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Tractatus Novus de Astronomia by Ramon Llull, 15th century

Identifier: MS 127


This manuscript contains the text Tractatus Novus de Astronomia by Ramon Llull. Ramon Llull (c. 1232−1316) was an influential and prolific medieval writer, who was interested in many areas of knowledge and wisdom, including literature, philosophy, logic, astronomy, theology, and natural sciences. He wrote in Latin, Catalan, and Arabic, and is considered one of the first and most important writers in Catalan. He is honoured as a martyr by the Franciscan Order and was beatified by Pope Pius IX. The Tractatus Novus de Astronomia (New Treatise on Astronomy) was originally written in Latin in Paris in 1297 and later produced in Catalan under the title Tractat d’astronomia. It treats astronomy using the principles stablished in his Ars Magna. Inside the board is a volvelle or wheel chart, a series of movable dials that represent the orbits of the planets.


Preface: the title reads on f. 1r: Deus cum virtute tua et ad honorem tuum incipit iste novus tractatus de astronomia. The text starts on f. 1r with the following words: Cum plures sunt homines qui strenue desiderant veritatem. And ends on f. 1r with the following words: cum arte geomancie.

Text: starts on f. 1r with the following words: Astronomia in duas partes dividitur. And ends on f. 47v with the following words: supponere quod tabula sit vera.

There is a volvelle at the beginning of the volume.


A fair hand, with rubrics and plain red capitals.


  • Creation: 15th century


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

This is given on f. 47v in a 15th century hand, Iste liber est Celestinorum de Ambianis F. 28 (This book belongs to the Celestines of Amiens F. 28). The inscription is repeated on f. 1r by two later hands. That it belonged to the Halliwell Phillips Collection is shown by the stamp on f. 1r and f. 48v, Bibliotheca Halliwelliana, and by the Sale Catalogue entry pasted on the inner cover. A second Sale Catalogue notice, probably of later date, also appears, and notes the price as £3, 3s.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Raymundi Lullii, De Astronomia.

Previous reference

Laing 161.


See Catalogue of a Collection of Scientific and Historical MSS. of James Orchard Halliwell. Sotheby, 27 June 1840, p. 4. No. 38. B. M. 821. g. 15(3).

Physical Facet

Material: Paper

Binding: Oak boards covered red leather. The title ‘RAYMUNDI TRACT. DE ASTRON. M.S.’ is stamped on the outer cover spine outright.

Collation: a12-d12=48.


21.59 cm x 14.28 cm


Secundo folio: sed naturam

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 48, 34-45 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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