that 
connection.'^^ Burgundio the Pisan is more celebrated, by reason 
of his public career as well as of his indefatigable zeal as a trans- 
lator.^^ Appearing first at the debate of 1136 in Constantinople, 
he is found in legal documents at Pisa from 1 147 to 1180, first as 
an advocate and later as a judge; he is sent on diplomatic mis- 
sions to Ragusa in 11 69 and to Constantinople in 1172,^^ and is 
present at the Lateran Council of 11 79; and he died at a ripe old 
age in 11 93. The sonorous inscription on his tomb is still pre- 
served, celebrating this doctor doctorum, gemma magistrorum, 
eminent alike in law, in medicine, and in Greek and Latin letters; 

MS. cloros. 7« MS. pK ^9 inf^a, Chapter XI. 

8° See particularly G. M. Mazzuchelli, Gli scrittori Italia (Brescia, 1753), ii, 
3, pp. 1 768-1 7 70; [Fabroni], Memorie istoriche di piu uomini illustri pisani (Pisa, 
1790), i. 71-104; Savigny, Gesc'hichte des romischen Rechts im Mittelalter (1850), iv. 
394-410; F. Buonamici, "Burgundio Pisano," in Annali delle universitd toscane, 
xxviii (1908); P. H. Dausend, "Zur Uebersetzungsweise Burgundies von Pisa," 
in Wiener Studien, xxxv. 353-369 (1913). 

81 Besides the documents cited by Savigny, see G. Miiller, Documenti suite re- 
lazioni delle cittd toscane coW Oriente (Florence, 1879), pp. 18, 416 ff. 



and this reputation is confirmed by the surviving manuscripts of 
his work.^^ Translation was evidently not the principal occupa- 
tion of this distinguished career, indeed Burgundio tells us that 
one of his versions required the spare time of two years, but his 
long life m-ade possible a very considerable literary output. Theo- 
logy held the first place: John of Damascus, De orthodoxa fide 
(1148-50), which had been ''preached for four centuries as the 
theological code of the Greek church";^ the Homilies of John 
Chrysostom on Matthew (i 151) and John (i 173) and perhaps 
on Genesis (incomplete in 11 79); St. Basil on Isaiah (before 
1 1 54); Nemesius, De natura hominis, dedicated to Frederick 
Barbarossa on his Italian expedition of 1155;^^ perhaps others.^^ 
Two of these versions were dedicated to Pope Eugene III, who 
secured a manuscript of Chrysostom from the patriarch of Anti- 
och and persuaded Burgundio to undertake the task of turning it 
into Latin. His results were used by the great theologians of the 
Western Church, such as Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas ; 
indeed he ''made accessible to the West works which exercised 

^ Cf . his survey of previous translations, ancient and mediaeval, from the Greek* 
supra, Chapter VIII, note 36. For the epitaph see Buonamici. 

^ J. Ghellinck, "Les Oeuvres de Jean de Damas en Occident au XII« Siecle,'^ 
in Revue des questions historiques, Ixxxviii. 149-160, reprinted in his Le mouvement 
theologique du XII' Steele (Paris, 1914), pp. 245-275, where further studies of Bur- 
gundio are promised. Cf. M. Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode, ii. 
93; Duhem, iii. 37; Minges, in Theologische Quartalschrift, 1914, pp. 234 ff. 

^ Preface in Martene and Durand, Veterum scriptorum amplissima collectia 
(Paris, 1724), i. 817. On the date, cf. Dausend, in Wiener Studien, xxxv. 357. 

Preface, incomplete, Martene and Durand, p. 828; see Chapter VIII, n. 36^ 
Chapter IX, n. 130. 

Robert of Torigni, ed. Delisle, ii. 109. Cf. C. Baur, 6". Jean Chrysostome, p. 62. 

^ Savigny, iv. 401; supra, Chapter VIII, n. 36, where a version of the Psalter 
is also mentioned. 

^ Preface in Martene and Durand, i. 827; preface and text, ed. C. Burkhard, 
Vienna programmes, 1891-1902; on the MSS. see Diels, Berlin Abhandlungen, 1906, 
pp. 67 f. 

8^ Commentary of St. Paul, inferred from the sepulchral inscription; Athanasius, 
De Fide, conjectured by Bandini, Catalogus, iv. 455; St. Basil on Genesis (ibid., iv. 
437; Codices Urbinates Latini, i. 78) ; Chrysostom on Acts, R. Sabbadini, Le scoperte 
deicodici: nuove ricerche (Florence, 1914), p. 264; work on meteorology announced 
in preface to Nemesius. 

s° Martene and Durand, i. 817. 

Ghellinck, loc. cit.\ G. Mercati, Note di letteratura biblica (Rome, 1901)^ 
pp. 141-144. 


great influence on the scholastics, the exegetes, the mystics, and 
the orators of the Middle Ages." In medicine, Burgundio's 
name is attached to the Latin versions of ten works of Galen : 
De sectis medicorum, dedicated in 1185 to 'King Henry,' doubtless 
the newly knighted son of the emperor, the future Henry VI, De 
temperamentis,^^ De virtutihus naturalihus,^^ De sanitate tuenda,^"^ 
De differ entiis febrium,^^ De locis affectis,^^ De compendiositate 
pulsus,^^^ De dijfferentiis pulsuum,^^^ De crisibus,^^^ and Therapeu- 
tica {Methodi medendi); while his translation of the Aphorisms 
of Hippocrates is cited in the thirteenth century as preferable to 

^ Mercati, p. 142. His Chrysostom is cited as late as Poggio; Sitzungsherichte 
of the Vienna Academy, Ixi. 409. 

^3 T}je elaborate catalogue of Greek MSS. and translations of Galen published 
by H. Diels, ''Die Handschriften der antiken Aertzte," in Ahhandlungen of the 
Berlin Academy (1905), pt. i, pp. 58-150, does not ordinarily indicate the author- 
ship of the Latin versions, which in many cases still remains to be investigated. 
Evidently some of Burgundio's work was revised in the fourteenth century by 
Nicholas of Reggio and Peter of Abano. For Nicholas see F. Lo Parco, "Niccol6 
da Reggio," in Atti della R. Accademia di Archeologia di Napoli, n. s., ii, pt. 2, 
pp. 241-317; for Peter, Thorndike, ii, ch. 70. There may be some confusion with 
Johannes de Burgundia, better known as Sir John Mandeville, to whom is ascribed 
a treatise De morho epidemic (e. g., Trinity College, Cambridge, MS. 1102, f. 53, 
MS. 1 144, f. no v; Caius College, MS. 336, f. 114 v); see Mrs. Singer in Pro- 
ceedings of the Rayal Society of Medicine y ix. 162-173 (191 6); and Mrs. Singer and 
Levy, in Annals of Medical History, i. 395-411 (191 8). 

^ 'Translatio greca est Burgundionis.' Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 6865, 
f. 81; Diels, p. 60. 'De greco in latinum domino Henrico regi a Burgundione iudice 
Pisano anno incarnationis M.C.LXXXV. fideliter translatus': MS. Montpellier 
18, f. 95, where the Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Medizin (ii. 16) has incorrectly 
1 1 84. 

^5 'Explicit liber Galieni de complexionibus translatus a Burgundione cive 
Pisano secundum novam translationem.' Vatican, MS. Barberini Lat. 179, f. 
14 v; MS. unknown to Diels, p. 64. 

Prague, Public Library, MS. 1404; not in Diels, p. 66. 
^ Diels, p. 75; Lo Parco, "Niccolo da Reggio," pp. 282 ff. Diels, p. 80. 

'ExpKcit liber GaUeni de interioribus secundum novam translationem Bur- 
gundii.' Vatican, MS. Barb. Lat. 179, f. 36 v; MS. not in Diels, p. 85. 

100 'Finis libri qui est de compendio pulsus a Burgundione iudice cive Pisano de 
greco in latinum translati.' Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 15460, f. in v; MS. 
not in Diels, p. 86. 

Diels, p. 87. Munich, Cod. Lat. 35; Diels, p. 90. 

* Expletus est liber tarapeutice cum additionibus magistri Petri de Ebano que 
deficiunt ex translatione Burgundionis civis Pisani.* Vatican, MS. Barb. Lat. 178, 
f. 44 v; not in Diels, p. 92. Cf. G. Valentinelli, Bibliotheca manuscripta ad S. Marci 
Venetiarum, v. 79, and MS. Madrid 1978 (L. 60), f. 45 v. 



that from the Arabic.^"* In a quite different field, he turned into 
Latin a treatise on the culture of the vine/°^ doubtless for the 
practical benefit of his native Tuscany, just as a Strasburg scholar 
of the sixteenth century sought to help the vineyards of the 
Rhine by translating extracts from the same Geoponica}^ Still 
another scientific work is promised in the preface to Nemesius, an 
account namely of the heavens, winds, storms, earthquakes, and 
waters, and why the sea is salt — the content of Aristotle's Me- 
teorology and more, though hardly this work itself, a promise 
which he may not have carried out. As a lawyer, too, he had 
opportunity to apply his knowledge of Greek to translating the 
Greek quotations in the Digest,^^"^ for which he appears to have 
used the text of the famous Pisan manuscript. He is freely 
credited with the Latin version by the glossators of the thirteenth 
century, and, as in the case of his theological and medical transla- 
tions, the results of his work passed into the general tradition of 
the later Middle Ages. 

With Burgundio we have passed far into the second half of the 
twelfth century and well beyond the times of Anselm of Havel- 
berg. In approaching the Constantinople of this period we may 
well begin with another emissary of Frederick Barbarossa, ap- 
parently also a German, who visited the Greek capital in 11 79 
and shortly before. Let us start with his preface, as preserved in 
a contemporary codex of the University of Cambridge : 

Puccinotti, Storia della medicina (Leghorn, 1850), ii, 2, p. 290; Neuburger, 
Geschichte der Medizin (Stuttgart, 1906), ii, i, p. 375. As cited by Diels, pp. 14-16, 
the Latin MSS. do not mention Burgundio. 

Edited by Buonamici, m Annali delle universitd toscane, xxviii (1908). In- 
complete MS. also in the Ambrosian, MS. C. 10. sup., f. 118 v; also formerly at 
Erfurt (W. Schum, Beschreibendes Verzeichniss der Amplonianischen Handschriften- 
Sammlung, p. 802) and at Peterhouse, Cambridge (James, Catalogue, p. 11). 

Serapmm, xvii. 287 ff. 

Savigny, iv. 403-410; Mommsen, Digesta, editio maior (1876), i. 35*; H. 
Fitting, "Bernardus Cremonensis und die lateinische Uebersetzung des Grie- 
chischen in den Digesten," in Berlin Sitzungsberichte, 1894, ii. 813-820; N. Ta- 
massia, "Per la storia dell' Autentico," in Atti del R. Istiiuto Veneto, Ivi. 607-610 
(1898). I agree with Savigny that there is no evidence that Burgundio translated 
the Novels, and that the reference to them in the preface to his translation of Chry- 
sostom's St. John (see Chapter VIII, n. 36) shows that Burgundio accepted the 
extant version as a literal translation made at Justinian's order. 

MS. Ii. iv. 27, ff. 129-130 V. 


Incipit liber de diversitate nature et persone proprietatumque personalium 
non tarn Latinorum quam ex Grecorum auctoritatihus extractus. 

Circumspicienti mihi quanta sit in humanis studiis varietas, in varietate 
dissensio, in dissensione contradictio, in contradictione obstinatio, inutile 
duxi causis horum investigandis operam dare, cum manifestum sit ex variis 
animorum affectionibus studiorum evenire varietatem, ex errore ignoranti§ 
dissensionem, ex tumore iactantie contradictionem, ex conatu inprudenti§ 
obstinationem. Quorum et primum et secundum est humanum, tercium 
ceca temeritate, quarta pertinaci contumacia plenum. Ideoque duobus in 
prioribus facilis est recursio, in tercio difficilis revocatio, in quarto irrevoca- 
bilis exorbitatio. In illis lapsus ex simplicitate miserabilis venia meretur, 
in istis ex perversitate dampnabilis in perniciem precipitatur. Considerans 
igitur a nostris studiis multos dissentire scolis plerosque contradicere et 
inpetulantig sue obsequium aliquos arroganter illudere, obstupui vehementer 
admirans unde vel illi vel nos in tantam imperici§ coruissemus insaniam 
quod, ut taceam de philosophicis opinionibus, circa theologig secreta tam 
inextricabilem non modo pateremur sed et excitaremus discordiam. Quam 
ob rem beatissime divinitati, in qua omnes thesauri sapienti§ consistunt 
et in mortalia pectora pro sua bonitate dividuntur, supplicari cepi ut viam 
veritatis mihi panderet et, si labi ex simplicitate contingeret, ex perversitate 
maligni sensus precipitari in perniciem non permitteret. Et quoniam ex 
Grecorum fontibus omnes Latinorum discipline profluxerunt, precibus meis 
adieci ut eius opitulante gratia, si quo modo fieri posset, per auctoritates 
irrefragabiles sapientiam Greci§ nostrarum dissensionum decisionem ali- 
quando consequi mererer. 

Hoc inefifabiliter estuans desiderio forte legatione Frederici gloriosissimi 
Romanorum imperatoris functus ad Manuelem Cons tan tinopolitanum 
basileon regum orientalium potentissimum, hilariter in lUiricum et a\dde 
viam nuUis laboribus et periculis meis inviam arripui. Consistens ergo in urbe 
regia priori legatione mense uno et diebus .vii. tempore scismatis, posteriori 
vero mensibus duobus tempore pacis anno quo Lateranense concilium in 
vere celebratum fuit, priscorum sanctorum Grecig doctorum interpretante 
Ugone Etheriano litteris grecis et latinis peritissimo, diu desideratam pro- 
positi mei letus accepi consummationem. Libellum secundum questiones 
in priori legatione a me propositas de diversitate nature et persone in poste- 
riori dedit magni Basilii et Gregorii Nazanzeni aliorumque sanctorum aucto- 
ritatihus fulcitum, quern non modo ad meas preces sed et viri eloquentissimi 
Petri scolastici in florentissimo Austrig oppido de voluminibus Grecorum 
cum multa diligentia et cautela coUegit. Preterea librum de immortali 
Deo addidit quem contra modernorum Grecorum opinionem de Spiritus 
Sancti processione de Patre et Filio compositum et antiquorum Grecig doc- 
torum scriptis communitum Alexandro pape transmisit, in quo personalium 
proprietatum et personarum essenti§que diversitatem aptissimis beatorum 
episcoporum olim in Grecia theologizantium documentis declaravit. Qui 
cum et ipso confitente audivi Alberici cuiusdam in dialecticis fuisset auditor 
in Francia aliorumque a studiis nostris in theologia dissidentium viam pub- 

inter prete? 



licam trivisset, prefatorum virorum et aliorum clarissimorum Greci§ doc- 
tonim sanctitate coactus est in latinum transferre sermonem, unde suam 
propriam quam de Gallia et Italia in Achaiam detulerat convinceret opi- 

Accepta hec ab illo munera super aurum et topazion preciosa velut opes 
Cresi amplexatus sum. Cumque reversus in Germaniam ad Fredericum 
victoriosissimum Romani imperii principem Petro venerabili Tusculano 
episcopo tunc ibidem legatione sedis apostolicg fungenti apportatum libel- 
lorum meorum thesaurum demonstrassem ipseque sanctissimas illorum sen- 
tentias diligenter ruminasset, admiratus plane fuit tantam in Gisilberto 
Pictaviensi episcopo sapientiam quod cum Grecorum volumina tanquam 
lingue eorum ignarus nunquam legisset, in illorum tamen intellectu tam 
scriptis quam dictis totus fuisset, statimque illos transcribi iussit. Latebat 
tamen eum quod beati Theoderiti et Sophronii scripta in latinum translata 
sepe revolvisset cum aliorum libris sive Grecorum sive Latinorum et maxime 
Athanasii et Hylarii, quorum suffragiis in concilio Remensi coram papa 
Eugenio contra suorum emulorum oblocutiones usus fuit cum gloria. Gra- 
tias ergo quantas potero pietati divine agere non cessabo qu§ longis suspiriis 
et sollicitudini meg finem hunc facere dignata est, ut iam cum Cirillo Alexan- 
drino sentire debeam et lohanne Damasceno non idem esse personam et 
naturam, cumque magno Basilio et Gregorio theologo non idem esse per- 
sonales proprietates personas et essentiam. Quod quidem supranominatus 
Pictaviensis episcopus ab antecessore suo Hylario non discordans in exposi- 
tione Boetii de Trinitate evidenter asseruit, quibus tamen auctoribus utere- 
tur non declaravit, exercitatis divinarum scripturarum lectoribus laudem 
horum inveniendorum relinquens. Quos ad investigandorum illorum stu- 
dium et amorem invitat dum in operis sui prologo testatur diligentibus ipsa- 
rum rimatoribus posse videri ea que dixit sua furta potius esse quam inventa. 

Denique quia Latinos latet quanta evidentia de his rebus Grecorum 
loquatur sapientia, opere precium duxi in publicas aures proferre quod ab 
orthodoxis doctoribus eorum divina opitulatione percepi, quatinus per illos 
pateat et a veritatis tramite eum non exorbitasse et emulos suos in igno- 
ranti§ nebulis aberrasse frustraque in eius declinatione laborasse quem 
summis et inconcussis Grecig columpnis constat suffultum fuisse. Sed sicut 
sanctus Hylarius precatur, postulare presumo ut quisquis hec legenda et 
cognoscenda susceperit modum sibi atque mihi patientie fidelis indulgeat et 
usque ad absolutionem universa percenseat. Iniquum enim est non com- 
perta usque ad finem ratione dictorum preiudicatam sentenciam ex unciis 
eorum quorum adhuc causa ignoretur afferre, cum non de inchoatis ad 
cognoscendum sed de absolutis ad cognitionem sit iudicandum. Est etenim 
michi non de piis lectoribus metus ac benignis auditoribus sed de quibusdam 
nimium apud se cautis et prudentibus non intelligentibus per beatum apos- 
tolum sibi ne superbe saperet preceptum, quos vereor nolle omnia ea quorum 
absolutio a me in consummatione erit prestanda cognoscere dum verum in- 
telligere ex his que absolventur evitant tanquam inclementes et iniqui alie- 
norum dictorum indices atque consueti servare sola ea dogmata non que 
rationabiliter didicerunt sed que ex consuetudine tenuerunt. Quorum 
plurima turba est non considerantium quid vere vel convenienter sed quid 



ad aurium suorum pruritum sibiietur. Quam ob rem antequam attingam 
propositum, quoniam expedit quid ad officium spectet de rebus divinis 
disserentium diffinire atque distinguere non sit lectori tediosum. 

The purpose of this treatise is thus fairly clear, not the usual 
controversy with the Greeks, but to find in orthodox Greek theo- 
logians support for the doctrines of the author's own school in re- 
lation to the Trinity. He begins with a discussion of the type of 
men who should write on theology, and the manuscript breaks off 
in the midst of a discussion of substance and essence.^^^ Then 
comes a treatise De ignorantia of a different sort.^^^ The De di- 
versitate nature is, however, preceded in this codex by a Liher de 
homoysyon et homoeysion which is in the same style and may 
well be by the same author. 

The date of the Liher de diversitate can be fixed in the first in- 
stance by its references to the schism which ended in 1 177 and to 
the Lateran council of March, 1 1 79. No mission from Barbarossa 
to Constantinople in the latter year is mentioned by the modern 
students of their relations, yet George of Corfu at this time repre- 
sented Manuel in Italy,^^^ so that diplomatic negotiations were 
still going on. The meeting with Peter of Pavia, cardinal bishop 
of Tusculum from 11 79 to 1182, took place in 1180, when this 
cardinal is known to have been with the emperor 18 March at 
Constance,^^^ having apparently passed through Carinthia on his 
way.^^^ The identity of the author does not appear, nor does that 
of the Austrian scolasticus Peter who accompanied him. Anselm 

F. 130 v: ^Ad officium theologi special rerum veritatem et verba congrua ohser- 
vare. Archana theologie investigare volenti . . . maneat quicquid eternaUter 
existit ' (f. 176 v). 

Ff. 177-187: 'Quid ignorantia sit multi ignorant . . . delinquere venaliter 

Ff. 1-128 v: 'Sanctus Hylarius Pictavorum episcopus in libro de synodis * 

Baronius, Annales, ad an. 11 78, nos. xiii-xvi; 11 79, nos. x-xii; A. Mustoxidi, 

Illustrazioni Corciresi (Milan, 1811-14), ii. 181-184, and app.; cf. W. Norden, 

PapsUhum und Byzanz (Berlin, 1903), pp. 112 f. The two bishops George of Corfu 

have not been wholly disentangled: Krumbacher, p. 770. 

Stumpf, Reichskdnzler, nos. 4314-16; Giesebrecht, Deutsche Kaiserzeit (1895), 

vi. 576. 

Archiv fiir Kunde oesterreichischer Geschichtsquelleny xi. 320. Peter stayed in 
Germany until 1181: Chronica regia Coloniensis, ed. Waitz, p. 323; Delehaye, in 
Revue des questions historiques, xlix. 49-56 (1891). 



of Havelberg, conjectured by the Cambridge Catalogue,^^^ is, of 
course, chronologically impossible, as he died in 1158. 

Respecting western matters, the preface shows the author as an 
opponent of Albericus, perhaps the Albericus of Rheims who died 
in 1141."^ He appears also as a staunch supporter of Gilbert de 
la Porree, recalling the favorable judgments of John of Salisbury 
and Otto of Freising. Our author is not the only Gilbertine who 
dabbled in Greek theology, for Paul Fournier has made known the 
anonymous author of a Liber de vera philosophia, written ca. 1 180- 
90, apparently in southern France, who had visited Jerusalem and 
cites freely the Greek Fathers; he also cites the treatise of a 
Master A., canon of Valence, who had explored the libraries of 
Greece, as well as the West, for material in support of his thesis. 
Though ignorant of Greek, Gilbert had used Greek authorities in 
presenting his argument at the council of Rheims (i 148) . Further 
interest in the results of Greek studies is seen in the dedication to 
a Gilbert, apparently Gilbert de la Porree, of the Differ entie of a 
certain Guillelmus Corborensis, a series of etymologies de pelago 
greci ydiomatis which in alphabetical order explains to the Latin 
world the difference between similar roots like alchos and archos}^^ 

As regards the East, our preface introduces us to Hugo Eteri- 
anus, the principal Latin at this time engaged in theological con- 
troversy with the Greeks.^2^ A Pisan by birth, Hugo, as we here 

iii. 464. Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode, ii. 138-140. 

Etudes sur Joachim de Flore (Paris, 1909), pp. 51-78; cf. Grabmann, ii. 
434-437. The Gilbertine Sententiae edited by Geyer {Beitrdge, vii, no. 2-3) lack this 
Greek element. On Gilbert's use of Greek, see, however, Hofmeister in Neues 
Archivy xxxvii. 693 (191 2). 

'Quamquam non dubitem te, incordialis [sic] et intime Gilleberte, per incita- 
mentum subtilis ingenii et de blandunento capacis memorie dictionum latinarum 
differentias vigilantissime cognovisse. . . . Alchos et archos differunt . . .' Wolf- 
enbuttel, MS. Gud. lat. 326, f. i; B. N., MS. lat. 7100, f. 32 v. I hope to notice 
more specially this and one or two other mediaeval glossaries overlooked by Loewe 
and Gotz. 

Gradenigo, Lettera intorno agli Italiani che seppero di greco, ed. Calogiera, pp. 
50-55; [Fabroni], Memorie di piu uomini illustri pisani (Pisa, 1790), ii. 59-68, iv. 
1 51-153; Fabricius-Harles, Bihliotheca Graeca, viii. 563, xi. 483; Fabricius, Bihlio- 
theca mediae Latinitatis, iii. 292 (ed. 1754); G. Miiller, Documenti sulle relazioni 
delle cittd toscane colV Oriente, pp. 384 f.; Hergenrother, iii. 175-177, 814 f,, 




learn, had studied dialectic in France with Albericus and others 
before going to Constantinople, where his theological activity has 
long been known. His De sancto et immortali Deo, here mentioned, 
was finished in 1177, when Alexander III acknowledged its re- 
ceipt.^^^ He had also written, before 1173, a Liher de anima cor- 
pore iam exuta, or De regressu animarum ah inferis, at the request 
of the Pisan clergy.^22 other evidence of his activity is found in a 
lost treatise De Filii hominis minoritate ad Patrem Deum men- 
tioned by his brother Leo; in a set of extracts from his works 
containing accusations of all kinds against the Greeks; and in 
an unpublished dispute with Nicholas of Methone preserved in 
Greek at Brescia. He was obviously fitted to collect and in- 
terpret material for our author's purpose ; indeed his mastery of 
Greek theology has been recognized. From his first dated ap- 
pearance in 1 166 down to his death in 1182, Hugo kept up his 
controversies, and his vigorous advocacy of Latin doctrine against 
the Greeks won him commendation from Alexander III and, 

Jaffe-Lowenfeld, Regesta, no. 12957; Baronius, Annates, xix. 512. The 
treatise, also known as De heresibus Grecorum and De processione Spiritus SancH, 
will be found in Migne, ccii. 227-396. MSS. are common, e. g., Vatican, Codd. 
Vat. lat. 820, 821, Urb. lat. 106; Laurentian, MS. xxiii. dext. 3 (Bandini, iv. 631); 
Assisi, MS. 90, f. 53 (Mazzatinti, Inventari, iv. 38); Subiaco, MS. 265 (Mazzatinti, 
i. 210); B. N., MS. Lat. 2948; Troyes, MS. 844; Cambridge, Corpus Christi Col- 
lege, MS. 207. The De heresibus was also issued in Greek; for a reply cf. B. Z., iv. 

122 Migne, ccii. 167-226. There is a copy of ca. 1200 in the Archives of the 
Crown of Aragon at Barcelona, MS. Ripoll 204, ff. 106-192. The date is fixed by 
the mention of Albert as consul. 

See his preface printed below, p. 217. 

Maxima bibliotheca patrum (Lyons, 1677), xxvii. 608 ff. Cf. Hergenrother, 
iii. 17s ff-j 833 ff. 

^5 Martini, Catalogo dei MSS. grcci, i. 251; cf. B. Z., vi. 412. 
Hergenrother, iii. 814 f. 

^ See his letter to the consuls of Pisa in Miiller, Dociimenti, no. 10, dated 1166 
by the editor, although the text of the epitaph there cited clearly gives 11 76. That 
Hugo was at Constantinople by 11 66 is otherwise known: see below, p. 216, the 
preface of Leo here printed, and Hugo's reference to his relations with the cardinals 
who came from Rome in, that year (Migne, Patrologia Latina, ccii. 233). In the 
letter to the Pisans Hugo says that his theological opinions had already made him 
unpopular, and the disputes with Nicholas of Methone doubtless fall before this 

^ Jaffe-Lowenfeld, no. 12957, 



just before his death, a cardinal's hat from Lucius III.^^^ Though 
he does not appear with any official title, he was in relations with 
the Greek emperor and on one occasion accompanied him into 
Cappadocia and the Turkish territory. 

Closely associated with Hugo, though in a different field of 
translation, was his brother Leo, generally known as Leo Tuscus, 
who was assisted further by their nephew Fabricius. Leo, al- 
ready invicti principis egregius inter pres in ii66,^^^ is in 1182 
still imperialium epistolarum interpres,^^^ and can in the mean- 
time be traced in Manuel's service during the Asiatic campaigns, 
as we learn in general terms from Hugo's De heresibus and 
more definitely from the preface printed below. Besides assisting 
Hugo in his literary labors,^^^ Leo executed two translations from 
the Greek. One, a version of the mass of St. Chrysostom,^^^ was 
made at the request of a recent visitor to Constantinople, the 
noble Rainaldus de Monte Catano, to whom it is dedicated, 
subject to the criticism of 

frater et preceptor meus Vgo Eterianus sua gravitate gravior, nam is Gre- 
corum loquela perplexa internodia olorum evincentia melos verborumque 
murmura, que pene Maronis pectus fatigarent ac Ciceronis, intrepida ex- 
cussione inspectis narrationum radicibus mirifice discriminat. 

Ibid., no. 14712. 

' Quod propriis oculis imperatorem sequendo per Cappadociam Persarumque 
regiones intuitus sum': Bihliotheca patrum, xxvii. 609. 

Miiller, no. 10. On the date see n. 127. Cf. Migne, ccii. 167 'imperialis aule 
interpretis egregii.' 

Miiller, no. 21. 
133 Migne, ccii. 274. 

13* * Qui est ingenii mei acumen huiusque suscepti laboris incentivxmi,' says Hugh: 
Migne, ccii. 274. 

13^ It is printed, with the preface, in Claudius de Sainctes, Liturgiae sive Missae 
sanctorum patrum (Antwerp, 1562), f. 49; cf. Swainson, Tke Greek Liturgies^ pp. 100, 
144. There is a copy in the Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Lat. 1002, f. i : 'Magistri 
Leonis Tusci prologus ad factam Grecorum missam ab eo verbis Latinis divulgatam 
ad quendam Raynaldum. Cum venisses Constantinopolim . . .' Engdahl, Bei- 
irage zur Kenntnis der hyzantinischen Liturgie, in Bonwetsch and Seeberg's Neue 
Studien, v. 35, 84 (1908), has used only an incomplete Karlsruhe MS. of the transla- 
tion which does not contain the preface. Leo's translation is mentioned by Nicholas 
of Otranto in the preface to his translation of the mass of St. Basil: Engdahl, p. 43; 
MS. Lat. 1002, f. 22 V. 

13® So Allatius, who cites this passage, De ecclesiae consensione, p. 654. MS. Lat. 
1002 has exursione, the printed text excursions 



The other of Leo's translations is a version of the Oneirocriticon 
of Ahmed ben Sirin, important both for the vernacular renderings 
which were based upon it in the sixteenth century and for the 
establishment of the Greek text, of which it represents a tradition 
older than the extant manuscripts.^^^ The preface, which is ad- 
dressed to Hugo, and exhibits, like the preface to the version of 
the mass, marked resemblance of style to his writings, sheds fur- 
ther light on Hugo's activity, since it shows him engaged in the 
controversy over the subordination of the Son to the Father 
which was started by Demetrius of Lampe, and, if we are to 
believe Leo, exerting an influence upon the emperor's decision. 
The mention of Manuel's campaign against the Turks in Bithynia 
and Lycaonia offers a means of dating the work.^^^ The campaign 
of 1 146 being obviously too early, opinion seems to have decided 
for that of 1 160-61 ; at least all scholars who mention the version, 
from Rigault and Casiri to Steinschneider, Krumbacher, and 
Drexl, though without discussing the question, give 11 60 as the 
date. This seems to me untenable, partly because the expedition 
of this year can scarcely be said to have reached Lycaonia, but 
chiefly because the Demetrian controversy began only in 11 60, 
and the imperial decree which put an end to it {augustalis clemen- 
tie decretum) is of the year 1 166.^^^ All of this is already well in the 
past {ex ex) igitur tempore) , and the emperor engaged in no further 
Turkish campaigns except the unsuccessful enterprise of 11 76. 
Now we know from Hugo's De heresibus, completed in 1177, 
that its composition was interrupted by Leo's absence in Asia 
Minor with the emperor,^^^ and it is accordingly to 11 76 that the 

See Steinschneider, "Ibn Shahin und Ibn Sirin," in Zeitschrift der deutschen 
morgenldndischen Gesellschaft, xvii. 227-244; and E. U.,nos. 77, 130; Krumbacher, 
p. 630; Drexl, Achmets Traumhuch (Einleitung und Probe eines kritischen Textes)^ 
Munich dissertation, 1909, who gives an account of the manuscripts preliminary to 
the preparation of a critical edition. None of these writers appears to have ex- 
amined the preface. See now Thorndike, ch. 50. 

On these campaigns see Chalandon, Les Comnenes, ii. 247-257, 456-459, 503- 


Chalandon, ii. 644-651, 

As seen from the date of Alexander Ill's letter acknowledging it: Migne, ccii. 
227; Jaffe-Lowenfeld, no. 12957. 
"1 Migne, ccii. 274. 



translation of Ahmed should be assigned. The following text of 
the preface is from MS. 2917 of Wolfenbiittel : 

Ad Hugonem Eterianum doctor em suum et utraque origine fratrem Leo 
Tuscus imperatoriarum epistolarum de sompniis et oraculis 

Quamquam, op time preceptor, invictum imperatorem Manuel per fines 
sequar Bithinie Licaonieque fugantem Persas flexipedum hederarum com- 
plectentes vestigia, tamen memorandi non sum oblitus sompnii a te visi quod 
dictum inexpugnabilem virum eneo in equo supra columpnam quam 
Traces dicunt Augustiana Bizancii sito nobiliter sedere conspicabaris, eodem 
autem in loco doctissimis quibusdam astantibus I.atinis Romana oratione 
cum in quodam legeret libello interpellanti tibi soli favorem prestitisse visus 
est. Latuit tunc utrumque nostrimi ea quidem quid portenderet visio, at 
vero eiusmodi oraculum editus per te de Filii hominis minoritate ad Patrem 
Deum libellus tempore post revelavit sub tegumentis. Profecto eneus ille 
sonipes anima carens altissime sonantissimeque questionis erat que inter 
Grecos versabatur ventilatio, verbum scilicet Dei secundum quod incarna- 
tum Patri equale prestans rationis veritatisque radicitus expers ut quadrupes 
nominatus. Solvit autem illam controversiam clamitante illo libello augus- 
talis clemencie decretum pauco scandali fomento contra voluntatem illius 
relicto. Ex eo igitur tempore pectus sollicitudine percussi, sub corde ignitos 
versavi carbones, cogitando utile esse si onirocriti Grecorum philosophis 
ariolanti loqui latine persuaderem enucleatim atque inoffensam perspicuita- 
tem figmenti sompnialis tuo favore nostrorum Tuscorum desiderio breviter 
reserarem. Quos quidem fluctu percupio aspergi undiosiore ut irrigentur 
affatim efficianturque fecundiores, nam Seres, ut fertur, arbores suas undis 
aspergunt quando uberiorem lanuginem quam sericum creat admittere ni- 
tuntur. Ceterum haut facile est in huiusmodi versari pelago cuius latitudo 
ad aures usque dehiscit non sponte remigem asciscens invalidum. Non 
solum enim subtilibus expositum investigationibus et illos repellit qui debili- 
tate pedum serpunt, ut antipodes, et eos qui non movent linguas, ut pleraque 
aquatilium, set neque monoxilo se navigari lintre patitur. Quamobrem. 
loquelam imperatoriorum interpretationibus apicum obsequentem per ex- 
cubias interdum huic translationi non irrita spe addixi, totum opus 
sapiencie tue dicaturus iudicio, mei quidem auctoris, tui vero probatoris 
equilibre pensans meritum. Nam tuum examen cognoscere non sum ambi- 

Ff. 1-20 (saec. xiii). Also in the Bodleian, Digby MS. 103, ff. 59-127 v, saec. 
xiii; modern copy in Ashmolean MS. 179. There is a copy of the fourteenth cen- 
tury in the British Museum, Harleian MS. 4025, ff. 8-78; another in the Biblioteca 
Casanatense, MS. C. vi, 5 (11 78); without the preface the translation is found in 
Vat. MS. Lat. 4094, ff. 1-32 v. Thorndike (ii. 292) also notes B. N. MS. Lat. 7337^ 
p. 141; and Vienna, MS. 5221. 

Ovid, Metamorphoses, 10, 99. 

The statue of Justinian called Augusteion, in the place of the same name. See 
Du Cange, Constantinopolis Christiana, bk. i, c. 24; Unger, Quellen der byzanti- 
nischen Kunstgeschichte (Vienna, 1878), pp. 137 ff. 

"5 So the Digby MS. Wolfenbuttel: unita. MS. Digby: discernere. 


guus quicquid arida exsanguisque poscit ratiocinatio. Desiderantissimus 
enim nepos Fabricius/''^ grecarum sciolus et ipse litteramm sompnialium 
figmentorum odoratus rosaria, scribendi assiduitate me a confluentibus 
elevat prestatque non mediocre adiumentum, atque idcirco neque nomen 
sine subiecto neque sine viribus erit edicio, Sidoneis Tirrenisque sagittis 
pamm penetrabilis apparitura ut arbitror. Ergo quisquis nodosorum somp- 
niorum fatigatur involucris, si per aliquod hie scriptorum absolvi postulet, 
caveat pretemptare plus nosse quam sat est, ne titulos depravet Apollinee 
urbis ambagiun rimis herbidisque sentibus. Ego autem tui solius utrarum- 
que linguarum peritissimo examini volumen hoc subpono, ut in eo que 
arescunt ac caligant per te illustrata orbi demum succincta perfectione 

Another Italian writer appears at Constantinople in this period 
in the person of a certain Pascalis Romanus, who also shared the 
interest in signs and wonders which prevailed at Manuel's court. 
His Liber thesauri occuUi, with an introduction citing Aristotle's 
De naturis animalium, Hippocrates, and ' Cato noster,' is a dream- 
book compiled at Constantinople in 1165, if we may believe the 
author, from Latin, Greek, and Oriental sources: 

Incipit liber thesauri occulti a Pascale Romano editus Constantinopolis 
anno mundi .vi. dc. Ixxiiii. anno Christi ,m. c. Ixv. 

Tesaurus occultus requiescit in corde sapientis et ideo desiderabilis, set in 
thesauro occulto et in sapiencia abscondita nulla pene utilitas, ergo revelanda 
sunt abscondita et patefacienda que sunt occulta. Quare de plurimis ignotis 
et occultis unius tantummodo elegi tegumentum aptanique revelacionem 
describere, videlicet sompnii secundum genus et species eius quo res pro- 
funda et fere inscrutabilis ad summum patenti ordine distinguatur. Eius 
namque doctrina philosophis et doctis viris valde necessaria est, ne forte cum 
exquisiti fuerint muti vel fallaces inveniantur . . . (f. 43) CoUectus autem 
est liber iste ex divina et humana scriptura tam ex usu experimenti quam ex 
ratione rei de Latinis et Grecis et Caldaicis et Persis et Pharaonis et Nabu- 
godonosor annalibus in quibus multipharie sompnia eorum sunt exposita. 
. . . Non itaque longitudo prohemii nos amplius protrahat nec responsio 
aliqua impediat, set omni cura seposita succincte ad thesaurum desidera- 
bilem aperiendum properemus. 

Sompnium itaque est figura quam ymaginatur dormiens . . . 

^^'^ Fabricius was a member of the papal household in 1182, when he was sent to 
Constantinople by Lucius III: Miiller, no. 21. Another learned friend, Caciareda, 
is mentioned in the De heresibus (Migne, ccii. 333 f.). 

148 Wolfenbiittel: degravet. 

"3 Digby: profussione. 

Digby MS. 103, £f. 41-58 v, preceding Leo's Oneirocriticon. The first of the 
two books of the treatise is also in the British Museum, Harleian MS. 4025, f. i. 
See also B. N., MS. lat. 16610, f. 2 v (Thorndike, ii. 297). 



Paschal the Roman can also be almost certainly identified with 

the translator from the Greek, in 11 69, of the curious book known 

as Kiranides. This strange compend of ancient lore respecting 

the virtues of animals, stones, and plants is well known in the 

Greek, from which it has been edited and translated by Mely and 

Ruelle,^^^ but the Latin version has not been specially studied. At 

least five Latin manuscripts are known,^^^ all with the following 

preface, showing that the translation was made by request of some 

In Christi nomine amen incipit liber Kirannis Ypocrationis filie.^^'* 
Eruditissimo domino magistro Ka. Pa. infimus clericus. Admiror et 
commendo sagacitatem tue prudentie que cum docta et experta sit in 
hiis que super naturam nostri circuli sunt et que iam quasi ultra .vii. celos 
contemplando penetravit, modo etiam infima experimenta terrena conspic- 
ere non dedignatur. Rogasti enim me ut hunc librum medicinalem de 
greco eloquio in latinum sermonem transferrem. Res quidem facilis fuit 
ad dicendum sed difficilis ad perficiendum, verum caritativo amore tuoque 
beneficio permotus obedire non renui. Et quoniam diverse sunt transla- 
tiones de agarenica lingua in grecam,^^ ut nosti, librum grecum quem mihi 
dedisti studiose et fideliter per omnia emulatus sum, ipsos etiam duos pro- 
logos quamvis asperos velud de antiquissimis titulis abstractos preterire 
nolui, non verba, que de sterilitate barbarica sunt, sed sensum utilitatis re- 
colligendo. Si quid ergo reperieris alienatum,^^^ non infidelitati vel malicie 
sed communi errori deputetur.^^"^ Nuilus enim tam sapiens qui absque titulo 

F. de Mely, Les lapidaires de Vantiquite et du moyen age, ii, iii (Paris, 1898- 
1902). For discussions of these confused texts, see P. Tannery, in Revue des etudes 
grecques, xvii. 335-349; Cumont, in Bulletin de la Societe des antiquaires de France, 
1919, pp. 1 75-181; R. Ganszyniec, in Byzantinisch-N eugriechische Jahrbucher, i. 
353-367, ii. 56-65, 445-452 (1920-21); Thorndike, ii, ch. 46. 

Vatican, MS. Reg. lat. 773, f. 21 (ca. 1300); MS. Vat. lat. 4864, f. 18 (in 
a humanist hand of ca. 1400); MS. Pal. lat. 1273, f. 121, in a northern hand of 
the fifteenth century ('translatus a magistro Gerardo Cremonensi de arabico in 
latinum'); MontpeUier, Ecole de Medecine, MS. 277, f. 41 (saec. xv); Bodleian, 
MS. Ashmole 1471, f. 143 v (saec. xiv). There are two early editions (Leipzig, 
1638; Frankfort, 1681) and a French translation (Arsenal, MS. 2872, ff. 38-57). 
There is a fragment at Wolfenbuttel, MS. 1014, f. 102. The fragment 'De virtute 
aquile' at Merton College (MS. 324, f. 142), also in Bodleian, E Musaeo MS. 219, 
f. 138 V, translated by Willelmus Anglicus, is, as Thorndike (ii. 93, 487) conjec- 
tured, from Kiranides (3, i). 

The text is here based on the best two of the foregoing manuscripts, Reg. lat. 
773 (A) and MontpeUier 277 (B). 

Title not in A. i" Qm. B. 1^9 communi sensu, A. 

Om. B. 158 Om. A. deputantur, A. 

156 evidentie, A. 



inscieiLtie reperiatur.^^^ Volo tamen te scire quod est apud Grecos quidam 
liber Alexandri magni de .vii. herbis .vii. planetarum, et alter qui dicitur 
Thessali misterium ad Hermem, id est Mercurium, de ,xii. herbis .xii. 
signis attributis et de .vii. aliis herbis per .vii. alias Stellas, qui si forte per- 
venerint ad manus meas vel tuas, quia celestem dignitatem imitantur, 
recte huic operi preponentur. Transfertur itaque liber iste Constanti- 
nopoli Manuele imperante anno mundi vi"? dclxxvii, anno Christi m. c. 
Ixix. indictione secunda.^^^ 

Liber phisicalium virtutum, compassionum, et curationum coUectus ex 
libris duobus, ex primo videhcet Kirannidarum Kiranni regis Persarum et 
ex libro Apocrationis Alexandri ad propriam filiam. Habebat autem primus 
liber Kiranni sic sicut et supponemus: Dei donum magnum angelorum 
accipiens fuit Hermes trimegistus deus hominibus omnibus notus. . . . 

Everything turns on the interpretation of 'Ka. Pa.' The 
author of the Montpellier catalogue read 'Ha. pa./ which 
Pansier made into 'Ha[driano] Pa[pe],' though Pope Hadrian had 
died ten years before. The scribe of the Ashmolean manuscript 
extended the second word to 'Parrissen./ which led Thorndike 
to make 'cancellario Parisiensi' out of the whole. MS. Pal. lat. 
1273 has 'Ra. Pa.', which Vat. 4864 makes into 'Raynaldo Paris- 
sino.' There can, however, be no doubt that 'Ka. Pa.' stood in 
the original text, and one would expect, as usual, the first to de- 
note the addressee and the second the writer. Whoever may have 
been the 'Ka.' for whom the translator labored, no other 'Pa/ 
is known in Constantinople at this time, whereas Paschal the 
Roman we have found there four years earlier engaged on a simi- 
lar task and using an exactly parallel form of date.^^^ Moreover 

161 Nullus enim tarn sapiens reperitur qui absque titullo inscientie sit, B. 
volo te transsire, A. 

From this point A is injured for the first half of eight lines. 

certe, B. imperatore, B. 

The year a.d. is faint in A. MS. Pal. lat. 1273 has the same date as A and B. 
Vat, lat. 4864 has 'anno Domini Ihesu Cristi milesimo c.lx. indictione ii^, anno vero 
mundi dclxxvii.' Ashmole 1471 has: 'anno mundi anno Christi m° cc°.lxxxo. 
alias m". c". hdx°. indictione secunda.' B adds, 'Explicit epistola, incipit prologus.' 

Catalogue des MSS. des departements, old series, i. 395; Pansier, in Archivfiir 
die Geschichte der Medizin, ii. 25. 

230. E. Meyer, Geschichte der Botanik (Konigsberg, 1855), ii. 349 ff., fol- 
lowed by Cumont in Revue de philologie, 191 8, p. 88, conjectured that the translator 
was Raymond Lull or one of his disciples. 

There may be some connection with the mission of two cardinals to Constan- 
tinople in 1169: Chalandon, Les Comnenes, ii. 566. Can *Ka.' be the Caciareda of 
note 147? 



the monogram PASGALIS stands at the head of the Palatine 
MS. 1273. 

The translator of Kiranides knows of other works in Greek on 
the magical virtues of herbs and planets, which he even places 
before Kiranides itself. Latin versions of these appear in several 
manuscripts/^ ° sometimes along with Kiranides but with no 
indication of the translator, who was perhaps also Paschal the 

Another Roman in the East appears in the Master Philip, friend 
and physician of Alexander III, who is sent with the letter of that 
Pope to Prester John 27 September 1177.^^2 Moreover, the well 
known letter of Prester John to Manuel purports to have been 
transmitted by Manuel to Frederick Barbarossa and to have been 
done into Latin by Christian, archbishop of Mainz,^^^ Frederick's 
lieutenant in Italy, which would bring us around once more to the 
intellectual contacts between the two empires. But as this letter 
of Prester John is clearly a western fabrication, we here pass 
beyond the realm of historical fact into that outer penumbra of 
Greco-Latin literary relations which still awaits the explorer. 

The interest in divination and astrology at the Byzantine 
court was reflected in the contents of the imperial library, from 
which a brief catalogue has reached us of a score of occult works of 
restricted circulation.^^^ How many such found their way west- 
ward through Greek manuscripts or Latin versions from the 
Greek, we do not know. One at least we have in the two books of 
the De revolutionibus nativitatum of abu Ma'ashar (Apomasar), 
of which a Latin version from the Greek, not later than the 

1'^° Thorndike, ii. 233 f., who does not mention the edition of the seven herbs and 
seven planets in Sathas, Documents inedits relatifs d Vhistoire de la Grece au moyen 
dge, vii, pp. Ixiii-lxvii (from St. Mark's, Cod. gr. iv. 57, suppL). See H. Haupt, 
in Philologus, xlviii. 371-374; Cumont, in Revue de philologie, 1918, pp. 85-108. 

"1 E. g., MS. Montpellier 277. 
Jaffe-Lowenfeld, no, 12942. 

"3 F. Zarncke, Der Priester Johannes (Leipzig, 1879) ; cf, Thorndike, ii, ch. 47. 
Cf. Krumbacher, p. 627; Catalogus codicum astrologicorum Graecorum, v, i, 
pp. 106 ff.; Oeconomos, La vie religieuse dans V empire hyzantin (Paris, 191 8), pp. 

Edited from the Angelica MS. 29 in Catalogus codd, astr., i. 83 f . Note also the 
Almagest: supra, Chapter IX. 



thirteenth century, is preserved in several manuscripts.^^^ The 
prophecy of the Erythraean Sibyl, we have seen, also purports to 
have been derived from a book in Manuel's library. We touch 
this shadowy realm again in certain treatises on alchemy, where 
we find the name of the Emperor Manuel, joined in one instance 
to that of Frederick.^"^^ 

Surer ground is reached with the Latin treatise on ophthal- 
mology compiled from Greek sources by a certain Zacharias who 
studied and practised at Constantinople in Manuel's reign, gain- 
ing there from a court physician, Theophilus, " for the love of 
God and money, knowledge which he could acquire from none 
of the Latins." 

Other discoveries doubtless remain to be made in relation to 
the north-Italian translators. So far as their work has been re- 
covered, it is largely concerned with theological material, both in 
the form of controversy between the two churches and in versions 
of earlier Greek writers, who, like John of Damascus, might thus 
come to exercise an important influence on the West. Logic and 
grammar also appear in the case of James of Venice and Moses of 
Bergamo, while medicine treads close on theology in the versions 
of Burgundio and reappears in Zacharias. Leo the Pisan and 
Paschal the Roman are important chiefly in relation to the 
occult. The mathematical and astronomical interests of the 
Sicilian school are strikingly absent. 

