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Research

Burton on Ptolemy

Ptolemy’s authorship of the Ὁ Καρπός (the Centiloquium) has been rejected for the last 120 years or so, since Franz Boll argued concisely that it couldn’t be by Ptolemy.[1] Who originally composed the work and when, however, continues to exercise modern scholars. Medieval scholars, however, seem to have universally accepted that Ptolemy was the author. […]

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Academia Speaking

Ad Astra Podcast

For scholars working on the history of astrology, The Astra Project is the wonderful resource and community of experts. The two people who seem to be the most public faces of the project are Helena Avelar and Luís Campos Ribeiro. The project also hosts the ad Astra podcast, which interviews scholars working on a wide […]

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Research

Fun with Astrological Abbreviations

Copies of Ὁ Καρπός, a Greek collection of astrological aphorisms that was for centuries attributed to Ptolemy, often contain a variety of common and sometimes not so common abbreviations and symbols for astrological terms. Aphorism 97 in this particular manuscript (BnF gr. 2509) includes three typical abbreviations. Ὁ κύριοσ τῆσ πανσελήνου ἢ τῆσ συνόδου, ὅτε […]

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History

Στοιχειωματικοὶ were casters of something

As progress continues on Ptolemy’s  Ὁ Καρπός I find myself confronting more and more questions that E. Boer’s critical edition does not and cannot answer.[1] Some of these questions are small and probably of interest only to a sliver of scholars. Other seem a bit broader, such as: How did the talented humanist, scholar, and […]

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History

More Ὁ Καρπός Fun

Here is the next group of ten aphorisms, 21–30, from the copy of Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός in BNF gr. 2180. Idiosyncrasies continue to be the norm. As is common in this text, along with the orthographic tendency to reflect pronunciation, these aphorisms often lack words and include numerous errors (usually in grammatical case). Interestingly, the […]

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History

Aphorisms 11–20 from Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός

Here are aphorisms 11–20 from the copy of Ptolemy’s “Ὁ Καρπός” in BnF gr. 2180. As to be expected, there are a number of idiosyncrasies here, some going well beyond the orthographic changes (which are unsurprising really). In some cases, this copy of the text includes additional clauses that raise interesting questions. For example, the […]

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History

ὁ Καρπός, Aphorisms 6 – 10

As our reader continued to work through Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός he either was uninterested in the minor errors in the Greek or didn’t notice them (such as the τοῦ γενεθλίω which clearly should be τοῦ γενεθλίου). He did add a couple corrections, particularly when whole words were missing. And he continued adding Latin translations for […]

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History

Aphorisms 4 and 5 from Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός

Let’s follow our reader through a couple more aphorisms from Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός. Again he glosses most of the Greek with Latin translations and, once again, corrects a couple scribal errors by writing the correct Greek word above the mistake (though he seems to miss a couple other mistakes). And here’s a transcription of these […]

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History

More fun with Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός

Our premodern reader didn’t just add Latin glosses to his copy of Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός, now and then he emended the Greek. For example, on the second aphorism the copiest wrote “τὴν κρεῖττον”. The reader seems to have been sufficiently bothered by this mistake that he wrote the correct article, “τὸ,” above the incorrect “τὴν.” […]

Categories
History

Struggling with Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός

It is perversely reassuring to see that other people have had to labor to understand Ptolemy’s aphorisms.[1] Consequently, this 15th-century copy of Ptolemy’s Ὁ Καρπός (more widely known by its Latin title, Centiloquium) makes my day. Copied sometime in the latter half of the fifteenth century by a certain George Mediates, this manuscript was later […]