Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars


This book is a Latin translation of Ibn al-Rijāl Abū al-Ḥasan al-Shaybānī al-Maghribī al-Qayrawānī’s principal scientific work, Kitāb al-bāriʻ fī aḥkām al-nujūm (Complete book on the judgment of the stars). Known in the Latin West as Haly Abenragel, or Haly Albohazen, Ibn al-Rijāl was the astrologer and leading official at the court of the Zīrid prince Muʻizz ibn Bādīs (1007 or 1008–62) at Qayrawān (present-day Kairouan, Tunisia). Kitāb al-bāriʻ consists of eight books covering several different types of astrology. These include interrogations, nativities, the discussions of the signs and their natures, and the qualities of the planets. This book was first translated into Old Castilian by Yehudā ben Moshe at the court of Alfonso X, in Toledo, in 1254. The Old Castilian version of this work was translated twice into Latin (and thence into Hebrew) as well as Old Portuguese. The first Latin translation was that of Aegidius de Tebaldis, aided by Petrus de Regio, in 1256. Through its translations from Arabic into various European languages (including French, English, and Portuguese) Kitāb al-bāriʻ had a considerable influence on astrology in Europe. The edition presented here was printed by the shop of Heinrich Petri (1508–79, also known by his Latinized name Henricus Petrus) in Basel in 1551. The translator, Antonius Stupanus, dedicates the work to the bishop of Rhaetia Alta, and complains about the quality of earlier translations.

Last updated: June 17, 2014