'De revolutionibus nativitatum liber primus translatus de greco in latinum. 
Sole nativitatis tempore . . .': B. N., MS. lat. 7320^ (saec. xiii); Vatican, MS. Vat. 
lat. 5713, f. 61; MS. Pal. lat. 1406, f. 45. For the Greek original see C. Ruelle, in 
Comptes-rendus de VAcademie des Inscriptions, 1910, pp. 34-39; F, Boll, in Heidel- 
berg Sitzungsberichte, 191 2, no. 18. 

A MS. of the Laurentian, MS. Strozzi 61 (saec. xii) contains an 'Ars astrologie 
translata de greco secundum Phtolomeum. Doctrinales scripturi libros . . 

1" Supra, Chapter IX, n. 76. 

J. Wood Brown, Michael Scot, pp. 83 f. 

179 "Magistri Zachariae tractatus de passionibus oculorum qui vocatur Sisi- 
lacera, id est Secreta secretorum," in P. Pansier, Collectio opthalmicorum veterum 
auctorum (Paris, 1907), v. 59-94; cf. Neuburger, Geschichte der Medizin, ii, i, pp. 
314 f. 



In the intellectual history of the Middle Ages one of the most 
fundamental facts is the persistent and pervasive influence of the 
writings of Aristotle. Always considerable, this influence grew 
and spread as new groups of the master's works became available 
to the scholars of western Europe, and it can be measured and 
defined only as we can ascertain accurately the date, the charac- 
ter, and the diffusion of the different Latin versions of each por- 
tion of the Aristotelian corpus. In a general way it is well under- 
stood that the Categories and the De inter pretatione were accessible 
throughout the Middle Ages in the translations of Boethius; that 
the other logical works were quite unknown to the earlier period 
and came to be used only in the second quarter of the twelfth 
century, whence they were called the New Logic) that the Physics, 
Metaphysics, and Parva naturalia reached the West about 1200; 
and that the Rhetoric, Ethics, and Politics make their appearance 
in the course of the next two genera tions.^ There are, however, 
many obscure and doubtful points in this process, and the doubt 
and obscurity are greatest with reference to the period of the 
twelfth century. Thus we know nothing definite of the channels 
by which the Metaphysics suddenly reached Paris at the begin- 

1 Revised from Harvard Studies in Classical Philology , xxv. 87-105 (1914). For 
the resulting discussion see A, Hofmeister, in Neues Archiv, xl. 454-456 (1915); 
Baeumker, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxviii. 320-326 (191 5); Geyer, ibid., xxx. 
25-43 (191 7). 

2 See in general Jourdain, Recherches; Baeumker, Zur Reception des Aristoteles 
im lateinischen Mittelalter," in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxvii. 478-487 (1914); 
Grabmann, Forschungen iiber die lateinischen Aristotelesiibersetzungen des XIII. 
Jahrhunderts {Beitrdge, xvii, 19 16); supplemented for the Ethics by Pelzer, Revue 
neo-scolastique, 1921, pp. 316-341, 378-400; and for the Metaphysics by F. Pelster 
in Festgabe Baeumker (Munster, 1923), pp. 89-118. Brief accounts in Sandys, His- 
tory of Classical Scholarships, i, especially pp. 527, 567-569, 587 f.; and P. Man- 
donnet, Siger de Brabant ^ (Louvain, 191 1), pp. 9-15. "La storia dell' aristotelismo 
e ancora da farsi," says Marchesi, UEtica Nicomachea nella tradizione laiina 
medievale (Messina, 1904), p. 1. 



ning of the thirteenth century, and we are ignorant of the date 
and authorship of the two versions, one from the Greek and one 
from the Arabic, through which it was thereafter known. With 
regard to the Physics, it is still necessary, not only to determine 
the exact time when the version from the Arabic reached Latin 
Europe,^ but also to investigate the problem of possible earlier 
translations from the Greek. An incomplete copy in the Vatican 
which cannot be later than the very beginning of the thirteenth 
century establishes the existence of a version of the De physico 
auditu made from the Greek but differing from the Greco-Latin 
version later current,^ and there are traces of some acquaintance 

3 In the translation of Gerard of Cremona; cf. the text in MS. Lat. VI, 37 of 
St. Mark's (Valentinelli, Bihliotheca manuscripta, v. 9): 'secundum translationem 
Gerardi.' On the dates when these treatises reached Paris, see Chapter XVIII; 
Mandonnet, op. cit., pp. 13-15; Minges, in Archivum Franciscanum historicum, vi. 
1 7. It is dangerous to use catalogues of manuscripts as evidence of such dates. Thus 
MS. 221 of Avranches, containing the Physics, which is ascribed by Delisle to the 
twelfth century, is more probably of the thirteenth, as is clearly MS. 428 of 
the Biblioteca Antoniana at Padua. So MS. 421 of the Antoniana, containing the 
Metaphysics and likewise placed in the twelfth century by the printed catalogues, is 
not earlier than the fourteenth; cf. now Minges, loc. ciL, p. 16, who puts the MS. 
earlier than I should. A copy of the Meteorologica in the Laurentian (MS. Strozzi 
22), also attributed to the twelfth century, is plainly of the thirteenth. For similar 
mistakes with respect to manuscripts of the New Logic, see below, n. 36. 

^ MS. Regina, 1855, ff. 88-94 v; cf. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, xxiii. 
164 (191 2). Although my former attribution of this MS. to the twelfth century was 
confirmed by excellent palaeographical authority, further examination shows that 
it cannot with certainty be placed earlier than the opening years of the thirteenth 
century. I have found no other copy of this version, which begins as follows: ^Aris^ 
totilis physice acroaseos. A. Quoniam agnoscere et scire circa methodos omnes ac- 
cidit quarmn sunt principia vel causg vel elementa, ex eorum cognitione tunc enim 
unumquodque cognoscere putabimur cum causas agnoverimus primas et principia 
prima et usque ad glementa; palam quia et de natura scientig temptandum est 
diffinire primum qug circa principia sunt. Apta vero a notioribus nobis via et mani- 
festioribus ad manifestiora natura et notiora. Non enim eadem nobis nota et sim- 
pliciter. Ideoque hoc modo procedere et necesse de inmanifestioribus quidem na- 
tura nobis vero manifestioribus ad manifestiora natura et notiora. Sunt autem nobis 
primum aperta et manifesta confusa magis, posterius autem ex his fiunt nota ele- 
menta et principia dividunt ea. Quapropter ab universalibus ad singularia oportet 
progredi. . . . Ergo quia sunt principia et qug et quot numero determinatum sit 
nobis ita. Rursum aliud incoantes principium dicimus. Aristotilis phisicq acroaseos 
.A. explicit.'' Book ii begins as follows on f. 94, but breaks off abruptly on the verso: 
'Entium alia quidem sunt natura alia causas propter alias. Natura vero dicimus 
esse animalia et eorum partes atque plantas ac alia corporum ut terram ignem et 


with its contents in the twelfth century.^ Certainly the current 
rendering of the fourth book of the Meteorologica was made from 
the Greek by Henricus Aristippus in Sicily before 1162; ^ there is 
evidence that the Greek text of the De caelo was known there in 
the same period; ^ and further research may quite possibly carry 
back other works of which versions from the Greek are known in 
manuscripts of the thirteenth century.^ 

The place of the New Logic in the thought of the twelfth cen- 
tury is better known, but there are intricate and perplexing prob- 
lems connected with it, and fresh evidence is much needed. The 
history of the Posterior Analytics offers the greatest difficulty, yet 
it cannot be considered apart from the other members of this 
group of treatises, and any new light which may be shed upon it 
will make correspondingly clear some points connected with the 
Prior Analytics, the Topics, and the Eelnchi. Moreover, since it 
was considered the most advanced and the most diflficult of these 
works, its diffusion and assimilation serve to measure the range 
and depth of Aristotelian studies throughout the period. 

The reception of the New Logic was the privilege of the genera- 

aerem atque aquam; hgc enim et similia natura dicimus esse. . . Cf . Grabmaim, 
Forschungen, pp. 173 f. For specimens of the current translations from the Greek 
and the Arabic, see Jourdain, pp. 405-407; for traces of the Physics in the twelfth 
century, Chapter V, nn. 58 ff. The version of MS. Reg. 1855 is probably of south- 
Italian or Sicilian origin, and should perhaps be connected with the occurrence of a 
Greek MS. of the first book of the Physics in the oldest catalogues of the papal li- 
brary, the Greek part of which collection was probably derived from the library of 
the Sicihan kings. For the MS. see the catalogue of 1295 in Archiv fiir Litteratur- 
und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters, i. 41, no. 442; and the catalogue of 131 1 in 
Ehrle, Historia Bihliothecae Romanorum Pontijicum, i. 97, no. 610. For the origin of 
the Greek MSS. of the papal library see Chapter IX, n. 35. 
' Supra, Chapter V. 

' Rose, in Hermes, i. 385. The explicit statement concerning the authors of the 
translation of the Meteorologica will also be found in MS. 1428, f. 171, and MS. 9726, 
f. 58 V, of the Biblioteca Nacional at Madrid. 

^ Supra, Chapter IX, pp. 183, 191. Cf. Heiberg, in Hermes, xlvi. 210; Mortet, 
'm B. B.C., Ixxiv. 364. 

8 See particularly Baeumker, Die Stellung des Alfred von Sareshel, in Munich 
Sitzungsherichte, 191 3, no. 9, especially pp. 33 ff., where evidence is given of early 
translations of the De anima and the Parva naturalia from the Greek. Note the 
versions of the Metaphysics, Ethics, De generatione, and De caelo from the Greek 
in Bodleian MS. Selden supra 24, of the early thirteenth century. 


tion living between ca. 1121 and 1158.^ When Abelard wrote his 
Dialectic, the Latin world knew none of the logical works of 
Aristotle except the Categories and the De inter pretatione, but he 
elsewhere cites the Sophistici Elenchi and Prior Analytics}^ His 
contemporary Gilbert de la Porree refers his readers to the Prior 
Analytics. Otto of Freising, a student at Paris ca. 1130 and in 
close touch with philosophical developments in France and Italy 
until his death in 11 58, became acquainted with all parts of the 
New Logic, which he was the first to introduce into Germany. His 
master, Thierry of Chartres, who lived until 11 55, or shortly be- 
fore, but taught at Paris for some years before 1141," reproduces 
the whole Organum, save only the Posterior Analytics and the 
second book of the Prior a\ while the Posterior a, cited in Sicily in 
the same period, comes to its own in the North in the analysis 
given by Thierry's pupil John of Salisbury in his Metalogicus in 
1 1 59. The later emergence of the Posterior Analytics does not 
necessarily indicate a reception distinct from the allied works, 
but is rather to be explained by its difficulty, paucis ingeniis per- 
via, and the corruption of the Latin text; and it is altogether 

^ On these questions see Prantl, Geschichte der Logik im Abendlande^, ii. 98 ff.; 
Grabmann, Geschichte der scholastischen Methode (Freiburg, 1909-11), i. 149-151, 
ii. 66-81; Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant^, pp. 9 f.; Schmidlin, "Die Philosophic 
Ottos von Freising," in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xviii. 160-175 (1905); Hofmeister, 
" Studien zu Otto von Freising," in Neues Archiv, xxxvii, especially pp. 654-681 
(191 1); Webb, loannis Saresberiensis PoUcraticus, i, pp. xxiii-xxvii; A. Schneider, 
in Beitrdge, xvii, no. 4, pp. 10-18 (1915); Grabmann, Forschungen, pp. i ff. 

'Aristotelis enim duos tantum, predicamentorum scilicet et Periermenias, 
libros usus adhuc Latinorum cognovit': Cousin, Ouvrages inedits d' Abelard, p. 228. 
See now Geyer, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxx. 31-39, who is still vague on the 
chronology of Abelard's writings. The history of the Analytics in the earlier Middle 
Ages might appear in a new light if we could explain a passage in John the Scot 
which cites the Analytics, where the Metaphysics is probably meant. E. K. Rand, 
Johannes Scottus (Munich, 1906), pp. 6, 42. 

" Cf. Poole, E. H. R., xxxv. 338 f. (1920). I agree with Hofmeister in denying 
the force of the argument of Clerval (Les ecoles de Chartres, p. 245) for dating the 
Heptateuchon of Thierry before 1141. Geyer does not take up Thierry, though he 
eliminates Adam du Petit-pont from the discussion. 

'2 John of Salisbury, Metalogicus, 4, 6, in Migne, Patrologia, cxcix. 919: 'Pos- 
teriorum vero Analyticorum subtilis quidem scientia est et paucis ingeniis pervia, 
quod quidem ex causis pluribus evenire perspicuum est. Continet enim artem de- 
monstrandi, que pre ceteris rationibus disserendi ardua est. Deinde hec utentium 
raritate iam fere in desuetudinem abiit, eo quod demonstrationis usus vix apud solos 


likely that the arrival of the New Logic is to be placed in the 
earlier, rather than in the later, years of the period with which we 
are dealing. In any case its sudden appearance in the logical and 
philosophical literature of the second quarter of the twelfth cen- 
tury should be brought into relation to a much-discussed notice of 
the year 1 1 28. Under that year we read in the chronicle of Robert 
of Torigni, abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel: 

lacobus clericus de Venecia transtulit de greco in latinum quosdam libros 
Aristotilis et commentatus est, scilicet Topica, Analyticos Priores et Pos- 
teriores, et Elencos, quamvis antiquior translatio super eosdem libros 

This entry is not found in the earliest redaction of the chronicle, 
completed in 1156-57, but appears in the redactions of 1169 and 
1 182, for the latter of which we have the author's own copy, and 
there can be no doubt that it emanated from Robert himself, who 
was by no means ignorant of what went on in Italy and who on 
more than one occasion takes the opportunity of mentioning sig- 
nificant facts of literary history.^^ Although the entry is not 
strictly contemporary, it is by a well informed contemporary 
writer, and while the date may not be absolutely exact, it falls 
within a few years of the only other known reference to James of 
Venice, which mentions him at Constantinople in 1136.^^ In the 
passage of Robert two important points stand out: the existence 
of an earlier version of the Topics, Analytics, and Elenchi, and the 
new rendering, with its accompanying commentary. Nothing is 

mathematicos est, et in his fere apud geometras duntaxat; sed et huius quoque dis- 
cipline non est Celebris usus apud nos, nisi forte in tractu Ibero vel confinio Africe. 
Etenim gentes iste astronomie causa geometriam exercent pre ceteris, similiter 
Egyptus et nonnulle gentes Arabic. Ad hec liber quo demonstrativa traditur dis- 
ciplina ceteris longe turbatior est, et transpositione sermonum traiectione litterarum 
desuetudine exemplorum que a diversis disciplinis mutuata sunt. Et postremo, quod 
non attingit auctorem, adeo scriptorum depravatus est vitio ut fere quot capita tot 
obstacula habeat, et bene quidem ubi non sunt obstacula capitibus plura. Unde a 
plerisque in interpretem difl6cultatis culpa refunditur, asserentibus librum ad nos 
non recte translatum pervenisse.' 

" Ed. Delisle, Societe de I'Histoire de Normandie, i. 177; also in M. G. H., Scrip- 
tores, vi. 489. 

" See the well informed notices of Gratian (i. 183), Master Vacarius (i. 250), 
Burgundio of Pisa (i. 270; ii. 109), and Gilbert de la Porree (i. 288). 

1^ Anselm of Havelberg, Dialogi, 2, i, printed above, p. 197. Geyer, Jahrbuch, 
XXX. 38 f., rests his whole argument upon the year 11 28. 


said respecting the author of the earlier translation, but in the 
absence of any other known version it has generally been identi- 
fied with that of Boethius. We have then to explain the main 
problem in the Aristotelian tradition of the early Middle Ages, 
namely why, if these works were translated by Boethius, they 
remained unknown from the sixth to the twelfth centuries, only to 
come to light at the very moment when they were also translated 
by James of Venice. Recently a solution has been sought, first by 
denying that any such translations were made by Boethius or, 
at least, that they survived, and then by maintaining that the 
versions current in the later Middle Ages under his name were 
really the work of James of Venice, in whose time they first 
emerge. James of Venice is himself a riddle. His learning, his 
knowledge of Greek, and his opportunity of access to Greek texts 
of Aristotle are known to us from Anselm of Havelberg's ac- 
count of the disputation at Constantinople in 1136,^^ but he is 
mentioned by no other chronicler, and no translations have been 
found in his name. With the field thus free for conjecture, some 
have cast doubt upon the statement of Robert of Torigni,^^ while 
others have made of James the chief intermediary in the trans- 
mission of the New Logic to Latin Europe. Neither of these views 
seems to me a sound interpretation of existing evidence, and 
both are invalidated by a new source of information. 

In the library of the chapter of Toledo there is preserved a 
manuscript of the thirteenth century containing three transla- 

16 In view of the explicit statements of Boethius on this point (In Topica Cicer- 
onis, Migne, Ixiv. 105 1, 1052; Be differentiis topicis, ibid., coll. 11 73, 11 84, 1193, 
1216), this denial of authorship (Schmidlin, p. 169; Grabmann, ii. 71) cannot be 
taken seriously. Cf. Brandt, " Entstehungszeit und zeitliche Folge der Werke von 
Boethius," in Philologus, Ixii. 250, 261; Mandonnet, Siger de Brabant^y p. 8. 

" This attribution to James was suggested by Rose, in Hermes, i. 381 f. (1866). 
Schmidlin and Grabmann succeed in convincing themselves that it has really been 
proved. Hofmeister (Neues Archiv, xxxvii. 657, 659, 663) is more cautious on this 
point, while denying positively the Boethian authorship of the current version. 

18 On Aristotelian studies at Constantinople in the eleventh and twelfth cen- 
turies see Grabmann, ii. 74 f., and the literature there cited. 

" Supra, n. 15. 20 So Jourdain, p. 50. 

21 MS. 17-14, containing seventy-seven folios in different hands of the thirteenth 
century. The title of the volume at the top of f . i has been cut off. The MS. begins 
with the preface to the unknown translation discussed in this chapter, this transla- 


tions of the Po'sterior Analytics and a version of the commentary 
of Themis tins. One of the translations is the mediaeval version 
from the Greek commonly attributed to Boethius, another the 
ordinary version from the Arabic. The third contains a text 
which I have not succeeded in finding elsewhere, accompanied by 
a preface of exceptional interest: 

[Vjallatum multis occupationibus me dilectio vestra compulit ut Pos- 
teriores Analeticos Aristotelis de greco in latinum transferrem. Quod eo 
afifectuosius agressus sum quod cognoscebam librum ilium multos in se 
sciencie fructus continere et certum erat noticiam eius nostris temporibus 
Latinis non patere. Nam translatio Boecii apud nos Integra non invenitur, 
et id ipsum quod de ea reperitur vitio corruptionis obfuscatur. Translatio- 
nem vero lacobi obscuritatis tenebris involvi silentio suo peribent Francie 
magistri, qui quamvis illam translacionem et commentarios ab eodem lacobo 
translatos ^3 habeant, tamen noticiam illius libri non audent profiteri. Ea~ 
propter siquid utilitatis ex mea translatione sibi noverit latinitas provenire, 
postulationi vestre debebit imputare. Non enim spe lucri aut inanis glorie 
ad transferendum accessi, sed ut aliquid 2* conferens latinitati vestre morem 
gererem voluntati. Ceterum si in aliquo visus fuero rationis tramitem ex- 
cessisse, vestra vel aliorum doctorum ammonitione non erubescam emendare. 

Here at last is a new bit of evidence regarding James of Venice : 
his translation included both the Posterior Analytics and commen- 
taries thereon; it has reached the centres of learning in France, 
but, apparently because they have not conquered its difficulties, 

tion ending on f. 11 v. Ff. 13-28 v have 'Translatio Posteriorum Analyticorum 
Aristotilis s[ecundum]' with a letter effaced, i.e., the version current under the 
name of Boethius. F. 29, 'Translatio Posteriorum Analyticorum Aristotilis secun- 
dum Tthom [sic; cf. Geyer, p. 40, n.]. Omnis doctrina et omnis disciplina cogitativa 
non fit nisi ex cognitione. . . .' (= the ordinary version from the Arabic; see Jour- 
dain, p. 404). F. 54, 'Explicit liber Posteriorum Analyticorum Aristotilis secundum 
translationem Th. Incipit commentum Themistii super eandem translationem Pos- 
teriorum Analyticorum. Scio quod si intendo . . .' (Jourdain, p. 405; see below, 
n. 63.) The treatise breaks off abruptly at the bottom of f. 77 v. 

MS. 17-14 is not described by Jose Octavio de Toledo, Catdlogo de la lihrer'ia del 
cahildo toledano, supplement to Revista de Archives, viii and ix, and separately, 
Madrid, 1903. This catalogue, made in the library at the time of the revolution of 
1869, has been printed without verification or completion and without any indica- 
tion of the important MSS. at that time transferred to the Biblioteca Nacional at 
Madrid, where they still are. I examined MS. 17-14 at Toledo during the hour 
when the library was open May 2 and 14, 1913, but repeated efforts of friends to 
secure collations on the spot have been met with the statement that the MS. has 
been misplaced and can no longer be found. It will doubtless appear in due time, 
when the problems left open can be determined by certain collations. 

^2 F. I. 23 So corrected in margin from translationem. ^* Or aliud? MS. a'J. 


the masters make no public use of it. This disposes at once of the 
theory that the version of James is apocryphal, while it also makes 
clear that this version was not the basis of the revival of the 
Analytics, and also renders it unlikely that it passed into general 
use and can thus be identified with the current translation. 
Robert of Torigni is also confirmed at another point, namely in his 
assertion, which some have sought to explain away,^^ that there 
was an older version already in existence. This our preface as- 
cribes to Boethius, thus adding one more to the number of those 
who in the twelfth century accepted this attribution.^® An ex- 
planation is also suggested why the Boethian translation came 
but slowly into use : it is incomplete, and the text is corrupt. This 
agrees exactly with John of Salisbury, who says of the current 
version, adeo scriptorum depravatus est vitio ut fere quot capita tot 
obstacula habeat, et bene quidem ubi non sunt obstacula capitibus 
plura ; and the statement is amply confirmed by existing manu- 
scripts, where to take only the instances where a Greek word was 
left standing in the Latin, we find in some cases merely grecum, 
while in others the word has become hopelessly corrupt.^^ Thus in 
I, 2 (Bekker, p. 71, 1. 18), where iindr'qfxoviKbv was carried over 
and explained as /aciew/m scire, we find in MS. R. 55 sup. of the 
Ambrosian (f. 194) grecum corrected to apiteticon in the first in- 
stance and in the second instance ginitvopikoli, while MS. H. IX, 
2 of Siena (f . 130 v) has what seems intended for epinuorikon. In 
I, 4 (Bekker, p. 73, 1. 40) iaoirXevpov zeal erepofjLrjKes becomes in 
the Siena MS. (f.,132 v) jjodniyipop quod est equilaterum kHe- 
dorinke id est altera parte longius; in the Ambrosian (f. 195 v) 
gyodtinkipo quod est isopleros equilaterum gkOudcdeli; in MS. 
VIII, 168 of St. Mark's (f. 94), iodnapop and kaisodeorrylie. In 
I, 5 (Bekker, p. 74, 1. 27) iaoirXevpov becomes iodHaaqoH and 
kaiodpaapor in the Siena MS. (ff. 133 v, 134), and ortoniegoban in 
the Ambrosian (f. 196 v), while aKoKrjvis is represented respec- 
tively by kokaajyon and okaanor. In i, 7 the Greek text reads 
(Bekker, p. 75, 1. 15): olov ra oTrrt/cd irpos yecofierpiav Kal to. 

2^ Schd.a.rschm.idt, Johannes Saresberiensis, p. 122; Hoimeister, in Neues Archiv, 
xxxvii. 658 f. 26 See below, nn. 31-33. Metalogicus, 4, 6, supra, n. 12. 

2^ MS. Avranches 227 commonly has grecum in the passages cited in the text. 


apidovLKCL TTpbs apLdiJLr}TLKr)v. This becomes in the Siena MS. 
(f. 135) : ut onti kay perspectiva ad geometriam kaaita apiHoyka 
id est consonativa ad arimeticarn. The Ambrosian MS. (f. 197 v) 
has kagroapinopika; MS. 557 of the Biblioteca Antoniana at 
Padua has Rait"^ apruopiVia. 

The existence of these passages does not, of course, go to prove 
that the translation in which they occur was the work of Boethius, 
but the whole trend of the available evidence seems to me to lead 
to that conclusion. Boethius tells us specifically that he translated 
both Analytics as well as the Topics?^ These, however, pass out 
of use in the early Middle Ages, and as late as the time of Sigebert 
of Gembloux, who died in 1 11 2, he is known as the translator of 
the Categories and the De inter pretatione only.^^ Then comes the 
revival of the New Logic in the second quarter of the twelfth cen- 
tury, and at once men begin to ascribe its Latin form to Boethius. 
Our translator is clear on this point; Otto of Freising evidently 
held the same view; the anonymous poet on the seven liberal 
arts in an Alengon manuscript is quite explicit,^^ and so is Bur- 
gundio the Pisan.^^ It is certainly significant that the generation 
which first possessed the New Logic considered Boethius to have 
been its translator. Moreover, when writers of this period quote 
passages from Aristotle they use the current version which in 
later manuscripts is regularly attributed to Boethius. This is 
notably true of Otto of Freising and of John of Salisbury .^^ 
While in these cases the Latin text is not cited as being the work 
of Boethius, neither is it ascribed to any one else, and in the 
absence of twelfth-century manuscripts of the New Logic fur- 

See above, n. 16. Migne, clx, 555, 

^ Chronicon, 5, i (ed. Hofmeister, p. 230). 

^ MS. 10, in Ravaisson, Rapports sur les bibliotheques de VOuest (Paris, 1841), 
p. 406: *Transtulit hanc resolvendo binis analeticis.' Cf. Prantl, Geschichle der 
Logik^, ii. 105; Hofmeister, in Neues Archiv, xxxvii. 672. 

^ Infra, n. 37. 

^ This is shown by Schmidlin, pp. 172-175, by means of a collation of MSS. 
Thierry of Chartres may use a different version of the Prior Analytics (Webb, 
loannis Saresberiensis Policraticus, i, p. xxv) but elsewhere uses the vulgata (Geyer, 
p. 30)- Jourdain, pp. 254-256. 

^® Assertions of the catalogues to the contrary are without foundation in the case 
of Cod. Lat. Monacensis 161 23 and MS. 401 of the Biblioteca Antoniana, both of 


ther evidence is not at hand. While later copies frequently men- 
tioned Boethius as the translator, none refer to James of Venice, 
who after the three contemporary notices which have been cited 
disappears — obscuritatis tenebris involvitur.^'^ We know further- 
more that the current version cannot be that of our anonymous 
translator, which is quite different, nor can it be the nova trans- 
latio cited by John of Salisbury who distinguishes the two. 
Until some definite evidence is produced to the contrary, we are 
justified in regarding the current mediaeval version as the work 
of Boethius.^^ 

It has indeed been urged by Grabmann that Boethius could 
not have been the author of the translation of the New Logic be- 
cause its Latinity is unworthy of so accomplished a stylist. The 
defect of this argument of course lies, apart from the ignorance of 
Boethius which it betrays,, in overlooking the difference between 
translation and independent composition. Boethius translated 

wliich are of the fourteenth century. I have verified Grabmann's statement 
(Methode, ii. 78) that there are in Paris no MSS. of the New Logic anterior to the 
thirteenth century, and have searched in vain for such MSS. elsewhere. For men- 
tion of Aristotle in contemporary catalogues of the twelfth century see Manitius, 
Geschichte der lateinischen Litteratur des Mittelalters, i. 30; Grabmann, ii. 78. Except 
for the occasional occurrence of the translation from the Arabic, the MSS. of the 
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries give regularly the Boethian versions. DeUsle 
is in error in saying that MSS. 224 and 227 of Avranches {Catalogue des MSS. des 
departemenis, x. 103, 106) contain a different version. 

3^ Curiously enough, James is not mentioned by his acquaintance Burgundio the 
Pisan in his review of translations from the Greek in 11 73, where we read merely: 
* Sed et Boetius clarissimus philosophus Porphirium et Aristotilem in Categoriis et 
Periemeniis, in Topicis et Elenchis et Nichomachum arismeticis transferens de verbo 
ad verbum ex greca latine reddidit lingue' (MS. Ottoboni 227, f. 2; cf. Chapter 
VIII, note 36). 

3^ See below, n. 53. 

2^ The citations of Aristotle by Boethius are too few to serve as a basis for iden- 
tifying the translation, but it is noteworthy that the definition quoted in the Trepl 
'EpfjieveLas, 2, 6 (ed. Meiser, ii. 122), from the beginning of the Prior Analytics 
CPropositio ergo est . . .') corresponds exactly with the current version. This is 
overlooked by Geyer, pp. 39 ff., who regards James of Venice as the author of the 
current version but brings forward no new evidence on this point. 

*° ii. 71 : *Ein Schriftsteller nun, dem solche Qualitaten als Stilisten und Latinis- 
ten von berufenster Seite zugesprochen werden, kann doch unmoglich die Latinitat, 
die uns in den Aristoteleszitaten des Otto von Freising und in den Analytiken, der 
Logik und der Elenchik der scholastischen Schullogik entgegentritt, hervorgebracht 
und sich etwa grammatische Verstosse wie parvissimum geleistet haben.' 


like a schoolboy because to him, as to the Middle Ages after 
him, faithful translation must be absolutely literal (verbum verbo 
expressum comparalumque) , its purpose being non luculentae ora- 
tionis lepos sed incorrupta veritas^^ Hence the much more fre- 
quent occurrence of Grecisms in the translations than in his other 
works. Statistical comparisons, it is true, show stylistic varia- 
tions among the several Boethian translations, as for example 
between the Prior and the Posterior Analytics; but these do not 
go so far as to indicate difference of authorship and cannot be 
safely used when made upon the uncertain basis of the present 
printed text. In any event a writer who can create a genitive of 
comparison to render a passage in Aristotle's Categories cannot 
be deprived of the version of the Elenchi because he sees fit to 
render iiLKporarov by parvissimum}^ If the argument proved 
anything, it would prove too much, for it would compel us to give 
up Boethius as a translator. 

There remains still the problem why, with the translation of 
Boethius in existence, the New Logic was neglected until the 
twelfth century, and why it was so suddenly revived.^^ For an 
answer we have at present only guesses. One may easily suppose 
that in an age which had use for only elementary logic, as it had 
for only ^Hhe slenderest of lawbooks," the advanced treatises fell 
into neglect and the manuscript tradition was correspondingly 
attenuated. In the revival of dialectic in the twelfth century men 
begin to seek additions to the store of logical writings and they 
discover the Boethian text. It is incomplete and corrupt, and 
attempts are made, at least two in number, to provide a better 

^1 Boethius, In Isagogen Porphyrii, i (ed. Brandt, p. 135). 

*2 See McKinlay's careful investigation in Harvard Studies, xviii. 123-156. 

^3 Migne, Ixiv. 210; cf. McKinlay, p. 125. 

^ 2, 9, as quoted by Otto of Freising, Chronicon, 2, 8 (ed. Hofmeister, p.76). 
There is, of course, classical authority (e. g., Lucretius, i, 615, 621; 3, 199) for the 
parvissimum which shocks Grabmann. The retouching of the mediaeval version 
in the printed text (Migne, Ixiv. 1040) is well illustrated in this whole passage. 

There is also the problem as to what became of the Boethian commentaries 
on these works; cf. Brandt in Philologus, Ixii. 250. Schmidlin (p. 169) uses the 
absence of such commentaries as an argument against the Boethian authorship of 
the translations, but similar reasoning might be used against his attribution of the 
translations to James of Venice, for we are expressly told that the version of James 
was accompanied by a commentary. See above, p. 229. 


rendering. None of these attempts, however, succeeds in passing 
into general use, and the old translation, completed and perhaps 
improved but still in spots unintelligible, becomes the received 
version upon which mediaeval knowledge of the higher logic 

The character of the version of the Toledo manuscript will be 
clearer when it is seen beside the text of the current version which 
is given below in the second column. The first book begins: 

Omnis didascalia et omnis dis- 
ciplina deliberativa ex preexistenti 
fit cognitione. Manifestum autem, 
hoc contemplantibus in cunctis. 
Etenim mathematice discipline per 
hunc modum veniunt et aliarum 
unaqueque artium. Similiter autem 
et circa orationes et que per sillogis- 
mos et que per inductionem; etenim 
utreque per precognita faciunt di- 
dascaliam, hee quidem accipientes 
ut ab intellectis, ille autem mon- 
strantes universale per hoc quod 
manifestum est singulare. Similiter 
autem et rethorici persuadent, aut 
enim per exemplum,^^ quod est in- 
ductio, aut per enthimemata, quod 
€St sillogismus. . . . 

Book ii begins and ends : 

Quesita sunt equalia numero quot 
scimus. Querimus autem quatuor: 
quod, propter quod, an est, quid est. 
Etenim quando prius quidem hoc 
aut hoc querimus in numerum po- 
nentes, sicut utrum deficit sol aut 

Si igitur nullum aliud preter scien- 
tiam genus habemus verum, intel- 
lectus sit scientie principium, et hoc 
quidem principium principii sit. 
Hoc autem omne similiter se habet 
ad [omnem] rem. 

« MS. delibatd. 

Omnis doctrina et omnis disci- 
plina intellectiva ex preexistenti fit 
cognitione. Manifestum est autem 
hoc speculantibus in omnes. Math- 
ematice enim scientiarum per hunc 
modum fiunt et aliarum unaqueque 
artium. Similiter autem et circa 
orationes que per sillogismos et que 
per inductionem fiunt; utreque 
enim per prius nota faciunt doctri- 
nam, he autem incipientes tanquam 
a notis, ille vero demonstrantes uni- 
versale per id quod manifestum est 
singulare. Similiter autem et rhe- 
torice persuadent, aut enim per 
exemplum, quod est inductio, aut 
per entimema, quod vere est sillo- 
gismus. ... 

Questiones sunt equales numero 
his quecumque vere scimus. Queri- 
mus autem quatuor: quod est, 
propter quod est, si est, quid est. 
Cum quidem enim utrum hoc aut 
hoc sit querimus in numerum po- 
nentes, ut utrum sol deficiat aut 
non, ipsum quod querimus. 

Si igitur nullum aliud genus preter 
scientiam habemus verum, intellec- 
tus utique scientie erit et hoc qui- 
dem principium principii utique 
erit. Hoc autem omne similiter se 
habet ad omne rerum genus. 

*^ Gloss: vel exempla. 


Both renderings have the extreme literalness characteristic of 
mediaeval translations from the Greek, but the Toledo text is 
distinctly the closer of the two, as seen in the omission of the 
predicate and the carrying over of such words as didascalia. Other 
characteristics of this version are the use of autem instead of vero 
for de, the insertion of a superfluous relative to represent the 
article in an attributive phrase,^^ and the rendering of the optative 
with av by the subjunctive in cases where Boethius uses utique 
with the future indicative.^^ Though he had Boethius before 
him, the author still shows some independence, judged by medi- 
aeval standards; his work is not that of an unskilled hand; and 
the fact that the preface contains no suggestion of ignorance or 
inexperience, such as is frequent in such prologues, makes it 
probable that this was not his first labor of translation. 

No clew is given to the name of the translator or the friend to 
whom his work is dedicated, but the preface must have been 
written between the appearance of the translation of James of 
Venice ca. 11 28 and the close of the twelfth century, when a new 
version had been made from the Arabic by Gerard of Cremona 
(d. 1 187), and when the Posterior Analytics had begun to influ- 
ence the teaching of logic at the University of Paris. Moreover, 
in all probability it is anterior to 1159, when the Metalogicus of 
John of Salisbury shows that the knowledge of the Posteriora was 
already ''open to the Latin world," and can thus be placed in the 
generation which first received the New Logic. The author is in 
touch with the teaching of the French schools, yet he speaks of 
their masters {Francie magistri) in a way which implies that he 
was not a Frenchman; and his knowledge of Greek and access to 
the Greek text would imply that, if not an Italian, he was at least 
for the time being resident in Italy. We know that two of the 
Italian translators of this period were acquainted with the Pos- 
teriora, the Pisan Burgundio, whom John of Salisbury cites in the 
Metahgicus as an authority for a statement concerning Aris- 

^ Thus t65€ to hv TcS 7]hlkvk\u() Tpiyovov (Bekker, p. 71, i. 20) becomes *hic qui 
in semicirculo triangulus.' 

Cf . also the translation of the Almagest : supra, Chapter IX. See below, n.64. 
4, 7 (Migne, cxcix. 920): 'Fuit autem apud Peripateticos tante auctoritatis 
scientia demonstrandi ut Aristoteles, qui alios fere omnes et fere in omnibus philo- 


to tie, and the Sicilian Henricus Aristippus, who in the preface to 
his version of the Phaedo, written in 11 56, singles out the Apodip- 
tica as one of the notable works to which scholars have access in 
Sicily; but both of these are excluded from the authorship of 
the Toledo preface by its style and by the familiarity it betrays 
with French learning. Aristippus, it is true, has, on the basis of 
the passage just cited, been set down as a translator of the Pos- 
terior a, and further conjecture has made him the source of John 
of Salisbury's acquaintance with this treatise and the author of 
the nova translatio which John cites in a passage of the Metalogi- 
cus}^ There is, however, no reason for believing that Aristippus 
translated all the Greek writings which he cites in his prefaces, 
nor is there the least basis for identifying him with the grecus 
interpres with whom John of Salisbury studied in Apulia and 
from whom he is, without any warrant, supposed to have ob- 
tained the nova translatio. John's familiarity with the Posteriora, 
which he is one of the first northern authors to cite,^^ may well 
have been the result of his frequent journeys to Italy, perhaps 

sophos superabat, hinc commune nomen sibi quodam proprietatis iure vindicaret 
quod demonstrativam tradiderat disciplinam. Ideo enim, ut aiunt, in ipso nomen 
philosophi sedit. Si mihi non creditur, audiatur vel Burgundio Pisanus, a quo istud 
accepi.' The passage does not show personal familiarity with the Posteriora on the 
part of Burgundio but merely knowledge of the Byzantine tradition, such as he 
doubtless acquired in the course of his visits to Constantinople. On Burgundio see 
Chapter X. 

^2 Hermes, i. 388: 'Habes de scientiarum principiis Aristotelis Apodicticen, in 
qua supra naturam et sensum de axiomatis a natura et sensu sumptis disceptat.' 
On Aristippus see Chapter IX. 

52 2, 20 (Migne, col. 885): 'Gaudeant, inquit Aristoteles [Anal. Post., i, 22, 
Bekker, p. 83, 1. 33], species; monstra enim sunt, vel secundum novam translationem 
cicadationes enim sunt; aut si sunt, nihil ad rationem.' Cf. Rose, in Hermes, i. 
381 ff. The identification of Aristippus with the grecus interpres and the author of 
the nova translatio was first advanced by Rose on the basis of an ingenious combina- 
tion of conjectures. It has been accepted without indicating its conjectural char- 
acter by Grabmann and Schmidlin, and by Baeumker, in Allgemeine Geschichte der 
Philosophie (Dje Kultur der Gegenwart^, i, 5), p. 363; Hofmeister and Mandonnet 
are more cautious. Webb gives a sober resume of this quaestio difficillima. What 
is most needed is more facts. Geyer, p. 42, suggests that John may refer to a trans- 
lation of this single term only. 

" He is usually considered the first, but the Posteriora seems to have been used, 
in a translation which requires investigation, by the author of the De intellectibus, 
which belongs to the school of Abelard. Prantl, Geschichte der Logik ^, ii. 104, n. 19; 
Geyer, p. 37. 


even of his sojourns in Apulia, but he quotes the ^'new transla- 
tion" only once, and his steady reliance is on the current version. 
When the Toledo manuscript again becomes accessible to schol- 
ars, it will be easy to determine whether it contains the rendering 
of reperLafxaTa by cicadationes which earmarks the nova trans- 
latio of the Metalogicus. Meanwhile, since in this period we hear 
of a text of the Posteriora in Sicily only, it would seem that the 
home of the Toledo version should be sought there, while its 
author's acquaintance with the French schools points to one of 
the scholars from beyond the Alps who are found not infrequently 
as visitors to the southern kingdom. 

The collation of another passage may very likely determine the 
relation of the Toledo version to still another translation from the 
Greek, cited as the work of a certain John by Albertus Magnus, 
who in one instance prefers it to the Boethian rendering. The 
conjecture that the name is an error for James is not supported 
by the manuscripts, and the identification with John of Basing- 
stoke has to explain the silence of Grosseteste, who, if a trans- 
lation by his friend Basingstoke had been in existence, would 
certainly have made use of it in his commentary on the Logic. An- 
other John who was concerned with the Posterior Analytics is John 
of Cornwall, under whose name a series of Questiones is preserved 
in a manuscript of Magdalen College, Oxford.^^ Inasmuch, how- 
ever, as this work constantly cites Lincolniensis, it cannot be the 
work of John of Salisbury's contemporary of that name,^^ whose 
writings moreover betray no familiarity with Greek; and even if 
we crowd the chronology sufficiently to admit the citation of 

In Analytica posteriora, i, 4, 9; 2, 2, 5; Opera (Lyons, 1651), i. 579, 624. See 
Jourdain, p. 310. 

^® Jourdain, p. 59. I have collated MS. Vat. Lat. 21 18, f. 140; and MS. Lat. 
16080, f. loi V, of the Bibliotheque Nationale. 
Prantl, Geschichte der Logik, iii. 5. 

^ MS. 162, ff. 183-245 v; cf. Coxe, Catalogus, ii. 75. The treatise begins and 
ends : * Scire autem opinamur unumquodque cum causam recognoscamus . . . licet 
alia non cognoscatur nisi tantum in universali.' Then follow 'Tituli questionum 
Cornubiensis' to the number of forty-seven, with this explicit: 'Expliciunt ques- 
tiones et tituli tarn primi libri quam secundi Posteriorum Analeticorum dati a 
domino Johanne de Sancto Germano de Cornubia. Amen.' There was a copy at 
Canterbury ca. 1500: Historical MSS. Commission, Various Collections, i. 225. 
On whom see Kingsford, in Dictionary of National Biography, xxix. 438. 


Grosseteste on the one hand and the use of the Questiones by 
Albert on the other, there is, in such portions of the text as I have 
been able to examine by means of photographs, no indication that 
any save the ordinary translation was used in the Questiones. For 
the present we must leave the problem of John's version unsolved. 

Likewise of the twelfth century is the first translation of the 
Posterior a from the Arabic, which appears in the long list of works 
turned into Latin by that indefatigable translator Gerard of Cre- 
mona, who died in 1187.^^ No copy of this translation has been 
found under Gerard's name,^^ but if it acquired anything of the 
popularity enjoyed by his other versions, we are justified in iden- 
tifying it with a version which occurs not infrequently in manu- 
scripts of the thirteenth century and is plainly derived from the 
Arabic. The list of Gerard's translations also includes the com- 
mentary of Themis tius on the Posterior a, of which we have copies 
which are clearly based upon an Arabic original. 

By the close of the twelfth century, accordingly, there had been 
produced at least four Latin versions of the Posterior Analytics, 
the work respectively of Boethius, James of Venice, the anony- 
mous translator of the Toledo manuscript, and Gerard of Cre- 
mona; while further investigation is required to determine 
whether the nova translatio cited by John of Salisbury and the 
version of the unknown John should be added as a fifth and a 
sixth or are to be identified in one or both cases with those of 
James of Venice and of the Toledo text. 

Boncompagni, in Atti delV Accademia dei Lincei, iv. 388 (1851); Wiistenfeld, 
p. 58; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 46(8, 38). 

It is, however, cited by Richard of Furnival, ca. 1250: Delisle, Cabinet des 
MSS., ii. 525; Birkenmajer, Ryszarda di Fournival, p. 44, no. 14. 
^2 Jourdain, p. 404, gives a specimen. 

^ See the specimen in Jourdain, p. 405; and cf. MS. Lat. 14700 of the Biblio- 
theque Nationale; MS. 17-14 of Toledo, f. 54; Cod. Lat. Monacensis 317 (Cata- 
logus codicum MSS. Latinorum, edition of 1892, i. 80). Probably this is the 
commentary mentioned in the mediaeval catalogue of the Sorbonne: DeUsle, 
Cabinet des MSS., iii. 57. 

It may be observed in this connection that the MSS. themselves give no support 
to Valentinelli's statement {Bibliotheca manuscripta, iv. 13-15) that the translation 
of the Topica and Elenchi in two codices of St. Mark's is the work of Abraham de 
Balmes, the physician of Cardinal Grimani. The MSS. are anterior to Abraham's 
time, and the text has the incipits of the current mediaeval version. 


As a subject of academic study the Posterior Analytics found its 
way slowly into the mediaeval universities. Alexander Neckam, 
who can hardly have begun his studies at Paris before 1175, de- 
scribes the change in the teaching of logic there produced by its 
introduction,^^ and Roger Bacon speaks of the first lectures on it 
at Oxford as given in his time by a certain Master Hugh.^^ Elab- 
orate commentaries were, however, prepared by the great school- 
men of the thirteenth century, some of whom took pains to col- 
late the different versions. Grosseteste, though relying mainly 
upon the current Boethian translation, also cites alie translationes 
and the commentary of Themis tius.^^ The Questiones of John of 
Cornwall, whoever he may have been, seems to follow Grosse- 
teste and the current version. Albertus Magnus is careful to 
compare this version, which he ascribes to Boethius, with that 
from the Arabic and with that of the unknown John, and cites 
the works of Themis tins and John the Grammarian, as well as the 
Arab commentators.^^ The commentary of Thomas Aquinas on 
the Posteriora is, like his other commentaries, less discursive 
and follows with some closeness the current text, corrected in at 
least one instance by reference to the Greek.^^ The ordinary ver- 
sion is also followed by the later schoolmen, Egidio Colonna, 
Albert of Saxony, and Walter of Burley.^^ 

^ De naturis rerum, ed. Wright, p. 293: 'Antequam legeretur liber ille asserebant 
doctores Parisienses nullam negativam esse immediatam. Sed hie error sublatus 
est de medio per beneficium Apodixeos.' Cf. Chapter XVIII. 

Rashdall, Universities of the Middle Ages, ii. 754; Sandys, History of Classical 
Scholarship ^, i. 570, 

Baur, Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste (Beitrdge, ix), p. 18 *. I 
have examined MS. Borghese 306 of the Vatican. 
®^ Supra, n. 58. 

^ See his commentary in Opera (Lyons, 1651), i. 513-658; ed. Borgnet (Paris, 
1890), ii. 1-232; and cf. Jourdain, pp. 308-310. 
Opera (Rome, 1882), i. 129-403. 

Bk. i, lect. 6, according to the text of Jourdain, p. 396. I can find no evidence 
that, as Mandonnet says (pp. 11, 40-42), William of Moerbeke translated the 
logical works for the benefit of St. Thomas. The passages cited from contemporary 
writers do not mention these among William's Aristotelian translations, nor is any 
copy of them known. Cf. Grabmann, ii. 70. 

These commentaries exist in yarious early editions. That of Albertus de 
Saxonia is in MS. 227 of Avranches (Catalogue des MSS. des departements, x. 106); 
see further Beitrdge, xxii, no. 3-4, p. 48. 


It is characteristic of the place which Aristotle still held in 
European thought that he should have been one of the earliest 
authors at whom the humanists tried their hand. Roberto de' 
Rossi, the first pupil of Chrysoloras, busied himself with the works 
of the Stagyrite, seeking to soften the bare harshness of the literal 
version of Boethius/^ and we have from his pen a rendering of the 
Posterior Analytics which can be definitely assigned to the close 
of the year 1406. Voigt, it is true, knows of Robert's translations 
only through their mention by Guarino of Verona and says they 
do not occur in the manuscript catalogues; but MS. 231 of the 
Fondo antico of St. Mark's contains Aristotelis Posteriorum 
Analeticorum nova Roherti translatio, accompanied by a preface 
and by verses at the end which fix the date by reference to the 
reconstruction of the citadel and walls of Pisa.^^ Valentinelli 
indeed infers from these verses that the author was a Pisan of the 
late fourteenth century, but nostri cives would have no point if a 
Pisan were speaking, and the only others so engaged at Pisa were 
the Florentines, whose fortification of the city and oppression of 
the conquered after its final capture are here exactly described. 
The author is not further indicated, but the name and year can 
point only to Robert de' Rossi."^^ Freer in style and less indebted 
to the mediaeval rendering was the more popular Renaissance 

^2 ' Dignus enim vir ille ut cunctis modis humanitatis auribus insinuetur atque 
sterilis ilia durities quam ad verbum translatio pepererat pro viribus nostris civibus 
delinienda et demulcenda paulum fuit' [sic]. F. 2 v of the MS. 

" Wiederbelebung^, i. 289, ii. 173. 

Parchment, written in a humanistic hand of the fifteenth century. Cf. Valen- 
tinelli, Bibliotheca manuscripta ad S. Marci Venetiarum, iv. 32. 

