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Astronomical treatises, Written in the 15th century in England

MS. Savile 15
Held at the Weston Library

  • Request

Astronomical treatises, of which nos. 3-6 are translations by Hugo Sanctalliensis, for whom see C. H. Haskins, Studies in Mediaeval Science (1924), pp. 67-81:

  1. Fol. 1. The astrology of Hali translated from the Spanish version of Jehuda ben Moses Cohen (made at the command of Alfonso x of Castille) into Latin in 1253 by Egidius de Thebaldis of Parma, in eight parts. Rubric 'Hec est figura inicii translationis huius libri die Iovis mensis Marcii 21 die ... era ... Christi 1253 ...'. Prol. beg. 'In nomine domini hic est liber ... quem Haly Abenragel ... composuit de judiciis astrologie. Quern Yhuda filius Muste [sic] ...', second prol. beg. 'Dixit Haly filius Abenragel vni deo victorioso'. Cap. i beg. 'Duodecim signa sunt in celo'. For another copy see MS. Bodl. 472, and cf. Royal MS. 12D vi (etc.) in the British Museum.
  2. Fol. 109. The 'Liber novem judicum', a mid-13th-cent. astrological compilation, printed at Venice in 1509, of which another copy is in MS. Digby 149, here preceded by a table of chapters divided into 12 'domus' (fol. 109) but without prologue. Text beg. 'Celestis circuli forma sperica' (fol. 111).
  3. Fol. 175v. The translation by Hugo Sanctalliensis of Abu Ma-'ashar Ja'afar's 'liber ymbrium', beg. 'Superioris discipline inconcussam veritatem prout Judeorum movet auctoritas'.
  4. Fol. 177v. 'Liber Messahale de Nativitatibus, 14 distinctus capitulis Hugonis translacio. Prologus eiusdem ad Michaelem Tirassone antistitem.' Prol. beg. 'Libellum hunc Messahale de nativitatibus etsi apud nos Albumazar' (fol. 177v). Text beg. 'Quamvis librum istud ex ordine' (fol. 178).
  5. Fol. 185. A translation by the same of the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise on astrology, beg. 'Ex multiplici questionum'.
  6. Fol. 205. A translation by the same of a commentary by Mohammed ben Ahmed-el-Biruni on Al-Fargani's explanation of the astronomical tables compiled by Al-Khwarizmi, headed 'Hamis Benhamie Machumeti frater de geometria mobilis quantitatis et azig, hoc est canonis stellarum rationibus'. Another copy is in MS. Arch. Selden B. 34, fols. 11-62v. Text beg. 'Quia nonnullos nec inmerito'.
  7. Fol. 229. The Liber Introductorius of Guido Bonatti (fl. 1245), for which see L. Thorndike, History of Magic, pp. 825-40, here in eight treatises each subdivided into parts and chapters. Prol. beg. 'In nomine domini nostri Jhesu Christi misericordie'. Text beg. 'Animus est nobilius quod reperitur in homine' (fol. 229). A note on fol. 334v states that this was written by Jacobus Ganton, as was apparently most of the volume. There is a table of contents (c. 1500) on fol. i. The fly-leaves are from two noted 15th-cent. breviaries.


  • Creation: Written in the 15th century in England


362 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Latin


MS. Savile 15

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 6561*

Custodial History

Probably belonged to the Franciscans of Doncaster, as MSS. Savile 18-20 (on the inner front cover is 'Nota de durabilitate etc. ordinis fratrum Minorum fo° 308°'). Fol. 1 has 'Joannes Dee 1564' partly obliterated, and 'P. Saunders' (17th cent.). This volume was no. 108 in Dr John Dee's library and contains an autograph note by him (fol. 105).

Labelled '15'

Physical Facet

On paper, binding, red leather on boards, with traces of two clasps, 15th-cent. English work


16 1/5 × 11 1/2 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom