Queens' College : Ptolemy's Almagest

Queens' College

<p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript contains <i>Ptolemy's Almagest</i>, one of the most important works of ancient Greek astronomy. The work is not complete, and ends abruptly at book 10, chapter 4, in the middle of a sentence. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The codex is a composite, made up of three parts. Part I and III were copied by an anonymous scribe (hand A), probably in the first half of the 16th century, on the same kind of paper; part II was written by a contemporary or slightly earlier hand (hand B), probably of western European origin. Although the text is continuous across all the parts, it is not clear whether the scribes worked together and whether the codex is the result of a planned and coordinated work of copying. Some physical evidence seems to suggest not. The layout differs; parts I and III seem not to be finished (often the initials, which probably should have been written in red, are missing as well as the tables and diagrams), while part II seems more complete; between parts I and II, and II and III there are blank pages; while part I has a Greek foliation by hand A, the leaves of the other two parts are not numbered.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> In parts II and III the text of the Almagest is in disorder: judging from the structure of the manuscript, this is not due to a misplacement of leaves, but probably rather to a faulty exemplar or exemplars.</p>

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