'5 Haec ego dum conor nostris aperire Latinis 

Interea nostri reparabant turribus arcem 
Pisanam murisque novis atque aggere cives. 

The lines are given in full by Valentinelli. 

See Cronichetta di anonimo pisano, in Corazzini, Uassedio di Pisa (Florence, 
1885), p. 75; Matteo Palmieri, in Muratori, Scriptores, xix. 194; Morelli, Cronaca, 
p. 338. 

The text begins (f . 4) : * Omnis doctrina omnisque disciplina intellectiva ex 
antea existenti efficitur cognitione. Preclarumque hoc est his qui per cuncta aciem 
mentis intenderint. Qug enim scientiarum sunt mathematics per huiusmodi modum 
acquiruntur atque aliarum etiam qugvis artium. . . 


version which John Argyropoulos dedicated to Cosmo de' 
MediciJ^ The Boethian translation, however, persisted in early 
imprints, corrected and touched up in course of time in ways 
which still require investigation,^^ but still holding its own by 
reason of its faithfulness to the text of the master whose words 
were not to be lightly changed. 

'8 It begins: 'Omnis doctrina omnisque disciplina intellectiva ex antecedenti 
cognitione fieri solet. Id si omnis quo fiunt pacto considerabimus manifestum pro- 
fecto fiet . . .': MS. Vat. Lat. 21 16, f. 49 v. For the author's prefaces in MSS. of 
the Laurentian, see Bandini, Catalogus codicum Latinorum, iii. 4, 350. 

The humanistic retouching of the text in the Basel edition and in Migne is 
obvious but cannot be studied until we have a critical restitution of the mediaeval 
text. It should, however, be kept in mind that the text of these editions is not, as 
Grabmann thinks (ii. 72), the same as the version of Argyropoulos; see now the 
stndiy oiMiiigesm Philosophisches J ahrhuch, xxix. 250-263 (1916); and cf. Geyer, 
ibid.y xxx. 25-27. 



The Emperor Frederick II is a subject of perennial interest to the 
historian. The riddle of his many-sided personality, his place at 
the centre of one of the great struggles of European politics, the 
striking anticipation of more modem ideas and practices in his 
administration, the brilliant and precocious culture of his Sicilian 
kingdom, have attracted the attention of two generations of 
scholars without definitive results. We still lack a satisfactory 
biography and a survey of the governmental system, as well as 
annals for the later years of the reign, while for its intellectual 
history nothing has superseded what was written by Amari ^ and 
Huillard-BrehoUes ^ more than half a century ago. As regards 
vernacular literature, the scantiness of the extant material has so 
circumscribed the problem that we now understand fairly well 
the importance of the Magna Curia as the cradle of Italian poetry 
and the origin of particular forms like the sonnet.^ The Latin 
literature of the South has been partially explored by Hampe and 
others, though its relations to intellectual movements in northern 

* Revised from The American Historical Review, xxvii. 669-694 (1922); cf. 
Rivista storica iialiana, 1923, pp. 165 ff. The best sketch of Frederick is that of 
Karl Hampe, "Kaiser Friedrich II," in Historische Zeitschrift, Ixxxiii. 1-42 (1899). 
The newer materials for the study of the reign are noted in his Deutsche Kaiserge- 
schichte (Leipzig, 1919), pp. 219 ff.; and his Mittelalterliche Geschichte (Gotha, 1922), 
pp. 84 ff. E. Winkehnann's fundamental annals, Kaiser Friedrich II. (Leipzig, 
1889-97), stop with 1233. 

2 Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia (Florence, 1854-72), iii. 655 ff. 
^ Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi (Paris, 1859-61), introduction, especially 
pp. dxix-dlv. 

* See particularly E. F. Langley, "The Extant Repertory of the Sicilian Poets," 
in Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, xxviii. 454-520 
(191 3) ; and the important studies of Ernest H. Wilkins on the origin of the canzone 
and the sonnet, Modern Philology, xii. 135-166, xiii. 79-110 (1915). For Frederick's 
relations with Provencal poets, see the studies of de Bartholomaeis, in Memorie 
of the Bologna Academy, i. 69-124 (1911-12); and Bertoni, / trovatori d^ Italia 
(Modena, 1915), pp. 25-27. 




Italy and elsewhere require further inquiry.^ On the scientific 
side, while much remains to be done with the fragmentary mate- 
rials, investigation has advanced to a point where it may be worth 
while to supplement and correct the older writers by a general 
survey of the present state of our knowledge. If the results do not 
greatly enlarge our acquaintance with the content of thirteenth- 
century science, they at least illustrate more fully its methods and 
the workings of one of the most remarkable minds of the Middle 

The intellectual life of Frederick's court cannot be regarded as 
an isolated or merely personal phenomenon. Lying between the 
Middle Ages and the Renaissance, it must be seen against the 
cosmopolitan background of Norman Sicily, the meeting-point of 
Greek, Arabic, and Latin culture, central in the history as in the 
geography of the Mediterranean lands. Frederick was not the 
first but the second of the ^'two baptized sultans" on the Sicilian 
throne,^ and in intellectual matters as in legislation he followed in 
the direction of his grandfather Roger. King Roger's chief scien- 
tific interest was geography, pursued assiduously throughout the 
fifteen years of his reign. Finding the Arabian geographies and 
translations insufficient for his purpose, he called to his court 
famous travellers from many lands and subjected them to a close 
examination, accepting only the facts on which they were agreed, 
and recording the results upon a great silver map and in a volume 
of descriptive text in Arabic which Edrisi completed in 1154."^ 
This method is not unlike that followed by Frederick in consult- 
ing experts on falconry, among whom he cites King Roger's fal- 
coner, William, who passed as one of the earliest writers on this 
subject.^ Under Roger's immediate successors, William I and 

* This is the freshest part of the notable article of the late H. Niese, *'Zur Ge- 
schichte des geistigen Lebens am Hofe Kaiser Friedrichs II," in Historische Zeit- 
schrift, cviii. 473-540 (191 2). There are noteworthy essays by F. Novati in his 
Freschi e minii del dugento (Milan, 1908), especially pp. 103-142. 

^ The phrase is Amari's, Miisulmani, iii. 365. 

' U Italia descritta net Libra del Re Ruggero," translated by Amari and Schia- 
parelli (Rome, 1883), pp. 4-8; Edrisi, translated by Reinaud (Paris, 1836), i, pp. 
xviii-xxii; Encyclopaedia of Islam, ii. 451. Pardi has recently argued that the 
final form of the work must be subsequent to 11 54: Rivista geografica italiana, xxiv. 
380 (1917). 8 Infra, Chapters XIV, XVII. 


William II, scientific activity took the form particularly of the 
translation of Greek works on mathematics and astronomy: the 
Data, Optica, and Catoptrica of Euclid, the Pneumatica of Hero of 
Alexandria, the De motu of Proclus, even the Almagest of Ptolemy. 
Scientific observation, fed by the Meteorology of Aristotle, con- 
cerned itself with the phenomena of Etna.^ At the same time 
Ptolemy's Optics was translated from the Arabic, and the house- 
hold of William II, as portrayed in the scenes of his death, com- 
prised an Arab physician and an Arab astrologer.^^ 

At the court of Frederick II the Greek element is of little sig- 
nificance. Greek versions of his laws were issued, and Italian 
poets sang his praises in Greek verse, but the influence of Byzan- 
tium had declined with the fall of the Greek empire, and we hear 
little of Greek scholars or Greek translations in this period in the 
South.^^ On the other hand, Arabic influence was, if anything, 
stronger under Frederick, especially after his visit to the East, 
and was maintained by the political and commercial relations 
with Mohammedan countries, while his imperial interests fos- 
tered intercourse with northern Italy, Germany, and Provence. 
The chronicler who passes by the name of Nicholas of lamsilla 
tells us that at Frederick's accession there were few or no scholars 
in the Sicilian kingdom, and that it was one of his principal tasks 
by means of liberal rewards to attract masters from various parts 
of the earth.^^ What scholars were thus drawn to the Sicilian 
court we know but imperfectly. The loss of the imperial regis- 
ters, save for a fragment of 1239-40,^^ makes it impossible to 
reconstruct in detail the organization and personnel of the house- 
hold, and the scattered documents of the reign tell us almost 
nothing of the men who aided the emperor in his scientific in- 
quiries. That they were chiefly officials of the curia seems alto- 

9 Supra, Chapter IX. 

Petrus de Ebulo, Liher ad honorem Augusti, plate 3. 
" Krumbacher, pp. 769 f.; Niese, in Historische Zeitschrift, cviii. 490 ff.; cf. 
Bresslau, Urkundenlehre (1915), ii. 380 ff. Further investigation is needed respect- 
ing Greek in the South in the thirteenth century. 
^2 Muratori, viii. 496. 

On which see the recent studies of Niese, in Archiv fiir Urkundenforschungf 
V. 1-20 (1913); and Sthamer, in Berlin Sitzungsberichte, 1920, pp. 584 ff. 


gether likely. Several of the Sicilian school of poets held official 
positions as notaries, judges, or falconers,^^ and we are not sur- 
prised to find Frederick's astrologer, Theodore, engaged in the 
same year in casting horoscopes, going on missions, making con- 
fectionery, drafting letters, and translating an Arabic work on 
falconry. In this busy court science, like literature, would seem 
to have been a matter for leisure hours, and its votaries could be 
no narrow specialists. 

Two of Frederick's courtiers seem to have borne the official 
title of 'philosopher,' and in an age when philosophy and science 
were inseparable these two were naturally the chief advisers of 
the emperor in scientific matters. The more famous of them, 
Michael Scot,^^ who hailed originally from Scotland, came to 
Sicily with a reputation gained chiefly in the schools of Spain. 
Appearing at Toledo as early as 1 217, Michael there distinguished 
himself by translating al-Bitrogi On the Sphere and Aristotle On 
Animals, as well as the De caelo and the De anima with the com- 
mentaries of Averroes thereon. By 1220 he is in Italy, and from 
1224 to 1227 he enjoys the favor of the pope and the grant of 
benefices in England and Scotland; but soon thereafter he is 
found in the emperor's service, in which, though not mentioned 
in any surviving official documents, he remained until his death, 
which occurred before 1236. His official position was that of 
court astrologer, but he made for the emperor a Latin summary 
of Avicenna's De animalibus and busied himself with a series of 
writings on astrology, meteorology, and physiognomy, all dedi- 
cated to Frederick. These show acquaintance with medicine, 
music, and alchemy, as well as with the Aristotelian philosophy in 
general. We are told that he knew Hebrew as well as Arabic, but 
his linguistic attainments are the occasion of unfavorable com- 
ment on the part of Roger Bacon. Scot had a respectable knowl- 
edge of the Arabian astronomy and its applications, and prided 
himself on the accuracy of his observations and calculations. His 
faith in astrology does not, in his age, militate against his stand- 

" See Langley's list in Publications of the Modern Language Association, xxviii. 
468 ff., and the references there cited, especially the researches of Scandone in Stucli 
di letteratura italiana, v, vi. 

See the following chapter. 


ing as a scientist, but his own writings show him to have been 
pretentious and boastful, with no clear sense of the limits of his 
knowledge, and with a tendency to overstep the line, if line there 
be, between astrology and necromancy. At the same time he had 
an experimental habit of mind, and a final judgment as to his 
scientific attainments must await the more careful sifting of his 
extensive treatises on astrology, the Liber introductorius and the 
Liber particularis. 

If Michael Scot represented the learning of Moorish Spain and 
Western Christendom, Master Theodore 'the philosopher' seems 
to have maintained relations particularly with the East.^^ Greek, 
or perhaps Jewish,^^ by name, he is said to have been sent to 
Frederick by the Great Caliph, probably the sultan of Egypt, 
some time before 1236.^^ If we may believe the prologue to the 
French romance of Sidrach, Theodore, here called "Todre li phy- 
losophes," came from Antioch and remained in relations with its 
Latin patriarch; while Abulfaragius makes him a Jacobite Chris- 
tian of Antioch who studied at Mosul and Bagdad and enjoyed 
the favor of the sultan.^^ In the autumn of 1238, at the siege of 
Brescia, he appears in the Dominican annals as silencing the 
friars in philosophical disputes until, challenged to public debate 
on any subject of philosophy with the doughty Roland of Cre- 
mona, he is triumphantly confuted, to the great glory of the 

1^ See, in general, Amari, Musulmani, iii. 692-695; Steinschneider, E. U., no. 
116; SudhofE, in Archivfur die Geschichte der Medizin, ix. 1-9 (1915); Suter, in the 
Erlangen Ahhandlungen zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschafkn, iv. 7 f . (1922). 

" Renan, in Histoire litteraire de la France, xxxi. 290. 

18 'Explicit liber novem iudicum quern missit soldanus Babilonie imperatori 
Federico tempore quo et magnus chalif misit magistrum Theodorum eidem impera- 
tori Federico': British Museum, Royal MS. 12 G. VIII; cf. French version in 
Langiois, La connaissance de la nature au moyen age (1911), p. 191; Amari, iii. 
694. The Liber novem iudicum is cited by Michael Scot in his Liher introductorius 
(Munich, cod. lat. 10268, f. 128), and must thus have reached Sicily before 1236. 
The phrase 'magnus chalif does not strengthen our faith in this colophon. 

The references to Theodore in the writings of Leonard of Pisa may well be earlier, 
but the answers to Theodore's questions look like later additions to the original text 
of Leonard's Flos and Liher quadratorum, so that they cannot be dated with cer- 

1^ H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the British Museum, i. 904 ff.; His- 
toire litteraire, xxxi. 288-290; Langiois, p. 204; Erlangen Ahhandlungen, iv. 8. 



order.^^ Probably succeeding Scot as court astrologer, Theodore 
casts the imperial horoscope at Padua in 1239, where he is ridi- 
culed by the local chronicler for seeking a favorable conjunction 
impossible at the time and failing to search in Scorpio for the im- 
pending failure of the expedition. In the register of 1 239-40 he 
is found drafting the emperor's Arabic letters to the king of Tunis 
and acting as his trusty messenger. In this same year he is busy 
compounding syrups and sugar of violet for the emperor and his 
household, with free credit in money and costly sugar for this 
purpose, and a box of the violet sugar is sent to Piero della Vigna 
during his recovery from an illness .^^ In 1240-41 the emperor 
corrects his translation from the Arabic .^^ No further dates are 
known in Theodore's career, but he continued to enjoy imperial 
favor until his death not long before November, 1250, when 
Frederick regranted the extensive domains which " the late Theo- 
dore our philosopher held so long as he lived." 

While the biographical data are somewhat fuller in the case of 
Theodore than in that of Michael Scot, the evidence of his literary 
activity is much less. Apart from a doubtful connection with the 
transmission of the philosophical romance of Sidrach, Theodore 
is known only as the author of a treatise on hygiene extracted for 
the emperor's benefit from the Secretum secretorum of the Pseudo- 
Aristotle,^^ and a Latin version of the work of Moamyn on the 
care of falcons and dogs.^^ His preface to this shows acquaintance 

2° Quetif and Echard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum, i. 1 26, col. 2. On Roland 
of Cremona see now Ehrle, in the anniversary Miscellanea Dominicana (Rome, 
1923), PP- 85-134, especially p. 94. 

2^ Rolandino, in Muratori, viii. 228 (new edition, viii. 66); and in M. G. H., Scrip- 
tores, xix. 73. 

^ Huillard-Breholles, Historia diplomatica, v. 556, 630, 727, 745, 750 ff.; idem, 
Pierre de la Vigne, p. 347. 

23 Infra, Chapter XIV, n. 122. 

^ Original charter published by Schneider in Quellen und Forschungen aus itali- 
enischen Archiven, xvi. 51 (i 913); cf. the inquest of the Angevin period published 
by Scandone in Studi di letteratura italiana, v. 308 (1903). Theodore may well have 
been one of the astrologers lost in the defeat before Parma in 1248: Hartwig, in 
CentralblaU fiir Bibliothekswesen, iii. 183. The account of Thadhiiri of Antioch in 
Abulfaragius makes him take poison after flight from the emperor: Suter, no. 345; 
Z. M. Ph., xxxi, sup., pp. 107 f.; Erlangen Abhandlungen, iv. 8. 

2^ Ed. Sudhoff, in Arckiv fiir die Geschichte der Medizin, ix. 4 (1915). 

26 Chapter XIV, n. 122. 


with Aristotle, including the Ethics and the Rhetoric, such as a 
court philosopher should have, while he also exhibits medical 
knowledge. Mathematician as well as astrologer, he puts prob- 
lems to Leonard of Pisa, and is addressed by him as the supreme 
philosopher of the imperial court," whose cosmopolitan culture he 
well represents. 

Another court philosopher, John of Palermo, mentioned by- 
Leonard of Pisa in 1225, is probably identical with the Master 
John the notary who acts as confidential agent of the emperor in 
1240, but we know nothing of his scientific tastes beyond his in- 
terest in mathematics.^^ A Master Dominicus, perhaps a Span- 
iard, appears in the same connection.^^ The Sicilian Moslem who 
tutored Frederick in logic during his crusade remains anony- 
mous,^^ with many other scholars who must have attended the 
court. One of these, for example, appears in correspondence on 
mathematical subjects with a learned Jew of Spain.^^ 

The more literary members of the Magna Curia, such as Piero 
della Vigna, are silent respecting their scientific associates, save 
for such an exchange of compliments and sugar plums as has been 
cited. The interests of Piero, as of the other members of the 
Capuan school, were primarily literary, and his letters would not 
have become models of Latin style for the thirteenth century 
had he not been first and foremost a phrasemaker who spoke 
"obscurely and in the grand manner." The extant collections 
of correspondence which pass under his name were preserved for 
rhetorical rather than historical purposes, and there was no occa- 
sion for retaining in them whatever of the scientific life of the 
court the originals might have reflected. Nevertheless, some of his 
phrases suggest its other intellectual interests, as when he bor- 
rows the language of the current cosmogony in the preface to 

2' Scritti di Leonardo Pisano, ed. Boncompagni (Rome, 1857-62), ii. 247, 279. 

28 Ibid.y ii. 227, 253; Huillard-Breholles, ii. 185, v. 726 ff., 745, 928. 

29 Leonardo, Scritti, ii. i, 253; Cantor, ii. 35 ff., 41. 
Amari, Bihlioteca Arabo-Sicula, ii. 254. 

3^ Steinschneider, H. U., p. s- 

^ Critical edition lacking. See Huillard-Breholles, Pierre de la Vigne, pp. 249 ff.; 
Hanauer, in Mitteilungen des Instituts fiir oesterreichische Geschichtsforschung, xxi. 
527-536 (1900). 

2' So Odofredus characterizes him, Mitteilungen des Instituts, xxx. 653, n. i. 



the emperor's Constitutions,^^ or refers to the preoccupation of 
the friars with the form of the globe, the course of the sun in the 
zodiac, the squaring of the circle, or the conversion of triangles 
into quadrangles.^^ Piero's correspondence with the masters of 
Bologna and Naples and the dictatores of his native Campania 
runs parallel to the scientific correspondence of Frederick and his 
philosophers with scholars in Italy and Mohammedan lands. 

So far as Italy is concerned, the outstanding scientific genius of 
the thirteenth century is undoubtedly the mathematician Leon- 
ard of Pisa.^® Beyond the fact of his African education, and his 
^'sovereign possession of the whole mathematical knowledge of 
his own and every preceding generation," his personal history 
is unknown; but though he resided at Pisa, he was well known to 
Frederick and the philosophers of his court, to whom his extant 
works are in large measure dedicated. It is Michael Scot who in 
1228 receives from Leonard's hands the revised edition of his 
epoch-making treatise on the Abacus, first issued in 1202.^^ Al- 
ready Master John of Palermo had accompanied Leonard into 
the emperor's presence and proposed questions involving quad- 
ratic and cubic equations, the answers to which are found in the 
Flos and Liber quadratorumP Like the solutions of various prob- 
lems submitted to Leonard by Master Theodore, these are de- 
signed to illustrate method rather than to form a systematic 
treatise. The Liber quadratorum is directed to the emperor, who 
has himself deigned to read the treatise on the Abacus and to hear 
the discussion of subtle problems of arithmetic and geometry, 
such as those once propounded in his presence by Master John.^° 

^ Niese, in Historische Zeitschrift, cviii. 501, 523. Those who doubt Piero's 
authorship of the original constitutions admit his influence on their style as we have 
them: e. g., Garufi, in Studi medloevali, ii. 105, note. 

2^ Poem printed by Huillard-BrehoUes, Pierre de la Vigne, p. 414. 

3^ Cantor, ii, cc. 41, 42; S. Giinther, Geschichte der Mathematik (Leipzig, 1908), 
i, c. 15. 

37 Gunther, p. 258. ^ Scritti, i. i. 

" Scritli, ii. 227-283. The date 1225 which heads the Liber quadratorum has 
perplexed historians, since Frederick first visited Pisa in the following year. Ene- 
strom has tried to reconcile the difl&culties by placing the first meeting elsewhere: 
B. M., ix. 72 (1908). 

" Scritii, ii. 253. 


Relations with other scholars of northern Italy seem to have con- 
cerned chiefly matters of law or literature, as Niese has well 
brought out,^^ but we should not overlook the treatise on the 
hygiene of a crusading army dedicated to Frederick by Adam, 

chanter of Cremona, in 1227 and recently brought to light by 

It is characteristic of Frederick's strongly personal policy that 
the intellectual life of his kingdom centres in his court rather than 
in universities, and that the southern universities in his reign 
show little vigor of life and leadership. His absolute and paternal 
ideas of government left no place for independent corporations of 
masters and students living the free and turbulent life of the 
northern studia. So Salerno, which had grown to eminence as a 
school of medicine without the aid of prince or pope, found itself 
tied down by royal statute in 1231 as part of a comprehensive 
regulation of the practice of medicine, surgery, and pharmacy 
throughout the kingdom of Sicily, issued in the interests of bu- 
reaucratic administration rather than of university development. 
The course of study is laid down by law, and royal officers are to 
be present at the examinations.^^ A similar bureaucratic purpose 
runs through the statutes establishing the University of Naples 
in 1224 and reforming it in 1234 and 1239. Frederick needed 
trained public servants, and he preferred to have them brought up 
in his own kingdom rather than in Bologna and other Guelfic 
cities of the North. Although the new university was to com- 
prise all the fields of study then current, its strength lay in law and 
rhetorical composition, and it is no accident that the masters 
whose names have reached us are chiefly jurists and grammarians, 
closely connected with the judges and clerks of the royal curiaJ^ 

Historische Zeitschrift, cviii. 513 ff. 

^2 F. Honger, Aertzliche V erhaltungsmassregeln auf dem Heerzug ins heilige Land 
jiir Kaiser Friedrich II. geschrieb'en von Adam von Cremona (Leipzig diss., 1913). 

^3 Constitutions in Huillard-BrehoUes, iv. 150 ff., 235; Greek text, ed. Sudhoff, 
in Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der Medizin, xiii. 180 (1914). See Rashdall, Univer- 
sities, i. 83 ff.; and the commentary of A. Baimier, Die Aertztegesetzgehung Kaiser 
Friedrichs II (Leipzig, 191 1). 

^* See the principal documents concerning the beginnings of the university in 
Huillard-Breholles, ii. 450, iv. 497, v. 493-496; and the discussion in Denifle, Die 
Universitdten, i. 452-456. A much-needed study of its early history is promised by 


Nevertheless we read of a professor of natural philosophy, Master 
Arnold the Catalan, who taught the courses of the stars and the 
nature of the elements but was unable to predict his own sudden 
death, which occurred *'as he was lecturing on the soul," very- 
likely in the midst of a commentary on the De anima of Aris- 
totle.^^ No less a person than Thomas Aquinas began his study 
of natural philosophy at Naples, under an Irish master, one 
Petrus de Hibernia, who is later found holding a disputation at 
King Manfred's court.^^ 

Frederick's patronage of learning was not limited to Christian 
scholars. The Jewish translator of the logical commentary of 
Averroes and Ptolemy's Almagest, Jacob Anatoli, praises this 
''friend of wisdom and its votaries" for pecuniary support, and 
even hopes the Messiah may come in this reign; his versions into 
Hebrew, begun in Provence, were continued at Naples in 1232 
and brought him into relations with Michael Scot as well as the 
emperor .^^ A Spanish Jew, the encyclopedist Jehuda ben Solomon 

E. Sthamer. Two masters connected with the university in this period are the sub- 
jects of recent monographs: G. Ferretti, "Roffredo Epifanio da Benevento," in 
Studt medioevali, iii.. 230-275 (1909); and F. Torraca, "Maestro Terrisio di Atina," 
in Archivio storico napoletano, xxxvi. 231-253 (191 1) . Another professor of granrniar, 
Walter of AscoU, has left an etymological cyclopaedia entitled Dedignomion, or 
Summa derivationum, or Speculum artis grammatice, based on Isidore and Hugutio. 
I have used MS. 449 at Laon and MS. Vat. lat. 1500 of the Vatican, both ca. 1300; 
there is a later copy at the University of Bologna, MS. 1515 (2832). The Laon 
manuscript was ascribed to Walter, archbishop of Palermo in the twelfth century 
(Catalogue, p. 238), but 'Gualterius Hesculanus' appears clearly in the preface, and 
a further sentence printed by Morelli, Codices MSS. Latini hihliothecae Nanianae 
(Venice, 1726), p. 160, states that the book was begun at Bologna in 1229 and after- 
ward completed at Naples. Walter is probably the * Magister G[ualterius] gramma- 
ticus,' professor at Naples, whose death is lamented in a letter of Piero della Vigna 
(Epp., iv, no. 8; Huillard-BrehoUes, Pierre de la Vigne, p. 394). In the Laon MS. 
the Dedignomion is followed by the notes of another southern grammarian, AneUus 
de Gaieta. 

See the letter of condolence of Master Terrisio, published by Paolucci in the 
Atti of the Palermo Academy, iv. 44 (1896); and by Torraca in the article just 
cited, p. 247. 

Denifle, Universitaten, i. 456 ff.; Baeumker, "Petrus de Hibernia," in Munich 
Sitzungsberichte, 1920; Grabmann, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxxiii. 347-362 
(1920); infra, n. 138. 

Renan, in Histoire litieraire, xxvii. 580-589; Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 58-61, 
523; Huillard-BrehoUes, iv. 382, n. 


Cohen, was in correspondence with one of the court philosophers 
at the age of eighteen, coming later to Italy, where he met the 
emperor and is found in Tuscany in 1247.^^ Through these or 
others Frederick had some knowledge of Maimonides, whose 
Guide for the Perplexed seems to have been translated into Latin 
in southern Italy in this period.^^ 

Whether eminent Mohammedan scholars actually resided at 
Frederick's court, is a question which cannot be answered from 
the information at our disposal. His colony of Saracens at Lu- 
cera and his well known tolerance of the infidel combined with 
the environment of his youth and his semi-oriental habits of life 
to spread stories that he preferred to surround himself with 
Moslem rather than Christian influences, in learning as in every- 
thing else.^^ That he was friendly to the learning of Islam ap- 
pears from the various questionnaires which, as we shall see, he 
sent out to Mohammedan rulers, partly as puzzles, partly in a 
real search for knowledge. His crusade led to political and com- 
mercial relations with the sultan of Egypt which lasted through- 
out his reign, while the commercial treaty of 1231 with the ruler 
of Tunis was followed by the establishment of a Sicilian consulate 
at Tunis and a series of diplomatic missions of various sorts.^^ 
Such missions were regularly the occasion of an exchange of pres- 
ents, and it was well understood that the emperor valued a book, 

^8 Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 1-3, 164, 507; idem, V erzeichniss der hebrdischen 
Handschriften der koniglichen Bibliothek zu Berlin^ ii. 1 21-126; and in Z. M. Ph.y 
xxxi, 2, pp. 106 ff. On Jewish culture under Frederick, see M. Giidemann, Ge- 
schichte des Erziehungswesens der Juden in Italien (Vienna, 1884), pp. 101-107, 
268 ff.; R. Straus, Die Juden im Kbnigreich Sizilien (Heidelberg, 1910), pp. 79-91. 

Amari, iii. 705 ff.; Steinschneider, in Hebrdische Bibliographies vii. 62-66 
(1864); idem, H. U., p. 433; infra, Chapter XIII, n. 63. 

^° On which see now Egidi, in Archivio storico napoletano, xxxvi-xxxix. 

5^ Current views of Frederick's relations with the Saracen world are illustrated 
by Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, iii. 520; iv. 268, 526, 567 ff., 635; v. 60 ff., 217. 

^2 See, in general, Amari, Musulmani, iii. 621-655; A. Schaube, Handelsge- 
schichte der romanischen Vdlker, pp. 185, 302-304; Huillard-BrehoUes, introduction, 
ch. 5; Mas Latrie, Traites de paix avec les Arabes de VAfrique septentrionale, intro- 
duction, pp. 82 ff., 122-124; Blochet, "Les relations diplomatiques des Hohen- 
staufen avec les Sultans d'Egypte," in Revue historique, Ixxx. 51-64 (1902); and, 
under the several Mohammedan rulers, the indexes to the Regesta Imperii and 
Winkehnann, Kaiser Friedrich II. 


a rare bird, or a cunning piece of workmanship more highly than 
mere objects of luxury. Thus in 1232 al-Ashraf, sultan of Da- 
mascus, sent him a wonderful planetarium, with figures of the sun 
and moon marking the hours on their appointed rounds; valued 
at 20,000 marks, this was kept with the royal treasure at Venosa.^^ 
Frederick gave in return a white bear and a white peacock which 
astonished the Oriental chroniclers, much as their western con- 
temporaries were impressed by ^'the marvellous beasts, such as 
the West had not seen or known," which Frederick had earlier 
received from Egypt.^^ 

At the end of a series of such costly exchanges, Frederick, his 
treasury exhausted, propounded to the sultan problems of mathe- 
matics and philosophy, the solutions of which, due to a famous 
scholar of Egypt,^^ came back in the sultan's own hand. While 
in the East Frederick asked an interview with some one learned 
in astronomy, and in response Sultan Malik al-Kamil sent him 
a most learned astronomer and mathematician surnamed al- 
Hanifi.^^ It will be recalled that Theodore the philosopher is said 
to have been first sent to the emperor by the 'caliph,' and it is he 
who drafts the Arabic letters to the ruler of Tunis.^^ There can 
be no doubt of the impression which Frederick made on the schol- 
ars of the East as one well versed in philosophy, mathematics, 
and the natural sciences in general; but such reports, trans- 
mitted through later Arabic compilers, are too vague to throw 
much light on his relation to specific fields of science. 

The list of scholars with whom Frederick was in contact fades 

" Chronica Regia Coloniensis (ed. Waitz, 1880), p. 263; Huillard-BrehoUes, iv. 
369; cf. Winkelmann, Kaiser Friedrich II., ii. 399 ff.; Wiedemann, in Archiv fiir 
Kulturgeschichie, xi. 485 (191 4). 

" M.G.H.y Scriptores, xxviii. 61. Cf. the white Indian psitacus sent by the 
sultan: De arte, i, c. 23. 

Revue hisiorique, Ixxx. 60; infra, note 122. 

^® Tarih Mansuri, in Archivio storico siciliano, ix. 119. 

" See notes 18, 22, above. 

^ See the passages cited by Rohricht, Beitrage zur Geschichte der Kreuzziige 
(Berlin, 1874), i. 73 ff.; Winkehnann, Kaiser Friedrich II, ii. 137, n. 3. Frederick's 
fame in the East is further illustrated by the eulogy of Theodore Lascaris: Pappa- 
dopoulos, Theodore II Lascaris (Paris, 1908), pp. 183-189; Bv^avris, ii. 404-413 


into a penumbra of mythical attributions and romantic tales, 
interesting at least as showing the reputation which the emperor 
and his court acquired in the field of learning and literature. 
Thus Le regime du corps of Aldebrandino of Siena, written in 1256 
for Countess Beatrice of Provence, appears in certain later manu- 
scripts as translated in 1234 '^from Greek into Latin and from 
Latin into French" at the request of ^'Frederick formerly em- 
peror of Rome." The famous letter of Prester John concerning 
the marvels of the East, which in the Latin original is sent to the 
Greek emperor Manuel, its in is French form addressed to ^'Fedri 
Tempereour de Rome," as the mythical account of Alexander's 
conquests in Central Asia is directed to his philosopher Theo- 
dore.^^ The French prophecies of Merlin profess to have been 
compiled at the desire of Frederick and then turned into Arabic 
as a present to the Sultan of Egypt,^^ while the romance of Sid- 
rach purports to have been brought from Tunis for Frederick and 
turned into Latin by Friar Roger of Palermo. A medical trea- 
tise is said to have been translated for the emperor in 121 2 with 
the aid of Gerard of Cremona, who died twenty-five years 

The nature of the scientific interests of Frederick's court has 
by this time become in some measure apparent. For one thing, 
he was deeply interested in all kinds of animals, collecting a 
menagerie which followed him about Italy and even into Ger- 
many. In November, 1231, he came to Ravenna ''with many 
animals unknown to Italy: elephants, dromedaries, camels, 
panthers, gerfalcons, lions, leopards, white falcons, and bearded 

Cf. Langlois, La connaissance de la nature au moyen age, p. 191. 
^° Le regime du corps de Mattre Aldebrandin de Sienne, ed. L. Landouzy and R. 
Pepin (Paris, 191 1), pp. xxxii, Iv. 

See, for the Latin text, the various studies of F. Zarncke; and, for the French 
version, Ruteboeuf, ed. Jubinal (1875), iii, 355; P. Meyer, in Romania, xv. 177, 
xxxix. 271. The reference may be to Frederick Barbarossa: R. Kohler, Romania, 
V. 76; supra, Chapter X, n. 173. On Frederick II and Prester John see the 
Cento Novelle Antiche, no. i. 

^2 Sudhoff, in Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Medizin, ix. 9; Steinschneider, in 
Eebrdische Bibliographie, viii. 41. 

^3 H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the British Museum, i. 371 S., 905. 
" Ibid., i. 904; Histoire litter aire, xxxi. 288; Langlois, p. 204. 
Steinschneider, H. U., p. 793. 


owls." Five years later a similar procession passed through 
Parma, to the delight of a boy of fifteen later known as Sa- 
limbene.^^ The elephant, a present from the sultan, stayed in 
Ghibelline Cremona, where he was put through his paces for the 
Earl of Cornwall and died thirteen years later "full of humors, 
amid the popular expectation that his bones would ultimately 
turn into ivory. In 1 245 the monks of Santo Zeno at Verona, in 
extending their hospitality to the emperor, had to entertain with 
him an elephant, five leopards, and twenty-four camels. The 
camels were used for transport and were even taken over the 
Alps, with monkeys and leopards, to the wonder of the un- 
travelled Germans.^^ Another marvel of the collection was a 
giraffe from the sultan, the first to appear in mediaeval Europe.^^ 
Throughout runs the motif of ivory, apes, and peacocks from 
the East, as old as Nineveh and Tyre and as new as the modern 
^ Zoo, 'with the touch of the thirteenth century seen in the ele- 
phant which Matthew Paris thought rare enough to preserve 
in a special drawing in his history and the lion which Villard 
de Honnecourt saw on his travels and carefully labelled in his 
sketchbook, ''drawn from life"! 

Frederick's menagerie illustrates various sides of his nature — 
his delight in magnificence and display, his fondness for the un- 
usual and the exotic, his joy in hunting, for which he used cours- 
ing leopards and panthers as well as hawks and falcons and the 

Scheffer-Boichorst, Zur Geschichte des XII. und XIII. Jahrhunderts (Berlin, 
1897), pp. 282, 286. 

^ Cronica, ed. Holder-Egger, pp. 92 ff. 

^ Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, iv. 166 ff. 

Chronicon Placentinum, ed. Huillard-Breholles (Paris, 1856), p. 215. 
'° Nuovo archivio veneto, vi. 129. 

'1 Annals of Colmar, M. G. H., Scriptores, xvii. 189; Bohmer-Ficker, nos. 2098 a, 
2973, 3475 a. 

^2 Albertus Magnus, De animalibus, ed. Stadler, p. 141 7; Michaud, Bibliotheque 
des Croisades, iv. 436. 

'^^ Chronica majora. iv. 166, v. 489. 

"Et bien sacies que cis lions fu contrefais al vif." Album de Villard de Honne- 
court, plates 47, 48; cf. 52, 53 (facsimile edition published by the Bibliotheque 

Bohmer-Ficker, nos. 2661, 2783, 2883, 3029. Cf. the three leopards sent to 
Henry III: Matthew Paris, M. G. H., Scriptores, xxviii, 131, 407, 409. 


humbler companions of the chase — but it also fed a genuine 
scientific interest in animals and their habits. His De arte venandi 
cum avibus, of which more will be said below, not only deals com- 
prehensively with all the practical phases of the art, but begins 
with a systematic and careful discussion of the species, structure, 
and habits of birds, for which the author utilizes the De animali- 
bus of Aristotle, such previous treatises as he could find on the 
subject, and the results of his own observation and inquiry J® A 
similar interest appears in the case of horses, to whose breeding 
the emperor gave special attention and concerning whose diseases 
he ordered one of his marshals, the Calabrian knight Giordano 
Ruffo, to prepare under imperial supervision a treatise, which 
was not completed until after Frederick's death. The first 
western manual of the veterinary art, this was widely popular, 
especially in Italy, being translated into many languages and 
imitated by the writers of the next generation.^^ Frederick's 
reputation as a hunter, if not his personal inspiration to author- 
ship, may also be seen in the little treatise on hunting of a certain 
Guicennas, "master in every kind of hunting by the testimony of 
the hunters of Lord Frederick, emperor of the Romans." 

The medical interests of the court are well attested, though 
they are not known to have produced notable additions to medi- 
cs Infra, Chapter XIV. 

" Edited by Molin (Padua, 181 8). For manuscripts and translations, see L. 
Moule, Histoire de la medecine veterinaire (Paris, 1898), ii. 25-30, where some ac- 
count will be found of the later Italian treatises. There are four copies at Naples, 
MSS. viii. D. 65-67 bis. See further Huillard-BrehoUes, introduction, p. dxxxvi; 
Romania, xxiii. 350, xl. 353; Steinschneider, H. U., p. 985. This author is probably 
the Jordanus de Calabria who was made castellan of Ceseno in 1 239 (Richard of San 
Germano, ad annum). 

'Incipit liber Guicennatis de arte bersandi. Si quis scire desideret de arte ber- 
sandi, in hoc tractatu cognoscere poterit magistratum. Huius autem artis liber 
vocatur Guicennas et rationabiliter vocatur Guicennas nomine cuiusdam militis 
Teotonici qui appellabatur Guicennas qui huius artis et libri prebuit materiam. 
Iste vero dominus Guicennas Teotonicus fuit magister in omni venatione et insuper 
summus omnium venatorum et specialiter in arte bersandi, sicut testificabantur 
magni barones et principes de AUemannia et maxime venatores excellentis viri 
domini Frederici Romanorum imperatoris. . . Vatican, MS. Vat. lat. 5366, ff. 
75 v-78 V (ca. 1300); MS. Reg. lat. 1227, ff. 66 v-70) (fifteenth century). Guicennas, 
who is cited by writers on falconry, is identified with Avicenna by Werth but with- 
out any reasons given {Zeitschrift fiir romanische Philologie, xiii. 10). 


cal knowledge. Thus Pietro da Eboli, early in the reign, dedi- 
cated to Frederick his poem on the baths of Pozzuoli/^ whose 
healing qualities the emperor was to put to proof after his illness 
in 1227.^^ The treatise of Adam of Cremona on the hygiene of 
the crusading army has already been mentioned, as has also the 
series of hygienic precepts formulated for the emperor by Master 
Theodore, while a similar treatise purports to be dedicated to 
Frederick by his ' alumnus,' Petrus Hispanus, who claims Theo- 
dore as his master. Frederick seems to have shown some anxiety 
concerning paralysis, and a marvellous powder was current in 
his name, efficacious against many ^'chronic ailments of the 
head and the stomach." An incantation for the healing of 
wounds was also ascribed to him.^^ Frederick gave careful atten- 
tion to personal hygiene in such matters as blood-letting,^^ diet, 
and bathing; indeed his Sunday bath was a cause of much scan- 
dal to good Chris tians.^^ One is reminded of the slander on the 
Middle Ages as a thousand years without a bath! 

Without astrologers Frederick's court would not have been an 
Italian court of the thirteenth century, when even the universi- 
ties had their professors of astrology.^^ Guido of Montefeltro 
kept in his employ one of the most distinguished and successful 

For a discussion of the questions concerning this poem, see Ries, in Mitteil- 
ungen des Instituts fiir oesterreichische Geschichtsjorschung, xxxii. 576-593 (191 1), 
and the works there cited. 
^° Winkehnann, i. 333. 

81 See notes 25 and 42, above, and for Petrus Hispanus, Harleian MS. 5218, f. i; 
P. Pansier, Collectio ophtalmologica (Paris, 1908), vi. 108 f.; and Thorndike, ch. 58. 
In the Rossi MSS. recently acquired by the Vatican there are (MS. XI. 7) a series 
of 953 prescriptions in the name of "Maestro Bene medico dellomperadore Fede- 
rigo"; and a Lihro de consegli de poveri infermi ascribed to Michael Scot (MS. 
XI. 144). 

^ Ed. Sudhoff, in Archiv fiir die Geschichte der Medizin, ix. 6, note. Cf. the 
'pills of King Roger,' Worcester cathedral, MS. Q. 60, f. 88 v {Catalogue of MSS., 
p. 141)- 

^ Huillard-BrehoUes, introduction, p. dxxxviii. 
^ Chapter XIII, n. 108. 

85 John of Winterthur, ed. Wyss (Zurich, 1856), p. 8. 

8« Cf. T. O. Wedel, "The Mediaeval Attitude toward Astrology," Yale Studies 
in English, Ix, ch. 5; Novati, Freschi e minii, pp. 129-134; Thorndike, ii, espe- 
cially ch. 67. Gerard of Sabionetta has left a register of his consultations, 1256- 
60: B. Boncompagni, in Atti delV Accademia Pontificia, iv. 458 ff. (1851). 


of mediaeval astrologers, Guido Bonatti, who is said to have 
directed his master's military expeditions from a campanile with 
the precision of a fire alarm: first bell, to arms; second, to horse; 
third, off to battle .^^ Ezzelino da Romano also had Bonatti 
among his many astrologers, along with Master Salio, canon of 
Padua, Riprandino of Verona, and *'a long-bearded Saracen 
named Paul, who came from Baldach on the confines of the far 
East, and by his origin, appearance, and actions deserved the 
name of a second Balaam." There is no certain evidence that 
Guido Bonatti resided at Frederick's court, but he tells us that 
he discovered the conspiracy of 1246 by the stars at Forli and 
sent timely word to the emperor at Grosseto.^^ Of the emperor's 
astrologers we know by name only Michael Scot and Theodore, 
but his enemies exulted over the troop of astrologers and magi- 
cians which this devotee of Beelzebub, Ashtaroth, and other 
demons lost in the great defeat before Parma.^^ It is plain that 
much reliance was placed on such advice, even in quite personal 
matters. Scot prided himself on his successful predictions of 
campaigns and the avoidance of unfavorable seasons; another 
astrologer guided the emperor through a breach in the wall at 
Vicenza in 1236; and Theodore stood on the tower of Padua in 
1 239 seeking a fortunate conjunction for an expedition which was 
ultimately turned back by an eclipse. Indeed the story ran that 
Frederick avoided Florence because of an astrologer's prediction, 

Boncompagni, Delia vita e delle opere di Guido Bonatti (Rome, 1851), pp. 6 ff.; 
cf. Thorndike, ii. 825-835. 

^ Boncompagni, op. cit., pp. 29-32; Muratori, viii. 344, 705, xiv. 930. On 
Salio, see Steinschneider, E. U., no. 107; Thorndike, ii. 221. 

83 Boncompagni, Guido, p. 24; Guido Bonatti, Decern libri de astronomia, trac- 
tatus iv, cons. 58. I have used the Venice edition of 1506 in the Boston Public 
Library. The Census of Fifteenth Century Books owned in America seems to be in 
error in listing the Augsburg edition of 1491 (Hain, 3461*), as at Brown Uni- 
versity. On the conspiracy of 1246, see Bohmer-Ficker, no. 3547 a. 

90 Albert of Behaim, ed. Hofler, pp. 126, 128. On Frederick's devotion to as- 
trology, see also Saba Malaspina, in Muratori, viii. 788. 

91 Matthew Paris, in M. G. H., Scriptores, xxviii. 131; cf. Scot's Physiognomy. 

92 Infra, Chapter XIII, nn. 107, 108. Cf. Salhnbene, ed. Holder-Egger, pp. 353, 
360, 512, 530; Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xviii. 486, 

93 Antonio Godi, in Muratori, viii. 83. 

94 Muratori, viii. 228 ff. 


and recognized when it was too late that the obscure Fiorentino 
would be the scene of his death. The literary output of the 
Magna Curia in this field is represented by Scot's three treatises, 
the Physiognomy, Liber introductorius, and Liber particularis, all 
dedicated to the emperor, the Physiognomy being designed to aid 
him directly in his judgment of men. Indeed Scot speaks of 
' the new astrology ' as proudly as writers now speak of the new 
chemistry or the new history. 

With astrology there nattirally went a considerable amount of 
astronomy, for astrology is only applied astronomy, wrongly 
applied as we now believe, but a thoroughly practical subject in 
the eyes of the later Middle Ages. The works of Michael Scot 
show familiarity with Ptolemy and the principal Arabic writers 
on astronomy, already translated in the twelfth century; and the 
Hebrew versions of Ptolemy and his abbreviators by Jacob 
Anatoli are further evidence of attention to this science. The 
mathematical interests of the court reach their highest expression 
in the relations with Leonard of Pisa, in which, it will be remem- 
bered, the emperor himself took an active part. Frederick's own 
work shows an acquaintance with the fundamentals of geometry, 
and while in the East he sought out the company of mathemati- 
cians and astronomers.^^ His castles show much interest in 
architecture, the towers at Capua being designed with his own 
hand; indeed we are told that he was ''skilled in all mechanical 
arts to which he gave himself." No direct contributions to 
mathematical literature have, however, been connected with the 
Sicilian court. 

To what extent studies in alchemy were pursued at Frederick's 
court, it is impossible to say with our present loose knowledge 
of the alchemical literature of the thirteenth century. The al- 
chemical treatises ascribed to Michael Scot are uncertain enough, 
as we shall see in the next chapter, and the attribution of others 

^5 Muratori, viii. 788. 

'Qui vero hos duos libros plene noverit ac sciverit operari nomen novi as- 
trologi optinebit': Liber particularis, Bodleian, MS. Canon. Misc. 555, f. i v. 
Chapter XIV, n. 107; Archivio storico siciliano, ix. 119. 
Richard of San Germano, M. G. H., Scriptores, xix. 372. 
Muratori, ix. 132, 661. 


to Friar Elias may be entirely mythical; yet there seems 
enough basis of fact in the case of Scot's writings to indicate some 
activity in this direction. 

The philosophical interests of the court were strongly marked. 
Frederick was well trained in logic, even taking a master of dia- 
lectic with him on the crusade, and his De arte shows familiarity 
with scholastic terminology and classification. His mind, how- 
ever, was in no sense formal but actively questioning, and the 
range of his inquiries touched far-reaching problems of the uni- 
verse and the human soul, as we shall see from his questionnaires. 
The doctrines of Averroes were well known and often discussed 
at his court, so that Mohammedan writers considered him no 
Christian at heart; and many European contemporaries shook 
their heads over the current stories of his scepticism and un- 

How far the scientific life of Frederick's court was fed by new 
versions of the works of Aristotle and his commentators, it is not 
easy to say. By 1215 western Europe knew not only the logical 
treatises, but the Metaphysics, the Ethics, and the principal writ- 
ings on natural philosophy. New versions, often with the com- 
mentaries of Averroes and Avicenna, continued to appear in the 
course of the thirteenth century, but few of these can be specifi- 
cally connected with Sicily.^^^ Roger Bacon, it is true, speaks of 
the appearance of Michael Scot ca. 1230, bearing ^'certain parts 
of the natural philosophy and metaphysics with the authentic 
commentaries," as constituting a turning-point in Aristotelian 

100 Thorndike, ii. 308, 335. The Vatican MS. Reg. lat. 1242, a modern MS. of 
II folios, contains 'Liber patris Rev- Elie generalis ordinis Minorum ad Fredericum 

Amari, Bihlioteca Araho-Sicula, ii. 254; Michaud, Histoire des croisades, vii. 
810; Rohricht, Beitrdge, i. 73 ff. 

E. g., Matthew Paris, M. G. H., Scriptores, xxviii. 147, 230, 416; Salimbene, 
p. 349- 

See, in general, Jourdain; and M. Grabmann, Forschungen iiber die lateinischen 
Aristotelesiibersetzungen des XIII. Jahrhunderts (Miinster, 191 6). For the Logic, 
see Chapter XI, supra; for the Ethics, A. Pelzer, "Les versions latines des ouvrages 
de morale conserves sous le nom d'Aristote," in Revue neo-scolastique, xxiii, 316- 
341, 378-400 (1921); for the Metaphysics, Geyer, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxx. 
392-415 (1917); F. Pelster, in Festgabe Baeumker, pp. 89-118 (1923). 


studies; but this seems to be one of the occasions when the 
friar is speaking loosely. The only work of Aristotle first trans- 
lated by Scot was the De animalibus, in a version made before he 
joined the Sicilian court, and the only new versions of texts al- 
ready known which are certainly by him are the De caelo and De 
aninta, with the commentary of Averroes.^^^ To these should be 
added Scot's Latin abbreviation of Avicenna's commentary on 
the De animalihus, which is dedicated to the emperor before 
1232/"® and the Hebrew versions of Averroes's commentary on 
the Logic made by Jacob Anatoli for Frederick in or about that 
year.^^^ At the same time other works of the Stagy rite were freely 
used at court. Thus Scot quotes the Ethics and draws largely 
on the Meteor ology,^^^ while Theodore the philosopher cites the 
Rhetoric and Ethics, as well as the Secretum secretorum}^^ The 
emperor himself, in the De arte venandi, draws on the pseudo- 
Aristotelian Mechanics as well as on the De animalihus Never- 
theless what was new in all this was Averroes rather than Aris- 
totle, nor can we be certain, as investigation now stands, that the 
Sicilian school did more than give wider currency to treatises and 
doctrines of Averroes which had already begun to spread from 

Frederick has been called ''an unrestrained admirer of Aris- 
totle," but his own writings are far from bearing this out. We 

Opus majus, ed. Bridges, i. 55, iii. 66; M. G. H., Scriptores, xxviii. 571. 
Besides Grabmann, see below, Chapter XIII. 

J. Wood Brown, Michael Scot, pp. 53 ff., corrected in Chapter XIII. The 
University of Michigan has a copy of the printed text of this version. 
See note 47, above. 

Chapter XIII, n. 78; Revue neo-scolastique, xxiii. 326, n. 2. 
Chapter XIV, n. 124; Archivfiir die Geschichte der Medizin, ix. 4-8. On the 
new version of the Secretum secretorum attributed to Philip of Tripoli, see Steele, 
Opera hactenus inedita Rogeri Baconi, v, pp. xviii-xxii; and Chapter VII, supra. 
110 Chapter XIV, n. 113. 

1" Biehringer, Kaiser Friedrich II. (Berlin, 191 2), p. 244. Frederick's devotion 
to Aristotle has been argued from a letter ascribed to him which transmits new ver- 
sions of Aristotle's work to some university, but I agree with most recent scholars 
in assigning this letter to Manfred and connecting it with the translations of the 
Magna moralia and various pseudo-Aristotelian treatises made by his direction. 
See Jourdain, p. 156, with French translation; Huillard-Breholles, Historia diplo- 
matica, iv. 383; Denifle and Chatelain, Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, i, 


have, he says in the preface to the De arte, followed the prince of 
philosophers where required, but not in all things, for we have 
learned by experience that at several points he deviates from the 
truth. Aristotle relies too much on hearsay, and has evidently 

rarely or never had experience of falconry, which we have loved 
and practised all our life." More than once he must be directly 
corrected from the emperor's observation — non sic se habet. 

It is this experimental habit of mind, the emperor's restless 
desire to see and know for himself, which lies behind those super- 
stitiones et curiositates at which the good Salimbene holds up his 
hands.-^^^ There is the story of the man whom Frederick shut up 
in a wine-cask to prove that the soul died with the body, and the 
two men whom he disembowelled in order to show the respective 
effects of sleep and exercise on digestion. There were the children 
whom he caused to be brought up in silence in order to settle the 
question ''whether they would speak Hebrew, which was the first 
language, or Greek or Latin or Arabic or at least the language of 
their parents; but he labored in vain, for the children all died." 
There was the diver, Nicholas, surnamed the Fish, hero of 
Schiller's Der Taucher, whom he sent repeatedly to explore the 
watery fastnesses of Scylla and Charybdis, and the memory of 
whose exploits was handed on by the Friars Minor of Messina,^^^ 
not to mention the "other superstitions and curiosities and male- 
dictions and incredulities and perversities and abuses" which 
the friar of Parma had set down in another chronicle now lost.^^^ 
Such again was the story of the great pike brought to the Elector 
Palatine in 1497, in its gills a copper ring placed there by Fred- 
erick to test the longevity of fish, and still bearing the inscription 
in Greek, "I am that fish which Emperor Frederick II placed in 

no. 394; Bohmer-Ficker, Regesta, no. 4750; Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen 
(Gottingen, 1871), p. 624; Grabmann, Aristotelesubersetzunge?i, pp. 200-204, 237 ff.; 
Helene M. Arndt, Studien zur inner en Regierungsgeschichte Manfreds (Heidelberg, 
191 1), p. 149; Pelzer, in Revue neo-scolastique, xxiii. 319 ff. 
Ed. Holder-Egger, pp. SS^SSS- 

The story appears also in Francesco Pippini (Muratori, ix. 669), Riccobaldo 
of Ferrara (ibid., ix. 248), and Jacopo d'Acqui (Neues Archiv, xvii. 500). 

Salimbene, ed. Holder-Egger, p. 351. On Frederick's insatiable curiosity, 
see also Malaspina, in Muratori, viii. 788. 


this lake with his own hand the fifth day of October, 1230." 
On another occasion Frederick is said to have sent messengers to 
Norway in order to verify the existence of a spring which turned 
to stone garments and other objects immersed therein.^^^ Ac- 
cording to Albertus Magnus, Frederick had a magnet which in- 
stead of attracting iron was drawn to it.^^^ 

Whatever value these tales may have, the emperor's scientific 
habit of mind is seen best of all in his own writings. His treatise 
on falconry, De arte venandi cum avibus,^^^ is compact of personal 
observation of the habits of birds, especially falcons, carried on 
throughout a busy life of sport and study, and verified by birds 
and falconers brought from distant lands. Indeed, his systematic 
use for such inquiries of the resources of his royal administration 
constitutes an interesting example of the pursuit of research by 
governmental agencies. ''Not without great expense," he tells 
us, ''did we call to ourselves from afar those who were expert in 
this art, extracting from them whatever they knew best and 
committing to memory their sayings and practices." "When we 
crossed the sea we saw the Arabs using a hood in falconry, and 
their kings sent us those most skilled in this art, with many 
species of falcons." The emperor not only tested the artificial 
incubation of hens' eggs, but, on hearing that ostrich eggs were 
hatched by the sun in Egypt, he had eggs and experts brought to 
Apulia that he might test the matter for himself. The fable that 
barnacle geese were hatched from barnacles he exploded by send- 
ing north for such barnacles, concluding that the story arose from 
ignorance of the actual nesting-places of the geese. Whether 
vultures find their food by sight or by smell he ascertained by 
seeling their eyes while their nostrils remained open. Nests, 
eggs, and birds were repeatedly brought to him for observation 
and note, and the minute accuracy of his descriptions attests the 

"5 A. Hauber, "Kaiser Friedrich der Staufer und der langlebige Fisch," in 
Archiv fur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, iii. 315-329 (1911), brings together 
the various reports but shows that the date 1 230 is impossible. 

The original has 'in regione Armenie Norwegie.' Extract from mediaeval 
encyclopaedia published by Delisle, in Notices et extraits des MSS., xxxii, i, p. 48; 
M. G. H., Scriptores, xxviii. 571. 

De mineralihus, cited by Thorndike, ii. 525, n. gee Chapter XIV. 


fidelity with which his observations were made. The whole of the 
practical portion of his De arte is a setting down in systematic 
form of the results of actual practice of the art. The author's 
statements are supported by facts rather than by authority or 
mere personal opinion, and if information is lacking no conclusion, 
is drawn. One who reads the De arte through gets inevitably the 
impression of the work of a first-rate mind, open, inquiring, realis- 
tic, trying to see things as they are without parti pris, and work- 
ing throughout on the basis of systematized experience. To 
follow this up by a course of reading in the confused and preten- 
tious astrology of Michael Scot is to realize how far the emperor 
was intellectually superior to those about him. 

Observation and experiment on a large scale Frederick supple- 
mented by the questionnaire, applied not only to the scholars of 
his court and the experts who came at his summons, but to sa- 
vants of other lands whom he could not interrogate personally. 
The method seems to have been to draw up a list of questions 
upon which the emperor could get no final or satisfactory response 
at home, and to send them to other rulers, most naturally the 
Mohammedan princes, requesting that they be submitted to the 
leading local scholars for answer, a procedure which assumes 
autocratic governments like that which Frederick himself utilized 
to satisfy intellectual curiosity. Such was the practice followed 
in the most famous instance, the so-called * Sicilian questions' 
published by Amari many years ago.^^^ According to the response 
which has reached us, Frederick, not long before 1 242, sent a series 
of questions to be answered by Mohammedan philosophers in 
Egypt, Syria, Irak, Asia Minor, and Yemen, and later to the 
Almohad caliph of Morocco, ar-Rashid, by whom they were for- 
warded, with a sum of money as the emperor's reward, to ibn 
Sabin, a Spanish philosopher then living at Ceuta. Refusing the 
money, ibn Sabin answers at some length in terms of Mohamme- 
dan orthodoxy, expressing some contempt for Frederick's attain- 

M. Amari, "Questions philosophiques adressees aux savants musulmans par 
I'Empereur Frederic II," in Journal Asiatique, fifth ser., i. 240-274 (1853); idem, 
Bihlioteca Arabo-Sicula, ii. 414-419; more fully by A. F. Mehren, in Journal Asia- 
tique, seventh ser., xiv. 341-454 (1879). Cf. the problems proposed by Chosroes, 
published by Quicherat, in Bibliotheque de VEcole des Charles, xiv. 248-263 (1853). 


ments as seen in his untechnical phraseology, and offering to set 
him right in a personal interview. The emperor's questions, as 
they are here cited in refutation, cover the eternity of matter and 
the immortality of the soul, the end and foundations of theology, 
and the number and nature of the categories — demanding al- 
ways the proofs of the opinions advanced in reply. Thus: 
Aristotle the sage in all his writings declares clearly the exist- 
ence of the world from all eternity. If he demonstrates this, what 
are his arguments, and if not, what is the nature of his reasoning 
on this matter?" Plainly Frederick was familiar with the Aris- 
totelian doctrines which agitated the Christian and Mohamme- 
dan worlds in the thirteenth century, indeed there was a legend 
that Averroes had lived at his court.^^^ The very suggestion of 
doubt respecting immortality was enough to justify the current 
belief that Frederick was one of those Epicurean heretics ^^who 
make the soul die with the body." 

We hear also of geometrical and astronomical problems such as 
the squaring of a circle's segment, solved for the emperor at 
Mosul; and we have another series of geometrical questions sent 
by one of Frederick's philosophers, in Arabic, to the young 
Jehuda ben Solomon Cohen in Toledo, together with the replies, 
at which the emperor expressed much satisfaction.^^^ Again we 
learn that in the time of al-Malik al-Kamil, sultan of Egypt 
(1218-38), the emperor set seven hard problems in order to test 
Moslem scholars. Three of these, which concern optics, have been 
preserved with their answers: Why do objects partly covered by 
water appear bent? Why does Canopus appear bigger when near 
the horizon, whereas the absence of moisture in the southern 
deserts precludes moisture as an explanation? What is the cause 
of the illusion of spots before the eyes? 

Renan, Averroes (1869), pp. 254, 291. 

^1 Steinschneider, in Z. M. Ph., xxxi, 2, pp. 106 ff. (1886); idem, H. U.y p. 3; 
idem, Verzeichniss der hebraischen Handschriften der koniglichen Bihliothek zu Berlin, 
ii. 126 (1897); Suter, "Beitrage zu den Beziehungen Kaiser Friedrichs II. zu zeit- 
genossichen Gelehrten . . . insbesondere zu Kemal ed-din ibn Junis," in Abhand- 
lungen zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften (Erlangen, 1922), iv. 1-8. 

^ E. Wiedemann, "Fragen aus dem Gebiet der Naturwissenschaften, gestellt 
von Friedrich II," in Archivfiir Kultur geschichte, xi. 483-485 (1914). 


Another and a less technical questionnaire has been handed 
down to us by Michael Scot; and as it does not appear to have 
been hitherto published or even cited by others, it may not be 
uninteresting to translate it as it stands in the manuscripts: 

" When Frederick, emperor of Rome and always enlarger of the empire, had 
long meditated according to the order which he had established concerning 
the various things which are and appear to be on the earth, above, within, 
and beneath it, on a certain occasion he privately summoned me, Michael 
Scot, faithful to him among all astrologers, and secretly put to me at his 
pleasure a series of questions concerning the foundations of the earth and 
the marvels within it, as follows: 

"My dearest master, we have often and in divers ways listened to ques- 
tions and solutions from one and another concerning the heavenly bodies, 
that is the sun, moon, and fixed stars, the elements, the soul of the world, 
peoples pagan and Christian, and other creatures above and on the earth, 
such as plants and metals; yet we have heard nothing respecting those 
secrets which pertain to the delight of the spirit and the wisdom thereof, 
such as paradise, purgatory, hell, and the foundations and marvels of the 
earth. Wherefore we pray you, by your love of knowledge and the reverence 
you bear our crown, explain to us the foundations of the earth, that is to say 
how it is established over the abyss and how the abyss stands beneath the 
earth, and whether there is anything else than air and water which supports 
the earth, and whether it stands of itself or rests on the heavens beneath it. 
Also how many heavens there are and who are their rulers and principal in- 
habitants, and exactly how far one heaven is from another, and by how much 
one is greater than another, and what is beyond the last heaven if there are 
several; and in which heaven God is in the person of ffis divine majesty and 
how He sits on His throne, and how He is accompanied by angels and 
saints, and v/hat these continually do before God. Tell us also how many 
abysses there are and the names of the spirits that dwell therein, and just 
where are hell, purgatory, and the heavenly paradise, whether under or on 
or above the earth [or above or in the abysses, and what is the difference 
between the souls who are daily borne thither and the spirits which fell 
from heaven; and whether one soul in the next world knows another and 
whether one can return to this life to speak and show one's self; and how 
many are the pains of hell]. Tell us also the measure of this earth by thick- 
ness and length, and the distance from the earth to the highest heaven and 
to the abyss, and whether there is one abyss or several; and if several how 
far one is from another; and whether the earth has empty spaces or is a 
solid body like a living stone; and how far it is from the surface of the earth 
down to the lower heaven. 

"Likewise tell us how it happens that the waters of the sea are so bitter 
and the waters are salt in many places and some waters away from the sea 
are sweet although they all come from the living sea. Tell us too concerning 
the sweet waters how they continually gush forth from the earth and some- 

^3 For the Latin text, see below, pp! 292-294. 


times from stones and trees, as from vines when they are pruned in the 
springtime, where they have their source and how it is that certain waters 
come forth sweet and fresh, some clear, others turbid, others thick and 
gummy; for we greatly wonder at these things, knowing already that all 
waters come from the sea and passing through divers lands and cavities 
return to the sea, which is the bed and receptacle of all running waters. 
Hence we should like to know whether there is one place by itself which has 
sweet water only and one with salt water only, or whether there is one place 
for both kinds, and in this case how the two kinds of water are so unlike, 
since by reason of difference of color, taste, and movement there would seem 
to be two places. So, if there are two places for these waters, we wish to be 
informed which is the greater and which the smaller, and how the running 
waters in all parts of the world seem to pour forth of their superabundance 
continually from their source, and although their flow is copious yet they do 
not increase as if more were added beyond the common measure but remain 
constant at a flow which is uniform or nearly so. We should like to know 
further whence come the salt and bitter waters which gush forth in some 
places, and the fetid waters in many baths and pools, whether they come of 
themselves or from elsewhere; likewise concerning those waters which come 
forth warm or hot or boiling as if in a caldron on a blazing fire, whence they 
come and how it is that some of them are always muddy and some always 
clear. Also we should like to know concerning the wind which issues from 
many parts of the earth, and the fire which bursts from plains as well as from 
mountains, and likewise what produces the smoke which appears now in one 
place and now in another, and what causes its blasts, as is seen in the region 
of Sicily and Messina, as Etna, Vulcano, Lipari, and Stromboli. How comes 
it that a flaming fire appears not only from the earth but also in certain parts 
of the sea of India? 

["And how is it that the soul of a living man which has passed away to 
another Hfe than ours cannot be induced to return by first love or even by 
hate, just as if it had been nothing, nor does it seem to care at all for what 
it has left behind whether it be saved or lost?"] 

A notable series of questions this, in spite of a certain amount 
of confusion and repetition which may be due to the less clear 
medium of Michael Scot through which they have been trans- 
mitted. Besides the previous discussions which they assume 
respecting astronomy, geography, and natural history, they cut 
to the heart of the current cosmology, which readers of Dante will 
recognize, with an insistent demand for exact and definite infor- 
mation. Just where are heaven and hell and purgatory; exactly 
how far is one heaven or one abyss from another; what is the 
structure of the earth and the explanation of its fires and waters 
— questions that might easily have cost Michael Scot his reputa- 
tion, in spite of his boastful promise to answer them all, and may 


well have led him to seek to measure the distance to heaven by 
means of a church tower with an apparent exactness which seems 
to have imposed on the emperor .^^^ Astronomy and cosmology 
cannot avoid theology: In which heaven is God to be found, and 
where are the souls of the departed, and why do they not com- 
municate with us for love or even hate? Or even hate " — a very 
human touch which shows us Frederick's own passion in the 
midst of the eternal riddles and reminds us of that hatred for 
Viterbo which he would come back from Paradise to assuage. 
And here as in the stories of Moslem writers we recognize the note 
of scepticism, the trace of that Epicurean heretic whose lurid 
figure haunts one of the thousand fiery tombs of the tenth canto 
of the Inferno. 

The nature of Frederick's ultimate religious opinions lies be- 
yond the ken of the historian, for we have no direct statements 
of his own beyond his general assertions of orthodoxy, against 
many highly colored stories from his enemies. When, however, 
Gregory IX accuses him of declaring that one should believe only 
in what is proved by the force and reason of nature, the asser- 
tion falls in entirely with what we know of Frederick's habit of 
mind. Profoundly rationalistic, he applied the test of reason and 
experience to affairs of state as well as to matters of science, as 
the body of his Sicilian legislation abundantly testifies. When he 
abolishes the ordeal, his reason is that it is not in accord with 
nature and does not lead to truth.^^^ In matters of commercial 
policy, "he was the first mediaeval ruler to use consistent eco- 
nomic principles as his standards." Immutator mirabilis, he 
has none of the mediaeval horror of change. Yet it is scarcely 
historical to call him a modern, for he looks in both directions. 
He harks back to King Roger and the Mohammedan East, while 

^ See the passage printed below. Chapter XIII, n. no. 

Historische Zeitschrift, Ixxxiii. 30. 
"6 Encyclical of July i, 1239, in Huillard-Breholles, v. 340; Bohmer-Ficker, 
no. 7245; Potthast, no. 10766. Frederick's reply is in Huillard-Breholles, v. 348 
(Bohmer-Ficker, nos. 2454, 2455); see also the examination of his orthodoxy in 
1246, ibid., vi. 426, 615 (Bohmer-Ficker, no. 3543). 
Hampe, in Historische Zeitschrift, Ixxxiii. 14. 
^ Jastrow- Winter, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Hohenstaufen, ii. 549. 


in his many-sided patronage of learning and his free and critical 
spirit of inquiry he belongs rather to the Italian Renaissance. 
Only in part does he belong to the thirteenth century, and he 
was in no sense its type. He was above all an individual, stupor 
mundi to his own age, and a marvel still to ours. 

Frederick's favorite son, Manfred, appears linked with his 
father in Dante's mention of the two illustrious heroes who, while 
fortune lasted, despised the merely brutal and followed humane 
pursuits.^^^ Certainly Manfred inherited many of his father's 
tastes and something of the same habit of mind, and his court 
continued much of the scientific activity of the earlier reign.^^° 
He tells us that the masters of his father's court taught him the 
nature of the world and the properties of both the transient and 
the eternal. At the age of twenty-five he fortified himself during 
a severe illness with the teachings of the treatise De porno, ^^"^ then 
ascribed to Aristotle, and on his recovery had it translated from 
Hebrew into Latin. Latin versions of the Magna moralia and 
pseudo-Aristotelian works, apparently those sent by the king to 
the students of Paris,^^^ were made directly from the Greek by 
an official translator, Bartholomew of Messina, who also trans- 
lated at Manfred's command the veterinary treatise of Hie- 
rocles.^^^ Translation from the Arabic is represented by an 

De vulgari eloquentia, i, c. 12. 

See, in general, Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen, pp. 209-216; Capasso, 
Historia diplomatica regni Siciliae, pp. 324 ff. ; Helene M. Arndt, Studien zur inneren 
Regierungsgeschichte Manfreds, c. 4; 0. Cartellieri, "Konig Manfred," in Centenario 
Michele Amari (Palermo, 1910), i. 116-138. 

The arguments of Hampe, Neues Archiv, xxxvi. 231 ff., and Arndt, pp. 146 ff., 
that Manfred was a student at Bologna and Paris, are to me unconvincing. 

132 Preface in Huillard-Breholles, Monuments de la maison de Souahe, p. 169; 
Schirrmacher, p. 622; Capasso, p. 112, note; Bohmer-Ficker, no. 4653. Cf. Stein- 
schneider, H. U., p. 268, who thinks it unlikely that the king himself was the trans- 
lator. A copy of this version in the Biblioteca Colombina at Seville purports to have 
been made *de greco in latinum' (MS. 7-6-2). 

Supra, note iii. 

134 MSS. of Hierocles at Pisa and Bologna: Studi italiani di filologia classica, 
viii. 395, xvii. 76; Rheinisches Museum, n. s., xlvi. 377 (1891). For the pseudo- 
Aristotle see Grabmann, pp. 201 ff,; Foerster, De translatione Latina Physiognomi- 
corum (Kiel, 1884); particularly the evidence of MS. xvii. 370 of the Biblioteca 
Antoniana at Padua. Another translator, Nicholas of Sicily, may belong to this 
group: Grabmann, p. 203. 


astrological treatise, the Centiloquium Hermetis, turned into Latin 
by Stephen of Messina and also dedicated to the king/^^ and by 
a set of astronomical and astrological tables translated by John 
^de Dumpno' and preserved in a fine codex at Madrid.^^^ Man- 
fred's knowledge of philosophy and mathematics, especially 
Euclid, as well as of languages, is praised by an Egyptian visitor, 
who dedicated to him a work on logic,^^^ and a further illustration 
of his philosophical tastes is found in a disputation in which he 
asks whether members exist because of their functions or func- 
tions because of their members, the final ' determination ' of this 
scholastic dispute being made by that gemma magistrorum et 
laurea morum, Master Petrus de Hibernia.^^^ 

Like his father, Manfred had his menagerie, including a giraffe 
from the East,^^^ and he also shared his father's devotion to as- 
trology and to sportsmanship. The De arte venandiy originally 
dedicated to Manfred, has come down to us as he revised it, with 
certain additions from his own observations but primarily with 
the aim of filling blanks in the original by the aid of his father's 
notes, reading and rereading the book with filial piety that he 
might obtain the full fruits of its science and that no scribal errors 
might be left to frustrate the author's purpose.^^^ This was only 
one of the numerous books by many hands which filled the 
presses of the royal library,^^^ including philosophical and mathe- 
matical works in Greek and Arabic, certain of which are believed 

Steinschneider, E. U., no. 114; Thorndike, ii. 221. Many MSS., e. g., 
Madrid, MS. 10009, f. 225. 

Biblioteca Nacional, MS. 10023, ff- 1-23: 'Perfectus est interpretatio et 
translatio istarum portarum de arabico in latinum per lohannem de Dumpno filium 
Philippi de Dumpno in civitate Panormi anno a nativitate domini nostri lesu 
Christi 1262, sub laude et gloria omnipotentis Dei feliciter amen.' 

Djemal-Edin, in Michaud, Bibliotheque des Croisades, vii. 367; Revue his- 
iorique, Ixxx. 64; Suter, no. 380. 

Text published by Baeumker, "Petrus de Hibernia," in Munich Sitzungs- 
berichte, 1920. See also Pelzer, in Revue neo-scolastique, 1922, pp. 355 f. 

Rohricht, Beitrdge, i. 74. 
"° Huillard-Breholles, introduction, p. dxxxii; Arndt, p. 151. 

Chapter XIV, p. 304. 
1^ 'Librorum ergo volumina, quorum multifarie multisque modis distincta 
cyrographa diviciarum nostrarum armaria locupletant' : Chartularium Universitatis 
Parisiensis, i, no. 394. 



to have gone as a present to the Pope from the victorious Charles 
of Anjou/^^ and thus served to hand on something of the scientific 
interests of Manfred and of Frederick to a later age. At best, 
however, Manfred's court is but an echo of that of Frederick, 
and under the Angevins the intellectual history of Sicilian royalty- 
enters upon a new and different period.^^^ 

"3 Chapter IX, n. 35. 

1^ On translations under Charles of Anjou, see Amari, La guerra del Vespro 
Siciliano, edition of 1886, iii. 483-489; Hartwig, in Centralhlatt fur Bibliothekswesen, 
iii. 185-188; Steinschneider, E. Z7., nos. 39, 86; Hermes, viii. 339; de Renzi, 
Collectio Salernitana, i. 336; Thorndike, ii. 757. 



In any judgment respecting the scientific activity of the court of 
Frederick II, much depends upon the opinion formed of Michael 
Scot, the emperor's astrologer, whose writings form a large part of 
the scientific and philosophic product of the Magna Curia. Con- 
demned by Roger Bacon as ^'ignorant of the sciences and lan- 
guages,'' Scot is praised by Gregory IX for his knowledge of 
Hebrew and Arabic, and addressed as summe philosophe by Leon- 
ard of Pisa, the most eminent mathematical genius of his time. 
Naturally enough for an astrologer, Scot early became a subject 
of legend, and the small body of fragmentary fact has not yet been 
winnowed from the mass of tradition. The elaborate biography 
by James Wood Brown ^ contains far too much of pleasing con- 
jecture, and its insecure chronology has misled more than one 
subsequent writer. It may help investigation if we try to set 
down the ascertainable events of Scot's life and to group his 
works in some chronological order, as a preliminary to an ex- 
amination of his treatises on astrology and his intellectual rela- 
tions with the emperor. 

Concerning the place and date of Scot's birth no evidence has 
reached us. We may, however, be sure that when Master Michael 
calls himself Scot^ he means a native of Scotland and not an 
Irishman, as the name frequently signifies in mediaeval usage. 
Not only did he hold benefices in Scotland,^ but he refused a most 
lucrative appointment, the archbishopric of Cashel, because he 

1 Revised from Isis, iv. 250-275 (1922). Cf. American Geographical Review, 
xiii. 141 f. (1923); Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der Medizin, xxii. 4. 

^ An Enquiry into the Life and Legend of Michael Scot (Edinburgh, 1897), fol- 
lowed closely in the article in the Dictionary of National Biography, and by Comrie 
in Edinburgh Medical Journal, July 1920; Thorndike, ii, ch. 51, is more independent. 

^ 'Cui ego Michael Scottus tanquam scottatus a multis et a diversis': Bodleian, 
MS. Canon. Misc. 555, f. 45; infra, p. 294. *Ego Michael Scotus': Jourdain, pp. 
127-129; MS. Pisa II, n. 10, below. 

* Bliss, Calendar of Papal Letters, i. 102. 



was ignorant of the Irish tongue.^ That he knew English might 
be inferred from a list of Anglo-Saxon names of months which he 
inserts in his Liher introductorius, did not a similar list appear in 
Bede.^ The facts of his career place his birth somewhere in the 
late years of the twelfth century. Of his education we know 
nothing, the statements concerning his studies at Durham, 
Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, being mere guesses of modern 
writers.^ All that we can say is that his writings show a knowl- 
edge of the elements of Latin culture — the Bible, Augustine, the 
writers on the trivium and quadrivium — and that this was prob- 
ably gained before he went to Spain for more special studies. 

We must likewise dismiss as entirely baseless Brown's chapter 
which makes Scot tutor of the young Frederick II and author 
of various works composed in Sicily in 1209 and 12 10. The sole 
foundation for this elaborate construction is the misreading as 
*MCCx' of the 'mcc etc' of a Vatican codex of the Ahhreviatio 
Avicenne; ^ and there is no evidence connecting Scot with Sicily 
until many years later. 

The first specific date in Scot's career is 18 August 1217, when 
he completed at Toledo his translation of al-Bitrogi (Alpetragius) 
On the Sphere,^ He had plainly been for some time in Spain and 
Ibid., i. 98. 

^ 'Nomina mensium secundum Anglicos. Primus mensis anni Anglorum est 
giuli, id est januarius; 2. est solmonant, id est februarius; 3, est heredemonath, 
id est martius; 4. est turmonath, id est aprilis; 5. est thrumlei, id est maius; 6. 
est lidan; 7, est lydi; 8. est vendmonath; 9. est aligmonanth; 10. est gyh. Hee 
gentes suum annum incipiunt a medianocte nativitatis Domini et quociens sunt 
kalende mensium tociens solempne pulsant campanas ecclesie maiori post comple- 
mentum officii matutini cum interpellatione et omnes gentes summa devocione 
vadunt ad eandem ecclesiam portantes aliquid ad offerendum.* Cod. Lat. Mona- 
censis 10268, f. 71 v. Cf. Bede, De temporum ratione, ch. 15. 

' The story that Michael taught theology at Paris may arise from a confusion 
with Master Matthew Scot, who appears there in 1218, Chartularium, i. 85. 

* See the facsimile in Brown, p. 55. Monsignore Auguste Pelzer of the Vatican 
Library informs me, as I had conjectured from the facsimile, that 'mcc etc' is the 
necessary reading of the original. I find that Sir John Sandys had also questioned 
Brown's reading, but without rejecting the inferences from it (History of Classical 
Scholarship ^, i. 566). Thorndike accepts the date. The MS. is Vat. lat. 4428. 

' Jourdain, p. 133, where one MS. has the Christian and one the Spanish era. 
This is confirmed by MS. Madrid 10053 (ca. 1300, formerly in the chapter library 
at Toledo), f. 156V.: 'Perfectus est liber Avenalpetraug a magistro Michaele 


gained something of that acquaintance with Arabic which was to 
serve him later. The next point in Scot's biography is 2 1 October 

1220, when he appears at Bologna, living in the house of the 
widow of Alberto Gallo and describing in detail a neighbor's case 
of calcified fibroid tumor.^^ The sworn note to this effect which he 
appends to certain copies of the De anintalibus gives the year as 

1 22 1, but the day of the week given shows that he is using the 
Pisan style, as in his later works.^^ This is his first appearance in 
Italy, and it should be remarked that Frederick II was in the 
neighborhood of Bologna at the same time,^^ although we have no 
evidence that Scot was then in the emperor's service. 

From 1224 to 1227 the papal registers show that Scot had the 
active favor of Pope Honorius III and his successor, Gregory IX. 
This interesting series of entries begins 16 January 1224 with a 
letter from Honorius III recommending Scot to the archbishop of 
Canterbury as a man of eminent learning (singularis scientia inter 
alios litteratos), worthy of a benefice in that province.^^ The 
church assigned yielded an insufficient income, and 18 March he 
received permission to hold two benefices,^^ one of which appears 
from what follows to have been in England. His tenure of 
these was unaffected by his elevation the following May to the 
archbishopric of Cashel,^^ but by 20 June he had declined this 

Scotto Toleti in decimo octavo die veneris augusti hora tertia cum Abuteo levite 
anno incarnationis lesu Christi 121 7.' MS. Barberini Lat. 156 of the Vatican, f. 194, 
has 1 221, but with the same day of the week and month. Steinschneider, E. U., 
no. 84 i, gives incorrectly 1267. Cf. MS. Arsenal, 1035, where the date is 1207; 
Harleian MS. i, f. i (1217). 

^° The note is printed by Dr. M. R. James in the Catalogue of the Manuscripts 
in the Library of Gonville and Caius College, i. 112, from MS. 109; facsimile in 
Edinburgh Medical Journal, 1920, p. 56. It is also found in a thirteenth-century 
copy of the De animalibus in the manuscripts of the Convento S. Caterina at Pisa, 
MS. II, f. 133-133 V (cf. Studi italiani difilologia classica, viii. 325), where the fol- 
lowing is added to Dr. James' text: 'eiecit in octabis sancti lohannis maiorem post 
.viii. dies post minorem.' 

" Below, n. 112. Bohmer-Ficker, Regesta imperii, nos. 1176-94. 

Pressutti, Regesta Honorii Rape Illy no. 4682; Chartularium Universitatis 
Parisiensis, i, no. 48; Brown, p. 275; Bliss, Calendar of Papal Letters, i. 94. 

" Pressutti, no. 4871; Bliss, i. 96. 

Pressutti, no. 5025; not in Bliss. A papal letter on the same subject, ap- 
parently to Henry III, is printed in my paper on "Two Roman Formularies in Phil- 
adelphia," in the Miscellanea Ehrle (1924). 



preferment because of his ignorance of Irish.^^ 9 May 1225 he 
is allowed to hold an additional benefice in England and two in 
Scotland.^^ 28 April 1227 Gregory IX, shortly after his acces- 
sion, urges Michael's claims on the archbishop of Canterbury as 
one who had pursued learning since boyhood and added a knowl- 
edge of Hebrew and Arabic to his wide familiarity with Latin 

In 1228, or, since we are in Pisa, more probably in 1227, falls 
the dedication to Scot of the revised edition of the great treatise 
of Leonard of Pisa on the abacus, of which Scot had solicited a 
copy from the author.^^ As Leonard was in relations with Fred- 
erick II and the philosophers of his entourage as early as 1225 or 
1226,^^ Scot may have already become connected with the em- 
peror's court. In any event, Scot disappears from the papal 
registers after 28 April 1227, and no long time can have elapsed 
before he joined the court of Frederick II, with which he is there- 
after identified. Contemporaries call him Frederick's astrologer 
and recount various stories of his skill, even to the prediction of 
the place of the emperor's death, while Scot himself mentions 
instances of his prophesying from the stars the results of Fred- 
erick's military operations.^^ Scot's later works are dedicated to 
the emperor, and one of them, the Abbreviatio Avicenne, was kept 
in the emperor's library in 1232. The loss of the imperial regis- 
ters, save for a fragment of 1 239-40, prevents our tracing details 
of his activity at the court, except for some indications in Scot's 
own writings to which we shall come below. His career is thus 
summed up by a poet of the court: 

Pressutti, no. 5052; Bliss, i. 98. " Pressutti, no. 5470; Bliss, i. 102. 
^ Auvray, Registres de Gregoire IX, no. 61 ; Chartularium Universitatis Parisien- 
sis, i, no. 54; Potthast, Regesta, no. 7888; Bliss, i. 117. 

1® Boncompagni, Scritti di Leonardo Pisano (Rome, 1857), i. i; for the date 
1228, see Boncompagni in Atti dei Lincei, first series, v. 73 f. (1851); Cantor, ii. 7. 

Scritti, ii. 253. On the chronological difficulties, see Enestrom, in B. M., ix. 
72 f. (1908). 

21 Salimbene, ed. Holder-Egger, pp. 353, 361, 512, 530; Riccobaldi of Ferrara, 
in Muratori, Scriptores, ix. 128; Francesco Pipini, ibid., ix. 660, 670. 

22 *Et ut apercius hec dicta pateant, recordamur duarum questionum inter alias 
principis volentis ire super duas civitates sibi rebelles, ' followed by the observa- 
tions, with diagrams, and Scot's deductions: Liber introductorius, MS. n. a. lat. 
1401, f. 99 V. 


Qui fuit astrorum scrutator, qui fuit augur, 
Qui fuit ariolus, et qui fuit alter ApoUo.^^ 

If we could accept the statement of a note which accompanies 
this prophecy in one manuscript, Scot was at Bologna in 1231, 
where he was consulted by the podestd and notables concerning 
the fate of the Lombard cities and replied with a famous set of 
verses predicting the fate of each. The references to the events 
of 1236 and following are, however, so specific as to indicate that 
this Vaticinium was written subsequently and ascribed to Scot,^'* 
who was known to have made definite predictions foretelling the 
emperor's triumph over his enemies. 

The date of Scot's own death is apparently fixed by certain 
verses of Henry of Avranches dedicated to the emperor shortly 
before his last return to Italy from Germany early in 1236.^^ Scot 
is here mentioned as one who has passed, apparently recently, 
into eternal silence, and there is no reason to doubt the testimony 
of a court poet then in the emperor's following. If we attach any 
weight to the Paris manuscript of Scot's Vaticinium, he was in 
Germany with the emperor on this journey, and would thus have 
met his death there .^^ The story ran that he was killed at mass 
by the falling of a stone, in spite of a metal headpiece by which 
he had sought to protect himself .^^ 

The only reason for seeking to place Scot's death later is con- 
nected with the dates of his writings. The manuscripts of his 
Liber particularis bear a title tempore domini pape Innocentii 
quarti (1243-54), and since the preface refers to an event of 1228 
this cannot be explained away by Brown as a slip for Innocent 
III; but, as there is no reference to this pope in the text, we may 
have no more than the guess of a scribe, itself inconsistent with 

2' Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xviii. 486. 

^ Holder-Egger, in Neues Archiv, xxx. 349-377, where the text of the verses 
appears as well as in his edition of Salimbene, p. 361. Cf. Winkelmann, Kaiser 
Friedrich II, ii. 323, n. A note in MS. lat. n. a. 1401, f. 124 v., not used by Holder- 
Egger, states that the verses were recited to the emperor by Scot before the depar- 
ture from Germany: Delisle, Catalogue dufonds de La Tremo'ille, p. 43. 

25 Poem of Henry of Avranches: Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xviii. 486. 

26 Ibid. 

2^ Catalogue dufonds de La Tremo'ille, p. 43, cited above. 
2« Pipini in Muratori, ix. 670. 



a closing verse of 1 256.^^ The commentary on the Sphere of John 
of Sacrobosco must be subsequent to the date of that work, often 
stated as 1256, but the facts of Sacrobosco's life have not been 
sufficiently investigated, and Scot's authorship is too uncertain 
to permit drawing any decisive conclusion. I see no reason for 
identifying him with the clerk Michael of Cornwall, ^dictus 
Scotus,' who appears at Chartres in 1252-54.^^ 

Scot's writings are, with one exception, undated in the form in 
which they have reached us. They can, however, be distin- 
guished into two main groups, corresponding to the two chief 
periods of his activity, the Spanish and the Sicilian. Speaking 
broadly, natural philosophy predominates in the earlier period, 
and astrology in the later. Let us consider them in this order. 

I. The only dated work is the translation of al-Bitrogi, com- 
pleted at Toledo 18 August 1217. This treatise, which develops 
Aristotle's theory of homocentric spheres against the eccentrics 
and epicycles of Ptolemy, was of considerable importance as a 
source of Aristotelian cosmology in the thirteenth century, and 
Scot's version seems to have been the medium through which it 
was known to Roger Bacon and others.^^ 

Scot's version of Aristotle's Historia animalium is in four of 
the manuscripts dated at Toledo.^^ His authorship is clear from 
a memorandum inserted in Ms own copy and preserved in two 
extant manuscripts.^^ This note, dated at Bologna 21 October 
1220, shows that the work must have been completed before this 
date, and thus strengthens the statement that this version be- 
longs to the Toletan period of Scot's life. As the manuscripts 
lack a dedication, the words ad Caesarem added in current usage 
would appear to rest on a confusion with the Ahhreviatio Avicenne. 
Whether the translation was made from the Hebrew or from the 

28 This verse is also found in the Vaticinium of John of Toledo: Neues ArchiVj 
XXX. 353, note. 

Clerval, Les ecoles de Chartres, pp. 350 f . 

For the date and manuscripts, see above, n. 9; for the contents, Duhem, 
iii. 241 ff., 327 f. 

^ Merton College, MS. 278; Cues, MS. 182 (Grabmann, Aristotelesiibersetz- 
ungen, p. 187); Laurentian, Plut. XIII, sin., 9 (Bandini,iv. 109); Cracow, MS. 653. 
^ See above, n. 10. 


Arabic has been a matter of dispute; in any event a Jewish 
interpreter^^ seems to have been used. The version is closely 
literal, so that it has even been used for reconstructing the Greek 
original; but there are also numerous errors, which were re- 
peated by Albertus Magnus in using it.^^ Here, as in the usual 
Arabic tradition of the work, the Historia animalium consists of 
nineteen books, including not only the De animalibus historia, 
with the spurious tenth book, but the De partihus animalium and 
the De generatione animalium. For all of these Scot's version was 
the first and remained in use till the fifteenth century .^^ 

In the case of other works of Aristotle the question is compli- 
cated by the fact that there was more than one version from the 
Arabic in circulation in the thirteenth century, as well as by their 
relation to the accompanying commentary of Averroes. The one 
entirely clear case is the De caelo et mundo, to which Scot has pre- 
fixed a preface addressed to Stephen of Provins, doubtless the 
canon of Reims named by Gregory IX in 1 23 1 as one of the com- 
mission to examine and purge the newly translated works of 
Aristotle on natural science .^^ This version is subsequent to 1 217, 
as it cites Scot's translation of al-Bitrogi. It is altogether likely 
that Scot is the author of the version of the De anima which, with 
the commentary of Averroes, regularly accompanies his De caelo 

^ See especially Wustenfeld, pp. ioir-106 (1877); Steinschneider, H. 27., pp. 

36 Roger Bacon, Compendium studii, ed. Brewer, p. 472. 
Rudberg, in Eranos, ix, 92 ff. 

^ H. Stadler, Albertus Magnus de animalibus (Miinster, 1916), i, p. xii; id., in 
Archiv fiir die Geschichie der Naturwissenschaften, vi. 387-393 (1913); Dittmeyer, 
Guilelmi Moerbekensis translatio commentationis Aristotelicae De generatione ani- 
malium (Dillingen programme, 1914). 

38 See in general, Grabmann, Forschungen Uber die lateinischen Aristotelesiiber- 
setzungen des XIII. Jahrkunderts, pp. 185-187, and the literature there cited. This 
version passed quickly into use. Before Albertus Magnus we find it cited by Philip 
de Greve, 1228-36 (Minges, in Philosophisches Jahrbuch, xxvii. 28); and by Bar- 
tholomew Anglicus, ca. 1240 (Grabmann, p. 42). 

3^ Jourdain, p. 127 f.; Grabmann, p. 175; Renan, Averroes (Paris, 1869), p. 206; 
bull of Gregory in Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis, i, no. 87. Other manu- 
scripts are at Erfurt, F. 351; at Durham, C. I. 17; at the University of Paris, MS. 
601 (infra, n. 63); at the Vatican, Vat. lat. 2184, f. i. On the various persons 
known as Etienne de Provins in this period, see my paper, "Two Roman Formu- 
laries," in the Miscellanea Ehrle. 



in the manuscripts.^^ Translations of the Physics, Metaphysics, 
and Ethics have been ascribed to Scot, but without sufficient 
evidence. The argument is somewhat stronger for certain other 
commentaries of Averroes, coinciding as they do with Scot's 
Questiones Nicolai,^^ but the matter is not yet clear. In any event 
Scot's role was merely that of translator; it was Averroes che il 
gran commento feo! 

Two philosophic treatises of Scot probably belong to the 
Spanish period. One, a Divisio philosophica, or classification of 
philosophical knowledge, preserved only in fragments by Vincent 
of Beauvais, is based in considerable measure upon Dominicus 
Gundisalvi, who worked in Spain in the twelfth century .^^ 
The other, known in extracts as the Questiones Nicolai peripate- 
tici, is definitely assigned by Albertus Magnus to Scot,^^ who here 
seems to take shelter in anonymity in order to preach strong 

II. From the Sicilian period of Scot's activity we have, first of 
all, the Abbreviatio Avicenne de animalibus, dedicated to Fred- 
erick II as emperor. We have already seen that this cannot be 
dated 1210,^^ as Brown fondly thought; all that we can say is 
that it was anterior, and probably not long anterior, to the copy 
made from the emperor's original by Henry of Cologne at Melfi 
9 August 1232.^^ Frederick's keen interest in animals, and espe- 
cially in birds, is a sufficient explanation of its origin.^^ 

Haureau, Philosophie scolastique (1880), ii, i, p. 125; Grabmann, p. 198. 
^ Jourdain, pp. 128, 141 f., 144; Grabmann, pp. 172, 212, 215, 217. Note that 
the Ethics is cited in the preface to the Liber introdudorius (see below), and the 
Metaphysics in the commentary on Sacrobosco. 

^ Renan, Averroes, p. 205. Dante, Inferno, iv, line 144. 

^ Baur, Dominicus Gundissalinus De divisione philosophiae {Beitrdge, iv, nos. 
2-3), PP- 364-367, 398-400; supra, Chapter I. 

* Feda dicta inveniuntur in libro illo qui dicitur Questiones Nicolai peripatetici. 
Consuevi dicere quod Nicolaus non fecit librum ilium sed Michael Scotus, qui in rei 
veritate nescivit naturas nec bene intellexit libros Aristotilis.' Opera (ed. Paris, 
1890), iv. 697. Birkenmajer is preparing an edition of these Questiones. 

Haureau, Philosophie scolastique (1880), ii, i, p. 127; Renan, Averroes, pp. 
209 f.; Duhem, iii. 245 f., 339, 346 f. 
4^ Supra, n. 8. 

^ Huillard-Breholles, Historia diplomatica, iv. 381. 
See the next chapter. 


The most ambitious of Scot's works belong to this period, the 
series of treatises on astrology made up of the Liber introductorius, 
the Liber particularism and the Physionomia. In their final form 
these are subsequent to i6 July 1228, since the general preface 
refers to Francis of Assisi as already a saint. They are dedi- 
cated to the emperor, whom they mention in the text, and, as 
we shall see, contain in part answers to specific questions asked 
by him. 

III. The remaining works attributed to Scot are more or less 
doubtful. The court of Frederick II became a peg on which to 
hang all sorts of fictitious attributions,^^ and Scot's popular re- 
putation could easily lead to connecting his name with the works 
of others. 

So of Scot as an alchemist it is hard to speak with any certainty 
amid the mass of false attributions which accompany the al- 
chemical literature of the later Middle Ages.^^ That he passed as 
an alchemist is clear from the ascriptions of several manuscripts, 
notably a list of alchemical writers preserved in a Palermo codex, 
and his familiarity with alchemical doctrine is seen in the chapter 
from his own Liber particularis printed below. The question is 
whether he wrote actual treatises on the subject, and, if so, 
whether any of these can be identified. A definite answer must 
await the sifting of the confused and uncertain manuscript ma- 
terial. Meanwhile the most promising evidence seems to be 
afforded by a few pages in the library of Corpus Christi College, 

'° 'Quandoque sine vestibus cum alis, ut seraphim ad beatum Franciscum et 
Michael quando pugnavit cum dracone et quando consignavit in Monte Gargano 
ecclesiam, propter quod hodie dicitur Mons Angeli qui est prope Romam versus 
Apuliam': Munich, Cod. lat. 10268, f. 9 v; N. a. lat. 1401, f. 22, omitting what 
follows 'ecclesiam.' 

Ch. V. Langlois, La connaissance de la nature et du monde au moyen dge (Paris, 
1911), pp. 190-192; supra, Chapter XII, notes 59-65. 

^ See Brown, ch. 4, and the more sceptical pages of Thorndike, ii. 335-337. E. 
von Lippmann, Entstehung und Aushreitung der Alchemie (Berlin, 1919), does not 
discuss Scot's alchemical writings. 

" G. di Marzo, / MSS. delta Biblioteca comunale di Palermo (1878), iii. 237. This 
MS. (4Q q. A 10) is cited by Brown, p. 79, as in private hands. 

" P. 295. The reference of the Dictionary of National Biography to Scot's magis- 
terium in MS. Bodley 44 is an error. 



Oxford.^^ Here we have not only the attribution of the explicit 
but the frequent mention of Michael in the body of the work, 
much as in his other works: ^et ego Michael Scotus multociens 
sum expertus e t semper veracem inveni. ' The work purports to 
be dedicated to Theophilus king of the Saracens, but Friar Elias 
is mentioned in the second person as Michael's associate in ex- 
periments.^^ Besides the transmarine writers, Hebrew, Arabic, 
Saracen, Armenian, and other, whom the author has read, he 
cites specifically Barbaranus the Saracen of Aleppo (Halaph), 
Theodosius the Saracen of 'Cunusani,' Medibibaz the Saracen of 
Africa, and Master Jacob the Jew at Catania (?). He himself 
has translated a book explaining how to treat salts in alchemy.^^ 
Besides various eastern substances he mentions alum of Aleppo 
and gum of Calabria and Montpellier.^^ The milieu resembles 
that of Michael Scot, and so does the general style, although the 
material seems to have been reshaped by another hand. 

Similarly the notes appended to the copies of his De animalihus 
at Cambridge and Pisa indicate that Scot observed and treated 
diseases; but no works of medicine can be certainly identified 

MS. 125, ff. 97-icx> V (ca. 1400): 'Cum animadverterem nobilem scientiam 
apud Latinos penitus denegatam vidi quoque neminem pervenire ad perfectionem 
propter nirtiiam confusionem in libris philosophorum que reperitur, existimavi 
secreta nature intelligentibus revelare, incipiens a maiori magisterio et minori que 
inveni de transformatione metallorum et de permutatione eorum qualiter sub- 
stantia unius in alterum permutetur. . . . Septem sunt planetarum (f. 97 v) . . . 
sales qui operantur in solem. Explicit tractatus magistri Michaelis Scoti de 
« F. 100. 

