Aratea Digital
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS NAL 1614

go to

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, NAL 1614

Boethius: De arithmetica; RAL; Excerptum de astrologia; De ordine ac positione

Parchment — 99 fols. — 350 × 235 mm — Abbey Saint-Martin Tours (?) — s. IX1

Digital facsimile available at

Revised Aratus Latinus

Excerptum de astrologia

De ordine ac positione

Parchment Lagen: The manuscript constist of at least two codicological units as becomes clear by the different quire marks. In the first part O (f.8v), P (f.16v), Q (f.24v), R (f.32v), S (f.38v), T (f.46v) and V (f.54v); in the second part I (f.82v), II (f.88v), and III (f.96v). Consequently a tentative formula for the second part (with the Aratea texts) would look like as follows: I6 (ff.77-82), II7-1 (ff.82-88, missing one after f.83), III8 (ff.89-96), IV4-1 (ff.97-99, missing one after f. 99). Missing at least two folia (after f.83 and f.99). Damage by ff. 88, 94 and 97 (partially cut or torn). Caroline minuscule.

Selected Bibliography: Blume, Dieter, Mechthild Haffner, and Wolfgang Metzger. Sternbilder des Mittelalters: der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012, pp. 454-460. — McGurk, Patrick, and J. Nelson. “Carolingian Astrological Manuscripts.” In Charles the Bald. Court and Kingdom, edited by M. Gibson, 317–32. Oxford, 1981.

Herkunft: This manuscript was once part of a larger MS produced in Tours. In its original form it consisted of 20 mostly quarto-quires of parchment, with quire-marks on the verso of the last folio - A to V. This MS is currently divided into 4 parts:

    Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. lat. 1612 (22 fols.): Quires A, B and C incl. Bede, DNR and varia on the computus; Tours, Saint-Martin, 334 (49 fols.): Quires D, E, F and the first 6 folios from quires G and 7 last folios from quire H, quire I, and 4 folios signed K; Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. lat. 1613 (23 fols.): The last two folios of quire G and the first folium of quire H, quires L, M and N. Melange about the computus, the chronology, astronomy, the weights and measures. Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. lat. 1614 (99 fols.): Quires O to V ; 99 fols. Arithmetic of Boethius, followed (in a separate codicological unit) by Aratea.

1r-75r De arithmetica libri duo. Boethius. Domino Patri Symmacho Boethius In dandis accipiendisque muneribus ita recte. … — … differentia eius autem disciptionis subter exemplar abiecimus. Interlinear and marginal glosses with signes de renvoi; diminish in quantity after the first six folios and then disappear completely. Illo Humphrey, “Boethi De institutione arithmetica libri duo: Étude proto-philologique”, in Carmina Philosophiae (Journal of the International Boethius Society, USA), n° 14, 2005, pp. 57–158.

75v-76r Diagrams: f.75v tree diagram about arithmetic; f.76r diagrams on the division of science : f.76v Title in ulterior pagina description incipit geometria followed by four diagramatic tables.

77r-93v RAL. (77r-78v) Arati ea quae uidentur ostensionem quoque de quibus uidentur … — … quo ab eo dicta sunt. Marginal note on f. 77v Non fiut aratus scriptor huius libri. (78v) Eratosthenes de circaexornatione. Eratostennis de circaexornationem stellarum et aetimologium de quibus uidentur. Haec autem sunt ad aquilonem … — … quinque stellae erraticae. no visual separation from the previous passage. (78v-79r) Hypparchus de magnitudine. Ipparcus de magnitudine et positione errantium stellarum. Constat autem aquilonio semispherio ha … — … aries taurus gemini. no visual separation from the previous passage. (79r-80r) Alexandrine preface. quibus arati uidentur quaedam sunt secundum caeli stellarum … — … quia simillimo in id ipsum suggerunt. no visual separation from the previous passage. (80r-81r) Alia description prefationis. Alia descriptio pręfationis. Subtus terra firmantur signa … — … serpentarius usque ad genua. (81r) Eratostenes de exornatione et proproetate sermonum. Eratostenes de exornatione et proprietate sermonum quibus uidemus et ipparci de magnittudine et positione errantium stellarum secundum qualiter su … — … sacrarium necnon sagitarium pisces coetus orion. no visual separation from the previous passage. (81r-81v) Descriptio duorum semispherium. Disciptio duorum semispherium. Habet autem pondus totum medium terrae terrenum … — … in medio iacet duobus semispheriis. Drawing of the two hemispheres (east-west). (82r-v) Arati genus. Arati genus aratus patris quidem est athinodori filius … — … reperimus illum et super. (82v) De caeli positione. De caeli positione. Caelum circulis quinque distinguit … — … olida anteposita his deformia. (82v-83v) De stellis fixis et stantibus. De stellis fixis et stantibus. Stellarum aliae cum caelo ferunt … — … et quomodo consentit aut uisus est. (83v) Invuolutio spherae. Inuolutio spherae. Hic est stellarum ordo utrorumque circulorum septentriones duplic … — … uius heduli desuper obtinent locum Septentrio One folio was torn out after f. 83. It contained most probably the illustration usually attached to Involutio spherae of a globe on five columns. This was most probably a singleton, since there is no text missing between ff. 87 and 88, where one sees only the stub with which the folio was attached to the binding. (84r-93v) Vertices. Uertices circa quos spera caeli uoluitur polos antiq … — … adeptos fuisse opinabantur uictoriam. Explicit liber astrologorum. On ff. 92v-93r space left blank for illustrations: zodiacus circulus (f.91r), Luna (f.91v), Sol (f.92v) and the planets (f.93r). For description of the constellations see Lippincott and Sternbilder.

93v-94r Excerptum de astrologia. Excerptum de astrologia. Duo sunt extremi uertices mundi quos appellant polos. … — … quia ad ipsum usque decurrit accipiens. The text was probably accompanied by a depiction of the planisphere on 94v, which was later cut out, leaving a large circular hole in the middle of the folio. This caused also text damage on the recto.

95r-99 De ordine ac positione. De ordine ac positione stellarum per signa. Est quidem hic ordo et position syderum … — … awing of Nauis) usque ad malum figuratur. 27 drawings of the constellations, marking the stars with tiny crosses in and around the figures following the instructions in the text (or the exemplar); the drawing were placed before the text; for the RAL und the De ordine were used different pictorial cycles executed most probably by the same artist. f. 97 (text and drawings of Auriga, Taurus, Cepheus, Cassiepia, Andromeda and Equus) is almost complete cut off; only part of the inner margin with few words survive. The text ends up with the section on the constellation Navis missing the last nine constellations, which probably fitted one folio (Hydra, Corvus and Crater depicted together), thus making the last quire a quarto.