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Astronomy. Treatises on astronomy, arithmetic etc.

Reference code
Astronomy. Treatises on astronomy, arithmetic etc.
second half 15th century
Level of description
Extent and format
Paper and vellum (mixed); ff. iii + 71 (fol. iii, between fols. 30, 31, contains figures and a list of Christian names, c. 1600).
Duodecimo. Leather binding, brown, stamped in gilt with the arms (after 1619) of Sir James Ley, Lord High Treasurer 1624-8 (Bt. 1619; 1st Earl of Marlborough 1626; d. 1629).
Scope and content
Treatises on astronomy, arithmetic, etc.; Contents (information mainly from Ker, MMBL, I (1969), 310);-

(1) Tractatum de spera. The treatise on the sphere by John de Sacrobosco. Preceded by 'Nota bene de recto modo loquendi', with reference to Aristotle's teaching of Alexander, etc., fol. 2, and a diagram of the spheres with notes, fol. 2v. fols. 3-19;-

(2) 'Debes scire quod circulus solis'. Treatise on the quadrant. See also BL Royal MS 12 C.ix, fol. 35. fols. 19v-24;-

(3) Miscellaneous notes and diagrams mostly relating to the planets, with a diagram showing the poles and the tropics, and notes on mathematics, verse, etc. fols. 24v-8;-

(4) 'Benedictus deus omnipotens qui machinam mundanam'. On chiromancy. See also Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MSS/0190, fol. 55. fols. 28v-9;-

(5) Text beginning 'Prognosticacio Pictagore' and a diagram relating to the sphere of Pythagoras. Above the diagram (fol. 30) are two coats of arms and the words 'Probata fuit hec spera pictagore per dominum Henricum ducem lancastrie coram Rege francie pugnante Et de domino Iohanne de Anneslay quorum dominorum hec Scuta presencia sunt'. The reference is to the single combat of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, and the Duke of Brunswick in Paris, 1354. See J. A. Goodall, The Coat of Arms, N. S. 11, no. 174 (Summer, 1996), 261-2. fols. 29v-30;-

(6) The Algorismus of Alexander de Villa Dei. Beginning 'Hec algorismus ars presens dicitur', verse, with prose commentary, 'Liber iste quem pre manibus'. H. Walther, Initia Carminum (1959), no. 7470. Commentary also in Bodl. Lib., MS Digby 48, and other MSS. Explicit includes 'scriptor Newland vocitatus'. fols. 31-53;-

(7) 'Arsmetrica docet de numero'. fols. 53v-5v;-

(8) 'Hic dicendum est de quibusdam cautelis artis metrice'. fols. 55v-7v;-

(9) 'Omnis proporcio. aut est communiter dicta'. See also BL Royal MS 8 A.xviii, art. 6. fols. 58-63v;-

(10) 'Incipit prologus libelli quem edidit Daniel propheta.. de interpretacionibus sompniorum'. The first part of (10) is omitted in its proper place and added on fol. 71r, v. Source GT in the edition of the Somniale Danielis by A. Epe in Wissensliteratur im angelsächsischen England.. (Münster, 1995), 85, 107. fols. 64-71v;-

(11) Short pieces on flyleaves and in blank spaces include verse:- (a) 'Anglia te prodit tua gens' (twenty-three lines). Walther, no. 1010. fol. 1;- (b) 'Vt stabilis fias votique potens peragendi' (ten lines). fol. 1v;- (c) 'Cronica si penses cum certent oxonienses' (two lines). Cf. W. G. Smith, Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 2nd ed., 483. fol. 1v;- (d) 'Qualia cernuntur nocturna sompnia visu' (six lines). fol. 63v.
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