F. 97 v: *Et que in hac arte sunt necessaria tibi, f rater Helya, diligenter et 
subtiliter enarravi.' F. 98: *Et ego magister Michael Scotus sic operatus sum 
solem et docui te, frater Elia, operari et tu mihi sepius retulisti te instabiliter multis 
vicibus operasse.' F. 98 V: 'Prout Michael predictus probavi et docui, frater 
Helya.' F. 99 v: *Sed ego vidi ipsam fieri a fratre Helya et ego multociens sum 

*8 F. icq: *Et ego vidi istam operationem fieri apud Cartanam a magistro 
lacobo iudeo et ego postea multociens probavi.' 

" F. 97 v: * Prout in aliquo libro a me translato dixi quomodo de salibus oportet 
in arte alkemie operari.' 

*° F. 99: 'Et hoc facit cum alumine de Halaph et cum quadam gumma que in 
partibus Kalabrie invenitur et in Monte Pessulano.' 

James, Descriptive Catalogue of MSS. in the Library of Gonville and Caius 
College, i. 112 f.; Pisa, Convent© S. Caterina, MS. 11. See above, n. 10. 


beyond the Physionomia and the De urinis which forms a part of 
it. For the pills and powders which passed in Scot's name there 
is no valid authority. 

Two versions of Maimonides in a manuscript of the University 
of Paris are ascribed to Michael Scot by the author of the 
printed catalogue, but no definite basis for this appears save the 
fact of their occurrence, in a different hand of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, in the same volume as Michael's translation of the De caelo. 
The second of these is the standard Latin rendering of the 
Guide to the Perplexed, generally supposed to have been made 
from the Hebrew in southern Italy before ca. 1250. The first ®^ 
discusses parables more fully than the Guide, and then the four- 
teen fundamental classes of precepts and the six hundred and 
thirteen commandments, but is evidently the work of some 
adapter, after Maimonides's death, since it is in answer to an 
inquiry made in the eighth year of the blessed Honorius III 
(24 July 1223-24). The treatise is directed in an Oriental style 
to a Roman, or Romanus,^^ and Michael Scot was then high 
in the Pope's favor and probably at the Curia. Possibly he was 
already in relation, as later, with Jewish translators,^^ while not 
concealing the knowledge of Hebrew attributed to him by the 

The commentary on the Sphera of John of Holywood has al- 
ready been mentioned apropos of the date of Scot's death. No 
manuscript has been cited, and the only basis for ascribing it to 

^ For the, medical literature, see Brown, pp. 149-156. The Rossi MSS. now 
in the Vatican contain (xi. 144) a 'Libro de consegH de poveri infermi e utile per 
ciascun povero medico segondo che mete Michiel Scoto astrologo del imperador 

63 MS. 601. Catalogue (1918), p. 150. 

^ Ff. 21-103 V. On this version see Steinschneider, H. U., p. 433; and especially 
Perles, in Monatsschriftjiir Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, xxiv (1875). 

6^ Ff. 1-20 v: *In octavo anno gubernacionis felicis Honorii tercii interrogasti 
me, potens [MS. poteritis] et humiHs Romane (prolonget tibi vitam Deus et aug- 
mentet statum), quare mel non adolebatur in sacrificiis et sal valde item (?) par- 
rabatur in eisdem, ut dicitur secundo Levitici circa finem in illo versu [2, 11] . . . 
vel que removet difficultatem in operando et hoc constituitur (?) consuetudinalis.' 

«6 A Romanus was then cardinal of S. Angelo, 1216-35, and later bishop of 

" Infra, note 79. 



Scot is the title of the printed edition.^^ The preface shows some 
similarities of phrase to the preface to the De arte venandi of 
Frederick 11,^^ and the commentary recalls al-Bitrogi ; but 
there are no references to the emperor in the body of the work, and 
the scholastic style is quite unlike that of Scot's astrological 
writings, which are, indeed, professedly popular. The treatise on 
geomancy ascribed to Scot in a late Munich manuscript is very 
doubtful; and the Mensa philosophica, at times attributed to 
him,^^ is clearly by another and later hand. 

Scot's translations were the occasion of unfavorable judgments 
on the part of Roger Bacon, who declared that Scot did not really 
know the languages or the sciences, and that the work was chiefly 
done by a Jew named Andrew.*^^ Help of this sort was usually 
employed by the Toletan translators;^^ whether Michael was 
more inaccurate than others is a question which has not been 
investigated^^ On the other hand Bacon seems to ascribe too 
much credit to Scot as the introducer of the natural philosophy 
of Aristotle,*^^ for, as we have seen, only one of these treatises, the 

^ *Eximii atque excellentissimi physicorum motuum cursusque syderei indaga- 
toris Michaelis Scoti super auctorem sperae cum questionibus diligenter emendatis 
incipit expositio confecta Illustrissimi Imperatoris Dni, D. Federici precibus.' I 
have used the Bologna edition of 1495 (Hain, 14555) the Thatcher collection in 
the Library of Congress. 

'Causa efficiens est magister Johannes de Sacrobusto et alii compositores. 
Causa finalis cognitio corporum celestium in se et proprietatum . , . modus agendi 
est quintuplex, scilicet definitivus, probativus, id est probatitius, exemplorum 
positivus, ut legitime per se liqueat.' Ibid., f. i v. So Frederick considers intentio, 
utilitas, and describes the modus agendi as *prosaycus, prohemialis, et executivus, 
executivus vero multiplex, partim namque divisivus, partim descriptivus, partim 
convenientiarum et differentiarum assignativus, partim causarum inquisitivus.' 
Vatican, MS. Pal. lat. 107 1, f. i v. The preface to Scot's Liher introductorius dis- 
cusses arSy genus, intentio, utilitas, finis, instrumenta, etc.: Clm. 10268, f. 16 v; N. a. 
lat. 1401, f . 35. That of the Liher luminis luminum (Brown, pp. 81, 240) has intentio, 
causa intentionis, utilitas. Such terminology appears as early as Gundissalinus, 
and even in the preface to the Euclid of Adelard of Bath (Digby MS. 174, f. 99). 

^° Duhem, iii. 246-248, who accepts Scot's authorship. 

Cod. lat. 489, ff. 174-206 V (saec. xvi): Liber geomantiae Michaelis Scoti. 

^2 As by Querfeld, p. 12. 

" Compendium studii, ed. Brewer, p. 472; Opus tertium, ed. Brewer, p. 91. 
Rose, in Hermes, viii. 332 ff.; supra. Chapter I, n. 57. 
Save in the case of the De animalibus; supra, n. 37. 

*A tempore Michaelis Scoti qui annis Domini 1230 transactis apparuit de- 



De animalibus, was first given to the Latin world by Scot. Bacon^s 
date 1230 has likewise been taken too literally, especially by those 
who have sought to connect it with the letter recommending the 
new versions of Aristotle to the universities, a document once 
ascribed to Frederick II but now generally admitted to come from 
Manfred and to relate to the translations made at his court." 

In general Scot's writings show a respectable education. He 
quotes the Scriptures freely and refers occasionally to Augustine 
and Ambrose and more frequently to Boethius, Isidore, and 
Bede. Classical Latin writers, such as Virgil, Cicero, and Ovid, 
rarely appear. The citations from Aristotle are fairly numerous; 
besides the Meteor a and De caelo they include two references to 
the full text of the Ethics, then just coming into use in the West.^^ 
There is no evidence of any real knowledge of Greek, the etymol- 
ogies and the Greek names of months, climates, and points of 
compass being easily available at second hand; indeed it has been 
pointed out that in mentioning specifically Scot's knowledge of 
Hebrew and Arabic, Gregory IX would hardly have omitted 
Greek if Scot had known this language. The extent of Scot's 
knowledge of Hebrew we are unable to judge, but he seems to 
have been in relations with Jacob Anatoli, the translator of Aver- 
roes and. Ptolemy .^^ It may also be noted that the Arabic writers 

ferens librorum Aristotilis partes aliquas de naturalibus et metaphysicis cum ex- 
positionibus authenticis magnificata est philosophia Aristotilis apud Latinos.' Opus 
majus, ed. Bridges, i. 55, iii. 66. 

" Document in Huillard-BrehoUes, Historia diplomatica, iv 383; Chartularium 
Universitatis Parisiensis, i, no. 394. Cf. Bohmer-Ficker, Regesta, no. 4750; Grab- 
mann, pp. 201-203, 237, 249; supra, Chapter XII, n. iii. 

^8 'Ethica est scientia moralis quam reperitur compillavisse Aristotiles, cuius 
liber sic intitulatur, Ethicorum Nichomachiorum Aristotiles liber primus incipit; 
et sunt 10. libri cuius primus ita incipit, Omnis ars et omnis doctrina, etc.* Clm. 
10268, f. 18 v; N. a. lat. 1401, f. 37. *Unde Aristotiles in libro Ethicorum: desider- 
atur res propter aliud.' Cod. lat. Mon. 10268, f. 16; MS. lat. n. a. 1401, f. 33 v. 
The history of the Latin versions of the Ethics is treated by Pelzer in the Revue neo- 
scolastique for 1921, pp. 316-341, 378-400. Of Grosseteste's version of the com- 
mentary of Eustratius there described (pp. 382 £f.) there is a copy in the cathedral 
library at Seville, MS. Z. 136. 14. 

Renan, in Histoire litteraire, xxvii. 580-589; Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 58, 61, 
523, 553; supra, n. 63. On contemporary Jewish culture in Sicily see further M. 
Giidemann, Geschichte des Erziehungswesens der Juden in Italien (Vienna, 1884), 
pp. 101-107; R. Straus, Die Juden im Konigreich Sizilien (Heidelberg, 1910), pp. 



on astronomy and astrology whom Scot cites freely were in large 
part available in Latin versions of the twelfth century. His scien- 
tific writings show a knowledge of rnedicine,^^ natural philosophy, 
and music, as well as a familiarity with the various branches of 
astronomy and its mediaeval applications. They deserve a 
closer examination than can here be given in relation to the 
astronomy and cosmology of his age. 

Scot's writings on astrology were the basis of his literary fame 
in the Middle Ages, and it is by these that his scientific attain- 
ments must chiefly be judged today. The three treatises are in- 
troduced by a general preface, which he also calls an epilogue and 
which was hence written after the completion of the series.^^ It is 
here clear that the three are parts of a single comprehensive work, 
and cross-references are frequent between the Liher introductorius 
and the Liber particularis. This general preface, which is long and 
diffuse, occupying thirty-eight pages in the principal manuscript, 
is largely given up to a loose discussion of the Creation — in the 
course of which the Averroistic doctrine of the eternity of the 
universe is specifically denied — God, the Trinity, the nature of 
man, and the various orders of angels and evil spirits. The 
heavenly bodies are not the cause of the events which they indi- 
cate, but only the signs, as the circle before the tavern is only the 
sign of the wine within; but, granted an accurate knowledge of 
planets and the zodiac, we may know future events and the right 
occasions for doing anything.^^ Indeed, we are later told that the 
astrologer need not err, by God's help.^^ Sound learning {mathe- 
sis) is carefully distinguished from those magic arts (matesis) 

8" Cf. also the prescriptions which passed under his name: Brown, pp. 154 f.; 
supra, n. 62. 

81 Munich, cod. lat. 10268, ff. 1-19 v; Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. n. a. lat. 
1401, ff. 11-39; Edinburgh, MS. 132, f. 34. Cf. Boll, Sphara, p. 440, n.; Thorn- 
dike, ii. 316-322. 

® 'Ob hanc causam dicunt multi quod mundus sit ab eterno . . . et quod mun- 
dus non sit eternus patet aperte.' Clm., f, i v; Nal., f. 11 v. Cf. the commentary 
on Sacrobosco, f, 2. 

83 Clm.,f.i;Nal.,f. iiv. Clm., f. 15; NaL, f. 32 v. chn., f. 118 v. 

86 Clm., ff. 17-17 V. So Roger Bacon, as in the Secretum secretorum (ed. Steele), 
pp. xxviii, 2 f. Cf. Thorndike, ii. 11 f., 158, 580, 668 f.; Webb, loannis Saresheri- 
ensis Policraticus, i. 49; and in Classical Review, xxxv. 119 (1921). 


which no Christian can rightly practise — geomancy, hydro- 
mancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, spatulamancy, necromancy, 
divination, auguries, incantations, prestigiation, etc. The ex- 
amples show that Scot was not unacquainted with these arts, as 
when, in the name of the Trinity, he gives an incantation for 
summoning evil spirits .^^ The list of magicians includes Simon 
Magus, Virgil, Peter Alexandrinus, the ariolus of Alexander, 
and Peter Abelard; to whom he elsewhere adds Solomon and 
Ottonel of Parma. The history of astrology is traced from Zo- 
roaster to Gerbert, via Nimrod, whose dialogue with loanton, 
illustrated with circles and figures, Scot has evidently seen and 
indeed uses in the body of the Liber particularis.^^ From Egypt, 
where it was elaborated by King Ptolemy, astronomical knowl- 
edge was carried to Spain by Atlas, all before the birth of Moses, 
and from Atlas two French clerks brought the knowledge of the 
astrolabe in France to Gerbert, optimus negrimanticus, who by 
diabolical arts attained the archbishoprics of Reims and Ravenna 
and at last the papal see. 

The last of the three treatises, the Physionomia, or De secretis 
nature, may be dismissed with a word, as it has long been acces- 
sible in print and has been studied by Foerster and more re- 
cently by one of Sudhoff's pupils, A. H. Querfeld;^^ Dedicated to 
the emperor, whom it professes to guide in his judgments of men, 
it contains a treatise on generation and an account of the prog- 
nostications from dreams, complexions, and the different parts of 
the body. Its indebtedness to the Physiognomy of the Pseudo- 
Aristotle is limited to the preface; it makes free use of Razi, and 
shows some affinities with Trotula and other Salernitan writers.^^ 
There is also, possibly through a common Arabic source, some 
connection with the contemporary Latin version of the Pseudo- 

Clm., f. 114 v; not in Nal., so that it may be an interpolation. 
88 Clm., f. 114 V. 

83 See below, Chapter XVI. The figures of the Venetian manuscript of Nimrod 
deserve study; cf. n. 99. 

3° De translatione Latina Physio gnomicorum quae feruntur Aristotelis (Kiel, 1884); 
De Aristotelis quae feruntur Secretis secretorum (Kiel, 1888); Scriptores Physio- 
gnomici (Teubner ed., 1893). 

^1 Michael Scottus und seine Schrift De secretis naturae (Leipzig diss., 1919). 

^ Foerster, Scriptores, pp. xxiii-xxv, clxxix; Querfeld, pp. 20-23, 26. 



Aristotelian Secretum secretorum.^^ The Physionomia was Scot's 
most popular work, having been printed in a score of incunabula 
and nearly as many later editions.^^ 

The Liher introductorius, consisting of four parts or distinctions, 
is Scot's most ambitious work.^^ It is written in more or less 
popular fashion (leviter) for beginners in the art of astrology, 
but is also intended for the convenience of adepts who may not 

33 Foerster, Scriptores, p. clxxix; Roger Bacon's Secretum secretorum, ed. 
Steele (Oxford, 1920), pp. xviii-xxi, Ixiii; supra, Chapter VII. 

^ Querfeld, pp. 14 f., who has also used the Ambrosian manuscript of 1256. I 
have used still another printed copy in the Harvard library, ca. 1490 (Reichling, 
no. 1864), which is omitted from the Census of Fifteenth Century Books owned in 
America. The printed text lacks the chapters on urine, also copied as a separate 
treatise, which Querfeld prints, pp. 50-60; Italian version at Naples, Biblioteca 
Nazionale, MS. XV. F. 51. 

Munich, cod. lat. 10268, 146 folios, with notable figures, xivth century; Ox- 
ford, MS. Bodley 266, a copy of the Munich manuscript (Boll, Sphara, p. 444); 
Paris, Biblioth^que Nationale, Nouv. acq. lat. 1401, ff. 39-128 v, probably copied 
in 1279 (Delisle, Catalogue dufonds de La Tremotlle, pp. 41-43); Escorial, MS. f. Ill, 
8; modern copy at Munich, cod. lat. 10663. Extracts at the University of Edin- 
burgh, MS. 132 (= Munich MS., ff. 1 18-146 v); Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. lat. 
14070, ff. 112-118 V (= Munich, ff. 86 v-89 v); Vienna, MS. lat. 3124, ff. 206-211, 
MS. 3394, f. 214 ff. (Saxl, in Der Islam, iii. 166); Vatican, MS. Pal. lat. 1363, ff. 
90-94; MS. Pal. lat. 1370 (Saxl, in Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, 1915, p. 25); MS. 
Vat. lat. 4087, ff. 88-99 v; Modena, Estense, MS. lat. 79; Seville, Colombina, MS. 
7.7.1, end (saec. xv), with illustrations; Cues, MS, 209, f. 76 v; see also Brown, p. 27. 

None of these manuscripts seems complete. The Munich and Oxford codices 
lack the fourth distinction which cross-references show to have contained chapters 
De anima (Munich MS., ff. 15, 88 v), De arte cyromantie, and De elementis (MS. 
Canon. Misc. 555, f. 37-37 v); they also contain later additions, as a table of 1320 
(Munich, f. 76 v) and a judgment of Bartholomew of Parma in 1287 (f. 125 v). 
The Paris copy is earlier and considerably briefer, but includes the fourth distinction 
(ff. io5vff., where the elements and the soul are treated). It ends (f. i28v): 
'Librum primum in arte astronomica incepimus in honore ac laude Dei et ad preces 
domini nostri Frederici Rome imperatoris et semper augusti leviter composuimus 
propter novicios in arte et pauperes intellectus, et nunc ipsum complevimus suo 
adiutorio cui sit dignus honor, grandis laus cum actionibus gratiarum, concors amor, 
una fides, rectus timor, et reverens obedentia cum omni supplicatione humilitatis 
in preceptis eius per nos et sequentes amen, amen.' The Munich manuscript ends 
merely: 'Expliciunt indicia questionum hominum secundum sentenciam Michaelis 
Scotti grandis astrologi condam imperatoris Frederici de terra Teotonica, Deo 
gratias amen.' 

I have used the Munich manuscript, cited as Clm., of which I have a complete 
rotograph, and the Paris manuscript, cited as Nal. Cf. Thorndike, ii. 322-326, 
based on the Bodley MS. 

Clm., f. 30; cf. ff. 74, 100, and the explicit of the preceding note. 


have at hand the many works to which the author refers. It is 
not well organized, but the early portions are chiefly astronomical 
and the later astrological, the various heavenly bodies being taken 
up one by one and detailed advice given for the practice of the 
astrological art. The calendar is treated at some length, and 
there is a certain amount of meteorology, developed more fully 
in the Liber particularis. Emphasis is laid on the mystical value 
of the sevens which rule the world — seven planets, metals, arts, 
colors, odors, tones, etc. The music of the spheres leads to a 
digression on music, de notitia totius artis musice, which gives an 
outline of the whole subject, with citations of Boethius and 
Guido.^"^ The astronomy is based chiefly on al-Fargani, with 
occasional citation of the Almagest, but the remarkable figures 
of the constellations and planets in the Munich and Oxford manu- 
scripts, represent an antique tradition which is ascribed by Boll 
to the scholia of Germanicus.^^ Scot uses the Toletan tables, 
though he knows those of Arin and others. The astrological 
writers cited are the usual ones: Albumasar Jafar, Zael, Hermes, 
Dorotheus, Thebit ben Korah, Messehalla, and the Centilo- 
quium}^^ In one instance the Liber novem iudicum is specially 
commended.^*^^ The author also refers guardedly to more dan- 
gerous books : a Liber perditionis anime et corporis containing the 
names, abodes, and workings of demons; and a Liber augurioruniy 
ymaginum, et prestigiorum which we have seen and possessed in 
our time, although the Roman church prohibits employing them 
or believing in them." 
Scot has plainly gone beyond the books and conducted his own 

^ Clm., ff. 38 v-43. 88 E. g., Clm., f. 32 v. 

" Sphdra, pp. 441 ff., 540-543; Bruno A. Fuchs, Die Ikonographie der sieben 
Planeten in der Kunst Italiens (Munich diss., 1909), pp. 24-29 and plates; Saxl, in 
Der Islam, iii. 166-168, 175-177, and plate 27; Catalogus codicum astrologicorum 
Graecorum, v, i, p. 86. None of these has compared the figures in the Venice manu- 
script of the so-called Nimrod (Lat. VIII, 22). 

On these and similar authorities see the Speculum astronomie usually as- 
cribed to Albertus Magnus {Opera, 1891, x. 629), with Steinschneider's commentary 
in Z. M. Ph., xvi. 357-396 (1871). For the question of authorship see Mandonnet, 
in Revue neo-scolastique, xvii. 313; Palitzsch, Roger Bacons zweite Schrift iiber die 
kritischen Tage (Leipzig diss., 1918), pp. 12-15; Thorndike, ii, ch. 62. 

"1 Clm., f. 128. Cf. Chapter XII, n. 18. Qm., ff. 114, 116 v. 



experiments, leading at times to new results.^^^ That this experi- 
mental temper was shared by his imperial patron we know from 
Frederick's treatise on falconry /^"^ and Scot gives additional illus- 
trations of this side of the emperor's mind. Not only did Fred- 
erick, as he himself tells us, have experts brought from Egypt to 
Apulia to test the incubation of ostrich eggs by the sun's heat,^^^ 
but he also experimented with the artificial incubation of hens' 
eggs.^^^ Scot advised the emperor to seek counsel at the time of 
the new moon,^^^ and to avoid bloodletting when the moon was in 
Gemini, lest the puncture be repeated; but the emperor, wishing 
to test this for himself, called his barber at this season. The 
barber assured him there was no danger and staked his head upon 
it, but after a successful puncture he dropped the lancet acci- 
dentally on the emperor's foot, causing a swelling which required 
the care of a cynigus for a f ortnight.^^^ Scot also gives his version 
of an experiment which is recounted to much the same effect by 

*Nos quidem fecimus multa nostris temporibus nobis et amicis de quibus 
vidimus magnam probationem in rebus divinis prout diverse fuerunt instructione 
libri ymaginum lune. Verbi gratia quadam vice recipiens semper solis radium per 
bussulum magnum in culo totum perforatum ad instar sachi discusiti in ymaginem 
quam faciebamus ad valimentum cuiusdam rei future et optate diu.' Clm., f. 114. 
i*** See the next chapter. 
Infra, p. 311. 

106 <Et istud fecit probare dominus imperator F. multociens et ita est reperta 
Veritas eorundem.' Chn., f, 117. 

'Solebamus dicere domino nostro F. imperatori, Domine imperator, si vultis 
a sapiente clarum consilium, postulate ipsum crescente luna.' Clm., f. 118. 

108 <Eligitur purgatio et diminutio sanguinis et proprie manus luna existente in 
signo igneo vel aereo, excepto signo Geminorum quod dominatur manibus et brachiis 
notando quod tunc geminari solet percussio lanceole. Hoc autem voluit videre 
dominus meus F. imperator et sic quadam vice luna existente in signo Geminorum 
vocavit suum barberium dicens ei, Est modo toUere sanguinem? Barberius dixit, 
Sic domine, quia tempus pulcrum est et quietum, vos autem estis bone sanitatis, 
etc. Cui dixit imperator, Magister, timeo ne bis me percutiatis, quod quando 
contingit periculosum est, etc. Tunc barberius ait, Domine, volo perdere caput si 
plusquam semel vos percussero, etc. Tunc dedit sibi verbum et in uno ictu exivit 
rivulus sanguinis. Letatur barberius dicere imperatori, Domine, timebatis de bina 
percussione. Habens vero barberius lanceolam in manu apposuit eam sibi in ore, 
quam cum sic teneret cecidit super pedem imperatoris et imperator fuit in culpa. 
lUa cum carnem tetigisset exivit sanguis cum dolore et inde secutus est tumor unde 
locus habuit consilium cynigi 15. diebus. Videns barberius casum et percussam 
dixit, Domine, grandis sapientia est in vobis et magna provissio futurorum, etc' 
Chn., f. 114 v. 


Salimbene.^^^ Frederick had Scot calculate the height of the 
starry heavens — whatever that may mean — by the tower of a 
certain church, and then had the tower cut off somewhat and 
casually brought Scot back to the site. Scot took his observation 
and answered that either the heavens were more distant or the 
tower had sunk a palm's measure or less into the earth, both of 
which were impossible, whereupon the emperor embraced him in 
admiration of his skill.^^^ 

Apart from these mentions of the emperor, there are few refer- 
ences to Italy. Scot tells us he predicted the rising of Aquila in 
Italy 20 December.^^^ He begins the year in the Pisan style,^^^ 
and notes that the imperial notaries begin the year at Christmas 
and the Venetian notaries with the Lord's incarnation. In the 
streets of Messina and Tunis (?) there are fortune-tellers who 
follow the Oriental precepts of Alchandrinus and seek out newly 
arrived merchants.^^^ Among the questions which the astrologer 
must be prepared to answer are those concerning the acceptance 
of election as podestd or the fate of a city in war; indeed the 
whole account of the wealth and position of the astrologer and his 
mode of life reflect the influence and position of the profession 
in the Italy of the thirteenth century. 

The Liher particularis,^^"^ also written at Frederick's request, is 

Ed. Holder-Egger, p. 353. 

110 *De hoc probavit nos imperator in venatione apud tuirim cuiusdam ecclesie 
ville. Facta autem ratione per geometriam et arismetricam ei diximus summam 
miliariorum et banc fecit notare in scriptis. Interim fecit latenter truncari turrem 
per ,i. semissum, iterum conduxit me in venatione per illas partes et cum fuimus 
iuxta turrem finxit se non bene recordari de summa numeri mensurationis cacu- 
minis turris usque ad celum sydereum et sic secundo petiit rationem fieri a me. 
Facta vero ratione sapienter nec invenerim ut prius, dixi, Domine, aut celum su- 
perius ascendit quam erat externa die vel turris intravit terram per unum pahnum 
sive semissum, quod est mihi impossibile credere, et cum non perpenderem detrun- 
cationem pedis turris factam latenter ipse imperator amplexatus est me et rm'ratus 
est valde de sententia numeri et omnis qui cum eo erat.' Clm., f. 31. 

"1 Clm., f. 86 V. "2 Clm., f. 60. cim., f. 71. 

11* 'Et talis modus qualem Alchandrinus ostendit in generali servatur inter 
Arabes et aliquos Indorum, ut patet in viis et stratis Messina et Tonisti in quibus 
sunt mulieres docte que invitant novos mercatores inquirere de statu illorum, de 
domo sua, de fortuna sue mercationis, etc' Clm., f. 119. 

Clm., fols. 133 V, 142 V. 116 Clm., f. 118 v. 

11^ It is found in the Bodleian, MS. Canon. Misc. 555, £f. 1-59, dated 1256 (unless 



likewise a popular introduction. Much briefer than the Liher 
introductorius, it seeks to supplement this in certain particulars, 
as the preface explains : 

Incipit liber particularis Michaelis Scotti astrologi domini Frederici Rome 
imperatoris et semper augusti quem secundo loco breviter compillavit ad 
eius preces, in nomine lesu Christi qui fecit celum et terram in intellectu. 

Cum ars astronomie sit grandis sermonibus phylosophorum et quod de 
ipsa multi multa scripserunt et diversa veluti cognoverunt semel et pluries 
experimentis celestium et per celestia de terrestribus, idcirco que compen- 
diose sufi&ciunt scribere novicio in eadem arte ad preces domini nostri Fred- 
erici Rome imperatoris et semper augusti iuxta vulgarem in gramatica com- 
pillavi ut aliquis novicius hoc opus inveniat quantum per se valeat studere 
in ipso et de arte astronomie intelligere competenter."* . . . Sed quia in prece- 
denti libro tractavimus de hiis que utilia sunt et necessaria omni volentium 
scire prenominatam artem, in hoc secundo libro adhuc recitamus quedam 
particularia de arte plenius que vero sunt penitus de necessitate cognoscenda 
pariter et scienda. Et hec que intendimus dicere in illo non tetigimus quod 
sciamus. Qui vero hos duos libros plene noverit ac sciverit operari nomen 
novi astrologi optinebit.^^^ 

The treatise contains relatively little astrology in the narrower 
sense, being devoted to the reckoning of time, where the author 
cites Helperic, Bede, Gerland (?), and modern computists; 
sun, moon, and stars; the winds and tides ; and various meteoro- 
logical questions, many of which are also touched in the Liber 
introductorius. The whole is a curious mixture of Isidore, Roman 

otherwise stated, references below are to this manuscript); the Ambrosian, MS. L. 
sup. 92, fols. 1-89, where the date 1256 also appears; Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. 
n. a. lat. 1401, fols. 129-162 v, incomplete at beginning and end, following the Liher 
introductorius; Escorial, MS. e. III. 15, incomplete at the end; Vatican, Rossi MS. 
ix. Ill, of the year 1308 (cf. Neues Archiv, xxx. 353 f.); Breslau, MS. f. 21 (Pertz, 
Archiv, xi. 704; Querfeld, p. 14). The extracts in MS. Corpus 221, fols. 2-53 (Coxe, 
Catalogi, p. 88) are probably in part from the Liher particularis. Dr. Birkenmajer 
informs me that there is also a copy at Berlin, Cod. lat. 550. 

Here follow a list of writers on astrology, much as in the Liher introductorius y 
and a list of necessary instruments: 'tabule Tolletane vel alie meliores eis ac faci- 
liores si unquam appareant, studiosa compotatio algorismi in suis speciebus, ho- 
rologium perfectum, astrolabium integrum, quadrans iustum, et spera lignea qua 
utuntur phylosophi ad oculum cum tractatu regularum Parisiensi, cui spere in 
nostro magisterio addidimus circulos planetarum sperales quos coUocavimus 
seriatim infra zodiacum cum corporibus planetarum designatis.' 

MS. Canon. Misc. 555, f. i-i v; MS. Ambrosian L. sup. 92, ff. 1-2. 
^° * Computiste ecclesie, ut Albericus, Girardus, et Beda,' MS. Canon. Misc. 555, 
f . 6 v; * compotiste moderni,' f . 10. 


tradition, Aristotle's Meteorology, ecclesiastical writers, and bits 
of Arabic learning. The setting is Italian and in large measure 
Sicilian, mention being found of the tramontana and the oppres- 
sive south wind, the Germans in the Romagnola and the march of 
Ancona,^^^ the sulphur baths of Montepulciano, Porretta, and 
Montegrotto,^^^ and the volcanic phenomena of Sicily. 

The most interesting part of the Liber particularis is the last 
quarter, consisting of a series of questions of Frederick II on 
various scientific and quasi-scientific matters, with Michael 
Scot's answers. Frederick's use of the questionnaire has long 
been known from the so-called 'Sicilian Questions' directed to 
the various Saracen rulers and preserved in part through the 
answers of ibn Sabin of Ceuta analyzed by Amari in 1853.^^^ 
More recently fragments of a set of questions on optics have been 
recovered by Wiedemann.^^^ The series printed below is, so far 
as I am aware, unknown and doubtless owes its preservation to 
its incorporation as an addendum to the Liber particularis: 

Cum diutissime Fredericus imperator Rome et semper augustus oppinatus 
fuisset per institutum ordinem a semetipso de varietatibus tocius terre que 
simt et apparent in ea supra eam inter eam et sub ea, quadam vice me 
Michaelem Scotum sibi fidelem inter ceteros astrologos domestice advocavit 
et in occulto fecitque mihi sicut eidem placuit has questiones per ordinem de 
fundamento terre et de mirrabilibus mundi que infra continentur, sic in- 
cipiens verba sua: 

Magister mi karissime, frequenter ac multipharie audivimus questiones 
et solutiones ab uno et a pluribus de corporibus superioribus, scilicet solis et 
lune ac stellarum fixarum celi, et de elementis, de anima mundi, de gentibus 
paganis et Christianis, ac de ceteris creaturis que sunt communiter super 
terram et in terra ut de plantis et metallis. Nundum autem audivimus de 

'^^ 'Idem est de bestiis, verbi gratia gentes Alamanie in asta sunt difficiles gen- 
tibus Romaniole ac marchie de Ancona, etc' MS. Canon., f. 41 v. 

^ *Ut patet in Pulicano Viterbii, in comitatu Padue ubi dicitur Mons Gotus, 
etc' MS. Canon., f. 43 v; see also below. 

123 "Questions philosophiques adressees aux savants musulmans par I'empereur 
Frederic II," in Journal Asiatique, 5th ser., i. 240-274; 7th ser., xiv. 341. 

124 <'Fragen aus dem Gebiet der Naturwissenschaften gestellt von Friedrich II," 
in Archiv fiir Kulturgescfdchte, xi. 483-485 (1914). See above, Chapter XII, nn, 

MS. Canon. Misc. 555, f. 44 v; Ambrosian MS. L. sup. 92, f. 69; MS. Rossi 
IX, III, f. 37; MS. n. a. lat. 1401, f. 156 v, a somewhat different text, briefer at some 
points but containing the two additional passages printed in the following notes. 
For an English translation, see above, Chapter XII. 



illis secretis que pertinent ad delectum spiritus cum sapientia, ut de para- 
dise, purgatorio et inferno ac de fundamento terre et de mirabilibus eius. 
Quare te deprecamur amore sapientie ac reverentia nostre corone quatenus 
tu exponas nobis fundamentum terre, videlicet quomodo est constancia eius 
super habyssum et quomodo stat habyssus sub terra et si est aliud quod 
sufferat terram quam aer et aqua, vel stet per se an sit super celos qui sunt 
sub ea; quot sint celi et qui sint sui rectores ac in eis principaliter commo- 
rentur; et quantum unum celum per veracem mensuram cesset ab alio, et 
quod est extra celum ultimum cum sint plures et quanto unum celum est 
maius alio; in quo celo Deus est substantialiter, scilicet in divina maiestate, 
et qualiter sedet in trono celi; quomodo est associatus ab angelis et a Sanctis, 
quid angeli et sancti continue faciunt coram Deo. Item die nobis quot sunt 
habyssi et qui sunt spiritus commorantes in eis nomine, ubi sit infemus, pur- 
gatorius, et paradisus celestialis, scilicet an sub terra vel in terra vel supra 
terram.^^^ Item die nobis quanta est mensura huius corporis terre per gros- 
sum et per longum, et quantum est a terra usque in celum altissimum et a terra 
usque in habyssum, et si sit una habyssus vel sint plures habyssi, et si sunt 
plures quantum cesset una ab alia ; et si hec terra habeat loca vacua vel non 
ita quod sit corpus solidum ut lapis vivus; et quantum est a facie terre deor- 
sum usque ad celum subterius. Item die nobis quomodo aque maris sunt sic 
amare ac fiunt salse in multis locis et quedam sunt dulces extra mare cum 
omnes exeant de vivo mari. Item die nobis de aquis dulcibus quomodo ipse 
omni tempore eructuant extra terram, et quandoque de lapidibus et de ar- 
boribus ut vitibus velud in vere apparet per putationem, unde veniunt et 
surgunt et quomodo est quod earum quedam eructuant dulces et suaves 
quedam clare et quedam turbide ac quedam spisse ut gummose, quoniam 
mirramur ex eis valde eo quod scimus iamdiu quod omnes aque exeunt de 
mari et euntes per diversa loca regionum et venarum adhuc intrent in mare, 
et ipsum mare est tantum et tale quod est lectus et receptaculum omnium 
aquarum decurrentium. Unde vellemus scire si sit unus locus per se qui 
habeat aquam dulcem tantum sicut unus est que habeat aquam salsam, an 
sit ambarum aquarum unus locus, et si est unus quomodo iste due aque sunt 
sibi tam contrarie cum ratione diversitatis colorum et saporum atque motuum 
videatur quod sint duo loca. Unde si sint duo loca aquarum scilicet dulces 
et salse, querimus certificari quis eorum sit maior et minor, et quomodo est 
quod hee aque decurrentes per orbem terre videantur eructuare omni tem- 
pore ex nimia habundancia sui de loco sui lecti, et licet tam copiose habun- 
dent illico tamen non multipHcant quasi ultra communem mensuram ratione 
tanti additus sed sic stant eructuantes quasi ex una mensura vel ad simili- 
tudinem unius mensure. Vellemus etiam scire unde fiunt aque salse et amare 
que per loca reperiuntur surgitorie et aque fetide, ut in multis locis balnea- 
rmn et piscinarum, an ex se ipsis fiant vel aliunde. SimiHter iste aque que 
per loca eructuant tepide vel bene calide aut ferventes velut essent supra 

Ac imperii maiestatis, the Paris MS. adds. 

Here the Paris MS. inserts: *Et que sit differentia animarum que cotidie 
illuc deffenintur et spirituum qui de celo ceciderunt, et si una anima in alia vita 
cognoscit aliam et si aliqua potest transire ad hanc vitam causa loquendi et se 
demonstrandi alicui, et quot sunt pene inferni.' 


ignem ardentem in alliquo vase quomodo sunt ita, unde veniunt et unde sint 
et quomodo est quod aquarum eructuantium quedam semper fiunt clare 
quedam turbide. Vellemus etiam scire quomodo est ille ventus qui exit de 
multis partibus orbis et ignis qui eructuat de terra tam planure quam montis; 
similiter et fumus apparens modo hie modo illic unde nutritur et quod est 
illud quod facit ipsum flare, ut patet in partibus Scicilie et Messine sicut in 
Moncibello, Vulcano, Lippari, et Strongulo. Quomodo etiam est hoc quod 
flamma ignis ardentis visibiliter apparet non solummodo in terra sed in 
quibusdam partibus maris Indie.^^s 

Then begins Scot's long reply: 

Cui ego Michael Scottus tanquam scottatus a multis et a diversis libere 
spopondi dicere veritatem cum vehementi admirratione tantarum et talium 
questionum: O bone imperator, per memetipsum oppinor vehementer quod 
si unquam fuisset homo in hoc mundo qui per suam doctrinam evasisset 
mortem, tu es ille qui inter ceteros debuisses evadere. Sed mors est talis 
calix et tam communis quod ex eo bibit et bibet omnis sapiens et insipiens, 
cum in hoc mundo nihil reperiatur fortius morte. Tamen doctrina sapien- 
tum vivorum et mortuorum que in hoc seculo dicitur vel scripta reperitur 
ad itistruendum indoctos et ad memorandum peritos donee vita permanet 
proficit multis et in multis, videlicet quantum ad corpus et quantum ad 
animam, de qua multum curandum est. Et ideo mihi est valde acceptabile 
duras questiones audire eo quod tunc proficio in scientia multis modis et prin- 
cipaUter dum sunt ipsius scientie qua pocior et glorior inter gentes ac me 
penes vos video honoratum. Unde sicut constituistis cor vestrum ad has 
cogitationes questionum quas nunc mihi dilucidastis ordine pretaxato, sic 
ponite aures vestri capitis ad audiendum et mentem vestram ad intelligen- 
dum plenam satisfactionem omnium predictorum que vobis leviter et sine 
disputatione pandere non pigritabor si Deus voluerit. 

This boastful preface, followed by a supplication for divine 
aid,^^^ introduces thirty pages of manuscript which it is unneces- 
sary to reproduce in full. Brief statements concerning hell, pur- 
gatory, heaven, and the terrestrial paradise are followed by an 
account of the marvels of nature — strange lakes and rivers of 
the East, wondrous metals, stones, plants, drugs, and animals, 
with their respective virtues. The magnet is mentioned inciden- 
tally three times,^^^ each time as something well known. The 

The Paris MS. adds: 'Et quomodo est hoc quod anima alicuius hominis 
viventis dum transient ad aliam vitam quod nec amor primus nec etiam odium 
dat sibi causam reddeundi tanquam nihil fuisset, nec de remanenti re videtur 
amplius curare sive sit salvata sive dampnata.' 

129 <■ pgj. meam sapientiam vobis ad tanta et talia non possem veraciter satisfacere 
nisi esset mihi donum gratie a Deo datum.' 

130 <Pej. calamitam scitur ubi est tramontana cum acu, et cognito domino anni 



most interesting of these chapters is that on metals, a summary 
of alchemistic doctrine which can be usefully compared with the 
alchemical writings attributed to Scot: 

Metallum est quedam essentia que dicitur secunde compositionis, cuius 
species sunt 7, scilicet ferrum, plumbum, stagnum, ramum, cuprum, argen- 
tum, et aurum, sciendo quod generantur compositione argenti vivi, sulphuris, 
et terre. Et secundum unitam materiam eorum quibus componuntur simt 
ponderis et coloris. Aurum plus tenet sulphuris quam argenti vivi; argen- 
tum tenet plus argenti vivi quam terre et sulphuris; ferrum plus tenet terre 
quam argenti vivi, etc. Valet quodlibet ad multa ut in compositione so- 
phystica et in aliis virtutibus. Verbi gratia: aurum macinatum valet seni- 
bus volentibus vivere sanius et iuniores esse sumptum in cibo, et per eum 
comparantur multi denarii argenti causa expendendi, fiunt multa monilia, 
decorantur vasa, et pro eo acquiruntur femine ac multe possessiones. Ar- 
gentum emit aurum et ex eo multa acquiruntur ut ex auro et fiunt ut denarii, 
vasa, etc. Stagnum valet ad faciendum vasa et aptandum ferrum laboratum 
et ramum. Idem dicitur de plumbo ramo etc. Sophysticantur metalla 
doctrina artis alchimie cum quibusdam additamentis pulverum mediantibus 
spiritibus quorum species sunt 4, scilicet argentum vivum, sulphur, auripig- 
mentum, et sal ammoniacum. Ex auro cum quibusdam aliis fit plus aurum 
in apparentia, ex argento et ramo dealbato cum medicina fit plus argentum 
in apparentia, etc. De argento leviter [fit] azurum. De plumbo leviter fit 
cerusa. De ramo leviter fit color viridis cum aceto forti et melle. De plumbo 
et ramo etc. fit aliud metallum. De stagno et ramo fit peltrum cum medi- 
cina. Argentum vivum destruit omne metallum ut patet in moneta quam 
tangit et stagno cuius virgam rumpit tangendo, etc. De plumbo fiunt manu- 
bria lime surde quo sonus mortificatur. Argentum vivum interficit edentem 
et toUit auditum si cadat in aures. Metallorum aqua, ut ferri arsenici vit- 
rioli calcis et virideramini, corodit et frangit calibem. Ex vilibus et muracido 
ferro fit ferrum andanicum, et ecce mirrabile magnum.^^'^ 

Coming at last to the emperor's penetrating questions concern- 
ing the earth, Scot explains that the earth is round like a ball, 
surrounded with water as the yolk is surrounded in the egg, the 
waters being held in their place by a secret virtue ; but any further 
knowledge of this is beyond human ken and merit. The distance 
to the extreme of the waters beneath the earth equals the distance 

adequatione tabularum de Tolleto scimus quod futumm est in rebus.' MS. Canon. 
Misc., f. 48 v. 'Item est lapis qui sua virtu te trahit ferrum ad se ut calamita et 
ostendit locum tramontane septentrionalis. Et est alius lapis generis calamite qui 
depeUit ferrum a se et demonstrat partem tramontane austri.' Ibid., f. 50. 'Cala- 
mita reconciliat uxorem ad maritum.' Ibid., f. 50 v. Cf. Physionomia, part i, c. i. 
On the compass in the thirteenth century see the various studies of Schiick {Isis^ 
iv. 438) and Giinther in Deutsche Revue, March, 1914. 

MS. Canon., f. 49 v; MS. Ambrosian, f. 76 v; not in Nal. 


to the moon. After air ends fire begins, extending from the moon 
to the eighth sphere, then a multitude of waters and then the ether 
as far as the ninth sphere, the spheres being fitted one about 
another like the layers of an onion. The waters of the sea are 
bitter because they are older and are not exposed to the sun's 
heat. Waters were created with inexhaustible virtue of pouring 
forth so long as the world endures, and they move about in the 
earth like blood in the veins, the quality of the water depending 
on the earth through which it passes, and its heat coming from 
dry, hot rocks, especially sulphur. The hot springs of Monte- 
grotto, Porretta, and Montepulciano and the volcanic outpour- 
ings of Etna and the Lipari islands are explained as follows : 

Nam illius quod me interrogastis de flammis ignis que visibiliter apparent 
in multis locis huius mundi partibus Scicilie etc., iam supra diximus in- 
tellectum huius in capitulo quod incipit, Tellus Scicilie, etc., et in capitulo 
alio quod incipit, Queri solet de aquis fluminum.^^^ Sed quia de hoc facta 
est expressa questio iterum studebimus dictam questionem solvere. Unde 
dicimus quod in ventre terre sunt saxa sulphuris vivi et petre calidissime 
nature et in eisdem partibus sunt multe vacuitates quas venas appellamus et 
fistulas. Causa est fervor caloris quo terra grustificatur cessans a sede illius 
sulphuris, et ventus qui spirat per orbem reperit fixuras terre in extremis 
partibus et cavernas qui dum intrat in eas non revertitur retrorsum ymo flat 
antrorsum de vena in venam et de fistula in fistulam et sic tentans loca ca- 
vernosa pervenit ad has vacuitates ubi est tanta copia sulphuris et petrarum 
calidissimarum, et quia ventus est substantia calida et sicca atque subtilis- 
sima et se fricat per tales partes magis subtiliatur, et quia est de materia 
elementali recipit compositionem qua cum exit de locis apertis usque que 
continuatur ilia multitudo sulphuris et petrarum calidissimarum apparet 
flammabilis vehementer, et a diversis gentibus iudicatur et creditur esse ignis 
cum habeat omnes condiciones ignis nostri, scilicet motu sintilis figura dumi 
fumo et cinere in eisdem partibus. Calore vero tali aer in eisdem partibus 
inflammatur et fit subtilis calidus et sulphure odoriferus. Unde aque calide 
et buUientes surgunt in eisdem partibus et sunt balnee multe, sicut est Pel- 
licanus apud Viterbium, balneum de Porreta, de Monte Gotto in districtu 
Padue, etc., sciendo quod ubi habundat calor et sulphur sub terra crescit 
aurum et nascitur, econtra in contraria parte nascitur plumbum ferrum et 
argentum utrumque. Sunt etiam aque frigide, lacus magni, nives, etc., unde 
substantia illius flamme ignis parissibilis in certis locis terre et maris non est 
aliud quam vapor calidus et siccus violenter inflammatus a maiori calore et 

MS. Canon., ff. 56 v-57 v; MS. Ambrosian, ff. 85-86 v; not in Nal. 
MS. Canon. Misc. 555, ff. 40, 43, where these topics are more briefly dis- 

1^ I. e., 'usquequaque.' 



siccitate, quod totum fit secundum quod prediximus. Et quia ventus non 
cessat antecedere sive per aerem expeditum ut supra terrain sive per caver- 
nas terre prepeditum, aut in exitu loci exit calidus invisibiliter aut inflamma- 
bilis visibiliter aut frigidus invisibiliter. Et est sciendum quod si sulphur 
continuatur producte usque ad exitum venti exit ventus in modum flamme 
que est magna vel parva secundum quantitatem substantie venti et ha- 
bundanciam caloris et condictionem aeris quem reperit impeditum ab aliqua 
impressione vel absolutum, et hoc dico tam de vento invisibili quam visibili 
et tam de frigido ut in partibus Sclavonie et Alamannie quam in partibus 
Scicilie, etc. Ut etiam patet per Strongulum montem qui est in medio maris 
et per Strongulinum, per Vulcanum et Vulcaninum, per Moncibellum et per 
insulam Lippari in qua sunt omnia genera bonarum arborum et herbarum. 
Nam Strongulus est mons magnus in mari et de sumitate illius exit continue 
magna flamma ignis. SimiHter exit continue flamma ignis de siunitate 
montis Strongulini qui est mons minor Strongulo. De monte Vulcani et 
Vulcanini, Moncibelli et insule Lippari dicimus quod ex eis quandoque exit 
flamma ignis ut quociens ventus qui dicitur auster spirat et non alias et 
quando cessat flamma exit fumus maximus. Et est sciendum quod ista 
flamma ignis cuiuslibet dictorum locorum sepe importat lapides adhustos et 
quandoque sticiones lignorum et cinerum que cooperit totam terram inde et 
aerem sepe obcecat ut est in partibus fluminum de arena. Eiciuntur etiam 
multi igniculi extra in altum cum flamma ardentiores ut ferrum focine fabri 
sintillans qui descendendo franguntur in multa frustra et magna et parva, et 
hec reperiuntur esse pomices quibus utuntur scriptores, et has pomices mare 
portat ad littora et colliguntur a gentibus et inde murantur domus et parifi- 
cantur ut apud nos de lateribus, quare in eisdem partibus sunt montes et 
fragmenta ut de lapidibus apud ceteras regiones. Aqua quidem pellagi est 
inde frigens et sulphurea unde marinarii transeuntes hinc quandoque im- 
plent nodos harundinum et catinos de ilia aqua que cum est frigida esse sul- 
phur probatur coagulatione, et est sciendum quod quanto plus aqua accedit 
prope montes ubi bullit tanto magis sulphur est melior. Verum est quod 
sulphuris alius albus alius niger alius zallus, etc., sciendo quod unusquis- 
que habet certas virtutes magni valoris, ut in alchimia ad commutandmn 
metalla et ad faciendum focum zambanum, unguenta ad scabiem, etc., suf- 
fumigatio cuius dealbat setam zallam et folia rose et lilii et cum ardet reddit 
aerem feculentum. Insuper dicimus quod si ilia flamma esset ignis ut noster 
extingueretur ab aqua que est nostro igni contraria percurrens sub terra in 
partibus sulphureis in quibus inflammatur, sciendo quod sicut est cursus 
aquarum super terram et origo fontium lectus fluminum et multitudo lacuum 
et stagnorum, sic est inter terram. Item dicimus quod si dicte petre tam 
calide nature essent super terram sicut sunt in ea absconse et sulphur cum 
eis, iam mundus esset undique consumatus caliditate flatus ventorum inde 
transeuntium. Sed cum misericordia Dei sit maxima in dispositione con- 
stitutionis mundi, hunc sulphurem et hos lapides locavit inter terram propter 
melius, nolens quod mundus taHter destruatur, unde voluntate Dei flamme 
dictorum locorum nec mundum destruunt nec loca sibi propinqua, unde 
super dictos montes sunt domus que ab hominibus inhabitantur et cultus 
terre quo fructus habentur multi. 


