Albumazar Treatise (Liber astrologiae)

The British Library, London




The Albumazar Treatise is one of the most fascinating picture books of the Middle Ages. The intellectual voyage unfolding upon its pages evokes the migration of the myths of Antiquity through Arab civilization into Western, medieval illuminations. The text consists of fragments of the writings of the greatest Arab astrologer of all times, Albumazar, translated by the legendary Toledo school of translators.

This treatise is significant because it condenses the astral mythology of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Persia and India into a single lavishly illustrated book for the very first time. Its breathtaking iconographic cycle features not only unusual forms of the planets and the signs of the zodiac of Greek origin, but also a series of rather disconcerting images of constellations devised by different oriental cultures to pinpoint the position of the stars.

Astrology had a lasting effect on almost all fields of medieval knowledge. In the late Middle Ages, astrology was taught in Europe’s great schools of medicine which regarded a knowledge of celestial positions as essential for medical prognosis.

First, unique and unrepeatable edition limited to 987 copies numbered and certified by notary public.
Albumazar Treatise (Liber astrologiae), Sloane Ms. 3983, mid 14th c. Manuscript, treatise on astrology

The Albumazar Treatise is one of the most fascinating picture books of the Middle Ages. The intellectual voyage unfolding upon its pages evokes the migration of the myths of Antiquity through Arab civilization into Western, medieval illuminations. The text consists of fragments of the writings of the greatest Arab astrologer of all times, Albumazar, translated by the legendary Toledo school of translators.

This treatise is significant because it condenses the astral mythology of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Persia and India into a single lavishly illustrated book for the very first time. Its breathtaking iconographic cycle features not only unusual forms of the planets and the signs of the zodiac of Greek origin, but also a series of rather disconcerting images of constellations devised by different oriental cultures to pinpoint the position of the stars.

Astrology had a lasting effect on almost all fields of medieval knowledge. In the late Middle Ages, astrology was taught in Europe’s great schools of medicine which regarded a knowledge of celestial positions as essential for medical prognosis.

First, unique and unrepeatable edition limited to 987 copies numbered and certified by notary public.

Pictures
Albumazar Treatise (Liber astrologiae)
The British Library, London



Description

Albumazar Treatise (Liber astrologiae) The British Library, London


Illuminated codex, treatise on astrology that condenses the astral mythology of the great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Persia and India into a single lavishly illustrated book.

Shelf mark: Sloane Ms. 3983
Date: Mid 14th century
Size: ± 270 x 186 mm
102 pages, 72 full-page miniatures
Bound in gold-tooled, red leather
Leather case
Full-colour commentary volume

First, unique and unrepeatable edition limited to 987 copies numbered and certified by notary public


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