Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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LJS 57 - [Astronomical anthology]
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Title:
[Astronomical anthology] [manuscript].
Origin:
[Catalonia, ca. 1361]
Physical description:
114 leaves : parchment, col. ill. ; 275 x 204 (190 x 132) mm. bound to 288 x 224 mm.
Language(s):
Hebrew.
Summary:
Collection of astronomical texts, including a copy of a treatise on the calendar originally compiled for Pedro IV, King of Aragon, with an almanac of oppositions and conjunctions of the sun and moon and predictions of lunar and solar eclipses; four short works by the 12th-century scientist Abraham Ibn Ezra on an introduction to astrology, choosing the most auspicious moment for a given activity, the zodiac, and astrology concerning humankind collectively; and a Hebrew translation of Ptolemy's Almagest, with numerous tables, diagrams, and illustrations.
Contents:
1. p.1-23: [Treatise on calendar and leap years / Jacob ben David ben Yom Tov]
2. p.25-60: [Reshit ḥokhmah (Beginning of wisdom) / Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra]
3. p.61-68: [Sefer ha-mivḥarim (Book of elections) / Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra]
4. p.69-86: [Mishpeṭe ha-mazalot (Book of the judgments of the zodiacal signs) / Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra]
5. p.86-93: [Sefer ha-ʻolam (Book of the world) / Abraham ben Meïr Ibn Ezra]
6. p.93-228: [Hebrew translation of Almagest / Ptolemy]
Provenance:
Formerly owned by David Solomon Sassoon (Ms. 823), probably purchased in the mid-1920s.
Offered for sale as part of Sassoon's collection at auction at Sotheby's (Zurich), 5 November 1975, lot 15.
Offered for sale as part of Sassoon's collection at auction at Sotheby's (New York), 4 December 1984, lot 88.
Formerly owned by the Carl Alexander Floersheim Trust for Art and Judaica (Bermuda).
Sold at auction at Sotheby's, 10 Dec. 1996, lot 48, to Lawrence J. Schoenberg.
Gift of Lawrence J. Schoenberg and Barbara Brizdle, 2013.
Related names:
Jacob ben David ben Yom Tov.
Ibn Ezra, Abraham ben Meïr, 1089-1164. Reshit ḥokhmah.
Ibn Ezra, Abraham ben Meïr, 1089-1164. Sefer ha-ʻolam u-maḥberot ha-meshartim kulam.
Ptolemy, 2nd cent. Almagest. Hebrew.
Sassoon, David Solomon, 1880-1942, former owner.
Subject:
Astronomy - Early works to 1800.
Astrology - Early works to 1800.
Jewish illumination of books and manuscripts.
Zodiac in art.
Form / Genre:
Codices.
Diagrams.
Illuminations.
Tables (documents)
Treatises.
Manuscripts, Hebrew - 14th century.
Manuscripts, Medieval.
Notes:
Ms. codex.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Foliation: Parchment, iv (modern paper) + 114 + iv (modern paper; [1-228]; modern pagination in pencil, upper outer corners.
Layout: Text written in 2 columns of 37 lines; some leaves ruled in faint ink.
Script: Written in Sephardic cursive script by multiple hands, one perhaps of a scribe named Moshe (p. 2); headings written in square script.
Decoration: 2 full-page color illustrations in gouache and ink of constellation maps (p. 112-113); 43 smaller illustrations of constellations in gouache and ink with gold bezants for stars (p. 117-144); panel headpiece in interlaced red and green penwork and full border of gold bezants flourished in colored ink (p. 1); numerous full-page diagrams and tables in red and brown ink; Gothic penwork infilling frames on some tables (p. 196-211); headings in red or green ink.
Binding: Modern blind-stamped morocco, with 2 sets of clasps and catches.
Origin: Written in Catalonia, ca. 1361.
Dimensions of original manuscript: 275 x 204 (190 x 132) mm. bound to 288 x 224 mm.
Indexed / Referenced in:
Described in Convivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in medieval Spain (New York: G. Braziller in association with the Jewish Museum, 1992), no. 26, published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name held at the Jewish Museum (New York).
Described in Transformation of knowledge: early manuscripts from the collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg (London: Paul Holberton, 2006), p. 66-67 (LJS 57).
Publications of or about this material:
Fischer, Karl A. F., Paul Kunitzsch, and Y. Tzvi Langermann. "The Hebrew astronomical codex MS. Sassoon 823." In The Jewish Quarterly Review, New Series, vol. 78, no. 3/4 (Jan.-Apr. 1988), p. 253-292. A copy is in the curatorial file for this manuscript.
Dekker, Elly. "The pair of celestial hemispheres in MS Schoenberg ljs 057. A case of transmission from the Islamic world to Europe?" Paper delivered at Cartography between Europe and the Islamic world 1100-1600, Queen Mary University of London, September 8-9, 2014. A copy is in the curatorial file for this manuscript.
Cite as:
UPenn LJS 57
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 57

Find Related Items:

Collection: Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection
Collection: Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Facsimile: Yes
Illuminated: No
Illustrated: Yes
Notated: No
Language: Hebrew
Century: 14th century
Date: 1361
Genre: Codices
Genre: Diagrams
Genre: Illuminations
Genre: Manuscripts, Hebrew - 14th century
Genre: Manuscripts, Medieval
Subject: Astrology
Subject: Astronomy
Subject: Jewish illumination of books and manuscripts
Subject: Zodiac in art
Related names: Ibn Ezra, Abraham ben Meïr, 1089-1164. Reshit ḥokhmah
Related names: Ibn Ezra, Abraham ben Meïr, 1089-1164. Sefer ha-ʻolam u-maḥberot ha-meshartim kulam
Related names: Jacob ben David ben Yom Tov
Related names: Ptolemy, 2nd cent. Almagest. Hebrew
Related names: Sassoon, David Solomon, 1880-1942, former owner
Page material: Parchment