Such evil signs have led many to believe that these volcanoes 
are the entrance to the hell which is vividly described in the vision 
of St. Paul in prison; but whether the gate to the lower regions 
is here or in the northern isle seen by St. Brandan, Scot will not 
decide. Whatever the way in, hell is in the bowels of the earth, 
and there is no way out.^^^ 

Scot does not answer all the emperor's questions and his an- 
swers are far from satisfactory, yet all is not empty words. He 
has some acquaintance with the principal sulphur springs and 
volcanoes of Italy, and, while his knowledge of the Lipari group 
does not necessarily rest on personal observation, it at least rep- 
resents inquiry among those who have observed. Although the 
omission of any special account of Etna is noteworthy, he has in 
these local matters gone well beyond Aristotle's Meteorology and 
given some real description of volcanic phenomena.^^^ Never- 
theless, making all allowance for the fact that it is easier to ask 
questions than to answer them satisfactorily, the emperor's ques- 
tions show the keener mind and the more penetrating intelli- 
gence. They raise real difi&culties, and, like those preserved by 
ibn Sabin, they cut deeply into the current cosmology. That 
one who can go so far in these directions should at the same time 
accept implicitly the facile predictions of the court astrologers, 
is one of the typical contradictions in the intellectual life of the 
thirteenth century. 

The treatise ends: *Hec autem que breviter et facile diximus nunc ut melius 
fuit nobis visum, vobis,. domine imperator, sufficiant ad presens de recitatione mirra- 
bilium mundi que Deus fecit cum magno delectu ad instar ioculatoris et adhuc facit 
continue, et de expositione fundamenti terre. Volentes hie finire secundum librum 
quem incepimus in nomine Dei cui ex parte nostra sit semper grandis laus et glo- 
ria benedictio et triumphus in omnibus per infinita secula seculorum amen. Ex- 
plicit secundus liber Michaelis Scotti qui dicitur liber particularis. Nunc incipit 
liber physionomie. . . MS. Canon. Misc. 555, f. 59; Ambrosian MS. L. sup. 92, 
fols. 88 v-89. 

Cf. Geographical Review, xiii. 141 f. (1923). 



The reign of the Emperor Frederick II holds an important place 
in the transition from mediaeval to modern culture. Much has 
been written of the cosmopolitan intellectual life of his court, of 
its school of poetry as the cradle of Italian vernacular literature, 
of the philosophers and translators who linked it with the older 
world. To many it has seemed that it is under Frederick, "the 
first modern man upon a throne, rather than in the days of 
Petrarch, that the real beginning of the Italian Renaissance is to 
be sought. In any such discussion much depends upon our judg- 
ment of the personality of the emperor, that stupor mundi of 
learning whose super stitiones et curiositates scandalized contem- 
poraries. All agree as to the extraordinary activity and extra- 
ordinary interest of his mind, yet its principal literary product, 
his De arte venandi cum avibus, has been strangely neglected. 
Mentioned in rather perfunctory fashion by other historians,^ its 
significance has been more fully seen by Karl Hampe, who de- 
clares that this book must be studied by all "who wish to learn 
to know Frederick's method of thinking and working scien- 
tifically";^ yet Hampe devotes but two pages to the treatise, 
the greater part of which he has not read. The solid volume 

1 Revised from E. H. R., xxxvi. 334-355 (1921). Cf. Sudhoff, in Mitteilungen 
zur Geschichte der Medizin, xxi. 41; I sis, iv. 203. 

2 J. Burckhardt, Die Cultur der Renaissance in Italien (ed. Geiger, Leipzig, 1899), 
i. 4. 

3 Raumer, Geschichte der Hohenstaufen (Leipzig, 1857), iii. 286 f.; Huillard-Bre- 
hoUes, Historia diplomatica Friderici Secundi (Paris, 1859), introduction, pp. 
dxxxv f.; Ranke, Weltgeschichte, viii. 369; Biehringer, Kaiser Friedrich II (Berlin, 
1912), p. 273; Novati, Freschi e minii del diigento (Milan, 1908), pp. 137-143; Pao- 
lucci, "Le finanze e la corte di Federico II," in Atti of the Palermo Academy, vii. 
41-45 (1904); L. Allshorn, Stupor mundi (London, 191 2), p. 118. The very brief 
treatment of the De arte venandi is a serious gap in the suggestive article of H. Niese, 
"Zur Geschichte des geistigen Lebens am Hofe Kaiser Friedrichs II," in Historische 
Zeitschrift, cviii. 473-540 (191 2). 

* Historische Zeitschrift, Ixxxiii. 19 (1899). 



required for a complete text would need careful examination by 
the zoologist and the falconer, in relation both to its antecedents 
and to its additions to the store of theoretical and practical bird- 
lore, and our knowledge of mediaeval zoology and of the earlier 
literature on falconry ^ is still insufficient to permit these special- 
ists to assign the treatise to its final place. Still, a beginning must 
sooner or later be made, and the fresh use of manuscript material 
may enable even a la)niian to draw certain provisional conclu- 
sions concerning the sources and composition of the De arte and 
the light it throws on the workings of the emperor's mind. 

The chief obstacle to a study of the De arte venandi cum avibus 
is the lack of a complete edition. The treatise contains six books, 
yet only two have been printed, from an incomplete manuscript 
then in possession of Joachim Camerarius of Niirnberg, and since 
supposed lost, but now clearly identifiable with MS. Pal. lat. 
107 1 of the Vatican. The editio princeps of Velser (Augsburg, 
1596), reprinted with a valuable zoological commentary by J. G. 
Schneider (Leipzig, 1788-89),® not only has lacunae which corre- 
spond to the considerable lacunae and the faint and illegible por- 
tions of this codex, but it is in places quite careless, so that it does 
not furnish a satisfactory edition even of this mutilated copy of 
the first two books. It became the basis of two translations into 
German,'^ yet, with all the learning lavished on Frederick II by 
German writers, no one has published a comparison of the differ- 
ent manuscripts or edited a complete and critical text. There 
are two principal classes of manuscripts: 

^ The principal study of this material is by Werth, Altfranzosische Jagdlehr- 
biicher nebst Handschriftenbibliographie der abendlandischen Jagdlitteratur iiber- 
haupt," in Zeitschrift fiir romanische Philologie, xii. 146-191, 381-415, xiii. 1-34 
(1888-89), who reviews the important mediaeval works on falconry without throw- 
ing any new light on the work of Frederick II. He overlooks the Vatican MS., 
mentioned by Seroux d'Agincourt in 1823, by Huillard-BrehoUes in 1859, and by 
Bethmann in 1874 (Feitz, Archiv, xii. 350), and makes no advance in relation to the 
six-book text, first indicated by Jerome Pichon in 1863 {Bulletin du bibliophiky xvi. 
885-900). See also below, Chapter XVII. 

^ In the citations below I have referred to Schneider's text as the more accessible, 
using the copy at Columbia University, but all such passages have been collated 
with the Vatican MS. 

^ By Johann Erhard Pacius, Onolzbach, 1756; and by H. Schopffer, Berlin, 


I. Containing the first two books only, with Manfred^s additions: 

M. Vatican, MS. Pal. lat. 1071. Parchment, in folios, 360 X 250 
mm., written not long after the middle of the thirteenth century, with 
valuable illustrations in a contemporary hand. The chapters are ru- 
bricated but not numbered. The rubrics are in red; the initials, in red 
and blue, are colored only to f . 36 v. The first page, as well as many 
later pages, has been partly defaced by moisture, and has two holes in 
the parchment, hence the lacunae in the first tv/o pages of the editions. 
The text breaks off in c. 80 of bk. ii, shortly before the end of the book. 
As this text contains the additions made by Manfred as king, it falls 
between his coronation in 1258 and his death in 1266. The consider- 
able lacuna between ff. 16 and 17 (bk. i, c. 23), which fills pp. 47-72 of 
MS. B, existed already in the thirteenth century, since it is found Hke- 
wise in MS. m. (f. 28). The conclusion of bk. ii was probably also 
missing when the version of m was made, for m carries the text no fur- 
ther than the last folio of M and rounds out the sentence with a general 
phrase. On the other hand, the lacuna of one folio after f . 58 (ii, 33), 
not found in m, must have been made between ca. 1300 and 1596. On 
the miniatures, see Seroux d'Agincourt, Vhistoire de Vart (Paris, 1823), 
V, pi. 73 and text; Venturi, Storia delV arte italiana, ii, nos. 277 f., iii, 
nos. 689-698; S. Beissel, Vaticanische Miniaturen (Freiburg, 1893), 
p. 39 and plate xx; Graf zu Erbach-Fiirstenau, Die Manfredbibel (Leip- 
zig, 1910), c. 2. Those on the second page, one of which is reproduced 
in the Augsburg edition, evidently represent Frederick II on his throne; 
that on f . 5 V, on the margin of Manfred's first addition, is plausibly 
conjectured by Erbach to represent Manfred. The administration of 
the Vatican Hbrary plans a publication of the whole manuscript in 
facsimile edition. For much of this and for other information and 
assistance I am specially indebted to Monsignore A. Pelzer. 

M I. Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, MS. 10948. A sixteenth-century 
copy, apparently from M, omitting the preface and introduction. 

m. Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Fr. 12400. Parchment, 
186 folios, ca. 1300, with illustrations. A French translation, made for 
Jean de Dampierre and his daughter Isabel, probably ca. 1 290-1300. 
See Notices et extraits des MSS., vi. 404; Pichon, in Bulletin du biblio- 
phile, xvi. 894-897 (1863). The text is that of M, including the addi- 
tions of Manfred; probably the version is based on M itself, for the 
illustrations of birds in M are followed closely and the same lacuna 
occurs in i. 23 ; but the text of M had not yet been injured by moisture 
or by the holes in the first folio. On the miniatures see Vitzthum, Die 


Pariser Miniaturmalerei des xiii. Jahrhunderts, pp. 228 f. (Leipzig, 

m I. Geneva, MS. Fr. 170. Parchment, fifteenth century, with 
similar illustrations. Same translation as m. See Senebier, Catalogue 
raisonne des MSS., pp. 426 f.; Aubert, in B. E, C, Ixxii. 307-309. 

m 2. Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. Fr. 1296. A different French 
translation of the second book only. See Pichon, pp. 898 f. 

II. Containing the whole six books,^ without Manfred's additions: 

B. Paris, Bibliotheque Mazarine, MS. 3716. Parchment, 589 pages, 
early fifteenth century, with remnants of a coat of arms of Anjou- 
Sicily. P. 589: 'Explicit liber fakonum cum quibus venantur.' See 
Pichon, pp, 888-891. I have a complete rotograph of this manuscript. 
The illuminations, save for the first page, are confined to a few initials 
and have nothing in common with those of M and its derivatives. In 
bk. i B contains (pp. 32-37) after c. 15 a passage on the feeding of birds 
of prey which is lacking in M, and in c. 23 it enables us (pp. 47-72) to 
fill the important lacuna in the M group. At the close of this book (pp. 
139 f.) it repeats c. 54 which it has already on p. 120. In bk. ii it omits 
the last sentence of the prologue and cc. 1-30, resuming with c. 31 on 
p. 90 of the edition; it fills (pp. 146-149) the lacuna in c. 33; inserts 
(pp. 256 f.) eight fines at the end of c. 76; and finishes (pp. 277-281) 
the treatment of hooding in c. 80 left incomplete by the break in M. 

C. University of Valencia, MS. 402. Parchment, 238 folios, fif- 
teenth century, with the arms of Aragon-Sicily. Attributed in a hand 
of the eighteenth century to Thomas of Capua (!). Inaccessible when 
I visited this Hbrary in 1913, but now described by Marcelino Gutierrez 
del Cano, Catdlogo de los manuscritos existentes en la Biblioteca Univer- 
sitaria de Valencia (Valencia, [191 5]), i. 154 f., with a facsimile of the 
first page which shows a text identical with B. 

D. Rennes, MS. 227, paper, 404 folios, fifteenth century: 'Liber 
falconum cum quibus venantur.' With chapter headings throughout 
and a table of contents at the close, ff. 389-404; text as in B. 

E. Bologna, University Library, MS. Lat. 419 (717). The full six 
books, with some veterinary material at the end. 

8 The Bodleian MS. Digby 152 (saec. xiv) contains, ff. 42-54 v, a loose body of 
extracts comprising a large part of the first half of bk, iii, incorporated as bk. iv of 
a treatise of which the lost third book dealt with the subject of Frederick's second, 
even taking over Frederick's reference to his own second book (f. 42 v = MS. B, 
p. 282). As this manuscript begins with the fourth book of the treatise and breaks 
off in the middle (= MS. B, p. 323), further comparison is impossible. 


F, MS. formerly in possession of Baron Pichon, from whose library 
it passed in 1869 to M. Giraud de Savine. See Bulletin du bibliophile y 
xvi. 891-893. Closely related to B. Copy executed for Astorre Man- 
fredi of Faenza, probably Astorre II (ti468). 

The two families of manuscripts thus correspond to two edi- 
tions. The first or two-book family is Manfred's edition, with 
the additional matter which he discovered as well as with notes 
of his own. The second or six-book family was not thus revised 
and supplemented, but it fills the lacunae in books i and ii. 
Whether Manfred revised the last four books also is a question 
which cannot be answered from the manuscripts so far examined. 
The fact that the French versions likewise contain but two books 
shows that a two-book text was in circulation in the thirteenth 
century, and lends probability to Pichon's hypothesis ^ that 
Manfred's revision did not extend to the later books. 

So far as they can be identified, Manfred's additions are of 
two sorts. One group, consisting of his own practical observa- 
tions, is brief and relatively unimportant, their brevity not 
appearing in the edition, where their beginning is marked by 
^Rex,' 'Rex Manfredus,' or 'addidit Rex,' but the end of the 
passage is not indicated. Collation with the text of the second 
family shows that these are ordinarily but a few lines in length. 
A good example runs as follows: 

Sunt et alie rationes quas Manfridus rex Sicilie, quondam divi Augusti 
imperatoris huius libri auctoris filius, addendas providit cum librum ipsum 
coram se legi mandavit. Cum aves omnes tam aquatice et medie quam ter- 
restres tantum laborent pro acquirendo cibo, eundo redeundo et stando super 
pedes fatigantur valde, sed, nocte veniente qua quiescere consueverunt, cum 
stando pedes quiescere volunt vicissim aliquando super uno pede aliquando 

8 Bulletin du bibliophile, xvi. 887. 

10 They are less important than is supposed by Helene M. Arndt, Studien zur 
inneren Regierungsgeschichte Manfreds (Heidelberg, 191 1), pp. 152 f. 

1^ Besides those given above in the text, Manfred's glosses are in the edition as 
follows: i. 4 'Causa . . . rationabiliter' (26 lines); i. 53 * Inter modos . . . semper 
in aquis' (18 lines); i. 54 'Preterea aves . . . ut dicit Philosophus in libro cell et 
mundi' (8 lines); ii. 15 'Necessitas . . . pascuntur' (6 lines); ii. 53 'Amplius 
. . . falconum' (10 lines); ii. 59 *Et si in hoc . . . inquietat se' (18 lines); ii. 69 
* Dimittens f alconum . . . portandus' (3 lines). The following also appears in the 
Vatican text (f. 40 v), but not in the edition: *REX. Nam tunc . . . motu' (i, c. 
54, ed. Schneider, p. 60). 



super alio quiescimt, sicut accidit fixis animalibus ambulabilibus dum quies- 
cere volunt stando super pedes, quandoque super uno pede quandoque super 
altero quiescunt.^ 

A more important class of additions is found in two passages 
where Manfred uses indications or material left by his father. 
One of these is c. 60 of book ii, a long chapter which, beginning 
as follows, shows that the original, or rather the copy then sur- 
viving, contained marginal directions for later additions: 

REX: Cum non contineretur in hoc libro qualiter falco deciliatus poni 
debeat ad sedendum in pertica et levari ab ea et de diverberationibus et 
lesuris que possent in ea contingere, sed esset in margine eius scriptum quod 
addi deberet presens capitulum, tanquam necessarium prelibatis docu- 
mentis de falconibus editis, prout melius expedire vidimus duximus inseren- 

A longer passage in ii. 18, explaining the insertion of ii. 1-30, 
shows that the emperor's codex left spaces blank, and that loose 
notes and drafts were also left by the author : 

REX: Cum sepe legeremus et relegeremus hunc librum ut fructum 
scientie caperemus et ne vitio scriptoris aliquid remanserit corrigendum, 
finito prohemio invenimus quod dominus pater noster subsequenter ordina- 
verat capitulum istud primo inter alia capitula, videlicet de modis quibus 
habentur falcones; tamen inter capitulum istud et prohemium erant carte 
non scripte, quibus repertis existimavimus aliquod aliud capituimn obmis- 
sum fuisse quod scribi debebat in eis. Post spatium vero temporis, dum 
quereremus quatemos et notulas libri istius, eo quod videbamus ipsum ra- 
tione scriptoris correctione egere, invenimus in quibusdam cartulis quoddam 
capitulum intitulatum de plumagio falconum, quo capitulo docebantur dif- 
ferentie falconum per membra et plumagia ipsorum. Nos autem rememo- 
rantes dubietatis quam habuimus cum perlegendo librum pervenimus ad 
capitulum predictum quod prohemium sequebatur, ubi credebamus aliquem 
fuisse defectum propterea quod cartas non scriptas videramus ibidem, visum 
fuit nobis quod capitulum de forma membrorum et plumagio falconum illic 
locari debebat, eo quod capitulum de cognoscendis falconibus capitulum de 
habendis ipsis precedere debet et quod ignota et incognita, si querantur, 
reperiri non possunt (quia quod est incognitum qualiter reperitur?), et si 
accidit inveniri, non est ratione scientie sed fortune. Propter quod, ut inven- 
toris intentio non frustretur et avem unius speciei loco alterius non acquirat, 
vidimus preponendum esse capitulum quo docetur qualiter cognoscantur 
falcones et in quibus conveniant et differant ratione plumagii et membrorum, 
capitulo quo docetur qualiter habeantur.^'* 

12 MS. M, f. 8 v; Schneider, p. 13. " MS. M, f. 90 v; Schneider, p. 140. 
MS. M, f. 52 v; Schneider, p. 82; translated by Pichon, p. 890, who (p. 898) 
also gives the text of m and m 2. 


Another important addition to the text of the De arte has been 
ascribed to Manfred, namely the remarkable illustrations found 
in the two-book family, but absent from all manuscripts of the 
second family so far found. This attribution is perhaps strength- 
ened if we accept Erbach's identification of Manfred with a 
figure in the Vatican codex, and the close parallelism which he 
finds with the illuminations of the Manfred Bible.^^ Neverthe- 
less, while the figures in their present form date, like the earliest 
manuscript, from Manfred's time, I do not believe that he first 
introduced them into the margin of the text, which it appears 
from his own words he scrupulously respected as his father's 
work. Indeed the emperor's book captured in 1248 already had 
notable marginal illustrations.^^ We know from Richard of San 
Germano that Frederick could draw, designing with his own 
hands the towers of Capua,^^ and it is probable that he at least 
gave the directions for these illustrations which are almost a part 
of the text and plainly go back to a common original. Probably 
they were omitted from the unrevised archetype of the six-book 
family. These illustrations constitute a document of the very 
first importance for the scientific observation and the artistic 
skill of their age. They must be studied in the Vatican codex,^^ 
save where others of the same family supply missing or injured 
figures,^^ and few pages lack such embellishments. The figures of 
the seated emperor and of one who is probably Manfred are 
Byzantine in pose and treatment, and the background of archi- 
tecture and landscape shows little advance on the art of the 
Exultet rolls; but while the grouping is conventional and quite 
lacking in perspective, the drawing of birds is extraordinarily 

Die Manfredbibel, c. 2. See the letter published below, n. 36. 

" 'Quod ipse manu propria consignavit': M. G. H., Scriptores, xix. 372; cf. E. 
Bertaux, L'art dans Vltalie meridionale, i. 717; H. W. Schulz, Denkmdler der Kunst 
in Unteritalien (Dresden, i860), ii. 167. 

1^ For references to reproductions, without colors, see p. 301 above. Venturi, 
Storia delVarte italiana, iii. 758-768, gives some account of the coloring, which stops 
at f. 93 V. The water is regularly a striated blue or bluish green, the land green, 
streams blue, flowers generally red, buildings red, blue, brown, etc. Clothing shows 
some variety, but the greatest effort to reproduce differences of color is seen in the 
case of birds. 

1* As on f . 96 of m, which corresponds to the lacuna between ff. 58 and 59 of M. 


lifelike. There are in all more than nine hundred figures of in- 
dividual birds, not only falcons in various positions, with their 
attendants and the instruments of the art, but a great variety of 
other birds to illustrate the general matter of the first book. 
Brilliant in coloring, the work is accurate and minute, even to 
details of plumage, while the representation of birds in flight has 
an almost photographic quality which suggests similar subjects 
in modern Japanese art. Saracen influence has been offered as 
an explanation,^^ but in any case these illustrations rest upon a 
close and faithful study of bird life, and thus form an essential 
part of the work which they accompany. 

Whatever the occasion for the separate preservation of the 
first two books, the six books of the De arte form a unit. After 
an introductory chapter on falconry as the noblest of arts, a sub- 
ject for elaborate debate on the part of later writers,^^ the first 
book is a general treatise on the habits and structure of birds. 
Book ii then deals with birds of prey, their capture and training. 
The third book explains the different kinds of lures and their 
uses. The three remaining books describe, in parallel fashion, 
the practice of hunting cranes with gerfalcons (iv), herons with 
the sacred falcon (v), and water birds with smaller types of fal- 
cons (vi). The style and manner of treatment are the same 
throughout. There are also several cross references. Thus the 
first book refers to the second and others,^^ the second to those 
which follow .^^ The preface to the second gives the plan of the 

20 Venturi suggests the influence not only of Saracen art but of the Vienna MS. 
of Dioscorides (facsimile edition, Leyden, 1906), but its drawings of birds (ff. 474- 
483 v) show no close resemblance to those in the Vatican codex. Erbach, Die Man- 
fredbibel, pp. i, 47-52, finds parallels with the illuminations of the Manfred Bible. 
In the face of the close agreement of the illustrations in M and m, the difference of 
treatment noted by Erbach in his figures 14 and 15 does not seem to me sufficient to 
indicate the derivation of m from another original than M. The 'gallina de India,' 
correctly described in the text (i, c. 23; MS. M, f. 19), had evidently not been seen 
by the illustrator. See A. Thomas, "La pintade (poule d'lnde) dans les textes du 
moyen age," in Comptes-rendus de VAcademie des Inscriptions, 191 7, pp. 40 ff- 

21 Cf. Werth, Zeitschrift fiir romanische Philologie, xii. 391 f. 

22 *De horum autem falconum et accipitrum modis plenius et evidentius mani- 
festatur in secundo tractatu et aliis in quibus nostra intentio per se super eos 
descendit,' MS. B, pp. 34 f. 

23 'In hoc tractatu secundo et in ceteris accedemus,' MS. M, f. 45 v; MS. B, 



later books.^^ Book ii, 71 refers forward to the book on gerfal- 
cons .^^ The opening of the third book refers to the preface.^^ 
Book iv refers back to book i,^^.and repeats an interesting obser- 
vation already made in the earlier book.^^ Book v refers also to 
book i.^^ 

Nevertheless it is also apparent that we have not the com- 
plete work as the author planned it, probably not even as he 
executed it. Besides the subjects actually treated in the follow- 
ing books, the preface to book ii promises an account of the 
care of birds during moulting and of the treatment of their 
diseases.^^ None of this is found in the six-book text, although 
it was common in works on falconry. There are also specific 
references in the text^^ to a subsequent discussion of moult- 
ing which does not appear. Moreover the author three times 
promises a book on hawks, which was evidently to be a sepa- 
rate work.^^ Now Albertus Magnus cites the experta Frederici 
imperatoris on the care of hawks,^^ as well as a passage on black 

p. 140; the edition (Schneider, p. 69) omits 'et in ceteris.' Liher is regularly used 
of the work as a whole, and tractatus of the individual books which compose it; but 
MS. B, p. 282, has *ut in 2° libro huius operis diximus.' 

24 MS. M, f. 46 v; MS. B, pp. 142 f.; ed. Schneider, p. 70. 

25 'Dicitur plene in tractatu de venatione girofalconis ad grues,' MS. M, f. 98; 
MS. B, p. 241 ; ed. Schneider, p. 152. Note that this remains in the two-book text. 

26 * Intentio nostra ita ut in principio diximus est docere venationes quas f aciunt 
homines cum avibus rapacibus ad predandum non rapaces,' MS. B, p. 281. 

27 * Ut dictum est in capitulo de reditu avium,' MS. B, p. 359. Cf . the reference 
to bk. iv on cranes in i, 55 (MS. M, f. 42; ed, Schneider, p. 64). 

28 MS. B, pp. 54 f., repeated p. 361. See the passage below, p. 312. 

29 <Nidificant autem in canetis paludum et in arboribus prope aquas ut in primo 
tractatu dictum est,' MS. B, p. 440, where the reference is to the treatment of nest- 
ing on pp. 60 ff., where there is a lacuna in M and the editions. 

3° ' Quedam in conservando sanas etiam quando iam mutant pennas, ut domun- 
cula que dicitur muta, et plumas et multe medicinarum, quedam in curando egrotas 
ut ipse medicine et vasa necessaria ad dandum ipsas medicinas; de singulis horum 
instrumentorum dicetur ubi conveniet,' MS. M, f. 46 v; MS. B, p. 143; ed. 
Schneider, p. 70. 

31 MS. M, f. 45; MS. B, p. 138; ed. Schneider, p. 68. Also the following from 
bk. iii: 'dicemus infra quando dicemus de muta et de omni eo quod convenit muta- 
tioni,' MS. B, p. 324. 

32 MS. M, ff. 49, 57, 58 v; ed. Schneider, pp. 75, 89, 92. 

33 De animalibus, xxiii, c. 40, par. 20 {Opera, ed. Paris, 1891, xii. 477), for which 
we should now consult Stadler's edition from the original Cologne MS. {Beitrdge, xv- 


falcons which cannot be found in the present text, and in each 
case he refers at the same time to the dicta of King Roger's fal- 
coner, William, of whom we shall have more to say. A separate 
treatise on other forms of hunting which he promised after the 
completion of this^^ may not have been written, if indeed it was 
ever begun. 

On all these questions interesting light is thrown by a letter 
addressed to Charles of Anjou in 1264 or 1265 by a certain 
Guilielmus Bottatus of Milan, of which the original is preserved 
in the Archives des Bouches-du-Rhone at Marseilles: 

Magnifico et glorioso domino K. filio regis Francie Andegav[ie] Provintie 
et Forc[alquerii] illustri comiti et marchioni Provintie, Guilielmus Bottatus 
Mediolanensis salutem et paratum devotionis et famulatus obsequium. 
Quia de magnifice serenitatis vestre prestantia et egregiis liberalitatis 
strenuitatis prudentie benignitatis et virtutum omnium ac nobilitatum 
titulis quibus inter cunctos seculi principes vos excellentissime prepoJere 
fama predicat totus mundus testatur et opera laudis argumento certiori 
declarant, qualibet pretiosi prerogativa decorari preeminentia vestra singu- 
lari meretur privilegio. Ego quamvis inter maiestatis vestre subditos per 
obsequiorum exhibitionem ignotus totis tamen cordis affectibus et ex tota 
possibilitate devotus ad honoris vestri cumuliun, iuxta morem evangelice 
vidue minutum meum quod mihi contulit facultas offerre cupiens, quoddam 
in meis facultatibus pretiosum solis excellentibus dignum dominationi vestre 
tradere preelegi, nobilem scilicet librum de avibus et canibus bone recorda- 
tionis olim domini FR. gloriosi Romanorum imperatoris quem pre ceteris 
placidis habere noscebatur precipuum, cuius pulcritudinis et valoris admira- 
tionem lingua prorsus non sufficeret enarare; auri enim et argenti decore 
artificiose politus et imperatorie maiestatis effigie decoratus in psalterionun 
duorum voluminis spatio, per compositam capitulorum distinctionem docet 
ancipitrum, falconUm, ierofalconum, asturum, et ceterarum nobilium avium 

xvi, 1916-21), p. 1481. On the dates of Albert's works, see F. Pelster, Kritische 
Stndien (Freiburg, 1920) ; and his note on Albert's recently discovered Questiones 
super libris de animalibus of 1258 {Zeitschrift fiir kathoHsche Theologie, idvi. ^^2, 

34 Loc. cit., par. 10, ed. Stadler, p. 1465; infra. Chapter XVII, n. 17. 

35 'De reliquis vero venationibus precipue de iUis in quibus nobiles delectantur 
vita comite post complementum huius operis dicetur a nobis,' MS. M, f. 3; ed. 
Schneider, p. 4. 

36 B 365, for a photograph of which I am indebted to the archivist, M. R. Bus- 
quet. Extracts, omitting the most significant portions, in Papon, Histoire de Pro- 
vence (Paris, 1778), ii, preuves, p. Ixxxv. The date must fall in or about 1 264, when 
Charles had entered into relations with Lombardy but had not yet taken the title 
of king in 1265; cf. Sternfeld, Karl von Anjou als Graf von Provence (Berhn, 1888), 
p. 218. 



et canum omnium cognitionem, nutrituram, eruditionem, et eorum omnium 
[infir]mitates et earum causas, signa, et curationes similiter earumdem; illic 
etiam ostenditur quomodo si [quis ab] aucupe fugerit possit et debeat mira- 
biliter rehaberi; venationes insuper describit et quomodo versari venator se 
debeat ad perfectionem artis venatorie demonstratur. Ad decus etiam et 
utilitatem operis in margine libri ingeniosissime depicti sunt canes et aves, 
egritudines eorum et earum signa, cure, et eruditiones, et universa sicut per 
litteram denotantur. Quem a quodam ad cuius manus incasu quem memo- 
ratus imperator sustinuit in castris Victorie penies Parmam pervenerat blanda 
et ingeniosa coUatione munerum adquisivi et eum nisi prolixitas itineris et 
viarum turbassent discrimina celsitudini vestre dudum fueram oblaturus. 
Quo circa excellentiam vestram reverenter propulsare duxi presentibus 
quatinus, si dominationi vestre memorati libri placet iocunditas, devotioni 
mee benignitas vestra dignetur rescribere quid de ipso per me iusseritis 
faciendum. Quia paratus sum librum ipsum sicut et ubi decreveritis trans- 
mittere et cunctis beneplacidis vestris liberaliter exponere me et mea. 

Et ut plenius libri ipsi[us] qualitatem et intentionem vestra comprehen- 
dere possit industria, libri ipsius capitula que ob eorum prolixitatem incon- 
gruum est literis contexere in cedula per ordinem sicut in ipso seriatim 
habentur duxi cum presentibus vestre preeminencie destinare, cuius reor 
in toto orbe similem vel exemplum nisi penes me vobis devotissimum re- 

The accompanying table of contents has unfortunately long 
since disappeared, but the description given in the body of the 
letter is sufficient to show that the two large volumes thus offered 
do not correspond to any known work, whether the De arte or 
other contemporary treatise. Covering as they did dogs as well 
as falcons, hunting as well as hawking, and the diseases of such 
animals as well, they cannot be identified with the De arte in its 
present form nor with the brief treatises of Moamyn or Yatrib de- 
scribed below.^^ Conceivably they might have contained a col- 
lection of materials on all these topics for the emperor's use, but 
the gold and silver adornment and the size of the work clearly 
point to an edition de luxe and not a mere set of documents pour 
servir. Moreover, the ^imperial effigy' still meets us on the first 
page of the Vatican manuscript. I believe we here have de- 
scribed Frederick's own copy of the De arte, with illustrations 
throughout such as the two-book text has preserved, and com- 
prising the lost portions to which he refers in the early books. 
Captured with his crown and all his treasure in the defeat before 

" Pp. 318-320. 


Parma in February, 1248,^^ it would seem to have ultimately dis- 
appeared with the rest of the scattered loot of the camp. With 
the completed work thus lost to the enemy, there would be left 
only such drafts and notes as Manfred describes, very likely kept 
in some Apulian castle. Indeed if a final official copy had been 
preserved in the South, Manfred would hardly have undertaken 
his search for such scattered material. 

That Frederick himself was the author can no longer be 
doubted. Apart from the citations by Albertus Magnus and 
the specific mention by the so-called Nicholas of lamsilla,^^ we 
have the explicit words of Manfred mentioning dominus pater 
noster as the author, as well as the reference to himself in the third 
person as imperatoris huius libri autoris filius^^ Furthermore, 
Frederick appears as the author in the preface, as printed below, 
and in the further prefatory matter .^^ If he did not actually write 
the book with his own hand, he at least directed its composition 
and dictated the greater part of its substance. 

That the De arte belongs to the later years of Frederick's reign 
is also clear. He tells us in the preface that he had had it in mind 
for about thirty years, and had completed it at the urgent re- 
quest of Manfred, to whom it is dedicated.^^ Manfred, born in 
1232,^^ could hardly have been much interested in such a book 
before the age of, say, twelve, which would bring us to 1 244, even 

38 On the capture of Frederick's treasure at Vittoria, see Bohmer-Ficker, Regesta 
imperii, nos. 3666 a, 13649 f.; Salimbene, ed. Holder-Egger, pp. 203 f., 342 f. 

39 De animalibus, xxiii, c. 40, pars. 10, 20, ed. Stadler, pp. 1465, 1478, 1481. 

*° ' Ipse quoque imperator de ingenti sui perspicacitate, que precipue circa scien- 
tiam naturalem vigebat, librum composuit de natura et cura avium in quo mani- 
feste patet in quantum ipse imperator studiosus fuerit philosophic/ Muratori, 
Scriptores, viii. 496. 

41 Supra, pp. 303 f . 

'Actor est vir inquisitor et sapientie amator divus Augustus Fredericus se- 
cundus Romanorum imperator lerusalem et Sicilie rex. . . . Libri titulus talis est, 
Liber divi Augusti Frederici secundi Romanorum imperatoris lerusalem et Sicilie 
regis de arte venandi cum avibus,' MS. M, f. i v; ed. Schneider, p. 2. 

43 See the preface printed below, p. 312. 

44 On Manfred's youth see Bohmer-Ficker, Regesta imperii, nos. 4632 b-h, and 
A. Karst, Geschichte Manfreds (Berlin, 1897), p. i, who discuss the question of his 
legitimacy. If his formal legitimation could be established and dated, it might 
perhaps furnish a terminus post quern for the dedication. 


if we allow that Frederick's own precocity might have started 
the idea of the book in his own mind some years before 12 14, 
when he reached the age of twenty. In 1241 the author was still 
gathering material, as we see from the translation in that year, 
under his supervision, of the Arabic treatise of the falconer 
Moamyn rendered into Latin by Theodore the interpreter.^^ The 
De arte can safely be assigned to the period ca. 1244-50. A date 
before 1 248 has been suggested,^^ because of the troubles of the fol- 
lowing years ; if we are correct in the conclusion that Frederick's 
personal copy was captured in February of that year, this would 
be the latest limit. 

The local allusions refer almost wholly to Apulia, where the 
emperor's correspondence shows that many of his falcons were 
kept.^^ It must be said that such allusions are rare: the form 
of the treatise is general and scientific, with little illustrative 
detail and no hunting stories. Only twice does he mention his 
experiences in the East, once in connection with the flight of 
Syrian doves,^^ and again apropos of the Arabian methods of 
hooding falcons which he introduced into the West under the 
guidance of oriental falconers.^^ When he wants to test the 
incubation of ostrich eggs by the sun's heat, he has experts 
brought from Egypt to Apulia : 

Et hoc vidimus et fieri fecimus in Apulia, vocavimus namque ad nos de 
Egipto peritos et expertos in hac re.^^ 

Pelicans are called cofani in Apulia. Young birds should be 
protected especially against the south winds,^^ a precaution 

See the letter describing him as a youth ca. 1207 pubUshed by Hampe, Mitteil- 
ungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, xxii. 597. 

4^ See below, n. 122. Pichon, op, cit., p. 886. 

^ Bbhmer-Ficker, Regesta, nos. 2589, 2668, 2705, 2749, 2801, 2807, 2814. See 
below, p. 324. 

MS. M, f. 39; MS. B, p. 124; ed. Schneider, p. 60. It is not expressly stated 
that the emperor saw these in the East, but this seems probable. 

MS. M, f. 104 v; MS. B, p. 258; ed. Schneider, pp. 162 f.; infra, p. 320. 
^1 MS. B, p. 67; lacking in M and the editions. Cf. the experiments with hens' 
eggs. Chapter XIII, n. 106. 

^2 'Pellicani qui ab Apuliensibus dicuntur cofani,' MS. M, f. 3 v; ed. Schneider, 
p. 6. *Pellicani quos quidam in Ytalia dicunt cofanos,' MS. M, f. 6; ed. Schneider, 
p. 9. 

53 MS. M, f . 58 v; ed. Schneider, p. 92. Cf. Moamyn (MS. Corpus 287, f . 48 v) : 
'Domus non sit aperta a parte austri.' 


necessary in Frederick's dominions only in the land of the sirocco. 
One passage brings us more specifically to that region of the 
Capitanata where Frederick's favorite castles lay: 

In quadam regione Apulie plane que dicitur Capitanata in tempore reditus 
gruum capte sunt iam grues cum girofalcis, falconibus et aliis avibus rapaci^ 
bus, que erant sanguinolente in plumis et pennis sub alis et in lateribus et 
erant adeo debiles quod vix poterant volare et alique de talibus iam fuerunt 
capte manibus hominum, cuius rei simile non audivimus in aliis regionibus 
visum fuisse.^ 

The purpose and method of the treatise can best be seen from 
the preface, where, planning the first comprehensive and finished 
work on the subject, he declares his independence of Aristotle on 
the ground that the philosopher had little or no practice in fal- 
conry, and indicates his own reliance on experience and the re- 
sults of long inquiry among experts brought from a distance. 
Fragmentary and corrupt in the edition, the preface reads as 

Liber divi Augusti Frederici secundi Romanorum imperatoris, lerusalem et 
Sicilie regis, de arte venandi cum ambus 

Pre[sens opus agjgredi^^ nos induxit et^^ insta[ns tua peltitio, fili karissi[me 
Man] f ride, et ut removeremus errorem plurium circa presens negocium qui 
sine arte hiis^^ que artis erant in eodem negocio abutebantur imitando^^ quo- 
rundam libros mendaces et insufficienter compositos de ipso, et ut relinquere- 
mus posteris artificiosam traditionem de materia huius libri. Nos tamen, licet 
proposuissemus ex multo tem[pore ante] componere presens [opus, dis]tuli- 
mus fere per trigi[nta a]nnos propositum in scripto redigere, quoniam non 

" MS. B, p. 361; repeated from pp. 54 f. 

The text is based on MS. M, with the portions in brackets filled in from B, C, 
and D. I have not included the introductory matter which follows, since it appears 
sufficiently in the editions. 

^5 There is no heading in the manuscripts, but the title is given in the introduc- 
tory matter which follows the preface proper: * Libri titulus talis est. Liber divi 
Augusti Frederici secundi Romanorum imperatoris, lerusalem et Sicilie regis, de 
arte venandi cum avibus divisivus et inquisitivus ad manifestationem operationum 
nature in venatione que fit per aves.' So M, f. i v. The edition omits all after 
'avibus.' B and D omit *de arte venandi cum avibus.' C has further at the end of 
i, c. I, 'Divi Augusti Federici secundi Romanorum imperatoris, Jerusalem et Sicilie 
regis, super librum de avibus et aucupando prologus explicit.' 

67 agendi, BCD. Om. BCD. 

6^ vir clarissime M. 5., B C D, the last letter blotted in C. w has Tres chiers filz 
Manfroi. The edition omits everything to this point. 

habentes, ed. in imitando, C. 


putabamus nos extunc sufficere neque [IJegeramus umquam aliquem preces- 
sisse qui huius libri materiam complete tractasset,^'^ particule vero aliquot 
ab aliquibus per solum visum scite ^ erant et inartificialiter tradite. Ideo ^* 
multis temporibus cum sollicitudine diligenter inquisivimus ea que huius 
artis erant, exercitantes nos mente" et opere in [eadem] ut tandem suffi- 
ceremus redig[ere in librum] quicquit nostra [experientia aut alijorum didi- 
cerat,^^ [quosque^^ erant ex]perti circa [praticam huius artis] non sine magn[is 
dispendijis ad nos vocavimus^^ de longinquo vocatosque [undecumque] 
nobiscum habuimus, deflorando^^ quicquid melius noverant^^ eorumque 
dicta [et facta] memorie commendando. Qui quamvis arduis et inexphca- 
bilibus fere nego[ciis perse]pe prepediti essemus circa regnorum et imperii 
regimina, tamen hanc nostram intencionem [predi]ctis negociis non post- 
posuimus. [In scri]bendo etiam Aristotilem [ubi oportui]t secuti sumus, 
in pluribus enim sicut experientia didicimus maxime in naturis a[vium 
quarundam discrepa]re a veritate [videtur. Propter hoc] non sequi[mur 
principem philosophorum in omnibus, raro namque aut nunquam] vena- 
tion[es avium exercuit], sed nos semper [dileximus] et exercuimus. De multis 
vero que narrat in libro animalium dicit quosdam sic dixisse, sed id quod 
quidam sic dixerunt nec ipse forsan vidit nec dicentes viderunt, fides enim 
certa non proven[it] ex auditu. Quod vero multi multos [libros] scripserunt 
et non nisi q[uedam de arte], signum est artem ipsam pluri[mum esse diffi-] 
cilem et ad[huc diffusam]. Et dicimus quod aliqui nobiles minus negociosi 
nobis si huic arti attente ope[ram exhibebunt cum adiu]torio huius libri 
[poterunt meliorem comjponere, assidue siquidem nova et difficilia emergunt 
circa negocia huius artis. Rogamus autem unumquemque nobilem huic 
Hbro ex sola sua nobihtate intendere debentem ^ quod ^* ab aliquo scien- 
tiarum perito ipsum legi faciat et exponi, minus benedictis indulgens. Nam 
cum ars habeat sua vocabula propria quemadmodum et cetera artium et 
nos non inveniremus in gramatica Latinorum verba convenientia in omni- 
bus, [app]osuimus ilia que magis videbantur esse propinqua per que 
intelligi possit ^ intentio nostra. 

For the composition of the De arte three kinds of sources were 
available : systematic works on natural history and related fields 

®2 complere tentasset, ed. contra, BCD. 

«3 So B C D. Sicut, M. ^^.^g^^ g^j 

^ So B C D. Immo, M. Et pour ce, m. " Om. ed. 

et studio, insert BCD. maximorum, ed. 

diligenti, BCD. quarundam avium, BCD. 

67 in ea, ed. so ^st, BCD. 

68 dUerat, B D. si Om. C. 
63 quos quod, ed. S2 ^qI^^ 

70 venientes, ed. ss Here the facsimile of C ends. 

'1 denotando, ed. ^ qui, ed. 

72 noverint, ed. ss Qm. D. 

73 memoriter, ed. se propinqua esse, B D 
7^ predicta,M. presentis negociijB CD, ^ posset, B D. 



of science, notably Aristotle's De animalihus historia; practical 
treatises on falconry; and the direct observation and personal 
inquiries of the author. Let us examine them in this order: 

I. Aristotle, says the preface, is followed where required (ubi 
oportuit). He is frequently cited in the first or general book, 
sometimes by name only,^^ sometimes specifically as the author 
of the Liher animalium^^ Once the reference is merely to a Liber 
animalium which seems to be Avicenna's commentary on Aris- 
totle.^^ In the Arabic tradition of the Middle Ages the Liber 
animalium comprised the three Aristotelian treatises, De ani- 
malibus historia, De partibus animalium, and De generatione ani- 
malium, in all nineteen books. Translations of the Arabic text 
and of Avicenna's commentary had been recently made by 
Michael Scot,^^ and it is probably in this form that the emperor 
was acquainted with Aristotle's writings on natural history, for 
while his references can ordinarily be identified in the De ani- 
malibus historia,^^ not all of them can be made to square with the 
Greek text.^^ Doubtless Aristotle was used in other places where 
he is not cited, but Frederick's treatment is independent, and is 

^ Ed. Schneider, pp. 5 f., 8, 13, 16, 24, 25, 31, 72 f.; infra, n. 98. 
88 Ibid., pp. 5, 6, 8, 43- 

3° ' Oculi sunt instrumenta visus, de quibus quare sint duo, quare in prora capitis 
locati,et quare altius instrumentis aliorum sensuum, et quomodo constant ex tribus 
humoribus septem tunicis, dictum est in libro animalium,' MS. M,f. 19; ed. Schnei- 
der, p. 29, who points out (i, p. xvi; ii. 17) that this is not found in Aristotle. A 
long passage deals with these matters in Michael Scot's translation of Avicenna, De 
animalihus, xiii, c. 8, f. 32 r of the printed text (Hain 2220*; copy in the Library 
of the University of Michigan); cf. the Canon of Avicenna, iii, 3, i, i, whence the 
passage is taken by Albertus Magnus, De animalihus, i, 2, 7 (ed. Stadler, p. 73). 
In general the De arte has little in common with Michael Scot's version of Avicenna. 

81 Jourdain, pp. 129-134, 327-349; Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 478-483; J. Wood 
Brown, Michael Scot (Edinburgh, 1897), c. 3; Dittmeyer, preface to Teubner edi- 
tion of the De animalihus (1907), pp. xix-xxi; G. Rudberg, in Eranos, viii. 151-160, 
ix. 92-128; H. Stadler, Albertus Magnus de Animalihus, i,p. xii; Grabmann, pp. 185 
£[.; supra, Chapter XIII, nn. 37 ff. 

^ Thus p. 5 in Schneider's edition = H. A., viii, 2; p. 6 = viii, 12; p. 13 = i, i; 
p. 16 = ix, 34; p. 24 = viii, 12; p. 25 = ix, 10. 

83 Thus in the passage printed below, p. 321, Aristotle is made to say that no one 
has seen a vulture's nest {Hist, animal., ix, 11); but he elsewhere says specifically 
that nests have been seen (vi, 5). Nor does Aristotle say (ix, 10) that the leader of 
cranes is permanent, as the De arte asserts (p. 25). I have not been able to compare 
the text of Michael Scot's translation. 


much fuller than it could be made by the amplest use of ancient 
authorities, including Pliny, who is mentioned by name but 
once.^^ Thus one may compare the brief treatment of migration 
by Aristotle with the account in the first book of the De arte,^^ 
which uses Aristotle but treats the subject far more amply with 
the aid of personal observation. Schneider, the learned commen- 
tator of Aristotle and Frederick II, declares that the emperor's 
description of down and feathers is the most careful he knows, 
and one has only to read the first book to see that much of it rests 
upon minute and varied observation. As a matter of fact, Aris- 
totle is cited mainly where the author disagrees with him and 
seeks to correct him from personal experience : non sic se habet.^^ 
The Stagyrite is evidently viewed as a man of books, to whom the 
reader may be referred for learned detail,^^ but who has little or 
no practical knowledge of falcons and relies too much on hear- 
say.^^^ To the author he is plainly not ' the master of them that 
know' birds. Nowhere does Frederick's emancipation from tra- 
dition and authority stand out more clearly than in his attitude 
towards Aristotle.^^^ 
With the exception of Aristotle there are few specific citations, 

54 Schneider, p. 73. Hist, animal., viii, 12. 

5^ Cc. 16-23, ed. Schneider, pp. 19-26, with the following lacuna filled in from 
MS. B, pp. 47-56. 

Reliqua librorum Friderici //, ii. 41. 

