MS. Lyell 52
Mathematics and astronomy
Two short pieces:
On Roman minutiae
These items are also found in MS. Vat. Reg. Lat. 1285, 14th cent., fol. 14–20v; see a detailed description (with extracts) by E. Narducci, ‘Sur un manuscrit du Vatican du xiv siècle contenant un traité de calcul emprunté à la méthode Gobari. Lettre … à M. Aristide Marre’, Bulletin des sciences mathématiques et astronomiques (ed. by Darboux and others), ser. ii, 7 (1883), pt. i, 247–56. See also G. Eneström in Bibliotheca Mathematica 3 Folge, 9 (1908–9), 2–4, 323–5, who prints further extracts from the Vatican MS. and says that the treatise (without items a and b) is an abbreviated version of the Liber algorismi de pratica arismetrice which begins ‘Quisquis in quatuor matheseos disciplinis’ ed. B. Boncompagni, Trattati d’aritmetica 2, Rome, 1857, pp. 25–93 and attributed by him on the basis of Paris B.N. lat. 7359 to Johannes Hispalensis. There is an incomplete copy of the Liber algorismi beg. ‘⟨S⟩i quis in quatuor’ instead of Quisquis, ends ‘pro lx pones unum in superiori differentia et’ (equivalent of our MS. fol. iiv 1. 23), in MS. Selden Sup. 26, 13th cent., fol. 17–22v.
Fol. 20v is blank.
Five books only, the last ‘de temporibus et motibus’
A version of Al-Khwarizmi’s Algebra, possibly by Adelard of Bath; see eTK 1271B, . F. J. Carmody, Arabic Astronomical and Astrological Sciences in Translation, 1956, p. 48 (4. 2c) attributes it to John of Seville. The first three books are pr. M. Curtze, ‘Über eine Algorismus-schrift der xii Jh.’, Abhandlungen zur Gesch. der Mathematik 8 (1898), 17–27.
Fol. 34v is blank.
On fol. 38–38v at the end of the chapter on multiplication, our MS. contains a passage:
These are not in MS. Auct. F. 5. 23.
An algebra adapted from Al-Khwarizmi.
Pr. B. Boncompagni, ‘Della vita e delle opere di Gherardo Cremonese’, Atti Acc. Nuovi Lincei 4 (1851), 28–51, from MS. Vat. Lat. 4606, which has the above title and in which it is called a translation by Gerard of Cremona from the Arabic. It is almost certainly not by Gerard; see A. Bjömbo, ‘Gerhard von Cremona’s Übersetzung von Alkwarizmi’s Algebra und von Euklid’s Elementen’, Bibl. Mathematica 3 Folge, 6 (1905), 239–48. Carmody, op. cit., p. 47 (4. 2b), suggests William de Lunis as a possible author. See also W. Kaunzner in Östernr. Akad. de Wiss., Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. Denkschriften 116, 5, Vienna, 1975, pp. 5–12 and Plate of fols. 45, 46.
Tables from the Latin translation (probably by Johannes de Pavia), of Arzachel’s Almanac, known as the Tables of Humeniz. The explanatory canons are omitted here. Our MS. contains:
Tables of the planets:
Tab. 26–31 in edition of the tables from the Arabic text by J. Millas Vallicrosa, Estudios sobre Azarquiel, Madrid-Granada, 1943–50, pp. 158–234 (henceforth cited as M. V.); see also his plate vi, facing p. 385.
M. V. tab. 40–53.
M. V. tab. 54–5.
M. V. tab. 11–14; 7–10. In the last table the headings have not been filled in. For the Latin version of the Almanac see M. V., pp. 151–2, 378–92; eTK 1394G, 1397H, ; E. Zinner, Verzeichn, astron. Hss. des deutschen Kulturgebietes, Munich, 1925, nos. 635–40. Zinner’s 637 is our MS., then MS. Admont 4º 612 (he quotes the old foliation: 85–107).
fol. 1–20; 42–49v: 230–3 × 165 mm. ( 150–3 × 88 mm. ): 28 long lines ruled with a hard point; catchwords in first part: red headings in first part;
fol. 21–34: 232 × 160 mm. ( 193 × 150 mm. ): 31 long lines ruled with a hard point: catchword;
fol. 35–41v: 233 × 165 mm. ( 155 × 90 mm. ): 32 long lines;
fol. 50–72v: 232 × 160–5 mm. (tables 155 × 110 mm. )
Written in Italy in the 14th cent, in four hands.
fol. 1–20; 42–49v; tables on fol. 73r–75v;
There are some later marginal corrections and additions in item 3. The notes on the use of the tables on fol. 50, 53, and the dates inserted on fol. 51v, 52, 54v, 55v, are probably in the hand of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa; see A. Krchfiâk, ‘Neue Handscriften in London und Oxford. Reisebericht’, Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft 3 (1963), 104–5.
Initials in fol. 1–20, 42–49v partly red and green, in the rest red and blue.
Portions of the medieval boards preserved. A 14th-cent. list of contents inside the upper board.
Bound in modern wooden boards, backed with modern pale-brown goatskin.
Provenance and Acquisition
Formerly MS. 612 in the library of Admont (paper label on front board); it is listed in the Admont catalogue of 1380: ‘Item introductorius liber in mathematicam, incipit ‘Si quis’; in eodem liber ysagogarum algorismi et algorismus de integris et tabule planetarum’; see G. Möser-Mersky, Mittelatt. Bibl.kat. Österreichs in, 1961, pp. 61 1. 30–2.
Sold by Admont in or after 1934 to L. and A. Brecher of Brünn (Möser-Mersky, op. cit., p. 9).
Bought by Lyell in January 1941 from Davis and Orioli; see their Cat. 78 (1937), no. 5.
Chosen as one of the hundred manuscripts bequeathed to the Bodleian by Lyell in 1948.
MS. Lyell 52 - parchment endleaves
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Last Substantive Revision
2020-12-16: Andrew Dunning Revised from description by Albinia de la Mare.