A So Far Unpublished Book on the Judgments of the Nativities by Abū ‘Alī, the Arabic Astrologer


Yaḥyá ibn Ghālib Khayyāṭ (died circa 835) was an astrologer and pupil of the great Jewish-Persian astrologer Māshāʼallāh (circa 730–circa 815). He was known to mediaeval Christendom as Albohali (variants include Alghihac and Albenahait). Ibn al-Nadīm includes in Abu ʿAlī’s list of works Kitāb al-Masāʾil (The book of interrogations) and Kitāb al-Mawālīd (Book of nativities), both of which are extant, together with several works that are now lost. The latter include Kitāb al-Madkhal (The book of introduction), Kitāb al-Maʿānī (The book of [hidden] meanings), Kitāb al-Duwal (The book of revolutions [of time]), Kitāb Taḥwīl sinī ’l-mawālīd (Book of the annual revolution of nativities), and Kitāb qaḍīb al-dhahab (Book of the rod of gold). Kitāb al-Mawālīd was translated into Latin by Plato of Tivoli in 1136 and by Johann Hispalensis (John of Seville) in 1153. The latter translation was printed in Nuremberg in 1546. Presented here is the second edition, from 1549. It is dedicated by its editor, Joachim Heller (1518–90), to Philipp Melancthon (1497–1560), the German reformer and collaborator of Martin Luther.

Date Created

Publication Information

Giovanni Monte and Ulrich Neuber, Nuremberg


Title in Original Language

Albohali Arabis Astrologi ... De Judiciis Nativitatum liber unus, antehac non editus

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

64 leaves : illustrations ; 19 centimeters

Last updated: June 17, 2014