5^ * Quod ergo Aristotiles dicit in libro animalium, aves uncorum unguium idem 
sunt quod aves rapaces, non sic se habet,' MS. M, f. 28 v; ed. Schneider, p. 43. *Non 
est ergo verisimile quod scribitur ab Aristotile,' MS. M, f. 16 v; ed. Schneider, p. 25. 
*Non . . . ut dicit Aristotiles,' MS. M, f. 15; ed. Schneider, p. 24. 'Quamvis 
Aristotiles dicat contrarium,' MS. M, f. 20; ed. Schneider, p. 31. 'Licet dixerit 
Aristotiles,' MS. M, f. 47 v; ed. Schneider, p. 72. 

55 ' Quomodo autem generatur pullus in ovo et que membra ipsius prius apparent 
et formantur et quod tempus est aptius cubationi et per quantum tempus cubant 
aves et reliqua constantia circa hec pretermittimus, eo quod sufficienter dictum est 
in libro animalium {H. A., 6, 1-9) nec spectat ad nostrum propositum, quod est de 
perfectis avibus rapacibus qualiter docentur rapere aves non rapaces iam exclusas 
de ovibus et perfectas,' MS. B, p. 67. Cf. MS. M, f. 3 v; ed. Schneider, p. 5: 'Re- 
liqua vero omnia que pretermittimus de naturis avium in libro Aristotilis de ani- 
malibus requirantur.' 

See the preface, supra, p. 313. 

Yet Biehringer {Kaiser Friedrich 11, p. 244) can speak of the emperor as *ein 
bedingungsloser Bewunderer des Aristoteles.' 


and an examination of the literary sources would require a wide 
range of reading, especially in the scientific literature of the 
Arabs. As regards general scientific knowledge, the author fol- 
lows the traditional division into climates, the third, fourth, 
fifth, and sixth climates being called nostre regiones}^"^ Outside 
the Mediterranean he mentions Britannia que vacatur Anglia,^^^ 
and Iceland, the home of the gerfalcon, between Norway and 
Greenland.^^^ The Aphorisms of Hippocrates are cited in one 
passage.^^^ In mathematics he is acquainted with the nature of 
tangents and the figura quam geumetre dicunt piramidalem}^'^ 
He fixes his seasons specifically by the progress of the sun through 
the zodiac. His terminology and arrangement, as in the intro- 
ductory matter and the prologue to the second book,^"^ show 
training in the philosophical methods of the age. Legitur in 
plUrihus lihris philosophorum, we read at the beginning of the 
chapter on the relative size of male and female birds (ii, 2), but 
its discussion of humors and complexions shows the influence, 
not merely, as Niese says,^^^ of the physiognomic writers, but of 
the whole physiological tradition of the period; certainly the 
physiognomic element is not sufficient to support Niese 's con- 
jecture of the collaboration of Michael Scot, who died probably 
before 1236,^^^ and whose Liher phisionomie, dedicated to the 
emperor, shows no parallelisms with the De arte. At one 
point there is a citation of the pseudo- Aristotelian Mechanics, 

*In nostris regionibus, scilicet sexti climatis quinti quarti et tertii,' MS. B, 
p. 515- Infra, p. 323. 

'In quadam insula que est inter Noroegiam et Gallandiam et vocatur theu- 
tonice Yslandia et latine interpretatur contrata seu regio glaciei,' MS. M, f . 49 v; ed. 
Schneider, p. 75. Moamyn has 'nascuntur in partibus frigidis ut in Dacia et No- 
rodia' (MS. Corpus 287, f. 45 v). 

MS. M, f. 60; ed. Schneider, p. 94. i<» MS. B, pp. 52, 440-443- 
1°^ MS. M, f. 27; ed. Schneider, p. 42. Ed. Schneider, pp. 2, 69 f. 

MS. M, f. 75; ed. Schneider, p. 117. Historische Zeitschrift, cviii. 510, n. 

111 Henry d'Avranches, in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xviii. 482 ff.; 
supra. Chapter XIII, n. 26. 

112 Various editions; I have used Hain 14546*, in possession of Dr. E. C. Streeter 
of Boston, and a copy in the Harvard library (Reichling, no. 1864). Cf. Chapter 
XIII, n. 94. 

113 * Portiones circuli quas f aciunt singule penne sunt de circumf erentiis equidis- 
tantibus, et ilia que facit portionem maioris ambitus et magis distat a corpore avis 


which has not hitherto been noted in a mediaeval version either 
Arabic or Latin.^^^ 

2. Existing works on the art of falconry, Frederick charac- 
terizes as incorrect and badly written {mendaces et insufficienter 
compositos), at best dealing in rude fashion with certain small 
portions of the subject {particule aliquot) This earlier literature 
in Latin and the Romance vernaculars is known to us only in 
fragmentary and confused form: the letters to Ptolemy and 
Theodosius, the book of the enigmatical King Dancus/^^ the 
puzzling references made by Frederick's contemporaries, Alber- 
tus Magnus and Daude de Pradas,^^^ to King Roger's falconer, 
William,^^^ and to the 'book of King Henry of England.' Fur- 
ther study is required before we can venture with confidence into 
this field. For our present purpose it is sufficient to point out that 
Frederick draws little or nothing from the known works of these 
authors, all of them brief and confined to a summary account of 
the various species of hawks and falcons and to precepts respect- 
ing their training and diseases. Even King Roger's falconer, 
whom Albertus Magnus quotes specifically through the inter- 
mediary of Frederick, is not mentioned in the manuscripts of the 

iuvat magis sublevari aut impelli et deportari, quod dicit Aristotiles in libro de in- 
geniis levandi pondera dicens quod magis facit levari pondus maior circulus,' MS. 
M, fols. 23 v-24; MS. B, p. 89; ed. Schneider, p. 36. See Mechanica, ed. Apelt 
(Leipzig, 1888), especially cc. i, 3; ed. Bekker, pp. 848-850. 

Steinschneider, H. U., pp. 229 f.; idem, in Cmtralblatt fiir Bibliothehswesen, 
Beiheft 12, p. 74; Grabmann, Aristotelesiibersetzungen, pp. 200-204, 248 f., does not 
mention this among the pseudo-Aristotelian works translated under Manfred. 

Preface, supra. 

See in general Werth, in Zeitschrift fiir romanische Philologie, xii. 146-171; 
supplemented by Chapter XVII, below. Which of the Romance languages are re- 
flected in the vocabulary of the De arte is a question that must be left to the philolo- 

1" For the MSS. see Chapter XVII, n. 18. 

Since Werth wrote, a complete text of Daude de Pradas, Lo romans dels auzels 
cassadors, has been edited from the Barberini MS. by Monaci, in Studi di Hlologia 
romanza, v. 65-192 (1891). 

Infra, pp. 348-350. Werth, xii. 157-159, xiii. 11. 
120 Infra, p. 348. The reference is apparently to a lost work in Provengal, 
whether prepared under the king's direction or merely dedicated to him does not 
appear. Werth, xii. 154 f., 166-171, thinks he can identify it as the source of other 
passages in Daude. 


De arte thus far known. All these writers would have been useful 
prunarily in relation to the treatment of diseases, and this part 
of Frederick's work has yet to be discovered. 

Besides bringing skilled falconers from the East/^^ the em- 
peror also had their writings translated for his own use. At least 
one such work has come down to us in numerous copies, the trea- 
tise of an Arab falconer, Moamyn, De scientia venandi per aves, as 
turned into Latin by Frederick's interpreter Theodore and cor- 
rected by the emperor himself at the siege of Faenza (i 240-41). 
Master Theodore of Antioch, who here styles himself ^' the least of 
the emperor's servants," is a characteristic figure of the court.^^^ 
His preface, after an elaborate disquisition on the particular pleas- 
ure appropriate to every human act, in the course of which the De 
aninui, Nicomachean Ethics, and Rhetoric of Aristotle are cited,^^^ 
concludes that hunting is the only distinctively royal amusement: 

In quantum enim sunt reges non habent propriam delectationem nisi 
venationem. Considerans autem dominus noster serenissimus imperator 
Fredericus secundus semper augustus, lerusalem at Sicilie rex, istius delec- 

Preface, supra; also MS. M, f. 104 v (ed. Schneider, p. 163) : *non negleximus 
ad nos vocare expertos huius rei tam de Arabia quam de regionibus undecumque, 
ab eo tempore scilicet in quo primitus proposuimus redigere in librum ea que sunt 
huius artis, et accepimus ab eis quicquid melius noverantj sicut diximus in princi- 

' Incipit liber magistri Moamini f alconerii translatus de arabico in latinum per 
magistrum Theodorum phisicum domini Federici Romanorum imperatoris, et cor- 
reptus est per ipsum imperatorem tempore obsidionis Faventie,' Rome, Biblioteca 
Ange^ca, MS. 1461, f. 73; see Narducci, Catalogus codd. MSS., p. 628. The mention 
of correction by Frederick at the siege of Faenza also appears in a manuscript in 
private hands and in the French translation mentioned below; see Werth, xii. 175- 
177. Other manuscripts not mentioned by Werth are: Vatican, Vat. lat. 5366, fols. 
i~33 V, 68 v-75 V (saec. xiii); Reginalat. 1446, fols. 31-70 (ca. 1300); iiii; 1227; 
1617; Ott. lat. 1811; Urb. lat. 1014; University of Bologna, MS. lat. 164 (153), 
ff- 33-49 v; Naples, MS. xiv. D. 31; Ambrosian, MS. D. inf. 11. This would seem 
to be the * librum de animalibus traductum a domino Theodoro' which is mentioned 
in the papal library in 1475 : Miintz and Fabre, La bibliotheque du Vatican au XV^ 
Steele, p. 2yi. ^23 ggg chapter XII. 

* Operationes quarum principium est per naturam et perf ectio per voluntatem 
et cetere operationes et un[a]queque istarum coniungitur delectationi et tendit ad 
finem proprium, ut in libro de anima et Nychomachia et rethorica declaratum est': 
MS. Reg. Lat. 1446, f. 31 v. The De anima was then current, but the known ver- 
sions of the Nicomachean Ethics and Rhetoric, made in the thirteenth century, have 
not hitherto been connected with Sicily; see Grabmann, AristotelesUbersetzungen, 
pp. 204-237, 242 f., 251-256; Pelzer, in Revue neo-scolastique, 1921; supra, p. 284. 


tationis nobilitatem imperatoribus et regibus appropriandam dumtaxat, et 
videns antecessores suos et contemperaneos reges in delectatione a natural! 
veritate appropriata sibi et exhibita non soUicitos esse sed potius sompno- 
lentos, servorum sui limitis minimo imperavit presentem librum falconarii 
transferre de arabico in latinum, ut eorum sit recordatio que sapientium 
solertia adinvenit per experimentum et principium inveniendorum inpos- 
terum. Ego igitur cum obedientia et devotione debita domini mei dignum 
preoccupavi preceptum presens opus tractatu quaternario dividendo, primo 
in theoricam huius artis, secundo in medicinas occultarum infirmitatum, 
tertio in curas manifestarum infirmitatum, quarto in medicamen rapivo- 
rum quadrupedum.^^ 

Ordinarily the manuscripts have five books, the last two devoted 
to quadrupeds, so that only the first three concern us. Moreover 
of these the second and third are confined to diseases and reme- 
dies, and there is also much of this in the first book, after the pre- 
liminary classification of birds of prey, several of which have only 
their oriental names. It will thus be seen that the treatise, which 
is mainly a collection of prescriptions, has little in common with 
the subject-matter of the De arte as we have it, and there is no 
indication that the emperor drew upon it.^^^ Its popularity is 
attested by the numerous surviving manuscripts of the Latin text 
and by the French translation made by Daniel of Cremona for 
the use of Frederick's son Enzio, which must antedate Enzio's 
imprisonment in 1249.^^^ 
After Moamyn, Daniel of Cremona dedicated to Enzio the 
MS. 'cuius.' 

Vatican, MS. Reg. Lat. 1446, f. 32; cf. Pertz, Archiv, xii. 320. This preface 
begins: 'Sollicitudo nature gubernans . . Other manuscripts have a different 
preface, beginning, 'Reges pluribus delectationibus gaudent,' and mentioning 
Theodore by name: e. g., Corpus Christi College, Oxford, MS. 287, f. 45. The 
treatise itself begins: * Genera autem volucrum rapidarum quibus sepius utitur gens 
aucupando sunt quatuor et xiiii species.' There are important differences between 
the Corpus and the Vatican texts. 

There are some notes, possibly added at the time of Frederick's revision, e. g. 
at the end of bk. i: 'Sed qualiter debeat teneri pugillus secundum diversitatem 
avium tacuit auctor' (Corpus MS. 287, f. 50 v). 

128 Ciampoli, I codici francesi della R. Bihlioteca di S. Marco (Venice, 1897), pp. 
112-114; Paul Meyer, in Atti of International Congress of History, Rome, iv. 78 

123 A Latin work on falconry seems also to have been dedicated to Enzio as king 
of Torres and Gallura, 'principi nostro excellentissimo E. Turrensi,' a title which 
Enzio seems to have used interchangeably with that of king of Sardinia: E. Besta, 
La Sardegna medioevale (Palermo, 1908), i. 207 f. See below, Chapter XVII. 


French version of another oriental work, the book of Yatrib, 
Gatriph, or Tarif , in seventy-five chapters, which he declared had 
first been compiled in Persian and then turned into Latin. It 
is not stated that Frederick II had any connection with the Latin 
translation, but the similarity of the two treatises and the date 
of the French version make it likely that the Latin text of Yatrib 
was also due to the emperor's interest in the oriental literature of 
falconry. Yatrib, whose favourite bird is the sparrow-hawk, 
gives a mixture of prescriptions and practical maxims, certain of 
which are attributed to the Great Khan ('Chaycham rex Par- 
thorum') and to 'Bulchassem,' who may have been the author 
of the Arabic text (ca. 1200).^^^ This manual does not appear to 
have furnished material for the De arte. 

3. Taken as a whole, the De arte gives the impression of being 
based far less upon books than upon observation and experience, 
on the part either of the author or his immediate informants.^^^ 
It is a book of the open air, not of the closet. Frederick's eager 
desire to learn appears from his inquiries of the Arabs both while 
he was in the East and later: 

Nos quando transivimus mare vidimus quod ipsi Arabes utebantur capello 
in hac arte. Reges namque Arabum mittebant ad nos falconarios suos peri- 
tiores in hac arte cum multis modis falconum, preterea non negleximus ad 
nos vocare expertos huius rei tam de Arabia quam de regionibus undecum- 
que, ab eo tempore scilicet in quo primitus proposuimus redigere in librum 
ea que sunt huius artis, et accepimus ab eis quicquid melius noverant, sicut 
diximus in principio."^ 

It will be noted here that the emperor not only watched the 
Saracen falconers, but tried their methods himself and improved 
on them, just as he himself tested the hatching of eggs by the 
sun's heat in Apulia. In the following unpublished passages 

The French translation is found at St. Mark's in the same manuscript with 
Moam)m (see Ciampoli, Codici francesi, p. 113), and the Latin texts also occur to- 
gether in MS. Angelica 1 461, which I have used. 

131 Werth, xii. 173. On falconry at the court of the Great Khan, see Marco Polo, 
ed. Yule, i. 402-407. 

132 Theodore's preface to Moamyn, supra: *que sapientium solertia adin- 
venit per experimentum.' 

"3 MS. M, f. 104 v; MS. B, p. 258; ed. Schneider, pp. 162 f. 
Supra, p. 311. 



we see the same spirit of observation applied to the nests of 
herons, cuckoos, and vultures, to the evidence of intelligence in 
ducks and cranes, and to the popular fable of the hatching of 
barnacle geese from trees or barnacles, a legend which he ascribes 
to ignorance of their remote nesting-places : 

Quodam enim tempore apportatus fuit nidus ante nos illius avicule que 
dicitur praenus, et in illo nido erant pulli praeni et una avicula orribilis visu 
def oralis ut nuUam fere figuram avis promitteret, ore magno sine pennis 
puUos multos et longos habens super totum caput usque ad oculos et rostrum. 
Ut igitur videremus que avis esset ilia, cum diligenti custodia nutrivimus 
Ulos puUos et illam aliam aviculam et postquam perruerunt vidimus quod 
erant cuculi, ex quo cognovimus cuculum non facere nidum sed ova sua ponit 
in alieno nido.^^^ . . . 

Vidimus tamen aliquando quod quidam ayronum cineratiorimi et biso- 
rum nidificant in arboribus altis, ut sunt quercus, fagi, pini, et ulmi, et 
similes, et etiam super terram, et quando non possunt habere arbores altas 
et fortes sibi convenientes et sunt ibi salices, tamarisci, aut arbores alie de- 
biles, nunquam nidificabunt in ipsis debilibus, ymo nidificabunt potius in 
canetis inviis et limosis super cannas, facilius enim est homines et serpentes 
accedere ad salices et ad huiusmodi arbores parvas quam ad canetas.^^^ . . . 

Est et aliud genus anserum minorum diversorum colorum albi scilicet 
in una parte corporis et nigri in alia orbiculariter, que anseres dicuntur ber- 
neclee, de quibus nescimus etiam ubi nidificant. Assent tamen (^inio quo- 
rundam eas nasci de arbore sicca, dicunt enim quod in regionibus septen- 
trionalibus longinquis sunt ligna navium in quibus lignis de sua putredine 
nascitur vermis de quo verme fit avis ista pendens per rostrum per lignum 
siccum donee volare possit. Sed diutius inquisivimus an hec opinio aliquid 
veritatis continet et misimus illuc plures nuntios nostros et de illis lignis 
fecimus adferri ad nos et in eis vidimus quasi coquillas adherentes ligno que 
coquille in nulla sui parte ostendebant aliquam formam avis, et ob hoc non 
credimus huic opinioni nisi in ea habuerimus congruentius argumentum, sed 
istorum opinio nascitur, ut nobis videtur, ex hoc quod beraecle nascuntur in 
tam remotis locis quod homines nescientes ubi nidificant opinantur id quod 
dictum est.^^ . . . 

Vidimus vulturem in nido suo unicum ovum ponere et unicum cubare, 
cuius rei experientiam pluries habuimus quamvis Aristotiles dicat in libro suo 
animalium quod nunquam visi fuerunt nidi neque pulli vulturum.^'*^ . . . 

Et iam vidimus de anatibus et aliis pluribus avibus non rapacibus quod 
[quando] quis appropinquabat nidis suis ipse simulantes se egrotas fingebant 

135 MS. B, p. 60. MS. B, p. 63. MS. 'alibi.' 

138 MS. B, p. 63. On the fable respecting barnacle geese in this period see Gervase 
of Tilbury, Otia imperialia, iii, c. 123; Liebrecht, Des Gervasius von Tilbury Otia 
imperialia (Hanovet, 1856), pp. 163 f.; Carus, Geschichte der Zoologie, pp. 190-195. 
It is accepted by Vincent of Beauvais but denied by Albertus Magnus: Thorndike, 
ii. 464 f . 

i3» Hist, animal., 6, 5; 9, 11. i*" MS. B, p. 65. 



se volare non posse et aliquantulum se cedebant ab ovis aut a pullis et 
sponte male volabant ut crederentur habere alas lesas aut crura. Ideo 
fingebant se cadere in terram ut homo sequeretur eas ad capiendum 
ipsas."^ . . . 

Nos autem, quia vidimus, vituperamus cibum qui fit eis de avibus que 
comedunt pisces, multo magis reprobamus nutrimentum quod fit de piscibus, 
aves enim nutrite piscibus erunt mollium camium et moUium pennarum et 
malorum humorum.^^ . . . 

Astutiam et acumen ingenii gruum experti sumus quandoque tantam 
quod videns posset credere eas habere rationem. Nam postquam iactavera- 
mus nostrum girofalconem ad eas et ipse iam segregaverat unam a societate 
illarum et persequebatur segregatam et fortuitu grus videbat vultures 
stantes in campis, ipsa confugiebat illuc et stabat tuta inter eas, nam giro- 
falcus ex tunc non audebat invadere ipsam, tanquam si grus scivisset quod 
girofalcus vultures crederet esse aquilas ad quas non audet accedere.^^ . . . 

The emperor who insists upon seeing for himself, who investi- 
gates legends by sending for the evidence, who seels vultures' 
eyes to ascertain whether they find food by smell,^^^ is clearly the 
same inquirer who shocked the good Salimbene by bringing up 
children in isolation to test their speech, and by cutting men open 
to observe the processes of digestion. ^"^^ If the facts are not 
available, he draws no certain conclusion.^^^ Fides enim certa 
non provenit ex auditu}^'^ 

The last four books are made up of generalized experience, 
with few particular instances. Elaborate in plan and almost 
scholastic in subdivision, divisivus et inquisitivus, they are severely 
practical throughout, with little or no speculation and no digres- 
sions, but with constant reference to the author's own observation 
and practice. He approves or disapproves various methods, not 

"1 MS. B, p. 70. MS. B, p. 149. i« MS. B, p. 401. 

144 <Non est ergo tenendum quod odoratu sentiant cadaver, ut quidam dicunt, 
sed potius visu. Quod expertum est per nos pluries, etenim quando vultures erant 
ex toto ciliati non sentiebant carnes proiectas ante ipsas quamvis odoratum non 
haberent oppilatum. Experti sumus autem quod non rapiunt aves cum f amelici sunt 
et videntibus proiecimus puUum galline et non capiebant ipsum nec occidebant/ 
MS. M, f. ir^ii v; MS. B, p. 29; ed. Schneider, p. 17. 

M. G. H., Scriptores, xxxii. 350-3S3; supra, Chapter XII, n. 112. 
'De tempore cubationis ovorum avium rapacium certi non sumus pro eo quod 
plures de avibus rapacibus nidificant in regionibus longinquis et nimis remotis a 
nobis, de quibus noticiam habere non possumus,' MS. M, f . 51 ; ed. Schneider, p. 78. 
Cf. MS. B, p. 70: 'De avibus autem non rapacibus nobis est dubium an prius pas- 
cant se an pullos an simul cum pullis; cognoscere difiScile videtur.' 

i"? Supra, p. 313. 



dogmatically, but giving his reasons.^^^ Thus he prefers a lure of 
cranes' wings/^^ but mentions the use of hens in Spain and south- 
ern France, doves in Arabia,^^^ and a pig covered with a hare's 
skin in insula de Armenia}^^ In England hunters do not shout 
when they lure ; he has asked the reason, but can get no explana- 
tion save ancient custom: 

Quomodo loyrant illi de Anglia. Illi vero qui habitant Britanniam que 
vocatur Anglia non loyrant hoc modo quoniam nunquam loyrant equites 
neque vociferant sed loyrant pedites et loyrum prohiciunt in altum recte et 
postquam ceciderit in terram iterum prohiciunt in altum, et hoc faciunt 
donee falco videat loyrum et incipiat venire ad ipsum. Et postquam ille qui 
prohicit loyrum videt falconem prope venientem stat et dimittit ipsum 
venire super loyrum, et est causa hec quare non loyrant equites quia non 
conveniret et difficile esset prohicere loyrum et descendere iterum ad pro- 

Quare non vociferant in loyratione. De vociferatione vero quesivimus, 
quare scilicet non vociferant, et nesciunt reddere causam nisi tantummodo 
quod hoc haberent ex usu; sed opinamur antiquos eorum loyrando non voci- 
ferare pro eo scilicet quod falcones quando etiam mittuntur ad hayrones 
necessarium est vociferare quoniam ayro reddit se frequenter ad aquas 
timore falconum et cum vocibus perterretur ut surgat ad aerem sepius, et 
quod falcones gruerii quando in principio venationis sue, hoc est antequam 
plures aves cepit, iactentur et emittantur ad sedium ad grues, quando in- 
quam falcones sunt prope gruem, oportet vociferare ad grues ut surgant, 
falco vero audiens, si assuetus fuerit ad loyrum vociferando, credens se re- 

1^ *Nos vero in loyrando habemus hunc modum,' MS. B, p. 290. 'Quod non 
reprobamus,' p. 310. *Nos autem in hoc non facimus magnam vim,' p. 462. 'Hie 
autem modus yolandi idcirco non est laudandus,' p. 499. *Approbavimus et vidi- 
mus,' p. 516. 'Diximus de venatione ad grues quam approbavimus girofalconi 
propter id quod supra dictum est et venatione ayronis quam approbavimus sacro 
propter id quod similiter dictum est. Nunc dicamus de venatione que fit ad aves de 
rivera et specialiter ad anates et sibi similes, et banc approbamus falconi peregrine,' 
p. 517 (beginning of bk. vi). *Nos autem dicimus quod circa mane melius est,' p. 
534. 'Hunc morem non multum reprobamus,' p. 540. 

i« MS. B, p. 282. 

160 < Plures autem gentium in diebus nostris non utebantur loyro quod diximus ad 
revocandum genera falconum, scilicet [read sed?] gallinis vivis ut in Hispania et 
regionibus eius vicinis occidentalibus, alii columbis vivis ut in Arabia et in ceteris 
regionibus meridianis et orientalibus; sed nos modum istorum et illorum reproba- 
mus quia non semper de facili possunt haberi aves vive quemadmodum ale avium,' 
MS. B, p. 285. This passage is also found in what appears to be extracts from bk. iii 
of the De arte in the Bodleian MS. Digby, 152, f. 44. 

'Item homines de insula de Armenia et de regionibus vicinis faciunt traynam 
leporinam suis sacris zacharis et suis layneriis hoc modo,' MS. B, p. 327. 

MS. B, pp. 307 f.; MS. Digby, 152, f. 50 v. 



vocari ad loyrum per illas voces dimittet grues et redibit ad vociferantem 
spe loyri. Propter hoc non vociferant in loyrando, et quoniam ipsi venantur 
ad ayrones et ad grues plusquam ad alias aves, assuefaciunt falcones ad 
loyrum non vociferando. 

Quod nobis videtur. Nos tamen dicimus quod melius est vociferare loy- 
rando quoniam naturale est falconibus abfugere ab homine sed retrahere 
ipsum falconem ab hac natura non potest fieri nisi cum accidentali magis- 
terio et convenientibus instrumentis; necessarium est igitur omnia ilia or- 
dinare per que possit habitus retineri et si perdatur recuperari et inter ea per 
que retinetur aut recuperatur propria sunt loyrum et vox. . . . 

For his investigations of falcons, Frederick had at his disposal 
the whole machinery of his bureaucratic administration, and if 
the registers of his correspondence had been preserved we should 
perhaps be able to follow in detail some phases of his literary 
work. As matters stand, the surviving fragment of a register for 
a few months of 1239-40 has forty entries concerning falcons, 
mentioning by name more than fifty of the emperor's falconers.^^^ 
Thus in November 1 239 he writes from Lodi to his superintendent 
of buildings in Sicily thanking him for information concerning 
the haunts and nests of herons, which the emperor longs to see for 
himself.^^^ From Cremona he sends to his falconer Enzio for a 
report on his falcons, how many there are and in what condition, 
and especially concerning those captured at Malta and the wild 
ones taken during the season; he orders another to await him 
with hawks at Pisa,^^^ while he sends to Apulia for two hawks 
just brought by the emissaries of Michael Comnenus.^" After 
Christmas he sends for two sacred falcons, the one called * Saxo ' 
and another good bird.^^^ Although winter is not so good a season 

Including Master Walter Anglicus and his son William: Bohmer-Ficker, 
Regesta imperii, nos. 2857, 3082. 

1^ *De sollicitudine et labore quern assumpsisti super inveniendis ayris hay- 
ronum et locis ubi degunt te duximus commendandum, quod excellentia nostra satis 
delectat audire nec minus presentialiter videre peroptat': Huillard-Breholles, His- 
toria diplomatica, v. 510; Bohmer-Ficker, no. 2566. Cf. the De arte, MS. B, p. 442: 
* In fine vero autumpni et per hyemem magna copia ayronum invenitur in calidis 
regionis [sic] ad quas confugerunt propter cibum acquirendum sibi et propter frigus 
. . . et maxime habundant in regionibus Egypti.' 

Bohmer-Ficker, no. 2584. Besides the entries concerning falcons, there are 
many respecting dogs and hunting leopards, e. g. nos. 2661, 2662, 2709, 2751, 2783, 
2785, 2811, 2882, 2932, 2944, 3029. 

Ihid., no. 2585. 157 2589. 158 No. 2668. 


for such game/^^ he writes from Gubbio in January to his falconer 
Sardus that he is taking many fat cranes and keeping the legs as 
the portion of the absent falconer, who should come at once to 
that noblest of sports, the hunting of cranes with gerfalcons, 
which the emperor describes in his fourth book.^^^ The next day 
he sends a valet for training peregrine falcons in the Sicilian king- 
dom,^^^ and two days later sends from Foligno for three falcons 
an,d a twziolus}^^ Ten days thereafter he sends falcons and dogs 
back to the south,^^^ and various orders provide for wages and 
equipment of falconers.^^^ In February he is concerned with the 
moulting of falcons, which are distributed among his barons to 
be kept during that period.^^^ In March we read of the training 
of falcons in the south.^^^ In May the emperor, once more in the 
Capitanata, sends nineteen falconers to Malta for birds,^^^ and 
orders that all the sparrow-hawks in the county of Molise shall 
be brought together under a special keeper.^^^ When he wants 
live cranes for training falcons, he commands the justiciars of 
Terra di Lavoro, Bari, and the Capitanata to have as many as 
possible caught and sent to the justiciar of the Capitanata to be 
kept at the royal residences. 

Such glimpses of the emperor's daily occupations show his 
passion for falconry, pursued in the midst of more urgent con- 
cerns of state and not merely in the intervals of relaxation at his 
palaces, and illustrate the devotion of the ideal falconer, who is 
represented in the De arte as desiring primarily neither fame nor 
a plentiful supply for the table, but to have the best falcons. 
The successful hawker cannot be indolent or careless, for this 
art requires much labor and much study.' Frederick's pride 

"9 De arte, iv (MS. B, pp. 359-361). 

Bohmer-Ficker, no. 2745; cf. 2744. The hunting of cranes is also mentioned 
in no. 2814. 

' Gmes sunt famosiores inter omnes aves non rapaces ad quas docentur ca- 
piendas aves rapaces, et girofalcus nobilior est avibus rapacibus et est avis que melius 
capit grues quam alii falcones et que melius volat ad ipsas.' MS. B, p. 282. 
Bohmei'-Ficker, no. 2749. jjjid,^ no. 2753. No. 2807. 

1" Nos. 2539, 2591, 2680, 2706, 2744, 2814, 2817, 2856!., 2863, 2907, 2929, 3082. 

Nos. 2800, 2855, 2863, 2903. No. 2907. 

i«8 No. 3082. No. 3056. "0 No. 2801. 

"1 MS. M, ff. 68-69; ed. Schneider, pp. 107-109. 


in his mastery of the art is illustrated by the story that, when he 
was ordered to become a subject of the Great Khan and receive 
an office at the Khan's court, he remarked that he would make 
a good falconer, for he understood birds very well.^^^ And if we 
doubt this characteristic tale, we have at least his own prefatory 
words concerning falconry, nos semper dileximus et exercuimus. 

Keen sportsman as he was, Frederick II was not the man to 
lose himself wholly in the mere joy of hawking. His mind had 
also to be kept busy, his questions answered, his knowledge 
extended and put in order. The lessons of the De arte (scientia 
huius lihri) are essential for the falconer, but it is more than 
a manual of practical instruction. The first book and the earlier 
chapters of the second have a systematic and scientific character 
which give them an important place in the history of mediaeval 
zoology, while the whole treatise is pervaded by the spirit of 
actual observation and experiment. While the author uses the 
ancients, he is not blinded by them, and does not hesitate to 
correct them when necessary. So far as the Renaissance is 
characterized by the spirit of free inquiry and emancipation from 
authority, the De arte lends support to those who would begin 
the new movement at the court of Frederick II. 

Albericus Trium Fontium, M. G. H., Scriptores, xxiii. 943. 
173 MS. M, f. 68 v; ed. Schneider, p. 108. 



A QUESTION of special obscurity respecting the early history of 
the English exchequer is the origin and introduction of its dis- 
tinctive system of reckoning, secundum consuetum cursum scac- 
carii non legibus arismeticis} Inasmuch as the exchequer table 
was merely a peculiar form of the abacus,^ some light on the 
problem may be expected from an examination of treatises upon 
this method of computation, particularly such as can be con- 
nected in any way with England and with the king's court. The 
only compend of this sort which has so far been associated with 
the English court was written by a royal clerk named Thurkil, 
and is preserved in a manuscript of the twelfth century in the 
library of the Vatican. Although it has been in print since 1882,"* 
it has not heretofore been studied from this point of view. It 

Socio suo Simoni de rotol' TURchillus compotista salutem. In his regun- 
culis quas dilectioni tue, venerande amice, super abacum scripsi et obtuli, 
licet quid quod tibi displiceat forte reperias, non me tamen, more quorundam 
quibus nulla inest bonitatis soliditas, iniquo dente livoris mordeas, sed si 
adhuc solite discretionis es, mee impericie pie ignoscas et, si alicubi necesse 
est, sic et de meo demas et de tuo addas ut eas sapienter corrigas. Non enim 
usque adeo perverse mei amator sum ut quod ego inveni pro perfecto defen- 
dam, cum in humanis inventionibus, ut ait Priscianus, nichil sit perfectum. 

1 Revised from my article in E. H. R., xxvii. 101-105 (1912), which was written 
before the appearance of R. L. Poole, The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century (Oxford, 

2 Dialogus de Scaccario, i. 5 (ed. Oxford, 1902, p. 75). On this phase of the origin 
of the exchequer, see Round, Commune of London, pp. 74 f.; the Oxford edition of 
the Dialogus, pp. 42 f.; Petit-Dutailhs' edition of Stubbs, i. 806-808; Poole, op. 
cit., ch. iii. 

3 It is worth noting that, whereas the analogy of the chessboard is the only argu- 
ment hitherto adduced for the existence of transverse Hnes on the exchequer table, 
such hnes are regularly found in the abacus as described in the mediaeval treatises. 

* Vat. MS. Lat. 3123, ff. 55-63 v, edited by Narducci, in Bullettino, xv. 111-154. 
Cf. Enestrom, in ^. If., viii. 78 f., 415; and on the Vatican MS. see also Beth- 
mann, in Pertz's Archiv, xii. 233-235. 



Et si quid in huius inventionis scintillula utilitati tue dilectissime conducibile 
inveneris, nec mihi nec tibi, cuius gratia hoc specialiter edidi, verum venera- 
bili viro magistro nostro Guillelmo [et^], quern universis calculatoribus 
hodie viventibus preferre non timeo, ascribas queso. Vale.^ 

The date of the treatise can be approximately fixed by the 
following sentence : 

Ducent§ marce sunt inter .ii.4^ hidas dividende, que sunt hide totius 
Eisexie, ut ait Hugo BocholaudieJ 

Two men of this name are known in the twelfth century, one of 
them sheriff of eight counties under Henry I,^ the other a tenant 
in Berkshire in 1166 and sheriff of the same county a few years 
later. ^ There is, however, nothing to connect the younger Hugh 
de Bocland with Essex, which is in other hands throughout the 
Pipe Rolls of Henry II, whereas the elder Hugh can be traced 
as sheriff of Essex in iioi and the years immediately following.^° 
He is found in charters as late as 1115/^ but by 11 17 his lands 
are in other hands and in 11 19 he has been succeeded in his 
principal office, the shrievalty of Berks.^^ Our treatise is thus 
anterior to 11 17 and may even go back to the reign of William 
Rufus, under whom Hugh de Bocland, one of this king's *new 
curiales,^ can be traced as witness to the king's charters and 

* The MS. here has a sign which is apparently meant fot &, but which is prob- 
ably a corruption of an original I^, the now in the text having been inserted later 
above the line. 

^ P. 135 of the edition. The edition is for the most part careful, but I have made 
an occasional correction from the MS. 

P. 153. Narducci noted the mention of Hugh de Bocland, but (pp. 128-130) 
was misled into placing the treatise in the second half of the century by identifying 
the author with a Thurkil of Essex mentioned in a vision of 1206. Cf. Poole, 
p. 48, n. 

* Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon, ii. 117 et passim] Ordericus Vitalis, iv. 164; 
E. H. R., xxvi. 490; xxxiii. 156; xxxvii. 163. 

^ Red Book, i. 306 f ; Eyton, Itinerary of Henry II, pp. 313, 337. 

1° Round, Geofrey de Mandeville, p. 328; Monasticon, i. 164; vi. 105; Cartula- 
rium S. lohannis de Colecestrid, i. 22, 24, 27. 

He is addressed in two charters of Reginald, who became abbot of Ramsey in 
II 14 (Cartularium Monasterii de Ramseia, i. 130, 133); and attests late in 11 15 
(Farrer, Itinerary oj Henry I, no. 361). 

^2 J. Armitage Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, p. 154 f; Farrer, no. 376. 

13 Chron. Abingdon, ii. 160. 1* Morris, in E. H. R., xxxiii. 156. 

" Davis, Regesta, nos. 444, 466. 


as sheriff of Bedfordshire/^ Berkshire/^ and Hertfordshire/^ the 
last of which was regularly held with Essex. Indeed a charter 
of the Red King for Colchester seems to connect him directly 
with Essex.^^ 

Neither Thurkil nor his colleague Simon 'of the rolls,' who 
must likewise have been an expert with the abacus, has been 
identified, but both were evidently members of the royal curia, 
since Thurkil says, speaking of ordinary division and division by 

Si quis tamen cur de utroque divisionum genere, cum ut nunc dictum 
est ad unum utreque redeant, scripsi quesierit, propterea inquam quod ille 
ad quoslibet, iste vero non nisi ad curiales tantum pertinent.^^ 

Their master, 'Guillelmus R,' who is mentioned in two other 
passages,^^ has been sought in vain among the abacists of this 
period. He is plainly no common teacher or computer, for he has 
invented a special sign for the semuncideunx and is authority 
for the statement that the conventional figures of the abacus 
came from the Pythagoreans but their names from the Arabs. 
The titles donnus and venerabilis vir would seem to indicate that 
he was a bishop or an abbot, but I have found no contemporary 
prelate of this name who would justify Thurkil's characterization, 
unless it be William, bishop of Syracuse, ca. 1 104-15, who is said 
to have been of Norman origin and whom Adelard of Bath ad- 
dresses as omnium mathematicarum artium eruditissime.^^ 

Ibid., no. 395. " Chron. Abingdon, ii. 43. 

1* The Hertfordshire text of Henry's coronation charter is addressed to him: 
Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, new series, viii. 33, 40; Liebermann, 
Gesetze, i. 5 2 1 . He is also addressed by William II in a charter concerning Middlesex 
(Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, p. 138, no, 12) and appears as a royal officer in Sussex in 
E. H. R., xxvii. 103; Davis, no. 416; Haskins, Norman Institutions, p. 81. 

Davis, no. 471. 

20 Narducci (p. 121) extends 'Rotolandia,' which seems to me much less likely 
than 'rotolis.' 

21 P. 148. 

22 Pp. 136, ISO. 

23 ' Pars ilia que est semuncideunx non est in frequenti usu, unde caracterem non 
habet quo designetur,' says Gerland: St. John's College, Oxford, MS. 17, f. 51 v; 
British Museum, Add. MS. 22414, f. 7; not in the text as printed in Bullettino, 
X. 603. 

2* De eodem et diverse, ed. Willner, p. 3. See Chapter II, n. 8. 


If some one must be found who would satisfy also the we 
might turn to William de Ros, abbot of Fecamp from 1079 to 
1 107 and previously canon, dean, and archdeacon of Bayeux and 
monk of Caen.^^ The epitaphs and eulogies written after his 
death celebrate, as is usual, only his Christian virtues,^^ but we 
learn from Baudri of Dol and the Fecamp annalist that he was a 
man of much learning.^^ We hear of the eminence of Fecamp in 
music in his time,^^ and of the vain efforts of Abbot Thurstin to 
introduce the chant of a certain William of Fecamp into Glaston- 
bury .^^ Nothing is said specifically of the mathematical attain- 
ments of William de Ros, but, like Thurstin, he was one of the 
Bayeux clerks of promise whom Bishop Odo sent to study at 
Liege,^° then an outstanding centre of mathematical learning.^^ 

Besides the treatise on the abacus the Vatican manuscript 
contains a related tract addressed by Thurkil to a certain Gilbert 
and explaining the conversion of marks into pounds and vice 
versa.^^ That Thurkil was also the author of a work on the ec- 
clesiastical calendar we know from Philip de Thaon, who, writing 
in 1 1 19, cites six times Turkils li vaillanz, along with Bede, Hel- 
peric, and Gerland, on such topics as the length of the year and 
the lunar month, embolisms, epacts, and the date of St. Mat- 
thew's day in leap year.^^ Two of the citations are from the fourth 

25 Ordericus Vitalis, ii. 129, 243 f.; iii. 266; iv. 269-272; d. Archaeologia, xxvii. 
26. A Guillelmus de Ros still appears as canon of Bayeux in 1092-93: Livre noir, 
nos. 22, 23. 

2^ Ordericus, iv. 270 f.; Geoffrey of Winchester, in Wright, Anglo-Latin Poets, 
ii. 155; epitaph discovered in 1875 in Comptes-rendus de VAcademie des Inscrip- 
tions, 1875, pp. 306-309, and Bulletin des Antiquaires de Normandie, vii. 497-502. 

27 'Admodum literatus': Auctarium Fiscannense, in Robert of Torigni, ed. 
Delisle, ii. 149. 'Magna litterarum peritia preditus': Baudri, Epistola ad Fiscan- 
nenses, in Neustria pia, pp. 227-233; Migne, clxvi. 1173-82. ^8 Baudri, ibid. 

29 William of Malmesbury, De antiquitate Glastoniensis ecclesie, ed. Hearne, p. 
114; Carlez, "Le chant de Guillaume de Fecamp," in Memoires de VAcademie de 
Caen, 1877, PP- 233-251. The 'Kalendarium Willelmi abbatis' formerly in the 
Fecamp library {Catalogue des MSS. des departements, i, p. xxvi) is apparently 
merely the sevice-book now at Rouen, MSS. 237-238. 

30 Ordericus, iii. 265 f. See below, n. 53. 

32 Printed in Bullettino, xv. 127 f. In the MS. (f. 64 v) this is followed without 
a break by a chapter ' De collectione diei qui dicitur saltus lune,* the beginning of 
which indicates a continuation: * Item si scire volueris quot momenta . . 

33 Li cumpoz, ed. Mall, lines 2080, 2214, 2361, 2399, 2498, 3208. 


and ninth chapters of ThurkiPs third book,^^ so that identifica- 
tion ought to be easy, but I have not succeeded in discovering the 
work cited, which might aid in fixing the author's date and per- 
haps other facts concerning him. One is tempted to seek this 
treatise in the pages which precede the account of the abacus in 
the Vatican manuscripts^ and perhaps in the chapter on the 
saltus lune which follows, though none of this rather confused 
material is divided into books and chapters. The length of the 
lunar month is the same as that cited by Philip de Thaon 
from Thurkil and Bede,^® and there are other resemblances but 
nothing sufficiently specific to identify the author. The date 
is iio2,s^ and Gerland is already quoted as an authority.^^ As 
to Thurkil's identity we can only guess, for the name is by on 
means unique in the early twelfth century. Perhaps one con- 
jecture may be hazarded, namely the monk Thurkil of West- 
minster, who appears in 11 22 shortly after the abbot Gilbert 
Crispin among the deceased members of the convent inserted in 
the mortuary roll of Vitalis of Savigny.^^ If this should be our 
Thurkil, the Gilbert to whom the tract on the mark is dedicated 
may be Abbot Gilbert, himself doctus quadrivio,^^ who died in 

In the treatise on the abacus, Thurkil, like other abacists, con- 
fines himself to multiplication, division, and fractions, and so 

2* 2399 E Turkils el tierz livre 

E el nofme chapitle 

2498 Turkils en sun escrit 

E enz el quart chapitle 
Que il fait del tierz livre. 
35 MS. Vat. Lat. 3123, £E. 44 v-ss; also in B. N., MS. Lat. 11260, £f. 24-31 v. 
3^ 29 days, 12 hours, 29 moments, 348 atoms: Li cumpoz, lines 2496 ff.; MS. Vat. 
Lat. 3123, f. 50 v; MS. Lat. 11260, f. 28; also in British Museum, Royal MS. 15 B. 
iv, f. 141 V (fragments apparently of a related treatise). 

37 MS. Vat. Lat. 3123, f. 46 v; MS. Lat. 11 260, f. 25. 

38 MS. Vat. Lat. 3123, f. 54; MS. Lat. 11 260, f. 30 v. 

39 Delisle, Rouleau mortuaire du B. Vital (Paris, 1909), no. 100; J. A. Robinson, 
Gilbert Crispin, p. 27. 

^° Robinson, op. cit., p. 26. If Simon de rotol' be interpreted as Simon of Rut- 
land, it should be remarked that Westminster Abbey held the churches of Rutland 
as Alberic the Lotharingian clerk had held them: Davis, Regesta, nos. 381, 382, 420; 
Round, Commune of London, pp. 36-38. 



throws no light upon the procedure at the exchequer table, which 
consisted merely of addition and subtraction. The king's clerks 
had, however, frequent occasion to multiply and divide, and 
Thurkil's illustrations are obviously drawn from familiar sub- 
ject-matter, as in his brief account of the relation of marks to 
pounds. What is the product when twenty-three knights owe 
you six marks each? Divide £800,137 among 1009 knights. 
The most interesting example is the one relating to Essex, which 
is printed above. A payment of two hundred marks is assessed 
against a shire and the amount due from each hide is to be de- 
termined — just such a case as would arise in levying the assisa 
communis described in the Dialogus, and just the amount which 
Essex pays as donum in the early years of Henry 11.^^ This coin- 
cidence can hardly be accidental, but indicates rather that the 
assisa communis, as a supplement to Danegeld and a corrective 
to its unequal assessment, goes back to the reign of Henry I, in 
which case it should probably be identified with the novo geldo 
propter hidagium mentioned between iioo and 1107 in a charter 
for Westminster.^^ The hidation which is taken as the dividend, 
2500, has already shrunk from the Domesday quota of 2650^ 
but has not yet reached 2364, which is the number of geldant 
hides in the Pipe Roll of 1130.^ Moreover, it is reported on the 
authority of Hugh de Bocland, who as sheriff would know the 
actual number of hides liable in such a case. A meagre illustra- 
tion of this sort is especially irritating when we think of what 
Thurkil might have told us. It may be argued that his failure to 
mention so interesting a form of the abacus as the exchequer 
table is an indication that it was not yet in existence; but the 
answer is that there is no place for this in his treatise,"*^ nor 

41 Dialogus, i, 8, 11 (ed. Oxford, 1902, pp. 95, 103); Pipe Roll, 2-4 Henry II, pp. 
18, 133. Cf. Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, pp. 473-475. 
^ Robinson, Gilbert Crispin, p. 141, no. 19. 

*3 This is the number given by Maitland, p. 400. Rickwood argues for 2800: 
Transactions of the Essex Archaeological Society, new series, xi. 249. 
« Pp. 59 f . 

*^ ' In multiplicacione et divisione constat hec scientia,' p. 137. ' Huius artis tota 
pene utilitas in multiplicacione ac divisione constat': Bodleian, MS. Selden supra 
25, f. 112 (brief treatise on the abacus). 


should we expect an account of its relatively simple operations 
in a work which had to explain the 'iron process' of division 
by means of differences. The evidence that royal clerks were 
familiar with the abacus at the beginning of the twelfth century 
implies rather that it was already in use for balancing the royal 

That ''it was the introduction of this instrument in the form of 
the Exchequer which made an epoch in the history of the English 
Treasury" has now been brought out most convincingly by 
Poole. He argues that Englishmen became acquainted with the 
abacus in France, probably in the schools of Laon, and calls at- 
tention to the fact that Adelard of Bath studied at Laon, wrote 
on the abacus, and seems to have been in the employment of the 
court of Henry I.^^ Nevertheless I am inclined to place the in- 
troduction of the abacus earlier and to associate it rather with 
the movement which connected England with the schools of 
Lorraine. There is nothing as yet to show whether Thurkil's 
relations were with Laon or Lorraine, but two of his contempora- 
ries mention the abacus in a way that brings it into connection 
with the curia regis at a still earlier date. Robert, who became 
bishop of Hereford in 1079, is described by William of Malmes- 
bury as omnium liberalium artium peritissimus, abacum precipue 
et lunarem compotum et celestium cursum astrorum rimatus}'' At 
his death in 1095 the prior of Winchester, Geoffrey, wrote of 

Non tua te mathesis, presul Rodberte, tuetur, 
Non annos aliter dinumerans abacus .'^^ 

It is not certain that Robert's writings included a treatise on the 
abacus,^^ but the passages just cited are conclusive as to his 

46 The Exchequer in the Twelfth Century y pp. 46-57. Note also that a Ralph of 
Laon witnesses a Bath charter of 11 21: Two Chartularies of Bath Priory, ed. W. 
Hunt (1893), i. 51. 

Gesta Pontificum, p. 300. 

*^ Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue, ii. 76; Wright, Anglo-Latin Satirists and Epi- 
grammatists, ii. 1 54. It may be observed, in connection with what is said later, that 
Geoffrey was a native of Cambrai: Gesta Pontificum, p. 172. 

43 The mathematical tables ascribed to him by Bale (edition of 1557, ii. 125) 
may be simply an inference from the phrases of the chroniclers, but the commentary 
on Marianus Scotus is evidence of his attainments in chronological computation. 


special familiarity with this method of reckoning and the fame 
it brought him in England. Now Robert was a royal chaplain 
before his elevation to the bishopric,^^ and heard pleas in the Red 
King's court only a few months before his death. Moreover, 
he was a native of Lorraine, which in the eleventh century was 
the chief centre for the study of the abacus and produced such 
eminent mathematicians as Heriger of Lobbes, Adelbold of 
Utrecht, Reginbald of Cologne, and Ralph and Franco of Liege; 
and his zeal for the introduction of Lotharingian culture into 
England is seen in his importation of the chronicle of Marianus 
Scotus and his use of Charlemagne's church at Aachen as the 
model for his own cathedral.^^ Robert was, of course, not the 
only connecting link with the lands beyond the Scheldt in this 
period, for Lotharingian influence had been strong at the court 
of Edward the Confessor,^^ and among the prelates of his own 
time Walcher of Durham had been a clerk of Liege and Thomas 
of York and Samson of Worcester had apparently been at school 
there; while Walcher, prior of Malvern, was another Lotha- 
ringian abacist, who appears in England by 1091.^^ Still, 
Robert's knowledge of the abacus was evidently considered 

^° Annals of Winchester, in Annates Monastici, ii. 32. 

51 Gesta Pontificum, p. 302; Vita Wutstani, in Angtia Sacra^ ii. 268. 

52 Gesta Pontificum, p. 300. 

53 * Cogis enim et crebris pulsas precibus ut tibi m.ultiformes abaci rationes per- 
sequar diligenter. . . . Quod si tibi tedium non esset harum fervore Lotharienses 
expetere, quos in his ut cum maxime expertus sum florere. . . Bernelinus, in 
OUeris, Oeuvres de Gerbert, p. 357; and Bubnov, Gerberti Opera mathematica, p. 383. 
See further the passages cited in Bubnov, p. 205; Tannery and Clerval, Une corre- 
spondance d'ecotdtres au XP siede, in Notices et Extraits des MSS., xxxvi. 487-541; 
Cantor, i. 872-878, 880-890; Kurth, Notger de Liege (Paris, 1905), c. 14, especially 
pp. 282-286; Dute, Die Schulen im Bistum Liittich im 11. Jahrhundert (Marburg 
Programm, 1882); B. Lefebvre, Notes d'histoire des mathematiques (Louvain, 1920), 
pp. 93-114; Manitius, Lateinische Litteratur, ii. 778-786. 

5* Gesta Pontificum, p. 300 f . For the chronological tract in which Robert elab- 
orated the introduction of Marianus, see W. H. Stevenson, E. H. R., xxii. 72 £f. 

55 Freeman, Norman Conquest, 3d edition, ii. 81, 455 f., 598-601, 693-698; Stein- 
dorff, Heinrich III, ii. 67 f.; Pauli, in Nachrichten of the Gottingen Gesellschaft der 
Wissenschaften, 1879, pp. 324-330; Round, Commune of London, pp. 36-38. 

56 Simeon of Durham, i. 9, 105; ii. 195; Ordericus, iii. 265 f. 

5^ Supra, Chapter VI, n. 5. A Lotharingian clerk named William appears be- 
tween 1107 and 1137: Napier and Stevenson, Crawford Charters, p. 31. 


something new and exceptional in England, and had doubtless 
been brought from his Lotharingian home. We can at least be 
sure that the abacus was known to members of the curia under 
William Rufus and, since Robert's promotion dates from 1079, 
even under the Conqueror, and for light upon its introduction we 
may well look in the direction of Lorraine. 



Ll CUMPOZ of Philip de Thaon,^ written in 1119 and important 
as the earliest monument of Anglo-Norman literature, possesses a 
special interest for the student of astronomy and chronology as 
being at once the earliest treatment of the subject in French and 
one of the latest expositions of the knowledge current in the 
period just preceding the advent of Arabic astronomy. Of the 
authorities whom the author cites, three, Bede, Helperic, and 
Gerland, are the standard writers on these subjects in the earlier 
Middle Ages,^ and the citations are sufficiently specific to render 
easy a comparison with their works. A fourth, Turkils, though 
unknown to students of Li cumpoz, is plainly to be identified with 
Turchillus compotista, an Anglo-Norman contemporary of Philip 
who wrote before 1117a treatise on the abacus which is of much 
interest for the early history of the English Exchequer; but the 
quotations are not from this work and are evidently derived from 
a treatise on chronological computation, consisting of at least 
three books, which has not yet come to light. ^ There remains a 
fifth, called Nebrot, Nebrod, Nebroz, Nembroz, or Nembroth, 
likewise unidentified by the commentators on Philip, who raises 
a number of interesting problems. Of the five passages in which 
he appears, the first, at the close of the chapter dealing with 
Aries, reads: 

^ Revised from The Romanic Review^ v. 203-212 (1914). 

2 E. Mall, Li Cumpoz Philipe de ThaUn mit einer Einleitung (Strasbourg, 1873); 
T. Wright, Popular Treatises on Science (London, 1841), pp. 20-73; Paul Meyer, 
"Fragment du Comput de Philippe de Thaon," in Romania, xi, 70-76 (1911). Cf. 
Langlois, La connaissance de la nature et du monde au moyen age, pp. 2-3, 11. 

3 Cf. Chapter V, supra. 

^ See the preceding chapter. G. L. Hamilton, who first suggested the identity 
of Turkils and Turchillus {Romanic Review, iii. 314 (191 2)), made the mistake of 
thinking that Philip cites the treatise on the abacus, which contains nothing on the 
subjects treated in Li cumpoz. That the work of Thurkil here cited comprised at 
least three books is clear from 11. 2399 and 2500. 




1249 E go Helperis dit 

Pur veir en sun escrit 
E Bede e Gerlanz 
E Nebroz, li vaillanz. 

At the close of the account of Leo, speaking of the significance of 
the lion's tail, Philip says: 

1345 E go truvum escrit 

Que dans Nebroz le dit. 

In the discussion De saltu lune we find: 

2359 De go trai a guarant 

Maistre Bede e Gerlant, 
Turkil e Helperi 
E Nebrot, ki eissi 
L'unt enquis e guardet. 

Apropos of lunations he says : 

2495 Co dit Bede e Gerlanz 
E Nebroz, li vaillanz, 
E Helperis le dit, 
Turkils en sun escrit, 
E ens el quart chapitle 
Que il fait del tierz livre. 

Finally concerning the septuagesimal term : 

3341 Eissi cum Gerlanz dit, 
Nebroz en sun escrit. 

To Philip, accordingly, Nebroz is an authority on astronomical 
and chronological matters of the same type as Bede, Helperic, 
Gerland, and Thurkil. No writer of this name, however, is known 
to have existed in the Middle Ages, and the form suggests at once 
the ^e^poiS of the Septuagint and the Nimrod of modern versions 
of Genesis, whose name has furnished a fruitful field for the specu- 
lations and conjectures of orientalists.^ The Biblical Nimrod is, 
of course, no humble chronologer but a king, a mighty one upon 
the earth, a mighty hunter before the Lord. How can we make 
an astronomer out of him? An answer to this question would 
involve studies of the Oriental Nimrod legends which lie beyond 
the purpose of this article. An astronomer he had certainly be- 

^ See Cheyne's article in the Encyclopaedia Bihlica and the authors there 


come in men's minds by the sixth century, when John Malalas 
makes him king of the Persians and their master in astronomy 
and astrology,^ and an astronomer he remained to the men of the 
Middle Ages. Astronomical tables under his name are known to 
have been current in Arabic, and his astronomy meets us in the 
twelfth century, when Philip's contemporary, Hugh of St. Victor, 
says, Aiunt quidam Nemrod gigantem summum fuisse astrologum, 
sub cuius nomine etiam astronomia imenitur. He is bracketed 
with Hyginus and Aratus by William of Conches,^ and in the 
following century the Speculum astronomic says : ^ 

Ex libris ergo qui post libros geometricos et arithmeticos invenitur apud 
nos scripti super his, primus tempore compositionis est liber quem edidit 
Nemroth gigas ad lohathonem discipulum suum, qui sic incipit: Sphera celi, 
etc., in quo est parum proficui et falsitates nonnulle; sed nihil est ibi contra 
fidem, quod sciam. 

Contrary to Cumont's opinion,^ the work of Nimrod the giant 
is, in its mediaeval form, still extant, in two manuscripts neither 
of which appears to have been examined in this connection. One, 
MS. Lat. Vni 2 2 of the library of St. Mark's at Venice,^^ has the 

^ Chronographia (ed. Bonn), p. 17: YLepaiav kirpwrevcre dida^as avrovs aa-rpovoniav 
Kai acFTpokoyiav, rfj ovpavLco Ktvrjaei to, wept tovs TiKTOfxkvovs iravTa Srjdev arjuaLvovra. 
Augustine, De civitate Dei, 16, 4, 10, 11, knows Nimrod only as the founder of 
Babylon, So also Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum', 1,6; De cursu stellarumy 
c. 3 (ed. Arndt-Krusch, pp. 3,6, 858). 

^ Steinschneider, "Zum Speculum astronomicum des Albertus Magnus," in 
Z.M. Fh.,xvi. 380 (187 1); and£. U.,no. 175 c. The passage of William of Conches 
will be found under Honorius of Autun, in Migne, clxxii. 59. 

^ Alberti Magni Opera (Paris, 1891), x. 629; critical edition of this passage 
in Caialogus codicum astrologorum Graecorum, v. 86; full commentary by Stein- 
schneider, loc. cit. The Speculum has been generally attributed to Albertus Magnus; 
Mandonnet's argument for Roger Bacon in Revue neo-scolasHque, xvii. 313-335 
(1910), is discussed by Thorndike, ii, ch. 62, 

^ Caialogus codicum astrologorum, v. 86, n. 

Classis XI, Cod. 73; Valentinelli, Bibliotheca manuscripta ad S. Marci Vene- 
tiarum, iv. 255. The MS. is clearly of the thirteenth century, not as the catalogue 
says of the fifteenth. The treatise extends from f . i to the middle of f. 36, where it 
ends abruptly after the description of Anticanus. The text begins: 'Spera celi 
quater senis horis dum revolvitur omnes stelle fixe celo quem [sic] cum ea ambiunt 
circa axem breviores circulos efficiunt. Igitur que polo apparet vicinior inter omnes, 
tarn ei splendor est precipuus, ipsa noctium hor[arum?] computatrix dicitur argu- 
mentum eminientum [sic] cardini oppositum. Recta linea si serves luminum in- 
tuitu horas noctis nosse potes galli sine vocibus.' Then after a figure of a man 



incipit cited in the Speculum astronomie; the other, MS. Pal. 
Lat. 141 7 of the Vatican," has a different beginning, but agrees 
in the body of the treatise. The correspondence between the two 
is close throughout the first part of the work; in the latter part 
the Venetian MS. has a fuller treatment of the planets and con- 
stellations but lacks the meteorological chapters with which the 
other concludes. I do not find in either the fable of Taurus men- 
tioned by William of Conches or the account of Leo for which 
Philip de Thaon cites Nebroz as his source in the only instance 
where he seems to be directly followed.^^ Evidently there are 
problems here which require further manuscript evidence.^^ 

Both MSS. have, evidently as part of the original text, numer- 
ous figures, of which the most notable are the series of constella- 
tions in the Venetian codex. At the beginning of the treatise an 
interesting drawing, much better in the Vatican MS., represents 
side by side the two kings. Atlas and Nimrod, whom classical and 
oriental tradition respectively make the founders of astronomy. 
Atlas is depicted standing on the Pyrenees and bearing on his 
shoulders the firmament with its stars, while Nimrod stands on 
the mountain of the Amorites and looks upward while he supports 
in his hands the heavens without stars. The inscriptions read: 
Athlas magnus astrologus rex Ispanensium vegens humeris suis 
celum inclinatum cum stellis. Nemroth inspector celorum ac rex 

observing the pole, ' Incipit liber de astronomia. De forma celi et quomodo decurrit 
inclinatum. Celum igitur inclinatum . . 

11 The treatise occupies the nineteen folios of the MS., which is written in a clear 
hand of the twelfth century, with the headings in red. It bears the title in a modern 
hand, Ptolomei tractatus ad sciendum horas dierum ac noctis." The introductory 
matter was evidently lacking in the fifteenth century, when the contents of the 
volume were thus given at the bottom of f . i : ' Libellus pulcer Besde de situ et 
dispositione stellarum et signorum celi; libellus seu tractatus Ptolomei regis ad 
sciendum horas diei et noctis; tractatus de distinctione climatum mundi et de ter- 
minis septem climatum.' On this MS., see now Saxl, in Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, 
1915, no. 5, pp. 30 f., plate 21. 

12 Lines 1315-46. Some of these lines reappear in the description of the lion in 
Philip's Bestiaire, ed. Walberg, lines 25 ff. 

13 MS. Ashmole 191, f. 46, of the Bodleian contains only a brief extract from the 
"Liber responsionum magistri Nemroth ad discipulum loaton," beginning, 'Dico 
enim quod de oriente . . .' An extract appears also in Archivfiir die Geschichte der 
Medizin, x. 309 (1917). 


Caldeorum vegens manihus celum inclinatum sine stellis. Probably 
a paragraph on the preceding page, now lost, of the Vatican MS. 
explained Nimrod, as a quotation from St. Augustine at the top 
of this page explains Atlas.^^ The work proper then begins in 

De forma celi et quomodo decurrit inclinatum 

Celum igitur inclinatum volvitur a meridiano usque in septentrionem 
super terram et de septentrione ad meridianum sub terram et in rotundita- 
tem suam volvens sese inclinatum et quasi eversum " videtur, directum 
per preceptionem creatoris creature. Ut homo opifex bonus instruens 
palatium, qui primum mensurat locum et fodit fundamentum et edificat 
ordinabiliter illud donee adimpleatur edificium suum, ita et Nemroth 
mensuravit omnem causam celi per suum intellectum et posuit fundamen- 
tum super quod edificavit ordinem numeri per capitula superius denominata 
et 21 dum perlegisset eadem semper in melius construxit. Et omnia ista 
capitula se invicem condecorant ut bonus opifex qui edificium suiun ordi- 
nanter disponit. Primo in edificio fit 22 fundamentum in 23 terra et primo 
capitulo expositio minima celo verso sine stellis et post hec apparebit nu- 

ii. De una virtute qua dicit Nemroth quia 2* sustinet celum 

Et dum recordaretur Nemroth formam celi cognovit quod habuisset crea- 
torem non agnoscens quis esset. Et vidit celum volvens in semetipsum 
non exiens de loco suo et agnovit quod non habuisset ^® de subter quod 
illud impedisset nec desuper per quod suspenderetur, et in hoc non potuit 
dicere aliud nisi quod virtus sit que hoc sustinet. Et eam nominavit 
fortitudinem sustinentem celum et stantem sub niillo, ut admiranda sit 
scientia Nemroth quod mensurasset formam ceH et cognovit cursus sig- 
noriun et circulos stellartun et fundamentum terre et non agnovit quod Deus 
creasset ea. Sed et hoc cognovit quod 28 desuper creatura fortis et do- 
minatrix est et nominavit eam creatorem, et depinxit et scripsit omnia se- 
cundum similitudinem suam, ita ut qui tunc fuerunt voluerunt ilium habere 
ut deum propter suam virtutem et scientiam, dicente illo occulta in compoto 
astronomic. Et cognovit Nemroth quod 28 celum fuisset purum et post hoc 
f actus est sol et luna et omnes stelle celi 

1^ De civitate Dei, 18, 39 (ed. Hoff- 
mann, ii. 330). 

1* Vat. fortittuiine. 

1^ Ven. quod; Vat, cm. 
Vat. reversum. 

18 Vat. directum est per preceptum 
creatoris. Opifex. 

1^ Ven. honum. 

20 Vat. adimpleat. 

21 Vat. omits et . . . construxit. 

22 Vat. sit. 

23 Vat. cm. 

24 Vat. que. 

24* Vat. sed non cognovit. 

25 Vat. semetipso. 

26 Vat. erat. 

27 Vat. suhtus. 

28 Vat. quia. 

29 Ven. cur sum. 

30 Ven. cm. 

31 Vat. sit. 

32 Vat. omits celi. 


Chapters follow De ventis, De duabus fortitudinihus, De 

.xii. fortitudinihus, De .vii. fortitudinihus, varied by the insertion, 
without credit, of the chapters on earthquakes and Etna from 
Bede's De naturis rerumP The more specifically astronomical 
part of the work then begins with a brief account of the axis celi 
and the zodiac, succeeded by chapters on the planets, the Pleiads, 
the sun and its eclipses, and the moon and its eclipses. In the 
midst of the account of the moon there is evidently a lacuna in the 
Vatican MS.^^ where the Venetian MS. takes up the several 
planets and their motions. Both then agree in the portions treat- 
ing of the hours of the day, epacts, concurrents, and days of the 
week, after which they finally diverge. The Venetian codex de- 
votes the remaining ten pages to a description of the constella- 
tions, to the number of forty-three, accompanied by drawings 
which should have interest for the student of mediaeval astron- 
omy.^^ None of these are found in the Vatican MS., which pro- 
ceeds to consider the nature of clouds, thunder, lightning, and 
the rainbow. Save for the quotations from Bede and the section 
on the constellations, both MSS. maintain throughout the form 
of a dialogue between Nimrod and loathon, who first appears in 
the fifth chapter. There is very little that could be called astro- 
logical, although the concluding chapter, found only in the Vati- 
can MS., seems to presuppose such a treatment: 

Quod interrogavit loathon magistrum suum et non dedit ei responsum 

Et postquam exposuit Nemroth loathon discipulo suo quid sit arcus pads 
vel unde est, interrogavit eum dicens, Magister, cognovi quod exposuisti 
mihi quid sit arcus pacis vel unde fit. Tunc prevenit eum infirmitas mortalis 
et dum vidisset loathon magistrum suum Nemroth quia moreretur, venit et 
cecidit ad pedes eius dicens, Magister, nimis tristis effectus sum quia dum 
habui patrem efficior orphanus et post divitias multas nunc veniet michi 

33 Cc. 49, 50 (Migne, xc. 275-278). C. 51, 'Divisio terre,' also appears on f. 8 of 
the Vatican MS. 

^ F. 12, where the heading, De luna A. usque in .xv. quot punctos luceat donee 
veniat in potestate noctis, does not correspond to the text, which assumes a preceding 
iscussion of the planets. 
35 This part of the text begins with the typical description (f. 31 v): 'Helix, 
Arctus malorum, habet autem in capite Stellas obscuras vii., in spatula .i., super 
pectus .i., in pede .i., in dorso .i., in tibia interiore .ii., super cauda .iii,, sunt omnes 
.xvi.' The treatment is quite different from that of Hyginus. 


paupertas et post virtutem quam habui ero debilis. Respondit Nemroth 
dicens, loathon, fortasse non erit ita ut putas. Respondit loathon dicens, 
Magister utique ita erit. Numquid quod a te didici non est Veritas? Et si 
verus est compotus quern ostendisti mihi pro infirmo, ipse significavit mihi 
mortem meam. Ait illi Nemroth, loathon, omnia que docui te vera sunt et 
compotus qui est super infirmum non erit tibi in aliquo error. Ego autem 
vadam ad patres meos et tu venies postea et ego ad te non revertar, quia ita 
hoc est quod nemo potest transgredi; et si habes aliquod ad interrogandum 
unde tibi cure sit interroga velociter antequam inebreetur anima de potu 
calicis mortis et antequam colligatur hngua et quietudine cursus sanguinis 
tollatur sensus per fortitudinem magni pavoris cum victus exieris de ter- 
mino vite ad potestatem mortis. Respondit loathon dicens, Magister bone, 
de omnibus que ostendisti mihi ahquit cognovi, de vento autem aperte non 
exposuisti michi. . . . Usque hue interrogavit loathon Nemroth magis- 
trum suum et non dedit ilU responsum et dum interrogat de vento insuflOiavit 
in eum ventus mortis et non respondit ei uUum verbum et dimisit doctrinam 
suam ahis. 

It is plain, merely from the extracts here given, that the author 
of the treatise does not speak in the name of Nimrod but bases 
his work upon a dialogue between Nimrod and loathon which he 
supplements and modifies. He refers to alii doctor es qui fuerunt 
post Nemroth^^ and in two passages cites a certain Alexander.^^ 
The Oriental touch is apparent, but there is no trace of Arabic 
terms or of the Arabic astronomy, so that the work is plainly 
anterior to the introduction of Saracen learning into Latin 
Europe. Words like planetes and sinodus and the passage (gloss?) 
on the Pleiads show a certain amount of Greek infiuence,^^ but 

36 ' Et ahi doctores qui fuerunt post Nemroth et loathon exposuerunt obscurita- 
tem que apparet in luna. Nos autem mode exponimus subterius in loco oportuno,' 
Vat. MS., f. 6 V. . 

37 Vat. MS., f. 2 v: 'Nam quod ipse dixit quia discurrunt inter signa disposuit 
Alexander dicens quia iste f ortitudines quas ait ipse Nemroth ipse sunt quas exposuit 
superius.' F. lo (= MS. Venice, f. 12 v): quo signo currit luna ut exposuit 
Alexander. Exposuimus superius in quo signo currat luna, nunc ostende mihi sicut 
Alexander exposuit qui mensuravit et coequavit numero astronomie.' 

38 MS. Vat., f. 10 v: 'Pliades vii stelle splendide que post vere exoriuntur vel 
Pliades a pluralitate dicte, quia pluralitatem latine grece apolpoeton [awo irXeUav'}] 
dicitur. Pliades sunt multi vage stelle quas etiam Botrum apellant. Pliades vii 
fuerunt quorum nomina sunt Terope, Meropios, Cileno, Maia, Altione, Tagete, 
Electra. Dicte autem pliades apo tu plictos [cf. Isidore, Etymologiae, 3, 70, 13: dTrd 
ToD TrXeta-Tov], id est a pluralitate, sive a pluvia vel a mare, ut sint filie Athlantis et 

39 The accounts of the constellations in the Venetian MS., though based upon 
the Greek catalogues, are not directly translated. E. g. (f. 33 v), 'equus qui et 
bellorum fons ' [i. e., Bellerophon]; 'navis que apud Argivos Argo vocatur' (f. 35). 



the style is not that of a direct translation, a,nd the quotations 
from Augustine and Bede show that the matter was worked over 
in the West. 

The dialogue bears clear traces of Syrian origin, for the disciple 
loathon or loanton can be none other than the fourth son of 
Noah who appears as lonton, lonaton, lonites, 'Iojptjtos, TicovqToSj 
MoPTjTOiv, and Munt in Christian writers of the Middle Ages. 
Unknown to the Hebrew tradition, he is found in works of Syrian 
origin and in these only,^^ and is there brought into direct rela- 
tion to Nimrod. Thus in the Cave of Treasure, which in its Syrian 
form is probably of the sixth century, lonton is visited by Nim- 
rod in the land of Nod and teaches him that wisdom and learning 
of the stars which the Persians call the oracle and the Romans 
astronomy >^ Similar and apparently related is the account which 
appears toward the close of the seventh century in the Apocalypse 
of the Pseudo-Methodius,^^ where we read that Noah sent his son 
lonitus to the east, to the land of the sea and the sunrise, where 
God granted him the gift of wisdom -so that he became the dis- 
coverer of astronomy and the teacher of Nimrod. Their relations 
continued friendly, and lonitus wrote a letter to Nimrod proph- 
esying the destruction of the dominion of the sons of Ham.^^ 
The astronomical attainments of lonithon are described in greater 
detail in a third and considerably later Syrian source, the so- 
called Causa causarum,^^ but it was through the Pseudo-Metho- 

^° The Catalogus codicum astrologicorum, v. 86, cannot identify him. 

^1 So Sackur, who has collected the material relating to him in his Sibyllinische 
Texte und Forschungen (Halle, 1898), pp. 15, 54, 64. 

^ Bezold, Die Schatzhdhle (Leipzig, 1883-88), i. 33 f. and notes; Gotze, "Die 
Schatzhohle," in Heidelberg Sitzungsberichte, 1922, no. 4, pp. 57 f. 

^3 A critical edition of the Greek text, with studies of Latin and Slavic versions, 
is given by Istrin, Otkrovenie Methodiya Patarskogo in the Cteniya of the Historical 
and Archaeological Society of the University of Moscow, 1897, parts 2 and 4. The 
Latin version is edited by Sackur, Sibyllinische Texte, pp. 59-96. Cf. Gervase of 
Tilbury, ed. Leibnitz, p. 899. 

OvTOs 5e 6 MovrjTcav (al. 'la)pr}TOs, TluurjTos) eka/Se rrapa rod deov xo-picfxa aoipias, 
ware Trpcoros aarpovofiLas rex^V^ t^eOpe. Tlpds tovtov KaTrjXde Ne/8pa)5 Kai Traidevdeis 
Trap* avTov etXiy^e fiovX-^v k(j>' $ ^aaiXevaai olvtov. Istrin, text, p. 9 f.; cf. pp. 52, 77, 
and Sackur, pp. 63 f. 

Kayser, Das Buck von der Erkenntniss der Wahrheit (Strasbourg, 1893), pp. 

259 f. 


dius that he passed into the West and found mention in a number 
of chroniclers and other writers of the Middle Ages.^^ In all these 
sources lonitus is the master and Nimrod the pupil, but the re- 
versal of the relation might easily arise under the influence of the 
tradition which we find in Malalas and others that Nimrod was 
the founder of astronomy. 

As regards the date of Nimrod and loathon our text stands in 
general agreement with the chronology of the Pseudo-Methodius, 
who mentions lonites in a.m. 2799 and Nimrod in 3008: 

Et ab initio secuH usque ad tempus Nemroth fortissimi et loanton dis- 
cipuli sui in quo anno circumivit Mercurius per omnia signa circulum .i., qui 
sunt .xxii. circuli et anni .iii. clxxxiiii. et ab ipso anno usque ad finem mundi 

This is the only indication on this point, and unfortunately the 
similar cycles given for each planet throw no light on the date of 
the treatise itself, the years being in each case carried out to the 
close of the cycle next preceding a.m. 7000, doubtless on the theory 
which we find in the Pseudo-Methodius, that the end of the world 
will coincide with the close of the seventh millenary period. The 
same theory appears in the table of solar eclipses,^^ which is car- 
ried to the year 6995 : 

Si vis scire in quo anno fit eclipsis, sume annos ab. origine mundi, scito 
quot sunt, et subtrahe ex ipsis vi cc xc viiii, et quot remanent divide eos per 
decem et novem, et sicut scriptum est in rota ita invenies eclypsis solis in 
tempore ipsius. 

There follows a table, but no rota, beginning. In vi anno non 
erit eclypsis, in xxiiii anno erit eclypsis, and so on at intervals of 
twenty-four years to in dcxcvi anno erit eclypsis. Here, however, 
the year 6299 is evidently chosen because it is the date of writing 

To the passages collected by Sackur, p. 64, should be added the Summa 
philosophie of Grosseteste, in Baur, Die philosophischen Werke des Robert Grosseteste 
{Beitrage, ix), p. 275; and the Slavic material collected by Istrin and by Veselovsky 
in his Razyskaniya (St. Petersburg, 1880-91), no. x. 

MS. dWty apparently corrupted from c'n7, which appears constantly in this 
part of the text. 

^ MS. Venice, ff. 17-19 v. Mars is carried to the year 6990, Mercury to 6936, 
Jupiter to 6912, Venus to 6922, and Saturn to 6800. The text of the numbers is 
quite corrupt. 

49 MS. Vat., f. 9; MS. Venice, f. 11 v. 



or at least of the beginning of the current nineteen-year period, 
which would bring the treatise between a.d. 791 and 810 accord- 
ing to the Byzantine era or between 807 and 826 according to the 
era of Antioch. With the ninth century the style and manner of 
treatment in general correspond. The home of the work should 
probably be sought in Gaul, where throughout the early Middle 
Ages relations were maintained with Syria which have left 
literary monuments in the Latin version of the Pseudo-Metho- 
dius and in the translation of the legend of the Seven Sleepers by 
Gregory of Tours. 

The various astronomical questions involved in Nimrod's 
treatise I cannot pretend to discuss, still less can I enter into the 
problem of its sources and its affinities with other works. My 
purpose has been merely to bring to light an unused source for the 
study of Byzantine and Syrian astronomy and for the astronomi- 
cal and cosmological ideas current in western Europe in the 
early Middle Ages. 

See particularly Scheffer-Boichorst, "Zur Geschichte der Syrer im Abend- 
lande," in Mitteilungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung, vi. 535 ff. 
(1885); L, Brehier, "Les colonies d'Orientaux en Occident au commencement du 
moyen-age," in B. Z., xii. 1-39 (1903). 



Works on falconry occupy a not inconsiderable place in the liter- 
ature of the later Middle Ages, whether in Latin or in the various 
vernaculars. Interesting as a phase of the court life and manners 
of the period, these are also significant in the history of mediaeval 
science, not only as illustrating the current medical notions, but 
also as marking the growth of knowledge based upon detailed 
personal observation. For the most part these treatises consist 
of collections of remedies for diseases, in which traditional lore, 
superstition, and practical experience are curiously mingled. 
Many of them describe with some fulness various species of birds 
of prey and their uses, and in the later period the actual practice of 
falconry receives minute attention. There is much translation 
and much borrowing back and forth, and the interrelations of the 
several works constitute an exceedingly intricate subject. As no 
survey of this literature has been attempted since the study of 
Werth in 1888,^ it may not be out of place to. call attention to 
certain unknown or little known manuals, chiefly of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, which have come to my notice in the 
course of a study of the most famous of such treatises, the De arte 
venandi cum avibus of the Emperor Frederick 11.^ 

I. Adelard of Bath 

The earliest treatise on hawking so far identified in western 
Europe was written in England in the time of Henry 1. Its au- 
thor, Adelard of Bath, was not only attached in some fashion to 

1 Reprinted from the Romanic Review, xiii. 18-27 (1922). 

2 H. Werth, "Altfranzosiche Jagdlehrblicher, nebst Handschriftenbibliographie 
der abendlandischen Jagdlitteratur iiberhaupt," in Zeitschrift fiir romanische Philo- 
logie, xii. 146^-191, 381-415; xiii. 1-34 (1888-89). Cf. Biedermann's supplementary 
notes, ibid., xxi. 529-540; and J, E. Harting, Bihliotheca accipitraria (London, 

3 See Chapter XIV. 



the English court, but had studied in France, southern Italy, and 
the Mohammedan East, and was one of the pioneers in introduc- 
ing Arabic learning into western Europe. Yet his little work on 
falconry ignores eastern experience and concerns itself chiefly 
with old English recipes for the diseases of hawks. Moreover, it 
refers specifically to earlier writings on the subject, the libri 
Haroldi regis, probably books once in the possession of the last 
Anglo-Saxon king.^ The beginning of Adelard's treatise indicates 
that it was an interlude in the more serious studies represented by 
the author's Questiones naturales, also in the form of a dialogue 
with his nephew. The nephew begins: ^ 

Quoniam in causis disserendis rerum animus noster admodum fatigatus ^ 
est, ad eiusdem relevationem id magis delectabile quam grave interponen- 
dum est. Intellectus enim similiter ut arcus si nunquam cessas tendere 
mollis erit. Quare in eo iudicio tale ad quod et iocundum et utile sit eligen- 
dum est. Id autem recte fieri spero si de accipitrum natura et usu ^ elegan- 
tius aperias, precipue cum et nos Angli sumus genere et eorum inde scientia 
pre ceteris gentibus probata sit et ea deinde scientie qualitas constat ^ ut ^ 
quanto pluribus dividitur tanto magis efflorescet. Adel[ardus]. Sit sane ne 
aut in scientia aut invidia 1° arguamus. Ea igitur disseremus que et moder- 
norum magistrorum usu didicimus et non minus que Haraoldi " regis libris 
reperimus scripta, ut quicunque his intentus disputatione[m] habeat si nego- 
tium exercuit paratus ^2 esse possit. Tuum itaque sit inquirere, meum 

It ends: 

Hec habui que de cura accipitrum dicerem. Ceterimi si tibi vel alicui alii 
suam addere sententi[am] placet, non invideo. 

Adelard's little work does not seem to have been widely used. 
The only complete copy I have found is in MS. 2504 of the Na- 
tionalbibliotek at Vienna (ff. 49-51). The greater part is incor- 
porated into a compilation of the thirteenth century to which we 
shall come below (Clare College, Cambridge, MS. 15, ff. 185- 
187). The earlier portion at least is used by the author of an 

* See my note on "King Harold's Books," in E. H. R., xxxvii. 398-400 (1922); 
and for Adelard, supra, Chapter II. 

^ Vienna, MS. 2504, f. 49 (ca. 1200). ^ MS. et stat. 

^ MS. fatigatitus. 9 MS. e« (?). 

' Corrected from usque ad. 1° MS. individua. 

1^ The scribe may have tried to correct the a into an 0 or vice versa. 

12 MS. paritus. 


Anglo-Norman poem in the British Museum (Harleian MS. 

No other treatise connected with the Anglo-Norman court is 
known to have survived. Daude de Pradas, writing his Romans 
dels auzels cassadors early in the thirteenth century/^ cites : 

En un libre del rei Enric 
d'Anclaterra lo pros el ric, 
que amet plus ausels e cas 
que non fes anc nuill crestias, 
trobei d'azautz esperimens 
on no coue far argumens.^^ 

Whether the reference is to Henry I or Henry II it is impossible to 
say, though the latter is more likely. This would be a particu- 
larly interesting treatise to recover. 

2. William the Falconer 

Like the Norman kings of England, the Norman rulers of Sicily 
were mighty hunters and hawkers, and the first who bore the 
royal title, Roger II (1130-54), is said to have had a falconer, 
William, whose precepts are frequently cited. Thus Albertus 
Magnus, in the chapters of his De animalihus devoted to falcons,^® 
cites in three passages William the falconer, in, one instance spe- 
cifically as King Roger's falconer, followed as an authority by 
Frederick II: " 

13 Compare the extract given by Paul Meyer in Romania, xv. 278 f., with the 
passage from Adelard printed below, note 36. 

" The biographical data on Daude given in the standard works are very meagre. 
He dedicates his poem on the cardinal virtues to Stephen, bishop of Le Puy (122a- 
31); and Torraca has found hhn attesting as canon of Rodez in 12 14-18: Studi su 
la lirica italiana del duecento (Bologna, 1902), pp. 244 f. 

15 Ed. Monaci (in Studi difilologia romanza, v. 65-192), lines 1930-35; ed. Sachs 
(Brandenburg, 1865), lines 1905-10. Werth (xii. 154 f., 166-171) thinks he can 
identify other passages in Daude derived from the libre del rei Enric. The incanta- 
tions of lines 1937 ff. reappear in Albertus Magnus, c. 19. 

" Bk . xxiii, c. ^o. Ed. Stadler {Beitr(ige,xyi)j pp. 1453-93; Opera (Paris, 1891), 
xii. 451-487. These chapters often appear in the manuscripts as a separate work on 
falconry, e. g., Bodleian, MS. Rawlinson D. 483, ff. 1-47 v, from Bologna. 

" C. 10, ed. Stadler, p. 1465; not in the known text of Frederick's De arte. Cf. 
c. 20 below. 


Hunc falconem [i. e., nigrum] Federicus imperator sequens dicta Guilelmi, 
regis Rogerii falconarii, dixit primum visum esse in montanis quarti climatis 
quae Gelboe vocantur, et deinde iuvenes expulsos a parentibus venisse in 
Salaminae Asiae montana, et iterum expulsos nepotes primorum devenisse 
ad Siciliae montana et sic derivata esse per Ytaliam. 

These citations can be identified in a brief treatise which in sev- 
eral manuscripts follows the Latin text of the so-called ' Dan- 
cus.' The last chapter of 'Dancus' runs: 

Iste magister non fuit mendax sed verax, iste medicine sunt bone et per- 
fecte et multum probate, Guilielmus falconerius qui fuit nutritus in curia 
regis Rogerii qui postea multum moratus fuit cum filio suo et habuit quen- 
dam magistrum qui vocatus fuit Martinus qui fuit sapiens et doctus in arte 
falconum, et iste discipulus suus Guilielmus scivit omnia que ipse scivit et 
tanto plus quod ipse composuit libellum unum de arte ista cuius principium 
tale est. Nolite dubitare sed firmiter sciatis quod nuUus talis magister vivit 
modo in mundo. 

Explicit liber Galacianus rex [sic] de avibus. 

[Chapter headings, then] Incipit tractatus Guilielmi de avibus et eorum 
medicamine, et primo capitulo incipit de dolore capitis qui dicitur furtinum 
[ar siurtinum]. 

Quando vides quod habet furtinum accipe mumiam et da ei comedere cum 
came porcina et alio die da ei camem gatti et tene eum donee liberabitur. . . . 

Seventeen chapters contain brief remedies of this sort; the re- 
maining chapters, 18-24, treat briefly of the training and species 
of falcons. In the midst of chapter 20 we read: 

NuUus magister scit ita de naturis falconum unde sunt et unde exierunt 
sicut iste magister Guilielmus fiKus Malgerii Neapoletani scivit et ideo tractat 
de naturis falconum quia plus scivit quam aliquis homo. Falcones qui prius 
apparuerunt in mundo ipse bene agnovit. Falcones nigri prius apparuerunt. 

18 I have used in the Vatican MSS. Vat. lat. 5366, ff. 40 v-44 v (saec. xiii) ; Ott. 
lat. 1811, ff. 37-40 (saec. xiv); Reg. lat. 1227, ff. 51-56 (saec. xv); Reg. lat. 1446, 
ff. 74-76 (saec. xiv) ; and in the Bibliotheque Nationale, MS. 7020, ff, 45 v-49 (saec. 
xv). The text of the extracts printed follows MS. Vat. lat. 5366, with some obvious 
corrections from the others. See also the French version of Dancus, anterior to 
1284, ed. Martin-Dairvault (Paris, 1883), pp. 19-29, and its notes; and the Italian 
version in // propugnatore, ii, part 2, pp. 221 ff. (1869). An Italian version of Wil- 
liam, now in MS. Ashburnham 1249 of the Lauren tian, is cited by G. Mazzatinti, 
La hihlioteca dei Re d'Aragona (Rocca S. Casciano, 1897), p. 172. 

1^ On which see Werth, xii. 148-160, There is a series of extracts from Dancus 
and others at the University of Bologna, MS. 1462 (2764), saec. xiv.; and a copy 
of the Latin Dancus at Modena, Estense MS. 15, followed by an anonymous Liber 
curarum avium, beginning, 'Notandum est quod meliores aves viventes de 
rapina . . .' 


Venerunt a Babilonia in Montem Gebeel et deinde venerunt in Sclavoniam 
et deinde venerunt ad Palunudum quod est in pertinentiis Policastri. 

Magister Guillelmus is again quoted in chapter 22: 

Propter camem non perdet voluntatem venandi set propter sanguinem 
tantum, et hoc probavit magister Guillelmus qui plus modo fecit quam ali- 
quis qui vivat. 

The treatise ends with the chapter on ysmerli cited from 
William by Albertus Magnus : 

Sed tamen si bonus est magister potest eos facere capere grues tali dieta 
et tali custodia ut alii falcones. et si vult capere grues oportet habere duo- 
decim ysmerlos. 

Apparently we have not William's manual in its original form, 
but extracts from it, which, however, have something of the 
brevity to be expected from a practical falconer of the early 
period. The connection with Sicily is clear, not only in the state- 
ments respecting the king and the Neapolitan falconer Malgerio, 
but, more certainly, in the reference to the region of Policastro. 
If the treatise in its original form should be discovered, we should 
probably have one of the important sources for later writers. 

3. The Court of Frederick II and his Sons 

In the thirteenth century the chief centre of literary activity on 
subjects of falconry was the court of the Emperor Frederick 11. A 
tireless sportsman from his youth, the emperor called in expert 
falconers from many lands and devoted long years to the observa- 
tion of birds and the practice of the art. He had the treatise of 
Moamyn, and probably that of Yatrib, translated from the Arabic 
under his personal supervision, and appears in general to have 
systematically collected the authorities on the subject. After 
thirty years of preparation he dedicated to his son Manfred the 
De arte venandi cum avibus, which is the most noteworthy mediae- 
val work on the subject, noteworthy for its independent and 
scientific spirit even more than for the eminence of its author. In 
the form known to us the De arte consists of a systematic account 

20 Lat. 7020 has 'Palumbidum'; Reg. lat. 1446 interlines in a later hand 'Palu- 
dinum.' The place is evidently Monte Palladino on the gulf of PoUcastro. 

21 Ed. Stadler, p. 1468. 



of birds in general and falcons in particular, followed by a de- 
tailed examination of lures and the methods of hunting with the 
several types of falcons. There is reason for thinking that the 
emperor also discussed hawks and the diseases of falcons, but this 
part of his work has not been recovered.^^ Besides half a dozen 
manuscripts of the Latin original, in a six-book edition and a two- 
book recension by Manfred, we have two different French ver- 
sions made before the end of the thirteenth century .^^ 

Frederick's favorite son Manfred inherited in large measure the 
intellectual interests of his father. We learn from the preface that 
Frederick's De arte was finally put into form at Manfred's request, 
and it was he who later searched out the notes and loose sheets of 
the author which are incorporated in his recension. 

Another son, Enzio, well known in the literary circle of the 
Magna Curia, was likewise a patron of writers on falconry. His 
^'servenz et hom de lige," Daniel of Cremona, dedicates to him 
French versions of Moamyn and Yatrib which afford interesting 
evidence of the prevalence of French in North Italy ; while an 
anonymous young writer composed for him, as king of Torres and 
Gallura, a brief set of excerpts on the species of falcons and their 
diseases, which is preserved at Clare College, Cambridge (MS. 15, 
ff. 185-187). It begins: 

Incipit practica avium. Ex primis legum cunabilis impericie mee solacium 
querens scemam virorum honestatisque sigillum mente ne facto viri deinceps 

22 See the chapters on diseases in Albertus Magnus 'secundum falconarios 
Federici imperatoris' (c. 19) and 'secundum experta Federici' (c. 20). The greater 
part of chapter 19 appears in a treatise in the Vatican (MS. Reg. lat. 1446, £f. 76-77) 
headed ' Gerardus f alconarius, * possibly one of the emperor's falconers. 

23 Supra, Chapter XIV. 

24 Supra, Chapters XII, XIV. The treatise of Adam des Esgles, "falconer of the 
prince of Tarento," dates doubtless not from Manfred's time but from one of the 
later bearers of this title. It is found in a manuscript of the fifteenth century at Le 
Mans, MS. 79, ff. 116 v-128 v, beginning: 

* Aultres medicines pour f aulcons fait par Adam des Esgles chevalier f aulconnier 
du prince de Tarente, et premierement faulconnerie veult que soyes doillx et 
courtoys et debonnaire. Se ung faulcon aver qui soit blanc et blont et de gros 
plumage . . 

25 Ciampoli, / codici francesi della R. Biblioteca di S. Marco (Venice, i897),pp. 
1 1 2-1 14; cf. Paul Meyer, in Atti of the Roman Congress of History, iv. 78 (1904); 
supra, Chapter XIV, nn. 128-130. 


videar contrarius set honeste pretendi pocius condescendens, igitur ut prin- 
cipi nostro excellentissimo, .E. Turrensi principi, qui causa aucupantium 
delectat precipue ceterisque eiusdem generis satisfactioni[bus], utiliora ex 
libris antiquorum coUecta in huius libelli compendium de natura avium bre- 
viter enodavi, opus hoc meum esse non affirmans nisi per compilationem. 
Eius seriem in .v. particulas divisi quarum prima continetur qualiter Aquila 
et Simachus et Theodosion Tholomeo imperatori Egipti scripserunt et quid 
de avibus senserunt et eorum accidentibus, variis enim subiacent periculis ut 
corpus humanum et variis succurritur medicinis. Et nota quod unus pro 
omnibus rationari intelligitur. Secunda continet quid Alexander grecus 
medicus Cosme de vario casu ancipitrum et eorum medela scripsit. Tercia 
quid Girosius hyspanus Theodosio imperatori. Quarta quid Alardus angli- 
cus nepoti suo interroganti respondent. Quinta quid M. G. de Monte P. 
expertus sit, et sic liber terminatur. 

The nature of the work is indicated by this preface: the species 
of hawks and falcons, and their diseases. Of our author's sources, 
the letters of Ptolemy and Theodosius are well known,^^ and Ade- 
lard's treatise has just been described. The supposed letter of the 
Greek physician Alexander, I have not identified.^^ Master G. of 
Montpellier may be Gilbert the Englishman, chancellor of Mont- 
pellier, well known as a medical writer about 1250; his contri- 
bution deals entirely with diseases. 

4. Archibernardus 

Among the Rossi manuscripts recently returned from Vienna to 
Rome and now on deposit in the Vatican there is found a codex 
of the thirteenth century containing a Latin poem of 324 hexam- 
eter lines entitled Liher falconum.^^ The author, who calls him- 
self Archibernardus, is evidently an Italian, using such expres- 
sions as pulzinus, huzza, pollastra, and twice having the line, 

Ars mea sanari docet hunc Italis medicari. 

2^ MS. genera. 29 later. MS. he|re Gnosius. 

27 MS. grecus. 3o Werth, xii. 160-165. 

28 MS. ex medelo. 

31 Alexander is cited by Daude de Pradas, line 2319; of. Werth, xii. 165. 

32 Histoire litteraire, xxi. 393-403; of. Duhem, iii. 291; Thorndike, ii, ch. 57. 
There is an early copy of his Liber morbortm at the University of Madrid, MS. 
120, f, 20. 

33 On this collection see Bethmann, in Pertz's Archiv, xii. 409-415; [Silva- 
Tarouca], in Civilta cattolica, 18 February 1922, pp. 320-335; Neues Archiv, xlv. 102. 

34 MS. VII. 58, ff. 85-87 V. 


The subject matter is of the usual kind, the species, food, and dis- 
eases of falcons: 

A nostra prohemaria ductris sit virgo Maria! 
Archibemardi per carmen disce mederi 
Leso falconi nec dedignere doceri 
Miles mille valens si vis urbanus haberi. 

Sit hie locus mete musarum avete cetus 
Egregios iuvenes equites peditesque docetis. 
Explicit liber falconum. 

; 5. Egidio di Aquino 

j Friar Egidius de Aquino is given as the author of a brief treatise 
preserved in a manuscript of the fifteenth century in Corpus 
[ Christi College, Oxford (MS. 287, ff. 74 v-78 v). It covers the 
h training, diseases, and species of birds of prey, beginning with 
falcons and ending with hawks, and is particularly full in distin- 
guishing the varieties used in Italy. Thus the species of hawks 
; include those of Ventimiglia, Slavonia, Calabria (calavresi), Istria, 
Sardinia, Germany, and the Alps (alpisiani) ; while among 
astures we find those of Tuscany, Lombardy, the March, Apulia, 
Germany, and Sicily : 

Incipit liber avium viventium de rapina et [de] morbis et curis et genera- 
tionibus eorum. 

Quoniam vidimus et experiment© cognovimus morbos doctrinas naturas 
et generationes avium et plures de nobilioribus, scilicet viventibus de rapina 
et eorum generationibus documentis infirmitatibus curis et naturis, omnibus 
aliis generationibus pretermissis ad presens tractatulum intendimus inchoare. 
. . . Quoniam inhonestum est retinere ancipitrem in manu cum pennis 
fractis sive tortis. 

• Explicit liber de naturis morbis et generationibus omnium avium viven- 

tium de rapina. Compositus est a fratre Egidio de Aquino. 

Laus tibi sit, Christe, quoniam liber explicit iste. 
Et facto fine pia laudetur virgo Maria. 
\ Amen. 

The manual of Egidio is followed quite closely in the anonymous Italian 
treatise published by A. Mortara, Scritture antiche toscane di falconeria (Prato, 
T851), pp. 1-21. Chapter 6 of this appears as a fragment in MS. Rawlinson D, 


This is followed in the manuscript (ff. 78 v-84) by an anony- 
mous Liber de ancipitribus et falconibus et curis eorum, beginning: 

Nimis sumit precipue volucres sparvarius et pre cunctis passeres . . . 

It makes use of personal experience, but at the end incorporates 
a condensed version of William the falconer. 

6. Petrus Falconerius 

Of uncertain date is the brief Italian tract of a certain Peter on 
the care of falcons, preserved in a manuscript of the fifteenth cen- 
tury in the Vatican (MS. Urb: lat. 1014, ff. 53 v-56), in the midst 
of a copy of Moamyn: 

Petrus falconerius aliter dictus Petrus de la stor composuit ista. Qui fuit 
et est si vivit de melioribus falconeriis totius mundi et magister magistrorum 

Chi vol fare uno falcone ramage saur sitost come preso e vol mangiare su 
lopugno hoiuli [sic] de dar mangiare .viii. grani gorge entre lagent